Poll

How should we treat the wiki?

Only display facts and mechanisms, while leaving the strategy for the forums.
Keep the strategy, but put it after all the facts.
Use it for the strategy mostly, with the facts pretty much buried.

Author Topic: How should we treat the wiki?  (Read 2101 times)

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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How should we treat the wiki?
« on: April 22, 2015, 05:02:58 PM »
I was contemplating merging this with this topic, but that one is pretty much only relevant to SBR so I'll make this one.

Just some clarification for all of this:

1. A great example of the first option is UESP. It puts all of the information there, but lets players make their own decisions based on the data.
2. This would be the more neutral option, I think. We would put all of the facts and stuff on the main pages, while putting links to strategy only when needed to understand.
3. This option is pretty much how the wiki currently is.

Just to throw in my two cents as to why I voted as I did (I chose option one), I believe that the Wiki should be used just to compile the facts and how/why things work as they do. We already have the forums subsection and I'm 99% certain that that format is better when someone is asking for advice. It just feels a lot more personal and less "This is way you are supposed to beat the game". Especially given that ArcenWiki is considered the official wiki, I think it might discourage people from playing Arcen titles in their own way, which is really all that makes them fun. They are unique and pretty much any strategy is a good one. Yes, including the AI War "Nuke it. Yes, I know its one ship. Nuke it" strategy. :)

PS. Just because I'm the main person doing the behind-the-scenes stuff, doesn't mean I'm going to be making all the decisions for the wiki. It is, first and foremost, a community project. So I will happily bow to consensus and implement that, even if I don't like it.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 05:17:53 PM by Dominus Arbitrationis »
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 05:07:40 PM »
Facts first, strategy afterwards sounds reasonable enough to me.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 05:16:49 PM »
Facts...strategy is how the AI War pages are set up.  There's still a lot of missing strategy info, but we do have sections for "use in player's fleet" and "countering in AI's fleet" areas.

I would leave the strategy to "first order optimals" ie. the easy stuff to figure out that "generally works" which should give the reader and idea of how to utilize whatever feature is being discussed in the ways that are low-skill high-productivity.  No Doom Drop: Extra Crispy with Coleslaw level grandmastery.  Leave that for the forums, or wiki pages devoted entirely to strategy.

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 05:19:26 PM »
I'd also like to point out that anyone can make a user-page with whatever strategy stuff they want and that will be allowed regardless of what option is chosen.
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 05:30:33 PM »
I lean toward option 1 more than anything else, but I think there SHOULD be dedicated strategy pages for all the games. Wikis are meant to be the sum of the community's experience with their subjects, and there's nothing more communal than playing the game. I think that we can improve both how the facts and the strategies are served, basically by cutting down on the bloat.

Offline Red.Queen

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 10:25:44 PM »
I voted for option #1, for two main reasons.

1. Ease of maintenance -- Many strategies and list of ways to use or counter something will change with every expansion.  Given the vast number of units and structures AI War has, the thought of having to comb through even half of its encyclopedia of *stuff*, every time an expansion or major patch drops, makes me wince from a maintainability standpoint.  The more frequent it has to be revised and the tougher it is to do, the less likely anyone will look at it and *not* nope right out.  Aka the situation we have now where most pages haven't been touched since versions 5-6.  If each page is kept lean and mostly requiring just a properties update, it's probably less likely to fall behind, or at least faster to catch up when it does.

2. "One method to rule them all" avoidance -- There's a tendency over time for at least the perception (not necessarily true!) of "one right way" to do things to develop in a lot of games.  That tendency eventually starts to ossify the perceived options in approaching situations, resulting in new players falling in and miming a standardized approach.  After a while, it tends to breed a weird "this is how it is, it is known" phobia of experimentation and refusal to tolerate the slightest possible inefficiency, even if the option is more subjectively fun than the 110% maximised approach -- this can get pretty nasty in games with multiplayer components.  This is a real cancer in the broader MMO community that I've run into over the years.  Can't say to what extent it exists in the RTS world as I was out of that loop for 13 years until I picked up AI War this February.

Mind you, I'm not saying that I've seen any of this behavior even in its earliest forms in the Arcen player community, because I haven't, and it's quite refreshing.  It's more that I want to make sure that it *stays* that way, given what I've experienced and observed elsewhere, and these are just a few thoughts on how to avoid anything that could accidentally encourage it to start.

Besides, you can't really have a discussion on a Wiki, and strategy discussions are fun.  :) I would prefer the Strategy subforums just be a little more prominent, and maybe some stickied "Best Of" threads where especially useful threads can be linked to so they're easier to find.

Anyway, my $0.02.
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 11:30:28 PM »
@Red.Queen: You can be sure that the "One way to do it" doesn't apply to Arcen Games. In RTS in general people tend to do their own strategies but at some point specific strategies will work wonders (exploiting weaknesses of the AI). Especially in AI War you won't ever see this for many reasons: The AI is very adaptable to your actions and you have always try to adapt your strategy as well. There are just too many ways to play the game that it would be impossible to find out the "best way". Plus, it is to a certain amount randomly generated, you cannot assure to have all the ships and stuff you need for your perfect strategy. AI War is more of "situational strategy".

Other games from Arcen Games are more straight forward but you can still do it your own way. Bionic Dues is rogue-like and sinceloot makes 90% of the game you have to adjust your strategy on your equipment.

TLF has multiple ways to win the game. And I don't mean only because you can choose between 3 different game modes. The classic mode alone leaves you with the questions, what race do you want to have in the federation, who do you put first into it. You could try to save them all or just bomb all other races away after you've put the Acutians into the federation. What the best is will depend on what you personally want. I tend to stopmt out the Thoraxians for an example because it's easier as to get them into the federation.

I won't talk about SBR because this game isn't even finsihed and you cannot find really out what strategies work good right now. But there are multiple ways to win (just like in civilization) so there will be again multiple ways for strategies that work.


I think the wiki should be first for information. That's how I use wikis, searching for stats and other stuff so I can easier compare what I need. But I wouldn't cut strategies entirely from it. Somehwo it's more or less connected. Yes with have the AI War Strategey subforum but not everyone that plays the game wants to register just to ask something. Some people want quick advices and they want it now. Having at least some basic forms of strategy in the wiki gives them the chance to look something quickly up without interrupting their game or waiting until someone answered them. For more advanced strategies the forum is still the best way to find help.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 10:27:28 AM »
Red.Queen's second point is what I meant about keeping it to only the First Order Optimal Strategies.  That is, the strategies that have the highest power-to-skill ratio.  Call of Duty's Noob Tube is one of these items (its a grenade launcher attachment).  It takes very little skill to use and generally works pretty well, but as the player gets better at the game they find better strategies that require more skill to execute properly.

"You have a pollution problem? Build Hazmats adjacent to the pollution producing buildings." would be an example for SBR.  There might be subtleties that aren't obvious right away that makes certain setups better (say, building all of your hazmats downwind), but for low skill in, big power out, that would cover it.  The wind thing can come up under the wind feature, saying that there is an effect and its advantageous to build that way, but it's not the "here's how you play well, congrats you win!" way of documenting the game.

To some degree, SBR is a puzzle game: The exact setup can change from game to game, but a lot of elements are relatively fixed: the player always has the same tech, the AI races have a particular playstyle and tech tree, etc. etc. So it is theoretically possible to write a "here's how you win" guide that can handle the possible variations, and that wouldn't be any fun for anyone.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 11:31:09 AM »
Wohoo!
Now, can I edit the whole wiki and get rid of all these annoying question-title? Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I?

 :-[ :-X
Sorry 'bout that.

I voted "facts first but keep strategy". I read Red.Queen's post and regretted it. I read Vampire's post and I tempered my regrets. Yeaaah... Mmmkay... It's tempting to limit strategy to the forum and having a clean facts-only wiki, but it would be such a shame to lose all those precious advices... So, maybe just piling'em at the end of the front-list and having a nice organized facts-only front list would be a good middle ground.

Sooo... I really want to do that wiki front page revamp. But as it's a big front revamp, I won't do it without agreement of the community. Yeah, I'm a bit shy.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 04:59:15 PM »
Wohoo!
Now, can I edit the whole wiki and get rid of all these annoying question-title? Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I-Can-I?

 :-[ :-X
Sorry 'bout that.

I voted "facts first but keep strategy". I read Red.Queen's post and regretted it. I read Vampire's post and I tempered my regrets. Yeaaah... Mmmkay... It's tempting to limit strategy to the forum and having a clean facts-only wiki, but it would be such a shame to lose all those precious advices... So, maybe just piling'em at the end of the front-list and having a nice organized facts-only front list would be a good middle ground.

Sooo... I really want to do that wiki front page revamp. But as it's a big front revamp, I won't do it without agreement of the community. Yeah, I'm a bit shy.

I'm going to say do it, since only one person has opposed that in the voting. And it is really easy to delete stuff if we go with option 1 anyways.

In general, I think I would compile the strategy, put it in a txt file and upload it that way, so we still have it, but it isn't taking up any space really.

Oh, what do people think about the name/description change for this board?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 05:27:51 PM by Dominus Arbitrationis »
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 10:38:01 AM »
We can always fork pages, moving the strategy to a new page, then either deleting it (or not) later.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 02:45:43 PM »
I was spending some times planning moves and revamps and I ended up wondering:
Where to move the strategic pages? For instance, the AI Progress page has some interesting data but mostly belongs to the strategy realm. So in order to create a new AI Progress page, I need to move this one first. The question is where.

New naming space?
Prepend "Strategy_"?
Something else?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2015, 02:53:18 PM »
I would post-pend.

AI War: //the top-level section is the game
AI Progress //the mechanic
/Strategy //strategy discussion

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2015, 03:03:44 PM »
I would post-pend.
Post-prepend? You mean append? :P

Anyway, I can do something like that now, continue working with it, and we would change it latter when things get more organized.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How should we treat the wiki?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2015, 03:11:37 PM »