The Road to Edain 4.0: Of Trolls and Army Commanders
Today, we would like to present you a short update concerning two heroes of the faction of the Misty Mountains in 4.0. One of these heroes is Bolg, being a well discussed topic in the community for some time and causing much speculations. Also we might see the reworked concept for the three trolls Tom, Bert and Bill. The latter has needed much time for the conception phase as well as for the implementation, which you might see below.
OF TROLLS AND ARMY COMMANDERS
We like to start with Bolg, the son of Azog, who caused us many problems at the beginning. In Peter Jacksons movie of the Hobbit, Azog, the Defiler, has Bolg's role as the commander of the armies of the Misty Mountains. So, Bolg's first appearance is in the second movie The Desolation of Smaug, being a hunter and continuing Azog's role of An unexpected Journey.
The tasks and the role of Bolg in the movie are in a contrast to those of Tolkien's lore. There, Azog, the father of Bolg, is slain by Dain at the battle of Azanulbizar, at the east gate of Khazad-Dûm. Many years later, after the Great Goblin has been killed by Thorin and Company, Bolg unites the orc hordes of the Misty Mountains under his banner. Bolg leads this army to the Battle of the Five armies at the lonely mountain. In Edain, we have already tried to represent these facts and we will hold onto these. Nevertheless, the movie showed us new design and gave us the possibility to use them. In an older update, we already explained the reasons for adoppting the desing as well as the character specific abilities of The Defiler from the movie.
As a reminder, here is a quote of the update:
Update wrote: An Unexpected Journey presented a challenge to us by introducing Azog as an antagonist. We always strive to bridge the book and movie versions of story and unite the best of both worlds. Azog was an obvious pick for a new Misty Mountain hero, especially since that faction could really use more heroes with movie flair and charisma. And we knew that many players were looking forward to playing him in Edain. Others, however, raised valid concerns: Azog was a clear violation of the lore and had actually been long dead at the time of the Hobbit.
We found a simple compromise solution when we realized that our other two Orc heroes, the Great Goblin and the Moria Chieftain, both had no names and went only by their titles. We decided to use the design and abilities of the Gundabad Orc leader from the movies, but only use his title, 'The Defiler'. As a nameless leader of the Gundabad Warg Riders, he was a valid hero without
contradicting the lore outright.
After we found a plausible way to include The Defiler, being not the Azog from the books and thus not sharing his name, next we tried to find a fitting a solution for Bolg, because of his different roles in the books and in the movie. Even if we always try to find a compromise between the books and the films, in this case it was clear that we preferred a lore wise interpretation. So, Bolg's new concept was developed, as the Army Commander of the Misty Mountains. Afterwards, we look for a design, fitting the reputation and the behaviour of a great orc commander. This included great authority, brutality, strict discipline and the delight of battles. For this reason, the Bolg shown in The Desolation of Smaug was not fitting for our proposes, representing none of these characteristics. We made the decision to use another design. The one published some month ago and already then in the prolog of An unexpected Journey.
This design was originally meant for Azog, and played by the actor Conan Stevens, but was replaced in the final version of the movies. Nonetheless, we like this interpretation and in our opinion it is a fitting design for Bolg as an orc leader. So, Bolgs design is based on it, still we made some interpretations of our own, adapting it for our Bolg. The result can be seen in the render below:
To remind you of Bolg's ability set, here is a brief summary of it. Further explanations can be found in the already presented update:
- Level 1 (passive) "Banners of the Mountains": The iron fist of Bolg disciplines the wild hordes. Allows every horde to buy Banners.
- Level 3: "Unbound Wrath": Bolg and all Banner Carriers in a large radius temporary deal damage in an area and knock down enemies.
- Level 5: "Creatures of the Night": Bats will swarm above Bolg for 60 seconds, increasing his range of vision, revealing invisible units, and weakening nearby enemies.
- Level 7: "Take Formation!": Discipline is beaten into the warriors. All Orc hordes form ordered battallions, gaining +25% Defense.
- Level 10: "Uruk Bodyguards": Bolg calls his huge Bodyguards to the battlefield, to surround and protect him.
Afterwards, we would like to present our new conception for the three trolls Tom, Bert and Bill. These were already integrated in the mod some versions ago, but their horde-system caused many bugs and errors, so we had to replace it. Furthermore, we decided to create a hero for the Misty Mountains, which is strong against huge amounts of weak enemies. So, it was necessary to give the trolls a real level system, which does neither cause bugs nor being a complex hack. Our first idea was to implement a companion-system, but this was too a bit to buggy, so we needed another solution, a concept being unique, easy and good playable. Also, it was important to represent the humorous character of the trolls, known from the books and the movies.
For version 4.0 it was important that all heroes are allowed in normal Multiplayer games as well as that each hero has a unique concept. Probably, we won't be successful in all heroes, but we will at least try to.
With Tom, Bill and Bert, we were successful, in our opinion. They can be controlled single or together, due to the preferences of the players. Depending on the Stances-Button, which is always at position 1 of the hero Palantir, the player gets one of the three. Each one of them has a different role, one for aggressive, one for normal and for defensive playing. Also, the player is able to play all the three at a higher level. Depending on the selected stance, the two missing trolls can be temporary summoned and are also affected by the abilities.
A more detailed version of the concept is below, including all the ability descriptions and a video.
- Level 1: Throw Rocks
The standard switch between melee and ranged mode, which should not be missing.
- Level 2: Squash them into jelly - Tom, Bert and Bill throw themselves on their enemies to squash them into jelly
This ability can be better seen in the video. The trolls throw themselves on their enemies and knock them over. The ability is stronger if all the three trolls are on the battlefield.
- Level 5: Jelly pot - Tom, Bert and Bill set up their jelly pot. Allies in the area are permanently healed.
Of course, we had to integrate their iconic Pot, too. This ability has a supportive character and mainly helps the trolls to survive longer on the battlefield.
- Level 7: Troll Lair – The three robbers summon a Troll Lair, which they defend with their lives. They get +300% armour in the area of the Troll Lair. You can summon a maximum of one Troll Lair
The Troll Lair makes the three robbers much stronger, so it will be wise for enemies to attack the lair first, before fighting Tom, Bert and Bill. The ability is stronger, too, if all the three trolls are on the battlefield, because three trolls with triple armour are stronger than one troll.
- Level 10: The three Trolls – The seleceted troll summons his two companions on the battlefield for a short time.
This ability allows the selected troll to call in the others. Used with much skill, this ability can increase the effect of the other abilities.
Finally, in this video you can see the new system of Tom, Bill and Bert:
In our opinion, this concept is quite interesting to play and represents the character of the three robbers quite good. We hope that you enjoyed this preview and would like to read your opinion and feedback in the comment section!
Your Edain Team