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Spotlight with Project Leader of Patch 1.09 LATINO

By LATINO - 14th May 2021 - 20:02 PM

GameReplays.Org (CENTAUER) is proud to present a new edition of our Spotlight interview series and this time about the trending Battle For Middle Earth 1 topic of last years, 1.09 patch.

In this occasion, we will be talking with the project’s leader Alan aka LATINO.

1. Gamereplays : Hello Alan, thanks for doing this week’s Spotlight. Tell us a bit about the patch team and how the project started :

We started the project back in June 2019, Pallando as coder, with the idea to improve the gameplay and bring freshness to the game but due to the drama that this project caused in the beginning, he decided to leave us.

However, Yoshi, Beterwel, Gahvin, Dunedain and myself decided to continue with it. Obviously, we are not profesionnal developers from EA but we are playing this game for now years (15 myself) and I can confirm you now that alot of stuff needed improvement.

2. Gamereplays : Which improvements in comparison to 1.06 version did you want to achieve ?

The community will be able to read the Changelog and or watch the YouTube videos that will be uploaded upon patch’s release to know more but below few points :

It is hard to balance all the match ups in any patch but for sure you can improve things as we did with Mordor in small/medium maps vs Gondor/Rohan in Fords of Isengard.

Mordor’s orcs being able to do more damage to Forces of Light units, something that improved the army’s early game, being now able to do more damage to opponent's farms, this helping Mordor to put an early pressure and force your opponents in certain situations to decide between defending or attacking with Horses (in 1.06, you can ignore them and clean them up when you are coming back to heal).

You might be thinking that now Mordor will be even stronger in big maps such as Westfold, Wold, Druadan Forest etc. but what we did was fix those maps by adjusting/removing unnecessary free farms that were causing the Elon Musk's rich Mordor. We increased the damage done by the units to the Mordor Outpost so it goes down faster, in 1.06 it takes you a lot of time and effort to take them down and especially in big maps.

However, that army will always be strong in big maps but these kind of changes brought in my opinion more balance and enjoyment to play with or against.

We reduced leadership experience bonus, you now can see less units/heroes leveling up faster due to eye/statues. 1.06 : You often see Aragorn getting level ten in one team fight without even fighting himself but by just sitting in the back.

One of the most liked features during the beta is to have the option to play with or without Mordor in in 3v3/4v4 maps, of course, as we have only 4 factions it can be bad to exclude one army. However, most of the beta players like to play with that option as not only because of the «Mordor always win» but also because you can have less leadership oriented fights.
Obviously, the normal maps are still available.

Gandalf being able to mount horse as Grey and now can go out and collect the points needed instead of sitting in the base. We thought that such important hero deserved to to have this option back as it was in the release of the game.

Saruman Wormtongue power radius increased this because most of the time you use that one he gets bugged and advance towards the opponents or does not react faster when you send him back. This helps him to resist a bit more, we also gave him a level ten power (Thunderbolt).

Gimli now needs level 5 to get his ultimate power Slayer, fixed the auto attack right click on the axe ability (you can now uncloak hobbits). This hero needed a serious rework as in 1.06 you do not see him at all.

Boromir received an improvement as we increased his movement speed, attack speed, made his horn more useful and adjusted his price.

We fixed the Rohan wall banner tooltip to show the correct stats which was showing wrong in recent patches.

Legolas hitbox that caused many miss clicks when trying to attack him.

Fixed a bug that caused Mumakils to gain a speed boost from Mordor Catapults alternate fire.

New Visual arts on some units and effects for buildings, heroes, powers.

3. Gamereplays : How are you trying to show or convince the community to try out and switch over the new patch ?

Throughout the beta we were able to have most of the active remaining competitive players which helped us not only to take the best possible decisions but also to promote closely the patch.

During the beta, we did not really promote the patch into the no competitive level rooms as the priority was to have the best possible balance, that is the reason competitive wise (tournaments) we were very active. Although, any level player was welcome when they asked for the patch, we also took a lot of time helping those struggling to install the patch or switching. Also, in the beginning as we did not have a proper patch switcher it was complicated.

Now that we will be releasing the patch officially with a finalized changelog, videos (showing main changes) it is going to be more easy to promote it and try to get as much people as possible. We also count on the 1.09 players to help those who will be new to guide them.

4. Gamereplays : Do you believe that 1.09 holds the future for BFME ?

I think that competitive wise it is already the present and will be the future, of course, one of the main reason is because we also have all the active tournament organizers with us but also the gameplay is at least for me more enjoyable.

Having new maps for all the played formats (1v1,2v2,3v3,4v4,FFA) is something that would motivate me to play if I was a new player, we have had this past 2 years thousands of 4v4’s played something that was not really spammed as much when I was playing 1.06.

Even for those who do not play tournaments would enjoy playing the patch as any format received an improvement.

So for those who like changes and new content I think the answer is YES, NO for those who prefer to keep playing the same as they feel comfortable or just do not care about changes/improvements.

5. Gamereplays : What was the hardest thing about the patch process ?

Taking the right decisions with the team after long tests was not easy sometimes as it happen that we had different opinions which caused long argue discussions.

In the beginning, the patch was changing a lot and the distribution of files was hard as many people were struggling switching them.

Coding wise, it was hard in the beginning as Yoshi did not have any experience with coding but throughout the process he learned a lot. Special thanks to Ecthelion (BFME II Coder) that taught him a lot of basics and showed him many things that helped to improve the patch.

Community wise, the drama that was built in 2019 was hard to handle but we knew that this would happen when we started this project, so did not come as a surprise. Some people were always going to throw tantrum over the smallest changes that we would do.

We did not handle things perfectly in the beginning, did a lot of mistakes, we were unexperienced but once we compromised with Gamereplays the patch work went smoothly.

To conclude, we learned and improved to react differently when receiving feedbacks than in the early stage but also that you can not please everyone in this kind of projects.

6. Gamereplays : What was the most fun part ?

Was fun testing new things, when ideas came into fruition and were appreciated by the players, we would put that in a test process to find the right balance. (Ex. running Trolls, Boromir)

Seeing new players willing to play the beta was satisfying, receiving feedbacks to work with, watching tournament games, new maps being played, people talking of new possible strategies etc.

I enjoyed this process so much to the point when sometimes I did not «care» if the patch was going to be one day released because the experience that we were having was worth the time spent. Today, we are doing an official interview on Gamereplays so we are obviously proud because that means we did a good work and that the patch will be officially released.

7. Gamereplays : Which are your favorite changes from 1.09 ?

It is hard for me to point you out my favorite changes as I got plenty's but there are few ones : Orcs, Outer Slaughterhouses, Mordor Running Trolls, Gandalf, Gimli and being able to have more maps available especially for a player like me who plays all the game formats.

8. Gamereplays : What is the patch release date and what will it include?

The patch will be officially released June 1st and will have a Game Installer and Patch Switcher.

9. Gamereplays : Some words you would like to give to the community :

I first of all would like to thank the core team, the main beta testers, the casual players as without their help Patch 1.09 would not exist.

I kindly invite everyone from the community to give the patch a try and if you do not like it, you can still switch back to 1.06 by pressing one button via the Patch Switcher or you could also play both.

We worked hard so the patch is not only for competitive players but also for people who play the other formats as 3v3, 4v4 or FFA. I have faith that some will give this project an opportunity and I can guarantee you that you will be welcome.

1.09 is 1.06 but improved.

Thank you for this interview Cent.

With that we have come to the end of this edition of Spotlight. If you have any comments regarding this interview feel free to post it below. Till next time!

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