Iron Waifu Updates

I’m going to have to go back to weekly blog posts, doing them every other week makes it way too easy to forget.

And before you say “why don’t you just set an alarm or a calendar alert or something NoMoshing?” I’ll have you know that I can’t remember dick fucking all and I get through the day thanks to no less than five alarms and multiple calendar appointments per week already, so I’m not having my smartphone chirp at me *even more* thank you very much.

So anyway, it’s May and that means that Iron Waifu is on! In fact, today’s match up between Lilac and Apple Kid is really close right now so please take the time to vote if you haven’t already! And as we draw closer to the end of Round One, it’s really starting to heat up, so let’s take a look at where some of our past heavy hitters are.

Yamamaya looks like this this year she’ll be able to cruise into the quarterfinals thanks to lucky placement. The only other party member in her quarter has already been eliminated, and while she’s sharing her quarter with several girls who have made the quarterfinals in the past, none of them have reached Round Three nearly as consistently as the catgirl berserker.

Meline has had a checkered history with Iron Waifu, and either seems to do very well or incredibly poorly. Half the time she makes the quarterfinals, overcoming some mid tier characters on the way, the other half the time she gets knocked out early by low tier characters. This year on the 18th we will be seeing no less than the third faceoff between Renfeld and Meline, both girls are 1-1 with one another. It’s hard not to see a future where Meline gets taken out by Brigandine or maybe even Bronwyn, who are also in her quarter, but at least she’ll have a notable rematch along the way.

Speaking of whom, Bronwyn is also staring down the barrel of a rematch with Brigandine, provided the elven ranger beats Ino tomorrow. While Brigandine has triumphed each other thing the two have faced off in Iron Waifu, don’t count Bronwyn out yet- Bron has an impressive kill count including Chimei, Yeon, and an incredible early win against Raina in 2018. Bronwyn also has only even been defeated by top-tier contenders Kyrie, Brigandine, and eventual Iron Waifus Larelle and Alina. Her record might not be that impressive, but Bronwyn is always a girl to watch.

Fan favourite Raina is looking at a rocky road to the finals this year. She has a tough match-up in round one against Florine, a strong mid-tier performer with a dedicated fanbase and exactly the kind of character that Raina seems to be weak to. If Raina can overcome that, she’s up against Meiriona, who hasn’t performed super well but has only ever been defeated by solid contenders Bronwyn and Florine, and managed to chalk up a devastating upset against fan favourite Yamamaya in her debut match. And if she can get through that odds are good that Raina is looking at a quarterfinal against Kyrie and a semifinal against Brigandine. Raina is the underdog contender this year, with difficult match-ups the whole way, but a strong contingent of supporters out lobbying for her. My advice: No matter who you vote for, do. Not. Miss. One. Single. Raina. Match. This. Year.

To give the southwest quarter a little love, everyone still in the race there has been at least a quarterfinalist in the past, lots of strong mid-tier girls in general. My personal favourite to make the semis is Elaiya- she has a strong fan following, people know that her lesbian sex scene with Doll is in the works, and while she has never finished strong, except for one embarrassing defeat against Doralice, she has her own impressive kill count and usually loses to strong contenders. My dark horse for this quarter is Chimei, who is fresh off a new love quest, has finally been able to communicate with the Hero, and will have her redesign concept art shared to backers before her next match against Yeon. I don’t think anyone here is going to take the crown in the end, but it’ll be an interest run as the mid-tiers duke it out for the semifinal.

Finally have have the two remaining top tiers, the two titans who are the real contenders to watch this year. Brigandine, the only girl in all of Iron Waifu to have only been defeated by Iron Waifus, who has never done worse than the quarterfinals. Only one half step behind is Kyrie, who except for a single loss against Raina in 2016 can say the exact same thing, and has been to the finals more than any other character save 2017 Iron Waifu winner Alina. Both characters had passionate fanbases, but while Kyrie is coming off the strength of a lot of new content in the last year, Brigandine is by far the most consistent performer. For a lot of fans, the real finals will be happening on the 30th, where unless there is an upset these two S-rank contenders will have their first head to head match-up ever. DO NOT MISS THAT MATCH!

That’s how things are shaping up so far. We have four more matches left in Round One, and after that the reward lists for every girl who has made it to Round Two will be revealed- including some new developments that are sure to excite! For now, this is NoMoshing signing off.

EDIT: Correction, Bronwyn has only faced Brigandine once before.

The Most Wonderful (Waifu) Time of the Year!

It’s May! Spring is (mostly) here, nature is blooming, birds are singing…and it’s the perfect time to pit the lovely ladies of HC is a no-holds barred tournament to the (sticky?) finish. That’s right, it’s Iron Waifu!

I, Nekochan, shall be your ever so humble guide to this year’s edition of Iron Waifu!

For those who are new or those just would like a refresher, during the month of May, everyday there will be a poll on the forum, featuring two of the ladies in HC. Anyone registered for said forum may vote once each day. The girl who gets the most votes moves on while the girl who loses is likely tortured in some sexy fashion by Hero for her failure. (Personal headcanon, may not actually happen)

If any ties occur, I get the the completely impartial and in no way biased tiebreaker vote. Does a match-up look like it’s going to the wire? May be time to sell me on the virtues of the fair maiden you want to see win!

Today’s (almost over match-up) is Brigadine vs Evanie. If you haven’t already please take the time to vote! Tomorrow`s will be a battle of the newbies Miri and Pandora! Who shall win? Nap-time waifu or the waifu who may be literally made of iron? (I dunno, NoMoshing won’t commit to what Pandora is made of)

The remaining match-ups for the preliminary rounds can also be found on the forum. They were selected at random via a RPG maker script that was viewed live at the last backer stream! (Plug plug)

Speaking of backer streams, the dates for the next ones have been confirmed:

  • May 4th from 3 to 6 pm EST
  • May 19th from 3 to 6pm EST

As always the first hour will be NoMoshing playing a PC game while our noble viewers get the giggles out of their system. The remaining time will be NoMoshing working on HC while the chat tries their damnedest to distract him by discussing the minutiae of Middle Kingdom economics or absurd fan theories (like Natya is the third secret sister of Therese and Alina! They all have brown hair in this technicolour harem – it must be true!).

I assume that for the month of May, the backer stream will be the best way to get the real-time thoughts and feelings about how Iron Waifu is progressing. (Fair warning, I may be the poutiest of Nekoes if too many of my cinnamon rolls get voted out) That, or the HC discord.

Anyhoo, thanks one and all and we hope to see you on the forums as you, the fans, determine who is the (4th) best waifu!

Iron Waifu Post-Mortem feat. Orifalcon!

So, it’s been a week, and now that the dust has settled after the latest Iron Waifu, Conash and I are here with guest commentator Orifalcon the discuss the contest and what conclusions we can draw from it!

Larelle’s Victory
NoMoshing: I’m a little surprised that Larelle managed to make it this far. If you had asked me a month ago who I thought would have had enough gas in the thank to defeat Brigandine, I would have been hard pressed to pick someone out. I had been cheering on Chimei as she was the best shot (I thought) of taking out Brig ahead of the finals. Yet, here we are.
That said, Larelle absolutely deserves the throne for a year. As one of the earliest characters added to the game, she’s been idling for new content for awhile. Not 100% sure yet what her Love Quest will entail, though I imaginee it will require a return to the Mourning Wood and fighting some undead.
Conash: I’m not surprised by the result, even before the tournament I was predicting that if the bracket allowed we’d see Larelle make it to the finals, and after seeing Brig get weighed down by some prize apathy it makes sense.
Orifalcon: Tsundere + Early Introduction + Outstanding Love Quest = Iron Waifu is a formula that has now withstood three years of testing.
We entered IW18 with a group of seven (Brigandine, Larelle, Kyrie, Bronwyn, Yamamaya, Doll, and Raina) who had only ever lost to past champs or each other, so Tier 1 seemed clear. Three got swept away in the first round and the other four made up the semifinals, which reflects that this was a tournament with a weird start and a standard finish. Larelle strapped on her rhinestone glove and danced her way through a sleepy quarter before holding up under pressure when the matches started getting less predictable. Her prizes were good, her fans were loud, and her wins were convincing. A worthy Iron Waifu indeed.

Impact of Rewards

NoMoshing: I’ll be honest: it was a huge relief to me to have it all out there and not having people ask me about who gets what reward. It also kept the speculation down, meaning that the voting wasn’t moved by things like “maybe if Evanie wins, she’ll become a party member” and that sort of thing, which might produce unrealistic expectations….
I think some people are confused over why the Iron Waifu tournament is structured the way it is. It’s not simply supposed to be a popularity contest- if that was my intention, I’d throw up all the characters in the game on a big ol’ list and ask everyone to pick their favourites. The way Iron Waifu is laid out, it gets every player to consider every character in the game, maybe rethinking their opinions based on another player’s opinions. It gets people talking and engaged in the future of Harem Collector. And it provides me with important data about how people feel about the characters in the game!
Conash: Here we saw several interesting developments I think. Some characters who typically get ignored got more of a push than usual, characters who already had love quests in the game got a fairer shake as people had something tangible to latch onto other than pure speculation, and there were less people assuming that if a character won they’d join the harem this fall meaning that less people were setup for disappointment if their waifu did win. That said, I did also find it interesting that despite that, a lot of the round 1 matches seemed to have a few incorrect assumption about a given character’s prize with some round 2 matches indicating to me some surprise when people saw their potential prizes posted in the actual thread. All in all, I feel that it helped level the playing field than just having a prize that people didn’t know what it would be for many of the people.
Orifalcon: The “storyline bump” and “#savetheelves” accounted for several of the tournament’s early surprises but didn’t quite have the momentum to withstand rising vote totals and the more concentrated strength of Round 2 competitors. Still, they helped give us the tournament’s craziest foursome (Meiriona/Florine in Round 2? Said no one ever), and relegated the poor maids to the spot normally kept by non-harem girls without French accents.
The “love quest blues” was seemingly the only unwritten rule that didn’t get a bit banged up this year. The added consideration of updated art didn’t seem to help Meline, Penelope, or Elaiya, and having it may have even booked the normally resistant Yamamaya an early trip to the green room for eliminated waifus. One shouldn’t get too upset about their #1 having received enough special attention that she already has what most girls are fighting for, but we still do because (insert waifu here) is amazing and logic be damned!

Maids Performing Poorly
NoMoshing:The people have spoken, and the maids need work. Well, everything in the game needs work, but the maids really stood out to me as the losers this year- usually at least one maid manages to stand out as performaing really well. So expect more to be done with them in the future- not, perhaps, a unique collection sidequest (as much as I love putting those in the game…) but at least chat dialogue and some character development.
Conash: Seeing all of the maids aside from Nerys knocked out in round 1 was surprising to me. While they’ve never really been heavy-weights, you typically see 2-3 of them making it to round 2 at least. Hopefully a few plans that we have in the works will help put up a bit of a stronger ‘Maid presence’ next year.
Orifalcon: Speaking of the green room for eliminated waifus, I hear it was especially bumping this year since all the maids arrived early and organized one heck of a party. I’m honestly not too surprised here, as they’ve never been powerhouses. Prior to this year they had a not terrible record of 7-9, but those wins include victims like Lola the Axe, the Genie, Queen Regal, and apathy!Meline. This year their matchups allowed the rise of the storyline bump to coincide with the fall of the maids.
A big issue facing them is inherent in the topic; voters with a tendency to think of them as “the maids” rather than unique personalities. This also explains why Renfeld and Nerys have been the better performers, as it’s easy to forget they’re maids at all. Hopefully more voters will explore Randi the masochist and the interesting dichotomy of Violet/Lilac (I’ll always do my best for you/my current owner, respectively) and give them a bit of a closer look next year.

Quinta’s Comeback
NoMoshing: I was very gratified to see Quinta do much better this year. I love princesses, especially when I get to H them, so I’m excited by the eventuality of adding in Quinta. I’m also happy to see so many people get engaged with the storyline and are looking forward to see the next steps unfold in the Kellos invasion quest. Other than that, there isn’t much else to say.
I don’t mind the River Nymph taking over as poorest performer, although she is a good candidate for getting a redo soon.
Conash: This was VERY encouraging to see, both for how it expressed people’s growing interest in the story-quests (which sometimes even surpassed their desire for a love quest) but also given how back in 2016 she scored a lot worse than I feel she should have due to an unlucky round 1 match. She still has a lot of room to grow in people’s hearts, but I’m glad to see that people are still generally interested in her, especially after a lot of people were disapointed that she didn’t make an appearance in 2017.
Orifalcon: A 1550% vote increase is rather impressive, even more so considering that Quinta only received one additional in-game scene in the two years since her 2016 face plant. The comments seemed split between “Kellos Invasion” and “Princess Fetish” as far as causes go, but it was certainly an exciting kickoff.
Unfortunately, Quinta’s awesome comeback story dovetailed right into the least awesome story of the tournament: f-ing cheater(s). With the benefit of hindsight, Quinta has the strongest (though by no means an ironclad) case to be made about being tagged with a dirty L, and it would have been nice to see how far she could go on her merits.
With Quinta redeemed, the River Nymph takes over as most embarrassing performer, as Larelle only surrendered 5 votes to her in their 2016 match. So stay tuned for the Nymph Reclamation Campaign in IW19.

Chopping Block
NoMoshing: Nothing is set in stone about next year, but we’re planning to have at least one new candidate who might get added in the mix, plus Hanelore, who was introduced in the latest backer update. So, we have a guaranteed replacement for Larelle, and another new girl coming up, for which I could comfortably axe either Shally, Doralice or Evanie.
Maybe the situation will change in a year’s time, but we’re almost at a locked, all-harem roster for Iron Waifu.
Conash: I’ve got a few names that I’ve got my eyes on in particular, but I imagine that NoMoshing is already thinking them too. Knowing who to cut for 2019 will be pretty hard as we continue to sure up the weak ends of Iron Waifu every year. That said, my general philosophy is that of the lower end of characters we should chop the characters who we, as the developers, don’t have as good of a prize to offer to. The June poll of the month seems to starkly agree that continuing to offer a prize, in some form at least, is preferred and so I want to make it so that if your preferred girl wins that we give you the best possibility of feeling satisfied with the prize, though popular girls who already have their love quests won’t be looking at the chopping block because their ability to do well despite prize apathy speaks highly of them.
Orifalcon: I suppose it depends on how many characters you need added next year. If it’s three newbies, like this year, then I’d probably bench Shally and Evanie. They’ve had three shots, we’ve seen them get a win, but their ceilings probably lie under the “surprise quarterfinalist if she draws the right foursome” level (the Dora-line, if you will). With an eventual harem count of 35, 2019 is also unique in that it could feature only current or future haremettes, if they’ve all been introduced by then, which would be an easy way to go. If you need to add a lot, then maybe it’s time for legitimate consideration about retiring the fully complete characters: Nerys, Yamamaya, and Clementine, if your homes are up to date on pitchfork insurance.

Other Surprises
NoMoshing: I was happy to see Doralice do so well. And I’m always happy to see people get so engaged with the story, since that’s my main contribution to the game at this point. I was also pretty pleased to see Kyrie get so far, despite having been a controversial character in the game so far.
In unpleasant surprises, I was dismayed to see Chimei get crushed by Brig right at the beginning of the game. I like Chimei a lot, and as I’ve said elsewhere, I’m very excited to doing more with her when I get the opportunity.
Conash: There were two big surprises that stood out to me that might not have stood out to many others. The first being Florine’s growth in popularity, while Orifalcon had pointed out that Florine has actually done pretty well, Florine does carry her share of anti-voters and a few parts of her personality can rub people the wrong way, but her winning pretty thoroughly over both Doll and the elf Orgy had left me pretty confused and wondering if she might make it to the finals… Only for Kyrie to overcome her once again bucking my expectations. The other big surprise for me was how Yamamaya has seemed to earn a bit more apathy this year. Originally I had thought that her loss to Meiriona was elf orgy hype, but the round 2 results for Meiriona and Nerys seem to suggest that hype wasn’t too big to begin with, what really drove it home though was Yamamaya coming in 3rd in the tie-breaker she was in. In past years Yama’s been a pretty strong competitor despite already having her love quest for all three tournaments, which has shown a pretty strong following behind her beyond just Zera, but losing in a tie-breaker where prizes are off the table tells a very different tale for this year…
Orifalcon: It’s surprising to see that no competitor is carrying a record of 0-2, as all four girls who were at risk won their opening matchup. Natya and Bell join 8 past competitors at 0-1, and Serade and Gargan are the unlucky duo at 0-3.
I’m surprised, for the second year, with Raina’s downward trajectory in Iron Waifu. Not from a trends standpoint, as she had to face Bronwyn, but more regarding Raina herself. She ticks off 2 of the boxes on the winning formula and has the same “need to be conquered” factor that dominated this year’s semifinals. She faces no prize apathy, and yet her descent is even steeper than Yamamaya’s. Maybe she isn’t quite tsundere enough, but I’d expect her to have a bigger following, particularly amongst the lurkers. Perhaps Nekochan was right, and there’s an anti-cinnamon roll agenda in play.

Predictions for 2019
NoMoshing: I’m hesitant to outright saw who I think will win Iron Waifu, but I will predict this: I think, because the body of work leading up to IW 2019 will be digging through Larelle and Therese’s immense backlogs of H, that people will be hungry for someone truly unique and different getting the crown. This will affect the polling by having even more upsets and surprises, with a strong showing by girls like Florine and Jonagold.
Conash: While I’m sure that Brigandine is the expected winner, and I imagine we’ll see her making it to at least the semi-finals once more, honestly I don’t see her winning 2019 if her prizes are the same as they were this year. Perhaps she could get to the finals and give her opponent a good run for their money but prize based voting tends to play a big part in these things, and the closer you approach the 31st the more it does as fence sitters start seeing less of, “Which girl do I like more?” and more “What do I want added to the game first?” As such, I’m certainly going to make an effort to try to get us to the point where we might be able to promise a bit more for her prize but only time will tell if that will happen or even if that’s even needed.
Orifalcon: Just like this year, IW19 will be partly ruled by the dueling Brigandine questions. Is there anyone left who can beat Brig? Can Brig win “the big one” when facing the most popular, long established girl with a love quest on offer? A year is a good amount of time for more in-game characterization and memorable moments to help win over a few more lurkers, which is all she would have needed this year, so I see no reason not to remove her #1 overall seed label now.
Unless she rolls a top-6 competitor, I’d predict Serade gets her first win next year. She gave eventual-finalist Kyrie a good match, and could receive a push for sympathy votes as she’s 0-3. Unfortunately, Gargan’s niche kink is still probably too heavy, so I’d predict my personal #4 drops to 0-4.
If the winning formula holds up again, I predict a Bronwyn victory, followed by a concerted push to ban all tsunderes from future Iron Waifus.

Iron Waifu- End of Round One

Conveniently enough, today is the final match of Round One of Iron Waifu 2018, so, we figured for today we’d look forward to round two, and post some insights about the previous round. Okay? Okay!

May 17th- Princess Quinta vs Yeon Ewona
NoMoshing: For most of the previous Iron Waifus, there have been a few truisms that emerged- Characters with completed love quests tended to perform poorly, characters who represented a niche taste did even worse, and most especially, unless your name started with “A” or ended in “Gandine”, harem girl trumped non-harem girls and party members trumped non-party harem girls. But this year isn’t like those previous years, and whoever is represented by these new voting blocs, all previous wisdom is rapidly getting chucked out the window.
Case in point, Princess Quinta, who lost so badly in her first appearance that we passed over her for IW 2017 in favour of her mother, managing a stunning turnaround on Violet. Now, Quinta will eventually make it to the harem, but she isn’t there yet, and that is usually a negative mark.
Will she be able to keep it up against a full-on party member though? While Evanie tends to perform well, Yeon winning out against her isn’t an upset, and I know Yeon has her haters. But the potential rewards might also weigh in Yeon’s favour- Quinta is only getting a single sex scene out of the crown, while Yeon is getting quite a bit more. It’s going to be a tossup for me, but an interestingly asymmetrical tossup.
Conash: Quinta’s match was a REAL head-turner to start off the tournament for me. I expected Quinta to do better since “Circle of Strife” and “Dude where’s my Sword” left people hungry for more storyline quests, but I was blown away not just by how Quinta won but how she won by a pretty healthy lead (7 votes). Violet hasn’t exactly given us incredible preformances in the past, but she hasn’t exactly been a push-over so this match took me by surprise and had me making a brand new bracket even because storyline quests might be able to even take on party members with this… And then Yeon managed to win out over Evanie who also offered progression on the Kellos storyline in one way or another as did Quinta. The matches that lead to this defied my expectations, new and old.
Nekochan: Hmmm legit princess vs wannabe princess…I’ve been a bit surprised by the Yeon-dislike given the fanbase around her fellow dungeon-mates, and it seems like players tend to be happy for a chance to coerce the girls to accept the hero. I was happy to see her win since that may indicate the tide is turning for her (or are people just tired of be teased with Evanie?). If Quinta wins, I suppose it’s not so much that she has her fans but the Yeon-dislike remains stronger than the first round indicated.

May 18th- Ser Brigandine De Mont-Fleur vs Eulania
NoMoshing: Brigadine’s popularity has always been a sore tooth with me. I mean, I’m glad that people love a character from my game so much, but look at it from my perspective- a skill trainer whose design I had no hand in routinely turns out to be more popular than characters I created and actively tried to make attractive, and has only lost to the event Iron Waifu herself the previous two years. On top of that, this year she won out over Chimei, whose redesign and love quest I’m actually really looking forward to. But this contest isn’t about what I want, it’s about what you all want, and I’m willing to roll with it no matter the outcome. Interestingly enough, she is not the top-voted non-harem girl this year… a possible crack in her support base?
I am pleased with Eulania making it to the second round, though. As a character routinely underserved with regard to content, I’m glad she’s managed to wrangle a few fans who want to see more of her. Will it be enough to stop the freight train that is Brigandine? Maybe there’s a slim chance. We’ll see what everyone thinks in a couple days.
Conash: Brigandine is my waifu, I’ve made this clear even back in 2016 before I was on the team. While I do feel sorry for NoMoshing that it might be a bit of a sore thumb for him, I’m sorry but just how some of the minor dailogues that come up with her paint a character that’s pretty open to what Hero’s doing and seems so unphased by it and then seems to look to have an implied, “Take me, if you can” feeling to her just lights a fire in me. Eulania’s win is nice to see as well, while I’m not exactly her biggest fan (call me a heretic if you must but I don’t particularly care for glasses >.>) it’s very nice to see people wanting to see more of her because hey, I want to see more of her and learn about her! Though with the few scenes that she’ll be getting added to the game with the 0.34 release hopefully people who votes for her will get a nice taste of her soon! Still rooting for Brig personally but I’ll make sure to keep my write-up on point.
Nekochan: Why do ghosts need glasses? Yes that is seriously all I have to say about this matchup. The outcome has already been decided.

May 19th- Kyrie the Burning Blizzard vs Jonagold Apple (Apple Kid)
NoMoshing: I really like writing for Kyrie. She’s smart, she’s flirty, she has more adventuring experience than the Hero, and she likes getting under his skin sometimes. I understand why she has her haters, though. It was something of a disappointment to see Serade get the boot so early, but I feel she had a strong showing and the improvements to her characterization are winning her a few fans. No regrets from this match in round one.
Even though I like Renfeld (And she’s one of the few characters who I have a pretty good idea of what I want for her LQ), it’s really nice to see Apple Kid get a victory. I think it’s pretty well deserved after washing out the previous two contests. It’ll be interesting to see what happens- Kyrie may be controversial, but she got to the semifinals last year, but this year Jonagold has the power of ShadowCluster’s lobbying behind her… I’m interested to see what happens here.
Conash: While I enjoy Kyrie myself, was sad to see Serade lose especially after all that Awiiabu stuff as it makes her the first competitor to ever go 0 and 3 in Iron Waifu. Maybe next year she’ll manage to break out against someone but yeah. As for Kyrie, I never really got all the hate she tends to get, I mean sure she played a part in our capture but I’ve always figured that she didn’t exactly have room to refuse, the Queen isn’t going to just use the carrot and stick method on the Hero, EVERYONE is under her thumb, something that Shally even confirms, so if Kyrie threw her life away for some guy she mildly flirted with to rot in a dungeon the Queen would have just found some other pretty woman to flirt with us, but hey never nice to feel betrayed I just don’t think Kyrie had a lot of room to not betray us personally. Apple Kid’s win was a bit of a shock for me, Renfeld tends to do the best ouf of all of the maids as she’s never lost a round 1 before, even making a turn-around and defeating Meline in 2017 after losing to her in 2016, but this was Apple Kid’s first time ever making it past round 1. I’m not Renfeld’s biggest fan but I get some of the appeal, still I like that Apple Kid scored her first win.
Nekochan: It’ll be okay Apple Kid. Your rival is just hotter. Just be a good sport about it ok?

May 20th- Elaiya the Relentless vs Lady Doralice
NoMoshing: Elaiya has has the disadvantage of being up against fan favourite characters like Raina and Larelle her previous two matches, and that combined with an already-completed love quest, I was not expecting Elaiya to go far this year. But for her to claim the narrowest victory from Gargan shows that she does have her fans, and it certainly was a deserved victory for the game’s second implemented harem girl.
Meanwhile, Doralice beating Randi gives me some hope that people are actually really engaged with the story this year and are interested in seeing where everything goes. Although, Randi has a bad habit of unlucky matchups against big time characters, so it was actually pretty hard to gauge fan interest in her, so I guess this isn’t 100% just yet. Elaiya vs Doralice is really going to be a test of story progress vs waifu-ism, and I’m looking forward to seeing it!
Conash: I’m personally more of a fan of Gargan than Elaiya, but it’s good to see both of them getting support and all! Elaiya’s win gives her first win of Iron Waifu, but it also marks Gargan as the only other person to go 0 and 3 which is sad to see. I was really torn up about Elaiya vs Gargan as I wanted them both to get to round 2. Doralice’s victory seemed pretty clear to me by the time we got there, the maids had been doing uncharacteristically bad the tournament, while story quests were doing pretty well. While we haven’t exactly gotten a super thrilling edition to the Harem Drama arc, it’s generally speaking been a fan favorite most of the time, the fact that it gives us Therese in the first quest (and only quest for many years) probably helped solidify it as offering one of the nicest rewards. I’m really looking forward to seeing how well Doralice does, as she could easily become an unexpected powerhouse here.
Nekochan: I consider Elaiya to be one of my cinnamon rolls. I have a lot but they all need love and hugs and to be told it’ll be ok. She’s the only one I have left in the competition since my other cinnamon rolls have already been eliminated *sniffle*

May 21st- Bronwyn vs Nerys Rainbreeze
NoMoshing: Holy cow, is the pro-elf voting bloc ever out in force this year! But this specific matchup is pretty exciting to me for two reasons- one, Nerys had a really strong debut last year, being one of the few non-party girls who have beaten out a fully-fledged party member (The only other girls who can claim that achievement are Alina, Ino and Renfeld) and Nerys managed it literally on the first try! However, this year, Nerys is the one character who I had to reach to come up with something for- which is why none of her rewards for being crowned the victor have anything to do with her. Bronwyn has a lot more to personally gain, but people seem to really want that elf orgy that was alluded to at the end of “Elf Half-Empty”. Look forward to this match, because with the pro-elf bloc split, it’s going to be a dramatic one.
Conash: Here we’re truly going to be putting the elf orgy to the test in probably one of the most fair shakes it will get. With all the talk of #savetheelves I imagine that the elves might be benefitting a bit from a more general positive attitude that they’re cultivating around the idea of being elves, though maybe I’m just overthinking things. Either way we’ve got a strong elf party member with a lot of personal rewards to offer, and a fair amount of support behind her (heck, I personally dislike Bronwyn currently as she is, but I tend to vote for her as I know that I won’t dislike her by the end) against Nerys who’s prize package is far from lacking if you ask me. This match will be deciding a lot of my round 3 and up predictions.
Nekochan: Bronwyn you bitch! Give me back my other cinnamon roll! Her hair is nice and swirly like one and all she wants is her fairy tale romance but the hero is a butt. #fucktheelves #yesImawareofthedoubleentendre #vengenceforRaina

May 22nd- Shally vs Clementine D’Orange (Orange Kid)
NoMoshing: It’s nice to see Shally get a victory in- I know a lot of players really like her, and are looking forward to her sex scene getting art soon. Up until this time she’s been a pretty consistent round one punching bag, but she finally managed to earn a win for herself and I think that’s pretty great. But she’s up against Orange Kid, a solid mid-tier waifu who is no stranger to the second round. That said Orange Kid is up next in terms of getting art redone, so her listed rewards are almost like a second entry for Apple Kid.
I don’t think either of these characters are getting to the finals based on their rewards alone, but this year has been nothing if not chock full of upsets and odd victories. I have great expectations for whoever wins this match!
Conash: Funny story, Shally scooted into victory at the absolute last minute. I had confirmed with NoMoshing how our tie-breaker was going to vote in advance and we were watching the clock very closely. If I recall the final vote that pushed Shally from losing a tie to winning her match came in the last 5 minutes. I had to redo both of my bracket images as I had assumed it would end in a tie as a result. Orange Kid’s wide margin for victory did surprise me a bit as I figured there would have been a bit more prize apathy holding her back against Ino, but I understand her winning as it’s not ALL about prizes afterall. I know who I think will win, but my gut tells me to not count this match over quite so soon so I’ll be watching this match for another potential upset.
Nekochan: Shally is grumpy and nevers like anything I do. Or laughs at me. Give me back my new cinnamon roll! I want sassy revenge orange. #vengenceforNatya

May 23rd- Meiriona vs Florine
NoMoshing: Talk about an explosive debut! In a powerful victory that *nobody* saw coming, newcomer elven MILF Meiriona scores the biggest wins of the year against perennial fan favourite Yamamaya! For everyone’s favourite berserker catgirl to go from semi- and quarterfinal finishes to lose to an absolute newb is probably the biggest upset of the year. While a lot of people are saying “ELF ORGY! ELF ORGY!” I’m honestly thinking that character fatigue might have more to do with Yamamaya’s loss. We’ve been doing Yamamaya’s art redesign for a long time now, people are just kind of tired of the catgirl. We’ll see if I’m right next year, I suppose, because if I am Yama should bounce back.
As for Florine, her victory is a bit of a surprise as Doll made it all the way to the semifinals last year, but I’m happy to see Florine end up doing so well. I’m looking forward to doing more content for her, so I hope she goes far! Will she be able to beat the pro-elf bloc, though? I wonder….
Conash: Meiriona, the girl who would turn fans into a parliament of owls, won over Yamamaya who’s been the exception to the typical prize apathy rules (making it to the semi-finals in 2016 and into round 3 in 2017). After that powerful of a victory round 1, I’d say that the elf orgy itself has a good chance of taking this entire contest. Florine winning against Doll was a bit surprising, though after the great commentary we got by orifalcon where it was pointed out that Florine has never lost a match by more than 1 vote in the past two years, I certainly wasn’t willing to count her out. Doll’s popularity however has become even more difficult to grasp though as last year she made it to the semi-finals… I will certainly say though, these two girls completely ruined my predictions of Q3 as a whole, I had Doll pegged as making it to the Semi-finals with Yamamaya being her biggest competition, turns out both my #1 and #2 pick for this quarter lost in the first round.
Nekochan: Florine takes away everything I love. Like cinnamon rolls. #savetheelves #yesIknowImcontradictingmyselfshutup #vengenceforDoll

May 24th- Diadira vs Larelle/Penelope
NoMoshing: I was going to do a writeup for both Larelle and Penelope, but at this point Larelle is leading by 21 votes, so I’m just going to go ahead and talk about it like Larelle has already won. Though that may change and this will look hilarious in hindsight. This is actually going to be a pretty exciting matchup from my perspective. These two characters represent the only girls getting into round two where a) they don’t have their LQ yet and b) I have a very strong idea fo what I want to do for them. Literally every other character I know what I want their LQ to be- Chimei, Gargan, Renfeld, Doll- are all gone. I’m really surprised that Meline and Penelope are both eliminated so decisively, though. Meline is a longtime fan favourite and Penelope did quite well for herself in Iron Waifu 2016. But so it goes, I guess. Either way, looking forward to this matchup, I have no complaints if either of these girls make it to the crown.
Conash: Before the tournament, I fully expected the finals of Iron Waifu to come down to Brigandine vs Larelle, given that Penelope also has her first love quest done I fully expected this match to be the biggest landslide of round 1, though Nerys vs Bell definately set a high bar so who knows if that prediction would come true. I certainly have my criticisms about Larelle but I recognize that she’s got her audience and I’m glad you all enjoy her. Diadira’s victory over Meline makes sense to me as well. While Meline is one of my personal favorites prize apathy tends to hit girls other than Yama pretty hard, meanwhile some of the reasons people have trouble getting invested in Diadira would be solved if she wins, which helps undercut some of the potential anti-voters out there.
Nekochan: Larelle is the harem girl I get the most requests to draw so I have a soft spot for her since I find drawing a character gives me more of a sense of the character (you wouldn’t believe how much I think about what kind of underwear each girl wears and what that says about them…). Rescue Me is also catchy. Good matchup and I won’t be bitter. #liesyesIwill

Iron Waifu Week 1 Commentary and Art Stuff

So Iron Waifu is off for another exciting year! Already there has been one solid upset- Princess Quinta, the biggest loser of Iron Waifu 2016, has finally gotten a victory in over Violet, not bad for the first match-up of the month!

I won’t comment on today’s match because I don’t want to put my thumb on the scales, but I like Princess Quinta and I’m looking forward to doing more for her… as always, these things take time. Later matches this week include Kyrie vs Serade (tomorrow), Elaiya vs Gargan (Friday), and Evanie vs Yeon (Saturday).

As for other news, I’ve decided to release publicly the wallpapers SacB0y did of Nerys, which you can find here. Every harem girl is going to get a wallpaper set going forward, and while the two most recent wallpaper sets will remain backer-only, the rest will eventually be released for the public. Expect Alina’s wallpapers in a month or two when the backers receive Orange Kid’s set!

Speaking of SacB0y, June will be the last month for Yamamaya artwork (for now). As I said, next up is Orange Kid, who should be done just in time to start the Iron Waifu update this fall. After the Iron Waifu’s solo and applicable group sex scenes are in the can, then it’ll be starting on Therese and… oh boy.

Therese will be a nice meaty chunk of art to do. Not only are there her existing 3D CGs that will be getting new art, but also a “mind controlled” version of her opening scene and sex on-demand stuff, not to mention a “random nightly” scene for each version of Therese… That’s six months of work at our current rate, provided that there isn’t a demand to have SacB0y do his own version of “A Knight to Remember”. Whew! Hopefully we’ll get up there and be able to afford a faster pace by then!

Anyway, have fun voting on Iron Waifu and such, and I’ll see you again next week!

Iron Waifu and Yamamaya bug

Hey everyone! We’re nearing the end of April so I’m sure that many of you know what that means! Time for another Iron Waifu Grand Tourney! I’d also like to spend part of this blog post talking about a bug many players have found in one of Yamamaya’s scenes and how to fix it, so stay tuned for that!

For those of you who don’t know, this is a tournament that we run every year for the duration of May to pick the best ‘Waifu’ in Harem Collector. The winner of the tournament will be the central focus to an update in autumn of this year, though what content they get exactly varies as we try to keep it to content that we already planned to add into the game. This year we decided to post what each prize the participants could win also in the same thread up above so I suggest checking that out to see what sort of goodies your Waifu could win, or if maybe you’d rather try to void in your second favorite Waifu instead because you prefer her prizes! Ultimately though, as with previous years you’ll need an account on the forum and we’ll be having these one-off matches everyday between the girls. Hope to see you all there!

Now, many players have reported that one of Yamamaya’s optional scenes currently crashes the game. This was caused by when moving from the old 3D images of the scene to 2D images NoMoshing rewrote the scene to fit better, but for some reason his changes didn’t save. This became a problem since there were originally 6 3D scenes but only 5 2D scenes, which means that if the game tries to load the sixth scene it WILL crash the game (unless you have 3D images turned off since the game still thinks they’re 3D scenes). While this bug has been fixed for the 0.34 release and onward, I wanted to take a moment to help share a fix that moonblack pointed out to me on the forums. See if when in the Harem Collector folder you head into the ‘Graphics’ folder, then create a new ‘Pictures’ folder than add in any image and title it ‘Yamamaya2-6’ it from then on load that image and you can play the scene without any crashes. To that end, we’ve decided to include a copy of the final image of the scene properly named so that players can use it for the scene to help ensure that they get a relatively seamless experience with the scene. Hope you all have fun!


 

Iron Waifu Approaches….

May is coming, and with it, the legendary contest known as… IRON WAIFU!

I’m feeling pretty stoked, and I’m excited to see people discussing the upcoming contest in advance. However, things are going to be just slightly different this year, so I figured I’d run down some of the changes.

Previous winners will NOT be re-admitted to the contest. If you were hoping to vote again for Therese, sorry, but she, as well as Alina, are retired permanently from the contest. They’ve already won, after all.

Oh, what’s that? Therese hasn’t had a full art revamp done yet? Well, never fear… Therese will be the first harem girl to get new art following this year’s Iron Waifu, so she won’t get left out for long.

Another thing that we’re doing differently this year is that we’re spelling out the rewards for each character if they win. That will be a complete rundown, including any quests, how many new sex scenes they have coming, and the like for every girl in running. As our usual policy goes, nobody is getting any extra, originally unplanned content as a result of the Iron Waifu results, so some girls will absolutely be getting more than others. Still, this whole thing is merely to determine the order in which the content gets done, so don’t be afraid to follow your heart.

Finally, we’ll be drawing the new bracket during this month’s Backer Devstream, the date of which hasn’t been set yet, so if you’re interested in seeing that happen, please remember to stay tuned!

That’s all for now, so until next time, Harem Collector fans!

Plans for v0.30

Wow, I’m sleepy today. But despite that, I’m here working hard for you guys. So let’s talk about what the goals are for next release!

Priority one at the moment is Alina’s Love Quest. I’m not going to spoil anything for you guys, but I think it’ll be a worthy LQ. Although, because of it I’ll probably end up with a massive flood of “Why can’t I fuck XXXXX?” emails in my inbox.

But, you guys knew that was coming already. Alina won the Iron Waifu tournament last May, after all.

Our next big project is the redesign and update of the Northmarket Manor. The plan is to have it be more compact and easier to navigate, making it much quicker to fine who you want to find and get back to questing ASAP. We’re also going to be implementing more decorations- as some of you ma have noted, you get an Adventurer’s Guild banner to hang in your office after becoming a Banneret, and we’re introducing more stuff like that for you to customize your home with.

While we’re focusing on the manor redesign in place of a second quest, it probably won’t take as much time as quest design. So, we’re tuning up a number of other things- Nerys’ chat responses, Alina’s chat responses, adding dialogue and things to do to the vacation sequence, adding more guests to Doralice’s party, that sort of thing.

And if everything goes greta and we’re all super-productive, maybe we’ll finally get around to finishing Blow Job.

As for everyone else, Conash will be working very closely with me on the new content, so he’s not likely to be doing anythiing else. Kumiho, as well, will be make some unique furniture assets for the new manor, and maybe grinding out some more icons. SacB0y is working on the sex scene for Alina’s love quest, and following that he’ll be revising Alina’s very first sex scene.

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to it, but thank you all for your continued support and I look forward to sharing the new release with everyone!

Iron Waifu Endgame (aka, I Was Gonna Delay, But…)

Okay, first off- the Backer Release will be out in a few hours. It was a damn near thing, though.

You see, last Wednesday I finished the first draft of the puzzle we’re using in the newest dungeon. And, after giving it a think, well, it just wouldn’t work. We’re looing at a situation where it was almost impossible to figure out without a a diagram, but then with a diagram it was just carrying out a tedious series of steps. So, Conash, epic tester Seil, and I put our noses to the grindstone and worked hard over the last week to develop a new puzzle, finish off the quest, and have everything ready to go. Next time you’re on the forum or the Discord, make sure to give a tip of the hat to Conash and Seil, because this release would not have happened with them putting in a lot of work.

Anyway, on to the meat of today’s blog post: What to expect for each of the final nine if they happen to win Iron Waifu 2017.

Alina: For all the harem girls without a love quest, it should go without saying that yes, they will receive a proper love quest. However, Alina’s somewhat of a special case. She’s already got a full complement of sex scenes, after all, minus the one from her love quest. So, of course the only proper response is to bow to a frequent fan request! For Alina, expect a love quest with associated scene, an additional random scene featuring a threesome with Alina and Therese, for the Alina x Doralice sex scene images to be done Also, her chat menu option will be made completely up-to-date, and her total art revamp will be pushed to the top.

Brigandine: Brigandine is putting forward a strong showing, as always. But what if the top NPC in the game manages to make it all the way to the top? Well, we’ll have to explore some of the things associated with her backstory. For Brigandine, expect a quest where you will accompany her on a return trip to the cursed city of Bateau-Assassinat, with Brigandine as a guest star party member. She will conclude the quest by having a sex scene with the Hero, and in the spirit of her role as a trainer, a few characters will be added to the game who will train up some of your party members’ own skills, and Brigandine will be able to point you towards them. Plus, she’ll get her art revamp, even though that’s just her face set at this moment.

Chimei: I’m pretty impressed with Chimei, all told. She’s had a pretty strong showing this year, and I’m personally cheering for her. What to expect from the mysterious slave girl? Chimei’s love quest, where you’ll find out why Chimei became a slave as her former owner will be coming back to reclaim her, will be added to the game, including a couple ways for you to translate all her dialogue for the duration of the quest. As well, we’ll add an individual random scene with her to the game. Finally, her initial cost will be reexamined and adjusted, and her art revamp will be bumped to the top.

Doll: Oh, Doll! How could I have forgotten? Doll will receive a love quests delving into her origins and why she’s an amnesiac, with accompanying scene, plus a sex scene featuring her and the Hero for the random sex scene list. Her art revamp will be bumped to the top of the order, and a fully up-to-date chat option will be available.

Kyrie: Although a pretty controversial character, should Kyrie rise to the top you can expect some big things from her. Of course, she’ll get a love quest with associated scene, where you’ll team up with her old party to take care of some unfinished business from her past, plus a random scene and her sex-on-demand menu all filled out. I’ll also run a poll to see who she should get a group sex scene with. Her chat options will also be made up-to-date and her art revamp will be bumped to the top.

Larelle: Another controversial pick, due to her vampire harem plan, but maybe you’ll have a chance to change her mind about that if you crown her as Iron Waifu? She’ll get her love quest, where you’ll descend into some long-forgotten ruins in search of forbidden magical lore in hopes of super-charging Larelle’s necromantic powers. As well, she’ll get her full complement of on-demand sex scenes, plus a new individual scene will be added to the random sex scenes. On top of that, we’ll see her chat menu option be made fully up-to-date and her art revampe prioritized.

Violet: Alright, go maids! Violet’s gotten pretty far this time around, and I’m hoping she’ll continue to impress. As for her reward for making Iron Waifu? The usual- a love quest plus scene, this time going back to Violet’s homeland in order to save her parents from a magical disaster, as well as updated chat options, the art revamp being kicked up, etc. Add to that a new sex scene where she’ll take care of the Hero’s needs all by herself, plus twin sister Lilac will be going for a revamp at the exactly same time, so it’s two revamps for the price of one!

Yamamaya: Well, that was close. I mean, I didn’t even really have Yamamaya’s writeup prepared, because Nerys was so far ahead. But let’s see… First off, the usual: bumped up in art priority, up to date chat option, no problem. She’ll also get an individual random sex scene where she’ll have the Hero all to herself. She will also share her gift of love quest with her best friend! And no, you’re not going to find out who that is until the fateful day. But it would be a Yamamaya-themed update, so why don’t we also revamp all the catfolk NPCs while we’re at it?

Hope that helps narrow down your picks for the quarterfinal- and beyond! I’ll see all you guys later, just a scootch more work to do on that backer release!

Encyclopedia and Iron Waifu Thoughts

Hey everyone, Conash here! First here to share my thoughts about how the Iron Waifu Tournament has been proceeding and following it up with what I’ve been working on lately!

First off in regards to Iron Waifu two matches have really surprised me! The first one was Yeon vs Doralice, while I expected Yeon would win the amount of support and good things people were saying did certainly surprise me given how her 2016 run went. I was sure that we’d get a lot more comments about how she needed to be put into her place. The other one was Meline vs Renfeld match. While I tend to also find Renfeld interesting she hasn’t exactly shown to have the same sort of popularity as Meline, heck last year Meline came out on top of Renfeld! While last years match was pretty close and we’ve got a fair amount more fans this year, I fully expected it to go the same way this year! This is especially of interest to me because when I was rolling for the round 1 match-ups I had a rule that if anyone ended up with the same round 1 match as last year I’d re-roll (didn’t need to) and extended it to very one-sided round 2 match-ups as well, I actually came pretty close to re-rolling Meline’s round 1 match up but decided that since it was close it was fine. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the tournament goes!

On the more development end of things, I got hit by a bit of inspiration and motivation last month and managed to put something big together. Now, while we will probably be adding more categories to it, I managed to get the encyclopedia project that I’ve been working on fully functional for artifacts (unique weapons/armor), a few details are still needed and given how dependent on the HC code it is it’ll need a fair amount more testing to work out some kinks but it will mean that all those pieces of equipment that say give mana regeneration, or status protection or what have you well you’ll be able to look up what they do in-game instead of having to rely on the wiki! We’re still finishing up a few minor details on getting it working in the game but the heavy lifting is already accounted for! I hope you all enjoy!

And that’s just about it for me, at this point I’m mostly working on fixing some bugs and I hope to invest a bunch of my time into getting the wiki up to date next week given how ahead of schedule I am. Hope to see you all in the Iron Waifu tournament!