Weasley

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As always, the Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley, and Homes and Holidays forums are closed to students during the school year. I've left them open for the first few weeks so people can copy over the roleplays they did on VHOT while VH was down. And I'm going to give you a little more time, so hurry up and finish any topics you've got going.

 

Students will lose their posting rights in those forums on September 1st. (Fitting, right? ^^)

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The lovely Eos has added us onto a couple topsite lists. I don't see us listed on them yet, but I don't think it will hurt for us to start voting. Also, if any of you keep personal sites and wouldn't mind putting up a link to VH, I'd appreciate it if you would (VH itself, not the topsite links). The more sites link to us, the higher our google rank will be. We need to attract a new crop of students for the coming year. :)

 

Topsites:

Vote at Mugglenet

Vote at HPANA

Vote at Wizard City

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I've got a few announcements:

 

*Ollivander's is open! Unsorted students may visit the shop in Diagon Alley to let their wand choose them. Please read the posted instructions thoroughly before posting in the shop.

 

*Students that have already been sorted, you can't see Ollivander's right now. (You'll see an error message if you try to look at Diagon Alley.) Basically, Madam Ollivander has created a personality quiz that will determine the ideal wand for you. Students' wand information will be edited into their profiles instead of receiving a picture like the old shop. There will be a system set up for you to get your custom wand after classes are over for the year. (Most likely, you'll just PM someone your information and the wand will be retconned as if you always had it. Would be weird for everyone in the school to suddenly buy a new wand.)

 

*Sorting: I'm sorry we have to be vague about when exactly the sorting will start. Again. But since this is a new site, we have to start from scratch with the coded bit of the form. And since we're starting from scratch, we want to do it right. So streamlining the sorting process and renovating the questions has taken a bit of time as well. The shop is being coded presently, but it's a big job and it's unlikely that it will be done in time for the beginning of this sorting. The sorting will begin by early October either way. The exact date will depend on the progress of the code. Stay tuned.

 

*Shops - the other big project. The good news is that a shiny new shop/bank system is being custom coded for VH and it's going to be awesome. With lots of nifty features that I won't tell you about until we're sure they work. lol. This will probably take at least another month to finish. Maybe more like two months until it's all tested out and all the shops are ready to go with their items and everything. Just wanted to let you know that it's in progress.

 

That's all I can think of for now. ^_^

 

P.S. It's been bugging me to see OWL and NEWT turn into Owl and Newt in topic titles among other things, so I've changed the setting to allow shouting. But if people start posting topic titles in all caps, I may put up with the annoyance and turn it back on. So don't, please.

 

Oh, and a couple of your classmates have taken up the task of making a podcast about VH. If you want to check it out, take a look here. (This podcast is not officially related to VH. We refute any responsibility for it in any way. But it's kind of neat and they did a nice job, so I thought I'd mention it. :))


Edited by Nemesis

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FYI: I'll be closing down the forum for a little while later this evening. I need to install some stuff. Don't be alarmed when it doesn't let you on (this will be different than the 403 error). It shouldn't last for long.

 

Also, I'll try looking into what's causing the 403 error if people are still getting that.

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* As you must have noticed by now, the sorting is underway! The mods are extremely grateful to Faraz Memon who did a simply fantastic job in coding the form for us. He was able to make every crazy idea we had come true and in some cases make it do things we hadn't thought possible. And... he did it all in record time. Three cheers for Faraz!

 

If you have any questions about how to get sorted, please read this topic: link

 

*Since the school year has come to an end, the Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express and Homes and Holidays forums are open to students for the summer holiday. They will be closed off to sorted students when the new school year begins on October 30th.

 

*Students who've been approved to study special powers, we've been working on programs for each power that you can follow on your own. These will involve minimal interaction with instructors/examiners so that completing the qualifications for your power lies mostly in your hands, and you do not have to wait on an instructor. You may have noticed a couple alumni testing out one of the programs for us. We'll let you know when the rest are ready.

 

*A couple more non-shop forums in Hogsmeade will be opening soon as the barkeeps are ready.

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Hey, I know the Sorting form has disappeared. Don't worry, we didn't end sorting early. I'm just making some changes to the board. I'll have it back in a few minutes. I hope. >.<

 

While you're waiting, take a look at the Daily Prophet blog we set up. There's a link to it under the banner. Articles about what's going on in the outside world will be posted there now and then to keep you up to date.

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Since school has started, I've changed the permissions for all the forums in the Wide Wizarding World as usual. The Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley, and Homes and Holidays forums have disappeared from view for most students. Hogsmeade is viewable only by third year students and higher.

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I've got a couple announcements:

 

*Christmas break will be two weeks long this year since it falls over the real holidays. Second term will begin on January 8th.

 

*VHOT posting rights have been changed to try to deter the nasty bots that post links to ####ography on the boards. This affects all members. To get your posting privileges back, all you have to do is go to this topic and post. You'll be fixed up automatically.

 

*Age Restriction: After extensive consideration, we've made the difficult decision to restrict VH to people who are 13 years of age or older. This is due largely to legal concerns and COPPA restrictions. Members who we find out are under the age of 13 will unfortunately be banned. For active members who have been on the site for a while already, we may decide to make an exception if appropriate permission forms can be arranged from your parents. If you are already enrolled in VH and are under 13, please contact a moderator right away. And no, the rating of the site will not change.

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*The Green Parrot dueling club is open in Diagon Alley. The club is for Alumni and hired adult characters only. Read up on the rules in the forum. By the way, you may not want to mention to Captain Barnabas Green that the year coming up is 2013 (not 2113). He's probably very proud of himself for living so long. :lol:

 

*Also... Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmas and any other holidays you may be celebrating. I hope you have a wonderful time, get lots of presents, eat too much and get all chubby. ^^

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Homes and Holidays, Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express forums are open for students for the holiday break. They will close up again shortly after January 8th when second term begins, so don't procrastinate if you start roleplays in them.

 

Merry Christmas!

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*FYI - I got rid of the Quidditch World Cup forums and dumped all the topics into the Homes and Holidays forum. (Except for the locker room topics which were deleted.)

 

*The headmaster has set up a roleplaying challenge. Check it out in the new HoNaRoTer forum (below the Record's Cabinet). One note, keep in mind that the goal of 25,000 words is very easy to achieve. It boils down to fewer than 450 words a day. There's no need to go wild writing bloated posts. Don't torture your teachers or dueling officials.

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*The moderators will be hard to reach this week. If you have questions for us, please hold onto them until after February 11th. In the meantime, I'm sure the school staff can help you out with most things.

 

*Next Monday, February 12th, I'll probably be shutting down the boards for a couple hours to make a few changes.

 

*The next Sorting will begin on February 24th. At that time, members in the Pre-Hogwarts group will be able to see a red link in their user bar (the second bar below the banner) that says Get Sorted. Detailed instructions will be posted when the time comes.

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*Homes and Holidays, Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express forums are open for students for the summer break. They will close up again on April 2nd when the next school year begins.

 

*I'd like to apologize for not doing a few things that I said I'd do yet, like getting the castle skin fixed and talking with the alumni about post-Hogwarts things. My work is keeping me extremely busy lately, but I expect things to lighten up again in a couple weeks. Thanks for your patience.

 

*I'd like to welcome our new addition to the moderating staff, the lovely and wise Athena. ^^

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*The sorting form is now closed. We'll be busy getting you all sorted for the next few days. You'll find out the results this Sunday. I hope you all got your forms in. If you didn't, there's always next year. :)

 

*The nice people at Invision helped me figure out what was wrong with the castle skin. It's back up. Yay.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to make the fluid version be fluid for some reason. Once I iron out the last few changes I need to make to the Castle skin, I'll do my best to get an expandy version up too.

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The sorting is over and closed. Welcome to all our new students! If your sorting blurb does not match your house group, I made a mistake. Your sorting blurb should be the correct house. PM me.

 

The Wide Wizarding World forums will be closed to all students on Tuesday, so finish anything that needs finishing fast!

 

Also, I know alot of you are having trouble with your house names, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, etc. I'll look into it, but I suspect it's a browser thing. I'll also look for clues as to the mysterious submarine issue. I'm a little confused.

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I hope you'll forgive us for messing with you on April Fools Sorting Day. Also, please excuse the prefects and professors for feigning ignorance so well, we put them up to it. ^^ It was pretty hilarious reading your questions about submarines and penguinfeathers. Er, yes... I'm 5 years old. (If you didn't figure it out, the words the house names turned into were the passwords to the common rooms.)

 

On to business!

 

First years, don't expect any flying lessons this week or next week. I'm afraid we've procrastinated too long making a choice from our many applications for Flying Instructor. Please be patient with us and the Flying Instructor when he or she appears. You will have lessons this year, just not right away.

 

I'm working on the problem with the offtopic.virtual-hogwarts.org domain, but for now the invisionfree link works as well as the VHOT redirect at the bottom of the forum index.

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*We finally picked an Flying instructor! Boy was that a tough choice. Flying lessons will most likely start next term.

 

*We're not done hiring yet, but will be deciding soon on the last few spots.

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I've got a few random things to say:

 

Invalid Email Addresses: I just emailed a bunch of you whose email accounts are invalid. If you don't keep the email account you have registered on VH up to date, all the emails sent to you to announce PMs or posts in your subscribed topics get bounced back to VH... and my inbox. Rrrarr. I've asked many of you to update your email accounts.

 

I forgot to mention another option. If you just can't be bothered to keep your hotmail account active, then go to My Controls click on Email Settings. Uncheck the box next to "Send a notification email when I receive a new private message." Also Unsubscribe to all topics and forums by going to Subscriptions -> View Topics and View Forums. If there are no emails bouncing back at me, I don't mind if your email is out of date. If they do keep bouncing back, I'll eventually put you in Validating til you fix the problem.

 

Forum Permissions: I left them open for a while extra, but I'll be closing the Carnival and Hogwarts Express forums in a few minutes. Also, I'm sure the teachers and dueling officiators will make concessions for those of you that can't seem to post anywhere but that spooky lair. ^^

 

How much I suck: Just on a personal note, I haven't been able to devote much time to VH the last few weeks and I apologize to anyone who's been waiting for me to respond to a PM or question. This summer has been very busy and every time I think it's about to let up, it gets worse. There are several projects for VH that can't really go anywhere without me and I hate to be holding them up. I'll do my best to put aside some time for them this month.

 

And one last thing: Has anyone seen or heard from Erica Jean lately? She was halfway done with our supercool shop/bank system but I haven't heard from her in months. If you talk to her, beg her to come back and finish it. Offer cookies and tell her we'll be her bestest friend. :)

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The stories I've heard about the persistance of people trying to spoil people has got me a little paranoid, so I've restricted new registrations. New accounts won't be active until they're manually validated by a moderator. On VHOT, no new registrations are allowed at this time. I don't want to make any newcomers feel unwelcome though! Please take your time and poke about the site. Read some roleplays, rules, etc. I'll take the restriction off tomorrow.

 

Also, please note that we are currently hiring new professors. Read all about it here.

 

Lastly, I don't know why but I've noticed the castle stairways and rooms have been shifting around more than usual lately. Please bear with us until it settles down.

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Once again, I apologize for the down time. We had to change servers. I really didn't expect it to take so long to sort out, but I guess there are always complications. Thanks for your patience.

 

Please let me know if you notice any problems.

 

Also, we're still hiring new professors. Click here if you're interested. Don't delay in sending your application in. We want to have these appointments settled quickly.

 

The Sorting Hat is open. Please read the announcement "How to Get Sorted" at the top of every forum before you submit your form. Thanks!

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*First years and Second Years are able to see Hogsmeade and the Three Broomsticks right now, but only because the Missing kids need to be able to post there. If any lowerclassman posts there without being directed there by a staff member, your posts and topics will be unceremoniously deleted!

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*I've closed the sorting form. The Hat will be super busy all weekend trying to get you all sorted. We left the form sorted for a few extra days to make up for the problems last week.

 

We may allow a few late sortings next week, especially if you posted or pm'd us worried that you wouldn't make it in time because of the time the form was down. Please do not contact us about that until AFTER we post details on Tuesday. We need a break. Sorting wears us out.

 

*Week 1 will be two weeks long. To give new teachers time to catch up and late sortees time to enjoy their first week of classes, the first week of the term will actually last two weeks (from August 27th to September 9th). The rest of the term will be as always. And keep in mind that even with two weeks in RL time, time will move faster in character. (i.e. normally 10 RL days covers about a month in IC time.)

 

*A note on the Professor Job openings, I would love to hire at least 8 of the people who applied for Professor, which has made this an excruciatingly difficult choice. Which is probably why we put off making it. You'll hear by tomorrow if you were chosen. I'm sorry to keep you waiting. The VH summer is always the busiest time for us.

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If any of you newbies are waiting up to see which house you got, better get some rest. Dozens of people have been working hard all day to get the sorting accomplished. Bless them! But I think we're gonna have to have a rest and do the actual sorting tomorrow afternoon (EST-ish). I've been at the computer most of the day and my eyes are crossing.

 

So, see you tomorrow! I hope you're excited. :D

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Homes & Holidays, Diagon Alley, and the Hogwarts Express have disappeared from the sight of sorted students once again. They will return for the winter holidays.

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* The Ball will open up early tomorrow. Hurry up and get your costumes while you still have time.

 

* The Sorting form will open up this weekend.

 

* The Daily Prophet has a 'new' Editor in Chief. Or rather, a new person acting as Editor in Chief Barnabus Cuffe. Here's a message from him:

 

Hello ladies and gentlemen of VH,

 

I am posting to inform you all in an OOC manner that the Daily Prophet is back in business (though, ICly, it never stopped) and will become more active.

 

That being said, anything good takes effort. From me and you. If you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns, please either e-mail me or PM me with them, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Even without writing articles or such, there are still many ways to contribute. Here are a few…

 

Comments: Please follow rules of VH. They will not appear immediately, as they must be approved by myself, so don’t worry if yours takes a short while. The best comments may be put in the letters to the editor section, or you may e-mail ‘letters to the editor’ to myself at cuffe{at}virtual-hogwarts.org along with any inquiries, suggestions, or other feedback.

 

Announcement: As you see we currently have a crossword section to the Daily Prophet. I’m going to be broadening it a bit, making it a general ‘fun’ area to be updated monthly, or so. If anyone wants to make another crossword or wordfind or whatever, I hereby grant you license to do so. I don’t know about rewards, but I’m sure we could work something out.

 

Advertising: As well, you creative lot, I would love to have some (fake) advertising for the Daily Prophet. Madam Malkins, your great grandmums old apothecary, whatever. Again, nothing certain with rewards beyond my appreciation. These need to be relatively small. Banner size is acceptable. Preferably something that’s about as long as a banner, but only 100 or so pixels tall. But I’ll let you handle that. (The easiest place to fit advertising might be in the sidebar, so you might want to consider that width as a limit. Nem.)

 

I’d love to hear what you guys would like to see in the Daily Prophet. I’m open to any suggestions, and all will be considered.

 

Link to the Daily Prophet: http://dailyprophet.virtual-hogwarts.org

 

Thanks a lot!

Barnabus Cuffe, Editor in Chief of the Daily Prophet

Contact via Cuffe{at}virtual-hogwarts.org or PM

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