The Blue Wizard Mod adds a new playable faction, Elves, to the game "The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth(tm)". It also enhances the original factions with additions and changes the gameplay. It has a lot of similarities to the Elvenstar Mod 5.8, the first mod I've ever played and motivated me to get into modding myself. As I and many others have problems getting the old versions installed (and the mod itself was buggy at times), I decided to make my own mod, using similar elements of the mod I loved to play back in the day combined with my own ideas. Elves have entered the stage now with the latest update, and the foundation for another new faction is set!

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Balance Update for BWM, Server Play and an update to how things are currently

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First of all, sorry for the long absence. I must be honest and say that I lacked motivation (but also time) to continue the work on this mod. But I'm back, and trying to be more active again.

As the title of this article says, I've been playing BWM on the server with other players over the last days to make some first attempts of finding balance issues and addressing them. If you want to join us, feel free to do so. You can usually find me either on the T3A discord or in the BFME chat room - I post in the BFME 1 discord channel when I'm around. With that said, you can expect a balance update within the next couple weeks, if not days.

I'm sure you are also expecting me to post some *new* content. But before I can do that - and I'm afraid I don't have many things to show - yet, I have to make some serious balance changes first. Not only do I have to balance Elves, but also the other 4 factions which went out of balance due to the many changes I made to them previously. Isengard and Mordor seem to be overwhelmingly strong while Elves are not quite there yet to compete with the other factions. Throwing in a new faction would absolutely be no help for me right now.

I announced Goblins to be the next faction in BWM. Considering feed back as well as my personal feelings towards Goblins right now, I am not sure if that is the way I want to go. Surely, a lot of my thoughts and time have gone into that faction, and it would make sense to make it the next faction too. But it isn't helpful if modding is not fun. I drifted away from developing BWM because I had no idea what kind of faction I wanted Goblins to be - the question of what would make that faction unique was difficult to answer, in the end especially due to engine limitations. I have to get back to the point where modding was still fun - back when I did not feel the need of pushing out a new update at all costs. I want to update some FX effects and take my time to think about what's next. You can also let me know your ideas, though I can not promise that I will implement them.

I will continue this modification, I do not intend to let this die. Even if there is no update here in months, I've been around this game for almost 13 years and I won't vanish from one day to the other. ;)

At last, I am not giving up to ask if there are any people around here who want to help. I'm mainly looking for 3D artists. As the only BWM developer, looking at a huge pile of work alone has taken away quite a bit of motivation over the last months. I'm still hoping that one day, someone with decent 3D skills will join my modding team. I'm on semester break now, but when university starts again I'll definitely get slowed down.

I hope you understand my point of view. This post was about time, I'm sorry you have not heard from me in a while. I hope to see you online the next few days.

Alex (Echo)

Comments
Lucifer1793
Lucifer1793

Thanks Alex for all your work on this!! Keep going its a pretty good mod and excited for future updates :)
Personally i'm a fan of the goblins (basically seeing this as eventually an improved Elvenstar mod which was awesome) tho fair point about unique stuff

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pallandoya Author
pallandoya

Thanks man, appreciate it! I need some time to think about it more.

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Amonrath
Amonrath

Hey Alex! I think this is my favourite bfme mod so far, I really love it. I see you're working on balancing issues, when I play the game, it seems that the unit values and balance is set to patch 1.0. Currently I was playing on community patch 1.06. Maybe it could help you if you start from there, I'm not sure though, just and idea, it could be that I installed it wrong or something =D. Anyway, keep up the awesome work dude! Cheers!

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pallandoya Author
pallandoya

Hehe, what made you think that if I may ask? You are (almost) completely right. ;)

This mod actually requires patch 1.06 to work properly, so I'm definitely starting there. The reason why I went back to an older patch is because I am tired of 1.06 (or well, 1.03) balance. Think about it, there have been no changes whatsoever since the beginning of 2006, more than 10 years now. Of course you could argue that 1.03 is balanced, but it's also boring after so much time. A game dies over time without change, EA proved that long ago.

As for this mod, it is mainly based on patch 1.02 with a couple of elements from 1.00/1.01 as well as 1.03. Also don't worry about proper balancing, I want this as much as you do. But I'm trying to go in a different direction than 1.03 went. Besides, with all the changes to the original factions (new heroes, new units, new power points and new hero abilities, 1.03 balance would not apply anymore anyway.

This mod brings a lot of change. Balancing must be done, but not in the 1.03 style. I know I'm stubborn about it but having played 1.03 for over 10 years, I can't see it anymore. The BFME community also doesn't like balance patches, so I'll make use of my modding freedom and experiment a little. Please, leave feedback about things you think need balancing, but try playing a couple games. Expect this to be different from 1.03, some strategies might not work anymore. However, keep in mind that there are many new possibilities too.

I appreciate your feedback and I hope my answer is somewhat reasonable. I'm glad that you're having fun playing this modification. :)

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Amonrath
Amonrath

I'm not particularly fond of 1.03 or 1.06 myself in some regards. I could be wrong, but I feel like some heroes are a bit too squishy. I personally like heroes to be a bit tougher. Not necessarily extreme high damage wise, just a bit more durable.

One thing that I really hate about the 1.03/1.06 patch are some strategies like playing with Mordor with an army of catapults and trolls inside your base until you have enough points to summon Balrog and then win the game. I'd much rather have them actually go to the opponents castle and destroy it. Also, I don't really like how so many games you need either Army of the Dead or Balrog to finish it. I'd much rather have stronger scaling heroes (maybe something like Sauron) who could assist you in your final push. Succeeding with your push or probably dying if it fails.

I'm not entirely sure if this would be consider a bug or not, but right now, when you trample with cavalry units and pike units are already on the ground, they keep taking infinite amount of damage for as long as they're staying on top of it. For example, I had theoden on top of a single pike unit, and he lost full health just for being on top of it. Is that working as intended?

Anyway, I'll keep playing the game more and I'll try to give you useful feedback as much as I can!

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pallandoya Author
pallandoya

Actually, some very old players used to say that 1.02 was a lot faster paced than 1.03.. and I can see why they said that. It's what I'm working towards - but it's very hard to make games shorter but at the same time keeping the balance in place, and I'll keep experimenting.

About the pikemen: you mean he died instantly? Or did he just take a lot of damage really fast? And what pike unit was it? Did it have upgrades?

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Amonrath
Amonrath

Uruk Pike. And it wasn't a battalion, it was just the one singular unit on the floor (not attacking), with no upgrades and theoden was taking damage really fast for standing on it (he died in like 1 second on standing on it).

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pallandoya Author
pallandoya

The basic crush revenge damage of porcupine-formation pikes is 100. If a (horse) unit is stuck on a pikeman (even one), it takes a lot of damage very fast. Theoden is a glass canon and on level 1 he has like 800 health. The weapon template fires continuously, several times a second. It is very likely that this was the case, but this comes from EA, not from me. And it seems necessary too, if I lower the porcupine damage then regular knights won't die from crushing through, or other hero units will take a lot less damage. Was Theoden bugged on top of the pike, or what happened exactly?

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Amonrath
Amonrath

I just wasn't microing him and I actually wanted to see what would happened. I just though it might be a bug because it was just the one unit and it wasn't attacking me, it was just on the floor, yet I was still taking damage. I feel like some times I can run through pike units (taking a lot of damage but still surviving) and other times I just straight out die. The problem for me is that I can't really tell when I can risk running over pikes and when I can't, because the damage that they can do seems some what random from time to time. Not sure I made a lot of sense lol.

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