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Default Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix for PC, Mac and Linux.

May 9th, 2015, 06:53
Originally Posted by Jaysen View Post
Yes, we will remove the level cap completely so you can gain as many levels as you want. However, you will get no more perks and only one stat increase per level so this is only marginal.

As the Early Access progresses we will also add more challenges to the endgame like better equipment, legendary artifacts and tougher enemies.
Cool!

Another problem I have noticed in my game is the lack of any okay armor after the initial castleshop. Noone drops it, and no city/castle has any better than regular leather armor. "(70/70)"-version. Something I have missed or intended? hehe
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May 9th, 2015, 10:53
Usually there should be better armor available at Strongholds and Watchtowers. Also, keep out an eye for Bandit Raiders, those guys tend to have pretty strong armor that you can loot.
Just take care not to destroy the armor in the fight because then you cant loot it (try using a dagger with the puncture attack for the last hit for example).

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May 9th, 2015, 11:10
Keep up the good work, Jaysen!

What do you expect will be the release date of the first feature complete version?
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May 12th, 2015, 03:20
I decided to buy it based on the good comments, a good turn-based game from little guys that doesn't compromise is always worth supporting.

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May 21st, 2015, 04:16
Battle Brothers.

Already own it but looking forward to the official release.
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May 21st, 2015, 11:09
Thanks for the support guys!

We will keep posting our dev blog updates here so you know how the development is coming along!

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May 24th, 2015, 14:25
Here is a little update for all who want to know what we are up to. We will be able to go full-time on the project - so Yay for that! More details and a small roadmap in the latest progress update:


Dev Blog #42: Progress Update - Going Full Time and A Small Roadmap

Time for some good news!

It’s been more than three weeks now since Battle Brothers released into Early Access and so far it has been pretty successful. The game was well received and we got a lot of helpful feedback from all of you, much of which we’ll incorporate into the game over the course of the next year. There is a lot still left to do, of course, but things are looking bright.

The game has also been a financial success for us. As you may be aware, Battle Brothers was developed by a core team of just 3 people over the course of nearly 2 years in their spare time while also working day jobs. The recent success now allows us to quit our day jobs and start working fulltime on Battle Brothers. That’s right, we’re about to have a lot more time we can put into the game and should be able to make progress much faster than before!

The downside for now is that quitting our day jobs and going full time is not something we can do over night. As you may know from experience yourselves, changing jobs always comes with a lot of organizational hurdles. Getting legal stuff out of the way, setting up new workplaces, doing a clean handover for you former job, existing contractual obligations, and so on. We are looking at a transitional period that will keep us pretty busy over the next couple of weeks.

During these next weeks we won’t be able to make much progress on the game itself and provide you with updates as frequently as before. It’s all worth it, however, because once things are settled, the game should progress at a much faster pace than in the 2 years before, and we’re already looking forward to really get going!

A big thank you to all of you who made this, our dream of working on our very own game, possible! And an extra big thank you to those of you who supported us even more by getting the Supporter Edition!

A Small Roadmap


To give you a better idea of our immediate plans, once we have settled into working full time on Battle Brothers, we also want to share a small roadmap with you.

1) Event System
As explained in our last blog post, our next immediate goal is the addition of the event system to add interesting encounters and tough decisions outside of combat, as well as laying the foundations for dialog and a future rework of the contract system. Because a lot of events will change depending on what backgrounds or traits your Battle Brothers have, it'll also add a layer of complexity to character backgrounds beyond just their different stats.

2) Goblins
Next up are Goblins. Those are the green skinned cousins of the orcs that have an entirely different fighting style. While orcs rely on physical prowess and brute-forcing their way through your ranks, goblins lack the physical power to do so. In fact, they’re quite fragile individually, more so than your average Battle Brother. In battle they rely on their wits and dirty tricks instead, preferring to fight at range. Goblins come with their own arsenal of unique weaponry and skills - throwing nets to incapacitate their enemies, arrows with terrible poison and long jagged pikes. Goblins should add an entirely new challenge to combat in Battle Brothers and are also meant to be a missing piece of the puzzle that is game balance by making ranged combat more important. No longer is the nimble swordmaster safe from all danger!



3) Rework of the Worldmap

The third and by far largest step on our immediate roadmap is a rework of the worldmap as a whole. It’s quite clear that the world simulation, as it is now, is not satisfactory. With the resources available to us now and the lessons learned so far, we’re going to design new gameplay around commandeering a mercenary company in a low-fantasy medieval world. We already have a solid concept for this, and we’ll update you once things are further along. Yes, there will be multiple human factions working against each other. And yes, we’ll make contracts a lot more interesting and dynamic.

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May 24th, 2015, 20:57
Jaysen - I already made a newsbit out of it.
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May 25th, 2015, 00:37
Hidden good job on stepping up to help with the newsbits
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May 25th, 2015, 10:57
thanks a lot!
This is a pretty big step for us and me personally so lets hope it works out

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May 28th, 2015, 18:33
I bought the game and it's great. Best of luck with the rest of the development.
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June 26th, 2015, 14:36
We are back on track and have a new update ready for you introducing the event-system! Read all about it in our post below:


Dev Blog #43: Introducing the Event System

Time sure flies by fast! It’s been a full month now since we announced that we’d go full time and needed some weeks to get everything sorted out. While we took care of business and set up our new workspaces, we were also featured on the Steam Summer Sale for a day. Yay!

We’re happy to let you know that we’re now back in the saddle again. Both Christof (the programmer) and Jan (the manager) have moved to work full time on Battle Brothers. The last of the bunch, Paul (the artist), will join us mid-July. Development pace should now pick up again.

As previously announced, the first item on our roadmap is the introduction of an event system for the game. Today’s update to the game adds just that, so let’s take a closer look…

The Event System

Managing a mercenary company is not an easy thing. Not only do you need to command your men in battle, now your leadership skills are tested outside of combat as well. It’s easy to forget at times that the little guys you control are supposed to be humans. As humans, they sometimes have their own agenda, they have strengths and weaknesses in character, they may change with time, they may quarrel or bond with each other, and they’ll come to you with requests. While traveling on the worldmap, a lot can happen, much of which we can now convey to you with events.



To kick things off, we’ve added 47 events to the game. These include things that you can just stumble upon while traveling the world, some things that require you to be at certain places, as well as things that require characters of certain backgrounds or traits in your party. Some backgrounds may not play well together, and some may have advantages or disadvantages also outside of combat. What choices you have available at events may depend on what characters you have, and the outcome of your choices may differ as well.

Those 47 events are pretty much a vertical slice of what we want to ultimately achieve with the events, showing a bit of everything. Some events are comprised of only a single scene, some are quite complex and contain a dozen different scenes. It’s not nearly enough events yet to cover everything, of course, but we intend to add a lot more as we go along to make for a varied and reactive experience. Keep in mind that as everything else in this game, the event system is in Early Access too, and not finished. Once we add additional mechanics in the future, such as player reputation in the world, we’ll also weave this into the event system to trigger different events depending on your reputation, and to allow for events to change the reputation you have.

Note that you do not have to start a new campaign to have events in your game, your old save should load just fine. However, you’ll get the most out of the events with a new campaign.

Character Moods

Together with the events we also implemented a ‘mood system’ that tracks a mercenary’s current mood on an individual level. This was necessary as many events potentially influence how your mercs feel and how motivated they are. We model this by a scale ranging from ‘euphoric’ all the way down to ‘angry’. A character in good spirits receives a bonus to his resolve while a disgruntled character will probably be more reluctant to risk his neck for you.



For example, a highborn noble gets into a fight with a lowborn servant - depending on how you, as the leader, decide to handle the situation there might be people upset or satisfied in the end. The effect on your mercenaries’ moods adds another layer of consequence to your decisions during events and makes them more meaningful and impactful. Getting all the different characters in your mercenary company to work together can be a challenge in itself.

New Weapons

While we were at it, we also added a few more weapons to the game.



From left to right: Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail - agricultural tools turned weapon, these are lower tier variants of the Flail. Woodcutter’s Axe - a two-handed axe meant to fell trees, but will fell men just as well. Warbrand - a hybrid between a one-handed and a two-handed sword.

What’s next?

We’ll keep a close eye on the changes we’ve just introduced and will likely provide smaller but more frequent updates for a while to iron out any issues and make minor content additions. Once things are looking good, we’ll target the next item on our roadmap - the Goblin faction. This will be the largest update to date and come together with a lot of other changes, such as to AI and the leveling system. We want to do as many of these changes as we can in one go, because unfortunately that update will then have to break compatibility with save games from previous versions of the game.

Changelog

Added new event mechanic on the worldmap with 47 different events to start with. We'll continually add new events from now on.
Added two new combat music tracks exclusive to fighting bandits and beasts, respectively.
Added a limit to the amount of food, ammo, tools and medicine that can be carried at once. Previously, the player could haul giant stockpiles of everything around the countryside, essentially removing these resources as a consideration and additional means to pay upkeep. This change should make them stay relevant.
Added Warbrand as a two-handed sword variant.
Added Woodcutter's Axe as a lower tier two-handed axe.
Added Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail as lower tier flails.
Added Masterwork Bow.
Added ability to pause the game on the worldmap also using the 'Pause' key. Makes sense.
Changed Skeleton Guards to have 8 AP (up from 6) to bring them in line with other skeletons and enable them to stick to the bulk of the fighting force.
Changed fatigue costs for movement to be double across the board. Movement hardly factored into fatigue before and this should provide another drawback for using heavy armor, especially when fighting more skirmish-oriented opponents, such as the upcoming Goblins.
Changed Athletic and Clubfooted traits to have double the effect on fatigue costs for movement.
Changed Taunt skill to be more effective.
Changed crossbows to be reloaded automatically after combat ends.
Changed amount of crowns the player receives from selling loot to be lower.
Fixed flipping the map during an AI turn potentially preventing the game from proceeding.
Fixed game refusing to continue during an AI turn under specific conditions.
Fixed laggy UI after changing character name and confirming with return key.
Fixed Gravedigger background incorrectly using text of the Graverobber background.
Fixed incorrect icon for Impale skill of the pitchfork.
Fixed Berserk perk sometimes not working correctly.
Fixed inaccurate sell prices shown on items in the shop interface.


Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix - www.battlebrothersgame.com
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July 2nd, 2015, 17:28
In this weeks update we introduce the possibility for enemies to retreat from combat so this will help with chasing the last few enemies around the map!

Dev Blog #44: Retreating Enemies

[size=10pt]This week’s update adds a new feature to the game - enemies can now retreat from battle! Also, we’ve added a new weapon, a new armor, and a bunch of new events. Existing events have been tweaked a bit for more balanced outcomes and trigger conditions, and the bugs that surfaced after last week’s larger update have been fixed.

Retreating Enemies

Chasing that last surviving bandit marksman on a forest map isn’t always that fun, so non-undead enemies now have the ability to retreat from the battlefield should they perceive there to be no chance of winning the encounter. Just like the player, the AI has to reach the map border in order to retreat safely, giving you the chance to intercept them if you want to let noone escape, or get all the loot.



Whether an AI combatant retreats or not depends on a few factors, such as how many of his allies are still with him, how many have already fallen, and how many men the player still has. For the time being, the AI will not attempt to flee a battle from the beginning, even if they’re outnumbered. The option of retreat is meant for the last few scattered survivors. The actual thresholds for when individual combatants make use of it may still need some numbers tweaking.

We know that this doesn’t solve the issue of chasing enemy archers across the map in its entirety, but it is a good step in the right direction that makes sense in the context of the game world. We’ll eventually introduce a few more tools that will enable the player to better handle such situations.

New Weapon

This week we introduce the Butcher’s Cleaver, a tool used for hacking through meat and bone. It is a low tier variant of the older Military Cleaver and a possible starting item for characters with the butcher background.




Changelog


Added ability for non-undead enemies to retreat from battle should they perceive there to be no chance of winning.
Added 8 new events.
Added Butcher's Cleaver as a lower tier variant of the Military Cleaver and a possible starting item for characters with the butcher background.
Added Werewolf Hide Armor.

Changed some events for more balanced outcomes and trigger conditions.
Changed out mood icons for better readable ones.
Changed Pathfinder perk to now also reduce the fatigue cost for movement to half.
Changed Necromancer to walk at a slightly less brisk pace across the battlefield.

Fixed quickload/quicksave unintentionally being disabled.
Fixed bug that had militia spawned with the Woodcutter's Axe show as unarmed and unable to take their turn in combat.
Fixed issue with savegames not loading correctly when the player has a Masterwork Bow. The savegames in question should now load correctly again.
Fixed time not pausing correctly when switching tasks.

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Combat Demo now available!
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July 10th, 2015, 14:23
A new update has just been released introducing named items that are dropped by the most powerful enemies. The full changelog is at the end of the article:

Dev Blog #45: Named Items

This week’s update adds named items with unique looks and randomized stats as rare loot for the most powerful opponents, fixes a critical bug with last week’s retreat mechanic, adds some new events and includes quite a few balancing changes.

Named Items
As we see it, there are two problems with the item progression currently. Firstly, the player very quickly skips the lower tiers of weapons after just the first few battles because higher tier weapons generally drop as loot and are widely available for reasonable prices. And because mid to high tier equipment is available so soon, there is also little to buy or save for later in the game. This will be addressed with the next big update. Secondly, although the selection of weapons, shields and armor is ever-increasing, there is a distinct lack of reward when prevailing against the strongest of opponents, and little excitement in the looting phase after battle. This update aims to address this.



The strongest opponents now have a small chance to both use and drop as loot named weapons and shields that offer some advantages over their nameless counterparts and come with looks of their own. Their stats are slightly randomized to excel in different areas and some of them are plain better than others. To be clear, named items are not the legendary items we plan on adding eventually - they’re just very well crafted weapons and shields and should make looting in the game a bit more interesting for now, as well as allow you to customize your brothers better with their unique look.

Looking for a Sound Designer!
Going forward we’re looking for a dedicated hobbyist or professional sound designer to join us in making the game come alive. Your responsibilities would include designing the sound effects for various fantasy creatures, general battle sounds, footsteps, ambient noise and user interface sounds. If you’re a fan of Battle Brothers and would love to work on the game yourself, read our full job posting and apply at contact@overhypestudios.com!

What’s next?
Next up is the biggest update to date - the one introducing Goblins and changing quite a few mechanics around. Getting all this done will take us several weeks, so there will not be an update to the game for a while. However, we will keep you posted on our progress and will give you some sneak peeks into the coming green menace along the way.

Unfortunately the Goblin update will break save game compatibility - you will have to start a new campaign.

Changelog
Added named weapons and shields with slightly randomized stats as rare loot for the more powerful opponents.
Added 4 new events.

Changed Rally the Troops skill so that a single character can only be rallied once per round. A single character being rallied multiple times, especially in combination with Perfect Focus, proved to be way too powerful in dealing with almost any threat, which was not how it was intended.
Changed fatigue costs of Perfect Focus skill to 30 (down from 40).
Changed Ghouls to make use of the retreat mechanics as well.
Changed prices of some supplies to be higher.
Changed movement speed on mountainous terrain to be slightly higher.
Changed the waiting action to reduce initiative by 25% for the purpose of determining turn order the following turn. This is to lessen the problem of taking double-turns, i.e. two turns in quick succession.
Changed the Shield Bash perk to have the Knock Back skill cost 10 Fatigue less to use in order to make it more of a viable choice until it gets either reworked or replaced.
Changed Javelins so that they can be thrown twice per turn and cost less fatigue to use, also reduced their damage and effectiveness against armor with each throw.

Fixed retreating enemies crashing the game in some instances.
Fixed orcs potentially charging to tiles they shouldn't be able to reach.

Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix - www.battlebrothersgame.com
Combat Demo now available!
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July 17th, 2015, 15:33
Just a quick progress update so you get an idea about what we are working on:


Dev Blog #46: Progress Update - Worn Armor and Goblin Preview

As we explained previously, the next update to the game will take us a few weeks to get done. In the meantime we invite you to take a look at what we're working on and how progress is going. This week we've added a wide variety of worn armor and helmets for the bandit faction and started work on the Goblins.

So far, everyone was wearing well-crafted armor and helmets in mint condition. This always felt a bit out of place especially with the bandits who looked pretty much like regular soldiers or militia forces with their equipment. After all, they are supposed to be outlaws living in the woods and they can have a hard time getting materials to repair their gear.

To address this, we've made a variety of new armor and helmets with a worn-out look, gear that has been patched up many times, lost some parts or has become rusted. This gives the bandit faction a unique look and makes them stand out from other human factions. What is more, all these items have their own values for armor and fatigue penalties. In general, the worn-out and patched armors are a bit lighter, giving less fatigue penalties but also having less armor points.



Although bandits make the most use out of this new equipment, it isn't exclusive to them. These items are not sold in shops, but they can of course be looted and used by the player, and some backgrounds the player can hire now also wear ragged surcoats, headscarfs and many more of those new items as starting equipment for a more flavorful look.



Goblin Preview

Goblins are of course the major coming new feature for Battle Brothers. We’ll do a proper reveal in time and talk about their place in the world, their culture, their equipment and their individual troop types in detail. Until then, we didn’t want to leave you without a small teaser of what is to come. So here it is, an image of the Goblin Wolfrider!



What’s next?

Most of the assets for the Goblins are done, and now we’re on to implementing them into the game. Since they come with a bunch of unique skills and an extensive armory of their own, that’s quite a bit of work. Once that’s done, we’ll have to extend the AI to allow it to actually make use of all the new weapons, skills and tactical options. Finally, we have to playtest and balance the new faction to make sure they work as intended and that combat against them is both challenging and fun.

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July 24th, 2015, 14:09
We try to keep the pace so here is this weeks blog on wardogs, a new armor mechanic and a visual rework of older assets:

Dev Blog #47: Progress Update - Wardogs, Armor Mechanics, Visual Makeover


Work continues on implementing Goblins. While that’s going on, we’re also doing some things that have been on our todo list for some time - adding wardogs and changing the armor mechanics. In addition, Paul is doing a makeover of many of the older assets in the game, especially the Battle Brothers themselves.

Wardogs

That’s right, wardogs have made their way into the game and you can soon have them in your mercenary company. These dogs are of a large and aggressive breed and they come with their own name and one of several different looks. But what is their purpose?

Goblins will rely heavily on ranged combat and kiting their opponents, so Battle Brothers need a new trick up their sleeves as well. And while the recently introduced feature of retreating enemies does alleviate the issue of having to catch the last remaining enemies, we want to go further. Wardogs are a tool for the player to chase down any enemy and hold them in place until Battle Brothers arrive, as well as to find any enemies hidden in the fog of war. It’s a tool that makes a lot of sense in a medieval fantasy world, and at the same time is something to have fun with and get invested in. Afterall, who doesn’t like dogs?

Wardogs are not individual characters in your party but are treated like an item - at least outside of combat. They can be bought in settlements and then assigned to a character before combat. Ever noticed that empty slot in the top left of your characters’ paper doll? That’s the accessory slot, and that’s where wardogs go, among other things.



In combat the character handling a dog has a unique skill called ‘Unleash Wardog’. The unleashed dog will spawn on an adjacent free tile and will act immediately after the handler has finished his turn. The dog is not controlled by the player but by the AI following a distinct behavior - it will straight up charge for the next free opponent and engage him in melee all while doing a lot of barking. Wardogs don’t actually do that much damage, at least not against armored opponents, but they are very useful in pinning down archers or other elusive targets in the opponent’s backline for your Battle Brothers to follow up. What’s more, they can track down hidden enemies. If you don’t know where the last few enemies are hiding on the map, unleash a dog and he will find them for you.



Wardogs bring a lot of utility to the table, but they also require a bit of careful thinking of when to best be unleashed. They’re not humans and so will run happily into enemy spears only to kill themselves. Just like for your Battle Brothers that spells perma-death for them.

Armor Mechanics

First, the punchline: We’ve changed how weapons and armor interact. While we believe that the armor system as it was worked decently well, there were a couple of issues we want to address with this change.

Because armor effectively acts as additional hitpoints, the game as it were encourages stacking a lot of armor. In fact, it encourages doing so over increasing hitpoints because raising maximum fatigue in order to wear more armor yields more effective hitpoints than raising actual hitpoints on levelup. In addition, getting hit with any kind of weapon and just shrugging off the damage as long as your armor is intact is a simplistic approach. In reality you often suffer at least some small bruise or blunt trauma, even if your armor is not penetrated. Finally, we have no way of correctly modelling weapons that penetrate armor very well without doing much damage to the armor itself. A good example is the crossbow which has a very high armor efficiency causing it to do a lot of damage against armor because we had no other good way of modelling penetrating attacks.

To remedy the above points we’re introducing the concept of ‘Direct Damage’ as an addition to the armor mechanics that are already in place. Direct damage is a new characteristic of every attack skill (e.g. Slash, Thrust, etc) that determines what amount of damage done is not absorbed by armor immediately but may directly affect hitpoints, whether by actually piercing through armor or by blunt force trauma that is felt through armor. Let’s go step by step to see how damage is applied:

Firstly, armor damage is applied to armor (if any) based on the ‘Armor Effectiveness’ of the skill and weapon used. Secondly, and this is new, ‘Direct Damage’ is applied to hitpoints based on the skill used but reduced by 10% of the current armor value. This means that the better the armor, the less direct damage gets through, and the more damaged an armor gets, the more direct damage will get through. Finally, if there is no armor left, the remaining damage is applied directly to hitpoints.

So how does that address the issues above? With direct damage, both armor and hitpoints matter. A character getting attacked by weapons that can inflict a lot of direct damage - such as crossbows or maces - can now get killed even while he has armor points left. On the other hand, a character can never get killed with any hitpoints left. Because hitpoints heal a lot slower than armor is repaired or replaced, Battle Brothers may also take attritional damage now by way of cuts and bruises that add up over several battles, further emphasizing the need for a larger hitpoint pool for longer campaigns. With the introduction of direct damage we can now correctly model weapons like crossbows that were built to penetrate armor, not to destroy it. This also gives us a more freedom for introducing different skills and weapons in the future. Finally, modeling most attacks as inflicting at least some damage to the target in the form of blunt trauma, concussion or bruises is arguably more realistic than assuming that armor would prevent all damage.

While unfortunately this added mechanic does take away a bit from the clear and simple way it worked previously we’re confident that this is well worth the trade-off. We want to strike a good balance between having realism in our combat system and keeping the mechanics easy to pick up, and we feel that the concept of direct damage makes a lot of sense intuitively.

Visual Makeover

As you may know, we started out doing this game in our free time, in the few hours we had each evening after our day jobs. With very limited time we had to make some tough calls and couldn’t give everything the attention we wanted to.

This changed since we moved to working fulltime on the game about a month ago, and this also shows in the game’s visuals. The newer assets - such as for the upcoming Goblins - are a lot more detailed, making the older assets look a bit dated by comparison. To remedy this, Paul will be revamping many of the older assets and giving them a makeover so that they’re on par with the new stuff for a consistently detailed look.



First up are the Battle Brothers themselves - and while we’re at it, we’re also adding a few more faces, hair and beard styles as well!

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July 24th, 2015, 15:47
Bravo on everything! Great ideas!
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