The Road to Edain 4.0: Dale
Greetings, companions of Edain!
The work on the demo for version 4.0 is going forward, still we dedicate time to features of factions that will not yet be in the demo. Currently we are actively working on the balance and correction of prevailing inconsistencies but that's mainly coding-work. Meanwhile our graphics-department is by no means inactive and is already working on content for yet to come factions, that we don't want you to deprive of, although they won't be in the demo yet.
Today we want you to present an update that is centered around Dale and its implementation in version 4.0. In the course of this update we will refer to our previous announcements of Sea-Town time and time again, so if you want further information on the game play you should check out the previous announcement.
The film adaption of the Hobbit gave us an interesting design template that we wanted to use for Edain too. The dwarfs hereby present us with the opportunity to use different time flows: The dwarven realms of the Ered Luin and the Iron Hills for example are set in the time frame of the Hobbit while Erebor is set at the war of the ring. In our update to Sea-Town we already showed you how the mini-faction Sea-town is implemented with the dwarfs:
The player has the possibility, when playing dwarfs, to build besides the normal Dwarven Outpost the Town Hall of Lake-town. This Town Hall is a central building, which can be build up to a town, depending on the additional build houses. Overall, the player can build 4 different Lake-town buildings, consisting of one or more houses.
In that update we elaborated how we probably won't implement Dale, but we now want to revoke this statement. As you may have assumed from the title, Dale will be used in Edain like it was seen in the prologue of An Unexpected Journey. The previous problem laied in the fundamental question of how a rebuilt Dale could actually look like. This eventually lead us to the main theme of version 4.0: back to the roots. These lines of thought obviously are purely fictive but still there is a possibility that a rebuilt city of Dale would show the same features, like in a memory of those glorious now gone days.
Our intention is always to incorporate many elements from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, but only if they conform to our own notions and interpretations.
Therefore Dale will be exclusively available to the dwarven realm of Erebor, while Ered Luin and the Iron Hills will have access to Sea-town instead.
Yet the same basic mechanics like Sea-town will be used, i.e. as an option to the normal Dwarven Outpost you may build a central start building, namely the Dale-marketplace.
This building may then be upgraded with various other extension buildings, which will unlock more functions for the whole complex.
Overall the following extensions are available:
Militia house: Build a militia house that provides troops and the hero Brand
Housing area: Build a housing area that yields taxes in all three town houses
Watch tower: Build a defensive tower that fires arrows at nearby enemies
Fountain: Build a fountain that heals nearby units and offers a leadership to them
The Dale-marketplace generates money like a usual citadel. For each additional building (except for the fountain) tax is collected, which corresponds to a raised production for the player. At the same time even a city with every upgrade will be counted as one big complex, so if this complex is attacked or destroyed, the whole city falls. Each upgrade for the city costs money and may only be researched once. When this has happened, the city and with it the complex has grown.
In the following video you can see how this new system works in detail. Additionally you will not only see the new mini-faction Dale but also the new hero Brand and the troops of Dale, which we present hereafter:
The mini-faction Dale will be represented through the hero Brand, the grandson of Bard and son of Bain. He can be recruited once you've built a militia house.
In difference to Bard, Brand will not be armed with two bows but still has a comparable characteristic. Brand will be able to switch between a bow and a sword and shield, we developed independent new animations, based on the animation set of Faramir's.
Brand's design is oriented at that of Girion in the Hobbit movies. By this we not only could use an interesting design but also had a direct template which could be put to use fast and easily:
Brand primary will be a support-hero, whose abilities are oriented in an analytical way to those of Bard. This is important because we don't want the game play system to differentiate too much between the three dwarven kingdoms. So far we've agreed on the following abilities and already want to encourage you at this point to develop further abilities here at moddb or at our forums:
Level 1: King of Dale – Brand leads the troops of Dale into the battle.
While the Bow is equipped nearby Dale Bowmen gain +25% attack, while sword and shield are equipped, Dale Melee-Units gain +25% attack.
Level 3: Switch weapon – Switch between bow and sword/shield
Level 5: Brand's falcon – Brand lets his falcon rise into the air to scout the enemy territory.
Finally we want to present to you the infantry of Dale. At which we also stood true to the movie design. There will be the Dale-Swordsmen, the Dale-Bowmen and the Dale-Spearmen as possibilities for recruitment.
The soldier on the outer right shows the standard bearer version of the soldiers, although Dale won't have regular standard bearers but a captain.
We are very content with the implementation and integration of Dale and are looking forward to your feedback!