Yes, it was all a big joke. If you haven't seen it by now, please read this post by Noah, the vigilant flood-protection moderator on the Smogon Shoddy Battle server. That post is the punchline of a huge April Fools prank to make an Anti-Hax Clause and implement it on the shoddy server. When I say big joke -- I should emphasize the word "BIG". This prank was a huge undertaking, and involved a lot of planning and work by many individuals. We actually approached it like a performance. Since I was the writer and director of the whole thing, I'm making this thread to give everyone a "behind the scenes" look at the production, and to give the many members of our wonderful cast a chance to come out and take a bow. The whole idea for this prank actually started over a year ago, when discussing April Fools on IRC. Last month, the idea was brought up again, and a lot of badgeholders really liked the idea. But, we realized there was no easy way to spring something like this on the community at the last minute. If it was going to be convincing, it needed a lot of advance planning and setup by a wide range of people in the community. Since it was my idea, and I like planning big projects -- I wrote a "script" and decided to make this into a community performance. Here's the initial script that started it all. As the performance unfolded, we made many changes to the script and timeline. But, all in all, the whole thing unfolded fairly close to the original plan. As you can see, there was a defined cast for the whole thing. Here's a list of the participating cast members (I'll let you try to figure out what roles they were playing): Ancien Régime Articanus Articuno64 august AvatarST Blue Kirby Caelum Calciphoce darkie DM DP Crobat Elevator Music Imran JabbaTheGriffin Jibaku Jimbo Jumpman16 Kevin Garrett Lee Lorak maddog MS Obi QibingZero reachzero SoT Tangerine TAY tennisace Twash Twist of Fate X-Act zerowing We had one non-badged member of the cast -- XxBlueCookiesxX. If you read the script, you will see it was planned all along. But, the role was not cast until late in the production, when BlueCookies was accidently given access to a private discussion about the prank. We decided to use the mistake to our advantage, and BlueCookies did a great job in the role! I'd also like to recognize two users that were not part of the cast, but deserve special mention. Lemmiwinks MkII Blame GameThese two users participated heavily in the PR thread, and had no idea this was a prank. I commend both users for their polite and respectful handling of the situation -- even in the face of all the absurd arguments and discussion happening around them. Internally, we were making bets as to when these two would "crack" and go off on a flame spree. But they maintained their composure throughout, which was remarkable. Although this whole thing was a joke, I prefer to think of it as a sort of "morality play". We intentionally painted a gross caricature of the Smogon decision-making process, and tried to poke fun at ourselves in the process. While we take competitive pokemon seriously, I hope this joke shows that we try not to take it TOO seriously. Every cast member was intentionally trying to play on their reputation and history within Smogon. I'll let the public judge the quality of their performance. I also think that through all the chaos and arguments that came out of this joke -- we have actually gotten an interesting look at how the community views the importance of luck in the metagame. I was fascinated by many of the points made in the various discussions around this, even some of the "fake posts" made by cast members. I'm not sure of all the lessons learned here, but it's certainly food for thought. For all those that despise hax and wish it could be eliminated, I think the moral of the story is -- "Be careful what you wish for." To all members of the cast and community, feel free to post commentary on the joke in this thread. If anyone out there really got their feelings hurt, or was legitimately pissed off by the whole thing -- please don't spew invective here. Take a minute, relax, and look at everything that happened -- and I think you'll start laughing with the rest of us!