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Casual 2.02: A First Impression

By Korvasomali - 9th February 2011 - 14:46 PM

The server shutdown changed many things; some of the community decided to leave, while the most devoted stayed and moved on to GameRanger. Because of having fewer players and to avoid a split community between 2.01 and 2.02, the 2.02 patch was chosen to be the only one supported by GameReplays.org. This created a problem with previous 2.01 players, as 2.02 has so far only focused on competitive gaming: 1v1 and 2v2 Fords of Isen II/Buckland. However, with new players coming to patch from 2.01, the casual possibilities of 2.02 are just becoming discovered. 2.01 was mainly the patch for fun, maps like Stonewain, Lostriand and Nanduhirion and also numerous types of custom maps like tower wars, city defense, hero duel, hero adventure, gladiator and even soccer!

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Custom Maps

So, how do these all kinds of maps work in 2.02? The answer is - nobody knows. With my experience about how things were in 2.01 and from a few of these games in 2.02, I'm trying to picture how these maps have changed from 2.01.

Hero Duels, Hero Adventures and City Defenses

Hero games have changed quite a lot because Create-a-Heroes have been balanced. They were made weaker, they've got major cost decreases and glitching has been made more difficult by disabling all other hero class powers than ones of the chosen class. Also, some heroes' abilities have been reworked, further balancing the heroes. Hero adventures and city defenses are harder than ever because of hero balancing, for example, Admiral Lee's Journey into Nightmare.

Tower Wars

Tower wars are most affected by the change of patch. Lowering elite archers' attack and strengthening many units that are very popular in waves, such as Drakes, Mini-Heroes and Ring Heroes, have made many tower wars impossible. This is why I recommend playing tower wars in 2.01 unless someone has already made tower wars for 2.02.


Gladiator maps haven't changed at all because they all modify the game. You can still play for example Return of the Gladiators by berzerkidiot without noticing which version you have.


Yes I was serious when I spoke about soccer! There are two soccer maps in game, middle earth football and The Ultimate Soccer Match by TheNotorious.

middle earth football is 2v2 map where you can't buy heroes, builders or build resource buildings. You have a production building for each unit type (swordsmen, pikemen, cavalry, archers, monsters+some siege), Angmar units excluded, where you can produce all units under that category; for example, from Gondor Archers to Mirkwoods from the archer building and from Rohan Spearmen to Tower Guards in the pikemen building. The only way to earn resources is by killing enemy units, as every faction has modified Scavanger power that gives much more resources than the normal one. Some unit prices are also modified; for example, Battlewagons cost 1000.

You score goals by moving your units to grab the Ring in the center of the map and moving it to the enemy goal. Goals are protected by two towers which you can garrison. The game is simple but the strategic possibilities are huge.

The Ultimate Soccer Match by TheNotorious is a 3v3 map where each player controls only one hero. It's three good heroes versus three evil heroes: Aragorn, Gandalf and Elrond against Lurz, Saruman and Gorkil. Entire power trees have been reworked and powers changed. For example, Freezing Rain causes an immediate corner kick. Every hero has reworked powers, and scoring a goal causes your team to get a level up. Also, the attacks of disappointed football fans provide a chance to level up, but they also can get your hero killed. After death, there is a re-spawn timer, and when the timer reaches zero your hero revives at level one. This is extremely fun. The current version (5) is bugfixed, and furthermore, Forlong has promised to fix the bugs caused by 2.02.

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