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Multiplayer Mount & Blade
This is the first part of our guide to Mount & Blade: Warband. The new multiplayer modes in Mount & Blade: Warband have ramped up the medieval action by a few notches. Now you can hack, slice, maim and stab up to 64 friends and strangers across 12 specially designed multiplayer maps in your choice of 7 multiplayer modes. In this M&B: Warband Multiplayer Guide we’ll run through the options and offer up a few hints and tips to get you started on the path to glory.
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Character and Server Setup
It seems a bit of a shame that you can’t just port your single player campaign character into the multiplayer side of the game. Sadly you have to start from scratch by choosing a name and faction. Next up is the same physical character creation tool you used in single player and finally you get to choose your banner.
With the character created you are faced with two choices:
Host a Game – Developer TaleWorlds has provided you with all the options you could want in terms of setting up a server. You can make it private with a password, you can set the number of players, number of bots, decide on the factions, turn off friendly fire for melee or ranged separately, decide on the spectator camera, block mechanic, speed, time limit, targets for victory, equipment gold at start and earned through combat, whether to allow various types of polls and how they work, whether to allow private banners, respawn periods (if applicable), and finally whether to force minimum armor. If you are the host you can also access this screen in game by hitting ESC and choosing the Administrator Panel.
Join a Game – If you choose to join an existing server you’ll be presented with a list and you can choose the mode you want to play and double click to join one. If you hover your mouse over an option you’ll see a full range of details about the rules on that server. Obviously the lower the ping, the better for you.
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Faction, Loadout and In Game Controls
Once you actually join a game you’ll select a faction and a soldier type. You’ll then be provided with some gold to buy your gear. The default amount is 1,000 and you can kit yourself out with some weaponry and armour. The choices available to you are class based and will depend on the type of soldier you choose to be. They’re basically split into cavalry, infantry and archer.
Once you are in game you can hit TAB to bring up the scoreboard and see how you’re performing. You can also hit ESC to bring up your options. This is handy if you’re not clear on the game rules, want to change faction or feel like reassigning controls. Just remember the game is not paused and you can and will be chopped up while you are in this menu!
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Mount & Blade: Warband Multiplayer Modes
There are 7 multiplayer game modes in Mount & Blade: Warband and we’ll take a look at each one in turn. It is also worth mentioning before we start that some servers enforce their own rules beyond the basic modes. For example many players like to duel in Deathmatch and they have a system of chivalric rules which involves greeting a player before you try to stab them in the face. If a player is engaged in a fight and you run up and stab them in the back you’re probably going to get kicked. Now let’s take a look at the Warband multiplayer modes in more detail.
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It is a great shame that the objective based multiplayer modes in M&B: Warband are so unpopular but the reason is not difficult to fathom. The maps are not balanced and it makes modes like Siege a bit of a nightmare. The basic idea is to take it in turns to Attack and then Defend a castle. The attacking force has a time limit to seize the castle and in general it is a little too easy for the defenders. It is tactically quite a fun mode. The ability to either raise ladders or rush the gate to lower the enemy flag is also great.
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In this mode you generally have a more open battlefield and the objective is to capture and hold a number of points marked by flags that you must raise. If you manage to capture them all, then the enemy can’t spawn in and you’ve won the round. Each team starts with points and when they hit zero they’ve lost. The scattered capture points don’t make for the best gameplay and this is probably my least favourite mode.
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Capture the Flag
As you’d expect this is a team based mode where the objective is to capture your opponent’s flag. The teams have a base with a flag each and you have to capture the enemy flag and carry it back to your base to score. The problem with this is balancing again and often one of the positions is easier to defend than the other which gives one team an advantage. If you get killed while carrying the flag the enemy only has to touch it and it will return to their base. For obvious reasons you can’t capture the flag while on horseback.
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Fight & Destroy
This is an odd multiplayer mode where one team defends a couple of pieces of siege equipment (catapult and trebuchet) and the other team tries to smash them up. It takes ages to smash them up by hacking away and it isn’t a great deal of fun. You get a point for smashing something up and the defenders get a point for anything that survives. You can also win by just killing all the opponents because there is no respawning in this mode.
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This is my favourite mode and it quite simply pitches two opposing forces against each other in a bloody battle to the death. What makes it more fun and more exciting than the other modes is the fact that you don’t respawn. If you are felled during battle then you are relegated to spectator. This is like a medieval version of Counter Strike and with good players it is action packed and addictive. The game can only be won by exterminating the enemy force completely.
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If you don’t like to sit out any of the action then you might prefer this mode to Battle. It is a fight between two opposing forces but this time if you die you will respawn (the respawn time is a server setting). The winning team is the one with the most points (kills) when the time runs out or the first team to reach a point target.
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The simplest of all the multiplayer modes is a chaotic free for all in which you must kill everyone else. If the map is too open or you spawn out in the field then you’ll be at the mercy of cavalry and archer units. This mode is too messy to be much fun and perhaps partly for that reason many servers have introduced their own rules about duelling. This reduces Deathmatch to a series of one on one duels where you introduce yourself by doing an overhead block and if the opponent accepts the challenge you fight to the death. There’s always a risk you’ll get stabbed in the back though and even though players will get kicked for breaking rules it can’t really be stopped from happening in the first place.
That’s it for the multiplayer guide. If you have any questions or comments post away.