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Thread: Middle-Earth campaign map?

  1. #31
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    I'm testing some possibilities and I'd like to know your opinions.

    1. Zones of recruitment - "national" units will be recruitable with full strength (say 100 men per unit) only within the core provinces e.g.: elven units in Mirkwood, Lothlorien, Imladris. Adjacent provinces will produce the same unit but with 60 men and all other provinces 40 men unit. It'll simulate stretched supply lines and limited number of recruits in regions far away from homeland. Of course, you'll be able to merge all these small detachments into full, 100 men unit.
    So, if you loose large part of your army far away from your homeland, you'll have 3 options:
    • wait for new units from your homeland
    • wait while building detachments and slowly reinforce your army.
    • recruit human mercenaries - much weaker but numerous.
    This should force players to better prepare their campaigns and make the game harder. This should also help AI to keep its homelands.


    2. Land trade routes - two options here:
    • simulate trade route via buildings with fixed income (like mines or cathedral) e.g.: if you control all (say 5) provinces that belongs to the trade route you'll be able to start building trading posts or caravanserais. Disadvantages: a) always the same income, b) if you loose one of the provinces you'll still get income from 4 others.

    • make fake sea that connects all 5 provinces, give provinces tradeable goods, ports, shipyard kind of building which will produce tradesmen/caravans. Tradesmen/caravans will work like ships. Disadvantages: possible fights between tradesmen/caravans, port icons inside provinces with no visible coast. Advantages: realistic and fluctuating income even if you control only one province.
    I'll probably use this second option to make Anduin navigable (for normal ships) from Osgiliath to the sea but I'm not sure about full inland trade routes.

    I think about 4 trade routes:
    - from Blue Mountains to Shire and Bree
    - kind of Silk Road from Khand, through Harad to the coast - Umbar or further to Gondor (maybe Pelargir)
    - From Rohan, through the Undeeps ford to Rhovanion
    - river trade route from provinces along the Anduin Vale, through portage way at Sarn Gebir to Osgiliath.



    Let me know what you think. All suggestions and ideas are warmly welcomed!
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  2. #32
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    1. Zones of recruitment - "national" units will be recruitable with full strength (say 100 men per unit) only within the core provinces e.g.: elven units in Mirkwood, Lothlorien, Imladris. Adjacent provinces will produce the same unit but with 60 men and all other provinces 40 men unit. It'll simulate stretched supply lines and limited number of recruits in regions far away from homeland. Of course, you'll be able to merge all these small detachments into full, 100 men unit.
    That's a pretty neat idea. How would you implement it?
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  3. #33
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    That's a pretty neat idea. How would you implement it?
    I'd like the idea to be mine. It was invited by Cegorach and described here. I've done a few tests and it works.
    What you think about the other idea? Which option do you prefer?
    Last edited by Stazi; 07-25-2011 at 07:26.
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  4. #34
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Interesting trick with the units. As a software guy I'm racking my brain for reasons why the developers would put something like that in.

    I don't quite understand your first proposal on the inland trade routes. How do you force ownership of a set of provinces before unlocking a building? The second is reasonable, but will that method allow for "seaborne" invasions?
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  5. #35
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    I don't quite understand your first proposal on the inland trade routes. How do you force ownership of a set of provinces before unlocking a building?
    Before the start of the campaign each province gets the unique and indestructible landmark building (multiple copies of "forest clearing" from VI). I've discovered that a building to be indestructible only need to use "forest clearing.bif" as its icon file name (3rd column in BUILD_PROD file). So, all landmarks share the same icon and description but Info Pic can be different. If you nullify the description's text and imprint the whole description directly on the info pic you can have unlimited number of different indestructible buildings. To know what is the role of anyone of these buildings, you only need to right click on it. So, you can make trade route buildings dependent on these landmarks and choose which province belongs to the route.

    I think it's really useful idea because you can add whole variety of buildings' traits (faith propagation, happiness bonus/penalty, mercenary magnetism, etc.) and they will work as the province's parameters.This even solve the problem of units valour bonus which stops the AI from further developing the province when the unit's requirements are met. It works even better cause the possible range of the bonus is 0-9 now. And every province with its own picture and description is really nice feature, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    The second is reasonable, but will that method allow for "seaborne" invasions?
    ooops. That's why I'm always begging for comments. Thank you very much! I was so focused on implementation of this feature that I forgot about this "little" side effect. It makes this method useless for land trade routes but I think It still makes sense for rivers.
    Last edited by Stazi; 07-25-2011 at 19:01.
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  6. #36
    Member Member Leith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Hello, Stazi! I still stand by my offer to help if I can. You can even try to talk me into focusing on your mod rather than start one of my own :)

  7. #37
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leith View Post
    Hello, Stazi! I still stand by my offer to help if I can. You can even try to talk me into focusing on your mod rather than start one of my own :)
    I know that's far too late now but I'd like to thank you very much for your offer. I didn't have much time last 3 months so I didn't even check the forum too often. I wish you luck with your new project. It's really interesting.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Staz, is the ME-stratmap you have been working on fully operational and done?

    - A
    Last edited by Axalon; 02-03-2012 at 22:43. Reason: Clarity...

  9. #39
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Staz, is the ME-stratmap you have been working on fully operational and done?

    - A
    It depends what you call "fully operational and done". Operational - probably yes, done - certainly not. Generally, two map layers and all connections between provinces (txt files) are done. You can move units and ships without problems. IIRC I've been testing some weird, extreme parameters in a few provinces but all others still have the same, default values (income, battle maps, etc.). I was going to make operational structure first. Adding "details" to the campaign map was planned after completion of units and buildings trees.

    Hmm..there is a small issue with minimap. To save one province slot I decided to make mountains in "pink" which resulted that they looks the same as sea on the minimap (they are transparent). But after a few discussions and modifications suggested by huth (he knows LOTR much better than me) it turned out that we still have 1-2 province slots left. If I have some time I probably make one of those provinces like Sahara - inaccessible province named Mountains. Eventually, I can make mountains as parts of adjacent provinces (like original MTW map). But imo it's not a good idea because mountain chains in ME are passable only in a very few places which should be clearly shown on the map.
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  10. #40

    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Well Staz, then I offer the following advice... Get that map fully operational and done 100% - you can worry about all buildings, troops, trade, income and metals/resources etc. etc. later. Make a basic and reliable map first (default values) and make that your priority...

    Once you have a basic stratmap fully operational (as in 100% done and functional in-game - this means all files, the big TGA-texture as well) at your disposal, one big fat obstacle is out of the way for you and this entire project - then you can tinker with that map as much as you want. Beacuse then you will still have fully operational map to fall back on if things get screwed up (and they probably will - sooner or later). You will thus have something regardless how things goes with the special/advanced map... And yes, earmark that vacant palette-slot for mountains/swamps/whatever, otherwise it will look like crap on the stratmap minimap in-game - again, I have been there as well.

    In general, working on several things at the same time is not a good strategy to get anywhere on projects of this scale. It is much better to be able to see the progress you do - whenever that is possible - that was my experience. Do one thing at a time, finish it and then move on. Secure a functional and reliable tractor first, then you can worry about how to make that ugly monster into a golden porsche - to use a car-analogy here.


    Just sayin...

    - A

  11. #41
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Thank you very much for all your insights and advices. I really appreciate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Well Staz, then I offer the following advice... Get that map fully operational and done 100% - you can worry about all buildings, troops, trade, income and metals/resources etc. etc. later. Make a basic and reliable map first (default values) and make that your priority...
    The map is 100% operational now. I'll have to add that one province for mountains. That's all.

    In general, working on several things at the same time is not a good strategy to get anywhere on projects of this scale. It is much better to be able to see the progress you do - whenever that is possible - that was my experience. Do one thing at a time, finish it and then move on. Secure a functional and reliable tractor first, then you can worry about how to make that ugly monster into a golden porsche - to use a car-analogy here.
    I know that working on the one thing at a time is better idea but this is my first "full conversion" mod. I've had to check every aspect of the game just to know if I'm capable of finishing the project. One thing that I still haven't tried are units' animations. I've read all guides but I still don't fully get it. It's absolutely the last thing on my "to do" list.
    Last edited by Stazi; 02-07-2012 at 23:34. Reason: typos
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  12. #42
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    I'm happy you are still working on this project, Stazi. Can't wait to see how far you can push the engine for this mod.

    Are you doing anything with mithril?
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  13. #43
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    Are you doing anything with mithril?
    Mithril deposits will give you access to the higher level armory which results in better armor upgrades. It will be the 2nd best armor available. Only elves (but not wood elves) will have access to the best "gold" quality armors. The idea is: (+4) elite eleven armor, (+2) dwarven mithril armor, (+1) steel plate armor. Should mithril have any influence on trade? IIRC it has never been mined in sufficient quantities and dwarves never sell it. Let me know if I'm wrong.

    Generally, +4 and +2 armor upgrades will be very rare. Mithril armors will be directly connected with provinces (Moria, Lonely Mountain). Elven armors will be available for elves in provinces to the west of the Misty Mountains (I'll post an improved map with province breakdown soon). Armory branch will be separate from other technology branches. It won't give you access to new units - just armor bonuses (maybe a little morale too). This way AI will still have access to all units even when it'll lose its "core" provinces (and eventually armor bonuses).

    Other ideas about mithril or anything else? Feel free to post them.
    Last edited by Stazi; 02-08-2012 at 22:17.
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  14. #44
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Stazi, I'd be happy to contribute my thoughts about the mod, as well as feedback - but shouldn't you have a proper "mod thread" of your own these days? Stazi's Reimagined Middle Earth Mod or something like that? Anyways, I've reread the LotR compendium and I'm currently rereading The Silmarillion, so I should be able to offer suggestions here and there.

  15. #45
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Mithril deposits will give you access to the higher level armory which results in better armor upgrades. It will be the 2nd best armor available. Only elves (but not wood elves) will have access to the best "gold" quality armors. The idea is: (+4) elite eleven armor, (+2) dwarven mithril armor, (+1) steel plate armor. Should mithril have any influence on trade? IIRC it has never been mined in sufficient quantities and dwarves never sell it. Let me know if I'm wrong.
    I would say no to trade with mithril. As you said, the dwarves hoarded it, and gave gifts of armor, but not the secrets to forging it. I'm assuming mithril is a resource? For accuracy (and if you haven't already), maybe make the armory that grants the bonus dwarven only. IIRC, I don't think mithril was used with weapons so an attack bonus isn't applicable in the canon.

    I like the armor types, but is the elven bonus too high? Not sure how this will affect fatigue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Generally, +4 and +2 armor upgrades will be very rare. Mithril armors will be directly connected with provinces (Moria, Lonely Mountain). Elven armors will be available for elves in provinces to the west of the Misty Mountains (I'll post an improved map with province breakdown soon). Armory branch will be separate from other technology branches. It won't give you access to new units - just armor bonuses (maybe a little morale too). This way AI will still have access to all units even when it'll lose its "core" provinces (and eventually armor bonuses).
    Tying bonuses and troop access together in one building has never sat well with me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Other ideas about mithril or anything else? Feel free to post them.
    I agree with Durango, this needs a new thread. When you start pushing out more info and teaser images feel free to create one and I'll sticky it.
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  16. #46
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    I would say no to trade with mithril. As you said, the dwarves hoarded it, and gave gifts of armor, but not the secrets to forging it. I'm assuming mithril is a resource?
    yes

    For accuracy (and if you haven't already), maybe make the armory that grants the bonus dwarven only. IIRC, I don't think mithril was used with weapons so an attack bonus isn't applicable in the canon.
    Only dwarves will be able to build Dwarven Armory which gives mithril armor bonus. I didn't think much about attack bonus but I'm sure mithril will have nothing to do with it.
    Should other races have any use of mithril? Let me know what you think.

    I like the armor types, but is the elven bonus too high? Not sure how this will affect fatigue.
    It'll surely affect fatigue but that's how it works. I can't do much about it. There are only a few desert provinces that will hurt those heavy armorer units. Harad, Khand are formerly sand desert provinces. Mordor is rock desert. btw does snow affect heavy armored units (fatigue)?

    Bonus too high?.. hmm.. as huth said elves (due to their accumulated knowledge and magic skills) make armors far more superior to even those made from mithril. Mithril armors are only that good because of material used, not any highly sophisticated technology.

    I agree with Durango, this needs a new thread. When you start pushing out more info and teaser images feel free to create one and I'll sticky it.
    Thanks for the suggestion guys. I'll make an official mod thread when I'll have something more to show. Please, let me stay here a while more. I hope it won't stop you from posting comments and ideas. As always any feedback/criticism is welcomed.
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  17. #47
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Only dwarves will be able to build Dwarven Armory which gives mithril armor bonus. I didn't think much about attack bonus but I'm sure mithril will have nothing to do with it.
    Should other races have any use of mithril? Let me know what you think.
    Elves used mithril for craftwork and ithildin. The LotR wikia mentions mithril weapons but I don't ever recall reading that.
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  18. #48
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Some random thoughts in the evening...

    How about having several campaigns with different maps? What strikes me when reading Tolkien books is how so much time is covered, and how the land changes over time. Numenor rises and falls, Angband gets destroyed along with Beleriand (westernmost middle earth), the immortal lands is veiled/unveiled etc. Perhaps something could be done with this dynamic. And the factions could be changed and have their power rise and fall as well. Elves having more influence in the second age for example. I would certainly be interested in rendering the maps, unless you are already content with yours.

    This would also make the mod unique among it's counterparts. At least it would set it apart from the immensely popular TATW mod for MTW2...

  19. #49
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Durango View Post
    Some random thoughts in the evening...

    How about having several campaigns with different maps? What strikes me when reading Tolkien books is how so much time is covered, and how the land changes over time. Numenor rises and falls, Angband gets destroyed along with Beleriand (westernmost middle earth), the immortal lands is veiled/unveiled etc. Perhaps something could be done with this dynamic. And the factions could be changed and have their power rise and fall as well. Elves having more influence in the second age for example. I would certainly be interested in rendering the maps, unless you are already content with yours.

    This would also make the mod unique among it's counterparts. At least it would set it apart from the immensely popular TATW mod for MTW2...
    Yes, it's great idea but..new map/era means: new factions, units and animations, buildings, provinces' properties, the whole game balance. It's nearly totally new mod so...a lot of work and time. For now, I'm going to finish LOTR era mod with units and battle maps done by Middle-Earth team. Creating new battle maps with custom settlements (like in TATW) is especially hard because MTW's 3D engine is absolutely unaccessible. All you can do is adding existing models in different scale and with different textures. And you can only do it via in-game editor (and text editing properties files) cause CA made their own 3d file format unrecognized by any popular 3d modeling software.

    I'd love to make all campaigns you mentioned but I have only two hands and days are only 24 hours long. I'll think about new campaigns after I'll finish the ME campaign. Of course, your maps will be very warmly welcomed.
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  20. #50
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Yes, it's great idea but..new map/era means: new factions, units and animations, buildings, provinces' properties, the whole game balance. It's nearly totally new mod so...a lot of work and time. For now, I'm going to finish LOTR era mod with units and battle maps done by Middle-Earth team.
    Yeah, it's easy to dig too deep and generate too much feature creep. Time and energy must be spent on what matters most, so that the work can actually be finished. On one hand, it's somewhat easier to have different eras in a Tolkien setting, due to peoples and cultures not changing that much (elves once more are especially constant over the ages) and units being reusable a lot. Orcs, trolls, men, dwarves are all there from the first age to the fourth... but the units themselves might not be as modular as the vanilla MTW ones (shield and weapons separate). I've seen the units, and they seem to be captured whole from their source material and turned into sprite anims.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Creating new battle maps with custom settlements (like in TATW) is especially hard because MTW's 3D engine is absolutely unaccessible. All you can do is adding existing models in different scale and with different textures. And you can only do it via in-game editor (and text editing properties files) cause CA made their own 3d file format unrecognized by any popular 3d modeling software.
    What is probably the wisest thing to do, is to delete some buildings from the battle maps that don't really fit in - such as the eastern euro types that are not very Tolkienesque. Others are OK, and to have rock desert as Mordor is pretty easily done by deleting palm trees and buildings. I've thought about changing the resolution of the textures in MTW to higher res and quality, but it's a lot of work (over 700 files for ground textures alone) so it's not realistic. And it looks weird to have some objects have better res than others.

    What's probably most important is changing ground textures for Mordor, and maybe alter the skybox a bit to make it fit most climates. As of now it's a beautiful day in the black lands and one can most certainly simply walk into it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    I'd love to make all campaigns you mentioned but I have only two hands and days are only 24 hours long. I'll think about new campaigns after I'll finish the ME campaign. Of course, your maps will be very warmly welcomed.
    Yup, we all have stuff to do and a mod is not top priority.

    Mapwise I'll maybe gather some preliminary material to work with and sketch something out. I'm leaning towards either a very parchment oriented look or a detailed naturalistic feel with interesting details.

  21. #51
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Durango View Post
    What's probably most important is changing ground textures for Mordor, and maybe alter the skybox a bit to make it fit most climates. As of now it's a beautiful day in the black lands and one can most certainly simply walk into it...
    Does it look like a beautiful spring day for you?
    Spring. Sand storm around Black Gate.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Gorgoroth near Mt. Doom. Spring. Clear sky.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    About other things - you're right.
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  22. #52
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?



    I haven't actually played the mod, so I didn't know it was this developed. Now I understand why you wanted to continue with this...

    Expect a PM.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Hello, Stazi! I'm glad you're working on this great unfinished project. I may not be able to offer much help right now as I'm doing the second version of Viking Invasion III but if you like any part of my work, i.e unit skins, you may use them.. There will be a lot of skins, if all goes well. I think some of the units like Rohan riders/horsemen, Dundeland axemen/swordsmen and others should look better. All the best, friend!

  24. #54
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Ohhhhhh, pretty!
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  25. #55
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leith View Post
    Hello, Stazi! I'm glad you're working on this great unfinished project. I may not be able to offer much help right now as I'm doing the second version of Viking Invasion III but if you like any part of my work, i.e unit skins, you may use them.. There will be a lot of skins, if all goes well.
    I hope everything will go well, especially for you and your country. Thanks for letting me use your stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leith
    I think some of the units like Rohan riders/horsemen, Dundeland axemen/swordsmen and others should look better.
    You're right. There is someone around who will probably take care of visual part of the mod .

    Quote Originally Posted by Leith
    All the best, friend!
    Thanks! For you too.
    Last edited by Stazi; 02-21-2012 at 22:52.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  26. #56
    Boondock Saint Senior Member The Blind King of Bohemia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Does it look like a beautiful spring day for you?
    Spring. Sand storm around Black Gate.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Gorgoroth near Mt. Doom. Spring. Clear sky.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    About other things - you're right.
    Mate they look incredible. Kudos

  27. #57

    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Hello everyone,

    I just registered onto this site to look through and voice my support for great MTW mods which are unavailable at the TWC. I've simply been blown away with your work here! It's been a while since there's been any updates though. Really hope you guys can pull through with this monumental task.

  28. #58
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Welcome to the Org, atheniandp!
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

  29. #59

    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Thank you! I never knew there was such a wealth of material here so I never bothered to stop by, let alone make an account. I'll definitely be posting around the MTW forums, and I'm particularly interested in seeing how a fantasy mod for this game would turn out.

    The use of the Battle For Middle Earth map is nothing short of brilliant. Not that these custom models are any less impressive.

  30. #60
    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Middle-Earth campaign map?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Before the start of the campaign each province gets the unique and indestructible landmark building (multiple copies of "forest clearing" from VI). I've discovered that a building to be indestructible only need to use "forest clearing.bif" as its icon file name (3rd column in BUILD_PROD file). So, all landmarks share the same icon and description but Info Pic can be different. If you nullify the description's text and imprint the whole description directly on the info pic you can have unlimited number of different indestructible buildings. To know what is the role of anyone of these buildings, you only need to right click on it.
    That is quite, quite stunning discovery. So many possibilities, incredible.

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