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Major improvements

suggestions improvements war of the ring campaign units

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#1 Emanuele Fiori

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 04:29 PM

Hello AotR developers, i used to play BFME when i was really young and then abbandoned it. I started to play it again like 3 weeks ago with a more critical point of view since i grew up and in theese 3 weeks i thought a lot about what needs to be done in order to improve the game to be really at the top. In my opinion this game has the highest potential of any other Real Strategy Games out there and you guys did and still doing one of the greatest modding job and i want to thank you because this is one of my favourite game and i would like to help you develop it as much as possible. Unfortunately i’m not a content creator nor an informatic otherwise i would have created my own mod. I’m writing you because i think your work and dedication are the best one to possibly fit my ideas. Without any further delays let’s jump into it:

-        I’v been playing every feature of AotR and almost any other major BFME 1, 2 and RotWK mods (campaign, war of the ring, skirmish) and what i found is that there is a lack of FACTIONS UNIQUENESS, let me explain: when i play skirmish or war of the ring i feel like it’s the same pattern strategy and playstyle for every faction. You just start with cheap units and buildings to grow up until you can purchase stronger units and that’s ok but if you take it long it’s boring. Every basic unit has no abilities at all so the only difference between a silvan archer from Woodland realm or a basic archer from Lothlorien is the price and CP nothing else. I feel like the units are too much standardized. There is really no point nor the will to advance a unit to its maximum level without any rewards (abilities). I think every unit and hero must have AT LEAST a starting ability, a mid-tier ability (lets say at lvl 3 for units and 5 for hero) and a max level ability (when i talk about abilities they can be either passive or active). Tier 2 units do have 1 ability and hero units 2 or 3 but in my opinion does not make any real difference between one another. I think you should implement much more abilities and unique skills even for basic units so that each facions has it’s own playstyle and strategy. For exemple we can see from moovies and books that archers from Woodland Realm use short bows in order to fight in the forest against goblins who are much faster and agile than normal orcs or uruk-hai and it makes perfectly sense. We can also confirm that since Legolas is given a longbow by Galadriel when before he leaves Lothlorien. With theese information you could just simply make Woodland basic archers have less range than any other basic archers in the game but much more attack speed due to their skills and short bows. In addition you can have them learn an ability at level 5 that makes them be able to shoot while mooving for a while at a reduced attack speed. The same concept can be applied to any other basic units of each faction. Another exemple could be with Lothlorien: we see that they use longbows and that their are very skilled at distance so you could build this faction’s strenght on archers by having them have much more range and damage than any other archers at a reduced attack speed and maybe having an ability to bleed and slow targets. Same thing with tier 2 and heroic units and also you should give the opportunity to have more than 1 or 2 battalions of heroic units. What’s the point of spending so much money and waiting so long to have just 1 or 2? It is all a matter of implement more and more abilities and skills for each units and heroes in order to jump deep and feel the uniqueness of each factions.

-        War of the ring. I think WotR is the biggest idea ever made to play different factions istead of the boring skirmish because i really enjoy the idea of level up units and heroes and bring them with me during all the “campaign”. Since making a single campaign for each faction would be really long, WotR is a perfect compromise but i would like to see the old BFME 1 build system (also for skirmishes and campaigns) beacuse if you are using free building system every game will lasts at least 1 hour (unless you are playing vs paesant or soldier AI of course) and it is really frustrating. Lets say i have 2 free hours to play and i want to play some AotR, i can’t play paesant or soldier AI because they are really easy to deal with while hard and brutal you just take at least 1 hour if you are lucky and if you dont have to restart the game or loose it. So i find myself play just 1 skirmish at the end of my day. This problem could be fixed by bringing back BFME 1 building system.

-        In my opinion you should bring the campaign back to its original BFME 1 style. I personally don’t like the fact that you can’t choose the map you want and that you spend 90% of the campaign without the possibility to build anything and you have to go on with just the troops or heroes you start with. I don’t like either the fact that it is way too difficult and boring because the first episodes refers to some parts of the book or moovie that could really be skipped, for exemple when aragorn has to heal frodo stabbed by morgul knife (you spend so much time finding athlas to heal him). The original game was meant to be army vs army with the possibility to win using the strategy you want and in this version of the campaign i don’t see strategy and freedom at all.

With that being said there are really endless ideas that could fit into the game with just some immagination. I know that with theese changes i listed above all the math should change as well to balance the game and it’s a lot of difficult work but i feel like this game could improve so much. I really appreciate your hard dedication and i thank you again for constantly trying to improve the game. I hope my ideas will be taken in consideration.

Thank you

#2 Nerevar42

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:37 PM

Hi, I intended to react to your suggestions, notably because I don't understand the "lack of faction uniqueness".


AOTR does bring faction uniqueness INCREDIBLY WELL. Waaaaay better than the base game or other RTS games such as Warcraft III or Starcraft. The mod has eleven factions, unique models, unique icons, unique abilities for most of the units (even though it seems you missed a lot of them because you are complaining about the fact that there is still not enough : you have to remember that the palantir is not infinite, I'm even pretty sure that the modders struggle to place all of their ideas in these five boxes), unique strategies, unique buildings, unique powers, etc.


The only three things that should in my opinion be implemented for now are pretty difficult, if not impossible, gameplay changes that would surely need a lot of script and rework. These three things are : a multiple-strategies AI just like in AOM (aggressive and defensive at least), alternative victories (it comes a little bit with the first one to be honest, because a defensive AI would have no point if not being able to win the game by turtling) just like in AOM and many ways of playing each faction that differ from the others in another way than only models (the base game did it with lumber mills, AOTR did it with Dol Guldur builders, with WR heavy armor, it will also do it with Haradwaith upgrades) just like in AOM (again). Notice that I'm not mentioning an excessive number of abilities as a solution to this problem. We'll get to this part soon.


Everything is almost as unique as possible, I'm genuinely surprised that you're still not satisfied with the amount of specific things every specific unit of the game hides in its bag. You just can't do like Edain Mod and have a zillion powers for every single unit plus three "this was not even my final form" tricks for the faction leader (that is able to pull out of nowhere three other palantiri that you need to search for by clicking on an arrow) while the battle is on if the point is to make a balanced RTS game. The "click your heroes powers as soon as they're off cooldown to win" strategy is not funny, and it's even stressful to have to micromanage that much abilities : the single fact that Lorien Horse Archers can't switch to spears while more than one batallion is selected can make a HUGE difference in any game, so there's no way you're going to help people playing the game if you put another bunch of abilities that need to be clicked again and again and again (unless they're passives... but the palantir is still five-circles long and you need room for upgrades).


Is it the idea of having a base gameplay that bothers you ? You need heroes, cavalry, pikemen, infantry and archers for this game to work. Same for battle stances or buildings : of course many of them serve the same purpose, but they're still UNIQUE in the mod. I can understand that giving some tweaks to the stats of diverse units might create the illusion of having different units, but these are the voice lines, the abilities (because, again, yes they have some) and the models that truly make a difference for me. About the heroic units, "What’s the point of spending so much money and waiting so long to have just 1 or 2 ?", clearly you didn't the play the game. Heroic units are insane, they're limited in order to avoid the game being broken, that's the point.


Logically speaking, I'm not convinced at all by the explanation based on a scene of the movie though : no, a shortbow won't help you if you're fighting agile enemies, the shortbow is for the people that just can't use or purchase a longbow, the whole point of a bow is to kill people from far away so the furthest you are the better you are. It's not like the goblins were agile enough to dodge arrows !


The problem of the old BFME 1 static building system was about the fact that the two turtling Good factions were often locked in their base while building up their strength instead of spreading accross the map to control capturable buildings (that didn't exist) or fortifying key points (because they couldn't). Evil factions were aggressive and didn't even have the choice of having walls or not. BFME 2 provided diverse strategies for different factions with its free building system, creating a far more believable RTS experience. The game is so much more interesting regarding the placement of fortifications on different maps. In comparison with the BFME 2 skimishes, BFME 1 skirmishes sucked. Just like the BFME 2 campaign sucks when put in front of the BFME 1 one (?).


Regarding the campaign, I completely agree with you on the fact that the BFME 1 style was far more interesting. It's a loooot of work though, and the original idea of WOTR was exactly to give back that feeling while permitting developers to work on more scripted maps with scenarios. The Two Towers campaign AOTR version will be out soon with 7.0 and I'm pretty sure this was a hundred times more complicated to do than the little levels with only heroes on huge empty maps. This Fellowship of the Ring campaign was a try, a little bonus (that had problems like all tries, notably on the "waves and defend" mechanics), but the main part of the work clearly is on the skirmish and WOTR modes.


Hoping that I didn't say anything mean, thank you for your participation, it's always cool to have new ideas coming ! :)

#3 Emanuele Fiori

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 11:03 AM

Hi, thank you for your reply.

I absolutely agree with you with the fact that AotR brings the best visuals and details to the game and, as i said, their work is undoubtely stunning in every sense. What i would like to see for my personal taste is more abilities that’s it. it is just a matter of taste that’s why yes i really like edain for adding more abilities. I appreciate your response.

Another thing i forgot to mention in my last post is that AotR should also give the opportunity to unify and dissolve 2 groups of units like the old BFME 1 system where you could have pikes and archers moving togheter without always checking if someone is attacking your archers.

Last thing i would like to talk about is the old style guard system of BFME 1 which i find really better than the defensive, normal, and offensive stances because with the old system you could just have your units fight in a specific area you want having them engaging enemies automatically without going too far. Now your units just fight while going forward and sometime you find yourself loosing units because they went too far.

#4 Nerevar42

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:01 PM

Hi again !


Of course you can like Edain Mod and its abilities, you're completely in your right.  :p

But thinking of what AOTR intends to be (a balanced RTS game with a 3rd age Tolkien universe design), imitating Edain by giving dozens of active abilities to heroes and units is a bad idea in my opinion.


About unifying batallions specifically, this feature was in fact in 5.0 but was soon scrapped because of the numerous bugs and balancing issues this strategy created. BFME 1 was a stylish and cool game with a really nice campaign, but it was also not really balanced in its truly "RTS" core as I said above.


I never really used the guard system in BFME 1, I completely agree on the fact that the absence of feature designed to make, for example, archers hold their ground on walls and still attack on view is annoying. A similar problem occurs with units that chase down the wandering guards of lvl 3 barracks and go right in the enemy base by doing so.

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