Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog - Captain Mode

This week's post on the TaleWorlds Entertainment's Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord developer blog recaps the events of the recent Gamescom trade fair and provides links to a number of interviews recorded there. Apart from that, it talks a bit about the recently revealed multiplayer Captain Mode, and because seeing something in action is oftentimes better than just reading about it, here's a fresh gameplay video that features a couple of Captain Mode skirmishes in a desert environment:

And here's an excerpt from the blog post itself:

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

In this week's blog we would like to reflect on our experience at Gamescom 2017 and discuss our new multiplayer game mode, Captain Mode, which we invited visitors to play in a hands-on demo in Cologne. We are becoming quite the regulars at Gamescom, with this being our third time attending, however each visit has acted as a completely unique learning experience that has helped us to refine and improve both the game, and the way we go about approaching these kinds of events.

At this year's Gamescom we showcased multiplayer in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for the first time. This is an aspect of the game which we have been working very hard to improve on. We recently announced that Bannerlord will feature a matchmaking system for the first time in the Mount & Blade series, with our aim being to offer players a fairer and more challenging multiplayer experience. We hope to expand upon and improve the existing game modes featured in previous Mount & Blade titles, while still offering something new and exciting.

Captain Mode puts players in command of their own detachment of AI troops in multiplayer team-based PvP battles. We designed the game mode to leave room for individual player skill to shine through, however teamwork and strategy will always put a team at a massive advantage on their path to victory. There are two ways in which teams can win the game: either through eliminating the entire opposing force, or by dominating the battlefield by holding flags. Flags are removed from the battlefield over time, the order in which can be influenced by the players, until there is only one flag remaining, which really concentrates the combat in to a climactic finale.

The feedback we got from our guests at Gamescom was amazing! Players really seemed to enjoy the pace of the combat and the tactical options on offer. We were also overjoyed to see how some players naturally started to communicate between themselves, organising strategies and coordinating team builds in an effort to win. This is precisely what we had hoped for when designing the game mode and it was really exciting to see the players respond in this way.

As with many other areas of our game, this game mode is still very much a work in progress. The UI for example is something that we are still working on and we are aware needs some improvement. We settled for something that would provide the players with all of the basic information that they would need for the demo and allow us to focus more on the actual gameplay.