New Dev Diary For Bannerlord Detail Massive Keep Battles

'Bannerlord when?' has become my war cry every year.
'Bannerlord when?' has become my war cry every year. TaleWorlds

If there’s something I keep wishing for to be announced during every E3, it’s more news for TaleWorlds’ Bannerlord. The highly anticipated sequel to the PC exclusive Mount & Blade: Warband, Bannerlord has seen seven years of development now ever since it was first announced back in September 2012, and I can barely contain my exasperation every time a yearly game conference passes by and there’s STILL NO BANNERLORD.

What keeps me alive during these periods of stagnation are the somewhat generous developer diaries TaleWorlds puts out on its game page every so often. These updates detail Bannerlord's entire development process and what I and a horde of other Mount and Blade fans will see for its final release.

The latest developer diary focuses on sieges in game, and what these mean for bigger and sturdier keeps.

“Keep battles present players with a different challenge from the standard field battles that make up the majority of Bannerlord’s engagements,” developer Callum states in the dev diary. “Cavalry is of no use, and ranged units are somewhat limited in how effective they can be, especially for the attacking force. This severely limits the tactical options available to both sides, and instead, the focus is shifted almost entirely to the game’s skill-based directional combat system in a brutal hand-to-hand showdown.”

Callum continued in the post, detailing how keep battles work, in terms of gameplay and immersion. “Our solution was to look towards the design of the scene to help to control the flow of the engagement. The scene where the battle takes place is that of the actual castle keep itself, so if you want to do a bit of reconnaissance before engaging in hostilities, then you can explore the lord’s hall of your intended target before going to war," the developer said in the post. "However, you might notice a few changes when the time comes to assault the keep! The defenders don’t retreat to the keep to sit and twiddle their thumbs. Instead, they are in there preparing their defence for the final assault.”

This means that brute force won’t be as much of a direct factor now as it was in Warband. The introduction of keeps means that you will need to get down and gritty during the final stages of the castle siege, and skill will come into play as you literally fight an army desperate for survival, all without your cavalry and with limited support from your ranged units.

Here’s hoping they show up at E3 this year bearing news. Until then, I’ll be enjoying playing through Warband and its incredibly intensive mod support.

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