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Suggestions about new inn units for AOTR

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#1 Nerevar42

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 08:59 AM

The inn units you created for two AOTR factions are really cool (Kinn-Lai soldiers and Dorwinion Pikemen). But many factions are lacking those new models and are “only” able to recruit units from another faction. It would be really cool to imagine a completely new type of unit for each released faction, so we have equally refreshing designs for every inn in the game. I don’t really know if you also already have plans about this but, meh.


Here are my suggestions regarding this. Take what you want.


- For Mordor, add Men of Nûrn, enslaved or corrupted, with fishermen/Aztec vibes. Or Black Gondorians of the Black Gate, that bowed to Sauron after he took over the place. This would show that Sauron, as he did for the Brown Lands and Greenwood, once destroyed what was Mordor and made it his home. Or maybe this place was dark and poisonous since the very beginning. Doesn’t matter. Last try : Cirith Ungol Trappers, a bunch of poisonous orcs covered in webs, their loyalty to the Dark Lord only beaten by their hate for spiders and Men.


- For Isengard, add whether Warg Veterans, old scarred wolves coming from the Misty Mountains that fought a lot of wars and ended up in the legions of Saruman, or maybe simply Breeland mercenaries, the ones that Saruman hired to burn down the Shire after the War of the Ring. But maybe those actually were Dunlendings, I don’t really know. In any case, better than Moria Screechers, which are both bad and not that lorewise if put aside Isengard armies.


- For Rohan, maybe implement Woses as recruitable inn units to replace Marchwardens. This old trick of Galadhrim helping Rohirrim at Helm’s Deep seems too restrictive for me, I would change it for something more “Rohan-like”, related to the story of this country. If not, you could also create Aglarond Dwarves, even though it’s more a Fourth Age thing (dammit). One last idea would be Ost-In-Edhil Veterans, Eregion support units (I know most of Eregion elven inhabitants moved to Rivendell after the death of Celembrimbor but I’m trying).


- For Lorien, add Men of Rhovanion that are basically Blighted Trappers but not yet corrupted, and strong enough to fight against the Dark Lord. They have unique abilities and wield different weapons than their original corrupted counterpart, to make them feel different. I think this is a better option than Greenwood Warriors, even though those ones are actually not recruitable in the WR faction (that makes them a fair option so Men of Rhovanion really are an idea for a completely potential replacement).


- For Dol Guldur, you could add Rhûn units, because it’s logical, but something different than just giving Phalanxes. Why not Samurais with creepy war masks ? You could call them Rhûn Shoguns, and tell that these nameless warlords, shrouded in mystery, answered the call of the Dark Lord to destroy the West they hated for so long. It sounds cool and not completely extravagant to me.


- For Gondor, I think it would be a good idea to make some sort of Haradwaith allies to call or at least mercenaries that they could pay for their protection, to rethink a little bit the rivalry between those two kingdoms and show that some Southrons didn’t completely hate Gondorians (because the opposite is probably true). If not, what about Arnor remnants in another form than Rangers : for example, Annuminas Keepers, an old order of Monks that guard the ruined tower. Just throwing ideas. Not lorewise, I know.


- For Rivendell, I would suggest Sentinels of the Grey Havens, so we can see the strong connection between Cirdan and Elrond, as members of the White Council and two allied houses (Teleri and Noldor). Mithlond is basically all that is left of Lindon, so it should be important, in my opinion, to reflect that in the Rivendell faction. Honestly, Ered Luin Traders are already a completely valid option, the problem is that we can train them with Erebor, so they’re not unique as Rivendell inn units.


- For Misty Mountains, Angmar people (Inuit-style) would be pretty cool, wielding cold, long-forgotten and rusty swords once forged in the lost kingdom of the Witch-King. You could also forget the swords and just implement those Dark Men of the North whose ancestors saw the reign of Angmar. Still cooler than Black Uruks. If not, one last idea : Black Dwarves, with a heart of stone and the mind of a dragon, consumed by their love for gold.


- For Woodland Realm and Erebor, congratulations again for those two unique inn units.

"C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron."

#2 Sharkey

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:39 PM

These are some really interesting suggestions. I believe the AOTR team's ultimate plan is for Inn units to be map-specific rather than faction specific (or maybe a combination of the two).


The inn units that seem really work well are the ones that fill a (deliberate) gap in that faction's capabilities, giving them more options. This makes the inn a really important strategic element in the game. So from a gameplay point of view it is easier to figure out the desired inn-unit functions perhaps for factions that are deliberately geared towards a particular style of playing, like Dol Goldur. More flexible, all-round factions like Isengard and Gondor are harder to figure out from this point of view.


Some thoughts on a few of your suggestions:


- Isengard: The Ruffians seem the obvious choice here - the men who fought for Saruman in the Battle of Bywater and who were his henchmen in Bree, the Shire and beyond. There are some good sources in the films - various disreputable, Bill Ferny-like characters seen in scenes in the Prancing Pony. The function is harder to figure out, but perhaps something involved with spying rather than combat.


- Rohan: I love the Woses/Druedain idea, as we've been given tantalising glimpses of them in the 'Skill of the Woses' power. There are many directions this could go in - healing, scouting, poisoning, or teleporting by use of their 'secret paths'.


- Dol Goldur: Easterlings work pretty well considering the Lore. There was an Easterling clan called the Balchoth who were knocking about in Mirkwood long, long before the events of the Lord of the Rings but they could be a source of inspiration for a unique design, perhaps some true believers who have sworn revenge on Eorl's descendants.

#3 Helper01

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 04:43 PM

All of these ideas are really intriguing, indeed. And I gotta hand it to you for the sheer creativity and thoughtfulness. Worthy of an AOTR player! For Rivendell, your idea is a strong one. I, personally, would probably prefer a unit that could accommodate that faction's severe gap in siege, though. I brought this up in more detail in a post a while back, so I won't reiterate too much here. But an idea would be to make an enginer of some sort so that he could be able to make several different kinds of siege out on the frontlines as needed, similar to the trolls in the Angmar faction for the Edain mod. It's a clever way to adapt to any given situation, and would accommodate the controversial (and buggy) siege powers of the Revelers while not strictly replacing them. The Revelers seems to work much better as economic and unit support than attack, especially when you're up against bases with many arrow towers and siege defending it. The cooldown timers (even taking into consideration the use of the Hall of Fire and the high damage several Revelers can do together), in addition to the bugs inherent in the power (often times the power does next to nothing to structures, especially wall sections), make Revelers highly inadequate as good siege--all the more when you consider they cannot do splash damage, nor do attacks against units the way that siege machines can. Siege machines' ability to knock down archers, especially, and do good splash damage has consistently helped turn the tides in countless battles for me. Rivendell being the only faction to not be able to pull any of this off puts a massive gap in their offensive and defensive capabilities--even moreso given they're limited to five in number instead of six, like other siege machines are. I can grant the use of the Breath of Manwe or even the Veterans of the Last Alliance as structure and splash damage; but the former is, again, restricted too much by its cooldown time; and the latter are incredibly difficult to acquire, both for cost and being very late game heroic units. Furthermore, the Veterans have to engage up close the enemy to pull this off. Rivendell badly needs proper ranged siege way earlier and what's more cost effective, even if, say, a bit weaker.


Mathijs brought up in the other post I did that Rivendell is themed to be more about song, story, and preservation; but I argued that the Dunedain are much more active in protection, being out in the wild hunting the enemy, rather than fading away as the Elves are. So they work more as a sub-faction, in my view. A Dunedain enginer would work great as this special unit. Or even coming up with something Ent-like, or maybe something else entirely. Some sort of Elf unit that's highly special and unique that could summon in some sort of benevolent, unusual creature that has been protected and preserved for a long time, and finally revealed in the world's most desperate hour. Something from the First Age or something, related to Yavanna. It would go according to the theme of the faction, while being very unique, indeed. 

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