Quest Developer for the Middle Earth Roleplaying Project for Skyrim
@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
@nielspoep: Believe me, we have quest ideas tied to this fort ;)
@Dokka: MERP isn't planned to just stay in the time before the War of the Ring, so not sure where you heard that. Also, in LOTR, the Easterlings and Dalemen certainly aren't friends. The Easterlings siege Dale (called the Battle of Dale) and the Dalemen retreat to Erebor where they and the dwarves their make their last stand (this all happens concurrently with the Battle of the Pellenor Fields). The dwarves and Dalemen do end in victory though after the Ring is destroyed.
@pzkpfwTiger: Uruk-hai gear should be equippable, so no need to worry about that :)
@MisterAmbidexterous: A good long ways away still. If you would like to help, it might get done that much faster ;)
We focus on the good side because they have free will. Ok yes, the evil men of Middle Earth do as well, but they will require a lot of extra work on their own (completely separate .quests and content). Believe me, I'd love to have evil men as playable someday (especially Easterlings and Haradrim, where we could have a lot of freedom with developing). Right now though the Free Peoples will be enough work on their own.
@Metus_von_Morgul: We chose Rohan because the vanilla Skyrim resources are the most useful to us in this region. There is a considerable amount of groundwork that needs done for a first release (design philosophy, gameplay, etc), so any Skyrim resources that can be used will be helpful. As further regions get developed, we have more resources from the previous ones to reuse. That of course doesn't mean you won't be seeing new things, as our modelers create top-notch stuff.
Admittedly it is also nice that we can focus on a single playable kingdom, where with other regions would require many (trust me, factions in MERP will play a BIG role).
And Rohan certainly is more noble then you make it out to be (I know its just a quote, but you don't have to be so harsh :P).
@Dack105: I'm pretty sure MERP's heightmap scale is bigger then LOTRO (even if LOTRO eventually covers all of Middle Earth).
@Dokka: I am on the team, so I think I can answer these questions.
1) I'm gonna say no. There are only so many Marshals in LOTR (Theodred, Eomer, Erkenbrand, Grimbold, and Elfhelm) and they're all either of noble birth or have reached their position through years of service (MERP will most likely only cover the last two years of the Third Age).
2) I don't think that's a planned feature. You'd definitely need to earn the trust of an Ent before the Ent would probably even allow you to ride him (and even then, maybe only Hobbits due to size).
3) Both are planned, but we have our tricks that should reduce lag enough in both cases as to be playable ;)
4) A possible feature, hasn't really been discussed.
5) No. There is nothing in the books suggesting a whole castle on the border of Fangorn. Also I don't think the player should ever be allowed to reach such a high position that King Theoden would even agree to have an entire castle built for you. As for Mearas, not sure if they should be obtainable in MERP.
@hubabob For large battles in MERP, we'll need to use "optical allusions" to make them seem bigger then they really are (one group of orcs die and another spawns in their place, LOD enemy units without AI, instancing battle locations, etc).
As for being able to kill orcs easily, we'll be developing a new battle system (MERP & Blade). Enemies shouldn't take as long to kill (but then that probably means that the player will be easier to be killed as well, so the player will probably need to stay alert).
@Dack105: In KotoR's defense, the game is supposed to be a Star Wars RPG. Nearly EVERY piece of Star Wars fiction story I've seen/played has someone saving the galaxy. The idea seems ridiculous on a realistic stand-point (how can one man's action ALWAYS save an entire galaxy of millions of planets with quadrillions of people!?) but that's just the way Star Wars works: like a 40's serial Sci-Fi (which is most of the basis of Star Wars in the first place).
MERP is set in the late Third Age where the major events are pretty much all laid out by Tolkien. Much of the "original" content will be in smaller stories (and in detailing the less talked-about stuff in Tolkien's works) I imagine.
@Revan9537: Remember that pretty much all the great elven smiths of Arda were Noldor. In the late Third Age of LOTR, there are not many Noldor left. And yes, being an elf should certainly get you easier access to elven gear.
@DuBaas007: We will use, and go against, PJ's visuals whenever we feel is best to ;)
@Delta64: Did you NOT read the FAQ carefully? The idea of the Ringbearer questline would allow you, the player, to become a FAR bigger variable then as a free-roam character. It is NOT supposed to be linear in any way. Just by you NOT going to a certain location Frodo did in the books could change the very face of Middle Earth itself!
If that's not enough "choice" for you, try Pen-and-paper Roleplaying :P
@Revan9537: Any of those characters surviving would require A LOT of changes in in-game events (well, maybe not the nameless Dunedain characters :P). I hope we can have lots of alterable events in MERP (will make MERP very dynamic!), but they will all take a lot of extra work.
@MysticalCharizard: There aren't houses in the fortress. Probably just living quarters and tents behind the walls. And considering its a fortress meant only as a form of defense, I'd say that Helm's Deep is reserved to military-only (in the books, the Rohirrim peasants that don't fight go to Dunharrow to protect themselves, not the Glittering Caves behind Helm's Deep, before the Battle of the Hornburg begins)
@leo11048811: The community does post lots of ideas, but not enough I feel that we need to create an "idea voting system" of any kind. We do read your posts/comments, and when we see an idea we like, we may pursue it. And just because an idea is popular with the majority doesn't always mean its a good idea imo (but then oftentimes I'm in the minority view of many issues :P).
@SgtCbb: Just ONE triggered event? Please, we can do better then that ;)
@SilentShadow: I'm inclined to disagree about War in the North. Its story made no sense in context to the books (especially the siege on the made-up Dwarf city that's right next to Mt Gundabad, which is a hive for mountain orcs!), and it too is a derivative work just as guilty of using an overabundance of magic as most other LOTR titles. Mind you War in the North is better most then other LOTR games I've played (but in many cases, that's not saying much :/).
@BFG9001: I agree with you BFG. Plate mail should obviously be A LOT better then chain mail, you are definitely correct in that regard. I think the plan is to have the normal Gondorian soldier wearing regular mail, and then captains (and probably Swan Knights) wear plate mail.
@magicspook: In MERP, the player isn't supposed to be a "legendary character": you're supposed to be an average joe, who has to work hard to make a name for yourself. The exception is the Ringbearer questline, which is planned to have you play the role of Frodo.
@Baryonyx: Great speech there :)
Btw, what do you disagree with currently about MERP? I'm really curious :P (I am a MERP dev, so don't feel like you'll be attacked for a nitpick or two).
@andreitibo: Although we use movie visuals, we as a team generally prefer the book events, so you'll probably be seeing dismounted Riders of Rohan lead by Erkenbrand. I imagine Erkenbrand had a very good reason for having his soldiers dismounted. Perhaps Isengard's armies had weapons ready to fight Riders of Rohan (so probably lots of spears)? Or maybe Tolkien wanted to save the epic Rohan charge for the Battle of the Pellenor Fields :P