Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord explains how damage is determined in combat

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord developer Taleworlds wants combat in its forthcoming medieval battle 'em up to be both realistic and fun. A new blog post considers how types of damage, speed bonuses, weapon impact and more inform how this balance is achieved. 

Striking this balance is far from straightforward, however, as the developer touched upon earlier this month. Weighing too heavily in either direction can break immersion and the credibility of combat, which is something the developer goes into more detail via this Steam Community update. Here's an excerpt from that: 

"Damage is a difficult concept to get right in a computer game. Making the damage model realistic could be desirable since this can help with immersion and depth, on the other hand, what happens in a real-life physical trauma is incredibly complex and trying to replicate that in a computer model could easily get needlessly complicated with little benefit to gameplay.

"While working on the system we made great use of an excellent article written by George Turner. The article was an eye opener about the intricacies and fine points of weapon dynamics. Of course, during implementation we had to make several simplifications and assumptions and if there are any unrealistic elements or errors in the end result, the fault lies with us and not the article."

More obvious considerations such as an attack's point of impact and the specific weapons used expectedly influence damage rates, however the ways in which speed and speed bonuses operate differently this time round sound particularly interesting.  

"As our calculations are physically based, we no longer need to calculate an extra 'speed bonus' like we do in the previous games in the series," the Steam Community post adds. "We simply get the attacker’s and target’s velocities and feed these into our equations. This results in a realistic and accurate way where the attack damage is affected by speed." 

With that, Taleworlds aims to sidestep the perils of RNG or similarly hidden random variables within its combat system. 

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is as yet without a hard release date—I enjoyed my hands-on time with its multiplayer at this year's Gamescom.