Forum:Weasel words and general unencyclopedicness

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This thread was archived on 25 April 2010 by Liquidhelium.

It seems like somewhere along the line we've thrown RS:NPOV out the window. Instead of picking on one person or edit, I'll pick on a phrase that has been cropping up a lot. "It is recommended that..." I guess people got the idea that this is ok because it's written in the third person so it sounds kind of encyclopedic, but it's not. It's an example of weasel words

The problem is that while we're an encyclopedia, which is supposed to be neutral, we're also a fansite, which is supposed to give helpful advice.

I suggest expanding the system that we (sort of) have going now where some subjects have "Guide articles" or "Guide sections" of articles. Guide articles would have a header at the top informing readers of bias and normal articles would be able to remain strictly neutral. To be clear, as people don't understand what I'm trying to say, I'm suggesting that we have special "Guide articles" where NPOV does not apply --Wowbagger421 19:14, January 13, 2010 (UTC)

There was a discussion along very similar lines a few weeks ago. See Forum:Bad words in articles. :-) You make a good point though. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 19:19, January 13, 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad there are other people who see this is a big problem. If you search for "recommended", there are literally thousands of articles with this phrase alone. Bias has kinda gotten out of hand. --Wowbagger421 19:29, January 13, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - In guides, we are supposed to recommend things, right? White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 01:06, January 14, 2010 (UTC)

No - We are supposed to provide facts. The word "recommended" has taken a bit of a twist and these days has strong implications/overtones of "I know better than you do so do it my way" in an authoritative manner, rather than a helpful one.--Degenret01 01:17, January 14, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure you read my post right. I'm suggesting we makes special "guide" pages so that we CAN recommend things. I have no idea what you meant. --Wowbagger421 01:00, January 17, 2010 (UTC)
So, most of the article would be just be an encyclopedic entry on what the thing is, and then a section for a guide on how to use it? White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 01:30, January 17, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I agree, but what about items that are recommended in quest guides?  Tien  01:33, January 14, 2010 (UTC)

"Useful items" is better imo. useful in that they will make the quest easier and such.--Degenret01 01:39, January 14, 2010 (UTC)
Quest guides would be GUIDES. Recommendations would be allowed in guides. --Wowbagger421 01:00, January 17, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean. So for example, in the Skeletal Horror article, we would move the section on how to kill it to a subpage or something? If so, then I support. We'd probably have to put a link to the guide on the main article too.  Tien  00:16, January 18, 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. The walkthrough for the Skeletal Horror we could probably just keep in a separate section on the same page, but for pages with long guides such Barrows, we'd have a subpage. --Wowbagger421 02:39, January 18, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - The biggest problem I can think of is guides, for example a guide for the Nomad fight during Nomad's requiem is extremely useful. The "problem" is rewritting them without messing up the guide, for example Nomad (whom I'm using due to being the one of the newest guides) might suffer from this due to people writting from their experences during quest, surely even if guides list it in non-encyclopediac format that's more useful than giving no advise on it at all. Korasi's sword.png Archmage Elune  TalkHS Void knight deflector.png fetus is my son and I love him. 06:12, January 14, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral - While I think that we need to 'be more NPOV', I think that we should still keep these recommendations - just in other words. Like, "It is usually recommended to do this and that, but there are other ways." Something like that. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 07:25, January 15, 2010 (UTC)

Adding "usually" to it just makes the words weaselier =P Why not separate things into articles and guides? --Wowbagger421 01:00, January 17, 2010 (UTC)
True. I like that idea - it would be good for quest stuff. Put the guide in something like [[While Guthix Sleeps/Guide]] and put general information about it in the main page. Or the different way round. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:36, January 17, 2010 (UTC)
No - quests should probably be complete guide articles. What else would we put on? White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 21:52, January 17, 2010 (UTC)
I think basically they'd be the same as they are now. They're already separated into sections for Details, Walkthrough (this would be the "guide" part), rewards, etc. The only change would be the walkthrough section would have a header letting readers and editors know it isn't neutral. --Wowbagger421 02:34, January 18, 2010 (UTC)
That IS what I'm suggesting we do for most pages, but I think for quests it makes sense to keep everything on one page. --Wowbagger421 02:43, January 18, 2010 (UTC)
Like this?
"While Guthix Sleeps
introduction (quest infobox with general information?)
Details
Walkthrough (with Requirements)
Trivia
End"
Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 10:51, January 18, 2010 (UTC)

Comment- all recommendations should simply be reasoned. When reasoning is provided, users can decide for themselves if they wish to heed the advice or trust the logic. -tortilliachp  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tortilliachp (talk) on 2010-01-19 17:46:51 (UTC).

I moved this, because it was in my text >.< Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 17:52, January 19, 2010 (UTC)
Agreed I think instead of saying something like "it is recommended that players wear boots of lightness", it should be something more like "Players may find it particularly useful to reduce their weight as much as possible here, for example by wearing boots of lightness or a spottier cape." Whether in an article or a guide (if a distinction is to be made between the two), the reasoning is more important than the specific recommendations. Suppose that new weight-reducing boots are released, that are better than the boots of lightness. If the article just recommends boots of lightness then it becomes obsolete, or at least now gives bad advice. Monsters that are particularly tough to kill (for example) may warrant specific advice on strategy, and if this is the case then this information should be included. After all, the wiki should be useful, first and foremost. A guide on a subpage may be the best way to deal with this. I think we should have a policy of including the word "guide" in the titles of such pages, and RS:NPOV should be updated to say that POV advice may be appropriate on those pages. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 13:38, January 20, 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely. The idea is to give the facts and let them speak for themself. --Wowbagger421 16:52, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

{{Rfc|complete=true}} C.ChiamTalk 08:37, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

Strong support - In way too many cases, our articles recommend players to perform a specific aspect. That completely violates the spirit of NPOV for the wiki. Since this is about RS, I do agree that we need some guides. Thus, I'd say that the idea of exempting pages in Category:Guides from NPOV (probably by amending the NPOV policy) is a much-needed change. --LiquidTalk 15:29, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Google found 1,190 pages that include the word "recommended" that don't include the word "forum" too on the RuneScape Wiki. [1] Hello71 15:41, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - what if you got a monster in a quest that can posion... and antipoision isnt mentioned in the requirements? then your like oh sh*t! and you lose your barrows

Runecrafting MythbustermaTalk   HSCabbage.png<= BRASSICA PRIME

01:24, April 8, 2010 (UTC)

Of course a monster being able to poison the player would be mentioned. This is about making the guides more neutral by removing such words as "recommend", "suggest" and just changing articles to fit our NPOV. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 16:39, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
'Anti-poison is useful as the Plox has powerful poison' of better still 'an anti-poison method is useful as the Plox has a 6.8 poison every time it successfully hits'. Rich Farmbrough, 20:19 14 April 2010 (GMT).

Comment - I recently rewrote the Tormented Demon article to be in line with what I'm talking about. It's not perfect, but it's at least basically neutral now. Some information such as recommended weapons and familiars were removed. These belong in Tormented demon/Strategies which I consider the "guide" article. --Wowbagger421 16:58, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - masses of In facts or it is important to notes too.

Closed - No changes will be implemented. --LiquidTalk 17:59, April 25, 2010 (UTC)