Issue #29 - Villagers & Heroes

News from the Seven Realms • Issue #29 • June 25, 2021

The Headline

Summer has arrived, lockdown has ended, the Ardent Ledger is back, and that looming pyramid shaped tower filled with challenges, rewards, and unending excitement, which has been sitting on your monitors, dark and closed, for so many months now, is about to be lit up and hopping once more!  That’s right, Season 3 of Raids is almost here!  And when those tower doors swing open again, prepare yourselves for a mind bending new raid locale, hot and blazing, at the end of which, lurks a ghastly demon of fire unlike any creature you’ve ever battled before.

His name is Zell, and his fiery lair, Orla’s Veldt, demands caution and thought.  The reckless will surely be burned to cinders in this lava filled playland of unusual puzzles and tricks, smoldering platforms which cannot be trusted, deadly levers and treacherous chains, and enigmatic bosses who require more than just brawn and flashy weaponry to be defeated.  

And should you at last make your way into the burning inner sanctum where the great demon himself, Zell, resides, then an all new epic challenge awaits.  Many will perish.  While his spiraling horns are devastating, as are his massive flaming claws, it is Zell’s slew of deadly tricks which can be the most perilous of all.  But just where does this blazing demon’s almost childlike delight in games originate from?  It was a little girl, orphaned and alone, who brought the monster into being.  These two are forever together, beloved companions who gleefully relish the prospect of visitors into their fiery veldt of treacherous fun.

And with the arrival of Orla’s Veldt, will of course also come a collection of exciting new rewards and relics!  While Zell’s special emblem awaits all players who visit his lair, those who continue to doggedly persevere up the tiers of the raid can expect to receive ever more exotic flair for their characters, a rare toy which will evoke the eerie charms of the Veldt itself, and a truly unique mount, the Flame of Zell, whose increased speed and jump height, not to mention his incendiary appearance, make him a remarkably special reward, one well worth the efforts for.

Get ready, too, for all new relics!  As you know, relics can be used outside of raids anywhere in the game world.  So just what new gifts will the Ember Chalice or the Grimoire of Fire bestow upon those who find them in the Veldt?  You’ll have to wait and see!  And please do meet, Croaker!  Part frog, part lizard, this all new mutant creature hails from Mulgrew Swamp, and can not only aid players in combat when summoned, but will make them smile as well.

Season 3 of Raids, with its many new challenges, rewards, and delights is almost here!  So start preparing yourselves for The Fiery Veldt.  🙂

Fan Works

Fan Friday

Oh, what amazingly talented and creative players we have in this game!  Our weekly Fan Friday contest, in which players on every server have the opportunity to artistically express themselves a la V&H (and win crowns in the process), has been flooded with some truly outstanding entries this past year!  

And for any new players who might be interested in submitting a piece of work, you can learn all about how to do that here. 🙂

Now please enjoy this look back at some of the wonderful Fan Friday entries created by your fellow players these past months:

Interview

V&H Player: Regar

Player: Regar
Server: US1
Class: Shaman

When did you first start playing V&H, and how did you discover it?  What initially drew you to the game, and what keeps you playing still?  

I started playing in September 2020. I was getting fed up with the power creep and attention solely to PVP in the game I had been playing, and was looking for something new. I hadn’t played an MMO since a text based MUD some 20 years ago, so I figured I’d give this a whirl. I stuck around because I like my group of friends, and there’s still so much for me to finish. By the time this is posted, I should have my first crafting skill at 95. 🙂

Are you an active Raid player?  If so, what is your favorite Raid and why?  How about Raids in your imagination — if you could design your own raid, what would it look like?  What sort of boss would it have?   Other details?

I have not been an active raider up to this point, mostly stemming from frustrations with my build. I’m changing it up for this season and will try again, though. My favorite was probably the woods, because it was different than palace and rookery. It was more collection and running than just kill. If I were to design my own… my first thought would be a dreamworld, a tad on the horroresque side. I’d like to see a Salvador Dali theme, with stuff melting on the walls, bugs crawling everywhere, and the final boss of the raid would be a doppelgänger of whoever hosted the raid. Stats would obviously be much higher, but it could make for an interesting fight, to have to deal with a boss using water shield/earth shard/brutal force just like I do.

What sort of activities and hobbies do you enjoy when you are not playing V&H?

I grew up in Chicago, a 3rd generation Cubs fan. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wept in 2016 when they won the World Series. I used to play video games wayyyyyyyyy more than I’d care to admit. My mom is a huge fantasy fan, and as a young child she would read Lord of the Rings to me to put me to sleep. I can still remember my mom renting the original Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy at our local video store, so it’s her fault that I love the genre to this day. I’ve been trying to get my wife to at least try one game for years now, but the closest thing to success I’ve had is getting her to play Animal Crossing. Not having much success with my daughter yet either, though I still hold out hope.

I am a mailman, so I spend a large part of my day just walking around and thinking about things. I’m usually thinking about things that make me laugh. Nearly all of the ice wizard memes that I came up with, I came up with at work. That’s also where The Dummy and The Diell started. If I come up with an idea that I think is good, I send it to Amandiell. If she likes it too, then it’s something we can use. If she doesn’t like it, then I go cry in a corner for a few minutes before I put my big boy pants on and get back to work.

Each of the five servers in V&H has their own unique personality and style.  For the benefit of those on other servers, how would you describe US1?

If you’re coming to US1 and playing on a computer, set a tab to google translate. World chat is at least 50/50 English/Spanish, with a growing Portuguese community. I don’t play on any other servers, but from what I’ve heard from other players, our economy is completely different. If you need something, or need help with something, just ask in world chat. People are always willing to help with elders, or to provide ham or eggs or garden items, and the vast majority of the time it’s at no charge. I think it’s because we are the oldest server, and we have many players who already have everything they need, so they are willing to give, for example, a stack of ham to someone for free, because they don’t need the gold. 

This isn’t saying we don’t have an economy, because we do, but people seem to be more willing to help just for the sake of helping, not for a reward. For example, this morning I was on a plenti and commented in world chat that there’s nothing worse than starting a plenti and realizing you forgot to bring arachnamassers. Someone who wasn’t in my guild or on my friends list mailed me 10. Not saying things like this happen every day, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen it either.

Hypothetically, you are the leader of a very special guild which includes famous historical figures from the past.  Who would you appoint as your village mayor?  Who would you want to help you with Elder runs?  Who would you like to host a crafting party, and who would you like to keep around for the sole purpose of always keeping guild chat lively and entertaining?

Village Mayor would be George Washington if we were starting a new village. For elder runs, I’d go with Sun Tzu. He’d figure out a way to beat elders 20 levels higher than us. For a crafting party, I’d lean towards Leonardo Da Vinci. As for keeping chat lively and entertaining… I’d love to read Robin Williams spamming the chat with every thought running through that mind.

As you probably know, we’ve been expanding our efforts in Advertising this past year for V&H.  For you personally, which aspects of the game would you most like to see highlighted and in what manner?  (Influencers, livestreams, Instagram posts, videos…?)

IMO, what makes this game stand out is the communal feel to it. Sure, all MMOs have guilds or clans or something to that effect, but they all serve to help in PVP. This game doesn’t have PVP, so it feels more like the entire server is one giant guild. I don’t really know how that could be highlighted in an advertising package, but it’s probably the biggest appeal to me.

Summer has finally arrived!  What are you most looking forward to about this summer?  Anything you are least looking forward to?

I’m most looking forward to being able to take my daughter to the ballpark to catch a game, see a movie in theaters, and to hit the zoo. We already hit our famous local amusement park last week, so I can scratch that off the list.

I’m really not looking forward to 95 or higher temps. Makes my day at work miserable. We’ve had a couple really mild summers in a row, so it feels like we are due for a scorcher.

What new features would you most like to see added to the game, and why?

I’d love to see a rogue or assassin class in the game, one that is based around stealth and speed. Low hp and defenses, but high dodge and high attack rate, with some sort of backstab skill that can do massive damage, but only can be done before the enemy has been attacked, and has to be performed from behind the enemy, so you gotta sneak up on him. 🙂

Everyone has a guilty pleasure in-game.  Whether it’s spending hours organizing and reorganizing vaults, or the lure of Darrig chests, or stockpiling reindeer poop, there’s always something. What is your in-game guilty pleasure?

There are two, opening darrig chests and hunting for plentis. I’m over halfway to getting the Nightmare Dragon from doubloons, and I can’t stop until I get there… so RIP all my gold for the foreseeable future.

For the most part, lockdown days have ended!  What has your experience for the past year and a half been like?  (The ups, the downs, new behaviors…whatever comes to mind.)

Honestly, not a ton changed for me during the pandemic. I am one of the lucky ones because I am considered an essential worker and was able to continue to work throughout this. Yea, it was kinda rough not being able to go out and do things, but I’m usually too tired after work to go do anything anyway. I’m pretty famous (at least in my guild, lol) for logging in after dinner and falling asleep after a couple bounties. I know I’ve fallen asleep and missed at least 2 of Isa’s crafting parties, and I’ve also fallen asleep during a party. Sad, because they start at 7 PM for me.

Contest

Sneaky Scribbler Caption Contest

The Sneaky Scribbler always makes us smile, so now it’s your turn to make the Sneaky Scribbler smile!  The contest is simple:  write a humorous caption for the image pictured below.

First Place = 150 Crowns

Second Place = 100 Crowns

Third Place = 75 Crowns

The Sneaky Scribbler will determine the winners! Please visit the Sneaky Scribbler Caption Contest here to participate.  🙂

The Sneaky Scribbler

Uh, oh, that wickedly delightful eavesdropper who cavorts around on all the servers, listening in on World Chats, has returned!  The Sneaky Scribbler never rests!  Thanks for the giggles, Sneaky!  Nobody is safe…

YOU SAID IT:

THE BURNING QUESTION

boul1te: fire witch or ice witch?

Chiarale: Do you identify more with Elsa? Or with Carrie? 

-US1

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

DancingDead: I remember … once upon a time… back when I first logged on … and had full Mana

DancingDead: those were the minutes

-US2

MOD-ERN LOVE

Azurewyn: Can someone tell Annaliese that the lampost is not a crafting station?

Cinder Too: Annaliese is a Mod if she wants to make out with the lamp post i think we should let her

-US3

IN LESS THAN 12 PARSECS

MistedWhiteRosé: anyone for keppel run?

Gimli Oakenshiel: d9nt u need the millinium falcon to do the keppel run?

-US3

AMEN

Coldchill: I wanted ‘badmambojambofromhell’ nickname…. but accidentally hit random and the rest is history

ReapReap: that was god saving you

-US1

REALITY BYTES

Barbarella: was outside today…windy as heck but alot of fresh air…now im tired..

Stus Leif: I went outside once

Barbarella: once?

Stus Leif: Yeh, never again

Jade Gardener: outside?

Jade Gardener: yeah I did that too once

Jade Gardener: the graphics were amazing

Jade Gardener: but the game play was questionable

Jade Gardener: boring and slow to advance

-US2

GAME ON!

Ave07: Prisma up

Ave07: C2/3

Ave07: hit

Bbeowulf: you sank my battle ship

-US1

ALL IN

Vernes: is there V&H anynymous? i think im addicted to V&H

ang31: so is everyone else here

-US3

ALWAYS AHNULD

JoseX: Who is Returnator?

Ta Greeborheim: son of terminator

Wild Gonzo: not sure but he’ll be back 

-EU1

SECOND CHANCES

LegendOfZelda: maybe ill rb as a doctor this time and wont be such a disappointment to my parents

-US2

SIZE DOES MATTER

Kittz: what’s the going rate for motes?

Wambette: depends on the size of the castle

-US3

A PERILOUS ZONE

Korax: I’ve never gotten a lollygram

Nacho Noodles: right Korz!?! …stuupid friend zone!!

Luna See: is there a friend zone in this game? does it have a telepad?

Balic Alistane: hahahaha the friend zone is an event where no matter what you do, you just can’t win. you can find your way there but you can’t ever get out

-US2

S-NAP!

Murmandagon: true to be told, planning get pc this autumn as im taking my sorry butt back to school babyyyy :))

Meagan Fenywdraig: primary education is very important.

-EU1 

PHILOSOPHICAL PONDERINGS

xATALANTAx: u ever realized that if you wear your socks inside out, that the entire universe is wearing your socks except for you?

-US2

WILL PARAKEETS BE NEXT?

Solomon Kane: complete the plot of the game for now

Solomon Kane: I have to enter the black canary’s lair and kill 250, can you help me?

-EU1

KNOW THE CODE

tomgtu: i still dont got enough dabloons for a mount -.-

Jade Gardener: you have to know the secret / command

tomgtu: 😮

Jade Gardener: type /yabbadabbadabloon to get 500 red dabloons

tomgtu: it says unknown command -.-

-US2

Royal Guardians

Congratulations and our sincere thanks to the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to the game and community!  We are excited to announce the most recent appointments of Royal Guardians of the Realm for Villagers & Heroes.  (And for the benefit of our newer players who might not know what Royal Guardians are, you can learn all about them here.)  🙂

  • TheOak (US1)
  • Verrier (US2)
  • Math Fish (US3)
  • Luke68 (EU1)
  • Schlakatie (EU2)

Behind The Scenes

The V&H Game Moderator Quiz

Game Moderators.  Yes, those Purple People, hardworking volunteers, your fellow players who, though it can often be a thankless job, wrangle trolls, monitor chat, answer any and all questions, and, in general, work tirelessly to ensure that players on every server can peacefully enjoy the game in a safe and friendly environment.  You know them, you love them, some of you perhaps fear them, and I think we can all certainly agree that we’d be lost without these wonderful people.

But just how well do you really know your V&H Game Moderators?  Let’s find out!  Test yourselves with the following quiz, which could very well yield more than a few surprises!  

Match each of these moderators to the correct questions listed below:

  • A) IrishElf (US1)
  • B) Mutsie (EU1)
  • C) Impresario (US3)
  • D) Ekimie (EU1)
  • E) Irianna (US1)
  • F) KAVE (US3)
  • G) Stella Stormsong (US2)
  • H) Annaliese (US3)
  • I) William Hououin (US3)
  • J) Rohana (US1)
  • K) Priest Daimheach (US2)
  • L) Hiram Abiff (US1)
  • M) Karen Souldancer (US2)
  • N) Absolute Zero (US1)
  • O) Xmerlindax (EU2)
  • P)  Black Fairy (US1)
  • Q) Layla Littlenymph (US3/US1)
  1. Which mod has a law degree, but is not a practicing lawyer?  
  1. Which mod was once a professional cage fighter, and holds three black belts in Martial Arts?  
  1. Which mod once owned and operated a used bookstore, and is a US Army veteran?  
  1. Which mod’s first language was Spanish, but is not a Spanish or Brazlilian moderator? 
  1. Which mod is secretly an anxious mess who gets freaked out by spiders and undercooked meat, and was once a musician for a cult? 
  1. Which mod was homeless as a teenager, and moved in with three bikers? 
  1. Which mod has not watched television in twenty years? 
  1. Which mod was born in India, and whose family, as a result of loan sharks, were forced to flee to the United States with less than $100?  
  1. Which mod dresses almost exclusively in black, and has two pet parrots?  
  1. Which mod is a state certified 4H judge who used to own a muscle car which they enjoyed driving at 120 mph?  
  1. Which mod has a degree in Administration, is currently working on two other degrees, and wrote a monograph on ‘Digital Marketing in the Free To Play Games Market?’  
  1. Which mod is fascinated by crystals, never wears shoes, and had the same dorm room as Stephen King? 
  1. Which mod started in seminary school before becoming an information security professional and hobby farmer?  
  1. Which mod is 50% Lebanese, used to be a singer in a band, and has a Drafting Design degree but has never worked in that field before?  
  1.  Which mod is a Canadian software engineer, but always wanted to be an architect when growing up?  
  1. Which mod was a gymnast in their youth, worked in Psycho-Geriatrics for over fifteen years, and was a guitarist in an amateur band?  
  1. Which mod works in bank security? 

Answers

  1. J
  2. L
  3. Q
  4. H
  5. I
  6. K
  7. O
  8. F
  9. D
  10. A
  11. P
  12. G
  13. C
  14. E
  15. M
  16. B
  17. N

A welcome back to Ryan!

So what’s new in Otterland?  How about:  we are so excited to once more have back in our fold, albeit part-time on a subcontracting basis and working remotely in a different country, a former Otter!  She is a brilliant artist and exceptional young woman who many of you long-time V&H players might remember, not just through her outstanding work, but also as an active player in the game who was a friend to many.  Everyone, please welcome back, Ryan!

And now how about this for a real life fairy tale V&H story?  Ryan just got married last month to her partner of many years, whom she first met in her guild on US1, when he was a Villagers & Heroes player!  Congratulations, to the newlyweds!  This game truly does create lasting bonds for so many.  🙂

Ryan first joined Mad Otter, fresh out of art college, back in 2014, and quickly became a vital member of our team.  To rattle off all of the outfits in this game that she designed and created is an impossibility, because there are simply too many to list.  Suffice to say, I doubt there is a player out there today who doesn’t have a Ryan creation, or twenty or thirty, in their wardrobe slots right at this moment.

But designing outfits is just one of her many talents!  The statue of Starry Knight, for example, up near the entrance to Ardent Castle, was created entirely by Ryan, and in fact set the precedent, and was the inspiration for, the Fallen Heroes Memorial which was later implemented as a result. 

But perhaps one of the most exciting additions introduced to the game by Ryan, way back when, are the unique personality animation poses that so many of you are rediscovering for your characters today.  (Yes, we finally got that bug fixed!)  A gifted 3D animator, Ryan created each of those distinct poses, which perfectly capture, with much color and originality, such personalities as Glamorous, Pious, Brutish, Heroic, and all the rest.  (And sometime, if any of you bump into Ryan in-game, feel free to ask her about the creation process for those animations.  Hint:  it involved beer, a video camera, and a gathering of slightly inebriated Otters at Diet’s house one night, each of whom performed, for Ryan, in lively charade-like fashion, their own interpretations of the different poses.)  🙂

So just what has Ryan, who now resides in Canada and works as a graphic designer and laser operator, been specifically tasked with doing for Mad Otter upon her return?  Advertising!  And she has wasted no time, plunging right into it.  Ryan took a silly little script of Sarah’s and has just turned it into this.  Have a look!