Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Last Days 3.0 Released

What we have here is a Lord of the Rings mod for the original Mount and Blade. It just released its substantial 3.0 version, the version that they are call their first real release after years of beta and alpha versions. The mod has been the most downloaded mod for Mount and Blade over the last four years and there are only two mods for Warband (it's successor) that have surpassed it.

Mount and Blade Overview (skip to mod info if you know the series)
Here is some information first in case you know little or nothing about Mount and Blade (MB). Mount and Blade is essentially a third person action rpg, one that gives you a large world to traverse through. It was a medieval world with different kingdoms, all of which resembled real medieval kingdoms but very loosely. You could customize your character with a large variety of skills, all of which had some purpose, skills like engineering, leadership, prisoner management, shield, horse riding and plenty of other ones. On top of skills you have normal rpg attributes, like strength, dexterity, intelligence etc., and those attributes are attached to each skill. What Mount and Blade excellently was give you this big world and let you loose upon it. You could raid cities, conduct trading, go on missions/quests, become a ruler, help overthrow kingdoms, manage cities/towns, join a kingdom or just be a mercenary roaming the lands. There was a lot you could do in the game and you had a lot of freedom to do it, but the game was also very difficulty and had a steep learning curve. The world was always at war and you have many options about how to participate or profit off of it. The graphics for MB were not very good either, just barely tolerable for most people, but mod support helped out a lot with that. Later on they came out with Mount and Blade Warband, basically a Mount and Blade 2. Warband didn't change the formula, just improved everything about it and gave you a game that easier to get into. Most people don't understand why The Last Days was made for MB original, not Warband, but I'm sure they started working on it back when the original was the only game out.

Vanilla Mount and Blade Screenshot

The Last Days Overview
The Last Days is full overhaul of Mount and Blade. It provides you with all of the factions from Middle Earth and everything about the game is based on the books, not the movies, so we can expect a higher level of lore and detail. They changed the way wars work in order to try to make it more like the books by having the war actually end. In the original MB wars would generally just go on forever, but in The Last Days factions can and will be destroyed permanently. Each faction has a strength meter and if that is low enough then enemy factions can lay siege to their cities/camps. There are several theatres of war that are based on the geography of the map and when a war is won in one theatre then the A.I. will send troops to their allies in other theatres. Interestingly enough, if all good factions are defeated but Mordor and Isengard still remain then they will fight each other for dominance.

A newer The Last Days gameplay video (there is a part 2 of this as well)

There is no money in The Last Days, instead they use resources, rank and influence. Resources basically take the place of money and are very important in for getting new equipment or soldiers. Influence points are earned by winning difficult fights or completing quests and they may be used on special equipment that seems to be specific to each faction. You also have a rank for whatever faction that you choose to join. Rank determines your max party size and resource income among other things. The whole war and economy system is much better sounding the the way Mount and Blade originally handled it, at the very least I would be interested to see how that works out. 

The Last Days looks to be an excellent Lord of the Rings mod, seemingly to rise to the depth and detail of some other high quality LOTR mods like Third Age Total War. If you don't have Mount and Blade then check out steam, it is often on sale and for very low price. Mount and Blade Warband is a much better game, but if you are as interested in this mod as I am then you can probably get the original game for very cheap sometime during the next month. Right now it is currently $19.99, which is a little crazy since you can find it during steam sales for $5. Thanks for reading and I will leave links to the mod and MB below. 
The Last Days Moddb 
Mount and Blade:
The Last Days Guide:

-Written by Sean Cargle


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