Fun fact - Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord was announced longer ago than the entire length of World War 2, the largest and deadliest conflict in human history. Completely irrelevant but interesting all the same. Anyway, the long old wait for Bannerlord may finally be coming to an end. TaleWorlds Entertainment has announced a Mount & Blade II closed multiplayer beta, providing a select group of fans with a taster of Bannorlord’s 6v6 Skirmish mode.

There are plans for multiple PvP game modes in M&B2: Bannerlord, with the focus being on Skirmish for now. In Skirmish, there are no AI bots, so it’s pure player skill and teamwork, using tactical play and strategy to get one over on the battlefield.

Interestingly, game balance has been thrown out already. TaleWorlds is going for an asymmetric multiplayer design where classes and characters are not balanced. Knights will be extremely powerful, for example, but there are no plans to make them slow in order to reduce their effectiveness. “Such moves would be kind of unrealistic and immersion breaking and so go against the spirit of our game…” said TaleWorlds in a blog post.

To prevent 12 knights roaming around, TaleWorlds is using a limited spawn system on Bannerlord’s Skirmish PvP mode. Players have a set amount that can be spent on troops in a single round. Better units cost more, meaning fewer lives.

Players will battle over three capture points which are eventually whittled down to one, creating a climactic battle at a single location. Playing too defensively will result in diminished morale for the final showdown while being overly aggressive can leave teams with weaker troops for the assault on the last point.

“Each of the maps featured in Skirmish has been made specifically for this game mode and with a set number of players in mind”, says TaleWorlds. “Spawn points, flags, and the paths between them are all measured and placed in a way that ensures players can navigate the map with ease and jump into the action quickly. Likewise, careful placement of obstacles in the maps ensures that no single class is dominant in all situations, which encourages team diversity and an evolving strategy.”

Details on the closed beta for Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord should be coming soon. TaleWorlds is planning to reveal the signups in an upcoming blog post, so keep your eyes peeled and we’ll also update you here just as soon as the info goes live.