Before that i have spent maybe 5 hours following roads between settlements and have encountered bandits only once, 2 groups, one with tough bandits and one with thugs (btw in my first game i also saw this, there was a section of the map where 3 bandit groups would hang around, i think there is possibly some bug there because they tend to stick together).
That… is really unusual. Most of my games are REALLY active and even have me struggling to keep up.
For instance, when last I played, there was a village that was located smack in the middle of a forest. It was plagued from the start by werewolves and goblins marching around the area, and the road leading from it toward the city (and the nearby citadel) was constantly under pressure from bandits and more goblins. Every time I passed by that area, there was bandit or goblin activity. I found myself playing whack-a-mole until my guys were experienced enough to take on bandit camps, and by that point orcs had dominated the more southerly regions and even established a base in the north-west (which was pretty surprising).
Not sure what to say. My games have been very active thus far. Dunno why the AI seems passive in yours.