|"It's not ready yet." "Ready for what?" "Reading."|
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The mod adds 166 biomes, with each biome having many variations on the basic biome theme. From the frozen lands of the North, to the scorching deserts of Near Harad to the steamy jungles of Far Harad, you can visit practically the entire continent of Middle-earth. In between these extremes, you will find virtually every single area mentioned by Tolkien, ranging from Lindon to the Iron Hills to Gondor to Mordor, complete with biome-appropriate NPC spawns, vegetation and generated structures, ranging from small ruins of the former kingdom of Arnor to fortresses in Rohan to large villages in Near Harad. Beautiful mountain terrain generation will bring you back to the highlands of Middle-earth time and time again. And, if you find climbing over every mountain and hill to be too much work, have no fear; the mod adds roads, which smooth out the terrain around them, allowing you to go over even the tallest mountains with ease. A full biome list can be found here.
The mod adds 24 different factions that you can ally with or slaughter. Each faction has an alignment meter, which indicates your standing with that faction. Positive alignments give you various bonuses, such as the ability to craft faction-exclusive equipment and armour, with better-than-average stats. Gain alignment with factions by killing their enemies or completing favours, but be careful; killing a faction's units will make them angry with you, causing them to attack on sight, and maybe even launch a full-scale invasion in time. One of the main benefits of gaining faction alignment is the ability to trade with various trading NPC's and to hire troops, described below.
|Angmar||Angmar Orc, Angmar Warg,||Angmar|
|Angmar's former ruler was the Witch-king of Angmar.|
|Blue Mountains||Blue Mountains Dwarf||Blue Mountains||The Blue Mountains were home to Firebeard and Broadbeam Dwarf Clans.|
|Dale||Dalishmen||Dale||Founded by the Northmen around the year TA 2590.|
|Dol Guldur||Dol Guldur Orc, Mirk-Troll, Mirkwood Spider||Dol Guldur,|
|Sauron himself resided here (then under the alias of The Necromancer) before moving his stronghold to Barad-dûr in Mordor.|
|After they were driven out of their old home in Rohan they went to Dunland to scrape a living off rocks, making them wild and vengeful.|
|Dwarf||Iron Hills, Erebor||In TA 2941, the Dwarf lord Dáin II Ironfoot of the Iron Hills led an army of five hundred warriors to the defense of Thorin Oakenshield which then joined in the Battle of the Five Armies and fought valiantly there.|
|Dúnedain of the North||Ranger of the North||Lone-Lands,|
|The Rangers of the North are the last descendants of the Dúnedain, men from the ancient kingdom of Númenor.|
|Fangorn||Ent, Huorn||Fangorn Forest||Trolls are have said to be made in the mockery of Ents.|
|Gondor||Gondor Soldier, Ranger of Ithilien, Swan Knight||Gondor, White Mountains,|
|Gondor was founded by the brothers Isildur and Anárion In the SA 3320|
|Gundabad||Gundabad Orc, Gundabad Warg||Eriador,|
Vales of Anduin,
|The Gundabad Orcs are a race of Orc originating from the Misty Mountains.|
|High Elves||High Elf||Lindon,|
|The High Elves are the most powerful and knowledgeable of Elves in Middle-Earth, being part of the ancient Ñoldor race.|
|Hobbits||Hobbit||Shire||They pride themselves in their simple lifestyles, isolated from the world of the "Big Folk."|
|Isengard||Uruk-hai, Uruk Warg||Nan Curunír,|
|Uruk-hai are bred from Goblin-men and Orcs, This means the stronger, faster, and can move under sunlight.|
|Lothlórien||Galadhrim Elf||Lothlórien||Lórien, like Thranduil's kingdom of northern Mirkwood, was settled by Silvan Elves of Nandorin descent some time during the First Age and was called Lindórinand (Vale of the Land of the Singers).|
|Mordor is the corrupted realm which the Dark Lord Sauron inhabited for the greater part of the Third Age.|
|Rohan||Rohirrim||Rohan||Rohan is the realm of the Rohirrim, whose lifestyles revolve around the training and breeding of horses which they hold sacred.|
|Woodland Realm||Wood-Elf, Woodland Elk||Woodland Realm||The Woodland Realm was a kingdom of Silvan Elves in the Forest of the Wilderland beginning in the Second Age.|
|Dorwinion||Elves, Men||Dorwinion||Dorwinion, also known as Dor-Winion, was a land in the vales of the Celduin, northwest of the Sea of Rhûn, that was famous for its great gardens and as the home of the finest wines in all of Middle-earth.|
|Half-trolls||Half-troll||Pertorogwaith||They appeared at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields alongside the other man-allies of Sauron.|
|Moredain (non-canon)||Moredain||Far Harad Savannah||Moredain are tribesmen, skilled at survival in the open Savannah in which they live. They have a unique culture that involves the worship of the Great Lion.|
|Near Harad||Near Haradrim||Near Harad, Near Harad Fertile, Harondor||Gondor and Harad regularly skirmished over the territory labeled on the maps as South Gondor.|
|Tauredain||Tauredain||Far Harad Jungle||Tauredain (Sindarin: Forest-men) roam the Jungles of Far Harad which they hold sacred. They are bitter enemies of the Moredain and any group allied with them.|
Utumno Ice Spider,
|Utumno||Utumno was the first fortress of Melkor in the far North of Middle-earth before he destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor and before even the First Age.|
|Easterling, Easterling Warrior||Rhúdel,|
|Rhúdel (derived from the Sindarin components Rhûn, which signifies 'East,' and del, which translates as 'horror')|
With all these factions at war in Middle-earth, travelling around can be a rather dangerous affair. To help you in your campaign, factions will allow you to hire their troops if you have a good standing with them. Hire yourself an army of Swan Knights and Gondorians and defend Gondor against the armies of Mordor Orcs that spawn at night, or conquer the Free People of Middle-Earth using your army of Black Uruks and Olog-hai. Command your troops with the horn and Sword of Command, and assign them to Squadrons using the Table of Command.
Armour and equipment
Each faction in the mod has a complete set of armour and equipment. Blend in with the mighty Eorlingas or get yourself an Uruk Berserker Scimtar and cut all that oppose you in half. Many factions have unique types of weapons, each with varying attack speed, reach, and damage. Make sure to pick the right weapon for the fight! You wouldn't want to try fighting an large enemy with a dagger.
All factions have their own NPC's. Some of these NPC's are military, and others are civilians. These NPC's vary in attack strength, health, and damage. NPC's can be passive, such as hobbits, but most NPC's will attack you if you attack them or if you have a negative alignment with their faction. Some NPC's will attack you using melee weapons, such as Gundabad Orcs, others will try to shoot at you, including Gondorian Archers, and a select few can use both a bow at long range and a sword at close range, such as High Elf Warriors. A few NPC's are hostile all the time, such as Bandits which will attempt to steal loot from your pockets.
To make the world of Middle-earth more authentic, the mod adds over 20 species of flowers, ranging from Elanor to thistles. Some of these flowers are simply cosmetic, but others are important ingredients in Brewing, described later. The forests of Middle-earth are equally detailed, with 32 species of tree that can potentially be found, depending on which biome you're currently in. Many biomes will also spawn Berry Bushes, which can serve as a quick source of food when traveling.
Food and drink
For those who enjoy sitting around at home with a mug of ale, the mod adds a complete barrel brewing system. Create over 23 different kinds of booze using nothing more than a Barrel, three buckets of water, and the appropriate brewing ingredients. All these drinks fill up your hunger bar, and some have useful status effects, but if too much is drunk in a short amount of time, the player will become drunk.
The mod also adds dozens of food items, ranging from several fruits and placeable cakes to exotic foods such as the elvish way-bread Lembas and the foul-smelling Torog Stew of the Half-trolls.
While there are countless epic adventures and wars to be had in Middle-earth, if you really want a hostile adventure, head over towards the pits of the Underworld. All the NPC's found there serve none other than Melkor the Great, and will attack even the most evil of players. Make sure to get good armour and equipment before heading in there, as there are far worse things than Orcs in the deep places of the world...
The mod adds over 300 achievements. These range from simple, such as entering a biome, to somewhat more exotic, such as riding a barrel through the rivers of Mirkwood. If you ever get bored, try collecting all the mod's achievements -- you'll probably discover a new feature of the mod during your travels that you didn't even know existed. Who knows, you might even discover something really awesome!
Added in Beta 32, fellowships allow friends(and foes) to band together to go on various quests. It can be used for a variety of uses, such as with factions on multiplayer and much more.
If you wish to download and install the Mod a step-by-step guide can be found here.