Mount and Blade: Fiery Swordchucks!

Yeah, expandalone. It’s a weird little fish, and I’m excited. Apparently it won’t be available until after I hit work and I can’t preload it. So there’s that.

I just recently got into Warband and have been playing it like crazy. I wonder if I’ll be burnt out before this one releases.

Well, it releases today. Are you burnt out yet? If not, I think you made it.

So which of you unemployed/european folks are gonna be playing this first? I demand impressions!

I got to play for about fifteen minutes before leaving for work. You basically start out in the middle of the Ukraine in a small village for a very, very brief tutorial. Then you’re dropped into the middle of Eastern Europe with a horse, a pistol, a sword, some food and $500 (can’t remember what they’re called at the moment). I made for Poland right away and got waylaid by a group of looters in the middle of nowhere, but my horse and pistol basically let me wreck them all since they had no melee weapons (pistol ammo is very limited, though, which balances it out a bit as you only start with 16 shots and it’s very inaccurate even if you stat-pump it at character creation). I got tangled up in them and beaten once, but escaped and beat them down in return.

The town interface is very, very streamlined as you can now jump straight to important characters in the town without needing to walk through town to find them (example being village elders that are now options from the town menu instead of forcing you to ride through the town and find them yourself, though that’s still an option if you’d rather). I was a bit concerned by how there were no armies patrolling anywhere and how dead the world was looking, but then I went up toward the Baltics and found a gigantic Swedish army swarming the border, so my initial impression of a dead world may have been a fluke.

I’m looking forward to jumping back in tonight. It looks like trading is the way to go in this game, though, since you can create your own caravans and send them around the game world to make piles of money if you’re on top of your game. I think the era of dyeworks spam from Warband is over.

Unlocked on Steam for the US now!

Deploy screenshots of fiery swordchucks at waypoint.

So I’m guessing all of the awesome medieval weaponry is more or less gone? I would have loved a more polished Warband instead of muskets.

This looks awesome. I will drink from it’s skull!

I thought the musket stuff was in addition to the older style armor/weapons? Weren’t people still trudging around in platemail when guns were just starting out? I realize there is the fencing/Renaissance/feathery hat thing going on, but why does that completely eliminate the older style gear/fighting too? I thought the contrast between the two would’ve been what was interesting here.

Most of it seems intact. Muskets and halberds.

Check out the trailer.

Man using fiery swordchucks (not kidding).

Swordchucks: The Birth of the Swordchuck


On watching that trailer, two thoughts emerged. One, that I would have paid thirty bucks for that content. And two, that while the new gear and town styles are awesome, the slow mo animations look horrifyingly bad and that video should have been full speed.

M&B has a crazy modding community. One of the issues, I think, that affected F&S pricing is that you can get a large amount of that content in various mods. Better graphics, guns, improved menus, etc.

In comparison, multiplayer couldn’t have been modded in.

The devs probably felt that they couldn’t push it for a higher price, in view of the free competition from the numerous mods out there.

Having been sufficiently involved in the modding community to have produced a mod that is still being played (and updated by people who are not me! yay!) I can pretty much guarantee you that there is nothing being put out in terms of artwork that compares to this stuff.

It is flat out better quality. Which shouldn’t be shocking, because, surprise surprise, professional artists have better tools and a lot more experience making good looking content.

Take a peek at the stuff in mods, and you can usually tell pretty quick whether a modder made it or it was done professionally.

Here’s a pair of examples. One is a modded camel, one is a traditional horse. Don’t worry about the camel model (which has severe clipping issues) just look at the textures. See what I mean?

It’s a good attempt, and it works, but it’s not going to compare with professional content.

It’s disappointing to see that they haven’t managed to get a decent GUI artist / UI designer. Not the highest of priorities I know but a quality GUI can really add to the experience.

The UI is just awful, the worst aspect of the game. It seems like it wouldn’t be too much money on their part to hire a contractor to pretty it up.

What parts of the UI are killing you guys? It seems pretty functional to me.

edit: You know about using backspace to open up the tactical map, yah? Hit backspace in a tactical battle, you can flag your troopers all over a much larger map, as well as see a good chunk of information about what’s been happening in the battle.

The UI has never been good. It seems a bit better in F&S, though. I liked that you can talk to the village headmen without having to walk around the village to find them. That at least takes out one frustrating part.

Also, from the 45 minutes I’ve played so far it feels a lot like Warband. Guns are cool and feel like they really have some punch. They’re pretty much reskinned crossbows, though, with long load times compensating for added power.

Got it, played it for an hour, and had to tear myself away (stupid deadlines!). I thought I would hate the transition to a new time period, but so far it’s brilliant. The guns are frickin’ deadly but completely inaccurate and take forever to reload, just as it should be. You really have to watch out for the foot troops with guns now because one good hit can pretty much knock you out of a fight. It is incredibly sweet to knock them on their asses while they’re reloading, though.

It’s really weird seeing them use real places this time. I started in Poland but immediately pissed off their ruler when he asked me to raze some Russian village and I refused. I then hired some guys in a mercenary camp, escorted a caravan to some Swedish city, celebrated by telling someone in the tavern he was ugly, and killed him and two of his friends in a fencing match (only thrusting attacks were allowed). This game was always like Sid Meier’s Pirates on land, and now that’s even more true.

I’ve noticed people aren’t joining me in villages right off the bat. I’ve had to hire all my troops. Maybe that will change later, and frankly I can’t wait to find out. What a great series, and it’s a steal.

Played about an hour as well. Really enjoyed myself. Guns are kind of hilarious in a way… exactly as they should be given the time period.

I have a question, though: I’ve heard you can outfit all of your army in this version. How do you do that? I have a chick hero with a gun and a squad of cavarly and a squad of musket men… but I can’t figure out how to give them stuff from my inventory.