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Topic Subject: Tales of Middle Earth - Version 0.8.13 Released!
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posted 08-18-12 03:58 AM CT (US)   



Complete Visual Recreation of Middle Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unique Gameplay to recreate the War of the Ring


Fully Functional and Engaging Mulltiplayer Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Enhanced Scenario Editor for Designers


Choose from one of 18 unique factions.
- Guide the wise and fair elves - Lindon, Rivendell, Mirkwood, Eregion, and Lothlorien.
- Fall under the sway of the Shadow with Angmar, Mordor, Isengard, Dol Guldur, or Minas Morgul.
- Place your hope in the Men of the West with Arnor, Gondor, and fabled Numenor of old.
- Ride with the Native Men of Rohan, Rhovanion, Harad, Umbar, or Rhun.


Battle on new random maps based on real Middle Earth locations.

Research countless new technologies and decide the path of your race with faction choices.

Enjoy the rich world of Middle Earth as presented by one of the largest modifications ever produced for Age of Empires II.

Create that LOTR campaign you always had in mind or play online against a friend!



Current Version: (Version 0.8.13) :: Release Date: 9/15/18


Current Development Notes:
Change Log - Find out what's changed in the latest version.

The current version of Tales of Middle Earth is fully playable. Later versions will improve balance, eliminate bugs, and possibly implement some final features. If you would like to report a bug or suggest changes, please leave a comment below or add a bug report to the github page.

NOTE: As Tales of Middle Earth is currently in a pre-release version, we ask that you bear with any discovered bugs or imbalanced stats for units or technologies. Please report any issues, and we will work hard on solutions.


The road goes ever on and on...

[This message has been edited by Mr Wednesday (edited 11-17-2018 @ 00:41 AM).]

Replies:
posted 01-08-13 02:56 AM CT (US)     596 / 3940  
Yeah, the in-game description of the civ is inaccurate (got mixed up with Rhun).

Check out the excel I sent you by email earlier. There's a tab called "Civ Benefits" which is more accurate.
Vanguards have insane hp ( 180 wtf ) is more than heavy knight.
I just checked, and yes, that's true throughout the game. Vanguard has a base 140 HP, while Heavy Knight has 120. Perhaps I could increase the base HP altogether (something like 160). Alternatively, I could bifurcate the Minas Morgul civ bonus to +10% HP for Light Cav, +25% HP for Heavy Cav.

Nazgul are getting a boost. By my original design they were extremely powerful. I guess while balancing, I nerfed them too much

Do you have any suggestions for the Trolls? There are four types of trolls in the game:

Hill Troll - Fast trolls, anti cav and slight bonus vs buildings.
Mountain Troll - Elite versions of Hill Trolls. Anti cav and slight bonus vs buildings.
Cave Troll - Slow, spread attack, high anti-archer armour. Anti UU.
Olog-Hai - Strongest, anti infantry.

Right now, all I can think of is overall boost to all trolls (i.e., more significant bonuses, slightly higher HP, stronger armors esp. PA).

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it

[This message has been edited by Pulkit (edited 01-08-2013 @ 02:57 AM).]

posted 01-08-13 04:02 AM CT (US)     597 / 3940  
Hm. I don't think Morgul cavalry should be nerfed necessarily. It is almost the only thing going for this civ atm ( useless UU, useless unique tech, useless trolls, okay orcs. )
Hill Troll - Fast trolls, anti cav and slight bonus vs buildings.
Mountain Troll - Elite versions of Hill Trolls. Anti cav and slight bonus vs buildings.
Cave Troll - Slow, spread attack, high anti-archer armour. Anti UU.
Olog-Hai - Strongest, anti infantry.
The hill troll is not 'fast'. It could definitely use a speed boost.
Anyway the main problem atm is their hp and dmg stats. Just compare them to aok war elephant or 4 spiders ( same cost ) and see the difference.
Also sometimes they don't get bonus from weapons/armor upgrades.

Edit: Also one more thing. On upgrading necromancy, orc archers cost changes from food/wood to food/gold. Is this intended? If so Dol Guldur will have only one gold free unit, the pikeman ( which isn't very good.. )

,
Jatayu O===| /
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Battle of Saraighat, 1671|Atlantis, the Lost Realm|AOE Roman Modpack|My profile
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StormWind Studios

[This message has been edited by Jatayu (edited 01-08-2013 @ 04:05 AM).]

posted 01-08-13 06:28 AM CT (US)     598 / 3940  
Will the Harad/Rhun buildset be discussed here or in another thread?
posted 01-08-13 07:16 AM CT (US)     599 / 3940  
Continue to discuss here, Carter.

@Jatayu:
Yeah, Minas Morgul is getting 2 more types of Nazgul: a foot and a flying unit. That should improve the civ quite a lot, coupled with the improved Nazgul, Trolls, and bug fix on the Blacksmith upgrades not applying to lots of units.
On upgrading necromancy, orc archers cost changes from food/wood to food/gold. Is this intended?
Yes, but it now appears this hasn't been a good idea.

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
posted 01-08-13 07:25 AM CT (US)     600 / 3940  
Here is fine.

Concerning these buildings, some points:

1. The three civs which are up for discussion are Umbar, Rhun, and Harad.
2. Umbar is in my opinion decently represented by existing graphics. Rule them out of the discussion.
3. That means we need to design something for Rhun and Harad, or just Harad.
4. My rule I used when designing elves still applies. The buildings have to look like a real civilization, and have to fit the warbased play of AoK. So no tent based buildings, or stuff like that.
5. Beyond that, I'm open to ideas. I think maybe no wood, except for door posts and windows and such. As Modrocker points out, there would have been a real lack of lumber. Maybe a sandy stone look, similar to the current castle for Native men?

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 07:42 AM CT (US)     601 / 3940  
I like the last point.

An input from the lore: Numenor is suggested to have landed in more than one place in Harad. That, and the continual interaction between the Numenorean Umbar and Near Harad ought to have influenced Harad's architecture somehow.

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
posted 01-08-13 07:43 AM CT (US)     602 / 3940  
What are the camera angles you used in Sketchup? Are you sure it matches the game?

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
posted 01-08-13 07:45 AM CT (US)     603 / 3940  
I forgot to ask..

What type of units are spiders, trolls, balrog, etc. Infantry? Cavalry? something else?

Will the flying nazgul be able to attack? I didn't know that was possible..

,
Jatayu O===| /
`
Battle of Saraighat, 1671|Atlantis, the Lost Realm|AOE Roman Modpack|My profile
ि
StormWind Studios

[This message has been edited by Jatayu (edited 01-08-2013 @ 07:48 AM).]

posted 01-08-13 07:55 AM CT (US)     604 / 3940  
All 3 are cavalry. But they also have special "troll-only" and "Balrog-only" armours, so as to enable certain units to be anti-Troll or anti-Balrog (e.g., Rangers and Wizards).
Will the flying nazgul be able to attack? I didn't know that was possible..
Haven't really got to the point of testing a flying unit in all aspects yet...

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
posted 01-08-13 08:43 AM CT (US)     605 / 3940  
Haven't really got to the point of testing a flying unit in all aspects yet...
Just so you know, I designed the unit with a screeching animation. I can change that if necessary.
What are the camera angles you used in Sketchup? Are you sure it matches the game?
I don't use sketchup much, but yes, the camera is correct if set how I have described already.
An input from the lore: Numenor is suggested to have landed in more than one place in Harad. That, and the continual interaction between the Numenorean Umbar and Near Harad ought to have influenced Harad's architecture somehow.
Yeah, I was thinking about this too. It might be interesting to import a lot of the West style architecture I used, but change the textures to be more like the stone available in the desert, and maybe change the roofs to be more eastern looking. But I have units on my plate atm, and I plan on finishing them before I take a serious look at these buildings.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 10:04 AM CT (US)     606 / 3940  
Pulkit:

I am currently updating TOME AI on Stormwind studios forum. Maybe you can register and have a look?

link

,
Jatayu O===| /
`
Battle of Saraighat, 1671|Atlantis, the Lost Realm|AOE Roman Modpack|My profile
ि
StormWind Studios
posted 01-08-13 10:09 AM CT (US)     607 / 3940  
Rhun/Harad Buildset


Okay, so a lot of people are complaining about the lack of unique buildsets for Rhun and Harad. Mnay people I have talked to beleive that the Rohanish buildings do not fit these two exotic kingdoms. Many wish also fo two separate Easterling and southron sets. However, as much as I love this idea I ahve been informed that as of right now only one new buildset cna be implemented. Understanding this, we have to find a compromise or common ground for Easterling and haradrim buildsets.

First lets look at what we know abou the two from the books. Tolkein describes the third age Easterlings as being composed of many tribes, clans, and kingdoms. The Wainriders are described as mobile people. They move their whole camps of chariots, horses, and wains as well as their women and children.The Balchoth are described as being more primitive than the Wainriders. They mainly utilize horse archers and assorted cavalry in battle. Finally, the easterlings and Southrons are described as growing stronger under Sauron (Getting better techonology) near the late Third Age, and built "many walled cities of stone." So, evidently atleast some of the Easterlings had become setteled kingdoms by this time.

The Haradrim are described as being form the deserts of Near Harad and the jungles of Far Harad. Their dwellings are not ever really mentioned except for the above quote that they built "many walled cities of stone."

Now we must decide which to build upon. This should go to the civilization with more recources and so is better for building structures of war. Lets analyze the areas the two live in. The Easterlings live around the Sea of Rhun, east of the Sea of Rhun, and east of Mordor. Looking at a map, we can see that there are mountains on the southwest coast of the Sea of Rhun. This would provide the easterlings with stone and ore, proved they know how to mine and quarry. There are also forests on the northeastern coast of the Sea of Rhun. These would provide the Easterlings with plenty of timber. The Haradrim live in a harsher, more arid reigon of deserts and humid climates of jungles. There are no mountains that can be seen on Tolkeins maps, so ores and perhaps stone is ruled out. Unless the Haradrim can mine sandstone from under the desert, buildings would be built of any recources available perhaps along with timber from Far Harad. Another available material could be mudbricks, and they may also utilize ivory and Mumak skins. However apart from sandstone and mudrbick these would not be very suited for warfare. This places the Eaterlings as the better choice, as the land they live in provides more recources suitable for warfare. However, keep in mind this is till open for debate. Many have suggested that the Easterlings have tent buildings. This is unsuitable for two reasons.
1. Tents would not be able to hold up against catapults and warfare in general.
2. Tolkien also describes some Easterlings as building cities of stone in Unfinished tales.

For the color scheme now. In the book the men of the East and south are described as wearing gold and red armor/clothing. Pethaps these colors can be incoprorated into their buildings as well. This is however jsut an idea. The wooden colors can range from dark brown to grey to tan to even reddish. The color of stone is up for discussion, but it would probubly be gray for the Easterlings and tan for the Haradrim (if they have stone). If metal is used it can range from iron to bronze to brass.

Now for the buildings design. Looking at the geography of Harad, it is divided into two main climates: arid, dry desert and moist, humid rainforest. The tribesmen of Far Harad would live in timber huts/buildings depending on their technology level, with thatched or woven-leaf roofing. The men of Near Harad live in homes that keep out sand, stay cool in the day and warm at night. Mudbricks trap and relase heat very well if they have holes in them. Roofing might be made of mud, Mumak-skins, and perhaps timber. Roofing would have no need to be sloped because of the lack of rainfall. They would probubly be large and squarish as most brick buildings are. Now for Rhun. The geography of Rhun suggests two climates: semi-arid flat steppes and fertile, recource-rich lands around the Sea of Rhun. Rainfall here would have been average to slightly-below average, so the buldings would ahve sloped roofs. Unles they used reeds, thatched roofs would not be adequate for rainfall. If amde of metal bronze or brass would be used, as iron and copper loose their luster and sometimes strength in rain. If made of wood, it would need to be tiled or shingled. Stone could be used quite a bit, both for foundations and for castle walls. Wood would also be used for building walls and supports.

In the case of Umbar, the Gondorian buildings fit well as the City of the Corsairs was once a stronghold of Gondor. However, In an earlier post someone said that the haradrim buildings could be made of stone like the Gondor buildings, which I find unlikely, as Harad is without mountains. Still, they could have some sort of low hill country were boulders and such were abundant, but thats mostly fan-fiction.

REMEMBER: This is a logical, impartial analysis of what Easterling and Haradrim buildings might look like based on evidence from the text and logical deductions based on geography, culture examples, and warfare.

I will be posting a list of the pros and cons of both civs later. Please post opinions, thoughts, and ideas on which civ would have better war buildings based on the information above.

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 02:11 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 10:10 AM CT (US)     608 / 3940  
Can we get a glimpse at the latest screenshot?

Proud Member of Black Forest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009
and The Seas of Egressa - Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
posted 01-08-13 10:30 AM CT (US)     609 / 3940  
Sorry to change topic but I just wanted to let you guys know that the unit mounted javelineer is progressing well but slowly, let's just say I'll never be making a cut/paste unit ever again. However I am very pleased with how it's looking, it fits very well in middle earth and I cannot recall there ever being a mounted/spear throwing unit ever made for the game, so it might even be a first! at first I wanted it to be a rohan unique unit, however matt pointed out that rhovannion is in need of a new unique unit and I cannot agree more, and the look of the unit actually fits this role very well. However this leaves me with another concern. I do not like that the rohirrim is the unique unit for rohan simply because so many other realms have access to it that it takes away its "uniqueness" of being a "unique" unit... In regards to the mounted javelineer's stats, I think that should have attack bonuses verse cavalry archers and mumaks, and maybe wargs but mainly the other two. please give me feed back.

[This message has been edited by ModRocker (edited 01-08-2013 @ 10:34 AM).]

posted 01-08-13 11:35 AM CT (US)     610 / 3940  
@ModRocker what program did u use to edit the unit texture/sprite?
posted 01-08-13 11:38 AM CT (US)     611 / 3940  
Sorry to change topic but I just wanted to let you guys know that the unit mounted javelineer is progressing well but slowly, let's just say I'll never be making a cut/paste unit ever again.
It's insane. I have not the patience to do them that way, that's for sure.
However I am very pleased with how it's looking, it fits very well in middle earth and I cannot recall there ever being a mounted/spear throwing unit ever made for the game, so it might even be a first!
Sorry to disappoint you, but the Roquentar (Lothlorien) is a spear throwing Cav unit.
at first I wanted it to be a rohan unique unit, however matt pointed out that rhovannion is in need of a new unique unit and I cannot agree more, and the look of the unit actually fits this role very well. However this leaves me with another concern. I do not like that the rohirrim is the unique unit for rohan simply because so many other realms have access to it that it takes away its "uniqueness" of being a "unique" unit...
Graphically this is true. However, the Rohirrim other civs get access to are not nearly as powerful of units as the Eorlinga/Marshal of the Mark UU for Rohan.
In regards to the mounted javelineer's stats, I think that should have attack bonuses verse cavalry archers and mumaks, and maybe wargs but mainly the other two. please give me feed back.
Well, cavalry archers and Mumaks are not terribly common units to train, so the unit might need to be an all around good unit, just with minor bonuses against those lines.
big giant post about easterling buildings...
I'll respond to a bunch of this later, just too busy to go so in depth atm.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 12:59 PM CT (US)     612 / 3940  
Hey Modrocker, that Mounted Javelin would make a good Genitour. I do really like that graphic too. And Matt, the Roquentar belongs to Lindon.
posted 01-08-13 01:40 PM CT (US)     613 / 3940  
Yeah, that's what I meant. Lothlorien would be weird.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 02:02 PM CT (US)     614 / 3940  
@Matt LiVecchi Its not only about Easterling buildings it's also about Haradrim buildings.

OFF CURRENT TOPIC: I noticed soemthing earlier. The easterlings cannot build a castle, and upon placing an easterling castle in scenerio editor i discovered that it has no special unit? I thought it was supposed to be a Wainrider.

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 02:04 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 02:31 PM CT (US)     615 / 3940  
That's some deep analysis, Carter! Good work.

Some bones to pick:
There are no mountains that can be seen on Tolkeins maps, so ores and perhaps stone is ruled out.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Egyptians (in RL) built magnificent buildings with stone, without having mountains in the region? I could be horribly wrong though...
In the book the men of the East and south are described as wearing gold and red armor/clothing. Pethaps these colors can be incoprorated into their buildings as well.
I wouldn't, if I were you, make this a restriction. The Rohirrim, for example, are described with a lot of green and silver colour, among others. But their establishments are all brown and golden thatched buildings.
In an earlier post someone said that the haradrim buildings could be made of stone like the Gondor buildings, which I find unlikely
Trouble is, being a fantasy (and from other similar instances), if the Numenor are known to land in an area, they will undoubtedly build Numenorean (i.e. Westron) stone buildings. This applies to Umbar, and is suggested in the lore to apply on other coastal spots on Harad as well.
OFF CURRENT TOPIC: I noticed soemthing earlier. The easterlings cannot build a castle, and upon placing an easterling castle in scenerio editor i discovered that it has no special unit? I thought it was supposed to be a Wainrider.
Could you confirm you were in the Third Age? I just tested this and I was able to correctly produce the Wainrider and other units from the Third Age onwards.

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
posted 01-08-13 03:00 PM CT (US)     616 / 3940  
@Pulkit Egypt actually has plenty of rocky mountains, hills, and platues. ever heard of the valley of the kings? Its where they buried some of their pharoh, and it is a very rocky place. But dont feel bad, its a pretty common mistake .
I mean the Haradrim could have stone buildings, but that would be if we werent going by the book and official maps.

I started a game in "The Later Days" (as it is called in the standard game setup) or the "Great Years" (as shows up on the top of screen in-game).

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 03:02 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 03:06 PM CT (US)     617 / 3940  
The Haradrim are described as being form the deserts of Near Harad and the jungles of Far Harad. Their dwellings are not ever really mentioned except for the above quote that they built "many walled cities of stone."
If you choose the Haradrim building set, you must decide which of these two different terrains within the vast expanse of Harad is suitable. This would best be based on whatever part of Harad holds the predominant cultural and militaristic power. In this case I would go along with the desert civilization, because it is difficult to build cities, which are the basis of civilization in jungle terrain. Evidence for this is displayed in the remarkable lack of RL civilizations which arose in the jungle, some notable exceptions being the Mayans and the Asante. In regard to Pulkit's comment:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Egyptians (in RL) built magnificent buildings with stone, without having mountains in the region? I could be horribly wrong though...
The two major materials of Ancient Egyptian architecture were in fact mudbrick and limestone because of the scarcity of wood. Although sandstone is presumably more or just as common as limestone in the desert environment of Egypt, note that the Egyptians generally preferred limestone over sandstone, which is distinctly softer and easier to break, and thus not at all suitable for the construction of walls. Therefore, if the Haradrim desert civilization is chosen for the building set, the Haradrim should presumably have buildings of limestone or granite, refraining from timber. If however, the forest civilization is chosen, then timber is the perfect choice since quarrying operations are difficult in the jungle. Once again I emphasize however that the desert area would have been more advanced and also more densely populated than the jungle.
Trouble is, being a fantasy (and from other similar instances), if the Numenor are known to land in an area, they will undoubtedly build Numenorean (i.e. Westron) stone buildings. This applies to Umbar, and is suggested in the lore to apply on other coastal spots on Harad as well.
The people of Umbar were Numenoreans, whereas the Haradrim were not. The Haradrim are a separate civilization spread around the whole expanse of Harad so in-land or at least the more common architecture should be practiced.
Now for Rhun. The geography of Rhun suggests two climates: semi-arid flat steppes and fertile, recource-rich lands around the Sea of Rhun.
Almost certainly semi-arid. There is mention that the Balchoth who invaded northern Gondor and were defeated by what were to be the Rohirrim were moving because of overpopulation. Now looking on the map, Rhun is a vast place and if resource-rich it could provide for uncountable people. Unless there is a situation in Rhun like in RL China and India, which would probably mean that the Easterlings would encompass over half the population of Middle-Earth. Another possibility is that Rhun is in fact mountaneous but simply uncharted by the Western chroniclers.

posted 01-08-13 03:29 PM CT (US)     618 / 3940  
@Taichud I truly agree. I have always thought that, and Tolkein suggested, that Rhun reperesented and asian continent. However, these brilliant guys want me to not rely on real world inspiration, so :/

Lord I wish we could have seperate buildsets for the haradrim and easterlings, but from what ive seen and heard of modding it's very difficult to implement.

@ModRocker do you know if Jorgito make any of those units he had for the old mod? If so could you get me the slp files? if not do you know how to contact him?

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 04:04 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 04:04 PM CT (US)     619 / 3940  
Matt, yes I meant only minor differences haha, nothing special. maybe you guys could use the gold shield rohirrim to split the difference, jk its not too important.

Excelsior, I'm using paint shop pro for the coloring and simple paint for the cut and paste. There's a new feature in slp studio that let's you extract and important an slp into a single bmp with all the frames, without this feature I wouldn't even bother to a copy paste unit. I should really pick up poser because I really wanted design a wain rider and possibly banner bearers for all, if not at least a few civs.

I found this on lord of the rings wiki.

The lands of the Haradrim lie to the south of Gondor past the river Poros. The primitive and savage Haradrim lived in one of the harshest environments in Middle-earth. In the land south of Gondor, the sun beat down unrelentingly, cooking much of Harad's Great Plains into desert. The tribes of Haradrim lived a nomadic existence, walking from one oasis to another in search of precious water and food, and here they would gather kine and other beasts. Farther south in Far Harad there were said to be dense jungles, in which was found a bamboo-like material they used for weapons, armor, utensils and construction; the desert lands of Harad yielded few trees, so bamboo was used in place of wood. Extreme poverty, a by-product of their nomadic existence, was the main factor in their allegiance to the dark lord Sauron, who offered them wealth and water for their people. There may have been Haradrim towns and maybe cities near the coasts where fish and sea trade allowed a more urban existence.

I wanted to change topic again to graphics from bome, I feel there are some things that can be used in tome as bome was never properly finished and there were some nice graphics made for it so I feel we should honor it by including some of them in tome. It sucks but a lot of people never played the version of the mod, jorgito, dionix and i had but all the buildings were revamped to make them look a lot better, over a dozen units, including a numenorean knight which was converted from the cavalier and a noldor knight which was converted from the frankish paladin. anyways heres a list of stuff I had in mind.

Orc banner bearer
rohan swordsman (but not sure if we already discussed this.)
Both Rohan burial mounds
moria pillar
evil lumbar and mining camps, black smith, mill, barracks, archery range, siege workshops and houses for alternative or second age buildings for maybe angmar or dul guldur?
Numenorean houses, mill and blacksmith to be used by umbar
The entire realms in exile set to be used by arnor (they are actually very well made buildings and they're all there, including the town center.)
I don't expect you guys to jump on this, it's just a suggestion.

Carter983, he only finished a few which are all in tome. He had all his units in bmp format ready to be converted into slp's but he never uploaded them then he disappeared and his hard drive crashed again for like the 40th time. I don't know how to get a hold of him, I've emailed him but he hasn't responded. he checked in with us not too long ago and talked about helping so hopefully he will show up soon but if not it doesn't matter.

[This message has been edited by ModRocker (edited 01-08-2013 @ 04:09 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 04:21 PM CT (US)     620 / 3940  
@ModRocker I sure hope so, hes a great modder and we could use his expertise, not that these guys dont already work their arses off which i really appreciate. On the subject of graphics, do you know of any way to edit unit animations more efficently than opening them up in photoshop? Like lets say you make a unit graphic, but you really dont feel like going through all the unit animations. because for each unit there are around 50-60 bitmaps that have to be edited. Is there any program that automatically animates them for you, or something simmilar to that? i ahve heard of Poser, but checked it out and it costs a small fortune. any free versions?


What did Pippin do when he got drunk? He started to feel Merry!

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 04:27 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 04:52 PM CT (US)     621 / 3940  
Get an older version of Poser for cheap. Poser 8 is 39.99 on Amazon right now. I check in every so often. Poser Pro (the version I use), is like 79 bucks right now. I used to use poser 7 for a long time, and sometimes it comes up for like 10-20 bucks. No need to pay a fortune for the latest version.

Or learn to use Daz Studio, which is the free version of Poser. No idea how it works though, so you are on your own.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 05:31 PM CT (US)     622 / 3940  
LONG post about architecture coming up, including some design tips for anyone helping.

First, there is Umbar, Rhun, and Harad. As stated many times here, Umbar's origins are the same as the Men of the West civs, so there is little reason focus on them when discussing buildings. Everyone agree?

This leaves Rhun and Harad. First, my thoughts on this whole Rhun = Orient thing.

There is no evidence of this. If anything, The Sea of Rhun recalls to mind for me the Black Sea, with Tolkien's 'east' then being more representative if anything of Crimea. This gives the easterlings a far more Ottoman flavour. Bottom line, the East in Tolkien's world is not detailed (Gandalf has never even been there and he's kind of old), so to further attempt to force some one to one translation with a real life culture is pointless.

The only thing that matters then is what was written, and geography. The Sea of Rhun is barred on one side by mountains, the other side by a forest. This provides the basis for either wood or stone construction. In addition, the northern limit of Rhun is the Iron Hills, the South the Mountains of Mordor. East of Rhun are the Orocarni Mountains, which were full of resources. Rhun hardly lacks for stone. Inland Rhun, the heart of Rhun, is basically unmapped. No one can really definitively say where there are woods or mountains, and where there is none. I'm of the opinion that Rhun is not limited by resources in any way.

Now, Harad. There's not enough information to make any real determinations, but Haraf has always roughly been Carthage in my mind. Anyway, Harad is everything from the port of Umbar to grassy Gondor to jungles, with desert in between. There buildings can look however really. Harad was civilized by Numenor, then ruled by it, etc so there's probably a lot of similarities in construction.

So that leaves us with architecture questions. When designing, all buildings need the same design philosophy. Greeks, for example, built off the elipse, the golden rectangle, the golden spiral, etc. Romans favoured the circle, the square, etc. To a casual observer, Rome and greece have similar buildings, and might even share architecture in an rts. But if I designed using the Greek shapes, and then designed the same buildings with the roman ones, you would see the difference and know which was which intuitively.

Gondor, in my designs for instance, is all straight lines. Everything is straight, no curves. Even domes are octagonal or square, never round. Pillars are octagonal, not cylindrical. The single exception is in rounded arches. That's just one example where I made a conscious architecture decision, and stuck with it. There are a lot of these over the three sets I designed. Elvish roofs are always concave, not convex. Rohan is the opposite (though I never actually finished my Rohan buildings, Jorgito did the ones in ToME). Anyway, you get the point.

Similarly, there are certain architecture pieces that repeat over and over. This makes designing many buildings easier, but that's not the actual reason. It gives them a sense of cohesiveness I think to all use the same trim, windows, etc. So design one or two types of windows, or pillars, etc and then stick with them for all the buildings. Jorgito used to do this also.

So basically, for Rhun/Harad buildings, you need to pick some design ideas and then go with those. I would suggest some of the following:

1. Rhun and Harad are both hot. Open windows, open building concepts perhaps, awnings over doors and windows, balchonies/accessible rooftops. These are all things found in hot climates. A couple of these could be recurring themes. Similarly, wood exposed to high levels of heat is silverish, not rich and dark.

2. These buildings still need to look Middle Earthish, and by that I mean they need to have some similarity to other buildings on Middle Earth, particularly the western men.

One final not on Harad. Tolkien's war is really WW1 not WW2. If Mordor is germany then, it really does make sense for Easterlings and Haradrim to be Turkey and North Africa, the then Ottoman empire. Like I said, I'm not a fan of 1 to 1 mapping, but I don't think Harad and Rhun need be so very different in design.

Anyways, this is all a bunch of ideas for anyone to use/discard. I won't have time for buildings for a while, so someone else will likely beat me to ever designing these buildings.

Also, Carter, if you want we can start discussing this over emails or something. Maybe skype or MSN. I can imagine this post and yours are pretty boring and slightly disturbing to most well balanced people.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
posted 01-08-13 05:40 PM CT (US)     623 / 3940  
Ha yeah. Skype would be good. But I thought we werent comparing Middle earth to the real world. The main thing that makes me think Rhun is still a warm climate, but not arid like Harad, is the fact that plenty of trees grow there. Also, Dorwinion grows wine, which couldnt ever be grown in a climate dryer than semi-arid. I think for Rhun anything is possible. Rhun is a genral term that refers to ALL the lands lying east of Mordor and Rohvanion, not just those mapped on the maps of Middle Earth. If we are comaparing this to real world, this is a MASSIVE area. It could contain hundereds of different asiatic cultures, from the Ottomans to the Persians to the Indians to the Mongols to the Khymer to the Chinese and so on. If we arnt though, it should just be based on geography, the recources available, and examples from past history. Also, Rhun must have a coastline somehwere, so it's likely the Numenoreans visited this aswell and civilized the Easterlings living there. So really i think we should just brainstorm ideas.

My skype is CarterKhoury. if this dosnt work try carterkhoury, Carter Khoury, and Carter938.


What did Pippin do when he got drunk? He started to feel Merry!

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-08-2013 @ 05:50 PM).]

posted 01-08-13 07:07 PM CT (US)     624 / 3940  
Pulkit

Pass me the names of all civilizations so I can make the HUD. I have to do it in three screen resolutions and also the command buttons

In the Land of Mordor a new shadow rises...
-|----- Fede_Rokr94 -----|-

Mods Age of Empires 2
posted 01-08-13 08:27 PM CT (US)     625 / 3940  
I have played against Minas Morgul several times. It never built the Nazgul. It does not put up much of a fight.
posted 01-08-13 10:36 PM CT (US)     626 / 3940  
Pulkit. When you mean the spiderlings are cavalry.. that means that pikemen get an attack bonus vs it and counter it.. right?
I have played against Minas Morgul several times. It never built the Nazgul. It does not put up much of a fight.
About to change, don't worry!

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posted 01-08-13 11:05 PM CT (US)     627 / 3940  
The people of Umbar were Numenoreans, whereas the Haradrim were not. The Haradrim are a separate civilization spread around the whole expanse of Harad so in-land or at least the more common architecture should be practiced.
The idea is the Numenorean colonies would have dominantly Numenoreans, not the Haradrim, at the beginning of their explorations. Later, the population would mingle with the local Haradrim, just as Umbar fell to the Corsairs after the civil war and barely had any Numenoreans left.
Pulkit. When you mean the spiderlings are cavalry.. that means that pikemen get an attack bonus vs it and counter it.. right?
Yes, they do, how foolish of me to not recollect that!
Pass me the names of all civilizations so I can make the HUD. I have to do it in three screen resolutions and also the command buttons
HUD can be a daunting task, so if you ever feel like it's too much, let me know and I'll be glad to help.

Aztecs - Isengard
Britons - Lothlorien
Byzantines - Angmar
Celts - Eregion
Chinese - Mirkwood
Franks - Lindon
Goths - Arnor
Huns - Rhun
Japanese - Mordor
Koreans - Numenor
Mayans - Dol Guldur
Mongols - Rohan
Persians - Harad
Saracens - Rhovanion
Spanish - Rivendell
Teutons - Gondor
Turks - Minas Morgul
Vikings - Umbar

Tales of Middle-Earth | Don't miss it
posted 01-09-13 05:19 AM CT (US)     628 / 3940  
I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the Haradrim, Rhun, Umbar architecture, look and a few gameplay issues.
Wall of text incoming



Rhn:

So I have had an extensive look at the LOTR Wikia and several other sites and read into this stuff and came to the following conclusions.
http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Rhûn

So as stated in the Wikia, Rhn is a name for all lands east of Rhovanion (except for Khand in the southeast) and mostly unknown to us. But we do know quite a few things that will help us with Building/Unit design.
Rhn has the "Sea of Rhn", the "Sea of Helcar" and the "Orocarni", the Red Mountains.

The Sea of Rhn:
It is closest to Rhovanion and surrounded by a large forest (northeast), hills (southwest) and iron hills (northwest) and the Lands of Dorwinion (north, where wine is grown), so it should be of "normal" climate as can be found in central europe otherwise the wine wouldnt make sense. There should be plenty of resources because they have access to the large forest (wood) and the hills/iron hills (iron) and also food (farms / wild kine of araw).

The Sea of Helcar and the Orocarni:
Two possibilities are mentioned in the wikia: Either the Sea of Helcar and the Orocarni have been destroyed after the first age or they still exist in the fourth age. However, I will assume that they DO exist in the FA. Why?
Because 4 of the 7 dwarven clans dwelled there (and it is not stated that they were eradicated) and because the Easterling(*1) warriors' description to which I will come later.
So the Orocarni is described as a huge mountain range that contained loads of resourced "bursting to the seams with them". Due to the dwarven folk living in the Orocarni the Easterlings (through trade or whatever else) would have access to these minerals as well!
West of the Orocarni would have been the Sea of Helcar and a huge forest in which the "Dark Elves" or Avari (similar to the Silvan wood elves in architecture) dwelled.

Easterlings/inhabitants of Rhn:
As stated above, there were Men, Elves and Dwarves living in the eastern parts of Middle Earth. Since neither Elves or Dwarves (of the east) appear in the Easterling military(*2), we can glady leave them out. However, they would have an influence on Easterling culture, weaponry and architecture.

Many travelers' stories tell of glistening pagodas and grand palaces.(*3)



What does this imply for ToME?
- Stone buildings of great strength/glistening pagodas, grand palaces. Maybe a sort-of oriental look, mixed with solid buildings (dwarven architecture?).(*4)
- Rhn was quite rich in resources and wealth. Bronze was a commonly used material. Golden(orange-gold) weapons/armors?
- Could have access to dwarven smiths & elven bows
- Wainriders / Chariots (maybe use an altered Scythe Chariot from AoE 1 with bronze spear and the icon of Rhn on its shield?)





Harad:


Near Harad and Far Harad are of different climate (as has already been stated and is known to us, therefore, I wont go into detail on this). I think we should let the Haradrim use some sort of egyptian look with sandstone/limestone buildings(*5). Other than that, Harad was rather poor in terms of resources and would have relied on trade/conquering.
It is said that in the second age two Numenoreans lords raised to power in Harad, so there might have been quite a lot of Numenorean influence as well.

Implications for ToME:

- Lime/sandstone buildings
- Walls: I would give them low walls of Limestone(*6), architecture might be weak but in terms of balance it has to be seen what strengths would counter this
- Some Numenorean technologies?


Umbar:

This has also already been discussed is and widely known to us already: Umbar was a Numenorean haven/city and was lost to the Haradrim/Corsairs. The remaining Numenoreans would have mingled and diminished after a while. So Numenorean buildings would not exist in the Third age (destroyed) and they would not use the Numenorean architecture for building new buildings.

Implications for ToME:

- Maybe different buildings for the second age than for the third age? More Numenorean-style buildings in the second age (maybe your (Matt's) idea of using Numenorean buildings with oriental roofs?) and less numenorean buildings in the third age?




Suggestions:

I know that you are maxed out on the buildingsets, but you have shown that you can change the buildings looks by using technologies. For example the dwarven architectore for Rhovanion and the "Elendili" tech for Numenor that changes the look of several buildings. Maybe you could do a similar thing for Umbar: "Corsairs of Umbar": Switches buildings to a non-Numenor style, changes from GondorianGalley/Carrack to Corsair ships?
IMHO this "technology changes look of building" strategy should be used more often


Just some ideas



One gameplay thing:
Balrogs should either be editor only or limited to 1 in number. I can literally overrun my enemies with 20 Balrogs =/ Maybe limit it to one (similar to crebain limit), then costs/strength would probably be okay.

One plea:
Could you please make a distinct, smaller gondorian stone wall? Especially for eye-candy/asthetics the large fortified wall is almost unusable for smaller towns


_____
*1: In the Lord of the Rings, they (Easterlings) are described as being sallow skinned (yellowed skin tone) and slant eyed, implying an East or Central Asian people

*2: However, by the late Third Age the Easterlings must have been an extremely wealthy and well advanced people, as is demonstrated by their exquisite armor and well-crafted weaponry. Because all Easterling soldiers wore uniform armor and weaponry (http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Easterlings). Ans zur Easterlings probably befand wealthy die to the abundance it resources around Sea of Helcar/der mountains

*3: http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Rhûn

*4: Golden pagodas: https://www.google.de/search?q=pagoda+golden&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=de&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=m0vtUM-fEsjJtAbL5oCADg&biw=1366&bih=611&sei=nkvtUL_kE9DmtQbT5YFg

*5: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W5Un2MZkwMw/T3NbFG3lewI/AAAAAAAABTk/i5KYKdmHRwM/s1600/Ancient+Egyptian+Houses.gif However, I am not sure how this would look on grassy/snowy terrain xD maybe a bit darker than the sandstone "yellow"?
http://assets.vg247.com/current//2011/01/aoeo.jpg

*6: Maybe something like this: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQZXU8TIIX6Dx6jvhjTXIAl4FtBogY1rbhj7OUG_zKj5tTOUP4jlA or like the Age of Empires I walls (the small walls) just a bit higher and brighter. And as a fortified wall this one:
http://images.crispygamer.com/public/column-1218/RBT_walls_AoM.jpg

[This message has been edited by MarcAnton (edited 01-09-2013 @ 07:38 AM).]

posted 01-09-13 06:04 AM CT (US)     629 / 3940  
@MarcAnton One word: amazing! Ill make sure Pulkit and Matt see this.this.


What did Pippin do when he got drunk? He started to feel Merry!

[This message has been edited by Carter938 (edited 01-09-2013 @ 06:10 AM).]

posted 01-09-13 07:51 AM CT (US)     630 / 3940  
I'll pitch in where I can:
you have shown that you can change the buildings looks by using technologies. For example the dwarven architectore for Rhovanion and the "Elendili" tech for Numenor that changes the look of several buildings.
This still uses the build sets, and I have space for at most 1 build set. (It's hard, but not impossible to add a second though, mind! I could make adjustments.)
Maybe you could do a similar thing for Umbar: "Corsairs of Umbar": Switches buildings to a non-Numenor style, changes from GondorianGalley/Carrack to Corsair ships?
You need to play with Umbar more! Check out the tech "Independence".
Balrogs should either be editor only or limited to 1 in number. I can literally overrun my enemies with 20 Balrogs =/ Maybe limit it to one (similar to crebain limit), then costs/strength would probably be okay.
Agreed. Or I'll shift it to the Wonder.

------

If we keep at these long-winded posts and analyses, we won't be done with any build set by the end of Jan.

I vote for a Numenorean/Westron/Gondor-ish set using the texture of the current Rhun castle. This looks like limestone/sandstone + iron rust + oriental (i.e. Middle-Eastern, not Far East Asian) enough, and desert-worn. Might fit both civs for now.

Also, adding to your Harad limestone examples, this comes from Rise of Nations. Does it looks appropriate?
http://prntscr.com/om2cg

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