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Greetings Everyone, I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday and taking advantage of the holiday season. Another year has passed for the DJB And the last few days have seen one of our largest milestones accomplished (finally!). The release of...

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Greetings Everyone,

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday and taking advantage of the holiday season. Another year has passed for the DJB And the last few days have seen one of our largest milestones accomplished (finally!). The release of Possessions, the updating of our Covenant, and the Holiday Season have combined for an early appearance of Santa Sarin.

I am extremely fortunate to serve as the Grand Master at this point in our club's history. We have one of the most capable and able Dark Council's in our club's history. Likewise, our membership has entered a period of stability and contribution that is hard to compare with previous years. All of you make leading our club an extremely rewarding and often, easy thing to do. I'm extremely appreciative.

Although our club's awards are merely pixels and pretend internet weapons, please know they come with a very real and heartfelt thanks from me.

Now to the awards!

  1. Seer Evant Taelyan has been promoted to the rank of Augur. This promotion has been authorized by Grand Master Cotelin and is in recognition of Evant's contributions to the dream of finally accomplishing a ten year project called possessions.
  2. Augur Evant Taelyan has been promoted to the rank of Adept. This promotion has been authorized by Grand Master Pravus and is in recognition of Evant's selfless service to the Dark Brotherhood and his ability to manage a multi-faceted team of Dark Councilors and members in the production of the possessions system.
  3. Augur Morgan B. Sorenn has been promoted to the rank of Adept. Vyr has been promoted for his outstanding work over the past year as Herald, for his tremendous contribution to all facets of the possessions system, and for contributing an amazing amount of graphics to possessions.
  4. Augur Atra Ventus has been awarded the Ruby Scepter for his contributions to the possessions system from our initial restart to completion. Atra has been played a vital role in nearly every single aspect of possessions creation and work greatly reduced the overall time we needed to launch the system.
  5. Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor has been awarded an Emerald Dagger for his contributions to the possession system, continued service as T:Recruitment (Despite retiring), and his leadership within Clan Taldrya.
  6. Adept Marick Tyris has been awarded an Emerald Dagger for his work on possessions, his service as CM, and his tremendous work as Voice.
  7. Adept Montresor has been awarded an AK for his work on possessions.
  8. Adept Dacien Victae di Plagia has been awarded an AK for his work on possessions.
  9. Eminent Val Cole has been awarded a Sapphire Blade for his work on possessions.
  10. Grand Master Cotelin has been awarded the Emerald Dagger for his work on possessions and his tremendous work to update our Covenant. Thanks Jim!
  11. DP James Lucius Entar has been awarded the Diamond Sword for coding possessions. Nuff said.

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The Herald staff has some exciting news regarding the Custom Graphics request system! Let’s get right to it! Changes to Custom requests With the addition of Possessions to our live website, we have had to reconfigure our Custom Graphics requests....

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The Herald staff has some exciting news regarding the Custom Graphics request system! Let’s get right to it!

Changes to Custom requests

With the addition of Possessions to our live website, we have had to reconfigure our Custom Graphics requests.

You will now find several changes to your Admin interface. There is now one single page for all your graphics needs:

By adding a new request, you will send us the info directly and we can easily categorize and archive it. You will also notice a new feature where the request, upon review, shows which member of the staff handles your request and the due date when it should be finished.

There are 4 types of requests for now: Weapons, Robes, Unit or position graphics and Warbanners. Only Warbanners are yet to be integrated into the new system, but don't worry, the legacy form we've used for years still works.

What does this mean for you?

Well, the forms are now much simpler and more intuitive. Specifically for weapon requests, you will be able to request anything you own in Possessions. No more unnecessary and complicated forms.

Future changes?

Pretty soon we'll have a solid form for Warbanners as well. We'll also have a better integrated system for matching your weapons with image skins (what we call dossier images now, to differentiate them from Possessions items).

Our wiki pages have also been updated:

Thanks for your time and enjoy Possessions! :)

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The transition from open beta to live was smooth, and everything is done at this point and the Dark Jedi Brotherhood possessions system is now running. Thank you again for all those who dedicated their own personal time to seeing this become a...

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The transition from open beta to live was smooth, and everything is done at this point and the Dark Jedi Brotherhood possessions system is now running. Thank you again for all those who dedicated their own personal time to seeing this become a reality, I look forward to doing what I can to reward all of you.

Expect follow up from the Herald and Voice with further integrations of the system into existing dossier graphics and character sheets respectively.

Since these updates are pushing down the earlier announcement, please check out the Star Wars Story Celebration competitions that are currently running.

If you have comments or questions about the transition to live, please leave comments on this report for follow up.

In darkness,

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With everything on a trajectory to be live with possessions this week. I wanted to get out a brief update with some last minute topics and give heads on what will happen. Go over what’s changed since the last report and cover a few of the larger...

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With everything on a trajectory to be live with possessions this week. I wanted to get out a brief update with some last minute topics and give heads on what will happen. Go over what’s changed since the last report and cover a few of the larger topics that seem to come with confusion.

Possessions Live

We are on track for a December 6th live date for possessions.

With this will come a few things:

  • All salaries will be reset.
  • All items will be removed, and new items restocked in stores.
  • Award type items will be awarded again.
  • Trial of Acquisition will need to be taken again for JM4+
  • Beta banners and language removed across the site.
  • Item Aspects will be retained, but need to be applied to new items.
  • Many manual steps will take place awarding items, granting credits, or creating stocks.

If things come up I’ll drop notes in the report here for communication until it’s live with a follow-on report.

Clan Possessions

All the Clans have been given starting credit balances and planning worksheets. No major changes have occurred during the open beta, but once we’re live the Clans can begin to actually form their new official forces.

The big open has been, and is, of course, Clan credit earning. There is a larger scale plan that will continue to see implementation even after we’re live, but at a high level the plan is as follows:

Clans are planned to grow on average 70 million credit per year:

  • 10% from members of the Clan doing certain activities
  • 55% from planned Clan objectives and goals quarterly
  • 25% from vendettas
  • 10% from yearly bonuses

All but the 10% from members doing things will be implemented after we’re live. So what’s going to be active now? Well, if you do the math, Clans are expected to grow at around 7 million credits per year just from its members doing certain things. This will be individual member credit earnings, multiplied by 10x (so Clans earn 10x for the same activities members do for scale), for the following repeatable type contributions.

  • Seal (Vendetta)
  • Seal (War)
  • Legion of the Scholar
  • Clusters
  • Crescents
  • Novas
  • Competition Participation
  • Organizing a competition
  • Complete ACC battle

Clans will earn 10x what a member does whenever any of the following credit-earning activities occur. This multiplier was decided by looking at average earnings across the items above for all Clans, and deciding what number would have gotten us to the place we wanted. It ended up exactly 10.49 but was rounded to 10.

With the coming GJW, we will see implementation of a credit earning plan to go along with it announced ahead of time, and as we move through 2017 along with the help of James, we will see Clan objectives rollout that give large credit bonuses. Will see more on this in various discussions as we move forward.

Extra Topics

  • Adding new items has come up a lot. I’ve been taking note of and holding off on an extensive evaluation of adds. We’ll get there. I will release some general guidelines of what types of items will be added and how to go about requesting them. I plan to be as transparent as possible on these decisions.

  • The slotting of Clan items created some confusion on sales during open beta. This logic will change to break an item apart on a sale, per my discussions with James, and will act differently after things are live. This should align the possessions experience more with what members expect.

  • The dossier graphics link, between the Regent and Herald, will see some updates following the launch of possessions. Dossier artwork is currently live, and once another live system exists in possessions then Vyr will work with James to get this linked up, and I’ll support them however they need.

  • The loadout showing up on a Character Sheet, the link between the Voice who manages characters and Regent who manages items, will see connection and enablement after possessions is live. Since the CS system is live, there was no practical way to enable this ahead of time.

  • All of the end game type balance in the possessions system is admittedly lacking. This means that there are few Legendary items, not many Artifacts in existence, epic “Elite” versions of items are few and far between, the epic type items don’t have upgrade slots on them, and if you’re a high-level Equite or an Elder you probably find yourself easily attaining what you want. This is well known, and my first focus after things are live. The whole system is balanced around JM4 to EQ2 type members at this point, and I have plans to immediately dig deeper on a higher tier experience with my staff.

  • All stores buyback on items is at 100% of the value. This does not always have to be the case. Nor actually does a store have to stock at item at 100% of its value. There are quite a few discussions ongoing about the future experience, but at least in the distant future and without full transparency, the plan is to retain the beta values of 1:1. On that

  • Currently all stores exist 100% of the time, and there are no stores in existence that aren’t showing up. Over time this experience will likely change, with some reporting by me ahead of time, where new limited edition stores will show up for limited times, and additional stores are planned to exist. What form that takes is unknown but is definitely in the plan. The important thing to note for now is, the stores that are available now won’t be going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Change Log

Since the last report...

  • Added new shockboxing gloves item
  • Added new Glove Weapon Item Category to categorize glove weapons, as well as a new Glove Weapon Cosmetic aspect to apply to applicable glove weapons to customize appearance
  • BD-3000 luxury droid changed to Rare from Uncommon, price structure changed
  • Updated Item Aspect Approval Policy to include a new rule that modifications are limited to one per aspect
  • Corrected grammar and spelling errors in 131 items
  • Added clarifying language that VT-49 decimator and YT-2400 have shields
  • Added clarifying language that Eta-2 and Delta-7B come with the hyperspace rings
  • Elite BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol hidden and removed from possessions stock until upgrades functionality is expanded later
  • Helmet Vacuum Seal converted to global for all Armor Helmet Modifications
  • Armor Sealing converted to global for all Armor Modifications
  • Scomp-Link Targeting converted to global for BlasTech Dur-24 Wrist Laser as a Blaster Modifications
  • Emplacement converted to global for Merr-Sonn Z-6 Rotary Blaster Cannon as a Blaster Rifle Modifications
  • HK Protector Package converted to global for HK-series Assassin Droid as a Droid Combat Modifications
  • High Explosives converted to global for all Explosive Launcher Modifications
  • Enclosed converted to global for all Land Vehicle Modifications
  • Fully Loaded converted to global for all Land Vehicle Modifications
  • Bayonet converted to global for all Slugthrower Modifications
  • Two Ion Cannons converted to global for all Space Vehicle Combat Modifications
  • Sensor Jamming converted to global for all Space Vehicle Combat Modifications
  • Electronic Warfare Suite converted to global for all Space Vehicle Modifications
  • Fit for a King converted to global for all Space Vehicle Modifications
  • Garage converted to global for J-type 327 Nubian Starship as a Space Vehicle Modifications

The ‘Soon’ section

Much of this remains the same, but figured I’d keep this section intact for reference.

  • A Dominion policy that helps define what within a Clan system requires approval, and where the line is to just have the creative freedom to do whatever a Consul wants. As well as start to piece together the gray area between possessions and not-possessions things that are still possessed.
  • An Artifact policy that helps to define when and where and how and what artifacts are and come into existence. I admittedly haven’t had too much focus on making this happen but I’ll get it sorted. All the Consuls got me lists of what they considered their ‘artifacts’ a while ago and a clear picture going forward will emerge.
  • A Shadow Academy related course for possessions. A brief discussion with Farrin on a plan, but with the entire system documented on the wiki, the SA will take on a more step by step guide format to help members walk through accomplishing some of the common basic tasks along with a knowledge check type course.
  • A rank reward guide. Basically, it will create a page for each rank on the wiki, and then outline all the different rewards associated with that rank from skill points, to Force points to new talents to new lightsaber colors and custom robe options and items you can purchase and credits and everything that comes with each rank. So you can look forward and easily digest this information and understand the whole balance of ranks as it exists in the Brotherhood. Abadeer started something for me but I figured I’d note it here so I can hold myself accountable for it being a thing someday.

Conclusion

I appreciate all the testing that everyone has done, all the complaints and suggestions, bug checking and messages, have helped drive a higher quality system for launch. It’s far from finished, but the foundation established will create an enjoyable member experience I think. Even after this is live, please keep sending me feedback and thoughts, I have plenty of places to document ideas.

In darkness,

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Hello yes, this is Wally. It’s been a very long week-into-weekend for me. This week should be better, as I interview for a new job that I will hopefully get. That said, I wanted to get this news post up in the interest of transparency and...

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Hello yes, this is Wally. It’s been a very long week-into-weekend for me. This week should be better, as I interview for a new job that I will hopefully get. That said, I wanted to get this news post up in the interest of transparency and efficiency. Look for the “Seven Strands” Fiction update to drop sometime tomorrow evening.

New Magistrate

Once again, thank you to Best Aiden for his service. As of today, he has stepped down and will be replaced by the new Magistrate.

I received a handful of very good applications for the open Magistrate position. While I was super impressed and happy to see a high level of interest and willingness to help out from a lot of our newer members, I’ve decided to go with a veteran member that was formerly part of my CS Development team, and someone that’s worked closely with me over the past few years as a proof reader and that knows my workflow almost better than I do myself.

Congratulations to Atyiru, who will join Moro (Kasula) and Kordath on Team Three Star #TeamVoice. Her application was strong, and I’m excited to get her more involved with the administrative side of the Voice Staff.

To everyone else that applied: I will follow up with each of you to confirm that I know you’re interested in helping out. As I lay out projects that need to get done, I’ll let you know and assign you some work. For anyone that knows me from my years as CM, I do not shy away from bringing people in to do work outside of my direct staff (talk to anyone that worked on CS 2.0). I don’t care what Clan you are from, what your rank or position in the DB is. If you are willing to work, and I have something I think will work for you, I’ll do what I can to set you up with something.

There is a lot to be done for how I envision improving and building the DB’s Fictional infrastructure. I really appreciate everyone's willingness. Thank you.

In Closing

Questions? Concerns? Hit me up at [Log in to view e-mail addresses]. My door is always open.

Thank you.

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We wanted to remind you that we have an open magistrate position that needs to be filled. As mentioned before, this position holds a six-month term limit, and is designed to provide some experience in working on a DC Staff and with managing gaming...

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We wanted to remind you that we have an open magistrate position that needs to be filled. As mentioned before, this position holds a six-month term limit, and is designed to provide some experience in working on a DC Staff and with managing gaming at the Club level. Applications are open now, and will run through 16 December. One other thing I'd like to remind members of is that Fist Staff members are eligible to place on the GMRG for Q4 2016, but starting on January 1st, 2017 you will NOT be able to place on the leaderboard any longer.

Magistrates are responsible for reviewing and approving gaming submissions, setting up and running monthly gaming and mobile gaming events, and assisting with revisions to the wiki and Shadow Academy gaming courses.

What we are looking for in applicants:

  • No minimum rank requirement. All may apply!
  • Baseline understanding of the Rites of Combat
  • Consistent Telegram presence and Email turnaround of 24 hours
  • A positive attitude
  • A desire to learn and be part of a team
  • At least one idea on how to make gaming better within the club

Send all applications to Drac AND Ernordeth by December 16th. We reserve the right to make a selection early if there is an applicant that really wows us.

Good luck to all!

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Message from the Fist Happy Holidays, everyone. Welcome to my 3rd report as your Fist! Over the past month we’ve been hard at work continuing to refine and change our systems, some of which have already gone into effect. The most notable change...

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Message from the Fist

Happy Holidays, everyone. Welcome to my 3rd report as your Fist! Over the past month we’ve been hard at work continuing to refine and change our systems, some of which have already gone into effect. The most notable change was with the rank structure of the GMRG. As you all saw in my mid-month post, GMRG Ranks XI and XII are now permanently awarded. Thresholds for those ranks are listed on the GMRG wiki page. The quarterly GMRG leaderboard remains unchanged, and all members (with a small caveat that I will discuss in a moment) Rank X and above are eligible to compete for the top 10 spots! This change brings the GMRG in-line with the other societies, and will help make the Possessions system much easier to manage for the Regent.

Another big change to the GMRG leaderboard is the eligibility of the Fist staff to compete. Effective next quarter, the Fist staff will no longer be eligible to compete for the GMRG Top Ten. I did not make this decision lightly, but I firmly believe that the Fist office exists to provide activity for the rest of the club. We should not benefit from the system that we manage. This change will not go live until 1 January, because I won’t take away from the gaming efforts that some of my team have put in already for placement for this quarter.

Finally, I have decided that in order to provide experience working on a DC staff, two of my Magistrate positions will have a six-month term limit. The SWTOR Magistrate will remain as a permanent position due to the complexity of managing a MMO. This change has the potential to benefit the entire DB by showing members how we review and approve gaming submissions, and how we test and implement new games. This policy will be retroactive to when I assumed the office, so all of my current magistrates have four months left (end of next quarter). Once a magistrate’s term is up, I will allow them to re-apply, but I want to provide this experience to all members of the club. This prevents stagnation of ideas, and it also gives the sitting magistrates the chance to focus on their own gaming.

I do have one open Magistrate position now. I’d like to thank Aexod for his efforts over the past three months. Job requirements will be mentioned below.

Other admin notes:

  • New gaming modes for currently supported games will be tested/validated by the Fist office before they are implemented. There is no exception to this. If a new game mode opens up that has the potential for support, feel free to bring it to our attention. We will validate the new mode, test it, and determine values if it is supportable. Not all game modes will be supported. If a game mode is not popular by a majority of players or it does not fill a need for the club, I will not add it.

  • Friendly reminder that the Teamspeak Server has changed. See announcement here. I’ll say this again, because apparently the message isn’t getting through: We are not moving to Discord. Please stop asking.

  • Ernordeth posted a new gaming digest. Lots of great games and updates out there for you to add to your gift wish list!

Now, on to the good stuff!

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Pendants of Blood, Explained

I’ve had a lot of questions in regards to Pendants of Blood. For all games that award Pendants of Blood for specific milestones, the maximum number of Pendants you can receive from those games is six (6). If the level cap is raised or the milestones change and you have already earned six, you will not be eligible to earn any more.

  • Example 1: A member has earned six pendants of blood for achieving Max Level and Light Level by playing Destiny. These pendants were earned using the level caps that existed in The Taken King expansion. The level caps are raised with the introduction of a new expansion. The milestones are updated to reflect the newer level caps, which are beyond the caps the member earned his/her six pendants for. This member is not eligible to earn any more pendants of blood.

  • Example 2: A member has earned five pendants of blood for achieving max level and paragon levels by playing Diablo 3. These pendants were earned prior to the recent change in paragon level requirements. This member will not be eligible to earn a sixth pendant of blood until they meet the newly established paragon milestone.

There are other ways to earn pendants of blood outside of what is essentially single-player gaming. I award a pendant of blood for weekly and saturday PvP gaming to the member with the highest win/loss ratio. The rules that govern the weekly PvP Pendant of Blood can be found here.

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Gaming Updates

Destiny

Not an update, but more of a clarification. In my last report, i mentioned that Pendants of Blood would be awarded for both a Full DB Clear of Normal and Hard Mode Wrath of the Machine. It was brought to my attention that for past raids, we only awarded for the first clear of the raid, regardless of which difficulty it was completed on.

Therefore, I retract my previous statement. I will award a Pendant of Blood to the first verified Full DB Clear of Wrath of the Machine. It can be done on normal mode or hard mode. I will not award pendants for both. I apologize for any confusion.

Overwatch

New Mode

Overwatch 3v3 mode is live! Submit all gaming activities via the gaming portal. You have to select whether you played 3v3 or 6v6 mode when submitting, so be careful not to accidentally batch screenshots for both modes into a single submission. Both modes award different amounts of clusters. Check out the Cluster tables here if you are curious as to how each game and game mode awards clusters!

Battlefront

The new Battlefront DLC for Rogue One hits on 6 December! It’s a perfect time to jump back into the fray, kill some Rebels or Imperials and hype yourself up for Rogue One!

Shadow Academy Courses

GMRG History has recieved some much needed revisions. For those of you who have not taken it yet, remember that this course is the initial gateway into the GMRG! For those of you who have the exam in process, make sure you check your answers prior to submitting, as some answers may have changed.

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DB-Wide Gaming Competitions

Rogue One Celebration Event

The DC is happy to bring you another series of events in preparation for this year’s film release! Main link to the container competition is above. Gaming events are as follows:

Rogue One Gaming A

Objective Return to the fields of battle in Star Wars: Battlefront as either a soldier of the Rebel Alliance or a stormtrooper fighting for the Galactic Empire! Form a team and fight to either destroy or defend the Death Star in Battlestation Mode!

How to Submit Submit all activity through the normal gaming portal. Only Battlestation Mode submissions will count for this competition. As a bonus, all activities submitted to this competition will earn double Clusters of Fire!

Rogue One Gaming B

Objective The holiday season is supposed to be a generally happy time of year, but let’s face it; it can be stressful as well. What better way is there to take out some stress than to go head to head against a friend (or enemy) in Player vs. Player combat? For this event, find an opponent and fight it out in Star Wars: Battlefront’s 1v1 mode! You can play normal 1v1 or Heroes vs. Villains.

Rules Team up with another member of the DB and duke it out in Battlefront’s standard 1v1 mode or Heroes vs. Villains mode. Follow all rules set forth in the Rites of Combat. Combatants must agree to which mode they will play. There is no restriction on characters in the Heroes vs. Villains mode.

How to Submit All matches must be set up and submitted via the Fist-o-Matic bot on Telegram. For any Fist-o-matic issues, please contact the Fist for assistance. As a bonus, all activities submitted to this competition will earn double Clusters of Fire!

Diablo 3 Season 8 Competition

Reminder for this event, as we currently have a pretty low turnout: This competition will run for the duration of Season 8, which ends on 21 December. The full list of events can be found below! Make sure you sign up for the container event as well...the individual with the highest overall score at the end of Season 8 will earn an additional Crescent!

Unless someone steps up, it looks like Val Cole, Fist Emeritus will run away with the top crescents for all eight events!!

December Gaming: December Flash Game Christmas Room Escape

The New Year is approaching! That means it's holiday season! For the occasion, the FIST staff has decided to organize a bunch of holiday themed events for you!

In this competition, you will be playing a Christmas themed Escape flash game! Upon subscribing, you will receive a link to the flash game in question.

Fastest time (endgame screen) wins! In case of a tie, the person who submitted to the site first wins.

December Mobile Gaming: The Impossible Test Christmas Edition

You all loved this one so much, I've decided to give you another chance this year!!! This month the mobile game is The Impossible Test: Christmas Edition. Players will take a screenshot of the completion screen and submit it to this comp. Member with fastest completion time wins in case of a tie for first the member who submits first (as in date/time not time taken) wins.

Each participant who submits a valid screenshot will earn 5 Clusters of Earth to be awarded after the end of the competition.

iPhone and Android

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Rites of Combat

The Rites of Combat have recently received a hefty overhaul. I’d like to thank my staff and the members of the DC who took the time to review and comment on this throughout the revision process. I think these changes now place the RoC in line with all of our current systems. Key changes of note:

  • All IRC-related language has been removed. Telegram, the DB Gaming Lounge, and the TG Fist Bot are now 100% official. The Shadow Academy courses will reflect these changes soon.
  • Daily Match Limits and Challenge Requirements are now two separate sections.
  • With the move to Telegram, idling is not something that can be controlled. Idling is allowed in DB Gamer Lounge.
  • RoC Infractions section now reflects the changes in the newly adopted Covenant. Members are responsible for reading and adhering to the guidelines set forth in the Covenant.
  • Match Dodging Policy remains unchanged.
  • Fist-o-Matic Policy has changed slightly. Punishments for repeated confirmation failures have been lessened slightly, but still exist. The Fist is now the sole approving authority for non-utilization of the Fist bot.
  • Requirement for Xbox Gamertag, PSN ID, Steam Handle, Battle.net ID, or any other gamertag for the system being played on is now required for all Cluster and Pendant awarding.

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November Weekly and Saturday Pendant of Blood Awardees

Congratulations to the following individuals on earning Pendants of Blood for the highest overall PvP score for the weeks/Saturdays listed!

Weekly PoBs

Saturday PoBs

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Open Position: Magistrate to the Fist

With Aexod stepping down, I have an open magistrate position that needs to be filled. As mentioned before, this position holds a six-month term limit, and is designed to provide some experience in working on a DC Staff and with managing gaming at the Club level. Applications are open now, and will run through 16 December.

My magistrates are responsible for reviewing and approving gaming submissions, setting up and running monthly gaming and mobile gaming events, and assisting with revisions to the wiki and Shadow Academy gaming courses.

What I’m looking for in applicants:

  • No minimum rank requirement. All may apply!
  • Baseline understanding of the Rites of Combat
  • Consistent Telegram presence and Email turnaround of 24 hours
  • A positive attitude
  • A desire to learn and be part of a team
  • At least one idea on how to make gaming better within the club

Send all applications to me and Ernordeth by December 16th. I reserve the right to make a selection early if I see an applicant that really wows me.

Good luck to all!

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December Gaming with the Fist

I had a great time playing Overwatch with some of our members during November’s Gaming with the Fist. For December, I’m going back to where I started out in this club: Xbox One!

December’s Gaming with the Fist will be on 10 December from 1000-1200 Pacific Standard Time. I’ll be playing Battlefront and Destiny, and will start with whatever the main group wants to play first. Word of warning: I will not take part in any Club first events. The Pendants of Blood for the Club First Wrath of the Machine Raid is still up for grabs, but as I stated before I will not take part in that event. Anything else is fair game!

See you all on the 10th! Come with ideas and questions. As with all Gaming with the Fist events, I will not make any decisions during these events. This is just a chance for me to take your questions and ideas back to the staff for further discussion.

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Ask The Fist

Vyr asks: For the sake of us non-gamers, please explain the process you and your staff go through when approving new games or game mods for supported games.

First we look for overall interest in a game across the club. If there is enough interest in a specific game, we look to see if it is feasibly supportable. The game has to fill a need in the club and have some kind of definable metrics in order for it to be viable for support. Specifically, match or event completion screens. We need to know that we’ll be able to validate a member’s submission through the screenshot. Once we know we can validate the game, we usually run a competition to see if there is enough interest to warrant adding it as a supported platform. As a general rule of thumb, we look for at least 15 people who actively play the game. Based off the results of the competition, we’ll either support the game or we won’t. That’s pretty much the simple version.

While we monitor upcoming new releases for potential options for DJB gaming, we rely heavily on the community to bring potential platforms to our attention. Overwatch is a prime example of a game that had a lot of community support prior to its addition. It was feasible, filled a need, and is extremely popular with the member base.

Sometimes we support a game that goes in the other direction. The Division is a key example. It had a great deal of support and even became a supported platform. But it was almost impossible to validate screenshots, and the game itself became increasingly unpopular with the member base. It lasted about two months before it went from supported to unsupported.

Uji asks: What are the next platforms being considered for inclusion in the DJB? With many great games coming out around the Holiday season what can we look forward to being included/tested/updated for members to participate and play games together over the Christmas break?

We don’t have any upcoming games in the queue for testing. Titanfall 2 seems to be relatively popular, and I’d be interested in seeing if there is enough interest across the club to test it.

Uji also asks: As it may be relevant for my future gaming practices, I don’t believe we currently have any presence in EVE Online is that correct?

Not a significant presence that I’m aware of. I know a few people play it, but that’s about it. I always encourage people to game together outside of supported platforms. I’ve had a lot of fun playing Star Trek Online with members even though I’m fully aware (because I am the guy that makes these types of decisions) that it will never be supported. Sometimes, we just need to game for fun. The social aspect of the gaming community is what makes this club special. Clusters and pendants are just an added bonus.

Sparky asks: Will the PoB limit change now that the level cap on TOR is 70?

The only thing that will change is the PoB for max level will now be earned at level 70 instead of level 65. The Pendant of Blood page on the wiki provides a very clear answer. You can earn six Pendants of Blood for SWTOR. That’s it. No more. If you have already received the max level PoB under the old milestones, you will not earn another.

Kylex asks: What does the FIST do in canon for the brotherhood?

From the wiki: “The Fist of the Brotherhood is tasked by the Grand Master with oversight of the Iron Legion and Fleet. While the military is under direct command of the Grand Master alone, this position ensures order is maintained within the military as well as deployment and training. This also comes with the oversight of the Grand Master’s Royal Guard, an elite group of soldiers tasked with the protection of the Grand Master and the rest of the Dark Council.”

Esca (King of Hats) asks: Having played Overwatch a few times, who would you say are your top favorite characters?

I die less when I play as Reaper. So I’ll go with that.

Justinios Drake asks: Has EVE Online ever been considered as an official platform, especially now that it went partially F2P?

It hasn’t, and with SWTOR as our primary MMO (as bad as some people think it is), there are no plans to add any additional MMOs in the future.

Slagar Asks: Have you ever considered a Tier 3 of gaming platforms to offer general gaming support to random platforms?

This is something we’ve mulled over a few times. The major concern with allowing low-cluster (think fractional reward) activities for any and all platforms is the ability to validate them. My staff has to know what to look for in a submission, and if it is a game nobody is familiar with, that can cause errors and other potential concerns. Additionally, the Cluster of Earth and Cluster of Fire is, and will continue to be an effort based reward. As time is the only real metric we can generally validate, I am not comfortable with in essence de-valuing the Cluster in order to allow for non-supported platforms to be utilized for casual gaming. Finally, Clusters are now a path towards credits. As such, they will have to be managed extremely carefully to prevent spamming. So as of right now, if it isn’t a T1 or T2 supported platform, we’re not going to add what amounts to a 3rd Tier of gaming that allows for non supported platforms to be utilized for standard gaming activity.

The work-around for this is that we WILL support competitions based around non-supported platforms. These competitions do a few things. First, they provide crescents (which generate credits), they allow me and my staff to execute live tests of games that show potential for support, and (when run by the FIST office) they allow for incentive clusters (which generate credits).

Edgar Asks: Will the GMRG leaderboard awards be increased to reflect the new DC position and how does possessions change the accessories?

Absolutely. The Leaderboard will now include the Regent, which increases the number of available Dark Councilors to ten. What will change is the manner in which accessories are utilized. I don’t want to step on Evant’s toes with this, and frankly we’re still working out the full details on how that will look with possessions. Expect a solid answer soon!

Len Eode Asks: How is the MOBA testing going?

Frankly, it was an abysmal failure. Based off the tests of LoL and DOTA2, I’m not planning on doing any more tests for MOBAs. I have been made aware that there is a SW-based MOBA that will be available worldwide at some point in the near future, and we’ll probably take a look at that once it’s available. But for now, I’m dropping the MOBA testing due to overall lack of interest across the club.

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TL;DR

1) Changes to the GMRG.

2) Changes to GMRG Eligibility

3) Changes to staff management

4) More about Pendants

5) I need a Magistrate

6) Really good questions

7) Rogue One!

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Thanks for gaming. See you all next time!

-DDP

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In thirteen days, I will be lining up in Union Square for a 10:15pm screening of Rogue One. Tickets are booked, it’s a standard theater with no fancy booked seats or technology, just like when I got to see the Prequels in theaters for the first...

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In thirteen days, I will be lining up in Union Square for a 10:15pm screening of Rogue One. Tickets are booked, it’s a standard theater with no fancy booked seats or technology, just like when I got to see the Prequels in theaters for the first time. This is becoming my ritual for new movies: I will then follow up with more calculated screenings in IMAX and Dolby Atmos. That said...

ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN / MY BODY IS READY FOR THIS MOVIE.

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Oh, right, report. Let’s do that first.

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December DC Event

As Pravus announced, the Dark Council will be running a month long event for the month of December similar to what was run last year for the launch of Episode VII.

I will be co-running two competitions, one Fiction and one Run-On, which I will talk about next.

There are some really cool events here, with a completely new one from Evant about writing product reviews for Possessions items. I’m personally going to be entering that one, and encourage you guys to do so as well. If anyone has Xbox One, I’ll also be hitting up Star Wars: Battlefront for Drac’s comps, and I’m happy to jump into a game with you. Just hit me up.

Fiction

Mav and I decided to go with a “What If” prompt, and encourage everyone to place their character into a historical scene in Star Wars. As you will see in the competition details, we will be using the new Fiction rubric, but giving leniency in the realism department in terms of how or why the character happens to be involved in a particular canon event.

Subscribe here.

Run-On: The Rising Tides

With the fiction prompt focusing on levity, the monthly focus for the Inquisitorius Fiction Society is our first DB-wide Run-On since last year. My hope is that Run-Ons will become more frequent at the DB-level and run more frequently outside of single units. For this Run-On, I wanted to mirror Sarin’s from last year and use the “Small Team” format and promote the option to team up with anyone in the DB, not just your clanmates! You can find the details here on the competition page.

For convenience (and mostly because I like testing out new technology like Google’s new free-website-builder), I created a Run-On Launch Page that should cover any questions you might have about the competition. Included on the site is a Star Wars-style Scrolling Text introduction that serves as a fictional recap of Brotherhood events so far this past year. It is also listed in plaintext form for people who hate videos, or something, followed by the prompt.

I also created a quick-reference sheet for new or returning members that want to catch up with current events in the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. I’ve titled it: Brotherhood Organizations & Persons of Interest

I’d recommend bookmarking the site or even just the links, as it should provide a valuable resource to writing and telling your stories for this Run-On. I’d also recommend keeping to smaller teams if you’re new to Run-Ons. Another thing to keep in mind:

“The Winning entry and other story beats from completed Run-Ons may be considered for inclusion in DB Plotline Canon.”

If you have any questions, let me know. As a random easter egg to anyone knows me, if you realize where I got the names for the missing persons, feel free to let me know that you got the reference :P. If you’re having problems finding teammates, contact your Summit, or I can also try and reach out and see what I can do.

Update / Questions Answered

  1. Star Wars has always represented two warring sides: Sith vs Jedi, Empire vs Rebellion, Separatist vs Republic, and even First Order vs Resistance. Throughout all of these conflicts, there has always been the "Third Party". Think Han Solo at the beginning of Episode 4, or Hando Onaka in the Clone Wars. There is always a place for characters that are loyal to themselves/friends/groups over the two major factions.

  2. With that said: The two objectives are there to provide a sense of scale for writers as the two main diametrically opposed sides in the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. I don't expect everyone to pick a side, just to tell their own unique story.

  3. Teams can have different objectives internally or have disparate views. This, to me, sounds like good drama/material for an engaging story. It is entirely up to your team and the story you decide to tell. This means that yes, half the team can be pro Inq and the other half is pro Lotus.

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Run-On Rubric

This is now a thing. Why? As someone who has been competing in every major Run-On since 2010, I always felt that there was a lack of feedback when winning or losing. After talking with others, and looking at how positive feedback has been with the ACC and Fiction Rubrics, it seemed like the next logical step to implement.

You can see the updated Run-On rubric here.

Competition organizers are not required to use the rubric, but the Voice strongly recommends it as it will mirror how every major Brotherhood competition will function going forward. Like any of our rubrics, additional modifiers can be added to the rubric for a specific event: these details just need to be clearly and transparently outlined for the competitors in the competition details.

I’m continuing work on rewriting the Run-On Course to reflect the new rubric and other changes. Keep an eye out for that, and let me know if you have any questions.

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Dark Council - Fictional Roles

There have been a lot of questions over the past few years in regards to what exactly the Dark Council does in-character/universe. While we have clear definitions and understandings of what they do out of character, each respective Counselor's role has been changed or revised between leadership regimes. With an initial draft done by Evant, I sat down with Sarin and worked to figure out where we both felt each Councilor fit. You can view the full document with table of contents for The Dark Council here. I will be updating each respective Dark Councilor wikipedia page with this information as well.

The biggest change you will notice is that the MAA is no longer in charge of anything relating to the Fleets. The FIST is in command of the Dark Council’s military, both naval, ground, and armored forces.

On Titles and Positions In Fiction

Quick side note. A discussion came up in regards to Brotherhood ranks/titles being used to identify members in-character or in the context of writing. If you do not like the rank title of “Seer”, you do not have to have your character identify as such. You could call them by a different pronoun relative to the character, like by their Discipline or the profession they are known for, or simply “the Equite”. It is entirely up to you, the writer of the character, to determine how that character handles ranks and titles.

For tangible positions or staff roles acknowledged through the website, more than a few of them function as OOC (out of character) roles. If you are an ACC Judge, you do not have to call your character a Judge. You were hired for your abilities, not your character's skill with lightsabers. If you wanted, however, you could work in that your character works at the Combat Center as a “mentor” or “trainer”. It really is up to you, though, if you want to incorporate your OOC job into your character.

New Species: Ryn

Thanks to James Luceno (who originally created the Ryn in his EU novels), Ryn have been made canon again. Two of the unique species made appearances in his latest new canon book: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel.

Following the Species Approval Policy guidelines, two members submitted a query requesting that we remove the Grandfathered tag from Ryn. I have gone ahead and done the thing. Thank you Kordath and Zujenia for following the guidelines, and hopefully this sets a positive example for how we greenlight or un-grandfather Species.

Expanded reasoning for removing the tag from the Ryn:

  • Two members currently and actively are making use of the Species.
  • That’s two Player Characters, not NPCs.
  • They are already well balanced and in the system.
  • The Species offers something unique and different from the other available Species while not introducing anything drastic or unbalancing (glaring at you, Shi’ido).

For a reminder on the Species Approval Policy and Grandfathering click here.

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Magistrate Position Open

I’m still accepting applications for Magistrate. To see what I’m looking for, check out my last Voice Update.. I will be taking applications up until Sunday, 12/4/16.

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Anthology Part 3: Seven Strands

The final chapter of the Anthology series will be published this weekend. Each unit has been super awesome with getting me their stories and excerpts in a timely manner. I’m now just working on a few things with finishing it up.

Once the Anthology series closes, the next thing I will be working on is a major fiction update — that Sarin has called “Fiction 3.0” in past reports — which will build on “New Order” and “Treason” and show the consequences of evoking Pravus’ warth (muahaha, ominous foreshadowing).

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Final Thoughts

So, there was some pretty involved talk about reports, documentation, and how members “read” policy and news changes in the DB. I’ve been around the DB for a while as both a leader and active participant. I’ve run into a lot of problems as a member that I’ve looked to correct as a leader, and vice versa. One of my biggest issues coming up in the DB was transparency and clear documentation. To that end, I’ve made it my mission to always provide transparent explanations to why anything gets done or changed. If you feel that this is not the case, please tell me immediately so I can see how I can go about correcting it. If we enforce or act on something, it will be documented for you guys to see. Period.

The Dark Council, Society Leaders, and any leader in this club, really, ultimately serve the members. That does not mean that the members should take that for granted. If a leader goes through the trouble to write a report: read it. I personally write my reports with the main focus of answering questions that come up. If after reading, you still have a question? Ask away. That’s what we’re here for.

This report clocks in under 2,000 words. I’d love to hear feedback in the comments or on the side if you felt that the report was too long, too short, not detailed enough, or just your general thoughts! I like hearing feedback, and do my best to learn and grow with the membership.

As usual, if you have any questions, let me know at [Log in to view e-mail addresses].

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Dark Brotherhood, The Dark Council will host a series of competitions celebrating the release of the upcoming Star Wars Anthology, Rogue One. These competitions will follow in the same manner as last years Episode VII celebration. We will continue...

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Dark Brotherhood,

The Dark Council will host a series of competitions celebrating the release of the upcoming Star Wars Anthology, Rogue One. These competitions will follow in the same manner as last years Episode VII celebration. We will continue this tradition over the next several years with the release of a yearly Star Wars films.

This year we will host the following competition types:

  1. Gaming: Battlefront
  2. Gaming: Unknown (It is known. I'm not telling you).
  3. Graphics
  4. Run-On
  5. Fiction
  6. Product Reviews: ???
  7. SA/Trivia Related: ???

Yes, some events are not defined, but that is because I am not going to ruin the surprise. We look forward to hosting these fun events for everyone to participate in. These events will be followed by the release of possessions, Santa Sarin December, and next year's Great Jedi War (Late Spring, Summer).

We have a lot coming and look forward to everyone being a part of it.

  • Dates of Competitions Events will be released by the MAA shortly

Matt/Sarin/Pravus

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Introduction I spent last night putting up Christmas lights on my house at my wife's urging... in a t-shirt and shorts because it was 83 degrees Fahrenheit. At 6 pm. Even as a native of this wonderful state I call home, this is a bit...

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Introduction

I spent last night putting up Christmas lights on my house at my wife's urging... in a t-shirt and shorts because it was 83 degrees Fahrenheit. At 6 pm. Even as a native of this wonderful state I call home, this is a bit ridiculous. God bless Texas.

While I was wilting away in the heat (it's almost December! What even is this?!) I was reflecting on the past month's worth of work the Shadow Academy Staff has put forth. Man, what a month it's been! Thanksgiving might be over, but I am truly thankful for everyone who works or has worked for the SA and made it into the institution it is today. It's far from perfect (although we're working on it!) but I for one am certainly proud to work in it. I'm thankful for the incredible staff of Professors and Docents who have worked so hard to audit and maintain their courses; Rins'zler, who has stepped down as a Magistrate but always put quality effort into his work; Ophelia - excuse me, Riku Amahara - who continues to ably serve on our Staff and will soon be joined by a new Magistrate this weekend (I've received some great applications but continue to send them to Marcus and I until Friday!); Oodles the always incredible and thorough institutional memory of the SA; and most definitely my right-hand-man, Marcus, whose help I could not live without as we shape the SA into a better place for all members of the DJB. I could keep listing people, but I know you don't read my reports for shout-outs to my Staffers... you read it because of updates and changes!

"Will he announce the damn audit is finished? Let's tune into tonight to find out!"

Hello New Courses, Goodbye Old Courses!

It's always a happy day when I can announce the completion of a new course, so today is definitely a happy day. Thanks to the work of Rins'zler while he was on Staff, we have a new course in the Combat Studies Department - Ranged Weaponry Studies! This course should serve as a basic primer on some of the more common shoot 'em up bang bang weapons in the SW universe. The Combat Studies PROF, Zednich, is excited about the new offerings and is looking forward to expanding the Department even more for you non-lightsaber-swinging types out there sometime Soon (tm).

The HM giveth, and the HM taketh away. We've also retired two courses permanently and another two temporarily. As mentioned in my last report, the two IRC Studies courses (and the two remaining courses in the Department of Communication) have been retired and their contents have been Wikified thanks for the always-amazing Windos/Solari/Ihi Arikii. You can find them on the Wiki here.

JST in case you didn't read Jac's news post last week, the Chamber of Justice I and II SA courses have been retired. With the release of the new Dark Covenant - Soon (tm) - the courses are being reworked to form an even better entry point into understanding one of the things that makes us so unique as an online club. The new courses don't currently have a timeframe, but I'm excited to work with Jac and his staff to get these put together.

Degree Changes

With the addition of the Ranged Weaponry course and the removal of the IRC and CoJ courses, the Dark Side Degrees have been altered slightly. The Dark Maven - Combat has had Ranged Weaponry added as a requirement while the Dark Savant - Leadership and Communication and Dark Sage - Law have both had courses removed (IRC Operator Studies and CoJ I from the Maven; CoJ II from the Sage). As always, these are not retroactive; if you have already earned one of these degrees, you will not lose it.

It Begins (soon): The SA Restructure

In my application for Headmaster, I shared with Sarin and Mav an idea that Bubba and I had developed to radically restructure and streamline the Shadow Academy. I've had to put that on hold for the past seven months because I felt the audit took precedence. We're within spitting distance of completing the audit, however, and so I'm feeling much more comfortable about discussing our plans.

This is the document that I shared with them back in April. I want to point out a couple of things: obviously this was just the beginning of the idea, and what Marcus and I eventually put forth may or may not be completely true to this (although I think it'll be close). The prereq idea I've mentioned before is a part of this overall idea, so that hasn't gone away - thanks for the feedback on it! Finally, this was created back in April so some of the things mentioned in the proposal might be outdated.

With the understanding that this is a very preliminary idea, I'm going to again open this news post up to commenting on the Discourse forums. Please let me know your thoughts - good, bad, or otherwise.

Projects

Current

Shadow Academy Staff are currently engaged in the following projects:

  • SW History Department Rewrite - Lexic: Because of the evil Darth Mickey, my beloved Galactic History courses aren't fully canon anymore. The courses are being pared down (almost in half) and will be added to the Legends Department. Lexic has put together a fantastic first draft of a new course to to serve as the history of the post-RotJ world that we should see released soon. Estimated completion: Beginning of December, 2016

  • DJB History I & II Update/Rewrite - Alishu: Alishu has completed first drafts of both courses and they've been sent to the DC for approval. The DC has a lot on its plate right now, but I think we'll see some movement on this soon to get these courses released for all to enjoy. Estimated completion: TBD

  • The Dreaded... AUDIT! (non-SW courses) - PROFs/DOCs, Farrin & Ood: The non-Star Wars courses will be audited for accuracy, typos, etc. Exams are going to be reconfigured and updated. There are just a few last courses to be checked over before I can officially call this done. Expected Completion: Beginning of December, 2016

  • The Dreaded... AUDIT! (SW courses) - PROFs/DOCs, Marcus, Rins'zler, Ophelia: The Star Wars-based courses will be audited for accuracy, typos, etc. Exams are going to be reconfigured and updated. Thanks to Marcus, this section of the audit is tantalizingly close to being done; I expect that within the next couple of weeks. Expected Completion: Beginning of December, 2016

Upcoming

  • Operation Remodel - SA Staff: In an effort to streamline the organization of the Shadow Academy and make it easier to initially get to information and then to find similar information, the SA will see a fairly extensive reorganization. Read more about this earlier in my report. Expected Start: 12/2016; Expected Completion: 1/2017

  • Operation Prereq - Farrin: In order to make a more focused new member experience, different options are going to be explored to create prerequisite courses before other courses open up to a member. Expected Start: 12/2016; Expected Completion: 1/2017. :)

There are some other really exciting things in the planning stages that aren't quite ready for prime time yet, but hopefully will be within the next couple of months. Stay tuned, sports fans.

Top Exam Takers

Name # of Exams # of ACs
Acolyte Kadrol Hauen 29 25
Neophyte Justinios Drake 23 12
Neophyte Amilan Thalos 22 20
Proselyte Nijalah 19 4
Neophyte Gabriel Cruvera 17 10

Note: these numbers cover the period from 10/24/16 to 11/28/16.

Conclusion

The Shadow Academy covers tens if not hundreds of thousands of words, and those words were written by imperfect humans (GASP!). We try our best to catch and fix any and all errors before we release courses, but we're not always successful. Because of that, we will always need your help. If you spot an error, please report it to the SA Staff using this simple form; if it's a major enough error, or you spot enough, you'll be rewarded. At the very least, you'll get the thanks of a grateful HM... that's got to count for something, right?

In Darkness -
Farrin Xies,
Headmaster of the Shadow Academy

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