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Half-orcs and Goblin-men Query and Suggestion


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#1 lonkipt

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 04:02 PM

You guys have done very thorough, amazing work at bringing to life many of the more obscure things of Middle-earth. Given this, will you be doing anything with the half-orcs and goblin-men for Isengard? They are briefly brought up by Treebeard and Gamling, in the chapters "Treebeard" and "Helm's Deep", respectively (and I think the "squint-eyed southerner" bit at Bree), and seem to be references to a strange hybrid of people that may have been around for years and very different from Uruk-hai, at least as seen in the films.

An interesting idea could be to use them as spies of some sort for Isengard, or even Mordor, perhaps, since that seems to be a big part of the context in which they're referenced. Maybe a light skirmisher, even, since they took part in the battle at Helm's Deep in the books.

Isengard is a well developed faction, gents, but just wondering where these mysterious hybrids might be in your designs, especially figuring you fleshed out the Dunlendings so much.

#2 Nerevar42

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 05:02 PM

The Uruk-Hai fighters of the movie series basically are the Half-Orcs of the book, the new race of Orcs that Saruman raised after crossing men of Dunland and Black Uruks of Mordor, which were previously created by Sauron a thousand years before the events of the War of the Ring to invade Osgiliath, this difference between Uruks and Snaga in the Mordor army not being truly made in the movie except with the conflict involving Gorbag and Shagrat at Cirith Ungol. Considering that, it would be kinda redundant to add Half-Orcs as recruitable units in AOTR, because Jackson simply decided to call them "Uruk-Hai" in a simplification process.


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#3 lonkipt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 04:36 PM

It seems a bit more than that, as I read the books. Jackson's Uruk-hai appear to be a major departure from Tolkien's. Jackson's appear to be more or less quickly or even instantaneously "bred" (though really more "spawned" would be a better word, given they look like they come from the ground), and they clearly seem to be more automatons, having a measure of intelligence, of course, but merely bloodthirsty monsters, more or less. Jackson's are said to be "bred" by crossing "orcs with Goblin-men." Tolkien's are said to be actually bred by crossing orcs with actual men, and such is implied to be something more wicked. Tolkien's also seem to have taken many years, even for Saruman's, and that maybe it was a dark art that had been lost before Saruman rediscovered it some time back. Jackson's look like they may have been more immediate. So the half-orcs and goblin-men may have been around for years before LOTR, spying and gathering information. The black Uruks of Mordor seem to have been more mysterious but of the same idea of crossbreeding orcs with men.

The half-orcs appear to be more men with some orc traits, and thus a bit more debased men or amplified orcs. They appear in the Scouring of the Shire chapter, especially, and seem to be far less the mindless, soulless Frankenstein-esque creatures of the films and more just thugs who could be mistaken for men.

The gobline-men, on the other hand, seem to be more like men with goblin features or traits, but more "weasily" and crafty like goblins, maybe, always up to some mischief, and perfect as spies. I don't see any sort of automaton-like characteristics there, either.

Anyways, I get your point, for sure. They are similar. But I don't see adding half-orcs and goblin-men as redundant, given the above subtleties and differences from the books. I think they have some cool stuff to offer to enrich an already great faction, which I'll post below.

#4 lonkipt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 04:39 PM

I have an idea for how to include the half-orcs and goblin-men from the books into the game as unique units, reflecting how they are, in fact, different from the Uruk-hai. Given that they largely play the part of spies in the books, what if they were a limited or special unit that you could place inside an enemy structure for a few minutes and that would have a couple different abilities? Some ideas include but are not limited to the following:

1. They could increase enemy recruitment time for a unit production facility.

2. They could steal resources or otherwise reduce resource production for a couple minutes.

3. They could allow you to temporarily recruit certain units from the building.

4. They provide building line of sight for the duration they are in the building.

Ideas like these could, of course, be further modified, but I think they are all the same a great start to reflecting something that played an important role for how Saruman worked his schemes.

#5 lonkipt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 04:41 PM

Some other ideas to supplement this would be to allow only one of these abilities to be used at a time. Maybe with one of the ideas, like the one about line of sight, it could be permanent until the structure is destroyed or something, that way you have to think carefully about how to use the ability, as you'd only have so many spies. For such an ability, it would be advisable to maybe sneak into the fortress of the enemy to maximize that use. The problem, of course, would be base defenses and the like. Super weak unit with incredible abilities. It would probably be a fairly expensive special unit, too.

I don't know, just general thoughts, but it's a start!

#6 Nerevar42

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 04:58 PM

In that case, maybe the AOTR team could come up with something like the Half-Orcs to replace the current Isengard inn unit, Moria Screechers (which are not supposed to be that related to Isengard).


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#7 lonkipt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 08:04 PM

That's a pretty good idea. I had forgotten about the inn units. And you're right, they don't seem to go too well with the faction. I get it that, in some way, Isengard did use orcs and such from the Misty Mountains in the books, but these specific goblins don't really play much a part, so far as I remember, or at the least don't seem to supplement Isengard that well gameplay-wise given their limitef spam function (usually only one inn structure being controlled with slow recruit time that can't be sped up through structure upgrades, as is ideal to do for spam units). Half-orc/goblin-men spies of some sort would fill in a blank for truly filling out the faction as per the lore; given their unique status, their limited availability on certain maps would adhere to how rare they seemed to be out in the world; and they would even compliment the fact that they are found in the inn at Bree!

#8 Dúnedain76

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:13 PM

We aren't doing anything with half-orcs in AoTR.






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