Following some discussions in Discord, we decided to go ahead with a thread to properly get this on paper. This primarily concerns the non-existence policy, but may also touch on granularity. RS:NP is fairly outdated compared to what actually happens, so lets fix it.
I'm sure everyone is aware of this, but to summarise in case you are not: essentially everything in-game has an associated ID number. Items, NPCs, objects, etc etc. These can be found inside the relevant cache file, which is the game's data on your computer. For some time now, initially by Cook, later by me, we've created item and NPC infoboxes (and other parts of the articles) using data from the cache.
This isn't intended to be a discussion about using the cache, but it is a natural part of it. In the cache, you can find things that aren't normally findable in the game. Placeholders, scrapped things, backend parts of the system. Before using the cache, we got glimpses into this whenever things snuck into quickchat (e.g. apricot cream pie), or when a URL was manipulated and the soul talisman was discovered years before it was actually made available three weeks ago. Of course, you don't even need to pull apart the cache to look at stuff, e.g. via RuneApps GE browser.
Anyway, there's a lot of stuff there we don't cover (or if we do, poorly). So, I'm going to list off examples of things and we can decide what we want to do with them, mostly focusing on items and NPCs - there'll likely be crossover between things.
But first, lets take apart the current policy and address some things.
I have written a draft of the new policy at User:Gaz Lloyd/RSNP. Here's a summary of changes:
- Allowed content section
- Add new point 1 about "normal items" being allowed, as a baseline
- Former point 3 reworded into new point 2
- Former point 1 and 2 merged and reworded into new point 3
- Remove former point 4 (see below)
- Disallowed content section
- Remove former point 1
- Move former point 1 to new point 1 (unchanged, it is fine as is)
- Add new point 2 about OSRS content (see below)
- Reword former point 2 to new point 3 (again see below)
- Add new section 3 about the game cache, to be filled with the results of the below discussion. (some placeholder examples given)
- Needs a new nutshell
I'm not entirely sure what this is referring to. I feel like it should provide an example and/or be expanded to something along the lines of "if a nonexistent item is sufficiently notable, please UCS and create the page". What constitutes 'sufficiently notable', I am not sure. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Most OSRS-exclusive content (e.g. Zeah) redirects either to Old School RuneScape, or maybe to Nonexistence. I seem to remember some previous discussion about this, but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, RS:NP is the place this should go. Some options of things to do:
- Redirect OSRS-exclusive content to Old School RuneScape (i.e. stay as we are and just formalise it into RS:NP)
- Redirect to a central soft redirect
- Individually soft redirect
#1 - The most practical option is what we currently do, so let's stick with it. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Support #1 as osrs admin - Yay more traffic! I'll read the rest of this later but so far this is what caught my eye. -21:53, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
- Okay so divine sigil is a bad example since the other three sigils exist in OSRS. Stuff like Crwys is debatable since Prifddinas exists and at least Iorwerth is a confirmed clan ingame. But things like Shifting Tombs could be redirected here. I'm definitely not asking for someone to go through and make 30000 redirects on OSRS, just to have some policy stating that ones that are set up aren't removed. --LiquidTalk 15:10, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
- I think you're misunderstanding what option 1 actually means. I believe Gaz refers to Old School content on this wiki being redirected to the Old School RuneScape article on this wiki, not the wiki itself or any articles on it. Redirecting to an article on the OSRS wiki would be option 2/3, a soft redirect. Though, if I am the one who has misunderstood then feel free to correct me 15:21, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Support #1 but I do think that thing such as track that have differents name or others similar thing that defentively exist in RS3 but use a different wording in OSRS should have a redirect to the RS3 page. 18:10, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Support #1, but - what about stuff like Rometti#Trivia? 10:07, June 26, 2017 (UTC)
I'm mostly not sure of my wording. The original needs a reword, since I don't think Postbags are canon any more - but we definitely should not delete them. This probably needs to be worded carefully given the history of edit warring with lore articles. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
- They are. Only God Letters are, for the greater part, non-canon but there is some stuff in there. Postbags (that is, the content therein) are almost entirely canon, and if they're contradicted by new updates, the 'offending' letters are usually modified or deleted (e.g. Solomon Lamescus). Lores & Histories are canon for obvious reasons (this includes Eulogy for a Forgotten Hero, which was deleted in 2013, but Wally is back now (that and Jagex kept all other references to Wally in-game when they deleted it so frankly I'm not sure what they were doing)). Only former Official Wiki articles, being editable by players, aren't, but former Knowledge Base articles are (User:Smithing/Game Guide has a number of archives, but sadly not the area guides).
- As far as granularity goes, articles have been created for stuff only mentioned at RuneFest or in a semi-official video or whatever (e.g. Renmark, which has been referenced in-game since, and Cheanannais, which has not, and Muspell, which is almost certainly not canon). I think these should be the only contentious points, if any. 07:26, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Any other discussion
We should decide which of these things count as 'existent' enough to have an article. Remember, all of these things are (or were) present in the game configs, but aren't what most would consider a 'real' item/NPC/etc.
A number of items are icons or parts of interfaces and don't otherwise get used in-game. Some examples:
- Seasinger set and Death lotus set, used as icons for the Seasinger acolyte armour and Death Lotus rogue armour in the Waiko Reward Shop.
- Sliding piece, items used as parts of puzzle boxes (they don't have inventory icons)
- Board game piece, parts of the Burthorpe Games Room games (also don't have inventory icons)
- 'Items' used in the Menaphos city reputation interface
I am not sure if I could say yes or no to these as a group. My thoughts are more about how the underlying parts of the item work: seasinger set is fine, since the item appears to be a 'full item': it has a model, an examine, a weight, even a destroy message defined. The puzzle and board game pieces seem notable enough to me; not entirely sure why, honestly. Menaphos rep items are the most weird, as I feel the bank boxes are good, but the citywide rep items are not - probably as bank boxes are 'full items' but the citywide reps items are "do not translates". @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose creating articles - These aren't notable at all. They're just going to add confusion and not help anyone really. I'm sure that people aren't going to be coming to the wiki looking to find an article on an item that is pretty much just a placeholder. 22:55, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose - Yeah, these aren't going to help anyone. I don't think they'd even make fun trivia, requiring a techincal explanation about the cache with which most readers shan't be familiar.07:30, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose unless, I do think MTX items that are technically items in cache should defetively have redirects as there still a chance the player search these terms, of course for items called like 2017_SUMMER_PROMO_PACK should not have redirects, as long they have a normal name it should be ok.18:10, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Support some - My thoughts are that if they have an inventory icon and examine text, they're probably worth documenting. So stuff like the Seasinger set should stay, but not stuff like board game pieces.13:41, June 26, 2017 (UTC)
If you weren't aware, followers of all types actually occupy a hidden equipment slot (as an item) when they're following you. For the most part we don't cover these as separate from the NPC they're associated with.
- Zanik from Death to the Dorgeshuun, Hassan from Jack of Spades
- Item pets like cats and Summoning pets use the item itself
- Summoning familiars probably use the pouch
- Interface pets tend to have 2 versions: usually the one that follows you and the one that goes in your menagerie
I think we're fine as-is, though maybe we should consider articles about followers in quests - either as pet articles or as item articles. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose creating articles - I don't think these are necessary in the slightest. Again, they're going to add confusion. We need to be able to help users find exactly what they're looking for as quickly as easily as possible, having an article for Zanik's associated item for an example is stupid. 22:55, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose - Per Jay. These might make nice trivia though.07:32, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Cosmetic overrides have items that usually don't have a name and sometimes don't have inventory icons. We don't treat these as different from the overrides themselves.
Fine as is - ignore override items, though we could get inventory icons. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Some items and NPCs have variants that appear in cutscenes. Sometimes the NPCs are marked with quote marks to signify that they're configs for NPCs that are cutscene-only. These are involved with the Troll Warzone cutscenes.
Also, some older content equips an item as an action, particularly sitting down:
- A chair used in the cutscene at the end of Forgettable Tale...
- PoH chairs
- Apricot cream pie is used in The Fremennik Isles
- Cutscenes themselves have config names - should these config names redirect to relevant articles (and sections)?
Yes for cutscene items, no for cutscene-only variants, no for cutscene config names - PoH chairs I can go either way on, but probably no. NPCs with quoted names should not be redirects unless the name actually appears like that in the cutscene. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Oppose creating articles - Articles like A chair clog up the wiki and are essentially pointless, they add no real value at all. Sure, you equip it - but you equip it for the duration of a single cutscene. Info about it can be included in the quest article trivia section if it is really important. 22:55, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Support only items -18:10, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Support dummy equip items/cutscene items - These usually have icons and examine texts and can be seen in-game, so probably worth documenting. If they don't have icons or an exmaine text they're probably not worth documenting though.13:45, June 26, 2017 (UTC)
Things that were added to the game but went unused, being scrapped somewhere in development. They are often 'fully-formed items'.
- Bronze ingot IV - the bronze ceremonial sword distraction skips giving you a bar and plans, with them being put on the anvil already
- Pestilence yak tusk and similar have yet to be used
Yes - Items like these definitely should have articles. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Support with references - These items should ONLY have articles if there is some kind of official source that indicates they would have been used in the development of an update. Otherwise, they should not have an article. 22:55, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Support even without references - For most unused/scrapped items, their intended purpose is fairly obvious even without any JMod statements, and we have a decent amount of information on them. Also worth noting that it isn't always clear whether or not an item is unused or if we just don't know how to obtain them - we wrote off Nearly boiled egg and Ruined essence as being unobtainable, and we turned out to be wrong. 13:49, June 26, 2017 (UTC)
When quick-chat released (and occasionally after that) many random, unused items were discovered and somewhat became memes, like . We have a list of such items at Quick Chat#Unobtainable items.
This is fine - these items are fine as part of the quick chat list. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
When content is removed, it is often left in the config, but the source and all instances are removed. For the most part, we keep these as historical articles.
As above, many faux-items don't have models/inventory icons. This section is to decide how to handle this if we decide to have articles about iconless items. Ideas:
- Don't have an image cell in the infobox (suppress category)
- Set the image cell to be "no icon" (example)
- Set the image cell to be File:1x1-pixel.png or some other blank image.
#2 - need a little CSS work but that'll be clearest. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Other stuff that doesn't necessarily fit into the above:
Not sure. Maybe case-by-case? Certainly, a single "do not translate" article may be worthwhile to explain the purpose of this phrase and the items associated. @Gaz#7521 21:51, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
Only a single article As "do not translate" is sometime encountered in game, i think it might be worth to explain the nature of it.18:10, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Any other discussion
Comment - I've opposed most things here because we simply don't need articles on every single item in the game cache. It is ludicrous to think that we're documenting items and creating articles for items that literally just say "____ is an item in the cache." We need to seriously stop creating useless articles for items that we don't know the use for (if any). All in all, in my opinion we should only create articles on cache items if they either are historical items (see some of my reasoning for opposing near enough everything above) or if they are strongly indicated that they will be used in a future update (RS:UCS). Please, can we stop making this more complex than it needs to be and stick to our goal of helping the reader? We have had so many forum threads lately that discuss the idea of helping the reader vs creating a database (see Slayer helm merge) and I think it is about time that we put our foot down on this entire issue and create a policy that covers all aspects of the cache to prevent so many discussions being made about it on a regular basis, AND makes the wiki an informative location for players NOT one that has information about item that nobody cares about and nobody would actually see unless they looked at the cache. 22:55, June 24, 2017 (UTC)
- Last I checked, we covered all things related to RuneScape. Why can't we do both? A database gives us much more flexibility for things like calculators, and the cache data may not always be immediately useful but can help us further down the line as we become more familiar with it. User:Cqm/Signature
Comment - We could make list-articles listing the different kinds of content mentioned above instead of giving them seperate articles, although Cam does make a point, why not both (helpful for readers and also be database)? Salix of Prifddinas (Talk) 19:47, June 25, 2017 (UTC)
Comment - For those who are not familiar with cache g.e database etc, here an exhausive list of missing item on the wiki. 17:09, June 26, 2017 (UTC)