Headmaster Report #13


Headmaster Report #13


Lucky number 13

This report is going to focus on the just-deployed changes to the SA Society that many of you have already had a peek at in your inboxes. We have three new/revised courses (Philosophy I: Views and two astronomy courses, mentioned in my last report) that are just about ready to launch and should be out this month. The Force Tactics course that I've mentioned in my last couple of reports has been sent off to our shiny new Voice, whom I'm sure has nothing more pressing or interesting to attend to, for review and comments.

Making the pyramid taller

A few months ago I began sketching out changes to the SA Society rank requirements. My goal was to increase the number of members able to attain Rank 6 (the halfway point) and make better use of Ranks 7-9. After my last report, I gathered up some numbers, prepared a plan, and sent it out to Sarin, Mav, and James for their review and technical comments. Today, the new system is active. Here's a rundown:

Yesterday, 42 out of 582 SA Society members met the requirements for Rank 6 or higher: 120 academic credits and 2 dark savants. Although the number of members holding higher SA Society ranks had increased from 31 to 42 since I started tracking the numbers in December, the percentage of SA Society members holding those ranks during that time fell due to the increase in new members joining the Society.

My theory is that, because Rank 6 unlocks half of the SA Society accessories, it should be a relatively easy target for dedicated members to hit. Beyond that, the higher ranks should form the top of a pyramid but still be useful. The original set up made Ranks 7-10 too unobtainable, with many people never hitting 6 and most who did skipping right past 7 and 8. As of yesterday, no one held Ranks 7 or 8, 14 held Rank 9, 7 held Rank 10, 3 held Rank 11, and 6 held Rank 12.

In sum, there were two problems: first, too few people were hitting the middle ranks at all; second, the original design of Ranks 7-10, which allowed members to advance based solely on average course score, resulted in underutilization of those intermediate-top ranks (and created plenty of confusion for members). To fix these problems, I have evened out the academic credit/degree requirement progression for all ranks and modified the rank-skipping mechanism of Ranks 7-10. Here are the original and new progressions:

Original Progression

  • Rank 1: 1 Credit, members only need to take one course (other than the Test of Lore) to be considered part of the Society
  • Rank 2: 10 Credits
  • Rank 3: 25 Credits
  • Rank 4: 45 Credits and one Dark Maven Degree
  • Rank 5: 75 Credits and one Dark Savant Degree
  • Rank 6: 120 Credits and two Dark Savant Degrees
  • Rank 7: Rank 6 and three Dark Savant Degrees
  • Rank 8: Rank 7 /w average 90% course score (1 Sage = 88%, 2 Sage = 86%, 3+ Sage = 84%)
  • Rank 9: Rank 7 /w average 95% course score (1 Sage = 93%, 2 Sage = 91%, 3+ Sage = 89%)
  • Rank 10: Rank 7 /w average 99% course score (1 Sage = 97%, 2 Sage = 95%, 3+ Sage = 93%)
  • Rank 11: Rank 10 and every non-service / programming degree, below Sage level
  • Rank 12: Rank 11 and one Sage and average 99% course score

New Progression

  • Rank 1: 1 Credit, members will only have needed to take one course (other than Test of Lore) to be considered part of the Society.
  • Rank 2: 10 Credits
  • Rank 3: 20 Credits
  • Rank 4: 30 Credits and one Dark Maven Degree
  • Rank 5: 50 Credits and two Dark Maven Degrees
  • Rank 6: 70 Credits and one Dark Savant Degree (* rank boost available)
  • Rank 7: 90 Credits and two Dark Savant Degrees (* rank boost available)
  • Rank 8: 110 Credits and three Dark Savant Degrees (* rank boost available)
  • Rank 9: 130 Credits and four Dark Savant Degrees (* rank boost available)
  • Rank 10: 150 Credits and five Dark Savant Degrees
  • Rank 11: Rank 10 and one Sage Degree
  • Rank 12: Rank 11 with average 99% course score

Rank boost = +1 rank /w average 97% course score (1 Sage = 95%, 2 Sage = 93%, 3+ Sage = 91%)

As you can see, the academic credit and degree requirements for the lower ranks have been eased while the higher ranks have been made somewhat more difficult. The "rank boost" is a mechanism that allows a member to advance a single rank above the rank he or she otherwise qualifies for, from Ranks 6-10. For example, a member who hits Rank 6 by earning 70 academic credits and one Dark Savant degree can either progress to Rank 7 by picking up another 20 credits and a second Dark Savant or by having a 97% average course score (the percentage can be reduced by having one or more Sages). However, if the member is "boosted" to Rank 7, he or she will still have to meet the baseline requirement for Rank 7 before advancing Rank 8 (again, by either meeting the normal requirement or by maintaining a 97% average).

James has already deployed the new system, and something like 150 of you have increased by a least one rank as a result. As always, no one's rank was reduced. The result of the new system is a better distribution of members. You can see the new breakdown for yourself, but the gist is this: we went from 42 members at Rank 6 or higher to 90 of members at Rank 6 or higher.

Top Exam Takers!

Since my last report, the top five exam takers at the SA are:

Name # of Exams
GRD Itshim 21
PRT Onwai Starborne 18
DEF Gui Sol 17
PRT Rachelle Grimblade 12
PRT Fenn Eshka'lya 11

Great work, everyone!


As always, I'd like to close this report by asking for your help. The SA is a massive wall of text that covers ever-shifting topics and is prone to typos and run-on sentences. If you spot substantive or grammatical problems, please let me, Ood, and the course PROF know so that we can fix them ASAP. As we work through the Departments during the audit, we're also going to be asking for help reading and editing -- if you have any particular expertise, let us know when we announce the next Department being audited. There are shiny things available. :P


Dark Side Adept Dacien Victae di Plagia
Headmaster of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood

Good stuff, Bubba. I appreciate the transparency.

Glad to see the Astronomy course are near completion. Good job on those, guys!

Yay Bubba!

I'll just.. take some notes here on how to structure a society... thanks for the updates. :)

Nice work Itshim!

Nice changes... and nice being in the top 5 :)

Great changes, thanks to Bubba and his staff for digging into the data and being willing to make adjustments.

Excellent report, and thanks for being up front about all the changes. As I am working through my second combat tactics course I will be sure to make note of any errors I notice-typos and that sort of thing- and shoot an email to the appropriate folks. :)

Wahoo! this was pretty exciting stuff to see.

Good report Bubba

Woo! Still need to get my average grade up a bit... >.<

Looking good.. Though all those emails though! lmfao

Awesome deal! Though I have to ask. Do courses that are no longer being offered count against your grade average? Courses like MSN Messenger Studies, Safe Computing, AIM Studies, ect.

GG Itshim!

Nice to see the announced changes in effect! Congratulations to all those who were ranked and can't wait for the new courses.

Dan - No, inactive courses do not count towards your course average.

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