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Future of the DragonFable Encyclopedia, or, The DF Wiki Manifesto

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4/16/2021 8:42:29   

Hi there! Cedrei here. A few days ago, the news of Jay's departure from virtually running the DF encyclopedia. That got me thinking. There are many problems with the current pedia format, and even if we get a replacement for Jay and/or one of the old AKs steps up and gets more active on pedia duty, many of the problems would still remain.

#1: It is understaffed.
The reason why Jay leaving became such a big issue in the first place is simple. Because of how the pedia permissions are set up, only four people (two of whom I haven't seen doing pedia work at all for quite some time, and yet another one has resigned) are able to approve new entries, and only those are able to edit old ones. Even if all of those four were very active, and fast to make and approve changes, it would still be a very high workload for each of them. It should also be stressed that no one gets paid for this.

#2: It's very hard to search.
There are three ways to find what you're looking for on the pedia. Either navigate through like 80 pages of forum threads to find the right one. Or navigate to the A-Z thread and then look up the link from there. Or, use the awful forum search feature. Each of these are so frustrating that the most efficient way is to use an external search engine, googling "dragonfable doomknight" or whatever. And even then, that could be annoying as you could very well get results from other sources as well. For doomknight, the pedia is only the 5th result for me. The second result is the for classes way surperior endgame wiki, but that's beside the point.

#3: It's a very unintuitive system.
Imagine you're a new DF player. You want to find out some details about the game, so you google "Dragonfable wiki", like any normal person would do. Would you find the pedia? Lol, of course not. It wouldn't even be in the first page of results. Instead, you'll find one of the very lacking fan wikis. You'd think "Oh, that's too bad, I guess there aren't much up to date info about this game then". It's an even worse situation since the move to the launcher, as the forums aren't even linked under the game window anymore. And regardless, who in their right mind would set up a pedia as a forum board in 2021? Or like, would anyone even have done it in 2011? AE switched over to wikis for official pedias in 2008, with the release of AQW. It is only the legacy single player games that sill use this archaic format.

Proposed solution: Create a wiki!
It would solve the staffing problem, as anyone can edit. Modern wiki softwares allow for easy and powerful search functions. And it's the system that would almost certainly had been used if DF was released today. The largest problem has been said that it would be an impossible workload to move all the content from the pedia to a new system. Nuh-uh, I say. There have been plenty of people, me included, that have used scripts to parse the pedia, extracting information. It's certainly work, and there would be some challenges. But not insurmountable ones. In fact, I've already tinkered a bit with how to solve them. And if the community likes this proposed solution, I am certain I could finish such a port before summer.

It would be unfortunate if this led to two parallel encyclopedias, however. If people are split, with some people wanting to work on keeping the old pedia up to date and others start working on updating the new wiki, chances are with our small community that neither would succeed. That is why I want this to be throughoutly discussed beforehand, to make sure that whatever the community decides, we will be united in that decision. (And also to save me from unnecessary work in case no one cares)

< Message edited by Cedrei -- 4/16/2021 8:43:02 >
DF  Post #: 1
4/16/2021 9:23:44   
Sun Wukong

Good awareness Cedrei! I appreciate the forums and used it for searching DragonFable information. Sad to see its going down over the years. Perhaps forum staff should be funded through whatever means.

Btw I'm a fan of your DF videos!
Post #: 2
4/16/2021 18:09:41   
DragonFable Boxcat

I think setting up a wiki is a wonderful idea, personally. It's a shame about the forum pedia, but it definitely has its many flaws, and a more modern format would certainly be a welcome change.
It's definitely something we'd want to have an "official" version of, though, so there may be some time before we get things set in motion.

< Message edited by Verlyrus -- 4/16/2021 18:10:38 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 3
4/17/2021 16:09:01   
AQW Lore-titician

Besides, a Wikia is not only for useful information, but interesting Trivia as well, and it would be always welcomed if the team come by once in a while to add something from behind the scenes like "this character had a previous concept art bla bla bla" or "we were inspired by yadda yadda". I always enjoy reading wikias just for the reading material they are.
DF AQW  Post #: 4
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