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Codex: Creatures - duplication with creatures pages

I'm currently reformatting Codex: Creatures and have an issue I'd really appreciate input on. Info on the Codex: Creatures page is sometimes duplicated on the page for the creature (see, eg, Abomination). Should the lore appear in both places, or should there simply be a link to the codex entry on the creature page? I'd favour the latter, though if there's interesting general info in the entry it could be summarised on the creature page. --Zoev 17:31, December 16, 2009 (UTC)

And whilst I'm posting anyway, I'll mention I left a post about how the Demons page relates to Codex: Creatures on Loleil's talk page as follows: I've come up against the Demons page, which people have already noted is a bit of a mess - it also duplicates a lot of the Codex: Creatures info. I've left a message on the article's talk page, but I'm not sure whether that would just get lost. How do you recommend I go about getting an agreed approach to sorting out the Demons page? Or are you happy if I just go ahead and create individual demon type pages (or merge info from Demons into individual demon type pages where they already exist) and make Demons a general page with only an overview and links? I'd like to get this sorted so I know where to link the creatures codex entries to/from. Thanks! --Zoev 16:39, December 16, 2009 (UTC) If anyone else has any views on this, I'd love to hear them.

I am all for includes if the same info is used on more then one location, like creatures and the codex creatures. Or alternatively a link to the codex, but that would make the information one click further away. And if people want to read about wolf or bear etc. I think they would want to see some codex info at least too. As for the demons page, just like the beasts, dragons and darkspawn page, those are overview pages of all of the general type groups. Having once again more or less the same info and often codex quoted. And then there are the sub-sub groups, like skeletons, hurlocks, genlocks, etc. And at the end the creature pages themselves (those usually don't have that much of the codex on them, just a few lines often, unless there is a codex specifically for the creature itself, like Desire Demon, but most of the specific creature pages are about stats, strategy, spells. If the option would be to just leave a link, I think a lot of those pages would be barren and unattractive, so preferably they should get either includes or at the very least small stories of some kind. But I think includes will be easier, if you just look at the darkspawn page e.g. that is basically a quote of codex and a picture + links --Mytharox 07:06, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
Includes certainly make sense, as to the group pages, perhaps it comes from long months of staring at pages that were lucky to have a hundred words, but I wouldn't call a page looking something like this (with more pictures and links) barren or uninteresting. I wouldn't object to adding codex entries to individual pages. Loleil 08:37, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
Another page to consider is Legendary Items. Loleil 09:33, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
If we do want to go for includes, then are we back to individual pages for each codex entry? Or is there a way to include only a section from one page in another? It wouldn't be too hard to implement the former, but whilst I take Mytharox's point about more clicks and barren pages, I do think it's possible to have too much info on a page and I quite like overview pages to be short and sweet so I can quickly see what links to other info there are - as with the example Loleil gives. I think my preferred option would be for creature pages (summary and individual) to include a short quote of the most interesting bit of the codex entry where one exists, with a link to the full entry for those interested. --Zoev 10:54, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
My personal preference is to have them just linked, but I know from past experiences that people want it all available on one page, a bit like the quest page Rare_Ironbark while it is possible just to put links to the items, people usually prefer to see the items stats without having to click 3 times. But I like the short pages better myself ;) I'm just adapting to what any majority of users seems to like:P The first time I saw the creatures, etc pages I was thinking is this really needed at all? I mean all the same info is already there at codex and at the creatures pages themselves, so we don't even need the whole page. So in short I am fine with a short overview as well. But if people really like the codex there and/or at the creature pages then an include is the easiest option to keep all data in sync, and that does mean separate codex pages for them so you can include them at several locations. --Mytharox 11:26, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we can just start on demons and give it a day or two to see if there is a public outcry before we move to all other pages? Loleil 11:40, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan ;)--Mytharox 11:49, December 17, 2009 (UTC)
Indeed! Unless anyone else has time to give it a shot beforehand, I'll put it on my to do list for after reformatting the rest of the codex summary pages and working on the mage origin walkthrough. Hmmm, possibly biting off a bit more than I can chew, here! --Zoev 11:53, December 17, 2009 (UTC)

Next steps

Okay - I've not completely finished the Codex: Items page as there are some fiddly bits and pieces that I need to play through parts of the game again to verify which will take a while, but it's getting closer. I've even put some pictures on the page to liven it up. My question is whether finalising the items page is really what I should be doing next, or whether folk think the priority is getting the other codex category pages into the new format. I'm happy to go either way - whatever you all think is most important.

I have to say it really does look great, and I'm glad people are leaning towards having one well presented category page. Hmm I think it's going depend what would make it easier for you. If finishing up the Items page will make it easier to complete the other pages, then I'd do that first. If it's just a matter of finishing off minor things (pictures, other non-crucial information) I would suggest applying the template to all pages, so they may all look as good as Codex: Items does. Loleil 05:58, December 15, 2009 (UTC)
I think it is just non-crucial things that need to be done on the items page - pictures, validation of entries and location information, etc. And after a couple of days of this I'm already showing off my character flaws: I hate doing the fiddly, finishing off bits! So I will begin reformatting the other category pages. The location information will be a lot patchier, but I can at least make a start. And I promise I will contribute to the boring finishing touches bit, I'll just do it in fits and starts rather than as a concentrated effort. --Zoev 06:57, December 15, 2009 (UTC)

Part II

So, just so we can keep track of what remains to be decided:
(a) Individual pages vs summary pages. I think we've narrowed it down to either (i) individual pages for codex items included into a single page for a codex category for ease of browsing, or (ii) no individual pages but have content on an overall page for the category. I like (i) for its modularity and purity, but as a user I think I'd only ever look at the summary page (especially if that did include location info as I think it should) so perhaps the modularity/purity of (i) is outweighed by the fact it involves a number of pages people are unlikely to look at directly and the added complexity of editing for newbies like myself. I've persuaded myself that the pros and cons of the two approaches are exactly balanced, so all I want is a final decision!
(b) Numbering. I agree that we can't just use the highest number available at the time the article is edited as this will become out of date. The only way citing a number makes sense is if it's cited alongside info about what DLC is loaded (or if it's the number in the original campaign with no DLC). In my sample boxes, I've stuck (OC) after the number - DLC doesn't make any difference to item codex entries. I was thinking that, where a difference does occur, this section may look like, eg "101 (OC), 103 (OC+WK), 105 (OC+TSP+WK)" (with initials being links to relevant DLC). Will that do? We could have longer descriptions, but I was worried about clutter. It's prefectly possible that at some point the available permutations will make this approach too complicated but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. I think we're all agreed that entry numbers should not form part of the name of sections or pages (I have taken numbers out of the item codex entry titles and will try to track down any broken links this may have caused once we've finalised the approach).
(c) Format of codex entry sections. (i) I've suggested that the text of the entry alone appears in the body of the section, with additional information appearing in info boxes but am not particularly attached to this. (ii) The main alternative seems to be having standard sub-headings (Text, Location, See also, etc) for codex entry sections. Despite the spoiler risk, I do think locations should appear on the summary pages, though possibly this is because it was to track down the locations of missing codex entries that I first looked at the codex pages! However, there is at least one other option as previously demo-ed by Mytharox (iii) to have only the text of the codex entry on the summary page and have additional info on an individual page for the codex entry. What option do you prefer?
(d) Screenshots of codex entries. I think we're agreed that we don't need journal page screenshots (at least where someone's already transcribed the text onto the page). Do we agree, though, that there should be an option to have an image for a codex entry for interest and where relevant - eg shots of characters in character entries or NPCs wearing items mentioned in the codex, or as someone said, map locations - I'd have included a couple as examples, but for some reason my PC is currently refusing to take screenshots.
(e) Legendary Items. Today I found a Legendary_Items page which also duplicates codex item info. This is already flagged as needing tidy up, and I think, deciding what do do with it can wait until we've sorted the codex, but just thought I'd mention its existence here so we know it's there and needs some work.
OOf. Sorry for the long contribution. --Zoev 22:11, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

I like Zoev's idea. List the base item codex value and a modifier. But I suggest that instead of 103 (WK+TSP), it can be something like 100 (+2WK) (+1TSP) to imply, "it has a base codex of 100, and becomes 102 if you have Warden's Keep and 101 if you have The Stone Prisoner, and 103 if you have both". It might be possible to code that in too. I also agree with the rest of Zoev's well written analysis of the situation. I have no other opinion on the layout of the codex. --Tierrie 22:37, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Oh, cunning! That is surely the most elegant solution and I like it. Just for completeness, I guess in this situation, if a codex entry comes as part of DLC its original number would need to be quoted as, eg, "101WK (+1TSP)" - ie the first number would be that if only the original campaign and the DLC with the codex entry were installed. --Zoev 00:01, December 15, 2009 (UTC)

The way the items are now setup is more pleasant to read then before, and I would like to keep it as it's handy to find a location or things involved on an overview page. However I still think we should use include when the info is used on multiple locations. Like a quest or location or item citing the codex entry as well. But those are really not all that many as Loleil already noted before, so most could probably be done just the way Zoev is already doing it. And with the layout he makes, it will be easy if we would want an include made out of it later.--Mytharox 22:52, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, Mytharox. It looks as though we're coming to a consensus that we stick with category pages for now, but implemented in such a way as to enable easy breaking down into individual pages later if it becomes clear that's desirable. --Zoev 00:01, December 15, 2009 (UTC)

Codex Entries

About codex entries, just like items, they can be found at a certain spot, a screenshot of the exact location, or a screenshot of a map with the codex location marked, and/or screenshots of the actual in game text. They also have a value of XP (when read). In light of that one page per codex entry might be handy. And a central page linking to each/every codex entry. The codex entries could get a category and so on.

What I would like best is a central page, just like the in game journal with icons/names of every entry that you can simply click to go to. However the numbering has and probably will change further. As DLC moves the numbers a little bit, it is to be expected that more DLC will move it even further. And for every player with different DLC installed (or none at all) the numbering will be different.

So I propose a central page with all the Codex as links and separate pages for every codex. And skipping the numbers as they can change. At least the numbers not in the title of the page. Perhaps in an include field or auto calculated field. Perhaps we could use 2 numberings, 1 without any dlc, 2 with all dlc installed, that would at least work for a lot (most?) of the players.

We could set it up, perhaps like:

  • Codex (containing categories) to ->
  • Codex Categorie (containing codex links) to ->
  • Codex Page (containing screenshots, xp, location, map, see also, etc)

I'm not really sure about it, as it would be way easier to set up at a webpage with some php ;) But I hope something nice would be possible in wiki code to help out here. I would love to hear some reactions to how we can solve that number problem. (And if we should put one codex per page or just bunch them all together.)

You're correct about the numbers being able to change, but its not with/without DLC. Each DLC adds a certain shift to the Codex entries. For example (this are not actual numbers) Warden's Keep adds 6 history codex entries, while The Stone Prisoner adds 1 character entry and 1 location entry. The shifting depends on whether you have either, or both. And that goes on for every DLC installed. So numbers are not a great way to keep track of it. --Tierrie 23:43, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
Here is what's I know - codex entries will always remain in their sub section. There is a set order if you have ALL the DLC installed. People will want to know what codex entry they are missing (either, "hey i am missing codex 101" or "missing the codex before Elves of Ferelden"). Since the numbering system depends on their DLC - we can keep track of a seperate page for each permutation of with/without DLC and link them or include them to the actual codex entry (which remain unnamed). Alternatively, we can not keep track of each permutation and just keep a master codex entry per section and let the user find "that codex entry right before Elves of Ferelden" --Tierrie 23:47, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
(CC part from Codex entry) As I also explained on the other codex entry page and the wiki-forum I prefer one codex entry per page, just like 1 item or 1 location per page as reference, it helps me read better. I am not one to read through a whole page of text and find it more pleasant if it is separated, has some easy to read location tags and some screenshots as reference for if you doubt that it was spelled or written that way in game. Say just like items and objects with a CodexInfoBox preferably :) We can then always include the parts we need in the other pages so we don't have to maintain it at 3 spots. (Just like one specific longsword and the longswords overview.) Either way if you would like to delete this page fine, my adding of codex entries was already on hold, I don't like to do work for nothing and I didn't want to add more till there was a consensus on the forum so it's clear for all ;)--Mytharox 11:53, December 13, 2009 (UTC) --Mytharox 13:17, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
Just to be more clear, I finished work on an example Codex entry: The Life Drinker we could include the text of it (or other parts) in the relevant quest, object, overview etc, of course if it's not wanted we could delete it later anyways :P .--Mytharox 14:00, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
I've also made the include examples in Lifedrinker and Codex: Items.--Mytharox 14:43, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
Personally, if the information is one paragraph long I prefer to see the Codex in a list the way it is. However, I understand that there's some people who want to see them individually on a page. This gives the codex entry a way to provide more information - such as "where do I find this codex?". The best solution is of course to write once (in one page) and read many (include the file in many places) - just like what Mytharox did. My most urgent concern with Codices is the variable numbering system that it uses - because if someone is missing Codex 42 (and he doesn't have Warden's Keep but has The Stone Prisoner) - and the person is a perfectionist, then he will need to know which codex he is missing, and how to get it. And its our jobs to make sure that whatever it is is cross referenced easily.
All other things being equal, I don't think codex entries need to have a complex inclusion - let its text be the included portion. Everything else can be written to the individual entry. --Tierrie 18:12, December 13, 2009 (UTC)

Hi folks, I'm a newcomer to this discussion, but had volunteered to do some work on item codex entries without realising that it existed (thanks for flagging it Mytharox). Having read these comments:

(a) I agree the initial proposal makes most sense for structure, ie:
- Codex page with links to categories
- Category page with links to individual pages (which means removing codex text from these category pages - EDIT NO it doesn't, sorry folks, just realised what Mytharox has done with inclusion in the Lifedrinker section - that seems to make more sense)
- Individual pages for each codex entry
(In the case of item codex entries, there would then be a further link to the item page, for characters, a link to the NPC page or whatever)
(b) The numbering issue is a problem - including numbers in page titles/document names seems to be asking for trouble given that with future possible DLC permutations which number refers to which entry is likely to become very tangled. But, at least until it does get that confusing, I'm sure users would find it useful to have the numbers at least mentioned prominently. As long as the entry numbers aren't used as names of entries, then it gives flexibility to review the approach to using them in the wiki later.
(c) With respect to what subheadings each Codex page should have, do we think every page should have the same headings, or that the headings should vary depending on category? I ask, because having all the info such as location, map, etc for item codex entries would duplicate information on the item's individual page - it would be cleaner to simply include a link to the item page. It depends on how much we value consistency across the codex entry pages versus minimizing duplication of data. My preference is for minimizing duplication, but happy to go with the majority.
(d) On use of of a CodexInfoBox: having browsed through some of the item entries, the use of this box seems pretty inconsistent and info seems to be duplicated elsewhere (no doubt due to developing thoughts about how best to structure item pages). As a newbie to wiki editing - I hope you'll bear with me, I promise I'm a quick learner - I don't quite understand Mytharox's comment "We can then always include the parts we need in the other pages so we don't have to maintain it at 3 spots." - does this mean that if we use an info box it can effectively function as a database and other pages can simply include a reference to the CodexInfoBox name and section that will pull in the text in the box? If so, then that definitely sounds the way to go, but it sounds like magic to me!
(e) Finally, as Mytharox says, we just need an agreed approach before it's worth doing more work. As a newcomer I'm happy to just do what I'm told, but am unclear on the mechanics for making judgement calls. Do we just need an admin to settle the way forward?
(f) PS I just realised that I was assuming that I could be of some use working on this area, but now it strikes me that you folk who have already contributed above were ready, willing and able to sort out this stuff and were just waiting for a consensus. If I'm interfering rather than helping, just tell me to butt out and I will! Don't want too many cooks.

--Zoev 18:42, December 13, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with just about all the things you and Tierrie said ;) Just the CodexInfoBox template, was just created by me today as example, just like the fixes today at the lifedrinker page, my work concerning the codex pages was on hold pending on a consensus we might get here at the forum ;) But as my initial comments might have been unclear, I thought an example and a few example pages might be a good way to show what I meant. In the template btw, you can put a link to an item/quest/codex number and so on Template:CodexInfoBox and as it is a template it can be easely changed and adjusted to what we like. And I am glad to have you on board and willing to help out :D --Mytharox 18:55, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! I actually spotted that you'd added the CodexInfoBox after I made my post and am currently just trying to figure out how it all works. I think what I'll do, if no-one has any objections, is have a go at applying a similar approach to one of the item entries for which there currently isn't much info (perhaps Katriel's Grasp) and comment again once I've done that. I find that actually trying to apply an approach is the only way I can really come up with a sensible opinion on it. --Zoev 19:03, December 13, 2009 (UTC)
Go for it Zoev!
Ideally, I'd like to have all codex items dealt with consistently, and leave things largely as they are, but I think that might be room for compromise and you make a compelling case Mytharox. I'm still worried about creating redundant info though. This is a particular problem on the items pages. We have one page with a list of entries and one page putting the entry in context often with the location of the codex item, to then have another page just seems unneeded. Individual entries in Codex: Spell Combinations, can easily be merged with spell combinations and I would argue that all the entries in Codex: Controls are too short and easily obtainable to warrant their own page. Also, many of the entries in Codex: Creatures are again in two places, in some cases three places (such as ogre, which appears on the codex page the ogre page and the darkspawn page). As the creature entries are obtained by defeating them, I'd again question the need for individual pages in this category. I think I'd rather that detailed information about the Codex: Quest Related went into the relevant quest and I don't think the Codex: Characters needs further explanation.
However for Codex: Magic and Religion, Notes, Books and Songs there does seem room for expansion, mainly to provide their location.
So possible solutions to my mind are to deal with the categories on a case-by-case basis, and exclude items, controls, creatures, characters, quest related and spell combinations from getting individual codex pages, but to do it for everything else. Or to remove the individual entries from every Codex: Category page and just make it a link collection.
Just one thought about pictures, if we have the text written down, do we need a picture of the text? Loleil 01:50, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I agree screenshots of pages seem redundant (obviously the text is better than a screenshot only as it can be hyperlinked and searched). And I know I keep flip-flopping on the single page per entry/multiple entries per page, but I've been thinking about how I'd use this info, and I think I'd more likely be browsing to see various codex items I'm missing and where to pick them up, which would be less fiddly with a single page for multiple entries. If I can get this working with the items page, then we can all take a look and make a final call. I think that's going to take me longer than I hoped though - I underestimated the learning curve in getting up to speed with editing. I like the info boxes, and (so as not to mess up Mytharox's work whilst I'm learning) created a copy Template:CodexInfobox. However, when I try to insert this, Mytharox's initial Template:CodexInfoBox or any other Dragon Age-specific info box template into a page using the dropdown box and search template functionality, it only seems to work about one time out of 10 and I can't see what I'm doing differently each time. The standard wikia templates seem fine. Can anyone think of a stupid mistake I could be making? I'm going to go away, restart my computer and try again tomorrow! --Zoev 05:39, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
If there is community support for individual pages, then that is alright with me, but I'd still like to resolve what to do with all the repeat info. As to how to use the template, I still edit without the rich-text editor enabled and I found it a quite good way to learn as it makes the coding much more transparent. So I'd recommend switching it off from your preferences, then you can just copy/paste the codex template (i.e. this code)
|Name               = '''Required:''' Name of the codex.
|Image              = '''Optional:''' Image of a codex page or page(s)
|px                 = '''Optional:''' The size of the image.
|Image2             = '''Optional:''' Image of a codex page or page(s)
|px2                = '''Optional:''' The size of the image.
|Icon               = '''Optional:''' Icon of the codex if any.
|DLC                = '''Optional:''' DLC required to get this codex entry.
|Category           = '''Required:''' Category of codex, item or quest related etc. 
|Location           = '''Optional:''' Where it can be found.
|Involves           = '''Optional:''' Quests, items, objects, locations involved.
|Appearances        = '''Optional:''' The games, books etc where the item appears.
|Number             = '''Required:''' Entry number of the codex with all DLC installed. (So the highest number we can find.)

into the page, and fill it in as needed. For example Lifedrinker looks like this

|name     = The Life Drinker
|image    = Codex-45a_The_Life_Drinker.jpg
|image2   = Codex-45b_The_Life_Drinker.jpg
|location = [[Dragon Egg]] in the [[Mountainside Caverns]].
|Category = [[Codex: Items|Items]]
|Involves = [[Lifedrinker]], [[Dragon Egg]]
|Number = 45
|appearances = ''[[Dragon Age: Origins]]''

"Optional" means that you can delete that line, and it won't appear in the template box, "required" means that if nothing is written after = it will still appear anyway as a blank field. Hope that helps (at least a little). Loleil 06:27, December 14, 2009 (UTC)


This line is going to cause problems. Lets say the highest number we can find now for Codex: History of Chantry is 78 with all the DLC installed. Every time a DLC comes out - eg. Return to Ostagar, there is a chance that this number will be bumped. And when it bumps, it will also bump every number after it - making the edits time consuming. Let me think about this a bit more - and see if I can find a good (and hopefully simple) solution to this problem. --Tierrie 07:27, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

For the info that appears on multiple places like Ogre or Genlock or that Lifedrinker I was working with includes. So it only has to be maintained on the codex - single page. Just adding a line like :Codex Entry: The Life Drinker includes the whole text portion on the Codex: Items page and the Lifedrinker page. So in fact you only maintain the text at one page, as for pictures of the pages, as soon as the info is in text form, I don't see why they would have to stay, other pictures like a mini-map showing the location or something else relevant might be nice though. I would recommend the include way of handling for any codex that right now, appears on more then 1 location, as with includes you would only have to maintain the text at 1 location.--Mytharox 07:29, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

In addition, I feel like having an image of a codex is rather redundant - it adds no value to the article. However, I see no harm in leaving it in either - so if someone wants to go and take 300 screenshots to prove the texts, then, alright :) I basically feel like a codex needs to answer these pressing questions - what is its text? what order is it in? which section is it in? where do I find it? (collorary to this is - what dlc do i need to have to see this?) if it is about something else in game, eg items, can i get a link to that item?

Thanks, Loleil, for the info about using the plain text option. Much, much better! I've now had a bit of a play around with the Codex: Items page and added info boxes for each of the entries (and removed location from the text where it appeared and increased the specificity and added in links to areas and side quests - though there's still stuff I need to verify). The idea is that only the text of the codex entry appears outside the box, and any other info, such as location, appears in the box. At the moment, there's not actually much to put in the box for items except location info (I know this may duplicate info on the item pages, but having it all collected together on one page is, I think, useful). However, further info could be added later, as well as images. A problem I have with multiple info boxes like this, though, is (apart from it potentially being a bit busy) that I can't work out how to force the next section heading to appear below the info box when the codex text is short. Any pointers gratefully received!


Is there any other way we can represent the TOC of Codex: Creatures? Because as you notice, the lengthy TOC pushes " Abominations" codex entry to the right side. -- Snfonseka 02:08, December 17, 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't spot this before. Is the page still looking like that to you? For me, the Abominations entry appears underneath the TOC, under the spolier warning. Not sure if this is a browser-dependent issue or just that I was still editing. If Abominations is still appearing to the right of the TOC for you, let me know and I'll bung a Clear in there which should hopefully sort this out. --Zoev 08:33, December 18, 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it is a browser thing, its pushed right for me too. See if clear can work its magic! Loleil 08:35, December 18, 2009 (UTC)

Codex Characters

I just looked at some of the character pages and I think it might be a good idea to make it clear when there is alternate outcome. So rather than reading Leliana's entry reading

She asked to join the Grey Wardens in their endeavors... sort of, but was turned away.
She joined Alistair and The Warden in Lothering, insisting that she would prove useful.
Her persistence, however, paid off. She made them relent and allow her to join in their travels.

Which seemed a little jarring, it could read

Alternate outcome
She asked to join the Grey Wardens in their endeavors... sort of, but was turned away.
Alternate outcome
She joined Alistair and The Warden in Lothering, insisting that she would prove useful.
Alternate outcome
Her persistence, however, paid off. She made them relent and allow her to join in their travels.

Or something to that effect to make it clear that the lines aren't sequential. Loleil 08:19, December 18, 2009 (UTC)

I definitely agree this needs some work (don't know if you spotted that I'd noted adding conditionality as one of the to dos on this page). I like your suggestion. I'm planning to whiz through the rest of the major reformatting/info box adding work in the next couple of days, and was then planning to (at leisurely pace) do another playthrough of DA:O taking note of all things codex-related and updating codex pages as I went. I could look at character entry conditionality as part of this...though if anyone else wants to take it on I won't be at all upset ;) --Zoev 08:41, December 18, 2009 (UTC)

Codex info on other pages

I'd just like to agree at least a temporary approach to including codex entry info on item pages. I just noticed, Mytharox, that you created Codex Entry: The Litany of Adralla - or rather renamed it from Adralla - and included it in the Codex: Items page replacing the "hard coded" text, and on the page for Litany of Adralla. I thought we'd decided against this approach for now, in favour of only having category pages for codex entries and simply adding links to the codex pages from other articles? (Recognising that we might move to individual codex entry pages and inclusion of these on multiple pages in future). Have I misunderstood the approach we agreed upon? --Zoev 12:09, December 18, 2009 (UTC)

OK - confirmed that Mytharox had a different take on what's going on than I did. (see Talk:Codex_entry:_The_Life_Drinker#Deleting this page). What about anyone else? Is the principle that where information already exists in multiple locations, we should be creating individual codex entry pages and including them? Or only where individual pages already exist? Sorry I've got muddled. --Zoev 12:18, December 18, 2009 (UTC)
I thought we agreed to move all to the category pages except for the parts where the info is the same on multiple locations like adralla or lifebringer (most items I suppose), or a number of quests and notes. I haven't really looked into it how much is currently maintained on multiple locations or what should be nice to have on the location where you read the page. The way they are currently placed on the category pages makes it easy to make includes of them where needed. That way the same exact info isn't maintained on 2 or more places at once. On the other hand, if we don't want any includes ever, in that case I think all things should simply point to the codex with a reference, so we don't have the same info on multiple locations to deal with. But I find it more appealing when I search for an item e.g., to read all the info about it at one glance or to be able to print it. In any case I agree that if it is still unclear with you we should try and resolve it, before I edit any more duplicate codex locations :P--Mytharox 12:27, December 18, 2009 (UTC)
As noted above (#Codex:_Creatures_-_duplication_with_creatures_pages), there is a fair bit of duplication of codex info on creature pages, but there I think we'd agreed to put the issue on the backburner for now - and that once the initial pass at Codex reformatting is done I'd make a start on the Demons page with a view to agreeing a standard approach for what codex info appears on creatures pages. But you're right this is a broader issue, affecting items and quests as well (it's just with those, the potential duplicate info usually doesn't already exist!). --Zoev 12:34, December 18, 2009 (UTC)
But it's more pleasant to read don't you think? Lifedrinker or Litany of Adralla. The article just looks nicer and more complete. And I think that is something a wiki should aim for. Providing good looking pages where you can read all the relevant info in one good article. And having the pages like they are, doesn't mean you cannot have includes as well. I don't think we would need to many of them, but in a number of cases I think it's really preferably to a reference or see also.--Mytharox 12:47, December 18, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I agree it's nice to have codex info on a page when its short and sweet. It works pretty well for the examples you give, but I do think it could make pages too cluttered if we always included all codex info (eg the Yusaris info, I think, is too much). Same with the creatures - and with them there's the added complication of types and sub-types (eg for Codex: Creatures#Dragons) that would make life even harder - includes would only work for, eg, Drakes, if we had a sub-codex entry page. I think I'm currently leaning towards brief quotes from the codex on creature pages with a link to the full codex entry, and a similar approach could work for items. But that is more work. I do prefer a standard approach to a case-by-case one even if that leads to a sub-optimal solution in some cases, but I really don't know what the standard approach should be. And even if we get one, folk will no doubt change the pages in a way that doesn't follow it anyway. In short, I can see the pros and cons of the different possible approaches, and could be convinced of anything at this stage! I'll just go with the consensus when it's reached. --Zoev 13:32, December 18, 2009 (UTC)

Progress with reformatting

All codex category pages now have info boxes and no numbers in the title. I hope the numbering/modifier info I've put in the boxes is correct but would really appreciate someone checking (I make it that TSP has 4 codex entries and WK 10, but in some cases I'm just going by the subject matter and it's possible the entry is in the OC). Some sections are much patchier than others, but I will try to tidy up as I do my next playthrough (and hopefully other editors will add in, eg, location info now they can see where it should go). I could do more work linking codex entries into other articles but to be honest I'm a bit codexed out, so will do this at a more leisurely pace as I come across entries in the game. --Zoev 01:16, December 19, 2009 (UTC)

Approach to codex entries - suggestion for comment

Now that I've done an initial pass through the codex summary pages and got a feel for how the articles in the wider wiki fit together, and in light of Mytharox's comments about the desirability of having codex info appearing on item/creature/etc pages, and of how great the item pages are now looking ... I have a proposal for how we should handle codex entries (this is basically what Mytharox has already suggested, but I have some demo templates I'd like your comments on). Considerations are these:

  1. we don't want codex text retyped in multiple places across the wiki
  2. using includes to reuse text in multple places means having individual pages for codex items
  3. separate pages don't seem worthwhile for some codex entries (eg ones for controls)
  4. in some cases, whilst an excerpt from the codex entry would be good the full text would just clutter up other pages
  5. a summary page with location info and at least an excerpt from the codex text broken down by category has been agreed as the most likely to be useful
  6. but including location info, etc, on, for example, item pages would lead to duplication with item location info already there (so we don't necessarily want to include exactly the same codex info on item pages as on the Codex: Items summary page).

My best stab at an approach that addresses the above considerations is as follows:

  • Stick with summary pages per codex category (as already agreed), but where codex information will be reused create separate Codex Entry pages (as Mytharox has suggested), separate pages can be created, eg Codex entry: The Life Drinker.
  • Use a template working on the same principles as the one that allows item info to be reused on individual item and summary pages to take info from these single pages and put it on quest, item, etc pages. I've done some examples using pages that already had individual codex entry pages (Litany of Adralla and Lifedrinker). I've also done something similar for Unbound, but in this case rather than the full text, an excerpt (defined as a parameter on Codex entry: Unbound) is used instead of the full text - Template:CodexExcerpt will show the full text if no excerpt parameter is defined, else it will display the excerpt (in eithe case it will also output a link to the codex entry page.
  • The summary pages could just include the full text of the single pages, but the approach I'm suggesting gives us the flexibility to do something I think might be a bit more user-friendly which is to display the codex info in table format, with excerpts rather than full text for some of the longer codex entries, with individual pages behind them with more info (this will make Codex: Characters, for one, easier to read once it's updated to reflect the sometimes complex conditionality Loleil noted above).
  • As an example of how this might look, I've had a play around at User:Zoev/Sandbox. This page takes content from the individual pages for Codex entry: The Litany of Adralla, Codex entry: The Life Drinker and Codex entry: Unbound, but also has some entries hardcoded on the page (the ones whose names aren't hyperlinks). In the case of Unbound, because an excerpt is defined, that's showing instead of the full text. This page is a mishmash of categories, but hopefully you'll get the idea. (There shouldn't be black space between some of the table rows, if anyone could spot why this is happening and tell me how to fix it, that would be much appreciated!) This page uses Template:CodexTableRow.

(For info, other templates I've set up to demo this concept are Template:CodexTransformer - which is a bit like the ItemTransformer template - and Template:CodexSinglePage for individual codex entry pages.)

What do people think? If you don't like the idea, or think it's too complicated, don't feel you have to hold back! I mainly started doing this as a learning exercise and to puzzle out how the new item pages were working, and it was worth it for that alone even if we end up with a simpler approach to codex entries. --Zoev 06:20, December 21, 2009 (UTC)

It's a nice idea, perhaps a bit to complex;) A few small things I didn't like were the spoiler warning on top of the codex pages, I find it more pleasing if it is next to the info box like it is on most pages. And on the overview page, the text area of the actual codex is rather small. As there is an area in front of it and after it. (Name, location, see also) I'd rather have just 2 columns and a large area for the text as I find it easier to read. And if it would be possible the background color to black, instead of greyish, also makes it easier to read long pieces of text. Besides that, I find the idea intriguing and like to see more of it, good job you did so far :)--Mytharox 12:16, December 21, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, Mytharox. Certainly the format can be easily tweaked if we use templates like this, but whilst I was happy to do this much work as a proof of concept, I'd like to have an agreement in principle about the approach before putting any more time into this. If that's forthcoming, I'll change one of the category pages over to the new format and we can start fine-tuning the look of the pages. --Zoev 17:17, December 21, 2009 (UTC)

Heeeeeey, whoever inspired you to do that CodexTransformer is a genius. A geeeenouus!
Kidding aside, I like the idea you have going on there - its easily extendable, and keeps all the information in one place. I obviously love the transformer, the single page template and the transformed template. I only have one suggestions for consistency's sake - use the CodexInfoBox in your CodexSinglePage instead of creating a new InfoBox. At this point, since you and Myth are the only ones working diligently on Codices, you should have free reign to hack/slash and mangle the InfoBox to your liking.
Secondly, and more critically - I dislike the table format for Codices. I feel that the table has its place in presenting information. If it is concise, short, and makes it easier for the reader to find the entry - then I'm for it. Otherwise, I much rather prefer the sectional format of the wiki and what you currently have going (eg.Codex: Items). To me, that's much more Wiki-like and much more visually pleasing. Tables are garish affairs used as a crutch for a quick and dirty lookup.
Codices have the opportunity to look good without tables - and it should try to retain that style. --Tierrie 19:55, December 21, 2009 (UTC)

I don't know who that awesome guy is. But he is probably dashing and debonaire as well.
I'm going to answer your question about "how do prevent section editing breakage" first. The best way is Magic Words. They allow you to disable section editing, which I think might be useful in a page like that.
More specifically, the edit link is tied to the header. So you might consider putting the edit header in the list. (See Example 1).
So, just so I am clear - you are creating subpages for each codex entry (eg: Codex: Tactics and then including them into the Codex:Controls right?
By the way, as a courtesy to your flattering comments, I want to return a compliment of my own. You my dear, are clearly one of the best flatterers around. No one else flatters quite like you. And you should keep it up. There. Compliment returned.
I like that you're not afraid to take good ideas and use them. And improve on them. Cheers to that! --Tierrie 02:32, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
Example 1

Oh I just see that you updated Codex: Characters with includes. Looks awesome. And gorgeous. The codex looks good too. --Tierrie 02:37, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
I like the page as well, and the codex pages too. Only I would put the whole codex available to read at the codex overview page and save those excerpts for other uses. I think most people who visit the codex overview page would want to read the whole codex anyways ;)--Mytharox 03:14, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
Zoev 04:52, December 22, 2009 (UTC): First, @Tierrie, thanks for the info about Magic Words (page now bookmarked!). I've managed to turn off section editing on the overview pages, which solves the problem I was having. Second, I took the guardedly positive comments about my first proposal as incentive to do some more work. As has been noticed, I've now updated Codex: Characters so there's a codex entry per person which is pulled into the overview page. If you folks like this, I'll do it for all codex categories whose entries are likely to be quoted elsewhere in the wiki. I'd start with Creatures and Items, as the most obviously reusable, though I think that in the end this approach might be useful for all the areas except Controls and Spell Combinations, where the Codex info is pretty useless (for categories like Books and Songs there could be a mix and match approach depending on the entry - we can take a call on that when we get that far). So the next questions I have for you are:
  • Are you happy with the general approach exemplified by Codex: Characters and related pages (eg Codex entry: Alistair)? If not, speak now or forever hold your peace, as if I get much further it will be a lot of work to undo!
  • Do you think that the full text or just an excerpt should be shown on the overview pages? My feeling was an excerpt, to keep these pages as short as possible and minimise spoiler info, but Mytharox reckons the full text, so we need a deciding vote. This will take seconds to change and change back again, so dithering is entirely permissible!
  • Does the spoiler warning on the single codex entry page go above or below the infobox? At my screen resolution, spoiler warnings on practically all other wiki pages come under info boxes, but I put them before on the codex entry pages, because if there is spoiler info it's likely to be in the location data in the box (so if the spoiler warning comes after it will be too late). Again, this is defined in the template so if we change our minds later that's no problem.
  • Do you have any other issues/comments (other than that the Template pages need a lot of tidying up - I'll do this once they're finalised!)
Thanks for your help! --Zoev 04:52, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

I think your the one who deserves thanks!

  1. Just so I'm clear on the purpose on the individual pages, are they being created not solely for their interest as individual pages, but also to serve a utilitarian purpose if the same text needs to be replicated on multiple pages? If so, what you've done for the characters looks great.
  2. Like Mytharox I would probably go with having the full entry on the overview page, but I reserve the right to dither :p
  3. If there are spoilers in the infobox then at I'd put at the top of the page too.

The only other comment is to say I'm glad we have you on-board Smiley. Loleil 05:21, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

Tierrie 08:55, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
@Zoev, I missed that bit about excerpts. I do see Mytharox point on them, and I am supportive of having everything included. Having said that, there are some ridiculously long Codex entries. And worse - conditional codex entries. In those, I see the merits of using excerpts and I trust your judgement (seeing how you've exercised such fine judgement in the field of whiskey), to decide where to use excerpts and where not to.
I do want to add this - where the Codex entries are conditional, it would make sense to include the condition(if not immediately obvious). For example, Alistair's entry could note his end - depending if he stays, or leaves. Or dies. Those that are conditional should be noted - either through italics, wavy fonts, smiley faces, or something. And if necessary, the condition that makes that come true.
Lastly, how are you getting the Codices? Are you copying them manually?

Codex reformatting (contd.)

Update from Zoev 12:00, December 22, 2009 (UTC):

  • In response to public opinion, I've now set Codex: Characters to display the full text of the codex entry by default rather than an excerpt, but made it so that if a string is supplied in the "excerptonly" parameter when an entry is included on a summary page only (surprisingly!) the excerpt will be displayed. This can possibly be used for extremely long codex entries such as Correspondence Interruptus (or not used now, but introduced later if with more DLC the summary pages get even more unwieldy than they are now). I've demo-ed this at Codex: Characters#Leliana temporarily but I'll take the flag out at some point later today.
  • @Loleil - you're exactly right that individual codex entry pages are "being created not solely for their interest as individual pages, but also to serve a utilitarian purpose if the same text needs to be replicated on multiple pages". Where info wouldn't be resused, I wasn't planning on individual pages (though I am a wee bit tempted, just for consistency's sake and if Caridin can do it ... but I'll restrain myself for now!)
  • @Tierrie - With only a very few exceptions, I've just reformatted codex info that was already there. In the relatively small number of cases where the entry was missing or obviously incomplete, I did manually type the text (except the History of Soldier's Peak entries, which I've not got round to yet). From the typos I've spotted in the entries that were already there (and I haven't proofed/checked them all, though that's somewhere on my to do list), I suspect that whoever created the info in the first place did the same. It did cross my mind that it should be possible to find this text lurking somewhere in the game files and copy and paste it in, but I wouldn't know where to start looking. Any top tips gratefully received! (EDIT - Just found a thread on the bioware forum about this [1], so once I get round to the fine detail I'll check it out.)
  • I'll have a go today at putting in info about conditionality into the character pages (the lack of this is obviously bugging all of us). It'll be educated guesswork on my part, but hopefully an improvement on the somewhat confusing way entries are currently presented.

Update from Zoev 13:18, December 22, 2009 (UTC): OK, I've added in what I hope is clarification for the most complicated instances of conditional text (mainly Leliana and Sten). Leliana's full entry now appears on Codex: Characters - if you want to see the switch in action you can try including the following on a page:

{{:Codex entry: Leliana|style=codexsummary|excerptonly=true}}

Now I've looked at it more closely, the codex text is rather gappy. There's definitely more stuff that can be added to Alistair's entry, for example (as Tierrie probably noticed hence his above comments). I'll look at filling some of this in at some stage, once the overall formatting/approach is sorted out.

Codex reformatting 23 Dec 2009 - progress and another chance to comment

Thanks to Pwr905 and Caridin, we now have individual pages for codex entries in the Creatures and Quest-Related categories, as well as Characters. I've started going through the Creatures section, tidying up formatting and adding some images that will serve for now. It still needs work (as of now, I'm up to Genlocks!) but I thought I'd solicit comments on the general direction/templates. The Codex: Creatures#Arcane Horror entry, along with the linked single page and quote on the Arcane Horror creature page is a reasonably good example of how I see things going. I'm going to be away for a couple of days over Christmas, but as long as no-one comes up with any show-stopping objections, I'll ask Pwr905 to set Caridin loose on some of the other categories when I get back. --Zoev 19:28, December 23, 2009 (UTC)


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