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We would never get permission I am afraid. Also, the movies soundtrack is not designed for game use and most of the songs are event specific, meaning that they are not designed to portray an over-arching mood but rather to aid in the telling of a specific event. Game music is designed to aid in giving a region a particular feel or mood, and that is the type of music we need.
However, it should also be noted that diverging from the books will, generally speaking, be the harder way. It is not a gameplay issue that causes this, but rather the working together of events during the book's timeline. When one examines the books, it can be seen that events so worked out that Frodo came to Mordor through the one passage that was realistically feasible at the one point in time where there was any chance of reaching Mt Doom undetected. If the player diverges from the book's path, he will have to find his own way within the events that will take place.
Not a tower, a mountain. It was a called Meneltarma. Legend has it that the summit, hallowed by one of the Valar (it was either Yavana or Varda, can't remember which (though I am relatively sure it was Varda)), didn't sink by became an island in the sea. However, no one has ever found it and returned. My personal theory as to why is that the peak lies on the edge of the two worlds, the Straight path which leads to Aman, and the bent path that leads around the world (the bent path is the world as it was after the Fall); as such the Isle of Meneltarma may or may not be found in either waters. It is said though, that men who die at see will come to/pass by that island and see affar the white shores of Aman before finally dying and departing from Arda. But then, that is just legend.
Not too far back in the grand scheme of things. What we lost is not too hard to replicate in Skyrim. Also, what we had was still a very long ways from a truly "playable" version. So in the long run, it isn't too much of a setback. And we couldn't have kept what we had and get the new heightmap, so it seems a fair exchange in my opinion.
On top of that, Numenor is sunk by the Third Age, Aman has been removed from the circles of the World, the New Lands in the distant east/west are uninhabbited, and we honestly haven't much info on what goes on out there. Even if we could, by some miracle, make a mod that occupied that much space, filling it effectively would be very dificult. Don't worry, there are a lot of things to see just in these regions. Pinnath Gellin, Dol Amroth, Pelargir (done right, unlike Peter Jackson's tumble-down shack version), Erebor, and many, many more will be in MERP in their entirety.
They went east, which is (sadly) beyond the boundaries of our map. Perhaps we will figure out a way before 1.0 though, so it may be possible to see them even though the map won't include Rhun.
No they let him go. He could never have escaped on his own. And Aragorn only pardoned those who surrendered at the Black Gate. The books talk about Aragorn and Eomer fighting in campaigns abroad. There are still corrupt regimes in place set up by Sauron to deal with.
About ten times the size of Skyrim. So...A LOT bigger ;)
To put it in perspective, Rohan will be about the same size as Skyrim.
Middle Earth is rougly ten times the size of Skyrim. We will enhance combat by first adding spears and mounted combat and later a Mount&Blade inspired combat system. This system will be optional, but the spears and mounted combat will be standard. Throwing weapons are also a posibility.
Well, the reclamation of Moria happens some time later under the rain of Durin VII, long after the events of the War. So that will not be in. However, we could have a small expedition after the war, in which the player could have a part.
Ered Nimrais, the mountains of Gondor. It is close to the western end I think, near Andrast
We'll see if you say that when we are done. This is only the beginning ;)
The whole thing is right around ten times the size of Skyrim. So you can se why we have to be a bit more selective with our use of the mountain meshes than Bethesda was ;). Of course, our bas heightmap is much better formed so we don't need them as much as Bethesda either
We will make arrows more deadly, yes. Although, Skyrim's get pretty deadly if your skill is high enough.
Actually, those are the Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains. The mountain in the center is Starkhorn :P
We will try, but those huge rocks have to be placed by hand and we have a much larger map than Skyrim with much larger mountains. However, we will use the clouds and we will have every known Middle Earth river possible on the map.
We are certainly gonna try ;)
The heightmap was created with the program L3DT. As for the first beta, 1) we try not to give dates on releases since development is unpredictable and we may have a hard time keeping those dates and 2) we will have a different development plan and organization this time around. It will be further explained when this page is fully updated by Captain ;)
This is Eastfold, the heart of Rohan. You can see the hill of Edoras near the center of the pic, at the foot of the White Mountains.
This is Gondor seen from Dol Amroth.
Looking across the Gulf of Lhun to Forlindon and Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains.
Rohan at sunset, with the Gap of Rohan in the distance.
The Mouths of Entwash feeding into Anduin. The moutains to the Right are the Ered Nimrais with Minduluin at the eastern end. The mountains to the left are the Ephel Duath, forming the western border of Mordor.
That is a good question. It was wielded both ways in the books. So it could go either way.
I believe this to be the Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains of Gondor.
Impossible as Steam has to low a file size limit and doeasn't allow .esm files.
Skyrim MERP page is up on Moddb :D . Search "MERP" and you will see. It has preview picks of some new models as well as the new heightmap ;)
I call bull on that. Peter's design is not ultimately authoritative. He took plenty of liberties in many areas. We will use what fits closely enough with Tolkien's vision. The rest we will replace with things that fit. We will of course harmonize these various parts. There are more artists than you obviously realize that portray Middle Earth.
Yeah that is an impressive set of improvements. Most of that should be possible, though we may not do it ourselves. I think my favorites are the seasonal foliage (just SOOO cool and a whole new level of landscape immersion), spears, mounted combat, and the verlet surfaces. Like I said, we might not get some of those (like the seasonal foliage), but so long as a standalone is developed that doesn't conflict with our mod, it could theoretically be used with it.
The description isn't TOO distinct. However, Bree was a decent sized town given its location. The houses in Bree were brick and wood, with perhaps some stone. So the architecture isn't too far off. The layout is not spot on, but pretty close. The paved roads represent the influence of the Arnorian-Gondorian cultured that dominated the area in the late second and early third ages and are the remnants of the once fully paved Greenway (the main road linking Gondor and Arnor, the Kingdoms of the Numenoreans in Exile)