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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » AoE/RoR Modding and Discussion » Age of The Ring mod
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Topic Subject:Age of The Ring mod
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sonictimm
Clubman
posted 01-11-15 08:11 PM ET (US)         

Links of Power:




An "unofficial expansion" which bring together The Lord of the Rings and Age of Empires.
The Age of The Ring brings new life into AoE, with new civilizations, units, tech upgrades, music, and a full-length campaign.
Final release: Version C, September 2018.




Features:



Alternate Soundtrack
A choice blend of Age of Empires and Lord of the Rings music.

Four new nations

GONDOR
+25% HP for all buildings
Town Center has increased LOS (+5 Stone/tool, +6 for Bronze/Iron Ages)
Rangers reload 30% faster

ROHAN
All horse units 20% faster
Villagers 20% faster

ISENGARD
Priest faith recharge rate is faster (from 2 to 1.4)
Elite infantry have 40% more HP
Falconry is enabled without research

MORDOR
ALL units 30% cheaper, but have 20% less HP
Houses each support 8 population

Isengard and Mordor:
GROND- has higher attack than a battering ram
WONDERS have double HP and triple LOS.
Naz'gul: replace rangers. Lower LOS and pierce armor than ranger, more ATK and SPD
Dark Rider: Replace cloaked Ranger. Same as above but much greater spd
Crebain replace Falcons, and they have more HP.
Most units are renamed (i.e. Clubman is Clubgoblin)

New Units & Technologies
Hobbits-at-arms - Nimble enough to outfight a clubman, but not quite strong enough to take down an axeman.
Falcons - Trained to fly around and explore the map for you.
Shire Folk - Hobbits that farm, fish, and collect all kinds of food.
Rangers - Trained at the academy, they specialize in mid-range combat.
Embassy - Use this building to call in Elves and Dwarves to fight for you.
Dwarven Miner - Mines gold more efficiently than any human villager. Also packs a real punch with his pickaxe.
Dwarven Mercenary - Towers are made of stone, these dwarves will tear those towers to pieces for a fee.
Elven Hunter - Fires deadly arrows to kill animals for food, or to kill their enemies.
Elven Guard - Very expensive infantry that can be summoned faster than any other unit.
Battering Ram - Contrary to popular belief, they did exist before the dark ages.
Siege Tower - Inefficient, yet terrifying.
Mushrooms- Yum. They grow back after a half hour for extra yum.
Trolls - Dangerous creatures that carry clubs and hoard gold. If you kill them with your villagers, you can carry off their treasure.

Grab a copy of the Official Quick Reference for full details on new Civs, Units, and Techs.

Single Player
An epic four-level campaign takes you into the heart of the War of the Ring, putting you at the helm of each of the four new nations. Each level has increasing difficulty.

If you need a break from the campaign, each new civ has functional AI for both Random Map and Death Match.

Multiplayer
All players must install the same version of this mod. Dust off those LAN cables, or bring it online using GameRanger to fight alongside your friends (or crush your enemies) in Middle Earth.
Keep the conversation lively with over 25 new taunts.

New civs, units, and techs were designed to remain balanced with the original game.
New units were distributed to the old nations to keep it fair. Rome vs. Mordor anyone?

Middle Earth Scenario:
Player 1 is Gondor, Player 2 is Rohan, Player 3 is Isengard, and Player 4 is Mordor. See how the men of Middle-Earth felt when they were surrounded by orcs, or send endless swarms of Orcs from Mordor to do your business.

Middle Earth Random Map type
Similar to Coastal. Every player starts with two Falcons. There are gold-hoarding Trolls, ripe mushrooms, and powerful Wizards which may join your side.

ToolTips:
Forget what something is? Click the little question mark near the minimap and then click the unit or building for information. All new units/techs have tooltips.


What are you waiting for? Download Age of The Ring at the Granary.


Credits:


“Version C” is the fourth released version of the Age of The Ring mod.
“sonictimm” is the modder who created this mod.
Some included content was created by others, as follows:


ART

Single Player background "Concerning Hobbits"; Scenario Editor menu background "Minas Tirith"; Achievements Screen "Mordor"; by Joe Gilronan http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.com

MultiPlayer background "Battle for Ring" by Gökberk Kaya (gkb3rk on DeviantArt, http://gkb3rk.deviantart.com)

Old Defeat Screen background "Lost Battle 2" by Ingrid Nedrehagen (in93 on DeviantArt, http://in93.deviantart.com)

Victory Screen background "So I found my llotr soundtrack..." by Stjepan Šejić (nebezial on DeviantArt, http://nebezial.deviantart.com )

J.R.R. Tolkien drew the “Middle-Earth Map” that is used in the main menu and in the logo. High-res image courtesy of Don's Maps.
Resizing, orientation, recoloring, formatting, and visual editing of all images done by sonictimm with some Photoshop help from Le Gamer.

M.E. Scenario map, Hobbit Hole, and four new wonders adapted from images and models by Weta New Zealand.

Campaign intro & outro footage © New Line Cinema

MUSIC
Composed Stephen Rippy and Howard Shore.
Arrangements:
MovieThemes.net for most arrangements of Lord of The Rings music. Visit the site at http://moviethemes.net/index.html. Site maintained by Millennium Music. Thanks for the free midis!
Stephen Rippy for all Rise of Rome, Age of Empires, and Age of Empires 2 Demo/The Conquerers Demo songs
Freemidi.org for “Far Over Misty Mountains Cold”
Sonictimm for “AoTR VICTORY”

PROGRAMS used to help make this mod include:
rord, a genie editor by Scenario TC based on one by Ykkrosh
Advanced Genie Editor 3, by Keisari Tapsa, Apre, and Estian Nifo with help from other fine folk at Age of Kings Heaven
Turtle Pack, a graphical editing tool by Ruralist
Resource Hacker, a tool by Angus Johnson

THANK YOU
Family & friends who listened to me ramble about this mod and helped playtest it.
Epid for encouraging me to continue with this.
The entire Age of Empires Heaven community including Highwing, Chab, AOE_Scout, Suppiluliuma, Phatfish, Basse, HolyMario, Mahazona, and anterior2.

Thanks to Ensemble Studios for a great game that stands the test of time, as well as Tolkien, Peter Jackson, and others responsible for making Middle Earth such a wonderful fantasy.

Special thanks to all those involved in the creation of tools used for this project, including Advanced Genie Editor, Turtle Pack, Paint.NET, PaletteMaker, rord, AOESpeed Editor, Resource Hacker, Resource Editor, and Campaign Editor. Check them out on AOE Heaven, AoK Heaven, and across the internet.

Very special thanks to aoe_scout, the creator of UPatch HD.

This mod represents almost five years of non-continuous work from inception in Dec 2013 to final release in September 2018. It has been a great time, and I have learned a ton from modding AOE.


Version History:
Version E included a new soundtrack and the Four New Nations
Version P includes new units. Some do not have new animations.
Version I fixed the glitches and bugs in Version P
Version C completes the Epic with Lord of The Rings Campaigns.

It is great to see that the community for a 1997 game is still so active!



"The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last, the great battle of our time.”

– Gandalf

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 08-22-2018 @ 08:32 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Highwing
Clubman
posted 01-11-15 08:35 PM ET (US)     1 / 58       
Wow, awesome, I was actually working on a LOTR mod myself, however I didn't really plan on finishing it/making it "official," and I never planned on adding new graphics, units, etc.

Are you going to add more civilizations? I replaced all the original AoE/RoR civs with LOTR ones and tried to make their bonuses and tech trees accurate to the books, so I may have some suggestions.

I have to say, though, your Rohan sounds extremely powerful! And Mordor may have too many nerfs. But I don't know the entire tech trees. Maybe Mordor's is really good?

In any case, I am very interested in this project...

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 01-11-2015 @ 10:40 PM).]

chab
Clubman
posted 01-12-15 12:16 PM ET (US)     2 / 58       
Rohan seems extremely strong.
Just create some archers and the game is won.

You will have issues with the civilization you created instead of Macedonian.
They will still resist conversion (4x factor).
You need to remove that (I suppose).
Highwing
Clubman
posted 01-12-15 12:18 PM ET (US)     3 / 58       
Macedonian could also be replaced with a LOTR civ where increased conversion resistance would make sense. Corsairs, perhaps? They would strike me as non-religious.

I don't think Rohan should have archer bonuses anyways. That would be more befitting for an Elven civ (Woodland Realm most likely), Dale (think Bard the Bowman), or an Easterling tribe. I'd really like to see more civs added in a mod like this, and I'd be more than willing to help out.

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 01-12-2015 @ 12:20 PM).]

sonictimm
Clubman
posted 01-12-15 08:18 PM ET (US)     4 / 58       
I'm not trying to replace all the old civs, just add four new ones on. Like I said, I only removed the four I did because I had to.

@Highwing: Thanks for the suggestion, but I only plan to add these four nations for several reasons
1- I like the AOE nations as they are, and I'm trying to make this more like an expansion than a conversion pack
2- I'm only focusing on the storyline of LOTR (and I'm not trying to make a clone of ToME)
3- Artwork for new units is very hard to do, so an entire non-human civ would take ages to make (But Mordor and Isengard the exception, since they are kinda essential to LOTR)
4- I would rather make four very well-balanced civs than a bunch of moderately balanced ones.

Also, I put an image of their tech trees in the initial post, what do you think of their balancing? I based the tech trees on what I found in the movies, books, LOTR wiki, and on patterns in the original AOE nations (for example, the average number of disabled technologies of these four nations is the same to the second decimal as the average disabled techs of the original AOE nations).

So I really don't want to put in more nations (although I do like the idea of Dale). There is always room for heroes like Bard though, at least to appear in the Scenario Editor.

@chab: Thanks for pointing that out. Any idea how I can change that? It's not listed with the rest of their civ bonuses.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 01-12-2015 @ 08:36 PM).]

Highwing
Clubman
posted 01-12-15 08:39 PM ET (US)     5 / 58       
Thanks for clarifying. If you ever consider adding more civilizations, you could use the same graphics for Rohan, Dale, Northmen, etc, the same for Mordor, Isengard, Gundabad, etc., the same for all the different Easterling tribes, and so on. That way it wouldn't be necessary to add a huge amount of new graphics. I agree that it would be hard to make non-human graphics, but I guess I just thought the Elves could get away with looking like humans (the only major difference is the ears). Dwarves might not make for a great AoE civ anyway.

The tech trees seem pretty balanced, although it's always hard to tell for sure without playing (many) games. I guess I would suggest more civs mainly so that the units used for them are more realistic in terms of the Middle Earth universe. For example, elephant units (oliphaunts or mumakil ) should only be used by the Haradrim and maybe some Easterling tribes. And is there any mention of the Rohirrim making use of horseback archery in the books? I would leave that for Easterlings too, as well as some Elven civs. And I know the mod focuses only on the War of the Ring, but you could still easily have 16 civs for that. All that's just the way I would do it, of course--not trying to criticize. Just some suggestions.

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 01-12-2015 @ 08:55 PM).]

PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 01-13-15 06:50 AM ET (US)     6 / 58       
This sounds pretty awesome, good luck with designing!
Alternate Soundtrack
A blend of Age of Empires and Lord of the Rings music, which might include one or two original songs.
You might want to reconsider this, LoTR music has it's copyrights. If it's for personal use I guess it will do no harm, but if you decide to make the mod public (and upload it to the Granary) it would be in violation of the CoC, I'm afraid.



chab
Clubman
posted 01-13-15 01:09 PM ET (US)     7 / 58       
New civs seem to have quite a lot of technologies/available units compare to "old" ones. That will impact global balance.

The Macedonian conversion resistance can be fixed, I'll keep you posted.
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 01-14-15 08:32 PM ET (US)     8 / 58       
@Phatfish: The melodies are composed by Howard Shore, but I am using midi covers done by someone else, not music directly from the movies/soundtracks. Since they're not done by New Line Cinema, and the arranger of the midis offers them for free use, there shouldn't be a copyright issue. It shouldn't be any different than the midi packs that are already in the Granary, right?

@chab: Thanks. I'm really glad to hear it can be fixed.

On the balancing of the new nations, I have a few things highlighted for possible removal that I guess I should take out, but the reason I planned is as follows:

They have extra techs because there's two main types of units I will add. Basically, good (i.e. elves, hobbits) and evil (i.e. Oliphaunts, Wargs). The two "evil" nations (Isengard and Mordor) will have lots of new "evil" units, but very few of the "good" ones (so about half for each type of nation). The two "good" nations will be the opposite way, so both will mis out on a lot, but both "good" and "evil" units will be distributed among the old nations (maybe 3/4 of new units, average). (I might also add some old techs to old nations to balance the fact that there will simply be more units)

I will reduce the Rohirric Archer bonus since you are right about it, but once I add elves then that bonus will be elf-related, so the archer damage is more of a holdover until then.

@Highwing: In the Two Towers, slightly more than half-way through "Chapter 3: The Uruk-Hai", there is a description of how the Rohirrim hunt down the pack of Uruk-Hai using horse archers from great range before they go in for a surprise cavalry attack .

Also, as for other Middle-Earth Units, I will give them to the four nations based on alliances. For example, Mordor was a close ally of the Haradrim, and therefore used mumakils in its army, so Mordor will have mumakils available (as either an alt to armored elephant or an upgrade to Elephant Archer, I'm not sure which yet). Same thing for Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits, which will be more included in Rohan and Gondor

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 01-14-15 09:43 PM ET (US)     9 / 58       
Wow I don't even remember that part. I was thinking more generally, I guess. It's been forever since I've actually read the books. I usually just do broader Arda research in encyclopedias and such.

So will alliances be technologies that you can research? And will units be given unique names? For example, I noticed that Mordor has Triremes and Juggernauts - I think these should be named according to the Corsairs/Umbar. It doesn't seem like Mordor would have a strong navy without the Corsairs.

Also, about the music, the ToME mod uses music from the LoTR movies as well. Not sure if it's midi.

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 01-15-2015 @ 00:02 AM).]

Mahazona
Clubman
posted 01-15-15 06:50 AM ET (US)     10 / 58       
If you can convert the AOK totm units to AOE pallet and resize most of your units will be done.I dont think they will mind you using the old stuff since there is newer version being made but better to ask permission anyway.
Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 01-16-15 01:22 PM ET (US)     11 / 58       
Well, although apparently Rohan is too strong (like in BFME1) the best way to know if a civilization is too strong or too weak is by letting the players test them and the more tests the better.

Good luck in your efforts it is pretty awesome that people still have the will to mod this game!
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 01-18-15 05:59 AM ET (US)     12 / 58       
and the arranger of the midis offers them for free use, there shouldn't be a copyright issue
Yes then it would be fine to add to the Granary of course, no problem I initially thought you wanted to use the original music from the movies in MP3 format.



sonictimm
Clubman
posted 01-27-15 09:41 AM ET (US)     13 / 58       
@Highwing: Yes, that's exactly the plan! Researching Hobbitry or Researching Elven Pacts will give Hobbits/Elves. I still have to experiment with alternate names for units, but I am going to especially use it for Isengard/Mordor where Chariots are Wain-Riders, etc.

@Mahazona: Thanks for the advice. Once I have a little more time to work on this mod, I'll contact them

I have some other unfinished business to do before I can get back to putting hours into this mod, but thanks to all for your ideas and help

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 02-06-15 07:40 PM ET (US)     14 / 58       
I still think Rohan is far too powerful.

Heavy Horse Archers are already the fastest units in the game. Horse Archers are slightly slower, but still faster than Cavalry and Chariots. So giving HA/HHA a speed bonus of 20% would make them ridiculously fast, but on top of that, they both also have +4 attack (along with other archers), and that's huge for archers. Overpowered archers are one of the main reasons AoE is so unbalanced (UPatch has worked to improve this). Rohan also has an economic advantage with their Villager speed.

I also think Gondor should have Phalanx and Centurion, as well as Helepolis.

Mordor still seems to have too many nerfs. It would be especially easy for Rohan to take out Mordor's Villagers with cavalry and archers.

Just some thoughts.
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 02-09-15 07:18 PM ET (US)     15 / 58       
What do you recommend for Rohan?
I will replace the archer bonus with Elven Alliance already researched (which allows them to make elven units right away once they enter the proper age, maybe bronze).
But what are your ideas to balance them?

How about if Mordor's villagers have 40 hp? When making Mordor, I was really worried about making them OP since they can make barracks units like crazy and their archers fire faster, and they have lots of technologies to choose from.

As for Gondor, is there Middle-earthen lore that talks about such units?

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 02-09-15 07:39 PM ET (US)     16 / 58       
Well it's really hard to say without playing, but archers and cavalry shouldn't have huge bonuses - I would suggest a speed increase just for Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry, and Cataphract (and Scout?). Maybe 25% so they'd match HHAs. As for Horse Archers, they could possibly be made a bit cheaper for Rohan. The Villager speed is okay.

Why would Rohan have an Elven alliance though? That seems more befitting for Gondor considering the White Tree, their descent from the brother of Elrond, and the fact that all their names are Elvish (while no Rohirric names are Elvish). The Rohirrim were never closely associated with Elves. They are linked more closely with the Northmen, the men of Dale, etc.

I'm not sure what to suggest for Mordor, but no Villagers should ever be that weak - way too easy to kill. Also think about Lions, Alligators, and Elephants. Maybe a siege bonus instead of the archer bonus, like a slight increase in HP or speed? Or maybe make their reload time even faster (if the decrease in range remains, but I don't think a civilization should ever have such a penalty). And I don't think the cheaper Barracks units will be all that good if their HP is decreased. Barracks units are really cheap and fast to produce anyways. Maybe just slightly increase Barracks unit movement speed?

And about Gondor - well, no AoE units are specifically mentioned anywhere in LoTR, but I just thought Gondor should have elite infantry and siege (it seems befitting for them). I've always felt they're very similar to the Roman Empire.

Of course, I'm just throwing out some ideas. Some of these could be OP in the grand scheme of things (again, hard to tell). Overall, I just wouldn't do anything more extreme than the original AoE/RoR bonuses.

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 02-09-2015 @ 08:18 PM).]

sonictimm
Clubman
posted 02-26-15 12:34 PM ET (US)     17 / 58       
Now that I finished something else I was working on, it's time ot move forward! I could spend weeks fixing and balancing the four new nations as they are, but I would have to do it all over again after adding new units. For that reason, I won't rebalance the tech trees and civ bonuses until
AFTER all the new units have been added.

For easy reference, I will start a list in the initial post of units that I plan to include.

Also, is it possible to add more cheat codes to the game?

@Highwing, when I gave Rohan Elven Alliance I was thinking of Helm's Deep. In the movies, Elrond sends a party of elves to assist the Rohirrim in honor of an old alliance. It's not in the book, but I have been drawing from both the books and movies.

@chab: Did you find the fix for the Macedonians' conversion resistance yet?

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 02-26-2015 @ 01:31 PM).]

Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 02-26-15 05:46 PM ET (US)     18 / 58       
I won't rebalance the tech trees and civ bonuses until
AFTER all the new units have been added.
I think it is better that way, and making one step at a time, if you try to give two steps at the same time, you may fall!

[This message has been edited by Suppiluliuma (edited 03-06-2015 @ 10:14 AM).]

sonictimm
Clubman
posted 03-01-15 10:52 AM ET (US)     19 / 58       
I think it ios better that way, and doing one step at a time, if you try to give two steps at the same time, you may fall!
Good advice. If only I could apply that to the rest of my life!

edit: Just added Elves and Dwarves to the new unit list. Rangers coming soon!

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 03-22-2015 @ 08:22 PM).]

Highwing
Clubman
posted 05-16-15 03:13 PM ET (US)     20 / 58       
Hey how is this coming along?

Have you considered adding more than four LOTR civs? I'd be willing to help out with that if I get some more time, though that probably wouldn't be until the end of June. Unfortunately I don't do graphics (never tried, at least), but I could help with tech trees, bonuses, historical accuracy (LOTR history, that is), balancing, etc. If you don't want a huge amount of new graphics, you could use the same tilesets for multiple civs.

Since you want Elves, Dwarves, etc. to be units/technologies instead of entire civs, the 16 civs could be:
1. Gondor
2. Rohan
3. Mordor
4. Isengard
5. Northmen
6. Dale
7. Esgaroth
8. Beornings (Men of the Vales of Anduin)
9. Dorwinion
10. Hill-Men
11. Dunlendings
12. Corsairs (Umbar)
13. Balchoth
14. Variags
15. Haradrim
16. Druedain

These are all within the time period you are aiming for. And as I said before, you could repeat tilesets: Rohan, Dale, Northmen, and Beornings could all have the same graphics, Hill-Men and Dunlendings could look the same, Balchoth and Variags could look the same, etc. Some of the original AoE/RoR graphics might be acceptable too (Persian tileset for the Easterling civs and maybe even for the Haradrim, for example).

I'd really like to see all the old AoE/RoR civs replaced by LOTR ones, and it can definitely be done. Just some suggestions.

Also, I was working on a non-LOTR fantasy mod a while back and made the Saint Francis priest and King Arthur dragon non-cheat units that you could actually train in the game and use in battle (got the dragon to breathe a kind of fireball). This could certainly be added to a LOTR mod.

Edit: Actually the Northmen should be something else, as they were the ancestors of the Rohirrim. I'm not sure what group of people I was thinking of.

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 05-21-2015 @ 03:26 AM).]

Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 05-17-15 06:28 AM ET (US)     21 / 58       
The problem with some would be to find more information about them, for example I thought I was a Tolkien geek, but I have never heard of the Balchoth until today.

What kind of units these poorly known peoples would have?
Highwing
Clubman
posted 05-17-15 01:40 PM ET (US)     22 / 58       
From Wikipedia: "The Balchoth (Sindarin for "cruel people") were an entire people group of Easterlings, complete with women and children, who migrated towards eastern Gondor due to overcrowding. In 2510 they began to settle the plains of Calenardhon and almost routed the army of the Ruling Steward Cirion, but were all slaughtered by the Éothéod under Eorl the Young at the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. Like the Wainriders they rode in chariots and wagons, and they may have been descendants of this people."

There are many good written LOTR sources such as Robert Foster's "The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth," J.E.A. Tyler's "The Complete Tolkien Companion," and of course Tolkien's own appendices, notes, etc. Wikipedia actually seems to be one of the best online sources. This site is pretty comprehensive, although the descriptions can be way too brief at times.
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 05-18-15 09:07 AM ET (US)     23 / 58       
Approved your file in the Granary, sonictimm.



sonictimm
Clubman
posted 05-27-15 06:39 PM ET (US)     24 / 58       
Thank you! I wish I had checked this thread more recently.

@Highwing: I would love to work with you on this mod. I hope that I can have version P done before the end of July.
While not historically accurate, I absolutely love putting the middle-Earthen nations up against the real nations (for example, Assyria vs. Mordor or Rome vs. Gondor). Also, I included Mordor's allies' units as part of Mordor, such as the Wain-Riders and Olephaunts.
That being said, if you want to design a few more Middle-Earthen nations to enter the fray, then I would definitely work with you on that. Maybe they could even get up to 8 Tolkien and 8 Historical nations? That would be cool indeed. The other issue with replacing all of the nations is that the mod begins to look like a reskin of the old game rather than something new. It is better to add new content than simply replace old content, especially if you replace stuff that people really love to use. (That's why I put so much thought into which nations had to be replaced to add four new ones).
Whatever we end up doing, it would definitely be cool to have another set of hands working on this mod.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 05-28-15 02:58 AM ET (US)     25 / 58       
Thanks for welcoming me on board! And great job on the interface and music, they're both very impressive! Seems like a great start.

Anyway, like I said before, I should have more free time by the middle of the summer. But I've actually already put some thought into this.
While not historically accurate, I absolutely love putting the middle-Earthen nations up against the real nations (for example, Assyria vs. Mordor or Rome vs. Gondor).
That's interesting, and other people may like that too. Eight LOTR civs could definitely work.
Also, I included Mordor's allies' units as part of Mordor, such as the Wain-Riders and Olephaunts.
I certainly think this is a good idea, but (just as a suggestion) the only reason I might keep some civs separate is so that more unique bonuses and tech trees could be made for them, which I feel would be cool to do with nations like Umbar, Harad, Easterlings, and some others. Again, this isn't necessary, but it's something to think about.

Here are some ideas for civs:

Umbar/Corsairs
-Catapult Trireme, Juggernaut +3 range (may seem large but I'd like them to be able to match Heavy Catapult + Engineering range)
-Transports double HP and move 33% faster, OR just have double capacity
-Receive a small amount of free Gold upon reaching Bronze Age
-Free tribute
-Notes on tech tree: All ships which would be fully upgradeable (obviously), Ballista Tower, Catapult, very poor Temple (maybe no upgrades at all); I wasn't sure if they should be infantry-based or cav-based, but for some reason I thought the appearance of Horse Archers fit with the notion of "Corsairs," and maybe Cataphract too.

Harad(rim)
-Oliphaunt Archers +2 range (3 regular range upgrades also available so total range can be 12)
-War Oliphaunt/Armored Oliphaunt attack 33% faster (will lack Chain Mail but will still be able to beat other Oliphaunts that have Chain Mail)
-Increase in animal food productivity (I found a way to do this!)
-Town Center cheaper to build?
-Notes on tech tree: Oliphaunts (obviously), Legion, Composite Bow, Horse Archer (no HHA), Camel Rider, Heavy Catapult, fully upgraded Wizard, poor walls and towers, poor ships, most Market techs, missing a few Pit techs, missing about half Gov. techs.

Balchoth (or Easterlings in general)
-Do not require Houses, and cannot build Houses (easy to do with AGE)
-Start Random Map (Default) with 120 Wood (to counterbalance no-houses bonus)
-Foot archers have increased movement speed
-Temple techs reduced cost
-Some sort of Chariot bonus? (may be OP with everything else)
-Notes on tech tree: Legion, Composite Bow, HHA, Cataphract, Armored Oliphaunt, CA, Scythe (or maybe just one Chariot type), Camel Rider, fully upgraded Wizard, poor ships, poor walls and towers, poor siege, all Pit techs, missing several Market techs, missing several Gov. techs including Ballistics.

Dale
-Increased fishing (Villagers and boats)
-Docks have increased HP
-Some bonus for warships?
-Imps and Comps train faster (to represent Bard the Bowman)
-Notes on tech tree: Decent infantry, Comps, HHA, Cataphract, very good ships, most techs from Pit, Market, & Gov., poor walls and towers (probably), poor Wizard.

Druedain
-Increased Woodcutting OR start Random Map (Default) with 300 Wood
-Ballistics free
-Archery Range units 20% cheaper
-Wonders cost a huge amount of Wood but no Stone or Gold
-Notes on tech tree: Since they are a primitive people, the tech tree may be limited, but they'd probably have Composite Bow, HHA, fully upgraded Wizard, good siege (maybe), probably all Market techs, poor ships, poor walls and towers.

Esgaroth would also be interesting - I'll get back to you on them as well as some other civs. You may not want to add a civ as obscure as Dorwinion, but the reason I mentioned them is because it could allow for a lot of creativity. According to the Arda Encyclopedia, Dorwinion is "a land of lush gardens on the banks of the River Running (or Celduin), famed for the quality of its wines, which were traded at least as far away as the northern reaches of Mirkwood. We know little of the land or its culture, but apart from their skill at the making of wine, its people were clearly also equipped to trade long distances along the river (and perhaps also across the Sea of Rhûn, on whose shores they dwelt)." So they would definitely have a powerful navy as well as some kind of trading bonus. They could also have an increase in foraging to represent their famous wines.

Note: "Wizard" = "Priest."

Also, I like your bonuses for Isengard, but might I suggest something different for their towers, just so the Choson bonus isn't repeated? I've considered either faster fire rate or a fairly large decrease in build time (which would be good since towers are so slow to build). Just something to think about.

Anyway, that was a pretty long post, but I hope it helps...

[This message has been edited by Highwing (edited 05-28-2015 @ 01:55 PM).]

sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-01-15 09:47 PM ET (US)     26 / 58       
That is indeed a long post! I wish I could give you a better reply, but here goes:
Part of the reason the Choson bonus is repeated is since they're not in the game anymore.
But more importantly, I like your ideas for new nations and I'm excited to work something out. We should try to keep is as recognizable as possible for casual LOTR fans, so more recognizable nations are always better. Those are some exciting ideas though! You'll have to invent a lot more to fill in the gaps in their tech trees, but two heads to think about balance will be way better than one!

Version P should have lots of improvements, and different civ bonuses, but it turns out life is also busy in the summertime. Who woulda guessed? Anyway, I'll keep plugging time into the new units until I get a good number. They'll be on reused (placeholder) sprites for now. They include Mushrooms, Cloaked Rangers, and also (pending testing) Huorns.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 02:26 AM ET (US)     27 / 58       
Interesting new units - best of luck with them! What would the Mushrooms do? Would they be a Gaia unit for food, replacing berries or in addition?

Anyway, I agree that the LOTR stuff should be more familiar stuff. I was just throwing out some different experimental ideas. The civ bonuses and tech tree info are all general ideas as well - I was sort of just trying to describe how each civ might "feel." Those specific civs don't have to be created either, i.e., the bonuses/tech trees could be used for other civs. But those were some of my favorites. I tried working on some of the other civs like the Dunlendings and Hill-Men but it was difficult to come up with decent tech trees and bonuses for more primitive people like this and plus there isn't much information on their warfare and technology anyway. What do you think of the Druedain though? Too obscure? Too primitive?

And here's some ideas for building design: I think Roman works well for Gondor (which you chose), but maybe the graphics could be just slightly modified to make them look a little more Middle-Earthy? These same "Gondor" graphics could also be used for Umbar, and possibly other civs. And I think I mentioned before that the Persian tileset would be good for Easterlings, again with slight changes (maybe).

If I ever get some time maybe I could work with graphics a bit. Right now I don't have much time to do anything, so I don't have anything all that new to present. But I'll continue to touch base.
chab
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 06:55 AM ET (US)     28 / 58       
You won't need to overwrite existing civilizations to add yours.
I've been working on it recently and I just ran successful tests, I can add up to 255 (total) civilizations in empires.dat (with AGE3) and use them in ROR (thanks to customROR).
When it's ready I'll upload a new version in the granary.
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 11:55 AM ET (US)     29 / 58       
YEE-HA!!!

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 06-03-15 12:26 PM ET (US)     30 / 58       
Chab, that is another amazing discovery. 255 civs would take ages to tweak each one having unique feats, settings... and balancing would be just outright undoable... but it is possible



Highwing
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 01:37 PM ET (US)     31 / 58       
Wow that is incredible. Good job.
chab
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 02:35 PM ET (US)     32 / 58       
Yeah Phatty, and I don't even talk about what the civ choice dropdown would look like...
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 06-03-15 03:42 PM ET (US)     33 / 58       
Higher resolution = More civs?

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-03-15 08:09 PM ET (US)     34 / 58       
lol.

Now that I have time to reply properly to everything here:
To Highwing:
What do you think of the Druedain though?
I am reading the Return of the King right now, and I haven't gotten there yet. I'll be able to answer once I finish that chapter

As for Tilesets, I currently have each nation assigned to whichever preexisting one fit them best (Gondor-Roman, Rohan-Asiatic (lots of wooden buildings), Mordor-Babylonian (lots os expensive and hardy brick and stone, strong and menacingly-functional looking buildings), Isengard-Egypt (Simplistic buildings that are decorated, but look like they were built in a hurry, just like Isengard was)). I hope to add a Mordor Tileset for Isengard and Mordor to use, since they are so different from the rest. As for Rohan and Gondor, I will at least give then unique Wonders, but don't plan to make a completely new "West Middle Earth" Tileset. Also, mushrooms would be in addition to berries.

I'm glad to hear that you look forward to working on this! I can't wait!
You won't need to overwrite existing civilizations to add yours.
Thank you so much chab! I'm super-excited for that AGE update. Now I'm willing to add more Middle-Earth civs, and no longer have to worry about that pesky Macedonian conversion bonus!
Higher resolution = More civs?
On that note, is there a way to modify the resolution options in the game? It would be really cool for the mod's resolution options to be
1024x768
1280x1024
1920x1080

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Basse
Clubman
posted 06-07-15 07:46 AM ET (US)     35 / 58       
I believe UPatch allows you to change to HD resolutions!
chab
Clubman
posted 06-07-15 07:51 AM ET (US)     36 / 58       
I think he's asking to change the 3 choices from in-game menu
- from (640*480 or 800*600 or [custom])
- to (1024x768 or 1280x1024 or 1920x1080)

I personally believe it's a large amount of work for nothing.
Once you've chosen a screen resolution you don't need to change a lot.

On the contrary, it is very useful to switch from HD to very-low resolution for debugging (combined with windowed mode).
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-13-15 00:08 AM ET (US)     37 / 58       
Chab is right about my intention and probably also the amount of work. I guess I'll leave players on their own with resolution.

Here's another question: if I modify Empires.exe, how would I make an installer for the mod? The installer for version E simply replaces all the files that are changed, but the executive can't be uploaded, so what would I do?

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
chab
Clubman
posted 06-13-15 04:30 AM ET (US)     38 / 58       
That's the goal of customizeAOE program. Patch the file instead of sending hardcoded files so that you can combine improvements from different sources.

Without that (it was binary patcher, in fact), playing in higher resolutions would still be limited to Phusphurx's hardcoded version (that also contained other changes we don't necessarily want) and would not be compatible with UPatch fixes, for example.
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-14-15 12:22 PM ET (US)     39 / 58       
Awesome! I need to spend more time playing with that tool.

The new units are coming!

Here are statistics for several:Composite Statistics for AoEh 1
note: Deep Mine and Embassy are new buildings.


And some brief descriptions of each one:


401: Green Ranger - Since AOE already has both archers and swordsmen, the Rangers take a cue from the Ranger's Apprentice series and throw knives. Rangers have a short range, but move quickly. They have a small size radius so they can "sneak" through tight areas, and are very badly armored to make up for their high attack.

402: Cloaked Ranger - In the Iron Age, upgrade to a Cloaked Ranger to increase his rate of fire, and has "stealth" (looks like a tree when still, just like Stealth Archers).

403: Hobbit-at-Arms - A hobbit from the barracks that is somewhere between a clubman and an Axeman, but is cheaper than both.

404: Shire Folk - A hobbit from the town center that is an economic unit. He only gathers food, but he gathers food much faster than villagers.

405: Troll - A GAIA predator "animal." Since Tokien trolls are usually factionless jerks who terrorize locals, trolls function much like lions, except that instead of food they yield the gold of their victims when slain.

407: Mushrooms - Found in the wild. 80 delicious units of food.

411: Great Eagle - Another GAIA beast that flies around the map. It has quite a personality, so it's best not to attack it (behaves like elephants but yields no resources).

412: Dwarven Miner - Mines gold and stone, but ALSO holds his own using a mattock. As formidable as any infantry unit, despite that his real love is mining.

413: Dwarven Mercenary - Another infantry piece who isn't very fast, but is designed to shrugs off arrows like nobody's business. Deals extra damage to buildings. His enlarged attack radius makes him more deadly than he looks.

415: Woses/Wild Men/Druedain - The GAIA version. Fires poison arrows/darts if attacked.

416: Druedain - A military unit of the same middle-earthen creature. They were hunted by the Rohirrim and Orcs for sport, but they are far from defenseless.

418: Battering Ram - Finally coming to RoR! Pretty self-explanatory-- slow, powerful, but protect it from cavalry.

419: Grond - Insengard/Mordor's version of the battering ram. Legendary.

421: Siege Tower - Designed for the scenario editor, but there's plenty of space for it in the Siege Workshop, so it will become available in the Iron Age (requires Craftsmanship). Also, can only move on Land+Beach (no shallows).

422: Elven Hunter - A long-range archer. His arrows fly very quickly, increasing their accuracy. However, he has low HP and armor.

423: Elven Guard - When aid is required, he arrives quickly (only takes 10s to train). The balance to that is a high cost in gold, but this infantry unit is fast and powerful.

427: Corsair Ship - Comparable in combat to a war galley, but very fast and holds up to 8 passengers.

428: Olefaunt - The biggest thing out there! The upgraded version of an elephant archer that has two archers on its back.

429: Huorns - Related to Ents, these GAIA beasts are dangerous to woodcutters.


How are they? Any tips for making them more well-balanced? I'm willing to change almost every single one of those stats, so go ahead and pick them apart.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 06-14-2015 @ 12:25 PM).]

Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 06-22-15 07:16 AM ET (US)     40 / 58       
Well, we may have the stats here and have our opinions, but the best way to know if the units are balanced or not would be by testing them in real gameplay scenarios, preferably vs other human players.
Highwing
Clubman
posted 06-22-15 11:09 PM ET (US)     41 / 58       
I agree with Suppi. But none of them seem glaringly overpowered just by reading about them. How is it going creating them? Some sound quite challenging to make!
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 06-26-15 11:14 PM ET (US)     42 / 58       
It's going better than I expected. I made more than half of them in the genie editor already, and also found a relatively quick way to resize sprites so that the Hobbits will actually look smaller.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
Basse
Clubman
posted 07-06-15 07:44 AM ET (US)     43 / 58       
Awesome! Can't wait to try it out!
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 07-06-15 08:00 PM ET (US)     44 / 58       
I'm back with a few more questions:

Is there a way to add new units to Random Map generation? Specifically, Mushrooms (which are pretty much smaller berry bushes) and the new "animals" such as Trolls, Great Eagles, and Huorns (ent-like creatures). I hope to set it up so that they occasionally appear on maps

Also, does anyone know what value causes animals not to give food when killed by military units?

I found the trade workshop and it has some kind of effect on trade. Does anyone know what that effect is?

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
chab
Clubman
posted 07-07-15 12:16 PM ET (US)     45 / 58       
Yes we found a lot of new information about maps last year and latest AGE3 versions allow you to customize map generation.
You could try it.
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 07-26-15 07:48 PM ET (US)     46 / 58       
It would be really cool if certain military units, such as the Axeman and Dwarven Mercenaries, could chop through forests to make a new path to the enemy base. Is that possible?

I tried and so far I could make them kill the tree, but the choppped-down tree with XX wood is still blocking the path.

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.
holymario
Clubman
posted 11-05-15 05:55 PM ET (US)     47 / 58       
Hey, I could try to do some sprites for you. But I am completly new to AoE modding so how do I get the original sprites? Also if you want me to do something, tell me what you want to be turned into something else and what the "something else" is named ^^
Basse
Clubman
posted 11-09-15 12:12 PM ET (US)     48 / 58       
Oh yes this mod! I had almost forgotten about it!
sonictimm
Clubman
posted 11-09-15 01:52 PM ET (US)     49 / 58       
Sorry I've been so slow. I'm going to try and get the next version up in January 2016 and make it a UPatch mod.

@holymario: That would be great! There's some info at the AOK University since AOE I and II run on the same engine.
Turtle Pack is the best way to get to AOE's graphics (stored in SLP files, all packed into DRS archives). Once you convert SLPs to bitmaps, I like to use Paint.NET to edit them, but most people prefer GIMP. Both are free (unlike Photoshop). The DRS files are stores in Age of Empires\Data and \Data2 (for RoR).
If you're up for working on sprites, that would be awesome! I would love to give Isengard and Mordor Units their own skins (i.e. instead of Clubman it's a Goblin) and I can link the list of alternates here if you want. Also, I have no sprites for Druedain, Elves, Rangers, or Mushrooms.
Try fiddling with turtle pack and let me know if you're up for any sprite-making/modding. This could get epic!

Age of Empires: The Age of The Ring now available for UPatch.

[This message has been edited by sonictimm (edited 11-29-2015 @ 03:54 PM).]

holymario
Clubman
posted 11-13-15 03:16 PM ET (US)     50 / 58       
I played around with it and I really tried to make a goblin sprite but no matter what I did it looked like crap. To hit the artstyle of AoE and all the shading it requires someone better than me. Sorry but I have to surrender to the sprites

[This message has been edited by holymario (edited 11-13-2015 @ 04:45 PM).]

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