Forum:Money making guides, further standards

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This thread was archived on 8 June 2012 by Urbancowgurl777.

Hi guys,

With the passage of the previous thread on money making guides, a few people have begun to create individual pages for new methods. The pages created so far vary widely in quality, and I think it would be a good idea to set some better standards on what pages we should make, how they are formatted, and how we present them. The last thread seems to have left a lot of this up to "common sense", but in my experience that usually doesn't work out well.

There should be some quality controls in place for these guides -- Money making guide is the single most popular content page, and we owe it to our readers to serve up useful, expert information. Without further ado, my proposed MMG guidelines:

  • Type - We divide the guides up into four groups, based on the timeframe involved.
    • Hourly - Activities that can be performed continuously over the course of an hour or longer. These will make up the bulk of the guides, and profit will be measured per hour.
    • 4 Hourly - Activities that can be performed only a few times (or once) per hour hours, due to Grand Exchange limits. Examples include making item sets, decanting potion flasks and creating polypore staves. Profit will be measured per four hour period.
    • Daily - Profitable activities that can be done once per day. Examples include buying items from shops and collecting daily Tasks rewards. Profit is measured by day.
    • Special - Other forms of moneymaking that do not fit the other groups. Examples include Managing Miscellania and perhaps merchanting.

Each of these types will have a different template, with different parameters relevant to the timeframe (except for Special, which will just have a written guide). Examples of each can be seen here.

  • Categories - Each of the methods will have a category and a subcategory for easy sorting. Categories could be Collection, Skilling and Combat, while subcategories might be a particular skill like Herblore, or a specific type of activity like making planks or tanning hides. Suggestions welcome.
  • Baselines - For cleanliness and sanity, we need to set a baseline for what methods we make guides for. We can't just make pages for everything that makes money, or we'd be writing about picking up buckets in Al-Kharid. A player with no skills and no money can easily make 60,000 an hour in free-to-play, or 300,000 an hour as a member. I believe any moneymaking methods that don't even make that much shouldn't be included on the wiki. However, if you have high skills and lots of money to begin with, there are hundreds of different opportunities for you to make more than 300k an hour. We shouldn't include all of the high level methods that only make that much, because it would waste our time and our readers' time. Unfortunately we can't really have a scaling baseline for what makes the cut and what doesn't, so we'll need to decide whether a particular method would ever be used by a rational player. (Note that in many cases, price fluctuations will make a previously profitable method unprofitable. In this case, we will hide the method from the main index until it meets the standards again.) Any free-to-play methods permantently less than 60k/hr and members' methods less than 300k/hr should be deleted.
  • Specificity - In my opinion, we should be as specific as possible about the method the guide is about. Instead of having a page on cleaning herbs, have one on cleaning avantoe and one on cleaning torstol and any other profitable herbs. This allows for the method to have a set profit per hour for the index, and it simplifies listing the requirements, experience and inputs/ouputs. However, for the 4-Hourly and Daily guides, it might be easier for us to generalize, especially when the methods can all be done in a row. For example, we might just have a single page on Decanting potion flasks, as opposed to Decanting prayer flasks or saradomin brew flasks.
  • Dynamic pricing and inputs/outputs - Wherever possible, list the profit per hour as the sum of its outputs minus the sum of its inputs. For instance, when cleaning avantoe, the inputs are 8,000 Grimy avantoe and the outputs are 8,000 Clean avantoe. This makes the profit dynamic and keeps it from becoming obsolete. In some cases (such as combat), this may be difficult to calculate -- just try to calculate the expected value of drops minus the cost of supplies. What's also difficult is that different players with different stats may have a lower number of monsters killed or items processed per hour, and it makes our exact calculation imperfect. Sometimes we can provide a range of profits based on evaluating the method at different levels, but oftentimes we'll have to make do with the specific profit based on a single evaluation.
  • Evaluation - ALL methods should be evaluated by the author before they are written up. Even if it's just a ten minute test, you should check the exact profitability of it and see how many you can kill/collect/process/mine in an hour. This should also give you further insight for when you write about the details of the guide. We're supposed to be the experts, so we might as well have a clue what we're writing about.
  • Hourly template - An explanation of the parameters:
    • Activity - Name of the method. Keep it short but descriptive.
    • Picture - A picture of the method in action. Not just a picture of the item. Cheesy.
    • Profit - Outputs minus inputs. See above.
    • Requirements - Skill, Item, Quest, Other. Also give suggested requirements.
    • Other benefits - List experience gained.
    • Inputs and outputs - List the items you put in and the ones you get out after an hour, plus the quantity and overall price.
    • Location - Is there a place that you need to be to do this method? Do you have suggestions?
    • Details - A few paragraphs explaining how it works, plus tips, tricks and pitfalls. Write it like a guide; you don't have to be objective.
  • Index - On the main Money making guide page, we'll have an index of the methods in a table. The four types (Hourly, 4-Hourly, Daily, Special) will be listed in different sections, with columns showing the profit, requirements and category/subcategory. I don't know if we can get this to work automatically with DPL, but a static prototype is here.
  • Existing guides - When we replace the old guides, we'll need to do something with the existing pages, which are pretty awful but surprisingly popular. I suggest that we leave a note on the main MMG page explaining that the old pages have been replaced, but that they can be accessed in an archive, perhaps in mainspace.
  • New guides - I am expecting that a few strong editors will step up and help me write 50-100 individual guides over the next couple of weeks. It's probably too complicated to expect your average editor to follow all of these standards so they just won't write guides. This is kind of a good thing, because it makes it harder for the content quality to decay. If readers and users have ideas for new guides, we could have a suggestions page (maybe just Talk:Money making guide) and our guide writers would then evaluate the method and write it up.

Well, that's about it. Please comment on the proposals, and lend a hand with the guides if you have a moment. Also, please contribute to my list of money making methods (currently empty), so we can start cracking on the guides as soon as possible. ʞooɔ 22:49, April 10, 2012 (UTC)

Discussion

Support all; and will try and help - The proposal sounds good, as consistency is important. I would like to see at least some ease of sorting of that table, particularly by skill (or dominant skill if there's more than one) and the coins per hour (or four hours). I'll try and lend a hand with making some of the pages. Hofmic Talk 03:18, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

Support - This is one of the most promising projects we've had in a long time. I'll also do whatever I can to help. Ronan Talk 09:58, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - An useful feature for making these guides would be a simple 4x7 table with class="inventorytable" to make it a lot easier to generate inventory images. I've made the CSS code required for it already, so if we want to use it we could just add that CSS code, and [[w:c:joeytje50:Test 1|here]] is an example of how it's used (click "Edit" to see) and what it looks like in action. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 15:03, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I've noticed there are a number of money making guide subpages that are not up to snuff. They don't fit the needed accuracy nor the standards outlined above. For example, [[Money_making_guide/Moss_giants]] uses the "old" style of table and does not have any formula behind it. I would presume the data from some of these pages were copied from the existing, inaccurate money making guide tables. If we use pages like these, we're no better off in the accuracy of our money making guides than before.

The way I see it, all pages should use some type of formula to take a guess at the value of a method. So if you're catching carnivorous chinchompas, the formula would be the value of a red chinchompa times by the average number that can be caught by a player of the level the guide is targeting (say, 75). Money_making_guide/Killing blue dragons solves this, for example, by only taking into aspect the the bones and dragonhides that blue dragons always drop, and multiplying that by the number of kills that can be obtained in an hour (counting banking and traveling). There's no practical or accurate way to keep track of the chance drops, and those are thus considered extras.

To sum that up, I think that all money making guides need to utilize some type of formula, where possible, and monsters whose values lie entirely in chance drops aren't suitable for money making guides. A number of our already created money making guide pages are going to need a total revamp or even be trashed. A full list of existing pages can be found here. Hofmic Talk 18:05, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

I agree with this entirely. The guides are useless if they have static estimates instead of formulas that vary with price changes. I think the most important think you said was that the calculations should be tailored to the skills of the player the guide is for. It's useless to see how many chickens a maxed player can kill in an hour, because no one in their right mind would do that. Also, there are some ways to at least approximate the chance drops -- there are certain monster drop logs (off-site, mind you) that have logged thousands of drops for creatures like Nex and the Corporeal Beast and God Wars monsters. I used one of those logs to calculate the expected drop value of Nex as 5,074,407 coins, and it's possible to use those logs to provide some degree of accuracy to monster hunting profit estimates. ʞooɔ 19:38, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

Support - The whole proposal sounds great, it's about time our MMGs cleaned up. One thing about the index page, I hope that we could implement some method to sort by skill within each type. I think that players will often want to search within the skill they prefer using/have the highest level in as opposed to sorting only by profit or having to deal with the table sorting skill requirements without regard to skill type. That being said, I'll definitely jump in and help with testing/writing out some methods. --Aburnett(Talk) 21:33, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

Also, will we have one index for P2P and one for F2P? When one money making method applies to both (ie fishing lobsters), should we lump them into one page (MMG/Fishing lobsters) or separate them into multiple (MMG/Fishing lobsters (P2P), etc.)? --Aburnett(Talk) 21:39, April 11, 2012 (UTC)
The subcategory for "Skill" will be the name of the skill. In that sense, you can order the methods by skill. And I think we'd probably have separate indexes for F2P and P2P. When the same method has a different profit in members compared to free-to-play, then yeah, we'd split it up. ʞooɔ 04:06, April 12, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I think making all seperate methods have a page for each method adds another great functionality, where you could have a big template with a #switch: or #if:, which would make it possible to make a money making calculator, where people can select what the amount of profit they want per hour, what the skill is they want to use (probably a list of checkboxes where you can select exactly what skills you want to use), and what your level is in the skill. Then the template would have a couple usages of #if: and #ifexpr: for each guide, and then it would create a list of fitting money making guides that meet the user's preferences. The only downside of this I can think of is that every money making guide would be slightly more complicated, because it would need a template, for example {{MMGHeader}}, at the start, then at the bottom it would need another template, for example {{MMGFooter}}, at the bottom. Then in the MMGHeader, there would have to be things like |magic=50|smithing=15 (list of skills involved with the required levels for them), and |pph=100,000 for the profit per hour. If this would be used, I could make the templates that make it possible to use just those 2 templates on the mmg pages, so that it would be possible to make a moneymaking calculator. TL;DR: I think it is possible to make one big template which transcludes any moneymaking guides that meet the requirements set by the user, but we would need to have two extra templates with info on the moneymaking guide pages themselves to make the calculator able to know what the profit and used skills are. Opinions? JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 10:43, April 12, 2012 (UTC)

Support - A strict guide for writing these guides are what is needed to prevent the quality issues prevalent in our old/current guides. Strong support Joey's suggestion. That is a brilliant idea if the logistics are worked out before all the new guides are written so it is easy for the "calc" to fit in. It would be very useful for the more lazy/efficient viewers who want their data immediately. 222 talk 12:51, April 12, 2012 (UTC)

Strong Support - Especially for the encompassing template suggestion per above. Cook's list of methods appears to be off to a great start and a template that would allow users to search for a method that works best for them is a brilliant idea. It could easily account for changes in price due to trends/updates, and it would prevent lengthy pages of strategies all categorized under one skill (such as what we have now) from occuring. MMG has long been one of the most outdated and disorganized aspects of the site. Red partyhat detail.png Pen Draig Talk King Black Dragon.png 17:40, April 15, 2012 (UTC)

Sooooo.... - Is this gonna be one of those "AMG LETS DO THIS LETS DO THAT" threads that ends up being "nah it has been a week since this has been suggested, it's old, I don't really care anymore"? What still needs to be done? What can people do? JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 08:55, April 23, 2012 (UTC)

I am still raring to do this -- we already have 48 pages, more than half of my methods have already been tested, and pages are still (slowly) being created. However, there is only so much I can do on my own. I have some major limitations (i.e. sucking at RuneScape) that prevent me from timing most of these methods, so I need a few people to step up and test the things on User talk:Cook Me Plox/Sandwich2, or recommend some methods of their own. We're really close, let's not give up now. ʞooɔ 05:43, April 24, 2012 (UTC)
Need more help. Now. ʞooɔ 08:59, May 12, 2012 (UTC)
I'll help then. Who else is in this project at the moment? JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 10:56, May 14, 2012 (UTC)

Notice of intent - If nothing else needs to be said, I'll close this as a successful set of MMG guidelines in a few days. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 20:46, May 19, 2012 (UTC)

Well, there's been no further progress in the last few weeks with the moneymaking guides. ʞooɔ 03:16, May 20, 2012 (UTC)
So what do you want the YG to do about it? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 02:32, May 21, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - The community has agreed on the guidelines, scripts and such. Move the guidelines into your userspace to get the project going. Further advertising of this project will be determined with Forum:A new way to organise projects. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 04:29, June 8, 2012 (UTC)