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There may be a completely new Rohan Ring Hero with a completely new mechanic... :)
Yes, Gondor was one the first factions we previewed because they don't change fundamentally like the Misty Mountains or Lothlorien do. I think it's actually part of Gondor's identity that they're one of the most 'classic' factions, most RTS games have a faction like that - and Gondor has consistently been one of our most popular factions. However, while the changes here may not be groundbreaking, Gondor fans can still look forward to some goodies like reworked abilities for Aragorn (including a new rank 10 power).
It's only the Nazgûl, their dismount is coded differently behind the scenes because they're a horde instead of a single hero.
Sauron will have his Influence ability in every form - we want him to always expand the power of Mordor. It won't be a passive ability though, because making choices and building your strength step by step is what makes it actually interesting.
Dwarves will keep the tunnels. I'm not sure the Rivendell map will be changed in version 4.0, generally I think there's more important work ahead of us still.
Ships will work the same way they do now. They're not a high priority for us, but we're not removing them either.
We are trying to optimize horde factions like Mordor for the next version and reduce the performance impact of their most common units. However, as others have said, the problem is partly related to the engine, and we won't be able to get it ouf the way completely.
The first part of the big Mordor update is live on Modding Union if you want to look at some pretty pictures:
We'll have an English text up here on Moddb in the coming days.
One does not simply let Sauron walk out of Mordor... :)
The situation between the Misty and Mountains and Mordor is indeed a bit complicated because geographically, Dol Guldur is closer to the Mountains than to Mordor. However, it is fundamentally a part of the power of Mordor and not ruled by wild Orcs, so we chose to put it into Mordor. This includes the Necromancer.
Yes, I think that is a good place for him :)
Actually, most factions are defined at least in part by their heroes. The nine Nazgûl and Sauron are an essential part of Mordor's identity, and the faction would feel diminished with only two Nazgûl and no Dark Lord. Similiarly, Gondor obviously needs its king, its steward and its captains - the people who changed the faction's history. Isengard, however, has far less such vital characters. Basically, it boils down to Saruman and Wormtongue. Is Isengard still Isengard if you can't permanently recruit Mauhur? It certainly is. Would it feel MORE like Isengard with Mauhur? I don't think so. What would Mauhur actually contribute to the faction? Nothing. His entire role and personality is "an Uruk captain". We already have Lurtz and Ugluk for that though, and an army of regular Uruks. The only reason to add Mauhur would be to have more heroes, and like I said this is not a goal in itself if the hero is not unique, distinct and important.
We don't really care about giving every faction the same number of heroes. We care about representing its major story characters, giving each hero a unique identity and making sure the heroes fit together to make the faction interesting to play. For Mordor, a large number of heroes is appropriate because of the nine Nazgûl. For Isengard, a small number is appropriate - is the faction really defined by Uruk servants like Vrasku and Mauhur? Those are barely more than a name, they have zero personality or interesting hooks that we could use to craft unique gameplay mechanics for them. Considering that Isengard is still one of the strongest factions in the game anyway, I see no need for more Uruk heroes.
We're not huge fans of Rogash and the Angmar trolls, so don't expect anything there for 4.0. We think the wolves and barrow-wights make for much more interesting and unique monsters.
I think you'll really like the Lothlorien base, it's pretty fantastic even in its current prototype state :)
Mirkwood hasn't been updated for 4.0 yet, but personally I'd love to see those elite soldiers in Edain.
There should be a huge news on the best faction in the game in the next couple of days...
We decided on two factions quite some time ago. However, I'd say one of those two is no longer quite as certain as it used to be. The other is set in stone though.
(Yeah, this comment is extremely useful and not vague at all, sorry about that... xD )
One isn't better than the other, but the idea is that they have different strengths. The Knights of Dol Amroth have more armor and are more powerful in direct melee combat. The Royal Guard on the other hand are faster and are better at trampling hordes of enemies.
And thanks to you for your kind words! :)
if you know both English and German and would like to help with the translation of Edain, we'd be very grateful if you could lend us a hand!
We've created a thread over at Modding Union with the passages that need to be translated and furter instructions, you can check it out here: Forum.modding-union.com
Any assistance is greatly appreciated :)
Yes, Mollock will remain.
We won't use the same concept we used for the Dwarves because we want that to remain unique (and Dwarves and Elves shouldn't have that much in common :P ). I'm afraid I can't tell you much more about Lorien though, because it's the last and most work-intensive faction of 4.0.
We recently had the idea of using the other two as banner carriers for the Morgul Orcs, so maybe they will make their way into the mod this way :)
We used those Uruk helmets for the Uruk captains! I think they look really badass, but they're best used to make single units stand out in my opinion. It's not something every Uruk should have.
Yes, that is the general power level we're aiming for.
I really love these Orc designs. Unfortunately, you don't see much of them in the movie itself and Games Workshop figures are not always enough to create full units. So while I'd like to have them, I can't promise they'll make it into version 4.0.
(though personally I think they should replace the current Orcs of Dol Guldur for Mordor, we already have some great Gundabad units with the Defiler's hunters from the first movie)
It's still in German. The next version, 4.0, will be our first English version.
Yes, this is one of the main balance issues we hope to adress in version 4.0. Archers will be both less powerful and more expensive, because players shouldn't build their entire army out of nothing but archers.
Yes, the enemy can destroy them.
You can add a forum section on Moddb, we actually did that a few years ago. We ended up disabling it rather quickly though because most people just continued using the comment section.
I think the studio that made Battle for Middle-Earth doesn't even exist anymore. EA doesn't really care about strategy games in general anymore, which is also why they discontinued Command & Conquer. It's up to fans like us to carry the torch now.
None of Mordor's heroes will be deleted, because none of them are expendable. Can't really say anything about the balance between two specific heroes like Aragorn and Sauron because we're still working on hero values.