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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in herald_visions' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 4th, 2005
9:05 pm
New Players
Everybody welcome Lyveana, our newest player on Herald Visions! ICly Lyveana is an apprentice to her father, a non-gifted animal healer. She is 19 years old and comes from the north of Valdemar. Everybody please be nice to her and welcome her to the game!

REMINDER:

You will get a warning if you go a month without logging your characters in. Your character will be removed if you go two months without logging in. Some of our newest players may not be aware of this but there is an activity requirement for you to keep your characters here. If you haven't logged in for a while, please do so. If you have a character whom you have never logged in, please do that too! We like to see your shiny new faces.

The bandit TP is beginning to gather steam. Please see Aaryn or Jynnov for the latest on that, as they are the ones who have all the info.

RP Night is Tuesday evenings beginning at 7pm cst and Saturday afternoons beginning at 4pm cst. If you don't see anybody around when you login, try logging in at one of those times. Sunday evening also seems to be popular.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
4:45 pm
Welcome Our New Players
Please welcome Eowyn, Relyre, Aaryn, Karida and Ylena to our happy group of RPer's!!

Eowyn is a young Companion who has Chosen Talaya.

Relyre is a young man of Haven, recently employed at the Companion's Bell Tavern as a general dogsbody and stableboy.

Aaryn is a young street rat who has just recently been Chosen by Jynnov

Karida is a horse talker and merchant from the Dhorisha Plains. She is a Shin'a'in of the Firefalcon clan and is also the proud owner of a non-bondbird eagle, which she uses to hunt game. Currently she is in Haven with a string of 25 Shin'a'in and crossbred equines to sell to the lucrative Valdemar market.

Ylena is a Cloth Merchant Guild Journeyman and is resident in Haven. She hopes one day to become a master and to sit on the great Council.

Please make them feel welcome!

RP Night this past Tuesday was a hit, as Relyre was employed by Jules and Tiegal welcomed Kalida into Haven with her precious horses. Other scenes were also played, but these are the only two I have actual knowlege of. If you want to RP with us, Tuesday evening beginning at 7pm cst and Saturday afternoon at beginning at 4pm cst is when we do it. To get a character, please see www.heraldvisions.com
Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
3:19 pm
Technical Issues -- PLEASE READ
Herald Visions has apparently had a re-set dating back to June 29th. Maybe a bit earlier, since the last time it said *I* logged on was on June 21st.

***UPDATE*** 10/23/05 at 3:55 cst or thereabouts:

The re-set actually goes back to MAY 30TH 2005, not June 29th. If your character or objects such as private rooms etc were created since May 30th, they've probably been lost. Please check to make sure everything is the way it's supposed to be and if it's not, LET ME KNOW.

********

THIS WILL AFFECT ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE CREATED CHARACTERS OR OTHER OBJECTS SINCE JUNE 29TH. PLAYER-OBJECTS HAVE GONE MISSING. IF YOU ATTEMPT TO LOG INTO HV AND YOU GET A MESSAGE SAYING YOUR CHARACTER DOESN'T EXIST, PLEASE EMAIL ME AND I WILL BE GLAD TO RE-CREATE YOUR CHARACTER. I DO NOT KNOW WHO HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY THIS, THOUGH I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA BY LOOKING AT THE RECORDS I KEEP. YOU CAN FIND MY EMAIL ADDRESS ON THE GAME'S URL WWW.HERALDVISIONS.COM OR THE INFO PAGE FOR THIS JOURNAL.

ONCE YOUR CHARACTER HAS BEEN RE-CREATED YOU WILL HAVE TO LOG IN AGAIN AND FILL OUT YOUR STATS ON THE PLAYER EDITOR AGAIN AS YOU HAD DONE PREVIOUSLY.

I am very very sorry. I have informed our hosts that they better darn well help us out about this and give us all the information they can about what went wrong and how to fix it, if possible, and I should hear back from them soon -- they usually reply to support emails within 12 hours.

In the meantime, please attempt to log in your character(s) and if you can't log in, SEND ME AN EMAIL TO LET ME KNOW WHICH CHARACTERS I NEED TO RECREATE FOR YOU. After I create them again you'll get an email (make sure your email address is current!) with the new info, passwords and things. PLEASE TRY TO LOG IN WITH YOUR NEW CHARACTER ONCE YOU RECEIVE THE EMAIL. That's the only way I will know who needs to be fixed and who is ok.

Manhattan
Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
1:46 pm
Housekeeping Issues
As of 6pm cst TODAY, October 5th, 2005, we are starting a temporary ban on Herald Mage character applications. We have filled our percentage of the player base that are allowed to have Herald Mage characters. We only allow a certain number of characters to be Herald Mages as it is completely and totally uncanon to have a bajillion of them running around Valdemar when in fact, the Mage gift is rather rare and unique. We want to keep the Mage gift rare and unique on our game. Until the numbers even out again and there's room for more Herald Mages, we will NOT be accepting any more Herald Mage applications. If you already HAVE a Herald Mage character (this includes new characters that have just been approved) and your character was created on the game before 6pm cst today, you are safe. Don't worry about anything.

If you want to apply for a character on Herald Visions and you have your heart dead set on being a Mage, apply to be a Mage from Outkingdom somewhere! There's a PC Vale, we have a PC Karsite Firecat who needs a Priest-Mage to accompany him on his diplomatic visits to Haven, and we have a bunch of rogue bandits who could use another Mage or two. The bandits are currently being led by a bloodpath Adept who is a PC, but his followers are all NPC. He could use some real characters! And those are just the mage opprotunities I can think of off the top of my head!

This means, of course, that if you ARE currently a Herald Mage character, we would like to see you out and about on the grid as often as possible.

In Other News:

We have two new players as of today! Please welcome Eren and Antone, and RP with them.

RP night for October is actually twice a week now, to accomodate those players who are around in the daytime but not so much at night. RP Nights are now SATURDAYS beginning at 3PM CST and THURSDAYS beginning at 7PM CST. Those times are what will work best for folks, or at least, the ones that gave me feedback about when they were most available. RP Nights have been created so that people who might otherwise totally miss each other when the log into Herald Visions might have a chance to connect with others in the HV community and have the time to RP with one another. It's set up specifically to give a better chance at getting RP than just randomly appearing at other times. Though our players are more than welcome to show up at other times, they might not be able to interact with others. Having a set time or two for RP will hopefully allow more interaction with our players to occur. If the times for RP night don't work for you, please either comment on this LJ with the times that WILL work for you, email us at information@heraldvisions.com with your name and optimal times, or talk to Orlando and myself on the game.

WANTED:

We have a bunch of PC Heralds without PC Companions. Have you ever wanted to be a Companion? Your Heralds are already waiting for you on Herald Visions MOO.

We could also use some bandits to help forward the Bandits TP that is trying to get off the ground. If you've ever wanted to play a Velgarth-style villian, now's your chance! They are mostly Outkingdom, but we could use some Valdemaran troublemakers too.

We need an OOC Collegium Co-ordinator. Right now we have enough Heralds and Herald Trainees that they could use an OOC staffer to keep things running smoothly and to help create RP. The OOC Collegium Coordinator would be a liason to myself and Orlando, would help solve problems, create more RP and interaction within the Collegium, and help make the Collegium a fun place to be. If this sounds like something you're interested in, please email Manhattan at the address above or see me on the game.

As always, shopkeepers, Guild Masters, crafters, artisans, traders, farmers, soldiers, street urchins and the like are always needed to help round out our game.
Sunday, August 28th, 2005
4:55 pm
A word about my feelings and views on RPG's
(This entry is in reply to a user who is unknown to me, who apparently feels vehemently that we are not only wrong but illegal, and has made a threat to report Herald Visions to Mercades Lackey's agent because he or she feels it is his or her duty to keep the Internet free of villans and scum like us. I do not know whether anything has been actually reported, but I state again, as I have from the first, that we will comply with all written requests to cease, but I would hope that before a request to cease would be issued, that the issuers would take the time to explore what we're doing and gain fuller information to make a true andinformed decision, and not merely respond with the business as usual response. I replied to him or her in the comments section of the pervious journal entry, but I feel a fuller explanation of who I am and my philosophy regarding RPG's is now called for. I hope everyone who reads this can keep a sane and calm attitude about RPGing. Thank you)


What is a RPG? At its foundation, I personally believe that a Role Playing Game is an extension of the imagination, pure and simple. This can take many forms, from the games played in real time in the woods or a park, with costumes and live people (who are, essentially, acting) to games played around the dinner table with a board and cards and dice, to a newer form of imaginative expression wherein role-playing takes place through the medium of the Internet in real time, more or less, via connections through a modem and technological innovation that allows people to move bits of computer code dressed up to look like somebody or something, or in the simplist versions, a mere bit of code that is hardly more than a chat room.

You can Role-Play on the Internet?

Yes, you certainly can. The earliest technology was created in the early to mid 1990's and was originally used as a glorified chat room, and virtually all of the RPG's that are free and text based today still use that concept. You interact with others in the same way -- the commands are a bit different between a MOO, MUSH, MUX, MUD, and a chat room, but the interface is exactly the same. You do something, whoever is in the same chat room responds to you etc etc. Role-Playing on the Internet allows fans of a particular world to expand their imaginations and enrich their lives by being able to interact with other real human beings in real time, just as though they were having a conversation face to face. The only difference is that one might be in Canada, and the other in California, thereby allowing people who might never be able to meet to interact, form relationships, and enrich their experiences as fans with one another. To me, Role-Playing is the ability to make friends all over the world, to enhance knowlege and share information.

But wait, I thought Herald Visions was a game where you decided to 'become' another character for the duration, isn't that right? That's what other games do! Right?

Yes, that's accurate as well. RPG technology has expanded the definition of fandom and broadened the scope of what it means to be a fan. Now, instead of people being limited to their own brains and their own little slice of the world, they can come online and meet other people who are just as much fans and just as imaginative as they are. They talk, and if somebody decides that they want to be a mage or a dragon or a space-faring adventurer, or a mutant, they can. There are online, real-time RPG's for almost every interest nowadays, from Harry Potter to Sailor Moon to Star Trek to Middle-Earth.

Hang on, I thought that you couldn't do that!

Well, that depends on your perspective and a number of other factors. Legally, to the best of my limited knowlege, it is my understanding that since RPG's exist and occur in real time and in private and are completely non-commercial there is no way for them to infringe on any of the original creator's rights. Much like chat rooms, on which they're based, RPG's are nothing more than people talking about the worlds and the characters, and if they want to 'become' somebody else for the duration of that chat, that is the user's right -- so long as copyright and intellectual property rights are preserved. Quite obviously you really oughtent to use characters that have been named specifically in an author's original work, but nevertheless some games permit that such as the Xmen worlds. Some authors, like Anne McCaffery, have given their permission for RPG's based on their worlds so long as a set of their restrictions are followed. Some authors, like Terry Pratchett (author of the Discworld novels) enjoy RPG's and give blanket permissions. Some worlds, such as the myriad of X-men, Harry Potter, and Star Wars themed games, have no overt permissions at all but continue to flourish. One of the main reasons people give for not allowing a RPG is that due to a US law about publishing rights, whatever is put up on the Internet for other people to see is considered a published work -- this is to protect the millions and more webpages that folks have created, among other reasons. If you put it up on a webpage, it's technially and legally published. And of course, if you publish something that was created by somebody else (a good example is fan fiction) that is an infringement of the original author's rights. Disclaimers abound online, particularly for fan fiction, stating that the author of the fanfic knows that they don't own the characters they're writing about and that they're just borrowing them for the purpose of writing. I don't know how legal that is, or if it does anything useful in preventing lawsuits, but I also haven't heard of anybody being sued just for writing fanfiction either.

However, RPG's are not published works. They exist in real time, like chat rooms, and they vanish the second you turn off the technology. It is my belief that role-playing in an RPG setting is like roleplaying via MSN chat. I've done both, and there is no difference except cosmetically. I cannot imagine any author forbidding anybody to stop talking about their work, and I know that talking about *anything* is protected under the First Amendement of the US Constitution, whether it be in person or online. Well, more or less, but that's a debate that hasn't got any place here. Suffice to say that when it comes to talking about an author's work, there's no debate as to whether the First Amendement is still valid protection.

Now, about commercial interests. It is my understanding that somebody further violates the intellectual property and copyright rights if they write something, then try to make money off of it and it wasn't theirs to begin with, like, trying to sell a Harry Potter fanfiction when you're not JK Rowling. To my knowlege, all of the online text-based RPG's I've been involved with aren't making money at all. Most of them are in fact a financial drain on whoever owns the game, as it is their responsibility to get the server space, maintain the webpage, advertise their game, spend time and effort in upkeep and maintanence and they do this all out of their own pockets and resources. I know myself it's $7 every 30 days for the server and $12 annually for the website, which winds up being about $100 a year, not to mention all the time I invest on maintenance. So I know for a fact that far from making money, my game is in no way shape or form a commercial interest, and all the rest of them I've been involved with over a 10+ year span are also exceedingly non-commercial. Online, real-time, text based RPG's do not make money. They don't ask for money. They don't expect their community to support it. I have never been asked for money to support a game I play and I never have or will ask the people in *my* community to give me money. We are not like those pay to play graphics based commercial-interest games like Final Fantasy or EverQuest. And frankly, I feel that if I want to spend $100 a year on my hobby, I ought to be allowed to do so. It's my money, and my hobby, and if I want to run a glorified chat room, well, why not? Other people spend much more per year on their hobbies.

You said something earlier about the fact that it's ok because they're private. Huh?

Yes, I did. Online text-based RPG's such as I'm discussing exist in private communities, little 'rooms' or 'pockets' if you will throughout the Internet. The only thing public about them is usually the webpage(s) that exists to disseminate information about the game. RPG's are private communities. They have standards about who they allow to join, they have rules and regulations that must be followed if one is to stay in the community, and you cannot get to the community without knowing how to use a technology called 'telnet'. In my opinion RPG's are also legally private so far as the world of copyright etc goes because the information put out in the community stays in the community and is not disseminated throughout the wide world. Like any other chat room, what happens on a game stays there. The conversations and interactions are not public knowlege and there is no way to find them, unless you join the community and sometimes, what happened before isn't discussed with others because it's in the past. RPG's are private worlds, and whatever is said does not go out to the Internet community at large. As an example, would the world at large care that Shana's prize golden chalice was stolen by theives? Or that Brin's leather jacket was chewed up by puppies? By and large, what happens on a game is only noteworthy to those involved. It's a real-time interactive fan-based experience, the wide world isn't going to care. And the people playing those characters are likely to forget too! After all, Brin might be a college professor in real life, and Shana a mother of three, who is going to recall?

So who plays these games? Deviants, right? Those wierd people who are addicted to the Internet, and stuff? I've heard that nobody but sexual predators plays these kinds of games. I don't think it's very safe.

That is not true. It is a perception aided and abetted by those who believe that imagination and play, of belief in fantasy and anything other than what we call 'real life' ought to be left behind the second we turn 13 and start to become adults. This perception that RPG's are filled with nothing but predators and social deviants is also fueled by media hysteria when a predator *is* found online. In over a decade of RPGing I've met literally hundreds of people playing RPG's. Not one of them was ever a predator -- well, at least not in the legal sense. I have met one or two people who were definately not quite normal by society's standards, but then, as a person with a neurological learning disability, neither am I! I have, however, met people from all walks of life, whom I was able to verify that they were who they said they were. Many are college students, undergraduates or graduates, searching for something both fun and intellectual as a break from the amazing stress of college. Quite a few are homemakers, both men and women, who when the kids are at school or asleep take a few hours for themselves and have a break. Some are professionals, people who work and haven't got families. I know a few truckers, there are some teachers, a couple office workers, and a few artists as well. The age range in my experience seems to be from 16 or so to 35, with most folks comfortably in the 20-30 range. The one thing they have in common is that they are all fans of the world I see them in, whether it be Middle-Earth, anime, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pern, or whatever else takes their fancy. There are games to every taste. Now, that said, there *are* adult themed games out there which cater to adult pleasures, mostly in the sexual realms. Perhaps there are youngsters out there logging in and creating characters on those games. I don't know. Maybe there are sexual predators hoping to find those youngsters. I would hope not, but it is a morally corrupt society we are currently living in. All I can say is that just like there are adult-oriented chat rooms out there on IRC, there are adult-oriented RPG's. It is up to the game's owners and staff to keep their games as safe as possible, but the rather anonymous nature of the Internet makes it difficult to do. It's not impossible, just difficult. Most games put safety precautions in place from the start. I know for our game on our character application form we encourage people to be at least 16 years old in real life. Our game has the technology to view IP addresses and therefore, we can know their ISP if we ever need to report them. As the game's owner and Head Wizard, for example, I have the ability as well to permanently disallow access to my community if I ever do run across somebody who is a pedophile or harasser or anything else either illegal or undesirable. Most if not all of the games I have experienced as players have similar safety precautions, again, the same as chat rooms. My game also has rules which people are expected to obey, or they will forcibly be ejected from the community and not allowed to return. As owners, we take our community's safety very seriously, and do everything we can to make sure that everybody is happy, healthy, and safe when they come to interact in our communities. It is our responsibility to make sure that everybody is as well as we can make them.

So, ok, what do you personally feel about RPGing?

I feel that online, real-time, Internet based RPG's are a venue to interact with other fans, to enrich our fan experience, and to enhance our lives. I think RPG's are a tool that is widely underutilized by the authors and creators of the worlds (the advertising potential alone combined with the potential of brainstorming or the accessability of new ideas for the world is tremendous, and currently untapped by and large) and that far from being banned, they should be allowed to flourish as much as possible within the legal intellectual property and copyright guidelines -- or even further than the legal guidelines if the author/creator allows it. Mercades Lackey (who has been writing the Heralds of Valdemar fantasy novels among other works for at least twenty years) has said that text-based RPG's are a good way for apsiring writers to get practice writing, and I fully agree. They allow language and social skills to improve, not to mention motor skills like typing and practice using grammar and spelling. RPG's also allow the imagination to roam in a context where you receive immediate feedback in real time, thereby allowing the brain to expand its horizons. I believe that RPG's enhance many aspects of a fan's life. I also believe that if allowed to exist, RPG's create income for the author/creator of the world. For example, I did not start spending more money on Anne McCaffery's Pern series until after I began RPGing on PernMUSH -- I was a fan, but I had few of her works that had been published prior to 1994 or thereabouts. After I got online and started to RP with other fans, I started buying not only her previously published works but also her works that were created as I was RPing. Others have admitted to me that due to my own Valdemar game, they are considering spending (or have spent) money buying the Heralds of Valdemar books, which they never would have thought about doing otherwise. RPG's can introduce people to whole new worlds, and make the authors money in the process. I think RPG's have a ton to offer, and I think they should be allowed to exist for the reasons I've stated above. But beyond improving skills, enriching lives, making money and helping create new ideas that can be used by the authors/creators, I also think that RPG's provide a free source of endless entertainment by allowing others to interact with each other in real time. If you go online to my own game, Herald Visions, you might notice that there are few folks on it. When there are, the bulk of interaction is not spent actually role-playing, but in casual conversation -- time spent entertaining ourselves, and possibly the others we interact with.

Why do people do it in the first place?

Because it's fun! And free, and in this day and age where free diversions are hard to come by and money is tight (how much are you paying for gas right now?) something as simple as an Internet based glorified chat room where you can meet others of like mind is, well, fun. I could speculate and say that people RP because they want to be able to get more deeply involved in the world they are fans of than just reading about it but that's just a speculation. I could also speculate that people do it because they want to escape for a while from the hum-drum routine of reality, but again, that's just a speculation. I don't know for sure why others do it. I know why I do it, but my reason might not be (and probably isn't) somebody else's reason. I do it because I like to meet other fans and talk to them about the world, because most of the people I meet face to face in daily life really don't understand. To them, I'm a geek, and a wierd geek at that, but to the people I meet on the game(s) I play, I'm just like them. It's a community where I can find acceptance and understanding at best, and at worst, just somewhere where there are others like me.

So, what do you feel is acceptable use? What would you be happy with if an author/creator came to you and said "You can use my world but here are some restrictions"? What kind of restrictions would you be willing to operate under?

Well, that's a fairly easy question. I already don't use characters that have a name in the original material in my game -- I feel that's a HUGE violation and (aside from the legality) doesn't promote imagination or originality. So I would be ok with a restriction that says "If a character has a name, you cannot play that character, no matter if that character is only mentioned once in passing."

What else? Because of the definition of 'publishing' being anything that's online I can see a restriction that says "Anything that happens on the RPG can't be put up online somewhere in a text format, or indeed, printed/distributed at all." In other words, you might be able to talk about Finny's new set of clothes that she stole from Lord Smythe online, but putting the actual events someplace (they're called logs) on a webpage would be a no-no. I'd argue that making/keeping logs for your own personal use would be fine, since that's private, non-published, and non-commercial, and also a practical way of being able to remember what happened before.

I could also see a restriction of making sure that the role-play that happens on your game doesn't actually occur in the same time as what's already gone on in the original source material, the books or whatnot. That's one of Anne McCaffery's restrictions and I think it works very well. Most Pern RPGs that I have knowlege of are set either in an alternate universe/timeline or in a period she hasn't written about yet and it works just fine.

And another thing I use is that on my game, the rules are such that if anybody creates anything, whether it be their character or a place on the game or even a clothing description, if Mercades Lackey wants to use it, she can, and we can't say one word about it. Not a peep. I figure, since the world is hers anyway, she has every right, legal and otherwise, to whatever she wants to use from us. Personally I'd be thrilled to death if I saw something I created on my game in a future Valdemar book. But the fact remains that she created the world, we're just fans, and the intellectual property isn't ours to begin with. On my game the second you create a character you agree to give up your own rights in favor of hers, and if people don't want to do that, tough. They don't play.

And I can see an author wanting to make sure the essence/core of her world wasn't too badly warped -- Anne MCCaffery has laid down the law regarding what can and can't happen in the Pern games (no pink dragons, for one!) to ensure the game doesn't stray too far from the source material. So long as the author wouldn't attempt to micromanage the game, I can see things like (using my game for an example) "no black Companions" or "no sentient animals that aren't specific species mentioned in the books". It absolutely makes sense to me that the author would want to have something to trust that their world wasn't being pulled out of its proper shape by eager fans.

And a final word. . . :

Personally I would also be thrilled if Mercades Lackey or Larry Dixon or both stopped by to inspect my game and to tell me what they like and what they want to see changed, once a week, once a month, once a year, every day, whenever. I'd have to verify their identities first, of course, but after that, I'd be more than willing to have them involved in the glorified chat room that is Herald Visions. I haven't got anything to hide. I've never tried to keep HV a secret. I'm just a fan trying to have fun and show my respect for the world that's been created by an author who quite literally kept me alive at a time when I didn't feel any reason to keep living. I was 19, having a nvervous breakdown, and what I needed most was reassurance that I wasn't alone and that the pain would stop. A friend gave me The Last Herald Mage series to read, and those books saved my life. In creating Herald Visions I just want to try to give back some of the pleasure and comfort I received then and continue to receive from Mercades Lackey's Valdemar works. I haven't got some kind of nasty ulterior motive and I'm not trying to undermine her achievements. Rather, I hope that this RPG helps celebrate her world, and brings together all of her fans in harmony and happiness so that we can all celebrate these books and the writer.
Monday, August 1st, 2005
12:37 am
Wow, look at us go!
Well, it's been a busy couple of days on Herald Visions MOO! Since the site's been back up we've had a half a dozen guests so far (yea us!) and we've approved the character applications for two new characters, from two new players! We also have two *more* potential players who are considering applying for at least one character each, so we ARE growing, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you so much for your support, I really appreciate it. We are most definately back, and better than ever!

Our new characters are Talaya and Laen. They are both 16 year old Heraldic Trainees with a strong Mindspeech gift and a secondary gift of Firestarting. They both live in the Collegium and are very excited about being a part of our game!

Log on and RP with them! Say Hello and be friendly ;> They're fun people and ready to start having fun with YOU, our loyal playerbase. Both of them have NPC Companions at the moment, too, just FYI.

All the pages of the website that should be up are up. The new ones haven't got 'Back to Home' links on them yet but they will, I'm just sick of HTML after re-doing the website this weekend and need a break ;> If you guys find broken links anywhere let me know and I'll fix them.

A reminder: Now that we are once again advertising and plugging how great this Valdemar game is and getting guests like nobody's business, PLEASE log on as much as you can. I understand we all have lives and jobs and some of us are going to go back to school in a few weeks in addition to all of that but this game is only as good as it's players -- that means YOU!!! And all of you are stupendously awesome people whom I would like to see a lot more often than I am.

Speaking of RP, our first RP Night since we've been back is coming up (technically) later today. This is just a reminder that RP Nights are *Mondays* in August, not Tuesdays, because yours truly has a conflict with Tuesdays in August. Please let me know if we can go back to Tuesday evening for September.
Friday, July 29th, 2005
3:11 pm
Yea! A Wonderful Update
Herald Visions is back up and running at ~*~ heraldvisions.com port 2000 ~*~ Please make a note of this address as without it you won't be able to get onto the game.

Many good, new things are happening to the website ;> We're getting a guest book and there will be a form to fill out if you want a character (no more having to get to the game first, no more emailing, the process will be a TON easier) and we have a bunch of new stuff on there, like news updates and FAQ's and things. I'm writing the html even as we speak, so be patient, but everything should be up by August 1st ;>

Check out what's new at www.heraldvisions.com!

We have a new email address as well! If you have questions or comments or suggestions or need help in any way, the email address to write to is information@heraldvisions.com. This too will be up on the website soon.

We hope to see a lot of new faces with the re-vamping of HV. Please, if you are new, don't hesitate to ask for help from the people you see, and if you are already a player and see a new face, don't hesitate to offer assistance!


Manhattan
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
5:19 pm
GOOD NEWS!!!
Good news, everybody! As of now we are in the process of getting our DB from the old server and putting it on the new one! Herald Visions will be back shortly! An address will be posted HERE and we will fix the website so that folks can login via the Javascript as soon as we get the new address and have tested it etc to make sure it works.

Our apologies for taking so much time, it was a combination of a number of factors that led to the game being down so long, but we have conquered 95% of what needs to be conquered to get the game back up and running ;>

edit 7/26/05 5:58pm: Ok, so, we're running into a little snag with our new server company apparently not noticing that the game is a MOO and not a MUD. But we have the db and all the files for HV (Orlando downloaded everything today, thanks Orlando!) from our old server and mu-host says that within 2 days we'll be all fixed up with MOO. I talked to tech support and they said they could accomodate MOO, and they would adjust what was needed on our account but that it might take a day or two. So there we are. Once that happens we can put HV up and get running. Orlando and I think we should have HV up and running by this weekend, crossing our fingers.

You can visit www.heraldvisions.com as our new website, I hope. Soon the website will be updated (and updatable!) so updates can be found in more than one location.

Thanks SO MUCH for being patient, I very much appreciate it!

(Oh, and just in case anybody was wondering, NO, Herald Visions was NOT forcibly taken down by Mercades Lackey. The deadbeat who rents the server space we were using hadn't paid his bill for some time and the server was and is shut down until the deadbeat pays his bill. Since that isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future, we have taken steps to ensure that HV will no longer be affected by anybody else's actions or lack thereof. The transition has been a bit longer than we anticipated due to the fact that our database was *also* being held hostage until the bill got paid, but I worked it out with the server owner and we should be up and running shortly. We were in no way affiliated with said deadbeat, so the server owner saw very clearly it was in everybody's interests to take our game away from his server and concentrate solely on getting the money he was owed back from the deadbeat who wasn't paying.)
Wednesday, July 13th, 2005
2:30 am
WE HAVE A WEBPAGE
Now, granted, it's the same stuff as was always there (don't worry, as soon as I have time to figure it out completely the main page will get cleaned up a little bit -- I don't want to put a half-@$$ed thing up on our nice pages! Practicing in private, and once I get something good, I'll change it all around) but we are now on the web on our own domain name!!!!!

Please put this in your bookmarks:

~*~*~*~*~* www.heraldvisions.com *~*~*~*~*~*~

And don't use the tc.umn.edu insanely long and complicated URL anymore. Thanks! Soon there will be a redirect page there anyway.

We are working on recovering the game database from silverden. An email has been sent, and we await the reply. We can't set up the new site unless we have a DB and so (unless you guys want to start from scratch, I know I sure don't!) we have to see what silverden finds for us. Please keep in mind the note from the last update and don't be too upset if things are missing, we can always re-create them.
Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
3:37 pm
Lots of things are Happening!
First of all, I really must apologize profoundly for the downtime. It turns out that the guy who is hosting us at silverden forgot to pay his bill so we are stuck until he does. That might be a while as he's in the armed forces and his time is not his own right now. That's the bad news. The *good* news is that we are now being hosted by our own server hosting company!!!!! Yea!!!! I have also registered www.heraldvisions.com as our own domain name/website so soon we will have our own website and not be piggybacked onto anybody else. Yea!!!!!!!!! More info, like the telnet address to use to get to the game, will be forthcoming, as soon as we figure out what it is.

As soon as we figure out how to retrieve the database from silverden.com we will attempt to configure our new host and will update you here on our progress. I have two technical folks working on this as well as myself (thanks go to Ealdor and Orlando for being tech savvy enough to help out) and we will get the MOO back up and running as soon as possible, I promise.

PLEASE NOTE: The database we will retrieve from our old server will probably not be the latest and greatest. Things will probably be missing from the game. Maybe even character objects and personal rooms. Maybe parts of the grid. Please be prepared for this. If you have an existing character and are getting a message when you try to log in saying that your character does not exist, please LOG ON AS A GUEST and let Manhattan or Orlando know that, with who you were, so we can re-create you. If your personal stuff is missing (a room, an object, whatever) also send an email or comment here, or moomail, or catch us online. But just let us know! We will try to re-create things as fast as is humanly possible.

I am SO SORRY for this mess. We're trying to fix it. Please be patient. More updates will be available here as they occur. The good news is that with this hosting company downtime like this will never happen again, because if we ever do go down again, they will know and be able to fix it quickly and efficiently. Yea to mu-host.com for having tech support ;> Questions? Feel free to comment or email Manhattan.
Thursday, April 28th, 2005
3:07 am
Updates! (What else?)
Selmae has been made a full Wizard. Congrats to her.

The webpage has *changed*. The most important change, of course, is that guests and visitors to our site no longer have to suffer through raw telnet! We have put a java client up on the main page of Herald Vision's URL that takes care of all of that horrible raw telnet business. Say good bye to raw telnet, it won't come back again ;> Another map, this one of the Palace complex, has been added to the 'Maps' section of the HV URL. Room names will come as soon as I can stay awake long enough to sort them all out and add them on. We are looking into frames, tables, and other ways to de-clutter the webpage. Please bear with us. During the month of May I expect to have all of the maps for all of the rooms up on the Maps webpage.

The total room count for Herald Vision's MOO stands at a little over 100 rooms so far!!! 81 of those rooms are actually created out on the grid, so go wander and explore. The bulk of the rooms are in Haven right now, we *will* expand shortly, I promise. As said above, in theory by the end of May every room that's currently gridded out on paper will be on the game's grid -- over 100 rooms with more (much more!) to come, so go out there and RP! Un-desced rooms are being desced as soon as people can get to it -- that's basically myself, Selmae and Cedarshadow ;> And you too, if you want to desc a room, just send a desc in and we'll look at it and if we use it, you'll get a little credit at the end, so that all the players know who did what ;>

We are working on fixing the icky tracebacks that happen every once in a while when a command is broken in the MOO. Please be patient. We're also working on a way for guests to see our bulletin board system, even though they can't actually post anything until they get characters.

And speaking of code, the 'go to' command will work to take you from room to room on the game . . . so long as you have the room's full name. It works like this: If I'm in the OOC Nexus-Welcome Area and I want to go to the Companion's Bell, I'd type 'go to Companion's Bell Tavern'. Or whatever the full name of the room happened to be ;> You can always type '@audit Manhattan' to see the room's name, but I warn you right now, it's a LONG list and will spam you out of your gourd. A better way to get room names is to go to the Maps page on the Herald Visions URL.
Monday, April 25th, 2005
12:40 am
Ooops!
I forgot a character -- Ealdor, a mercenary from the Southern lands with a secret ;>

In other news Haven is now possessed of the Broken Arms tavern, a rags and bones shop, and a Jail. The road out of Haven to the West via the Exile's gate is being built, so for all of you that want farms and non-city to play in that's *not* the Wilds of the Pelagir's Forest, you'll soon have it. At the moment I have to fit building into my life when I can, school is really trying it's hardest to kick my rear.
Sunday, April 24th, 2005
2:34 pm
Updates, of course :)
Congratulations to everybody who's come and joined our happy little band so far. We have 13 players, about half of whom log in on a regular basis. A 50% login rate is pretty good, though of course I personally would like to see *everybody's* smiling face as often as possible ;> Remember, without you -- our loyal and lovely players -- we can't have any fun and this MOO is nothing but computer code. So log in and RP with others! You can ask for RP, that's perfectly acceptable. Use the public channel for now, until we get a channel specifically designed to facilitate RP among you.

Right now the ~*~most~*~ active players are:

Sera, an unbonded Companion
Tamry, a widow who runs the Virgin and Stars Tavern in Haven
Selmae, Speaker for the Guilds on the Crown Council in Haven, she's a Master instrument maker (and our OOC Building/Descing God)
Calyde, a Jeweler's Guild Journeyman, who runs a jewelry shop in Haven with her Master which is the official Heraldic Jeweler (for the Collegium and the full Heralds) -- though the shop's name has yet to be determined!

Other players include:

Orlando, a Changelion but without the invisibility gift, he's sentient, endowed by his Haileigh mage-master with mindspeech (who is also our OOC Code God)
Kyle, a just graduated MindHealer with the Gift of Empathy
Feyna, a Herald Mage
Caligo, a gryphon with k'Treva Vale
Snowbird, a Scout-Adept with k'Treva
Cedarshadow, a Scout with K'Vala, who is 'on loan' to k'Treva
Tiegal, the Crown Prince of Valdemar and Heir.
Raine, Tiegal's Companion


We want to create a Character Bio Page on the Herald Vision's URL. If you are interested in writing up a brief bio (IC, though if you want to include some OOC stuff too feel free) and you have a picture (if you haven't got a picture, that's ok, Google image search can probably give you something approximating what you look like ICly ;>) of your character that you're reasonably sure is free from copyright, let me know!!!! You can email me your information at m c d e 0 0 4 2 at umn dot edu or moomail me on the game.

And speaking of URL's and all that good stuff, we are now listed with Google! And not only are we listed with Google, but we are listed/mentioned SIX TIMES in the first ten hits if the search phrase 'valdemar RPG' is used. Yea us!!!!

We continue to expand and advertise for players, and we continue to work on what needs fixing on the game itself. The broken or non-functional exits are fixed (all the ones we noticed, of course ;>) and some of the descless rooms have descs thanks to Selmae and Cedarshadow. If you want to desc a room -- even if it's not yours -- write up a desc and sent it to me, manhattan, at the email address above or via moomail.
Friday, April 15th, 2005
2:50 pm
For Dark_Horse
I am so sorry you're having trouble, Dark Horse! Yeah, raw telnet really is unforgiving, which is why I suggested SimpleMU instead, once you get the hang of it, everything is a LOT easier ;> You can backspace and cut and paste, just for two things, and SimpleMU will let you see in color and it's just generally better! Below I'm going to give you some better help, specific to where it sounds like you're having trouble, one thing at a time. I'm very pleased that you managed to log in as a guest, though, that is a big step in the right direction!


Here are the steps to using SimpleMU to get to Herald Visions:

1) Open SimpleMU. You should see a mostly black screen with a toolbar.

2) Click on 'File' to open the pull down menu

3) Click on 'New Connection Wizard'

4) You should see a box asking for the address of the new site. This is where you put in Herald Visions' address -- mrrshania.silverden.com Click next

5) It will ask you for a port #, this is where you put in the game's port # -- 6123. Click next

6) It will ask you what *kind* of game this is -- select the top choice if it's not selected already and click next

7) It will ask you to fill in a name for the new connection -- name it whatever you want. I just stick in the name of the game, usually, it's easy for me to remember. In this case, obviously, that would be Herald Visions.

8) It will automatically open a port to Herald Visions for you. You should see some technical mumbo jumbo and then the login screen (which will look like what's up on the game's URL). Connect as a guest as you have (and way to go for doing that much, some folks can't even get there!) and then *read* the text that you see, and follow the instructions. What will be important for you is that you should type 'help introduction' (without the ' of course) and read what it has to say -- that will teach you the very basics about moving around, talking to people, and being able to look at things in the world. If somebody is logged in with you at the time (and how do you know? Well, typing 'who' all by itself will give you a list) you can type something like -- "Hi there, I'm brand new to MOOing, can you help?" and they should be able to walk you through it. Quotes (or typing 'say') are the way you speak in MOO, or MUSH or any other type of this RPG. Just type quotation marks (or the word 'say') before whatever it is you want to say and you'll be fine ;>

I hope this helps -- I'm quite looking forward to meeting you on Herald Visions!

Manhattan
Wednesday, April 13th, 2005
1:07 am
More Updates
Webpage:

The Herald Visions URL now has a link to MAPS!!! And movement information ;> Find it here: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~mcde0042/HVMapsInfo.html It's still under construction so check it often to see what's on there!

Grid:

Work continues, although slowly. We still need descs. And room ideas, too! If there's something you want to see and it's not on the grid or in the works, let Manhattan know.

Code:

We now have a way for players to summon each other so that you all can RP with each other without trudging through the entire grid to do that. Details are in the 'help mjoin' helpfile on the game. We're working on a way to easily teleport from room to room without needing to be summoned by a player.
Monday, April 11th, 2005
10:44 pm
More Updates
Our URL is now a part of the Heraldic Collegium webring in an effort to bring more people to our game.

The troubles with the mailers have been fixed.

We are still working on some of the code issues.

We are slowly working on the grid. Every day, more is there. Log onto the game often to check out the changes.
Sunday, April 10th, 2005
10:22 pm
Yet More Updates
Code:

Yes! We finally have a way for people to get quick information about other players! Type '@info' or '+finger' or '@nfo' then the person's name you want to know about, and it will give you a list of their basic information.

You also now have a way to instantly move from one room to another. So long as you know the room's dbref#, you can type '@move me to #debref' and you'll get there immediately.

We are working on writing help files for the channel system, the player editor, and how to use telepathy.

Support:

Within the next seven days we will have maps of most of the grid, up on the Herald Visions website: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~mcde0042/heraldvisions.html These maps will be scanned-in pictures of the ink-on-graph-paper grid I originally worked out, but hey, at least it's something. We're still working on a compass code of some kind to actually use within the game.

Grid:

Descs are happening, slowly but surely, and there's only six rooms left to create in Haven before it's complete.
1:52 am
Updates!
Code:

Our game has the ability to add color, bold, underlining, background color, and more. This ability is called ansi color. To turn ansi color on, type '@ansi on', and to turn it off, type '@ansi off'. To get help on how to use the colors and what there is to do with ansi, type 'help ansi'. For a brief description of what ansi does, just type '@ansi'.

A fast way to move about: If you know the debref # of the room you want to go to you can use @move me to # and that will take you wherever you want to get to. The OOC Nexus is #70. What you type is '@move me to #70' and it will take you to the OOC Nexus.

Grid:

More rooms are being desced, and some of the Pelagirs Forest is created, not just a Vale. The Forest currently leads east into Rethwellan (which hasn't been created yet) north to k'Treva Vale, and slightly West into the Uncleansed Lands. South will eventually lead to the Dhorisha Plains and the Shin'a'in. We need descs!!! If you see a room on the game that hasn't got a desc on it, feel free to write one up and send it to me!
Saturday, April 9th, 2005
7:43 pm
More Updates
Support:

We now have a URL for Herald Visions! Go to http://www.tc.umn.edu/~mcde0042/heraldvisions.html for information about how to get to this RPG.

Advertising:

It's come to my attention that people aren't sure how to *get* to Herald Visions in the first place. So, here's the basic information you need to do so (a lot is repeated on the webpage!)

Herald Visions is an online, real time text based RPG. To get there, you need to have a telnet client on your computer. Most versions of Windows have one bundled but frankly for this kind of thing it *sucks* terribly. Use a telnet client instead, they can be found on the net and downloaded for free. My suggestions? Try SimpleMU at http://simplemu.onlineroleplay.com/ (it's free, they want you to pay but I've been using it for six years without being bugged about paying/registering), or http://www.sharewarejunkies.com/8lm3/mushclient.htm -- you have to pay for it but people who use it swear by it and are willing to pay for MUSHClient. If you're a Mac user, Savitar is for you -- find it here: http://www.heynow.com/Savitar/

Most telnet clients are very easy to use, and if you follow the directions you should be home free. In addition to a telnet client, you'll need the game's *address* and *port*, which are:

address: mrrshania.silverden.com
port: 6123

Stick the address and the port where the client tells you to (like putting a URL up in IE or another browser) and then, you'll be connected. You may have to manually click on a 'Connect' button or something, but it should be clear what to do. From there, just follow the instructions on the first screen of the game and you'll be home free!

Grid:

We are expanding the grid to include some of the farm land between Rethwellan and the Pelagirs, also we're expanding Valdemar along the main North/South Trade Road. Be patient, it takes a while to create the rooms and describe them all, but we're working on it!

Code:

Our coder/programmer extraordinare is working on the code bugs mentioned in the last update. We'll say something when they're fixed.
Thursday, April 7th, 2005
10:44 pm
Update
We have begun to advertise elsewhere for players. So far I've advertised on two fairly active Yahoo groups, I've advertised on another RPG I'm on, one EZBoard and a *huge* fan forum which I am still waiting to become a member with. That forum only allows members to post things. Once I do, we'll have an advert there too. So far, by my count, our advert has reached at least 400 people as of tonight. With luck, the more hunting I do for players the more the word will spread.

Oh, and this LJ now has a spiffy new icon! Thanks to one of the folks from the Yahoogroups list for creating it.
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