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Report content RSS feed The Road to Edain 4.0: A Dwarven Stronghold

Introducing the Dwarven stronghold and announcing our return to the starting castles and fixed plots of the first Battle for Middle-Earth game, this is the final of our three news posts detailing large overhauls of core gameplay aspects coming for Edain 4.0, our biggest version yet.

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The Road to Edain 4.0: A Dwarven Stronghold



Happy Holidays, companions of Edain!

With the previous two updates, we've brought back a number of basic elements from the first Battle for Middle-Earth in Edain. Our search for a more rounded economy led us to the conquerable economic build plots. This in turn made the neutral outpost redundant. From that, we developed the idea of replacing ​​the problematic inn and beacon with a second type of build plot which the player can occupy in order to build faction-specific support structures.

After these steps, one question naturally arose: How far do we want to go in our return to the first installment of the BfME series?

The original game used a completely different construction system: Structures were not built freely by mobile porters, but players instead began the game with a walled fortress or a military camp. These bases offered a limited number of build plots to construct your barracks or other structures. If you wanted more building more building space, you had to move out and conquer the neutral plots distributed on the map.

The sequel removed these bases and gave players the freedom to build any structure they wanted in any number at the location of their choice. This is the established standard in strategy games and opened up quite a few new strategies. However, this system was also responsible for some of the most persistently frustrating gameplay and balance problems, such as the dominant strategy to surround the enemy's base with walls and towers to wall him in. Or to cluster so many defenses in one place that they became impossible to penetrate. Or building wells on the frontlines to heal units faster than the enemy could damage them. All of these are fun at first glance, but ultimately are detrimental to the game's health - mainly because they make the flow of the game static and greatly reduce the role of field battles.

The predefined fortresses with their limited number of build plots offered the players comparatively less freedom. However, they ensured that every game would see dramatic siege warfare: Archers rained down arrows from the parapets, Orcs and Uruks stormed the walls with ladders and siege towers and rams pounded on the gates. This infused every skirmish battle with pure movie atmosphere.

And because the player could upgrade his fortress in various ways, but was at the same limited in the number of defenses he could construct, the siege battles could be designed in a way to be exciting for both sides. In this area, the sequel could never reach the original walls: With walls your men couldn't even walk on and the possibility to build up towards a critical mass of impenetrable defenses, sieges were rarely interesting to play and never atmospheric.

We took a long time to weigh the pros and cons of each system. Eventually we came to the conclusion that the advantages of the predefined castles from BfME I reign superior. Although it differs from strategy game standards, it is much closer to the spirit of The Lord of the Rings. The most important battles of the War of the Ring were siege battles. And while almost every strategy game offers free building, almost none feature exciting siege battles. We have therefore decided to bring back this unique feature of Battle for Middle-Earth in our mod.

In plain English, this means that captains of Gondor and Rohan now command these imposing castles:


You can garrison the walls with archers and upgrade them with towers, catapults, banners and side gates. On the inside, the various castles offer between seven and nine sites for regular buildings. You can also build economy structures within the fortress so that you are not starved completely at the very start when you have not yet taken all external build plots or when you are temporarily pushed back into your base over the course of the game. Nevertheless, the player who controls the outer plots commands a substantial advantage and no general should cede them to the enemy without a fight.

Evil factions like Mordor and Isengard are instead aggressors, and their camps are much less strongly fortified:

Mordor Base Isengard Base

However, they can build frightening war machines such as siege towers, ladders and mines to storm every bulwark.

But of course Edain has many more factions that the original game. We couldn't simply port over the existing castles and call it day. No, it was clear to us that if we took this step, we'd also have to create new strongholds. The enormous effort this would require was one of the main reasons we had shied away from this undertaking in the past, even though we are all huge fans of the original game. For version 4.0, we finally decided to tackle the matter with all our energy. Here's what we came up with for the Dwarves...

Dwarven FortressDwarven FortressDwarven Fortress
Dwarven Fortress

This proud fortress of Durin's folk will be a formidable obstacle to even the most determined invaders... and while the Dwarves were the first of Edain's faction to receive an unique castle of their own, they will not be the last.

Another advantage resulting from the new system is that if we no longer have to take free building into consideration, we can greatly improve the playability of fortresses with narrow space like Minas Tirith. We can place build plots just like in the regular bases and program the AI how to use them. In addition, we have found a way to ​​finally get the AI to close the gates before an attacking army. Fans of epic siege battles have a lot to look forward to in Edain 4.0!

Of course, many other game mechanics will have to be altered as a consequence of the new fortification system. We look forward to your input here. Let us know which aspects you believe must be considered when making these changes and where you think further adjustments will be required. We are also curious which other elements of the first BfME you would like to see in Edain, and which elements of BfME you would like to see preserved throughout these changes.

Furthermore, we'd like to assure you that even while much will change, the core of Edain will remain in place. Our goal is unchanged: To provide you with the best possible Tolkien experience through a diversity of units, deep and interesting heroes and extensive attention to details from both books and films (including The Hobbit!). And we are confident that version 4.0 is a right step in this direction.

We could go on and on about what you can expect in version 4.0. For example, there will be smaller camps with less fortifications on maps which simply can't accomodate larger castles. In addition, we are working on further improvements such as a new unit counter system. But that is beyond the scope of the update, and much of it still lies ahead of us. But because we want to work hand in the hand with the community on the future direction of Edain, we chose to give you this first look into what is to come now rather than later. We hope you enjoyed what you saw and look forward to your feedback!

Finally, to adress the one question that seems to be on everyone's mind: We are resolved to finally make Edain 4.0, with all its sweeping changes, the version of Edain's debut with full English text. To that end, we have enlisted the community's help in our German forums in order to advance the translation, and because many users have lent a hand we have made significant progress. If you are fluent in English and German and would like to contribute, drop us a message!

We have an exciting year before us...

Post comment Comments  (50 - 100 of 101)
Aragorn_King_Elessar
Aragorn_King_Elessar

Will you be able to rebuild the walls? Or like in Bfme 1 will they be destroyed until you rebuild the entire camp/castle?

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

As said int he other comment area:

In Bfme I you were able to rebuild walls as soon as they were destroyed - we will handle it exactly the same. You can repair them, rebuild them and when you build a new fortress they will be there from the beginning.

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Sir_Stig
Sir_Stig

Ah so you will still be able to build more fortresses? Will they be locked to specific locations, or will they be playable anywhere there is space? Or was this comment more in reference to the outposts?

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zaleot07
zaleot07

english !!! god bless you EDAİN MOD team ...

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MacDougal13
MacDougal13

As neat as those forts look, I'd like to have an option to play either way. The RJ mod used those castles in a special game mode and they were nice, but I really prefer the flexibility of the BFME2 system.

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deathbirdw
deathbirdw

em I was just wondering aren't there more buildings now for each faction than in the first game so you wont be able to construct them all without building a lot less resource buildings ??

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Lord_of_Mordor Author
Lord_of_Mordor

Gondor and Rohan have the same number of buildings as they did in the original game, the Dwarves don't have many more either. Mordor has quite a few more, but we may move Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur to the supporting plots so you don't have to build everything inside your base.

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giovane144
giovane144

GREAT JOB Edain Team!!!
But..., which month version 4.0 will be released on?
Thanks

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

Noone knows that:P

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cowboymodgod
cowboymodgod

Any idea when 4.0 will be released? :)

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DyslexicKrogan
DyslexicKrogan

Cool about the English and the fortresses- they were one of my favorite parts of BFME 1.

I see only one problem with this move: Archers don't like to stay on walls - they tend to run for the open gates/postern gates or squeeze off of the walls when they sight the enemy and usually by that time, the enemy has closed in enough to harass your buildings/other units the archers should be protecting. This will become terribly annoying. I mean it's bad enough that archers on the ground tend to run out of tree cover and run in front of melee units when sighting an enemy.
I recall bringing this up a long while ago and I was told it was just how the game was. So my question is: Will a fix for this be considered?
Somewhere there has to be an engagement distance variable that can be changed or something.

(Also, there's that thing where a melee unit under fire from a mobile trebuchet/catapult will run up to it but then just turn around instead of attacking. I mean it's just weird to see Gandalf ride up to a catapult and then turn around until I manually order him to kill it.)

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

We will make some hanges concerning unit moving behavior, including clumping and other problems. I can't promise that we can solve all problems, but we'Re working on it and made some big advantages for solving some of them. :)

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Trailhog250
Trailhog250

Exciting news for 4.0! I must admit, I still feel a little wary about this switch to BFME1 style gameplay. But in the end, I always felt it was a chore and waste of time *usually* to build a wall in BFME2 when I could spam towers instead. If it will allow for a more advanced AI, a real 'keep', and siege battles (not to mention the real ones like Helm's Deep that may actually be playable with the AI now) I am thoroughly excited about this next release. And, it will get rid of the mindless building of farms around the map.

To those that think a BFME1/2 hybrid would be a good idea: if you have ever modded or been on a modding team you should know that nothing is more draining than doing everything TWICE. If the Edain Team wants to do it in the far and distant future then that's great, but for now let's give this new decision a chance and see what happens. Also a few have pointed out the differences between a wall and keep to a fortress and 'barriers'. That's obviously to further different the factions from one another.

Keep+Wall:
-harder to siege
-easier to destroy once breached

Fortress+Barrier:
-easier to siege
-harder to actually finish off

I do hope the armor/resistances/health of buildings, keeps, walls, fortresses, etc will be adjusted and balanced accordingly with this switch. As of now they all seem a little fragile to just be tossed in to this new type of gameplay.

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PasserCat
PasserCat

In the last two updates, I say "wow!" and cheer them with my whole heart.
But in this update, I am not sure to be happy or worried
Happy because I like castle from BFME.
Worried because I think this change will disturb strategy of defensive players. If you decide to delete builder, we can't set up defense(tower, catapult-upgraded wall) at resource plots and support plots(that you decide to scatter all over the map). Then defensive players are forced to move unready army around the map to defend those areas unhappily and have no time to gather army to begin the attack or forced to use unfavor tactic(rush; I think it annoying to use).
In summary, I think you should leave option for defensive player such as remain builder but he can only build defensive structure(tower, wall, statue, well and maybe fortress?) or have small plots around resource plot and support plot to build defensive structure or other solution you can think.
At last, I think we should enjoy this mod equally, though we use different strategy ^^

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BalrogSlayerGR
BalrogSlayerGR

Sorry if Im ****** but the messed up part is we cant build walls for the evil factions that's some messed up **** why make the game go from "sugar to ****" good to bad and I hate bfme 1. The only thing I like is the campaign and the option to mount and dismount MUMAKUL now that was awesome. The build plots sound good but that BFME 1 style Castle **** gotta go sorry that's how I feel im thinking Edain was going to make improvements to structures, units, powers, and game play But the seige thing sounds realy cool I always wanted legions of mordor to attack my gates and die :D while I gain exp and great they should have made the seige style like the MEDIEVAL TOTAL WAR series and graphics close to that and I've been blabbing on about new units for mordor those ugly spear orcs a sooo weak so are the armored orcs WTF sending a bunch of orcs at a fully upgraded strong faction like Gondor! is only giving them exp weak *** units for Mordor....MAKE a CHANGE!

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Guest
Guest

I'm still waiting for a mirkwood faction with Thranduil mounted on an elk :D

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admiral_trenchx
admiral_trenchx

hey devs, im a big fan of all the changes. one suggestion for the dwarf fortress, if it possible put the inner fortress inside a mountain with the walls lining the outside of it (like erebor looked in the hobbit film). you could then make small gates that open up to the walls. to me the dwarves should have the strongest fortress and this would be more in tune with their identity

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

Hey admiral,
we talked about that, but didn't do that, as you are able to build new fortresses while the battle on other fortress places - it would be stupid if you would create a whole mountain there.^^

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admiral_trenchx
admiral_trenchx

I guess thats true. Its a shame I loved the mountain halls, really gave the dwarves a more dwarflike aesthetic. I was also curious as to why a great deal of Rohans units were removed such as the westfold cavalry

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

@ guest:
No.
Have you every played BfmE I? When the enemy came with tons of catapults the wall won't last long of course, but it costed him a bunch of gold. So you should be able to have more money => kill his catapults easily.

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coo_snake
coo_snake

So... I just found out about this mod... Alas I can't speak german much, I tried playing, game seems excellent and refreshing, and reading about next version makes it even more exciting!

But still german... So any ETA on when english speakers will be able to play? Is it a matter of days, months?

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Gnomi Creator
Gnomi

As written in the latest news the next version of the mod will be in english.
But we don't know when this version will be released and we don't give dates about that. It won't be in a few days - as you can see we make massive changes in the next version and this needs a bit of work.:)

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twnlove
twnlove

I hope Bombur moves soldiers only soup wasting module

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daniele93
daniele93

I think a drawback to the factions of mordor and isengard and the goblins in the movie because they too had strongholds mordor had the black gate surrounded by mountains you could make a fortress with only mountains and a gate otherwise factions as they do rohan horses can immediately destroy mordor, goblins and even if they had a fortress in the film are inside MORIA so theoretically they also have one, and isengard instead is inside a fortress itself, while the large ravine and Lothlorien are not provisti and fortitude in agmar game of the sorcerer-king.........

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Klevdude
Klevdude

I really like this idea. But just for fun, why not add civilan buildings? that spawn 2-3 civilians from each building, these civilans will then walk around in the village/Castle. It would actually be awsome. Mabye add these buildings:

House(Non-profit, increases the pop-cap by 10-20*)

Market(Non-profit, makes your population healtier, and stronger. Increases unit dmg and armor by 1-2)

Bath house(Non-profit, makes your population more healty. Increases HP with 4%)

You could only have 8-10 houses and one market and one bath house in each map.

This was basicly for Gondor tho.
And these can only be built outside your walls within a radius like the walls in BFME2 module

Please respond what do other people/Mod makers. think?

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Guest
Guest

very nice idea. it would be great. i always hated when my army was away from city/castle and the city was so empty:)

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KingDain
KingDain

BOTTAAAA !

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Guest
Guest

when will it be released _?___

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Magnifican
Magnifican

"Gnomi Dec 31 2012, 3:34pm says:
Noone knows that:P"

They wont tell! We just have to sit here and wait. Oh, and check in every day while eating some cookies! nom nom nom ^_^

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djuulzor
djuulzor

will there be another update on 4.0??

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pallandoya
pallandoya

Right now I really think about getting my BFME 2 working again. I'm a big fan of BFME 1, and I've always liked Edain 2 from what I've seen in clips, even though I never played it before. Castles for BFME 2 is what I've always wanted. Great job!

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kieronm99
kieronm99

when is the release!!!!!!!

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semp224
semp224

I hope this will be addressed properly that the voice actors of Edain mod especially in english version should also be in english, this mod is so wonderful and so fruitful than i can ever imagine, now i must speak out that you guys must hire actors who are fluent in english and translate some things to english fluently it may not be that much accurate but comprehensible....

I also suggest you guys adding the dwarves of BELEGOST in this game, and taking out the idea of creating a lot of freedom in making mines will take out the tactical advantage for dwarves, since dwarves move so slow and they are just weak without their mines please at least make some points in the game like we can make mines outside of the keep or outside of an outpost it just makes the dwarves weak..... SLOW + NO FREEDOM TO BUILD ANYWHERE = TOTAL SLAUGHTER FOR DWARVEN PLAYERS........ MOST HARDEST FACTION TO CONTROL IF THAT IS SO, AND MAY WE ABLE TO MAKE THE STATUES FOR THE DWARVES????? REDUCTION OF BUILD COST ANYWHERE INSIDE THE KEEP ONLY?????? CAUSE THE TROOPS ARE JUST SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE PLUS SO SLOW = GAME OVER

i hope this si adressed

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CyrusGallo
CyrusGallo

First of all, BRAVI! The work you are doing is incredible. Great job.

Just a personal opionion: the dwarven stronghold is too dark, it seems a fortress of an evil faction. I would turn that grey in a light one.

Greetings from Italy.

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