I didn't want to lock it into a specific difficulty setting as some people may need to adjust the battle size if their PC can't cope with my setting later on (battle size adjusts the difficulty rating as well).
Before I get started -- I will be hosting all of the images/videos etc used in my playthrough (and more besides) here: http://www.xuchotl.net/mnb/
Other players are welcome to use that site should they desire to as well (simply sign up and login; you can upload to your "My Folder" via the page or through WebDAV [port 9800] / FTP)
In any case I suspect the first couple of posts to be of limited interest to people -- it does take a while to get settled in Warband and to begin with every character is quite weak and pathetic.
These are the settings I opted for:
I opted for automatic blocking rather than manual due to the cluster-fuck mentality of the AI (more on that later).
The 'first' decision I had to make was the background of the character. I chose the following options:
* Sex: Male.
* Father was a warrior [drunkard should have been an option].
* Childhood spent as a street urchin.
* Travelled to Calradia for Power and Gold -- why else?
* Starting in the Swadian city of Praven
Next, appearance and starting stats; I opted for the following:
Generally I favour a foot soldier so Agility tends to be the most useful attribute. Strength is obviously important too, however agility determines how fast you move and strike so without it fighting on foot becomes very difficult.
Likewise Athletics is the key skill (cowardice is important in Calradia) with Iron Flesh and Power Strike coming in behind it (health/damage respectively). Being that I intend to go it alone for this round I could care less about the others for the time being.
Weapon Proficiencies go up of their own accord anyway (and in my experience make little difference), however to begin with I dumped them all into one handed. I am aiming to use onehanded weapons as two handers are too slow when you're fighting solo and leave you with no quick way to block ranged attacked. The bastard sword is obviously the exception to this.
Honestly I am useless when it comes to range weapons so I don't intend on spending any character points on developing their skills. YMMV.
Anyway, onto the game proper. The all-father's first order of business was to deal with the local punks:
Does anyone else get confused and start beating the shit out of the merchant when he comes running to your 'aide' at the end?
Anyway, the slightly-bloodied 'merchant' then invited us back to his home and offered me a 100 gold to higher some villagers and hunt down the punk's remaining groupies. Naturally I have no intention of fulfilling his stupid quest but I took the gold anyway.
Next order of business before heading out into the wide world was to visit the local merchant. One of the most underrated pieces of equipment in Warband is a good helmet. Damage is locational (looking at you, skyrim) so without a decent hat you are likely to be knocked out cold by stones or arrows in a short amount of time -- it also protects you from those brutal overhead swings. Hence why I did the following:
This one is a little rusty but since when did tetanus hurt anyone, right?
You can also see the rest of the starting gear there - the sword and the helmet are the only decent bits of equipment there. The rest of it is just shit -- Velorien is going to need a better suit of armour if he's to fend off the other gods.
Anyway, to war! Our first target was a group of looters:
You can tell already that Warband is a SERIOUS RPG -- just look at the level of depth in the dialogue! The C&C!
Needless to say beating the peasants to a pulp resulted in a large amount of loot:
Which sold for all of about 60 gold. But atleast the all-father is wearing some rags of moderate density instead of a fucking tea towel.
After playing for a while my recent Spartacus: Vengeance
fetish/addiction took hold and Velorian decided to join the arena. Neeless to say the arenas in Praven and Suno are nothing like the one in Capua. This was normally the result:
Which brings me to what has always been the most frustrating thing about the Mount&Blade Series -- the AI. In the arena (honestly I preffered the one in Zendar), the combatants seem to forget that they're meant to be fighting each other more often than not and just gang up on me. Since the movement speed mods in .808 (or whichever release), it hasn't been viable to backpedal away from a mob of attackers -- so instead you are left to either fight them off, or attempt to turn around and run only to get stabbed in the back. It's the same in regular battles when you're going solo -- a clusterfuck of 5 or 6 looters is pretty bloody difficult to take out in melee, weak though they may be.
In any case Velorien eventually tired of being ravaged by half naked hairless men and prompted the master of the arena about any tournaments that might be ocurring nearby. Being the helpful information dispenser that he is, he was able to list no less than 5 cities where tournies were being held -- even though they were all atleast a days ride from Praven. Sargoth, in the Kingdom of the Nords, turned out to be the closest.
The great thing about Nordic tournaments is that they're all on foot with practically no ranged weaponry that I've seen. That makes them ridiculously easy to win, with the only challenge for pitiful characters (like us) being that you're going up against higher level opponents -- sometimes even the king.
In any case Velorien faught hard and won the tournament for around 400 gold. He also saught out revenge on the race of the ginge:
There are also no [Australian] political machinations in that screenshot.
That's it for now I think -- I might get one more playthrough in up to level 7 or 8 or so shortly. Any preferences on where to go next?
I must also apologise for the image sizes as well -- forget to batch resize them before they were uploaded. I don't expect my next offering to be as long-winded either.