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0.2.6 will be our last release for Oblivion, then the whole project ports to Skyrim. Right now, our team is kinda split in two, one part working on our last Oblivion release, the others are preparing for the release of Skyrim's Creation Kit which Bethesda claims will release this very month.
Yes, our Quests Overseer already wrote an extensively fleshed out quest that introduces the player to the history of the different Nazgul in a very special way. It will be in one of our releases for Skyrim.
Yes, the Skyrim MERP version will be available on SkyrimNexus.
I haven't visited Moria myself (been busy with the preparation for Skyrim, mainly the new heightfield) so can't comment on how big it is in 0.2.6, but I'm sure our Moria devs didn't make it small! Either way, in Skyrim-MERP it will definitely be very big, big enough to get lost in.
lumpypat is part of our team?
Its a separate download, a tesnexus or google search will find it for you.
Not cells, quads. A quad is 32*32 cells. The new map is 448*448 cells, every cell is about 58.5 meters. So the map is about 26.2*26.2 kilometers, or 687 square kilometers.
However, only 70.8% of the map is above sea level, so the map has 487 square kilometers of land.
These shots are made with the Oblivion Graphics Extender and some water mods that use OBGE. Good stuff. Takes a little effort to install, but it's definitely worth it.
We'll KILL TAMRIEL!! Completely!! We are the real Alduin, and you can't stop us! Mundus will be devoured and a new Universe will be created in the Void, and it will contain what is called Arda! (Well, Middle Earth only really, but it's still 10 times bigger than Skyrim or Cyrodiil).
Its just a comparison of size with other worldspaces made in TES engines. MERP is an Oblivion (and soon a Skyrim) mod remember.
Some corrections in calculations and estimates showed us that this is about the maximum size of a map for a 32-bit based Elder Scrolls game, without a big risk of running into RAM limitations in the later stages of development.
If said comments were older than say, about 2 years ago... Then we just didn't have enough experience yet to make such a firm statement. We couldn't manage to get a bigger map back then, and no other modding team ever did before (for TES games). It's all about finding the right tools and methods.
It won't be so bad, most areas of of Middle Earth are quite deserted and full of wilderness (landscape we mostly generate). Our content will be more sparse than Skyrim's, where you stumble over a quest every 2 meters.
Yes, but we will be quite picky, so make sure you're good! :D
Notice the smaller mountains specifically, I focussed mainly on better proportions and more accuracy compared to official Middle Earth maps. This map will feel very different ingame. It will feel a lot more roomy, with a lot more open space.
This is especially obvious if you compare Rohan between our Oblivion map and our Skyrim map. Mountains will not be low btw, the highest mountains are still twice as high as Skyrim's highest mountain (Throat of the World).
We don't have THAT much completed in this last Oblivion release. The majority of our time was spent fixing the old merge. Please don't get your hopes up too high, or you will be disappointed. Things will most likely go a lot faster in Skyrim, since we're far more experienced now.
Indeed, that is not unlikely. That's just the nature of huge total conversions though. But we're going to have more frequent releases, we are going to finish region by region this time, rather than working all over Middle Earth at once. So before this mod is "finished", you probably already spent hundreds of hours in Middle Earth.
Everyone has a Steam version of the game Alas! :D
It's not like MERP for Skyrim will release within a few months or something... It will take years before it's fully finished, so you have plenty of time to get a better PC.
The final version will have two main quest lines. One as the Ringbearer, the other helping out the White Council all over Middle Earth.
Yes, nothing major, but some nice quests to show that we actually CAN do them, hehe. We have too much of a reputation of "awesome landscapes, no playable content" right now.
Btw, what do you do with your body when playing MERP...?
We are preparing for Skyrim until the CK comes out, and we're finishing up the 0.2.6 release for Oblivion, which will most likely be the last release for that game. After that we will start releasing Skyrim, fully finished region by fully finished region.
Skyrim will only require a one-time Steam activation, after that internet connection is not required to play the game. If people don't have a connection to do that, then they also can't download our mod.
Modders can't just copy the Oblivion heightmap into Skyrim, it's copyrighted, the fact that both games are made by Bethesda is irrelevant to that. If a modder would make a Cyrodill map from scratch (not copied and thus somewhat different) then it could happen.
Like said by Captain, MERP won't release the same date as Skyrim. It will be many years later before a full release. I don't think you'll still be playing on the same system by then as you are doing now.
No we don't. We can keep our empty heightmap and all our models.
The port probably won't cause a later release of MERP 1.0. Yes we need to redo things, but work on Skyrim will be faster than work on Oblivion, so in the end it won't delay as much. Even MERP 1.0 for Oblivion would have taken many more years.
Besides, the end result will be much better. Remember, we developers see a lot of our work go to waste (not everything) so we don't take such a decision lightly. It's definitely worth it.
Actually we had more than 30 developers at our peak, but due to the delay and some areas being halted until the merge is fixed a number of them are inactive. They do check in on the forums from time to time, so they're still around. When work for all departments continue again, I bet we'll hit the 30 again.
Landscaping has been halted for more than half a year, due to our issues with the merge. It's being worked on, but it's slow due to the massive size of our mod. We only have one person (Aoikani) who has the knowledge and overview to do this properly, and he has a busy life himself. In other departments progress is still being made though. It's a serious delay, but we'll manage.
One of the things that I really would like to change on horses is making it so they lean to the side when steering left or right while running. That would make it look and feel far more realistic. I'm pretty sure I know a good way to implement it, but it's low priority for now.
Player control over AI formations is possible. The AI for formations is custom scripted anyway, so I can easily implement orders that the player can give. It will probably be through dialogue commands though, not buttons like in Mount & Blade, to keep it a bit realistic.
Decent sieges are kinda a must for us too. It wouldn't be finished without great battles like at Helms Deep and Minas Tirith. Catapults and the like are possible too. Remember those boulder traps in vanilla Oblivion? It's not hard to fire one off in the air, and implement such a stone as a "trap" that does damage + forcepush.