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The following messages are from User talk:HD3#Removal of game names from location articles. They were moved here in the hope to attract more opinions on the subject, namely whether the games character or location appear in should be mentioned in the lead section. – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 12:36, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
Hi there. I have noticed that you rewrote a number of articles about Dragon Age II locations and removed mention of the game from the lead sections. I strongly disagree with these changes and think that they should be discussed first on the forum. Currently most of our leads follow the style "X is a Y in Z" (with the exception of lore articles), and I think that we should keep it. It's essential information that should be available without having to potentially scroll the page and look in the infobox. – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 15:15, July 1, 2013 (UTC)
While i certainly would not support universal removal of the applicable game name from the lead-in, i do feel very strongly that holding such a policy as universal is both a questionable practice and in reality, something that has already been ignored to a considerable extent. A vast number of articles, character articles in particular, do not carry this style. I imagine due to issues similar to labeling an NPC such as Meredith as "the chief antagonist" in "dragon age 2" being an unmarked spoiler if nothing else.
While i certainly understand your concerns about wanting essential information easily locatable at the top of the article, given that the info box universally appears at the top of the article (usually immediately next to the lead in which outlines which game is relevant) mentioning the game seems largely redundant. The obvious exception of course being when the article's subject's role has shifted singificantly between installments. E.G Alistair being a companion in DA:O and only appearing as an npc in DA:2, would certainly warrant such a distinction in the lead-in rather than relying on the Appearances section of the info-box.
Perhaps maintaining the current lead-in style while extending the exception to character articles would be an effective solution? Anyway, given the weight of your concern i will not make any further such changes to any location articles until we've reached a consensus. -HD3 (talk) 01:57, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
It is not really a policy, the closest we have is DA:LEAD that states:The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable.Can you explain why mentioning the game is a questionable practice? I don't think that potential spoilers are a problem since "major character" instead of "the chief antagonist" would work just as well.
While the infobox appears next to the lead, the appearances row does not. For example, see Alistair. On my machine there is a distance of 1135 pixels from the top of the monitor to the row. A lot of people won't even see it until they scroll the page. And the infobox is meant to be redundant – it is a summary of the article after all. – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 08:46, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
I feel it is a questionable policy because having to repeat ""X" is a character in "Y"" at the top of every page is both largely self evident and unnecessary. People are intelligent enough that they could work out that an article with a person's name is a character article without us having to explicitly state "X is a character in Dragon Age". So the only essential information contained in such a statement is which installment they appear in. That i agree with you should be clearly marked.
You cite the Alistair page as an example of how someone might be forced to scroll down to see the bottom of the infobox to know which installment they appear in. I'm not sure why expecting someone to scroll down slightly would be such a bad thing. But anyway, that's a moot point because in the overwhelming majority of articles the bottom of the infobox appears in the initial load of the page without having to scroll down at all. E.G Meredith and Elthina. Pages with infoboxes large enough that you must scroll down to see the appearance column are more an exception than a rule. All our affiliated wikias, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed etc, employ a similar policy regarding lead-ins for character articles E.G h http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Saren_Arterius, http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Paul_Bellamy.
I don't think that we should say "is a character/location in X" every time. It can be "is the Knight-Commander of the Templars of Kirkwall during the events of X." or "is elven mage met during the quest Y in X". It also doesn't have to be in the very first sentence of the lead.
Even when the infobox is fully visible, the appearances are as far from the lead as it can be in the infobox. I believe that this information is so important that it should be among the first things visitor sees.
As far as I know, affiliation with wikis is purely for promotion purposes, it doesn't mean that we encourage their policies. I really like the UESP wiki style with separate namespaces for Lore and each game. Unfortunately, this is not allowed on the Wikia platform. I also like Fallout wiki style where the game is mentioned at the very top of the infobox but not in the lead: Moira, Bob. – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 11:31, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
I don't cite the other wikis as a way to try and prove we've fallen out of line with established policy. I only bring them up as an example because they follow a very similar article template without having to go so far as explicitly state the primary game/novel title in the lead-in. Yet they persist just fine and without complaint or confusion.
I agree certainly that the information is important enough to warrant mention near the head of the article and should be among the first thing people see. The problem is it already is among the first thing people see in most cases. They always look at the picture first and in most articles the "Appears in" section is about 3 centimeters/1 inch below that requiring no scrolling at all. It also saves us having to shoe horn a mention of the games title into a lead in which would otherwise be in-world decryption.
I agree the Fallout wiki style's solution would solve all our problems certainly, but that's outside my abilities so I am afraid we'd have to ask someone more knowledgeable about such things.
Since we both seem to agree that this information is important enough that it should be clearly marked at the head of the article, the issue seems to be about to what extent to make it explicit. I would contend that a section of the readily available portion of the article designated for quick and easy reference is probably enough in most cases. Since you seem to feel so strongly about the need for an accompanying phrase, i must concede we should probably open this to a wider discussion.-HD3 (talk) 12:11, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
For the sake of concision i will just state here that i am not advocating striking the whole of the current model. Just in the case of Character articles and possibly Locations.
Re "It also saves us having to shoe horn a mention of the games title into a lead in which would otherwise be in-world decryption." Why is mentioning the Act or the quest or the game shoehorning? I don't see how "during the events of Dragon Age II" is that different from "during 9:31–40 Dragon". – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 14:00, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
First of all, I at no point said anything about the Act or Quest name where relevant. We can start a new discussion thread for that if you like. For the sake of trying to keep this on topic i will address just the matter as it relates to the lead-in section, which is the only section i am suggesting does not require such phrasing. Firstly, the difference between "during the events of Dragon Age II" and "during 9:31–40 Dragon" is that the former relies on knowledge outside the game world itself. I.E acknowledging it is a game rather than relating to in-game knowldge which a character in the game could be expected to know, in the case of the latter, the Chantry calendar.
I acknowledge whether or not it be considered "shoe-horning" is subjective, thus a change would be a stylistic choice more than anything. Take for instance the Malcolm Hawke lead-in section. The entire lead-in section uses knowledge a character in the game could know, it relies on "in-world" knowledge. Sticking "He is a Character in Dragon Age 2" in that, on the other hand runs completely counter to that sense of immersion. Including such a statement in the lead-in sections for character articles and to a lesser extent location articles, produces several problems.
The standard phrasing "X is a character/location in Dragon Age X" contributes no new information to the article.
- Stating that they are a character/location is redundant in of itself. Every article about a person on this Wiki is about a character, it is not new information to anyone whether they've read the article or not.
- Presuming your concern is that the reader will not know which installment of Dragon Age they appear in quickly, then i must once again point out it is immediately visible in the "Appearances" section of the info-box which is immediately next to lead-in section and just as high up on the article page.
- In several cases these statements are unmarked spoilers. The Loghain article read for a long time in the lead-in section "Loghain is the primary Antagonist of Dragon Age:Origins" which ruined the surprise for any first time gamers who read the article.
- Attempts to try and deviate from the traditional statement of "X is a character in Y" frequently result in misleading or confusing phrasing. Take for instance the Castillon article's lead-in section.
"Castillon is a powerful Antivan merchant with a great deal of legitimate and illegitimate ties in Dragon Age II."
Does Castillon have illegitimate ties to Dragon Age II? Did he not have such connections prior to Dragon Age II? It's awkward phrasing.
- Even the standard phrasing "X is a character/location in Y" is problematic because we must consider the whole series. If we say Malcolm Hawke is a character in Dragon Age 2, does that mean he did not exist in Thedas prior to playing Dragon Age 2? If nothing else we should amend such examples so that they say something more like "X first appears in Y" if nothing else.
- Aside from everything else, it's less than stellar quality writing. Even Cheat Sheets for high school exams don't include the phrase "X is a character in Y", even ones which consider whole series.
- Saying "appears in Act Y/the quest Z" without mentioning the game is awkward and confusing.
- Real world people are more likely to know the game name rather than the Chantry calendar.
- As I've said, I don't endorse the exact phrase "X is a character/location in Y". I also said that you can easily mention the game without spoilers. This is irrelevant to the topic in question, yet most of your arguments are specifically against these two things.
- Misleading statements can be rewritten, I don't see a problem with that.
- I believe that our readers are intelligent enough to understand what "X is a character in Y" means. (I couldn't resist, sorry) – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 15:42, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
You're going off topic again. I was trying to say that character articles tend to be written more from an in-game perspective in a similar manner as lore articles more so than quest guides or item articles. As such it makes no sense to go sticking the game title in the middle of a paragraph which is otherwise written from such a perspective.
I used that phrase "X is a character/location in Y" because that was the example you said originally and because you stated it was the most common occurring variant. I mention the examples of phrasing only to demonstrate just how poorly many of these attempts to insert the unnecessary obligatory mention of the installment title in the lead-in of every article have resulted. Yes we could rephrase every article but we could avoid the problem entirely by abandoning the notion of insisting on mentioning said title on every page.
- I never suggested saying Saying "appears in Act Y/the quest Z" at any point.
- As for our readers' intelligence, why is it reasonable to presume they can interpret poor phrasing correctly but expecting them to check the infobox to determine when a character first appears is too taxing for them?
Since this discussion seems to keep wandering off topic let me bring it back to my original point. What unique value does including the game title in the lead-in section of every article actually contribute that is not already self-evident or covered by the info-box?.-HD3 (talk) 16:30, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
- My original example was a poor choice, the only thing that I ever wanted to discuss is incorporating game names in the lead. Mentioning Acts and quests is not offtopic since removing game names will lead to awkward writing whenever Acts and quests are mentioned. I think that it's either remove all or keep all.
- While it doesn't make sense for you, it makes a perfect sense for me. I agree that the articles should be written more from in-game perspective. I just don't think that it should be done at the expense of the reader.
- The unique value is that essential information about the character can be accessed at a glance.
- I made a sample infobox that will satisfy me :) That way all info I want on top is on top. There are potential problems when there are several appearances but I think they can be solved with abbreviations and/or placing only the essential appearances above the image.
- Why does not the current line of Appearances does not satisfy you? I don't see a reason why we should change that and move it elsewhere which could also cause potential issues when a character makes multiple appearances. Also if this style starts being followed in character pages it should also be carried on to items, quests, locations, etc etc etc infoboxes for consistency. Massive work for no gain.
- The problem with that example is that it makes it difficult when dealing with characters which appear across whole series. Perhaps listing the installment they originally appeared in above the character name and including the original appearance along with all subsequent appearances in the "Appearances" line below.
Viktoria, Im not suggesting any radical re-structure of the lead-in as it is already outlined in the Manual of Style. The bulk of articles would remain exactly the same. The distinction between character articles and the others is that like our lore articles, which are the other exception to requiring us to mention the game name in the lead-in e.g Fereldan Rebellion, they are written from an in game perspective and draw on a large number of sources. Items and quests are neither of those so there is no need to remove the mention of the game name in those cases. A huge percentage of our character articles already don't follow Autumn's style that we require a mention of the game name in the lead-in. E.G Ser Donall, Arl Leonas Bryland, Tarohne. For all this and the reasons i have stated earlier, it is not necessary for us to mandate a mention of the game name in the lead-in summary of every character article. The "essential information about the character can be accessed at a glance" is just as easily accessed by looking at the info box. So i would argue that the exemption we allow for Lore articles should be extended to character articles, subsequent to the exceptions i outlined earlier and no further.-HD3 (talk) 03:34, July 3, 2013 (UTC)
- I still don't understand if "Lia is the daughter of Elren. She is a city elf encountered during the quest Magistrate's Orders in Act 1." should become "Lia is the daughter of Elren. She is a city elf." or not. Mention of the Act and quest is not from in-world perspective. If you don't propose to change this lead, then what's wrong with "Lia is the daughter of Elren. She is a city elf encountered during the quest Magistrate's Orders in Dragon Age II."?
- I also did a quick look, and out of 187 Dragon Age II character pages only 85 mention Dragon Age II in the lead. So you are right in that respect. – mostlyautumn • talk • contribs • 09:09, July 3, 2013 (UTC)
Well since you brought it up, the difference is that which quest they are involved in is less immediately self evident than what game they appear in. I still don't see any great need to place this in the tiny lead-in section because as i outlined previously it is covered by the infobox and usually mentioned in the more significant Involvement section already. E.G Salit, Ruvena, Paxley, Quentin, Dagna, Filda, Ser Derren. -HD3 (talk) 10:42, July 3, 2013 (UTC)
- Just to throw in my two cents, I do think it makes the article easier to read if the game the character appears on is mentioned in the lead section. The examples cited by you are all difficult to read, in my opinion, because at least I read the lead section first (which is why it should adequately summarize the article, from both in-game and real-world point-of view). Not having the game mentioned in the lead leaves me at least bewildered and makes the articles more difficult to read.
- And, just as a general point, I don't think this Wiki should be about immersion in the DA world. The very fact that you are here, on a website outside the game, means you're outside the immersion of the game. Trying to remold articles on locations and characters into things written exclusively from in-game point-of-view seems futile to me as we are not in-game when we read the articles. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 22:25, July 5, 2013 (UTC)
I a have to say I fully agree with HD3 on this, it does not particularly benefit the wiki to have which game a character appears in the last couple lines of the intro. Most people with a tid bit of sense check the information box to the right for simple quick facts such as appearances. Aside from that there is also the involvement section which clearly shows which game/book/comic the character has had impact in. When we get to DA:I you could quite potentially end up just having a list of games an expansions for some characters at the top of the page which will just look messy. So yeah to sum up, its on already on the page twice in the information box it looks better in the involvement section it serves a purpose. Incorporating it into the summary is just mentioning it for the sake of mentioning it. I by the way have a 15" laptop screen and i rarely have to scroll or scroll much to know where a character is from, if we are assuming that scrolling is a tax...--The W!Z3MAN Hath Spoken! Obey! (talk) 07:07, July 6, 2013 (UTC)