Separating Categories

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WilliamAvon
02/15/21 07:36 PM
104.13.160.112

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Is there a way to sub-divide the listed pages within a category?

I'm currently working on Category:Animal-Themed Battlemechs, and I'd like to break them out by the type of critter for which they are named; "Avian", "Canine", and so on.


Edited by WilliamAvon (02/15/21 07:37 PM)
WilliamAvon
02/20/21 11:39 AM
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Man... nothing on this?
FrabbyModerator
02/21/21 02:06 AM
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Technically, it works the other way around. You build the category tree bottom-up. To use your example, you'd create the "Canine" and "Avian" categories first and then categorize these into a "Animals" category one level higher. A similar category structure is in place for spacecraft.

However, that said I should point out that your category draft was deleted the other day because we thought it wasn't desirable as-is and it seemed like an abandoned project. We're wary of arbitrary categories.
Specifically, by what definition do you determine wether a 'Mech is "animal themed" and how is that relevant either within the universe or in the context of game rules?
WilliamAvon
02/28/21 01:26 PM
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While the category certainly wasn't dead, real world events prevented me from getting to it for some time. On those grounds, I can see why you might have thought it was abandoned

However, "Animal Themed Battlemechs" isn't arbitrary, especially since some in-game factions and real world artists were going out of their way to make Battlemechs with animal names and art. There is nothing arbitrary about the Albatross or Barghest, or any of the Dark Age Jade Falcon mechs, being animal themed.

"Arbitrary" also doesn't disqualify many of the categories on this wiki, such as Category: Close_Range_Combat_Vehicles. What makes something "close ranged"? What range is considered "close"? What ratio of long to short ranged weaponry is necessary for falling into this category?

Moreover, The two criteria you cited - within the universe or in the context of game rules - is not the only criteria for existing as a page. To wit: Category: German_renamed_units. The renaming of a unit for a real world audience has nothing to do with anything "in universe", nor does it change anything about the rules. Yet, here it is.

Since the only real issue here is the lag on my part to create the category, I'll recreate it once I have compiled a more thorough list of the BattleMechs which fall into the category. That way, it won't appear abandoned.

Also, thank you for the hint on how to fix the categories!


Edited by WilliamAvon (02/28/21 01:27 PM)
FrabbyModerator
03/01/21 09:01 AM
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Oh am am well aware of other arbitrary or problematic categories here. Which is part of the reason I am wary about starting yet another categorization project.

Exactly what information are you aiming to provide with this new category? What makes the group of 'Mechs in this category different from others? Is it just sorting stuff for the sake of sorting stuff, or is there any substance to it?
There is perhaps some overlap with Bug 'Mechs Totem 'Mechs here. These two groups are also ill-defined, but at least these concepts exist within the universe and the 'Mechs and are referred to as such.

Edge cases are a good means to test your definition, and whether the category really says what you meant to say.
Can you provide a set of rules/definitions by which I can decide which of the following should or should not go into the category (i.e. should be considered an animal-themed 'Mech), and why?

- Wasp
- Hedgehog
- Bane (Kraken)
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Hawk
- Nova Cat
- Turkina
- Barghest
- Dragon
- Hauptmann
WilliamAvon
03/02/21 12:14 AM
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All of these are good questions, which fortunately have rather straightforward answers!

Quote:
Exactly what information are you aiming to provide with this new category?



A list of animal-themed BattleMechs.

Quote:
What makes the group of 'Mechs in this category different from others?



They're animal themed.

Quote:
Is it just sorting stuff for the sake of sorting stuff, or is there any substance to it?



It would exist for the same reason that "Archons" or "Close Range Combat Vehicles" exist: someone somewhere wanted to know what Archons or Close Range Combat vehicles existed, couldn't find a single source, so decided to create it for the next person who wanted to know.

[NOTE: It occurs to me as I write this that my response might come across as glib; I assure you this is not my intent!]

Quote:
There is perhaps some overlap with Bug 'Mechs Totem 'Mechs here.



Probably, yes. Most of the mechs are listed under multiple categories, though, and so overlap is prevalent throughout the wiki.

Quote:
These two groups are also ill-defined, but at least these concepts exist within the universe and the 'Mechs and are referred to as such.



The animalistic styling of certain mechs is well-attested throughout BattleTech fluff text and fiction.

Quote:
Edge cases are a good means to test your definition, and whether the category really says what you meant to say.
Can you provide a set of rules/definitions by which I can decide which of the following should or should not go into the category (i.e. should be considered an animal-themed 'Mech), and why?



Excellent question, and something I should have included at the top of the page. An animal themed BattleMech is one which takes it's name and significant visual styling from an animal.

Using the list you provided, the Wasp, Bane, Phoenix and Shadow Hawks, Nova Cat, and Hauptmann would not be included, while the rest would (save the Hedgehog, for which I have yet to see official art).


Edited by WilliamAvon (03/02/21 12:18 AM)
Wick
03/04/21 11:53 AM
173.247.25.195

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I see Bug mechs as a subset of the Animal mechs, in the same fashion Bird mechs would be a subset. I guess its overlap from the categorization style of a wiki, but conceptually it should be a superset/subset relationship. However, beyond bugs and birds I'm not sure there's enough types of other animals to qualify as a full set (a few cats, dogs, wolves, and horses come to mind)

Must it have both name and visual styling? A lot of them qualify on name but don't have a lot of of styling behind them. (Mad Cat for example.) Some have an animal style but not the name (Celerity)

Some mechs qualify twice. Vulture is the IS codename for the Mad Dog Clan mech. Dragonfly is the IS codename for the Clan's Viper. You'd need to consider how to handle these. Additionally, a mech like the Phoenix Hawk has a two-parter names for which either part may qualify.

If Phoenix doesn't count, does that mean all mythological animals are excluded? (i.e. Cerberus) Where is the line drawn and can you explain it in the category heading?

If Shadow Hawk doesn't qualify, does that mean Phoenix Hawk, despite being a two-parter bird-like name also doesn't?

Since human is an animal, would this include all bipedal humanoid mechs? I presume not.

I think you're better off considering any mech that has either name or obvious styling (four-legged for example) as an animal mech, including mythological creatures excluding any that are more humanoid than animal (so you can exclude Hauptman, Cyclops, etc.)

Have you considered non-mechs? There's quite a few aerospace fighters and tanks that could qualify as 'animal' themed as well. Cheetah for example.
ghostrider
03/04/21 12:31 PM
66.74.60.165

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Well some mechs do have one version that is just a biped while it's updated version looks more like the name sake, ie the Spider comes to mind when it becomes the Tarantula.

The Scorpion is one that was in the game for a while, but was dropped as the fluff suggested it was flawed horribly, ie the lack of armor underneath protecting the pilot.

But the question Wick brought up is valid. Would those with a different name for the IS/Clans have 2 entries, one for each? Or just one, and hope the search would find it if you used the second name. The Behemoth/Stone Rhino might be a decent example of this.

A question a little more off the main track is would it include LAMs? The hybrid mode looks a lot like bugs, with wings and legs (the arms looking like a pair).
Also, what do you do with the three legged mechs? Would they be added, or left out?
Wick
03/05/21 07:19 PM
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Quote:
The Scorpion is one that was in the game for a while, but was dropped as the fluff suggested it was flawed horribly, ie the lack of armor underneath protecting the pilot.


It's still in the game. TPTB passed on letting it die off during the JIhad. The 12S and 10M appear to be common enough by Dark Age that they should survive ilClan era, too, so we're stuck with it.

The real problem is that TRO:3025 said the extra armor plating added under the cockpit was a frequent house refit, but we only ever got the unique Wendell model and never any other armoring refits. If I'm not mistaken it remains the model with the longest wait time between description in a published source and an official record sheet and MUL entry, nearing 25 years now.

.

In any case, if I was doing a search for animal-themed mechs (and I have in the past to create fake mercenary companies (Beadle's Bugs and Byrd's Birds to name a pair) then I want it to list mechs that fit either the name or design concepts, even remotely. I would have Griffin, Phoenix and Cerberus in the list despite being mythological, Shadow Hawk based on the Hawk part of the name, and Clan mechs for either real name or IS codename (so both Fire Moth/Dasher, and Nova/Black Hawk qualify for opposite reasons), as well as Celerity since it looks like a feline in motion. I'd rather take the approach that anything close is listed and let the reader filter out what they don't want, than be restrictive and exclude things the user may have wanted.
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