Edain 4.0 – Review

The trailer

I use Gondor/Arnor in this widely anticipated release. It’s been 3 years in the making, and graciously received by a much starved community. 3.8.1 was playable, but imbalanced, and mechanically fractured. 4.0 on the other hand, is a largely polished product. There have been reports of gameplay glitches and one improperly balanced unit (Lindon Archers). In my opinion, skirmish gameplay has been challenging. I’ve discovered that economy is vital in this mod, as the numbers have proved out. My income was averaging 700 per minute, while the AI ripped off 1500 per minute on average. That’s more than twice mine. I clearly don’t have it figured out yet. 

From what I understand, resources are gathered by houses and farms (primarily), then also by special buildings. I can’t figure out how the computer is able to generate such a gaudy income. I grab 2 – 4 farms, build more than 3 houses, and my income in my last game finally broke 1000, but I’m still 500 behind to at least break even, let alone assert my control. The game’s economic demands will lead to rapidly growing armies and huge population totals. I have yet to truly understand the intensity of troop creation required to be successful. The Easy AI gave in to my limited armies at some past dilly-dallying point late game. It was not honorable or well fought. So I changed it to Hard and lost three in a row in miserable fashion. I stepped down to Medium and still died but later in the game than on Hard. Medium still badly out resourced me. I have much to learn. 

Gameplay is awesome, once you understand the mechanics of the unit and building leveling system. Buildings are of two kinds: structures that have a built-in upgrade research option, or level by gaining experience. Buildings that produce units receive experience for doing so, and the more they produce the faster they level. It’s brilliant. The quicker your economy moves, the faster you can build units and buy upgrades, which makes your buildings level up, giving you access to better units. The battle is rapidly escalated. Farms can be upgraded to increase their population cap bonus. So can houses. Victory is achieved through numbers and upgrades. 

Gondor/Arnor has been entertaining. I have yet to comprehend the usefulness of Rangers, until they get those flaming arrows. I have yet to build deep into the unit tree because I die before I can get very far. The outpost options for Gondor/Arnor are pretty cool. As Gondor you can align with Dol Amroth, and with the Elves as Arnor. I imagine they probably are working on a patch right now. 

So the lesson I’ve learned so far has to be that income is everything. And 1500 a minute is a good place to start. I have yet to explore any other faction, even though Mordor and Isengard are two of my favorites. I wonder if Mordor still has free orcs? Probably not. 

Gameplay might seem a bit spammy, but battles in this universe should be on an epic scale. This is Lord of the Rings dude. 

The demo includes 4 factions: Rohan, Gondor/Arnor, Mordor and Isengard. The Gondor/Arnor thing is dependent on the map you chose in skirmish mode. If the map was in the old kingdom of Arnor, then you would play them. I believe they have exactly the same tech tree as Gondor, because they should be considered one faction, and a map should not be able to change the tech tree of a faction. Rohan I am least interested in. They seem fine, but cavalry can bore me at times. I should get over that and give them a skirmish. This mod looks great, and runs smoothly. The mechanics take some practice, but I’m sure I will get it figured out. 

In conclusion, a great mod. Epic and proud of it. Very polished and special. 

**UPDATE 4/1/15**

The question is rapidly becoming how can I get my economy cranking? 1000 a minute hasn’t caused any victories. I’m hearing from the other players that the AI is indeed quite challenging. I’ve not heard anyone boasting about beating a Hard yet. I think I have a good idea about what I need to do. And rapid expansion is also necessary. You must establish ownership of 50% of the nodes or be permanently overtaken. I have endeavored to do this in each of my games, but was largely relegated to defending my base. They then moved in and it was over. So more powerful troops and more of them, faster than before. 

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Crispy

Score: +4

There comes a time of reckoning on weekends when some critical few things need to be accomplished, I’ve found. I need fresh clothes for work, and I require enough food to get me through the week among other issues. I should make the time to clean up my domicile and apply myself to at least one extraordinary task like scrubbing the shower floor or detailing the sink. Once that is done, I can afford myself some time to relax. 

While Sunday was largely about me working on chores, this weekend has been quite good. It started off with a Friday get-together at my parent’s RV. I like to spend some time with them because it nourishes me. Plus I got to hear lots of positive gossip about Amanda. 

All this week I had been going to Amanda’s place and cooking with her after I got off work. Simple meals like chicken, salad and rice. We prepared food and hung out as a little three person unit. I really like that time I get with them, even if we are just sitting around watching Sponge Bob. 

This weekend we did lots of things: we went swimming in the community pool (which we had all to ourselves on Saturday). Later we went to Amanda’s parent’s place and I bought dinner for everyone. Her sister Melissa came too and gave me a hug right off the bat. Things trended steadily up from there. George told me all about the mine he jointly operates. He has a problem with short-term memory, so he says a lot of the same things over again, but it doesn’t bother me. I still have fun talking to him and showing interest in his work. The evening went great. Then Amanda and I put the boy to bed and stayed up until 10 talking to each other. 

But Sunday I had to take care of my stuff. I got up early and scurried around until my shit was done. I tried to come home tonight and play, but my brain can’t handle it. Edain is out and I’ve not logged one skirmish. To be honest, I just wanted to finish XCOM: Enemy Within before getting my head into The Battle for Middle Earth II again. Especially when I’ll be figuring it out as I go along because of the complete overhaul Edain has brought. Right now in XCOM I’m on the temple ship mission, and my squad looks like this: 1 Sniper, 1 Support, 2 MEC Paladins, 1 Assault, 1 Heavy. I had a Major rank sniper through most of the game, but he was killed in action closer to the end of the campaign. I’ve cycled through the assault as well, because they always get hit and have a propensity for being in precarious positions. I had two other MEC troopers, and I killed them both. But then I made two after that and those ones made it all the way through. They have 30 – 40 kills each, and the highest possible rank. That kinetic strike does 18 damage and can be used twice a turn. Sick. Anyway all I have left to do is storm the temple ship and end the game. Then I will start in on Edain. 

It has been a great weekend. And tomorrow is another chance to go out there and get after it. 

No One Like You – ScorpionsĀ 

Girl, it’s been a long time that we’ve been apart,

Much too long for a man that needs love,

I’ve missed you since I’ve been away, 

Oh babe, wasn’t easy to leave you alone, 

It gets harder each time that I go,

If I had a choice, I would stay,

There’s no one like you,

I can’t wait for the nights with you, 

I imagine the things we do,

I just want to be loved by you,

No one like you,

I can’t wait for the nights with you, 

I imagine the things we do,

I just want to be loved, by you. 

Girl, there are really no words strong enough,

To describe all my longing for love,

I don’t want my feelings restrained,

Oh babe, now I need you like never before,

Just imagine you’d come through this door, 

And take all my sorrows away,

There’s no one like you,

I can’t wait for the nights with you,

I imagine the things we do,

I just want to be loved by you,

No one like you,

I can’t wait for the nights with you,

I imagine the things we do,

I just want to be loved by you. 

Called Into Question

Score: +3

For the most part today was great, but I had some run-ins with ineptitude at work. I’m, largely, surrounded by people who are not interested in putting forth their best effort in their endeavors. They would much rather socialize and laugh all day than put forth the extra energy to accomplish the work that is otherwise being ignored/neglected. It takes initiative to succeed, and I have asked my supervisors at every turn if there is more I can do. I’ve been aggressive about reporting failures to the right people. Things are a little frustrating at times, but I am going to try and relax a little. I could learn a lot from Amanda in this regard. She is ridiculously calm, and easy-going. I really like that. I’ve been with such sensitive, high-strung partners in the past. I’ve always been terrified of saying the wrong thing, and having to walk on eggshells all the time. Jennifer would pounce on the slightest miscalculation in speech and a huge fight would ensue. Jax took EVERYTHING personally, like I was attacking her at every opportunity. Amanda is impregnable. Tonight I felt like I was really rude in bragging about going to my parent’s place to smoke when she can’t because she has Tristan. But she reassured me. She wasn’t angry with me. She just brushed it off like it was an unwanted fluffy on her shirt. I really dig this girl. 

Tomorrow is Friday. It’s been a pretty solid, productive week. My mood has been pretty good. Not fluctuating much at all. I’m working hard and making myself proud. All good things. One more day to go…

Straight To My Heart – Sting

In a hundred years from now

They will attempt to tell us how

The scientific means to bliss

Will supersede the human kiss

A subatomic chain

Will maybe galvanize your brain

And a biochemic trance

Will eliminate romance

Why ever should we care?

When there are arrows in the air

Formed by lover’s ancient art

That fly straight to my heart,

A future sugar-coated pill

Will give our lovers time to kill

I think they’re working far too much

For the redundancy of touch

What will make me yours

Are a million deadly spores

Formed by lover’s ancient art

That fly straight to my heart

Come in to my door

Be the light in my life

Come in to my door

Never have to sweep the floor

Come in to my door

Be the light in my life

Come in to my door

Come and be my wife

I’ll be true

To no one but you


If it’s a future world we fear

We have tomorrow’s seeds right here

You can hold them in your hand 

Or let them fall into the sand


If our love is pure

The only thing of which we’re sure

Is that you can play your part

And fly straight to my heart


If I’m to seek immunity

And love you with impunity

Then the only thing to do

Is for me to pledge myself to you


Only dealt one card

So for me it is not hard

Your the bright star in my chart

You go straight to my heart

Attitude

Score: +3.5

It could have been a very stressful day today, but I chose to have a different take on it. I decided that I was doing the best I knew how, and even though people on the phone were mad, I would not let their misdirected anger affect me. I had 2 irate people to deal with today, and by the end of one of them I was laughing and joking with the lady. It couldn’t have gone any better, to be honest, I’m sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it may, but I feel like if anyone listened to my call they would understand what was going on. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m doing really great at my job overall, and earning the respect of my supervisors. Things are going good, due in large part to my attitude. 

I had a good session with Margaret today, and I made it not be as much about me. I was feeling bad because we never talk about her at all. I understand that therapy is supposed to be about me, but I need to see my therapist as a human being first. How can I trust her point of view if I don’t have any idea what kind of person she is? She’s not a cardboard cutout that I yammer at, she’s a real person with feelings and a life. I need to understand her (somewhat) in order to consider her words valid. So I found out she is in a new relationship that started about the same time mine did. And she is feeling spoiled by a chivalrous man, much the same way I take care of Amanda. And her relationship is built on friendship, not lust and passion. She has real feelings, but they don’t all have to explode out all at once. This is congruent to how I feel in my own relationship. Funny how things line up? 

I had plenty of chances to destroy myself today. I did not. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, my mind was running on with bad thoughts and music that wouldn’t stop. A sign of a potential psychotic episode. But I woke up today feeling rejuvenated and functional. Even though it was ass early. 

Have a good night blog.