CounterPlay Optimization Suggestion in Mount & Blade 2 Multiplayer Mode

Ballista in SP & MP

In the siege map of this game, there is a special weapon, Ballista. It has a high damage on enemy’s soldiers. One single shot can kill three men immediately if it shoots in the best angle. The ballista in the single player mode gives players a lot of fun. It provides excitement when killing AI’s solders and make the player powerful that able to defeat a 3 times larger army group in siege maps.

A player who is using a ballista

In the siege maps in multiplayer mode, ballistae are arranged in both attacker and defender side. Any player can control it if it is empty. There isn’t any optimization on the ballista to suit the multiplayer game. This causes a bad counter play around it.

Restraint Relationship in MP’s Siege Map

In the multiplayer mode, there are mainly three types of soldiers on each side, infantry, archer, and cavalry. Meanwhile, there are three types of siege equipment, barricade wall, ballista, and catapult. All these six elements have the following restrain relationship.

Restraint Relationship Between All Main Conponents in MP’s Siege Map

As the ballista has a bad counter play, it’s necessary to indicate why other siege equipment are good. The barricade wall restrains all soldiers because it can block the attacking path. Soldiers can destroy it with their own weapon. The only way to destroy it is using the catapult. Once the wall has been destroyed, it won’t rebuilt anymore and have no effect to the later game period. The catapult is the only way to destroy the barricade wall. Attacker side usually has 4 catapults and defender has 2 of them. When game starts, attacker needs to destroy the wall as soon as possible, before their catapult is being destroyed by defender’s catapult. If attacker fails on this, attacker will have a high possibility on lose the game. Fortunately, during my observation in many games round, attacker can always achieve this, though sometimes there were only one catapult survived. After the barricade wall is destroyed, the catapult is no longer useful and also have no effect to the later game period. As you can see, it doesn’t restrain soldiers.

The effect of the ballista in the game is totally different from other siege equipment. Both sides have same number of them. It keeps useful and powerful during the whole game period. Because the function of ballista is killing soldiers. Due to the level design in each map, there are always some ballistae in a position that can shoot the soldiers. Meanwhile, the tinny volume and high resistance makes it almost unbroken. Thus, ballistae keep annoying players who shot by it. Though the controllers of ballistae can be restrained by opponents’ ballistae easily, it is still an unhealthy counterplay that only itself can restrain itself.

Strengh Archer to Optimize the CounterPlay

As archers already have the ability to restrain ballistae, one method to optimize this counterplay is strength the restraint from archers. Meanwhile, this optimization shouldn’t influence other restrain relationship. To figure out which elements can be changed, a damage analysis is required.

This figure shows that only change the Movement of the Ballista’s Controller and Controller Able to Use Shield are the only methods which won’t influence other restrain relationship. The latter are already achieved by this game (Any soldiers who is using a ballista cannot hold a shield).

A player is reloading the ballista, his sheild is fixed on his back when he controls a ballista

There are two kinds of movement of the controller. One is when rotating the ballista to aim, the controller himself will also move. Another the action of getting off the ballista.

These two movements really cause big challenge for archers to shoot them accurately. Especially when the ballista is too far.

The first person view of aiming a really far ballista

The Optimization Suggestion

To strength the counterplay, the accuracy of archer’s shooting on ballista’s controllers should be increased.

Method One: Change the joint of the ballista, making the controller’s moving angle while aiming small. So that archers are more easily to shoot the controller.

Restrict ballista’s controller moving angle

Method Two: Make the getting off time longer. Controller cannot make a quick dodge by getting off the ballista when arrows is coming. However, it may also cause controllers hard to deal with enemy infantry’s infiltrate and sneak attack. To balance it, controller need a free camera function to alert. Not like right now, controller only have a first person perspective.

First person view of ballista’s controller

Finally, the restaint relationship should be like this. Player have two powerful methods to deal with opponent’s ballistae.

Restaint relationship after optimization

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