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.

Report article RSS Feed The BIG News!

So, the big news you have all been waiting for! The present and future of MERP, all in here!

Posted by Captain_Iglo on Jun 21st, 2011

Current State of Affairs

A lot of people here at MERP consider this project as a very important part of their lives. Some have seen this mod grow and flower into what it is today, and even new members experience and can see the obvious dedication our team put into it.
Oblivion has been a large stepping stone in this process, and we've really pushed the best selling game of 2006 to it's limits, in regards to the heightmap and also to the awesome scripting work that goes on here at MERP.
However, we have news that will blow your mind.
This is probably the single most exciting news post released to the public because of all the potential it holds...

The Future

So without further ado, let us unveil this behemoth of awesome information.

We're preparing to attempt a port to Skyrim!

If you're are wondering the reasons behind this, let us elaborate with this short list that notes all the technical features of Skyrim that Oblivion lacks:

1) Havok Behaviour (advanced animation platform)
2) Actual flowing water
3) Textures of a quality that matches our custom models
4) Better tree system
5) Actual falling snow
6) Integrated AI support for flying creatures
7) Improved Radiance AI
8) Realtime conversations with NPC's
9) More realistic horses
10) Completely redone scripting language
11) Shadows for static objects
12) More efficient graphics rendering
13) Most likely more stable engine overall
15) A fresh modding community from which we can recruit new developers
14) Hopefully a more accessible and user friendly modding resource
16) Probably more efficient developing tools which overall might even save us time in the long run

The step up is truly significant (It's been so many years in the works, you'd hope it was)

Now, we do say attempt because truth be told we don't know if Skyrim will be 100% suitable for a mod like ours, in which case we will revert be to O'l Faithful - Oblivion.
A successful port will mean better graphics, technology and all around gameplay, so you can enjoy the mod you love even more with all new features.
However, it is impossible to carry over some of the progress we made here on Oblivion, and while we are able to keep all the models, some things can't be transferred. Don't let this dishearten you though, the results will definitely be worth the extra work, and our team will be more motivated than ever before.

More exciting news (As if there wasn't enough already ;)) Progress is currently in the works on a whole new, and improved, heightmap!
There is no denying the one we have is absolutely fantastic, but efforts are being made to make it more lore accurate and things seem to be coming along nicely.
We will still be bringing out another release of MERP for Oblivion soon, however the last Oblivion release won't be very big, just Bree with some extras. If people want to play MERP in the future they'll have to get Skyrim.

If the port is successful, we can all say a very fond farewell to the game that has ultimately helped us immensely in envisioning Tolkien's world - and a more than warm welcome to Skyrim, where we will now be focusing our progress.

So folks, Skyrim it is!

As always, don't forget to visit:
our Dev forums if you want to contact us or if you need any help, and
our YouTube Channel

If you want to apply for MERP, post an application HERE

~MERP Team~

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 95)
Renay Jun 21 2011, 10:41pm says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Sanguinius Jun 22 2011, 3:24am replied:

Damn and i was thinking its a release date or something. Don't get me wrong this is good news but i am not planing to buy supercomputer just to run Skyrim. So you are basically going to waste 5 more months, and what if porting to Skyrim fails ??? Anyway good luck with that >.>

-3 votes     reply to comment
Renay Jun 22 2011, 9:27am replied:

This is an awesome decision, saves lots of troubles coding, since Skyrim has flying creatures, I believe it also has mounted combat, plus other new features that would make the game perfect.... you guys mainly worked on models and textures till now, right? so barely any work goes missing

+1 vote     reply to comment
Darthlex Jun 22 2011, 9:33am replied:

You obviously did not watch the progress of the MERP & Blade part, which we were all quite excited about:

In short; no, they did not only focus on models.

Also, you have no way of knowing if coding will be easier .. It could be even more hardcoded than oblivion, although, given that the frostbyte engine is being used for a number of other things, that is kinda unlikely.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Renay Jun 22 2011, 10:39am replied:

As I said, there will probably be mounted combat already in skyrim, so forget about Merp & Blade, even though it was quite a breakthrough for Oblivion.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Brotherblaze Jun 22 2011, 5:01pm replied:

There is no mounted combact in skyrim. The guy said that in E3...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 23 2011, 3:57am replied:

We'll create it then ;)

+4 votes   reply to comment
Grilljanne Jun 23 2011, 2:24am replied:

The frostbyte engine?

0 votes     reply to comment
Pyryp Jun 23 2011, 6:18am replied:

Are you seure you did not mean creation engine?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jigsore Jun 21 2011, 10:54pm says:

damn, i'm not buying a new computer just to play skyrim and this mod so good luck with it

+8 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex Jun 22 2011, 9:29am replied:

I hate to say it, but I agree with this person - at least to a degree.

You built it up to a point where I was literally expecting you to have contacted 2K and Bethesda and gotten permission to go standalone, after that it was a pretty huge disappointment to see that you planned on doing a port to a, so far, largely unknown engine.. We, as a community, are paranoid and used to people with grand ideas of porting their mods; 9/10 times, this fails.

I am sorry, but I can't get pumped about this in any way, although I will be getting Skyrim, it will be for skyrim itself and this mod would suddenly be much more of an afterthought :/

Anyways, this is how I personally see it.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 22 2011, 10:56am replied:

That's why we made it clear that we will ATTEMPT a port to Skyrim. We are still making progress in Oblivion, we never stopped. At the same time we'll see how it goes with Skyrim. We'll check the tools, the possibilities, and in the end we'll make the final decision. We might as well continue with Oblivion. We have gone over this a lot, we searched EVERY source, every article(a lot that you might have not read), and believe me, we took everything into consideration before deciding that we should take a step forward.

+7 votes   reply to comment
Jigsore Jun 22 2011, 7:17pm replied:

oh nice. I want to play this but my computer is about 3 or 4 years old (I upgraded it a few times) and i doubt it would run skyrim still. i'd hope you'd keep it for oblivion but it's not my call.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 23 2011, 3:58am replied:

Don't you think that you will have bought a new machine in the future?

+1 vote   reply to comment
Jigsore Jun 23 2011, 8:26pm replied:

yeah, i just don't have enough money now lol. I have too sooner or later thoughbut by that time this would probably be old news

+1 vote     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 24 2011, 8:34am replied:

You'll have more than enough time to consider this ;) Be it Oblivion or Skyrim, MERP won't be released in the next 2 years ;)

+2 votes   reply to comment
snaggy3 Oct 10 2011, 9:54am replied:

what you should do is like have a soft release for oblivion with everything you guys finished then work on skyrim

+1 vote     reply to comment
X4VI3R Jun 21 2011, 11:18pm says:

Well, I thought this was going to be a different kind of news. I mean like a near release date.
In a sort of way, this is good news- just when i think of it as a fellow modder (except if my own work were not to be transferred).
But, as a follower- It's been a long waiting already. Even with all these new possibilities, I don't think this will turn the balance in the mod's favour. Oblivion is a cult classic, with hordes of players behind it, while Skyrim is still new.
Hope this will be for good. Thanks for the update, guys.

+3 votes     reply to comment
SovereignReaper Jun 21 2011, 11:19pm says:

Ugh not good news for me, my only hope to play skyrim is if my laptop will work the game which is better than my now outdated desktop.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Stormraven40 Jun 21 2011, 11:42pm says:

Man bad news. No way my computer will be able to handle Skyrim. Good news is that Bethesda announced that they are talking with Sony and Microsoft about finding a way to allow used-generated content on the consoles. Hope they figure out if it is possible. I WANT THIS MOD!

+1 vote     reply to comment
im_a_lazy_sod Jun 22 2011, 12:30am says:

i like this =)

good old betheseda and their mod-friendly games

+3 votes     reply to comment
nightsercher Jun 22 2011, 12:54am says:

(sorry about all caps its just awesome :-) )

+2 votes     reply to comment
finfunxxx Jun 22 2011, 2:04am says:

Holy ****, what is this?
Forged in God's very flames.
Do mine eyes tell me lies,
A new Elder Scrolls Game?...

Awesome news can't wait

+7 votes     reply to comment
Garyn Dakari Jun 22 2011, 2:17am replied:

You hadn't heard about it?

-3 votes     reply to comment
BurningSky93 Jun 22 2011, 6:02am replied:

He was quoting Harry Partridge

+6 votes     reply to comment
-muffin- Jun 22 2011, 11:14am replied: +2 votes     reply to comment
Velancious Jun 22 2011, 2:11am says:

And I thought my computer could barely handle Oblivion...JESUS!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Garyn Dakari Jun 22 2011, 2:19am says:

Good luck, guys!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Tal-Elmar Jun 22 2011, 2:20am says:

I have some very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it could indeed open some new possibilities in regards to gameplay etc, but on the other I'm sure it would slow the mod down...and I fear slow it considerably. I'm not sure it's worth it in the end. OFC the decision is the team's and team's alone, but as I've been following the mod for quite a long time now, I wish it could be released sooner...and I'm sure it woulnd't be bad or rushed just cause you used older platform.
anyway, good luck as always :)

P.S. I thought Oblivion had falling snow...

+2 votes     reply to comment
MobsInBlack Jun 22 2011, 7:10am replied:

The snow wasn't dynamic though, This won't delay the mod by too much if all goes correctly. We are more organized and more structured than ever before, we have a time plan set out and it adds on at tops two years, although it is still likely be much of the same time frame :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Argoon Jun 22 2011, 4:39pm replied:

The decision is yours, but i also would prefer the mod on Oblivion. About the snow on skyrim i doubt the snow is really dynamic has in run by physics or that the game will stress the PC's much more them Oblivion ever did, it is being made with the consoles has principal platforms don't forget that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PS2viciado Jun 22 2011, 2:22am says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Antiscamp Jun 22 2011, 2:57am says:

It's really MERP 2 you're talking about, innit? Because it will be a completely different mod for a completely different game. Does this mean the cancellation of MERP 1? I am glad to hear that there will be a MERP 2 for Skyrim, but I think you should finish MERP 1 for Oblivion too.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Nuvendil Jun 24 2011, 5:50pm replied:

That is a lot of work. We aren't even half way done with the mod for Oblivion. If we tried to do two mods at the same time, it would just be too much.

+3 votes     reply to comment
BillyJBarter Jun 22 2011, 3:06am says:

I too have mixed emotions, but i think in the end it will benifit the mod. Lets hope Skyrim more readily supports multiple NPCs at once so we can get some epic battles ;)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Killi101 Jun 22 2011, 3:25am says:

i think its a great idea, i just hope for your sake that a port is made easier with any dev tools they release.

+4 votes     reply to comment
mathinator Jun 22 2011, 4:56am says:

i don't know what to say... never happend before... this really makes my year not day but year... MERP finishing moves, realistic flying creatures... improved AI... omg the future is awesome!!!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Perfect Jun 22 2011, 5:16am says:

This is a good thing because i think that the Gamebryo engine couldn't handle this project when fully know

+3 votes     reply to comment
Argoon Jun 23 2011, 1:58pm replied:

Can you care to explain why is that?

+1 vote     reply to comment
cowboymodgod Jun 22 2011, 5:28am says:

cant wait looking good boys nd girls

+3 votes     reply to comment
Ahti Jun 22 2011, 6:02am says:

This is great news, just remember: time is not a problem.
Good luck!

+2 votes     reply to comment
romanius24 Jun 22 2011, 6:07am says:

wow...that sucks
this is really not big news for me its bad news this means now i have to wait another 3 or 4 years till the mod is realeased...

+3 votes     reply to comment
MobsInBlack Jun 22 2011, 7:08am replied:

You would have had to do that any way?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Maskar Jun 22 2011, 7:02am says:

Interesting news...

+2 votes     reply to comment
StrikerGER Jun 22 2011, 7:23am says:

Skyrim is optimated for consoles. So the graphics in Skyrim will not be thaaaat good. But still they will be good(Personally I think graphics on consoles aren't bad, Games don't get really better graphics since...Crysis 1. Okay BF3 will have great graphics, but if the gameplay is good, the graphics aren't that important). I think you could have made the same quality on Oblivion like on Skyrim, but it's your decision. Personally, I really can't wait to play Skyrim, and this mod will make it even better.

Skyrim really has good new things, especially the dragons, magic and fighting system and the envoirement things.

Sorry for my English :S

+2 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 22 2011, 9:17am replied:

Actually pc Skyrim will have Anti-Aliasing, and IT CAN BE MODIFIED. So it's not really a big deal that the 1.0 version is aimed for consoles too.

+2 votes   reply to comment
StrikerGER Jun 22 2011, 9:48am replied:

Bethesda is talking with Sony and Microsoft for releasing Modding Tools also on Xbox/PS. That would be awesome, but sure, the pc has a few settings which makes the game better, more beautiful etc.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Argoon Jun 23 2011, 2:03pm replied:

You cant use complex modding tools on a console you need a PC for that, what they are trying to do is bring mods (made on a PC) to the consoles, just like Epic games did.

+1 vote     reply to comment
KeyPath Jun 22 2011, 7:25am says:

sucks, why don't u guys finish it with oblivion first, then u can port it to skyrim, that way everyone can choose which one they wanna play with(since everybody got different computer with different power)
well, just a thought

+5 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 22 2011, 9:13am replied:

Actually this is impossible. Say we do finish it for Oblivion. We would need another 3-4 years to port it to Skyrim. ;)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Darthlex Jun 22 2011, 9:38am replied:

The difference right now being?

All that you can likely port here are the models, no? It is an entirely recoded engine, after all.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Nuvendil Jun 24 2011, 5:57pm replied:

The difference is that to finish it for Oblivion would take 4 years. Then, to move to Skyrim, the mod has to be rebuilt from the ground up on the new game, which would take another 4 years. So, if we do it this way, the Skyrim version wouldn't be done for 8 years. We have mad a lot of progress in Oblivion, but not THAT much. We aren't even 50% through making this mods. We still have to finish region generation, hand detailing the landscapes, city building, interiors, quest creation, dialogue writing, voice acting, etc. It is a LONG ways away. That is why we feel porting now is a good thing. We are losing a lot of work, but not a lot compared to what remains to be done.

+2 votes     reply to comment
KeyPath Jun 23 2011, 9:48am replied:

well it's not exactly "playing on oblivion with old computer or playing on skyrim with beastly graphic and high end computer" being my concern,
it's just that WAITING is a bitch, and when i read this news, i was like
" d'oh, MORE WAITING ", but know this, as long as u guys make it worth the wait, i,ll ride that bitch :P
so aye aye captain, your fans with u here :)
(sorry 4 my english btw)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tal-Elmar Jun 23 2011, 1:16pm replied:

waiting is not the problem. But despite my faith in this mod, after this kind of news I started to fear it might not be finished...
eh, forget what I said )))

+1 vote     reply to comment
KeyPath Jun 24 2011, 8:36am replied:

at last, someone ballsy enough to say it...
yup u said it

+1 vote     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Author
Captain_Iglo Jun 24 2011, 8:38am replied:

Who knows, it might even take us less time! Never cross this result out of the list ;) Generating regions in Oblivion took very much time. In Skyrim, it might be, and probably will be faster. It all depends on the CK. That's why we said "attempt". We'll know for sure, at the time that we'll have the tools in our hands ;)

+2 votes   reply to comment
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