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Today we're going to take a look at the reworked War of the Ring mode, which has been entirely overhauled for the next version

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In vanilla BFME2 and RotWK, War of the Ring often felt like a type of 'skirmish plus', where the overworld ('living world map') was little more than a means to accommodate slightly different skirmish matches in real time. We decided that in order to make WotR more interesting, it needed an extensive redesign: everything, from the mode's premise to the gameplay flow to the art has been completely reworked. Below, we discuss the major points that players might want to be aware of before diving in.


New Art



Early on we realized that in order to do our new factions and massive list of maps justice (currently, 8.0 contains over 300 maps!), we needed to expand the overworld. Vanilla RotWK had 43 territories, divided over 7 regions. Our current WotR was already expanded a few years ago: 111 territories over 11 regions. For this, we wanted to up that number further: we landed at 173 territories over 13 regions, divided into 43 subregions. Notably, we've expanded east, north and south, adding many Forodwaith, Rhûn, and Haradwaith territories. To facilitate this expansion, we've created a completely new map:

mapoverview


mapoverview2


This custom map was created by MattTheLegoman and BoneLord


In addition, we've reworked all of the gameplay indicators to resemble boardgame pieces. New army indicators, structure pieces, and landmarks populate the new WotR map.

abrakhanpiece1


A unique landmark piece representing the ruins of Abrakhân, as well as a marking of the Aicanaroc


fortresspiece1


Various board pieces - army indicators, structure pieces, and the Erebor landmark piece



Paradigm Shift



A major issue we identified in the vanilla WotR mode was the excessive focus on realtime battles, and how easy it was to cheese the game by stacking units recruited in realtime matches that would then transfer to the overworld, where in turn the player was able to recruit an infinite number of heroic units and basically sweep the map with little effort, removing any importance of strategic overworld play. In order to address this, we set out to place much more focus on the overworld.

We've separated WotR factions from their skirmish counterparts, and greatly limited the amount of things they can do during realtime battles by only allowing the construction of basic barracks, stables, and siege structures, which in turn can only recruit basic units that will not transfer onto the overworld after a battle. This means that most of the player's power during a realtime battle will come from units that are brought in from the overworld, placing far greater emphasis on smart overworld positioning, recruitment, and economy management. In addition, we have placed auxiliary camps (formerly known as inns) on every map, allowing players to recruit special units (sometimes several!) that, while they won't transfer to the overworld after a battle, add an additional objective to fight over in order to achieve a realtime victory. Overall, realtime skirmishes now move much faster than they did before, taking up much less time and being much less impactful on the overworld: rather, it is now the player's overworld strategy that often determines a realtime battle outcome - as it should be.

wotrereborbase

A typical realtime Erebor base - featuring a new Erebor Citadel structure from The Dwarf Holds!


We're generalized WotR faction spellbooks: every faction has a very similar spellbook, divided between Good and Evil. Spellbooks are now the only way through which a faction can access their most elite and heroic units, which are permanent summons for the realtime battle but do not transfer to the overworld.

goodspellbook

Each faction summons its own unique heroic units onto the field


On the overworld, a player has access to a much larger roster of recruitable units, including various higher tier units (that will now take longer to recruit). Note that we have completely rebalanced WotR's autoresolve stats - a massive undertaking that had previously gone largely untouched, which means that autoresolving battles will yield more realistic results and is a more reliable way of progressing across the map.

elitebarracks1

The Erebor Elite Barracks ('Redoubt') recruits elite units onto the overworld



Region and Battle Bonuses



In order to further emphasize the importance of the overworld and link it up with realtime matches, we've added so-called Battle Bonuses. Battle Bonuses are buffs that are granted by structure tokens placed on overworld regions to structures built in realtime matches. They are as following:

Overworld Fortress: +100% armour to realtime citadels
Overworld Basic Barracks: +200 command points in realtime
Overworld Elite Barracks: +20% unit production speed in realtime
Overworld Farm: +20% resource production speed in RTS

Being mindful of Battle Bonuses during play will allow you to outmanoeuvre your enemy by improving claimed regions, giving you advantages in realtime that can make up for an otherwise unfavourable autoresolve.

Additionally, there are Region and Subregion Bonuses that are applied in all realtime matches when a region or subregion is under the player's control; bonuses include:
- Additional power points
- Additional unit armour (+5 to 10%)
- Additional unit damage (+5 to 10%)
- Additional unit experience
- Additional starting resources
- Unit cost discounts, e.g. 50% siege unit cost discount

Taking these Region Bonuses into account when planning the direction of your overworld expansion will greatly increase your success on the battlefield. Prioritizing is key!

regionbonuses1


New Scenarios



In addition to the standard Open Play option, we are also including various scenarios in which the massive overworld is reduced to a smaller number of territories concerning specific factions or events. One such scenario is the Northern Conquest scenario, in which you battle it out in the northern regions of Middle-earth during the War of the Ring. These scenarios will feature adjusted factions, such as Lothlórien starting out with several Woodland Realm armies, and Mordor having access to several Easterling commanders.

northernconquest2 1

northernconquest1

Additionally, we have converted both BFME2 campaigns to our new overworld!

warinthenorthcampaign1


There is a lot more to discover in this new War of the Ring, so be sure to check it out once it's released. On that note, release isn't far. Stay tuned! Oh, and yes, we fixed the WotR fortress map bug.


Ok bye!
The Age of the Ring Team


Comments
Drogoth-fan
Drogoth-fan - - 344 comments

great article AOTR Team im exited for the new version of the mod

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Dubycapbra
Dubycapbra - - 313 comments

So you can play the BFME2 campaigns the same way as BFME1, where you can see your armies in the overworld?

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7ty7
7ty7 - - 786 comments

One of the most exciting updates ever. I love campaigns!

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cpt_Jack
cpt_Jack - - 66 comments

great article! Awesome WOTR mode. It's great that you pay attention to him. But I have mixed feelings after reading this: on the one hand, you have changed and contributed a lot, but on the other hand, the idea of ​​a board game where "chess" pieces merge with a map and sights (of the same color scheme) will have to constantly zoom in and look at. Too bad there won't be a unique spellbook for each faction. Well.. still looking forward to 8.0. Thank you
P.S. Off-topic. Will there be an adventure map of Gundabad and Dale?

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Argeomer
Argeomer - - 5,583 comments

Awesome features and details. Really great work. Without a doubt something that needed really good improvement from the vanilla version and now becoming much better

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M.Leo
M.Leo - - 222 comments

Great job as always, thank you.

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guruguru07
guruguru07 - - 305 comments

I like how you de-emphasised base-building in favor of base camps during battles, It actually makes them more realistic as building towns or cities in the middle of the battlefield during a battle just feels ridiculous. How would this affect fortress maps (Helm's Deep, Minas Tirith, etc.)?

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

This is not a mod, it's a complete brand new LOTR game ! greta job AOTR team !

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WAS1
WAS1 - - 157 comments

Soon come ..best mod of rotwk of 2023

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

Mod of the year 2023

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

Everythings look good great job like always
Max 6 team 3 vs 3 can play

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

I can't wait to play this masterpiece

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SonOfFundin
SonOfFundin - - 11 comments

Lifetime Lurker, very seldom commenter, the work you guys are doing is incredible and never fails to deliver, I myself as a Tolkien veteran can only thank you. Durin be with you brothers.

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Vanders
Vanders - - 560 comments

Most of this seems really good. But I'm not too big on the limitations placed on armies.

Seems like you'll never be able to develop an elite battle hardened army because outside of regular units because elite units are all locked to the spell book.

And then the limitation placed on buildings means you can't spend time building up a mighty fortress because it won't carry over.

Seems like it takes away from player choice by forcing us to play in the way the mod devs think the player should play.

Not sure I like with these changes. The artwork and region expansions yes.

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CaptainCorrigan
CaptainCorrigan - - 980 comments

The units limited to the spellbook are heroic units and semi-heroic units which are normally limited in number, e.g. Dunlending Huskarls, Grey Company. Elite units, like Soldiers of Minas Tirith, Easterlings and Uruk-hai are all recruitable on the LWM so it's still possible to have armies composed solely of elite upgraded units later in a campaign.

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

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masoudesmaeili
masoudesmaeili - - 5 comments

What date will the new version of the Age of Rings campaign be released?

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

First I want to thank everyone who makes this mod. I am really looking forward to this new Age of the Ring expansion. I am sort of conflicted about the real time changes. In part, I definitely agree that some change was needed to fix potential cheeses. I am a little worried that the battles might become a little repetitive with uniform units, buildings, and powers. I understand that the perfect medium will be difficult to reach, and I trust your team after the great work you have done. On a separate note, will the bonuses from the overworld applied to Real Time work when it is an ally who controls the specific territory, region, etc.

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CaptainCorrigan
CaptainCorrigan - - 980 comments

Yes, bonuses are shared between allied armies.

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Guest
Guest - - 695,045 comments

Long time lurker here too. I like the idea of not being able to just "magic" a new army into existance in real time combat and then taking it to the overworld. The additions and revamp of the world map look mighty fine.

What I really do not like to read is that you are taking away or rather severily limit the free base building aspect in real time combat. I love the chance to build a mighty fortress and just duke it out towards the end. While I understand the idea behind it, to make it possible to fight more battles over the now big WORT map, I would still like to be able to do some proper base building if I so choose.

Say a switch during the auto resolve screen in which you can state, if you wish to enable limited or full base building capabilities?

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CaptainCorrigan
CaptainCorrigan - - 980 comments

Not possible.

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Mr_Nygren
Mr_Nygren - - 3,871 comments

"which in turn can only recruit basic units that will not transfer onto the overworld after a battle."

This sucks, the funny thing I remember doing was recruit massive armies in real-time-battle and seeing them transferred over to the overworld.

You should keep this in for us who enjoy that.

One thing you should add however is the ability to have more than 6 factions in the WotR mode - as in the older release I couldn't add every faction to the map.

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora - - 4,020 comments

We don't want to keep that in because what you describe is fundamentally broken and overpowered.

We're not able to have more than 6 factions in WotR, sadly. This is not something we can edit.

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TEOCRATAS
TEOCRATAS - - 1 comments

Primeiramente, testei o mod e os gráficos, novos poderes e mecânicas estão ótimas. Porém definitivamente não gostei das mudanças na Guerra do Anel. Não há nenhum mérito em tempo real, nas escolhas e nas habilidades de entrar no campo e dominar o inimigo. Tornou-se um jogo simples de tabuleiro que retorna o ciclo do maio exército vencer nas batalhas automáticas;

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Szurdok(HUN)
Szurdok(HUN) - - 50 comments

free for all is in the game? (1vs1vs1)

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Trump_Worldconqueror
Trump_Worldconqueror - - 26 comments

Hello dear engineers, I would like to thank you for your construction services and for your daily efforts, please add another part called easterlings to the game just like haradrim, which is a large part of the forces of darkness. And add the myths of today's Eastern world such as Persia, China and Japan to it. I think that by doing this you invite the Eastern society to play.

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