So, hello, guys and gals!
I am Antonis, author of (between other things) the Sword and the Axe and Fires of War mods. Some months ago, in March 2020, to be exact, I contacted Easterling to ask his permission to continue this mod, as the world and the works of Tolkien are a passion of mine and a sandbox, single-player mod taking place in Middle-Earth was one of my dream projects. He, very graciously accepted.
So, what happened during those months, from March to August.
Simply put, I divided my time between my rl work and my other mods, this one included. What I did, and have finished now, is fixing almost all the coding errors. From my tests, I cannot find any game-breaking or otherwise bugs. Among other things:
a) races were properly implemented (Humans, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves and Uruks),
b) the race bug of regarding any non-human race as a female is fixed,
c) Dwarves work properly now,
d) the scenes also were fixed (in the existing module system, the transitions between scenes were bugged),
e) all item entries were examined, fixed and tested to be as 'realistic' as they can be in this fantasy setting,
f) the race skeletons were fixed (using the ones from TLD)
Also, a couple of basic new features were added, like:
a) correct regional recruitment (different troop trees for unique places, like Dol Amroth troop tree or Dunlanders only in their region),
b) the option for the player to start as a member of each different race (Human, Elf, Dwarf or Orc) is added
c) new weather model, with different skyboxes for each hour of the day,
and some other minor ones, mainly 'unseen' coding bits.
What is ready?
A plethora of things, actually. Easterling has made a solid base for the mod, added all the large factions, made their banners, added items and the basic mechanics and made some scenes. All the troops for the basic troop trees are in the mod, some of the unique ones, as well.
What remains to be done and how?
- All troops will have to be re-examined and edited;
- many of the items will be replaced, due to them being either too high-poly (which tends to lower performance) or will be replaced by better quality models.
- New features will be added, most of them ready and waiting.
- The map will eventually be changed to a very detailed one that was generously given to me by Eärendil_Ardamírë, made by NPC99, if I am not mistaken. This map change is for the future, but still worth mentioning.
- Dialogues and new companions will have to be written.
- Testing should be done extensively and bugs will have to be fixed, if and when found.
Is this mod going to continue being a sandbox type or will it have a story?
This mod has been started as a sandbox and it will remain so. There will be (and there are already) basic alliances, Good factions vs. Evil factions, but generally, the player will be able to do as he/she pleases. There won't be a story, but there will be new quests, although taken as "side quests", mainly locating artefacts, defeating unique enemies etc. This mod will not be another version of the great The Last Days mod.
What can you do to help and develop the mod further?
I am essentially an one-man team. I need help in a lot of areas, but most importantly, I am looking for someone to help with the dialogues and design the companions and 'pretenders' for the mod. Also, I am looking for a 3d modeller and a scene maker. Not a lot of things are required, for either of those fields, but they are important, nonetheless.