Forum:Gamepedia

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This thread was archived on 22 December 2015 by Liquidhelium.
Previous discussions: 1, 2, 3, 4 (add more if you can remember what they're called)

As some of you may know, Wikia has long been criticised by the community over a variety of reasons, such as advertising, attempting to force various features on us and generally bad decisions. Last week, I decided to explore another potential host: Curse.

For anyone who was unaware, Curse hosts a collection of wikis all focused on gaming, such as Wowpedia, Minecraft Wiki and Terraria Wiki, all using their wiki platform, Gamepedia. Unlike Wikia, Gamepedia appreciate that wikis are individual and that unifying and branding isn't a good idea. Check out their mission statement for more info.

So far Gamepedia are more than willing to have us, they even contacted a couple of admins last year about it, although that didn't really go anywhere for one reason or another. So without further ado, here's a few comparisons.

Comparisons

Advertising

Unlike Wikia, who have made efforts to make sure every inch of their skin can provide revenue (see the ad solutions section), Gamepedia have much more minimal advertising that includes a advert above content, one below the content and one in the global footer. In mobile, Wikia has adverts in content as well as popup ads. Gamepedia's mobile skin still has ads in content but otherwise seems limited to an advert stuck to the bottom of the screen. Personally, I think it's unlikely we're going to find a way to completely remove ads in content for mobile unless someone decides to completely cover the costs of hosting us, so it might be something we have to live with.

Edit

Gamepedia also has a slot below the sidebar, used exclusively for internal promotions as well as sometimes using a global sitenotice again for internal promotions, e.g. announcements, competitions, etc.

Skins

As we all know, Wikia's skin is Oasis. Gamepedia use a slightly modified version of Vector, the skin used by default on Wikipedia, called Hydra. It's almost exactly the same as Vector in terms of layout, but has a global header and footer, along with some other minor tweaks. Gamepedia don't offer any other skins, but Vector is extremely close to Monobook, which should please the old school users. I'm sure most of us have used Wikipedia with no issues before, so I can't see any major problems in terms of usability for us or our readers.

The Gamepedia mobile skin is the same as Wikipedia's again, but allows for customisation via CSS and JS, potentially allowing for us to start supporting calculators, exchange graphs and the other cool features we offer to desktop/laptop readers in mobile as well.

New features

Wikia is always developing new features, such as Portable Infoboxes, where as Gamepedia has a considerably smaller development team which more or less limits them to what Wikimedia produce in terms on new shiny toys for us to play with. I don't think this is a bad thing, as it opens us up to things like Echo, as well as all the improvements that come with MediaWiki core upgrades. Right now they use mw 1.23, but are looking to upgrade to 1.26 by February. There's a whole load of changes in the MediaWiki release notes if anyone's interested.

Wikia on the other hand is pretty much committed to staying on mw 1.19 for the foreseeable future due to the number of changes they've made to MediaWiki over the years making it nigh impossible to upgrade without considerable expenditure of resources.

Edit

Gamepedia has developed some new features such as a social user profile, similar to ones found on non-wikia wikis, and achievements. The user profile can be toggled via your user preferences from what I've seen (and there is an option to make one or the other the site default) while the achievements are there for everyone. The achievements can be edited and deleted if admins so choose, so both features can effectively be disabled in one way or another. However, there doesn't appear to be a way to outright disable them.

Identity

Wikia's recent initiative to rename every wiki a "wikia" didn't go completely to plan, but I'm confident Gamepedia would never even try to re-brand their communities. No longer would we be mistaken for the Spiderman Wikia, Fallout Wikia or whatever other background advert is flavour of the week, we'd be individual and maintain control of how the wiki should look, what it should offer and what it should be.

There's the slight issue of moving from a wikia.com subdomain to gamepedia.com, but I think that's a benefit for us, at least in the short term. We'd be associated with similar sites and be able to use the existing SEO associated with the domain to rebuild our own.

Edit

Gamepedia.com wasn't always the common domain, so I asked about how their wikis felt during the transition and if there were any problems raised. I'm told most wikis converted, until Wowpedia were the only ones left. Curse elected to work with them over a number of months until they were happy with the move and there has apparently been no real objections or complaints since. I don't know exactly how true this is, but even if it's half true, it;s a stark contrast to how Wikia handled the same process, especially with Uncyclopedia, which ultimately contributed to them deciding to fork.

Concerns

Any move is going to have issues, not least of which is our ranking in search results. There's no way to sugar coat this - we're going to be competing with ourselves wherever we go due to search engines penalising sites with duplicated content. I don't know how hard it is to mitigate this, but there's possibilities such as Gamepedia's Wiki Connect programme that may help. Other possibilities might be advertising new content through reddit so people are aware that we've moved, and improving some of our more popular pages. We could also use this as an opportunity to work on some of the worse areas of the wiki such as the bestiary. I'm sure there's lots of ideas about what could be improved, and we could maybe even use it as a potential way to get new people into the wiki.

The other prominent concern is whether the community will stay here or move with the change of host. I'm of the belief that this will never work if there's a considerable amount of support for staying here as the new wiki would never be able to compete. If this is going to work, we'll need almost everyone, so if there's anything that isn't addressed above point it out and I'll try and get answers.

I'm still waiting on answers to a couple of questions, so I'll update the above as I get them. cqm 19:12, 10 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Updated. cqm 10:33, 12 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Discussion

Support - I don't think Wikia is the best option for us, and hasn't been for a long time. There's always going to be a trade off when moving hosts, and there's nothing we can do about it. I think it's time to bite the bullet and do something to make the wiki better for the future. cqm 19:12, 10 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Strong oppose - I have heard MANY complaints about Curse, such as the potential for virus-ridden ads and slower loading times. I can live with slower load times (though it takes the Minecraft wiki at least a MINUTE to run ONE page for me, due to the ads), but the ads are where I draw the line. These and the other problems make this a "no" from me. Sorry, but I'm against Curse wholeheartedly. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 19:25, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

I have been informed by Gaz that if you log in to a Curse wiki you do not see ads. Didn't stop me from getting slow loading times and a few popups on Terraria's wiki. I will admit one bad thing about wikia is how they handle complaints - they are one of the worst companies in that regard if you ask me. After Manticore, Charitwo, Uberfuzzy, and that one employee that tried to threaten cook with a ban, I don't hold the staff in high regard. But that's it, they can be fired.7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 19:30, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
Is all this personal opinion stuff really relevant? MolMan 19:33, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
I didn't ask for snark. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 19:39, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
And onei didn't ask for stupid insults about ex-Wikia staff members. Stay on topic. MolMan 19:40, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
YOU stay on topic, I stated a reason I do have to dislike wikia. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 19:42, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
I haven't found ads not loading while logged in, nor have I explored that area in any great depth, but I'll make sure to ask about it.
However, in my sporadic checks of what the anon experience is like at wikia, I've had Chrome crash when I disabled adblock. It happened twice in the span of a couple of weeks starting around a month ago, and I only tested it three times. I could blame poor memory management by Chrome, but I haven't seen it happen elsewhere. cqm 19:49, 10 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Oppose - Plsno. In the words of mol: "onei would i lose my edit count ;(". In all seriousness, I (generally) like Wikia. I like the Oasis skin, I like the familiarity of tools, etc etc. I don't particularly like Gamepedia's skin at all. I don't believe the pros of moving over to Gamepedia would outweigh the cons, namely the search rankings as you've mentioned. I also doubt how many of our hundreds of thousands wikia viewers would change over to using the wiki on gamepedia. Lastly, something something legal issues with content I don't really know how that would all work out. So, plsno Star Talk ayy lmao ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 19:50, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Content licensing isn't an issue, we're free to fork and always have been. All the content here is licensed under CC-BY-SA which means as long as we provide attribution it can be moved.
While it's ironic people are now defending Oasis compared to when it was released, it's understandable. However, most of the buttons are in the same place, apart from the navigation. The edit interface is noticeably different, but I don't think the change is so much we won't get used to it like people got used to Oasis. cqm 20:00, 10 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Comment - As someone who has moved a relatively-large wiki off of Wikia, I'm not sure that the benefits outweigh the costs. You'll never regain the editing community you had on Wikia, nor the readership. Wikia won't support the move obviously, so there will still be a competing site and you won't be able to advertise the move to viewers at all. Honestly, until something changes in Wikia's policy or in how search engines prioritize results, I don't think that moving is a good idea unless there are other clear benefits. For example, Brickipedia got a 1,000 Euro budget of free LEGO sets every year after we moved off. This has been good, except we don't even spend it all because of the decrease in participation. TL;DR Wikia isn't great but moving isn't great either. Ajraddatz (Talk) 19:57, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Huh...that *is* pretty interesting. Though it reminds me: If we move, what would happen to when Jagex links to us? I'm sure there'd be some initial confusion at least. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 20:01, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
There aren't any real links to the wiki I'm aware of, and the fansite programme is more or less dead last I looked. Getting more links to us is something we can look at, although that wouldn't be for the foreseeable future. cqm 20:03, 10 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)
There's at least one map on OSRS that links to the 2007scape wiki. But admittedly that's all I can think of... 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 20:06, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
We'd basically need in-game links to really stand a chance IMO. And then, people would frown on the wiki because of being too close to Jagex, given their terrible wiki's failure. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 20:08, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
Moving irl or anything on site isn't fun. I've done something similar at work, moving tasks/tickets/etc .... unlike Ajraddatz, there's maybe 3 of us ... 3 years later, we're still not done, and some of it will not get moved over ever for for various reasons. And like when our company moved irl about 6-7 miles further away, 10% of the company staff didn't move with us (drive was now too long, they didn't like the locale, tollways, etc), so yes, you'd lose people if you did this. I'd only say move if you really thought that the quality of what you build from the ground up would better than what you have now, AND you could rebuild a 30k page wiki fast enough. --Deltaslug (talk) 20:59, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Comment - It's a tough call. With the 2 biggest issues for me being:

  • Traffic
  • Failure

Traffic is going to be difficult because, hosted here on Wikia, we can boast about the #1 search result for 99% of queries. We can even say we're cited inside Google answer boxes. Part of this issue is our inability to remove the content from this wiki. If we try to wipe it clean to give people no choice but to move with us, we'll just be blocked and reverted. Even if we aren't to keep pages up to quality we strive for some people will stick around, whether they be hired, random anons, or a new start up community refusing to leave.

Our reason for leaving is very political. Without criticizing the validity of our disdain, no one else cares. When it comes to information, no one cares who writes it, they just want it to be there. The amount of valuable information that people come here for (quest guides, skill training, strategies) that comes from anonymous or one off users is a lot.

The two things I see people noticing going into decline if we up and leave are: GE prices, images. But I can't even tell how that will affect their usage. Will people just stop using the wiki for guides and images? Will they move to another site? Will that site be the new wiki? Hopefully the latter.

As for failure... what if this doesn't work? Can we come back? What if we're all blocked for treason? It's a huge stake for some us, especially those of us who have invested thousands of hours editing. You can't get those hours back. And there's almost nothing to show for it.

Personally, I can't take anything less than a sure thing. And at the same time, if it's a successful move, I don't want to be left behind. It's a bit of a weakness, but I always crawl to the winning side. As you can reasonably guess, I'm a giant loser with nothing else going on. I can't speak for everyone, but the wiki is too big of a stake for me. I'm perfectly content editing here for no reason, and you could probably have guessed that from my edits.

I really can't make a decision, and I don't want to. I want to stay with the community wherever it goes (even though they don't want me), and if this doesn't work out, I want to leave Wikia as an option to crawl back to. I may help with any potential move, or I may not. But unless complete success is guaranteed, I can't really make any commitments. MolMan 20:52, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

You're not a loser Mol. Never think that. Never say that. Under 0 circumstances should ANYONE EVER think or say that. Not about themselves. Not about others--Deltaslug (talk) 21:01, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
Lol yes I am. I'm a giant loser faggot. MolMan 21:18, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
I feel like the point that "no one else cares" is extremely valid to the point of dealbreaking. We, the frequent editors of the wiki, have our major and minor gripes about Wikia. (I feel like ranting at and bitching about Wikia has become a daily thing for me.) But the vast, vast majority of readers don't care. They just want to know how much XP a super antifire gives, or the strength bonus of an amulet of glory, or whatever. They don't care about who writes the articles, or the minor bits of layout/javascript fixing that almost gets admins banned, or the other backend of editing/administrating wiki at all. They won't follow us. Reddit, while great, won't reach that large of a group. Most people will just google runescape wiki and go with the top result - here (or, continue using their bookmarks and custom searches). If the content was moved from Wikia (as opposed to copied), it'd be a much more favourable scenario. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 21:49, December 10, 2015 (UTC)
While it's true no one really cares what wikia are like as far as we're concerned, it's possible they also don't care where that information comes from whether it's here or from the hypothetical fork. What we're also neglecting to mention here is the update frequency we deal with.
Lets assume for a moment that the top 10 most active editors decided to come with this fork, and they happen to be those that work on new updates. How long will it be before someone notices the latest info isn't at Wikia anymore? Google might penalise the copied pages, but the new stuff would be original.
Similarly, how long before people realise our exchange prices and navigation are out of date? It's going to take a while for anyone to figure out how the more complicated systems on the wiki work, assuming they do at all. And all the while, we're quietly improving the fork. I won't say it's a perfect strategy, but it's a start. cqm 00:40, 11 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Oppose - As dumb as Wikia is, we're kind of stuck with it for now. Moving from Wikia has pretty much never gone well for other communities in the past, and the RuneScape community is notoriously bad at dealing with change of any kind, so we'd probably fare even worse. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 21:14, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Non-committal wiggly hand gesture - Ehh User talk:ThePsionic.png: RS3 Inventory image of User talk:ThePsionic ThePsionic Special:Contributions/ThePsionic.png: RS3 Inventory image of Special:Contributions/ThePsionic 21:30, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Oppose - per all previous discussions Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 22:31, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

No thanks - Yes, Wikia is awful and is getting worse. And in a vacuum, Curse is obviously superior...but there are hurdles associated with moving that nobody, including those forks you've mentioned, have figured out how to get over. If we're actually going to do this for real, there needs to be a plan in place to win a battle against the forked-from wiki. Until we have that, this discussion is pointless. But stay tuned, folks... ʞooɔ 23:03, December 10, 2015 (UTC)

Oppose - Sadly, I agree with AJ, Cook, and Mol. The successful strategy would probably be to split admin time between the two sites, develop new features at the new site, and try to let the old one die, which would never be a complete process. Trying a wholesale move would just purge this site of admins. All the readers would stay here. I despise Wikia for Oasis, their illiterate or outright anti-intellectual branding, their management policies, and a bunch of other stuff that really only matter to someone who does anything other than read content. People who read content don't care about any of that and would stay here, so that's one reason not to move. Wikia's biggest advantage is that it's probably the most robust infrastructure (aside from a couple hacker-run farms, which I obviously would not recommend, and WikiMedia itself, which isn't any kind of option), so that's a second reason not to move. Also I experience really slow load times with the Curse sites, so I'm not convinced it's the next best alternative. --Saftzie (talk) 01:54, December 11, 2015 (UTC)

Why is it sad to agree with me? :( MolMan 01:57, December 11, 2015 (UTC)


(Strong) Oppose - Curse took over a month time to remove a password logger from a website. As a result a ton of websites got 'hacked' because of reused passwords. Fearthe1337 (talk) 09:12, December 12, 2015 (UTC)

Do you know any specific details of that incident? The member of Curse staff I'm in contact with has ideas of what it may be referring to, but those are largely mirror sites of Curse.com that have malware-riddled adverts. These sites do have action taken against them, but legal proceedings aren't all that quick. However if there is a legitimate issue that has passed under their radar, I'm sure they'd like to be made aware of it. cqm 12:21, 15 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Comment - Some replies to some of the ongoing discussion here from Gamepedia staff:

I have heard MANY complaints about Curse, such as the potential for virus-ridden ads and slower loading times. "
Load times can be longer, although we've taken several steps in the last few months to decrease our response times as well as overhauling our ad system to run much quicker. We haven't had any problems or complaints about ads in many years now. "Bad ads" (e.g. autoplay w/ sound, inappropriate content) are always removed within hours of being reported to us. I think its important to remember that 3-4 years ago we were a tiny start-up with a handful of websites and employees. We're now a multi-million dollar business with hundreds of employees and our own platforms for wikis, community sites, and advertising.
I have been informed by Gaz that if you log in to a Curse wiki you do not see ads.
This is not totally accurate. We do have a premium service that removes ads, but its not really priced/aimed at most users (instead being a premium service for our WoW addon manager). However, we are able to grant gratis subscriptions to admins of major wikis and are considering a new more affordable service aimed just at Gamepedia users and editors.
In the words of mol
"onei would i lose my edit count ;(".
All contribution histories and edit counts would be preserved in a move.

Some other things he wanted to bring up:

  1. There are some ways that Wikia has permitted to communicate community moves. While straight out banners/notices are not permitted, Poptropica (for example) was expressly allowed to put up a notice saying that admins/community have moved.
  2. We're working closely with Jagex now on what will likely be the Official Chronicles: RuneScape Legends wiki. Should the move happen, we'd be very invested in working with them to Official-ize the RSW as well.
  3. Finally, and this is more of a philosophical point rather than an argument for or against, but with so many problems on Wikia and people wanting to move except for the fact that Wikia's policies and treatment of communities is such a barrier to forking, staying because of those actions is never going to force them to wake up and realize they need to care more about their communities instead of trying to create a system where people are so locked in they have no choice but to stay. I don't think that will hold much water with folks, but in the grand scheme of things I think its true.

I'll ask him to comment on the password logger incident specifically, as I think it's serious enough to be a major issue for any current wiki, let alone a prospective one. Other than that, it would appear Jagex have looked into setting up a new wiki at Gamepedia so there's potentially a precedent for getting Jagex to link to us.

I think his final point is something to consider as well, although there's very little any of us can do to impact Wikia policy. I've tried, it rarely goes very far or if it does it typically takes months for something not as good as you'd hoped. cqm 09:48, 12 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

More than philosophically, yeah, if Wikia had a commercially-viable competitor that was actually taking business from it because the competitor had better customer management policies, I'm sure it would feel some pressure to change. Perhaps Gamepedia is that competitor for (1) new, (2) gaming wikis, but we're not new, and not every wiki is a gaming wiki. Given that most active wikis on Wikia seem to be gaming wikis (Wikia sure seems to make a big deal about gaming communities, too), gaming wikis make sense as a business strategy for Gamepedia. I'm not convinced that still helps us move now. --Saftzie (talk) 18:27, December 12, 2015 (UTC)

Oppose - On the note that Cqm mentioned on Jagex working with Gamepedia, it would probably go towards something discussed briefly by Mod Lyon back in October. I would like to point out that Jagex has made their attempts in the past to work with us but some issues come along throughout the years. Between releasing information about upcoming promotions early that aren't explainable with Thaler or the Advent Calendar hasn't helped. Jagex does ultimately use this site for a lot of information gathering that does not exist in Confluence or CDN.

I don't agree to moving to a new host. While it has been five years since I made the opposition comment on Forum:Changing hosts where the amount of advertisement wasn't so extreme, I feel that such a split of editors will hurt all sides. Looking at a similar case, Blizzard did change their links from WoWWiki based with Wikia to that with Curse because of how close they were to each other, but would Jagex do the same? I think not. The best contact that we've had with them is almost non-existent these days for Fansite Staff.

The RuneScape Wiki is notably the most active gaming wiki based in Wikia Inc. Having another RuneScape Wiki would just be like when this site was competing against the Jagex hosted JAMWiki implementation which almost always won on SEO because of the domain name. I'm still saddened that I cannot access whatever became of the SponsorshipDashboard that listed all the interesting advertisement figures, or did previously. The only way to do anything better would be to have the wiki move to a domain controlled by Jagex. Seriously, that would be the best option even though it won't happen.

Placing myself in the position of a reader, if I don't see it here I'll just ask on Reddit for the answer. Unlike other editor bases that had left for a different host, how much of a possibility is it to see Wikia allow a message on the Main Page, RecentChanges, or every page that the editors have moved? Would it be more simple to attempt to get Wikia to reduce the amount of annoyances that compound issues that are advertisements? Probably no going off of showing them what outside communities thought of the amplification of advertisements over the last two years has brought to the RSW.

The foremost point that needs to come across is to have even just a 25% reduction in advertisements and removal of page-takeover advertisements. Will Wikia Inc. actually do anything? I'm curious if they ever will stop attempting to introduce advertisements as they are now. Even in the brief existence of Venus, we saw the leaderboards inside of page content. The message to be sent should be advert reductions, not editor relocations. Ryan PM 07:27, December 13, 2015 (UTC)

As a concept, I don't have any issues with Wikia. However, each month seems to come with new annoyances, bad decisions and poorly thought out features. I've actively contributed to discussions on new features, tried those features out, given feedback and contacted Wikia when I discover anything from a major problem to a minor pain point. And yet, I don't ever think it's actually getting better. cqm 12:12, 15 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)

Noo Cqm :( - Don't get taken down by mysterious sniper fire or a stray arrow to the knee or something. You're our only active 'crat. --LiquidTalk 05:42, December 14, 2015 (UTC)

Comment- Cqm has pointed out that achievements exist on Gamepedia/Curse. I just wanted to say that those would destroy our community completely if we did decide to move, a-la the previous discussions about the blog extensions and achievements. See those discussions for more details, but in a nutshell for those who aren't aware, achievements on Wikia tend to discourage actual editing and encourage spam/disruptive editing for the sake of getting more and more points and achievements. It appalls me that Curse essentially is saying "go wild in a bad way" with its wiki users on its network... 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 22:07, December 14, 2015 (UTC)

Ya. Achievements would be too harmful. Would literally kill all of our families. MolMan 22:13, December 14, 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't around for either the blog or achievement discussions, but I think the the harm was vastly overstated. That's not to say either would be useful, which is a view I agree with, but I don't see wikis that use them failing as a result. Either way, you apparently didn't take account of being able to delete achievements which effectively disables them. cqm 12:12, 15 Dec 2015 (UTC) (UTC)
TBH, I did not. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 13:20, December 15, 2015 (UTC)

Comment lol wikia's surveys Korasi's sword.png Archmage Elune  TalkHS Void knight deflector.png fetus is my son and I love him. 09:26, December 19, 2015 (UTC)

Closed - Wow, this thread brings back a lot of memories. I was quite the rebel back in 2010. At any rate, the community has definitively demonstrated here that there is no consensus for a move away from Wikia. As this is at least the third time this was overwhelmingly decided (I count four, but others may disagree with me including Forum:Moving the RuneScape Wiki), I will be adding it to the list of previously rejected proposals. This, of course, does not preclude people from proposing this in the future, as long as they have good cause. --LiquidTalk 21:08, December 22, 2015 (UTC)