UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archives/More Skyrim-Related Policy Changes

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More Skyrim-Related Policy Changes

Now that the most urgent pre-Skyrim policy discussion has been settled, I wanted to tackle the other issues I'm aware of. Hopefully with these changes we'll be ready policy-wise for November 11th.

(1) Expand tboverride rights, specifically giving it to patrollers, userspace patrollers, and UESP bots (e.g., RoBoT, NepheleBot).

  • Rationale: tboverride is the right to override the page creation limits imposed by MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. Currently the right is only given to admins. We need this change for Skyrim in order to make the limits below under (2) and (3) work as intended. But beyond that, bots, patrollers and userspace patrollers can all safely be exempted from limits on user names and spam pages, so this right might as well be permanent.
  • Time period: effective as soon as this discussion concludes, and left in place permanently.

(2) Limit creation of new Skyrim pages. Prevent anyone except those with tboverride rights (see #1) from creating new Skyrim pages. (Will not apply to talk pages).

  • Rationale: As soon as the game is released, bots (RoBot and/or NepheleBot) will start automatically creating placeholder pages/redirects for every quest, place, NPC, item, spell, etc. in the game data files. In other words, bots will create every necessary Skyrim page. Using bots ensures that all pages are spelled and capitalized properly, and also ensures that they're given the correct categories and breadcrumb trails. Once the bots start running, anyone trying to create a page will probably be trying to create an incorrectly named page (e.g., "River Wood" instead of "Riverwood"). With this restriction, we'll avoid the chaos of multiple pages on the same topic, merging those pages, redirecting/deleting the incorrect one, etc. Any editors who try to create a page will instead be directed to place a request at New Page Requests.
  • Time period: November 11th (specifically, once bots start creating pages) - February 29th, 2012.

(3) Limit creation of Oblivion, Lore, and main namespace pages. Prevent anyone except those with tboverride rights (see #1) from creating new pages in these namespaces. (Will not apply to talk pages).

  • Rationale: These three namespaces are places where editors unfamiliar with UESP are likely to try incorrectly creating Skyrim pages. As with #2, preventing incorrect articles from being created will reduce the chaos. There shouldn't be any need for new Oblivion or main namespace articles, so there's virtually no downside to restricting those two namespaces. On the other hand, new Lore articles will need to be created, so the question that needs to be discussed is whether there's likely to be enough demand for new Lore articles to justify the risk of allowing unrestricted page creation.
  • Time period: November 5th - February 29th, 2012.

(4) Change patrolling guidelines for Skyrim articles. Mark edits as patrolled as long they are not vandalism/spam or obviously inappropriate.

  • Rationale: In part this is necessary just so that we can be sure to keep on top of edits. In addition, we won't really be able to fact-check Skyrim articles initially. At some point once the dust has settled we'll be able to start imposing quality standards on the Skyrim articles, and at that point we'll move back to normal patrolling guidelines.
  • Time period: November 11th - February 29th, 2012.

The end date (February 29th) for these changes is somewhat arbitrary. I think they'll need to be in effect at least into January 2012, because there's likely to be a large burst of new editors/edits after christmas. In any case, details of when to return to "business-as-usual" can be discussed further once we've survived the initial chaos. --NepheleTalk 02:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Support: It seems that we're not going to have a Construction Set for some time after release, so the only way to check a spelling is going to be to find it in-game, and that's going to add a huge burden in terms of trying to keep things accurate. It's not just about preventing badly-named pages, it's also about preventing other articles filling up with links to badly-named pages. Even with the fourth proposal, it's a good idea to keep things as accurate as we can, and getting the bots to create the pages while preventing people being creative with spelling will help with that, and also help find oddities such as the longsword/long sword mess in Oblivion. The restriction on new Lore pages is trickier but probably necessary at first. We already have pages for the larger towns and cities of Skyrim, so we're only likely to need about a dozen new pages (not counting books), to cover factions, a few extra towns, plus a few new people. The page creation mechanism will work if people really want a new article, and in any case, it's likely to be a patroller who wants to create the page so the restrictions won't matter. Lastly, it's worth mentioning that any or all of these restrictions can be removed early if we feel they're no longer necessary. rpeh •TCE 08:25, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: All of the changes seem logical. We can already see that other namespaces will be subjected to misplaced Skyrim content. --Legoless 15:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: Logical choices that are just basic common sense not much more to be said, this sort of SR related policy is now fairly well covered, or so I would think. --Kiz ·•· Talk ·•· Contribs ·•· Mail ·•· 15:42, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 3, 4 Oppose 1, 2: The community has already decided who will be able to make new pages in the Skyrim namespace. I don't see why you are bringing it up again. If you want to limit it to just about 20 or so users, then that would work, but like I said before, that (8) is not enough people. There are editors on the wiki who are just as if not more experienced than the patrollers, so limiting them is dumb. elliot (talk) 15:48, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Comment: Well, according to point (1) it would not be limited to 8, it would be limited to about 20 members. All Admins, Patrollers and User Patrollers would be able to create new pages. Thats gotta be a few mroe than 8. --Kiz ·•· Talk ·•· Contribs ·•· Mail ·•· 16:12, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I guess I overlooked it, but I will be opposed to the first one as long as userspace patrollers are given the ability to create pages. Figuring there are some questionable members in the group. Based on that, he could create pages, yet I could not. That's crazy. elliot (talk) 16:22, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, yes it is rather. Could you not just apply for a exemption on that rule? I can't honestly see anyone refusing you the right to create Skyrim pages. Or just apply for Patrollership? --Kiz ·•· Talk ·•· Contribs ·•· Mail ·•· 16:34, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Comment: Sorry, I forgot to even mention the apparent contradiction between item #2 here, and my previous proposal on the Community Portal. The critical difference in what's being proposed here is that #2 will only be implemented after bots are able to start creating Skyrim pages. Over the next two weeks, while Skyrim page creation remains open, we can finish creating most of the Skyrim "structure" pages -- pages such as Items, Quests. After that, 99.9% of the remaining pages will be ones that the bots can create. Every named object in the game -- quests, places, NPCs, magical effects, spells, weapons, clothes, armor, ingredients, books, etc. -- will be identified from the game data and fed to the bots. The bots won't fill in the actual page content -- that will be left to real editors -- but they will make it so that nearly every time an editor goes to start a page, they'll find that a stub page already exists, and therefore the editor doesn't need page creation permissions.
Also, as background, one major factor why I'm proposing #2 is my experience when Shivering Isles was released. In my opinion, the single biggest problem we had with new SI content was that editors would create multiple versions of the same page. For example, quest pages would get created at "The Cold Flame of Agnon", "Cold Flame of Agnon", and "The Cold Flame Of Agnon" -- and those are just a few of the legitimate options without considering typos. The reason this was so problematic is that the editors wouldn't realize that it was happening -- or even if they did, they'd have no idea of how to fix it. Therefore, it was a problem that had to be fixed by patrollers/admins. Furthermore, it had to be fixed as quickly as possible -- merging three complete quest walkthroughs into one is far more difficult than merging three stubs, plus we want to lose as little page history as possible during the merge. Plus, it had to be fixed while the editors were simultaneously trying to continue working on the pages, adding even more chaos and stress to the process.
Finally, I think the fact that patrollers and userspace patrollers will be able to create Skyrim pages is an important point, and a significant difference from the limits previously in place for Skyrim page creation. The restriction isn't there to prevent pages from being created, as much as it is to make sure that people creating the pages are familiar with UESP. I'd encourage anyone who is a regular site contributor to become a userspace patroller -- both to help with Skyrim page creation, and to help with patrolling the flood of new userspace edits. The qualifications for userspace patroller are (intentionally) relatively simple to meet. So if your concern is that you personally won't be able to create Skyrim pages, there's already a built-in mechanism for addressing that concern. --NepheleTalk 16:59, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I have no interest in being a patroller. That alone would invalidate your reasoning/suggestion. Now, if you want to make a subset of senior editors, then I would be fine with that. All other propositions (besides the main one I have above) will not really work. elliot (talk) 17:09, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I've read all this several times, gone away from my PC, come back and read it again and I can't come to any other conclusion that you want the rights associated with being an admin without any of the responsibilities. You easily qualify as a User Patroller, a role that would let you bypass the restriction on page creation, but your repeated statement that you have no interest in being a patroller seems to indicate that you just want the Delete and unrestricted Block rights without having to check edits. Even then, instead of suggesting a small change so that Blockers are added to the list of exempted groups, you decided to vote to throw the whole scheme out.
This isn't the first time. In the vote on creating extra admins you could have voted to support and then suggested that you be added to the list: a suggestion that might well have passed. Instead, you opposed the whole proposal and made a personal attack on another user. At the start of these debates I would almost certainly have voted to support your inclusion: now I'd almost certainly vote oppose.
None of these changes - and don't forget, they're only temporary - are being made to polish the egos of editors. They're all being made for the good of the site. The situation before all this started was that we had three to four active admins (me, Krusty, Nephele plus about half each of GK and Daveh), and three of those would be spending time disassembling the game data leaving less time to spend on keeping things under control. It was pretty clear we needed help, and the five most active patrollers were chosen to augment the admin ranks. Patrollers were chosen because the role means they have passed a site-wide vote of confidence and so have the trust of the community. It's not about rewarding people, it's not about any kind of quid-pro-quo, it was a simple necessity.
At this point I suggest you take a brief time out to think about what it is you actually want here, then apologise for your personal attacks (the little swipes at Honda and Ziguildmaster were totally uncalled-for) and try to start again. At the moment you're digging yourself deeper into a hole, and it's not going to lead you anywhere useful. rpeh •TCE 17:54, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I think I can be most useful with the responsibilities. I work way too much to actually become involved in some of the deep project on the site (the ones where you stalk NPCs–I can't do it). As of now, I make edits here and there where I see fit. It actually limits what I can do, so I don't do much. Also, I check edits currently, but it's not really my focus. If I had the rights by being a temp. admin, then I would obviously use them; I just wouldn't work at it like I did as a patroller back in 2009. But my oppose in regards to the current conversation was conditional; I don't have problems changing my votes, but voting oppose typically is my way of saying "Let's be serious". I knew your proposal would have been approved, so it was more symbolic. I'm not being disruptive for the sake of being disruptive; there are just problems with the proposals, and as an editor of this site I believe I can speak my mind. Do I think the TAdmins need all of the rights such as Checkuser and Cartographer? No, and it's partly why I opposed.
Now, the main reason I began the discussion was because I believe it's the best way I can contribute. I didn't make a swipe at Honda, but my wording in regards to ZG was poor. I just believe he hasn't done much for the wiki and is underqualified for the position. Rpeh, you know I am not dumb (I know you aren't dumb either), and you know I can benefit the wiki. elliot (talk) 18:26, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: One thing's not clear to me, otherwise I would be fully supportive of this whole proposal. It's not clear to me why userspace patrollers should be given tboverride. The criteria for becoming a userspace patroller aren't really enough for me to be comfortable with that. Since most of the necessary pages will be either created before the bots start or by the bots, I think restricting it to bots, admins (including temps), and patrollers would be fine. Permanent and temporary admins should be able to keep a fairly good watch on the page creation requests, so I wouldn't think it would really hinder the content creation. --GKtalk2me 18:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Most userspace patrolers can use wiki formatting, have made hundreds of edits and are trusted enough to not vandalise pages.RIM 18:43, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I wondered about UPs too, but I think the criteria for the role means they all know roughly what they're doing and so it shouldn't be a problem. If any userspace patroller starts to mess things up, we can always remove the role just as easily as it was originally added. On balance I think it's fair enough. rpeh •TCE 18:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, I suppose. --GKtalk2me 19:12, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I really see no reason to vote "Oppose" on any of these. For one, most Patrollers and UPs are editors who have some rudimentary understanding of the workings of the wiki; thus, I see no problem with giving them tboverride (plus, as was stated above, those rights can always be revoked). In regards to the second proposal, it is only logical that this be put into effect; users with Patroller and UserPatroller rights are not only competent editors, but very likely mean well. What I mean by this is that typically a vandal or troll is not going to through the trouble of becoming a Userspace Patroller (that would require meeting the, though admittedly low and simple, criteria of a UP). The third proposal (that being to limit article creation) addresses what is perhaps my biggest concern for Skyrim: having to deal with nonsensical pages. While this would also make the creation of content noticeably slower, I honestly do think that it is worth it. And finally, as far as the proposal to ease up on the patrolling requirements for Skyrim, though I support this, I give a sort of hesitant support. Although this would make the whole process of patrolling altogether more efficient, I still feel like perhaps its a little hasty. On the other hand, it is not a bad move, and I feel -- for the moment -- as though a move that is not a bad one is better than no move at all, if that makes any sense. Overall, I feel as though these policy changes will be highly beneficial to us once Skyrim is released.--Kalis AgeaYes? Contrib E-mail 01:35, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I support all four of Nephele's propositions. However, I wish to point out that the first, second, and third proposals isn't so much about preventing vandalism, as it is about making sure the wiki isn't as chaotic as it would be with a bunch of articles on the same subject. Plus, even if a user were to attempt to vandalize by creating nonsensical articles, the new boost to the administrator's ranks make it more likely that admins will always be available to counter it. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 05:44, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: AKB said it all in the above post. While I’m not a big fan of “I agree”-posts, I have nothing much to add; at this stage, it is not about if’s and but’s, it is about doing the best we can for the site. Yep, I’ll agree with Elliot and GK that the userspace patroller inclusion seems a bit odd, but I also agree with rpeh that these rights can be removed with the speed of light if anybody starts to mess things up, just like any other change that may prove unbeneficial. As of now, I just wish we could reach November 11th and get on with it. --Krusty 07:12, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I agree with all points raised. I at first had my doubts about point 2, but after reading Nephele's comments about what happened when Shivering Isles was released, I can see why this would be a good solution. Wolok gro-Barok 14:56, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Support I agree with all of the points stated by users above(excluding elliot's), these four points will reduce some of the craziness that will occur when Skyrim does come out Honda1996 2:17 3rd November 2011

Status

#1 and #3 have now been implemented, including most importantly limits on page creation in Oblivion and Lore namespaces. All autoconfirmed users should still be able to create Skyrim pages, because that limitation won't be implemented until later this week. But getting Oblivion and Lore done now gives bots, userspace patrollers, and patrollers a way to start testing that their permissions are set up properly. --NepheleTalk 20:15, 6 November 2011 (UTC)