Forum:Handling the combat beta

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This thread was archived on 20 June 2012 by Ryan PM.

As I'm sure you've all seen, Jagex is changing the way combat works in RuneScape. It's supposedly "the biggest, most fundamental change" in RuneScape's history, so it'll be a pretty large task for us to get up to date on it. For some of the changes that are coming, see Mark's blog.

Starting in about three weeks, Jagex is running a beta for members to test out the new system. Needless to say, this will be very popular and it'll probably attract a lot of unregistered editors to update pages for things that have been changed in the beta. This might be changes to monster pages, changes to quests and strategies, or changes to equipment stats and new equipment altogether.

While the beta is running, we'll have two different states of RuneScape running at the same time -- the one with the current combat system, and the new one. The way I see it, we should continue to have the wiki report on the current system in mainspace. Say the rune scimitar's stats change slightly during the beta -- we don't want someone changing the stats on the page, because they're still what they are in the current version of the game. We also don't want anything in trivia or elsewhere saying "In the combat rework, the rune scimitar's stats were changed..." This would get messy and spin out of control very quickly. There's also supposed to be completely new equipment and other items, which I also think should not have their own pages equal to items that already exist in the real game. For the sanity of our countervandals, our editors and our readers, we should keep combat beta information off of specific articles. Continue in mainspace for the most part as if the beta doesn't exist. If people add beta information to mainspace, just remove it.

That being said, we also want to report on the combat update somewhere. We have the manpower to build the best beta resource almost immediately after it opens, and this enormous update is our time to shine as the fast-paced content machine that we are. Still, it needs to be clearly separated from the rest of the wiki. I propose that we either put all specific beta-related information and pages in a new temporary namespace called "Beta". So a page for the Rune scimitar in the context of the beta would either be called "Beta:Rune scimitar". This would give us the opportunity to have useful information on the beta while clearly separating it from the current version of the game.

I also feel that if we do indeed separate beta information from main game information, we should be granular about the pages we make, the same way that we are granular about mainspace stuff. Think of the beta namespace as a different version of the mainspace pages that will be affected by the update. I realize that it's a ton of work to pretty much create a few thousand pages in a separate namespace, but most of it can just be copied from the mainspace page and changed slightly to be put in the beta NS. This has two benefits -- one, it creates a complete set of information about the combat beta somewhere, and it also can be used as a testing ground for all beta pages, so we don't have to do very much (besides moving pages) when the combat update is released to the main game. We could of course take a very minimal approach to information on the beta, but then we'd have to do all of the work over again when it becomes part of the real game and goes back into mainspace.

Of course, this could all be overreaction. The combat update might not be as big as Jagex's hype, the beta might only last for a couple weeks...in that case, most of this would be unnecessary. But I'd rather us be prepared for a huge update and be disappointed than be completely unprepared for the biggest change ever. If it is indeed underwhelming, we can revisit whatever decision is made here and change it quickly.

tl;dr version
  • Keep combat beta stuff off mainspace until full release
  • House beta stuff in temporary "Beta" namespace
  • Have a "Beta" page for every mainspace page affected by update, move to mainspace upon full release

ʞooɔ 20:09, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Discussion

Support - Assuming Wikia allow us another custom namespace, I see no reason not to do this. I would however like to see a link at the top of every affected page to the Beta variant of the article so editors are not unnecessarily confused by us reverting their edits. cqm talk 20:15, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

I made a quick [[Template:Beta|mock-up]] of what I mean. If anyone wants to play around with it, feel free. cqm talk 00:40, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Per nominator and Cam. A notice would help those that are intending to search for the beta version of a given monster, item, etc. The same should probably be applied the other way around too. Ryan PM 21:03, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Good idea. The current content should definitely be kept in the mainspace until the beta is fully released into the game. ajr 22:32, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Can't it be on another wiki instead of a new mainspace? Cake detail.pngCaek iz ossumChocolate cake detail.png talk om nom 22:52, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Why would we possibly go through the bureaucracy of making another functional wiki with policies, admins, etc when we can just add another namespace here? ajr 22:54, June 5, 2012 (UTC)
It's also simply easier to move the pages since the new pages are going to be going to use the same templates, etc, and images, well, we'd have to put images on the new wiki, and also make the new templates. Dragon longsword.png Cire04 TalkAttack.png 01:04, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - We should add notices to the pages that point towards the beta pages. svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 22:55, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Support - I can't think of any better ideas. Also, should we automate the task that Ty has highlighted above (use a bot to do it)? Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
Guestbook My violations of AGF
Oil4 I made this 00:43, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Having the information on separate pages would ease the transition to the new combat system once it's released (that is, for everyone), give a less confusing place to put information about the beta system as it runs, and seems the cleanest way to incorporate the information. I also support a template at the top of the pages which have a "beta version". While we normally don't want too many large templates at the tops of pages, it's necessary that we don't get editors adding tons of information to the wrong place. The [[Template:Beta|template Cam made]] is suiting. Hofmic Talk 00:56, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Though, if we don't want it in mainspace, could we possibly create an account named Beta, and put it on? That way it won't be included in the Mainspace, and most people won't be able to find it. Simply have a link on the page that links to the corresponding pages since thats where people will be looking to find the beta stuff anyway. Dragon longsword.png Cire04 TalkAttack.png 01:04, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

I think a new namespace works far better than a subpage in a user account, for vanity reasons more than anything. Hofmic Talk 01:07, June 6, 2012 (UTC)
How will it be useful if no one can find it? <.< sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 01:44, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support proposal & Cam's template idea - Template could use some rewording but if we are to do this, we need to let people know not to edit the mainspace pages with beta information. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 01:44, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Seeing as it can only be put on this wiki, I'll support. We should also start making combat articles now, seeing as there's probably around 3k combat items. It'll take awhile to it'd be best to start now. --Cake detail.pngCaek iz ossumChocolate cake detail.png talk om nom 05:34, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

And also, the old articles will have to be put onto a historical page, we can't just the beta ones onto the current ones. --Cake detail.pngCaek iz ossumChocolate cake detail.png talk om nom 22:25, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Upon first reading this thread, I thought it would be better to have a section called Beta in an affected article, for example [[Rune scimitar#Beta]]. However, when the combat rework actually goes live (as a non-beta), editors need to be unleashed upon every article, potentially creating thousands of edit conflicts as editors revert-war over which details stay and which details don't, or multiple editors trying to promote the beta information on the same page to release status. The Beta namespace solution is better because:

  • Pages from Beta can be moved to Main when the beta ends and the combat rework goes live. Pages from Main (before the beta) can be moved to their historical stat pages, such as [[Rune scimitar (historical)]];
  • Any page that's in Beta is either in Beta or moved, so there's no in-between where there can be edit conflicts;
  • Spelling/grammar corrections or other trivia additions, which people will have added to the mainspace during the beta, can be merged later.

So yeah, support the Beta namespace.

 a proofreader ▸ 

05:57, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Not that many people will probably enter BETA. Most people just come here for ordinary no-beta stuff. Therefor, don't change it. --Zorak plorak - Talk Hiscores 06:19, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support - But being the pessimist I am with big projects, I have some doubts that this task will be completed with great speed. 222 talk 06:21, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Support with Cam's template - Yes. We should however make articles for new content, but of course in the Beta: namespace. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 16:48, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Just a thought, are we going to keep an archived version of the current pages? So like, as a historic reference? We've done that for many things, however this is so big it's basically creating a completely new permanant namespace. Dragon longsword.png Cire04 TalkAttack.png 21:18, June 6, 2012 (UTC)

The beta namespace won't be permanent. I would be completely in favour of preserving the articles in their current state, but I know that some others will be against it. Ronan Talk 21:26, June 6, 2012 (UTC)
I assume this will be tackled closer to the formal release of the new combat system, but I have no idea why we would not preserve the articles as they stand when this update is released. We keep so much historical content that it seems odd not to do the same here. cqm talk 22:24, June 6, 2012 (UTC)
I fail to see the reasoning behind keeping "historical pages". The old versions of the page can be easily viewed in the page history. What's the advantage of creating a historical version that almost nobody would care about? Notable changes in the beta update can easily be mentioned in trivia sections. For example, if the dragon claws' special attack is removed in the beta, we can mention that in the trivia of the article. Keeping "historical pages" when a more up-to-date version of the page already exists seems to be just bloating. Keeping pages on content that was removed makes sense, but keeping an older version of a still existing page? What's the advantage of that? Hofmic Talk 04:24, June 7, 2012 (UTC)
This isn't released yet, so we have no idea how different it is, but this could be a major change to the articles. If we don't keep historical articles for content that still exists why do we have Druidic Ritual (historical) or Death Plateau (historical) or even Template:Historical article? cqm talk 09:28, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

(this is what I meant) We cannot reasonably expect all of our browsers to know how to operate articles' history. We're supposed to make our content as easy to access as possible, not following Wikia's lead and making everything a maze. Ronan Talk 10:58, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

...If we want to keep some historical information on this, we should only have like one page for it. Making a historical sub page for every single piece of equipment in the game is stoopid. We could make the special attacks page historic of course, but for general armor and weapons I think it would be a waste of our time to make tons of articles that say "players used to swing this diagonally and it had a special attack". sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 22:59, June 7, 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why it would be a waste of time, all that needs to be done is to copy paste the old version of the page. (A bot could very easily do that too.) bad_fetustalk 13:59, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
It would be a waste of time because it is utterly useless to keep old copies of every single armor & weapon page/images when we could sum it all up on one page. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 18:27, June 8, 2012 (UTC)

Preserving these articles will increase our current (very high) standards of comprehensiveness, provide an easily accessible source of information on historical content, and allow us to be the top guide for the game as it was in the past as well as in the present. Removing these articles or shoving them in as some kind of flung together summary on their respective pages does… what, exactly? We have no shortage of space, you know. Could someone please present a single, legitimate reason as to how discarding these articles (which have taken us years to build and maintain) will benefit us? Ronan Talk 18:40, June 8, 2012 (UTC)

Also, in case anyone tries to say "it would be a waste of time", as Chess has already stated above a bot can very easily move all of the articles without needing human involvement from anyone but its owner. Ronan Talk 18:51, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
Because it's useless, when we can have one article for it. That is all. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 18:53, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think having historical versions of these pages is a terrible idea. The changes surely will not be great enough to warrant new pages on our part, let alone anything readers would be interested in learning about. At most we could have a section on the original page, but this is not going to be anywhere near as significant as the change between RuneScape Classic and RuneScape 2, where the entire game changed and we required a separate wiki. We already overdo it with historical stuff. And of course there's much more to creating historical pages than just moving certain revisions. That we are even considering making 3,000 useless historical pages is beyond me. ʞooɔ 18:58, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why you think it's not a big change. Items' looks, animations, stats, uses, special attacks, popularity etc. will completely change. Moreover, you still didn't provide a reason why it'd be harmful... bad_fetustalk 19:01, June 8, 2012 (UTC)

One article covering two separate subjects, as well as doubling the lengths of these pages and making them needlessly sloppy in the process. Again, we have no shortage of space, and I continue to wait for a reason. [1] Ronan Talk 19:07, June 8, 2012 (UTC)

Since y'all are apparently incapable of drawing meaning from paragraphs, I'll distill it into bullet points:
  • Moving/creating the pages is not as simple as you claim it to be. Various templates will have to added and removed from thousands of pages, links corrected, tense changed. It's not as simple as saying "Hey, a bot will do it!"
  • This is a cheap way to overstate our actual page count and it'll create 3,000 more pages for people to do image, template and link maintenance on with no discernible benefits.
  • The usefulness and popularity of these historical pages will decline rapidly as the combat update becomes accepted. Just as very few people care about RuneScape Classic who don't play it, very few people will care about the items, guides, and monster pages two or three years down the road.
  • Depending on the severity of the update (which I believe is overstated), the vast majority of the information on the historical page will be duplicated from the main content page. A simple section will suffice.
As far as I can tell, the strategy here is to claim something benefits to historical comprehensiveness, and then cover your ears and talk about unlimited space when objections are brought up. The barely noticeable positive effects this would bring to our readers do not cmpare with the huge amount of work involved in making it a reality. I urge you to abondon this senseless, poorly thought out idea. ʞooɔ 19:49, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell the main reason for opposing the notion of keeping all the pages is that of size. 3000ish pages of stats, infoboxes and small trivia is indeed not worth keeping. However, until we are well aware of the differences we have no idea how large scale a change this is.
How about we merge large numbers of articles together and keep them as a historical reference. Quite how we link to them is something I haven't figured out, but I'm sure someone else will. For instance instead of having Rune dagger (historical), Rune scimitar (historical), etc. we have Rune weapons (historical) instead or, if that doesn't tickle your fancy, Rune equipment (historical) which would include weapons and armours. It cuts down on excessive numbers of dull, tedious pages and keeps our high standards of record keeping.
On the other hand, the details of the combat overhaul aren't that well known. The stats may stay the same, and trivia may suffice, so us making a decision on this is sort of pointless at this moment in time. cqm talk 21:43, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
I do not support the keeping of any historical page of any item, monster, etc. that has been changed in the combat rework. I personally dislike the majority of historical pages that are easily accessible through a ?oldid=revisionNumber as a link on the page it would have been related to. We already have well over 2000 unnecessary images and articles like "Hitpoints (historical)" where the only discernible difference at the time of the creation of that article was the name of the skill and lifepoints times ten.
I'm not even sure if the combat rework of the aforementioned affected game items even need a section on what has changed. The sad part about every time someone brings up deleting content, the "we have unlimited space" comment comes up and they are thinking within a narrow box.
Let's look at this in logical terms; the present state is keeping every useless piece of content, the desired state is getting content pushed to users without hassle. An ?oldid=revisionNumber link works wonders for this. A Dunker diagram helps. Ryan PM 07:15, June 10, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Nice. For any new items that might be released with the beta, would searching those items automatically bring you to the Beta namespace (like it does for usernames and the User namespace, apparently), or would redirects be needed?  Tien  21:30, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

Suppport - Be a whole lot tidier. Doubt it will completely deal with the potential possibility of mainspace articles being changed to beta but it'll help somewhat What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 23:04, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

Support - In theory, this is a great idea. But, it will require a lot of manpower. As someone who is generally skeptical on our ability to quickly gather the information and compile it for major projects, I have some doubts about our ability to write quality articles on the beta update, especially if the update is major.

However, this is much better than any of the alternatives that I can think of, so I will support it. Furthermore, we should ask for the namespace to be created soon. Who knows how long wikia will take. --LiquidTalk 02:47, June 11, 2012 (UTC)

I think that, as always, we'll first have to make the articles, stuff an infobox in, write two lines and move on to the next until all articles are done. THEN we'll have to cope with vandalism, or people adding beta information to the mainspace or vice versa. We're 2-3 days further now. We should all focus on expanding the articles at this point, if that was't done before. Should work .User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 16:00, June 11, 2012 (UTC)
How about copy-pasting the old monster/item/whatever's page, from Main into Beta, and rewriting the changed content?  a proofreader ▸  01:31, June 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support - this is the best way I can see of handling the beta. It would keep beta information clearly separate from live game information.

If we can't get a new namespace, would making a Beta page and using subpages of that be a workable alternative? Small recharge gem.png AnselaJonla Slayer-icon.png 17:49, June 15, 2012 (UTC)

Notice of intent - I'm going to close this in the next 14 hours unless any objections are presented to not use a "Beta" namespace. The keeping of historical articles can be discussed in a thread later along during the beta. The usage of Cam's template will be implemented unless objection is also placed here. Ryan PM 03:21, June 20, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - Per previous message and sent off Beta NS request. Ryan PM 17:06, June 20, 2012 (UTC)