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Author Topic: Real-world information in the Wiki?  (Read 26217 times)

Draco18s

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2010, 04:44:56 pm »

EDIT: Alternatively, articles could be graded using the game's quality scale.

Oh, that's clever.
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The Grim Sleeper

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2010, 04:47:35 pm »

I just don't see why the wiki needs to even mention injokes from versions that were obsolete two years ago, aside from maybe a single sentence. There's enough bad information going around, and too many people who still think these things are true. We don't need to feed the rumor mill.
Because some of this information is essential when reading the stories written about previous versions. I didn't start playing the game because I was such an fan of simulation games, nor because I was so impressed with the graphics. I came here after TVtropes pointed me toward 'the epic of Boatmurdered' and have been fan since.

Likewise many of the jokes on the wiki add an extra and truly unique charm to the game. Sure the elf/human/dwarf system may be confusing for a rookie player, but after a few minutes of reading various pages on the wiki (or any topic on the forum, because face it, all these jokes start there), they catch on to the atmosphere of 'FUN' that is a very big part of the game. When was the last time you didn't enjoy reading about how you eviscerated that goblin or how your head "... is smashed into the body, an unrecognizable mass!". How did you react the first time your 7 dwarfs were smeared across the wagon by an 'Zombie Unicorn'? It is not bad to know that most players can't actually be bothered with certain low key features, and especially elves, and focus on bigger aspects of gameplay, such as the ingenious mechanic and trap systems. Humour is as big a part of the game as stone, and the wiki should reflect that.
Likewise for the way reality is represented in the game. I once took a course in Geology, and didn't even bother with the exam because it was that boring. Thanks to DF I have some actual, if limited understanding of the soil beneath my feet, and I'd like to learn more! Sure the origin of metamorphic layers may have 0 impact on gameplay, but the 3 lines about it on the DF wiki sure were a better read than that door-stopper they wrote on Wikipedia.
Sure you don't HAVE to make everything a joke, but a few lines added under 'D is for Dwarf' and 'In Real Life' really do add something to the game and the community that surrounds it.


EDIT: Alternatively, articles could be graded using the game's quality scale.
I 'in favour' this so hard it will be send flying, so I can run after it and 'in favour' it again before it hits the ground. Truly an elegant, yet very Dwarfish system of quality.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 04:52:10 pm by The Grim Sleeper »
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G-Flex

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2010, 04:55:56 pm »

When was the last time you didn't enjoy reading about how you eviscerated that goblin or how your head "... is smashed into the body, an unrecognizable mass!". How did you react the first time your 7 dwarfs were smeared across the wagon by an 'Zombie Unicorn'?

Yeah, that stuff is fine, because those are just stories that emerge from how the game generally work. "Elves are only good for burning and drowning ha ha ha" and "MAGMA IS THE SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS", on the other hand, are the kind of extremely arbitrary fan-spawned jokes that inspire an extremely limited understanding of how the game is meant to be played. That last point might seem a bit alarmist on my part, but I see it often enough to know that this actually happens and is rather annoying.
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Locriani

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2010, 04:58:26 pm »

Here are some points about the quality scale that editors have discussed earlier:

  • It should be 3 levels.  Any more is overkill, and just makes the rating system more difficult to keep updated.
  • It should be easy to understand.
  • Ideally, it should be light-hearted, and not POOR, OK, GOOD or something similar.
  • Popular support was for elven, human, and dwarven quality levels.  We can change it, sure, but we will need consensus.

[edit]
Just wanted to point out that all of the above is what consensus came to earlier, and all of it is potentially mutable.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 05:05:00 pm by Locriani »
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The Grim Sleeper

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2010, 05:13:03 pm »

How about 'Poorly-crafted' for articles that clearly need work, 'Finely-crafted' for articles that are basically good, and Masterful for articles that are, well, Masterful.

Yeah, that stuff is fine, because those are just stories that emerge from how the game generally work. "Elves are only good for burning and drowning ha ha ha" and "MAGMA IS THE SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS", on the other hand, are the kind of extremely arbitrary fan-spawned jokes that inspire an extremely limited understanding of how the game is meant to be played. That last point might seem a bit alarmist on my part, but I see it often enough to know that this actually happens and is rather annoying.
Seems to me the problem here is more 'ELF=BAD,MAGMA=GOOD' the meme, rather then the play-style that goes with it. When you think about it, Elves start of friendly in the game and can of some use to any player not desperate to start a war. Conversely drilling for magma is hard, especially in the new version. A player will eventually find the pro's and con's of both or have lot's FUNtm. The Meme however is sort of hard to route, and is probably here to stay until something even more annoying or dangerous appears. Until then: MAGMA, APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE ELF's HEAD!!1!
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Locriani

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2010, 05:13:51 pm »

Double post, but this is the current state of the conversation on Albedo's talk page.


"Real World" Flavor text in Stone Pages
  • Regarding the real life facts that were provided by Justyn for the stones, I feel that the Wiki should be a repository of game-pertinent information. Just because it can be found at another Wiki doesn't mean it isn't pertinent, and just because it is real doesn't mean it isn't pertinent. A understanding of the stone can help in game a lot more than a blank page. I could understand if you were talking about pages full of the information, but most of the reverts I have seen you do are short paragraphs, which don't seem to be harmful at all. Having the information also provides a starting place for new contributions that are more game-important (such as notes that unlike in real life, mineral x isn't found in y kind of stone, which is VERY important to some people.) Remember that Toady bases a lot of the physical properties of Dwarf Fortress with real life. It has some fantasy elements, and the rule of cool is prominent, but real life is a good baseline for information when information is sparse on the subject. Examine, for example, the subject of Olivine. His "Real World" information mentioned that Serpentine could be found in it. While that same information can be found by going backwards, it no longer (in its incarnation of 4/20/2010 @12:00 AM MST ) mentions it in the Olivine page. There is a reason that serpentine is found in Olivine though, which can make somewhat of a difference to some people (myself one of them.) ~Kogan Loloklam
  • I think as long as the real world information is appropriately set apart from the rest of the article, and it doesn't contribute excessively to the page (The chemical composition of blah blah blah is CO4 something which makes it appropriate for desalinating slugs) should be ok. This is just my opinion. --Briess 06:50, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I would also like to add my vote to the fact some real world flavour is useful. If it contradicted the game world I would agree with you but we all know how closely the DF geology follows Earth's. On top of that some of these pages are now blank, and they may as well have some content. --Shades 08:31, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • The real-world info has my vote as well. --Toksyuryel 18:23, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • First, let's be clear about some of what was deleted - here's the first that caught my eye. Note that no distinction was made between DF and RL information...
    Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral (Cu2CO3(OH)2) formed as a result of the weathering of copper ore bodies, alongside its "twin" mineral Azurite (which is not present in Dwarf Fortress), which it is known to pseudomorph from, and other secondary copper minerals such as Cuprite (Cu2O; not present in Dwarf Fortress) and Chrysocolla ((Cu,Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4ĚnH2O).
    Source: http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php?title=DF2010%3AMalachite&diff=95942&oldid=95608#ixzz0lfTDsdR8
    Here's another wonderful example...
    Gypsum is a mineral and stone composed of Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate, (CaSO4(H2O)2) known for it's very soft nature: gypsum is soft enough to be scratched by human (and presumably dwarven) fingernails. Gypsum forms as a result of a bodies of water evaporating and leaving behind particulate matter that crystallizes in super-saturated liquid. When formed in a single cleaved mass, it is called Selenite; when formed in massses of silky fibrous material, it is known as Satinspar; and when formed in a very fine crystalline form, it is called Alabaster.
    Source: http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php?title=DF2010%3AGypsum&diff=95948&oldid=95622#ixzz0lfSa3EbG
    There are links* to game terms in there - does that mean that the RL info is accurate in-game? I know there are stones, and ores - but now the distinction "minerals" is in the game too? I dunno, but it sure implies that it is! Does this add anything to the game information? Respectfully, no, and in fact is counter-productive to that end. Some of the info I deleted referred to RL relationships (stones found in other stones) that did not occur in DF - this actually hurts the wiki's usefulness, for some players at least.
    (* links appear broken because this page is not 2010 namespace, and so those links are not finding "same version" pages. But they linked to 2010 articles in the original.)
    Malachite is a copper ore, and green. Gypsum makes cast powder, and is white. Not a lot more to say that helps the game (and isn't found in the template, and 3 of those 4 facts are found there).
    ...just because it can be found at another Wiki doesn't mean it isn't pertinent,
    and just because it is real doesn't mean it isn't pertinent.
    But pertinent to what? A deeper understanding of RL concepts that Toady may or may not have modeled the item on, or how the game actually works? And which do you think is a realistic goal and mission for this wiki? If the former, then wouldn't the link to the RL wiki article serve far better than an abbreviated and edited version? (I'm all up for links - but RL and DF are not the same, and mixing the two lies the way to madness.) (Madness, I say!)
    At a policy level, the problems with permitting RL info are twofold:
    1) Readers will get confused and believe aspects of the game actually work like RL. Terms will be linked even when in RL context, further confusing the issue. This happens with dwarven physics all the time, and is a huge pitfall. DF can be convoluted enough, and once we add RL correlations with DF terms (linked or not), "muddy" is the polite way of putting it.
    2) Once started, there is no end to RL trivia that can get added - and soon we are both the DF and RL wiki for those topics, with all the ensuing quibbles about what RL info is best and accurate. Anyone remember the 40d:pike (weapon) discussion page, and article? Or all the "RL mythology" info added on the 40d:hydra article? Oy, the pain. (cont'd below...)
    I would certainly like to see these 2 to 5 lines of information, rather than a blank page.--Draco18s 18:30, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    (...cont'd)
    <nods> Absolutely! Once upon a time, no item got an article unless there was something to say about it! But with 0.31, editors have gone "template crazy", and now we have an article on EVERY SINGLE STONE AND GEM!?? Gimme a break. Amber opal, bone opal, cherry opal, gold opal, and another two dozen "opals" (and then we can start on the "agates"!) - what does this add that couldn't be better contained in a table, as in 40d?
    I've had better things to do than bring this up, but since we're here - I agree 110%! An article that has nothing to say should not be an article, and padding it with RL trivia and chemical formulae does not make it acceptably significant. Make them all redirects to a table on "stone", as in 40d. Or split the diff, and have a separate table for similar "types" of stone, taking a lesson from the new DF2010:creature article format.
    If, otoh, the info in the template is deemed important enough by itself, then we (you, me, everyone) have to accept that as the sum total of the "content", and we go back to what some similar 40d articles said... "Just another rock".--Albedo 19:35, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I have to say I agree with Albedo's assessment after reading through all the changes.  Things like "gypsum is soft enough to be scratched by human (and presumably dwarven) fingernails. " don't add any useful information and are potentially very confusing.  If we could present that information in a different way, that would be fine; however, the presentation did not make clear the fact that this was irrelevant to the in game material itself.
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Draco18s

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2010, 05:15:45 pm »

  • It should be 3 levels.  Any more is overkill, and just makes the rating system more difficult to keep updated.
  • It should be easy to understand.
  • Ideally, it should be light-hearted, and not POOR, OK, GOOD or something similar.
  • Popular support was for elven, human, and dwarven quality levels.  We can change it, sure, but we will need consensus.

-Fine- +Exceptional+ and *Masterwork* obviously.

And where did this consensus come from?  I never heard anything about it until I found that articles had been tagged with it.
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Tilla

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2010, 08:00:52 pm »

Still gotta put my support behind if not removing entirely, at least making them clearly separated from the DF-relevant info. Justyn's edits really made a mess of the text he was editing so that a casual user could not separate what is important for playing DF. If anything I think making a paragraph about Real World stuff at the end works best for that purpose.
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Locriani

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #53 on: April 20, 2010, 08:18:50 pm »

And where did this consensus come from?  I never heard anything about it until I found that articles had been tagged with it.

Sorry, I was out mowing the lawn.  The consensus occurred in irc, and in discussions on various talk pages. 

I'm thinking, for the "factual" template, of doing something like a DID YOU KNOW? box.  Thoughts?  I'll have a prototype together shortly.
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Wirevix

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #54 on: April 20, 2010, 08:31:10 pm »

My general opinion on content that is either outdated (jokes about dwarf-eating carp and elephants etc.), or not part of game mechanics (a picture of real malachite, a trivia bit on how soft gypsum is, etc.), is fine in a wiki as long as it's obviously marked.  A big header of "In A Previous Version" makes it pretty obvious for anyone reading the Carp article that the picture of giant carp eating a miner is no longer an accurate representation of what one could expect to find in their current game, but that if they for some reason played an older version (some do choose to, either for special games or just because they like it) there is an interesting quirk.  Similarly, a header for "In Real Life" would probably clue me in that it's talking about real life, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the actual game other than it having the same material name.

I think it's important not to drain a wiki of all personality.  Wikipedia is a place that is scavenged dry of personality and I can't stand to go on there for more than the absolute minimum time necessary to find out what I was looking for.  Some people are fascinated enough with straight knowledge to sit down and read through an encyclopedia for an hour, but I just try to find out the symptoms for something and hit a wikipedia article like the one on "acute stress reaction" and it's useless because it's so devoid of anything related to what an actual person would say, rather than a practicing on-the-job professional (one who's not trained to deal with non-medically-educated clients, at that.)

I suppose you could say "well the wiki isn't there to entertain anybody, it's to teach you how to play the game/provide information."  But I say information on the community mindset is just as important as information on the game.

Like The Grim Sleeper said, I didn't start playing this game because of its complexity (in fact I was totally floored by the complexity the first time I was introduced to it without story, and gave it up very fast as entirely uninteresting and even tedious.)  I stayed because it's such a deep game, but my attention was first garnered by the stories - Boatmurdered, wiki articles talking about man-eating carp, forum posts about how somebody got an adventured killed in the most amazing ways possible.  By the fact that the game had a community (that's the one thing that keeps me playing games a lot longer than I otherwise would.)

Edit: Wow, that was a bit of a rant.  Haw haw.  So

TL;DR: Wikis that contain more than the bare information, as long as they're organized, are awesome at making people want to play, rather than just telling them how.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 08:32:45 pm by Wirevix »
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Draco18s

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2010, 08:32:42 pm »

Sorry, I was out mowing the lawn.  The consensus occurred in irc, and in discussions on various talk pages.

No worries, I drove home from work, got a message, wrote up a post on how to fix ShadowRun's horrid Matrix rules (making them recognizable from the core rules, maintained internal consistency, and emphasized believability), as well as met our new cat*

Quote
I'm thinking, for the "factual" template, of doing something like a DID YOU KNOW? box.  Thoughts?  I'll have a prototype together shortly.

{{factual}} seems appropriate.  Drop a border around it and put a nice "DID YOU KNOW?" header on it.  I wouldn't change the background any, the 1 px border should offset it from the rest of the information sufficiently.

*We traded cats today.  Our old sour-puss that we recently rescued from a life as a barn cat (and who's official name was BC: "Barn Cat") whom our other three cats disliked, for a bulging fatso who was being over-fed and tormented by his feline house mates.
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G-Flex

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2010, 09:08:21 pm »

{{factual}} seems appropriate.  Drop a border around it and put a nice "DID YOU KNOW?" header on it.  I wouldn't change the background any, the 1 px border should offset it from the rest of the information sufficiently.

I don't know if putting it specifically in a box is a good idea (it's worth testing out), but it should definitely have some sort of similar distinct visual style to it that separates it from the rest of the page.

I don't think "DID YOU KNOW?" would be a great header, though, because that still doesn't establish that we're talking about the real world. Maybe "<subject> in the real world" or something like that would be more appropriate.
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Locriani

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2010, 09:12:09 pm »

I was thinking something like DID YOU KNOW? and then the topical sentence would start with "In the real world, ...".  However, this may not be the best way to approach it.  What other headers could we use?
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G-Flex

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2010, 09:14:55 pm »

Yeah, I just think that the text identifying it as real-world information should go in the header itself, just to make it more visually clear and to prevent situations like someone accidentally leaving it out of the first sentence.


"<subject> in real life" or "<subject> in the real world" could work. Or just leave off the subject name and do something like "In the real world:". I think some trial and error could work, here.
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Locriani

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Re: Real-world information in the Wiki?
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2010, 09:28:10 pm »

Yeah, I just think that the text identifying it as real-world information should go in the header itself, just to make it more visually clear and to prevent situations like someone accidentally leaving it out of the first sentence.


"<subject> in real life" or "<subject> in the real world" could work. Or just leave off the subject name and do something like "In the real world:". I think some trial and error could work, here.

What about this? http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/Template:Factual
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