The 'Middle Earth Roleplaying Project' aims to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth in the Creation engine of 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim'. The player will be plunged into Middle Earth near the end of the Third Age, not long before the War of the Ring breaks out.

Posted by Epoch_MEB on Jun 2nd, 2012

FAQ - Please read before asking anything!

  • All the races, creatures, characters and locations from the books are planned to be in MERP.
  • There will be many quests to partake in: the Ringbearer questline where you can play the role of Ringbearer as Frodo Baggins, a White Council questline where you can accomplish quests during the war from its many famous members, or simply free-roam to your heart's delight.
  • We are planning a dynamic timeline where many famous events from the books, as well as events you've never seen before, will be occurring all around you! Perhaps you may be able to stop some of them? It'll take multiple playthroughs for you to see it all!
  • There is no designated evil campaign, nor playable evil races, planned in the near future. The servants of Shadow (Orcs, Trolls, Uruk-hai, Ringwraiths, etc.) are bound to Sauron's will and without free will. Perhaps Evil Men (such as Dunlendings, Easterlings, Haradrim, etc.) will be playable (but no time soon!).
  • We are an all volunteer, not for profit organisation. We cannot accept donations of any kind otheriwse we will ahve an issue with the owners of the rights to LOTR content. Please do not ask about finance.
  • Magic will not be in a form similar to Skyrim or other TES games. It will appear in a minimal form, be it a minor racial power or elven 'magic'. The only people with access to true magic will be the 5 wizards, who will not be playable.
  • The starting point of the beta releases will be prior to the War of the Ring. They will be background story for each of the rlease regions encouraging the player to start new games and play as each race, so you know what is going on before the main quest-line is added in MERP 1.0
  • We won't be including any music from the films due to copyright reasons. (We also cannot distribute it freely as that would be illegal)
  • There will not be an evil compaign, mainly due to the fact that the 'evil' races are not free-folk. Orcs are bound to the will of sauron and so therefore do not have a choice in their 'story' so playing them would be rather pointless and dull. As for other evil races such as the Haradrim, probably not, but we are still unsure at this time.
  • The main quest-line for the first MERP release will begin near to the 12th April, 3018 (the day that Gandalf comes to Bag End to tell Frodo about the Ring ); and end on the 22nd september, 3018 (10 days after Frodo leaves Hobbiton)
  • In the first (0.1) release, there will be a heavy influence of the war between the armies of the rohirrim, and the Dunlendings under the control of Saruman.

Release Dates!

Due to us being a modding team and not a games development company, we do have other jobs and RL problems to attend to. This means that sometimes we have to wait for some people to be free before certain things can be finished, therefore this can halt releases. This is why we do not give out any specific release dates, as even we don't know when we will be ready with a release. When a release is imminent, then you will know!

Voice Acting

All of our releases are planned to be fully voice acted. The VA will mostly be mostly done by amateurs, but that does not necessarily mean bad. Those people who have applied on our forum as voice actors have their names on a list and will be contacted when we get to the point of needing them. If you would like to do VA for MERP please post an application over on our forum with a sample of your work. Some of the VA will be done by our own team members too; some playing main characters, others just as cameo appearances as minor NPC's. If you have any questions converning voice acting that are not covered here, please ask. Do not ask about when VA's will be called on, as we do not yet know.

Post comment Comments
AJJacome Jun 2 2012, 4:36pm says:

Hell yeah

+4 votes     reply to comment
andreitibo Jun 2 2012, 4:37pm says:

12th April, 3018 for one second i thought this is the release date

+28 votes     reply to comment
ElfFriend Jun 2 2012, 4:42pm replied:

darn i posted my comment without reading yours, sorry.

+5 votes     reply to comment
andreitibo Jun 2 2012, 4:48pm replied:

i observed,its ok:) anyway,your post is more detailed

+6 votes     reply to comment
AJJacome Jun 2 2012, 9:04pm replied:

yeah lol what I thought when I first read it was that that was the release date in lotr time and i thought how clever (because i thought you would have to convert it to reali life time but then I figured out seconds later that that's impossible. Still pretty smart though if they did that).....yeah I have no life....

+3 votes     reply to comment
ElfFriend Jun 2 2012, 4:40pm says:

lol:) i read "The main quest-line for the first MERP release will begin near to the 12th April, 3018 (the day that Gandalf comes to Bag End to tell Frodo about the Ring ); and end on the 22th september, 3012 (10 days after Frodo leaves Hobbiton)" and misunderstood it thinking that it meant that the mod will be released in 3018, but then i quickly recognized that you mean that that is when the questline begins:D

@andreitibo - sorry i posted my comment before i refreshed the page and saw yours.

+6 votes     reply to comment
leo11048811 Jun 2 2012, 5:32pm says:

"12th April, 3018" So I have! ^^
Some other questions:
- 12th April, 3018 to 22th september, 3012... it's 4 years! Will there be some basic needs, like resting, eating, drinking? And most the important: Does that mean we will have to play during 1800 game days to finish the story? (1800x48-1800*24=43200min=720H=30days: So approximately 30 real life days? (Ok, get it, the answer is no! xD))
- What is the quality of the voices? Like in Skyrim, or more amateur?
- Will there be quests for places which are not in the main story? Will they be scattered all around the map? I mean near the border, to give the impression that the map is really huge. (something that skyrim doesn't develop enough in my taste)
- Will you use some mods which have been created for skyrim, and/or reuse their idea? (more birds/bugs, better wild life, more light on roads,... the top 100 on skyrim nexus)
- Will all the regions of middle earth have their own characteristics? (proper trees/rocks/weapons/peoples/wildlife/...)

(you should talk about boats, it's a redundancy question ;D )
I think thats all for now, sorry to waste your time with questions! :b

+4 votes     reply to comment
Epoch_MEB Author
Epoch_MEB Jun 2 2012, 5:58pm replied:

1) I'm sorry if I confused you here, 3012 was a typo, the actual length of the questline is 5 months. Not negative 4 years :P
And yes, in realism mode there will be dependancies, like food and water.
2) The voices will be as high a quality as possible. As of now, we have none recorded, and none will be recorded until quests are ready for implementation. Maybe in a month or two.
3) Yes, there will be plenty of side-quests in the towns and settlements.
4)There will be ideas inspired by other mods, yes.
5)Yep, every area will be unique and distinguishable.

Boats are still in the concept stage, they are nothing more than an idea at the moment though.

+11 votes   reply to comment
Angerfist219 Jun 2 2012, 6:30pm replied:

sounds good!

+3 votes     reply to comment
vykaz Jul 2 2012, 3:33pm replied:

you really have to create boats seriously

+1 vote     reply to comment
Octrox Jun 3 2012, 6:07am says:

Can't wait, I'll bet it's going to be great just from watching the pictures!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kurunir Jun 3 2012, 7:46am says:

I want to congratulate the team from the bottom of my heart, for their overall effort of making the dream of every Middle Earth fan turn to solid hope. Plus for not falling to the "trap" of magic in each LOTR-RPG game. As you have correctly stated, magic should only be used by the 5 wizards and some elves. Since you are going to implement that, you are indeed as close to LOTR lore as possibru. Congrats again, congrats.
P.S. I can't wait for this would-be masterpiece.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex Jun 3 2012, 8:22am says:

I'm not trying to put a damper on the mood or anything, but I can't help but worry that you're taking off a bit more than you can chew. How exactly do you plan on achieving some of these goals? Stuff like a dynamically changing environment seems like it would require some heavy duty coding.

So yeah, any chance we could get a post from one of the coders working on it, where he explains his approach to all of this?

+4 votes     reply to comment
Maegfaer Jun 3 2012, 8:48am replied:

I won't say we'll have a dynamically changing environment, as in seasonal changes, although that would be nice. We will have representation of battles and such even if the player is not present. It's not really hard, for example at Helms Deep we will place lots of dead bodies and a broken version of Helms Deep flagged as Initially Disabled. When a certain date passes and the player is not there, those objects are enabled and the old, whole model of Helms Deep is disabled. If the player then visits the location, the illusion is created that an actual battle took place.

If the player is actually present at the date of the battle, he can join in and it will be similar like the assault on Whiterun in vanilla Skyrim (but more expanded/cooler).

We will also have army movements in the background memory even when the player is not present. In memory this is represented by just a few NPC's (division leaders), and the rest of the army only spawns when the player gets in the same actively loaded cells as those NPC's. We think we'll also be able to use moving distant LOD models representing armies to make their movements visible from a large distance. Like, one model per army division. When you'd get in the active cell such a division model would be replaced by actual individual soldiers.

+4 votes     reply to comment
AJJacome Jun 3 2012, 3:14pm replied:

So for battles, will there be an actual, huge army like isengard at helms deep or the armies at the pelonnor fields? The battle of whiterun was very small than expected, and there weren't many soldiers there to call it a "battle", more like a skirmish. I was just wondering if we'll be battling huge armies of many, many NPCs. Maybe that will crash the game, I don't know.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Epoch_MEB Author
Epoch_MEB Jun 3 2012, 3:51pm replied:

There will definatly be large battles, the engine can support a LOT of NPC's, all you have to do is spawn a few hundered in and you'll see. If your PC can handle it.
I wouldn't even call Whiterun a skirmish, maybe a punch-up.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Maegfaer Jun 4 2012, 7:33am replied:

We will simulate big battles, the amount of actual fully functioning NPC's at the same time can't exceed much more than 80 or so. So in the further distance you'll see simulated NPC's, and we'll make use of a spawning system to keep the enemy coming.

So yes, it will feel and look like a super huge army, but technically there are not that many actual NPC's at the same time to preserve processing power.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Klevdude Jun 5 2012, 5:29pm says:

I wonder, will you people change the fighting animations? Because those in skyrim rather suck...

+3 votes     reply to comment
WorldWarWarrior Jun 8 2012, 10:39pm says:

will you release a demo? like, a small area (relatively :D) without quests and npcs? I CANT FRICKIN WAIT! :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
Captain_Iglo Jun 9 2012, 7:15am replied:

Nope. We like to treat you well :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
WorldWarWarrior Jun 9 2012, 9:24am replied:

well thats nice to know :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
baran97 Jun 30 2012, 6:02pm says:

In Skyrim's new update mounted combat was implemented. Does this make the job of mounted combat easier for you, or will you invent a different system similar to Mount and Blade?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Epoch_MEB Author
Epoch_MEB Jul 1 2012, 4:53am replied:

Yes, we've used that as a base,but we are already well into extending it.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Dark_Ventus Jul 18 2012, 12:51am says:

I know this might sound like I'm being picky, but orginization is spelled with an 'z' not an 's', great work on everything else.

+1 vote     reply to comment
na1342724681 Jul 19 2012, 3:27pm says:

sailable ships arnt just an idea now

+1 vote     reply to comment
na1342724681 Jul 19 2012, 3:28pm says:

+1 vote     reply to comment
na1342724681 Jul 19 2012, 3:47pm says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
wimgrim Nov 18 2012, 2:18pm says:

Orcs are not all 100% forced to do Sauron's will. Example: Sauroman's uruks. Nor are they a sort of hive mind (evidenced by orcs disagreeing constantly with this matter or that in the books), so I feel that the evil races DO have some sort of willpower of their own. Point being, It would be really really cool to have evil races as playable too :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
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