Jedi Academy Aurochs
The Jedi Academy Aurochs are the official team of The Jedi Academy. Members from the Academy are recruited into the Aurochs to represent the community both in fighting ability and in good sportsmanship. The Aurochs compete in TFFA and Duel matches against other teams in JK3. The JAA also takes an active role in contributing back to the Academy and also to the entire JK3 community. As such, the Aurochs comprise the very best of the Academy.
What Is An "Aurochs"
An aurochs (Bos primigenius) is an extinct European mammal of the Bovidae family. Julius Caesar wrote of the great black bulls in an account of the Black Forest..."They are but a little less than Elephants in size, and are of the species, color, and form of a bull. Their strength is very great, and also their speed. They spare neither man nor beast that they see. They cannot be brought to endure the sight of men, nor be tamed, even when taken young." The team derives its name from the Final Fantasy X team: the Besaid Aurochs. The reason why Luke Skywalker picked this name is unknown, though. The word "aurochs" is both singular and plural and can also be thought of as a collective, individuals forming a greater whole.
Origins and History
The Hydroball Team
The first Academy team to carry the name "Aurochs" was originally created by Luke Skywalker and (SKX) Dark Blade as a casual Hydroball team at the Academy. Who the original players were and how active the team was at that time is unknown today. All that is known is the team eventually fizzled out with the arrivial of JK3.
Late in 2003, Aphex created the first version of the Aurochs as they are today. He invisioned a team of Academy members that could go out and compete against other clans/teams in Duels and TFFA while representing the Academy. Aphex wanted the Aurochs to spread word of the Academy to various players in JK3 that didn't know about it and needed help.
The Aurochs were an instant success in the Academy and attracted some of its best fighters. The team practiced fairly often and participated in all aspects of JKA such as no-force, full-force, capture the flag, and all-out FFA. The team took on a number of clans and participated in some tournaments. Unfortunately, the records of those matches have been lost.
After The Departure of Aphex
Midway through 2004, Aphex joined the US Army and was unable to lead the Aurochs any more nor fulfill his duties as a Jedi Academy Knight. He turned over control of the team to Jaiko D'Kana, a Jedi Academy Trainer at the Academy. Jaiko was unable to do much for the slowly retiring team because of various issues in his life and the inability of his internet connection to join game servers. The Aurochs fell into inactivity and the team faded away once again.
The Return of the Aurochs
On October 10th, 2004, then Jedi Academy Knight Tido wrote to Jaiko to allow Janus, a former Aurochs and then a Knight, to take lead of the team and make it active again. Jaiko readily agreed and passed the responsibility to Janus. Janus laid a new foundation for the Aurochs and Tido constructed a new website to reflect the changes. The Aurochs took a design similar to the Academy's with the leader of the team being the "Master Aurochs", the leadership advisors being the "Master Auroch Mentors", the JAK+ who were involved being the "Mentors", and the rest of the team being "Aurochs". The team grew quickly and immediately started winning some matches.
Janus couldn't remain as the leader of the Aurochs because of issues in his life and eventually because the purge removed him from the title of Jedi Academy Knight making him uneligable to lead the team. Janus passed the title of Master Aurochs to 3th, padawan of Aphex and a Knight at the time. The Aurochs continued to flourish.
The Dual Team Concept
Not long after 3th took charge, the team realized the current system wasn't working smoothly. It became apparent that the Academy's design wasn't proper for a team and the Aurochs were suffering inactivity problems in the upper ranks just like the Academy was. Also, the Aurochs were caught in a tough debate about whether to recruit a team to win or recruit a team to allow more people to participate despite the outcome. It was believed that the team could accomplish both objectives and a dual-team system was drafted for the Aurochs. The Aurochs became two teams: the White Team and the Green Team. The White Team represented the top-skilled players and were to play against the toughest clans/teams. The Green team consisted of Aurochs that were considered "up and coming" and were to play intermediate level teams/clans. The hope was that both teams would be active, play opponets of their skill level, and the Aurochs would have a system that constantly improved players to the next level. The design worked well for the White Team and it went on to achieve some great victories in JKA. The Green Team, however, never became motivated about their matches and made little effort to improve or even participate.
Conflicts With The Academy
The Aurochs suddenly found themselves in a tough situation when teammember Sauce was suddenly banned from the Academy for making a sarcastic remark about laming on the Wovian clan's forums. Not making the situation any sweeter, the Jedi Academy Council had left a sour remark on Sauce's profile at the Academy's website. Feeling that their teammate had been victimized, many Aurochs were outraged and protested the banning harshly. Because of the rule that only members of the Academy can be Aurochs, Sauce had to be removed from the team. This was very depressing to the team that knew Sauce well as a friend and a teammate. After Sauce wrote to the Council asking humbly for his ban to be removed, the team was told that his ban was temporary and would be removed in a couple of weeks. Then the Council changed their decision and told the team that because of all the protest they had heard over the banning, Sauce would be permanently banned from the Academy. This further increased tensions between the Academy and the team that represents it. Things started looking worse when the Council created for themselves a full access account at the Aurochs website and one JAC was quoted suggesting the removal of the Aurochs altogether. The team felt like they were being targeted and that the Academy was being hostile towards them.
The Aurochs went into debate amongst themselves about seperating from the Academy. Many felt that they were not welcome at the JA and that the Council, for whatever reasons, might destroy the team they had come to enjoy being a part of. On the other hand, most Aurochs didn't want to be a clan and liked representing the ideals and comradery they enjoy as members of the Academy. Most of the team agreed that the best course of action was to remain a part of the JA, but start preparing incase their fears about the Council were true. After this, the Aurochs began moving their website to their own domain and started aquiring their own game servers. Despite efforts to move on and make due, motivation dropped and the team stopped competing.
The Aurochs Today
Today, the Aurochs have regained their motivation and their desire to achieve the goals of the team. Because of the failure in the dual-team system, a new one-team system has been drafted to create the "leaner and meaner" Aurochs. The idea is to have a smaller but better team overall. The focus is no longer to field only the best players in competition, but instead force everyone on the team to improve. Recruitment requirements have been toughened and it is harder to remain a member of the team if you are inactive. The Aurochs are planning on moving back to the JA's website and much of the tension between the Academy and the Aurochs has lightened due to the unbanning of Sauce and other reasons. The team is back out participating in matches, strengthing its activity in Europe, and representing the Academy as the best "clean" team in the world.