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Lachesis

The portland library - A comprehensive reference

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Greetings dear EL friends,

 

Eternal Lands is continuously growing, and so is the amount of information about the game. Each new story, new quest, new feature, new NPC, new place adds more content to the book of EL, some of it just entertaining, but most of it vital in order to play the game or keep stories, quests and other information consistent. Currently, all these informations are scattered across various resources, be it the game itself (ingame books, NPC dialogues, encyclopedia) official web pages (storylines), numerous reference sites hosted by contributors and fan sites.

 

Especially for authors and editors, but also for developers, moderators, newbie helpers and players, a common hypermedia reference for these various types of information would be of inestimable value. Such a resource could be a wikicity, driven by all of the above mentioned groups, containing important information about places, people, creatures, items, historical and periodical events, and maybe even EL stories and fan fiction.

 

Unlike official sites, it is intended to be a place from and for the community, including, but not limited to all the people involved in development and maintenance of EL. The initial content will certainly be provided by only a few people, yet we should not try to fully control the content; if players want to add spoilers about quests and secrets, there is no need to stop them; nobody is forced to read those articles (after all, big parts of that information is necessary for editors and authors anyway).

 

With Regards

Lachesis

 

(your opinion goes here:) ^_^

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As far as I understand ttlanhil's project was intended to be something like this: http://www.eternal-lands.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16106

 

The EL-CEL information Database is another attempt to provide something like this.

 

Of course it would be a great idea to centralize all of this information in one giant resource. We could have something similar to http://www.thottbot.com/ including all the background stories and so on.

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As far as I understand ttlanhil's project was intended to be something like this: http://www.eternal-lands.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16106

 

The EL-CEL information Database is another attempt to provide something like this.

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That's exactly what I mean, kl4Uz, ttlanhil is only one of many people that started to create information databases. The idea is to hold everything in one place for a real quick reference. The reason why I proposed using wikicities is that we don't have to deal with all the infrastructure, everyone can start right away building up the reference. Wikicities hosts MediaWiki, the software of Wikipedia, installations for free.

Edited by Lachesis

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kl4uz, what I was working on was an expert (the software, not me) system for stories and storylines, with special requirements like showing timelines. it doesn't record stories, just indexes them.

this same system would not work with other types of information added as well, for a general info project like what lachesis was describing, you need something like a wiki

besides, that project is on hold/canceled because of problems with other people

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Currently, all these informations are scattered across various resources, be it the game itself (ingame books, NPC dialogues, encyclopedia) official web pages (storylines), numerous reference sites hosted by contributors and fan sites.

fan pages are also nice, especially as a place for spoilers, so I'd like to see official stuff provide all the more official info, while the fansites can add a bit more... quest spoilers, price lists, extra maps, etc (maybe one section of the wiki you're looking at setting up can be on the fansites, with a bit of a description and such)
containing important information about places, people, creatures, items, historical and periodical events, and maybe even EL stories and fan fiction.

sounds good, though being able to differentiate between stories that are accepted as part of the official timeline, and stories that people have made up and don't quite fit, is needed somehow
Unlike official sites, it is intended to be a place from and for the community, including, but not limited to all the people involved in development and maintenance of EL. The initial content will certainly be provided by only a few people, yet we should not try to fully control the content; if players want to add spoilers about quests and secrets, there is no need to stop them; nobody is forced to read those articles (after all, big parts of that information is necessary for editors and authors anyway).

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I partly disagree. this will be, by virtue of design, vital reading for almost anyone. so we can't say "oh well, you didn't have to read it"

if there's a way to mark spoilers and such so people know before reading it, then that would be good. then people can read what they like without accidentally getting quest spoilers

and we'd also want to be able to mark entries as being officially correct (especially important with stories and such. people who go and read the entries need to be able to know that what they read is okay to base their writing on)

perhaps you already thought of this and planned for different levels of permissions for different sections or something though(sections only mods/devs can edit, and sections for the community)

 

if you have some control over how people are shown as members, then using the forums' logins might be good, people already know how to log in and such, and it can prevent those "rah, RS 4evar, EL die!!11!!eleventyone" people from messing with the entries(if they spend a half hour on channel one ranting about how RS is better instead of going and playing it, then they may decide to do other stupid things too. it's not hard to get an account on forums, probably just about everyone who knows enough to be able to write stuff for the wiki/whatever is already on the forums... so it won't be likely to exclude people)

 

this is all implementation detail... the idea itself, though, sounds good

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Ttlanhil, you think too much of control and labels such as "official". That's not what I want. It's to be a cooporative project, made by players for players, by authors for authors and so on. Yes, there may be people writing stupid things. But -- in contrast to a forum for instance -- the same way everyone can write stupid things, everyone can revert such changes. In case of a so called "edit war", of course there are administrative means of calming them down. Also -- in order to calm you down :P -- there are means of locking articles that are not meant to be edited, such as artworks. Also, you can check the author of an article's current version and all earlier version with a single click. Check the articles about Wikipedia, in press but also in Wikipedia itself, to learn more how such a project can work.

Edited by Lachesis

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Sounds like an interesting project. I have a positive view on your idea Lachesis.

I have a few remarks to add tho:

 

1. It should be clearly stated that some of the information might not be correct to avoid statements like: "but the xxx said that I could kill a deer with my stats!" and "the xyz quest is broken beacuse xxx say that I need to give tankel a yellow rose"

 

2. "spoilers" must not be derived from the actual scripts and lay-outs in the game.

 

3. We have also discussed this official vs non-official. And to be "official" it must comply to a certain set of rules. So this will be "non-official" and thus not officially promoted in the game (unlike el.com or el.net for example)

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3. We have also discussed this official vs non-official. And to be "official" it must comply to a certain set of rules. So this will be "non-official" and thus not officially promoted in the game (unlike el.com or el.net for example)

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and hence useless as far as people wanting to write stories(or something else) and needing history? since you don't know for sure that what's in there is right, you can trust it, so you're left reading the forums(and we all know how bad that currently is) or asking someone on storyliens staff(for whom the forums aren't quite as bad, but still)

 

iffn we're using a wiki, I'm sure you can set it so some sections (like stories) can only be edited by storylines staff & admin, and then you can actually use it for story info

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and hence useless as far as people wanting to write stories(or something else) and needing history? since you don't know for sure that what's in there is right, you can trust it, so you're left reading the forums(and we all know how bad that currently is) or asking someone on storyliens staff(for whom the forums aren't quite as bad, but still)

 

iffn we're using a wiki, I'm sure you can set it so some sections (like stories) can only be edited by storylines staff & admin, and then you can actually use it for story info

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Maybe not useless, but I agree with you some things should be more of facts and not fiction, and thus only editable by a select few people. Perhaps (if we do this) we could find a way to mark some things as "official" (for lack of a better word).

 

I know that that was not what Lachesis meant by: "made by players for players"

 

So I see a dilemma, either fan-based or semi-official. It cannot be both.

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So I see a dilemma, either fan-based or semi-official. It cannot be both.

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Project started by those already involved or volunteering for the development of the game and especially the storylines, with open access for everyone? Isn't that what the whole OS idea is about? :w00t: I can't really see the problem. Imo this is just a discussion about the label "official".

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How can it be valuable information if it is coming from the same source as the forums with no means of control? I mean look at the "information" presented by all these players, I'm sorry, but I wouldn't go to this source if anybody can edit it with their "facts".

 

How many times in storylines has somebody been told their story needs to follow the "official" storyline before their story can be considered or accepted?

 

How many times has some spammy noob offered his two cents worth on issues he knows nothing about?

 

If we want this to be a place where people go for reliable information, there has to be a section only able to be edited by certain select few, and that information needs to have it's source(s) listed so the user can know how reliable that information really is and that it wasn't "edited" by someone less informed.

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If we want this to be a place where people go for reliable information, there has to be a section only able to be edited by certain select few, and that information needs to have it's source(s) listed so the user can know how reliable that information really is and that it wasn't "edited" by someone less informed.

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The Wiki makes it easy to get a lot of people involved and makes it easy to build up that project very fast. The mediawiki software allows admins to lock certain articles, so we we don't have to fear any modifications on approved and official storyline texts. Besides that any "bad" modifications can be restored very easily. Imho the advantages of an open wiki outweigh by far the disadvantages (if there really are any ^_^).

 

Further on I suggest to create two main categories: One for text that are part of the official storyline ("continuity") and other that are only influenced or take part in the EL universe ("expanded universe"). [yes I do love star wars :wub:]

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The Wiki makes it easy to get a lot of people involved and makes it easy to build up that project very fast. The mediawiki software allows admins to lock certain articles, so we we don't have to fear any modifications on approved and official storyline texts. Besides that any "bad" modifications can be restored very easily. Imho the advantages of an open wiki outweigh by far the disadvantages (if there really are any  ^_^).

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Agreed. This is exactly what a wiki is for. A wiki provides the ability for anyone to participate and contribute to a community process. Reading Lachesis` first post, this is exactly is what we want, no?

 

A wiki (IPA: [ˈwiː.kiː] <wee-kee> or also [ˈwɪk.iː] <wick-ey>, according to Howard Cunningham) is a web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows others (often completely unrestricted) to edit the content. The term wiki also refers to the collaborative software (wiki engine) used to create such a website (see wiki software). In essence, the wiki is a vast simplification of the process of creating HTML pages, and thus is a very effective way to exchange information through collaborative effort. wiki is often interpreted as the abbreviation for 'what I know, is', which describes the knowledge contribution, storage and exchange up to some point.

Right from the horses mouth :wub:

 

Now, I agree with kl4uz here. This seems to be an argument about the word "official". Perhaps certain sections can be declared as official (i.e. only the sections that storylines editors/contributors can edit/publish to). If it really does need to be official, create user rules to restrict the addition of content without approval or 'level' (is that really necessary for certain parts?)

 

So, can't you just have some parts official, and the rest 'fan-based'? Whats so difficult here? Stick a disclaimer on it "Content not marked as 'official' may not be 100% reliable"?

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So, can't you just have some parts official, and the rest 'fan-based'? Whats so difficult here? Stick a disclaimer on it "Content not marked as 'official' may not be 100% reliable"?

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Well yes, that's what I was getting at as well, but that kept getting shot down as "not the idea". Even if things can be re-edited, or brought back to an earlier submission, that can only be done as fast as somebody notices something was incorrectly submitted or edited. It seems by far easier and more user friendly for the players to have it divided into two sections. That way they are able to judge for themselves the reliability of the information even before someone gets a chance to fix it.

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I would prefer if people that go there know already that the information is provided by other players and thus not fully reliable, and that rather the (few) texts that are carved in stone marked in some appropriate way.

 

This should be considered an experiment, just like wikipedia is, in the almost literal spirit of the sentence in various GNU licenses: this product is distributed in the hope that it will be helpful, with absolutely no warranty, not even for merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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This should be considered an experiment, just like wikipedia is, in the almost literal spirit of the sentence in various GNU licenses: this product is distributed in the hope that it will be helpful, with absolutely no warranty, not even for merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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okay. problem is, then we need to add something else for stories and the like, so that people basing their writings on what they read know that it's correct. if players add their own stories at will without checking what's happened before (especially since the grand epics are more fun to write than the little stories that don't affect much), then we will have problems

otherwise, we need to be able to mark an entry as correct, and at that stage only devs can change it (which they may need to from time to time)... if the wiki allows comments and such after the article (some do) then that could be left open for people to post notes, corrections, etc without being able to change the main entry

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That's not necessary, I somehow get the impression that some of your think "player=evil". :> I really recommend you to check how Wikipedia works. Millions of people rely on it, and everyone can edit it!

What we nevertheless have to do is clearly state that any information that is not taken from the game itself, for instance fan fiction, has to be clearly recognizable as such.

 

P.S. Note that it is very easy for every user to check who wrote what in an article. Also you can view the "last version from a dev" anytime, if you know the developers' nicks.

Edited by Lachesis

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No it's not a question of player=evil, but rather player=misinformed.

 

If we want this to be remotely official, we need to have some kind of official truth out there, from which players can create spin-offs.

 

The way I see this is more of a fan-driven EL fictional idea. And not a comprehensive tool for story- and quest writers. But that is Ok too, as long as we know what it is.

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IMO it can and should be both. Reasons are given above :D

 

Btw, I created a playground wiki for us to experiment with what is possible. I don't want to publish the URL here but everyone can ask me for it via PM :hiya:

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IMO it can and should be both. Reasons are given above :P

 

Btw, I created a playground wiki for us to experiment with what is possible.  I don't want to publish the URL here but everyone can ask me for it via PM :)

210939[/snapback]

 

Sounds great Lachesis :)

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That's not necessary, I somehow get the impression that some of your think "player=evil". :> I really recommend you to check how Wikipedia works. Millions of people rely on it, and everyone can edit it!

What we nevertheless have to do is clearly state that any information that is not taken from the game itself, for instance fan fiction, has to be clearly recognizable as such.

 

P.S. Note that it is very easy for every user to check who wrote what in an article. Also you can view the "last version from a dev" anytime, if you know the developers' nicks.

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FYI: I didn't say that, nor do I think players=evil, im a Wiki advocate here. I think this would be a great project ;-) As for this whole thread, I can't quite see what the problem is...

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The problem that several people claim that an open wiki could provide reliable information, and that's what I'm arguing against :mace: Btw, I have no idea what gave you the impression that you were meant, Placid :icon13:

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*sighs*

I never said players = evil, I agree with Derin... players = misinformed

 

I have no problem with a wiki concept as long as it's stated up front and clearly that this is not reliable or official information. (Again I use the dreaded word "official" for easy comprehension of the point I am trying to make.)

 

I do think players would be more interested in "reliable" information gathered in one spot...but that's just my opinion, and I do recognize that it's "just one opinion and only an opinion at that".

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Of course I state the lack of warranty on the main page. Still I doubt that poorly informed players would edit articles -- especially since edit logs are public -- and even more I wonder how they can become misinformed, after all they have to get the wrong information somewhere :P

 

I think we should try and find it out =D So far I didn't get a single PM asking for the URL :)

 

Btw, I found some interesting new feature in mediawiki regarding quality assurance: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Patrolled_edit

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