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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.
We follow the Skyrim news and discuss all consequences it may have on MERP. We're not really interested in having these discussions in public though, so this is all we'll reply to this topic. I hope you understand. :)
Boats will definitely be in, pretty fleshed out too. We're going to try to simulate real sailing techniques.
No LotR movie music, those are copyrighted.
If you guys like technical info like this, I could write an update in the near future that dives into all the technical details/ideas/issues of MERP? Just let me know, I have plenty to tell.
From North-West to South-East Cyrodill is about 10 kilometers ingame. For our heightmap, this is about 29 kilometers. Cyrodill is 4x4 quads (1 quad = 32x32 cells, 1 cell = 58.5 meters (192 ft)), our heightmap is 12x11 quads.
In MERP, we will give characters realistic movement speed. In Oblivion this was too high if you had decent Speed/Athletics. In addition, we will provide an optional "realism mode" in which it's impossible to run all day. So for your question, just ask yourself how long it would take you to travel 29 kilometers in real, and you have the amount of real hours it will take you.
Concerning the time scale... It will not be static. With this I mean that the timescale will change depending on what you do and where you are. We need to do this because not every aspect of our Middle Earth is on the same scale as "real" Middle Earth. For example, relatively our cities take more space on the map than they do on the "real" map.
So when you are in a city, just enjoying yourself, listening to people, shopping etc. ingame time will pass fairly slow. If you go outside the city and start traveling however, the timescale will increase to give a realistic representation of how many days it would take someone to travel that distance on the "real" map. You won't notice that the timescale changes, unless you particularly pay attention to it. It's not like the sun suddenly starts racing.
It's also necessary for example when you go raid a dungeon/cave. The system will slow down the time-pace as long as you are in there, or else chances are several days will have passed when you get out of the dungeon/cave, which isn't realistic (not talking about Moria here).
In short, the dynamic timescale allows us to match the scales of certain activities and places in MERP to the "real" Middle Earth. This way we can make sure that the timeline found in the books matches our (main)quests.
You'll like it, I promise. ;)
You're Obviously not a roleplayer, and this game is not for you then. There is a big difference between the existing LotR games and MERP, but some people don't really see that because they don't care about those differences. But that's okay, tastes differ, people differ.
MERP is a niche game, a type of game all the commercial developers have failed to deliver. MERP doesn't appeal to your typical gamer, it is specifically for big Tolkien fans and the roleplayers. Our main focus is immersion, we want the player to feel like Middle Earth has come alive, and that (s)he is literally in it.
We will naturally try to implement engaging gameplay, but everything in MERP is subordinate to Lore and Immersion. We do not recognize the infamous "lore vs. gameplay" conflict. In our view, lore always compliments gameplay. We do not like "gamey" features either.
If you are mainly interested in shiny combat and action in a generic fantasy setting, there are plenty of games out there that will accommodate your needs.
Just to be clear, this is just a moddb update, not the next beta release.
The update has already been submitted, we're waiting until moddb authorizes it.
Watch my latest videos to get a look at what the combat will be like:
@Valy, you mean Elven weapons rather than Maiar weapons right? Maiar weapons don't exist in Middle Earth, and aren't planned afaik.
Don't worry, the team is very well aware of the release of Skyrim and potential effects it might have on MERP. We are a flexible team, and the continuation of the development of MERP is ofcourse our top priority. Our thoughts, discussions and ideas on this topic will not be discussed publicly however. Just know that we will be well-prepared.
We're not going to touch the Oblivion.esm file, so Cyrodiil will technically stay in the game. You will start in Middle Earth though, and there is no way to get to Cyrodiil except through console commands.
As for the Installer/Launcher, it will create a separate mod load list and a separate Oblivion.ini for MERP. You can switch these easily by using the MERP Launcher. This way MERP and Oblivion will exist parallel to each other, but they will be in the same folder. You can ofcourse install MERP in a different directory if you want to (I personally recommend that).
As for the next Beta release... The 2.6 update has been fixed in so far that our interior developers could start working again last week. Exterior work is still suspended for now, but we're getting close. We won't give an ETA since we can't be sure when we're completely ready.
We're working hard though. Check out my latest video of MERP & Blade:
What Alas said. Though it will most likely end in a game over (reload of earlier save) if you don't get healed in time, since your character would become enslaved to the will of Sauron, which doesn't fit an open world full with choices for the player.
That's your problem, not ours...
With our current rate of progress, the beta won't be released in the next two weeks. Beyond that I do not want to speculate at this moment.
We have only one person working on the merge (the technical challenges are quite complicated), and some events took place in his life that disabled him from working on it for some time. He is now slowly resuming his work again.
At least our animator doesn't make himself look like a 12 years old.
Oh and btw... Proof it!
For everyone who wants to learn modding in Oblivion, the best place to start is here:
It's rather easy too, so don't worry! You don't need to be an IT wizard, you just need patience and dedication!
What MEB said. We don't use anything from Mount & Blade, it's just an inspiration to us. The two games are also completely incompatible with each other, copying one thing from one to the other is 100% impossible.
Everything you see is either custom made by our team, or created by other modders who gave us permission.
Don't worry, we are aware of the flaws of Mount & Blade. It's impossible to copy it exactly anyway, everything is recreated from scratch and thus everything we implement is well thought about. The face hugging you have in Mount & Blade will not appear in our combat system.
We are attempting to combine the best of both worlds. ;)
Thanks! Guess where the name "MERP & Blade" comes from. ;)
I wish I could make it even more like Mount & Blade, but there are some annoying engine limitations in place that I can't work around, especially concerning animation handling.
It's not hard to learn modding in Oblivion. You just need dedication and time. If you stick to it, you can do anything! It's possible to learn to create interiors in less than a few hours for example.
All our animations are either adjusted vanilla animations, or made from scratch by Middle Earth's Bane, one of our animators. No animations are ripped. Nothing in MERP is ripped, it's either from vanilla Oblivion, custom made by our team, or we asked for and received permission from the authors.
No bows on horseback are planned, sadly. The engine is too limited to support that. In short, I can't think of any way we can "morph" the bow when you draw an arrow and let it loose. It's always a static object on the horse.
Spears will be in and have their own animations, probably stabbing and couching.
Here a little preview of player mounted combat, also for vanilla Oblivion:
It's still pretty raw, needs some polishing, but it gives you the idea behind it.
The first open beta of a player-only Mounted Combat mod for vanilla Oblivion will be released somewhere in the coming 5 days. Only vanilla weapons will be in at first, you need to wait some time more for spears and NPC mounted combat. I already got those working, but it will take some time to make it suitable for release.
Yes I am fairly sure we will. It's a nice scripting challenge, but probably nothing we can't handle.
It's challenging, but it's a lot of fun!
There are several different development stages when you create a completely new world. In the first stages, the largest part is modelling the most important and unique structures/creatures/equipment and creating the landscapes of Middle Earth, which you can find at this page. This is kinda creating the foundation of Middle Earth.
Even though the above work won't be finished for some time to come, our focus is also expanding to additional areas, such as interior design, NPC's, dialogue/literature, quest design, music and sound effects, animations, and scripting/game features. While we do this, the team grows and more developers join us with specialities in these areas.
Because of the different "phases" of development this project has, and because of the growing team, it is very hard to anticipate how long it will take to get to MERP 1.0. The rate of progress surely isn't a stable/linear line, and some "phases" are more time consuming than others, but I personally am optimistic that our rate of progress will keep increasing.
Though even with that taken in consideration, it will at the very least take several years until version 1.0 will be released.
About 50% of the terrain has been generated at the moment(vegetation, trees, stones etc.), but will also be adjusted as we place objects manually, to give the terrain more character and add villages/towns/cities.
Minas Tirith won't be populated in the next Beta release, Bree is planned though.
Good advice concerning the agriculture, I'll remember it and tell the exterior designers when the time comes!
Eventually yes, that's the goal. Though we will focus on the important ones first of course. We have a team of about 30 active devs and get a few new applicants every single week, so together we can move mountains.
Well, yes. That's why we call it a total conversion. We use the same engine, but it will feel like a completely new game.
Newer video, more fast paced combat: