An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia.
Why Early Access?
“Early access is something that we are very familiar with: our first title, Mount & Blade, helped to pioneer this method of release back in 2005. By working alongside our community we were able to deliver a unique gaming experience that players still enjoy to this day. These past experiences have taught us that it is vital to bring players in to help us iron out any issues and refine the game by utilizing feedback to bring it to the level that both our community and we expect.
We are hoping to run a productive and efficient early access for M&B Bannerlord as well. However, due to the nature and scale of game that we have envisioned, there may be various problems or missing features and content during the course of early access. Here are a few aspects you may need to know:
Unique Maps for Towns, Castles and Village: Although we plan to create unique maps for every town and castle in the game, it is a rather arduous process to create that many well designed maps and as such, different locations may share the same map during early access.
Quest Content: A portion of planned quests may be missing entirely, and those in the game may be using placeholder maps, animations, etc.
Balancing: Various aspects of the game may be poorly balanced. Parts of the game may be too easy or too hard.
Voice overs: Since the game uses a lot of dynamic text and hundreds of NPCs, we are planning to record voice-overs for only a limited subset of the dialog (greetings, companion introductions and main quest). Some of these planned voice overs may be missing or using placeholder versions during EA.
Savegames: We will strive to keep savegame compatibility during EA, however it may be technically infeasible to provide 100% backward compatibility in savegames and you may occasionally have to start a new game after updating to a new version.
Bugs and glitches: Although we strive to create a stable game experience, the game will be actively developed during early access and hence there will be a greater chance of bugs and glitches creeping up. It will of course be a priority to fix these.
Localization: Our current plan is to localize the game into the following languages: French, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish (Latin American) and Turkish. Other languages may be added later. During EA, localizations for these languages may be missing entirely or may be incomplete.
Multiplayer modes and features: The game currently supports several popular multiplayer modes, but we are planning to add more modes and features, possibly including ranked matchmaking.
Singleplayer Features: Several planned single player features may be missing or incomplete. These include but are not limited to: full game controller support, some skill and perk effects, crafting, some aspects of sieges, and clan, army and kingdom management.
Developing M&B Bannerlord has been, and continues to be a fabulous experience for us, and we are excited to be walking the final phase of this journey together with our players. Of course, you may prefer to wait a little bit longer and hold off until the final, finished product. In this case, please consider adding the game to your wishlist and you’ll receive an email when we release the full version.”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“While we do not have a set date for a full release at this moment in time, we expect that the game will be in early access for around a year. Our focus is on ensuring that the game is fun and enjoyable rather than imposing a deadline that might have a negative impact on the final product.”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“The early access version of the game contains a wealth of content that will keep players engaged for many hours. While the early access version is very much stable and playable, players can expect to run into some obscure bugs and other issues while playing that we intend to locate and fix before the full release.
The early access version will be reusing scenes for different towns, may lack some supporting features, may have a limited number of quests, voice-overs, etc. and may lack localizations for some languages.
Throughout the course of the early access period we intend to introduce the missing supporting features, such as, rebellions, kingdom creation and weapon crafting, while expanding and enhancing many of the existing features that are outlined below.”
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“In terms of content, the early access version of the game contains all of the main staples of the Mount & Blade experience, with a host of content that is new to the series. Players can create their own character using the game’s character creation system; explore the continent of Calradia; gather their own warband of troops; command and fight alongside their troops in large scale battles using the game’s extensive command system and intuitive skill-based directional combat system; raid settlements; lay siege to and capture enemy towns and castles; trade items and goods using the game’s deep economy system; engage in politics and diplomacy; manage their own clan; upgrade and manage settlements; gather armies and wage war; and much, much more... all in a vast singleplayer sandbox setting where no two playthroughs are the same. The early access version also includes fully supported multiplayer game modes for players to test their combat skills and tactical prowess against players from all over the world.”
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“There is no plan to change pricing after early access.”
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“We intend to use a range of different methods to gather player feedback and data throughout the early access period. These include engaging with users directly on our official forum and our Steam forum, requesting specific feedback through questionnaires, hosting and participating in multiplayer events alongside our community, and using analytics tools to gather data.”