Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem

There's a postmortem on Gamasutra where design director Michael de Plater looks back at Monolith's development of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, their Tolkien-inspired action game. He discusses what went right, such as the Nemesis System, core gameplay and controls, and usability, as well as what went wrong, including the process of combining a couple of smaller development teams into a larger one, though this turns out well, as he says: "We didn’t just make a game, we also made a great team."
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30.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 21, 2015, 16:12
nin
 
30.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 21, 2015, 16:12
Jan 21, 2015, 16:12
 nin
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 21, 2015, 16:04:
Xero wrote on Jan 21, 2015, 09:21:
Wolf going for 17 bucks on G2a.com

Think I'll wait it out a bit longer but I've been hearing a lot of good things about it.

Its Wolf. Pretty good game, but pretty much on rails from what I have seen so far. Only 1 direction to go. But, it is Wolf, and it does Wolf pretty darn well.

The timeline you pick determines your path. Also, some levels have multiple options...

29.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 21, 2015, 16:04
29.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 21, 2015, 16:04
Jan 21, 2015, 16:04
 
Xero wrote on Jan 21, 2015, 09:21:
Wolf going for 17 bucks on G2a.com

Think I'll wait it out a bit longer but I've been hearing a lot of good things about it.

Its Wolf. Pretty good game, but pretty much on rails from what I have seen so far. Only 1 direction to go. But, it is Wolf, and it does Wolf pretty darn well.
28.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 21, 2015, 09:21
28.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 21, 2015, 09:21
Jan 21, 2015, 09:21
 
Wolf going for 17 bucks on G2a.com

Think I'll wait it out a bit longer but I've been hearing a lot of good things about it.
Avatar 16605
27.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 21:26
nin
 
27.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 21:26
Jan 20, 2015, 21:26
 nin
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 21:02:
nin wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 20:07:
I'm on my second playthrough of Wolf, and it's my pick for GOTY. But Mordor was a (very) close second.


Not in steam......YOU BETTER NOT BE PLAYING ON CONSOLE!

Guilty! Pretty much where I spend my time, anymore...need to eventually upgrade the pc, maybe this summer. We'll see how GTA5 runs with the current hardware, first.

26.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 21:02
26.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 21:02
Jan 20, 2015, 21:02
 
nin wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 20:07:
I'm on my second playthrough of Wolf, and it's my pick for GOTY. But Mordor was a (very) close second.


Not in steam......YOU BETTER NOT BE PLAYING ON CONSOLE!
25.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 20:07
nin
 
25.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 20:07
Jan 20, 2015, 20:07
 nin
 

I'm on my second playthrough of Wolf, and it's my pick for GOTY. But Mordor was a (very) close second.

24.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 20:03
24.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 20:03
Jan 20, 2015, 20:03
 
nin wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 19:35:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 19:33:
Actually thinking about starting a new game......this is my GoTY 2014.

You need to play more Wolfenstein before you make that claim.


oh crap! Totally forgot about that game! Thanks dude! I will make that top 3 to play.

99% Mordor (F that last cheevo)
Wolf
SR4
23.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 19:35
nin
 
23.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 19:35
Jan 20, 2015, 19:35
 nin
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 19:33:
Actually thinking about starting a new game......this is my GoTY 2014.

You need to play more Wolfenstein before you make that claim.

22.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 19:33
22.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 19:33
Jan 20, 2015, 19:33
 
Actually thinking about starting a new game......this is my GoTY 2014.
21.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 19:08
21.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 19:08
Jan 20, 2015, 19:08
 
jomisab wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 17:14:
NegaDeath wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 15:31:
The only real difficulty for me was some of the warchief mission/ability combinations. I remember one where a warchief was immune to all but the most difficult attack methods. The mission to draw him out was to sound the alarm in the biggest fort on map 1 and kill 20-ish orcs. Of course sounding the alarm summons all the nearby captains too, plus the horde of vanilla baddies. The spot it occurred at didn't have hanging meat nearby to summon caragors, and the scene transition took away any mount you might bring. That took a few tries.

Otherwise I didn't mind the easy difficulty too much. I enjoyed playing the game like I was their boogeyman. I had a few runes equipped to increase their fear and send them running in terror. They didn't get far. Mwahahaha.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to kill a level 20 Warchief who's only weaknesses are a fear of fire and a fear of flies.

I had trouble with one and had to wait until much later in the game see here, he was tucked back in that port area where a mixture of 3-6 captains and chiefs always hang out (northern most part I think?) and I couldn't get him out of there to save my life.

Then I finally got him to flee, and he moved to an area that was super easy to kill him at. I also had 3-4 branded captains to take him down. I don't know how, but when you attack, they block everything, if a captain attacks them, they go down SUPER QUICK. Which can be a + or a - as you might not get to brand them cause they die so fast.

It can be luck of the draw, but really look at what your options are. Can you overtake or brand captains and chiefs that surround him via in fighting? Can you draw them out and use them? Can you ride a caragor or big troll to scare people away or scare him away?

Lots of options, but like I said, sometimes it is just the luck of the draw where that individual ends up.

Afraid of fire? Easy, do you have fire bolts? Boom, runs away and you can grab him elsewhere or chase him down. They are weaker when they run.

I have mastered the game so hit me up in steam with questions. I have to restart the game to get the rest of the cheevos, as I have branded everyone.....whoops.
20.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 17:14
20.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 17:14
Jan 20, 2015, 17:14
 
NegaDeath wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 15:31:
The only real difficulty for me was some of the warchief mission/ability combinations. I remember one where a warchief was immune to all but the most difficult attack methods. The mission to draw him out was to sound the alarm in the biggest fort on map 1 and kill 20-ish orcs. Of course sounding the alarm summons all the nearby captains too, plus the horde of vanilla baddies. The spot it occurred at didn't have hanging meat nearby to summon caragors, and the scene transition took away any mount you might bring. That took a few tries.

Otherwise I didn't mind the easy difficulty too much. I enjoyed playing the game like I was their boogeyman. I had a few runes equipped to increase their fear and send them running in terror. They didn't get far. Mwahahaha.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to kill a level 20 Warchief who's only weaknesses are a fear of fire and a fear of flies.
19.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 15:31
19.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 15:31
Jan 20, 2015, 15:31
 
The only real difficulty for me was some of the warchief mission/ability combinations. I remember one where a warchief was immune to all but the most difficult attack methods. The mission to draw him out was to sound the alarm in the biggest fort on map 1 and kill 20-ish orcs. Of course sounding the alarm summons all the nearby captains too, plus the horde of vanilla baddies. The spot it occurred at didn't have hanging meat nearby to summon caragors, and the scene transition took away any mount you might bring. That took a few tries.

Otherwise I didn't mind the easy difficulty too much. I enjoyed playing the game like I was their boogeyman. I had a few runes equipped to increase their fear and send them running in terror. They didn't get far. Mwahahaha.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2015, 16:08.
Avatar 57352
18.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 14:26
Verno
 
18.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 14:26
Jan 20, 2015, 14:26
 Verno
 
Pigeon wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 13:41:
Yeah, it's weird, people almost seemed split 50/50 on it. Some folks said it was a breeze, and others had difficulty in parts (I did, but I'm not the most agile player, when it comes to button prompts).

It is odd that as a game mechanic, being good at the game makes the game easier. Early in the game before I had a good grasp on the combat mechanics the nemesis system worked perfectly. Not only did it encourage me to get revenge on the orc that killed me, but it made it harder to do so, in a way forcing you to get better at the game. Then once you get better you have to purposely help the orc captains to level up so you can fight an opponent that that's challenging and gives a worthwhile reward.

I really enjoyed the concept of the nemesis system but I felt like the game itself was way too easy so I never got to see it the way they intended. Mordor was a game that really needed difficulty settings, they overdo it with combat tools. The only hard time I had were the stacking immunities but that was more exasperating than anything else. I guess maybe its because I played a lot of the Arkham games that I'm fairly used to it? Who knows.

The games story was disjointed rubbish that barely made sense. It was a good but overrated experience overall for me. Graphically the game was very impressive though and the sound design was competent.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2015, 14:32.
Playing: Risk of Rain 2, Jedi Fallen Order, Last of Us II
Watching: Tenet, Peninsula, The Pale Door
Avatar 51617
17.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 14:16
17.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 14:16
Jan 20, 2015, 14:16
 
Game was too easy -- I never died, so the nemesis system kinda didn't make any fucking sense -- the story was uninteresting, after 20 minutes you knew everything the game had to offer, exploration was a waste of time unless you're a loredigger and achievement completionist.

People screaming GOTY is good for them, but fuck me if games like these become the new thang.. I'll have to find a new hobby. Biggest waste of my money in 2014.
Avatar 57334
16.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 14:12
16.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 14:12
Jan 20, 2015, 14:12
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 09:24:
Selfcongratulation and flattelation galore. Meh.

The postmortem series of articles is my favorite part of Gamasutra. They're usually a really good and insightful read.
15.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 14:10
15.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 14:10
Jan 20, 2015, 14:10
 
nin wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 12:14:
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
One thing that may need some polish on it was the Nemisis system in terms of player death.

If I'm not mistaken, the less you die the Chiefs don't level up and they remain a lower level. If you die, aka having more difficulty with the game, the chiefs level up making the game even more difficult.

This is correct.

HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
I think this explained where some thought the game was too easy, while others found it to hard.

Yeah, it's weird, people almost seemed split 50/50 on it. Some folks said it was a breeze, and others had difficulty in parts (I did, but I'm not the most agile player, when it comes to button prompts).


Yup pretty much this.

When I finished my first playthrough I had dominated the *entire* uruk captain screen. They were all mine. Once I got the ability to kill uruks as an instant from chains the game went to easy mode for me and I think I died like twice after that. After I got to insta-brand after a long enough combo the game got silly. I'd dive into a hoard of uruks and just counter/attack until I could turn a baddie with a shield. Then I'd counter/attack and claim another. And another. And another. By the time the fight was finished I'd have like 8 or 9 uruks on my side.

That being said, it seems like the next logical step is to apply the nemesis system to the protagonist. The ability to build up his personality through just remembering shit that's happened to him and that he's done would go a long way to make the character interesting.
14.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 13:41
14.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 13:41
Jan 20, 2015, 13:41
 
nin wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 12:14:
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
One thing that may need some polish on it was the Nemisis system in terms of player death.

If I'm not mistaken, the less you die the Chiefs don't level up and they remain a lower level. If you die, aka having more difficulty with the game, the chiefs level up making the game even more difficult.

This is correct.

HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
I think this explained where some thought the game was too easy, while others found it to hard.

Yeah, it's weird, people almost seemed split 50/50 on it. Some folks said it was a breeze, and others had difficulty in parts (I did, but I'm not the most agile player, when it comes to button prompts).


It is odd that as a game mechanic, being good at the game makes the game easier. Early in the game before I had a good grasp on the combat mechanics the nemesis system worked perfectly. Not only did it encourage me to get revenge on the orc that killed me, but it made it harder to do so, in a way forcing you to get better at the game. Then once you get better you have to purposely help the orc captains to level up so you can fight an opponent that that's challenging and gives a worthwhile reward.

SPOILER: The final battle between my mind controlled Warchiefs and the "super" warchiefs was ridiculous as my guys so overpowered the others I might as well have sat back and had a drink. Some kind of level scaling would have made that more of the epic battle it should have been
13.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 12:14
nin
 
13.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 12:14
Jan 20, 2015, 12:14
 nin
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
One thing that may need some polish on it was the Nemisis system in terms of player death.

If I'm not mistaken, the less you die the Chiefs don't level up and they remain a lower level. If you die, aka having more difficulty with the game, the chiefs level up making the game even more difficult.

This is correct.

HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 11:37:
I think this explained where some thought the game was too easy, while others found it to hard.

Yeah, it's weird, people almost seemed split 50/50 on it. Some folks said it was a breeze, and others had difficulty in parts (I did, but I'm not the most agile player, when it comes to button prompts).

12.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 12:00
12.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 12:00
Jan 20, 2015, 12:00
 
Don't forget to play the dlc if you really like the campaign. The first story campaign, Lord of the Hunt, was pretty good.
Steam: BenRichards
11.
 
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem
Jan 20, 2015, 11:37
11.
Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Postmortem Jan 20, 2015, 11:37
Jan 20, 2015, 11:37
 
One thing that may need some polish on it was the Nemisis system in terms of player death.

If I'm not mistaken, the less you die the Chiefs don't level up and they remain a lower level. If you die, aka having more difficulty with the game, the chiefs level up making the game even more difficult.

I think this explained where some thought the game was too easy, while others found it to hard. Some tpye of game setting option should be able to affect this. Like no level on death, level on time if no death. So that way the guy never dying gets a stronger challenge and the person dying can get some reprieve.
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