Quest Developer for the Middle Earth Roleplaying Project for Skyrim
@Anglachel: Some very good questions.
@question 1: I've thought about this myself and am unsure. It would be cool indeed to have the chance to run into the Fellowship, but I fear it may complicate the timeline too much if the player interacts with the Fellowship NPCs in Free Roam (its guaranteed that the timeline will have to alter significantly in the Ringbearer questline depending on your actions, but Free Roam we don't want the player to have to worry too much about that). Mind you, it'd be silly to not have Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli at Helm's Deep for example ... like I said, not sure about this.
@question 2: It will depend on your choices. Current plans are that if you choose to follow Frodo's path, you'll mainly be following NPCs (Fellowship members) who will likely go at a slower pace (walking) to their destinations. The player will always have the option to abandon them at any point, meaning it will become the player's responsibility to find their own path to reach Mt. Doom. Mind you the latter does mean you are without a party of Fellowship NPCs at your side, and believe me all of Sauron's and Saruman's forces want the Ring. Speaking of combat, Frodo in the books never killed a single individual in his quest, and I do hope for that to be an option, but engaging enemies should be an option as well. Again, it should be up to the player as to how he deals with various situations (along with the type of character he/she is building). You could be more of a sneaking-type of hobbit, a warrior hobbit, etc.
@1st_of_the_Nine*WoA*: Considering we want to create MERP & Blade for MERP Skyrim (which is our attempt to create combat similar to MOUNT & Blade), then yes, those sound like ideas we already have wanted to implemented ;)
@guiaranha: The team has discussed the idea of a "Realism submod" which will require the user to eat, drink, and sleep in order to survive (as well as some other features to make the game more "realistic"). Again, we've just discussed this idea so far and nothing more.
@LiLDEZ-MVP: There are three "gameplay modes" planned: Ringbearer, White Council, and Free Roam. Ringbearer has you play in the role of Frodo Baggins (your quest being to destroy the Ring), White Council your character's past has ties with members of the White Councils (and you do missions for them). Free Roam is basically the main game where you are playing the normal game without any pre-conceived backstory to your character.
Hopefully all 3 will include all the major events in Middle Earth (including the major battles), so the player should have the option to take part in them ...
However, as the Ringbearer I would strongly stress that the player should focus on their task of destroying the Ring! Did Frodo take part in any of the major battles? No! He had a quest to take part in, and the clock is ticking. He holds the fate of Middle Earth in his hands! He has no time to get side-tracked with all these other major events!
Yeah ... good luck with that ...
As Merong said, there are these three "gameplay modes" planned (Ringbearer, White Council, and Free Roam). Hopefully all 3 will include all the major events in Middle Earth (including the major battles), so the player should have the option to take part in them ...
However, as the Ringbearer I would strongly stress that the player should focus on their task of destroying the Ring! Did Frodo take part in any of the major battles? No! He had a quest to take part in. He holds the fate of Middle Earth in his hands! He has no time to get side-tracked with all these major events!
@AragornIIElessar: There aren't spears in Skyrim, MERP will try implementing spears as a new weapon type ;)
The team has discussed the possibility of fishing in MERP, and we will try to script it. How in-depth we go with fishing is really up in the air.
Just because the One Ring is destroyed does not mean that the game cannot continue. As for post-Third Age events, you need only look to the books for answers! When Aragorn becomes king, he begins the reconstruction of the former kingom of Armor in Eriador, campaigns against the Easterlings and Haradrim (re-establishing rule over much territory Gondor had lost in previous centuries), as well as hunting down the few Mordor remnants that would still exist.
There is also the Scouring of the Shire that occurs shortly after Sauron's destruction (The Ents let Saruman free from Orthanc in the books, and he exacts revenge by enslaving The Shire Hobbits with the help of ruffians in the north). Also the Dwarves of Erebor begin a campaign to reclaim Moria. I can't remember what else occurs, but I'm sure there's other major events as well.
Already contacted just about every modder on Skyrim Nexus who has made an LOTR-themed mod about MERP.
Well considering there are very few dragons left in Middle Earth in the late Third Age (Smaug was the last "Great Dragon" according to Gandalf) AND the fact that there are no examples of any character riding dragons in the lore, I'd say no.
... although I'm guessing you meant the FELL BEASTS that the Ringwraiths rode (which aren't dragons by the way). Only the Ringwraiths rode atop those creatures, so I'm going to guess the Fell Beasts didn't allow anyone else to ride them ... I'd say no to Fell Beasts being ridable either.
(DO NOT reference the War in the North game as an example of Men riding Fell Beasts! That game broke lore on SEVERAL occasions).
She's the Overseer of the Modeling department for our mod! She goes by the screename "tomato" on our forum ;)
And this isn't a recent thing either ... she's been with the team for easily OVER a year. She just decided to make a couple swords for Skyrim and release them to the public :)
We have our own spin even on movie designed stuff, so don't worry about that. Have you seen our Minas Tirith in v0.2.6? The first level wall is actually black like in the books.
You realize that the architecture in Bree in the films is nearly spot on with this architecture in the video, right?
Yeah well, try removing the other half ... I can't believe anyone would have THAT many Skyrim mods :P
I don't think the battle was as large as you might think. He definitely used a lot of creative angles spliced together though.
MERP will actively be trying to find ways to create large battles in Skyrim, so stay tuned for that ;)
@1st_of_the_Nine*WoA*: Creating a "Sauron got the Ring" sort of scenario is quite a lot of work (which sort of sounds like your proposed "Rise of the Dark Lord" mode). It means we have to create destroyed versions of settlements we've created ... its just not worth it (MAYBE some later point, but I doubt it).
Basically we don't have any planned game modes to change the number of NPCs patrolling Middle Earth.
The current "game modes" planned for MERP right now is Free Roam (where the player plays as a no-name NPC with a lot of freedom), Ringbearer (where the player gets to play as Frodo, where it is your task to destroy the One Ring), and White Council (like Free Roam except your character has some history with White Council and can take part in the White Council questline).
@Legion9339: Beorn is a bit of an anomaly in the lore. Tolkien never says WHY he and his people can transform into bears, but I do have my own theories. Since Beornings will be a playable race, I'm sure there will be at least a quest or two that will cover their origins and why they can transform :)
Still, just because the Beornings can transform doesn't mean the other races should: its a special ability of Beorn's people (minus the Maiar, who can shapeshift too, which I pointed out earlier).
@KidStein: That is definitely THE racial ability we want for Beornings: to be able to transform into a bear, so way ahead of you ;)
@1st_of_the_Nine*WoA*: I can answer that question. Well, there are werewolves and vampires in Tolkien's lore, BUT they are unlike werewolves and vampires in most fiction in that they are generally believed to be dark, angelic-like beings (dark Maiar) who have taken on these forms wolf and bat like forms, and joined with Melkor in the elder days of the First Age:
So to answer your question: no, the player will not be able to become a werewolf or vampire in our mod, since we won't be letting the player play as a shape-shifting Maiar of any kind.
Also mind you, MERP takes place in the late Third Age, so I doubt you'll be seeing many, if any, of them at all in Middle Earth, but you never know ;)
@Ricewind: We don't take donations. It would only give more grounds for lawyers to sue our mod for use of the Tolkien IP. If you want to help us out, continue to follow progress and support us. Btw we are always in need of music composers, so if you have any Middle Earth-type tunes you'd like to share, feel free to create an application on our dev forums :)
@ChuckNrs: Smaug may be dead by the time of the War of the Ring (LOTR), but there are definitely still dragons in Middle Earth. You just have to know where to look ;)
@Mhaedros: I can't really answer your question, BUT I did want to let you know that I keep a listing on what needs modeled for MERP. Send me a PM over the SkyrimNexus forums (my username is "names_are_useless") and I can let you know what's top priority for us in the way of models ;)
@Elendil1325: And here I would disagree. There are no big battles in Skyrim. At most maybe a couple dozen between sides. A true big battle should be in the hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, and I hope we can hit that mark some day.
Well Maegfaer's comment is semi-correct: evil races such as Nazgul, Orcs, Uruk-hai, Trolls, etc. are enslaved to Sauron's will and have no true free will. It just doesnt sit right with me to allow the player to play as an Orc who goes about picking flowers :S
Now Evil Men such as Haradrim, Easterlings, Black Numenoreans, and Dunlendings are a different story. They are just Men, and do have Free Will and the chance to do good or evil. Faction does not always define every individual, remember that. In Two Towers, when Sam sees a fallen Haradrim, he wonders if he is truly evil at heart. So yeah, Evil Men races could be playable in a future release.
@1st_of_the_Nine*WoA*: I don't think you understand the Ringwraiths. When the 9 Kings (well, lore says they were warriors and sorcerors as well actually) took the 9 Rings of Power, they became slaves to Sauron. They will do EVERYTHING he commands. While Orcs might fight with one another and do things SOMEWHAT against Sauron's will (but still nothing considered "good"), the Nazgul will not. Every command Sauron gives them they WILL follow.
And you can't say "well what if they take off their Rings?" In the books, its actually unsure if they even wear their Rings (if not, then they're probably in Barad Dur or Minas Morgul, somewhere safe). But the real point is that not only are they slaves to Sauron, but also their Rings. When Sauron is destroyed, so is the power of the Rings, and thus they are destroyed as well.
@klaasvdb: The Creation Kit will actually let us mod Skyrim ... so yeah, I guess you could say that it will make work a lot easier :P
@runescaperian: Currently, this mod is planned to take place between the years of 3018-3019: the final two years of the War of the Ring, and then probably into the Fourth Age some time after that (basically the time period of the LOTR books). So no, Smaug will be long dead; we have no intentions of creating a questline based on "The Hobbit."
@shaga1: You really think we would create a Helm's Deep model for MERP Oblivion and NOT try porting it over to MERP Skyrim? :P
@neigenoire: You do know that we are looking to try to create (or at the very least look like) actual large-scale battles for MERP in Skyrim, right? ;)
@Ulorndir: MERP v0.2.6 is currently our final-planned MERP release for Oblivion. After that, we will be moving what assets we can from MERP in Oblivion over to Skyrim, and start creating MERP in Skyrim. Something like that :P