BattleTechWiki talk:Planet Article Overhaul/Archive


[edit] Holla

Hy i have the planet cartographer, thanks for the provided link in the past, but how can i use it, must i have a planet data base, i want to bring in the next next next future new plant images, seriously updated by canon sources, must i create my own database, and how i become correct x and y coordinates, must i interpolate maps, how can i handle this problem.--Doneve 23:56, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

I've since added a link to the database for determining coordinates, but I suggest you go to [1] and search for 'cartographer'. Download that program and the database is included. However, I'd hold off on creating new images. I think I may know of a way to have Nix do it automatically, using updated coordinates.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:35, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Hm, i know you provided in the past a cartographer link, but it is not the provided link in the top, can you give me a workable link, thanks.--Doneve 01:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
The link is working for me. Try this one: [2]. Go down to the "Monday, January 31, 2011" entry. You'll see the Cartographer link in that entry.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 03:06, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Cartography

From what I remember reading on the CBT forum, I think those working on the jump-mapping software are affiliated with those producing the MechHQ software that's used for people playing campaign games and running the Against the Bot campaign? That's where I heard about it - it was being cited as being of use when generating merc contracts and trying to work out transport costs/compensation.

You raise a lot of good points in your essay - I hope you don't mind me responding at some length? I've an interest in this because I really love maps, and one of the things that attracted me to BattleTech in the first place were the great maps in the second volume of the NAIS Atlas of the Fourth Succession War.

1. Co-ordinates: These are sort of useful, but not hugely useful, in their current form. While it can be handy to be able to work out how far apart two systems are, it's not really much use for calculating transit times because you need to work out which system en-route you're going to be jumping through. By far the biggest problem with the current entries is that as CGL have stated that they want to produce maps for each era to allow games to be played in those eras, there are lots of new Star League/Age of War era planets being added for which there are no official co-ordinates.

2. Nearest neighbours: I like the idea behind this auto-generated imagery, but it doesn't work particularly well at the moment; not only is it broken for areas like the Rim Collection, but there's no way of easily adding in new planets without knowing the co-ordinates and then manually re-working the tables. Given the number of planets, number of maps and number of co-ordinates involved, that has to either be automated or it becomes a huge man-hours sink with limited utility.

3. Categories: I love categories. I think as wiki functionality increases, categories will see more use from automated scripts, but even at the most basic level I think categories are amazingly useful. I really like knowing which factions a planet has been a part of, and I like knowing how large factions have been in terms of star systems at one time or another. The more categories the better, as far as I'm concerned!

4. Owner History: I find this section to be useful but flawed at the moment. For the majority of planets, it reflects the major eras used for game play, as set up by the original atlas team. That has it's uses, but it lacks citations in most cases, and as you've already said, it only gives a series of benchmark dates. CGL are shifting to making sure that there are maps for certain years for all realms, to use as jumping-off points for games, and having the wiki reflect that is handy; where I'd hope the wiki can go further is through showing when planets changed hands, with citations/references. That might make for the a very long owner history section, but it is the sort of thing that as a BattleTech player, I'd be coming to the wiki to look up - dates planets changed hands, the name of the campaign if appropriate, the factions involved.

5. Deployment Data: only a small percentage of planets have actual garrison forces described and listed in canon, because of the focus on Mech forces, but where it's known, I think it should be listed on the planet entries. The feeling I have is that a lot of planets have no garrisons of note, and that the greater part of those for whom a garrison has been listed, that garrison is a single unit, with the remainder having multiple units at the same time. That could lead to a lot of clutter, but at the same time if I'm using the wiki for research before a game or campagin, it's the sort of detail I want to know. There are a lot of eras without those spiffy deployment tables that are in things like Field Manual: Periphery, and there are a lot of places where past unit deployments are mentioned scattered throughout House books, mercenary supplementals and the like. The wiki is where I'd hope to find that information tied together, and the planets are the lowest common denominator for being able to actually research that.

6. Minimaps: This is something I'd like, although it may involve a lot of work to set up. Basically, showing me what a planet's immediate neighbours are in the current format doesn't do me a lot of good unless I know what those neighbours are. A lot of worlds are relative backwaters not particularly close to planets of note. Saying a planet is within the Isle of Skye or the Stewart Commonality is more useful. What would be better is linking to actual maps, so that I can go find the planet in question and work out the local astrological astronomical geography for myself. At the moment though, none of the planet entries seem to link to actual maps, be they the big system maps or the smaller maps showing troop and border movements. I know that I can go out and find those maps with some effort, but why not link directly to them in the planet articles? BrokenMnemonic 12:06, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

No problems at all in your responding to this. It is not yet complete, which is why I have it on my user space. When it's done, I'll move it to the BTW space. I /do/ (and will) seek comment, as a lack of involvement at the essay level will tell me that any attempt to overhaul the articles will fail due to overwhelming workload amounts.
Jump-mapping software: I was unaware of this conversation (or have forgotten it), but by using the incomplete program so far, I did see where Bad_Syntax has built in the option to include variables for the purpose of determing contract values. I'm attempting now to get a hold of him to make sure I understand correctly his method for determining the coordinate values he provided with the program's database.
Coordinates: you have started me thinking about the value of those coordinates. What purpose do they serve on Sarna? I was thinking I want them to be as precise as possible, but to what end? Even if I knew they (each & every one) were perfectly representative of a system's location...I would never come to Sarna just to see the coordinates. I'd come to see a map or read the textual description of their location. For an in-character purpose, the coordinates are critical; they tell the in-character reader where the system is. But for the real world reader? Is he going to come here to jot down the coordinates? Or will he come to see the map associated with it? Would you advocate for tossing the coordinates (maybe creating an article that lists them instead) or keeping them on each article?
Nearest neighbours: So, let's do away with that section and...get this...import cropped images of canon maps for the map imagery. At most, each image will need a jump scale added to a corner of the map (since it would be cropped off by the centering on the subject system). Or, we can import the faction (or region) map in its entirety and color the subject system to highlight its location.
I had been toying with the idea of fixing all of the coordinates by official location and/or interpolation and providing them to Nic, to regenerate the current images, but I'm coming to appreciate the idea of having regional (canon) maps for the infobox graphic instead.
Categories: I'm somewhere in between the 'fetish' (Wink.gif) you have for categories and Frabby's concern of overpopulating an article with them. In my work this last week on populating the planetary articles I was concerned by some that just seemed to blow-up with two or more lines of categories at the bottom, but I'm leaning towards the realization that those bottom-located categories don't really affect the article itself, but do provide rather awesome 'lists' when categories are properly organized in a hierarchy.
Owner History: I don't think we'll find many people (if any) that will disagree with the re-working of this section. I admire the informative nature of the ones you've improved, with the citations showing once again how important they are establishing their veracity.
Deployments: There is value in this information; I have no doubt. It could be argued that the deployment data is best left in the unit articles, but as you've said, if you're targeting a specific world for a mission, it's a lot easier to do it via the planet article. You could search the wiki for that planet name, but the unit deployments could get lost amongst the other search returns.
Mini-maps: I presume you meant 'astronomical'.(Wink.gif) Freudian slip, I'm sure. However, in regards to mini-maps, I think the infobox graphic would be the best place for a representative image of the subject planet's neighborhood. Any galleries in the planet article should be limited to maps specfically about the subject planet (ex: their use in the Imperial City article). Multiple maps depicting the evolving nature of that neighborhood would, in my opinion, be best served on the faction's article. However, links to those maps, especially within the History section, would be appropriate.
I'm thinking you and I should grab a planet article and do a demo overhaul. Are you up for it?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:23, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Coordinates:' As it stands, I don't think the co-ordinates add any real value at this point in time. We aren't sure of their parentage or veracity, they're incomplete, and unless someone wants to answer a very, very specific question like "How far is it from New Avalon to Sian?" they aren't going ot be used. Where they might be useful in the future is if the wiki becomes capable of generating responses based on user queries of some kind - but why would we want the wiki to replicate the co-ordinate mapping software? I'm really twitchy about the fact that technically, the co-ordinates are basically fanon as it stands. They may be potentially really accurate fanon, but I'm not sure that they have a place here.
Nearest neighbours: I really, really like this idea; I'd recommend colouring parts of the map if we can, to bring it further into the fair use domain, but I think it's a splendid way of highlighting where a world is. Realm maps are probably the easiest way of doing this for a fair number of worlds, but even if we end up linking to certain era maps I think it's great to have a mini-map showing where the planet is in relation to a couple of significant points, like a House capital or a time-specific border or something equally attention-grabbing.
Categories: I think the categories are great where planets are concerned, as you've probably noticed! I think most planets aren't likely to get many - perhaps 2-3, if we include the proto-state maps from the House founding maps. There are going to be planets where there are a lot, like former Terran Hegemony worlds that have bounced between three different houses, the Republic of the Sphere, plus a relocated clan, Chaos March world and the likes... but categories give us a way of looking at specific lists of information. I love the idea of being able to check how many worlds were in the Tamar Pact, or the United Hindu Collective. Or things like the Traders Domain in the Outworlds Alliance, in theory. Where there are a lot of categories, it highlights how states and nations have evolved in the in-game universe, or just how much conflict some worlds have been through.
Owner History: Thank you. I'm a bit of a citations nut, and I know that with planets we're in danger of having potentially a dozen citations for each date in some cases, but adding citations is a good habit to be in generally I think. I have found that a fair number of the existing world categorisations are a bit dubious - particularly those from the Star League era, where I found a lot of discrepancies along the Capellan March/Capellan Confederation border, and the DC/FS border near the Outworlds Alliance. Some of that could be retconning, but it makes me wonder if perhaps the 2750 dates generated by the Inner Sphere atlas are based on old information or speculation.
I'm up for helping with a prototype article Wink.gif In fact, it might be worth doing a couple, to show the left and right of arc as examples - an article for somewhere fairly quiet, and an article for a planet that's been through a lot, changed hands, usually has someone deployed there. Where would you like to start?
I wish I knew where astrological crept in from... that's going to worry me! BrokenMnemonic 17:36, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Good idea. For the expanded one, we want something that will have enough meaty information to demonstrate the potential, but not one that is so big it 'fails' but what we are unable to bring to it for the purpose of demoing it (thinking Terra, Luthien, etc, as examples of too big for this example). What about Wolcott? Turtle Bay? Alpheratz? ...Sarna? What do you suggest? As for the smaller, I'll let you pick that.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 03:41, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I had a think on the way in to work this morning as to what worlds might make for a good but not daunting example for an initial run. I'm a little reluctant to suggest a world that is/has been a Draconis Combine world because Handbook: House Kurita isn't out yet, so we don't have the founding era maps and Age of War maps for a lot of the Combine unless they're caught within the overlap with the other House handbooks. Sarna could be good, as that planet's been garrisoned on a regular basis and has moved through several states as well as being a big part of the 4th SW. I thought Van Diemen IV might also be a good candidate; it's moved through various hands from the Terran Hegemony to the Word of Blake, it gets a little detail in the early House books and was involved in the 4th SW and Guerrero. Caph could be good as well, although I don't know how much attention the world got before the Chaos March appeared.
For the smaller piece, I'm thinking Rollis could be good; I need to check the field manuals and early house books to see if it's had troops deployed there, but it's changed hands a few times (Taurian Concordat to Federated Suns to Capellan Confederation by 2822) and a cropped map would show at least 3 different states on it, which could be visually effective despite the world not actually being that significant.
Glad you re-found this conversation. I meant to PM you, to let you know it had moved.
Ok, so I vote for Sarna, and I'll let you choose the smaller one. I'm thinking, when we're done with those two, we might also want a 'nobody' one, to show what the template will look like for a large number of the articles. We can cross that bridge when we get to it.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:39, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
A 'nobody' example is a good idea too - I'm currently adding even more citations to the worlds in the Taurian Concordat, so perhaps one of them would be a good candidate?
I've also discovered that with a bit of effort, I can produce not just mini-maps, but brightly coloured mini-maps. Would you like some for the Sarna article? If so, from which era(s)? BrokenMnemonic 13:06, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Hy, can you show us a example mini-map.--Doneve 13:19, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm with Doneve. Can you provide an example?
I was considering designating you as the Project Cartographer, but any method you did come up with would -by necessity- need to be done by most anyone else, as I don't forsee you doing all 2,333+ maps by yourself!--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:24, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I can, if you can explain to me how to upload an image to the wiki. Having played around with images from the southern end of the Capellan Confederation, what I'd suggest is that a lot of planets share mini-maps - a lot of the maps would show very similar areas to begin with, and by the time you've expanded the map boundaries to include a reasonably-well known reference point, they'll include a lot more by way of worlds. As an example, the mini-map I was looking at possibly using for Girondas would also be perfectly useable for Qalzi, Katinka, Brinton, Enkra, umgard, Smithon, Tyrion, Itrom... the hard part is picking the era(s) to map from, because a lot of planets vanish after the Star League era.
I may need to send the image files home to be able to upload them, though. BrokenMnemonic 14:18, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm absolutely fine with one mini-map (good catchall term) that provides locations of multiple subject planets, as long as it provides a good overall visual representation of the subject planets' location, without drowning it in too many other planets. For example, we wouldn't want to show the whole of the Draconis March, just to provide an image for one planet. Also, that means we can't highlight the individual planet with color or other icon, if we go this route.
Uploading should be easy, from where ever you have the images available. On the sidebar (to the left), near the bottom, you'll see a link named 'Upload file'. Within that, you browse to the image to be uploaded, and then fill in the summary template.
The artist is not critical (for most of your uploads, though, [[Øystein Tvedten]] will suffice) nor is the summary field, but the source is important and the licensing is critical (I suggest using {{Fair use}}). In fact, I'd suggest creating a template, maybe in a text file, that you can copy and paste into the edit field, so that you don't have to type the source, artist and licensing info every time. Just hit upload, and we're good to go.
I'll contact you on your talk page shortly regarding a research 'cache' of maps for which I have an idea.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, this is a low-res copy of one of the files I've made, although I'm not quite sure how to embed it into a talk page...
That's the area of the Taurian Concordat captured on the map for the end of the 2nd Succession War in Handbook: House Liao. And here's the same area as at 3025:
New Vandenburg 3025.png
I've deliberately dropped the resolution, as these are for demonstration purposes. Will these be good enough for mini-maps? Depending on the era used, we could end up with a lot of these... BrokenMnemonic 17:06, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I've embedded your first image, for your knowledge; just add a colon right after the opening brackets (it's also how you keep a category link visible).
Here's the issue I have, BM: let's say the subject planet was Rollis. Since the image is not centered on the planet and nor is the planet colorized, it doesn't immediately leap out.
But, you know what? We're at the 90% solution. We could really drag this project down if we get that specific. After the project concludes, an individual is free to upload an image with the system centered or targeted on the subject planet. Let's go with what you've demo-ed here.
Two things we should talk about:
  1. -Image dimensions: not actually taking about size, but ratio. Do we want to make sure they're squared? Or does that matter, since the reader has to click on the image anyway to see the actual planets?
  2. -Maximum number of represented planets: because we're not centering nor targeting, we don't want too many planets in the image, to allow the reader to find the subject planet. Your first image has 56 planet dots in it. How long did it take you to find Rollis in the first image? How about Cavalor? What is your suggestion on our guidance as max number of represented planets?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:36, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
  1. - Planets: Finding a planet can be tricky, but it does mean walking a line between the number of maps generated and making the general location easily identified. In the case above, the colours help, but the thing that orientates me on the map is knowing that I'm looking at somewhere near Taurus and several major state borders.
  2. - Regions: In this case, I was experimenting with trying to show how the Concordat changed between the two eras, so my image size was based on the region I was trying to cover. I've found as I grab images that when you take the area covered down below a certain size, it becomes much harder on uncoloured maps to work out where you are - and when dealing with big states like the League, there are a lot of worlds that could be just about anywhere.
  3. - The first map is pretty much maximum population density in terms of planets; a handful of systems have gone, but generally speaking, the Star League/1st SW era maps will have more planets than any other. The second map has 30 planets on it, but covers the same region. In this case, I thought it was worthwhile to keep the areas covered roughly the same, to make tracking planets from one era to the next easier. In terms of time, I found Rollis immediately - but then I know where that planet is because of my recent reading. Cavalor took about six seconds, but I'm conscious that I've had some training at speed reading. I don't think I'd want to go much about 60 planets in an image, but even at that resolution, we're looking at a lot of maps for each era.
  4. - Dimensions: This one's tricky. I find rectangular images easier to read visually than square ones, but I don't know if everyone finds reading maps and images the same process I do. I'm not really bothered about maps being squared. I'm happy to go with the majority vote... BrokenMnemonic 17:57, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I replaced two two-jump image on the Taurus infobox with the 2864 image you provided. What do you think? What was your impression of the infobox when you first saw it and then -in character as a reader- what did you think when you saw the result of clicking on the image itself?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:41, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I like the look of it and the box - it's eye-catching. I think it's not right for the Taurus article, though - Tauris is a capital, so the image should probably be centred on it. It also makes me wonder which era we should go with, though - do we want Taurus at the height of it's power, or as close to the modern era as possible? I think the text is a little fuzzy, too. That's an artifact from the compression process, though; getting it down to 500 pixels whiles reduces the quality of the text, which is a pain. All in all, I think we're on the right track. BrokenMnemonic 20:25, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Working Template

  • System Name Title
  • {{InfoboxSystem}}
regional map image
system name (defaults to star and then lead planet name, without numerals (ex: Solaris, not Solaris VII))
star names: multiple stars added here (optional)
sun spectral class
recharge time
  • Opening Statement: "The System Name Title system is the location of the inhabited planets Planet1, Planet2, the inhabited moon Moon3 and the Industrial Satellite4 orbital facility. The system is located in the Region5 district of the FactionName6.
  • __TOC__
  • Description section: details general facts about the system, such as the objects mentioned in the opening statement (with additional information), other uninhabited structures, recharging stations, others charted sytems (not in list form) that are within one jump, etc.
  • History section: this provides the political climate of the system, especially that which is not planet-dependent, such as when the system changed hands, space battles, etc, all in text form.
    • Ownership History sub-section: since it's usually systems that change hands rather than just planets, it seems appropriate to have this here

  • Planet section: repeated as appropriate
    • {{InfoboxPlanet}}
planet image (priority), banner image (secondary)
planet name
system position
time to jumppoints
moons: number (names if known)
day length
surface gravity
atmospheric pressure:
equatorial temperature:
surface water:
highest native life: type
founding year
    • {{InfoboxPlanetStatus}}: repeated as provided; all entries conditional (i.e. optional hiddens)
status year
ruler: [[character name]]
Socio-Industrial Levels: i.e. the former USIIR
HPG: type (Precentor name)
    • Opening Statement: "Planet1 is the [orbital number] planet in the SystemName system [and is the regional capital of the FactionName6's Region5 district]. On the surface, the planet hosts CompanyName7's FactoryName8 industrial facility [and the summer palace of ImportantPerson9], while the Industrial Satellite4 facility orbits its moon, Moon10.
    • History section: provides more details (supposedly) of major events, detailing changes in ownership, battles, major events, etc.
      • Deployment sub-section: lists semi-lists of military units, broken down into smaller sub-sections by years of recorded note.
    • Geography section: a general description of the planet, but in text form (no lists)
    • Planetary Locations section: a hierarchical list, as seen in the Luthien article. Short descriptions of each entry, unless a link is provided.
      • Industrial Centers sub-section: should list all known factories, included this destroyed. Construction and destruction can be indicated by year notes (similar to dates of life for a character).
    • Image gallery: banner image (if not displayed in infobox), additional planetary images, surface maps, etc.

  • References: as expected
  • Bibliography: as expected

[edit] Comments Regarding Essay

Rev, I think you've got some good ideas here. Two things I'd like to add to the infobox are 1) the USIIR ratings and 2) the planetary capital (if known).

As for the format of the article, I have no strong feelings about it at all. Just make it consistent and provide a "known good" example we can work from and I'll be happy.--Mbear 12:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually, we should probably remove the Comstar1 line from the Infobox as well. That belongs in the main part of the article, IMO, since it will change over time. (Precentor ni 3025 isn't the same Precentor in 3050, etc.)--Mbear 12:47, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Agree with you on all points. I thought I had included the USIIR (but it may have been accidentally deleted) and also came to the same conclusion regarding anything transitory, such as governors or precentors. I like the capital idea. I'll add that in. Thanks.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Not sure if this belongs here, but a point about the InfoBoxPlanetUpdate: The current setup is aimed at (possibly) providing several infoboxes, each with its own timestamp. I believe this to turn out unworkable for two reasons: It will cause a formatting mess, and there will be overlapping time periods for individual infobox entries (like overlapping terms for rulers and precentors).
I suggest to eliminate the Year part, and allow for multiple entries per section that must each be tagged with a timestamp/period. Or, failing that, take these things out of the Infobox and list them in the article text; I think that is what we usually do. Frabby 18:37, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I can see what you mean now. Well, let me use it for the 3 example articles BrokenMnemonic and I have planned and we'll judge it then, as my rationale was to create the equivalent data sections we see for canon atlas entries. If it goes as you foresee, we should change the name of the infobox also, to represent something more specific, such as "political data". Thanks.--Rev (talk|contribs) 20:31, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Really nice ideas! But I've got two suggestions. First: I think there should be a year from which point of view the opening statement is written (i.e. 3067) Because the information about the planet's affiliation may only be correct for a certain period. Second: What about an own section about temporary information (like i've added in the ozawa or Mallory's World articles) like the planetary rulers?Harry 18:23, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't disagree with you, Harry, but I'm uncertain on how to handle this. Which time: now (3079)? Dark Age? Continuously updated? I'm prone to defaulting to CGL-now (3079), but that means the Dark Age material that we do know (and is incorporated already in the articles) is out-of-place. When ever I try and wrap my head around this, I come back to the perspective of an historian far in the future (36th century or later) looking back on the latest 'unearthed' source material we have and writing the article from that perspective. We're also limited in that we need to remain 'in-character' and not mention the references in the text, but only in the citations, note & rules sections. I'm open to ideas.
As for the second: I like how you did the 'temporary' data. We're going to try and use them in the infoboxes for three test articles (Sarna being one of them), but if it get's too ugly, we'll probably revert and go with your demo. --Rev (talk|contribs) 21:18, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Doing it right this time

The revamp is badly needed. But it needs to be done right. I have voiced ideas and suggestions in various spots on BTW in the past but can't find them so here goes again:

Systems vs. planets

You're mixing these two up again, and that means creating a mess right from the start. Even CGL do this wrong on their own maps, and we need to do it better. It is imperative that the "map" and associated articles cover entire star systems, not individual planets. Which means a couple of things:

  • Use the proper system name for the article, not a planet name. (Norn system includes Verthandi and 2 other planets; Hesperus II is in the Hesperus system, Klathandu is in the Klathan system, etc.)
  • Planet names need to redirect to the system article.
  • There need to be separate "star system" and "planet" infoboxes. The star system article always gets a "system" infobox and at least one "planetary body" infobox (I'd treat space installations like Odessa or inhabited asteroid belts like planets, i.e. as chapters within the system article.

What goes where:
System Infobox: System name, X/Y coordinates, sun spectral class (= recharge time), sun name (if different from system name), recharging stations, wikilink to real-world counterpart (if applicable); possibly jumpmap picture
Planet Infobox: Picture (if available), planetary banner (if available), name, moons, planetary day length, date of first settlement
All other information should be put into the article text. For systems, that might be stuff like earlier names (a number were renamed over time) or perhaps famous space battles that occurred here.
For planets, there should be a description of the geography (number and names of seas, continents, mountain ranges, etc.), biosphere (flora and fauna) and weather conditions. List of known cities. Owner list, listing each (known) instance where the world changed hands as accurately as possible.

Items like planetary capitals and USIIR codes tend to be of a temporary nature, i.e. they absolutely need to state a year when they apply (think of the typical Star League hi-tech world with orbital shipyards that gets wasted and its capital and yards nuked... in 3025 the same formerly hi-tech world might be a poor planet of subsistence farmers with 18th century technology, and of course an entirely different capital).

Um. Yeah. So much for now. Little time right now. I'll be back with you on this as soon as I can. :) Frabby 18:33, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Frabby, take a look up top; see if I represented your idea well. I'll adjust that template as the discussion developes. Note, did away with the stellar coordinates. That is a labor-intensive, questionable-reliabilty, little-value factoid that may be better served by properly cropped regional maps.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:20, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Coordinates (Sidebar)

This conversation has been moved over to the System coordinates talk page. Please continue the discussion there.

[edit] Independent Planets

I just thought I'd check what counts as an independent planet in category terms. I'm finding Taurian Concordat planets that either aren't on maps, or are only on maps as a part of the Taurian Concordat/Calderon Protectorate, but which have been categorised as both Taurian/Concordat Planets and Independent Planets. I've only been tagging planets as Independent if they show up on a map outside the boundary of any of the established realms... am I getting it wrong? BrokenMnemonic 20:28, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

[vocalization] this point, the categorization is primarily to allow us to accomplish 'chunks' of planets as goalposts. Its really not too important at this phase. I've asked myself the same question. Previously, I've put all planets that were only registered as having 'Periphery' ownership as independents. When it appears they were Taurian owned and then 'no record' and then Taurian owned again, I presumed they remained habitable, but I'm not basing that on any research and I'd tag them as independent. That's way I think the categories are not really representative of the real status of any article at this point.
However, they should be by the conclusion. So, if the planet was ever an independent planet, it needs to be so marked. If it wasn't (or there is no record of it having been), then no. The important thing: every planet must fall into at least one category other than Cat:Planets. If it does that, then we're good (for now). Does that help?--Rev (talk|contribs) 20:38, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Yup, that solves my problem nicely, thanks. Although, it does mean I need to ask CGL about a couple of planets that are being difficult around the Calderon Protectorate... the Periphery, 2nd Edition has planets on it's map of the area that aren't there in the maps in Handbook: Major Periphery States, but are on the Map of the Inner Sphere 3130. I need to clarify if that means they were independent during the missing years, or if it's a mapping mistake. I'd not like to venture an opinion either way after some of the irregularities in the Handbook: House Liao... but I digress. BrokenMnemonic 20:43, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] The Final years

Looking at the template designs above, and having added a shedload of Star League-era planets/systems just in the Taurian Concordat and Outworlds Alliance alone, I think it would be worth having an entry in the Planet Infobox to indicate the last year a planet appears on any maps, to help flag up dead/lost worlds as such. For the founding year, will that be the first year that a planet/system appears on any maps by default if there isn't any textual detail confirming a founding year? BrokenMnemonic 06:44, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't include a "last" year because there are numerous reasons why a system may have dropped off the maps. It may have been destroyed (by weapons of mass descruction or natural desasters, like Rocky, Jardine, Necromo, etc.), declared its independence (most Outworlds Alliance worlds that disappeared from the maps), lost its relevance (like Haddings, which was almost but not entirely destroyed), or be deliberately hidden/obfuscated (like The Five or, again, Haddings). What I'm trying to say is that a "last year mapped" in the infobox isn't saying anything in particular about a system. I suggest leaving this out and covering the issue in the text instead. Frabby 07:21, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Having a "last year mapped" in the infobox tells readers the most recent maps they can look at and actually expect to see the planet on it - I was thinking primarily of saving time for players dealing with worlds they aren't familiar with that vanished during the first couple of Succession Wars. If an entry tells you a planet was last seen on maps in 2822, then you know straight away it's not worth looking at the Inner Sphere 3130 map for it. For a lot of systems it's simply referencing the last listed entry in the owner history without needing to scroll down the page to read the history and then check the references to see which owner history references cite maps compared to text. BrokenMnemonic 09:23, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Frabby. In my perspective, the infoboxes need to be as stable, static, as they can be, providing the basics that are common between a large number of planets (if not the majority). This reduces the number of articles that must be updated every time a new product comes out and keeps it from being seen as more easily outdated. I understand what you're trying to do, BrokenMnemonic: reduce the time a reader needs to spend to find out if a system/planet is still available on another resource (the maps). However, because it is not a common enough feature nor one we'd want to ahve to update to refelct each new game year's maps, I think it'd best to indicate the status of the system/planet within the article.--Rev (talk|contribs) 12:51, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Bandit Kingdoms

I think it'd be handy to add a category for those worlds that formed one-system/planet bandit kingdoms to flag them up as a distinct sub-category of Periphery Worlds. Bigger kingdoms like the Oberon Confederation will most likely already have a category, but there are odd one-system realms dotted around like the Pirates Haven Cluster, Rezak's Hole, Star's End, and some kingdoms started out as just a single world. With CGL releasing products dealing with historical eras I suspect we're going to see a few more odds and sods added to the map reflecting short-lived kingdoms springing up in places like the remains of the Rim Worlds Republic after the Hegemony Campaign. BrokenMnemonic 06:44, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I think it would be more precise to differ between multiple-system realms like the Oberon Confederation and single systems that happen to be pirate lairs; the latter should (only) be categorized as independent worlds. After all, who are we to decide who's a pirate and who is not? Take Antallos as an extreme example of muddy waters here. Frabby 07:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Infobox Maps

BrokenMnemonic and I have been discussing replacing the map images currently used on a large majority of the images intended to depict relative location for the following reasons:

  • they're often based on the wrong coordinates (see various reasons above for why some coordinates are wrong)
  • other than colors depicting owner faction, the maps aren't very informative as to where the world is located in the grand scheme of things

The idea we've been developing is to use the familiar & canon maps in place of the auto-generated ones, as these cropped images will be familiar in both style and border shapes, thereby showing where a world can be found. However, Doneve has suggested he prefers the auto-generated maps, as they quickly tell the viewer which worlds are within two jumps of the subject planet. Normally, I'd dismiss this as unnecessary, since the articles currently provide a table of those same planets, but the overhaul intends to do away with that table. It appears there may be some interest in including the coordinates for the planets, but without either using one of the few programs out there that can determine jump paths or doing the math individually, replacing the jump images would do away with easily determining the nearest worlds. So the question is posed: where's the interest? What so people want to see in the infobox image: a jump map (ex: Sarna) or a regional map (ex: Joyz)? Please weigh in.--Rev (talk|contribs) 14:24, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

In a perfect world, the map section is an auto-generated thumbnail linking to a scalable map database (centered on the system in question) that provides 30ly and 60ly rings, and optional coloring of all systems based on timeframe. The tool we're looking for auto-updates maps with new systems in the vicinity that get added (such as Jardine, which essentially popped up in the middle of the FWL and should be marked on very many planet's maps...). Frabby 18:47, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
But as we're not there and we don't have the means to create those maps, and as the current jump maps are incorrect, which provides the most (overall) value to the article?--Rev (talk|contribs) 19:40, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, doesn't appear to be any comments against the idea of new, regional (& canonical) maps so far...--Rev (talk|contribs) 23:56, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I love regional or other minor maps, see my Federation of Skye maps, and other regional maps of each faction, i am in work to uploade new region maps.--Doneve 00:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm a big fan of regional maps myself, and to be honest, the only way I've found of making useable maps of the Protectorate of Donegal to upload so far for the mapping project is to break the Protectorate down into regions as well. BrokenMnemonic 06:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I really like the idea of the canon maps. They look much better than the old jump maps. Is it not possible to insert the LY rings by hand as a scale reference? Harry 18:08, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Not easily, without bogging down the project. I think the canon-approach that BrokenMnemonic has adopted does allow for it to be done by intersted parties later, either as a concerted effort or individually (and I'd welcome it).--Rev (talk|contribs) 21:05, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Query: Have you finalized the new layout page yet?

Just to be clear, there are a lot of planets/systems that need an overhaul or additional information. I've been putting it in place, but if the finalized template is ready I'd prefer to use it. Thanks! --Mbear(talk) 12:04, 18 January 2012 (PST)

Not quite yet, although I think we're close. Really, the only thing I'm aware of still being debated is the owner history lists. There's a summary of the argument on Rev's talk page, and a tentative agreement on the way forward less a final agreement on a naming convention on Doneve's talk page. I haven't pushed ahead just yet because I'm not sure whether to get Rev's sign-off or not, as he's leading the project, but we're tantalizingly close to being able to start making bulk changes. BrokenMnemonic 02:12, 19 January 2012 (PST)
OK. Thanks for the update!--Mbear(talk) 03:55, 19 January 2012 (PST)