Hello every, Fronacen here. For anyone who recognizes me, I'll be a sight for sore eyes.
With the latest update out for the mod, I have decided to start a blog series, a retrospective as it were.
Of course, retrospective usually implies something has run its course: that is not what am saying about this mod. Instead, I want to use my experience with this mod and it's many updates to critically look back at what has happened with this mod. This is not meant as a review of the mod.
I would also like to point out a few things:
First of all, for those who don't know, I have been watching this mod for a LONG time (I believe way back in July, 2013, when Mirkwood was added). For people at home, that means since Beta 7. I have seen a lot, both mod-addition wise and community-wise.
Second, the goal of this series is to critically analyse the mod up until this point, not to say "x should have been added before y" or "x should be added". Though I might talk about possible additions to the mod (which if done will be posted in the Suggestions forums), they will be about making a point rather than trying to get my way with the mod.
Third, the intent of this series is not "Mevans wasted his time" or "why did he add this when he did?" I recognize that one, this is a pet project for Mevans and the mod team (they care for this product, however this is not their whole life's work), and two, much of what has recently been added required most of what is in the mod having already existed.
That last bit leads into my final point, I am choosing now of all times to start this discussion because of how meta-changing this last update has been. It has been a long time since I have seen an update that has changed how the game works this much. However, because I both want to sit on these recent additions more and because I want to explain and look at previous updates first to help explain why this update is such a big deal, I won't be starting with Update 35.
Instead, I am going to start with Update 34, and go back in time. Though I doubt I will go all the way back to Beta 7, I will look at updates between now and then. Discusions will be layouted in a manner which will have me looking at each major addition and change made by the update (and skiping things such as bug-fixes, most renamings, most retexturings, translations, and minor-gameplay tweaks that are hard to point-out without looking for it). If something spans multiple updates, I may make a note of "may be discused in an earlier update," especially if an update is either particularly large or if I have a specific point I wish to drive home, thus meaning I need to trim thoughts that would otherwise muddle or get lost.
Alongside these in-depth update analysys, I MAY also do a few "bonus" posts, including discussing what factions have and haven't been added, the inclusion of Rhun and Far Harad and exclusion of other possible lands, or the mod's current stasis in 1.7.10 (all of which are or have been major topics in the community).
Though I do not expect a response from any particular people, I will partially be writing this as if for certain Mevans and other members of the mod team were reading this. I will also be writing this as if long-standing members of the LotR are reading this. Though I hope this series will spark good discussion, I am focused more on making people think about what they currently get out of the mod and what experience they hope to get out of it in the future. Because of this, I feel that it is important that I make this analysis for as wide an audiance as possible.
If all goes well, the first official blog post in the series will be released by the end of the week. Look out for a Retrospective on Update 34: The Harad Update.