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Dwarven Windlance and "Twirly-whirlies"


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#1 Helper01

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 04:41 AM

Is there any way to incorporate the Dwarven windlance as a defense of some sort...? Maybe as a defensive structure as it appears to be in the Hobbit films? What would the story behind it be? Perhaps to primarily protect against the dragons and foul creatures that bordered so close to the north? Perhaps it could be a summonable defensive structure for Erebor? Something that does extra damage against monsters, especially flying creatures?

 

How about Dain's "twiryl-whirlies"? Perhaps instead of the Dwarven mangonels' anti-infantry rocks, they could use those advanced weapons? I get those weapons seemed to be more about countering arrow barrages, but it would be quite interesting to see if they were developed a bit more in the decades since the Battle of the Five Armies to become a more effective anti-infantry weapon!



#2 Nerevar42

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:22 PM

I don't think there's any way to make "twiryl-whirlies" believable to be honest. They were ridiculous in the movie and they still are. Thank God they cut that in the short version. I don't want that in AOTR.


Edited by Nerevar42, 05 May 2021 - 05:23 PM.


#3 Mathijs

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 08:39 PM

I don't think there's any way to make "twiryl-whirlies" believable to be honest. They were ridiculous in the movie and they still are. Thank God they cut that in the short version. I don't want that in AOTR.

I agree. They're a bit silly and there's really no way to implement them properly without them just being a catapult/ballista that's difficult to animate.


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#4 Helper01

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 11:29 PM

I find it amusing both of you completely disregarded any discussion of the way cooler windlance in favor of the focus bias on the ridiculousness of the "twirly-whirlies." lol My evil experiment was a resounding success.... I also like how you criticize them for being "a bit silly" yet still somehow managed to incorporate one of the most loathsome aspects of the Hobbit films, Radagast... (You could just as well have used the amazing picture of Radagast from the LOTR Card Game as you did for Bombadil and others. At least you didn't use a picture of him from the films themselves, thus preserving his dignity from the books, so you can forgiven!) You even managed to put in a reference or two to Alfrid Lickspittle! So come now, let us reason together! Incorporating "a bit silly" aspects of the Hobbit films isn't completely beneath you fine chaps.  :p

 

That being said, going back to the windlances...any chance of incorporating the legendary Dwarven defensive weapon in some way? I realize the Bardings are already incredibly useful against monsters. They reflect Bard's success as a bowman and a hero and a leader. But I could definitely see King Bard re-implementing the windlances to better defend against the terrors of the North, especially given the destruction caused by Smaug, causing immense devastation to the populations of not just the Dwarves but also the Men of Dale. With such few numbers, the windlances would be that much more vital. They would also be key to defense against the evil Easterlings, with King Brand likely taking advice from Gandalf and others of the Wise to make them bigger and better in the event Sauron would aim to continue to use the dragons or other fell beasts to overrun the North. All the more given the prosperity of Erebor and how revitalized it was, and its strengthened ties with the Men of Dale. The Dwarves who undertook the Quest of Erebor clearly honored the memory of the windlance, so I could see the Dwarves later on wanting to return such weapons to their prior glory; I could see the desire of King Bard to honor the memory of the valor of his forefather Girion; and the growing awareness of the rise of the Dark Lord and what all he could accomplish against a defenseless North would surely be on the minds of the Dwarves and the Men of Dale. Something like this seems fairly workable. And I believe it would work well as either a defensive structure, even limited in number; or even as a summonable higher level spellbook power. It would add that much more to the lore while making Erebor that much more unique when fighting monsters. Not sure precisely how to incorporate the issue of balance, given the Bardings and all. Maybe a system where Bardings are "sacrificed" for the windlances (i.e. used to construct and/or man windlances) so that you don't have an imbalance? Perhaps they could be similar to arrow towers and flets to put the Bardings in them? Something like this seems doable in the main game. Or even just have them in a redone Dale map of some sort, and/or Laketown...? Perhaps that would be the best way to incorporate the balance, is to have them limited to location? Just throwing out ideas.

 

However it works, Girion would be proud to see them come alive again!


Edited by Helper01, 09 May 2021 - 11:49 PM.


#5 Nerevar42

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 02:28 PM

I find it amusing both of you completely disregarded any discussion of the way cooler windlance in favor of the focus bias on the ridiculousness of the "twirly-whirlies." lol My evil experiment was a resounding success.... I also like how you criticize them for being "a bit silly" yet still somehow managed to incorporate one of the most loathsome aspects of the Hobbit films, Radagast... (You could just as well have used the amazing picture of Radagast from the LOTR Card Game as you did for Bombadil and others. At least you didn't use a picture of him from the films themselves, thus preserving his dignity from the books, so you can forgiven!) You even managed to put in a reference or two to Alfrid Lickspittle! So come now, let us reason together! Incorporating "a bit silly" aspects of the Hobbit films isn't completely beneath you fine chaps.  :p

I personnaly think the Peter Jackson's Radagast is both creative and interesting (the rabbit sleigh put aside, let's collectively ignore that), given the fact that Tolkien wrote literally nothing about him in The Hobbit and LOTR, so you can't really talk about Radagast's dignity when you can't even know who he is, apart from his name and function. Also, if I didn't talk about windlances (I can't speak for Mathijs), it is mainly because my answer would have been the same as for "twiryl-whirlies" : they look weird and do not correspond to the book's statement that Bard killed Smaug with an arrow, not with a spear.

 

But, of course they could be implemented just like Dain's boar (that also looks ridiculous and out of place in my own personal opinion) was. I'm just saying what I think about your suggestions, which are cool by the way (it's way better for me to see something on this forum that I disagree with instead of purely nothing). There's no particular reason to be "amused" by my reaction. I can think that "twiryl-whirlies" are painfully ridiculous just like the Jackson's Radagast is for you, apparently.

 

About your ideas on windlances, if they were to be implemented, I personally would place them as an Erebor fortress ballista replacement, but we already have dwarven catapults. So, to be honest again, I don't think they have their place in the Erebor faction, nor in the mod at all. But that's ok if you disagree, I won't be mad. ^_^



#6 Helper01

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 04:29 PM

One is easily amused in conversations for a variety of reasons. It's the nature of interpersonal communication! 

 

I totally respect personal preference, yet it was an irony too irresistible to point out that the dev considered "twirly-whirlies" "a bit silly," but chose to keep in other "silly" elements from the films. No biggie. Yet consistency would be cool. Might as well make Alfrid Lickspittle a temporary summon for the Master of Laketown, now; or include Radagast's jack rabbit sleight as his steed! (Btw, just kidding, devs! Consistency isn't always a good thing...) The twirly-whirly thing was ultimately kind of a joke on my part to throw into the forums to see how far I could run with it. Worked like a charm!

 

Anyways, I think the windlances were an interesting development by the filmmakers to further accentuate the danger of the dragon Smaug. I listened to the commentaries on this specific subject, as I, too, at one point did not prefer the change from an arrow to what functions more like a spear. Basically, the reason the filmmakers gave was something along the lines of how difficult it would be for general audiences to buy the idea that a massive dragon like that could be taken down by such a small arrow; and that said arrow would be very tricky to appear at all onscreen, especially in a dramatic way. We even see the filmmakers showing this in how many times Bard attempts to shoot the dragon with normal arrows, only for them to be very hard to see, and then lacking in screen drama. I guess, ultimately, I could see the argument on either end of the spectrum. While I don't necessarily like the execution of the slaying of the dragon in the films, I do admire their efforts to raise the drama by showing him attempting something that by all means should be impossible. It stays true to the spirit of Bard the Dragon-slayer for still being able to achieve the impossible. Not the best way to go about it, but it works to some degree, at least in concept.

 

And if anyone would know how dangerous a drake is, it would be the Dwarves, given their past with them. If something as massive as those spear-like Black Arrows won't take down a flying beast of hell, not sure exactly what would! For my money, that's good drama. And that it adds to the lore is just a cherry on top. I can admire the filmmakers' imagination to try something a little different, yet not wholly unbelievable. The windlance looks like something very practical and something that could reasonably work.

 

In the end, the windlances are an interesting concept in that they develop the state of the world of men in the North and their old alliance with the Dwarves of Erebor. It gives special notice to the dangers of the North and how they tried to protect themselves against them; and the way I see it, it's all too reasonable they would at least try to further develop the windlances to protect future generations from another beast like Smaug. 

 

Incidentally, I just recently noticed the amazing new art assets for Laketown/Esgaroth. Great work! And of course I noticed the windlance perched atop the tower! Not sure if the devs mean it as just a prop with no function, to stay true to the visuals of Laketown presented in the films, or if they mean to make it a useable device with more down the line. Exciting stuff to see it, regardless!



#7 Mathijs

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 09:26 PM

I find it amusing both of you completely disregarded any discussion of the way cooler windlance in favor of the focus bias on the ridiculousness of the "twirly-whirlies." lol My evil experiment was a resounding success.... I also like how you criticize them for being "a bit silly" yet still somehow managed to incorporate one of the most loathsome aspects of the Hobbit films, Radagast... (You could just as well have used the amazing picture of Radagast from the LOTR Card Game as you did for Bombadil and others. At least you didn't use a picture of him from the films themselves, thus preserving his dignity from the books, so you can forgiven!) You even managed to put in a reference or two to Alfrid Lickspittle! So come now, let us reason together! Incorporating "a bit silly" aspects of the Hobbit films isn't completely beneath you fine chaps.  :p

You'll note our Radagast doesn't actually look like the film's design. He was a book character, you know. All he's kept is Sylvester McCoy's face and the Weta staff. You'll also note that the only reference (as far as I'm aware) to that Alfrid character is in a single button image. 

 

That's very different from spending countless hours devising some way for the utterly impractical 'twirly-whirlies' to be implemented when all they could realistically amount to is another siege engine, which Erebor already has plenty of. I say realistically - you can dream up whatever you want but there's no way to replicate their function in the film.

 

You ask for consistency in the personal and subjective prefences of the team. We like what we like, and implement what we can from that list. 

 

As to wind-lances: meh. I couldn't care less about having them. Just more stuff to have to make and balance, when there's perfectly fine alternatives already done.


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