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My fall semester classes will be ending in a week and a half, which means it's time I once again re-focused my efforts into working on policy articles. In light of recent additions, discussions, and disagreements, it's become apparent that one policy we need to put into place as soon as possible is the Scope of the Project; what is the intent of TOR Wiki, what are our areas of focus, and to what depth are we are going to document this content? The following is a summary of our current situations, as I perceive them; feel free to disagree with anything I say.
Star Wars The Old Republic
Documentation of Bioware's upcoming MMORPG title, Star Wars The Old Republic (TOR), has been the primary focus of this project since its inception, and should likely remain our primary focus moving forward. Though there are likely several months remaining before the game is released, we should put significant effort into documenting what is known about the game, and preparing to chronicle its content as best and completely as we can once it launches. The primary tasks pertaining to this aspect of the project would be documenting general mechanics and game-specific lore, as well as planets, races, classes, mobs, missions, etc. I would also like to see us welcome user-generated game play guides, most likely housed within individual user name spaces, include expanded support for guilds, including a general portal for community news and events, and provide support for TOR-specific blogs.
KotOR and KotORII
Though TOR is not a true sequel, it is the spiritual successor of the Knights of the Old Republic games. Though they are not the primary focus of this project, within the last month we decided that documenting both Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) and Knights of the Old Republic II (KotORII) can only serve to provide added benefit to our TOR coverage. Documentation of these titles should include characters, races, planets, etc., that appear within the games, as well as game play mechanics and walk-thoroughs. That said, as our primary focus is TOR, I would recommend we modify any dates and/or time line information as it arises to correspond with the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, the defining event of the TOR time line.
Lore and the EU
TOR-specific EU content
Bioware and Lucasarts have made it very clear that they intend much of the Expanded Universe (EU) content released around the TOR license to support the setting and events of the MMORPG. Though I firmly believe our true focus should remain on the game itself, past experience with MMORPG wikis has taught me that we will be unable to truly document the game without including this content. Names, places, and events from the comics and novels that will be released are likely to be mentioned, if not featured, within the game itself. There is some concern that the inclusion of this content would step on the toes of Wookieepedia, and butting heads with them is the last thing we want to do; our link to Wookieepedia is likely the greatest means we have of separating ourselves from the pack of other TOR wikis that have arisen, and will continue to pop up in the future. That said, I feel they understand our need to duplicate this content in order to fully document our primary topic.
KotOR-specific EU content
In recent days the addition of KotOR-specific EU content has been the cause of several disagreements. Some feel that like TOR-specific content, this information is necessary in order to properly document KotOR and KotORII. Others feel the inclusion of such content should be minimalized in an effort to limit duplication of Wookieepedia's content. Personally, I hold to the latter perspective; I feel such content should only be included within the project when it serves to support our documentation of TOR, and possibly KotOR. Additionally, even when such additions are warranted I believe they should be limited to one or two lines of text and a link to Wookieepedia's article on the subject. However, I am willing to abide by the community's general consensus on this subject. If it is decided that KotOR-specific EU content should be supported, I will not only tolerate its inclusion, but do what I can to promote it. That said, if we do decide we want to pursue this, I think it only fair we allow Wookieepedia the opportunity to weigh in on the subject as well. When they voted to endorse our efforts, it was with the understanding that we were a TOR-focused wiki. If we decide to expand this focus to additional content falling within the scope of their project, we should tell them directly.
Citation, citation, citation
This is a personal idea I'd like to propose. Especially as we begin documenting EU content, from TOR and potentially KotOR, I feel it is imperative that we thoroughly document the source of any information we include. We are not the original source of any information hosted on this project, and documenting the true sources will only serve to increase our validity and level of professionalism. I also see this as a means of giving Wookieepedia a reason to link to our project directly; once the game launches, and we begin adding lore information originating from the game to articles throughout the project, we should document the source, be it NPC dialogue, a mission, a planet description, etc. In so doing, we would become a source for Wookieepedia's documentation of this lore content, and they would be justified in including a link to our article within their external links sections.
That wraps it up
Anyway, if your still reading I apologise for the length of this blog. It's a lot of information to cover. Though my opinions are expressed throughout this post, it is intended to begin a general dialogue; please feel free to agree or disagree with anything I said, as well as post any thoughts you may have on the subject. And thanks for listening to my rambling. ;D