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Hello, Everyone! It’s somewhat hard to believe that an entire year has passed! Yet here we are again, on New Year’s Eve, reflecting back upon the past colorful twelve months with weary smiles, while also excitedly looking ahead to 2016, as we contemplate – and are already very much hard at work on – a great many new significant improvements and features for Villagers & Heroes.
2015 was a wonderful, slightly grueling, and ultimately rewarding year for the game, and we are confident that 2016 will prove to be an even more exhilarating chapter in the ever evolving saga that is V&H. We would not exist without our outstanding player community, and we sincerely thank you for all the support and generosity you have shown us for so long now. We hope you will continue this exciting journey with us into the New Year!
So just what does lie ahead? Instead of providing a general overview of the next twelve months, we thought instead that we’d focus on the particulars of the next three months, and we will continue to release these detailed quarterly updates throughout the year. So. Here is a look at what Mad Otter is currently working on, and what you can expect in the immediate future:
What’s coming in 2016!
On January 7, 2016, the Red Baron Flies Again!
Mad Otter is thrilled to announce that we will be releasing the classic games Red Baron 3D (1998) and Red Baron (1990) on Steam on Jan 7th at 10am Pacific. Return to the skies or explore them anew with this digital collection featuring the original Red Baron, Red Baron 3D, the Mission Builder and high-quality scans of the original manuals, maps and reference cards.
But what does this have to do with Villagers & Heroes some of you might be thinking? Everything! It’s no secret that we are a tiny indie company. Therefore any gain for Mad Otter, however slight it may be, and, yes, we are keeping our expectations modest here, is a significant gain for Villagers & Heroes. To put it simply: if Red Baron soars, V&H will be the recipient of those profits and soar as well. Fingers crossed!
New High Level Content
By the end of January, we will be releasing Part Two of, ‘The Voyage Through The Blighted Isles.’ That’s right, The Copse of the Treants will be unlocked for all those who have the needed key!
Get ready for a wondrous new zone full of beauty and mystery, and an enigmatic array of unusual new challenges quite unlike any you’ve faced before in the game. Expect a level cap raise to 79, a series of intricate quests and dailies which will complete the story narrative begun in Bevyn’s Coille, some wildly fun new monsters, a school inside of a tree, and much, much, more!
A Completely Renovated Combat Mechanics System!
Diet: “We will be devoting a large part of early 2016 to doing what we are calling the “combat pass.” We have been listening to feedback from players about various aspects of combat, and we think it’s time to take a stab at making some long needed changes. Part of these changes will be cosmetic improvements, things like cleaned up spell timings, more responsive feedback, better feat and spell visuals, and more impactful audio. However, the bulk of the project will be developing more interesting mechanics for each class and build type. These will be sort of like self-fusions: things that players can interact with, and with some strategy and a bit of luck, launch some devastating combos against their enemies. (No more standing around clicking the same 2-3 buttons for 10 minutes while fighting an elder boss!)
Paired with the new combat mechanics will be some new spells and feats for each class, and some new fun and difficult ways to acquire them. We will be rolling out the combat pass on a per class basis. This way we can focus on one class at a time, get an idea of what is working, make any needed changes, and then move onto the next class. Since we don’t want player’s to be antsy about who will be first, we will go ahead and let you know: wizards are on deck. But never fear! All classes will get their turn!”
The Ultimate Bug Fix Build!
Please smile and let out an enormous sigh of relief right now, because, yes, this will be happening. We plan to put all other projects on hold and devote several weeks to one thing, and one thing only – bugs. Old bugs, new bugs, irritating bugs, broken quests, things that flash which shouldn’t, chat which isn’t always seen, mislabeled icons, inaccurate text, dungeon gates which cause toons to have odd seizures, blurred player portraits, boost inaccuracies, portals which erase chat and whispers, glitched vaults, and the list goes on and on and on.
You have all been so patient putting up with these frustrating issues, and it is well past time for us to devote 100% of our attention towards fixing as many bugs as we can!
Item Shop Expansion!
Earlier this year, we renovated the item shop by adding the preview window feature and an assortment of new merchandise. Currently, we are working on Phase 2, which is an all new business model, so to speak, for the shop.
No longer will you have to wait for special holidays every few months in order to purchase a new outfit or item! Our new model ensures that every week – that’s right, EVERY WEEK— we will be releasing an all new outfit, or weapon, or accessory, or toy. Some will always be purely comical (squirrel or turtle outfit, anyone?), while the majority will be class specific and uniquely thematic with such styles as Old West, Thieves, Dark Knight, Vikings, Space, Mystic Troupe and many, many, more!
Our artists have already been hard at work creating something of a stockpile of these new items, so that once we implement the model, we can guarantee weekly release of these exciting new outfits and accessories, while continuing to create even more in the interim. Ultimately, our goal here is to give players something to look forward to every week, and of course to greatly expand the options to choose from within the V&H item shop.
New Low Level Content!
In addition to high level content, some of us have also been working on new low level content! We will not be adding new zones, or altering existing ones, but rather are implementing a series of new story-driven quests which will essentially pick up right where the tutorial left off, and carry players up to level 20.
The new story will be told in three parts – meaning we will release them not all at once, but in separate stages, the first of which will be released within the next few months.
The Ultra Secret Project!
Alas, Chief Otter Damon has forbidden us to speak of this project, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cryptically dangle its existence in front of you, and pique your interest a bit! I can tell you only that for the past six months now, the Otter team has been working extensively upon this project, and it is one which we hope will have a lasting significance upon the future of Villagers & Heroes.
Happy New Year’s, Everyone! Thank you truly for making this game what it is!
Damon, Sarah, Cameron, Ivar, Liam, Chris, Ryan, Paul, and Thorsten