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Today we are going to see if one can mod his way into Mordor

Posted by Arxae on Jul 18th, 2010
Interview

People who don't know MERP are missing out on something massive. MERP is a mod for Oblivion in which they are recreating Middle-Earth. That's right you heard me, all of middle earth, free to explore.
Its quite the massive project these people are working on, you can tell by the team, 14 people on ModDB alone, and not all team members are registered here. So lets bug em with some questions shall we?

ModDB: How did you got the idea to recreate the world of Lord of the Rings? Its a massive world and project that one does not simply starts without thinking it over.
Our goal is all in the title, we want to make a Role-playing game set in the world of Middle-earth. The whole world of Middle-earth fully explorable and playable is something that is unavailable to gamers currently, we hope to change that. We hope to give people a dynamic, interactive look at Middle Earth; a kind of experience that only a game like Oblivion can bring. With movies you get great visuals and books paint images in you minds, but in a game you can explore and experience this world in a new way and see things you have never seen before. We finally want to create a LOTR game that really respects the lore and tries to re-create Middle Earth as it is written in the books.

This is a perfect example of how immersive MERP really is, play it while readin!


ModDB: Where you planning on making just the world at first? Or implement special quests and events?

Captain Iglo: No, we wanted to create Tolkien's world and give the people the ability to live the events of the War of the Ring, from the beginning. In fact, MERP started as a mod for Morrowind, but moved to Oblivion later and has seen many important changes. The last and most important one was when we decided to use Lumpypats beautiful heightmap about one and a half years ago. With that last change, our progress picked up and now we are even more determined to finish our mod.

ModDB: We all know how hard finding a team is, even for a small project. It was probably hard to find a good team for a project of this size.
alasdairhurst: We try to advertise the mod as much as possible, and we use lots of websites to help us (including this interview). Because The Lord of the Rings is so widely known and loved by millions of people, and there isn't any games available which let you explore the whole of Middle-Earth, fans from all over the world eagerly await and try to help with this one. We get team members through advertising that there are jobs available on the site, and that is all that we need to get people interested. We get 2-3 applications a week, which means we can get all this work done just a little bit faster.

Annuminas
Some impressive scenery in this mod

 
ModDB: How do you handle the daily communication with the rest of the team?
alasdairhurst: Daily communication with the team is handled through our developer forums over here: Createforum.com The site is easy to navigate and we have different forum categories to easily find where we are at different parts of the mod, so it is easy for people to claim new areas without having to search the whole forum. We have personal messaging which helps a lot with communicating, and at least 100 posts a day, which makes sure that the mod doesn't die out.

ModDB: We all know the quick travel and the big green arrow ruined the immersion in Oblivion a bit, how are you going to handle it in MERP? Because walking everywhere in this giant world can get boring sometimes.
Captain Iglo:
This must be one of the most-asked questions we get! Well, there will be no fast-travel. Instead, we might implement caravans or some sort of thing that will take you from one big town to another. We might, however, give the fast-travel function as a plug-in for those lazy guys who want it! About the green arrow, we'll probably take it away and let the player mark any spot he wants in his own equippable maps. Maybe they will even be able to take notes on it.

ModDB: Speaking of big worlds, do you have any numbers on the actual size of the world?
Captain Iglo: Middle-Earth, as we create it, is 4 times bigger than the whole map of Oblivion and 7 times bigger than the playable area. But bear in mind that the world also contains sea and that there is no way to create the massive world of Tolkien as it is described in the books. We have reached the limits of the engine, concerning the size of the worldmap but the distances are of course shorter than in the books. But still, the landscape is huge and it will take the player a lot of days, if not months, to explore every inch of it.

Lebennin 3
Seems like a nice place for a holiday!

ModDB: How do you handle the environments that where described in the books but not in the movie? Must have been hard to recreate them with just a text to follow.
noirdesir: Actually, there are a lot of environments that have never been mentioned in the lore of Middle-Earth, but personally for me I prefer creating unknown landscapes more than the obvious known areas from the movies. It's easier and much more fun to do. The lore is always our first source of inspiration, then our own imagination. The available resources and possibilities of the engine play are important factor as well. The landscapes of Middle-Earth are similar to those on our Earth and I always have landscape pictures in my mind, when I'm working on new landscapes for Middle-Earth ... Arthedain should be similar to a Tundra landscape in northern Europe, a picture of southern Italy was my inspiration for Lebennin and medieval cities in Morocco will be what I'm striving for with a little city in Harondor. 

ModDB: Are you going to have the Ringbearer storyline as well as any memorial battles included in the game?
Sir Eoran: Yes, we have couple of great and experienced quest designers working on the Ringbearer quest. We've all seen the movie and read the books so if you did, you know that this quest-line will be absolute fantastic. And we also are going to have epic battle events (e.g. Battle for Helms Deep, Ride of the Rohirrim etc. etc.) which will blow your heads off. Besides that we are also working on an alternative main questline where you will help Elrond and the White Council.

Lebennin 7
You should have noticed by now, MERP is beatifull!

ModDB: Where they hard to create? Oblivion can't handle lots of AI hordes all to well (speaking from personal experience).
pkyrkos7: Yes, big battles are really hard to create, since the Oblivion engine can't handle a lot of NPCs at one place. However we are trying to find ways to make big battles possible or at least give the player the feeling that he is in a big battle. 

ModDB: Will we be able to freely explore/fight our way around Mordor? Will we be able to craft our own ring of power in mount doom? 
alasdairhurst: Yes it is possible to freely explore all of Mordor, though it will be extremely dangerous and likely to get you killed! There will be quests there too, and lots and lots of enemies. However there will be no rings of power crafting as this would break lore entirely.

Big world is big..and beautiful


ModDB: Big projects, big tips, do you have some to offer? 
Aoikani: Every large modding project needs leadership, talented modders and enthusiastic creativity to produce a quality mod. LoTR fans from all around the world are modding together in MERP, I can't see how this project won't be a total success. The members of the team here stay organized and communicate well which makes it easier to progress. I suppose the ultimate reason for our continued successful progress is that each of the members really wants MERP to be the ultimate "uber" LoTR version. 

ModDB: 1 Line of free speech, GO!
MERP! Get it! You'll find yourself just as enthralled as Gollum, "My precious!"

In Dagorlad
Looks like one simply walks into Mordor (for now)


Merp looks like its going to be a awesome mod with a big, beautifully, hand crafted world. While the project is not done yet, you can try out a beta version of MERP. It is a bit more complicated to use then your average mod, so the MERP team has written some instructions on how to install and play it. You can find them here.

Post comment Comments
Nebcake
Nebcake Jul 18 2010, 11:13pm says:

I am speechless.

+7 votes     reply to comment
frosty-theaussie
frosty-theaussie Jul 18 2010, 11:27pm says:

"MERP! Get it! You'll find yourself just as enthralled as Gollum"

how can we get it if it remains unreleased?

+6 votes     reply to comment
IAspYrI
IAspYrI Jul 18 2010, 11:45pm replied:

Finally some recognition. MERP has a beta in their download section you can explore whats done!!!!

+6 votes     reply to comment
Anonymousperson
Anonymousperson Jul 19 2010, 12:32am says:

"One cannot just walk into Mordor!"

+6 votes     reply to comment
truehighlander
truehighlander Jul 19 2010, 2:05am replied:

There are so many variables.

Being stealthy and smart has it's advantages...

+4 votes     reply to comment
UkrainaGuy1111
UkrainaGuy1111 Jul 19 2010, 6:00am replied:

"One cannot just fly over Mordor on an eagle and drop the ring in mount doom"

+6 votes     reply to comment
Theon
Theon Jul 19 2010, 2:22pm replied:

"One cannot just noclip into Mordor!"

+6 votes     reply to comment
names_are_useless
names_are_useless Jul 20 2010, 12:05am replied:

"One cannot simply Fast Travel to Mordor"

Its funny because its true, you won't be able to fast travel in MEPR :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wiweeyum
Wiweeyum Jul 22 2010, 1:40am replied:

"One cannot just idspispopd into Mordor!"

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sennek
Sennek Jul 28 2010, 5:11am replied:

Tell it to Frodo ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP
formerlyknownasMrCP Jul 19 2010, 12:51am says:

This looks way better than what Oblivion vanilla did.

Just one question, can I join the bad guys? and will the good guys consider me an enemy? or is it going to be like Oblivion where you're forced into being the hero and even joining the bad guys has no punishment?.

+9 votes     reply to comment
Keptron
Keptron Jul 19 2010, 1:10am replied:

It surely would be interesting to join the villain :o

+8 votes     reply to comment
MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack Jul 19 2010, 10:47am replied:

An evil campaign is not planned yet, maybe after the first release of v1.0 ! :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Noremakk
Noremakk Jul 19 2010, 1:22am says:

Oh man, how have I not heard of this before? I really want to see where this is going. This looks like an amazing undertaking.

About the music: I would be willing to properly record a part if you would want to have it done by real people as opposed to synthesized. I play the Tuba. PM me if you need something done.

+3 votes     reply to comment
frosty-theaussie
frosty-theaussie Jul 19 2010, 2:25am replied:

Tuba solo, GO!

+5 votes     reply to comment
Thomse
Thomse Jul 19 2010, 10:16am replied:

@Noremakk If you want to help, post a thread at our forums:
Createforum.com

I'm sure you'll be well welcomed :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sir_Eoran
Sir_Eoran Jul 19 2010, 2:58am says:

@Frosty-theaussie

It's already released, it's our latest beta yet and you can find it here!
Moddb.com
It has also a How-to tutorial on how to install MERP correctly without problems ;)

Hope you enjoy you're stay at Middle-Earth :)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Cremat0r
Cremat0r Jul 19 2010, 3:57am says:

Thw whole middle-earth in Oblivion...
You people rock! I mean, one of the greatest FPSRPG collides with one of the greatest books/films.

+3 votes     reply to comment
HounderKnight
HounderKnight Jul 19 2010, 5:58am says:

Things are looking awesome, as usual. :) Can't wait for the next big release.

+3 votes     reply to comment
mt247
mt247 Jul 19 2010, 6:20am says:

I hope this helps to get more ppl to dev team :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
ThePeanutBaron
ThePeanutBaron Jul 19 2010, 6:54am says:

Great interview, has got me really interested in this mod

+2 votes     reply to comment
kuadziw
kuadziw Jul 19 2010, 7:32am says:

This is the good news.

+2 votes     reply to comment
theb0rg
theb0rg Jul 19 2010, 11:17am says:

Why do you only have the files on 'Tesnexus.com' ? Ive tried to login on three different browsers, but i get the cookie error. Please upload on moddb so everyone can play.

+2 votes     reply to comment
mt247
mt247 Jul 19 2010, 12:04pm replied:

@theb0rd
I made suggestion of that in their dev forums.

+1 vote     reply to comment
theb0rg
theb0rg Jul 19 2010, 12:45pm replied:

Thanks. I do understand that they want to promote that site though when they have that kind of problems, they ought to mirror it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlCool
AlCool Jul 23 2010, 7:37pm replied:

I have a login on the nexus as it is the best Oblivion mod site out there.

If you have trouble logging in why not msg that websites staff or check their forums for the same problem? If you like oblivion mods you won't be disappointed on that site.

+1 vote     reply to comment
theb0rg
theb0rg Jul 24 2010, 10:28pm replied:

I can login to the forums, but not to the filesite. It says the security is tightened and for some reason cant save my login cookie, thus i cant download files over 2MB. I'll guess i go complain at the forum.

+1 vote     reply to comment
theb0rg
theb0rg Jul 24 2010, 10:49pm replied:

Sorry for doublepost: Does this 'mirror' from tesnexus include everything? " Filefront.com ". If you look at the orginal files, there are several different downloads - but this is a single one? Also the filesizes doesnt match. Am i looking at the wrong place? Talking about Tesnexus.com -> Files

+1 vote     reply to comment
TavicusTheWise
TavicusTheWise Nov 3 2010, 12:37pm replied:

In the Nexus site, you should download not only the main files under "Files", as well as the files under "Mirrors", that includes the .esm file, which is the source file for the other files of the mod. Remember that ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Twitwi
Twitwi Jul 19 2010, 1:45pm says:

Tracking now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
mt247
mt247 Jul 19 2010, 2:37pm replied:

Good for you :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Eylam
Eylam Jul 19 2010, 2:41pm says:

Ninja Wizards! Tracking. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
NoobSaibot
NoobSaibot Jul 19 2010, 3:12pm says:

If I recall, they had a LOTR mod for Morrowind, but it got shut down because of copyright.

+1 vote     reply to comment
bikkebakke
bikkebakke Jul 19 2010, 3:14pm replied: Online

well, this mod originated from morrowind, got ported here due to more game mechanics etc, as it said in the text (maybe you saw that and meant another mod but anyway :P)

+1 vote     reply to comment
noirdesir
noirdesir Jul 20 2010, 6:50pm replied:

@mt247: Oh no, we respect our fans. But I don't respect people who ...

1) register with multiple accounts on our development forums,
2) post copyrighted music on our forums,
3) say they produced that music themselves,
4) try to make us use that copyrighted music in our mod,
5) comment in the same thread with different accounts ("Damn! That sounds great!")

Thats what you did mt247 and this is the reason that got you banned ... at least for now:

http://www.createforum.com/middleearthrole/viewtopic.php?t=1662&highlight=&mforum=middleearthrole

noirdesir

-2 votes     reply to comment
MC_Fred
MC_Fred Jul 21 2010, 6:15am replied:

they found out:

1) They just checked the IP adress of MerQo (every Admin can do that), the user who created the thread. Its the same one like mt247 is using. So you've got two accounts ;)

2) You posted media :D ... but it's now deleted... (http://img80.imageshack.us/f/66331377.png/)

3) It seems like you had...

4) That might be true :)

5) You have commented it! :P (http://img80.imageshack.us/f/66331377.png/)

-3 votes     reply to comment
AlCool
AlCool Jul 23 2010, 7:39pm says:

I actually thought this one died a long time ago, but I guess I was totally wrong :D. Been in the work for quite a while now, and it looks like you've all put a very hard amount of work into it since then.

Can't wait!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Arxae
Arxae Jul 24 2010, 4:49am replied:

it is, like i emphasized in the article, a big huge massive project :p

+1 vote     reply to comment
MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack Jul 28 2010, 2:09pm replied:

You may have seen Adventure MiddleEarth which has died out because of lack of resources :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlueSunsleader
BlueSunsleader Jul 30 2010, 12:20am says:

Dude awesome!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Myloman
Myloman Aug 5 2010, 5:55am says:

Amazing update. You guys have come so incredibly far. Respect!

+2 votes     reply to comment
userxxi
userxxi Aug 6 2010, 11:57am says:

I am amazed. Truly. This is the chance to build virtual Middle Earth just like the fans want it. Please don't succumb to "elite" gamers request of sillyness. If this becomes a reality, will there be an internet portal to interact with other players around the world in true Middle Earth fashion?? How are you going to keep ME enterprises from shutting you down?

+1 vote     reply to comment
MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack Apr 19 2011, 4:07pm says:

Eight months later and people have come and gone, but we are still as strong as ever :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tanjitsu
Tanjitsu Jul 27 2011, 2:05pm says:

bump

+1 vote     reply to comment
lilrizky
lilrizky Dec 9 2011, 12:38am says:

I think to keep the game interesting. after you complete the main quest, as well as side quests, there should be the last territories occupied by orcs that you can wipe clean and once you're 100% completed that you can have a game+ mode which are harder enemies but you retain your level and skills etc. plus once your finish that, you have an insane-game+ mode where the game is 10x's harder but you have the ring of power. just something to put out there :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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