Quest Developer for the Middle Earth Roleplaying Project for Skyrim
@The_Great_Mungulor: Or that he simply won't. He might not really care, or simply wants to be able to stay on WB's good side (he does work under them). He could just simply agree with WB, or perhaps he never even read the letter, we really don't know.
1. I think Blood in the West mod was released before WB got LOTR/Hobbit game rights, but I could be wrong
2. It seems like major developers generally overlook the Total War and Mount&Blade games. I'm gonna guess they don't see them as a threat because these games are not selling as well as juggernauts like Skyrim (although I think they fail to realize that the modding culture keeps many of these games, like M2TW and the Mount&Blade, alive).
3. I'm pretty sure MERP is far more well known then Blood in the West is (for all we know WB may not have learned of them yet).
4. They probably think that MERP is a threat to them. My guess is not only because Skyrim is a popular game, and because MERP is high-quality, but they might want to get in the RPG market again with LOTR (War in the North is proof enough in my mind). I'm going to guess they aren't as interested in the RTS genre (a genre that only major developers like Blizzard are able to make A LOT of money off).
tl;dr MERP could lose WB money while Blood in the West wouldn't
@DracoDestroy: I think most of the LOTR fanfilms and mods were all created and released BEFORE WB bought the rights to LOTR/The Hobbit movie rights from New Line (or did they buy up New Line?) and game rigts from EA. It seems to me that WB is simply FAR stricter about copyright then New Line/EA ever was. They've sued a pub called"The Hobbit" and they've even sued a guy with a Superman tatoo (they own DC Comics)!
I strongly believe MERP would still be going strong if WB didn't buy the rights to LOTR/The Hobbit films/games. Tolkien fans are simply going to have to be A LOT more careful when creating LOTR and Hobbit fanworks then in the past :(
@Lithuania: I figured they brought them in case of a cavalry charge (we are talking about Rohan here).
Beorning at least had a son called Grimbeorn the Old by the time of the War of the Ring. I suspect that there must have been other Beornings ;)
@Lithuania: Yeah, skin-changing into a bear will most likely be a Beornings racial spell. Partly why I pushed for Beornings to be playable :D
The planned playable races are: Beorning, Dunadan, Dwarf, Gondorian, Hobbit, Man of Eriador, Northman, Rohirrim, Sindarin, and Sylvan
@Lithuania: One thing to note: Unlike TLD, there probably won't be many orcs riding Wargs. In the books, Tolkien mentions "orc wolf-riders", so we'll probably have orcs riding large wolves (and probably only a couple strong orcs riding Wargs). And yes, Uruks should be tough.
Hopefully in MERP, as the timeline moves forward and the War of the Ring progresses, orcs will become more plentiful and stronger.
@TheLastSilmaril: Yes, Beornings are 1 of the 10 planned playable races. Mind you, MERP v0.1 is focused on Rohan, so probably only Rohirrim will be playable in this early release.
@Lithuania: Nope, orcs still have no free will. It still feels silly allowing an Orc player to do as he please (picking daffodils and frolicking in the woods). And btw, the Free Peoples races as playable will be enough work as it is, believe me.
@Miste3aAmbidextrous: Optional download is the plan (but who knows, it when't been developed yet).
@Lithuania: Right now, I think its planned to be an option (but much more limited, where you can only fast travel to places nearby to you). There is planned to be a "Realism submod" which will add hunger/thirst/sleep, no gps map, as well as probably no fast travel at all (but its planned to be be an entirely optional submod for now)
@neronix17: I imagine an interior, but then we need to implement the ability to ride a horse into certain interiors (not something you can do in Skyrim right now).
@MarySvIlle: No, that would be plagiarizing. We mean the general gist of the plot and events from the books (well, at least the War of the Ring period), along with all the known people, places, races, etc. Mind you, that's what we're striving for, we may end up missing an event or two (due to unconsciously not knowing about it as opposed to consciously leaving it out). Hopefully you, our fans, will let us know where we got something wrong/missed something ;)
Whoever said Sam was gonna be homosexual in MERP? He married Rosey Cotton, and Tolkien was trying to represent the friendship between a soldier and his servant as Tolkien experienced when fighting in WWI. Also, considering that Tolkien was a devout Catholic, I don't think it'd be appropriate including homosexual relationships in MERP.
@vukgamer: Big battles are planned, yes. Keep in mind that we're brainstorming ways to lessen lag during them (the cause in heavy lag with lots of NPCs on screen in Skyrim is usually due to the AI scripts believe it or not, not necessarily the polys on your screen).
@ElfFriend: The idea here is that you won't be able to command Fellowship members as Frodo. Yes, you're the Ringbearer, but Gandalf or Aragorn were usually leading the party (the scene of Frodo deciding they'd take the Mines of Moria wasn't in the books, I believe Gandalf came to this decision on his own). The scenario you suggested of taking the High Pass would be possible ... IF you abandoned the Fellowship!
The idea here is that you can follow a linear Fellowship or go off on your own (although the plan is that Sam would be a proper NPC companion and follow you anywhere). Both choices have pros and con.
I like your thinking ElfFriend on the unique path you'll take to destroy the Ring. That is partly why I'm so excited when writing the script: the unique paths that players will choose to take, and their effects on the story :) (will be a nightmare to write, hopefully story restrictions won't be too bad). Mind you the Ringbearer questline is in no way a near-future feature you'll be seeing in MERP: most likely one of the last, when everything else is done (if we get that far, hopefully :().
@Delta64: That's a very good question and one we haven't decided upon.
- Realistically, if you happen to defeat an entire host of orcs sent to intercept the Fellowship, then in the game that would mean the entire shape of the LOTR story should change (no breaking of the Fellowship, no Boromir death, no kidnapped Merry and Pippin, etc).
- Game-wise, some actions can cause WAY too much change that it'd be insane to try to script (this probably being one of those, since SO MUCH of the story due to the Fellowship being attacked at Amon Hen).
Please understand: I think as a team we're generally quite open to the idea that the player should be able to change certain things, but within reason (not because we hate what-ifs, I personally love them, but for our own sanity's sake in the writing department :S).
@ElfFriend: Yes, gear durability has been a proposed feature to MERP.
@TJZ23: There is a White Council questline planned, as well as a main questline for our first MERP v0.1 release of Rohan. There will definitely be others ;)
@Klevdude: I'm hoping we can set a feature in MERP to allow you to wield weapons one or two-handed (although depending on your character's strength and the size of the weapon in question).
@TheLastSilmaril: To answer your question, we're a bit conflicted on this matter. Personally I'd love for this feature to exist, but I will admit that it requires A LOT of alternative "what if" writing. Imagine how differently LOTR would have been if Boromir didn't die at Amon Hen ... Its quite a lot if you really think about it.
@BFG9001: Throwable spears, knives, axes ... As long as the weapon is small enough we hope to make throwable :)
@Anglachel: Thanks for standing up for us, but I'm not sure if we're completely aware of the amount of work before us. It's like every year longer I'm on this team, its like the amount of work required to finish this project is even farther ahead of us then it seemed before. Of course we are making progress, as I hope is apparent in our latest news update, but iit just seems so small when you look at the whole project ... Best not to think too hard about it and keep trucking along :P
Btw david, gameplay and mechanics are very important to this mod along with story ( I'm head of quest writing, I can definitely say that lore and story are very important to us). We are trying to create a "high fantasy" setting here, while Skyrim comparatively is a much "lower" fantasy setting. So we want the gameplay and mechanics to be much closer to that of real-life past Middle Ages warfare then in Skyrim (but of course with Middle Earth-appropriate magic here and there ;)).
@TheLastSilmaril: I'm sure we can manage to. Mind you these "large battle" Skyrim videos are just videos usually using clever camera tricks and the such. Creating actual in-game (and playable) large battles will be more difficult for sure.
@Klevdude: None planned at the moment. I imagine two-handers will be a bit more rare in MERP then in Skurim. (partly due to the dark-ages medieval feel in LOTR).
@CTJSB: You haven't heard? MERP is planned to have new skills, Polearms (spears/staves/halberds/etc) being one of them ;)
@TheLastSilmaril: A strange suggestion for sure, but certainly worth some consideration. Orcs not coming to a region with a piked Orc head is a bit much though (as random skirmishes is one of the many assets considered to MERP). We wouldn't't want tot allow the player to leave orc heads every 10 meters or so and have it impossible for orcs to enter important regions :P
More likely, I'd imagine it should "lower their morale" to where they aren't as effective in combat.
1. We do look to add stuff from other mods into MERP (with permission of course). We contact many of the Nexus's best for help :) (although a mod such as MERP is a big commitment, so many do decline).
2. I personally find weapon/armor mods alone as silly. Alone they are nothing but pretty meshes and add nothing new to gameplay (sorry Skyrim weapons/armor modders, just my opinion). But no, we are not interested in releasing them alone (just in regional releases, and I can guarantee each will have unique weapons and armors :)).
3. That's not how things work. MERP uses its very own heightmap completely separate from (and in no way connected to) the Skyrim world. What you are proposing would require us to move over vanilla Skyrim resources and place them on our heightmap. Even if we did, wouldn't be very professional. Don't worry, we'll have custom dungeons/NPCs/quests (hopefully enough to satisfy everyone, but mind you a v0.1 is supposed to be 1/10th of a final product, and even then we got plans for post 1.0 content ;)).
@TheLastSilmaril: Check out a Middle Earth Fourth Age timeline. Tolkien mentions the Dwarves retaking Moria, King Aragorn going on campaigns in the south, and bringing peace in the east. Also Tolkien was at one point working on a book called "The New Shadow" which was about dark cults of men starting up in Eldarion's reign (Aragorn's son), but he stopped writing it after a few pages (a shame really, the few pages he wrote were quite cool!).
Believe me, there is room for story ideas in the Fourth Age (and definitely some loose ends left by Tolkien if you look carefully enough ;)).
@Aeontaulier: Well we aren't in particular need of horse references (we do need those "animators" you speak of :P). However, we do have room for those with skills in writing and music (although more so for creating background music). Singing itself may come in the form of NPCs that we need to sing, which is a LONG ways off.
As I said, we need writers and people to do music, so please post any of your skills in this forum: Merp.straygenius.com