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Information and screenshots on one of Age of the Ring's most exciting new features coming next release.

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The next release of Age of the Ring will not just be a faction release. Erebor is coming, but with it comes a second big new feature: Map hazards. It's an umbrella term for several new things we've added to many maps, both new and old. This article covers the three categories of map hazards.


Environmental Dangers


Middle-earth is a place of great beauty, but many of its areas are treacherous and full of peril. To reflect this and make our maps more challenging and open to new strategies, we've added a variety of environmental dangers to many of them. Which dangers lurk on which map was decided by looking at the map's biome. In the next release, certain maps will feature one or several of the following conditions: Barrow Fog, which slows and lowers your units' armor, Frostbite, Poisonous Fumes and Scorching Heat, which deal damage over time, Midge Clouds that slows your units down and lowers their damage, and Volcanic Debris, which will regularly crash into the map. Future releases will likely feature more. Note that while the hazard might be somewhat difficult to notice in these screenshots, seeing them ingame is quite different.

heat

Scorching Heat in the Jungles of Harad.


fumes

The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume...


fog

A heavy mist rolls down from the places of the dead...


freezingtodeath

A frostbitten Elf.



Wandering Creatures


Have you ever wondered what sort of creatures wandered the wastes of Forodwaith to the north? Or whether or not the Jungles of Far Harad were populated by wild Mumakîl, untouched by the Haradrim's cruel mastery? Or what you would find if you were to walk the dark hills of Eriador at night? So have we! To fulfill these fantasies, we have added a new type of neutral unit to several maps: the Wandering Creature. These are not neutral creeps: they don't have a lair, and most are not limited to one location - they will wander across the map, going about their business, or appear in random places to spook you!

mammoth

Wild Mammoth standing its ground


balrog

Dúrin's Bane dwells in Dwarrowdelf...


watcher

The Watcher in the Water guards the Doors of Dúrin.


oathbreakers

The Dead Men of Dunharrow do not suffer the living to pass.


barrow wight

A Barrow-wight searches for unwary travelers.



New Neutral Creeps


There are a lot of maps in BFME that feature neutral creeps that don't really feel as if they belong in that area. To address this issue of immersion, we are adding various new creeps in the next release, with plans to add much more in releases after. You will encounter a variety of new trolls, including Hill-trolls, Stone-trolls, Jungle-trolls, and Snow-trolls, as well as the fierce Lossoth in Forodwaith.

jungletroll

A ferocious Jungle-troll.


stone trolls

Stone-trolls prowl the Lone Lands of Eriador.


hilltroll

A common Hill-troll protects its lair.


snowtroll

Cornering a Snow-troll is not a good idea.


lossoth

It seems we've caught the Lossoth while they weren't at home...


frostwolves

The White Wolves of Forochel.



That's all for now. Keep your eyes peeled for coming articles, and of course the impending release!
~ The AotR Team


Comments
Mateusz707
Mateusz707

Reading such descriptions is nothing but pleasure

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CragLord
CragLord

Mod is getting better and better with every new update, and next one seems to be the best so far!
Keep with amazing work! ;) :)

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Balrog_of_Morgoth
Balrog_of_Morgoth

I cant wait to play new release. I have to say goodbye to my social life for a while xD

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Ulomagyar
Ulomagyar

Delightful

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BeanLegion
BeanLegion

pity debugging and such takes so long

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Rothnaric
Rothnaric

This might not be possible, but you guys do have mad skills (god lvl sheeet) can you add a way for our factions to show achievements for example if you kill the mammoth with gondor it will show up in your profile? it would be an extra challenge for us to find the beast on each map before the ai does.... I just woke up so if this does not make sense read it again hahahahhaa, AWESOME WORK!!!!

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Dreadreign
Dreadreign

Fantastic updates! These are all wonderful additions.

I had a quick question on the AI: I know that editing the AI in BfME is kind of wonky, but how will it respond to these damage-over-time map hazards? Will it be able to tell when its units are dying and pull them to safety?

Thank you so much or your hard work, and for keeping this great RTS alive so many years later.

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Hoar
Hoar

AI rarely stands in one place for a longer period of time. I don't think it's that big of an issue.

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Dreadreign
Dreadreign

Not usually, no. Hopefully that'll be enough.

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GrandSerpent
GrandSerpent

Finally!!! No more generic warg, troll and goblin lairs in all of Middle Earth. Good work guys, your new game reminds in some aspects of a Total War πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ˜Ž

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kingsjewel
kingsjewel

True. It's a lot of work, but very nice and exciting additions.

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TheEnlightenedOne
TheEnlightenedOne

All this work is awesome, thank you guys! Just one quick question; why the 'frostbitten elf'? Elves are immune to these hazards as well as natural diseases. This is even represented in the films; when attempting Caradhras Legolas wears his normal gear yet the others are dressed appropriately for the cold... maybe you could make the elves immune in game too? It would definitely make it more realistic (lore-friendly). Thanks :)

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

Realistic, but also overpowered. ;)

Plus: "Therefore Feanor halted and the Noldor debated what course they should now take. But they began to suffer anguish from the cold, and the clinging mists through which no gleam of star could pierce; and many repented of the road and began to murmur, especially those that followed Fingolfin, cursing Feanor, and naming him as the cause of all the woes of the Eldar."

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Negtharayas16
Negtharayas16

But... But... what about Isengard's Stealth Troll????

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