Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mod of my Dreams: The Last Days

How dare they make a high quality Lord of the Rings mod for one of my favorite games, Mount and Blade. Surprisingly The Last Days makes the game even more enticing than vanilla Mount and Blade by changing almost everything about the game. This mod may sound or look familiar but that would be because I wrote about it back when it released its 3.0 version last October, check that out here. I've spent quite a bit of time playing the mod since then and something that pries me away from the clutches of Skyrim is worth talking about.

What makes the modification fantastic is not only how different it is from the vanilla M&B but how well it works and while still being very enjoyable+. If you checked out my previous article you would see I was talking about how resources and factions are entirely different. When I was first reading about that I thought it sounded interesting but didn't realize how much resources and factions are different. The vanilla M&B plays out like a medieval war game where you are mercenary that can fight for anyone or become a great general of a Kingdom, while The Last Days you choose what side to start with, those who fight for the Dawn of a New Era (humans/elves/dwarves) or for the Twilight of Man (Isengard and Mordor).You don't have the freedom to join anyone because in this there are blatant lines of good versus evil, the one thing you can do is choose to build up reputation and rank with any faction on your side. I have two characters, a light armored elf who fights for Rivendell and a spear wielding leader who fights for Gondor. If I so chose it I could go fight for either of those two factions with either character, but you have to balance your resources well.

Resources are largely different in The Last Days, instead of a common currency you now have get resources allocated to you within each faction. So you may earn four hundred resources with Rohan but you couldn't go use those resources with the Elves or any other faction, each has their own. You get a weekly stipend of resources based on your rank within a faction, for instance my knight of Gondor has achieved rank four, Tower Guard of Gondor, and earns fifty or so resources every week, while at rank one I earned fifteen. You can use those resources for hiring, and mainting, soldiers and also for purchasing new equipment. Another big difference regarding resources is how loot works. In vanilla M&B fighting a group of enemies usually earned you a pretty large amount of loot and sometimes a good chunk of that loot would be worth very little, while in The Last Days you earn loot far less often and it's worth more, in general. Also, much of the loot you earn in The Last Days are materials, not equipment, which you can use for quests or just for selling for resources. Speaking of which, quests are also a bit different in The Last Days, generally giving you larger rewards and giving you more meaningful tasks.

In The Last Days everyone pretty much starts out at war, so from the beginning you may be hunting down tribes of Orcs or Goblins, but pretty quickly you will be running into skirmishes between friendly patrols and enemy raiding parties. Each side has it's own strength, which can get worked down to nothing and once their strength is very low the faction can get destroyed, unlike vanilla M&B. In my two games I haven't seen anyone lay siege to anyone or send out huge war parties, but I have seen skirmishes all over the place, constantly, with that I've seen factions lose strength. My knight of Gondor has seen the most action, starting out at Minas Tirith and fighting everything from Orcs to Haradim. The faction of Gondor seems to be constantly fighting, while the elven areas seem a lot more peaceful, at least at the start. They warn that once you get a little bit into the game everyone will start getting more aggressive, launching large assaults on each other and what not, something I'm starting I've been starting to see with my knight. Knowing that there are battles going on all over the place is pretty enjoyable and wondering from faction to faction almost always presents you with the possibility of battle. Just like M&B vanilla, this game starts out pretty hard and its seems to level out a little but still stays pretty challenging.

Captured a tiny bit of gameplay to show off

The Last Days has a lot going for it, especially for any fans of Lord of the Rings and Mount & Blade. It has some great custom textures, maps, factions, weapons, armor and so many works of quality. It is unfortunately only for the original version of M&B, not Warband or With Fire and Sword. The game is bound to go on sale again soon though, likely for around $5 instead of $20. People hate on M&B for it's graphics but love it's for ambition and open world gameplay, it also helps that the combat is pretty unique and requires you to actually block, swing or thrust in specific directions in combat. If you have M&B I implore you to check out The Last Days, it is an outstanding mod and I hope it wins the MODDB Mod of the Year. Thanks for reading.
The Last Days Forums:,20.0.html
The Last Days MODDB:
Mount and Blade:

-Written by Sean Cargle


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