Forum Moderator
Platform
PC
#21
Being a rather new player to V&H, started begin February with playing, I am amazed with the amount of support players show towards this game in these difficult times. It took a while for me to find out what happened, since I suddenly no longer could log in. After a while I finally found this forum and found out what happened. I already liked the game enough to spend some $, to buy the 6 months premium thing (is called different here I think, but don't remember the right name). I especially liked the dual nature of the game and the fact that there is no pvp. Being here and seeing the enormous amount of support only strengthen me to continue to play this game.
Thank you for the livestream that I unfortunately can't see on the time it is live, but always watch later; and thank you very much Nadiria for these notes that make it easier to follow everything that was important or interesting in the livestream.
Welcome to V and H. I hope you get as much pleasure from it as I have done over the years.
 
Characters
Layla Littlenymph
Platform
PC, Steam
Last edited
#22
Welcome to the game @Ayotloz
It's nice to see someone that 'gets it' when it comes to why some of us have been here for so long. Would you mind sharing what server you wound up on?

*EDIT: Lol! Nevermind. If I had bothered to look I would have seen you tagged yourself as US3. I play a good deal on that server and look forward to seeing you in the game at some point. :)

You get a little better at these with each edition, @Nadiria
This last one [Thursday - 21st] was the best one yet. I'm aware of how much time it takes to put something like this together and genuinely appreciate your efforts.
 

Nadiria

Adventurer
Platform
iOS
#23
Welcome to the game @Ayotloz
It's nice to see someone that 'gets it' when it comes to why some of us have been here for so long. Would you mind sharing what server you wound up on?

*EDIT: Lol! Nevermind. If I had bothered to look I would have seen you tagged yourself as US3. I play a good deal on that server and look forward to seeing you in the game at some point. :)

You get a little better at these with each edition, @Nadiria
This last one [Thursday - 21st] was the best one yet. I'm aware of how much time it takes to put something like this together and genuinely appreciate your efforts.
Thank you for your kind words! :) The first two I was just hyper-focused on getting the info out there; now that things have kind of settled a bit, I'm taking more time to transcribe as much as I can.

I am very thankful that I have a way to help our community, even a little bit. :)
 

Nadiria

Adventurer
Platform
iOS
#24
Being a rather new player to V&H, started begin February with playing, I am amazed with the amount of support players show towards this game in these difficult times. It took a while for me to find out what happened, since I suddenly no longer could log in. After a while I finally found this forum and found out what happened. I already liked the game enough to spend some $, to buy the 6 months premium thing (is called different here I think, but don't remember the right name). I especially liked the dual nature of the game and the fact that there is no pvp. Being here and seeing the enormous amount of support only strengthen me to continue to play this game.
Thank you for the livestream that I unfortunately can't see on the time it is live, but always watch later; and thank you very much Nadiria for these notes that make it easier to follow everything that was important or interesting in the livestream.
I hope to see you soon on US3! I play on iOS too, so holler if you ever have any questions :)
 
Likes: Ayotloz
Characters
Enz0, JoanaaBr
Platform
Android, PC
#25
Because I do not understand English, I do not understand the lives... Nadiria you have been a fairy godmother to me, I will be eternally grateful. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
 

Nadiria

Adventurer
Platform
iOS
Last edited
#27
PAGE 2 - LIVESTREAM NOTES ARCHIVE
(February 22 through February 25)

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 21 2 pm pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Cameron & Ivar were on camera
Sarah was in chat

Cameron: Surprise! We’re not Damon! (We can hear the game music in the background.)

First things first: Server update
We *are* making headway and we *are* moving forward. Just not at the speed the Otters hoped for. In fact it’s probably not going to be this weekend. We will have livestreams Saturday and Sunday, and Damon may have more information for you. Its such a bummer to have the servers still down, but we are still working on it. It was a little easier to keep working yesterday after the delicious fruit! (Referencing the fruit basket delivered during yesterday’s live stream that was sent anonymously by a Player)

And, "The Book" opened today! I hope you all have enjoyed reading that! Sometimes, Sarah even keeps secrets from the other Otters! Sarah did an awesome job, and we will be rolling out future chapters every Friday, one chapter a week!

Cameron and Ivar announce that we are all doing an interactive project, Otters & Players together! Ivar explains that we are all designing a new outfit. Players will come up with ideas about what the outfit should look like and then over the weekend, a poll will be posted to vote on, and then on MONDAY’S LIVESTREAM we will create the outfit live! When the next build goes live, everyone gets the outfit for free! Start thinking about ideas for outfits, and we will discuss this again later in this livestream.

Another fun thing today was our “Coffee Walk”. Every day the Otters walk together down to a local coffee shop, and so Cameron shot video to show us what the daily Otter Coffee Walk looks like, since they can’t really livestream that. (Check 5:58 in the livestream to see the embedded video) Cameron wears the coveted blue Otter hoodie! Everyone gets bundled up, and walks over to the shop. We see them walk by a flower shop and a bookstore, past a sushi shop and a Korean noodle bowl place… They go to the same coffee shop every day; Full City Coffee. Typically everyone goes in to get coffee, and Cameron stays outside because he doesn’t get coffee, and Sarah will stay with Cameron if she goes along. If you buy 16 coffees, you get a free one! They walk back to the office, and unlock the door (security to prevent homeless people from living in the walls) On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, they have a team meeting after the coffee walk. That’s what an Otter Coffee walk looks like!

Let’s do more Q&A - put your questions in chat, and we will try to get to them. We also scoured the Forums to see what has not been answered already. Then we will have some preview stuff as well.

First question is about linking items in trade chat: That’s a great idea, we love that idea. We think we will probably do this at some point. So you could craft a sword, upgrade it, gnog it, and then link it in the chat so that others can see exactly what it is. We think that’s a great idea and would love to do that sometime in the future.

There were comments about aggro, that’s something we definitely want to fine tune going forward - some people messaged Cameron that’s its mainly wizards and mainly Mana Fire. Creates huge amounts of damage and aggro, pulls away from the tank, causes chaos. This is what I’m hearing from players, wondering it you feel that way too? There may be some changes to Mana Fire, probably not a nerf, but probably be a side change so that exact case can’t happen as much. Probably a little bit of buffing on Warriors threat generation and also there’s going to be (in the upcoming build) some tweaks to damage from enemies, some monster damage. It won’t affect regular monster, bounties, or venerable bounties, it will affect anything that does damage in the dungeons. Dungeon creatures will do more damage, the warriors should easily be able to maintain that damage, but squishier classes pulling aggro will have a harder time. It lets the warrior tank be put back in perspective. Elder bosses also will get this fairly steep damage, only to the tank. We haven’t quite implemented that and tweaked it but we want the warriors to feel important because they are important.

Cameron’s wife visited the chat today :). Hi Sofie!

Question: 2 seater mounts? I don’t think that will happen any time soon. That will require new art, new tech, but it’s not a “First class” issue right now. It will be a lot of work for a little bang, so it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.
Question about chat channels blinking when there are new messages. Ivar says that is going to be improved on mobile, but not PC. (In chat it appears to be both PC and mobile players that experience the blinking as annoying)
Question: when/if will there be new dungeons in the future? Yes, there will be, but we can’t say for now when they will be. Paired with that question - How many pairs of boots, gloves and trinkets can one have at level 90? Thats because every set of dungeons have a specific reward. When the next set of dungeons launch, it won’t have same set of rewards; it will have a different set of items to work for. Can’t say when the new dungeons will launch right now.
Question: Can loot be dropped directly into bags? Especially when in a party? Otters have talked about having a “loot all” feature but not sure when that will happen. If people are in a party and don’t pick up loot, Otters don’t want the interface to overcome a social issue. Otters dont’ want to add a feature that chat can resolve; you can still roll dice for items if you want using chat interface.
Question: In future patches can you make it so that crafting can be specialized and not random? No, that’s just kind of how it is, it’s random.
Question: any adjustments to the dropped craft items in the marshlands? No, but check out yesterdays livestream for the drop rate.
Question: Are some random stats more common that others? There are green stats and blue stats. Epic stats never drop on uncommon gear or below. If it drops from the ground vs. if its crafted also makes a difference.
Question: Can we please have a dungeon that is the equivalent of a bunny slope? Definitely in he future we want to have it so that players can be more casual about dungeons or more hard core. Not in the next build.
Question: Will there be an April fools prank in the game this year? We won’t tell you till after the fact!

There was a comment that the NPC voices are horrific? Cameron disagrees, we have our NPC voices professionally voiced, we hire actors, Sarah usually takes the lead on that, we will not be re-doing voices. Another comment was the music needs to be better… Ivar is a composer, most of the trailers are his music! They also source all the game music from a composer who posts all his music for free, and only asks for credit, so people will say “Oh I heard the game music here or there” and that’s because it’s free, as long as you give the composer credit. You can open the credits in the game, and scroll down and see all of his titles that are used in game. Someone asked for the option to skip tracks, you can try to use the letter “N” (for next) to skip tracks. The idea of a jukebox for the music has been discussed before, but it’s not a priority right now.

It’s a small, weird teaser today because it ties into the outfit, and at the very end of the livestream there will be another preview. Underwear! The male underwear today - not the female underwear yet. This is also for collaboration, to get feedback. The goal is to keep it the general style but improve it. Nothing fancy, just the same style and basic color but they look a bit more detailed and little less “dirty” in the rear. Feel free to suggest colors in chat. Black, white and red suggested. One thing that may be in the future will be the ability to buy and use different underwear, if there is interest in that. Chat suggestions: a union suit, different fabrics. Ivar wants to keep the underwear kind of appropriate for the game; kind of rough fabric, basic. The female underwear is quite different and will be previewed in the future.

It’s time to talk more about the collaborative outfit. There will be a post on the Forums to leave your ideas, then a poll to vote, and then on Monday we will all see it made live during the livestream! Everyone will get this outfit for free in the next expansion. It needs to be classless, and there will be two variants for male and female. It will be for all characters on your account. Cameron and Ivar show us a “mesh” which is an example of how outfits in the game are designed. It shows the actual 3D model on the left, the “texture” of the outfit in the middle (which a flattened version of the outfit) and then the textured model on the right which is how the texture looks on the 3D model. The collaborative outfit will take current existing items from the in-game clothing and change them around to make something new. Ideas in chat include: we want pants. Kilts (Camerons says it might not be doable) Talking less about shape, and more about theme - even color themes. Ivar explains how the Otters usually design an outfit. Old west, LOTR, hooded assassin, elvish, masquerade, fairy with fire glow, Pirates all suggested. Steampunk-ish might be doable, Mad Max could be cool. Cameron wants more fantasy outfits, as does Ivar. Vampires, Shakespeaer/Victorian England, butterflies, demon, Van Helsing or WItchhunter are more suggestions. Harem pants were requested, as was a dragon outfit. Can’t really have an “aura” but the outfit *could* glow. A genie, a unicorn onesie, furries were more ideas. Can’t do copyrighted themes like Star Wars. Can do male/female outfits differently; they don’t have to “match” just complement each other. This will be a full set outfit. Tattooed sleeves would be hard - doable but difficult. Hard to figure out how to fit them into the game. Maybe kind of Tribal. Ivar suggested also a ghostly/transparent possibility. Could trinkets be visible on the character? Not currently because the trinkets have not yet been rendered, currently they are all just icons. It will take a long time to get everything rendered. (Same for rings, amulets, etc.) Another request is for quivers. “Something to make us look like an animal”. A post on the Forums will collect ideas, and then a poll over the weekend, and then Monday we will all design it together during the livestream!

For the teaser/preview: another talent/ultimate combo reveal! Ivar will give us a trivia question and the winner picks which combo we see today. Ivars trivia question is “What is Ivar’s favorite video game of all time?”. Otto gets it right, and picks Holy Priest to preview.

We preview the new talent/ultimate combo for Holy priest. The Talent is called “Righteousness” with an ultimate called “Heavens Prayer”. Casting a holy spell gives you a mark of Righteousness. Basically it’s a reward for casting holy spells. Cast enough spells and it restores some of your health and mana, and you gain holy power. Its straight holy power, so it’s more powerful. It does not give you more health/mana, just restores what you have. The main thing here is the “marks”; they don’t have a timer, so they last. When you cast Restore you get Mark of Righteousness. The ultimate is Heavens Prayer. Restore and Holy Bolt will chain, and seek up to two new targets after your initial target. Cameron demos it briefly, and it hits the target and looks almost like it bounces off and hits two others nearby. So it makes Restore more useful because it will seek out other similar targets as well; every time you heal one target with Restore, it will also seek two other targets. You can also Restore yourself, and then heal two other allies, or heal an ally and there is a chance it will rebound on to you as one of the two others. The two other targets are generated randomly, there is no controlling where the “extra” two targets are. Holy Bolt did get a slight update to it’s animation as well.

This is our stopping point. The Otters will keep us posted on everything as always, including how the collaborative outfit will be working. Post up ideas on the Forums. There will be another livestream tomorrow and Sunday at 2pm. Next week, we may switch the time to earlier to help our folks in Europe.

Thank you guys so much! We love hanging out with you! Thank you Ivar for hanging out with us today! See you soon!

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 23 2 pm pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Cameron, Damon & Sarah were on camera
Ivar & Sarah were in chat

Sarah brought pizza for the office today. Everyone is in the office today, except for Ivar who is working from home, but is with us in chat. Bonus: the (plush/stuffed) Otter has the balloons tied to its paw and is comfy in the corner :) More good news - Cameron has emptied his trash can!

Damon starts us off with an update on the servers by going through the action plan. We are still on #7 - Install all servers and configure all machines. Step #9 basically got rolled into #7, so it’s now check marked! Because #7 is so complex and has so much going on, Damon has broken it down further for us, so we can see exactly where the process is. Now under #7, we also see:
  • ✅Find or reconstruct the authentication log in server
  • ✅Makes sure the code runs
  • ✅Make sure it’s visible to the internet
  • ✅Make sure login works
  • ✅Make sure change password works
  • ✅Make sure forgot password works
  • Creating the game server
  • Cloning 5x for all shards and 9x for all zone cluster servers
  • ✅Certificates (listed, with a green check mark, but not discussed by Damon)
Damon says that this is what had us really troubled from the beginning. This stuff wasn’t safely backed up, as was the entire auth web server, and because there’s a whole configuration on it, this is what scared us right away. Luckily It has largely been reconstructed at this point. Damon goes through and check marks everything down to “Creating the game server”

Otters are hoping to have step #7 done by Monday, and will keep going on with the other steps. Damon is not going to promise it will be live next week, but he has a feeling we will be. Certainly by the end of the month. It looks like total downtime will be 2 weeks. For Otters, it’s really good news because there were a lot of unknowns; they didn’t know if the code still existed, or if they would have to completely rewrite. Otters are in good spirits and are making progress! Cameron points out that through the process, some of the missing holes they had in the code repository have been filled, so it’s actually been beneficial.

Cameron and Damon talk about the Forums: Everyone is having withdrawals and might be feeling down, but we see that there is a little bit of “snippiness” or crankiness and we understand, but we want to encourage everyone to try and remain positive. We appreciate all of those people who are remaining positive. We appreciate those who try to defend the Otters and the Game, but some of those conversations have snowballed out of control kind of into more negativity, so we just want to make a callout to EVERYONE to keep positive on the Forums and try not to engage in snippy or nasty conversations. Sarah added that they know that everyone is getting frustrated and are unhappy, but to please tone down the name calling on the Customer Support tickets! There is a real person on the other side of that ticket; they don’t just go to a nameless, faceless machine. Real people with FEELINGS read those tickets, so please remember that. Cameron reiterates that we all try to remain positive and remember that being grumpy isn’t going to get the servers up or the game going any faster. Damon says that the community - overall - has been amazing and supportive and positive, they just want to address the negativity that they have seen popping up on the Forums.

Let’s talk about getting everyone a Zone Fix today - folks are having withdrawals from the game, so let’s get a little “fix” and visit a zone today! We can listen to the music, and watch Cameron move around in a zone. First, we went to The Drom, using a developer tool that let’s Cameron “fly” the camera. (Starts at 00:12:40) The flying is very smooth, and during the visit to The Drom, Cameron discusses the “floating lagoon” at the top. Next stop is Traven. It’s the first zone that Cameron ever did on his own! He started working on Wizard Labs, then worked on Shiverspine a bit, and then did Traven on his own. We are flying through Traven on a broomstick right now, but then switch to the Dev mode “flycam”. Cameron says his wife does not like the fairies in Traven! When Traven was launched the level cap was 55. Originally the Traven zones were supposed to be “Traven Day” and “Traven Night”, but were changed. Cameron hopes to get to come back and fix up Traven some more in the future. For our last stop, we will visit a high level zone - Turnapin. We arrive in Turnapin, and Cameron’s toon is instantly wiped out by a monster! After a quick Voltan’s, we are back and Cameron takes the toon to safety. Turnapin was one of the first zones to have actual snowflakes visible. Sadly, not every snowflake is unique, there are about half-a-dozen different snowflake patterns, but it’s better than the “snow dots” there were originally used in Shiverspine. We galloped around for a bit, and then Cameron took us up to a peak, and we sat there and looked down over the forest, and listened to the game music while we chatted and Cameron answered questions.

Next is questions and answers from both the Forum and the livestream chat.

Question: Is the flycam a dev thing? Absolutely, it’s how they build the world
Question: The snow on the tree trunks is beautiful. That was a touch up that Cameron did
Question: Will we ever be able to see our toons birthday date in-game? Perhaps someday, probably through an in-game chat command (like /birthday) and that might be doable. Cameron adds it to the list.
Question: Can you add waypoints to the map? Cameron asks for them to elaborate. Waypoints being custom markers like quest markers but placed manually. Possibly.
Question: Can we ever inspect other players gear? Possibly, it sounds like a neat social feature. Might pair well with the item-linking in chat. Cameron puts that on the list of possible future stuff.
Question: Can we get Traven swimwear? Maybe in the future. Those are bit harder to do on a character because of skin color; Everyone can pick a different skin color for their toon, so it makes it tricky. Internally these kinds of problems are called “skin tech” and that would have to be resolved.
Question: Is there a chance that we will be able to see our weapons right away when we get through the portal? That’s a bug from Starfall, and it’s on the list, but not high up.
Question: Voiced dialog is great in quest- will you be adding more? Yes. Every time we add content, we try to add more voiced dialog.
Question: Lots of talk about shields and shield slots - we would love to see quivers for hunters. It’s kind of complicated, but it probably won’t happen.
Question: Can you show the Otter outfit? People have been asking on the forums. Yes! Here is it.
1550985023760.png
(Editors Note: 😍😍😍)

Question: Will the marshland gems be used for 90+level recipes? Not sure exactly what will happen to those recipes once the level cap is raised.
Question: Can you fix the selling on mobile, it jumps up and down as you are selling? There is a ticket on that, no ETA
Question: When the servers are back up, will all the players who had toons/alts prior to Feb 13 have lost their names/friends/guilds? No. Everything will be just as it was prior to Feb 14. No one will lose anything.
Question: When can Android players get better video like on the PC - maybe Otters can use the pause in the game to make the graphics better for Android? No, the people who could do that are busy getting the game restored. Basically it comes down to the (way that graphics use) lighting, and PCs use advanced lighting, and mobile devices use basic lighting. Maybe eventually, but not now, it’s not a priority.
Question: Will the housing (rental) counter roll back when the servers come back on and we all lose our houses? No. When the servers come back on, it will be like nothing happened. If by some chance that does, Otters WILL fix it.
Question: Can the compensation package include extra supply crates to offset those losses? Cameron adds that to his notes
Question: Will the compensation be soul bound or account bound? Depends on the item, but probably account bound
Question: about the Volatile Poison talent - it increases straight critical damage but not brutality. When you get to 50 stacks it explodes and you lose it, so your critical damage will flux up and down.
Question: When can we go in our houses? It’s not a priority right now; we have discussed this in other recent livestreams

Cameron says that in the forums there has been discussion about MMOs and particularly being solo vs. group, and elder bosses. First of all, just because it’s an MMO, you don’t have to play socially. It can be fun to play solo, but just appreciate the live world around you. V&H tries to strike that balance, where you can play solo or with friends and/or a guild. The exception is Elders - that’s a group dynamic and one idea that the Otters have had for a while is potentially bringing level scaling to Elders. If that was implemented, there would be level scaling in compensation as well however, so that level 90s would still benefit from helping level 30s. It would only be scaling DOWN, not up - so that higher level players who help lower levels get bosses don’t just take all the game play out of the boss fight. Not sure if/when that will happen, just taking community feedback for now.

Question: Will you do upcoming livestreams earlier for European players? We have done a whole week of 2 pm, so we are going to go to 11am PST for next weeks livestreams so that our folks in Europe do not have to stay up so late for these livestreams

Question: Is there another shared vault in the works? Not currently, it’s a great idea, but not sure when
Question: Can we have another bag of inventory space? Not right now.
Question: Can we have a toy bag? Otters agree it’s a great idea but not a priority
Question: Will we ever have time stamps in chat? That’s more of an Ivar thing but Cameron doesn’t think its in the plans. V&H does not have persistent chat, so it may not be as useful
Question: How about a few more perks for Ardent Society members? Otters are always looking for ways to make Ardent Society more interesting and compelling to members. One suggestion from chat is an increased percentage of supplies for AS members. Cameron said that there are plans for compensating AS members for the days of membership that are missed, and they are trying to make it very generous. More details probably next week on that. Another chat question: what about giving extra watering pitchers or miracle water every month? Also, Cameron asked the community to consider what aspects of AS aren’t compelling and could be changed or eliminated?
Question: Does chocolate help reduce stress? Cameron made a whole bowl of chocolate pudding last night, and then forgot to eat it! So he had pudding with his breakfast!
Question: What percent of the upcoming expansion has been revealed so far? From Damon: There are 3 major features, 3 medium features, and a whole slew of minor stuff. We have been told 1 teeny tiny bit of the major features and 1 tiny bit of the medium features (the new talent/combos), there is a LOT that the community doesn’t know yet, but will!

Cameron thought it would be fun (in the future) to do a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story time, maybe some time in the next few livestreams!

And for the last item of the day, Cameron asks Sarah to help with the trivia question - Sarah’s question is “Who is her favorite Game of Thrones” character. Skaaveek answers correctly, and he gets to choose… the talent/ultimate combo reveal for Fire Wizard.

Cameron shows the updated character selection screen backdrops (for PC) from the next build, Ivar has updated the art for mobile as well.

Fire Wizard new talent/ultimate combo is Volcanic Blast and Combustion. Volcanic Blast: after casting a Fireball spell you have a chance to have the next Fireball cast (within the next 15 seconds) be upgraded to a Volcanic Blast. Volcanic Blast are doubled in size and stun the enemy on impact. Players can decide then when to use Fireball to make sure that Volcanic Blast is used to best effect. The player glows and there is a large fireball, bigger explosion, shakes the camera, does extra damage, stuns the target, and new sound effect. Looking at the ultimate, Combustion now has a chance to cause the target to combust again and subsequent combust can cause combustion again - up to 5x. So one combust can actually hit up to 5 times, with huge damage. The extra “future” combusts don’t cost mana. There is a visual that allows you to see how many combusts were fired. Combust pairs really really well with the new Mindspark!

Tomorrows stream will be Damon & Sarah - the history of the origin of V&H concept
Monday will be Ivar and you all will be making the new outfit during the livestream!
And we are all working our hardest to get the game back up!

Thanks again for hanging out with us - we love you all! Damon and Sarah popped back in to say goodbye to everyone. See you again tomorrow!

SUNDAY FEB 24 2 pm pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Damon & Sarah were on camera
Cameron was in chat

(Editor's Note: There was a 1 minute, 41 second long “test” stream that aired approximately 30 minutes prior to this livestream event. Because it was a test, there will be no separate transcript of that event. If there was a transcript, it would mostly be Damon with a huge set of headphones on saying things like “HELLO! I can’t hear anything and I can’t see anything! I guess it’s these headphones! Hello!”. )

Damon & Sarah are here today - Welcome to Day 10 of the outage! The busy week is about to begin next week! Let’s have an update.
Damon has amended Step #7 again to add more detail. From the substep: Create the server image, he has added these:
  • ✅Create the image - we can log into the login screen now! (Done)
  • Set the Firewalls & ports correctly
  • Cloning
Someone asked: What is a shard? What you might call a “server”, the Otters call a “Shard”. US1 is a shard, US2 is a shard, US3 is a shard, EU1 is a shard, EU2 is a shard and so on. We call them a “shard” because they are copies of the world. Each shard has 9 VMs (Virtual Machines, another topic for another day) which are like zone cluster servers. There are database servers and web servers and zone cluster servers. On each VM to run a shard you need 9 VMs (across 5 shards = 45 servers total).

So once there is one VM set up completely, each of the servers on that shard will be cloned 4 more times, (with 9 servers per shard). It’s a way to save time, and make sure that everything is deployed exactly the same. Otters have everything ready for tomorrow - it’s a big day! It’s been crazy hard what our programmers have had to do, they have had to recreate everything. Hopefully we start testing in a minimal fashion tomorrow and a maximum fashion after that, and then it’s restore databases with everyone’s characters and THEN test and fix and then turn the game on, and we will probably have to fix and test some more! Progress is being made!

(Editor's Note: ) Damon is wearing the coolest moose t-shirt ever today. The moose is riding a bike, with sunglasses on!

How V&H came to be: All the way back to the origins! Sarah’s big job today is to hold up signs! The first one is: DRAMBAR’S SECRET.

When Damon was in High School (1979-80), he got into these little board games by game designer Steve Jackson (he holds up the examples) that are little packets of paper that cost about $3US. When you opened it, it had a paper board to play on, and a sheet of tokens and game pieces to cut out, and the rules. One of the reasons that Damon liked them so much was because you could play by yourself; you didn’t need friends to play. Damon was in chess club with Richard Garfield, who went on to create "Magic: the Gathering" (card game)!

When Damon was playing these paper board games, he had a character named “Drambar”. He was a wizard. Damon got a computer and got interested in writing games himself. He wanted to do either a sci-fi game, or a wizarding game - and he used his Apple II to write his first game. After while he got more into 3D graphics and Sci-Fi, and went down that road. “Drambar’s Secret” was basically his high school year.

Then in about 1991 or 92, he was walking by someones office and the guy was playing a game on his computer. He asked the guy what he was playing, and the answer was that he was playing a fantasy game with his friends on the internet! Damon was amazed, and asked him “So you can go kill a dragon with your friends?” And the guy said “Yeah, we’re going to go do that tonight!” Damon was excited because prior to that, those kind of games were always single-player. The game was called “Kingdom of Drakkar” (never affiliated with V&H or the Otters) and it was a MUD: A Multi-User Dungeon game. You went from room to room, and it was all text based originally. “Kingdom of Drakker” was what Damon considers to be the first MMO. It was 2D game play. Damon was working at Dynamics at this point. “Everquest” came out and it was certainly capable of what Dynamics and Damon could have done, but Damon was busy making WWI combat games. There were a lot of design problems in those early MMOs. What bothered Damon about “Everquest” was the box said “Youre in OUR world now”, and Damon wanted that point of view to be changed to where it was the PLAYERS world. That philosophy was carried into V&H.

Damon left the industry. He met Sarah after he worked after Dynamics. At that time he was studying chess 24/7, and Damon finally decided to get back into games because he loved it. He ran into his old partner from Dynamics as he was walking in a crosswalk, and his partner said “Hey I want to make a game, do you want to make a game?” And Damon said “Hey I want to make a game too!” And Damon was basically funded to make a fantasy game at that point. The working title for this game was “Invius Obscurus”. Damon never intended for that to be anything but a working title; it basically was meant to mean “into the impenetrable unknown”. Years before, there was a game that Damon bought for his Apple II called “Temple of Abshi” that was basically going room to room fighting and killing all of these ants (insects). At the end of the game, there’s just another room, and it’s full of ant eggs! And that’s it! Damon felt ripped off - he didn’t want that to ever be an experience for anyone playing one of his games. And that was just the end; it didn’t work because you got to the end, and there was nothing there, no depth. And Damon would get that feeling over and over with different games; the promise is there, but in the end it’s nothing. Back to “Invius Obscurus” So, during this time they started (as a joke) to put “idge” on the end of everything. So they thought, maybe the game shouldn’t be so serious it should be more funny… and so the working title became “The Age of Idge” and “Idge” was going to be a great wizard; they thought it would be fun and viral. “Up across the bridge, up on a high ridge, was the village of Idge…” There was also a town called “edge” (which was on a ledge) and it was meant to bring a lighter feel to the game.

Then Damon got inspired because when he starts on a game, he goes and plays all the other games: "Guild Wars", "World of Warcraft", even "Club Penguin", and "Animal Crossing" are just some of the titles. All of them did really well, and each one had a huge user base. He was trying to see what people liked about each game; Damon like the hardcore combat that "WOW" had, but he also liked the strategy from the original paper board games he played. And he liked the gardening aspect of “Animal Crossing” and “Harvest Moon”. Here is where we first see the title of “Villagers and Heroes”. It made it tough because now Damon had to figure out how to balance both sides; He didn’t want the villagers to be second-class citizens, he didn’t want anyone in his game to be a second-class citizen. Over time, the idea of the Village became more and more important, and Damon wanted it to feel a little bit more magical. They started building it before “Free Realms” but it took longer to build. Damon wanted to ultimately name it “Enchanted Realms” because he wanted the Villages to be more magical and enchanted. “Free Realms” came out, and then they couldn’t use the “Enchanted Realms” name because of that. His partners in Germany wanted to pick a name that would float to the top of Alphabetical lists, and additionally, the word “Villagers” is not really a German word, and so they liked “A Magical Land”. Damon liked it, but he felt that to an english-speaking ear, it sounded weird (“Magical Land” sounded better, as opposed to “A Magical Land”.) Damon did some research, and found out there was already a game called “A Magical Land” in China. So, the game was changed to “A Mystical Land”. Sarah tells us that they are still (to this day) trying to change the title on their Facebook page (it still shows “A Mystical Land” as well as the Villagers & Heroes title!). Damon really liked AML for a title, but it kind of missed the core of the game, and so eventually he took over the game completely, and the game went BACK to being called “Villagers and Heroes” and that’s where we are today.

Next, Damon does a semi-choreographed “dance” with the papers to a Bob Dylan song (see 00:38:20) which was funny because he got his papers/titles out of order, and both Damon and Sarah got the giggles!

At one point, there was a working title called “Wiki World” - Damon thought that the point of Wikis is that anyone can touch and/or change the content. The Villages were supposed to be like that. It’s an example of how Damon sometimes uses a working title to make his brain more inspired or focused about certain aspects of a game. There were some quotes that inspired Damon as well; one of them was “You get big by letting the mighty and the small gather on your lawn”. Damon took that to mean “This game is YOUR world - here’s our lawn, we are just hosts”. Sarah said it’s like “If you build it, they will come”. You want to go to a place where everyone knows you! Those are some of the more broad, high level inspirations for the game; there’s a lot more details (for another day).

Damon is only one piece of Mad Otter - everyone is part of the shared vision. Sarah’s story, Cameron’s designs, Ivar’s UI work, it’s all a team collaborative vision. When it works right, it’s magical.

Sarah wants to give away dragons! Soonish, the game will be up, and the winners will get them when the game is back up! Winners get to pick the dragon of their choice! Try not to google the answers; it takes the fun out! The topic: Academy Awards history, in honor of The Oscars on TV tonight!

- First question: There are 5 awards that collectively are known as “The Big 5” (Best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actor, best actress) 3 films have won all 5 - “It Happened One Night” (1935), “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” (1975) and to win the dragon, name the third film (hint: early 90’s) Answer: “The Silence of the Lambs“ (won by RealmSkipper)
- Second question: What is the name of the movie character (first name, last name) in which 2 different actors played the same character in 2 different movies. Answer: Vito Coreleone (won by Braveshoe)
- Third question: Remember Heath Ledger: He received his Oscar posthumously, there is only one other actor who also received an Oscar posthumously? Name the actor and the movie: Peter Finch & “Network”. (Won by Wes_stern)
- Bonus trivia question for fun - no dragon :( In the 1980s, only 1 British actor took home the Oscar for best actor, who was it? Answer: Sir Ben Kingsley for “Ghandi”. (Jazz won the bonus - no dragon!)

Congrats to our dragon winners!

TOMORROWS LIVESTREAM IS 11:OO AM PST

Ivar will create the outfit during tomorrows live steam - be sure to vote on the outfit in the Forums!

Thanks again everyone! Day 10 is over! See you all tomorrow! Bye everyone!

MONDAY FEB 25 2 pm pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Cameron & Puppers on camera
SPECIAL “SNOWPACALYPSE” LIVESTREAM AT CAMERONS HOUSE!

(Editor’s Note: Sadly, because of the snowstorm in Eugene, OR (home of the Otters) Ivar will not be joining us as planned today. Ivar has put up a post on the Forum, asking for more input on how the wining outfit should look; if you have a chance please check it out. Ivar (and most of the staff) are home, as the local police department is discouraging travel, and asking everyone to stay off the roads unless it’s absolutely necessary.)

But, Cameron is going to livestream with us for a while - from his snowy backyard - with his phone, in the middle of a snowstorm!

Things are a little bit crazy there - it’s a winter wonderland! This is a crazy amount of snow for the area; typically they get at least one dusting of snow, but so far this is well over a foot of snow, so this is nuts, In Eugene, they are not prepped for this amount of snow. Lots of folks without power; Cameron thinks that Damon and Sarah may have lost power at their house, and he thinks they are at the office. He’s not sure if Sarah made the trip, but Damon managed to get chains on his truck.

Cameron is on his phone, so this a whole new experience for all of us! It’s kind of crazy! He is joined today by a couple of his friends: Sophie & Bjorn! Sophie is not as fond of the cold and snow, so she’s going back inside. Bjorn is happy to play in the snow! They are both Pomerainians

Cameron wrote down (on paper) some questions from the forum to answer, and wlll also answer questions from chat.

First an update - Damon managed to get to the office. Ivar & Cameron are stuck at their houses, and will work from home, because the roads are too bad. And Liam *walked* to work, and he’s there working hard to get the servers back up and going. Cameron hit a HUGE milestone on Friday when he finished one of the major features of the new build! Today he moves on to one of the minor features - we Otters don’t even let the snow get us down, even if it’s crazy!

Cameron shows us the trees in his yard - they are all full of snow on the branches. A brief discussion of the history of the Pomeranian breed. We also get to watch the hummingbirds on the feeders on the back porch. Cameron’s wife loves to feed all the birds, and she made sure to thaw the hummingbird feeders today, and refill them, and then put out suet and feed for the other birds.

Otters are adaptable! Cameron wrote down some of the questions from the Forums to answer, and we will still have a small Q&A.

- Question: Someone was wanting merch, like the hoodies, but in the the meantime could we have wallpapers for mobile & pc desktop? Cameron thinks that’s a great idea; the Otters haven’t released a lot of wallpapers, it will probably be up to Ivar; not sure when it will happen because Ivar is kind of busy right now.
- Question: Somebody asked about Ardent Society; extra supplies would be great thing. The calendar rewards might be tricky, I’m not sure that could go through, but we should be able to up the supplies, and add some miracle waters; just a few things to “hone” the Ardent Society offerings. Someone else said we don’t want to make it so that the F2P players feel like they *have* to buy it in order to have a similar game experience so we want to keep a balance.
- Question: lots of talk about a “mentoring” program. We really like the idea of a mentoring program, and the Otters have talked in the past about having some sort of recruitment system where people recruit other players into the game, or you pair up after the fact, and there are rewards for both people. It is a great idea, and we appreciate those great ideas, even though went won’t be doing it now.
- Question: Can we have back the outfits we got for beginners? I really like the red armor. That is added back in the Zorian Marshlands at level 90. Everyone does have access to that late in the game.
- Question: Saved talent point configurations, where you could save a build or a load-out. How much are you guys doing that? How often do you swap points? Do we need a full load-out system, or could we just make something existing better, for example, a rapid way to spend points so that there isn’t as much clicking? Maybe just a way you could put 10 or 20 at a time? Cameron has noticed this as well because he does a lot of testing and moving points around, so maybe a load out or configuration as well. Paired with that question is another one about how the cost to reset Talent Points is too high. We don’t want the cost to prevent people from switching when needed; is that something that you guys are concerned about? Maybe we should reset the gold cost to do that. Maybe a discount for Ardent Society members? It’s expensive at level 90 for sure, but maybe we just need to reduce it across the board by about 20% or so, and maybe give Ardent Society a discount; although that might be a bit bigger project.
- Question: (more of a comment) Someone said they are really liking the livestreams because it shows the devs as “real humans”. We appreciate that - we are not just a computer program running the game, we are actual people with lives and families, and we also have our Otter family and our V&H family as well. As you can see, today is super off the book, just hanging in the backyard with the snow falling.
- Cameron saw in the chat where you all were talking about breaking down crafting items; thats’ actually one of the things he has on his list from the Forums. People do not like having to break stuff down; it gets tiresome and hard to do. A long time ago, there was a crafting recipe, but we (Otters) didn’t like that because It made crafting look harder than it was. There are other restrictions as well; just because you have a certain level fleece may not mean you have that level tailoring. It kind of gets tricky. Is this something that everyone *hates*? Cameron is not sure what could be done. Right now it goes from 8 to 10 on the ratio, but we could double that - so it would be half as many clicks, but you would then have to have 16 of an item to break it down. Generally, it would be a LOT less clicking for everyone. Cameron has it on his list, so the Otters can look at it.
- Someone else was asking about making the health bar on PC a double click? On PC they click it during battle, and open the Talent window accidentally during battle. Cameron has no idea how to fix that, it would probably be a Liam thing but right now he is busy fixing the server. Is that something a lot of people are having an issue with?

Sometimes with some problems we try to find a quicker, easier solution that is easy to implement; like changing the crafting items from 8/10 to 16/20; that can be done easily and implemented in the next build.

Any other questions? Can we have a block confirmation to avoid accidental block? Please write that up on the forum and explain a bit further what’s happening. Scroll bar for mounts? I think it’s in there, but maybe the setting is too high right now. Yes, there are new male faces as well as new faces for the females.

Cameron hopes we will be back to normal, streaming from the office, tomorrow! Cameron can’t really reveal anything today; not without really showing you! So no reveal today, but maybe we could do a contest instead and he will just give out a prize! We will have one little giveaway, since we couldn’t do a reveal or the new outfit. OK, we will do trivia based on what we just talked about! The first person to answer correctly will get any mount they want from the shop for free!

You must say all 3 things in the same chat message: What *kind* of dogs Cameron has, What their names are, and what type of dog were they bred down from? Answer: Pomeranian, Bjorn & Sophie, and bred from Sptiz (Lilly479 is the winner!)

OK thank you for hanging out today - hope to see you tomorrow, same time! (11:00 am PST)
 
Characters
Kookaburra, Kooky
Platform
PC
#28
My suggestion/request:
My suggestion/request:
Can loot be dropped directly into bags? Especially when in party. People hardly pick up loot when in party, and it goes to waste. Probably because they don't want to appear greedy or for other reasons, maybe they just don't want it. However, just not having that discussion ('can we please roll for scraps or xy" which will get ignored anyway) will save loads of time. So that everyone receives part of the loot, no matter what it is. (This is not a post about whether or not loot is valuable, this is a post about in game mechanics.)
And of course while soloing, I feel that I would enjoy playing much more without clicking on the ground till my fingers hurt after each kill. I think V&H is the only game I ever played where the option of auto-loot is unavailable.
Live Stream response:
If people are in a party and don’t pick up loot, Otters don’t want the interface to overcome a social issue. Otters dont’ want to add a feature that chat can resolve; you can still roll dice for items if you want using chat interface.
It's like only the first sentence of that request was read. I don't know how much clearer I can get.
.
I for one would not want this active at all - if it were a player option, I would not mind but I rarely pick up loot for a few reasons:
1) Bag space. Would it pick up until your bags are full and then stop? If so you would have to stop and clear out all of the detritus to make room for stuff you actually want.
2) I often run lower level zones in groups or with lower level players. I certainly do not want to fill my bag with level 40 wizard gear that I have absolutely no use for.
3) Honestly, I do not need any more pelts thank you.

But again, if it were an option I could turn off permanently, it would not bother me.
 

Panthera

Grand Priestess
Platform
Android, PC, Steam
#29
I for one would not want this active at all - if it were a player option, I would not mind but I rarely pick up loot for a few reasons:
1) Bag space. Would it pick up until your bags are full and then stop? If so you would have to stop and clear out all of the detritus to make room for stuff you actually want.
2) I often run lower level zones in groups or with lower level players. I certainly do not want to fill my bag with level 40 wizard gear that I have absolutely no use for.
3) Honestly, I do not need any more pelts thank you.

But again, if it were an option I could turn off permanently, it would not bother me.
What the otters said was along the line of Auto loot would only operate if you were running the zone Solo, so the running in a group would not auto loot. Agree if it was ever instituted it would either need to continue into your overflow or you would need an option to shut it off (though I think there would be since there is an option to select/deselect auto loot when gathering; it would likely be the same for combat auto loot).
 
Characters
Frostalite and Herocrusher
Platform
Android, PC
#33
Thank you Nadiria for all your hard work, these recaps are nice to read thru even if I watched the stream.
This was a fun stream. I remember the Melee and Wizard games, they were something ahead of their time I think. I also thought back in the day the company's name was pronounced DY-namix.
 

The Beer

Daggertooth
Characters
The Beer
Platform
PC
#34
was there mentoined where we will get more talent points for these new talents ? i can't find it in notes
 

Zazie

BRA Member
Royal Guardian
Characters
Zazie, Shiny, Skip, Auntie
Platform
PC
#36
was there mentoined where we will get more talent points for these new talents ? i can't find it in notes
Well no, there won't be additional talent points....You still have to earn them.

Basically, this means that level 90 players who have completed 5 rebirths will have more options of how to allocate their talent points, and if/when the 6th rebirth is added, those players won't run out of talents to put their talent points in! (I had nearly forgotten, but before Starfall, we used to have that problem all the time! You would have all these talent points, and you couldn't put them into anything or you couldn't put them into a talent you actually wanted to have.)
 

Nadiria

Adventurer
Platform
iOS
Last edited
#37
PAGE 3 LIVESTREAM NOTES
(Feb 26 through Feb 27)

TUESDAY FEB 26 11:30 am pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:

(EDITORS NOTE: Dues to the very technical nature of today's livestream, I have included relevant timestamps to help guide those who translate the notes to their native language, or for those who are unable to listen for any reason. This way, they can follow along while watching the livestream replay with the time stamps, and see the relevant information in conjunction with the Notes.)

Damon & Ivar were on camera
Damon, Sarah & Cameron were in chat

Damon started us off with an update - on both the snow & power outages in Eugene, as well as the game.

Cameron did the livestream yesterday from home - in the snow - and now he isn’t feeling well :(

Game update: step #7 - still. However, progress is being made - they have been able to log in to ONE empty “world” (shard) It’s running the real server, and it’s authenticating, allowing people to actually log in. Very good news! After this, it’s installing the user databases and then testing & fixing. Damon says “You never know you’re done until you are done”. He is *hopeful* for Thursday; could be as late as this weekend, but things are getting pretty close. Thanks for sticking with us!

Damon shows us video of driving in the snow, and also a picture of Sarah standing in front of a downed tree next to their house. They have no power at their home, so they are staying with family that does.

It’s Ivar time! We are live today from Ivar’s office. He has a beautiful plant - one that he thought was plastic for a long time. He showed us a picture of his snowy dog, and told us that she was not pleased with the snow!

Today we begin making the female version of the community-created outfit. We will NOT be making the entire outfit from scratch, but we will be using existing 3D models and use those to create a new outfit. Ivar explains that this is common in the game industry. First we look at existing models that we have in the game, and see what will work.
(00:11:12) There are shoes, gloves, torsos and hats.

Ivar asks if everyone wants to jump straight in, or have a crash course on how to make the outfit. Everyone votes for crash course! We are going to learn how game outfits are made.

(00:12:31) Ivar opens the 3D modeling software window for the program he uses. (Autodesk Maya).
(00:13:14) Ivar explains that 3D modeling is not too different from 3D sculpting. You bend and shape until you have what you.
(00:13:30) Ivar demonstrates a “vertex”
(00:13:35) Ivar shows an “edge” - an edge is the line that goes between 2 vertices
(00:13:38) Ivar shows a “face” - a face is the area inside the edges.
(00:14:07) Ivar shows us how he can grab points to drag it and make it longer/taller by adding edge and expanding faces. This is all just to help give you insight into how the modeling works. Ivar has used this program for 10 years, so he is very comfortable with it.
(00:16:20) Ivar explains that we can now “texture” our cube. A texture can be a pattern that you apply to the 3D item. Ivar has a brick texture that he will apply to the 3D cube. This is how we can apply a 2D or “flat” texture to a 3D item.
(00:17:21) He explains that we have to “flatten” the 3D cube. It’s like making a paper pattern of the cube that we will put the 2D brick texture on.
(00:17:32) You can see the “flattened” 3D item. The lines are like “fold” lines. When you mouse over the 3D cube, the corresponding section lights up on the flattened image and vice versa
(00:18:26) He applies the brick texture, and shows how you can shift the texture to change where the bricks are on the cube. This all super basic, but Ivar hopes we find it interesting. Moving forward, we are again opening the models we will be working with
(00:19:12) Here are the outfit models without any textures applied to them. The outfits are called “meshes” and the clothing coloring is called “texture”.
(00:20:25) Ivar shows how he can reshape individual “faces” to make the outfits different
(00:21:06) These are how the outfits currently appear in the game. We will take away the textures so that we just use the model, or the mesh.
(00:21:39) Ivar tells us that we can delete just parts of the model; for example, we can take away just the saber and the belt.
(00:22:27) Ivar answers the question: Can you modify the saber to be a dagger? No, he can hide it, but in this case, he can’t change it.

Review of the outfits continues. The “outfits” are called “torsos” by the Otters.
The models are referred to as 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. # 4 is the most popular, and is the torso we will use.

(00:25:49) We look at gloves/hands. The set with the hook would have the hook replaced with a reverse copy of the other hand.
(00:26:26) Ivar shows what the first set of hands would look like on our selected torso. Ivar continues to model the gloves on the torso, turning the textures on/off to help people visualize the final look.
(00:27:47) We see another set of gloves. In chat, someone asks if we can have skin showing on the arms.
(00:29:07)Ivar explains that right now, that is a problem because of how the outfits work. You will notice that (aside from underwear) the outfits all end at the neck; this is because you can custom pick your skin color. Ivar explains that when you change the outfit of your character in the game, you actually replace the whole torso (body) - you don’t put clothes on top of the body, or take them off of the body. It is done this way because of animation, and performance - why use the processing power to render something underneath that is hidden.
(00:30:45) The consensus in chat is that we will use these gloves/sleeves with the cuff.We look briefly at the second-most popular glove. We can’t just modify the geometry of the clothing or outfits because of the way the animation works.
(00:32:05) Now we have the boots. During this sequence, we will see the 4 different types of shoes attached to the torso. Ivar explains that there are other shoes to see, but they don’t really “fit” this type of outfit.
(00:33:40) Ivar reminds everyone to remember that the final product will look different; the shoes/socks/boots will be different looking than they are here, because we can put a different texture on them, so he clicks off the texture again to help everyone see the shape of the boots without being distracted by the textures. Ivar also explains that there will not be a “seam” at the knees in the final product.
(00:35:45) Ivar continues to show different boot styles.
(00:36:31) Ivar uses “undo” to take us back to some of the original choices
(00:37:15) Ivar observes that this style is used a lot in the game already, but the textures can be changed to make it more unique.
(00:37:44) Since everyone has strong opinions about the boots, Ivar suggests we look at hats, and then come back to boots last.
(00:37:56) Ivar is very excited about the hat selection.
(00:38:50) Sarah yells from an adjacent office to show us something.
(00:38:52) Ivar zooms out to show a figure standing forward of all of the clothing selections we have been working on.
(00:38:56) Ivar calls it a “monstrosity” it is ALL of the outfits we are looking at today, on one character!
(00:40:04) Ivar has taken off all of the outfit parts except those we have selected. He has hidden the boots (because we are not ready for them yet) and he gets the model ready to begins to show us the hat selections on a “toon” or character.
(00:40:49) The face does look very pale. Due to the way that skin colors are rendered, the base color is very very pale and the color is added on top of that. Ivar shows us how that works to create different skin tones.
(00:42:04) We begin to look at all of the hat possibilities
(00:46:01) Ivar adds hair so that we can see the full effect of the hats. He also shows how the hair color works, and shows how to remove the feather as well. We continue looking at hats.
(00:51:34) We have narrowed the hats to two choices. The “priest” hat prevails. We will decide if the “cover”/collar will be on later. It may be possible to include the pirate hat as an alternate, we will see
(00:55:30) Ivar brings out another female character model with every single outfit on it at once. It can even be animated! He shows us what it looks like without textures as well. By opening this model, he can pull out all of the boots he wants to show us.
(00:57:21) We begin to go through the boots/shoes/feet/hooves one by one, discarding those that are obviously wrong or unpopular.
(01:02:15) We have a first look at a complete design! No textures at this point
(01:03:28) We are looking at the boots as part of a complete design, and also the gnomish jumping slippers as a possibility.
(01:04:33) An overview of where were are now with the outfit.
(01:05:47) This is the basic outfit we will work with (2nd hat is optional; may not be part of final design)
(01:06:51) Another chance to learn! Ivar is going to show us how to give each part of the outfit it’s own material (fabric). He starts by sectioning off the pieces of the outfit.
(01:08:20) We will start with the torso (body). Ivar saves the torso as a separate file
(01:09:18) Ivar opens a program we haven’t seen before, called XNormal. It takes lighting information (how the outfit is lit) and generates an image that Ivar can use as a starting point for the texture. When it generates the map, it’s called “baking”. There is also a 3D viewer tool that Ivar wants to show us.
(01:13:35 We go back to Photoshop now to create a new texture. (Small technical issue arises, which Ivar fixes
(01:14:30) Ivar shows us what our outfit will look like “flattened”. It’s a lot like a sewing pattern for clothes. It is known as “UV mapping”. Ivar works with the pink sections of the pattern - they are overlapping other pieces and must be moved.
(01:17:26) Ivar creates an image of the wireframe pattern, so that when he works with the , he can see what he is doing.
(01:18:00) Ivar can now open the image he exported in Maya to Photoshop to begin texturing. (More performance issues - Ivar finds and fixes the issue)
(01:22:18) Ivar pastes the wireframe pattern into Photoshop. He enhances the wireframe. Next he selects everything that doesn’t belong in the pattern. He saves the progress on the outfit so far.
(01:24:40) He tells Maya that for the file he just saved, use the material he is working on in Photoshop.
(01:24:57) Ivar begins to create the leather texture we will work with today in Photoshop. He draws a smiley face on the back of the jacket within the pattern. He saves it, we go back to Maya, and the smiley face is on the jacket (leading to comments in chat regarding the placement of the smiley face!) It shows how changes can be viewed in Maya that are created in Photoshop easily.
(01:26:54) Now we can start to actually add definition and detail to the outfit. Ivar applies the leather to the entire torso (body) part of the outfit.
(01:28:50) We go back to the “Baked” image from the XNormal program. Ivar adjusts the touches up two areas that are irregular on the torso, and adjusts the contrast and brightness. He shows in Maya what happens when we take away the shadows and definitions. When he adds the “baked” image layer, the details become visible and “3D”. Some games use a “photorealistic” style that just calculate everything in real time, but V&H uses a “baked in” lighting effect. Ivar discusses fixing little flaws and imperfections but cautions it won’t ever be “perfect”. The lighting effect that is “baked” in is called “Ambient Occlusion” or AO.
(01:33:10) Ivar has taken the layer with the lighting info, and made it editable, and fixes two areas; one on the front of each hip. He coordinated the exact area by using the lighting map under the wireframe. He used the “healing” brush tool to fix the area. When Ivar saves the file, we can see that in the pattern and on the 3D model in Maya, the areas are fixed.
(01:38:40) Ivar shows how different colors can be applied to the leather texture, or make the leather more pronounced, and then he shows the changes in Maya.

Ivar is going to post some information and polls on the Forums. There will be another livestream where we will work together again.

(01:41:40) Damon comes back on camera to show us a couple more things.
First, he shows us a power outage map for Eugene. Every red spot is a power outage. Eugene has “power outage measles” - there are spots all over the map that look like measles.
(01:43:26) Damon says: This happened during the livestream. DAMON SHOWS US THAT EU2 IS UP AND RUNNING (not live to play, but for testing) and logged in. It’s running off of the actual game server, not locally. It’s real! We are getting very close! Good news!

Ivar did a great job! Thanks everyone for being here! Hopefully, we won’t have to do livestreams this weekend, because the game will be live!

WEDNESDAY FEB 27 11:00 am pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Damon, Sarah & Ivar were on camera
Sarah & Cameron were in chat

(EDITORS NOTE: Dues to the very technical nature of today's livestream, I have included relevant timestamps to help guide those who translate the notes to their native language, or for those who are unable to listen for any reason. This way, they can follow along while watching the livestream replay with the time stamps, and see the relevant information in conjunction with the Notes.)

We see Damon & Sarah to start the chat!

Sarah says that Ivar is sick, and we can’t do the outfit… only… she’s just kidding with us, and here is Ivar!

Sarah thinks it is fascinating that the community is divided about 50/50 on all of these decisions. It’s fun reading everyone’s comments!

Sarah wanted to say a few words about a long-time player named BadgerReborn on US1. Some of you may know, many of you may not know that a couple of weeks ago, Badger suffered an awful loss - his beloved dog Murph. The Otters feel like they have known Murph from the start, and they even made Murph an Honorary Otter a couple of months ago! It’s just really sad that Murph passed away, and so the Otters are going to put Murph in the in-game Memorial. Even though Murph wasn’t a player, he is forever going to be a part of our Villagers & Heroes life, and you can pay your respects to him there! We’ve been thinking about you a lot, Badger.

Damon said that he is sorry for Badgers loss; Murph was a great character, and he and Sarah have been through this - it’s losing a family member, and they are so special. They are precious creatures that make your life happy, and they are truly sorry that Badger has lost Murph.

Sarah tells us that the weather is AWFUL! Where Damon and Sarah live, they got another 8 inches of snow last night. They still have no power, still wearing the same clothes, camping out on Damon’s families couch (they don’t even have a coffee maker!) and the only thing that is getting them through this is that any day now, the game will be live again!

Damon has a couple of things for “show & tell” - first is a video that Sarah made this morning when they walked back to the house to check on their animals. More trees came down overnight; You can’t see Damon in this video because he was literally following in Sarah’s footsteps. They had to pick up Ivar today and bring him in to work today because his neighborhood is snowed in as well. Damon shows us that their jeans are soaking wet to the knees from the trek through the snow to and from their house.

Damon plays another video of him driving in the snow when it was coming down again - he can only play the first 45 seconds because he says some “non-family friendly words” after that!

Next, Damon has a new consolidated list to show us! Green check marks down to #7, where we have been for a while. BUT now Damon is updating the list - and we are DONE with #7 and DONE with #8, and we are on to #9 and #10, and then the game will be live!

Right now, their best estimate to go live is Thursday - TOMORROW!

Damon cautions us that there is going to be some weird stuff initially - the PC Crown shop will NOT be live initially. The V&H main website will not be up initially. The Item Shop *will* be up, so you can spend Crowns you already have. There could be some bugs to squash, and it is possible that there will be some unscheduled down time even once the game is live again.

Damon turns us over to Ivar.

(00:12:34) As promised, we are going to continue on the outfit we started yesterday. We will not probably get to see the finished outfit today.
(00:14:01) The first thing we will do today is to texture the hands, feet, and hat(s). It can be a temporary texture, but it helps with the visualization of the outfit. This is a repetitive process for each section of the outfit. Ivar generates or “bakes” the lighting information for all of the pieces, and then has a texture to place on them to help us see them as part of the overall outfit.
(00:15:28) Now we have the texture for the outfit/torso/body open, and Ivar is now doing the same process for all of the other parts of the outfit that we did yesterday for the torso/body of the outfit. Ivar continues to respond to chat while he gets all the parts ready for today
(00:17:02) if there is something simpler than an outfit that we want to see made/designed from scratch, he may be able to show the entire process in a future livestream.
(00:17:24) We are starting at hats. We will look at the poll on the Forums to see which hat was voted on. “Pirate Style with feathers” has won the poll by less than 10 points. It is quite possible that we will have both hats included; we are only doing the pirate hat in the livestream, but since they were so close, we may do both hats for the final outfit.
(00:18:55) Ivar opens the pirate hat onscreen. You can see where the hair on the model has been removed so that it does’t affect the hat. Ivar gets the hat adjusted to where it will sit in game. He “bakes” the lighting information and then will apply the same texture that we see in the other objects we have selected. Discussion in chat is regarding removing the earring, and possibly removing one of the two feathers on the hat.
(00:20:50) The texture is applied and we can also see all of the other “flattened” patterns with the texture as well.
(00:22:31) Ivar saves all of his work, as a precaution. We discuss good layer management in Photoshop and Ivar demonstrates how he manages working with so many layers at once.
(00:24:25) Continuing the discussion of using Photoshop; Ivar often assigns colors to different layer types. He is showing best practices for organization when working with complex layered designs.
(00:25:45) Ivar is checking to make sure that anything he draws now is within the actual “wireframe” of the models. It helps for it to be easier to work in. The fun part will come soon, the setup (this part) can be tedious)
(00:26:35) Ivar tells us that he arrived in 2014; by that time most of the art assets (the 3D models) had been completed. Ivar’s academic degree is 3D modeling. He went to a trade school in Sweden. At Mad Otter, he does a lot of commercial work, web development, and a ton of UI (user interface) work. But his formal education is in 3D modeling. With V&H, they already have a lot of 3D assets, so he focuses more on what else is needed.
(00:27:30) Now that he has made all of the textures, he is going to link them to the model. He links the hands, shoes, and hat. Right now, the feathers are made of leather.
(00:28:21) Ivar discusses the challenge of making sure that all of the parts are coherent; that they match, look good together, and work well together. He adjusts some of the lighting information.
(00:29:20) Now Ivar shows what it looks like with only the “baked” lighting. He only wants to see the texture plain right now. He can turn on the shadows (and demonstrates that) but right now he only needs to see the model with only lighting, no shadows.
(00:30:30) Sarah reveals in chat that Ivar wore sandals in the snow today! Ivar says that he wears only sandals year round, and they are the only kind of shoes he has!
(00:31:52) Ivar points out an area that he is unhappy with on the lighting model. He is going to take a look at that area, and gives a quick refresher on Vertices, Faces & Edges. Now he is looking at where the problem area is on the wireframe, and he opens the “baked” image. He shows how he softens that area with a regular brush. Ivar says it’s still not perfect, but he’s happier with it. When we add details, it won’t be nearly as noticeable.
(00:34:27) Ivar tells us that there is a ton of “cheating” in 3D games when it comes to modeling; anything you don’t see as a player probably looks terrible, simply for performance reasons! It’s just the way that game art works.
(00:35:09) Ivar discusses hiding the earring. Any model can have a huge number of different textures applied. He shows us how with the mesh of the body, he can find the color, then he can see that texture which is an image. The texture determines the color. You can also use transparency to determine what parts of the outfit are visible. He selects the earring, finds it on the “pattern”. He then moves to the texture, and adds transparency information. He makes the area over the earring “transparent”, goes back into the Maya software, and the earring is gone. It’s still there (faintly) because of the shading effects in Maya that don’t show up in the game, but in game, the earring will be “gone”. You don’t remove the object, you just make it invisible. The performance is improved if you remove the object instead of hiding it, but if you hide the object instead, you can reuse that object again later in the future on another character. We can do the same thing with one of the feathers if we want.
(00:38:23) A question from chat about can the belt be removed. He demonstrates: This is why Ivar can’t make the belt “invisible”; because if he makes the belt invisible, there is nothing underneath. The belt is part of the actual outfit, and if you “removed” the belt, you could see through the body in the game. Ivar *could* “remodel” the mesh to remove the belt, but it’s a lot of work, and for our purposes, hiding things (when possible) is what we can do.
(00:39:27) Now we have a good starting point, we will go look at the forum poll again. We review some of the suggestions for “cloth” materials for the model.
(00:41:38) Ivar notices that many people are suggesting leather with metal accents. Ivar believes a good direction to go is to start with black or dark arey leather, and work from there, simply because it’s easy to pair with metal accents. Brown leather with gold color metal could be good too. We continue to look at suggestions in the Forums. We additionally get a dictionary definition of what a Highwayman is.
(00:46: 52) As a first example project of how this works, let’s do just the band around the hat. There are two ways to make just the band around the hat. One method is to paint directly by hand in Photoshop. Ivar draws around the hat, and it shows in Maya on the model what it will look like. The second way we could do it is to use libraries of existing photos or textures. Ivar uses a texture of hay to show again how he draws on the hat directly; then he changes the color to purple. He can also use photos. Ivar shows a photo of a wicker basket in the Otters library. He applies that, and then can manipulate the photo to look more hand drawn or stylized.
(00:53:40) Ivar opens an example of a finished outfit so we can see all of the different textures that can be applied. He opens the “Midsummer” outfit from last year. He shows the layers on the right, which contains all the parts of the outfit, and toggles them on and off. He shows the wireframe, the texture underneath, and several color variants.
(00:55:19) Back to making the belt (band) for the hat. We look where we want the band to go. Ivar selects some of the mesh on the side of the hat to draw a band on to. If Ivar had built the hat, knowing there would be a belt there, he would have made sure it was straight to be easier to place a belt, but that was not the case with what we have. We go back to the lighting model (with no texture) and look to see that there is actually a lower section that could be used as a band. This makes it much easier - Ivar finds that there is actually already a “pattern” for the lower section that can be treated as a band on the larger overall hat pattern.
(00:59:08) We will use the select tool to pick the rectangle that is part of the belt. He is going to create a layer called “belt” because there will probably be a lot of parts to the belt. He is going to fill the rectangle with color (grey to start) and he “deselects” the rectangle. This is now a filled rectangle, that is the front half of the belt. The other half of the belt is just below. Next, Ivar takes the leather layer, and duplicates it over both halves of the belt. He names and saves the leather layer. He creates a mask so that he can change the color of just the belt. (Otherwise the entire hat will change colors as well) He colors the other half of the belt after he masks it as well. Now when we view it in Maya, we see the red belt. Ivar wants to add more texture. He makes the original grey invisible but he can still add effects to it. He adds lighting to it to make it look more 3D, and applies a gradient to further enhance the 3D effect. When we return to Maya, the belt looks better than previously. A brief discussion of using “mirroring” to create identical sections and for performance reasons, etc.
(01:06:50) Instead of mirroring the back half of the belt, Ivar copies it over so that they are identical all the way around. Now we talk about adding a buckle, but first, Ivar want to find a texture. We visit a website “Subtle Patterns” where Ivar finds a pattern. We discuss (again) that the color of the pattern won’t matter when it is applied as a texture. The textures are free to use and they save Ivar lots of time. Ivar shows a pattern that will be seen in the upcoming expansion! (Tiny spoiler). We selected the “Cushion” pattern.
(01:10:42) Ivar applied the pattern in its default state to the belt. We preview it, then Ivar decides to “shrink” the texture and tile it. When we preview it in Maya again, the pattern is smaller and applied only to the belt. Now he blends the pattern with the background. Blending mode is a way to affect the image (in this case merge the pattern with the color). Ivar makes it a “smart layer”. Next, he goes into Brightness/Contrast settings and makes the belt “brighter”. Ivar pauses our work briefly to try and fix a gamma issue; it is something about the way the lighting is that is bothering him.
(01:15:40) Now we are going to make a buckle. There are 2 ways - he can create the buckle as a flat image and make that look “3D” or he can actually “raise” 3D sections of the existing mesh (wireframe) to create the outlines of the buckle. The easier version - the one we will use - is much quicker and Ivar makes a new layer to create the buckle on. On that new layer, he makes a rectangle, he deletes the inside of the rectangle and we have a basic buckle shape. You can see that the buckle is not perfectly flat, but from the game resolution it will look OK.
(01:17:50) He adds a bevel to make it look more like metal, and also a “dark glow” to make it look like it’s above the material. He also adds a “bright glow” and then a gradient. He slides the buckle around to the side, then moves it back. He shows where the buckle is “bending” because of the 3D shape of the belt. When he created the buckle, it’s totally “flat” and it doesn’t “bend” with the belt “underneath”. Ivar shows how maps of the earth have to be “stretched” to illustrate his point.
(01:20:04) Ivar sees that the buckle needs to be adjusted a bit more; it’s too high. We move the buckle so it is centered. We discuss tweaking the actual mapping so the buckle looks right, but Ivar can’t actually do that without making a new mesh. So, the alternative is to adjust the shape of the buckle, or move it to a spot where it is “flatter”.
(01:23:00) Ivar enhances the buckle with more detail. We reposition the buckle again. Next we make belt buckle “holes” by starting with a circle, and then using “dark glow” and “light glow” to create the illusion that a hole has been punched through the belt. Ivar copies the hole, and creates more of them by pasting. Ivar explains that in game design, sometimes you have to make things overprounouned because we mostly see things from a distance in the game.
(01:26:34) Ivar opens a window with the textures of every single hat in the game. He finds a texture for the feathers on our hat that will make them actually look like feathers. He masks the original “pattern” so that he can apply the feather texture. In Maya, we see that the feathers are now correctly textured and not looking like leather.
(01:29:29) We are going to vote in chat on which feather to remove from the hat (to see what it looks like with just one feather. Ivar steps away, and Damon can’t resist an opportunity to sit in front of the camera and chat with us! Damon tells us more about how the power outage is affecting his neighborhood. He really likes Ivars chair; and he is happy to see how our new outfit is coming along.
(01:31:47) Ivar comes back and we will keep the “high” feather for now, and we will see how it looks without the “low” feather. Now he goes in and draws around the feather we are going to “remove”. Ivar shows us how it looks with just the one feather. Mixed reaction in chat to leaving just the “high” feather. Ivar explains that sometimes patterns don’t work well in the game because they have to be so tiny; it makes the item look crisper and cleaner sometimes without patterning.
(01:35:20) Now to move to main colors. Ivar wants to make a decision on the color of the coat, and the undercoat. Except we pause briefly to restore the “low” feather, and now we are back to picking colors. Ivar explains that we should go ahead and make everything darker, because it is a highwayman theme; he applies a very dark color, and it tends to hide some of the details for those watching the stream. Ivar reassures us it won’t look as dark or spotty in the game. Ivar corrects the color a bit, and is happier with that. Now he applies the same color to the hands, the boots and the hat. Our models outfit is now all the same color.
(01:40:30) Most people want the outer coat to be black; Now we talk about the inner coat. Ivar tells us when he goes to make the male outfit, he will have to do all of these things again the same so that they match, but he can’t just copy and paste. Now he outlines the “inner coat” (vest) so that we can mask it and apply a different color.
(01:42:45) Now we see the vest with a dark grey color. There is much discussion in chat regarding color and texture for this part of the outfit. Ivar also points out the shirt portion of the garment that appears to be under the vest. He again applies a mask to the area and then color. Ivar decides he can apply a pattern to this area to help differentiate it. He finds a nice pattern, and he duplicates it so that he can tile it and make a large sheet of the pattern that will become part of the texture.
(01:45:24) Ivar links the pattern and begins to show what colors will look like. We move to a darker red, but lose the definition of the pattern. Ivar makes adjustments to show the pattern more clearly. Ivar decides to fix the models eyebrows because they are grey and the models hair is dark. Ivar wants it to look as close as possible to in-game.
(01:47:30) In chat, a request to remove the pattern for now. Ivar changes that. We go back to the coloration of the vest and making the under shirt look more separate.
(01:49:25) Let’s talk briefly about the pants; we will change the boots later. Ivar finds the place on the pattern where the pants are, and again, he selects that portion, and then masks it so that we can try different textures and colors. Just to try, Ivar puts brown on the pants just to see if everyone likes the effect. He extends the coloring to the lower legs (otherwise it will look like knee breeches) In chat, most people do not like the brown, so Ivar undoes his work, and we go back to grey for now.
(01:54:17) Now Ivar turns to the bandolier across the chest of the outfit. We should change the color to make it stand out more. Ivar explains that the design process goes like this: It looks terrible, it looks terrible, it looks OK, it looks great! And everything comes together rather quickly in the end. On the Forums, there is an idea to make it look like there is a row of pouches on the sash or bandolier. Ivar explains that because the sash was originally drawn curved, it will be a bit more work to add the pouches, but he really likes the idea. Again, he draws out the area he wants to mask, and after he applies the mask, he can apply pattern and color.
(01:57:50) Someone in chat suggests a feature from one of the desert nomad outfits. Ivar has made the bandolier a different color so that it stands out for now. All of this is just to help us better see what the final outfit will eventually look like.
(01:59:27) Ivar asks everyone if the have specific opinions about specific parts of the outfit, to let him know right now, so that we can look at it before wrapping up this livestream. In chat, a suggestion for Ivar to add polls for everyone to vote. Ivar tells us he wants to add some metal accents as well. Ivar shows us the second hat choice with the work we have done so far. Ivar is going to keep us posted on the progress of the outfit in the Forums, so be sure to keep an eye open there for more information.
(02:03:10) From chat: Make it so that we can change the colors of our clothes in the game. Ivar explains that there are some games that can do that. There are some challenges - and there are basically 2 ways to do this. Make separate textures for every single color choice, which takes a lot of time, but looks better in the game. Or, handle it like the game handles hair and skin color, which means making one texture in a uniform grey and then applying the color that the player wants, which is quicker but can be harder to make the colors look detailed. Ivar then explains why the colors with the second method often are unsatisfactory - because in real life, shadows and highlights are not just variations of the color we see, but (for example) the shadow of a blue item might actually be more purple, and there is no way to account for that with the grey-texture/automatic coloring method. Ivar shows us (with the Ambient Occlusion layer) what is he referencing.
(02:05:26) Chat question regarding differences between male and female outfits. Ivar prefers for male/female garments in the game to be as identical as possible so that regardless of whether you play a male or female character, you can have the same outfit. It should look the same for both genders.
(02:06:29) We are going to wrap up the modeling. Ivar will take the last 10 minutes to discuss anything about the game art. Brief discussion of classless art, and why it’s good. Brief discussion of voting in the forums for the rest of the outfit creation.
(02:08:12) Question: When you create buildings in the game, is it the same as making an outfit? Ivar quickly demonstrates creating a building; the modeling is just like the outfits, but no animating is needed so it is actually easier and quicker.
Question: Are there any single piece outfits? No not really.
Question: What time period is the game meant to be? No real answer to that, kind of early Medieval?
Question: Wallpapers? Ivar will look into that
(02:10:01) Question: My kid likes to draw online and make doodles. Do you have any recommendations for software or videos for him? Ivar says that when he was that age, he used open source drawing programs on his computer. GIMP is open source/free, but hard to learn. Ivar recommends books - there are many great books that teach art, including digital art.
(02:10:55) Question: How do you do round surfaces? Ivar demonstrates - they are just blocks that are shaped round by using lots of different size flat shapes. In any game, anything that is round is actually made of many flat shapes, but it’s never actually perfectly round.
(02:11:56) Question: Whats the proper way to pronounce Ikea? It’s Eek-key-uh. You pronounce Ivar’s name as “Eeve-uh”

It’s time to wrap things up; Ivar thanks everyone for watching. If we liked this, we can maybe do more similar livestreams that can be fit into a single session. Outfits are very complex. Ivar has really enjoyed himself, and he hopes that we have too. Thanks everyone! He will see us on the Forums and later.
 

Omnigma

Black Thrush Agent
Characters
Omnigma, Draco, Kindle, IOU1
Platform
PC, Steam
#39
(I had nearly forgotten, but before Starfall, we used to have that problem all the time! You would have all these talent points, and you couldn't put them into anything or you couldn't put them into a talent you actually wanted to have.)
And now we have the opposite problem, where even if we used a talent reset because we wanted to place skills in a new area for an effect, we are already under-skilled and can't hope to add new ones without losing skills we have chosen prior. Solution? Offer a free talent point for every ten elder levels attained...
 

Nadiria

Adventurer
Platform
iOS
Last edited
#40
PAGE 4 LIVESTREAM NOTES

THURSDAY FEB 28 11:00 am pst LIVESTREAM NOTES:
Damon, Sarah & Cameron were on camera
Ivar was in chat

We start with Damon on camera. Straight to the update; we are going live tomorrow. We wanted to go live today, but we are testing all the servers, and we were thinking about rushing it, but we just thought we don’t want to do that. We know it’s been 2 weeks. Tomorrow - not 100% but all signs point to yes! Damon shows the list again. We are now on step#10 test-fix-test-fix-test-fix. Making sure that everything is set up correctly. Everything is being tested only by Otters, but they are testing EVERYTHING to make sure it works. Trying Steam and mobile too. Biggest issue at launch may be performance issues, or what everyone calls “lag”. Things may be a bit weird initially, but it should be 90% functional. They don’t want to do a rollback, and take the game down.

In other news, Eugene has sun again! Hopefully things will start to melt! Everyone made it in. Damon & Sarah still don’t have power at their home; it’s been 3 days. Damon thinks they should have power soon. Hopefully this is the last livestream before the game comes back up! Damon is not sure when the game will be up; maybe noon (Otter time) tomorrow.

Here are Cameron & Sarah. Cameron is “healthy-is” and everyone is happy to see him. Preview will be at the end. It has been awesome to watch Ivar make the outfits this week! Maybe a little Q&A. But mostly today is about the Compensation Plan. These are our gifts to you for the game being down, for pain and suffereig, and mental damage! Just please know that the Otters primary focus will be getting the game up and keeping it stable. So it may be a week (or possibly more) before we see the Compensation Package dropped into our storage.

Let’s repeat that: Once the servers go up, you will not immediately get the compensation. So please, please don’t send CS tickets saying “I didn’t get my Compensation Package” because it’s going to take some time. Liam has to write some complicated scripts to deliver the items to everyone ,and its not an easy process. So, please don’t send CS tickets for this; the Otters may be bogged down with real CS issues that have arisen due to the game outage/server return. Any CS ticket about the compensation issue will not get any attention at all, and will be put on the back burner. So please let everyone know. We will communicate *when* the gifts will be delivered.

Sarah says: Everyone repeat after me: GIFTS WILL NOT BE DELIVERED IMMEDIATELY - NO IMMEDIATE GIFTS!

We will outline this, and then we will have a great graphic that Ivar made.
First things first: There’s 3 categories or groups of people who are getting gifts.
- Ardent Society Members
- “Active” players (anyone who has logged in since Jan 1st this year)
- All players - no restrictions, anyone who has played the game.

If you are Ardent Society, you get everything.
If you are Active, you get Active player + All player rewards
If you are an All player - you get just the all player rewards.

Ardent Society members.
For every day that the server was down, you will be given 15 Crowns; in total, every AS member will get 225 crowns. They arrived at this figure by looking at how many US dollars an AS membership costs, and dividing that out by the day, (0.28.4 cents per day,) which is roughly equivalent to 5 crowns per day. The Otters are giving every AS member 3 times that amount, or 15 Crowns per day as compensation, totaling 225 Crowns. These Crowns will be delivered automatically to your account when the entire Compensation Package is delivered.

Active Players. (Includes Ardent Society Member)
Lots of stuff here! Every character will get the following soul bound rewards:
- Lost supplies compensation. Cameron calculated how many supplies a LEVEL 90 would have gotten during the outage. He then “converted” that amount of supplies to COG coins (How much it would cost to buy those supplies). Which would be 1400 COG coins PER DAY, which equals 21,000 COG coins PER CHARACTER (soulbound). You can spend them however you want; you do not have to buy supplies. Everyone is being compensated at the Level 90 scale. (This is worth 28 Crowns if you had purchased the COG coins)
- Gardening & Ranching. For every day the server was down, 1 Miracle Water (worth 10 Crowns) & 9 Super Feeds for every day (worth 27 Crowns). This is per character and soulbound.
- Game time. For lost game time, each character gets 1 Bounty Hunter badge (50 charges) for every 2 days of down time, rounded up (16 total). Per character, soulbound. This will help with XP lost as well. (Each Bounty badge is worth 50 Crowns)
- 1 Ultra Clockwork Harvester (40 charges) for every 2 days of downtime (8 total) to offset gathering losses. (Worth 42 Crowns per Harvester) for each character, soul bound.
- 250 Motes of York for EVERY day of downtime for every character, soulbound.
- 1 Villager XP potion (2 hour/50% increase) PER DAY of downtime (15 total)

This is our way to say that we are sorry about everything, (the 15 days of lost playing time, the lost 18 hours from the rollback) we hope it gets everyone back up and running. Total worth = 67 Crowns per character, per day.

Calendar Rewards: February is a very tight month to begin with. We went through and calculated what every account would have gotten, if you had been able to log in every single day. These will be account bound, once per account, just as if it came from the Calendar:
- 5 sockets
- 10 Ancient Zharim water pitcher
- 10 full Mana
- 6 chests Red Darig
- 1 Ultra Clockwork Harvester
- 5 Elixirs of Nurturing
- 1 Bounty Hunter Badge
- 3 Rubies of the True
- Last 2 prizes were Gold & XP, so Otters calculated how much Gold a Level 90 character would get, so EVERYONE gets 75 Superior Diamonds (to compensate for Gold) and for the XP, that is really hard to figure, so we decided to give everyone 5 Sweet Sea Pies to help for missed XP calendar award.

Additionally, because everyone has been so amazing, each account will get 25 Crowns (this is in addition to the Crowns that AS members will get) + 1 legendary necklace chest and 2 legendary ring chests. (These work exactly like the legendary weapon chests - there is a 24 hour timer once you open it. DON’T OPEN IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO USE IT, and then use it within 24 hours). These are PER ACCOUNT. This is just an extra “thank you” bonus!

EDITORS NOTE: Please see this post regarding HOW the chests containing the necklace & rings will work.

All Players. (Includes AS members + Active Players)
Every player in the game additionally gets: (once per account)
- The Highwayman outfit (will be delivered in the next expansion)
-5 instant Resurrects (worth 50 Crowns
- 5 sockets (worth 25 Crowns)
- 1 Ultra Clockwork Harvester (worth 42 Crowns)
- 1 Bounty Hunters Badge (worth 50 Crowns)

And finally:
- All house rent is being bumped back a full 2 weeks, so no one will lose their house.
- All election times are being set back 2 weeks (Village Mayors)
- All effects you had that were greater than a 15 minute effect, should be restored
- If you bought Crowns during the 18 hour gap, those Crowns will be in your account when you return.
- If you made purchases with your Crowns, those purchases will be like they never happened.

LINK: Here is the infographic that Ivar prepared to show you exactly what to expect

Remember: DO NOT EXPECT REWARDS RIGHT AWAY - They will be distributed in about a week or so.

You will see System Messages as a reminder about the delivery of the Compensation Package
There will be some things that are not working when the game comes back up:
- The Crown Shop (to buy Crowns) on PCs. Mobile (Android & iOS) & Steam can still buy Crowns (approximately for one week) (PC players can spend existing Crowns)
- V&H website will be down. There will be a temporary website
- CS tickets will be down from the website
- Bug reports from the website will be down

What happened if your membership expired during the downtime? It will be refreshed. If you were month-to-month, and your month in the AS expired DURING THE DOWN TIME, you will still be counted as an AS member for compensation gifts.

Some further info:
- Auction house should come back live at the 18 hour rollback point
- The Valentine’s Sale will be re-run AFTER the PC Crown shop is operational.
- Steam players still can’t buy Crown bags :(
- If you are on the new player calendar, it will pick up where it left off.
- Question: Can I trade necklace or rings for bracers? No. There will be no exchanges on the compensation items.

Let's do some reveals! We are going to have V&H story-related trivia questions because Sarah is here today! We are going to see 3 Talent/Ultimate combos today. We will be revealing 1 of the Warriors today (Lightning or Fury) (so someone has to pick Warrior) and any two other classes middle specs.

- First question, and the answer has to be all in one response: What are the names of the known Brood of Seven? (There are 4) Also known as Children of Mallok. Wes_tern answers correctly. He chooses to see Lightning Warrior
- Second question: Whoever picks this has to pick one of the middle specs, and we will look at that. This question is from early in the game. What is Mafalda’s secret gossip in Kingsport? Remember where we have to collect gossip from 3 NPCs in Kingsport? What was the gossip? Lilly479 answers correctly, and chooses to see Priest balance
- Third question: From the new Black Thrush content. What caused the Banshee Queen to commit her first heinous act? cheetarmon answers correctly, and she chooses to see Wizard

Cameron opens the game to demo the three combos chosen by the winners in the new Summers Hollow! (00:45:45)

First, Llghtning Warriors - There will be two new abilities: Tempest & Titanic Wrath.
- Tempest (talent): Thunderbird strike now has a chance to summon a Thunderbolt. Additionally, if you happen to have Thunderclap, then the Thunderbolt generated will also do damage. Its an extra way to generate more damage and more aggro.
- Titanic Wrath (ultimate): Pummel now hits with the Wrath of Titans, and instantly killing lesser enemies otherwise dealing 100% more damage and is ready every 90 seconds. A lesser enemy is anything that is not a bounty boss or above, or in a dungeon. It does not work on enemies above your level. It will still do increased damage then. If you are spec’d into Titanic Power, then using Titanic Power will let you use Titanic Wrath again right away.

Next, Priest balance (middle spec) New 35 point talent: Burden of Power & Dying Breath
- Burden of Power (talent: your damage and healing are increased to targets that are below 30% of their maximum health but it’s also damage to the enemy too. Its’ good for solo and group healers.
- Dying Breath (ultimate): Whenever you take damage that would otherwise be fatal, you block it, become invulnerable, and gain 100% mana cost reduction, 20 seconds later, you die. This is a way for if a Priest goes down, it’s “death mode”, and all of your spells are free to cast, nothing can hit you, but you WILL die at the end of the 20 seconds. There is a big effect that happens - a flag appears, and a circular timer surrounds the priest. There is no point to heal yourself, because you will die anyway. You can move and pick up loot during the 20 second timer. It will not trigger if you die from an environmental cause. (01:00:00) to see a demonstration

Finally, we see Arcane Wizard (middle spec) New abilities are: Sorcerer’s Will & Vigilant Energies:
- Sorcerer’s Will (talent): When you are dealt fatal damage, the damage is reduced possibly causing the damage to not be fatal. This reduction is doubled if the damage is magic damage. When something hits you that would kill you, its reduced, and it possibly will save you. If it’s magic damage, then the reduction is doubled.
- Vigilant Energies (ultimate): When you lose 10% or more of your max life in a a single hit, and the damage is reduced by 100% and both Fire Burst and Frost Nova immediately cool down. This can occur once every 60 seconds. Good for Fire or Ice!

What’s left? Ice Wizard, Marksman Hunter, Survival Hunter, Shadow Priest, Fury Warrior, Discipline Warrior have not been covered yet.

Otters will most likely do a livestream tomorrow - hopefully it’s a celebration party! Otters remain hard at work, testing everything they can to make sure it’s ready.

Question about Sugarsweet: Otters don’t know yet - they are 90% sure, just don’t know when because of the server stuff and the expansion. Priority 1 is the servers, second is the expansion. Don’t forget that tomorrow is Chapter 2 of The Book!

Thanks again for hanging out with us - things are moving forward!
Remember: GIFTS WILL NOT BE DELIVERED IMMEDIATELY!
See you tomorrow!

FRIDAY MARCH 1 SPECIAL CELEBRATION LIVESTREAM NOTES:
PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!
Damon, Sarah, Cameron, Ivar, Liam, & Jacob were on camera!

(Editor’s Note: Due to Twitch’s TOS, the first 6 minutes of this much of the livestream has been “muted” BY TWITCH due to (potential) copyright issues. (Because the Otters were celebrating by playing music for our livestream party). Audible portions have been timestamped & transcribed.)

(00:00:00) The video opens with Cameron & Ivar, and then we see Sarah, Damon & a cake with (very appropriately) a cherry on top. Liam enters the picture, and now we meeting Jacob, the newest Intern. Champagne is being poured for everyone. A toast - to the game being live again!
The Otters read and respond to chat comments. Sarah & Ivar are wearing their blue Mad Otter Hoodies. Damon shows the cake again before it is cut - it says “We Survived!” With a cherry on top.

(00:06:00) Audio returns & celebration continues.

Conversation is mostly regarding the celebration at hand; the fact that the Otters live-streamed very day for 14 days, and continuing to respond to chat comments. Song choices for the celebration party are debated and suggestions are taken from chat as well.

(00:11:01) Cameron shows a text message from his wife - the game is back up!

(00:11:47) The entire Otter crew poses for a portrait.

Celebration continues; chat is read and responded to. Damon cuts and serves the cake (00:14:50) (00:16:38) Cameron shows us a close up of his cake.

(00:18:00) Sarah reminds winners of previous livestream trivia that they will get their dragon mounts today, as well as last week and the week previous “Fan Friday” winners will get their crowns.

Now the Otters start up the game - it’s so lonely in Ardent! If you are in the Party and in-game you should go to Ardent! Currently they are on EU1
(00:19:59) Damon explains who Jay is - Jay Moore, lives in Eugene, and Jacob is relaxed to Jay. Jay was instrumental in the history of V&H)
Another song choice, and now Damon has decided that from now on the Otters will only livestream and drink Champagne! (just kidding!) Damon leaves to put on his blue MOG hoodie.
(00:23:56) Cameron does his impression of a submarine for the camera… and again at (00:24:20)
(00:25:30) Cameron switches to the live view of Ardent in EU1. It’s a party there too, with fireworks and a HUGE dancing Diet in-game.
(00:27:40) Damon shows his phone with the power outage map - Eugene still has the measles; Damon & Sarah’s neighborhood still without power.
(00:32:55) Sarah leaves to go get more celebratory libations.
(00:36:20) The party is leaving US1, and headed to US3, Ardent City)
(00:38:31) Nice turnout at US3!
(00:43:5) Sarah returns with a case of beer!

(00:47:24) Time to head to US2!
(00:48:53) US2, Ardent City! After this, get ready EU2!

(01:01:10) EU2 is ready and waiting for the Otters!
After EU2, we will have a preview/reveal! Otters will all be back to say goodbye after Cameron shows a couple of new things!

(01:16:47) Time for previews/reveals! We have visited all of the live servers, and now let’s go into Development Mode - let’s pick a Talent/Ultimate to reveal. We are going to do Ice Wizard & Marksman Hunter
(00:01:9:10) First person to guess Cameron’s middle name gets to pick which one we will see first. Eki guesses, and selects Marksman Hunter
(01:21:40) Marksman Hunter new Talent/Ultimate combo: Show Them How & Vengence
  • New Talent is: “Show Them How” Slowing Shot, Crippling Shot & Wounding Shot all have a chance to grant all nearby allies increased attack speed and cool down rate. This is a huge Party buff; now everyone will want to bring a Marksman along! Great for solo play too.
  • New Ultimate is: “Vengeance” Murder gains increased chance to critically strike it’s health threshold is increased and if you land a killing blow with it, all feats are immediately refreshed.
(01:26:45) Ice Wizard new Talent/Ultimate combo: Frost Dominance & Shatter
  • New Talent is: “Frost Dominance” When you critically strike with an ice spell, there is a chance that the enemy is stunned and you regain a portion of your mana
  • New Ultimate is “Shatter” If either Glacial Spike or HoarFrost fails to critically strike, then they succesfully critically strike instead. This effect can occur once every 60 seconds. When you do this you will get a little debuff on the “bad” side of your health, but it ticks down. This is only when it fails to critically strike to begin with; it forces a critical strike on the next one.
Reveals remaining: Survival Hunter, Fury Warrior, Discipline Warrior & Shadow Priest. Cameron says: we need fix this a bit - we need to talk about another Warrior to balance it out!

(01:34:35) We are going to do Discipline Warrior! The new Talent/Ultimate combo for Discipline Warrior: Master-At-Arms

A bit of information goes along with this. This is kind of a semantic change: A lot of Warriors know there is an option for a two-handed sword. There are 2 runes, Swashing or Strength of Arms on your weapon, it gives a bunch of bonuses, and it makes it a two handed weapon, but disables your shield. The details will not change, but two-handed swords will now be called “Great Swords”, while regular swords will be called “Regular Swords”. We did the change was because of the way the animation for combat works. Now a “Great Sword” will still use the same animation, but it’s not as confusing, because it’s not called a “Two-handed Sword” when it only shows the character using one hand in battle
  • New Talent is: “Master-At-Arms” A percentage of your Expertise is added to the higher of your Masteries. Just a straight increase to stats.
  • New Ultimate is: “Heroic Strength” You can now effectively wield a shield when equipped with a Great Sword. You get all the stats, runes and benefits of a shield while using a Great Sword. You get the best of both worlds.
(01:41:29) Cameron runs through some of the highlights of “Tempest & Titanic Wrath” for Lightning Warrior quickly.
(01:42:23) Quick Q&A time - Damon has stepped out, so we can have a few questions!
  • Will we get extra Talent points? No
  • No stat changes with the “Great Sword”label? No
  • Now that the game is up, what should we do? Whatever you want to!
  • When do new combos take effect? With the next expansion
  • Chapter 2 of The Book will be added today, be sure to read it!
  • Any more new outfits? Not now, but we can discuss that more in the future.
(01:45:01) Sarah Otter, Ivar, Liam & Jacob all come back in - Damon had to run errands. Thanks from Sarah on behalf of everyone. Cameron says that we will probably livestream again next week. Sarah says merch shop coming soon! Damon is here to come and say goodbye! Damon says no more goodbyes again! It’s been a long two weeks, but we all made it! NO LIVESTREAM TOMORROW! For the first time in two weeks!
Damon shows us his ski cap and there is a brief discussion of skiing. Go have fun in the game! Goodbye for now!

Editors Final Note: With this celebratory Livestream, I will conclude my transcription duties; I am humbled, yet thrilled to learn that so many people were able to benefit from my Notes, and even more importantly to me - I have many new friends all over the world! Enjoy the game! :)
 
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