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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/04/2023 in Articles

  1. 22 points
    This one is coming to you all the way from September of last year, so apologies for the long wait but we like to give the artists we work with as much time as they need with these commissions - we are under no deadline, and we don't want to impose one either. In this case - and in all other cases - the wait has been worth it, as this illustration turned out beyond great! Those of you who have read The Alloy of Law will recognize the iconic "tea's poisoned" scene from about halfway through the book. What you might not recognize is the artist, Rixt Heerschop, even though you may have seen their art in this illustrations depicting the climaxes of Oathbringer and Rhythm of War respectively. They have a good eye for color and composition, and happened to be available when we needed someone for this - so, good fortune all around!
  2. 21 points
    It's been Spoiler City up on this Patreon, and that's not changing anytime soon (can you believe Secret Project #2 is less than a month away??). We are all mostly hunkered down here in 17S HQ, cooking up things both secret and not, and honestly, recovering from all the content Brandon is blasting our way with some face masks and spas. But you are not here for our morning routines, you are here to see pretty art, and this month you are in for a treat! Our patrons have known this for about a month now, but we got the exceptional Marie Seeberger, aka Lamaery, aka lamaery_in_the_cosmere to work on this piece, and we probably should've expected that we'd get way more than we asked for. Not only was her primary illustration of the Crow's Song surviving the Crimson Sea beyond amazing... ... she also threw in a bunch of variations of of it: A version without the storm clouds: A version without the Crow's Song, just the Crimson Sea after rain: A version with no Crow's Song or rain - just the Crimson Moon over a calm sea of red spores: And a version resized for desktop wallpaper use, because obviously we are all going to want that: So after all this we are absolutely going to try to get her to do something for us again in the future. But until then let's all enjoy this gorgeous painting that could've absolutely been one of the full color spreads in the book itself!
  3. 13 points
    Aah, summer is finally rising over the horizon, the US enjoys a long weekend, students are getting ready to relax during their summer break... but we, we do not rest. Having wrapped up the March batch of commissions, it is time for the April piece (May is in progress), and boy is it a good one! Spoilers for The Lost Metal below! Y'all wanted to see Shai - sorry, Moonlight - become and Elantrian, and we were more than happy to oblige! Your artist for the evening is Caio Santos whose gorgeous work you might recognize from... well, take a look at their Coppermind page, and then go scroll through all their socials, it looks like Zelda might be on their mind these days. As far as this piece goes, their depiction of the Shaod (is it even Shaod if it's on Scadrial?) gradually transforming Shai turned out absolutely gorgeous, down to the metallic sheen and soft glow. Everything else is great too, but that transformation has been, mm, *chef's kiss*. Go give them the likes and the follows!
  4. 12 points
    If you’ve been with us for more than two years, you might recall that once upon a time, we ran a poll asking you, the users, to judge us, the staff. The original plan was to make the Staff Review an annual event, but, well, 2022 ran away from us. Still, the Staff Review has returned for the year 2023 - so how about we look at some charts? We have so many charts to look at (and some of those charts are rather small by necessity, so if you have trouble reading, you can click on the image to zoom in). First off, let’s talk demographics! During the first Staff Review, we received 146 responses; this time, it was 157 - a small increase, especially compared to the rise in the Sharder population. We also asked you to declare which of our two main platforms - forums and Discord - you most commonly use, so let’s start with that. While we expected the majority of you to be Discord mains, I do admit that this majority was not as large as we expected. A third of you still prefer forums to Discord - something we will definitely have to keep in mind, as most of the current staff is primarily active on the latter, and from your other answers… well, it shows. With this said, let’s move on to our regular questions. Quality of Moderation The first is quite simple - on a scale of 1 (awful) to 5 (amazing), how do you rate the quality of moderation on the 17th Shard? And it seems like the majority of you rate us quite well indeed! More than 70% of you gave us the highest marks at 5, with less than 4% rating us below a 4. This is a notable improvement from the last poll, where that number was almost 8%. Interestingly, there is almost no variation between ratings given to us by forum and Discord users, with the average rating being 4.67 for Discord, and 4.66 for the forums. With that, let’s move on to the next topic: do you think the staff members are in tune with the general 17th Shard community? Here, "1" means we are completely out of touch, while "5" means we are just like the rest of you. The response was a bit more tepid this time around, though still overwhelmingly positive. It is important to us that we’re active members of the community, so that we can accurately tell what you want to see from us. And much like with the demographics question, it’s obvious we should focus more on the forums side of things; while both Discord and forum users rate us highly, the forum ratings are visibly lower than the Discord ones, with an almost 0.2 difference in averages. Moving on, we have a returning question from last year: how strict do you think the mods are as a whole? For this chart, "1" means that we are too strict, and a "9" means we are too lax. As was to be expected, you consider us to be more on the stricter side of things, with around 40% of you voting on the "strict" side, while another 43% believe we’ve attained a happy middle. This being said, compared to two years ago, the needle has moved marginally towards the "lax" side. This might be thanks to greater participation of forum goers, who have, on average, rated us as less strict than Discord users. Next up, let’s talk conflict resolution. This is something we have been thinking about recently, so we’ve decided to ask: what do you think about the way Staff members resolve conflicts and problems on the Shard. In this case, "1" means we suck at it, while "5" means we always resolve all conflicts perfectly. The results are, overall, quite good, with over 90% of you rating us as either very good or excellent at it. This being said, this is obviously an area in which we could further improve, as you have made clear in the next two, open-ended questions, in which we asked you to talk about any particular incidents or staff members that have caught your attention. While we will not cite the exact answers here, there has been plenty of valuable critique that will, hopefully, help us improve in the future. There were also several compliments! It seems you rate us highly when it comes to transparency and communication - an improvement compared to your opinions the last time we ran the poll. Plenty of you have appreciated our efforts towards inclusivity, and making the Shard a safe, welcoming place for everyone - a commitment we very much intend to uphold. Spoiler Policy Our spoiler policy is something we spend a lot of time on, hoping to ensure both veteran and new Sanderfans have a good time, so we obviously want to hear what you think about it. Here, the differences between Discord and forums are definitely beginning to show clearly. While the vast majority of you believe that the policy is fine, it seems there is a difference in how we enforce it on each of our platforms - on Discord, people lean more towards calling us overzealous, while on the forums, we’re more likely to be considered overly lax. The percentage of people who don't understand the spoiler policy on the forums is also concerning, and something we should definitely look into. Communicating with the Staff We also had two questions for you regarding the way you communicate with the Staff. As a reminder - if you have something to report to us, we always welcome a ping, a report or a private message! It’s not bothering us; we can’t be everywhere, so we have to rely on user reports to assist us in moderation. With that being said, let’s get to the first of our two communication questions: what is your preferred method of contacting the Staff? Once more, the discrepancy between forums and Discord is readily apparent. The number of people unaware they could contact us in the first place is worrisome - especially on the forums, where over a quarter of responders stated that they did not know it was allowed. Likewise, a fifth of forum users would rather not interact with us at all, as opposed to only 8% of Discord users. At a guess, this is another effect of the staff having increased presence on the Discord, making us more visible (and, perhaps, more approachable) there. Onwards to the next question, this one exclusive for Discord users: have you ever used @Staff to ping us? Here, we gave you a list of pre-made responses, as well as an option to write your own. It is quite encouraging to see that almost 80% of you have either pinged us before, or felt no need to do so. It is a little less encouraging to see that almost a tenth of you are scared to contact us. Again - nothing to be afraid of! If you have something to report, ping away! What about those “other responses”, though? Without quoting the exact statements, there are three trends we’ve noticed: You are unaware that pinging us is an option (which comes back to the problem we’ve noticed in the last question) You prefer DMs over a public ping (which is perfectly valid!) You use the function to report spam bots (which is appreciated!) The next two questions let us tell us what you think directly and anonymously, and it was quite nice to see all the positive messages for us - we really appreciate you. Likewise, we appreciate the people who took the time to point out what we could improve on; we hope to put those lessons into practice. There were also a few… interesting responses, such as: “Ramen noodles are delicious” “Brownies make your day better.” “Actually, this form is written by six people, and we’d rather not explain it (it involves a Kickstarter and a Splintered group).” The People’s Mod Awards Finally, we’ve reached the question you’ve probably been the most curious about, and the one that inspired the whole concept of staff review in the first place: who is the people’s favourite moderator? Once more, Argent snags the top spot, followed closely behind by Ene! In third place we have Chaos, as well as Feather, who rose an entire sixteen spots since the last poll, pushing Rasarr down to fourth place (or is it fifth, if two people hold the bronze medal?). But wait, there’s more! Now we can sort the results by platform! In the forums category of People’s Mod Awards, Ene wins by a landslide, racking up 30% more votes than Argent; on the Discord front, Argent keeps his overall first place, followed closely behind by Feather. So, what next? Well, that about does it for Staff Review 2023. We certainly learned a lot, both in terms of what must be done (it seems we all agree the #cosmemes channel over on Discord needs another look), what you think of the staff (I do need to get my TTRPG schedule in order, for sure), and in other matters (why were there six people filling in the poll together, anyway?). Hopefully, by the time we come back with Staff Review 2024 (and hopefully, we will remember to make Staff Review 2024…), you will see tangible improvement on our part. Until then, thank you for being part of the Shard! We might be the ones tasked with herding this pack of giraffes, but it’s you, the users, who make this place great.
  5. 8 points
    Oookaaay, once more into the breach that is our Lost Metal March art (Marcht?) commissions! This is the last one - though we've got April ready too, so that will be going up before too long. So what's in the box this time? Why, it's Telsin, of course! Maybe not the best villain Brandon has ever written, but one we can be thankful to for bringing us a whooole lot of Autonomy lore in this book. This illustration comes to you from the (digital) pen(cil?) of Howuld, whom you can find on Twitter or Instagram (just beware of this incredibly bittersweet Hero of Ages piece that will immediately assault your heart). No sneaky sneaks with this illustration, just pure character design. Enjoy!
  6. 7 points
    At the Lost Metal release event, Brandon had an announcement regarding Secret Projects. Tor and Gollancz (Brandon's US and international publishers) will have sale links for the Secret Project physical editions that will appear in bookstores out on Wednesday, November 16th in the US. Each one will release after the Kickstarter, so for Secret Project 1, backers get it in January, but the Tor physical release in April. Secret project 2 will be June 2023, SP3 in October 2023, and SP4 January 2024. Importantly, the bookstore links for these wide releases WILL have the titles for the Secret Projects on these listings, so you will almost assuredly see them incidentally when searching, say, Brandon Sanderson on Amazon. Brandon said they tried to work with publishers to deal with this, but it was not possible. Brandon will still use the "Secret Project 1" names in his videos and social media pages until the book formally releases, and then he will use their official titles. We have previously treated the Secret Project titles as spoilers that need to be spoiler tagged except in the relevant Secret Project areas, but ultimately, with how many people will surely see these listings of the books, it will be impossible to force people to keep these secret. As such, we are changing that policy when listings come out and these titles will be treated not as a spoiler, like any other book title would be. On 17th Shard's official things, such as news articles, social media, YouTube videos or podcasts, we will still not display the official Secret Project names, but it will likely be impossible for you to not learn of the names eventually.
  7. 5 points
    Hopefully you aren't sick of Lost Metal art because we still have a couple of pieces in the chamber! So what's today's offering? Why, it's Ranette and Jaxy! Of course, we here on the Shard have long been Misra stans (you all remember Ranette's girlfriend from Shadows of Self, right?), but Jaxy quickly proved herself to be a sweetheart, so we'll let it all slide just this once. But Ranette is not allowed to remarry! For this piece we decided to work with an artist known as Runmien (available on Instagram and Twitter), whose Mistborn drawings you may have seen around the Internet (e.g. this Kelsier, or this Marsh, or these Era 2 portraits). Jaxy in particular turned out absolutely resplendent, the whole 1920s vibe is so spot-on and fits her so well, she is a smashing success. Also, Ranette, that's a lot of whiskey, girl, it better be some weak Elendel bottle!
  8. 5 points
    Hello, hello! As many of you likely know, a key perk of the 17th Shard Patreon are the monthly art commissions - we take a good chunk of the money our supporters graciously donate to us, and invest (heh, Invest) them right back into the community in the form of fanart we commission from artists from the fandom. And, since we got our our final 2022 commission just a few days ago, it's once again time to take a brief look back, a quick stroll down Memory Lane, and enjoy all the gorgeous art this awesome and wholesome community has made possible. As always, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride, and double thank you to those of you who are specifically making us keep this going with your hard-earned clips, boxings, and spheres. We commissioned 22 full illustrations (plus a Discord emoji and a Shardcast thumbnail) costing a total of nearly $5,000, and almost none of them would've happened without your support! The previews below the break include scenes from the Skyward Flight novellas, Warbreaker, all of Stormlight, all of Mistborn, including The Lost Metal, and Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. If you haven't read some of these books, maybe don't look closely into the previews Links to the full images will be behind spoiler tags, however, so you can pick and choose which ones to take a(nother) closer look at. Graphic by @FelCandy The see all the illustrations in their full HD glory (and avoid the ones coming from books you maybe haven't read yet) and find more work by all of these wonderful artists, expand the spoiler blocks below. January: Sunreach February: Warbreaker March: The Way of Kings April: Rhythm of War May: Oathbringer June: Warbreaker July: The Hero of Ages and Mistborn: Secret History August: Rhythm of War September: The Alloy of Law October: Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell November: The Hero of Ages December: The Lost Metal 2023 commissions are in full force, and you can look forward to another recap like this one in about a year or so. Until then, thank you, and happy Year of Sanderson!
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