Post news RSS Dev Diary #6: What News from the Riddermark?

Just a quick update from me in this week's development development diary for LotR: Realms in Exile! In this diary, we go back to the drawing board and reimagine Rohan's title structure (as well as taking a little trip back in time to see Realms back in its very early pre-release days!).

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Dev Diary #6: What News from the Riddermark?

By Jamie-san

“And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.” - The Return of the King

Hey guys, just a very quick Dev Diary from me this week I'm afraid! With relatives visiting, time has been short this week, but I've managed to fit in a task that's been on our list for quite some time now: reworking Rohan's counties. Unfortunately, I'll also be away next week up in Scotland visiting family, so it's likely that it'll be a couple of weeks until the next update. :)

The State of Rohan

Rohan is an area that is dear to the team's hearts, not just because there are a few Rohan fanboys amongst us, but as it was the very first area that we added to the mod back in the days before v1.0 was released. In fact, I've managed to dig up some old screenshots from when development first started on Realms that I thought you might find interesting to see how far we've come!

Redrawing the Map

We've learned a fair few things about how we like to set up our titles since those early days and now Rohan's large counties with huge numbers of baronies is starting to look a little out of place with the rest of our design. In general, the barony density of the realm feels about right, so unlike the updates to Gondor, I've only needed to add a single barony. Instead, the main task I faced was to split up those mega counties to give more reasonable sized titles. I've also taken the time to shift the ducal structure of the realm which has seen some counties switch their de jure duke. The end result of all of this is in the before and after comparisons below:

Some of you may be questioning the shift of referring to the duchy tiles from Mark to Fold. The simple answer is that a mark, in Rohan, is a military designation. There are three military divisions in Rohan - The East-mark, the West-mark, and the King's Lands (more commonly known as The Folde). With the exception of the King's Lands, governed by the First Marshal, Rohan's military organisation was split East-West by the Entwash and Snowbourn rivers. The lands of the West-mark (all lands West of those rivers not of the King's Land) are under the command of the Second Marshal, and the East-mark, the Third Marshal. These were military appointments, and ones not intrinsically tied to any one landed position, though nobility certainly held them - at the time of the War of the Ring, these were: Théoden, Théodred, and Éomer (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Thus, it didn't feel like it made much sense to have the landed nobility's titles named after them. Instead we reverted to the more geographical descriptors of Eastfold and Westfold.

Another minor tweak can be seen in the West Marches. Some of you have commented on this in the past as, technically speaking, the lands of the West Marches are the lands in the angle of the Isen and Adorn rivers. Previously we'd been spilling over the southern banks of the Adorn in that duchy, which has now been rectified.

Hope you're all having a good November and I look forward to giving another update soon!

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