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Taking a political stance on #BlackLivesMatter[edit]

Hey all, this will be a difficult topic, but I personally would like the wiki to take a public political stance on supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This originally came up in Discord which resulted in a heated discussion that left some community members understandably disappointed. Before I go in detail, I want to point out that nobody was in opposition of the movement itself; there were just different opinions on whether we should approach this as a community about a game, and how we should do it if we decided to do it.

For full transparency on what has already happened, I would like to add some backstory here: The topic first came up internally in the administration chat on Discord when we talked about supporting Pride month, following what ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 are doing officially. We originally considered changing our on-wiki logo for a Pride version but realized that it maybe not to change the wiki itself. As one pointed out then, Wikipedia isn’t doing such a thing either and Pride month is probably mostly a US thing. We did continue to consider doing something on the GW2W twitter though, and came up with a few icon ideas to support Pride month. Around the same time, BLM was heating up but we weren’t too keen on taking such a strong political stance at that time. So instead, we went ahead with the Pride icon for now.

Shortly after, Horrible contacted me, suggesting to retweet the NCSOFT tweet that ArenaNet retweeted. I didn’t had an answer on that immediately, especially considering what was discussed before internally and how Stephane also suggested us to be generally careful if we wanted to do anything. After some more discussion and thinking about it, I wrote the following:

“I think I don’t want to retweet that message after all, unless there is a strong support to do so from the community. It doesn’t feel appropriate to join the masses of “here’s brand X (re)tweeting an interchangable message without really actively doing something themselves”, especially not on an account which has been quiet for such a long time. If this was a message by the GW2 or ANet account itself, then I would feel retweeting it would be more appropriate for the wiki account, but retweeting a retweet originally from the publisher (which we don’t directly interact with) I don’t know..”

I replied Horrible that I wouldn’t retweet this without community support, which I realized later to be a mistake because I was not elaborating my reasoning back then. What followed was a very heated public discussion started by Horrible on how we should take a stance, followed by different opinions that I will not go into detail here. However, my reply in that discussion was the following:

“If you want to come up with a message from the community, feel free to do that. If others are in favor of making that public, then I am happy to tweet that. I merely said that I didn’t want to retweet NCsoft’s statement, which you said yourself is very weak, especially not on one or two people’s behalf.
The problem I personally have with NCsoft’s message is that it feels like the generic ‘[brand] wants to tweet something about the global issue to stay relevant’, something Twitter is already full of, drowning the actually important messages by people that are directly affected. The fact that ArenaNet only retweeted this instead of coming up with something themselves (which would likely been more relevant to us, the wiki community) doesn’t make a strong argument for retweeting it either.”

The discussion didn’t go too well but I stand by what I wrote back then. A few days have passed since then and I am now bringing this to the community so we can decide together what we want to do. There are a few things I want to point out though:

  1. We should not forget that we are a wiki about a game in a fantasy world. That makes real-life issues conflict with our goal to document the game. So we need to be sure that we really want to do this.
  2. We have to keep in mind that for many people, playing games is a way to escape reality. For these people, it is by design that a game (and by extension a wiki about the game) does not involve real-life issues. We don’t know what goes on in their lives (and we shouldn’t imply anything!) so not doing something is also an option for keeping a “safe space”.
  3. I want a message to feel genuine. That means that I don’t want one of those [brand]-messages that have been all over Twitter in the past weeks. Even if they are genuine, they don’t feel like it because it appears that these brands just do it to stay relevant.
  4. While BLM is the predominant topic right now, I think it would be nice if we could come up with something that includes other issues as well, e.g. Pride. There are so many issues in the world which shouldn’t overshadow each other.
  5. The original idea is to post something on Twitter but we can put a message on the wiki too if the community supports this.

Nothing is decided. We, as a community, can decide to do something publicly or not. Whatever we decide will not impact what we as individuals think about this issue. And I want to make clear that it will not undermine anything that individuals have been doing outside of the wiki. poke | talk 12:04, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

I'm in support of us acknowledging #BlackLivesMatter, but on one condition: that we commit to undertaking the painful process of examining how we, the wiki, may have contributed to racism. I am not suggesting that the wiki is currently super racist or anything, but racism can be a lot more subtle than many people who don't experience it give it credit for, and it's entirely possible that improvements could be made. (Example: why do all our display screenshots feature white characters? "Neutral" backgrounds are relative to the item on display, and pink isn't necessarily more neutral than dark brown.) Retweeting the hashtag and dying the logo black mean nothing if all they accomplish is that we get to pat ourselves on the back for being woke; this isn't meant to make us feel good, it's meant to make us feel angry about the state things currently are and to push for change.
I'm also in support of us branching out in support of things like Pride—June is Pride month after all—but again, we must commit to making positive changes about the wiki. Thanks in part to Horrible, our Gender and Sexuality in Tyria article got a makeover yesterday, and I do think it's in a much better state than it was before. We can do this. —Idris User Idris signature.png 12:36, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) The featured article spot on the main page is the perfect size for a well thought-out statement. For inspiration, take a look here:
  1. TV Community: r/startrek and r/DaystromInstitute (7 days ago)
  2. Book community: r/Stormlight_Archive (7 days ago)
I'd advocate for something a bit more strongly worded, given how much time has passed.
I would also like to second Idris's idea of outlining steps the wikis will take to fix our own inherent biases would also be a good addition horrible | contribs 13:59, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Although I agree that the wiki twitter should make a public statement in favour of BLM; I strongly disgaree with a statement being made on the wiki itself or the pages therein. The wiki has always kept itself devoid of refernce to the outside world. It doesnt reflect pride month on its pages, it doesnt reflect anything else either. It is a repository of information for a game and should stay free form taking stances within its page, upon global events. Their are numerous issues that we have not made comments on and nor is their any intent to either. (for example the riots in Hong Kong)
We are not a poltiical forum. We should simply follow the message being set out by anet itself with our own wiki twitter. We can phrase it better than they have, but frankly the wiki should only be tracing anet's stance. So if they change their icon to a rainbow flag, we change our twitter to a rainbow flag too. If they make a comment on BLM, we make a comment on BLM on our twitter too.
Beyond that is a step too far and opens the doors to a politicing of the wiki which I personally would be uncomfortable with. I say that as someone who has been on numerous BLM marches and as someone who identifies as gay personally... But I genuinley dont think the pages of the wiki should have a page on pride or BLM.
I also disagreee with horrible when he says "I'd advocate for something a bit more strongly worded, given how much time has passed.", as frankly I dont think the wiki has to go an extra mile or prove that its delay in making a statement was anything other than how a wiki community tends to work... through discourse and at a slow pace.
As for what Idris said; although I take their point.... I would also suggest that people have always been welcome to upload images for armour and equipment for characters representing any ethnicity. Work here is done on a volunteer basis and thus if you feel that those pages need greater representation, that may well be a project to commence yourself; however I do not want contributors to be worried about uploading a good quality picture of an item, based on their characters skin tone. First and foremost the wiki is here to document the game. -- Salome User salome sig2.png 16:49, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
I agree that we don't need to word it more strongly just because we're late to the party. A simpering apology for not immediately jumping on the bandwagon is exactly the sort of vapid gesturing we should be avoiding. I would bet actual money that the vast majority of companies and communities who made grandiose posts in the past couple of weeks promising to address racism will have lost interest in doing so by the end of the month. Our energy should be focused on actually improving the wiki and its environment.
As a white person, I don't have much insight into any issues we may currently have on the racism front (the white screenshot thing was the best I could come up with, and I probably shouldn't have bothered), so instead I'd like to draw inspiration from how we've been addressing LGBT representation over the last couple of years:
Positive changes in this area have largely come from LGBT users; other users have, for the most part, been really cool about it, allowing us to make the changes we knew were necessary rather than always talking over us or complaining about how unnecessary it felt to them as people with no stake in the matter -- an attitude which, unfortunately, is all too common in gamer spaces. We've come a long way, too; in 2014 our {{user infobox}}'s options for gender were "Male or female. No weird stuff." I added a non-binary option in 2018, and I was physically shaking while posting it because, thanks to past experiences in other gamer spaces, I was expecting a nasty response. I didn't get one; I was thanked. This sort of supportive environment, where the minority themselves are given the freedom and encouragement to lead the charge, is really important. If we make a statement on #BLM, I feel we should use the opportunity to assure PoC users that we will listen to and support them if they want to speak up on any failings they feel the wiki or its community have. —Idris User Idris signature.png 18:42, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
That all seems incredibly fair and I would agree with that sentiment. -- Salome User salome sig2.png 18:46, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
"We are not a poltiical forum" Yeah hi this is completely irrelevant. horrible | contribs 18:56, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
To add: if we were a political form, and we had waited 2+ weeks, things would be a lot more angry, and from a lot more people than just me. horrible | contribs 18:57, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
I am, always was, and always will be in support of movements that move against bigotry like racism and sexism. However, I firmly believe that there is a time and place for such, and a fandom game wiki is no place for such. We are no company, there's no PR to gain from it (let's face it, that is why most companies partake in such stuff or don't); you will not find other game / fandom wikis making similar statements - not on their websites at least, maybe on their own social media outlets. If people want to support it, then 1) they already have been, and 2) they do so on their personal platforms or on public platforms established explicitly for such. They do not benefit from what is ultimately a random wiki maintained by random people with no influence in the wide world taking a belated stance.
Sometimes, speaking too much is just as detrimental as not speaking at all, and I think that using the GW wikis for such is speaking too much. Making a comment on the wiki twitter, while I'm not in support of, I'm not opposed to. But I think it's far more important to ensure that these two wikis are friendly to people regardless of their background, and that people shouldn't be "physically shaking while posting it because, thanks to past experiences in other gamer spaces, I was expecting a nasty response"; making public statements, especially apologies of or loudness due to lateness, is not at all important in the end and as I said, sometimes speaking too much is more detrimental than not speaking at all.
Rather than performing what is ultimately a PR tactic for non-political platforms and forgetting about it in a month, I'd rather see the wikis take steps to continue equality and fairness among the community. Put effort in where it matters, not where it makes us look good or feel more important for our deeds. Improve ourselves, not just tell others to improve themselves. Konig (talk) 19:21, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Your anger or lack there of Horrible, isnt really my concern; or the wikis. I'm not trying to be rude here Horrible, but the wiki isnt political. It simply isnt. It never had been. It keeps itself removed from world events and purely documents the game. The wiki twitter is more than welcome to follow suit with anet and make a clear statement. As a community however I agree with Idris and Konig, its up to us to make a community that embraces and encourages disparate voices to be heard and allows itself to grow in a way that can represent everyone, free from bias or judgment. That means listening to contributors from diverse backgrounds and ensuring that the wiki is a supportive and bias-free place for editors to contribute. Genuinley lets put in the substantive worthwhile work to show acceptance and equality within our wiki, rather than grandstanding for nonsense pretend PR pages for internet cool points. -- Salome User salome sig2.png 19:26, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Gonna echo Salome. It is not the wiki's role in any discourse to take political stances. Should it begin to take political stances, it should also be able to back up why it had been silent before, and once it has become a political entity, it also has to live up to that in the future. In general, this seems like a poor choice for a resource intended to provide objective documentation of a video game. Furthermore, I personally have limited patience for boilerplate Twitter activism that is intended more to earn praise than it is to actually affect meaningful change in the power structures that be (see also: lazy corporate How Do You Do Fellow Gays that comes up every Pride month). Seeing as I do not see any discussion about ways to provide substantive help, I cannot help but feel like this is a similarly empty gesture. Aqua[talk] 21:46, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
"Seeing as I do not see any discussion about ways to provide substantive help, I cannot help but feel like this is a similarly empty gesture." — You make a good point here; saying "no need to grandstand on twitter; we just have to be cool and open-minded" is a pretty way of getting out of addressing the problem while still getting to pat ourselves on the back for addressing it. Horrible's examples included links to anti-racism resources; if we actually agree with BLM's message, and we actually want to commit to making the wiki a welcoming place for PoC, we should be encouraging each other to pursue these sources and learn from them, even if we think we don't need to. Especially if we think we don't need to. —Idris User Idris signature.png 22:34, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Agreeing with Konig, Salome, and Aqua here. I also think Idris makes a very good point that we should make sure the wiki is inclusive/open to everyone all year round. We are not politics or a PR machine, we are a group of people documenting the game, and we're all behind virtual identities that are unrelated to our biological traits or cultural backgrounds. We need to find out how we are doing in case of racism, sexism, etc. (from the people who actually know about it) and then work to become better. ~ Sanna Talk page 22:39, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

(Reset indent) (Edit conflict) I appreciate everyone discussing this so civilly. I think it might streamline the conversation more if we identified HOW we would implement changes/support declarations IF we decide to do so. We so far can all agree that superficial changes and messages of support can be see as rather trite. But as the saying goes: Silence is violence. Would showing passive support be harmful to the wiki's community or to the game's community? If Pride Month changes could be made easily, then I don't see why BLM changes can't be made. What does any action we take actually look like? Once we identify that, I believe it will be easier to decide whether we should or not. If no concrete changes can be conceived (besides addressing our lack of black human skin models), then I personally think we should simply educate ourselves and strive to be more inclusive.--Rain Spell (talk) 22:55, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

I personally am open to us gorwing, but I think we need to actually hear from contributors who feel discriminated against or not represented. So that were led by lived experienced and can grow in a way thats fundamentally useful to people from disparate backgrounds. As a white contributor... i dont really feel comfortable voicing what needs to be done on the wiki, as ultimately its not lived experience for me and it can come across abit "white Saviour"-esque. I'm very happy however to listen and to contribute to how the wiki can grow and potentially be more encompassing in the future. Saying all of that however I will simply re-iterate that I dont think a pride statement or page or a BLM statement or page on the wiki itself, is apporpriate.... but i think we all mostly agree on that. -- Salome User salome sig2.png 23:39, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
In terms of concrete actions we can take right now:
  1. There's technically no harm in retweeting the hashtag, or even in making a longer statement as per Horrible's suggestion, since we're treating it as it was intended -- as an opportunity to examine our own biases and become more inclusive. Knowing that we put it out there might also help us hold ourselves accountable, and commit to this instead of forgetting about it once the next Big Thing in the News comes along.
  2. Another way of holding ourselves accountable might be to put it in writing on the wiki. I know that concrete policies aren't really a thing we do here, but perhaps we could consider adding a paragraph to Guild Wars 2 Wiki:Practices and processes outlining the atmosphere we're striving to create here? It doesn't have to be overtly political.
  3. We could extend an invitation to the larger GW2 community for more PoC players to join the wiki. None of them would be obligated to take the lead in making changes or speaking out against racism they see here if they don't want to, of course. But we could always use more users, so why not?
Idris User Idris signature.png 01:21, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
I concur with what Salome, Konig, Aquadrizzt and Sanna said. The wiki is a place of knowledge, where many different individuals collaborate in a civil and respectful manner. Ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political stances should have no impact on editing and the way we treat each other. We're all human beings here, with one goal: to document the game. Thus, the wiki should not be a political playground of any kind. We owe it to the community to foster a welcoming and peaceful environment for everyone, period.
Re Idris' suggestions:
I have no real opinion on option 1, but I think we might be a bit late to the party by now. Most companies already switched back to their regular logos and/or pride versions, too.
As for option 2, I can get behind that. Perhaps we could copy the bit about wiki etiquette from the Template:Welcome over there and elaborate a bit on it, if necessary.
Lastly, I find option 3 to be in incredibly poor taste, although it's well-meant. We do need more users and yes, we should advertise for people to join us, but it shouldn't solely address a certain group of people to fill an imaginary quota to appease our (guilty) consciences. Isn't that in itself racism, too? User Incarnazeus Signature.pngtalk 09:40, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
I find my own opinion well put into words by Aqua, Inc, Konig, Salome and Sanna. The point of this project/wiki is to create a resource of knowlege that reflects the state of the game.
The wiki should always strive to be open to anyone, everyone should be heared and taken seriously. The wiki could restate that it is open for anyone. Inviting a "minority" specifically or taking a stance on political matters (or any matter not concerning the wiki) is off grounds as I see the wiki. —Kvothe (talk) 10:11, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Sounds like consensus is leaning towards option 2, then? I like Inc's idea of using the Welcome bot's paragraph. On a related note, an idea I've had bouncing around in my head for a while now is to write up an in-depth guide to user conduct that could get its own article in the help/gw2w space; it's all well and good to tell people to be nice and assume good faith, but that's a skill not everyone is good at, so some folks might benefit from targeted tips like "don't get involved in discussions while you're angry" etc. —Idris User Idris signature.png 02:07, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

(Reset indent) No responses in over a week. In that same timespan, there were Ninety-nine edits on Tanetris's RFA and its talk page. This not only shows that the members of the wiki are far more interested in their own internal politics than in real world matters (unless you're a person of influence, nothing you do on an individual level can match the potential impact of the wiki, so please don't try to confuse the issue here), but also approval of the status quo both IRL and on the wiki. As Idris pointed out here, there are dozens of ways the wiki can be more inclusive, and the refusal to discuss them is a direct slap in the face to everyone impacted. horrible | contribs 17:51, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

Hi Horrible, welcome back. I understand why you're angry at the lack of activity, but it would be really helpful if you could comment on my related proposal in the section below so we can actually make some progress towards the changes we talked about here. :) —Idris User Idris signature.png 18:02, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
Looks like I'll repeat what lots of others have said before. The wiki, from definition, is dedicated to finding and sharing information about the game. What we do, could be, in some way, considered 'science'. We are in no way related to politics of the real world, and thus I (and a lot of other editors, based on above discussion) believe we should not take a stance in this matter as a wiki.
(I'm not against BLM if that makes you think so, I wish they managed to change something for the better.)
I've got one more point to say. "... members of the wiki are far more interested in their own internal politics than in real world matters." You forgot something very important there: 'When it comes to wiki, ...' You have no idea who we are in real life and how much we are active/inactive in political manners.
TLDR: The wiki is not a political subject, and so shouldn't take a stance. DJemba (talk) 19:10, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
We have black editors. We have trans editors. We are a community that contains countless minority editors who are not treated fairly across the world, and this wiki has helped perpetuate that injustice. Making a statement in support of their right to exist is not something that should be seen as controversial. We also need to make an effort to improve the wiki, and ensure that everyone feels welcome on the wiki, regardless of who they are. If we actively choose to say nothing, we are giving approval to how things are.
Also, I suggest you re-read the italicized line directly after that quote; it directly addressees precisely what you're saying I forgot. horrible | contribs 20:18, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Folks, I think this discussion is starting to become unhelpful. Academic discussions of how political a wiki should be are less effective than making concrete changes towards the goal I feel safe in saying we all agree with -- that the wiki should be an inclusive space for all of our users that encourages us to be the best people we can be. We're making some good progress in the section below; please consider joining in. —Idris User Idris signature.png 20:40, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
These are two different discussions, though lower one is part of this. A policy change won't matter to anyone who isn't already a part of the wiki. horrible | contribs 20:56, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
That's a fair point. I guess I see it this way: there's a deluge of twitter grandstanding going on right now, much of which is unlikely to actually result in positive change. And people know that most of it is bullshit. On the other hand, there are groups that are using this as an opportunity to grow, and that growth is going to take place over many months and years from now, not just in the present moment of anger. Is there harm in taking our time to make sure we do this right before we start reaching out to people outside our community, instead of making promises today that nobody has any reason to trust us on following through with? For example, Tanetris suggested below that we could start a wiki project, and I think that's a really good idea -- once we have it up and running, we could advertise it on reddit and twitter. —Idris User Idris signature.png 21:45, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
“A policy change won't matter to anyone who isn't already a part of the wiki.” - But a public message of our support will also not matter to anyone really. It’s not like showing our support will have any actual benefit.
I agree with what others said in this section and also the one below on Idris’ proposal that we should try to actually do something. And when thinking about what we can do, we should keep in mind that we are a wiki about a game. So I think it makes sense to try to work on things we can actually improve as a community. Idris mentioned the character screenshots above and I think that’s a great example for something we can actually contribute to this topic. Instead of making a random statement without any action, let’s make a promise to improve on content where we, as a community, failed to be as inclusive as we could have in the past. Let’s collect issues with our content, openly asking people to look out for it, and work on improving the situation; making an impact in an area where we can actually have an impact.
I personally think that would be a lot more honest than posting a statement about how we support BLM without following action. And if we want, we can still tweet about what we are trying to do. poke | talk 19:31, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Why would we try to turn a "GAME DISCUSSION PAGE" into a "Political Statement"?? My STRONG suggestion is to keep the POLITICS out of THIS arena---------since THAT SUBJECT has NO relevance to THIS subject matter!!!! This is A GAME------------NOT a "real life" situation!!! KEEP IT THAT WAY!!! Undouble (talk) 01:21, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
I know I'm late to the party but I agree 100% with leaving the politics outside of the wiki. Let people who want to make a statement do so on their individual pages. User DrogoBoffin Test sig.pngDrogo Boffin 21:56, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Proposal for a new GW2W namespace article: Guide to user conduct[edit]

The #BLM discussion above is getting pretty large, so I'm moving this thread to a new section: I've drafted up a proposal for a guide to user conduct, which ideally will be linked to via Guild Wars 2 Wiki:Practices and processes. The goal for this article is twofold: one, it gives newer users a feel for the environment here and reassures them that maintaining that environment is important to us; two, most disruptive users have the capacity to improve, but supporting them in that process is a huge amount of work that is unreasonable to ask of the average editor; this guide could help give regular users a tool for dealing with disruptive ones. —Idris User Idris signature.png 15:26, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

moved from User talk:Idris/Sandbox 2
While I agree with the intent behind such a proposal, I can see this being heavily misused and easily weaponized in the same manner as gw1:GWW:AGF and gw1:GWW:NPA were. Writing explicit policies such as this often cause people to get bogged down in the meta discussion around what is an acceptable way to say things, rather than the actual content of what was said. horrible | contribs 18:06, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I've tried to make it clear in the intro that this guide is not intended as a policy -- do you think there's another way I could get that point across, or do you think the whole thing should be scrapped? I could add a tip to the list itself saying something along the lines of "remember to follow the spirit of the rules, not the letter"? —Idris User Idris signature.png 18:13, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

The ping on the watchlist reminded me I completely forgot about this proposal, sorry Idris, got caught up in the rest of the goings on. I did read part of the proposal (I'm a terrible reader due to medical reasons and tiredness, sorry) when you first posted it and either way, I think it is a great initiative! The only problem I foresee is: the more copy you have, the less chance people are going to read it. So probably stick a TL;DR on top that comes down to "Don't be an ass, no sexism, racism, ableism, some-other-ism". I hope to get back to this once the wiki has calmed down a bit. ~ Sanna Talk page 19:08, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback! I tried to split the tips up into digestible sections, as well as keep the tips themselves short so they'll be easier to read/remember. You don't need to apologise for not managing to read all of it, though -- if you have issues that affect your reading then that just makes you the perfect person to give feedback on readability! :) I'll have a think on how to reword the TL;DR. —Idris User Idris signature.png 19:17, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
The issue I have with such a proposal, i.e. be nice to people, is that it should be so blatantly obvious it doesn't need a policy at all. A long time ago the gw2w binned all of the policies.
Instead of a formal proposal, I think a lot of this could be reworked into one of/some of the Help namespace pages, or possibly a new Help page altogether (Help:Discussion?). -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 20:38, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps my use of the word "proposal" was misleading, but it sounds like you and I are already on the same page, Alex. This not intended to be a policy; the idea is to give users some helpful tips on how not to have a bad time on the wiki. Sticking a tweaked version of it in the help namespace under Help:Discussion is an excellent idea! —Idris User Idris signature.png 20:53, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
As a thought, what about instead of a Guide, a Project page, to examine where the wiki is falling down in making a representative and welcoming experience for everyone and find solutions? Idris brought up our screenshots being primarily light-skinned characters, so perhaps the project could examine why that is and see if a change in the guidelines for the ideal screenshot makes more sense (as an example, maybe darker-colored weapons are best shot with light-skinned characters while lighter-colored weapons would be better shot with dark-skinned characters. Doesn't mean we need to automatically delete all screenshots that don't have black characters, but it can be a guideline moving forward). A discussion was just begun on Aid Worker Sya on how best to present her deadname in a way that is sensitive to transgender readers. A project page could centralize such discussions and also give editors somewhere to go if something isn't necessarily wrong but doesn't come off well. If such a project got up and running, we could tweet a link to the page along with a general message of support for those affected by systemic prejudices, both overt and unconscious. It would also mean it's not just laying down a single message of 'don't be racist guys' but making a hopefully meaningful ongoing effort going forward, which I think is more what you were looking for? - Tanetris (talk) 23:47, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
That's also a really good idea, and one I'll have a think about. I'm not sure I agree that this would be a replacement for a guide, though; I think it might be more effective to scatter multiple little indicators of our attitude in various places, so it really feels like this is how the wiki is and not this is what we wish the wiki was, you know? I'm undecided on what to do with this guide, though... I've been staring at it all evening trying to rewrite it as per feedback, and I keep thinking it just comes across as patronizing. I want our users to feel like their intelligence and intentions are respected... but I also think there are users who would benefit from a list of concrete tips to refer to when they're struggling to figure out what they're doing wrong. —Idris User Idris signature.png 20:31, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
I think a Project Page for gathering ideas shows a commitment to inclusivity, acknowledgement of biases, and willingness to facilitate change (if change actually results from critiques). It would also localize all relevant conversations to one page for planning and discussion. While there is still the minor burdening of affected persons with explaining our own biases to us, I believe providing the page is a good first step. Idris, I do like your guide idea (and I've read a couple iterations), but I do think that there are good points being made that telling someone to be a good person doesn't necessarily encourage introspection. We're all protagonists in our own heads after all.--Rain Spell (talk) 18:30, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, that's very true. Let's table the guide for now and focus on getting the project up and running. I've chucked a barebones article up in the project space; layout probably needs tweaking, but the basics are there. —Idris User Idris signature.png 19:46, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Mapping Tyria[edit]

Now that GW3 (Cantha) has been announced for next year, how about taking a little time to completely map out the Tyrian continent for exploration? No need for a storyline (beyond Jormag's finale), just territory and "population". For example, we "know" that their are at least 4 Charr "legions" (call them clans, states, etc), each of whom has their OWN "homeland". Define these areas and let them be explored. The same holds for the Elonian desert, islands, etc. Access TO all of these areas should be on a "discovery" basis--------no "serendipity" here. One such "starting point" is the (currently) inaccessible Asuran Gate in Brisban Wildlands---------(it can be seen, but not touched)-------------seemingly accessing the Woodlands Cascade region. The "quandary" here is simple----------How do WE get TO this gate?? Even with the 3rd GW game release, interest in completely seeing and exploring the territories we've been working in for the past 8 YEARS would be an intriguing denouement to this saga!! Naturally, only the MOST intrepid of explorers would dare venture into areas that proclaim "here be dragons".Undouble (talk) 14:42, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

I can't say I understand what you're really asking for here. All geographical areas are described in detail as it is. SarielV 20 x 20px 02:12, 2 September 2020 (UTC)


Posting here since this spans multiple templates.
I would like to suggest that we have weapons, armors and such include the value of collection parameters set on their skin page.
That way we would be more consistent with the game and would not lose any user convenience. It would also allow to correctly distinguish if a specific equipment/item is need versus the skin unlock.
After implementation the swap would possibly benefit from a bot edit. —Kvothe (talk) 21:59, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

I disagree. In my opinion we shouldn't see the parameter collection as being strictly part of a collection but as a more general indication that the item or its skin (which is obtained when account-binding the item) is part of the collection.
I understand your reasoning that the correct collection task (either item or skin) should be marked correctly as it is sometimes crucial, but I think the infobox is the wrong place. Especially, since the Is part of collection currently lists over 7000 entries, I would argue that we are used to it and already expect it; not to mention adjusting all the pages. Hence, I think we would in fact lose some wiki user convenience, as the item is more accessible than the skin.
However, to address this discrepancy, I added a type and subtype column to the templates {{collection table}} (automatically generated) and {{collection table row}} (manually generated) to exactly state what is required (that's in my opinion the correct place). The template {{collection table}} is going even further, in order to get the related item for a skin, the equipment infobox parameter collection (actually the related property Is part of collection) is needed to select the somehow "correct" related item (which would otherwise be difficult for skins that have more than one related item). --Tolkyria (talk) 20:12, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

Noting PoIs for NPC locations[edit]

Since I saw one change already made by Doodleplex I figured I'd get ahead of it. I personally think it's worthwhile to mark the point of interest within an area if a certain NPC only spawns around or at it within an area as a whole. Fire Imp has multiple examples of this, since imps are pretty local creatures by nature. If NPCs appear throughout the area as a whole as well as within PoIs in the area, then don't mark it (See Ridgeback Skale in Trebuchet Bend). Nero9012 (talk) 04:30, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm okay with listing the POI/landmarks [within the locations section of the page] if the NPC isn't super obviously located. For 99% of locations the "area" will do.
I want to caveat this with the note that npcs should not have any mention of the POI/landmarks in their infobox as this will break stuff. -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 17:17, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
Heh, didn't know I had a my own little shadow following me, cute. I second Alex for this reason: I find it more helpful to list the Point of Interest/general location at the top of the page as part of the NPC's description, since editors can be more descriptive there than the location section. For example in the NPC description you can put "NPC can be found near X point of interest/waypoint" and include a template to provide a link for the players to use in game. Exceptions would be of course of Points of Interest that are their own instance, such as the Queen's Throne Room point of interest, those are fine in the Location section, though I'm not sure about the infobox for them. - Doodleplex 19:56, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what you mean with this. If we take Fire Imp again for example, it has at least 4-5+ areas where they only spawn within a PoI in the given area, so listing everyone of them in the header summary would just be pointless bloating that listing the PoI in the appropriate location section wouldn't do instead. It would get even worse for enemies like centaurs and bandits that exists solely in their camps throughout many areas as well. I've checked the NPCs pages a lot and I haven't seen any PoIs/Landmarks being listed in the infobox either so that's not a concern. Nero9012 (talk) 20:34, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

Adding account key to Precursor collections (and maybe more)[edit]

Hey! I've been going through some precursor collections (e.g. Dusk) using the wiki, of course, and I think it would be very useful to be able to bind the account key and cross out the items you already collected. I saw this implemented for the Cat collection

I am new to the wiki system so I don't know how things work, but I did some digging and it looks like that part is called a widget and only a small group of people can work on them. Is someone in that team available for such a task? I have programming experience so I can try to do it myself after getting some guidance on how to start and how to get permission to work on it. I already analyzed some of the code for the cat so I expect most of it to be reusable.

Thanks :) EvilMonkey (talk) 18:17, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Actually, the thing you are talking about is already being discussed. The big issue is, that API does store info about achievement goals not really well for us to work with.
Cats are quite easy to get, you just read API:2/account/home/cats. With achievements however, you need bits part of API:2/account/achievements, and the worst, you need to have the wiki table in the same order as the bits are, which is quite unlikely.
I don't know more of the issue, if someone can tell you more (Alex?), I hope they do it. DJemba (talk) 22:41, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
Hmm, ok. It does look a bit scary with those bits.. and then there is "The meaning of each value varies with each achievement." Still, I could continue someone's work if they already started something. Or I could look into it and start building something. EvilMonkey (talk) 18:23, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Widget talk:Account achievements#Bits. I think this is pretty much the same request. Adding the ability to gray out bits is actually pretty easy, it's just having the confidence that all the wiki "bits" stuff is in the same order as the API. -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 18:40, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Black Lion Collections are not in the correct order and Legendary Weapons (achievements) still need to be finished (currently at Frostfang I from the top). Besides those two point all should be correct. —Kvothe (talk) 21:53, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so it looks like things are already going forward :) I'll be looking forward to that update EvilMonkey (talk) 19:57, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Adding a "Show base ingredients" button to the Promotion recipes template[edit]

Hello. I recently noticed that some of the wiki pages I was visiting did not have a Show base ingredients button in the recipe "template" (sorry if this isn't the right word, I give examples below for clarity). After playing a bit with those templates to understand why, it seems the recipe type is the main factor here - I didn't test every possible source/type couple though, I could be mistaken.

For instance, on the Charged Lodestone page, said button isn't here, but will show up if you change the recipe type from Promotion to Inscription, leading to this convenient page.

I dont know if there was a specific reason for not having this button on every recipe templates, but I thought I would share my experience in case it's just an odd case that should be rectified. Thank you for your time, here are some more examples of pages with or without the button:

Page Source Type Show base ingredient button?
Precise 7 Agony Infusion Mystic forge N/A No (presumably because of status = historical)
N/A (testing only) Recipe Promotion No
Recipe sheet Promotion No
Bolt of Gossamer Mystic Forge Promotion No
Automatic Refinement Yes
Celestial Orichalcum Imbued Inscription Recipe sheet Inscription Yes
Arachnophobia Mystic Forge N/A Yes
N/A (testing only) Mystic forge Inscription Yes
Recipe N/A Yes 09:22, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Yes "base ingredients" is deliberately switched off by default "internally" by setting Property:Can be queried for base ingredients (all the false pages for promotion and demotion recipes. This is set by the line below:
| Can be queried for base ingredients = {{ucfirst:{{{base ingredients|{{#switch: {{lc:{{{type|}}}}} | demotion | promotion = n | #default = y }}}}}}}
The reason that this prevents the query from getting stuck in a loop when finding the crafting path. Unlike GW2Efficiency for example our script blindly follows the recipes and doesn't take into account the cost. Let's try and work through an example:
  • Banner Pennon → 5 Bolt of Gossamer, 100 Spool of Gossamer Thread, 5 Glob of Ectoplasm, 5 Olmakhan Latigo Strap
  • Bolt of Gossamer → 2 Gossamer Scrap. The current base ingredients template would finish here. ... but there's also a promotion recipe there too. So the script would have to pick one of them if the second hadn't been disabled. At this point it would find 250 Bolt of Silk, 1 Bolt of Gossamer, 5 Pile of Crystalline Dust, 10 Philosopher's Stone.
  • Then it'll go ask for Bolt of Gossamer again, and add a further 250 Bolt of Silk to the recipe.... you see where this is going?
The button has the same logic which hides it if it is a demotion, promotion, if the source is unset, or if the status is not current/discontinued (i.e. historical where the recipe has been removed/disabled). I suppose however that we could enable the link without enabling it to be found within the base ingredients widget itself. Would this however be confusing, given that normally these recipes aren't included otherwise? -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 09:57, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Taken a chance and enabled it. -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 17:26, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanations, I didn't think about the loop issue and now understand why the button wasn't there for promotions. I still believe that being able to compare an item price to the cost of even only the "first level" materials used to craft it is convenient, but I agree it may cause confusion because of how arbitrary it is to stop there on the base ingredients page (widget?). Thank you for enabling it for testing, I'm curious to see what the feedback from other wiki users will be on this. 12:14, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Is there actually a good reason to exclude it on a few pages as we still do yet?
Namely, Alex changed it the template code from
{{#ifeq: {{{base ingredients|{{#switch: {{lc:{{{type|}}}}} | demotion | promotion = n | #default = y }}}}} | y | <-- show link --> | <-- do not show link -->}}
{{#ifeq: {{{base ingredients|}}} | y | <-- show link --> | <-- do not show link -->}}
Hence, it is still excluded from pages that are setting the recipet template parameter "base ingredients = n" (see explanation above why this parameter is important), therefore e.g. the link is exclude from the following pages: 2 Agony Infusion, Amalgamated Gemstone/Recipes, Beryl Crystal (note that "base ingredients = n" is set for good reason there, I'm not questioning this at all). Formulating my question alternatively: Is there any page where enabling the "Show base ingredients" link make zero sense or even would have a negative effect? Because, I think that at least the examples (and similar pages) I listed above would indeed benefit from the link. --Tolkyria (talk) 14:54, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps we should separate into two parameters the base ingredients smw + base ingredients link? -Chieftain AlexUser Chieftain Alex sig.png 16:50, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Yes, good idea. It would be definitely also a safer approach as from a wiki user perspective it seems like that the "base ingredients" parameter only enables/disables the link. Thus, the wiki users might remove "base ingredients = n", not knowing why it's required for the query (especially as now we are supporting promotion in general to show the link, which may raise the question for some users why it isn't consistently displayed). --Tolkyria (talk) 17:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Documenting the original Lion's Arch[edit]

Full discussion here: Talk:Lion's Arch (original)#Documenting the original Lion's Arch.--Lon-ami (talk) 22:27, 27 October 2020 (UTC)