Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog on Modding

Mod support has always been an important part of Mount & Blade's appeal for certain players, and there's no denying that mods provide even more replayability for this title that's already almost endlessly replayable right out of the box. And to show that mod support is still a high priority for the upcoming Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, the latest developer blog post answers a total of 39 modding-related questions that clarify how modding will work in Bannerlord. Be prepared for a lot of technical talk. A few examples:

5. Will we have a TW developer working with the community to support modding (learning, tools, tutorials, feedback, etc.)?

We will share a documentation site and we are planning to make some tutorial videos. Also, we will be taking feedback and engaging with users on our forums.

6. With Warband the list of hardcoded features lessened as time progressed. Will this be the same for Bannerlord as you decide over time what should and shouldn't be hardcoded?

Most probably.

7. Will there be an in-game/engine tool/camera to create FMV sequences?

We will provide a replay editor.

8. Will we be able to launch/select several mods (like elder scroll games) or it will be one module at a time (like Warband)?

The game will support multiple mods at the same time.

9. How will (texture) folder structure be handled? Is it still a single folder like in Warband with all textures placed together or will it have subfolders for things like ground textures, armours and such? And if so will the subfolders name and structures be moddable?

You can use any number of folders for resources but it is a flat system, so we don’t support subfolders within folders.

10. How is the code split between hard-coded (engine) and modsys (open to the modding community)? What level of access do we have to the game UI code, AI, etc.? Could you provide us with an example of what will likely remain hard-coded?

Unlike Warband, the vanilla game scripts will not be directly modifiable by modders. However, it will be possible for modders to add new scripts as plugins and also have modifications for XML data files. In Warband, we had the problem that, whenever we released a new version or patch, almost all existing mods would immediately become incompatible with the new version and modders had to go through the lengthy process of reapplying their changes on the new version’s scripts. Moreover, it was impossible for players to run multiple mods in conjunction. The new system will make modders’ lives much easier and also support multiple mods.

By changing XML files, it will be possible to modify or add/delete most types of game objects such as items, characters, factions etc. Of course it will also be possible to add new assets such as meshes or textures.

Modders will be able to add new campaign behaviours, mission behaviours and quests. Campaign behaviours are executed while the player is spending time on the campaign map, whereas mission behaviours are executed when the player is in a scene. For example, if you want to create some extra bandit parties every few days, you can do that with a campaign behaviour.

Modders will also be able to change most of the formulas used in the game. For example, if you want to add a special item that makes you move faster on map, you will add the item through an xml file, and also modify the formula for campaign map speed so that it returns a higher number if a party is in possession of the said item.

Modders who want to change an existing behavior (like party members deserting when morale is low) will have two options: Either they will modify the default formula, or if that’s not adequate for some reason, they will be able to disable the default behavior entirely and add a new one from scratch.

11. Will we be able to seed a randomized number? This is highly important in order to seed a randomized process and utilize pseudo-data. Is it possible to procedurally generate the terrain/towns/castles/villages/NPCs?

You can use random seeds and any kind of random number generator.

12. How has the Dialogue system been improved? Is the Dialogue system dynamic?

There is a very powerful string processing system, (you can pretty much embed programs into the string itself.) Dialogs, game menus, and everything text related can make use of that.

13. How many factions can this system support? Are there easy mechanisms to create/modify factions?

You can add as many factions as you like. Technically, creating factions is just a method call, but of course making them interesting would be the harder part!

14. Will battlefield AI (Both the troop AI and the strategic AI) be accessible or hardcoded?

Lowest-level troop AI is hard-coded, but you can customize it somewhat by changing aggressiveness, maximum speed etc. You can also give AI target movement points.

Formation AI and overall battle AI is extendable and modders can add new tactics and AI behaviours.