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News Archives - February 2006

Designer Diary #2 - Final Thoughts
Posted on 2/28/2006 at 10:30 PM by Kester
Executive producer Mike Verdu has written some final thoughts regarding the process of bringing Battle for Middle Earth II to life in a new article, "The Executive Producer's Journey". An excerpt:
We started out with rather modest aspirations--but then EA unified the film and literary rights for The Lord of the Rings and we started to understand what an epic opportunity we had in front of us. We adjusted to aim much higher--to make a world-class sequel that would include an entire game's worth of new features and content and all of the units, structures, and locations from the first game. We wanted to create the ultimate Middle-earth experience with all of the races, places, heroes, and battles from both the books and the films.
Read the entire article here at GameSpot.
Middle Earth Monday at EA
Posted on 2/28/2006 at 2:41 AM by Kester
In the second-to-last Middle Earth Monday, EA has released five new wallpapers and a high-res "Create-A-Hero 'level 10 powers' video". Find out what powers you'll be able to equip your hero with as we count down to the release date, 2 days away! The screenshots include a cool one of the Mouth of Sauron leading an army through Lorien. The video and wallpapers can be found here.
Multiplayer Screen Names List
Posted on 2/27/2006 at 2:23 PM by Kester
Aeneas2 has started a list for players to put their online screen names. This will help to identify each other if you want to play against your fellow HG'ers. The thread is here.
Multiplayer Blog and Ladders
Posted on 2/25/2006 at 12:46 AM by Kester
Mike Verdu, Executive Producer of Battle for Middle Earth II has created a new blog entry regarding the multiplayer experience, and the ease of getting into a game. His entry "Fun with Multiplayer" is here.

EA has also just launched the official 1v1 and 2v2 ladders at GameSpy! The main portal for that is here.
New Video and the First Patch
Posted on 2/24/2006 at 12:05 AM by Kester
Gamespot has a new video - Official Trailer #4. It has some great shots of the new locations in BFME2 in addition to some of the creatures such as the eagles.

The first patch for the game is also out, even before the game's release! Patch v1.01 is found here.
Faction Preview - the Dwarves
Posted on 2/23/2006 at 10:53 PM by Kester
EA LA has released the latest faction information over at IGN - on the Dwarves. Jason Bender (Narrative Background), Greg Black (Developer Strategies), and Matt Britton (Art Direction) all give their input. We've had a good chance to play as the Dwarves in both the preview and the demo, but you'll still find plenty of new tips and strategies in the article. You can find it here.
Second BFME2H Poll Round-up!
Posted on 2/22/2006 at 12:31 AM by Kester
In our 2nd poll we asked which faction in the BFME2 demo do you like better? The Dwarves won with 358 votes, though the Goblins weren't too far behind with 306. About a third of you (328) are waiting for the game itself. And 80 have said neither the Dwarves nor Goblins - likely waiting for the chance to play as another favorite faction.

For the new poll we are going back to the foundation of the game, the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself, and asking how many times you have read the books. Vote here!
Bonus Features of the Collector's Edition
Posted on 2/21/2006 at 2:03 PM by Kester
Particulars of the bonus DVD that comes with the Collector's Edition have been released. It has two hours of features, including opening and closing cinematics for both the good and evil campaigns, the music score, and a variety of video interviews. For full details, check here.
EA Partners with Clanwars for BFME2
Posted on 2/21/2006 at 1:17 PM by Kester
EA and Gamespy have teamed with Clanwars to provide clan support for BFME2. From the news release:
Results and clan ladders will be automatically reported directly thru the game, so you won't have to worry about manually reporting a win...or loss. No additional software will be necessary. Clan support is built as a fully functional feature within the game alongside our quickmatch tournament ladder system.
This is great news for the game!
Countries with the Collector's Edition
Posted on 2/20/2006 at 1:34 AM by Kester
EA has just listed the countries that will be carrying the Collector's Edition when BFME2 is released.
If you live outside North America, be certain you are pre-ordering the Collectors Editon, as there is a standard priced DVD edition available outside North America that is not the Collectors Edition. Retail price for the Collectors Edition is $59.99 U.S. Below is the official list of coutries carrying this edition:

-North America
-United Kingdom
-Middle East
Official Minimum Specifications
Posted on 2/18/2006 at 9:28 PM by Kester
Now that the game has gone gold, EA has released the official minimum specifications for Battle for Middle Earth II. They are:
Official min spec for BFME II:

* Microsoft® Windows® XP
* PC with 1.6 Ghz equivalent or higher processor
* 256 MB of system RAM
* 512 MB of system RAM for online play with 3 or more players
* 5.5 GB available hard disk space
* 16x speed or faster CD-ROM drive
* 64 MB GeForce3-class video card.

o We will only officially support cards with ATI and Nvidia chipsets, and the Intel GMA 900 and GMA 950 products. We are not officially supporting the GeForce 4 MX series.

Please note, WE ARE supporting all other cards in the GeForce 4 series including GeForce 4 TI, GeForce 4 Go, and GeForce 4200.

* Sound card with speakers or headphones.
* Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.
* 56.6 Kbps or better modem for 1v1 online play.
* Broadband connection for online play with 3 or more players.
* DirectX 9.0c or above.

If you intend to play on the Ultra High setting and really want to enjoy the experience to the fullest the development team recommends:

3.0GHz Intel CPU, 1GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 6600 or 6800 Ultra or 7800 GT or GTX.
Sneak Peak at Collector's Edition
Posted on 2/18/2006 at 3:09 PM by Kester
GameSpot has a new article detailing some of the features to be found in the Collector's Edition of Battle for Middle Earth II. Along with the article is a new video in which Jason Bendor, lead designer, describes the process of creating a storyline and mapping out a mission for the game. They can be both be found here!
A Hands-On Look at BFME2
Posted on 2/17/2006 at 12:03 AM by Kester
Dan Adams, editor-in-chief at IGN, was recently able to play the full build of Battle for Middle Earth II and he has written about all of the factions. That article can be found here. Even better than the article is the accompanying 4 minute video, which gives a first look at both the War of the Ring and Create-a-Hero features in action. The video can be watched here!
First Review in for BFME2
Posted on 2/16/2006 at 7:50 PM by Kester
As APOC has posted over at the EA forums, the first official review has come in for Battle for Middle Earth II.
Well I have a great announcement, let the review engines fire up because The Battle for Middle-earth II has received its first official review.... drum roll.....a 90! PC Action, otherwise known as Computec in Germany, it is one of the most highly regarded German games magazines, and let me remind you, Germany is our biggest RTS European territory, simply because that is the best selling genre there, they LOVE RTS, so getting this review from one of their most highly regarded and hardcore magazines is a great first achievement for us.
Looks like the game is off to a great start!
Mike Verdu Blog Update
Posted on 2/15/2006 at 12:22 AM by Kester
Executive producer Mike Verdu has updated his blog, discussing the War of the Ring and Create a Hero features of the new game. An excerpt:
One option is to re-create the War of the Ring from the films – with the Men of the West fighting Isengard and Mordor in the South and the Elves and Dwarves fighting armies from Dol Guldur in the North. That’s good... but you can also set up an entirely new story. The entire map of Middle-earth is your canvas and all six factions can be brought into play to fit your script. Once you’ve configured a scenario, you’ll battle against our new strategic AI to defend or conquer all of Middle-earth… or, if you prefer, just one region.

It’s like a meta-skirmish game in some ways, but there is a lot more depth. And you can fight against another player instead of the strategic AI. War of the Ring is hugely replayable and it gives me a sense of infinite possibility.
The rest of his blog can be found here!
BFME2 Has Now Gone Gold!
Posted on 2/14/2006 at 10:42 PM by Kester
It's just been announced that Battle for Middle Earth 2 has gone gold, and will be in stores on March 2nd! The special collector's edition will be available at the same time. From the press release:
In The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, players wage war in the Northern regions of Middle-earth where they can choose to assume command of the most storied civilizations in all of Middle-earth history - the Elven and Dwarven armies - or fight on the side of Evil with heroes and creatures that have never been seen in The Lord of the Rings films. Reprising his role as Lord Elrond, Hugo Weaving lends his voice to the game, helping to set the scene and tone for each mission.

For access to all the behind-the-scenes details of creating a blockbuster The Lord of the Rings PC game, fans will enjoy the first ever Collector’s Edition DVD release from the highly successful The Lord of the Rings franchise with The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition.
The entire announcement can be read here.
First Look at Mordor & Isengard
Posted on 2/14/2006 at 12:49 AM by Kester
For Middle Earth Monday, EA has released a new video, Fire and Lightning, which gives a first look at Mordor and Isengard in action. If you think the Dwarves' fortresses are cool, wait until you see these!
New Screenshot Album in the Gallery
Posted on 2/13/2006 at 2:51 PM by Kester
BFME2H has a new album in our gallery. This one is for in-game screenshots captured by players. I've started it off with one picture of my own from the demo - a Dwarven fortress fully equipped with axe towers, catapults, the mighty catapult, and in possession of the One Ring. This new album can be found here. To submit your own screenshots, you can email them to me.
E3: Into the Pixel Exhibit
Posted on 2/12/2006 at 1:45 PM by One_Dead_Angel
Every year E3 is host to the video game industry. But also in recent years they have a competition for video game artists to showcase their work. This year's E3 will have again the "Into the Pixel" exhibit. You can read all about this event at yahoo news.
Elves Strategy Video Released
Posted on 2/11/2006 at 11:53 AM by Kester
A new 3 minute video has just been released to accompany the article on the Elves. In it Greg Black, Game Balance Designer, offers strategies on how to take advantage of the Elves' long-ranged capabilities. Watch the video here!.
More Download Options for the Demo
Posted on 2/10/2006 at 3:22 PM by Kester
The demo is now available from EA's official site, as well as nZone. If one site is busy, you now have a couple of other options! The EA download location is here and nZone's is here.
First BFME2H Poll Round-up!
Posted on 2/10/2006 at 12:47 AM by Kester
For our first poll we asked "Have you already pre-ordered BFME2?" 151 of you either said yes or you were going to, while another 274 said you were going to wait for the game to come out.

Today the single player demo has been released for download, with Goblins battling against Dwarves in two skirmish maps. So for the new poll we are asking which of these two factions you are enjoying best, so far. Vote here!
Beta Test NDA Lifted for the Demo
Posted on 2/9/2006 at 12:20 AM by Kester
A new message from EA's APOC:
Many of you have asked, and now with the release of our demo tomorrow, we are officially lifting the NDA on our Beta Test. This means that you may continue to post more in depth information on the game, and screenshots are now finally allowed. Thank you for respecting the NDA the past two months during the Beta Test. It is greatly appreciated here on our team.
With the NDA now lifted, you will soon be seeing more in-depth game information as well as screenshots at BFME2H!
Louis Castle & Mike Verdu RTS Podcast
Posted on 2/8/2006 at 10:27 PM by Kester
Mike Verdu, Executive Producer on the Battle for Middle-earth series and Louis Castle, one of the founders of Westwood and current VP of Creative Development at EA, are interviewed together by APOC on the future of RTS strategy games. The release of Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 is also discussed. Download and listen to the 50 minute podcast here, or at EA or iTunes tomorrow.
Single Player Demo Soon Available
Posted on 2/8/2006 at 1:58 AM by Kester
A single player demo for Battle for Middle Earth II will soon be available! GameSpot has a clock counting down the seconds until they can offer the demo, which, at this moment, is only 1 day, 10 hrs, and 3 minutes away. The demo will feature Goblins vs. Dwarves in two skirmish maps, plus a tutorial. The demo will be available here!
Elves Faction Info Now Unveiled
Posted on 2/8/2006 at 1:48 AM by Kester
There's a new article on the new faction a lot of people have been looking forward to - the Elves! Jason Bender (Lead Designer and writer of all background sections), Greg Black (Designer and writer of all strategic tips sections), and Matt Britton (Art Director and writer of all art direction sections) discuss the Elves in this article at IGN. Some of the new units are Lorien Warriors, Lorien Archers, and Mirkwood Archers. Concept art pictures are also shown. Be sure to check it out!
New Fan Art Gallery Is Up!
Posted on 2/7/2006 at 3:11 PM by Lady Arcola
The new Fan Art Gallery is up! Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven has its first Fan Art submissions. We have two fantastic pictures. Oliver has drawn a picture of Gollum and Ichbinian has done a picture of Frodo with Sting. They both are a great beginning to our Fan Art Gallery. Check them out and be inspired.
Powers Video and 2 New Wallpapers
Posted on 2/7/2006 at 11:46 AM by Kester
EA has released a new video showcasing the good and evil powers, spells and creatures, called "Powers Video". They've also released two new wallpapers for Middle-earth Monday: one with Gloin and Glorfindel on a journey to the Blue Mountains, and the other a concept picture showing the aftermath of a dragon attack against Dwarves. Watch the video and see the wallpapers here!
Battle for Middle Earth 2 Preview
Posted on 2/6/2006 at 1:44 PM by Kester
EJay writes about his experience playing the BFME2 Beta in a new Preview. He looks at the new factions and fortress system and speculates as to implications for gameplay. Read his full article here!
Gondor Strategy for BFME
Posted on 2/5/2006 at 12:24 PM by Kester
SuicidalScotsman has written his strategy for playing as Gondor in the original Battle for Middle Earth game. He has begun with units and powers, and a few thoughts on starting. Techs coming soon! Check it out here.
Goblins vs. Goblins Strategy
Posted on 2/5/2006 at 1:02 AM by Kester
Bendak has initiated the Strategies Forum with its first thread - a strategy guide for playing Goblins against Goblins. He looks at game objectives, build order, and more. You can check out his suggestions and perhaps add some of your own here!
New Goblin Strategy Video
Posted on 2/4/2006 at 12:04 AM by Kester
Curious about gameplay with the new Goblin faction? Want to watch them crawl over the enemies' walls? EA LA has released a new video at IGN, "BFMEII Goblin Strategy Video," which is a follow-up to Monday's article on the Goblin faction. This video by Balance Designer Greg Black shows several strategies for gameplay, such as using your Goblin hordes as the ultimate harassment units and engaging the Drogoth Rush. Watch the video here!

Welcome to BFME2 Heaven!
Posted on 2/3/2006 at 1:39 PM by Kester
HeavenGames proudly presents Battle for Middle Earth 2 Heaven, dedicated to bringing the latest news and information about Battle for Middle Earth 2 to the fans of The Lord of the Rings, and those eagerly anticipating the release of Battle for Middle Earth 2.

Building on the success of the first Battle for Middle Earth game, Electronic Arts has raised their game by acquiring the rights to use the books of J.R.R. Tolkien in addition to content from the recently released movies to create the most encompassing Lord of the Rings game yet developed! New races, new locations, new heroes and new enemies combine with enhanced real time strategy gameplay to bring the Lord of the Rings experience to the next level. Manage your war on the Living World Map, customize your castles and develop your heroes into fierce warriors. Use formations and flanking maneuvers to outwit your enemy. Battle for Middle Earth 2 combines the epic Lord of the Rings fiction with cutting edge real time strategy gameplay to create one of the most anticipated games of 2006.

Take a look around the site, and visit the forums. Welcome!