MERP is a total conversion modification of the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Explore Middle-earth in a fully open-ended environment like you've never seen before. Play races like Elves, Men, Hobbits and Dwarves and take part in the War of the Ring.

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Today we are going to see if one can mod his way into Mordor

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People who don't know MERP are missing out on something massive. MERP is a mod for Oblivion in which they are recreating Middle-Earth. That's right you heard me, all of middle earth, free to explore.
Its quite the massive project these people are working on, you can tell by the team, 14 people on ModDB alone, and not all team members are registered here. So lets bug em with some questions shall we?

ModDB: How did you got the idea to recreate the world of Lord of the Rings? Its a massive world and project that one does not simply starts without thinking it over.
Our goal is all in the title, we want to make a Role-playing game set in the world of Middle-earth. The whole world of Middle-earth fully explorable and playable is something that is unavailable to gamers currently, we hope to change that. We hope to give people a dynamic, interactive look at Middle Earth; a kind of experience that only a game like Oblivion can bring. With movies you get great visuals and books paint images in you minds, but in a game you can explore and experience this world in a new way and see things you have never seen before. We finally want to create a LOTR game that really respects the lore and tries to re-create Middle Earth as it is written in the books.

This is a perfect example of how immersive MERP really is, play it while readin!


ModDB: Where you planning on making just the world at first? Or implement special quests and events?

Captain Iglo: No, we wanted to create Tolkien's world and give the people the ability to live the events of the War of the Ring, from the beginning. In fact, MERP started as a mod for Morrowind, but moved to Oblivion later and has seen many important changes. The last and most important one was when we decided to use Lumpypats beautiful heightmap about one and a half years ago. With that last change, our progress picked up and now we are even more determined to finish our mod.

ModDB: We all know how hard finding a team is, even for a small project. It was probably hard to find a good team for a project of this size.
alasdairhurst: We try to advertise the mod as much as possible, and we use lots of websites to help us (including this interview). Because The Lord of the Rings is so widely known and loved by millions of people, and there isn't any games available which let you explore the whole of Middle-Earth, fans from all over the world eagerly await and try to help with this one. We get team members through advertising that there are jobs available on the site, and that is all that we need to get people interested. We get 2-3 applications a week, which means we can get all this work done just a little bit faster.

Annuminas
Some impressive scenery in this mod

ModDB: How do you handle the daily communication with the rest of the team?
alasdairhurst: Daily communication with the team is handled through our developer forums over here: Createforum.com The site is easy to navigate and we have different forum categories to easily find where we are at different parts of the mod, so it is easy for people to claim new areas without having to search the whole forum. We have personal messaging which helps a lot with communicating, and at least 100 posts a day, which makes sure that the mod doesn't die out.

ModDB: We all know the quick travel and the big green arrow ruined the immersion in Oblivion a bit, how are you going to handle it in MERP? Because walking everywhere in this giant world can get boring sometimes.
Captain Iglo:
This must be one of the most-asked questions we get! Well, there will be no fast-travel. Instead, we might implement caravans or some sort of thing that will take you from one big town to another. We might, however, give the fast-travel function as a plug-in for those lazy guys who want it! About the green arrow, we'll probably take it away and let the player mark any spot he wants in his own equippable maps. Maybe they will even be able to take notes on it.

ModDB: Speaking of big worlds, do you have any numbers on the actual size of the world?
Captain Iglo: Middle-Earth, as we create it, is 4 times bigger than the whole map of Oblivion and 7 times bigger than the playable area. But bear in mind that the world also contains sea and that there is no way to create the massive world of Tolkien as it is described in the books. We have reached the limits of the engine, concerning the size of the worldmap but the distances are of course shorter than in the books. But still, the landscape is huge and it will take the player a lot of days, if not months, to explore every inch of it.

Lebennin 3
Seems like a nice place for a holiday!

ModDB: How do you handle the environments that where described in the books but not in the movie? Must have been hard to recreate them with just a text to follow.
noirdesir: Actually, there are a lot of environments that have never been mentioned in the lore of Middle-Earth, but personally for me I prefer creating unknown landscapes more than the obvious known areas from the movies. It's easier and much more fun to do. The lore is always our first source of inspiration, then our own imagination. The available resources and possibilities of the engine play are important factor as well. The landscapes of Middle-Earth are similar to those on our Earth and I always have landscape pictures in my mind, when I'm working on new landscapes for Middle-Earth ... Arthedain should be similar to a Tundra landscape in northern Europe, a picture of southern Italy was my inspiration for Lebennin and medieval cities in Morocco will be what I'm striving for with a little city in Harondor.

ModDB: Are you going to have the Ringbearer storyline as well as any memorial battles included in the game?
Sir Eoran: Yes, we have couple of great and experienced quest designers working on the Ringbearer quest. We've all seen the movie and read the books so if you did, you know that this quest-line will be absolute fantastic. And we also are going to have epic battle events (e.g. Battle for Helms Deep, Ride of the Rohirrim etc. etc.) which will blow your heads off. Besides that we are also working on an alternative main questline where you will help Elrond and the White Council.

Lebennin 7
You should have noticed by now, MERP is beatifull!

ModDB: Where they hard to create? Oblivion can't handle lots of AI hordes all to well (speaking from personal experience).
pkyrkos7: Yes, big battles are really hard to create, since the Oblivion engine can't handle a lot of NPCs at one place. However we are trying to find ways to make big battles possible or at least give the player the feeling that he is in a big battle.

ModDB: Will we be able to freely explore/fight our way around Mordor? Will we be able to craft our own ring of power in mount doom?
alasdairhurst: Yes it is possible to freely explore all of Mordor, though it will be extremely dangerous and likely to get you killed! There will be quests there too, and lots and lots of enemies. However there will be no rings of power crafting as this would break lore entirely.

Big world is big..and beautiful


ModDB: Big projects, big tips, do you have some to offer?
Aoikani: Every large modding project needs leadership, talented modders and enthusiastic creativity to produce a quality mod. LoTR fans from all around the world are modding together in MERP, I can't see how this project won't be a total success. The members of the team here stay organized and communicate well which makes it easier to progress. I suppose the ultimate reason for our continued successful progress is that each of the members really wants MERP to be the ultimate "uber" LoTR version.

ModDB: 1 Line of free speech, GO!
MERP! Get it! You'll find yourself just as enthralled as Gollum, "My precious!"

In Dagorlad
Looks like one simply walks into Mordor (for now)


Merp looks like its going to be a awesome mod with a big, beautifully, hand crafted world. While the project is not done yet, you can try out a beta version of MERP. It is a bit more complicated to use then your average mod, so the MERP team has written some instructions on how to install and play it. You can find them here.

Comments
Nebcake
Nebcake

I am speechless.

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frosty-theaussie
frosty-theaussie

"MERP! Get it! You'll find yourself just as enthralled as Gollum"

how can we get it if it remains unreleased?

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IAspYrI
IAspYrI

Finally some recognition. MERP has a beta in their download section you can explore whats done!!!!

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Anonymousperson
Anonymousperson

"One cannot just walk into Mordor!"

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truehighlander
truehighlander

There are so many variables.

Being stealthy and smart has it's advantages...

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UkrainaGuy1111
UkrainaGuy1111

"One cannot just fly over Mordor on an eagle and drop the ring in mount doom"

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Theon
Theon

"One cannot just noclip into Mordor!"

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names_are_useless
names_are_useless

"One cannot simply Fast Travel to Mordor"

Its funny because its true, you won't be able to fast travel in MEPR :P

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Wiweeyum
Wiweeyum

"One cannot just idspispopd into Mordor!"

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Sennek
Sennek

Tell it to Frodo ;)

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formerlyknownasMrCP
formerlyknownasMrCP

This looks way better than what Oblivion vanilla did.

Just one question, can I join the bad guys? and will the good guys consider me an enemy? or is it going to be like Oblivion where you're forced into being the hero and even joining the bad guys has no punishment?.

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Keptron
Keptron

It surely would be interesting to join the villain :o

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MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack

An evil campaign is not planned yet, maybe after the first release of v1.0 ! :)

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Noremakk
Noremakk

Oh man, how have I not heard of this before? I really want to see where this is going. This looks like an amazing undertaking.

About the music: I would be willing to properly record a part if you would want to have it done by real people as opposed to synthesized. I play the Tuba. PM me if you need something done.

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frosty-theaussie
frosty-theaussie

Tuba solo, GO!

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Thomse
Thomse

@Noremakk If you want to help, post a thread at our forums:
Createforum.com

I'm sure you'll be well welcomed :)

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Sir_Eoran
Sir_Eoran

@Frosty-theaussie

It's already released, it's our latest beta yet and you can find it here!
Moddb.com
It has also a How-to tutorial on how to install MERP correctly without problems ;)

Hope you enjoy you're stay at Middle-Earth :)

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Cremat0r
Cremat0r

Thw whole middle-earth in Oblivion...
You people rock! I mean, one of the greatest FPSRPG collides with one of the greatest books/films.

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HounderKnight
HounderKnight

Things are looking awesome, as usual. :) Can't wait for the next big release.

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mt247
mt247

I hope this helps to get more ppl to dev team :)

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ThePeanutBaron
ThePeanutBaron

Great interview, has got me really interested in this mod

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kuadziw
kuadziw

This is the good news.

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theb0rg
theb0rg

Why do you only have the files on 'Tesnexus.com' ? Ive tried to login on three different browsers, but i get the cookie error. Please upload on moddb so everyone can play.

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mt247
mt247

@theb0rd
I made suggestion of that in their dev forums.

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theb0rg
theb0rg

Thanks. I do understand that they want to promote that site though when they have that kind of problems, they ought to mirror it.

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AlCool
AlCool

I have a login on the nexus as it is the best Oblivion mod site out there.

If you have trouble logging in why not msg that websites staff or check their forums for the same problem? If you like oblivion mods you won't be disappointed on that site.

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theb0rg
theb0rg

I can login to the forums, but not to the filesite. It says the security is tightened and for some reason cant save my login cookie, thus i cant download files over 2MB. I'll guess i go complain at the forum.

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theb0rg
theb0rg

Sorry for doublepost: Does this 'mirror' from tesnexus include everything? " Filefront.com ". If you look at the orginal files, there are several different downloads - but this is a single one? Also the filesizes doesnt match. Am i looking at the wrong place? Talking about Tesnexus.com -> Files

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TavicusTheWise
TavicusTheWise

In the Nexus site, you should download not only the main files under "Files", as well as the files under "Mirrors", that includes the .esm file, which is the source file for the other files of the mod. Remember that ;)

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Twitwi
Twitwi

Tracking now.

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mt247
mt247

Good for you :D

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Eylam
Eylam

Ninja Wizards! Tracking. :)

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NoobSaibot
NoobSaibot

If I recall, they had a LOTR mod for Morrowind, but it got shut down because of copyright.

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bikkebakke
bikkebakke

well, this mod originated from morrowind, got ported here due to more game mechanics etc, as it said in the text (maybe you saw that and meant another mod but anyway :P)

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noirdesir
noirdesir

@mt247: Oh no, we respect our fans. But I don't respect people who ...

1) register with multiple accounts on our development forums,
2) post copyrighted music on our forums,
3) say they produced that music themselves,
4) try to make us use that copyrighted music in our mod,
5) comment in the same thread with different accounts ("Damn! That sounds great!")

Thats what you did mt247 and this is the reason that got you banned ... at least for now:

http://www.createforum.com/middleearthrole/viewtopic.php?t=1662&highlight=&mforum=middleearthrole

noirdesir

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MC_Fred
MC_Fred

they found out:

1) They just checked the IP adress of MerQo (every Admin can do that), the user who created the thread. Its the same one like mt247 is using. So you've got two accounts ;)

2) You posted media :D ... but it's now deleted... (http://img80.imageshack.us/f/66331377.png/)

3) It seems like you had...

4) That might be true :)

5) You have commented it! :P (http://img80.imageshack.us/f/66331377.png/)

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AlCool
AlCool

I actually thought this one died a long time ago, but I guess I was totally wrong :D. Been in the work for quite a while now, and it looks like you've all put a very hard amount of work into it since then.

Can't wait!

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Arxae Author
Arxae

it is, like i emphasized in the article, a big huge massive project :p

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MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack

You may have seen Adventure MiddleEarth which has died out because of lack of resources :)

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Radar11m
Radar11m

Dude awesome!!!

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Myloman
Myloman

Amazing update. You guys have come so incredibly far. Respect!

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userxxi
userxxi

I am amazed. Truly. This is the chance to build virtual Middle Earth just like the fans want it. Please don't succumb to "elite" gamers request of sillyness. If this becomes a reality, will there be an internet portal to interact with other players around the world in true Middle Earth fashion?? How are you going to keep ME enterprises from shutting you down?

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MobsInBlack
MobsInBlack

Eight months later and people have come and gone, but we are still as strong as ever :)

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Tanjitsu
Tanjitsu

bump

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lilrizky
lilrizky

I think to keep the game interesting. after you complete the main quest, as well as side quests, there should be the last territories occupied by orcs that you can wipe clean and once you're 100% completed that you can have a game+ mode which are harder enemies but you retain your level and skills etc. plus once your finish that, you have an insane-game+ mode where the game is 10x's harder but you have the ring of power. just something to put out there :)

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