Mod of the Year - Question of the Day
Greetings, companions of Edain!
Mod of the Year 2016
The first round of the votings for the Mod of the Year 2016 on Moddb ended and thanks to your support, the Edain Mod reached for the seventh time the Top 100!
This is again a very big achievement and a great honor, so we would like to thank the entire community for this support! This would not have been possible without your votes and we are really proud to have so much fans around here. Of course, we will continue to do our best so that you can experience a truly great Middle-earth feeling in Battle for Middle Earth.
Now the second round of the Mod of the Year 2016 begins and we need again your votes for the Top 10! You have to select the Edain Mod from the list of the Top 100 and then click on "Vote". So that your voice counts as much as possible, we ask you to register an account on Moddb or to use your existing account before your voting. Even if we can't reach the Top 10 anymore as we have won last year, we still can get a honourable mention.
You come across to the list of the Top 100 with the following button:
Question of the Day
As a special thank you for all of you, we will daily answer one question of the community for the rest of the election phase. You are allowed to ask any question concerning Edain, as long as it does not involve any plans or contents of future versions. We know that this is quite a restriction, but we don't want to spoil you or ruin the suprise at all. Nonetheless, we are sure that you will be able to ask many interesting question.
At the end of each day we will give you a detailed answer to the question that is most upvoted by the community. Please consider that we need some time to answer the questions, so post your questions until 21:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Question of the Day 1
How many makers is in your team?
The Edain Team consists of 11 members:
Ealendril is the leader of the Edain Team.
He is the Coder of Edain and also does models, graphhics, skins and animations. Also there is hardly anything Ealendril isn't able to do.
Lord of Mordor
Lord of Mordor is the one in charge of balance. He does the final descisions after discussing with the rest of the Team and the Balance Testers.
Also Lord of Mordor takes a main part in the development of new concepts.
Symbite is the Website Administrator of Modding Union.
Gnomi is a mapper. Also he fixes Map bugs and adjusted most of the Maps for 4.0.
Turin created and maintains the Edain Launcher (or Installer or Switcher).
Reshef works on the AI and global Map scripts. He is also a mapper.
Thorongil is a modeller and animator. Most of all the new animations in the game are done by him.
FG15 is a mapper, but does mainly mission maps. He is also in charge of the English version and helps coding.
RadagastTheMusical is a modeller and graphicer.
Prinz von Dol Amroth
Prinz von Dol Amroth is the video creator and created the Edain Searcher. Also, he helps with coding and with the apts.
Trapper is a mapper. Also he fixes map bugs and reworks maps.
Furthermore, there are former members of the Edain Team, of which Adamin should definitely should be mentioned, as he also worked on 4.0 as a graphicer and modeller, but due to inactivity he is only an honourable member at the moment.
Apart from the Edain Team itself, there are also many supporters and helpers.
Translators: Nightmaster and Martin
And of course the whole Team of Beta and Balance Testers.
Question of the Day 2
How was the Edain Mod born?
As this question is far too big and complex for answering it in a single day and in particular in a few hours, we will do a full update on it some days later.
Instead we will give you an update today.
Question of the Day 3
As we had two questions with exactly the same amount of votes today, we decided to answer both.
What RTS's played the biggest inspiration in how you designed the Edain mod in terms of gameplay? (Not counting BFME 1 and 2.)
I don't think that there have been that many direct inspirations of other RTS's, which influenced the Edain mod. I think the biggest influence was Stronghold, because many of the siege units and systems in patch 4.5 are strongly inspirated by Stronghold. Furthermore, the whole Age of Empires series has had a serious impact on Edain for sure, even if it is not that visible. I think most of us have played Age of Empires, and therefore we sometimes use examples of Age of Empires to discuss different systems and gameplay as well.
Of course these are not all, as probably every game that one has played yet, helps to see some new and different mechanics and to get a better inside, how games and in particular RTS work.
what was the most weird bug/WTF-situation that happened during development?
and keeping with the spirit of Star Wars this winter: what middle earth character do think would fit in the Star Wars galaxy? I'd say Gimli :P
Hm, maybe one could mistake Gimli for an Ewok, but this isn't sure. Also, Denethor's sinister and depressive behavior might fit really well into Star Wars.
As for funny and WTF situations, there have been many. Below, we want to share some of them with you:
Did you know that there was a website, which offered "Travell Camp in Edain 4.2" as a track to download and that it could even been bought on CD? (The website isn't only anymore)
When we started a "Brief Map Ideas" thread, we didn't expect an idea being that brief:
Dol Guldur movie map
How should this fan be able to play realistic movie battles:
I really hope you're reading this.
The lagg that I occasionally get after some time inside a skrimish fight makes the game unplayable sometimes. [...]
It normally happens after around 40min played when you have around 5000 units up.
Some creative suggestions for soundsets
Can you do Liam Neeson from 96 Hours as the soundset of Sauron?
A first concept of Dain on his boar
When the Testers requested a Misty Mountain Beta (note that Nebelberge is German for Misty Mountains)
What happens, when you cross Legolas' "Rain of Arrows" with Gimli's "Leap"
Sometimes your buildings want to go on adventures, too
Nothing is as horrible as a dragon: Scatha
Question of the Day 4
For the heroes that the Edain team has created that are unique to the mod, what were your inspirations for them and how do you see them fit into the Tolkien universe?
Also, which heroes are your favorites and why?
When creating a hero, the most important thing is his background. Therefore, the first question should always be, what do we know about a hero. Nearly all heroes in Edain are based on some background. Either it are the books, the movies or the old Angmar RPG from our German forum and where all the heroes of Angmar are from. The only heroes being based on none of these are Murin and Drar, which are from Tabletop.
So at the beginning of a concept, we are collecting information about the Hero, even if it are only small quotes from the book. For example, Gildor sang his song in the books, maybe that could be a cool ability for him. Maybe in the past, that might have been enough to create a concept, finding abilities which fit to the background of the hero and include them. But with the time we got much more experience of how a good hero should be designed.
The thematic of a hero is quite important, because it consequently influences how the player experiences playing the hero. This thematic should play a prominent role in the ability set of the Hero, but does not have to be in every single ability. Also, the thematic does not have to do anything with the role of the hero. A good example of heroes with a strong thematic are Denethor, Drauglin, Karsh, Zaphragor, Sharku, Halbarad and many more. All those heroes have something that makes them quite unique.
The weapon(s) that a hero uses should have an important and meaningfull influence on the concept of a hero and therefore also on his thematic.
It is without a doubt that most of all the heroes in Middle-Earth were able, to use a sword, spear, axe or bow and could also ride a horse (or something similar). Then why don't give any single hero all of these possibilities? Because it wouldn't make any difference at least not any good one. If you have a hero, which completly works with melee abilities and you give him the possibility to attack at range, it wouldn't do him any good. If he can use a bow, the player will automatically assume that using the bow, might be a good idea, which obviously it isn't if his abilities only work in melee. Furthermore, ranged heroes should be much more vulnerable as a balance for their range. So, would be a good idea to give a full melee hero a bow and therefore having to weaken his health?
Another example might be tank. A tank is supposed to stand in the middle of the battle and get all the attention of the enemy such that the rest of the army survives longer. Just imagine giving the tank a horse. The horse itself won't help him that much. He might get faster to the battle and might deal more damage, but dealing damage is not what he is supposed to be. Furthermore, he might charge into pikes and could be dead before he even gets usefull.
Now to look at some positive examples. Why do all heroes of Rohan have a mount? Because Rohan is a cavalry faction, and a hero, who can't mount is in danger of becoming useless, if Rohan uses much cavalry.
Bard's thematic is being a strong and deadly archer. Therefore he does not need a sword. Instead he has got a weapon switch from short bow to long bow, which fits him much better and is a much more interessting choice for him.
Also, one has to look at it from the following perspective. The more possibilites a hero gets, the weaker each of them has to become, as the hero has to stay overall as strong as before. In particular, adding unnecessary things can easily weaken a hero, as stay will reduce the procentual strength of each of his choices.
On of the most important things for a hero is his role. Similar to the thematic, also the role should play an important part in most of his abilities. Then why is the role so important?
First of all, the role allows a player to know what a hero is good at. Heroes are heroes and should do legendary deeds. And if you know, what legendary deed your hero prefers, it is much easier to these things, might it be leading and army into battle, stopping the attack of enemy, killing as many foes as you can, destroying the enemies favourite building, or strengthening your own heroes, ...
The more roles a hero has the more complicated it becomes to use him effectively. Just imagine, he has one strong ability to damage enemy buildings and one strong abiltiy to strengthen your own buildings. In this case you would never be able to use both abilities effectively, which makes the hero kind of lame.
Or the contratry scenario, a hero has one ability which heals both structures and heroes. In most of the cases, you will be able to use only on of the effects. But as there is the possibility that there is a situation, where he can use it on both, this has to be calculated for the strength of the hero. Therefore, having the hero specialized on only one of the roles would feel much better and stronger in most of all games.
Furthermore, there is also one more reason why heroes need a unique role. If two heroes can do exactly the same, there will be always a stronger one, so that the other one will always be the second choice, which is kind of frustrating.
Please note, that none of these arguments are universal. Nonetheless, all of these should be considered when creating a concept, even if the result is to ignore one of them.
There are two main ways, how a unique concepts gets created. The first is of course an idea specifically for that hero. Maybe the inspiration came from the books, from thoughts about gameplay or from inspirations from other games.
The other way is that while coding something is tried out, here a code is changed, there something is added and in the end, the foundations of a concept are born. Sometimes, this happens directly for the target hero, but often it is just an experiment and gets revived later, when a concept is discussed, where exactly this system might be a good addition.
- Ealendril: Gandalf, simply a classic
- Lord of Mordor: pretty obvious
- Rehsef: Durmarth, a constant development a fluent gameplay and a cool backgroundstory
- Trapper: Mornamarth, a cool Palantir image and a great impression while playing
- FG15: Bofur, the Pick Axe Throw (which is inspired by LoL) is lovely
Question of the Day 5
Could you explain to us in detail all of the work that goes into releasing a new faction patch? Considering also that you have some models from 3.8 or 2014, how you refresh them, give them abilities, animations and stuff
The development of a faction patch normally starts, when the last big patch is released. Then our first question is, do we need a fix patch? After we finished all the bug fixes and know that there won't be anymore fix patches afterwards, we directly start with the new faction patch.
First of all, we sum up, what is already done. As we started with developping all factions parallel, when we started working on 4.0, there is already a large amount of things that have been already done, which you can see too in the past updates.
Nonetheless, even if the basic things are done, there are still many things missing.
For example, since we started working on the demo and excluded all the other faction from the files, we changed the level system of resource buildings as well as production buildings. We discarded the idea of buildings underground, as they caused too many laggs. Also, we got to the pointed where noticed that it is better to reduce the number of things that walk into the map from the border. We changed the ring system and so on.
Also there are more things to do. The balance and the mechanics behind it have constantly changed over time, so one of the first things is to define all the values of the heroes, units, structures, upgrades and spells in the faction.
This and including at least an alpha version of all the aspects of a faction are the biggest priority, so that we get a base on which we can work, and which the testers can test.
After we finished these basics, the next step is to look at each Hero and each unit. Every Hero needs to have a certain role, and the role of most heroes is not as clear as it should be, as we didn't pay as much attention to it in the past as we do now. Every unit needs a special effect. That might be a formation, a passive or an active ability, which define the role of the unit. If a faction has to units of the same kind, f.e. swordsmen, both should have a clear difference in what they are strong against, such that every unit is usefull until the end of the game.
So far the steps are usually always the same. Afterwards, the rest depends mainly on what feedback comes after playing the faction. Are there elements which feel not perfect yet or need a change. Also the feedback of the Beta and Balancetesters is included and over some iterations the faction is more and more improved until it is good enough to be published.
But that was only the conceptual and coding part of the faction development. In the concept phase every teammember can participate, but the coding is usually done by Ealendril alone, as it is hardly possible to code with more than one person at the same time. So at the same time, the Modellers and Graphicers look while playing for things that need improvements. When something is found, they usually coordinate themselves, such that the most important things will be done for sure.
At the same time the AI is continously adapted to the new faction, and all the new units and spells are teached to it. Also, the maps are tested by the testers and those maps, which don't include the AI for the new faction will be fixed. Furthermore, the faction is looked through concerning the English version, and missing texts will be translated, text which are sloppy are reworked, and missing soundsets will be included.
When all of these things are finished (and all the things we work on at the same time, as we never do only one faction in a release), we look for a release date, which usually is at least two weeks in the future, because before the relase everything as to be checked again. At the release date as many members as possible should be online, to give instand support, and the servers have to prepared for the storm beforehand. Also the launcher has to be changed that it downloads the correct files.
And finaly a new faction has been released in that process.
Question of the Day 6
What's each of the team member's favorite faction and why? Also which faction was the most challenging and/or easiest to make? Explain the second question in detail.
- Ealendril: Rivendell
- Lord of Mordor: Mordor, as Sauron has been the greatest badass evil ever. Also Angmar, as this is the faction, where he put the largest creativity in it.
- RadagastTheMusical: Lothlorien, because he is a total Elves Nerd and loves the models
- Reshef: Dwarves, in particular the Iron Hills. Dwarves have a great gameplay, little tanks on legs. Also the red design of the Iron Hills is great
- Trapper: Rohan, a royal and at the same time rooted in the soil.
- FG15: Rohan, because it feels really close to BfME1 and always was a great faction.
The easiest faction was Gondor, as it is basically the same faction as in BfME1 and 2, with some additions. Also, Gondor could be called the most generic faction, as it doesn't have any complicated special systems and instead a solid gameplay mainly focused on infantry but also has good archers, cavalry and siege units. Gondor, didn't need any huge reworks or new designs, as everythign was already there. Also most of the heroes have been there for a long time and where so traditional that it was out of question reworking them or changing bigger things.
The most complicated faction will be the Misty Mountains for sure, as, many units and nearly all buildings where created completly new. And nearly all the heroes and their abilities where made compeltly new. Also, the Misty Mountains break so many rules other factions have. They have a partially free building system which does not only need great testing concerning the balance but also conerning bugs and gameplay. They can train most of their basic units also on settlements, which generate resources at the same time. They have a flying hero. They've got also the tunnel system while being at normal speed. They got many special and not regular units.That are quite some points, which need really much time, and therefore we decided to release Misty Mountains last of the factions.
Question of the Day 7
Which is the concept proposed by the English Community that impressed you the most? In general, what do you expect people to present in a concept, in terms of quality, variety, uniqueness and the other aspects of the suggesting process?
Another a bit deeper and personal question: which were for the Edain Team both the greatest and even the toughest moments in dealing with the international Community? Something you were really proud of and something you were really disappointed about.
As the improvement of Edain should be the base of every concept, a concept should state clearly what it is, that it aims to improve and what his intentions are.Also, most important of all, there should be arguments, why this is an improvement. Furthermore, the author of the concept should ask himself the question, if there is a reason why this wasn't changed already, in particular if it is a pretty obvious concept, as there can be as obvious reasons why it wasn't changed yet. Moreover, a concept should always consider the effects of the change. What impact has the suggestion to the overall concept and gameplay it concerns? Are these changes really desirable? Is the change even fitting to the gameplay of the particular faction, unit or hero? What impact does it have on its strength?
A concept that just demands to add XYZ without any arguments at all isn't helpfull nor productive.
Also the structure and the look of a concept is quite important. Start with an introduction sentence and say, what you are going to present. Follow with the main part of your concept and try to present your arguments as understandable as possible. Use paragraphs to give the reader a better orientation. Subheaders are also helpful. Marking important information also improves a text, but nothing is gained by overdoing it. Texts in italics are good for ingame descriptions. And to end a concept a small sentence to sum up the concept is nice.
To complete the concept, there are some additional things that are nice, but not really needed for a good concept. For example, giving some reference to the lore, providing approximate example values, ingame texts or pictures for ability icons.
The better the argumentation is and the more optically appealing a concept is, the more likely it becomes that it will get our attention.
Most Impressing Concept
The most impressing concept by the English community so far was probably the Huorn. It was not that the idea was new, in fact the idea of adding an Huorn to the game is probably as old as Edain itself and was often suggested by the community. The impressive thing was that the author of the concept thought about possible probems with the implementation of a Huorn, and came up with a solution for the biggest problem concerning Huorns, that there wasn't an animationset for Huorns yet.
The proudest moment since we started expanding our international community was clearly winning Mod of the Year 2015. That was simply overwhelming. We won't lie - we were confident we had a pretty good shot at getting into the top ten and we campaigned very hard, but we were hoping for perhaps third or fourth place at best. When we scrolled down and Edain wasn't there even after rank three, we were rather disappointed that we didn't make it at all - and then we scrolled further down and there we were, in the top spot! Now obviously we got tons of votes from the German community as well, but this would never have been possible if we wouldn't have had the support of a thriving international fanbase as well. It was the moment all our work in building this community paid off in the greatest way possible, and we're still immensely grateful to you all!
But there have been disappointments as well. We won't name specific incidents here, as there have been several, but we had to endure some intensely personal hate for the changes we made with Edain 4.0. Not just criticism of the gameplay - that's perfectly valid, and we knew going in that changing the building system would be controversial - but attacks aimed directly at individual members of the team to punish us for doing the mod the way we enjoyed it the most. We've had to deal with lengthy tirades describing our deep moral failings, our ethical bankruptcy and what have you just for modding 'wrong'. It's frankly absurd to see how far some people will go because they don't like a hobby project given to them for free. Luckily, these people are simply a very small, very loud minority, and couldn't possibly bring us down when we also get so much encouragement, support and constructive criticism from the rest of you guys :) Still, it's an aspect of modding life we could certainly do without.
Here are some shorter answer for some of the other questions, which were upvoted, but didn't get elected as question of the day.
So many questions, choose the one u want to answer:
1-How does the team take the fact that some of you have left recently for various reasons?
2-Will it take longer to finish the demo then?
3-Do you search for new team members ?
1 We are always sorry, when someone has to leave the team because he has no more time or interest in Edain. Adamin still is a honourable member, and we are sure, that he will return as an active member, when he has more time.
2 Of course one member less means, that things will probably need longer, but there are so many other factors, that a direct effect is not obvious.
3 We are always looking for new members. Not so long ago, Trapper has joined the team, who is a real talented, and motivated member.
What is each of the team member's favorite LOTR character?
- Ealendril: Gandalf
- Lord of Mordor: Sauron
- FG15: Gil-Galad
- Reshef: Faramir
What is your favourite Middle Earth movie? And what's your favourite book?
- FG15: The book "All about Hobbits", because it has a sientific aproach at the Hobbits in Middle-Earth and their whole lifestyle. It does not only contain all possible information from Tolkiens works, but also has conclusions and deductions following from them, as well as funny facts, and comparisions to Myth in our world. It is a must have, for everyone creating anything with Hobbits.
The favourite Middle-Earth film was the "Fellowship of the Ring" as it has the greatest feeling of all the movies and has so many amazing and emotional scenes, even if it doesn't have great battles or action scenes as the other movies.
- Trapper: Fellowship of the Ring as the favourite book and An Unexpected Journey, because it finally we were back in Middle-Earth
- Reshef: Fellowship of the Ring also as the favourite movie, because it perfectly captures the atmosphere of Middle-Earth and has the best landscape views and the best music. The silmarillion is the favourite book, because of all the background information.
Will there be in future versions any Mission maps or random easter eggs in existing maps for fun and laughs as well ? Also when all factions are released and done in a "full version" of the mod, do you plan on making any main game Edain campaign series ? Like the 3.8 War of the Dwarves or classic BFME 1-2 Good and Evil War of The Ring with maybe some additions or anything else
Of course there will be more Mission maps and easter eggs, even if there wn't be any new in the next version.
No comment to the second part of the question.
What are the team's favorite non-Mission maps in the Edain mod and why?
- FG15: Tharbad, as it is a reworked version of the first playable map he ever created
- Reshef: The River Lûhn, because it is quite special as an Arnor map, and it fits perfectly to the pre Christmas time.
- Trapper: Eryn Vorn, but it changes often
Today, the voting for the Mod of the Year ends, so we want to thank everyone voting for us and supporting us once more.
Even if the question of the day has ended, as always you can ask us questions anyime.
Your Edain Team