Thread: The Nation Rewind - Issue #7
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England WNxHollow
08-09-2014, 07:02 AM
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The Nation Rewind - Issue #7


Foreword by the Guest Editor

Any excuse for some face-time

__________________________ __________________________
If you've been following our publications so far you'll remember that our ex-editor, Disturbance, resigned last month and we, of course, wish him all the best for the future! We actually do have a new editor already, who I'm sure most of you will know, but I was asked to guest edit this issue before he started full-time. So, here we are, and here I get to write something free-form right on the front page!

I'd like to draw your attention, while I have it, to three things. Firstly there's the opportunity for you to give your views on what we publish in the future. You can do that either in this thread, as you can with any issue we publish, or in the dedicated feedback thread. Now you know you can tell us what to do, how about going one better and get involved by submitting your own work? Again there is a dedicated thread on the topic, but the basic premise is that you write an article and submit it to the editor so it can hopefully be included in a future issue. Thirdly, we do still want more people on the combat media team and you can find all the application forms, for publisher and other roles, at the bottom of each issue we publish.

Without further ado: here's what our new editor, WNxHorizon , wants to say:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNxHorizon
Hi everyone, I've recently been promoted as Editor but Issue 7 was already taken care of by the great Publishing team. I'm currently away on holiday but on my return I'm hoping to bring in some more Publishers and create more consistent and varied content, so get involved!
That's all from me; thanks for reading. Thanks to the CM admins for the opportunity and thanks to our real editor for letting me write this!

-WNxHollow



Happy 300th Birthday!
A tribute to signatures over the years

Written by WNxHorizon
__________________________ __________________________


( All article banners provided by WNxPartyWeapon )



Look around the site. Check your forums. Admire your signature. At every one of those stages over the years our Graphics Team have played a crucial role in producing some stunning imagery. And for the last category in particular, GAT are having a very special birthday - it's the 300th Sig Of The Week (SoTW) competition, highlighting years of competition and fantastic design across some really varied themes. Check out the impact that Sig Of The Week has had on this clan and countless generations of members with creative talent.

The humble Sig Of The Week competition began well back in June 2005, which is longer than all but a very loyal few have been part of the clan. Back then the submissions weren't as secret but the contributions were just as significant and well received. After several submissions, WNxV!T0Z - who was to become a future GAT Head - was the victor in that first week and this set the platform for the quirky weekly feature to become embedded within the cultural traditions of WN. 25 people voted in that first week, rising to over 40 within just a month - it was clearly a hit with the membership. With an ever varied bunch of themes since picked, including Numbers, Ninjas and even Nyan Cat, there have been countless opportunities for those with graphics knowledge to apply their trade and showcase their skills across a whole variety of genres.

It's also been the place for many to learn their trade, developing skills in a friendly competition and working with more advanced artists to make themselves even more proficient. It's true that many former GAT Heads, including our current Combat Media Major General and Brigadier General took part in multiple competitions, often organising them and winning quite a few. Now running the special 300th competition, I asked WNxPartyWeapon for a few words as we reached this historic landmark:

__________________________ __________________________
Quote:
GAT to me is a personal obsession within the clan - it's something I have been a part of on and off since I originally joined WN 8 years ago. For some reason I cant keep myself away from it and I could say I owe the department a debt of changing the course of my career choice when it comes to my personal life. It was GAT that inspired me and taught me graphics which then drove me to pursue a career in graphic design which I am now achieving.

Upon my return this year, I noticed the department had no leader & was struggling with activity. It has been an absolute pleasure complimenting the forums with the aesthetics of new banners and icons & rebuilding the team from the ground up with WNxHorizon & WNxBear. The teams now at a place that I'm really proud of with everyone putting hours of effort into re-developing all the forums artwork which is great to see.

One of my personal favorite aspects of GAT is the longest running - almost 10 years! - Warrior Nation competition; SOTW. For years the nation's finest artists have battled it out when it comes to whit, skills and creativity. To continue this tradition is just outright awesome and inspiring; it's something that all clan members can get involved in & many members are wearing sets made from pieces entered into the competitions. This week is a special one as we are looking for a new banner to be displayed for the competitions for perhaps years to come. So it will be great to see the turnout of entries and votes for this one!
While the competition hasn't run every single week since June 2005, it has been a stalwart and much loved feature of the clan with a great history, and long may it continue. The next step - the 500th SOTW!




Section Highlight: CoD Ghosts (360)
Set the bar

Written by WNxTrAffic
__________________________ __________________________


This section has gotten a spotlight in the past but because of their immense achievements for the clan they are now getting another one. They went through a rough patch to get to where they are now. However, they persevered and stuck with it to get to their current standing. They've also been seen everywhere; promoting everything from changes they wish to see in Warrior Nation to positions in Combat Media that are open. The section who has completed such a feat is no other then the Call of Duty Ghosts 360 section.

Read more ...


With a roster of 54 members and counting they have done an outstanding amount of recruiting who they test and train before allowing in the clan. They've hold a bar for their members to reach and the members know and understand that. The section has reached a record score for themselves in the Platinum Division and held first place from the first day with a score of 483 which was a 311 point lead over the 2nd place team with only 172 points. They've also had a record number of primaries last month of 63 before cleaning out those who are inactive to make sure standards are kept. A record number of members playing in clan wars was another amazing feat for them with 31 players playing since the creation of a clan wars team. Lastly, they've reached the max level in the Elite clan app getting their red clan tags that make all other players cower in fear.

As section support I couldn't be more proud for a section to achieve so much in such a short amount of time. The leaders have really held the section up and have given other sections a standard to try and meet if they can. In the future I expect to see more great things from this section and see them strive to be at the top.

The Progress of the Video Gaming Industry
Years in the making

Written by WNxOdy
__________________________ __________________________

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The video gaming industry has come a long, long way. In fourty years we have gone from a novel fad into a full, respectable and competitive industry, however in the last seven years in particular, we have made incredible progress – even ignoring all the negative aspects, and steps backward. In half a decade we saw the rise of three new or revitalised genres of games (atmospheric explore-em-ups; roguelike; and ARTS/MOBA), the explosion of the independent developer or studio, and the United States ruling video games as being art.

Read more ...

But there is much more than just that: schools are now taking game development and design seriously (as well as the schools themselves being taken seriously), the profession is a lot more accessible now, and self-publishing thanks to the birth of crowdfunding became a reality. A huge chunk of humanity itself now enjoys gaming in some form, and is arguably one of the most rapidly advancing industries in the world in terms of technology and technique.

In seven years, we've seen the rise of gaming YouTube channels, charity events raising in excess of one million dollars regularly, and nations with no or little previous gaming industry or culture start to absorb and catch up. It's undeniable, video gaming is now an irreplacable part of society, and will only grow and grow as time goes forth. How will the industry change in seven more years?

Occulus Rift and Project Morpheus, Nvidia Shield, and even tablets are all realistic possibilities, but there may even me more wild inventions – Google Glass might even attract its own form of interactive entertainment, perhaps in the form of Augmented Reality Games (ARGs). The industry is full of flaws, faces many political and social challenges, and even has poison within itself, but it's a marvellous industry and will only get better from here.





A Technical Interview
The Best Kind of Interview...

Written by WNxHollow
__________________________ __________________________

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If you've been following our issues you know the drill with these admin interviews. This month I caught up with the head of Tech Ops to see what makes them tick, what Tech Ops is all about, and what they've got planned for us in the coming months. I'd like to thank WNxFallen for his quick turnaround time on this interview, which I also wanted to mention because it just goes to show how fast a worker he is. Well, either that or he's got too much time on his hands!

Read more ...

Tell us about yourself, who is Fallen?
Fallen is a 28 year-old Computer Programmer turned System Administrator from Wisconsin, USA. He is a happily married man of four years to a woman who introduced herself by pieing him in the face at a college function. The Master, as he likes to be called, and his wife are expecting their first child, a little girl, in October and are both impatiently awaiting her arrival. In his spare time, His Supreme Masterness likes to play softball, watch movies, play video games, do tech stuff, and many other things.

We understand you're a computer programmer in real-life. How long have you been doing that, we assume you enjoy it?
I actually switched jobs in January to a System Administrator, but yes for four and a half years before that I was a Computer Programmer for a network of clinics and hospitals in Wisconsin. I enjoy programming a lot, it's something that challenges the mind quite a bit, but I had to switch or my employer was going to drive me to drink We are in the middle of a "transition", and it was harder on some more than others, and I was part of the "some". But, I'm enjoying my job again and having a wonderful time doing the administration of the systems.

What first attracted you to WN, who recruited you?
WNxJedo and I had actually formed a League of Legends clan with several others called Well Fed. Jedo left after while to join WN, and eventually Well Fed ran out of members, and he popped back over to say that I should join him in WN and that they had a *huge* LoL section. He wasn't lying, that's for sure. Within a few minutes I had registered and been approved. It was the large section and always having someone to play games with, tied with all the positions they offered normal members that really got me here and kept me interested.

You've been around WN a few years, what ranks have you held in the past?
Oh dear... Well, within a month of joining I was the CJ for the LoL section and a SWAT member, and then *checks user notes* FO and GM of Diablo 2, Editor, MD, Historian, Console Black Ops/Recon, RPG Engineer, Dev BG, RPG Comms BG, RPG MG, and finally Colonel of TO. Been a fun, colorful history -- I'm not exactly sure what position I liked most, but I have to say I'm enjoying TO so far, even if things are a little slow going right now.

You're the head of the new Tech Ops department now. For people that missed it, what's it all about?
Tech Ops is all about helping WN's members with technological tasks or requests. We're here to make WN a little easier to use, update it in several areas, and really try to bring it up to speed with the social media world that we live in. Eventually we'll have other departments than Coding, but that's where we're starting because that's the area of most need right now.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for your department right now?
Trying to figure ourselves out, how each other works, and just getting some ideas flowing for how we want our first project to go. We've all got some pretty strong opinions, so trying to bring them all together and work out what we actually want to do. Timezones are also a bit of a challenge, as right now I'm the only one from the US and WNxTermination is an Aussie, so we only have a few hours to talk things over before one or the other has to go to bed.

What big things does your department have planned for the future?
We're watching the suggestions and bugs forum and trying to pick off some "easy" ones to take care of and get our feet wet, and we hopefully will have your Auto Table one done and up shortly (if it hasn't been already by the time this publishes). We're going to be doing a major update to how WN's web pages are coded, transforming about 200+ pages into a CMS-like application. We'll be starting from the ground up, so that means creating the framework underneath it that we'll use in all future projects, then creating the CMS, moving the pages over, and then seeing it live. We're calling this the "technical redesign", as we won't be changing any of the themes or layouts (too much, at least), just making it easier for people to add/update/remove pages. After that, we'll hopefully be ready to do a theme update and redesign of the WN site, and possibly looking at updating our forum software. It's quite ambitious, but I think we can handle all of that and then some.

Without tying you down to anything too specific: these technical and thematic redesigns of the site. I know the thematic one is something people are eagerly anticipating, do you have any idea how long it might be before we start to see it happening? Three months, six months?
At a very minimum I would say it's 3 months before we even start thinking about doing the thematic redesign. What we've got lined up already will take a fair amount of time to pull off, and I don't want to be rushing out things just to get them out to you guys -- they need to be quality work that won't break within the first few minutes of release. We also don't have an actual designer on the team, just a bunch of programmers, so we'd need to track someone down for that as well. I guess the short answer is "soon", but the more involved answer is "I honestly don't know because reasons." :)

What's a typical day for the head of Tech Ops?
The typical day for me is to go to work for about 8-10 hours a day, then come home, make some supper, then scour the forums and try to get as much communication and work done for WN before I have to work again for a few hours at night. This could range from posting threads, chatting up our Google Hangout, uploading images, updating forum permissions, and so on. I also end up bugging WhiteWolf a lot and trying to keep HellDragon and TWHIZ from burning the place down as well -- so far so good

Your primary game is Diablo 3. Most people will have heard of either Diablo 2 or 3 (which is really just more Diablo 2, right?) and the WN section is very strong right now. What do you think is contributing to the section's success and do you think Diablo 3 will have the sticking-power of it's predecessor?
Diablo 3 is the same principle as Diablo 2, but different character types/classes and different areas. D3 had a pretty rocky start as a game, Blizzard came pretty close to killing the game I think. But, things have gotten a lot better since launch, and now we have the expansion, which has majorly helped the game out. I have to give props to WNxGreyWolf and WNxWindedHero, two great GMs who have really kept the section alive and kicking. I'm honestly not sure if D3 will have as long and steady of a run as Diablo 2 did, but so far Blizzard seems pretty committed to improving the game and keeping us around.


A Brief Look at How You Buy Games
Models, models, models... oh my!

Written by WNxJango Fett
__________________________ __________________________


A relatively recent “innovation” in gaming is paying for access to a game’s testing phase or funding a game with consumer money. There are consequences for each of these models in comparison to the traditional model of buying games. These factors are important to the consumers of games, the readers of this, to consider before passing money over for the game. In my article, I will take a brief glimpse into each of the three models of buying games.

Read more ...

The first model of buying games is the traditional; you get what you see. Plenty of games get released like this, a final product ready for consumption (hopefully). Within this category you will find games like Skyrim, BF4, and many other games. It is a proven model, but with downsides. The final product might not be what the game creators ultimately envisioned because the people who provided the money said otherwise. They essentially lose creative control, to a degree, of their game. While this might be considered an “evil” in the gaming community: the people controlling the funding for the game are fully within their rights to control the story their product is putting out. These people (or companies) are taking a risk in each videogame they make. Games that are considered AAA games cost a lot of money. With this in mind, they want to be putting out a game with a message they think will sell.

Born from the money issues of the first model we have the idea of buying a game before any real work has been done on it, a model made famous by the website Kickstarter. Games you see like this are Star Citizen, Yogventures, and Divinity: Original Sin. Complete creative control to the developers should make this model ideal, but it is not. Of those three games I mentioned, which of them got cancelled? If your guess was Yogventures, you would be right. A question that may be raised now is did the people get refunded for the failed product? No. I believe they got a copy of another game (that was already made). They essentially spent half a million dollars on something they never got. I am not saying that funding a game series before it is made is a bad idea. It makes it possible to get good games that would not be made otherwise. What I am saying is that the risk for the product is placed on the consumer. The consumer can only make their decision based on ideas presented to them and not based on the final product. Another example of a Kickstarter that was ultimately sold to another company would be Oculus Rift, which was later bought by Facebook. This further cements the idea that the funders are ultimately consumers of the product and not shareholders. While I am not here to discuss the ethics of a company in Kickstarter, it is important to understand that the model of buying games like this is passing all the risk onto the people buying the game. You better be certain the studio will uphold their promise before funding them.

The final model is buying access into a beta or alpha. Why would a studio who already has funding do this? On one hand, they get paying testers and can start paying back the shareholders on the game. Also, this can help fund them to finish the game. On the other hand, they are essentially releasing, and having you pay for, an unfinished product. It essentially provides them an excuse for their game to be unfinished. Before I completely bash the model, I should give some examples of games that fit this like Minecraft, Towns (Ed Note: Avoid Towns like the plague!), and any game in Steam Early Access. Minecraft did the model right. They used the funding to make a game better than they would have otherwise. Towns is the exact opposite of this. While they did provide updates for a while, they ultimately just stopped updating it because the money was not there for them. This model places some risk on the end user, but, at the same time, balances the risk with the studio to a degree. The studio cannot sell early access to a game that does not exist. In this way, a consumer has something to judge their purchase on. With this in mind, the consumer should be buying the existing game and not based on the promises to minimize their risk of getting a bad game.

There is no right model of buying or making games; each has their own merits. Personally, I have bought games within all of the models and have been satisfied to a degree. I regularly purchase finished games and buy games like Minecraft in alpha. I also participated in the funding of Star Citizen, a game that, while is unfinished, is producing playable content for me. As a consumer, it is important to keep in mind what you are paying for and what type of finished product you can expect. By understanding the models you can make informed game buying decisions.



Aggression Linked to Videogames
Incompetence, not inhumanity

Written by WNxHollow
__________________________ __________________________


Violence in videogames is a hotly-debated topic. Gamers themselves have wide-ranging views but the main instigators of discussion and potential change on the subject are normally conservative groups in the US. One of the latest such occasions was in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings in December 2012, where the killer, Adam Lanza, ended the lives of 28 individuals, including his own. Some groups called for tighter gun control, some called for a ban on violent videogames because it emerged that the shooter was "obsessed" with Call of Duty.

Read more...

By the by, the groups attributing the shootings to Call of Duty were the pro-gun lobbies, who obviously wouldn't join the campaign for tighter gun control. Nevertheless, there are groups claiming that violent videogames cause real-life violence and the mass-shootings that the US sees in a seemingly ever-increasing frequency. The research to prove a link between the two is spotty at best, and most, though not all, points to the suggestion that videogames don't cause violent behaviour. PCGamer had an article that covered the post-Sandy Hook situation quite well, so I won't repeat it here for lack of space. I mention all this because it happened. The shooting happened and those were people's reactions to it. However, a year and a half onwards, we have access to newer research which looks at videogame violence in a different way. What if it's not the violence in the videogames but something else, which causes people to become violent?

A study earlier this year from the University of Oxford (UK) and University of Rochester (US) found that aggression can be attributed to videogames but was mostly prevalent when the game made players feel incompetent in some way. They tested subjects on both "violent" and "non-violent" games, which they had modded, and found that the deciding factor in whether people became aggressive was whether they were able to "master" the game after 20 minutes of play. From a gamer's perspective I think it's safe to say that word is misplaced - you can't master anything in 20 minutes, game or otherwise. Regardless, the point stands: if you're struggling to understand something you're more likely to get violent. Now, consider how this applies to games you play now. Isn't it frustrating when someone keeps killing you over and over in CoD? Maybe they're hacking, right? We like to think that, because the alternative is that they're better than us - or that we're incompetent at the game. I've raged after dying repeatedly and I've seen others do it too (Dark Souls rage has echoed through the house). I've felt more aggressive dying in a videogame than I have on a killing-spree in a videogame - though I suppose the feeling of accomplishment after killing 5 or 6 people is something we should also explore at some point. One of the authors of the paper, Dr. Przybylski, states:
"We focused on the motives of people who play electronic games and found players have a psychological need to come out on top when playing. If players feel thwarted by the controls or the design of the game, they can wind up feeling aggressive. This need to master the game was far more significant than whether the game contained violent material. Players of games without any violent content were still feeling pretty aggressive if they hadn't been able to master the controls or progress through the levels at the end of the session."
There's also a responsibility on the developer, then, to ensure that their game doesn't go out of it's way to make people feel incompetent. Of course games should present a challenge; of course they should get harder as the levels progress; of course you should get temporarily stuck on a difficult boss fight. Those are all part of the game. When the researchers inverted the controls, or did other random things with them, so that players didn't get the outcome they were expecting: then there was also a rise in aggression. Luckily many games offer you the ability to customise the controls to your liking from within the game. If it really is videogames causing people to go out and shoot up a school then the customisable controls, alone, might be stopping hundreds of thousands more people doing it each year.



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Amazing work this month! everyone give Hollow some rep for temporarily running the Rewind



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Amazing work I like it.





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Well done, all! I especially found interest in Hollow's article about the correlation of incompetence and violence. I definitely think that topic deserves more research and support!



 
 
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Nice read fellas keep up the great work.



 
 
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great work people!




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Great job!



 
 
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looks great and good job to those in the spot light



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great job guys



 
 
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great job!



 
 
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Great job to all!



 
 
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Great work guys!

I also want to mention that the final article was insightful. I've always thought that it wasn't violence in the videogames that causes real world violence, but I've also simply dismissed that the games had anything to do with it at all. In retrospect that is somewhat short-sighted. I can certainly see how the feelings of incompetence and aggression that result from getting your ass handed to you in a game, violent in nature or not, might make you more aggressive in the real world. This article helped open my eyes to another perspective on the issue - an issue that I fear is not going away in our gun-happy nation. While violence and aggression are not unique to the United States, we have the worst gun violence in the world and our persistence in blaming everything but the flawed system is tantamount to being complicit. I still don't think it's video games that cause the violence as the NRA might have you believe, but this article shines a light on a very valid point. With more and more people playing video games, and more of us playing later into our lives, our exposure to the potential phenomenon has never been greater. There's nothing wrong with being competitive, but always remember, "it's just a game." I think we could all be better about that. Thanks for this article.



 
 
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Originally Posted by WNxShaggy View Post
Great work guys!

I also want to mention that the final article was insightful. I've always thought that it wasn't violence in the videogames that causes real world violence, but I've also simply dismissed that the games had anything to do with it at all. In retrospect that is somewhat short-sighted. I can certainly see how the feelings of incompetence and aggression that result from getting your ass handed to you in a game, violent in nature or not, might make you more aggressive in the real world. This article helped open my eyes to another perspective on the issue - an issue that I fear is not going away in our gun-happy nation. While violence and aggression are not unique to the United States, we have the worst gun violence in the world and our persistence in blaming everything but the flawed system is tantamount to being complicit. I still don't think it's video games that cause the violence as the NRA might have you believe, but this article shines a light on a very valid point. With more and more people playing video games, and more of us playing later into our lives, our exposure to the potential phenomenon has never been greater. There's nothing wrong with being competitive, but always remember, "it's just a game." I think we could all be better about that. Thanks for this article.
Thanks Shaggy.



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Amazing article, these are always a pleasure to read!



 
 
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Our reporting is always on-point! Well done guys!




 
 
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Good issue again and great job Hollow!



 
 
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Venezuela WNxBoanerges
08-11-2014, 02:20 PM
Local Time: 06:26 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011   #17 
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Awesome reads! Good work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WNxS7N View Post
Well done, all! I especially found interest in Hollow's article about the correlation of incompetence and violence. I definitely think that topic deserves more research and support!
I laughed when i read about the violence related to gaming; in my country violent games (and not-so-violent-but-still-technically-by-the-law) have been banned for years, and since the introduction of that law, the homicide rate more than doubled.

Also, a research by a criminologist whose name i can't remember now, pointed out that violent gaming actually makes you less violent by acting as a vent for RL frustration.

Of course, if you're also frustrated in the games and suck at them, i guess that would have the opposite effect. Oh well; it does need more research.



 
 
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Canada WNxOdy
08-11-2014, 03:13 PM
Local Time: 06:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010   #18 
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Nice work team.

Ody


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Netherlands WNxM3
08-11-2014, 04:59 PM
Local Time: 11:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006   #19 
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Well done on the reports, I also liked Jango's one quite a lot. Well written!





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United States WNxWildBill
08-12-2014, 09:58 AM
Local Time: 05:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013   #20 
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Very impressive! Great job on this report!!!

-=W/B=-



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