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We are almost through October, and what a hectic month it's been. People have of course been glued to their DS, enjoying the in-game quest of the fifth generation. If they weren't, they would of course be browsing our forums. We actually had over 2000 users online, peaking at 2,169 on September 19th. It was, in fact, so bad that Cathy had to take down several forum features just to counteract the enormous amount of lag we were having. To celebrate the release of Pokémon: Black and White and everything that came with it, our writers have worked hard to pack this issue full of fifth gen material.
Speaking of Cathy, as you have no doubt noticed, PokéLab, which Cathy and her dev team have worked on for a long, long time, has finally been brought to public beta. However, since she has decided to depart from Smogon, we are no longer officially affiliated with this product. It's a shame to see Cathy (and several other longtime contributors) go, and there's not much to say besides a large "thank you" for all they contributed. In the meantime, if you wish to check on the program, you are welcome to check Cathy's website.
Staying on the subject of female users, a hearty congratulations to *Hen* on getting married! Hen has been part of the WiFi community for a while now, but she's also known for her Digital Art thread and her artistic contributions to The Smog. But even if she wasn't, she's still definitely worth congratulating!
With happy news comes sad news: ToF, perhaps known by some as Twist of Fate, has decided he needs more time to dedicate to his real life affairs. Therefore, we likely won't be seeing any of his Smog articles or team rates in the near future. Good luck with everything, ToF!
So what do we have in store for you this issue? Chou Toshio has made it easier for you to play that Japanese Black or White copy you imported by providing some lessons in Japanese for beginners, as well as a guide on good choices for your in-game team. Deck Knight shows you the hits and misses of his predictions about the mechanics changes of the fifth gen, and jumpluff presents the magic tricks of Pokémon obtained in the brand new Dream World. This is especially interesting for the many users who have tried out Pokémon Online's functional Black/White battling simulation, where all Dream World abilities dumped from the game are allowed!
Not exciting enough for you? Look at the calendar again. Is there anything else happening around this time of the year? Indeed, it's time for the Smog Awards nominations! Whether you think of it as a nice way to reward members of the community for their efforts, or as a popularity contest, the Smog Awards results are always heavily anticipated. If you're eligible to nominate, make sure you do so post-haste!
For those of you not into all the hype about new games and awards, don't worry. We have featured RMTs, Trivia, an interview with Synre, the heavily anticipated return of the Tournament Coverage, plus a whole lot more in store for you.
I hope you all have fun reading and playing!
P.S. Thank you so much, everybody who, under short notice, contributed art to The Smog. We solicited art from the public this time, and I personally was very impressed by the submissions, which were kindly delivered by Fatecrashers. Don't fret if you don't see yours in this issue; thankfully, supply exceeded demand, and we did not anticipate the influx of fantastic works we received. As such, we've decided to save a lot of it for the next issue, which will be 5th gen-centric, and you will be appropriately credited. We really appreciate it, and thanks for your patience. One last artistic thing to note is that the cover art is a first for The Smog, as it features a CAP Pokémon (specifically, CAP 11, Voodoom). And sorry for hijacking your note, Mekkah! —jumpluff
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