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Thread: Mount & Blade

  1. #1
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO

    Mount & Blade

    My weekend got eaten alive...

    Taleworlds is producing an RPG, Mount & Blade, set in a Eastern-European-feeling not-quite Middle Ages; the overall feel is highly realistic. And the sense of speed and motion when riding the horses in combat is... exhilarating.

    You play as a freelancer - quite literally: a mercenary with a horse and a sword, trying to make your way.

    It isn't the prettiest thing on the market, nor the most polished (they claim it's version 0.704 currently, with a pricing scheme that causes the price to slowly increase towards full as the beta progresses - it's currently $14).

    But it does do a fine simulation of the fighting. At first, it's probably just you taking on a handful of bandits.

    Then the bandit forces get bigger. And you link up with a hero or two and hire a handful of farmers to assist.

    Eventually you make some money, and you hire and train an army. After a weekend of play, I now traipse around the map with 30+ retainers, including militia I'm training, and fully trained knights & crossbowmen.

    And my force is still relatively small and somewhat second- or third- rate. There's no shortage of forces out there that I run away from to avoid getting my ass stomped.


    The combat engine can handle fights with about 15 per side, so the real-time 3D you-are-there combats feel pretty big (the engine fights battles between large forces in a series of rounds and also feeds in reinforcements during rounds; numbers are important, but so is quality.)

    Thus, the game keeps on opening new things to explore, even though, ostensibly, there isn't a lot of special content in place - though there's a lot of "background" content. (M&B is still in beta, (v0.704), with the price slowly increasing at is gets closer to release. Currenty it's $14 USD. )


    Go try the demo; it gives you a couple hours of gameplay, cutting out when you reach level 6.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2005
    Location: UK
    I caught sight of this on RPGDot. Glad to hear from someone who's tried it out. It looks very interesting to me, a good antidote to the abundance of high-fantasy PC RPGs. Count me in.

    Can you give us some info on how the combat works - is it turn-based?

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: Canada
    This does look interesting; I'll be sure to give it a try.

  4. #4
    I wanted to try this out after hearing some rave (p)reviews, but the copy protection wouldn't play nice with my machine.

    I tracked it down to having the unofficial Win98SE service pack 2.01 installed (I notice there's a newer version) by way of ghosting my hard drive back to a fresh windows installation, and adding things until the game failed.

    So if you use Win98SE with that service pack installed and you try the game and it doesn't work, that's quite likely why.

  5. #5
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    Piln: Combat is real-time.

    Imagine a fight between a few small units in Medieval: Total War.

    Now imagine that you *are* the leader - not staring down from above the map.

    You have 5 commands:

    Defend This Position

    Follow Me!

    Charge!

    Mount

    Dismount

    That's pretty limiting - and, (un)fortunately, that limitation is highly realistic for an ill-disciplined medieval war band. Your troops will mostly follow your instructions, and sometimes go off on their own hook. But generally, they'll get on and off their horses on command; they will follow you to death or glory; they will happily charge on command; and they will mostly tolerate sitting and waiting for the enemy to come to them.

    My current typical actions on getting into the 3D world:

    1) Issue a "Defend this position" command.

    2) Look around. What's the nearest hill that looks like it has a clear field of fire towards the probable location of the enemy? Begin to ride towards it.

    3) Issue a "Follow Me" command.

    4) Continue assessing terrain. I'm working overtime trying to find the position I'll base my battle around. I ride to the middle of the best place I can find, then issue "Defend This Position".

    5) While they move up onto my chosen position, I dismount and get my crossbow out.

    6) The hero characters start doing their own thing. Twits. But they frequently disorganize the enemy, too.

    7) Open fire with the crossbow on the enemy once they appear. Their cavalry will appear first. Any archers or crossbowmen in my force will likewise be opening fire now. The heros may be galloping about practicing their horse archery.

    8 ) In and around killing bad guys with the crossbow, I'm monitoring the situation. Does anybody need help? Is there an especially dangerous bad guy? Is the terrain or situation such that I'm better off mounting up and using the lance? etc

    9) If the situation turns fluid - either because of my actions or the enemy's - then I'm issuing a string of "defend", "follow me", and "charge" commands.

    10) If I really need the situation to turn static, or it doesn't favor horses, then I'll tell everyone who is mounted to dismount.


    The simplicity of the command interface also keeps it manageable - you can issue the commands without it stopping you from the business of staying alive, and yet have some semblance of a plan and changes to it.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2005
    Location: UK
    Well, that sounds great. I'll bear your tactical advice in mind. That's really the way I like tactical games to be - played from the perspective of a commander in the field, not an omnipresent entity as in most RTS games. Brothers In Arms, Op Flashpoint and SWAT gave me the kind of thing I was looking for in this respect, but not many games do. This sounds very interesting.

  7. #7
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    Given what you like (I'd agree - I'm especially a fan of Flashpoint and SWAT ), it's well worth a look.

    Keep in mind that the points above make it sound... organized. It's often utter chaos.

    Also, it does have occasional weaknesses, such as strting on very steep slopes; and some interface irritants in other portions of the game. How much will get solved by the time they hit v1.0 I don't know.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Thief2X

    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Texas
    Interesting game. Part of me wants to purchase it so that i can continue playing, but the other part of me is very reluctant until it is further developed. Although, even if the project fell on its arse at this point in time, for $14 it would still be worth it just for the combat scenarios.

    Hmm... decisions decisions

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by James Sterrett
    M&B is still in beta, (v0.704), with the price slowly increasing at is gets closer to release. Currenty it's $14 USD. )
    There's a 0.710 but it's not linked from the main page but from a forum post.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: The Citadel at the Cliffs of Pain.
    I know the price is slowly increasing, but I think I'll wait until the final release before buying. I hope more story elements are added, and attacking/defending forts or villages would be nice as well.

    Besides that, I loved going ape-poop with a giant voulge. Very clever to cut off the demo after a certain level, get us hooked first.

    Also, neat notion, going more traditional mideval combat, rather than fantasy.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Land that youth forgot
    For crissakes. When will people learn.
    M.e.d.i.e.v.a.l

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: The Citadel at the Cliffs of Pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenkahubu
    For crissakes. When will people learn.
    M.e.d.i.e.v.a.l
    My teacher's constant encouragement to "sound it out", useless!

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Trying to play a Priest with AI good and full damage.Getting my butt kicked in training.If you start a combo of strikes and can keep it up you have a chance,but if they get one strike in you you are usually toast.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: tall bikes and tattoos
    I tried this game back when it was first mentioned and just couldn't get into it. Have they fixed the nausea-inducing horrible 3-D scrolling?

  15. #15
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    Note that in version 0.710,

    1) Turn the blood *off* - there's a bug which will cause the game to crash in combat.

    2) Striking with a sword after blocking with a shield is buggy - much too slow, and it will get you killed. Unequip the shield and use the sword (only) to block.


    Edit: The blood problem is fixed in 0.711 and the shield-strike issue is tweaked.
    Last edited by James Sterrett; 10th Dec 2005 at 00:01.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: The Citadel at the Cliffs of Pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by James Sterrett
    Note that in version 0.710,

    1) Turn the blood *off* - there's a bug which will cause the game to crash in combat.

    2) Striking with a sword after blocking with a shield is buggy - much too slow, and it will get you killed. Unequip the shield and use the sword (only) to block.
    You mean to say that we must not have the satisfaction of watching the life's blood of our foes stain the green earth? As well, we must leave ourselves open to the assays of the enemy archers?

  17. #17
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    The shield works, it's just the strike afterwards that's slow. There's a lot of complaints on the M&B forum, so I presume this will get fixed.

    I think - but I'm not sure - that the blood issue is more to do with a new feature in which enemies, your horse, and your weapon become bloodstained during combat.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Here
    Version .711 was just released, and apparently fixes the issues with .710 as well as making a few tweaks here and there.

    Z

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2005
    Location: UK
    Count me in. I had a shallow reaction to it on seeing the first town... "ugh, student project" ...but that was all forgotten by the first time I chased a mounted archer and broke his back with a huge plank of wood. I only needed to see the stuff in the tournaments to decide to chip in my $14 - well worth it at this stage, I think.

    Obviously there's a lot that's flawed and/or underdeveloped, but they've done an amazing job on the important stuff. I'm particularly impressed with the equine animation and sound effects in general - the horses' various speeds and clippety-cloppety hoofety effetcs are brilliant and natural and seem perfectly timed, and the sound of a real steel sword connecting with a river pirate's soft head is... disgusting! \/ A shame that human animations are sometimes a bit moonwalky by comparison, and they could do with more 'horse pain' sounds for better feedback in combat, but sampling those without getting arrested might be tricky.

    A very satisfying purchase. I hope their funding plan works for them, and they see it to completion. Assuming they'll know when it's time to stop.

  20. #20
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    Quote Originally Posted by piln
    Assuming they'll know when it's time to stop.
    I kind of hope they don't.

  21. #21
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    0.730 out now!

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: The Citadel at the Cliffs of Pain.
    They have actual towns now! Kind of neat, but the menu the towns offered before was very streamlined. Unless they plan on eventually filling some of these towns with chatty story characters/quest givers, it seems quite un-necessary, as the menu accomplished everything you do in a town.

    Athletics makes you run faster, too. That means, of course, enemy infantry are liable to get up to you quicker than before. Horses still outrun footsoldiers handily, though. Some tweaks to money, too, and an out-of-place-in-a-medieval-setting flintlock pistol you can pick up and play with in the first town. Only 40 shots though, and it's not too accurate.

  23. #23
    TTLG.com
    Member

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    0.731 is now out.

    Once you visit an indoors location in a town, it gets added to the quick menu - sadly, the two outdoors shops (armor & weapons) don't get quick links.

    In general, I agree, if the towns won't be populated, a menu works better in the long run.

    Other new stuff:

    Don't miss the ability to take a castle (Radoghir).

    I'm liking the new tactical commands, now that I've got a force big and diverse enough to take advantage of them.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: The Citadel at the Cliffs of Pain.
    There's two siegable castles, actually. Storming the walls seems terribly buggy, but it was still good fun. If slaying the outlaws hadn't put me up over level six (It pumped me straight up to level 8, actually), I'd be the proud owner of my very own castle right now.

    This is a very good game, its creators should be proud of their handiwork, even incomplete!

  25. #25
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I finally got this a few days ago after seeing it up on HOTU and remembering this thread. Built my guy and got out there. Graphics weren't great, but I had high hopes after reading so much about it. I got a few basic provisions and took right off for the outside.

    It didn't take long to get into my first fight, in the woods. I crept up on my horse until I saw the first guy turned around in the distance. I shot an arrow and missed and I guess he turned around. So then I shot two more arrows and he went peeling down. I crept my horse up to him, looked down, and he had two arrows sticking right out of his throat. I was sold at that moment.

    Two more of them came charging me and I just went around with my horse and pummled them with an axe. Terrific fun.

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