BattleTechWiki talk:Project GameRules

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Count me in. I will focus on finding new articles to add. Talvin (talk) 12:40, 12 February 2022 (EST)

Game Rules Sections[edit]

Copied from Talk:Special Pilot Abilities:

I have put a delete tag on this because right out the gate it has a HUGE rules section. I am of the opinion that rules are impossible to "rephrase". As a result any article dedicated to rules is going to be almost entierly plagiarism. At some point in the near future I plan to put a motion to the rest of the community to have the wiki go "rules free".--Dmon (talk) 07:49, 20 January 2022 (EST)

Got your point, and it is true it a huge list of rules which might impact the intent of the wiki. Then we do just put the pilots right?--Pserratv (talk) 07:50, 20 January 2022 (EST)
Yeah, lore stuff is 100% fair game as it can be rephrased, rules, if you rephrase you could be changing the rule, so in order to be clear, you are forced to copy the exact wording.. And that is a problem.--Dmon (talk) 07:53, 20 January 2022 (EST)
Then maybe we should just list the names of abilities and cost?--Pserratv (talk) 08:07, 20 January 2022 (EST)
Rules can be summarized without plagiarism. E.g. Blood Stalker: Decreases To-Hit Modifier against single enemy while increasing it against all others, until that enemy is removed from play. (Citation here)--Cache (talk) 08:12, 20 January 2022 (EST)
So names & descriptions but not exact rules you mean like modifiers and so on?--Pserratv (talk) 09:19, 20 January 2022 (EST). Let me amend the first two or three and you tell me--Pserratv (talk) 09:19, 20 January 2022 (EST)
That looks good to me. I would definitely like to see a reference on each to show people where to find the full information. --Cache (talk) 10:59, 20 January 2022 (EST)
That can be done. I'll take some time to do it.--Pserratv (talk) 11:18, 20 January 2022 (EST)
Dmon, I think we can take out the Deletion message. I'll keep descriptions as they are, no rules nor costs and I'll link the skills to the cards where they are explainedç, though most probably not today.--Pserratv (talk) 04:27, 21 January 2022 (EST)
Dmon is right to a degree, but I'm not completely on the same page. While we cannot reproduce rules here, we should still seek to have articles mentioning rules concepts like SPAs - at least give a description what this is and what rulebooks it is found in, perhaps a rundown list of SPAs that have been given, without going into rules detail. NB to a degree the game rules are already available as free download anyways, but that's probably the part of the rules that is so basic that we don't really need an article about it. Frabby (talk) 06:51, 21 January 2022 (EST)

Copied from User talk:Talvin/Project Orphanage/Technology Orphans:

A number of these have game mechanic rules sections. Once I get clarification on a procedure for that, need to go through and apply said procedure. Talvin (talk) 21:07, 10 February 2022 (EST)
I am heavily in favor of banishing the rules entierly because as the wiki has become larger and more prominent with the fan base it has become harder to ignore the fact that having rules on the site basically breaks our own rules about plagarism.--Dmon (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2022 (EST)
I agree. However, I am a very small fish in this tank, and that is a policy issue: a big fish with teeth. Over on Discord, Cache promised to find me some guidance. Without something in writing saying "Do this", the guy who hasn't been here a week yet is not going to go around wiping sections out of pages wholesale. You perhaps could, I should not and won't. Talvin (talk) 21:16, 10 February 2022 (EST)
If the "game rules" are a list of game stats only, I think they should be deleted. SPA's, SCA's, and others that can be reworded, should be, in my opinion. And all should have a proper reference to point users in the right direction for the full info. It's easier to search here than across multiple rulebooks.--Cache (talk) 11:09, 11 February 2022 (EST)
My understanding is that this whole thing is going to move to a policy discussion page. Not sure which one. Talvin (talk) 11:15, 11 February 2022 (EST)

Copied from Policy Talk:Copyrights

I am moving this discussion here, as it is the most appropriate location I can find. Please add new comments below. Thank you.--Cache (talk) 10:50, 12 February 2022 (EST) To summarize my position so far, I believe the "Game Rules" sections in equipment articles that include only blocks of gameplay stats should be deleted and replaced with a reference to those rules. Those sections in unit articles containing SPA's, SCA's, and others that can be effectively reworded, should be reworded. They also should provide a reference for those rules.--Cache (talk) 11:05, 12 February 2022 (EST)

Copying from the Discord: Whatever is come up with, it needs to be something the little guys like me can readily implement. I can [delete rules sections from articles for policy reasons] 100 times an hour. Rephrasing things...I might need an hour to research that for one article, some cases. (Which means I will just leave it for someone else to worry about.) Talvin (talk) 11:08, 12 February 2022 (EST)
While a decision is taken, I'm summarizing the skills with just an explanation and no numbers, and the card there are refered to, at least trying to give hints on were to find the actual information if needed. Page to be reviewed is this one: Special Pilot Abilities--Pserratv (talk) 09:27, 17 February 2022 (EST)
Looking for clarification on this discussion: Where is the line drawn for plagiarism? At game rules or game stats? Game stats generally include everything in the infobox for units and equipment.--Cache (talk) 19:14, 18 February 2022 (EST)

These are just my opinions on each type of rules issue identified on the front page of this topic:

  • Blank Games Rules sections (such as in units): these should be commented out. In general, I prefer to comment out areas of articles with no detail on them, unless I'm certain that the information is available somewhere, in which case I may use the sectionstub tag.
  • Rules text, no numbers: This is a mixed bag category. In general, I prefer a narrative explanation of rules applicable to something, one that doesn't involve hard numbers, but sometimes the rules are like that to begin with. I think the rules description for the Striker role Alpha Strike formation is useful and high-level enough to not need editing.
  • Rules text, some numbers: I think the numbers should go. For example, I think the rule section for Callandre Witch offers too much detail, and should be reworded to something like: "The inspiration for the legend, the real Callandra Witch was a lethal and supremely skilled MechWarrior. Leading no more than a single lance into combat, all are elite warriors who receive a bonus to Initiative, and the Witch's "unit" benefits from the Force the Initiative and Overrun Combat special abilities. The Witch herself also possesses additional Edge points that may be used in any battle she is involved in." This removes the hard numbers (meaning that someone looking to use the unit needs to buy the book) while giving enough information to give a clear idea of what the benefits the unit has in the relevant era are. I think there's value in having rules described that way, particularly where a unit's rules change from era to era, as it gives those writing about the units a solid idea of how they're expected to perform when writing scenarios and the like, and for how the unit changed across different eras where multiple rulesets are available. I don't think there's harm in knowing that a unit benefits from special abilities and knowing what those abilities are, so long as we aren't spelling out the crunch of how those rules work. I don't think it's inappropriate to say a unit gets an initiative bonus or a character bonus edge points if we're not quantifying the specifics of how much.
  • Specifications: These should, in general, go. Keeping the description of a weapon or item is fine. A narrative of how well it performs, or how it compares to a competitor, is fine. Reproducing crunchy blocks of stats that mean someone doesn't need to buy the sourcebook is something we shouldn't do. I realise that this is something that can be read across to BattleMechs, but we already go to some lengths to obscure the detail, by doing things like not describing how crit slots are filled, not describing how armour is laid out, etc. Even that level of obfuscation seems to be missing from the articles flagged here, and I think that puts us in the position of plagiarising the sourcebooks.
  • Rules heavy: I'm confused as to the value some of these provide (I've not really played the RPG, so I have no idea if the skills list is useful or not, and I think the damage table from the FedCom Civil War sourcebook is so specific that I've got no idea why it's been reproduced on Sarna). The duelling rules are an edge case for me. I think there's value in explaining that the rules for combat in Solaris duels are different to those in standard CBT, and what those differences are in general terms, both for curiosity's sake and for those who might be looking at getting the Solaris set and using it. I don't know enough about the set to know if the level of detail is given is enough to remove the need to purchase the set.

So, that's what I think, for what it's worth. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 05:33, 19 February 2022 (EST)

Just some broad after-midnight thoughts, copied and slightly expanded from Discord:
  • Sarna is a lore wiki first and foremost, and I feel most comfortable with keeping rules content minimal...
  • But rules are, to an extent, lore themselves - unique character traits, tech features, 'Mech quirks, etc - and certain material ends up needing some coverage as a result.
  • Rules can depend on precise wording, meaning that rephrasing and summary run a particular risk of misleading. Which makes things a lot more difficult.
  • Personal equipment stat dumps and creature stat blocks, all those things that are piles of RPG stats, are firmly pushing things too far - I don't see much reason to keep those around. These are a step well beyond what we do with BattleMechs - compare the Locust, with its lore-oriented infobox focused primarily on things that are in-universe-legible and not giving a full record sheet, to the Striped House Grunter, which gets a full statblock for RPG players.
In short, fun times. Tumult&Travail (talk) 09:12, 19 February 2022 (EST)
My thoughts, having equipment and creature statistics is useful for the player base as a whole. Giving systems like how to use those equipment would likely cross the line. My advice would be to reach out to someone at CGL to see where they come down on this and use that to illuminate the path forward. We should strive to provide as much information as possible within the bounds CGL sets. If they say (and I severely doubt it) "go ahead and even post full verbatim writeups for rule/equipment X" then we should do that. MahiMahi (talk) 18:17, 20 February 2022 (EST)
My 2 cents (Canadian, worthless in the US) The test (if you can call it that, as this is the legal binding given) if something that is used can be considered fair use are:
  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
For the purposes of "Game Rules" it can look like it fails that test, in some eyes both 3 and 4, others only 3, and in some none at all. Another issue with fair use comes mostly with old unsupported products, with new versions of BT rules being more like rules adjustments, it "could" make old rulesets run afoul of "fair use" if distribution in any format is done even if it passes all 4 tests.
I don’t see any way CGL could give Sarna extended rights in that regard (no amount of a "acceptable use policy" would be possible) and when trying to interpret fair use, the custodians of Sarna should do so conservatively.--Deadfire (talk) 22:40, 20 February 2022 (EST)

Rules tag?[edit]

Copied from Policy Talk:Copyrights:

And putting this as a separate comment, as it is something I ask for regardless of what is decided here: can we get a tag like { {rules }} (gotta learn how to escape that out) to put on pages that need attention that also adds it to a category, like we do for cleanup and merge? I recognize that reaching consensus here is going to take a while, but I can tag them in passing so whatever is decided can be applied. Talvin (talk) 11:08, 12 February 2022 (EST)
I have no idea if I did it properly, but I created a page for this "project". At the top of the talk page for articles with game rules that require review, add {{WikiProject GameRules|tr=new}} --Cache (talk) 12:42, 12 February 2022 (EST)
Thank you for being bold! I'll put that to use right away. Talvin (talk) 12:45, 12 February 2022 (EST)
It's now added to the Main Page under "Sarna Institute's Current Projects" (bottom).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:57, 12 February 2022 (EST)
Thank you to both! I am now going to bow out of the discussion of "what policy should be", as I have made my concerns sufficiently known, I think. It's a potential legal matter, and that really needs the opinions of the staff more than my own. I'll spend my time getting ducks lined up to be shot down, plucked, thrown back in the water or whatever procedure you all finally settle on. Talvin (talk) 13:03, 12 February 2022 (EST)
While a decision is taken, I'm summarizing the skills with just an explanation and no numbers, and the card there are refered to, at least trying to give hints on were to find the actual information if needed. Page to be reviewed is this one: Special Pilot Abilities--Pserratv (talk) 09:27, 17 February 2022 (EST)
I'd approve of the way that article was handled compared to how it was before. You still have the "headlines" of the article in there for lack of a better term, but you aren't spoon feeding the information to the reader anymore. Admiral Obvious (talk) 05:24, 25 March 2022 (EDT)

After removing stats, Merge?[edit]

I do not play the RPG (haven't had a copy for over a quarter-century now), so I don't know how the RPG crowd that uses the Wiki would react to this, just throwing that out to start. I am seeing a lot of Equipment and Weapons in the Orphans, though I am mindful that some folks are more likely to use Categories to look that sort of thing up. Those pages are the ones that have "Specifications", and there are a *lot* of them. As part of cleaning this up, someone with a better understanding of the audience should consider whether these could be profitably merged? Good example: take out the stats, and you could probably turn this into two articles with redirects: Category:Archaic_Weapons_(Ranged)-- "Bow" and "Crossbow", or similar. Talvin (talk) 09:47, 19 February 2022 (EST)

I remember in the past making a significant effort to reorganize the weapons pages to consolidate and merge the different generations of weapons, and would still be in favor of that, particularly if you're going to be going in and clearing out the specs of these items. The whole reason they were split out before seemed to be so that editors could fill out the stat block for each different generation. Admiral Obvious (talk) 05:09, 25 March 2022 (EDT)

Games Rules Category[edit]

A question was asked previously about a tag for game rules. There is a category for game rules, namely Category:Game Rules. This was created when Category:Game Aids was cleaned up and game rules articles that had been categorized as Game Aids were moved to their own category. Once the formal policy and practices are hammered out, I surmise that it will still be needed/useful to have such a category. I have added some key prefaces about the limitations on such game rule pages to the category intro. It also references this project page for the time being for editors seeking further information (that is until a formal Policy Page takes it place). I have tried to keep the preface short and simple and to give enough leeway to the discussion occurring in this project, but please feel free to examine. --Dude RB (talk) 13:47, 3 April 2022 (EDT)