Special shoutout to Arachir and the Divide and Conquer team for allowing us to use their tools, models and more. I would also like to point out how much of a help the Call of Warhammer: Beginning of The End Times mod team has been to us. Hats off to both parties for their great sportsmanship and contributions to the modding community
What’s New in .97?
We’ve taken huge strides with this patch. Initially the intention was to create a small balance fix to address the more severe imbalances players were experiencing in .96.1, but the test build quickly took on a life of its own and soon we were adding 2 new factions, and soon thereafter 5. While we fell a bit short of our ambitions, we nonetheless added 3 new factions with distinct rosters and play styles.
Numenor is one of those factions and the first to be revealed to the public. The faction has undergone a significant transformation since their reveal 6 months ago. The Rommena units have been reskinned and reconceptualized and a lot of units shared with Umbar and Mordor have been removed. Belegaer units have been added to fill some of the gaps left behind, along with brand new additions. The end result has been a faction that is far more aggressive than its predecessor that is fast paced and rewarding to play. Numenor specializes in powerful and versatile infantry/cavalry, with access to murderous ranged weaponry like the dreaded Steelbow. Numenorean infantry, however, is small in number and is vulnerable to armor-piercing damage and overwhelming numbers. Numenorean commanders need to be aggressive, proactive and measured when dealing with their enemies in order to preserve their precious numbers.
Next is Dorwinion, the land of wine and trade. Dorwinion was pretty much an out of the blue faction. We thought it would be a cool addition and we thought we could give the faction our own spin, which I think it’s fair to say we’ve accomplished. Our conception of Dorwinion is as a cosmopolitan crossroads of different, but complementary cultures and fighting styles. Their armies are composed of regiments of heavily armored Elvellyn warriors and supported by swift and deadly Avari/Nandor Elves. Elvellyn units are superb for holding the line against incredible odds but have below-average damage. Elven units are highly skilled in melee and can inflict huge amounts of punishment on their enemies very quickly, but are extremely vulnerable to incoming missile fire. Even the lowliest Snaga archer can fell one of the Avari from afar.
While Numenor and Dorwinion were the conceptualization and creation of Synn of the Dark Cloud, one of our other lead developers, third and final addition to .97 comes from the off-beat approach of KuroGuroChan, another of our project leads.
The Shire is a faction that focuses on their numbers, powerful special units, and light infantry . Kuro has his own way of doing things and a lot of interesting and subtle details were incorporated into The Shire’s design. Hobbits are harder to target with missile fire than Man or Orc sized equivalents, stealthy, quick, and lucky, hence their many units with the armor piercing trait. The Shire also has access to a number of special units drawn from the allies made by Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, and Pippin over the course of their adventures in Middle Earth. Beornings, Ents, and (eventually) Eagles will all support the Hobbits when their need is dire. Interestingly, thanks to the Hobbits affinity for food, many of these special units have shared a meal with one or more favorite Hobbits, helping to cement their friendship.
On Dol Guldur and Ered Luin:
Although we set our sights on adding five additional factions in .97, our eyes proved too big for our stomachs. The community was ready for a new patch and a year was already a long time to wait for new content. We didn’t want to delay further, but neither did we want to release something without polish. Ered Luin and Dol Guldur will still make their way into the mod eventually, but only once we’re convinced that they’re ready. That being said, we can tell you a little bit about what to expect from these newcomers!
Dol Guldur will be at their best in the thick of melee combat and will share a lot of similarities with Azog’s armies as soon in The Battle of Five Armies in both gameplay and aesthetic. The host of Dol Guldur is bound to the will of their commanders: The Masters of Dol Guldur. This special support unit will have a map wide inspiration effect that will effectively render Dol Guldur’s legions unbreakable while they remain on the field. Without their leadership the Orcs are easily scattered. Orc regiments will be a mix of heavily armored infantry and lightly armored berserker type units supported by a myriad of beasts like Giant Bats, Wargs, and Trolls. However, Dol Guldur’s armies lack stamina and lose their effectiveness quickly once battle is joined or while maneuvering around the field. Wave tactics are the core of their playstyle and the Hordes of the Hill of Sorcery will push forward as long as the Masters remain secure.
As for Ered Luin, the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains will be a fresh take on the traditionally very static and polearm/crossbow centric playstyle of Khazad-Dum and Erebor. Ered Luin will make liberal use of monstrous cavalry, chariots, and thrown weapons to crush their enemies under foot and won’t suffer from the perennial Dwarven Achilles heel of low speed; If most Dwarves are natural sprinters then the Dwarves of Ered Luin are marathon runners. However, they will be less armored than their slow moving kinsmen and will entirely lack pole arm units.
New Units and Reskins:
Rohan, Harad, Angmar, Rhun, Umbar (The Cowering Coma)
Cardolan (The Cowering Coma & Synn of the DarkCloud)
Coldfell Maidens (Octavious of Minrathous)
Ironfoot Chariots (Finishing touched by Calypse.Leo, Model by Carondol)
Sauron’s Will (Jmonster/The Cowering Coma)
Gundabad Trolls (Model by Leo, Retex by Jmonster)
Mirkwood Armor Upgrades (Model worked extensively on by KuroGuroChan, Retex by Jmonster)
Trolls of the White Hand (KuroGuroChan)
Gwaith I Mirdain reskinned (by Dreezy4k)
Harbringers of Castamir reskinned, and redesigned, Warlords of Umbar reskinned and sons of eorl and meduseld guard reskinned for rohan. Plus 4 new dol amroth units added "Peredhil". ( by Synn of the DarkCloud)
New Battle Editor:
A lot of time has been spent porting new placeable assets from the Battle for Middle Earth series over to the Medieval II Battle Editor. You will now be able to recreate many of the locales of Middle Earth in faithful detail instead of just loose approximations using medieval style buildings. We can’t wait to see what you guys make of this new feature!
Finally Reforged has its very own campaign! This feature is still very much in beta, but it has been worked on extensively by WK and his team of contributors and testers.
CrimsonBehelit has been hard at work designing a professional new UI and importing many classic sounds from Battle for Middle Earth for use in the mod. Keep your ears peeled in game and enjoy the fruits of his hard work!
WK is really amazing at what he does. Here’s a small sample of some of the brand new fortresses and cities that he’s churned out of his workshop over the past year:
Dale, Minas Morgul/Minas Ithil, etc:
General Change Log:
Fear traits have been redistributed. Each faction has between 3-4 (on average) fear causing units. Monstrous units like trolls and Mumakil cause fear to everybody, however, most units only cause fear to a certain type of opponent. Human and Elven Swordmasters, for example, cause fear to infantry, while melee knights frighten exclusively cavalry. All pike units cause fear of mounted enemies. Inspire traits have also been overhauled. Currently the following inspire traits are available: 2 morale/ 25 meter radius; 5 morale/ 50 meter radius; 10 morale/ 25 meter radius; 5 morale/ 100 meter radius; 5 morale/ 200 meter radius. Most factions have between 3-4 inspire units, although this depends on the faction.
Fatigue traits have been systematically redistributed. Who gets what varies according to several functions like race, tier, unit theme, etc. Elves, Dwarves, Uruk-hai, and 2HP elites all have the very_hardy trait by default, while most mod tiers have hardy and militia tier units have no fatigue trait and so tire more quickly.
Artillery has been greatly changed in an effort to make it more reliable, however, ammo and engine counts have decreased as a result. Catapults and ballistae have 3 engines each, with Catapults having 15 ammunition and Ballistae having 20. Specialized or unique engines like the Dragon’s Breath Canon or Trebuchets have 2 engines each with 10 ammo, however, these engines are highly accurate. The Isengard Ballista has dropped 10 range and 1 engine, however, unlike other unique/special engines it retains 3 engines instead of 2.
Unit speed has increased by .05 across the board in an effort to improve the pace of games. Additionally artillery speed has increased by a flat .5 in an effort to make these units more responsive and friendlier to use on the battlefield. All light infantry have received an additional .25 speed.
Mental traits (traits that govern how well units respond to morale shocks) have been redistributed. Professional and frontline infantry/cavalry and elite archers all have the disciplined response to morale shocks. Certain themed/flavor units also have, or lock this trait in accordance to lore or unit concept. For example, Helmingas have retained the disciplined trait while front line Heavy Goblin Infantry have not. Mid tier and low tier skirmishers also do not have disciplined, making them easier to scatter with morale shocks.
The differences between throwing axes and javelins have been widened. Throwing Axes are no longer AP, however they have greater base damage and ammunition than most javelin units. They are excellent at dealing with other hand-thrown skirmishers (most of whom are lightly armored and shielded) as well as units unprotected by a shield. Javelins are a far more efficient choice for dealing with heavily armored and shielded enemies as they reduce both armor and shield values by 50%.
Shock infantry speed has increased as a function of their armor value and the presence (or not) of a shield. Additionally, shock infantry charge values have increased by 50%.
All spear units (1H/2H spears and pikes) have had their anti-cavalry bonus increased by +2.
All heavy Elven swordmasters have a passive 3 shield value. This is intended to represent the Elves supernatural agility that would allow them to evade or redirect incoming missile fire. In a more practical sense, it helps them preserve their precious numbers by offering some small protection against small arms fire.
Ammunition of all low tier archers has been significantly decreased. Accuracy of high tier archers has increased by as much as 20% in many cases. Additionally, low tier archers no longer have access to fire arrows and can no longer place stakes.
Ranger ammunition count has decreased to 14, the damage has decreased by 1, and range has decreased by 10. Ranger units universally have received +1 damage and +2 MD to compensate.
Cavalry unit sizes have been standardized. Most cavalry sits at 60 men per unit, while elite cavalry has 50 men per unit. Rohirrim and Khandish cavalry do not follow this principle, reaching sometimes as high as 90 men.
Terrain bonuses and penalties have returned. The exact bonuses vary from faction to faction and unit type to unit type but a general overview can be found below: Light Infantry receive minor bonuses when fighting in the snowHeavy Infantry receive minor bonuses when fighting in scrub terrain. Pikes, halberds, and cavalry take major penalties when fighting in the forest. Assassins, Cardolan Bandits, and Ents receive major bonuses when fighting in the woods. Most Wood Elven cavalry do not take penalties when fighting in a forest. There are also many faction specific terrain bonuses that apply in addition to or instead of the above templates. For example, Dwarven infantry receives bonuses in scrub or snow terrain, while Rhudaur infantry only gets bonuses in the forest regardless of their unit type.
Most pikes have had their caps decreased to 2. Lindon, Cardolan, Erebor, and Khazad-dum are the exceptions to this rule as they either specialize in or heavily rely upon, their pike units. Most spear units have been limited to 3, except in certain cases according to need and faction specialty.
Lance knights anti-cavalry bonus reduced from 7 to 6. They do however cause fear to all enemies, while Melee knights have kept their +10 anti-cavalry bonus, but only cause fear to mounted enemies. This has been doing to further specialize knight units.
Most crossbow units have had their accuracy increased by 10 - 20%.
Artillery crews have had their stats copied from whatever unit they share a model with. Crewmen are now capable warriors on par with their front line counterparts, albeit far less numerous.
Before we close up shop for today, I want to take a time to thank our testers and contributors. They worked diligently alongside the development team for a year to bring you a lot of the features and content that you’ll enjoy with the release of .97. Special Thanks for Vision and Peak for their work on the campaign; Steward of Dale, Emerald Warden, and Lord of Belegost for their work on overhauling unit names across the entire mod and again to Emerald Warden for helping me write and structure this article; Callistonian and GynSteel for the many assets they loaned to the team (His Heirs of Elendil mod for DaC is amazing and you should play it right now); Callistonian again and Sir Matthias for their ongoing work on campaign scripts, and Callistonian especially for the amazing promotional screenshots he provided us for Numenor and Mirkwood; Octavious for the amazing new Coldfell Maiden models he made for the team; Leo/Calypso for finishing the Erebor Chariots originally modelled by Carondol, many new models and assets loaned from his incredible Alternative Patch, as well as many Dwarven settlements.; Finally, a huge thank you to the DaC team who have given us so much support in creating our campaign. They provided us with the base campaign map, and numerous assets for multiplayer such as the new Lorien light infantry models and Rangers.
Our testing team, be they seasoned test patch veterans or new arrivals, deserve a huge amount of credit for helping to refine .97’s single player and especially the multiplayer mode. This new patch would be nothing without the dedication of our incredible community who all pitched in to make this the greatest patch we’ve ever released. .97 is a monument to your passion and hard work and we honestly don’t know what we’d do without you. Thank you :).This article is just a summary of the extent that the development and testing team has worked for the past year. It has been a pleasure working together to make the mod the best it possibly can be and there is so much more to come! The team wishes you all the best in Patch 0.97! We can’t wait to finally pull back the curtain and get this show started!
- Team Reforged -
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Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10
Great work so far even if its not finished. The units look awesome and I can finally get my actual dunedain troops instead of just the "half dunedain troops". Anyway great mod for multiplayer, keep up the good work! :D
Feb 14 2017 by CityOfKings