After two months it's now newstime again in the Tolkien Modding Community! And it's going to be a long read, so take some time. I will try again to be more frequent with the news, sometimes it just happens that I don't find the time for them or simply forget about them. Anyway, have a good read!
Released or updated mods
A few days after the last news, the the open alpha v0.2.7 for Total War: Rise of Mordor for Total War: Attila has been released, you can find it here. They added a bunch of new maps and units (beside reworking some old ones) and reworked some gameplay features as new matched combat animations. Have a full read at their changelog for more details.
I got also been notified about a 'The War of the Ring - Campaign' for Rise of Mordor. You can read about it in the steam workshop
The developers of Edain Mod for Battle for Middle-earth II: Rise of the Witch King not only released version 4.5 but already 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 in the past two months. Players have now completely new spellbooks available, epic sieges and horde maps are mentioned beside some other features. Have a detailed read here. The two patches include bugfixes and some balancing changes, details can be read up here and here.
There has also been a release of a beta of the Addon 'The Trilogy'. It contains the rework of an BfME1 original map by NordicSoldier (2005), using the updated version by Fudge (2013), now being completely overhauled for Rotwk (EdainMod 4.5) by JP (2020). In this Map you can play all three LotR-movies and is, in opinion of the modders, the best map ever made for Battle for Middle Earth and now available for EDAIN 4.5
After nearly a year, TLD Overhaul for Mount & Blade: Warband got also another update, version 1.8L. It updated the mod to this time current version of TLD with all new quests and features. Major changes have been the overhauled Mirkwood and Moria factions, you can read up a bit the changelog here. It already got patched to version 1.8.2L, minor bugs are still hunting the developers. My favourite bug is still that the crossbows clucked like chickens which appearantly attracted the wolves since with the patch one can hear now chicken and wolf sounds. A Mirkwood Shields Addon has also been released upon request, to give players the choice to alter a bit by themselves the look of the shields.
InVain has also updated the TLD LOTR Scene Pack for The Last Days (of The Third Age of Middle Earth). It is now compatible with the current Steam version (Feb 2020) and up to at least Nightly Patch 3115. You can find it here.
Congratulations also to the developers of the Lord of the Rings mod for Rise of Nations for the game Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots who have made their first release of a full version. You can play the mod now with 10 factions (Gondor, Rohan, Elves, Dwarves, Dale, Mordor, Isengard, Goblin, Easterlings, Haradrims).
Activity at modding
At the The Strategy and Tactics Submod the developers wrote an article about the new Eriador outpost for the elves of the Hidden Valley. Beneath other things the Dunedain got now Survival Instincts and the Grey Company seems to be recruitable now as well. Have a read of the article for more details.
One of the most active development teams out there are the developers of Age of the Ring. In the article Sorcery in Dol Guldur they gave a glimpse about what to expect for the faction Dol Guldur, about the fell creatures which lurk there, a hollow place of fear and slow nightmare, ruled by the one known only as the Necromancer: a sorcerer of terrifying power. MathijsRevora writes about a faction which is bringing with it a unique style and flavor not seen before in Battle for Middle-earth. I would have added to that that it has not been seen before at any LotR mod, no matter the game. But have a good read at the article there for more informations.
The developers of Conflicts of Eriador worked the last few weeks on a new strategy map, being one of the few LotR mods using an own world map, to really concentrate on the region of Eriador at their mod. You can read a short article about it here.
Activity can also be noted at the mod Third Age: Reforged with a nice new faction selection screen and lovely made units.
In general a lot of LotR-modders have been active in the past two months, counting only the activity at moddb (not sure what's going up at your forums ;) ). So were the developers of Heirs of Elendil. Their Lebennin Marines only look a bit too heavy for me but they will have made their own thoughts about this.
And I am always happy to see some updates at DCI: Last Alliance Total War. A Mordor preview video has been released (read a bit about it here) and Van_louis showed off some of his beautiful work again.
From the developers of Total War: Rise of Mordor you can also find a development log of the months January and February 2020, informing about the work at the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood besides some little work at Rhun and Gundabad as well as work at the database, bugfixes and balancing.
Sara_Temer and her team at the mod Last Alliance: Total War for Total War: Shogun 2 is meanwhile working on the Men of the South it seems. She wrote a full development blog about it which you can read up here, informing about the campaign map design and the problems coming with it. She also released a polish translation patch. Stay tuned for the next news there.
And last not but least, Venlesh is spreading news about the 5.0.4 update for Legends of Middle-Earth 5.0 for Age of Mythology: The Titans. He writes about a Silmarillion campaign and some Easter Holiday Event coming up soon. Read about it here
Tolkien in games outside the modding area
MikeTheEmperor has suffered a setback at his project World of Middle Earth - WOME, with a lightning near his house which, beneath other things, caused the loss of his work at WOME. He wrote an article about it, also noting that he considered just dropping his project but instead he will now try to work on it anew, rethinking some of his design choices. We wish him the best for his new trial!
At The Battle for Middle-Earth: Reforged the developers wrote two articles, about the Isengard buildings and the Isengard Weaponry. Nice work has been done but I have to say, seeing a nearly seven minute long show-off video about a bunch of weapons is a little bit irritating. Either the fellows there have set the wrong priorities at work or seem to have an imbalance in their team with the majority being PR-guys.
Perhaps useful for modders
Sometimes I find interesting stuff or see it linked at the different discords. Some of it seemed to be quite useful for other modders, giving them valuable informations or ideas for their mods, so I decided to share some of them.
First, some little work of Måns Mäkinen with the title Optimizing topology for a game Character - Creating a humanoid game character for animation. You can find it here.
Second, an outline of The Silmarillion adapted for television, so how it could be arranged as series. Maybe that gives some of you working at a Silmarillion mod some new ideas or such. You can find it here: