Mounting Up: Mount & Blade: Warband Out

By Kieron Gillen on March 30th, 2010 at 11:45 pm.

Where the fuck are our horses?

Just a quick post about this, I think. Previous MUCH CELEBRATED RPS GAME Mount & Blade’s expandalone was released today. Mount & Blade: Warband’s primary attraction is its focusing on multiplayer, allowing 64 players to bash the flax of out of one another, but there’s much more which is worth of comment. Graphical upgrade is promising, but additions to let you rule a faction and force people to become your vassals is pretty neat. But best is doing what I like to call “the Quinns option”, where you can hitch up with a lady by romancing her with poetry. Sexy poetry! Or you can be a right bastard and do it for political gain. Anyway, launch trailer follows and you can buy from places on the electric internet. Time for a yelp, I think: yay!

(The real Quinns option is to seduce a lady with poetry, then ride off into the sunset for adventures. The cad!)

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95 Comments »

  1. Alastayr says:

    I thought “the Quinns option” was unlimited iron. Or would it be no iron? Baffling.

  2. Amqz says:

    Isn’t it past your bedtime, Kieron?

  3. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    hmmmmm…

    owned M+B for a couple of years now… had a wee renaissance recently but got all bor-ified again. Just so empty in the end…

  4. ErikM says:

    Bought it like two days ago and have been playing the beta. It’s awesome! Mount & Blade, but you get to kill real people. It’s the best.

  5. Resin says:

    Awesome!

    why the little faction logos floating above their heads though? Is that cause of multiplyernitude?

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      That’s so you know which guys to kill.

    • disperse says:

      @Resin

      I hope the floating coat of arms symbols is in single-player as well. I’m always hurling my javelin into the backs of my own men on accident. In vanilla M&B the only way you can tell your own men from the enemies is your own men have their unit types hovering over their heads (“Nord Recruit”).

  6. Vinraith says:

    So here’s the $30 question: Is it worth it just for the SP enhancements?

    • RentACop says:

      I dunno, a new side and some more meat to the characters and quests. Substantial, but not necessarily worth it on its own, though I’d imagine most modding efforts will make the transition so there’s that

    • Vinraith says:

      @RentACop

      Sounds like the best tack is to wait for the inevitable sale, then. That is, it sounds like I probably want this for the SP enhancements, but they might not be worth the full asking price by themselves.

    • RentACop says:

      Yeah that’s reasonable. Myself I only really care about the singleplayer as well but I still got it because eh, why not.

      (the reason I can’t stop posting is I’m sitting in a lecture so boring I feel I may die so I apologize to anyone I’ve annoyed)

    • Froibo says:

      I’m going to wait for it to go on sale myself.

    • JuJuCam says:

      M&B is quite easily the most played game in my steam list, but I’m still skeptical about the improvements Warband proposes for single player. Although I’m sure all the mods will be converting to WB over the next few months which will force my hand.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      There are a lot of additions to the singleplayer – the new faction, fleshed out characters and faction politics, new quests, revamped map, etc – but the biggest is probably that the faction warfare AI actually makes sense now. They’ll prosecute campaigns and actually siege and take castles and cities, but if they lost a lot of armies without taking any territory they’ll often attempt to sue for peace. It works really well from what I’ve seen.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Given the new faction does this mean a whole new worldmap? Or have they just shifted things around to accommodate the new guys?

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      Well the map is bigger than it used to be an with entirely new areas for the new faction, but the existing arrangement has changed too. There are peninsulas and inlets and mountain ranges where there never used to be, and it’s a good bit prettier too simply because of visual variety. But, as someone else says here, no roads.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      £25!!

      I can get Mass Effect 2, only a few weeks old, for £21 on Amazon, or the new Stalker for about £13

      It’s a neat little game but still…

    • disperse says:

      AFAIK, Taleworlds is a husband and wife team. You can be confident that a large chunk of your money will go towards those who deserve it (the developers of the game) instead of being split into a million little pieces to feed a faceless machine. Plus, Taleworlds isn’t going to sell a million copies, every little bit helps.

  7. RentACop says:

    Hopefully they’ve fixed the crash and lock-up bugs that were present in the single-player beta not two days ago :/

    That being said the new single-player stuff was pretty fun when it wasn’t broken.

  8. Tei says:

    The real question is, start playing now, or wait for a good mod to release and start with that mod. Since theres very good mods for the not warband version, I suppose a adaptation could let these mods work with this new m&b.

  9. Tunips says:

    I’m not entirely clear on this. I own M&B. Do I pay for Warband, or get it as a patch, like the beta has been?

  10. bit_crusherrr says:

    I’d buy this but I don’t feel multiplayer alone is worth £25. Sword Of Damocles added in being able to be king which is the only other feature i care about.

  11. laikapants says:

    You buy it in all its bloody glory.

  12. Metalfish says:

    I was able to get a boxed copy of M&B for a tenner. Having played the beta I can see why this would be worth the price, but I’m not exactly poor in good games at the moment, so I shall be personally waiting for inevitable steam sale/boxed copy before purchasing.

  13. Isometric says:

    I played the multiplayer beta for a while and it was most enjoyable. Not sure i’ll be buying this so close to having the original though. Enhanced graphics sounds lovely but i’ll probably buy it when it’s cheaper.

  14. Nakki says:

    Multiplayer alone was worth the ~27 euros of preorder. Singleplayer enhancements are just bonus.

  15. Seol says:

    Mmmh, don’t like the new mocapped attack animations, too exaggerated. They have thrown off my hack’n'slash rhythm :(.

  16. postmanX3 says:

    I have 75 hours of Mount and Blade played, according to Steam.

    I’m a junkie, so this was rightly necessary.

    At this point, however, I am quite nearly drowning in excellent games. I’m beginning to wonder if purchasing this will significantly affect my social life…

  17. Traffe says:

    I’m very keen for this, and will certainly buy it, but I don’t understand quite how it works.

    I bought the original on Gamersgate, and I’ve noticed this is a ‘standalone expansion’. So does it need or use anything from the first game? Could I buy it on Steam for example and still get the full experience?

    • RentACop says:

      ‘Standalone expansion’ means it’s got the level of content (and usually price) you’d expect from an expansion but does not require the original game to run. So get it wherever, it won’t matter.

    • RentACop says:

      To clarify, Warband doesn’t get any new features or anything from having M&B installed. If you have Warband the only reason to keep M&B around is whatever mods haven’t been ported yet.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      Yet its priced the same as a full priced game (I pre-ordered BFBC2 from game.co.uk and that cost £25). Those of us who bought the first M&B don’t get a discount either so I can’t see how I’ll get my moneys work if I buy Warband. Will wait for the price to come down/steam sale.

    • unitled says:

      Is it worth buying if I don’t have the original? As in, does it have all the original content in as well?

    • archonsod says:

      You won’t be missing out on anything from the original game. You can still do everything you could in M&B, although it’s a lot more shiny now. The tutorial and various information regarding your attributes and the like has also been improved, so it’s not quite as impenetrable now too.

  18. Skinlo says:

    Probably won’t get it until a say, although multiplayer is fun, I found it did get boring.

    It doesn’t feel like a £25 game.

  19. disperse says:

    I’ve been playing a ridiculous amount of Mount and Blade recently, it’s compulsive.

    If there was a coop campaign mode this would be an insta-buy.

    How’s the performance? One of the things I like about M&B is my laptop with its modest video card can run huge battles efficiently.

    Also, please tell me the cattle herding missions have been removed.

    • Michael says:

      Nope, the cattle herding missions are still in the game. I just got offered one.

      Anyone happen to know if they changed how lances “couch”?

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      I’ve been told that the couching now requires a key press to activate (same key you use to toggle throwing weapons between throwing and melee mode). You can also aim the lance to the left and right of you – it’s not fixed in front of the horse like in vanilla MnB.

    • archonsod says:

      Yup, you need to hit ‘X’ to couch the lance, and it’ll only remain couched for a short amount of time.

    • disperse says:

      Cattle herding missions, boo!

      Has the kingdom overland strategy AI been improved? I’m fighting for the Nords right now and the boneheaded king is making me regret it. He keeps making beelines directly to the middle of enemy territory to take a castle we cannot possible hold while neglecting to protect those castles we’ve secured on the edge of our territory. I can’t wait until i have a large enough army to lay siege to castles on my own…

    • archonsod says:

      To an extent. The AI won’t chase after every party of farmers or trading caravan that wanders past the camp, it tends to a better assessment of potential targets rather than making a beeline for the settlement with the least defenders, and if it does suffer serious losses it will sue for peace.

    • disperse says:

      @archonsod

      Good news! It was always frustrating when you lost half of your group laying siege to a castle when a few looters wandered by.

      I’ll definitely buy this when I can scrape the money together.

  20. Al3xand3r says:

    I loved the first which I got for 25 bucks ages and ages ago and still play. But this? I got a 10% discount offer and still paid more than the first game but it doesn’t seem retooled to any significant aspect. Paradox seemingly didn’t prove any additional resources, the models and such are still horrible despite all the hype for the improved visuals (which wouldn’t be what I bought this for but hey, they hyped it) and overall It’s barely expansion worthy content, not a stand alone game that costs more than the first. Single player wise at least, I guess some ppl will enjoy the MP but I found it sloppy. I’m very disapointed with TW but I guess they got my money twice already so they have no reason to care.

  21. Al3xand3r says:

    prove was meant to be provide, sorry.

  22. Alexander Norris says:

    Not going to bother with this until it’s heavily discounted. The multiplayer was horrible in the beta (no measured, realistic combat, just idiots spinning their mouse 720 degrees so they could glitch-hit you behind your block) and the SP enhancements aren’t worth the $40.

  23. KP says:

    Bots work in multiplayer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwGdcOthkL0

    The single player improvments are great, worth every $. :)

  24. TCM says:

    I will likely get it simply for kingship.

    Why it was not included in the basegame boggles me, but hey.

  25. Fatrat says:

    Been playing the beta for over 6 months, but not really keeping up with the news of the game/release. Suprised me when i saw this had been released today, because if anything the beta has become worse in the past few months.

    So imbalanced and just generally annoying. Nothing like what you see in the trailer, though i suppose few games are these days.

    Shame, as i was looking for to it a lot. I’ve owned the original M&B since around 2004/05 (early order, “support the devs”, cheap too) but i won’t be giving away any money for this, at least not yet.

    • Krikey! says:

      Me too. I actually got into M&B during beta 0.751, where they first introduced 3D towns I believe. It was a great purchase back then, worth every bit of the USD11 or so that I paid for. Thing is, I never really felt many things of significance were changed between then and M&B’s retail.

      I tried the Warband beta some time ago, but wasn’t too impressed. Couldn’t get into multiplayer without lagging really badly, so that part of the testing is out. I did try the skirmish though, and while I like the mocap animations a lot better than previously, I think that’s about it. And I still can’t get used to the new third person camera >_>

      Just waiting for some nice mods and a nice discount for Warband before I’ll get it, me thinks. Or at least hoping for Sword of Damocles and Expanded Gameplay 3 to be ported over. And perchance, by some strange miracle, The Last Days (the best mod ever for M&B :D)

  26. Archonsod says:

    Well, for those wondering what the single player has added:

    King & kingdom management. You can now rule your own faction
    Custom war parties – Ever wanted to send a companion off with his own troops? Now you can
    Politics. No more random wars, they now have a reason and purpose behind them. Relationship with the various lords actually means something now, you need to establish your right to rule and keep your vassals loyal to hope to rule Calradia. The whole marriage and political intrigue fits into this (and in keeping with the period, women and men have a somewhat different path to power).
    Combat has been comprehensively overhauled. Not only do you now get the ability to kick your opponent off balance or use a throwing axe as a melee weapon but there’s a lot of under the hood changes such as the ability to parry or chamber block, stun or break the block of an opponent and similar.
    Naturally, oodles more quests, better graphics and some absolutely gorgeous castles to boot. And you also get the new Sarranid faction.

    • JuJuCam says:

      See this is the most compelling evidence I’ve seen to upgrade. The new combat model in particular is intriguing. I’ll still wait for a comprehensive review (likely a Wot I Think here) to push me over the edge…

    • archonsod says:

      It has the same trial mode as the original, so if you want to test the new combat you can try it out that way. A significant amount of the meat is aimed at the mid – late game however; particularly the factional war and politics. It’s probably fair to say for most M&B veterans the real changes won’t be apparent until you’re at the point you usually set out to conquer factions.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Hmm see my issue now is that with 62 hours invested in the steam version I bought when it was on sale a few months ago (and lord knows how many on the regular version I bought early last year) I’m only now getting into that mid-late game business with my main character for the first time! I tend to switch mods and builds quite a bit…

      It’d be almost heartbreaking to finally have made it to a stage where I own two castles I fought hard for and have just been elected Marshal only to have to start again, realising it would be another few hours grinding away at looters and bandits before I get anywhere near the position I’ve gotten to so far.

      But to be honest, it’s such a great game the time just goes without me noticing. Yeah, I’ll bite the bullet pretty soon I think but just not immediately…

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      You could always just enable cheats and boost your new character to a decent level to kickstart you. I’ve done that a few times, because while I enjoy the early game stuff I don’t want to go through it every time.

    • Tei says:

      Maybe use the feature to import/export characters? thats support the skills?

    • disperse says:

      @JuJuCam

      I agree, the advancement curve is horizontal to the point that the early-mid game can be a bit of a grind. As Tei mentioned, there is an character import/export feature that may save you from having to start from scratch.

  27. Qabal says:

    So is siege combat improved at all? That’s what eventually killed the vanilla game for me.

    • Tom says:

      I want to know as well. In the original this was so incredibly underwhelming I stopped playing M&B.

    • Clovis says:

      Yeah, I got really depressed when trying to take that one city with just the one ladder on the parapet that lets one guy through at a time. I eventually dropped the difficulty just to get through it. Just awful. I guess there are mods to kinda’ deal with it, but they are just work arounds.

    • archonsod says:

      If the sieges are similar to multiplayer or the custom battles you now have moving siege towers to employ against fortifications, which are a lot more effective than ladders. Alternatively you can stand on the platform of the tower to dispense death with a bow while ordering your pathetic minions to push you around. I put in a suggestion for adding the siege tower as a permanent mount …

    • disperse says:

      @Qabal

      Having to lay siege to castles killed the fun of my Swadian knight and Khergit horse archer because I had to get off my horse. However, my new character is a Nord infantryman and sieges are tons of fun. Being able to hurl javelins at the archers and then pull out my two handed sword when I reach the top is a blast. Also, Nord Warriors make very effective siege troops.

  28. Nihilille says:

    Fuck you RPS and your subtle machinations, I’ve been waiting for WARBAND ever since it first got mentioned in PCGAMER but I’d decided not to buy it because I’m, well, broke. Seeing you even mention it however eliminated all resistance so now it’s in my download queue on steam. Curses!

  29. Flaringo says:

    I imagine hell to be something like being placed in the arena with no horse and only a bow (and arrow) to defend yourself with.

    • archonsod says:

      Archers get a knife now. Although I’m not sure that’s actually that much better than fists …

    • Tei says:

      You can always pillage the dead, Is what I do.
      And in the game.

    • disperse says:

      @Flaringo

      Of course, my Khergit horse archer character loved to be thrown in the arena with a bow and arrow. With his level 5 power draw and 200+ archery skill he laid waste to his opponents.

      FWIW the weapons you’re given in tournaments depends on what city the tournament is held in. Khergit tournaments tend to be exclusively off horseback with bows and spears, Swadian tournaments are often jousts, Nord tournaments are almost exclusively on foot with shields, swords, and axes.

  30. Clovis says:

    I would buy today if the new “Sarranid” faction was lizard people.

  31. Shadrach says:

    Oooh this looks good. I bought the original, but found it too grindy and lacking in real content. This promises to be more than just a world populated with random encounters, hope it lives up to it.

  32. Gareth says:

    I bought it on steam pre-order a few days ago. I’d been playing the multiplayer beta for a while and already feel I’ve got my moneys worth to be honest. The single player goodness that’s added is icing on the cake (I’m loving being a desert raider at the moment).

    The fact that I only paid £6 for the original (and loved every one of the 70-odd hours I’ve put into it) helped me cough up the extra they’re asking for this too.

  33. innokenti says:

    18 quid off Play.com from tomorrow.

    Sounds like a good deal to me.

    (And it comes to about 23 quid when bought off the dev’s website as a digital download).

    I think 25 quid is a perfectly reasonable RRP for a standalone expansion.

  34. Kulik says:

    Mount and blade grindy? Every battle i fouht had its reason. I never just vanderd around killig stuff, try to play with “save only when quitting” option and ot reduced damage to yourself.

    • disperse says:

      @Kulik

      I always play in “realism” mode which definitely ups the stakes. In my opinion the game starts to get really interesting when you join a faction and start fighting in wars. However, with enemy armies of 100 or more soldiers roaming the land it is hard to make a difference until level 25+ when you have your own army of 50+. It takes a lot of battles with mountain bandit and sea raiders to reach level 25…

    • D says:

      I think the earlier versions of M&B were much better at giving you something to do mid-game. (This is the version that had river pirates and black knights.) It seemed like once the team switched over to big battles and armies, they forgot to rebalance the middle game so that it was actually fun to get to the army stage.

      Anyway, thats why I’ve always played with mods.

    • disperse says:

      @D

      Yeah, I remember the mid-game being more fun in earlier versions too. However, it may have been that there weren’t these huge bloody inter-faction battles going on to tempt you.

      I don’t have a lot of time to put into the game (just an hour or four when I can spare it). I’d probably be well served by a mod that doubles xp rewards (and removes those f***ing cow herding quests.)

      Love the game though.

  35. The Sombrero Kid says:

    given that most of the internet uses fiber or wireless, it’s mostly light rather than electricity no?

  36. Pod says:

    I see they didn’t make any new music for it. :)
    The one in the trailer is an old friend…but perhaps it comes over to my house a bit too much?

  37. bit_crusherrr says:

    I dont see how £25 is reasonable when full pc games are generally £25-30

  38. DixieFlatline says:

    I don’t think anybody has mentioned this, but the melee combat system has been updated considerably from vanilla mount and blade. Rather than going into detail, they added a lot more options as far as blocking, countering and breaking through guards, so it plays a lot more like a fighting game, rather than just swinging away, hoping to get in a hit through your opponent’s timing.

    Also, kicking people in the shins is plenty fun.

  39. mejobloggs says:

    I liked the original, but it did have some serious issues last time I played it. E.g sieges. They often didn’t work for me

    Especially with siege towers. Apparently the more people you had next to a tower, the faster it moved. But many times my men just stood back and didn’t come to the tower, and just milled around being skewered with arrows

    • tigershuffle says:

      @mejobloggs
      its another thing that can be modded iirc (also additional ladders is a good one)
      ………in sieges with towers only a preset amount of men move the tower the rest always stand in arrowshot so your own archers can fire at the castle.
      Dumb i know as many of your infantry get killed/wounded before they are read to charge.
      Your troops dont respond to any orders until the towers ramp is lowered.
      I always set archers to follow and then make em stop at a decent distance to continue fire (press F9 to make em spread out as well). Once you have the wall get em to follow you and hold on the ramparts and pick off any stragglers ;)

  40. billyboob says:

    so what if i don’t have the vanilla, do i need both games, or just the sequel?

  41. Al3xand3r says:

    The updates are really not as subsantial as some posts here imply (imo). They make the game feel just about barely fresh enough to play again (though it’s very disapointing your item progression is more or less the same with the same good armors and weapons as before, with a few new variations like every faction’s elite armor and the new sarranid stuff) but it likely won’t last anywhere near as long as the first time, not to mention a lot of that stuff had been done by mods already, they’re just a bit different, sometimes slightly better, now. Like the rooting which now lets the retreating units exit the battle rather than stick to the edges of the level as in that morale mod. Though on the other hand they only seem to root when they’re nearly dead, or when way too few have been left. Though I’m still kinda early on so maybe it’s based on a percentage and will scale with larger armies. Mods like sword of damocles and others had substantial kingdom management features of their own too, letting you separate your party into vassals, giving them orders as if they’re lords, to follow or patrol etc. Nothing all that 100% new here…

  42. Al3xand3r says:

    Kinda regret the pre-purchase… paid more euros than i paid bucks for basically the same game with a few mods on top. Wait for price cut guys, it will happen fast I’m sure.

  43. Thingy says:

    The games only 29 dollars…. That’s not really that much for the game. At least, its 29 dollars on Direct 2 Drive. Anyways, I think it is fun.

  44. DMBKEvin17 says:

    How has no-one asked this….

    CAN YOU IMPORT YOUR CHARECTER FROM VANILLA MB TO WARBAND??

    If anyone knows how to please explain,

    Thank you.

  45. tigershuffle says:

    Ive just posted on Hotukdeals forum that its available for £16.93 from Asda including delivery. Just ordered now :)

    I can see Steam knocking 15% by the end of the month but think we’ll have to wait for the summer for a heavier discount

    Sure i just saw a link for patch v1.02 already ;)

  46. WilPal says:

    I bought this yesterday.

    Don’t buy this, buy the original. Horseback combat on this is completely broken.

  47. Adrian says:

    I have a question. I just bought warband off steam and every time i play some textures will turn red for the whole time I’m playing the game and I cannot see the trees or hair either sometimes. I would really appreciate some help.

  48. Torgen says:

    Just to remind, M&B Warband on sale on Steam today! $14.99 American, so about the price of a cuppa for you Brits.

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