Talk:List of BattleTech products

Revision as of 14:12, 17 June 2019 by Frabby (talk | contribs) (How do we order the products within a year?)

Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrade (Complete)

A question, should the faction record sheets also be listed here? I think so, they are separate products even if the just show what is already in Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrade (Complete). Besides that the "Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrade (Complete)" article should be renamed to "Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrade Complete", its nitpicking but we should stick to what is on the cover anything else is just irritating. BigDuke66 (talk) 08:05, 17 February 2014 (PST)

Classic BattleTech Technical Readouts

I could use some input on this: Classic BattleTech Technical Readout 3025 and Classic BattleTech Technical Readout 3060 were both published by FanPro. I know next to nothing on either of these, but suspect I chose not to buy because I already had multiple editions of both from FASA. I went ahead and linked to their respective TRO article, but am unsure as to whether or not the visible title for the books (in the List of Products article) should read "Classic BattleTech" or -like the other TROs- be displayed only as "Technical Readout: Year." Feel free to make the change. (Note: if the FanPro editions did differentiate significantly, anyone with the means of comparison -even if its against the present articles- can indicate so in those articles.) --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:13, 5 July 2008 (CDT)

The TROs are a mess, because they all share the same product number. In extreme cases, there might be different editions (print runs with small changes) of the original, then a Revised and finally an Updated version of one and the same TRO without changing the production number. In response to Rev's question above, I'd like to suggest this approach:
  • Treat all different versions of a TRO in a single article as long as the product code remains the same. Make sure to discuss changes between editions/versions in the article, and to show cover pictures of every version.
  • Create ample redirects from every possible spelling/sub-version
  • For the purpose of the product list, I'd say different printing runs don't count but changing the title (R and U editions) should get an entry, as should a different publisher/product code.
Frabby 10:37, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Technical Readout: 3025 that was done by Fanpro was the Revised edition that re-did the fluff on all entries including entries that had said Star League ended in 2800s verses 2700s. I happened to be comparing the original TRO: 3025's fluff to Revised edition. There is no Updated TRO 3025 and 3026, only Revised (removal unseens, new Fluff & imagines). Thats why they should continue to have a new entry. Having them in one TRO Article maybe confusing if not seperated cleanly. I get sense there alot dislike for the Revised versions, i won't want be mixing those less-like products with beloved originals.-- Wrangler 11:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

What does qualify?

I see you are only including FASA, Catalyst and WizKids game material here. In the wake of the canonicity debate I suggest to expand this list to other official/licensed stuff like computer games, books, magazines, comics etc., in short anything that anyone might consider canon. Perhaps even the opening of the various BT centers has a place here, and the time of their closing (and that of FASA?) Frabby 09:49, 4 August 2008 (CDT)

I have no problem with that. In the manner in which the list has been built, each producer (rather than copyright holder) would have the products listed under its name. However, we would need to (IMO) either create a higher order list (ex: Gaming Products, Novels, Computer Games, Miniatures Games, etc) or accept that FASA would no longer lead the list (ex. - in order: Catalyst Games Labs, FanPro, FASA, Microsoft, ROC, etc.). I do think it is essential to keep the products listed by year under manufacturer.
Thinking again, if we do this, I'd probably want to copy FASA, FP & CGL into a more-approrpiately CBT-only-named list, and keep both updated. But, I'll see where you take it.
Speaking of the canoncity discussion, I believe Scaletail and I would both appreciate your input before further action.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:31, 6 August 2008 (CDT)
Today I added the RS: 3039 and besides them 3 RS that are from InMediaRes, I hope those 3 are OK.--BigDuke66 06:35, 16 June 2009 (PDT)

BattleCorps vs. PDF releases

Recently, CGL has begun to shift from print products to PDF releases. Not only are almost all old books now available as PDF scans, newer products tend to be released in PDF first and then get a print publication date later, often much later and sometimes not at all. The various turning points, dossiers, and XTRO series, for example, are pure PDF products.

This is becoming a problem for this list, as we need to re-define the parameters here. As of yet, the list treats print products as the "prime product". I am tempted, however, to change this to "whatever is released first", be that print or PDF. It also blurs the line between PDF releases and BattleCorps releases. Revanche just added two unit digests which are BattleCorps publications, not PDF releases: To get them you must have subscribed to BC; you cannot simply buy them through BattleShop like other PDF products. They don't belong on this list under current rules as outlined at the beginning of the article. I deliberately avoided including BattleCorps because we'd be facing literally hundreds of publications from that source breaking the boundaries of this product list (much like miniatures and CCG cards). That's why I originally included a "notable BC publications" section, but I fear it't going to blow out of proportions.

Open to suggestions.
My own suggestions at this point would be to

  • strictly keep BattleCorps publications separated from other products, summarily treating them under "BattleCorps" and perhaps create a new sub-page for these
  • add a column to this list indicating whether or not a given product is also available as PDF download from BattleShop, perhaps indicating the year because of the last point:
  • add products to the list following first publication regardless of print of PDF format.

Frabby 09:31, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

You bring up fair suggestions, after identifying the problem. Easy to get onboard with them.
  • I agree with the BC-only area. I'd prefer to keep it as a section on this products page for the utility of quickly scanning for products. Since I started this 'issue' just yesterday, I'll institute it immediately.
  • In regards tp PDF-only products (fully available to the public), I'd like to suggest handling it the same way as for BC products. In other words, we'd have three sections: 1)Printed products by year (as they are now), 2) PDF-only products, as intended only for those not yet in print (this would include older re-releases) and 3) BattleCorps-subscription items. The second two sections won't need to be divided by year (as the print products are), since the year can be added to a column.
  • I'm fine with the third, but would then suggest the products be listed under the PDF-only section until they are released as print products. Once they are, they're removed from the PDF-only section and re-written for the print. I really do use this list aggressively at home and excluding any products (with the exception of BC stories and HTML articles) would decrease the utility of this list.
I'd also like to suggest the appropriateness of renaming Category:BattleCorps publications to Category:BattleCorps stories. The reasoning for this is the new (possible) trend to release source material thru BattleCorps that makes it a distributor of products relevant to the List of BattleTech products. We can also create one titled Category:BattleCorps scenarios, so the former doesn't get muddled.
For the record, I'm also in favor for allowing concerned parties to write articles on this subjects they're directly related with, such as Feather vs Mountain and Rise and Shine. Wink.gif --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:58, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
A number of points to cover here...
  • Category:BattleCorps publications was renamed thus (from BattleCorps stories afaik) specifically because BC publishes much more than stories. There's full-blown novels, scenarios, canonical news (especially the milspecs), unit digests, interviews, etc. and I think we should keep it as is because that's the most precise name we're going to get for the category. On a related note, I've been toying with the idea to create a category Short Stories which could, besides BC stories, include stuff like sourcebook fiction, the individual Shrapnel stories and stories from flyers (see 1993 Update Flyer). Maybe even merge it with Category:Comics into Category: Short Stories & Comics? BC has always been a provider of canonical extra information, and I don't see why stories should be treated differently from other canonical material here.
  • As for PDF vs. Print releases, would it be feasible to divide the entire list into two sections and leave BC out? I see your point about having one complete list, but it's getting ever larger. I fear that it won't be long before we simply cannot even keep all the PDF releases here, seeing how the trend goes towards series of individually small publications. We'll be drowning in those small online publications before long.
  • Finally, regarding "certain" BC stories... I was going to wait for the moratorium period to expire. That's something I plainly forgot regarding earlier BC publications. I do hope, though, that my articles on BC fiction rather whet the reader's appetite than spoil anything...
Frabby 14:43, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
BC stories are sources and, thus, are allowable as articles within the two months. It's the information within them that cannot be used in other articles, though I could see not writing a full plot summary. I feel that a short description that gives away nothing would be appropriate. Congrats, btw, Frabby. --Scaletail 00:31, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
IRT:
  • Category:BattleCorps Publications: With additional thought, I agree with you. However, I counter-propose that it be the mother category for BattleCorps Stories, BattleCorps MilSpecs, BattleCorps News, etc.
  • Category:Short Stories: I'm fine with it so-labeled, with maybe a link ("For BattleCorps stories, see also...") to the BC stories. I'm not so sure Category: Short Stories & Comics seems to be the obvious destination. I'm not vehemently opposed to it...I'm just not convinced that category should incorporate both.
  • PDF vs. Print : Can you expand on the problem you feel with having an extensive list of products? While PDF-only products and the (limited) BC products definitely expand the list, I view them as marginal expansions (when compared to the amount of mainstream product). Do you see the list expansion to be such a problem that the large amount of mainstream products alone could shortly require a solution? My reasoning for having them all on one page is so I can quickly review both for additions and search -in one location- for details on a product that may be slipping my memory. The list has already served useful for realizing a product was released during a period of professional time where CBT access was not available.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 16:21, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Category:BattleCorps Publications: While sub-categories are definitely a possibility, I think most "other" (non-story) BC publications could be sorted into one catchall-article each (i.e. one article MilSpecs covering all of these updates, one article BattleCorps News covers the general issue of an ongoing canonical newsfeed with the occasional interesting bit of info - by the way, the MilSpecs are technically part of these BC news.
  • Category:Short Stories & Comics: I'm not dead set on combining these categories, but when you look at the grand total of 3 entries in the Comics category you'll probably agree that they all arguably belong into Short Stories as well. Perhaps Comics should become a subcategory of Short Stories then?
  • PDF vs. Print : Gut feeling tells me we're going to hit a brick wall here at some point in the not too distant future. The article is already very long, it is bound to grow ever more, and the PDFs aggravate the problem. See, I like and use this list just like you, but it is already now somewhat unwieldy due to its sheer size. Sooner or later we'll just have to sort and categorize it somehow. Also, the bigger it grows with PDFs, the smaller the excuse not to include each individual miniature, CCG or BC release. See where this is going? That said, I guess we're good for another year or two. But the issue doesn't go away, and we will invariably have this discussion again at some point.
Frabby 17:06, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Category:BattleCorps Publications:Not a bad idea at all (regarding catch-all articles). Why create an article for each mil-spec article?
  • Category:Short Stories & Comics: IRT comics as a sub-cat, that sounds just right.
  • PDF vs. Print : Okay, hiatus on further discussion: agreed. I'm also up to re-examining the issue earlier, especially if the BC Exclusives takes off as consistently as the mainstream PDFs-only have. I'm just not as convinced that the lesser-sized membership of BC will warrant the same level of production, even for smaller products.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:11, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd question rationality of seperating product lines. Couldn't we keep all products on one page? Just have rows that mark it as product (Game/Sourcebook/RecordSheets/etc) is Publication its seen what part of InMedia is producting it? I've seen this blurring of products from both BattleCorp and CGL. Which sometimes i wonder if they have it straight. We could have a row with the product lines just plain states if its a PDF only, Print, or both. Who published/released it. -- Wrangler 20:08, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've created a PDF-only section (that does not recognize those products intended for print publication), without pulling out the same entries from the Print publications section. Gotta admit I was surprised by how much space they actually filled. If there are no disagreements, I'll pull those out of Print Publications in a few days (reducing that section equally).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 03:55, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Are you going to be producing a new of Outprint Battletech Products? -- Wrangler 01:54, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand the question.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 04:24, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Fall of Terra

I've changed the wikilink for the product, as I feel that someday there will be an article about the actual event (or at least a redirect to the preferred name for the event). This is in keeping with the manner in which sourcebooks named after popular units is handled. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:20, 23 August 2008 (CDT)

The Battle For Twycross

Just checked the book and wonder where it mentions that it was release in 1988. I find 2 dates one under the credits and one on the backcover that both say copyright 1990.--BigDuke66 16:58, 7 January 2009 (PST)

I don't have the book, so I can't say what the copyright is, but I know it wasn't released in 1988. Nothing dealing with the clans came out prior to 1990.--Fulminata 05:59, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Everything I see says it is 1990. I have no problem with the change being made. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Sorting?

Is there any specific way to sort a new book into a year? Top, bottom or unimportant?--BigDuke66 06:21, 16 June 2009 (PDT)

The right answer is probably 'unimportant,' if there is no discernable method already used. I would be prone to using either chronological release (if known) or chronological product codes. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 06:55, 16 June 2009 (PDT)
Some form of sorting is required, imho. Unless you switch to strictly alphabetical sorting (which would cause problems because some product names are arbitrary), I suggest to continue with the approach I took when I re-worked the entire thing: I sorted by publisher first within a year, then by product code number, regardless of when exactly within the year a given product was released. Frabby 09:02, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
"then by product code number, regardless of when exactly within the year a given product was released."
Heh...becoming a bit problematic, as some of the latest series of products (thinking XTROs) are switching to a new alphanumeric (vice only numeric) product code and seemingly skipping some numbers, too. Still, product code and then chronological release seems to be an appropriate solution.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:21, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

On the Main Page

As a large contributor to Sarna, I find this page rather important to my interests. It has been removed from the Category:Books twice now, which makes it rather difficult for me to quickly refer to it when I want. I don't agree that it doesn't fall under the category, because most of the products on the list /are/ books, though not completely all. However, its not something I'm fully invested in fighting for. So, the work around we shall go with is a direct link on the Main Page to this specific article. I leave it up to another soul to connect to a games-like category, in order to make the first Main Page link as correct as the category itself is. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:24, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Year sorting

Another area this list can be improved upon is to make it as easy as it was in the previous incarnation to get to a year's products quickly. I intend to break up the mega-table by year, so that sections (and a TOC) can be added. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

TOC and sections provided. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:39, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
About the sections... this may be a cultural issue, but here a decade is considered to begin with the numeral year 1 and end with the 10th year, i.e. the 1990s would technically include the years between 1991 and 2000. Frabby 09:02, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe cultural here too, maybe a generalist-mathematician thing. But, I'm not sure breaking it into decades adds any value anyway. I'm reverting it. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:19, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
In all technicality, decades do begin with years that end in "1", but few people in the US treat it that way. I think it's a language thing: how do you argue that 1980 is, in fact, part of the 1970s? It doesn't make sense, except that it is. --Scaletail 23:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Its a mass-media stupity thing. When year 2000's new years came close, the new networks marked it as beginning of the 21st Century. People don't know how count. Period. -- Wrangler 11:45, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

New products

When i look to the tables, the most of the new published stuff is missing on the list.--Doneve (talk) 09:11, 4 December 2012 (PST)

Betas

We need to add the beta versions of Combat Manual: Mercenaries and Interstellar Operations on here, as they're both official products even if superceded. I have digital copies of both somewhere, if I can dig out the right memory stick, but I don't have a hard copy of the beta version of IO that was released at one of the US cons - has anyone here got such a beast? I seem to remember reading it had a slightly different catalogue number and price.

Merging the PDF products into the main product line.

With the vast majority of product now being released in PDF format I feel it is time to merge them into the main products list rather than maintain their status as an "offshoot". I for one have not bought a physical BT book in years.--Dmon (talk) 11:29, 27 November 2018 (EST)

I think by now I agree. With print on demand around the corner (and tiny print runs for GenCon releases which I suspect are print-on-demand already) the idea that physical products are the premier product line no longer holds true. We still need to decide on which product is the "lead" product on this list because I wouldn't want to list every combo release twice (once for EPUB, once for physical product). My suggestion is to go with whatever gets published first, but treat the physical product version as the primary one within articles. (And there should only be one article per publication regardless of wether it's print, PDF, or print-on-demand. Provided that the product is truly identical, that is.) Frabby (talk) 12:07, 27 November 2018 (EST)
My view is that we should continue to treat the physical products as the premier products, but I'm all in favour of merging the PDF-only products and physical ones together into a single product listing. I think the physical books are always going to be the premiere editions, because as much as I adore the PDF-only products (particularly series like Touring the Stars and Field Reports 2765) there are two important distinctions for me with physical products; firstly, they always seem to be the larger products, and secondly, it's print products that push the overall plot narrative forwards. The bulk of the PDF products are infill or very specific looks at minor areas - the metaplot doesn't get driven forward by them.
I think we should stick with a single article for each product, but it would be worth expanding the infobox to allow us to record multiple editions within a single article and single infobox, and I'd suggest reviewing the template for product articles to include sections where different editions (and the differences between them) can be discussed. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 02:43, 28 November 2018 (EST)
Other than price and release date, I do not think we have had any products that are significantly different between Print and PDF versions (feel free to correct me) so updating the infobox could be as simple as duplicating "First Published" and "MSRP" and have (Print) and (PDF) in parentheses. As for what to use as premier products in terms of Wiki use, Shattered Fortress likely sets the standard for how major physical releases will be handled in the future. Small run at a Con, Digital edition and then wide release Print. With the advent of POD we may even lose the wider physical release in the next decade. I propose that we use the whatever is first published for wider consumption as the basis for any Moratorium restrictions because the vast majority of people who wait for the Print copy over PDF are doing it by their own choice and we should not let that restrict us as a wiki.
Also with HBS and CGL now giving out future release dates (I an happy about this) might it be an idea to develop a new "upcoming product" tag that allows us to set up product pages in advance but allowing for a "This may Change" aspect.--Dmon (talk) 05:38, 28 November 2018 (EST)
The last hard-copy of a Battletech book I bought was a second hand copy... and here in Spain getting hard-copies is complex unless I directly buy them to USA pages, with the cost it has. Now, I've been seeing that now we have two types or products: PDF only (ones that are never going to be in hard copy) and potential hard copy ones. The first ones are covered as now, but not the second as tracing prices and dates and a few things, two potential options kill the template. I would suggest (as I'm not an expert with these templates) two have duplicated the relevant fields to cover PDF and hardcopy, and I would one a field like Printed on Demand (Yes/No) to represent that they have sometimes printed on demand (We have no information on how this process is going to go, how often is that going to happen, and so on).
It was also asked to merge the products in the corresponding years: here again fully agree that this is the best option. I would also suggest to add to that list also the small section of BattleCorps Products, as we cover some 3rd party products and the ones from BattleCorps are solid ones (or were at their time).--Pserratv (talk) 06:09, 28 November 2018 (EST)
I agree with Dmon's thoughts above. I too haven't purchased a physical Battletech book in years, maybe even a decade now, and the only differences I've noticed is between older hard copies and PDFs with the removal of 'unseen' imagery. Any differences important enough to note could be written in a 'Differences between print and EPUB versions' section. As far as when to end the moratorium period, perhaps it could be based upon whether we have a fixed date for print release or if it's likely to remain EPUB-only for the foreseeable future.--Orwell84 (talk) 04:14, 29 November 2018 (EST)

Ok so I think we agree on including PDF products, and that the article should get an overhaul. Does anybody know if there's a character/size limit to articles here on Sarna.net?

While we're at it, I would like to add in BattleTechnology issues, novels and BattleCorps publications - at least the individual BC stories; BC INN articles like MilSpecs or Isle of the Blessed aren't covered in individual articles and should be covered summarily under BattleCorps. Frabby (talk) 04:40, 29 November 2018 (EST)

As per your question on size of an article, no idea, but the Solaris City one is big, and it is like this:

Display title Solaris City Default sort key Solaris City Page length (in bytes) 124,021 --Pserratv (talk) 05:03, 29 November 2018 (EST)

Merging into one list is good. What about adding a "Product Type" (Print, POD, PDF, EPub, etc.) category to the table to denote the medium(s) in which the product was offered? Maybe change the "Description/Type" column to avoid confusion, unless there's a better term for product type.--Cache (talk) 14:49, 1 December 2018 (EST)
That particular approach may prove unworkable. As you correctly point out there's considerable overlap with "Description/Type". This is indeed where such info belongs, in parantheses perhaps: e.g. "Sourcebook (PDF)" or "Novella (EPub)". Sometimes the point is moot, e.g. miniatures or boxed sets. Conversely, I can't come up with an example requiring an additional field. Frabby (talk) 17:07, 1 December 2018 (EST)
If the source material adds something to the exist lore, then I say we should merge it in.(Will9761)
What is this merged product going to look like. Some of the PDFs have different features than printed ones. -- Wrangler (talk) 22:53, 3 December 2018 (EST)
Could you give some examples I could take a look at, please? BrokenMnemonic (talk) 02:51, 4 December 2018 (EST)
I have let this sit for a month and nobody has said no to merging, just a matter of how.
For now I will merge the tables based on the info at hand. Once that is done I will give you all a poke and we can see if we can find a way to include differences between PDF and Print/Print on Demand.--Dmon (talk) 08:25, 2 January 2019 (EST)
To my previous suggestion of adding another category (column) to denote whether a product is physical or electronic, "Medium" is the best title I can come up with (suggestions welcome). I certainly don't mind putting PDF, EPub, etc. in parenthesis in the "Description/Type" column as Frabby suggested. Examples of these are here: User:Cache/Product_List. Any differences between a print and PDF product should be addressed in the individual product pages, not in this list. --Cache (talk) 20:13, 22 January 2019 (EST)
Looking at it I think I like the description/type one best as it keeps the table that little bit slimmer (I have noticed the larger tables do not work very well on mobile devices)--Dmon (talk) 20:30, 22 January 2019 (EST)

How do we order the products within a year?

How do we order the products within a year? By time of appereance, by type, first pure battletech, then other stuff (games, clothing, pins, dice...)?--Pserratv (talk) 10:21, 17 June 2019 (EDT)

Up until now it was sorted by firm, then product number. The firms in turn were sorted (based on gut feeling) by how close they were to the license, with computer games and original foreign language products the last entries. Frabby (talk) 14:12, 17 June 2019 (EDT)