The Ardent Monthly Ledger - Issue 14
November 20, 2015

The Secret of the Coille Is Now Live!

The wait is over! For all of you level-capped adventurers who have been staring at the calendar for too many months to count now, and have desperately been needing some meaty new content to sink your teeth into, then please take a quick moment to let out a long happy sigh – now grab your weapons and friends, and venture into Bevyn’s Coille!

The level cap has been raised to 77, and that’s only the beginning! The Secret of the Coille is the first installment of six new zones which we will be releasing incrementally over the course of the next seven to eight months. In other words, there will be no more waiting eternal stretches of time for new content!

So what can you look forward to with the arrival of this patch besides a brand new beautiful zone full of exceedingly difficult foes, a twisty story line of new quests, an array of dailies, and a whole lot of XP? A great deal – because this build is not just for level capped players!

New features that all will surely enjoy, include:

  • Inventory Sorting
  • A Death Recap Window
  • The removal of node depletion
  • The addition of Elite Crafting Quests
  • Charter adjustments and smoother XP balancing
  • ‘Legendary Crafting’ and ‘Item Salvaging’
  • Countless bug fixes

And these are only a few of the improvements! Play Patch 3.7.5 now and discover what else awaits!

In the last edition of the Ledger, we introduced you to ‘Legendary Crafting.’ This week, we’d now like to draw your attention to another new feature which crafters are sure to find to be a great benefit – the ‘Salvaging Rod.’

What is it? It’s a magical tool that, when waved over one’s armor and gear, will break down the items into refined materials! It deconstructs unwanted or extra equipment – stuff which was likely cluttering up your bags – and provides players with the leather, cloth, pigs or beams the item was originally composed of, which can of course then be used in whatever activity best suits. Think of it as recycling at its best!

How does it work? In Ardent City, near the Wizard vendor, players will now find a new NPC named Littia Remus, who sells these Salvaging Rods. There are four rods, each designated to break down different levels of items. Holding a rod over any piece of class gear (weapon, armor, gloves, hats, boots, or belts) will result in the item being replaced with refined materials. Crafted gear will yield a higher quantity of materials than from gear found in the world. Each Salvaging rod contains one hundred charges, or uses, and the price of each rod varies in gold according to player level.

The addition of Salvaging Rods will not only free up the inventory of players, but will recycle gear right back into the game in the form of needed materials for all!

Player: Jeylana
Server: EU 2
Class: Warrior

You are truly a veteran V&H player and have watched the game go through countless changes. When did you first start playing? What was it like back then? What have been some of your most favorite improvements made to the game over the years, and why? I think it was the 27th April 2011, when Open Beta started. It was very exciting! A Mystical Land, how it was named back then is/was my very first online game. I’ll never forget this *laughs*. I entered the game, respectively I wasn’t even totally there, as I already had accepted an invitation to join a guild. It was something with dragons, but I don’t remember the exact name anymore. Shortly afterwards they said: Let’s go to Elk Meadow and kill Corcodillos. Everyone was level 1 and it took 10-15 minutes and 10 players to kill him and we died several times anyway, it was marvelous! 😀

There were just a few zones, so we did all of them daily. After we destroyed the archery targets, Ardent was overrun by gnomes. It was simply an awesome time!
The best improvement was crafting. I was permanently broke. Buying vials for cooking, oil for smithing etc., it was really exhausting to craft. You had to be a genius and prove endless patience and without gold, crafting was impossible.

If you could live in any period of history, when would it be and why? Ancient Rome – that would be cool. Gladiators and this stuff really fascinates me, also the casual way of life. If I’m allowed to quote from (German) Wikipedia: “The ancient Rome with its different peoples, languages and religion was state, society and not least a materialization of the idea of “imperium sine fine,” of an immeasurable empire. With this sentence in my head, I started my guild back then!

Are there any aspects about Villagers & Heroes that sometimes make you want to briefly throttle a dev? If so, what are they? (In other words, let’s hear some pet peeves!) Hmm, I wouldn’t proceed this brutish *laughs* ….it has to endure long and be painful. Nonsense, the worst are the lags lasting a few seconds, when nothing is working anymore and you have to try to kill the mobs with your gaze. Unfortunately it doesn’t work, just as little as my despicable attempt to try to hypnotize them.^^

What is the last song that you sang aloud when you were alone? You must be kidding! You better not laugh!!!! “Einer dieser Steine” from Sid ft. Mark Foster. Nevertheless, I’m mostly just humming, but this all the time and everywhere. Singing rather seldom.

You are a level 75 Warrior, and also have a level 75 Hunter. Which class to you prefer to play? If you could combine a few of your favorite aspects about both classes, what would they be? ? I would like to have a warrior whose sword is as long as the reach of a hunter! *lol* It would also be interesting if you could soak your sword with poison! I don’t prefer one of the classes and have three 75ers by the way. Beside the warrior and the hunter I also play a priest and I like all of them. Every class has its advantages and it is fun to change from time to time. The only class I don’t like is the Wizard, I’m too stupid for this. :) It just isn’t the thing for me!

With regards to new content and upcoming zones in the future, what sorts of challenges would you most like to see? I would like to have a desert-themed zone sooo much with a scorpion boss in a pyramid, sandworms and snakes. New monsters would be great, everywhere are the same ones. As to the rest… It’s difficult to answer the question about challenges. You’ll do it great, I totally depend on you…

What is the most memorable battle experience that you have had in Villagers & Heroes? Please describe. That was definitively the Banshee Queen. We forged out battle plans like that we sneaked along the wall so that the skeletons won’t see us. I could still crack up when I think about it. But some day, it worked.^^

V&H is of course fantasy-themed. Please share with us some of your favorite fantasy-themed films or books over the years. What did you enjoy about them? You are mean! Now I have to reveal me!^^ I like all four of the “Twilight” books but the movies were crap. The mystery “vampire” … After all, I’m only a girl! 😀 I also like the “Divergent” trilogy. It’s a great book… A girl who has to fight… I like that. Certainly, there’s also a love story… A girl thing^^

What pet companion would you most like to see added to V&H, and why? Don’t be mad, but I don’t like the companions that much. I don’t think that pets who are flying behind fit to the game. What would be interesting, and what I’m still waiting for, are the monsters which you can raise and are able to accompany the players in battle. Or if they water my garden would it be fine with me, too…

What other activities do you enjoy when you are not playing Villagers & Heroes? I love my garden, especially digging on all four legs in the dirt. Furthermore, I like it to go fishing and last year, we fulfilled a dream of ours. We went fishing across the Shannon in Ireland for 10 days. I caught a huuuuuge baby-pikes *laughs*. I have to admit, that I had bad luck with the big pikes…. But who knows, perhaps I’ll get another chance.

Any thoughts on how Tiberius could be persuaded to do a live stream on EU 2? Hmm, I don’t know. I think I have a picture somewhere, where he wears a bunny costume from the first Easter event. Perhaps I can blackmail him with this *laughs*. Otherwise… Does he like beer?^^

Our good friends, The Sneaky Scibbler and Avenian are once again in rare form! A big thank you to both of these players for continually supplying us with wonderful content!

From The Sneaky Scribbler (US 2):

Love VAH Style

You Said It:

The mods are getting mean:
“A level 13 mod just killed me.” — Healing Shamen (US1)

Special Delivery!
“My tush is on its way.” — Franka (US2)

On essentials:
“I told you I do NOT have a midget in my pocket!” — Laszroth (US2)

Damon’s new rival?
“I think I love you, Dark Talon!” —Sarah Otter (visiting US2)

Poetry night:
“And Secret Laughter Spilled From The Heavens, Laughter To Cause Even The Most Versed Of Tavern Maids To Blush.” — LuckyC (US2)

“There once was a beastie named Druda, with the temperment of a barracuda. I beg and I plead, but no drops that I need, it’s enough to make a monk slap his buddha.” — Penny Cillin (US2)

Top Five Tips for Beginners by Avenian (US 1)

I really enjoy Villagers and Heroes, and reasons why I do are plentiful. However, to someone new to the community, everything can be a bit overwhelming. When I first started playing, I would often ask myself, “Self, what should we do next?” Actually, I still ask that question because there is still so much that I want do to. So here are some tips to help out those new to Villagers and Heroes.

  1. Do the Tutorial/Starter Zones.
    These beginning zones are great to get you accustomed to the many facets of this game. You learn everything from gathering, crafting, combat, and developing the skills of your class. It is a great way to get a feel for V&H while taking on the many early quests.
  2. Build a House.
    The starter zones are done, and you have made your way to Ardent City. You may see people crafting away, running around the capital, or even gathering at the Auction House. This would be a good to build a house…and there is a quest for that too!!! Having a house is great because it gives you an extra vault for storage. Plus, you will be able start Gardening and expand on your Ranching skills.
  3. Join a Guild.
    Being a member of a guild is a great way to develop your skills while creating friendships. Villagers and Heroes is fun, but it is even more fun when you play with others. Now, joining a guild can be a process and a great place to find guilds that are recruiting is in the forum website. And, that brings me to my next tip….
  4. Read the Forums.
    The V&H Forums is an amazing spot for tips, guides, discussions, contests, and upcoming events to name a few. Whether you want to be active in the forums or not, I have found that the forums are my number one stop before logging in. I also usually access it while playing too because of the great guides created by many of the talented community members.
  5. Ask Questions.
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. You may not get the answer right away, but I have found that the fantastic community members are great at helping others. I was greatly honoured earlier this week when I was able to defeat Lord Pyrrus for the first time. Defeating him wasn’t the honour, it was the number of people who can out to help me and the number of people asking others to join in the fun. I cannot thank all the people enough who have helped me.

And remember: Keep Calm and Game On!

These past few weeks the Mad Otter team has been incredibly fortunate to have a new guest member join our group! Fresh out of the University of Oregon and armed with a degree in Digital Arts, Xu Peng is an extremely talented artist who has been working on an exciting new aspect for Villagers & Heroes.

Peng (as we call him) grew up in NanChang, in the south of China, and is a dedicated gamer with a passion for painting and an affinity for the fantasy game genre especially.

So just what exactly has Peng been working on for V&H? As most of you are all probably aware, with Reborn came an all new character create section followed by a fly cam video providing a brief tour of Ethos Island, narrated by one of the characters in the game. This video, however, has posed some problems given that the quality of it has varied greatly depending upon individual computers. In other words, for many it is choppy and out-of-sync with the voiced narration, and overall is a rather bumpy ride to say the least.

Enter Peng and his paintbrush, and digital savviness. Replacing the fly cam video will be an animated sequence of pictures depicting the zone, Mallok, the Legendary Four, and more, all of which correspond with the voiced narration.

The paintings are a wonderful introduction into the feel and lore of the V&H world – the classical style of Peng’s art evokes a sense of mythology and elegant beauty, and will ideally have new players feeling as though they have just stepped into a magical land where fantastical adventures and a more nostalgic way of life await them.

We are all looking forward to Peng’s animated video!


Name: Bevyn The Abominable
Location: Bevyn’s Coille

Such horrors the giant green beast with the face of a devil and the wings of a dragon committed in the Coille! Shortly after his arrival, the unwanted invader cursed the gushing river which flowed to Sunkentooth and transformed it into a murky bog, then set himself up as Lord of the Coille and reigned terror down upon the peaceful Spriggans who had long inhabited the forested region.

Bevyn slaughtered the innocent creatures for pure delight. His cruelty knew no bounds, and Spriggans, or what remained of them after his violent purge, were then after kept as his slaves – tortured playthings for the sadistic tyrant to amuse himself with.

But as the years passed, Bevyn’s amusement waned. He grew bored of his Spriggan toys, and became increasingly isolated. With solitude comes madness, and Bevyn’s already twisted mind now began to rot further with a new obsession: his legacy, and the need for an heir, a beast of his own species, who would in turn continue the line of succession.

And so it was that Bevyn turned to the insidious art of Necromancy, and sought counsel with the spirits of the Dead. A vile bargain was struck with Prince Laurent, the dark sovereign of a ghostly nether realm. In exchange for the Stones of Creation, magical pebbles that when tossed by Bevyn onto the ground would rise up again as living beasts of his species, heirs for Bevyn, Prince Laurent demanded that Bevyn procure for him in return, a living human child.

Bevyn quickly cast his frenzied eyes around the Coille, and soon spied a fisherman with his family. Much to Bevyn’s maniacal delight, the fisherman had not one child, but two – identical twin boys, not yet the age of six, named Rasmus and Resmus. Bevyn quickly slew their frantic mother, and swept into the air with the screaming twin boys firmly in his clutches as the anguished fisherman below watched helplessly as his sons were carried away.

As ordered by Prince Laurent, Bevyn constructed an elaborate altar. It was a horrifyingly regal ceremony that commenced two days later. Rasmus and Resmus were placed upon the altar as Bevyn, kneeling down upon the ground, head bowed before the ghostly sovereign, offered up his utterances of eternal fealty to Prince Laurent.

And so it was that Bevyn was quite unaware of the fisherman, who stealthily crept up behind the kneeling Bevyn and fatally plunged a spear through the neck of the great winged beast. The fisherman quickly lunged for his children, but Prince Laurent, incensed to have had the ritual so despoiled, swiftly took for himself one of the twin boys, Resmus, and vanished into the eerie gloom of The Dunes of the Dead with him.

Prince Laurent, though never to be seen again, did leave behind a final parting gift in his wake. Well pleased with Bevyn’s oaths of fealty, the ghostly sovereign allowed the slain beast to rise again as one of the Undead.

In the very spot where he died, Bevyn the Abominable rages there today, a savage beast who seeks vengeance upon all those who live. He is spied on often by Rasmus, now an old man, who to this day continues to search always for his missing twin brother.


The winners of the Halloween dress-up contest!

The Halloween dress-up contest event was great fun! Thank you to all who participated. You can view all of the wonderful entries on our forums here.

And as always, a very big thank you to Puzzler for organizing this contest!

The winners were:

First place = Astro (US 1)

Second Place = Rolak (US 1)

Third Place = Iyah (US 1)

Patch 3.7.5 – The Secret Of The Coille
November 18, 2015

New high-level zone: Bevyn’s Coille

This dangerous and beautiful zone is the first installment of the series The Voyage Through The Blighted Isles. The Secret of the Coille features a chain of intriguing new story-driven quests, exceedingly difficult foes to battle which will test the abilities of even the most formidable of heroes, and the zone itself is rife with intoxicating scenery, hidden wonders, and the occasional nightmarish surprise or two.

Level cap raise

The max level has been raised to 77 for all skills.

New feature: Legendary Crafting

Crafters who craft weapons and gear that are level 70 and higher will now be able to participate in legendary crafting. As a player crafts normal weapons and armor, they will become more proficient in their skill with that exact recipe, with a chance of crafting new legendary gear.

New Feature: Item Salvaging

Players can now salvage refined ingredients from weapons and armor. Using new Salvaging Rods, the base item will be destroyed and you will gain refined ingredients.

New Feature: Elite Crafting Quests

Crafting between levels 1-40 is now much easier – after level 40, there are now special elite crafting quests. From there on crafting is much more challenging, but also brings its own rewards.

And more!

This patch also features removal of node depletion, a new death recap window, inventory improvements and general improvements and bugfixes.

For the full patch notes, go here:

Now released: The Secret Of The Coille!

The exciting new patch of high-level content and game improvements has been released – The Secret Of The Coille! This dangerous and beautiful zone is the first installment of the series The Voyage Through The Blighted Isles.

The Secret of the Coille features a chain of intriguing new story-driven quests, exceedingly difficult foes to battle which will test the abilities of even the most formidable of heroes, and the zone itself is rife with intoxicating scenery, hidden wonders, and the occasional nightmarish surprise or two. What else can you expect? New monsters, new music, new bosses, new achievements, new items, new level cap raise, and much, much, more!

Meet the Spriggans!

The Coille is home of the mysterious Spriggans – an enchanting new species of creatures who inhabit the woodsy Coille, and who now find themselves at war with the neighboring Treants.

Reach level 77!

This first part in the series sees a level cap increase – you can now reach level 77 to become more powerful than ever before, and there is more to come in future chapters!

Legendary Crafting!

Reach new heights of crafting with the all-new Legendary Crafting system! You can now acquire even better gear, with a sprinkling of luck tossed in to truly add to the element of fun!

The Secret of the Coille isn’t just for high level players! This extensive patch contains a vast many improvements to the game itself, and players of any level will surely be invigorated by the number of new features to be found within Villagers & Heroes. Crafters can expect an entire new element of gameplay known as Legendary Crafting, as well as the addition of a series of Elite Crafting Quests.

Significant combat, gathering, and quality of life improvements have all been made, most noticeably in auto sorting features, xp modifications, and the introduction of a special new instrument designed for players which enables them to salvage refined materials from existing gear. And that’s just to name a few of the exciting new improvements that all players can look forward to in The Secret of the Coille.

The Ardent Monthly Ledger - Issue 13
November 6, 2015

Coming in Mid-November: The Secret of the Coille!

What cubed maze of woodsy wonder is this? Just one of many intriguing new areas within the zone known as Bevyn’s Coille!

‘The Secret of the Coille,’ the first installment in our series, ‘The Voyage Through The Blighted Isles,’ will task the abilities of players in a variety of different ways – difficult foes to battle, a mystery to be solved, a civil war in need of being diffused, and much more! Get ready for all new quests, bosses, achievements, items, recipes, music, monsters, and the list goes on!

Stay tuned for more reveals next week….

While ‘The Secret of the Coille’ will at long last satisfy anxious players who have been itching for new content, the overall patch also comes with a great many other new improvements and features which we believe all players, especially craft-loving ones, will surely be excited about.

With this patch, for example, comes the introduction of what we are calling, ‘Legendary Crafting.’ The premise is simple, but the effort and perseverance required, not to mention the inherent skill involved in mastering certain recipes, will prove to be refreshingly complex, and ultimately quite rewarding.

Crafters at Level 70 or higher will now have the opportunity to advance their proficiencies and create the ultimate gear by rising in newly assigned ranks specified to designated recipes for weapons and armor, the highest rank being five. As a player levels up in a recipe, the chances of getting better gear increases in that these crafted items will have basic stat boosts – armor and health, elemental damage, etc. Once a crafter has achieved a rank of five in a given recipe (which is by no means an easy accomplishment), they will have the opportunity to create a ‘legendary item.’ And here’s where things get especially interesting, a bit like spinning a wheel of fortune!

The legendary item will randomly be one of nine versions for weapons, and one of four versions for garb (including hat, gloves, boots, belt, and outfit), and each item will differ from the other in terms of stat boosts. While some versions will be uniquely superior, all of the legendary items will have all of their feats, spells, and proficiencies boosted by an entire rank.

There is certainly an element of luck involved, which will add a little spice to crafting now. There is no guarantee that a crafter at Rank Five in a recipe will receive the best gear or armor, and consequently might have to craft it several more times to obtain the most desirable stats. And all of this of course has the added benefit of energizing the in-game economy in that there will likely be an influx of buying and selling seen in the Auction House.

But most of all, Legendary Crafting now provides our craft-loving players with stimulating new challenges, which will yield exciting rewards!
(And there’s another exciting new feature coming with The Secret of the Coille which goes hand in hand with Legendary Crafting…..)

Player: Karen Souldancer
Server: US 2
Class: Hunter

Villagers & Heroes has often been referred to as being a “niche game.” What are your thoughts on this? (Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?) I don’t think it is a niche game. Is being family-friendly what makes it niche? If that’s the case, there really is something wrong with the game industry! I don’t always want to play a game where the girl toon’s armour just doesn’t look like it’ll do the job!

If you could pick one Elder Boss in the game to be in your guild, and help on Village Projects, and go on bounty runs with, who would it be and why? Probably Undadar in the Rift. He’s a Leafwad and seems to really like me. Village projects always need beams. I hope he doesn’t mind donating limbs to craft into beams.

As a Hunter, what are some of your favorite aspects about the class? And least favorite? My least favourite aspect of being a hunter is that being ranged dps, the event boss fights just aren’t that interesting when there is a decent sized group. You could mash keys, or go AFK most of the time and probably no one would notice.

My favourite part is solo play or with partner. Whether you use sneak or retreat, you have to be aware of the monsters around you, and what happens when you come out of retreat to fight, or how retreat affects how monsters aggro your partner. How you attack is important too, since the order of attacks can change whether my character wins the fight or dies. Hunter also has several buffs that can be put on yourself or your partner.

How would you describe yourself in five words or less? Ugh! I really don’t know how to answer it. If you have to put something down: “Crazy, lateral, analytical.”

What aspects about Villagers & Heroes first drew you to the game, and keep you playing today? I have friends on both US1 and US2. A bunch of us separately found this game after the game we used to play shutdown. It took me a long time to get into it, as it is a bigger challenge and not as fast paced as other games out there, but eventually I enjoyed the challenge.

If there were to be a movie about your life, who would you cast to play yourself? Is there a female equivalent to Seth Green? Ha, I have no idea why that popped into my head but it seems so appropriate. If not, then Natalie Portman…hey this is a movie right? doesn’t have to be a realistic portrayal!

If you could select and organize a future live stream for V&H, what would it be of? (Specifically, is there anything you would like watch within the game, and possibly learn more about?) I’d love to see someone who understands all the spell fusion combos demonstrate them, and show how much more powerful they can make a party of mixed classes, if that’s the case.

What are some of your all-time favorite board games, and why? Ooh, most of them don’t have an actual board. Are those allowed? I like Munchkin, Chez Geek, and Pictionary. I also love Boggle, if only because I can win by pure brute force – I’ll get more 3 letter words than anyone – it’s not elegantly played at all so no one wants to play against me.

If you could create a new village project of any kind, what would it be? With the training grounds, the empyrean machine, and the improved crafting stations, I already got most of what I wanted in village projects, but I’d love to have a board that gives you a small buff for all villagers. You’d have to complete a task that earns you a buff for the week, such as hero or villager XP bonus, extra loot, or extra supplies.

Do you enjoy PVP games? In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of PVP? I play another game where I play a lot of server vs server. I really enjoy that, as the options are really endless. Once you finish all the fixed content, PvP let’s you keep enjoying a fresh challenge. You aren’t fighting an AI which once you figure out, is the same each time. The con is that there are always people so much better than you that you’re dead before you hit 2 keys – that’s frustrating!

If you could live in any zone in V&H, which would it be and why? Lake Kiwa. With the mountains, forests and water, it really reminds me of where I live. And it’s peaceful, so I could go for a hike in the mountains and forests, or go kayaking in the lakes and streams…. Of course I’d have to visit Shiverspine and hike up to Villar Summit to go skiing.

Which author, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with? Roald Dahl was my favourite author as a child. He wrote fantastic stories about children who were very poor (poorer than my family had been when I was very young), but they were rich in family, and went on fantastic adventures. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Danny, the Champion of the World were my favourites.

I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. He has a very humorous way of making social and political commentary combining anecdotes and statistics. I’d love to talk to him to hear what else he has to say. As crazy as some of his stories sound, being a hiker, I can really seem them happening.

Read it first in The Ledger! We are very pleased to announce The Royal Guardians of the Realm for the month of October! Thank you to these four exceptional players for their outstanding contributions to the game, to the community, and for consistently going above and beyond in all of their efforts for Villagers & Heroes!


King Leo appoints the following Guardians:

Bless/Selia (EU 1)

Temp512 (US 1)

Grrrh/Mackiai (EU 2)

Curb Stomp Justice (US 2)

‘Bugs’ – a word all of you are much familiar with, and have undoubtedly experienced at one time or another in your game playing adventures. We thought then that you might enjoy getting a behind the scenes look at the bug-squashing process, or more specifically, we’d like to give you a better idea of how exactly certain problems are solved in game development.

Damon needed no coaxing for this! In general, he has little time to indulge in his love of coding, but last week, he decided there was a certain bug that he’d had enough with, and, so, threw himself into the task of personally solving it. Here is Damon himself, to talk with you all about it.


We received complaints from some new players about getting stuck on fences and walls. Since Liam is busy on a secret project (shhh), I decided to make the fix. I don’t program often, so it’s fun when I have a chance to do it a little.

The idea for the fix was pretty simple: when a player runs into a wall at an angle, they should slide along the wall instead of just stopping. This way if they just graze a fence, or corner of building, they will slide on past it without having to re-adjust their direction.

Programming simple things is harder than describing them in English. All the small details matter. For example, when the player grazes a surface, what speed should they move along the surface? I am going to use a little math here, but really the ideas can be understood just by looking at the pictures. I think I need a diagram.

The arrow shows where the player would move to if there were no wall. You can see that the arrow intersects the wall at the point of collision. So the first part of the movement should move the player to that point. But what happens after that? My idea is they should slide along the wall, parallel to it. That seems best. But how far and how fast? I figured it should be that part of their movement in the direction of the wall. I am using the word “arrow.” (If this were more formal, I’d use the word vector instead.) We can solve this problem by deciding how these arrows should be set up.

See the arrow labeled “slide”. How long should slide be? Using a branch of math called linear algebra, it’s easy to compute. It’s the projection of remainder along the wall. There’s a really simple formula for that: slide = wall’s unit arrow * ( wall’s unit arrow . remainder arrow) The period in the middle represents the dot product, which sounds fancy, but is really just a simple multiply and add.

The final movement for the player is just this:
final movement arrow = arrow to point of collision + slide arrow
(Aside: Vector math and linear algebra is actually easy stuff compared to other branches of math. By the way, it forms the basis of 3d graphics programming.)

The problem gets more complicated when you realize that it’s possible that the slide arrow might *also* collide with another wall. For example, in a corner, or along a cave with a curved wall. So, to handle this, we just process the slide arrow like we processed the initial arrow. That’s what is called an iteration in programming. Iterations like this can be done on computers with loops. A loop is just a piece of code that runs in a circle until a certain condition is met and then it stops. A silly metaphor for this might be an “eat dinner loop”, which would look something like this:

  1. Take a bite of food
  2. Chew food and swallow
  3. If I am still hungry AND there is still food on my plate, go back to step 1.
  4. Take my plate to the kitchen sink.

Steps 1 through 3 are just a loop.

Here’s a code snippet that shows the solution in C++. I added some comments in it for those readers who are interested in coding. Nothing in this is particularly spectacular or fancy. It’s just bread-and-butter game coding that is done to provide a better user experience.

Point3F v = *adjustedVelocity;
*adjustedVelocity = Point3F( 0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);

int iterations = 4; 
// This is how many times we process the slide arrow past the initial collision.
// If we did not have this, the loop would potentially be unbounded. A “pathological”
// case could lead to an infinite loop. When this happens, the game will have appeared
// to hang.

bool hitStatic;

// note: the do...while() loop is fairly rare in c++.  for() and while() loops are
// more common.  It’s actually fun when you have a case where the do...while() loop
// is preferred.

  hitStatic = false;

  F32 vLength = v.len();
  Point3F vNormal = v; // Create vNormal (unit velocity)

  // Now we are going to check for a collision between the player and the world
  //  in 4 different places. If we only checked at one place, a player might be
  //  be able to run half his body through the wall, or run through a fence that is 
  //  lower than the player’s chest, etc. Even 4 checks is not sufficient for all
  //  cases - you will notice in V&H *sometimes* you can run through some waist high
  //  fences.  We could do 12 checks or so, and this would eliminate all these problems
  //  but this would slow the game down more than necessary.

  // #1) check chest height
  Point3F extendedV = vNormal * (vLength + objRadius + 0.05f);
  Point3F end = start + extendedV;
  F32 tNearest = 1.0f;
  Point3F normalNearest;
  // Note: Here comes the magic function - castRay()! This is a so-called “ray cast”
  //  these check a segment of a line to see if they intersect anything in the world
  //  like a building, or a rock, etc.  Ray casts are very powerful, but they are still
  //  a little bit slow even on today’s very powerful computers.  20 years ago games 
  //  rarely would use ray casts.  Now they are commonplace, but should always be 
  //  used prudently.
  if ( obj->getContainer()->castRay( start, end, isStationaryCallback, &rinfo ) )       
      tNearest = rinfo.t;
      normalNearest = rinfo.normal;
      // setting this flag tells the rest of the function a collision has occurred. 
      hitStatic = true;  

  // #2) check waist high (belly button!)
  Point3F newStart = start;
  newStart.z -= obj->getAdjustedObjLen_Z() * 0.15f;
  end = newStart + extendedV;
  if ( obj->getContainer()->castRay( newStart, end, isStationaryCallback, &rinfo ) )
      hitStatic = true;
      if ( rinfo.t < tNearest )
         tNearest = rinfo.t;
         normalNearest = rinfo.normal;

  // #3) check left shoulder
  // create a 2d vector of length objRadius in direction of v
  Point3F shoulder = vNormal;
  shoulder *= objRadius;
  newStart = start;
  newStart.x = start.x + shoulder.y; 
  newStart.y = start.y - shoulder.x;
  end = newStart + extendedV;
  if ( obj->getContainer()->castRay( newStart, end, isStationaryCallback, &rinfo ) ) 
      hitStatic = true;
      if ( rinfo.t < tNearest )
         tNearest = rinfo.t;
         normalNearest = rinfo.normal;

  // #4) check right shoulder
  newStart.x = start.x - shoulder.y; 
  newStart.y = start.y + shoulder.x;
  end = newStart + extendedV;
  if ( obj->getContainer()->castRay( newStart, end, isStationaryCallback, &rinfo ) )
      hitStatic = true;
      if ( rinfo.t < tNearest )
         tNearest = rinfo.t;
         normalNearest = rinfo.normal;

  Point3F vLast = v;
  // hitStatic means a collision occurred!
  //  that means we need to compute the “slide vector” that runs parallel
  //  to the surface of the wall
  if ( hitStatic )
      didHitStatic = true;
      // Calculate the delta to the point of collision
      F32 colDist = tNearest * extendedV.len();
      vLast = getMin( vLength, getMax( colDist - objRadius - 0.05f , 0.0f) )  * vNormal;
      Point3F vNext = v - vLast;
      normalNearest.z = getMax( normalNearest.z, 0.0f ); 
      vNext -= ( normalNearest * mDot( normalNearest, vNext ) );

      // Update for the next iteration
      v = vNext;
      start += vLast;

  *adjustedVelocity += vLast;

} while ( iterations && hitStatic );
// Bam! And suddenly the function is done.  That’s the power of a loop.

You know them and love them, and here they are again, or two favorite volunteer Ledger columnists: The Sneaky Scribbler of US 2, and Avenian of US 1!

From The Sneaky Scribbler:


Tragedy in Briny Caverns this weekend: this young toon died while wandering in circles attempting to find her way out. Her faithful skitter stayed by her side until the end, and then it ate her.

One Eye (US2) was happy to feed his sheep cabbage and apples, but drew the line when they asked for a human hand!

You Said It:

Chivalry = Dead

"Every time I sit here my female screams. Gone to clean shower room and give her a shower and let her out." -- Sequeira (US1)

Rift run or...

"Maybe I'll go drink some cyanide in moderation." -- AngelinaCopperscale (US2)

On master craftsmanship:

"I am tailoring and each time I level up I pass gas." -- Laudia (US2)

Maybe this will help:

"I had a dog one time, a chihuahua that didn't have teeth, and her lil tongue stook out. So I felt bad and went to a craft store and bought her these lil glasses to wear." -- PINKYPOO (US2)

/Slash Commands By Avenian

One common feature I have found with many online games is the slash command. This is the ability of typing a command into the chat box in order to perform some other action in the game. Villagers and Heroes is no different, and there are a number of commands for your fingers to finger. I am not going to list them all here, but there are some valuable resources to find your needs.

Doing a search in the forums for “slash commands” will bring up a couple great threads listing a variety of options. Also, a fine source is on the V&H website under “Game Info”. You can scroll down to the “Social” section and find commands after clicking on the “Chatting” box. Of course, you can view commands in game by typing the helpful command “/help”.

There is one command that used to scare me. I remember early in my V&H life that I didn’t want to type in this command. I was concerned with I might find, and if that would have an impact on the future of playing. However, I decided to face my fears and typed in the most fearful of commands…. “/playtime”.

When I first entered the command, I thought to myself, “wow that is a lot.” Now, I see it as a neat feature that shows me how much time I have played on my account and how much time I have dedicated to my toon. The calculation shows me how much actual game time I have played on my account.


I know many people will have more time accumulated than myself. This often gives some great insight into how many level 75 characters or skills they have and how skillful they are in the game. It is like a badge of honor. It should have an achievement that is rewarded upon reaching certain levels. Maybe even part ownership in Mad Otter Games if your playtime is greater than the developers.

Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1