Forum:Revisiting rules for FCs in mainspace
It's been four years since Forum:Establishing_rules_for_FCs, I would like to reopen the discussion on the topic of adding references to in-game FCs in mainspace but this time with a more concrete proposal.
Previous concerns[edit source]
To summarise concerns editors have raised if we go ahead with this (not exhaustive, please let me know if there are more):
- Some FCs have a reputation (looking at you, Raid FC) for being toxic and mentioning them might be an implicit endorsement by wiki of such behaviour
- We might invite edit wars as FC owners add themselves/delete their rivals
- There isn't enough editorial time to police FC behaviour so if one of them goes downhill it's hard for us to know about it
- How do we come up with a system to determine which FCs get added and which don't. What does "well-established" mean? How "well-established" until we add them? etc.
What's wrong with the status quo?[edit source]
The problem with the status quo of never mentioning anything, however, is that the wiki as far less helpful than it could be. It's been mitigated by many of these FCs migrating over to discord, but we still have activities like travelling merchant, soul obelisk, and scarabs that are still have a heavy presence in-game and people reading the wiki would benefit from knowing about their existence.
Aren't most of these FCs now Discord servers, rendering this discussion moot?[edit source]
Yes, many of them now have a heavy discord presence, but that's still not how many players interact with them. This is especially true of FCs like minigames, whirlpooldnd, soulobby, world60pengs, etc.
My proposal[edit source]
My proposal is as such: we treat FCs in mainspace similarly to how we treat Discord affiliations Forum:Discord_collaboration,_guides_and_links with some differences. More specifically:
- We maintain a list of whitelisted FCs that can be mentioned in mainspace kind of the same way we maintain a list of Discord affiliates over at RuneScape:Discord_Affiliates
- Unlike Discord affiliates, these FCs are explicitly not wiki affiliates. We explicitly mention that we do not condone, moderate, etc. any behaviour that happens in these FCs; we merely point to their presence so that players may benefit from them.
- Whitelisted FCs may be mentioned in mainspace articles in a template where relevant with all of the above caveats (not endorsed; batteries not included, etc). I don't know the technical details of how templates and all that work, but we make a FC template similar to the one we have for discords and we add in there that "this FC may be helpful, we do not endorse...", and the FC can not be mentioned anywhere else. We do not want a section of the article that's "this FC does things this way...". Also include a link to the RSOF thread if they have one.
- I feel like this bears repetition: we maintain a whitelist of FCs, and only those FCs may be included in mainspace articles. The only place these FCs may appear is in a template blurb at the top of the page the same way we handle discord affiliates. We also link to the whitelist because it's just a helpful list to have access to for most players.
- To get added to the whitelist, somebody must open a thread on YG and consensus reached for addition.
- This whitelist is not meant to be exhaustive. It's just a list of FCs that the readers might find helpful and have been whitelisted to be mentioned in mainspace in the relevant articles; we do not and should not make it long for the sake of exhaustiveness.
The goal of this proposal is that we maintain a whitelist of FCs that are good to know about when playing Runescape for the majority of players. These are merely FCs that readers may want to know about; it is not endorsed in any way, merely a curated list the same way I can curate a list of helpful subreddits and put it on my website without condoning behaviour in each of them. We aim for quality over quantity; all FCs should be (see rules below) widely-acknowledged by the playerbase as a good place to go for information, and there just aren't that many of those. The wiki here is in a big position of authority; we need to make clear that we do not endorse the contents of the FCs and it is merely a helpful acknowledgement of existence.
This means that FCs should meet the following criteria before being considered for whitelisting:
- The FC must be active at all times.
- There is a widespread consensus in the playerbase that the FC is the main activity hub for said activity. For example, world60pengs is undisputably the place to go to for penguins, soulobby the place for soul obelisk and scarab calls, but raid fc is not the main place for doing raids. This is how we avoid edit wars: by not even trying when there's more than one of them. We judge this the same way we judge if a discord is "good enough" for affiliation.
- The FC must be actively moderated and follow the rules of Runescape.
- The FC must have fulfilled all other criteria for the past 90 (120? year? up for discussion too) days. This is to prevent a situation like Archaeology and DSF where there's initial hype but then it dies down and the FC dies. The wiki is a long-term repository of information, we shouldn't try to keep up with short-term changes. The tradeoff here is that we won't have references on release of new content, and that's ok.
- The FC is non-commercial. No floor selling, pvm leeching, etc.
- The FC has a well-defined purpose and only contains discussion for that specific purpose. It should not be a social FC that just so happens to also do the activity.
- Affiliated discords get a pass and can mention their in-game FC if they have one in conjuction with their discord link. If the FC does not fulfill the other criteria it should be brought up as part of their application for affiliation and editors can use their judgement there.
Just like the criteria for discord affiliation, this is somewhat vague and subjective. The intention, once again, is for a high-quality curated whitelist of useful FCs. This is why new requests are opened on YG and editors can exercise their judgement and form a consensus on whether a FC goes on the whitelist and we can mention in in mainspace in relevant places.
In addition, we should also consider a categorical ban on PvM and PvP FCs. This is because for any PvM activity there is most often no one "main" FC that everybody uses for matchmaking; just a wide selection of discord groups. This includes raid fc since really matchmaking for raids is mainly confined to clans, other miscellanious social groups, Raids School discord, and many more. I separated it out because I'm not sure how I personally feel about this one, but I'm also not sure how relavant it is considering pvm teamforming is now all on discord. PvP is more of a concern though, but for once
RSOF actually has active recruitment in this area edit: nevermind none of the major FCs seem to recruit on RSOF anymore, and all of the other major wilderness FCs that I know of all require strong vouches to enter so readers won't be able to join anyways.
Criteria 1 and 2 alone disqualify the vast majority of FCs in the game and I feel like when combined are sufficient to narrow down to a very small and specific list. This is a list of FCs that I know of that currently fulfill the criteria laid out above (edit: to be clear these FCs are not part of the proposal; just examples of FCs I had in mind working on this and that will most likely end up on the whitelist):
- minigames -- for whatever's on spotlight
- soulobby -- for soul obelisk, scarabs, and other Menaphos calls
- world60pengs -- for penguin hide and seek. They also have a discord but many people still use the FC.
- corehunting -- Hall of Memories core parties. Not sure how they're doing after the divination update.
- whirlpooldnd -- for travelling merchant calls. They have a discord but as far as I know it's not nearly as active as the FC itself.
- fishflingers -- for Fish Flingers calls. Still really active, surprisingly.
FCs with discords already affiliated to the wiki:
- portables -- many still use the FC, even if they really should use the discord/spreadsheet
- vis wax -- same story as portables
What if the FC dies?[edit source]
We remove it via another thread to YG. Since there will be less that 20 FCs whitelisted, it shouldn't be a big burden to verify reports of a dead fc and remove them (as a sidenote the archeaology discord seems to be pretty dead; what is the process to consider removal anyways? I'm not aware of one; if it exists we may consider copying it here.).
What if they're toxic?[edit source]
The main place I've seen this objection is in relation to raid fc. To be honest I'm not sure; my intention is for the YG consensus process to take care of it. Editors reach a consensus that we should add it and that players may find it helpful, if it's known for being toxic then it won't get a consensus. I've outlined in my proposal that the intention of the whitelist is that we curate a high-quality list of useful fcs for the majority of players and have a small template blurb about them in relevant places. Toxic behaviour would not fulfill that criteria.
Closing thoughts[edit source]
This may be overdue, but I feel like there is a place in the wiki for acknowledging the existence of FCs that many players use. Yes, most of them are now discords, and many are even affiliated with the wiki, but many players (and I am one of them) prefer to not have to join a discord server just for a quick 5 minute activity every day.
I have tried my best to address issues that have previously been raised. This proposal shouldn't be too much of an administrative burden, as we are aiming for only the largest and highest quality FCs. It shouldn't spark edit wars, as the FCs are limited to a whitelist and a template at the top of the page. It's based on editor consensus, which should mitigate the element of subjective judgement.
As you can tell by the scattered nature of the proposal, it's not set in stone and very much open to amendment. I have had this at the back of my mind for a long time, and it's only really come together in the past few days. Please let me know what you think; I put this out here as a means of re-opening the discussion now that we have affiliated discords and that hasn't caused any major issues so far and to maybe potentially finally get FCs on the wiki to fill the demand of readers in need of this information.
Comment - If we did this, then it would also make sense to allow other discords in the same method (not affiliates) since affiliate requires that The community on the Discord must help write and maintain a set of pages related to the Discord's purpose. Preferably, some of this should be written before the YG thread so we have an idea of what improvements we're getting. Specifically things such as farm and skill outfit trading discords and the like, which are useful for players but not necessarily affiliate worthy.06:51, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
- I have the same problem as cqm in that it really muddies the waters between affiliated an non-affiliated discords. In principle I would be ok with mentioning these discords in mainspace similar to how affiliated discords work, but we would need to work on the details on what that actually entails. Elkswampdog (talk) 14:50, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
Support with caveat - In principle, I agree with the criteria for adding FCs and I think documenting the de facto communities for these activities is fine. I disagree that we should also apply the same criteria to discord servers because it muddies the water between the ones that are affiliated and those that are not.
The caveat to my support is that I'm inclined to ignore the proposed list of FCs until the criteria are agreed. If we have potential candidates in mind, great, but I'd rather see them considered separately rather than bundled up in the consensus for this. In my experience, conflating seemingly related but technically different things rarely goes well and you end up with ambiguous closing statements that don't really cover things properly. cqm talk 13:37, 20 July 2021 (UTC)