Google+

Voice Report #10: Changes

header

Hello yes, this is Wally. In my 10th report, I will briefly cover a few administrative things, talk about some project updates, and then recap the recent fiction updates that helped close out The New Order story arc.

Bonus points to anyone who knows the band that sings the song “Changes” featured in this thematic gif.

changes

Updates

First, let’s talk about some administrative updates from the Voice Staff.

New Magistrate

As I announced in my last update, TuQ'uan Varik has joined the Voice team as Magistrate. TuQ has been shadowing the rest of the team and is now going to start helping with the competition and Character Sheet queues. If your sheets take a bit longer than usual, it’s most likely because we’re still working on training/synergy. It could also be related to the next thing I’m going to talk about.

CS Approval Guidelines: Physical Descriptions

As anyone who’s submitted or updated their Character Sheet over the last year has noticed, we’ve been slowly refining the information that goes into this field. Describing what a character looks like is important to creating them, but so too is how they dress, what they wear, and what kinds of things they carry with them for different occasions. The issue here is that the Physical Description field has long since functioned as the default “everything goes here” field. This was mostly because we didn’t have Possessions yet, or the brilliantly implemented Loadouts feature we now currently have.

To that end, we’ve already been pushing weapon location as well as armor and robe details towards your Possessions and Loadouts. To further make a clean cut line between the Physical Description field and Possessions/Loadouts, I’ve updated the Character Sheet Approval Guidelines to reflect the following change:

A character's attire — often defined by their clothing style, preference, or details — belongs in the Item Aspects found in Possessions items that get equipped into the Armor and Back slots of a Loadout. Listing out attire in the Physical Description field will result in a remand.

You can view this in the updated Character Approval Guidelines on the Wiki.

In short, the “Attire” section of your Character Sheet is being shifted to Custom or pre-written Item Aspects. Those are handled by the Regent and his team, who are better prepared to work with cosmetic and practical modifications to armor, robes, and your weapons. Members have already been using Possessions and Loadouts for their weapons, so this is just another step in that direction. This means that any mention of your character's attire will result in a remand going forward.

dontpanic

Don’t panic. I’ve created a guide with pictures to help make this process easier for both new and veteran members. James will also be updating the CS Creation Wizard with some additional help-text and hyperlinks to documentation.


Please Note: If your current Character Sheet has attire listed on it, you are not going to be punished or penalized. This update/change is for all new or updated character sheets going forward. Your current CS is fine and not going anywhere.


Why are we doing this, you ask? In short, it simply makes the most sense from a ground-up perspective of a new member. We want them to take advantage and use our Possessions system. Possessions is a major system that not only helps distinguish us from other online fan clubs and communities, but also cuts down on gray area remands of what can/can’t be in the Physical Description section of your CS. It also takes away the overlap of Voice Staff needing to ask Regent Staff questions about what is/isn’t allowed for armor, robes, and accessories. Most pertinently, it should help cut down on CS remands, and allows the Voice Staff to focus on their main goal: helping members create original characters through the Aspect system that sits at the heart of the CS System. This should help bridge both systems together, and will help us improve ways to make the experience more immersive and less intrusive.

Most issues I’ve heard over the past year with changes to the CS Approval guidelines come from veteran members that are simply not used to having Possessions. There isn’t much I can do about that, but I can try and transparently outline things for you guys.

So, I get it. This is a big change for some people, and people hate change. But my hope for the veterans and leaders in the club is that they will be able to understand the reason for these changes at the very least, even if they don’t agree with them. I expect leaders at the top levels to help those below them, and over time this change will naturally even out and help cut down on remands for new Character Sheets—ensuring that a new member is able to quickly get their first character up and running while also naturally being driven into using our Possessions system that we worked so hard to make a reality.

If you have further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let me know. The Voice Staff is here to help, but I also take a personal investment in making sure members are not struggling with an invisible wall of getting to play the character they want (within reason).

header

Fiction Competition Approvals

We’ve updated and clarified some of the wording in the Voice Competition Approval Guidelines as well. This was done for the sake of helping with the upcoming Fiction Studies exam. Which, speaking of...

Projects

Projects are going to take a backseat to War planning, writing, and administration. I’m being pulled in a lot of different direction but doing my best to still keep projects on task.

Writing Department Revamp

Fiction Studies - 99% Complete — This might be finalized prior to the GJW launch. The bulk work has been completed, we are just finalizing the smaller details to make sure it’s ready for Laren to plug it into the SA and deploy it right away. This will mirror the new Run-On Studies exam format.

For now, you can check out the new Fiction article on the wiki!


Character Sheet Creation - 70% — This has been a pet project of mine for a while now. It’s just taking time to make sure it’s done correctly. The idea here is to provide an entry level course to create a character using our system. My hope is this would be targeted at both Journeymen and returning veterans alike.


Character Sheet Basics - Development — The idea here is to have a simple “how to read a Character Sheet” exam that would join the Journeyman Halls and basically identify the different sections on a Character Sheet (such as Aspects and Feats).


I still plan to look at the other existing exams in the Writing Department, but my focus is a bit stretched right now as the Dark Council preps for a Great Jedi War. Thanks again for all your patience as we, piece by piece, try and make the Writing Department a true resource for learning that fits with contemporary club systems and standards.

While it’s not Voice Related, make sure to check out the Report Writing Exam I worked on with the SA team. Really proud of it, and hope it helps newer leaders with the basics of writing a report in the DJB.

Arx

Project Arx has been completed. The Brotherhood now has a new home to replace Antei, and will be the Dark Council's and Brotherhood’s base of operations for the foreseeable future.

The #Art4Arx was a huge success. I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that participated. We were able to generate a lot of member-content instead of needing to rely on outside commissions or “borrowing” from Google.

Congrats to Cyris on winning the competition. As a prize, he was able to name the Great Lake of Elos Vria, which from hereafter shall be called Lake Il’var”.

You can see the new artwork additions to the article live on the Arx wiki page.

header

The New Order - Finale

For those that have been living under a rock, we’ve reached the final conclusion of The New Order story arc. What started with the purge of the Undesirables and the sacking of New Tython lead to the rise of the Lotus as well as a general Brotherhood Resistance to the Iron Throne. Each unit went through significant changes to their fleets and home systems thanks to the events of this arc, which lead to an eventual strike to the heart of the Iron Navy—Pravus’ flagship, the Suffering. As we see in the last two fiction updates, it was a bittersweet ending as a new threat appeared and stole the Lotus’ kill (rude).

You can see the recap and summaries here on the Fiction Center.

Next on the horizon, we’ll learn more about this new enemy, and cover some of the events that will inevitably lead us to the next Great Jedi War. Get hyped, people. This War is real.

GJWXII

I can’t share much right now as details are being finalized between the Dark Council internally and with the various unit leaders that make up the Dark Summit. What I can share for now? From the Voice, GJWXII will feature:

  • Two fiction competitions, one per phase. These fictions will have a higher than average minimum word cap to promote a higher level of competition. The first fiction will be more conventional, with multiple objectives to select from. The second will be a fiction with a twist, with the theme of a “Survival” mission.
  • An event-long ACC Tournament.
  • A Combat Writing prompt.
  • An event-long Small Team Run-On event.
Snapshots in Fiction

You might have already seen this feature that James coded into the Competitions pages, but organizers now have the option of requiring Snapshots to be attached with submission entries. Similar to how you select a Loadout for the ACC, this helps Fiction organizers with grading on realism by having an easily accessible link to the CS you used while writing the fiction. This also allows you to make changes to your CS without having to worry about waiting on the results of a competition to be judged! (Yay!)

snapshot

This feature allows you to easily attach a snapshot of your preferred Loadout. In this case, I’d select Marick’s Assassination Loadout, assuming the prompt had to do with eliminating a high value target or some kind of scrublord.

dagger

(Check!)

For GJWXII, I will be requiring Snapshots to be submitted for the Fiction competitions. You will see similarly in Run-Ons, and it’s already the new standard for the ACC.

If you have any questions or concerns with this, please don’t hesitate to ask.

header

In-Closing

If you have questions relating to Character Sheets or Fiction Competitions, feel free to email the staff anytime at: [Log in to view e-mail addresses]. For everything else, my door is always open and you can most easily reach me on email at: [Log in to view e-mail addresses] , or @w4lly on Telegram.

Oh, and one more thing.

Vyr’s update will drop shortly. It will help reveal the new enemy the Brotherhood will be facing, so make sure you read and pay attention. This is the road to War.

Onward we march.

header

wiggle things charactersheets roleplaying voicereport voice changes fanfiction updates exams writing sith jedi

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:15 AM

Nice to see snapshots for the fiction comps now, and excited for that "Small Team Run On" part heh

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:19 AM

Great report, Wally! I can't wait to see how everything else you're working on now turns out.

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:21 AM
Lucine thumbnail

It seems lots of interesting changes are afoot! Great read!

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:37 AM

Bonus question answer(s): First gif is Band Name Saosin, Song Name Changing. Second gif is Band Name: Dethklok, Song Name Murmaider

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:09 AM
Bentre on throne avatar eq3

A more refined system. Woot. Great Jedi War WooT. Hype engaged. WOOT!

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:16 AM
Tashavel avatar 35 aby

I love how its evolved as time has gone. Awesome :) Let's get ready for GJW!

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:57 AM
Img 3225

Glad to be on the team while so many changes are happening and I'm sorry for causing delays with my training!!

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:59 AM
Satsi avatar

The game is afoot...

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 4:06 AM
Zujenia avatar

TT-TT so many item descriptions to write.

Woo to all the changes and projects!!!

WAHR!!!!

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 7:39 AM
Thanadd db %281%29

What an exciting time. Thanks for your work, Wally and co.

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 9:45 AM
Andrelious vindictive

Never understood the love for 'small team' run-ons. In my eyes it leaves many without a team, and unless you're an elite writer, say goodbye to any chance in placing.

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 1:12 PM
Darkblade avatar

Tis how the DJB operates. It's always revolved around the few 'elites' or 'better' people in this competitive environment. There's no room for 'mediocre' or 'newbie' players who struggle to adapt. Wanna compete? Better have the right friends and bust your butt to win. Want to just chillax and get in participation for DJB events, then you're fine as long as you can accept the fact your chances of winning anything are slim to none.

As such, it's not something that's new, it is a competitive environment after all, requiring 'players' to jump through certain hoops in order to 'level up'.

The DJB is no different from a company really. The influential and 'elites' rise up through the ranks, whilst the dredges of the 'lesser' ranks spend years climbing to their goals even if they are just as hard working as the elites. The DC sets its rules and in order to become one of these 'cool' people you better be prepared to get on your knees for it.

Attitude, or as the DC likes to call it 'leadership qualities', is fine so long you are two faced about it. Present an open and friendly attitude towards us, the sheep, but within their own 'elite' society they are really no different. They shun, ignore, mock and/or ridicule the members just as any other normal member does, cept they do it within their own circle, which makes it acceptable and A-OK! However, when a member publicly speaks out against them or the system, well, better be prepared for a poopstorm and insta resigned to the dump list plus some emails faking compassion to try to silence your voice.

Ultimately, the DJB is split into the 'DC and friends' and 'the rest'. There is no balance or inbetween. There is no way to move up or even away from either if you havent been careful. The ones who weild the power to make your DJB career a long and winding one with as many hurdles as possible will quietly do so, towards the public, but in their own circle will do whatever they can together to stop your progression.

So remember new kids, be cool, find the right people and stick to them like honey, cause when they rise, you might get lucky and hitch a ride too. If you don't like something, keep it to yourself, or murmer it silently during your sleep. This Clubs 'elite' does not take kindly to the few who have spoken their opinion publicly on how they operate.

In no way does my journey reflect everyone else's journey through the DJB, this is just my own observation, thoughts and opinion on how the Club operates within it's many levels.

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 1:44 PM

Tis how the DJB operates.

We're here to compete and have fun. Others are here to produce things. The DC are producers. They make stuff for us to use and devour through different skill sets. And that system allows you to get promoted, get credits, and get medals. Nothing is stopping you from writing a fiction for your House or Clan and having some fun. There are hundreds of competitions throughout the year in the gaming, fiction, coding, gfx, flash, trivia, etc. other realms in order for you to have fun.

Also, I don't see why the DC shouldn't add some personal touches to what they want in the club. They are in positions that are focused entirely on providing to the members. And to be part of the DC you need to have certain skills for that position. You can't be mediocre at gfx and also be the Herald. You can't have no gaming experience and be the FIST.

As someone who came back 2 years ago and had no good friends here and was a Knight without many awards and projects under my belt, to now being EQ2 with tons of rewards, having worked on many projects and done many things that have helped and produced for my House and Clan. I've also seen plenty of new people succeed (and even go beyond me in certain degrees). If Rambox45x doesn't want to learn the CS system, but wants to be a Grand Master, then he's gonna have to learn the CS system.

If you have complaints, I'm sure your Clan or the DC will attempt to help you in some way. One complaints might not be enough, but if enough members complained, then something would change.

However, I think they're doing a stand up job. I like the work they're doing and the changes that are happening.

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 2:08 PM
Maricktar new1

Thanks Dek, well said.

Also, I don't know why things are afoot, @Atty and @Lucine. Does this mean we need more shoes in possessions??

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:04 PM
6381 avatar

Wally, great update and report.

Mark, your concerns are valid and we will more than likely introduce a mechanic in the run-on that will allow for two members to join together in order to earn participation credit. I have not witnessed a lot of members unable to get on a team in the past, but we do want to ensure that everyone has a shot at participation. A two person participation, not placement, team was our solution.

Darkblade, thanks for the comments. As always, we take everyone's thoughts into consideration. Our members provide valuable feedback, we listen, and often we react. Your particular comments purvey an idea that is slightly inaccurate and I'll use this open forum to respond.

  1. The Dark Council does not agrees on every subject and we are not the best of friends. The DC is a collection of volunteer members with wildly different backgrounds and from four different countries. Those backgrounds in culture, education, and profession lead to very different thoughts on how our club should operate. The DC will discuss, argue, and work through problems until we arrive at a solution, but that process can be very messy. Our Consuls, most of whom I have selected, would also be a good counter to any discussion that "only the GM's friends" make it in the Club. They'd also be a good source of information on how often they disagree both publicly and privately with the DC.

  2. There are no invisible leadership roadblocks, promotion holds, or award reviews in the Dark Brotherhood. The GM/DGM are only involved in the selection of Consuls and Dark Council members. Clan leadership select every position below Consul (although, they do keep us informed of PCON selections). Likewise, promotions and awards do not even cross the desk of the GM/DGM unless they are for an Elder or for one of the Clubs top three awards. We are extremely serious about claims of bias and go as far as Mav/I running our Consul/DC proposed awards through the MAA. So, in a specific case, for example Darkblade, your awards/promotions never even see my desk and the only position I evaluate you for is Consul/DC membership. Sometimes people are selected for positions and sometimes they are not. I know it is hard to hear, but those decisions are made based on merit and the ideas that people put forward. It sucks when you are not selected for a job because you feel like you are being told your ideas are not as good as someone else. That can sting, but we shouldn't be cynical and make claims that we miss out on opportunities because we are not friends with the right people.

  3. The Dark Brotherhood operates under a covenant that we take very seriously. The seriousness is derived from our reaction to being in a past club where you would be expelled for having a divergent opinion. This club will never be that way. Ever. This is why I quote it, to an annoying degree, when having discussions with our DC/Consuls. Jac and the Star Chamber are here to take any complaints and to ensure we do not have a BIAS TYRANT leading the club. Please reach out to them if you feel there is a major concern that needs to be addressed.

GM Pravus

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 at 3:45 PM
Larenavatardjb100x100

It continues to be a pleasure to work closely with the Voice staff on various joint projects. In all honesty, the bulk of this amazing work is completed by Wally P. Wallerson and Co., while I get the pleasure of helping Farrin implement their work in the back end. I know I speak on behalf of all involved when we say that we hope you enjoy the courses being released in the near future. They're designed to be streamlined, informative, and to improve your DJB experience within the writing realm.

Speaking of, better get on that implementation. Great report, Wally!

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 at 3:22 AM
Darkblade avatar

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Though this is an issue that simply cannot been seen from 'your side of the field'. Which I understand since you are surrounded by the people you picked, and most likely are very grateful for that and support you as you support them.

However, for us folks stuck on the other side, things are less green and more black and white. There are clear lines where it is felt, seen and heard that the political aspects in this club are a, if not the most, fundamental core to moving up. In rare cases this not a thing, which I have also noticed and take into consideration when speaking up about this.

And although you say that you take these concerns seriously, there have been people who have stepped to you, personally, but ultimately felt brushed off or even ignored. And not the usual naysayers or public doomsayers. Some are quite respectable in their own Units and have no integrity faults, nor reasons to be cynical or make claims about being treated unfairly, as you so boldly put it.

The underlying fact is that this Club thrives on politics and who is favored and who isn't. You can flat out deny it or pretend it's not there, but it is. Sadly the people are mostly afraid to speak out or up about it because it is basically political sabotage within this Club. A CON or DC'r voicing their opinion holds more weight and less repercussions than a member such as myself for example. Again, it falls down to a member who holds favour and wields the political power to do so without self destructing their own advancements.

The rest of us are just a mass of people, some of us make some noise but ultimately are silenced through the barriers put up with no room to advance and either suffer in silence or leave the Club altogether.

In this case the DJB has done it's job well ruling through fear. Fear of being afraid to speak out for the repercussions it has, fear for being mocked, ridiculed and despised behind their backs by the DC. No one takes it seriously, except when telling the mass that 'you do take it seriously.'

I also understand how hard it is to prove this. No DC'r would ever admit to not hiring said person cause they don't like them. That would be the day when hell freezes over, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east and the mountains sway with the wind.

Yet, you cannot look any of us in the eye, deny this, and fully convince us that there is no game of politics being played here in this Club, that being friends with the right person has no advantages over not being friends with the right person, that being liked or disliked by the current leaders (heavily) influences your opportunities in the DJB. And sadly, this is the problem that goes right through the core of every DC and Unit leader member.

It's hard to stay unbiased, I've been there, however briefly. As the GM, the leader of this Club who has to stand above everything and make decision based on facts and not feelings, we expect nothing less from him/her when they choose their DC and Clan Leaders and in turn when they choose their fellow colleagues, following the example you set.

In the end, I look forward to this experience system you and your DC are looking into. This should remove a lot of the need for political friends and favors, and instead create a more robust and vibrant 'elite' less focused on rubbing each others backs to advance, and giving people clearer goals and opportunities to reach such advancements, thus leveling the playing field.

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 at 4:19 AM
Farrinavatar

Great report from my favorite VOICE!

Darkblade, I’m not in anything closely resembling Sarin’s “clique” as you see it; I’m not in the military, I’m not from Tal or Arc, I was in the EH but not as long ago as many of the older folks. By your reckoning, I shouldn’t be on the DC... but I am. I’ve worked my ass off for the SA Staff as well as in Tarentum for years. I feel as if I’ve earned everything I’ve been given and every opportunity I’ve been presented with. I’m also not the only leader in this club who can say that; far from it. Frankly, I’m insulted that you insinuate otherwise.

I’m sorry that you feel as if things aren’t fair, but don’t try to present your skewed world view as the gospel truth.

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 at 5:06 AM
Maricktar new1

Thank you Farrin, and Sarin, and everyone else for the kind words! Happy to server the Brotherhood.

Following up on previous comments: Hello, my name is Wally. I am a film student that converted into a career in IT. I have never been in the military, or have any family connection to it for that matter. I joined the club from previously being in the BHG (which broke off from the EH, so I was never in the EH). I worked my way up from BTL to QUA to PCON then to CON. You were in Arc during that time so you probably remember (for better or for worse). While there, I started working with Mav on the new CS project doing spreadsheets entry stuff. I got to be a Magistrate for years, helped create the new ACC and became one of the first judges, then eventually became CM and revamped the CS system into it's 2.0 state and continued to grow the platform. I'm not in my current position because of favoritism- if anything, I've had to work against it because I've been brash and argued vehemently with previous and current DCers before in the past. Like Farrin, I'm here because I worked for it- and earned it with the blood and sweat of the countless hours I've poured into trying to do things to expand and grow the club.

I genuinely hope you can look past these notions you have, because I do think you are, like any member, important and a part of our community. If you have any specific questions relating to Voice Staff policy, administration or anything else, please feel free to email me. My door is always open :). That said, I think that report comments are not the best way to address concerns, so let's move on. :)

-W

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:46 AM
Andrelious vindictive

I'm pretty sure that there's no bias towards members of Tal. We only have 3 Taldryan vets on the DC - as compared to times of old where half of the DC or more were from Tal.