Talk:Tech Tree (SEV)

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I am a bit concerned about the added links to articles such as "Huge Hull Construction" and "Rock Colony." How much info is there to type about "Huge Hull Construction?" Is there going to be enough to merit a whole article for every tech area? A better organization might be one tech areas article, with sections for the various techs, given that there isn't much to actually say about them. - Fyron 02:03, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

I am not going to add a new article for every tech area. It was a time consuming change, so I didn't (yet) incorporate same page links. So at first, I made the links for different pages. Since nobody had even finished the tree, I wasn't sure anyone was looking yet and I had to sleep. I would like all of the Hull Constructions will go onto the same page. However, I would also like to go to the SEV Manual Category and be able to look up each tech without having to guess where it is. Most new players will not know instinctively where things will "belong". Just give it time to fix, that page was a lot of painful work and I had to get away before finishing it. Also, To answer your question, "Yes, there is enough to merit a whole article. This is a manual and guide. It should be easily referencable and navigable." The real question is "Will somebody provide it all?" That answer is probably no, but I will do my best. - Fuzzical Logic

Ok, what information would go on a "Huge Hull Construction" article? Its requirements and results? There is very little actual text to write for such an area. Same goes for individual facility articles, component articles, hull sizes, and so on.

Concerns about finding tech info are ameliorated by the search function being capable of turning up pages with lots of tech areas listed, just the same as individual pages. Adding too many articles actually hampers usability, not improves it. Take a look at the Manual (SEIV) for an example, particularly the Racial_Traits_(SEIV) article. In the source "Newbie FAQ", each major section was broken into minor sections. Such sections were further broken down as many times as needed to get to the actual information. This was fine in the source text file format, but it lead to a huge amount of nested articles to click through in wiki form when every single sub-sub section was placed in its own article. Each article had very little text, so you had to keep loading page after page to read a whole topic of info. To resolve this, we just put all of the text for each top level section on one page. Now, one can simply provide a link like Racial Traits (SEIV)#Organic Manipulation to link to info on organic manipulation trait, and it works out fine. Searching for "organic manipulation" turns up the racial traits article.

Of course, even the manual stuff still has excessive links to tiny articles like "Seeking Parasite" and "Organic Armor"...

- Fyron 23:55, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

First, some responses to your points, all of which are extremely valid.

"what information would go on a 'Huge Hull Construction' article?" Requirements, Dependant Technologies, Starting Statistics, Progression of Statistics, Ending Statistics, Which ships are made available (for Construction with multiple ship types), Level, Max Level, Cost, Total Cost from Start of Game (just a thought, for strategy and power nuts).

"Adding too many articles actually hampers usability, not improves it." I agree, but the question is what is too much when one obviously has too little. I'm not sure we know the answer to that yet. Its kinda like planning a party when we don't know how many guests there are. Once the articles are written and the information is at least present and organized I think we'll have a much clearer idea of what is needed. When we have that idea firmly in mind, we can combine or separate articles as needed. I am not advocating a "do it then fix it" mentality. I'm simply saying that too few articles can hamper usability just as much.

There are several ways we can control the "explosion" of this information:

  • Proper organization, from outset, can help reduce the load required to navigate a lot. This means Categorizing and Sub-Categorizing. Place pages not in the top category, but in the Category they belong in. (This was one of the first things I started.)
  • Naming conventions for pages can also help considerably. This is so that when people have to look at Categories to get to information, they can easily find what they are looking for. Speaking of which, is it possible for you to rename an article?
  • Avoid duplication of information by keeping the Manual together with Concepts, Tasks, and Strategies that players must learn.
  • Using the Magic Words such as __NOTOC__ can help to maintain readability.
  • Finally, each category and article has to be taken within context. If it is a quick reference, than a large article will often do as long as it has little information and proper linkage. If it is a large, verbose reference than a better approach might be to split up the information.

"Take a look at the Manual (SEIV) ... particularly the Racial_Traits_(SEIV) article." I saw it and it is very well done. However, that article has a very limited amount of information as compared to referencing the entire Technology List, Component List, or Facility List.

"Now, one can simply provide a link..." I agree, however, proper linkage within the current manual and tutorials, usable linkage is poor at this time. Really, we're in a bind because we still need to contribute, but do so without undermining the information that is already present.

"Searching for 'organic manipulation'..." Again, I agree, searching is a very useful tool that can be either a benefit or detriment. However, relying on Search for people to get information is a poor idea, particularly when you cannot limit, or verify the integrity of, a terms usage. The best search engines I've ever used for organized information pretended that their search function did not exist.

Some Final Notes and Clarification What I see in this Wiki, particularly the Manual, is a combination between a Manual and a Reference. It is important to note that I think of References differently than Manuals, and hence use them differently:

  • A Manual is often for a new player or revisiting player is used to attain or reattain a fairly decent amount of information.
  • A Reference must be efficient for everyone and most especially for veterans because a Reference is most often used to find snippets of information.

What I would suggest is to create a separation between the Reference material and the Manual. The Manual could link to the Reference and vice versa but they would not actually be contained within each other. For example, the Tech Tree would link to the Facilities within the Reference while maintaining its place in the Manual. What do you say to creating a Reference Category (linked to on the Main SEV page next to the Manual)? Then we could all make the snippets appropriate for it without jeopardizing the usability of the Manual itself.

My last suggestion is to reorganize the Manual according to order of importance and complexity for new or revisiting players. Rename the pages and sections to be a little more general and Concept oriented, and place introductory and important information directly onto the Major Section pages. Then within the Manual we have a single link to the main page of the Reference (and vice versa). If we do it in this way, we could even have a single large article be a Glossary of Game Terms. Within the Manual, we would have simple lists, but within the Reference, we could have all the detail.

How does this sound?

Fuzzical Logic

This needs to be reverted. A Wiki is not a database; it should consist of comprehensive articles, not entities. I see the Tech Tree as more of an end-point than a starting point for researching weapons. Look at Wikipedia entries on common television series. Lists of episodes are always separate articles that are light on links. That should be the model here. Roxton 18:24, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

I see the Tech Tree as more of an end-point than a starting point for researching weapons. I agree. The Tech Tree is not a starting point, but should be a good reference point and tool for what you want to know. Take a look at some other Mod Wikis such as the Elder Scrolls Wiki. Second, I didn't make the Tech Tree as a table. You may check the version history. I just formatted, stylized it a bit more and added some more information. The information I added was already in line with what it already had, but someone had not finished. I added the linkage to get rid of the dependency on Back Button functionality.

A Wiki is not a database; it should consist of comprehensive articles, not entities. Not entirely true. A Wiki is a relational database of comprehensive articles that may include entities, so long as they are relevant, independent, and do not affect the content of the other articles. Different Wikis have different (but similar) formats depending on the information presented. It is a content management system of user provided information within a given context. The Tech Tree was not a comprehensive article when I adjusted it. Please take a look at some of my other articles before deciding that I wish to turn this into a database.

My goal is to have comprehensive articles, which many articles in this Wiki are not. The information here is great and useful, but also lacking and unstructured. A good article has a readable structure with concept development and flow. I just making do with what we all have and trying to make what is useful more so.

This needs to be reverted. If that's the way you feel, then do so. Doing so will not change the format of it because I didn't really do that. It will only get rid of the new information that I added to complete it. It won't stop me from contributing the information that is missing.

- Fuzzical Logic 21:53, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

Every time you create a link, think to yourself, "What would that article consist of? Would the content of that article be more appropriate in the context of a larger article?" In almost every case that you added a link to this article, the answer to the latter quest is not just "yes," but "Hell, yes." A blurb about stats on a single component would be a bad article and create a rotten pattern for the wiki. A stat summary article for many components would likely be appropriate. There might even be a link to it from this page, but I wouldn't think so.

- Roxton 17:51, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Either way, there would certainly need to be links from this article.

- Fyron 01:09, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Nominally to a more general page that organizes any stat summary articles. Or something. Figuring out how to organize this wiki isn't trivial, but I'm certain the lowest-common-denominator approach isn't the right choice here. We need to drive more traffic to this wiki. Any chance of getting the Wiki added to the top level of the NavBar?

- Roxton 09:41, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

I agree, wholeheartedly, about getting more traffic to the site. That is a great suggestion. As to organization, you're right, its not trivial. But, understand that everything is not permanent yet. Merely setting it up is the important part. But sticking every facility on the same page is just as non-functional as one on every page. I was thinking (as per my plantary development article) of splitting them into groups based on function and then adjusting the links on the Tech Tree appropriately.

Fuzzical Logic 22:33, 15 August 2008 (EDT)

Tech Tree?

This is no tech tree, this is a tech list. A tech tree would have a tree structure, and you could tell what prerequisites a tech had.