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Greetings fellow Wikians!
I have two proposals to make to how quest pages are written and would like to hear thoughts and consensus from my fellow editors.
- Amend What Tone to Use and Protagonist to say that for quest walkthroughs, the writing should always be in the third person referencing the main character, "When The Warden arrives in Redcliffe..." not "When you arrive in Redcliffe...", or the implied person "Head east down the path to the second camp." not "You then go east down the path to the second camp." Currently, only first person is excluded.
- Rationale: Uses the same "encyclopaedia style" that, for example, Wikipedia does and separates the player from the character as distinct entities. Note that using the second person is perfectly fine for outside of quest pages, such as "You then get a chance to customize Hawke's facial features."
- Amend Writing to exclude non-quest specific combat strategies from quest walkthroughs. If a dragon appears in a quest, then the dragon strategy page is written and added to the Strategies category and that strategy page is linked to from the quest page. If there is a strategy for an opponent that is unique to the quest due to a quest object or some feature of the battleground topology, that is added to the quest page in addition to the link. If the opponent is unique to the quest, it is preferable to create and link a strategy page as it may show up in some later game, but inline is acceptable. For creatures such as dragons that are very different from game to game, it would probably be best to have separate "Dragon Strategy (Origins)", etc. pages and a Dragon Strategy disambiguation page.
- Rationale: This way all changes to common information occur in one place and we don't have the situation we have now where the strategies for the same opponent are sometimes slightly, sometimes widely different depending on who wrote them and the edit history of the quest pages. This also makes it easier to refactor the strategy pages to account for different strategies based on difficulty, party composition and play styles.
- LOL. Not specifically. Some edits on pages we both worked on did move me more to thinking in this direction, but it's something I've mulled over for well, years, now. DaBarkspawn (talk) 00:01, October 14, 2017 (UTC)
- Well, it's a good conversation to have anyway. :) I wrote my strategy-based contributions according to a conversation I had with HD3, but this was also years ago. The gist of our conversation was to do it on a case-by-case basis; some battles requiring their own pages, others simply requiring a reminder of core concepts learned over the course of the game. Having returned to Dragon Age after my Fallout Hiatus of 2016, I operated on this case-by-case basis and decided that DA2, notably, had many cases by case, far more than the other games (for which we can probably blame rushed development). There are several concepts that go a long way in clearing quests, e.g. holding position, moving as a group, withdrawing, elemental resistances, returning home to heal. Unfortunately, new players wouldn't know these immediately, and even DAO veterans might be tripped up due to the differences in combat mechanics between the games, so they're given great detail on major quest pages for Act 1, a time when they also haven't unlocked half of their characters' potentials and thus don't have a great many options. By the time Act 2 has rolled around they've learned these core concepts and don't need to be referenced as often, and by 3 it's just snippets of which enemies to expect and plan according to how they personally dealt with them in Acts 1 and 2. Thus, 2 and 3 are much lighter on these reminders (at least that's how I remember writing them, they might have ended up in a different place), but they are nevertheless mentioned in lieu of full strategy sections. For comparison, observe my format on Night Lies, Ancient rock wraith (strategy), Offered and Lost (strategy), then compare it with Blackpowder Courtesy. While 90% of the fights qualify as something to worry about, IMO, they wouldn't merit full-blown separate strategy sections just by having the same annoyances as one another. I feel like listing every fight separately from the main walkthrough would break the flow of reading the pages, but a separate section for the most difficult fight in the quest or most difficult part of the quest (i.e. closed off area, unable to leave and heal/resupply) is certainly advisable. Oftentimes it's the last part of the quest and thus the Strategy sections fits there very neatly, but there are exceptions (ex. I felt the fight with Javaris's mercenaries was more difficult than the saar-qamek fight, but that was likely due to my party setup and the map we fought on). Ultimately we want the players prepared for what's ahead, but having to jump between two sections would leave them unable to determine the best way to prepare. So it's hard to say what the best way forward is from here.
- I keep my methodology up on my profile and feel I've come up with a suitable way to approach the writing; neutral perspective, no build-specificity (although the most useful and efficient-to-obtain talents and spells are mentioned), no DLC stuff, etc. But how the final writing comes out is a whole other beast. Since finishing both the playthrough and my revisions I've been thinking about ways to centralize a lot of the information rather than just constantly repeating the same things. The Resistances (Dragon Age II) page is one such place (exploiting elemental weakness is useful but by no means necessary in Origins and Inquisition but feels required in every fight of DA2, though again this speaks to the developers' design rather than player competence), along with Combat mechanics (Dragon Age II), but these are only small pieces. I've been thinking of a page in which the core mechanics can be outlined and a terminology sheet outlined for use on the wiki (e.g. "Fall back to a more defensible position" = "Withdraw"), then plugged into each walkthrough. It would cut down on how much information is plugged into the pages while retaining what is ultimately useful information for the player to know. I'd be happy to hear any suggestions regarding this. RShepard227 (talk) 01:07, October 14, 2017 (UTC)
- Thanks for writing back. I want to mull over what you said and give others the opportunity to enter the conversation, so I will pause here for a bit. But just to be clear, it sounds like your objections are strictly with the second part, you don't have an objection to the first part (third person only), right? DaBarkspawn (talk) 01:44, October 14, 2017 (UTC)
- Nah, not at all. On other wikis where "you" was written, we switched it to "the player," which I never had a problem with. I don't think switching in "The Warden/Hawke/The Inquisitor (or is it Herald? I never figured that one out)" for "all" situations would be necessary, or even advisable, as it may end up being counterproductive. Ex. "Players should stun the Elite before dispatching the archers" is fine to my eyes, but it gets trickier if we say, "Hawke should stun the Elite..." For one, it implies Hawke has that capability, and if not, the writer has to stop and map out a scenario in which they would have a stun ability (or instead use a companion who can), but this is minor compared to my second point. My second point is, it sounds like we're instructing Hawke, a fictional character in a computer program, to do something rather than the player operating them. I'm probably not saying it right, but in short, I would have [player character] whenever the article/section references a story element, but make it acceptable to reference [the player] when talking about a gameplay aspect such as strategy or interaction with the environment. Other than this consideration, I have no objections to the use of a third-person perspective. RShepard227 (talk) 04:55, October 14, 2017 (UTC)
I support the first proposal fully, I think it would be a great move. I'm somewhat ambivalent about the second proposal as I don't really use the strategies, but it looks useful. --♫ Kelcat Talk 21:16, October 14, 2017 (UTC)
The first proposal sounds fine (third person being a bit more professional), but there might be an issue with the second. People might not appreciate having to continually yo-yo off the quest page at every encounter during the mission. Perhaps include the opponent's general weakness (or two) with a link to look elsewhere for more minutely specific strategy if the encounter proves extra difficult. Just a thought! Shenachie (talk) 15:17, October 15, 2017 (UTC)
Many thanks, everyone, this has been a really interesting discussion. I think we have general consensus (though not unanimity) around the first proposal. For the second, I think what we surfaced is a question about how the wiki walkthroughs are used. My feeling is that the wiki serves a different purpose than a GamerGuide or Prima strategy guide, that the walkthroughs should focus more on the roleplaying aspects and less on the combat ones, which I now realize in part drives my instincts to move them off the walkthrough pages. DaBarkspawn (talk) 19:48, October 16, 2017 (UTC)
- Seeing no new comments for a week or so, I went ahead with the edits. The edits for the first proposal are Editing and Manual of Style. For the second proposal, I tried to incorporate some of the feedback above and that edit is here: Manual of Style. I realize that the latter is a bit more controversial, but I decided to take the Manual's advice and Be Bold. ;) DaBarkspawn (talk) 20:56, October 21, 2017 (UTC)
- As a positive example, I like the way that the Duke Prosper fight was written. It describes the phases of combat, describes the opponents abilities and provides a generalized strategy tip that any party can use. In particular, it stays away from things like "Have the rogue in the party do X" or "You will need at least two tanks" and things like that. DaBarkspawn (talk) 18:58, October 28, 2017 (UTC)
I read through your changes to the guidelines, and I think they look very good. On another note, what is your opinion of maybe having a Strategy article guidelines page, similar to this one we have for quests? I don't know if we have enough strategy articles to warrant specific guidelines, but looking through the articles in the strategy category, the layout of them varies wildly. Something to think about... --♫ Kelcat Talk 00:13, October 29, 2017 (UTC)
- Thanks for the kind words, Kelcat. On the guideline page, I think I could do that. Let me put some thought into it. DaBarkspawn (talk) 17:44, October 29, 2017 (UTC)
- So, I sat down to do this this morning and I noticed that the Quest Guidelines require the use of the QuestTransformer. I don't know how to create new transformers, so is a StrategyTransformer required and if so, where do I go to learn about making them? Thanks, DaBarkspawn (talk) 20:25, November 4, 2017 (UTC)