Slake your thirst in the growing heat, and find work in a cool cellar for your own good — Summer has arrived! Gondor, close to the deserts of Haradwaith is also known for being a reasonably warm land. Many of its vast fields and plains perhaps lack dense forests due to a harsher summer climate. Still — whether or not Gondor sees snow in the winter is unknown to me personally. But what Gondor is getting, is a vast, and total visual overhaul!
With The New Shadow Campaign well on its way, it was time to reduce, and remake a lot of Gondor’s old assets. Since The New Shadow largely focuses a Fourth Age struggle with Gondor against some old enemies, it really only felt natural to emphasize them as the subject of the next overhaul.
The overhaul includes almost 100% of buildings and units being remodeled. Several buildings will change as the player ages up, and almost all units will change as their techs are upgraded, much like vanilla aom units did. Gondorian soldiers’ body armour, weapons, helmets, shields and other attachments will change depending on the series of techs you have on them. Since so many units have been remodeled, this means they have also been completely reanimated to go with, further setting Gondor’s units apart from the crowd.
The mainline soldiery of Gondor are not the only ones to recieve attention to detail! For the Rangers of Ithilien in Gondor have also seen some changes. Apart from combat logic improvements (Rangers will now more effectively prioritize which weapon type to use when attacking a unit), visual upgrading, and new voice responses; the Rangers have seen some gameplay buffs! Previously, rangers existed in a janky limbo, being far too niche and weak to really be of any tactical advantage for Gondor. Rangers are now classified as an “elite” unit, as a specialized unit, Rangers excel at fighting “lightly armed” foes, such as other rangers (in the case of the Dunedain), ranged heroes, or even villager units. They also now haev a 12% chance to deal a critical strike which will deal x2 damage to the target. This can be upgraded by choosing Age 3 Olorin, whose technology “Cloaks of Grey” will improve the chance to about 16%, and 25% chance on Faramir (who is also a Ranger).
There is also some slight balances for the Random Map Skirmish modes, and some slight AI tweaks. I have noticed as of late that the Elven AI tends to work very slowly, even on higher levels, I am still working to fix this. I have also made some changes to AI that occasionally allow it function military decisions earlier in the game, this helps prevent it from being rushed by another player’s starting units and disabling their economy.
As a footnote of these changes It may be possible the next update is a fresh install of the game, much like the rest. This may not be the case, I am hoping to isolate the next update’s contents, but for the same of simplicity, and that this might be LOME’s last big patch before I hang up the LOME cape, it’s possible.
Changing up the Rangers counter-type to “lightly armed” enemies has given me further ideas for LOME, which I’d like the community to weigh in on:
I would like to change the armour system for LOME
If you’re familiar with aom/Lome’s armour system, there are three types of armour, Hack, Pierce, and Crush. Every unit has a value in these types which helps them resist a percentage of incoming damage of that type. Most archers deal pierce, most hand-to-hand users deal Hack, and most siege units deal crush. There are quite a few exceptions to what does what, but this is the usual formula. This leaves units to be in very simple categories: Melee, Ranged, Siege; with subcategories like: Myth unit, Hero.
My new LOME construct for armour/damage type really only plans to expand upon subcategories.
Hack, Pierce, and Crush would largely remain the same. What I would like to add are subcategories such as “Light”, “Heavy”, and “Magical”, for example. This would almost entirely change the current Lome/aom weapons triangle of Infantry – Cavalry – Ranged.
This new system would still use Hack/Pierce/Crush armour values, but their context would be slightly altered in use. Per se, even though Galadriel’s “Magical” attack deals pierce damage, it will still ravage heavily armoured units with high pierce armour, such as the Uruk-Hai units. in a normal circumstance, however, Uruk-Hai are still good at dealing with normal archers given their high pierce armour value. On the other hand, a “Lightly” armoured unit such as the Gondorian Ranger, will take less “bonus” damage from Galadriel’s attack, and therefore might actually have an easier time handling her magical attacks.
This new armour/counter system is still in need of a lot of thought to implement, as it vastly changes how LOME would be played; it is an idea I am heavily interested in, however. Let me know what your thoughts are on the idea, and what you think might make this system more interesting. Alternatively, if you straight up dislike the idea, tell me! This could be a huge change to how LOME is played, and needs to be taken very considerably!
The New Shadow
In the works since at least 2017, The New Shadow is close at hand! I’ve been discussing The New Shadow in almost every update for the past year or two, at least, but I’m almost ready to release it. Following the journey of Borlas and Saelon as they uncover a dangerous plot to destroy Gondor in the Fourth Age, advance through 13 levels of action and drama, as the lines are drawn, and sides are taken… The highly detailed cinematic models and animations bring a story to life with dedicated voice acting. The campaign features a lot of original art, models, and more that I have worked on over the years, all just to create a story I hope everyone enjoys.
The campaign is packed full of details, and collectibles even. Apart from being a blast to play through, The New Shadow features intentional replay value, as several missions offer varying sub-objectives, randomized character dialogue/conversations, and more, allowing you to continue playing a fresh experience more than once through.
Grand battles will be fought, and the blood of warmongers, and innocents alike will not be spared. Cities will become battlegrounds for the damned, and not everyone will seem as they are. Twists and turns await you — do you have what it takes to save Gondor? To save your people? And if you do… At what cost will you pay?
If you haven’t already, check out the latest video about The New Shadow below, featuring one of the campaigns cinematic cutscenes! The New Shadow is expected to arrive near the end of July, but could come sooner or later than that depending on how the next month progresses. As per usual, there’s always more update to come! If you want more frequent news and updates, consider joining the LOME Discord using the link in the mod’s header! If you’re interested in helping the mod out, there’s always work to be done! Just let me know!