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The Ardent Monthly Ledger - Issue 2
August 11, 2015

latest_news

Coming soon: Item Shop Previews!

shop

In addition to new content, V&H has a number of other exciting improvements and features in store for you! Like what, you ask? How about: a completely renovated item shop in which players will at long last have the ability to preview all outfits and accessories first. That’s right, the days of wondering if that shade of blue or green is right for your priest, or if the latest event zone garb will suitably match your wizard staff are over!

The preview feature will enable players to dress up their own toon in any outfit displayed in our item shop – and the attire options to choose from will have increased considerably. We’ve added a number of new special appearance packs, as well as class specific packs. Hunters, Warriors, Wizards, and Priests will all have exclusive garb to choose from, not to mention a few other little surprises.
The Ardent Weekly Ledger will continue to reveal more about what players can look forward to in upcoming editions.


interview
V&H Staff: Tiberius
Name: Tiberius / Thorsten Wind
Company: Neonga
Position: Community Manager

You know him, you love him, some of you fear him; he is the invisible maestro of the forums and the chief handler of all customer support issues in the game whose fierce intelligence, sardonic humor, and dedication to his job have all been essential to the fuel that keeps Villagers & Heroes running today. He is Tiberius.
I think it’s fair to say that V & H would be quite lost without him. I know the devs would. Though he lives in Germany and we’ve never actually met him face to face, it nonetheless often feels as though he is in in the office with us every day. He is an integral part of our team, not to mention a helluva guy. But enough rambling! It’s time to lift the curtain, or at least raise it partially, so that you can all finally get to know a little bit more about the ever enigmatic Tiberius.

How many years total have you been working in the game industry for, and which game did you work for prior to this one? I started working in the industry in 1999, so pretty much when the internet for everybody was still in its infancy and the first MMOs were coming out. During my career I have worked for a number of companies, from the big players like Activision to small startups like Neonga. The last game I worked for prior to Villagers & Heroes was a game called Runes of Magic, which was quite successful when we released it in 2009 and it’s still running today.

Customer Support can often be grueling, given that the emotions of passionate gamers can sometimes run high. I’m sure that over the years you’ve had a few memorable experiences regarding excessively disgruntled players. Care to share one with us? I have been working in customer support on and off quite regularly during my career, so I have my fair share of disgruntled customers. That inevitably comes with the job. But you develop a pretty thick skin over the years and I’m not one to scare easily, so even the most heinous threats and insults usually bounce off of me. Having said that, receiving death threats about a video game still is pretty stark if you ask me. And unfortunately that has happened.

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To say that you are a sports enthusiast would be putting it mildly. Which team(s) and sports are your favorites? Yes! If there’s any sports on the telly, I’ll probably watch it and I can’t thank my girlfriend enough, because she’s putting up with that for the last ten years without complaining. My favourite sports would be football, Bundesliga and Premier League mainly, and motorsports of course. Since Formula 1 is rather boring these days, I favor touring cars and Le Mans Prototype races.

You have been with V&H since day one, and have watched it go through countless changes. If you were to contrast the game now, with, say, three years ago, what are some of the first differences that pop into your head? The sheer size and diversity our game is offering now! I still remember when we started with just a handful of zones, basic crafting mechanisms and besides very few quests only monsters to kill as a pastime. Our game has really evolved into something compared to the beginnings and there’s so many things we have added: villages, auction house, bounties, ingame messaging system, daily quests, dozens of zones with hundreds of monsters and quests, numerous level cap raises, gnogmenting, ranching, gardening and I could go on and on …

Do you consider yourself to be a ‘gamer?’ Yes, absolutely. Being a passionate gamer was what brought me into the industry in the first place. I guess played most major MMOs privately and still play on or the other from time to time. I also own an Xbox One and I play mostly FPS and racing games on it.

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You chose a very specific Roman emperor, ‘Tiberius,’ to name yourself after. Any special significance in that choice, or is it purely coincidental? (And for the record, we’re awfully glad you didn’t go with Caligula or Nero.) Back when I was searching for a fitting name for my first gamemaster character, I wrote a paper about Tiberius for one of my university courses and I took the name, because I thought he was quite a remarkable Emperor and person. He was overshadowed by other Emperors of the period – his predecessor Augustus und successor Caligula come to mind – and he wasn’t particularly liked by his subjects at the end of his reign, but he left a bigger and more powerful Roman Empire. He is also characterized by Roman historian Pliny the Elder as “the gloomiest of man” and I can relate to that character trait at least a little bit, so I thought the name was fitting.

What is your most favorite aspect about your job? What is your least favorite? The most positive aspect is that no two days are ever the same. There’s always something new and/or unexpected happening, so it never gets boring. I also worked in start-ups predominantly through my career together with some friends, which I really like because of the flat hierarchies. If there’s something you want to change or improve, you can usually implement it pretty quickly without too much red tape. Working on start-ups has also one disadvantage: you’re pretty much always undermanned which results in not having enough time to tackle all the things you would like to do.

What’s the most absurd experience you’ve had while on V&H? (i.e. a catastrophe, or a significant event, or any kind of bizarre anecdote that you’ll still remember years from now.) I don’t remember any real catastrophes that happened while I was working for V&H, which is nice. The most absurd thing that has happened during my gaming career probably was when the headquarters of the company I was working for at that time had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat. They only found out much later, that it came from a disgruntled gamer who wasn’t happy that his account was permanently banned for cheating.

If you hadn’t ended up with a career in the gaming industry, what other profession(s) would you have liked to have pursued? I think I would have become a historian, researching some obscure historical fact in the basement of a library amidst hundreds of old books and parchments. Yes, if they hadn’t invented computer games in general and MMOs in particular that probably would be me today.

How do our American microbrews compare to German beer? I’m not a particularly avid beer drinker, so there probably will be more competent people to answer that. But in times where the ingredient lists of most things we eat and drink resemble the content list of my childhood chemistry set, I’ll stick to beer that’s been brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law), regardless of where it’s brewed.


latest_news

Live Streaming

We are incredibly fortunate to not only have a dedicated player who live streams Villagers & Heroes on a regular basis, thereby increasing exposure for our game, but who also was kind enough to write an informative article for us on the topic, which will be so helpful to players who are interested in learning how to live stream. Thank you, Truthfairy!

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Live Streaming & Twitch – By TruthFairy
Watching other people play games has become nearly as popular as playing them yourself. Twitch.tv is the foremost live streaming site for gamers, with over 45 million unique visitors a month viewing over 6 million different channels. Astonishingly, Twitch ranks just behind Netflix, Google and Apple in prime time web browsing. Whether to learn how to play or enjoy watching someone else make mistakes, gamers love watching other people play games. Live streaming is a great way to gain exposure for yourself, your favorite games or your gaming community and it’s remarkably easy to get started!

To livestream, you need a Twitch account, livestreaming software and a microphone, as well as a decent computer and internet connection. The first step is to create a Twitch account and customize the settings and graphics for your new channel. Once your channel is ready, you’ll need a way to live stream your gaming. I highly recommend Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) because it’s free, very versatile, and easy to use. (It will also record your gameplay, if desired, which makes it a great choice for those also making videos.) There are lots of online tutorials for choosing your OBS settings, so you can follow easy instructions and be ready to go within minutes.

While many popular channels have sophisticated overlays, webcams, music and interactivity, most do not and you can livestream effectively without all the bells and whistles. Creating and connecting your Steam, YouTube and Twitter accounts will help you gain exposure.

Livestreaming is lots of fun, too! Be sure to talk about what you are doing while livestreaming and interact with those chatting on your Twitch channel. Those watching your channel expect you to reply to questions and verbally acknowledge new followers, so be sure to keep your Twitch channel window open while you are livestreaming. Some streamers watch their channel chat on their cell phone or tablet using the Twitch app.

Players who are exceptional at gaming (or just entertaining) can become very successful on Twitch. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy sharing our gaming time with friends through livestreaming, which can be a very rewarding addition to your gaming time!

For any of you who have questions, or would like some help on how to live stream, please feel free to contact TruthFairy at: [email protected] (Or message her via the forums.)


latest_news
Furry Tales

This year’s Midsummer’s build introduced a lively new entity into the game, one which has been appreciated by many – pets.

Unsurprisingly, in real life, the devs of V&H adore their actual pets, and, like proud parents, we often spend many a moment in the office gushing to each other about our much loved furry companions. You might also be interested to know that Damon, in particular, has an unrestrained obsession for cute kitty You Tube videos, and has been known on more than one occasion to disrupt valuable work time by repeatedly sending us links to these videos. Sometimes we just have to cut him off.

For this edition of the Ledger, we thought it would be fun to share our pets with you all! To make things more interesting, we’ve turned it into a matching game. Try to guess which pet shown below, belongs to which Mad Otter dev. The answers will be revealed next week. The winner of this contest will receive a free yearly subscription to the Ardent Weekly Ledger. (Ha-ha!) Feel free to post your guesses, though.

For reference, here are all Otters with pets! Not all devs have pets, and some devs have more than one pet.

Otters

Meet Calypso.

Calypso

Could there be a more fitting name for a cat owned by a Villagers & Heroes dev? But unlike the fierce sorceress of the game, this Calypso avoids battles and is a sweet, gentle soul with a non-stop purr who craves affection at all times.

Meet Bjorn and Sofie.

Samson

These Pomeranian beauties are a lively, and much pampered pair of dogs. Bjorn is still not quite full-grown, and his boundless energy can often tire out his beleaguered owner, who can only throw the toy to be retrieved so many times in a row. Sofie, however, is an older, elegant creature, who helps keeps her little brother, Bjorn, in line.

Meet Samson.

Samson

Also known as ‘Dumpy Adonis,’ he is a zany and slightly daft cat with an enormous belly that he is fond of frequently displaying to any who might rub it. Samson is the apple of his owner’s eye.

Meet Little Bit.

Little Bit

This wild little cat is always in motion, and especially loves to run right up the legs of his owner, whom he also treats like a scratching post. He also enjoys munching on human toes as well. But when he at last settles down, there is none so loving as Little Bit.

Meet Enzo.

Enzo

This strapping cat is a mighty hunter – much to the dismay of his owner who dislikes the many gifts he brings – but, he’s also insanely sweet and gushy like a cupcake. For some bizarre reason, his owner likes to talk to him in a drawling Southern accent, and is prone to calling him, “my sug-ah.”

Meet Vincent.

Vincent

His days of being a starving homeless stray are long since behind him. Vincent now leads a regal life, and has for many, many years. This toothless aged cat, who has an insatiable appetite for love, imperially rules the house, as well as his owner, who is but Vincent’s servant in every way.

Meet Piffy.

Piffy

Prone to chasing invisible terrors around the house, Piffy is a sensitive soul who never learned to meow like other cats and commands attention with soft chirping sounds. Her favorite roosting spot is on top of a tall pair of shoulders.


latest_news

Big Bug Bonanza!

Recently, ‘Legends Reborn,’ a guild on US 1, threw an amazing, week-long event called, BIG BUG BONANZA. It sounds like a hoot, not to mention the worthiness of its altruistic purpose.
Here to describe the event for you is the player, Avenian: (thanks Avenian!)

Bug Bonanza Pic 1

One aspect of Legends Reborn (formerly United Arms), is to help our guildies by stocking nodes. To do this, we have some key members who organize this by storing gathers, stocking the guild vault, and checking on nodes. So what do you do if your supplies are getting low?

Our resident Bug Lady (a.k.a. Puzzler), was looking for a way drum up excitement about bugs in a fun way. I had recently been pulled into the bug world, Bug Boy was my title, so the two of us created the BIG BUG BONANZA!!!

This guild event asked guildies to gather bugs, and in return we gave draw tickets for a chance to win some great prizes. Our guild and guildies stepped up and helped donate many prizes. We were able to offer various xp potions, diamonds, a Golden Magnifying Glass, pies, and sockets to name a few. All in all, we had 17 prize packs to be won.

The response was overwhelming. We had 33 participants collect almost 160,000 bugs. I had to get four more vaults on my alt in order to store my share and Puzzler had bugs coming out of her village house. This allowed us to provide bugs to guildies to do charters, silks, and to help leveling Bug Lore. It also spawned our 2nd Bug Event, BIG BUG BONANZA 2: ELECTRIC BUGALOO, as well as my promotion to Senior Bug Boy (I have the badge and everything!!!).

The success of this event and others is due to the amazing support of everyone in Legends Reborn. The participation, donations, and feedback we got back, made this a great success. It is a great way to add even more excitement and pleasure of playing V&H.

Avenian
Legends Reborn
US1

Bug Bonanza Pic 2


latest_news

Design Your Own Monster Contest!

Design Your Own Monster Contest

Get out your pens or paints, or boot up Photoshop, or grab whatever your preferred tool for artistic expression is, and get ready to go to town! Puzzler of US 1 has a Design Your Own Monster contest for you all! The deadline for entries is August 31. The winners will receive crowns, and we’ll also feature the first place monster here in the Ledger.

For more details, please visit our forums at:
https://forum.villagersandheroes.com/showthread.php?11390-Design-your-own-monster-Contest-Information


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