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Report RSS State of the Edain Team 2017

As many of you have requested, we'd like to give you a deeper look at what's been going on behind the scenes.

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Edain Mod in 2017: State of the Team



Greetings, companions of Edain,


After the recent Rivendell Spellbook News, we wanted to take the time to talk about the current state of the Edain Mod and the team as a whole. It's something a lot of you have been asking about, so let's get right into it.

You have noticed that progress on the mod has been going slower than it used to. There are many different reaons for this. A big one is undoubtedly the departure of our founder and leader Ealendril in early 2017. He was not only a major creative force, but also responsible for almost all of Edain's coding. On top of that, he contributed significantly to nearly every other area of development. And ultimately, this was why he decided to leave: Modding took up so much time for him that he couldn't devote as much as he wanted to other parts of his life.

(Among other things, Ealendril has since published several fantasy novels - if you're a German reader, do check out his Arakkur series! We weren't surprised at all to see that he's a force to be reckoned with no matter what he puts his mind to!)

By unanimous team decision, Ealendril's role as leader went to Lord of Mordor, who has been deputy leader for years and majorly shaped the creative direction of Edain. FG15, also one of our most active members and most talented coders, took over as new second-in-command. So why have things still not been going as fast as in the old days?

For one, the adjustment certainly wasn't easy and we never expected it to be - there was a significant transition period where work on version 4.5 slowed down dramatically as we figured out how to go forward. However, even now that we have new structures and workflows in place that we're happy with, what's true for Ealendril is also true for the rest of us: As we get older, we start to feel the stress of Edain more and more while the time we can devote to the mod grows ever scarcer. When we started working on Edain, a lot of us were still in school. But that was ten years ago! Since then, many team members have gone on to university or even started their careers. We're still passionate about Edain and Lord of the Rings - but as we grow older, they have to make room to share our attention with all the other responsibilities that come with adult life.

Ealendril was not the only member we lost along the way. Thorongil, Adamin and Radagast have also decided to pursue other things. We wish them all the best! But this did create another roadblock for a time, leaving us with no one to create new skins and models. Crucially, this stalled development on the new Misty Mountains faction which still needs quite complex structure models. That was a major reason why we decided to pursue less graphics-heavy concepts like the Spellbook rework for 4.5 first (the other major reason being that we do feel it's something the mod desperately needed, as it may even add more overall gameplay variety across the board than a single new faction would).

Luckily, we have since had the pleasure of welcoming some much-needed fresh blood among our ranks. Trapper has reinforced our mapping team while Joragon has joined to fill the modelling void. As the decision to postpone the Misty Mountains until after 4.5 had long been made by that point and reversing that would delay the next release even further, we thought he might start with another fan favorite request instead. We're sure you're going to like what he's currently working on...

Battle Wagon - Work In Progress

So progress on Edain 4.5 continues, but the slower pace is probably something all of us will have to get used to - team members as well as fans. Which brings us to a second important point:

Communication with the community

Many of you have been asking for more communication from the team, and it's true that there have been longer periods of silence at times than we would have liked. Once again, there are several reasons for that.

The most obvious one ties into what we discussed above. With less time to devote to creating new content, we simply have less to share and news posts become less frequent by default. However, it's important to note that a lack of news has never meant a lack of progress. There will be times when we are discussing and working on a whole bunch of interesting projects internally, but none of them are yet fully ready to be shared with you.

The Lorien spellbook, for example, has proven a difficult task to get right and we went through iteration after iteration to make sure it's up to Edain's high standards. It has always been our philosophy to only present the best possible version of any given feature and take the time we need to get it to that state. Looking back, it probably would have been wiser to divide the siege rework and the spellbook rework into two separate versions and release 4.5 with just the siege changes before we start work on the spells. But that ship has sailed.

We certainly underestimated the effort it would take to get the spellbooks to a place we're happy with. Miscalculations like that can always happen, unfortunately - after all, we never claimed to be perfect! However, now that we're committed to the project, we don't want to release a half-baked version of it just for the sake of getting it out there faster. We want to do it right despite all the turbulences. We feel this philosophy has been an integral part of Edain's success over the years and is a major reason many of you are still here.

So why don't we fill the time with work-in-progress announcements or at least give estimates when we can release the next news post or new version? First off, it comes down to time again: We only want to say something when we actually have something to say. After all, would you rather we hang out in the comments section promising you the next update is coming soon, or actually work on making that happen? When in doubt, we'll always choose the latter!

It's true that at least setting tentative dates would give people something to look forward to while we work, but we have long since learnt to never make promises we aren't absolutely sure we can keep. And since we're all doing this in our spare time as a hobby, we simply can't ever be 100% sure until something is fully done. Even showing you that Battle Wagon above is a risk - that one's still in progress, and may not end up being implemented exactly as you see it now. Making more promises may feel like it alleviates uncertainty in the short term, but could actually increase it in the long run.

Maybe it turns out the game doesn't actually support our concept the way we had envisioned it. Maybe we only notice a crucial issue after implementing an idea and seeing it in action. Or maybe it simply turns out we don't have the time to get it done in the time we promised. This will only lead to frustration for you and increased stress for us. If our professor or boss sets us a deadline for a paper or important job, for example, that will always have to take precedence over Edain. Not to mention that Edain is not even our only hobby - some of us play several instruments or sports, for example.

To be sure, we don't want to downplay the importance of Edain. For many of us, it's been a big part of our lives for years. We have met many friends along the way and it's been incredibly rewarding to see such a passionate community grow around what we have built. Modding is immensely creatively fulfilling and a source of great pleasure to all of us. However - and this is the crucial part - that is what it has to remain. If Edain ever became a burden instead of a pleasure, if it strained our private lives or took a toll on our jobs or education, that would be the one and only thing sure to eventually kill the mod.

Lately, we got the impression that quite a few people need to be reminded of this.

"The mod is dead!"


There's another big reason communication from our side has declined. Coming home after a long day of work with maybe an hour or two to spend on Edain, the last thing we want to do with that time is read comments along the lines of "It's been a week since the last update, clearly the mod you worked on for ten years is dead". And those, dispiriting as they are, are actually among the more harmless ones we've been getting.

Even more frustrating are those people who apparently feel that because we have spent years working on something we provide entirely for free, we have entered a contract to fulfill every single demand they make of us. We've even had comments telling us that the mod itself has no value if we don't also constantly talk to people about it. This went so far as someone telling us that if we can't respond to comments, we should never have made the mod public in the first place.

To these people, we have a very simple answer: We never did any of this for you. Firstly, we did indeed do it for ourselves. Because we wanted to make the Lord of the Rings strategy game nobody else seemed willing to make. Because we wanted the creative fulfillment that comes with a project of Edain's quality and scale. Because we found friends among the team, and for countless other reasons you're free to judge as self-serving if you must.

But we also did it because we knew there were other people out there who felt like us - that while BfME was a great game, it could be even better, and that Tolkien's world deserves to be explored even further. It has been our great honor to foster and build a community of like-minded players. And we don't mean only people who enjoy the mod unconditionally, far from it! Player feedback and criticism has been a major factor in making Edain what it is today. We don't ask for blind adoration. But after ten years of doing all we can to bring you the best possible LotR mod, we do ask for a certain measure of trust and respect. We ask you to believe us when we tell you that the mod is not dead despite the slower pace, without us having to repeat that every few days or "prove" it to you with a constant stream of new content.

And the thing is: We're well aware that the large majority of our community consists of considerate and respectful players. But it's human nature to notice the loudest and most destructive voices the most, and these types of comments have been eating away at our motivation to engage with people lately. Just think about that the next time you're thinking about throwing some ill-considered demands at us. If your aim is to get more news and faster releases from us, this is the surest way to achieve the exact opposite.

To those of you who do stick by us even when the going gets rougher, however, we want to say: Thank you! We hope this post has both illuminated some of the reasons why things have slowed down a bit as well as reassured you that despite all this, we're not going anywhere. For as Tolkien himself said: "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."

We're still as determined as ever to bring you the best Lord of the Rings strategy game out there. And we're still glad for every companion who wants to accompany us on that journey!

Your Edain Team

Comments
Rambo987
Rambo987

Your determination is inspiring, keep up the good work.

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Starwarsfan8
Starwarsfan8

Well said, its inspiring in many ways to see a mod for an RTS being made by a group of very talented and devoted modders even if the road to finish it has been so long and arduous. Improving on a mod for ten years can be a huge toll on any team.

I respect what you guys are doing and I do agree you don't deserve the harsh criticisms towards your mod but I do think it would be nice to see the occassional blog post from you guys, even if its not related to mod progress. I really liked your Question of the Day posts, because I love hearing your analysis on games and Lord of the Rings lore. Its difficult as it is to find great RTS content in an age where games of that genre are too few and far in between.

Anyway you guys have been doing a great job with this mod over the years and I will be happy to see its evolution in the years to follow.

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YeshuaEnthusiast
YeshuaEnthusiast

Thank you for the time and investment you have given so far. I know for myself I have played countless hours of this mod with many friends and my family; it has become a treasured activity playing this game with my Dad. Thank you for your gift.

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Krixis
Krixis

Still playing Lord of the Rings almost 12 years after release because of this amazing mod. Take your time,those of us that appreciate your dedication and hard work will wait patiently. Great job!

Best....Mod....Ever!

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Moby91
Moby91

The perfect words - I totally agree with you!

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Skylarapas
Skylarapas

You guys are doing something that takes an unimaginable amount of time to create something historical here. You transformed our favorite game, that was thrown to the dump by EA, into a masterpiece of gaming woven under a lore-friendly enviroment. I don't think that the coders and designers of the original game ever spent that much time totally for the game they produced. I really wouldn't have any problem paying you for dedicating yourselves in this and I think that many would agree with me. You didn't just put some models in the game or factions or did some balancing here and there... You created a new game.

As I've been saying all these years, may you find the courage to continue this gargantuan task. I am afraid each and every day that you may decide to bail, that's why I pray that you get the courage you need to continue.

We thank you.

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ShipwrightOfTheNoldo
ShipwrightOfTheNoldo

Thank you so much for all the effort you put into this.

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Ithryn_varni
Ithryn_varni

I think that was one of the most needed updates this mod and its team could give. I have had the immense joy and pleasure to play this mod since about the time it was released on MODDB and I can only marvel at the skill and work that you guys as a team have put into this.
It´s not the acctual mod that amazes me the most but the fact that you have taken your own free time, without getting a single payment from the work you´re doing, to bring random strangers around the world a totally new and uniquelly wonderful mod to a wonderful game, making it as bright and beautiful as the most eloquent of Tolkiens poems. I feel nothing but joy and neverending gratitude for all that you have done, and you shall all know that I will always be grateful for your work, even when you decide that your modding days are over.

I can very well understand your need for selftime and free time away from modding and more focused on other things in life. It is the same with me playing this mod, when I was in school I could go home, do some quick homework and then just blow my brain out on this amazing mod, trying new strategies, maps, hero comps. And I still couldn´t get enough. It was blissful. With time my studies took more time and I had to skip Edain to write on my papers, and finally papers turned into payments and workinghours. I got more areas of responsibility and had to devote more and more time away from playing Edain. Adult life can be a bitch but one thing that you should get from it is some sort of patience.

It´s really easy for all the school/not-really-working kids to sit at home and just wait for Edain to finish their mod so you can blow some more awsome hours on an awsome mod but please, try and be patient and have a little bit of faith. Try and be empathic and see the mod from the modders perspective.
Finally to the team: You will always be amazing persons in my eyes. People that have devoted so much time and energy to give not just myself but so many other peoples around the world the amazing experience of playing Edain. With this I can only finish with one quote. "My friends, you bow to no one"

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Trondheim9
Trondheim9

To add to your final Aragorn quote: "A day may come when the courage of the Edain team fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields and salty trolls, when the age of mods comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, supporters of Edain Mod!"

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ak6427
ak6427

I don't even know what to say..
Just thanks guys.

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ulfricstormcloak148
ulfricstormcloak148

Thanks guys, take your time to do the right things, we know it's gonna be good.

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Witcking321
Witcking321

That akward feeling when sauron is your main hope lol.

And yeah i and most others understand that last part, but we the silent majority just watched when the same 5-10 "individuals" and all the other trolls or unpleasant people who come and go over the years were ******** all over your mod and everytime you fix one of their complaints, they just move to a different one and act like nothing has happened.
I still sometimes think translating the mod to english and winning the moddb contest was a mistake when i read the comment section from time to time.

Vielen Dank für all eure Arbeit und Ohren steif halten gegen jene.

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hyfero
hyfero

Best Mod Team in the world.

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Drogoth-fan
Drogoth-fan

best mod team take your time guys :)

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killamolla
killamolla

I have been playing rts games for quite a few years and especially many many diverse mods... let me just say edain is really a masterpiece in the state it is now. You are truly bringing the essence of LotR more to live than the original ever could. Gameplay wise this team is doing better than most of the million dollar studios today. i Cant say anything but respect and pls pls pls keep up the good work. go to kickstarter or any other funding websites... i am sure there are people that would like to give you a dollar or two and even if it is just for an ice cream. wish u good luck on future Updates!!

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Dain_Ironfoot_II
Dain_Ironfoot_II

Haters in the comments. You hear that lads? Were on, lets give those bastards a good hammering!
If they read this article and still complain, I'll split their pretty heads open! See if they're still smirking then!

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vikingman369
vikingman369

love that Gimli quote!

thank you, Edain team, for letting us know what's been happening to the mod. i remember when 4.0 came out and it blew away all other BfME2 mods out of the water. the team is very dedicated to this mod, and the high quality of releases proves it. the fans are with you, Edain team, and we will wait. best of luck

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Moby91
Moby91

As always: take all the time you need and

Thank you for everything!

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admiral_trenchx
admiral_trenchx

Bravo, you guys have made one of the best mods and I applaud that you have continued to work on it for so long!

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Eru.Ilúvatar
Eru.Ilúvatar

Nice

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Superdante
Superdante

People are also only humans, but there are people who get anxious and spout some things they shouldn't, but this update surely has calmed and cleared the mind of such people, i hope.

I for one love the first BFME game and its campaign, but not so much the second game. I still remember the first time i came accross Edain xD, it was all in german but i didn't give a damn, i was so hyped because i could feel the innovation of all the big and little ideas implemented in Edain, the passion and care of so many details, and the huge amount of work you guys had (both sweat and sometimes headaches during development, as well joy and accomplishement for a job well done).

By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you don't give up on what you like to do, don't give up on Edain and if possible don't give up on us. There are no expectations, just a fool's hope.

And please enjoy every little time of your lives, be it with family, friends or modding. Don't rush the mod, release it when its ready.

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Stahlrim
Stahlrim

Wow. It sure has been a journey. I am glad you guys are able to stick to it as well as you have been. And, yeah, I would much rather wait to see a noteworthy update as opposed to a simple "still alive" post. I totally understand making planning miscalculations. All of us have done it at least once before (most likely multiple times this year). And setting tentative dates would be a mistake. All it will lead to is people getting impatient when there is nothing to see or hear when the "due" date comes. So not giving deadlines would be the wisest choice.

I wish you all the best of luck with your everyday responsibilities and whatever progress can be made on this masterpiece of a mod! Macht's gut!

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joelockard
joelockard

I'd like to say on behalf of the majority of fans of Edain Team, we are ever thankful to you guys. Despite the stress and hardships of work or college life, you still find a way and use whatever little amount of time you can get to keep the mod alive, whereas most modders would have simply abandoned their project and let it die. I cannot express how grateful we are to you for sharing this masterpiece to other fans. Keep up the good work and know that many of us support you and will patiently wait for the final fruit of all your hardwork to bear.

And to all you bashers, trolls, and whiners. I can't tell if you're a bunch of 8 year olds or 30-something neckbeards, but based on all your rants, demands, insults and complaints, I'm assuming you still live with your parents so you have no clue on what's it like to have a life beyond making a mod that everyone gets for free. Seriously, they were kind enough to share their mod without charge, what the hell do you want? Edain Team owes you nothing. They owe me nor nobody here nothing. They have their lives and they have every right to enjoy it as they please, and as they said,if this mod becomes a burden to their lives, they'll be better off to abandon it. And if it should come to that, it will all be thanks to you d*ckheads. The more you demand news, updates or call them out for lack of it, you'll likely get the opposite, as they stated. So shut up, enjoy the mod, wait like everyone else, get a life, and if you cant say anything decent in here or thr forums, STFU and start your own mod. Again to Edain Team, we wish you well and good luck on your mod as well as in your careers/college :)

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KyrDerz
KyrDerz

B**, you and your team are awesome. Keep up the f**ng insane good work.
If you manage to get more ppl to work with you, even better. If not, oh well, not like we are in a rush anyway. Everyone has other things to do and the fact you put your time into it, it's nice.

I first saw this mod when I was a kid before uni. Now I have 2 masters, in finance and strategy & consulting from top universities and looking for investment banking position.

Hell yeah it's fun to login to my old moddb account every now and then. And you are sill active.

Cheers.

P.S. If you ever feel a need for consultant, drop me a text.

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ApornasPlanet
ApornasPlanet

Keep it up!

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Robcore
Robcore

First thanks for the news!

Speaking as a Modder:

I know your pain. People are so disrespectful to us modders it is insane!
Don't let yourself be taken down by those comments! If there is something I have learned over the years of modding TW games it is that you always have to do the stuff for yourself. If you can take that on your mind you won't get disapointed by people.

Speaking as a EDAIN player:

You do a great job! Take your time as long as you guys will finish this in at least 40 years, so I can play it the whole day when I don't need to work anymore :D. I think 40 years is a good number of time to reach perfection of the EDAIN Mod right? ;)

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ReiFan01
ReiFan01

As someone who has seen Edain evolve from nearly the beginning, I can just tell the Team: you guys are extremely awesome - not just for your skills, but also the way you handle the community!

I can remember the times in the old Edain-Forum when Adamin, Gnomi or any other admin banhammered some obnoxious guys who didn´t stop bitching about stuff like "why didn´t you implement blablah" or "why do you work so sloooow".

But at the same time, the team did - and does - give all the feedback they can to the community and share the joy of Tolkien´s world and their creativity with us.

It has been an extremely pleasant time with you guys and I wish you all the best in whatever endeavours you set your mind on!

And as ever: don´t feed the trolls; you are still doing awesome work! Don´t get dragged down by some whiny non-grown-ups ;)

And now I raise my metaphysical tankard of ale to you guys; have a great time and see you around.

Best regards to you all,

ReiFan01

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Natsoi
Natsoi

I will never condone the ego you people seem to have, and even less the changes you're putting in, which all seem a step back, imo.

Still, I had hundreds of hours of fun on the mod, and for that, you have my thanks and my best wishes for the rest of the project.

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Guest
Guest

Keep it up!

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Glemli
Glemli

I completely follow you, Edain team! For my life has also become an 'adult life'. And I even barely have the time to play Edain anymore, but the few times I have are hours of complete relaxation, amusement and entertainment; of a dive into Tolkien's world, thanks to your great work.
I do remain being very interested in the coming updates, and I look forward to them with great curiosity!
Thank you for everything!

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traviangermano1995
traviangermano1995

You guys make our dreams true!!

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-Trapper- Creator
-Trapper-

These comments are fantastic and we thank you for your obvious support.
The last 2 weeks have been fully devoted to the preparations of my final exam (leaving no time to Edain) and now that the first part of the exam is over, my motivation is above the roof seeing all these positive comments!

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Guest
Guest

Take your time, enjoy the process of making this piece of art and don't be fooled by the minority of angry voices. The majority of us will be here in another ten years to keep Tolkien's masterpiece alive through your mod.

Much love and appreciation

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Guest
Guest

I have to say, I’ve been following you guys for about 2-3 years now. I’m a huge LOTR fan. And I am extremely impressed with everything your team has to offer. Even if you guys decided to retire this mod today, though I would be saddened, I would completely understand. I’ve played countless b4me mods and I have to say this mod has no rival. So, thank you guys for sharing with us all your very creative and outstanding work! -Gabriel

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