Content of the article: "Big fat game suggestion dump"
Okay, it seems to be a common occurrence that people write an essay on their requests for the game, so here I am, having written an essay on my requests for the game. Quick disclaimer, I love this game, I fully support the developers, many of these points are a message to modders rather than the devs, as some of these things may deviate from the games core values/style. This isn’t a criticism by any means, just a list of ideas that I’ve been noting down since release. I’ve got nearly 500 hours in this game and I’m a firm believer in £1=1 hour of gameplay, other currencies are available. But for real, this is like 4000 words long, I put less effort into some of my uni projects, so would appreciate feedback from anyone and everyone.
Changes to AI
Relation per individual
There should be two types of relationship metres: one representing the clan and one representing the individual. Basically, you should be able to have different relationships between each individual noble even if they are in the same clan. You would build/diminish you relationship with each individual the same way you would anyway (assuming we finally see relationship changes from fighting battles with lords), however that change in relationship would apply to the individual in question, rather than their clan as a whole, this would still have some affect on family relations though. How it would work is; the overall clan relationship would signify the bond between two houses, as opposed to you and the entire family, this would be a combination of each clan members relationship towards your family, with the clan leader having the largest amount of influence on this number. So you could have a strong personal relationship with a clan leader, this would make for a strong clan relationship between your families; however you could have a terrible relationship with their heir, so when the current leader dies and their heir replaces them you could see a large diminish in your clan alliance, this would work both ways, say if you die and your heir takes over. This would make for a more interesting AI and it would not be specific just to the player, as AI lords would interact with each other in this way too, making for a more natural and constant shift within political spheres.
Visible relation vs hidden relation
Building upon the last idea, there should be visible and secret relations. This is just a rough idea so feedback would be welcome, but generally speaking when a clan defects from your kingdom it rarely feels like a betrayal as 90% of the time you can see it coming as you either have poor relations with them or they have really good relations between the other monarch. I would like to see real blood boiling betrayals in the game, so some sort of secret relation bar could be implemented that exist purely in the game files so the player can’t see them. Nobles who are particularly devious would work to befriend you in order to receive higher positions of power only to betray you or even usurp/stage a coup later down the line. This will add a new dynamic to the so far very predictable AI, leave the player questioning their allegiances and make the AI more human.
Wars and feuds between lords
I think this would work particularly with Vlandia, a Norman inspired faction who’s king, Derhert, is said to have spent most of his time putting down petty squabbles. This sounds like the tumultuous times after the Norman conquest of England, especially during the reign of Stephen which saw the ‘Anarchy’. There was a period which was essentially a free for all between English barons battling each other with little to no intervention from the crown. It would be interesting to see this in the game, not just in Vlandia, but across the board. This could happen as a result in diminishing influence of the ruling faction, a destabilising economy or just based on certain policies that reduces the faction leaders’ powers over their nobles. However, these wouldn’t be classified as all out civil wars, more petty conflicts.
Organise rebellion with other lords
As simple mechanic for organising rebellions or even a peaceful coup. You should be able to secretly conspire with other nobles to rebel against a monarch, it never made sense to me that you’d just have to assume you’d receive support once you desert a kingdom, why would any irl risk it? Instead you should slowly, over time, open up ideas to nobles about a rebellion (roguery and charm skills will come into play) until you feel ready to finally openly ask them if they’d support you if you were to usurp the throne. If they agree then they will immediately join you when you form your own kingdom (or better still when there’s the option to become leader of a pre-existing faction). This way you don’t have to faff around searching for the nobles in question as soon as you leave a kingdom. This should however come with risks. Should you fail to convince a lord they may report you to the current monarch who may declare war on you for treason.
People remember battles and create songs
Two small immersive additions to the game, don’t know if it would really come under AI, but oh well. NPC’s remembering and naming large, and more importantly, significant/campaign changing battles would make for a dynamic and memorable experience. The concept of it is relatively simple, however in practise I imagine it could prove difficult. The game would decide and weigh up whether or not a battle is important; was it a clash between two main armies (or even multiple if a coalition between factions has been made)?, how many casualties?, how many combatants?, was it a close victory?, did one side defy all the odds?, did it turn the tables of the war?, was it between two bitter rivals or two good friends/family members? Then comes the part of naming the battle, most battles are named after their location. This would require the campaign map to have place names for each province, river, mountain and forest. Or the player can just decide the name of the battle if they were directly involved. Now comes the idea of having songs attached to them. This would work by having a set of prewritten songs, each culture having several, with blanks in the lyrics throughout which can be filled with the name of the battle, the name of nobles and who the victor was. Each will be configured so to cater to what kind of victory (or defeat) it was, whether it was won be crushing the enemy or won by superior use of tactics while being outnumbered. It could go as far as each faction having their own song about the battle, one celebrating it and one mourning it. Even more ambitious would be to have all the lines of dialogue recorded so each possible variation of the song could be played in the game. If not the tune of the song can be played by bards in the halls and taverns, this could also act like a boost to your influence and popularity (or unpopularity based upon the outcome of the battle in question) with the people. Extremely ambitious I know but a nice idea.
True evil NPCs
I want to see some truly sadistic evil bastards, some Ramsey Bolton, Emperor Nero type characters. These could be predetermined in some characters at the start of the game, but most monsters are created. I’d like to see NPC’s develop character traits based on their experiences, especially in their early life. If you’re (or any other NPC for that matter) a bad parent towards your child; you beat them, neglect them, don’t spend time teaching them or have a spouse who has poor character traits, then that child could grow up to be a monster. Yes, you will have full control over one of your offspring once you die, but the others will keep these traits. This could lead to sibling rivalry and even civil war. This should also introduce a new trait which makes nobles and the public fear you. Ruling through fear should have different benefits and downsides to ruling through love/inspiration, but to be honest I haven’t thought it through enough.
With there being evil NPC’s, there should be a way to exercise their sadistic nature and give nobles both friend and foe the reason to fear them. Torture would become an option once you capture a noble, there may be several options with lead to different outcomes. It may be a way to reveal sensitive information about the enemy’s war plans, or find incriminating and embarrassing gossip about nobles or kings that can be used in smear campaigns. Or it can be used to break someone’s will (they may be psychologically damaged afterwards and flee from battles more often and get a reputation for having a nervous temperament so are less likely to inspire their peers), torture could end up reducing skill points and removing perks from certain trees, particularly physical attributes (athletics, one handed, bow etc), or it can make someone infertile. This can happen to you as a player too if you are caught by an evil NPC. Whether you reveal information to your torturer would be based on your charm skill. Torturing would of course massively damage your honour and relationship’s with other nobles. However different factions will have different opinions about it; Battania may openly accept it and even encourage it, Vlandia would oppose it due to chivalry, the Empire would be in the middle as they believe only imperials should be treated with rights, yet they want to keep their civilised reputation.
People treat you based on policy
Pretty simple really, people should speak to you in a different manner based on what kind of leader you are. If you’ve introduced Sacred Majesty people should treat you like a god appointed monarch, more grovelling and bowing (for the love of god allow us and other NPC’s to bow). Would like to make a point about how each policy should generate a visual difference in the game, serfs see more people in villages, citizens see more in towns etc, this has been mentioned before by others so I won’t go into it.
Different leadership per kingdom
Again, something that’s been mentioned in the past, just want to reiterate it though. Factions shouldn’t all be the same with different skins, there should be a complex level of structural hierarchy for each faction based on the cultures they are trying to mirror. With that policies shouldn’t be just a matter of changing numbers, but a significant overhaul to a faction. Senate especially needs to significantly change a faction, an actual scene where you can attend a senate house and vote on subjects (not just policies), senators aren’t just AI nobles either but significant landlords and merchants from each town/castle. But again, others have provided more detailed ideas on this previously.
So branching off on factions, I feel Battania needs a complete overhaul. I know snowballing has been a persistent problem in the game and TW have done a lot to curb that but it’s still not fully fixed, which again is fine because I know it’s one of their priorities. However, I have experienced Battania snowballing every now and again and IMO I think that out of all the factions, they should receive the most significant overhaul. They are essentially a late Celtic faction based off the Welsh. Now the Welsh could and did build a hell of a lot of castles and very formidable ones at that (if you ever go it is worth visiting a few because there’s loads that are still in pretty good condition). However, Battania do not represent that time period in Welsh history, most of, if not all, of their towns and castles are occupied old Imperial settlements. When I initially saw the dev blog about Battania I thought of them to be the true underdog of the game, but they’re not. They should act like a loose confederation of petty clans who prioritise raiding over conquering. Their main goal should be to defend their land that they’re so scared of losing. Looting and sacking of towns and castles needs to be implemented so to allow this to work. Moreover, a guerrilla warfare mechanic needs to be introduced to allow them to do this. They need to be a faction that can’t support a large conquest, but are damn near impossible to invade, but more importantly, hard to subdue once you have conquered them. Look to my ambushes and roads section of how this can be fleshed out some more. Their lands should have more roaming bands of raiders that aren’t affiliated with the Battanian faction, but will only attack foreign invaders and occasionally raid bordering villages, but leave Battanian villagers alone. The hilly and forest landscape should play massively to their advantage, atm forests are just a ball ache for everyone, especially archers, archers being Battania’s best unit. And finally, I think Battanian cavalry shouldn’t exist all together. Playing as Battania it should be possible to conquer but it should be the most challenging faction to do so and should require heavy reform in policy to allow them to become an empire (look at kingdom tiers).
Imperial lords not defecting to Battania
Speaks for itself really, always felt it to be a bit lore breaking.
This is something I’d love to see, it’s a bit of a rarity in history that an heir ascends to the throne completely peacefully without at least one person claiming that the crown belongs to someone else. This would work well with the personal relation system that I mentioned at the start. So; siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles within the same clan/in-lore clan should all have personal relations between each other. Imagine a civil war starting out between two siblings as one believes that they are the real heir, this can work for both when monarchs die and when a clan leader dies. Nobles can pledge their allegiance to either candidate and receive rewards/punishment/pardoning based on whose side they chose when the war is over. Would work well with the evil NPC idea, and isn’t exclusive to player succession, but for all kingdoms.
Would work well with the previous idea. Not sure why you would choose to have an illegitimate child/what benefits it would have other than roleplaying purposes. Can either choose to disown them or take them into the family.
Something I’d like to see to help remove the repetitiveness of constant war and sieges. When you sit on your throne the option to hold court should come up, if you choose to do so then a line of notables, peasants, merchants etc will approach you and address you based on your rank (bow if monarch/related to royalty) and in real time tell you their problems and you will be tasked with deciding how to deal with said problem. These could be the quests in your holdings or just requests to bolster the number of soldiers in bandit afflicted areas or issues on tax etc
Different kingdom tiers
Along the lines of Total War Rome 2 where there were different levels to your empire. Holding lots of lands and commanding a lot of nobles should come with a risk of civil war, rife corruption etc. Different kingdom tiers should differentiate how you faction is managed, whether you’re feudalistic, a democracy or an all-out empire.
Again, something that has been mentioned before, but it expands upon some of my previous ideas as well as the next one. Roads should play a much larger role in trade and warfare. Armies of say, more than 500, should not be allowed to deviate from the road, this means large armies must plan ahead when considering going on an offensive. It would call for a more logical and tactical approach from the player and the AI as both would have to calculate the best route in order to invade/predict where the enemy may invade from. This would also make invading Sturgia more of a challenge as there are only a few entry points into their territory. Smaller armies will be able to deviate from the roads, so smaller armies would have the benefit of mobility for scouting as well as the ability to deploy guerrilla warfare (look at ambushes next). Battania should have little to no roads, but more of a patch work of paths. Again, this would make invading them very hard, armies will still be able to move along these paths but at a much slower rate and the cultural perk for the Battanian’s should be buffed so they can move easily along these paths.
Also, something that has been mentioned in the past but would just like to expand on it. Ambushes should be available for armies that aren’t bound to a road, so maybe below 500 (just an estimate, I haven’t put too much thought into the numbers). How it would work is; the player would find an area next to a road that has some sort of natural blind spot (forest/hills/mountains etc), setting up may take a set amount of in game time, this could be determined by the scouting or tactics skill. The player would then appear invisible to the enemy army which will carry on along the road, once the army reaches the player, they will have the option to engage or wait. If engage is selected the player will be taken onto the battle map, there will be a birds eye view similar to how a siege starts, here you will see the enemy army marching along the road in a column formation, still unaware of your presence. Assuming the ‘One Step Ahead’ perk is unlocked (or implemented) you are then able to place your troops along the flanks of the enemy allowing you to rain arrows down upon them from either side, or have your infantry/cav charge in a pincer move, or both. If you choose to retreat, you won’t loose favour with anyone as the idea of an ambush isn’t to irradicate the enemy army but to slow them down/lower their moral/cripple a portion of their army and supply line. However, once you retreat, if you engage the enemy again then they will be in full formation waiting for you. This would make Battania a formidable force to invade as they have a lot of forest to hide in. You could recreate the Battle of Pendraic. Imagine an army of 1000 imperials getting ripped up be a band of 100 Battanian archers shooting from the trees. This could completely change up your play style, you could become a Robin Hood type character, ambushing caravans or even armies and escaping into the forests or hills. No longer will the bigger army always win. This would work well in Sturgian territory too, with their mountains.
Share of wealth as empire expands
Pretty self-explanatory, when a faction starts to get larger, everyone should feel the benefit, not just the monarch.
Just a quick idea that I reckon shouldn’t be too hard to implement. You should be able to have statues erected of your character in the main square of your town/castle. It would cost a lot of money however and can cause upset among the populace if they are suffering and you’ve just spent their taxes on a vanity project. However if you are a truly just and worthy individual the statue can increase your influence. Statues can also be erected at a reduced rate after you die (again, if you were a good leader) and completely free if you were the greatest leader that faction had/founded the kingdom.More castle interior
I know this is already in the works, but I’d like to see more rooms in castles, giant corridors to explore, an entrance to the roof or balcony so I can over look my lands and a full entourage you’d normally find in a castle.Public execution, display body
Public executions of lords or criminals would help to instil loyalty or fear in the populace. It can either quell or insight a rebellion, so it must be used with caution. This should come with a full scene with a large crowd. You can choose to carry out the execution or allow a professional to do it. Still not sure what difference that would make but I dunno, I like the whole ‘the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword’ thing (could increase honour?). You can also choose to display the bodies (or heads rather) on the walls of you settlement, this again would increase your fear level. The option to send the remains of a lord back to their family should be an option, which can lower the relation penalty with that family.
Choose troop culture from recruit
Each recruit will still be the same (imperial recruit, Vlandian recruit etc), but once you level them up to tier 2 then you should decide their culture, I mean you’re the one training them and supplying the weapons and armour, why would a Vlandian train a Khuzait horse archer? The troops will still have the facial features of their original culture. However noble troops can only be found in their homeland. This is definitely more of a mod idea though, as it does defeat a core mechanic in the game.
Weather, wind direction
Weather is something that many have asked for and I can imagine will certainly make an appearance, I just have a few ways of adding to it. So rain will cause boggy battle fields making it harder for horses to move (battle of Agincourt gang) and slower travelling on the map, fog will reduce archers accuracy as well as it being unavailable to see the enemy formation when pressing alt until you are much closer, snow will reduce movement too and in extreme blizzards can kill troops on the campaign map. Finally, there’s wind, the direction of which will greatly change the effectiveness and range of archers. You could shoot down wind and hit all of your targets from the bottom of a hill, whereas your enemy at the top could be out of range as they’re shooting up wind (think Battle of Townton).Bodyguards in towns
Pretty simple, if you’re a noble or monarch, you should be entitled to have a few fully armoured bodyguards escort you around town. I have another quick addition to towns (which should have been in art but oh well), your army should be set up in tents just outside of the town, your troops should be in civilian clothes, eating food and drinking beer or whatever you have in your inventory, some may be in the tavern or wondering around town. This just adds to immersion.Assassin's
Assassin’s have been mentioned a hundred times, but yeah, they should be able to attack you in the streets, hence why bodyguards would be useful.Empire has different noble units
Was a bit disheartened when I saw each empire faction had the same troops, I understand most of them being the same but was hoping for at least one variation in each. So I thing noble troops should be changed for each, the north should have a Sturgian inspired heavy infantry unit, based off the Varangian guards, the west should have cataphracts (a mix of Vlandian and Aserai inspired heavy cav) and for the south I was thinking maybe horse archers as they border with the Khuzait (forgot to mention that the bucellarii should be replaced with a light melee cav across all 3 empires), however the idea of two noble horse archer troop lines bothered me for some reason, so really open to ideas.Wounded enemies on Battlefield
Troops who fall on the battlefield and are listed as wounded should have their own animation. They should lie of the ground reeling in pain. If the player chooses to, they can order their men to finish them off. Would be quite cool to see the aftermath of a battle where troops wonder solemnly around the bodies putting their swords through screaming soldiers. I do not mean it in a sick way…more I want it to show the horror of war rather than a load of jolly moustache men cheering at the end, after seeing so much death. Obviously if you choose to kill them all, they will not be kept as prisoners and you could receive a small penalty to character traits if you persistently do it and build a reputation of taking no prisoners. This can only really happen at the end of the battle too as the wounded would most likely have to count towards the total number of troops on the battle.
Thought I’d leave this nugget of info at the bottom, but I’m not a modder nor have any real knowledge abut game development, I’m just a consumer with a few ideas. If some of these things aren’t at all possible due to engine restrictions that is completely understandable. Again, these are ideas not demands, I am open to any and all suggestions.
- The more I learn about this game the more fraudulent I believe it is…
- Convincing lords to join your kingdom can often be very difficult and expensive. Here are some ideas to make it a more streamlined process.
- Main Quest – Restoring the Empire – Discoveries and Outcomes
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