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Naming Convention

So, is it Template:StoryArc or Template: Story Arc? I have seen it used both ways. —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 11:34, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I just used the most recent example I could find, but a search indicates that Template:StoryArc has the vast majority of uses, including documentation. It appears that Template:Story Arc is used (maybe mistakenly) for just a handful of articles, though I'm not sure that even all the instances of Template:StoryArc are consistent within each article. -- Blondeshell 13:06, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't even know why you're using a template. You can put the mission articles in the contact article without an intermediary step (see Heather Townshend).
Also, according to the discussion on the forums, Theoden's missions should be "Blind Faith (Theoden) - Part One: blahblah". ~ AGGE talk/cons 18:10, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I was basing the article format on what we'd done for other SSA contacts, and used Agent Kwahu's updated format as a guide. Though even it doesn't use the "Story Arc (Contact)" format, so I'm not sure which is correct. While the Theoden and Alastor arcs tell two different sides of the same story, the missions don't have the same names, and they're different enough that they shouldn't have to have the contact names included. -- Blondeshell 18:47, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
According to Project:Mission articles, the guidelines we've written up for the mission namespace, it should be "Story Arc Name - Mission Name". Since both Theoden and Alastor's story arcs are named Blind Faith, the decision was made to put their name in parentheses after the story arc name. Theoden/Alastor are special cases, since their story arcs are named the same but have different contents (versus story arcs that are the exact same arc given by multiple contacts). ~ AGGE talk/cons 01:52, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I might be missing something, but the name of Alastor's arc in his article is "One Life, One Goal." -- Blondeshell 02:22, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Wow. So it is. I have no idea how I missed that (repeatedly). Yes. So Theoden's missions should be "Blind Faith - Part One: Blahblah". ~ AGGE talk/cons 03:03, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
So after poking around a bit, I think I've cleaned up all the incorrectly named story arcs in missionspace. (Not many mistakes thankfully.) Additionally, I found the arc that I was thinking of when I made my initial comment (Borea/Leo Poggiani), whose arcs are both named "The Fate of All Men" (and thus require a contact name flag on them in missionspace). Also additionally as well, I still have no idea why we're using an intermediary template when it all could easily be placed on the contact page directly, which is what both Sekoia and I have been doing. ~ AGGE talk/cons 06:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Dunno. It does seem a little unnecessary for that extra step. Was there some discussion where we decided we needed it? -- Blondeshell 16:32, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Specifically in answer to the intermediary template: Yes, it can be done the way you've been doing it - without the intermediary template. However, doing so represents a shift in convention from the way it's been handled in the past (with good logic for doing it that way at the time). I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, but it seems like if we had planned to make that shift going forward, maybe that could have been discussed when we first introduced the Mission namespace. For now, I'm going to hold off on doing any more updates to the existing contacts until we sort this out so that I don't aggravate any issues here. --Eabrace Healthbar notify phone.png 16:38, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I am a bit dense, or haven't read the above closely enough, but when looking at this category: Category:Mission Templates I see a few different formats at work here, and honestly, don't think any of the missions actually belong in that category since they are not really templates in the classical sense of use as a formatting tool. Which, if any of them, are named 100% correctly and consistently with what they should be? —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 04:59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

(unindented) (combining both conversations)

I moved all of the missions/story arcs out of that category. That is a category for templates for use within mission documentation, not for mission articles/templates themselves.
I would vote for no longer using an intermediary template unless it is the same content from multiple contacts (the way Sekoia, Tao, and I have been doing it since setting up Missionspace). I would agree with a template for story arcs with the same content from multiple contacts, ala The Wheel of Destruction, etc. I would vote against a Story Arc namespace. ~ AGGE talk/cons 05:44, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Am I correct in understanding that we will be maintaining use of the Templates for missions given by multiple contacts, even though we could include those in the Missionspace and link them in much the same way as we do now but avoid having mission content in the Templatespace? (What I described below pertaining to mission 5.4 from Christine Lansdale? —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 05:54, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Templates are for making repetitive stuff easier. A template to replace the mission documentation in five contacts with one line for each contact is OK. A template to replace the mission documentation for one contact is a little excessive (and goes against historical usage of the templating, regardless of what Eabrace said before).
I would be OK with voting against templating missions at all, but understand the usage of templates for multi-contact story arcs. I do not understand the usage of templates for single-contact story arcs. (Hope this clarifies my stance.) ~ AGGE talk/cons 06:10, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it does, yes. I had no issue with NOT templating single use Story Arcs. But it is good to know also that you wouldn't be opposed to un-templating everything if it could be done in a way that still makes it easy to use in multiple places, like my suggestion still would. —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 06:17, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
All right, this clarification is bloody useful (note that the usage of 'bloody' is Aussie slang for 'good!'). I'm fine with not putting single contact story arcs in the mission namespace (which is what you mean, Agge?). Thurty7, am curious: in Christine Lansdale 5.4, where is that title coming from? It seems an accurate descriptive title, but is it given as the title in mission acceptance, or mission title by contact, or objective? Taosin 06:33, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I did not mean that. All missions should go in the mission namespace. However, I don't agree with creating a template to gather up the story arc into one line to put onto a single contact's page. For example, Heather Townshend's story arc (missions are listed within the contact's page) versus Agent Kwahu's story arc (missions are listed in a template, template is listed within the contact's page). I understand using templates for story arcs that are the same content across multiple contacts (ala {{StoryArc The Tsoo Shenanigans}} which is given by four contacts, but all the content is the same across all four contacts). ~ AGGE talk/cons 07:15, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Got it. (Too many pronouns for me! :( ) First, am thinking this entire discussion should be moved to the talk page for Project:Mission articles. And yes, Agge, 100% with you on this. Taosin 08:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Taosin, I have no idea where the mission title came from (it is crazy long, isn't it?). I merely used the title as it already existed on both contact pages and the templated version. It was essentially chosen at random as an example of how getting rid of templates could be done away with altogether for ANY storyarc/mission regardless of length and merely be put in the Missionspace instead. Ultimately, that is the best way to deal with this, IMO. But it seems like no one is quite addressing that. —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 11:21, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Aye sorry 37, I went digging and saw that too. Crazy long and hard for folks to find if they are matching in game text to mission titles in a ToC! I'll run her 'soon' and tweak it all. Taosin 11:39, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Summary of Discussion 22 Mar: Feedback before Moving to Outcomes

This discussion has been quiet a few days. I'd like to wrap it/move to consensus, if possible, before it falls off. Question: Is it fair to summarise the discussion to date as follows? (I've kept it didactic and procedural simply for (hopeful) clarity, no disrespect intended):

  • It is a given all missions go in the mission name space
  • Mission names are reasonably well defined in this policy document
  • One addition to the Sources Policy is where a story arc falls into all three of these categories:
  • the same (Story Arc) name, and
  • is from different contacts, and
  • has different content.

In that case and that case only the mission SOURCE becomes 'Story Arc Name' ('Name of Contact') and the full article name would be "Mission:StoryArcName (ContactName) - NameOfMission"

  • (Reaffirm!) Content always stays out of template space in the wiki!

Story Arc Documentation and Templates.

  • Template:StoryArc can be used to provide an at a glance summary of the Arc. It's a great thing to have if the information is available.

Story arcs are authored as follows:

- ArcAward template
- blank line
- title of story arc (using level 3 typically)
- blank line
- Souvenir template
- mission templates
- (? please confirm/document ?) some mechanism for consistent categorisation!
  • (?) For story arcs that exist from just one contact, authors may elect to document the arc on the contact's page directly, 'or use the Template:StoryArc_nStoryArcname described below.

Story Arcs and Template:StoryArc_StoryArcName

(aka: Multiple Contacts, Same Story Arc, Same Content)

Some arcs are given by more than one contact, and their content is identical. These should be placed in Template:StoryArc_StoryArcname. This allows consistent and standard presentation, and eases content updates.

- (? please confirm/document ?) some mechanism for consistent categorisation at the end of these!

And example is Template:StoryArc The Vahzilok Plague. Constrtuction of that page is the same as that shown above for any story arc.

  • Categorisation is 'Category:ArcCategoryName|StoryArcname' between noincludes on the last line

Note/aside: SSA 1 has different arc names for each side (Blind Faith, One Life One Goal). However, this is not the case for SSA 2 through to 6, which share the same name. These would fall into the "Mission:StoryArcName (ContactName) - NameOfMission" convention.

Taosin 11:05, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

I can agree to that. It appears that Agge has updated categories on existing StoryArc templates to follow this convention:
  • <noinclude>[[Category:Story Arc Templates|<StoryArcName>]]</noinclude>
--Eabrace Healthbar notify phone.png 14:22, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
That looks like a fair summary of what we have come up with... methinks. Just to be overtly clear: When using the Template:StoryArc method for multiple contacts who give the story arc, that template will contain ONLY links to translude from the various missions as they are documented in missionspace, correct? No content will actually exist in said template.
Further, no template is necessary for Common missions given as one-shots from various contacts, those again will be put in missionspace and then transcluded into the contacts' articles. I think some of that is above, but I wanted to be abundantly clear. Smilies smile.gifThirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 16:45, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The {{StoryArc}} template you reference is not intended to be used on story arc pages. It is primarily intended for use at Hero Story Arcs and Villain Story Arcs. -- Sekoia 20:00, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

(?) For story arcs that exist from just one contact, authors may elect to document the arc on the contact's page directly, 'or use the Template:StoryArc_nStoryArcname described below.

I disagree with this. For story arcs from one contact, place the missions on the contact page with no intermediary template. There is no need to use a template for one contact since all you're doing is adding an additional step. ~ AGGE talk/cons 18:36, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Agge on this. -- Sekoia 20:00, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


The new updates look great so far; with all of the work I've been doing on the DA arcs and trying to figure out mission namespaces as I go, I think this will be very helpful. One little quibble, though: my examples have all had the 'Souvenir' header inserted manually, between the level 3 arc title and the souvenir whatcha-call-it. The new sample on this page does not include that title. Is this WAI? --Kahzi 23:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Heya Kahzi! (Aside: loving your work, by the way; awesome). See what you mean. I am noting an undocumented (that I can see) use of Souvenir in Agent G's arc (and elsewhere), which I think is preferred.
First, no pipe ( the | symbol) is used in calling the souvenir.
Second, the Souvenir article itself includes the level four heading that will appear on the contact's page when it is transcluded.
We see at the beginning of Template:Souvenir The PsychoChronoMetron the following:
==== {{UL|Souvenir}} ====
<noinclude>[[Category:Souvenir Templates|PsychoChronoMetron, The]]</noinclude>
rest of souvenir...
As you can see, this will show the heading in the contact's page, unless a pipe is used.
My preference is to update the souvenir documentation and use this newer undocumented refinement as policy, as it generates cleaner pages?
thoughts folks? Taosin 23:43, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Each souvenir should have its own page. For example: The PsychoChronoMetron. In order to avoid having the same content in multiple places (and having to update it in more than one if it changes), the {{Souvenir}} template should be used to include souvenir text when documenting a story arc. That template uses DPL to transclude everything under "Souvenir's Text" in a souvenir's article. Agent G's use of a separate template that duplicates the souvenir text outside of the souvenir's article is actually a good example of something we should fix. --Eabrace Healthbar notify phone.png 00:45, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I am only just starting to understand this template and transclusion stuff, so I might be off base here, but. First let me summarize what I think I heard.
  1. The Psycho Chrono Metron uses its very own unique template. This is why there's no pipe, as whatever comes before the pipe is the name of the template. This is bad, this unique template thing.
  2. The Psycho Chrono Metron, by way of its very own unique template, includes the "Souvenir" header in its transcluded content. This is good, automatically including a header instead of repeating it on every page.
So. The obvious solution, of course, is to update the Souvenir template so that it inserts the "Souvenir" header and then the "Souvenir's Text" section of the souvenir's article. However, this would mean updating every story arc to remove the redundant header.
Is there a better way? Is it considered better to stick with the status quo to avoid that level of minor but global editing? Or is the above valid, but requires a volunteer to do the grunt work?
Because it would certainly look nicer (and make more sense) without that superfluous ====Souvenir==== on every story arc...
-- Kahzi 01:17, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Ea,each souvenir does have it's own page. I was asking if the undocumented convention had become the norm, aware that sometimes unwritten convention develops. However!
I have revised The_PsychoChronoMetron and added ===={{UL|Souvenir}}==== under the 'Souvenir's Text' section. Meaning it will be transcluded when the souvenir is called correctly (transcluded). I have then called the souvenir by adding the pipe ( | ) in Template:StoryArc_A_Faultline_in_the_Sands_of_Time. It displays correctly with the heading.
This means that souvenirs should have the the heading added first thing under 'Souvenir's Text'. And called as per the documentation with the pipe i.e. {{Souvenir|The PsychoChronoMetron}}
If this is a goe-er, I will add a subesction to this policy document detailing the construction of souvenirs, within the Story Arc section. Does this plan sound okay? Taosin 04:19, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I have re-revised the souvenir thing. Too many unnecessary headers on the souvenir article. Put the ==== Souvenir ==== (no {{UL}}) on the contact page (or template, if a multi-contact story arc). ~ AGGE talk/cons 05:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I went through and deleted all of the souvenir templates. Souvenirs should be called via the {{Souvenir}} DPL template directly from their articles, not a template that duplicates the text that already exists in the main namespace (and often the template doesn't get updated if things get tweaked). All the story arcs that called those templates have been updated to use the proper template call. ~ AGGE talk/cons 06:16, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Cool, Agge! Went and updated the story arc procedure and example on the project page to match. Taosin 07:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Most recent edit has lost Arc categorization? In Agee's most recent edit of the page, no information is provided on how to categorize story arcs. Authors who follow the example and procedure will be giving uncategorized arcs. Is this intentional? For sinngle contact arcs, my understanding is that they go into hero Story Arcs category? Taosin 08:02, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
No, because single-contact arcs will be going into the contact's article, and the contacts are all appropriately categorized already with {{Contact Overview}} and {{Infobox Contact}}. Multi-contact story arcs get categorized because they don't go directly on a contact's page.
Take a look at Agent G. ~ AGGE talk/cons 11:43, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I changed all of the templates residing in Hero Story Arcs to their appropriate category of Story Arc Templates. This meant Hero Story Arcs is an empty category - appropriately, because the wiki categorizes contacts not story arcs. If we put "Hero Story Arcs" at the end of Agent G's mission transclusions, then Agent G will be listed under Hero Story Arcs. Well, Agent G is already listed as a Hero Contact, a Hero Natural Contact, a level 20-24 Hero Contact, and a Faultline Contact. Listing him under Hero Story Arcs is redundant, and also wrong because Agent G is not a story arc. ~ AGGE talk/cons 11:59, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I just did a lot of cleaning up of souvenirs in the StoryArc templates. I may have missed a couple because I am stupid tired. I will not be back to check on discussion for around 12-14 hours, just to note. ~ AGGE talk/cons 12:51, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, very cool. I kind of stalk you ea and sek (in a good way!) 'coz I learn from what you folks do, why I am always pestering for details. Was wondering about your apparent lack of sleep, and thought you'd moved to Australia or something! <grin> Taosin 13:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Template Usage

So I did a little looking, and I am confused. There are maybe only... 15? Story Arcs on the entire Wiki that use the Template:StoryArc or Story Arc format. And to top it off, {{StoryArc}} has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with creating a page for entire Story Arcs, merely something that was intended to be used as some kind of header for them. I have been specifically avoiding adding Story Arcs to the Wiki for just this reason: I am unsure of proper formatting and from which existing Arcs to copy, because they don't seem very consistent in terms of dialogue formatting, etc. What's the "right" way? —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 22:33, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

1) The StoryArc templates originally came about in order to handle the cases where you have multiple contacts that offer the same story arc. For example, the Vahzilok Plague is offered by Olivia Chung, Dr. Ann-Marie Engles, Juliana Nehring, and Pavel Garnier. Using a template for the entire arc makes it easier to update the arc for all four contacts without having to update each page individually. Also note that these templates pre-date creation of the Mission namespace and the individual mission articles.
2) When I started working through the old contacts to move the missions to individual pages, I noticed the discrepancy between StoryArc and Story Arc in the arc templates. Counting the use of each, I decided to stick with the predominant StoryArc and have been renaming the Story Arc templates as I encounter them in the course of working through the contacts.
3) I've also been trying to standardize the contents of the StoryArc templates. Some included the merits, some did not. Some included the associated souvenir, some did not. And some that did include the souvenir included it as text instead of using the Souvenir template to grab the text from the souvenir's article (the biggest mess that immediately comes to mind is the one I had to straighten out for the Letter from Requiem.) As I've been going through the contacts, I've been standardizing as follows:
  • convert all missions to individual mission pages
  • consolidate all story arcs into StoryArc templates and replace story arc missions on contact pages with the StoryArc template
  • place merit information at the top of the StoryArc template
  • place souvenir information between merit info and missions in the StoryArc template using the Souvenir template
    • if the souvenir's individual page does not already exist, create it
  • place individual missions in the StoryArc template
  • tag the StoryArc template with the Story Arc Templates category so that all story arcs eventually appear in that category.
If you're wondering which contacts with story arcs I've updated so far:
  • Agent G
  • Agent Kwahu
  • Agent Wallace
  • Allison King
  • Amanda Loomis
  • Andrea Mitchell
  • Andrew Fiore
  • Angus McQueen
  • Anton Sampson
  • Ashwin Lannister
  • Athena Currie
  • Barry Gosford
  • Buck Salinger
  • Cain Royce
  • Carla Brunelli
  • Collin Larson
  • Crimson
  • Eliza Thorpe
  • Everett Daniels
  • Jenny Firkins
  • Jill Pastor
  • John Strobel
  • Jose Escalante
  • Justin Greene
  • Kong Bao
  • Kyle Peck
  • Laura Brunetti
  • Lorenzo Tate
  • Lou Pasterelli
  • Marvin Weintraub
  • Merisel Valenzuela
  • Miriam Bloechl
  • Neal Kendrick
  • Oswald Cuthbert
  • Rondel Jackson
  • Thao Ku
  • Tina Chung
  • Tristan Caine
  • Virginia Hoffman
  • Vitaly Cherenko
  • Wilson Eziquerra
--Eabrace Healthbar notify phone.png 01:20, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we ever had any discussions about "Template:Story Arc" type articles in the past. As Eabrace notes, they were originally used when multiple contacts offered the same arc. In that context, they make sense because we don't want to repeat information. I see absolutely no need to make "Template:Story Arc" articles for new story arcs when they have only one contact, and that clearly wasn't the intent historically because if it were we'd have tons more story arc templates. They were making those articles solely to avoid duplication, not because story arcs were supposed to get their own templates. Creating new separate articles for each Story Arc could be worthwhile, but I really think that putting those articles in Template space doesn't make sense. Template isn't a content namespace and its contents won't be hit by searches. I would posit that if we want to have dedicated articles for each story arc that is independent of its contact(s), then we should do so in the main namespace (with article names such as "One Life, One Goal") or we should create a Story Arc namespace for them (with article names such as "Story Arc:One Life, One Goal". If we want a "Story Arc:" namespace, I can easily set that up and make it searchable by default just like "Mission:". (As an aside, keep in mind that task forces and strike forces are also technically story arcs and would have their content handled in the same way.) Personally: at the moment I have no opinion on whether we should create separate articles for story arcs; if we do create separate articles then I lean mildly towards using a separate namespace; and if we don't, then I'm completely against using the Template namespace except in cases where multiple contacts share an arc. -- Sekoia 17:48, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
On this, As Sekoia says, there has been no recent discussion about the Story Arc template (as in, within more than a year.). Frankly I wasn't really aware of it until now! As with Agge and Sekoia, I've been placing arcs in mission namesppace articles directly on the page, with the an addition to the name convention where the name of the arc is the same, the contacts are different and the content is different (such as the SSA).
I do have an opinion on using Story Arc templates at all times: I'm averse to using Story Arc templates unless there's a real need, and that should be only when when the story arc is available from more than one source and has the same content.
I'm with Sekoia here too: the Template namespace must not be used for story arc content.
Just my thoughts on this. Taosin 21:33, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Now that we have the Mission namespace, why do we EVER need to use a Template? Can't we just put the various repeated missions into that namespace and call them to the various contacts who use them via {{Mission:'Story Arc' - 'Mission Name'}} as I did for Mission 5.4 from Christine Lansdale? Or is that not supposed to be done for some reason? —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 05:28, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Mission Syntax

Taosin's lovely recent edits have introduced precise instructions on documenting a story arc. Now I would like to see precise instructions on documenting a mission. This page includes a brief overview of what a mission is, and plenty of details on how to properly name the mission article, but no insight into where or how to actually place each piece of text encountered during a mission.

For instance, here are some questions I had as I tried to get started:

  • When text appears in orange on-screen, should I use the {{orange}} or {{darkorange}} color? Ditto for blue text. For that matter, what about phrases within the text that appear yellow or red in-game? Should I be true to that?
  • Should I add logical wiki links to the dialogue, so that readers can get more information on the people and places discussed, or is that a no-no?
  • When I am documenting a player response, should it be bulleted or not?
  • How do I deal with instances where there are multiple paths to the same dialogue piece? (For example, many times the player has two questions s/he may ask, then on the next screen the other question is allowed, but slightly rephrased, or perhaps with a different opening paragraph in the answer...)
  • When the mission changes partway through, do I open a new {{Mission Objective}}? Include a new header? Simply add to the Additional section? How about when I complete the mission, but then exit and have a new "red dot" to follow? (I now theorize that new headers + objectives are for new "red dots"; within a "red dot" you simply add to the Additional portion at the top of the mission. However, Additional makes little or no sense anyway until one finds and reads the documentation and learns that the bullet points are explicitly required, even for a single Additional entry... Even now, that documentation indicates that Additional is for changes, but I also use it for multiple original secondaries...)
  • If extra headers are added, what are they? Do they simply match the Primary objective name?
  • When and how should I document Caption text that appears during the mission? Using {{divbox}}? {{NPC Text}}? Should I include "[Caption]"? "Caption: "? My guess at who's talking? How should I determine the title, and should I combine all captions that appear in the same mission or separate them?
  • What about unimportant NPC Text, from rescued captives and the like?
  • Should the Enemies section use {{Enemy NAME}} or be a straight link?
  • Who should be included in Notable NPCs? Should parentheticals be added to denote their function? If so, what words should be used? And what about NPC Allies that only exist for certain objectives within the mission. (For instance, in Dream Doctor's arc, you have the option to take five allies in, but then you lose them before the final encounter. Should that be noted somewhere?)
  • Do Enemies & Notable NPCs belong before or after the various briefings and captions and clues of a mission?
  • Is there a place to make notes on cutscene animations?
  • Is there a place to note ambushes, waves of additional enemies, or non-obvious mechanics?
  • How do you denote animations that follow a response (e.g. "I'll kill you!" (character dies))? Ditto for ambushes that occur only if certain responses are given, etc.

Obviously most of this can be figured out on-the-go, as I did/am, by (1) reading similar pages, (2) trying stuff, and (3) keeping an eye on the pages to notice later fixes. But there are a lot of small contradictions and differences in how people have chosen to document this stuff, and also, gee, wouldn't it be easier to have the policy written down somewhere, with convenient links to the appropriate templates?

I think what I am so longwindedly asking is this:

  1. Does this already exist somewhere that I haven't found?
  2. Would it be appropriate for me to attempt to add some guidelines to this article if not?

-- Kahzi 15:43, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah. I'm brought back to my early days of editing when I had decided I wanted to clean up and standardize all of the contact articles. (We won't get into how I got derailed.)
  • When text appears in various colors on-screen, it's not absolutely necessary to reproduce those colors on the wiki, but we've been trending in the direction of doing so. The biggest issue in using colored text is typically one of readability. For example, using the {{yellow}} template usually makes it very hard to read text against the white background of the page. I believe this is why you'll often see text displayed in the game in orange documented with the {{darkorange}} template instead. I would say that use of colored text is currently up to the discretion of the editor, but readability trumps appearance, so if it's hard to read on the wiki when colored, the color should be left out (or at least modified for visibility as with the darkorange vs. orange.)
  • By all means, feel free to add links to other wiki pages in mission text. That being said, it's best to try to link only the first reference to another page in order to avoid overload. For example, if a contact's story arc mentions the Banished Pantheon in five different places, only the first mention should have an active link to the Banished Pantheon page.
  • Documenting player responses and contact dialogue can get tricky. In general, older contacts did not offer more than one response as an option and followed a very clear pattern of <debrief> - <brief> - <acceptance> in their interaction. You will typically find that these interactions are not bulleted and typically don't even have the actual acceptance text you click to take the mission. Once the developers started writing actual dialogue trees for the contacts, things got a bit more complicated. Since there are so many of the older contacts documented, we decided we were going to leave them as is and only apply the newer formatting to contacts that appeared beginning with Issue 17. The bullets are generally used in these interactions in order to help follow the possible flow of a conversation through its various levels. But then that got more complicated when the dialogue trees started looping. We haven't come up with a more elegant solution for documenting those interactions yet.
  • In the mission objectives template, there's a spot for "Additional" objectives. Typically, your primary objective can be viewed whether you are on the mission map or not. Secondary objectives are the first ones that appear under your primary objective when you enter the mission map. Additional is any objective that is added as the mission progresses. For any of these, you would continue documenting them in the same Mission Objective template call. You should only need a new template call if/when the primary objective changes. That doesn't happen often (and I can't think of any specific instances when it does, but it seems like I may have seen that once or twice in the new DA content.) If you complete the mission and get a new red dot, that generally means you have a new primary objective, as well. In this case, you add a new header for the sub-mission and start documenting the new mission the same as you would if you had actually returned to your contact (but you should only start a new Mission: page when you actually do have to return to/call the contact.)
  • Sometimes those additional headers have obvious text (like the new primary objective, for example), but sometimes it's not obvious what to place in the header and can be left to the discretion of the editor documenting the mission.
  • Captions that appear during the regular course of a mission are documented much the same way NPC dialogue text is using the NPC Text template. If you know who's speaking, it's best to use the name of the speaker rather than "[Caption]" or "Caption: ", but if you aren't certain who's speaking (I had some issues with this in Sister Psyche's head during the WWD arc), you might want to just note them as "Caption: " until someone can determine who the speaker really is. Titles for all NPC dialogue (and caption text) are left to the discretion of the editor; as long as it makes some sort of sense, it's unlikely anyone's going to complain or bother changing it. How to best organize multiple instances of captions or NPC dialogue is also left to the editor, but should be done in a manner that fits the mission. For example, if a caption appears to tell you that you are about to be ambushed, the ambush then arrives and spouts off some text, and you later see a caption telling you that your objective is just ahead, it makes more sense to document those separately in order to preserve the chronological flow of the dialogue and make it easier to read. But if a series of captions obviously belongs together (Johnny Sonata's song lyrics in the WWD arc come to mind) but are interrupted in the middle with some NPC text, the captions should be documented as a single, contiguous block with the NPC text (probably) after.
  • Unimportant NPC Text (from rescued captives and the like) is typically also recorded using NPC Text templates.
  • Almost (if not) all enemy groups should have an {{Enemy NAME}} template that displays an icon for the group and links to their article. If the template doesn't exist, someone will typically create one before long. Alternately, I believe we've recently discussed creation of a generic Enemy template for use with one-shot enemies that have no associated page so that we don't have to create a new page for a single entity (those are typically actually part of a different group but have a special title in a specific mission.)
  • Notable NPCs should record any named NPC in a mission. Whether or not the allies stay with you for the entire mission isn't usually noted, just that they are present at some point.
  • Usually you'll find Enemies and Notable NPCs after the briefings, any captions, NPC text, and cutscenes for a mission. I believe clues are usually at the end of the mission, so after Enemies and Notable NPCs. There may be circumstances where the flow of the mission essentially forces your hand into doing something different, but none come immediately to mind.
  • Cutscenes have their own {{Cutscene}} template
  • We have an {{Ambush}} template to document ambushes. You could probably use that to note additional waves of enemies. Generally, those would probably appear at whatever point in the mission documentation that makes the most sense. If they jump you coming out of the mission exit, for example, the template would probably be at the end of the mission. If they jump you after interacting with an object that gives you a clue, then you might place the ambush either just above or just below the clue.
  • I don't think we've ever documented specific animations.
--Eabrace Healthbar notify phone.png 17:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Usually you'll find Enemies and Notable NPCs after the briefings, any captions, NPC text, and cutscenes for a mission. I believe clues are usually at the end of the mission, so after Enemies and Notable NPCs. There may be circumstances where the flow of the mission essentially forces your hand into doing something different, but none come immediately to mind.

Quickie overview on how I've been documenting, myself, and how I've seen others documenting as well:

  • Briefing (including response(s))
  • Mission Acceptance (including response(s)
  • Unnecessary Solicitation (pretty much never has a response) (should be preceded by a header containing the primary objective if it is a multi-part mission; should NOT be preceded by a header if the primary objective doesn't change)
    • these first three pretty much never vary
  • Mission objectives ({{Mission Objective}})
  • Enemies ({{Enemy Link}} used within personal enemy templates, unless it's a one-off, then {{Enemy Group}})
  • Notable NPCs (all named enemies, any allies/hostages, any NPCs pertinent to mission objectives, any NPCs with important dialogue)
  • {{NPC Text}}/{{Cutscene}}/{{Mission Briefing}}/{{divbox}} (captions, important notes, etc)
  • {{Mission Clue}} (this may also be used at other parts of the mission documentation if it provides necessary information to continue; such as a clue about a weapon given during the briefing, or a clue about a piece of paper given at the end of a debriefing, etc)
  • Debriefing

NOTE: As with all wiki pages, {{EdNote}} is used throughout to document meta-game details, regardless of mission flow. Keep its usage to a minimum with as few words as possible. Don't try to compete with the story arc for attention.

And as with all creative works, some missions will break some or all the rules. Exceptions are made every day. ~ AGGE talk/cons 02:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

All the above is awesome - thanks for starting this Kahzi. Am processing, and munging, will try a iteration within a day or two with a view to adding it to the Policy panoply <grin> Some more questions:
  • Am about to put The Pilgrim in mission space. Been focussing on him as NCsoft quietly revised it and it's an early marker for The Oncoming Storm which is a known huge theme in the game. Prefer one mission article per arc in this specific case. The Pilgrim breaks things - that page has two arcs, same name same contact, different content. In this case it is non-trivial, as the revised hero content has pointers to the Coming Storm and all, and trying to re-merge them would be a loss (IMHO). Question, will the article names be "Mission:The Ouroboros Initiation (Hero) - etc." and "Mission:The Ouroboros Initiation (Villain) - etc"? That seems the closest to the spirit of the new convention?
  • May I ask we consider defining orange to be darkorange (color|#DF7401)? That'd automatically cause existing usage to become easier to read, and more closely approximates the apparent intensity in game (noting all in game text is on a black background, of course; you just do not get similar readability on white backgrounds.).
Agree in general re EdNote. I'd love to see a refinements that allows better commentary/guidance/documentation and explication of ingame flow of and logic missions, which is needful at times. Taosin 07:13, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Eabrace mentioned the creation of a template for one shot enemy groups? I have done that. The {{Enemy Group}} Template can be used for that purpose. It is already in use on a few WWD enemy groups that appear only once, Famous Singer, for one. It allows for any text to be inputted as the Group, and a custom icon if desired (but defaults to the Gladiator one if none is selected). I have yet to go back and do a Documentation page or anything for it since it is not widely used as of yet. —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 13:12, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
This is for one-off groups, correct? As in, there might be a Cowboys group in one mission that includes NPCs such as John Wayne and Wyatt Earp. What about one-off NPCs? Is it considered proper to create a stub article with an image and a link to the arc they're in, as I've seen before? Or to refrain from linking the Notable NPCs section at all, and just give a name? -- Kahzi 14:52, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Can you blame me for not seeing this question in all of the text on this page? LOL. At any rate, it is already in use in a few instances for a single NPC (Demon Hunter for Hardcase). Also, if there is anything to link to, you can still use that template as well, you would just substitute a plain text version of the Group Name for a linked version (i.e. [[Group Name]]). Since the way the template is written does not auto-link, a link can easily be put into that text field. However, if you are making a page for the Group, and including pictures and other information, I would consider the possiblity of making an Enemy Link template anyway for the group rather than using Enemy Group. After all, the purpose of the Enemy Group template is to be able to make a single use instance of a Group be easier to do, if you are going through the trouble of making a page that can be linked, then I don't really see why you wouldn't make a template for the group/NPC anyway. Does that make sense and/or have consensus? —Thirty7 Talk-Icon.jpg 04:52, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Regarding The Pilgrim and his dual arcs... There is a lot of duplication there. I copied the entire Hero arc onto User:Kahzi/Scratchpad and saved, then copied in the entire Villain arc without saving and hit 'Show changes'... It looks like there is one mission that is notably different: Breakout/Outbreak, followed by an extra mission for villains (which will be a slight issue as it does repeat a name from a prior mission). Then a minor difference when talking about Atlas Park in ruins. Then a lot of little differences where they probably shouldn't be, where one side has been more thoroughly maintained than the other. I don't think it is necessary to split these. Just have two 5th missions, which are conveniently given different names anyway, and transclude both, with notes at the top of each stating whether they are heroes or villains. Or that's what I would do, anyway.  :) -- Kahzi 14:48, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
For Pilgrim (and only for Pilgrim), indeed, huge duplication; and usually i'd be all for combining. However! I have to strongly disagree about combining the arcs into one article. Although each mission is identical, and the outcomes the same, a few of the hero briefings have been altered discretely by the devs to introduce the Coming Storm and put the fall of Galaxy City in that context. (Different for heroes and villains)..
Strong preference here for readers to be able to follow the flow of the briefings without having to jump or get lost too much due to these different briefings.
Space on the wiki is relatively cheap, and having each arc explicitly presently is going to help readers who browse through all the wiki to glean all the intel on The Coming Storm (which a few players I know are doing). It is also a topic we will only see more published content about, and also allows better documentation down the track if/when NCsoft further revise these Taosin 22:16, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, abovbe why to doument in two mission articles, not one.
Doing one last parse of the villain side arc in the next day or so.