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BattleTechWiki talk:Planet Article Overhaul

[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:
planets:
  • 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 as at Current Year."
  • __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.
    • Political Affiliation sub-section: see below.

  • Planet section: repeated as appropriate
    • {{InfoboxPlanetStandard}}
planet image (priority), banner image (secondary), or blank
image caption, ex: "Planetary flag of Mesartim"
planet name; if the planet name isn't known, give the planet name as the name of the primary star followed by the orbital number of the planet in Roman numeral form, e.g. Rollis II
planet position within the system
time to jump points
moons: number (with names if known)
day length:
surface gravity:
atmospheric pressure:
equatorial temperature:
surface water:
highest native life: type
founding year:
status year:
ruler: [[character name]] (for the status year given)
capital city:
population: Where more than one rating exists each should appear, with the appropriate date annotated.
Socio-Industrial Levels: i.e. the former USIIR. Where more than one rating exists each should appear, with the appropriate date annotated.
HPG: type (Precentor name)
    • Planet Name; this can (and should) differ from the name given in the Infobox if the common name for the planet differs from that of the system or infobox standard. Ex: For Terra, the InfoboxPlanetStandard planet name would be Sol III, but the Planet Name at this point in the article would be Terra.
    • 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. Where planets have a detailed history, this section should be sub-divided into sub-sections with clear titles, such as Reunification War, Star League Era, Fourth Succession War, Jihad, etc.
      • Political Affiliation sub-section: this replaces the earlier Owner History entry but stays in list format, reflecting those available data points that show which nation or faction the planet was affiliated with at any given point. This is included here as although it is generally the entire system that changes hands, the fate of that system is usually dependent on battles on the planet; where there are two or more planets within a system, this also allows the affiliation of each to be tracked seperately. In instances where the system is controlled by one faction and inhabited planets are controlled by another, the political affiliation of the system should be recorded seperately within the system area of the article. If a precise date is not available for an event such as a dispute in ownership or a planetary conquest/annexation, it is entirely acceptable to add an entry indicating the range of years within which the planet was disputed/conquered, but this should be expanded on in the history section. Ex: "2351-2352 disputed world (Sarna Supremacy/Chesterton Trade Federation)" or "Ca. 2351-2357 - Sarna Supremacy (annexed during this period)". If a planet's absence from a map of the region in which that planet lies is being recorded here, the affiliation should be given as "No record", to prevent absence of proof being presented as proof of absence. Ex: "2217 - No record" or "3130 - No record". If a planet or system is visible on a map but the owner is undefined, it should be listed as "Independent."
      • Planetary Ruler sub-section: lists known planetary rulers in date order, with the appropriate titles and dates.
      • 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). This should include such details as number and name of continents as well as details of named geological features, but not man-made features such as cities and industrial plants.
    • 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, including those 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 (optional)

  • Nearby Systems: Details of the systems within 60 light years of the named system, in a tabular format including the name of each system and the distance in light years between the two with the systems listed in order from the closest outwards. See Romulus as an example.
  • References: as expected
  • Bibliography: as expected

[edit] Discussion

[edit] Political Affiliation

Regarding the affiliation, are we going to list by "milestone" [ie, year where major event took place or where a map is available] and then either put relevant years/year ranges in between where systems changed hands or will the affiliation be Planet specific?-Volt 02:55, 29 February 2012 (PST)

I'm not sure I quite follow the question, but that also means I may not have written the entry in the template very clearly. I've pushed for the owner history section to be kept, as it's usually a series of useful data points, and because as we don't have detailed planet histories, I don't think it's appropriate to make sweeping statements like "Rollis remained a Capellan planet throughout the 3rd Succession War" within the planet history simply because we've only got the 3025 and 2864 maps and Rollis is in Capellan space in both. Owner History wasn't a popular term though, so Political Affiliation was a compromise - a record of who owned a planet at a given point in time or a range of years, based on the information available. So, I'd expect the owner History entries to move across, but also to see them expand somewhat based on entries in books where we know planets were fought over or changed hands, but not when precisely. Asuncion is a good example of that at the moment. Does that make any sense? BrokenMnemonic 03:23, 29 February 2012 (PST)
Hehe it's funny how you were able to answer my question without understanding it, but yes, the data you put on Asuncion is how I understood what you meant in your template. I was actually thinking of putting fixed years such as 2571, 2750, 2822, etc... then if there's a change of affiliation/ownership in between [for example, between 2571 and 2750] then the relevant date(or year) would be listed along with the fixed years.-Volt 04:47, 29 February 2012 (PST)
That's what Doneve and I have been doing for a while now - we started out with the maps, as the maps provide a lot of fixed data points across all the worlds thanks to the Handbooks, but a part of the idea with changing it from "Owner History" to "Political Affiliation" was to get away from the idea that it provided an exhaustive ownership record, and instead was more of a list of known dates and affiliations. Individual dates are all valuable, in my opinion Smiley.gif But by keeping it as a list of specific dates only, you run the risk of changes not being catalogued. I think it's much better to have a date like Ca. 2351-2352 - disputed world (Sarna Supremacy/Chesterton Trade Federation) and a text entry in the planet history to show that the world changed hands at some point during the war rather than to try and pin it down to either 2351 or 2352 without evidence (which counts as making an assumption) or without noting the date at all. By keeping the owner history details in there, it also gives a handy list people can just run their eye over to see how the affiliation of the planet has changed over time. BrokenMnemonic 04:56, 29 February 2012 (PST)
While I do like your reasoning about the "fixed data points", I think a "milestone" approach suits the concept better and would be more informative. The fixed data points straightjacket the ownership section needlessly, which is why I feel they are a dead-end approach. It is true that oftentimes we don't have much information, and the fixed data points should not be construed to be more than just that; but at the same time what I really want is a narrative telling me, well, the ownership/affiliation history of the world. Frabby 08:06, 29 February 2012 (PST)
Well, I can give you might point of view, which is that if there is a historical narrative to go with a world, I'd expect it to appear in the planetary history section, with any available data points from that narrative being shown in the political affiliation list. A case in point is the planet of Redfield. As you can see in the History section, I've taken mentions of Redfield from the early history sections of two of the early house books and put the various details together to make a narrative; I've then added data points and ranges to the owner history section to provide a summary of the changes in affiliation. It's possible to do that because Redfield is mentioned in several sources.
However, for a lot of worlds, there are little or no mention of them in any of the books - they just appear on maps. Thanks to those maps, we can create fixed data points for them, and all planets will share some common data points (2571, 2822, 2864, 3025, 3067, etc) because of the Inner Sphere-wide maps TPTB have given us. However, all we have for those planets is those points. Those points should be recorded, but in terms of the history, all we can really say is something like "At the end of each of the four Succession Wars, the world of Sun Prairie was a part of the Federated Suns." We don't know what happened to it during those wars. It may have been conquered by the Draconis Combine in the 1st SW, given that the DCMS got as far as Arcadia, but unless a text says "during the occupation of Sun Prairie" or something similar, we can't confirm it. If we have the list of data points, then we know what was true in that year, but without them, we encourage people to make assumptions. I firmly believe we need both the history and the affiliations list. Not only does the affiliations list give data points that can be an easily-scanned summary of whatever is in the history section, if the editor's been able to provide a history section, they also have additional value to those wanting to run campaigns covering particular years or in particular areas. They have value beyond simply constructing a historical narrative for the planet entry; they can be used both for people wanting specifics on a year, or for those looking to produce things like Inner Sphere In Flames campaigns on a small or large scale. I think that the two compliment each other, but that to make the affiliations list something other than a list of data points reduces it's value and invites incorrect assumptions.
We do run the risk of people only updating the affilations list and not the history, but, frankly, that's what's already happening. I've lost track of how many worlds I've looked at - I updated the owner history for every world south of Terra in 2596, for example - and most of them have little or no history in them. I've been writing up entries on worlds from the Reunification War campaigns, and in the vast majority of cases, I'm the first person to even add a narrative text section on the planets history - even for worlds like Capella! I think switching away from having a list of dates in the article wouldn't encourage the narrative history element you're looking for - I think it would discourage the little effort that's going into providing historical information generally. BrokenMnemonic 09:46, 29 February 2012 (PST)