Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Fireball

Policy Talk:Canon

Total rewrite[edit]

After working on this for a very long time, here is my total rewrite of the Policy. It is the result of the discussions we had on this talk page (and others) and, of course, in no small part of my personal vision on how this issue should be adressed. I honestly do think that while the wording was changed significantly, the meaning is essentially the same and that I have adequately managed to cast our agreements into words. I have also elected to be bold and just implemented the change without re-starting the discussion (sorry Revanche and Scaletail), but I felt I should let the result speak for itself. If it turns out that there is no consensus to support my work, feel free to revert it. The missing templates can (and will) be created and added to the articles in question in a week's time or so, provided that the policy is accepted. Feel free to discuss. Frabby 13:40, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Wow, Frabby, that's fantastic. I think it encapsulates all our prior discussions. It's been worth the wait :-). My only nitpick is that I think stating that 'BTW does not seek to define canon' is a bit confusing. I know what you mean, but I think it would be helpful if it is explicitly stated that we are adhering to CGL's own, internal canon policy. While we are not determining canon, it is also not left totally up to the judgment of the reader. --Scaletail 00:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
But it is, Scaletail. We are differentiating between fanon and official products. Whether an article (or a portion of it) is canon is left up solely to the reader.
Some past things (rules, characters, arcs, etc.) are considered apocryphal, others are now absorbed and the definition gets even further muddled by gold stars on the CBT forums. By backing away from ever attempting to 'answer' what is canon, we keep the harsh feelings muted/sated. Canon as defined by TPTB, is addressed in the article Canon, rather than BTW's Policy:Canon. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 23:33, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree, Frabby: well done. I think its simpler, cleaner and easier to understand. I'm still not thrilled with the various colors used for the tags, but understand better now the intent and the irritant factor is low for me. I made a few minor copy-edit changes that don't change the character of the policy. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 23:40, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Moved the old discussion to the bottom of this Talk Page[edit]

...because that discussion is essentially obsolete with the new page. Not sure if it could/should be moved into an archive page, and I don't know how to do that anyways. Frabby 10:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Archived this for you. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:34, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Default to "Canon" or "official"?[edit]

Revanche marked his last edit to the page as a minor one, and mostly he cleaned up the wording. However, there is one bit that is not as minor as it might appear at first: In the second part of the policy, he changed the text from "BTW articles are considered to discuss canonical issues by default" to read "BTW articles are considered to discuss official issues by default". While I can see where he's coming from, especially considering that the policy is not to decide on what is what, he has actually put his finger on the weak spot of the entire policy: Namely that it should not strictly use any tags in the first place; applying the tags does some sorting already, even though it follows the official guidelines. See, if the articles would cover "official" sources by default then the "Apocrypha" tag would be superfluous, as all apocryphal material is always official. Only fan-made stuff is not. It is really the (clearly) canonical stuff that needs to additional tag. Therefore, for lack of a better wording I suggest reverting "official" to "canonical". Please discuss. Frabby 10:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

You've hit on my problems withe the tags, right there. I feel that -due to the nature of the universe being told from many different in-character perspectives- almost everything is apocryphal and where one thing is stated to be true from one perspective (say Capellan), another perspective may indicate its lack of truth (say FedSuns). The genecaste is a good example of this. Even TPTB claim whatever you want in your game works, they just provide the backbone from which to work. To me, official is anything that is or has been licensed, even though it may no longer be valid. For example, some of the BattleDroid 'Mechs no longer exist or in the manner in which they were produced. They are official, but -due to their current nature- would enjoy one of the 'Apocrypha' tags.
I saw the inclusion of any tags other than fanon as possibly allowing for further digression as to what is canon or not (indeed, we've already had one 'contributor' claim his fanon is just as valid here as any of the official stuff and therefore not needing a fanon tag). Instead, I prefer to leave it un-judged, other than 'official' or 'fanon'. Those lines are quite clear for the vast majority of us.
I compromised when it came to the tags, because...why fight something like this? But calling something canon is going to confuse our mission statement in regards to that, and I say that because I am confused as to what is canon when we try and determine it. That's why I changed it from 'canon' to 'official' because I truly thought this is what you meant and that 'canon' had slipped in. Otherwise, the title of that section ("Unofficial material must be segregated from official material") seems to argue differently than what is stated in the paragraph itself. If its not clear to me...--Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
We could go by different way stating this. Old Canon? Obsolete Canon? BattleDroids 'mechs for instance are being introduced into canon material by way of Age of War era material. Battledroids themselves came out before BT Universe was finalized. Personally, since Battledroids was earliest game, hasn't been reflected in canon materials until recently. Like the unseens of old, they too are not seen. Thus these re-imaging now introduced. If you trying classify this I'd say go with pre-Battletech if its relating directly with Battledroids material. As for other things, such a Genecaste, listing them as Canon Rumor arguable best way to go. Its canon, but its not solided information.Its too bad we can't having rating on how reliable information is printed now. Example of the Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents: All 50 Divisions of the Word of Blake are listed. With gleems on what their doing from perspective of intelligence report. Which means is not rock solid, but darn close. Maybe we should have rating system 0-9 on reliability of source material on somethings? -- Wrangler 01:19, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
No, with all respect due to you, but no. We, the Editors of BTW, should never be the ones to determine what is canon and what is not. Everyone has an opinion, and you'd have such a scale being railed against on each and every place it was used to rate an article. That very idea would cause people to say, "BattleTechWiki says that Event Alpha or Weapon Tech Beta is Canon Level High. They don't know what they're talking about." We don't want to be a source of opinionated articles, but ones that are well-researched and fact-based. Verifiability is on the verge of being a policy and neutrality is one of our Five Pillars. Using an opinion-based rating system would detract from the verifiability we strive for and the neutrality we demand. Sorry, but I cannot back such a method. (Too strong? Wink.gif)
As for utilizing differing degrees of canoncity...simplicity is the key. Anytime we have to explain to each of ourselves (major contributors) what we think is canon and by what age or degree, we're removing the simplicity of the policy for the average or less-active editors.
I think, Wrangler, the very concept we're discussing here may be forking, as an example of what Frabby is bringing up for discussion. He and I are simply debating the use of the words 'official' and 'canon' in the Canon policy, rather than the need to expand the policy as a whole. (Take a look at the archived discussion to see how detailed and lost we got in the initial discussion, before it was cemented it in my February policy and then simplified with Frabby's November one.)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:37, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you both misunderstood me, in different ways. :)
Wrangler, you fell into the trap that I tried to adress within the Canon article. Some canon only exists in the form of Canon Rumors. But even these are canon, being rumors witin the universe. Credibility is never an issue. Instead, the question is whether or not a given real-world product can be said to officially contribute its content to the shared BT universe. Technically, there is only canon and non-canon, but the apocryphal articles stand out as special because they are neither clearly canon nor non-canon. As for BattleDroids stuff such as the Ostroc mk II, I'd consider it apocryphal (and I have been meaning to write its article for some time).
Revanche, what I tried to say within the policy was that an article needs no tag (i.e. default) if there is nothing to suggest that its subject is anything but canon. Conversely, the tags are needed (exception to the rule) where that is not the case - apocrypha and non-canon/fanon. I think it needs to be pointed out in the respective articles that these have issues with canonicity, which I adressed through the tags. So in this sense, the tags don't actually decide something, but point out where there might be an issue (which is not applicable to most sources and subjects). Phew. Words fail me, I hope I brought my point across and perhaps somebody else can find the right words to put into the policy. Frabby 20:27, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Ouch, hope i recover from that mental trap. So are you guys going come up with tags to point out...hmmm articles that may that are canon, but may not be straight truth? -- Wrangler 20:56, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Wrangler, check out where the policy addresses the "Canonicity" section of articles to answer this question of your's. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:23, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Frabby, I have no problem with the tags, and have included a new one of my own (to solve a problem where fan stories and articles were being lumped into the wrong categories when the fanon tag was used). To be honest, I'm not 100% onboard with the need of the tags, since the inclusion of the "Canonicity" section could address this, but I'm not heartbroken about it, either.
So, with that cleared up, can you take another stab at the original question you posed, about the use of 'canon' vice 'official' in the policy paragraph? Thanks. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:23, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I would say that the policy needs to be "BTW articles are considered to discuss canonical issues by default", using the "Apocrypha" tag to denote Official Materiel that is Not Part of the Canon. IMO, the use of Official and Canon as synonyms is contraindicated.--Cameron 21:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
The original issue with declaring articles as "canonical" by default is that this essentially violates the "do not seek to decide" aspect. When the policy was reworked, this particular point remained somewhat unresolved. Now that you bring it up again, I think the way to go will be to revert to "canonical" here and tweak the "do not seek to decide" aspect for clarity. Will be back on that later, as this policy likely needs a rewrite if/when the Fanon Purge project goes ahead. Frabby 07:54, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Pics from video games[edit]

I know that the video games aren't considered canon, but what about using them as a source of pictures for the articles? Obviously, this would only apply to pictures that don't contradict anything (including the existing picture, if any), but it seems like some detailed, full-color shots might help some of the articles. --Artanis 19:37, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Can you give examples of where/in which articles you would want to insert pictures from computer games? Frabby 20:04, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Mostly the ones where the existing pics are really not that great right now, especially the front-on wireframe-ish ones like the Uller and Thor. Also, pretty much anything in the MechCommander intro video would be worth at least considering. --Artanis 20:30, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there's any problem with this, so long as the game the image is taken from is linked in the pictures description in the article. This tells readers that the image is from a video game, so it shouldn't be too confusing as far as canon versus non-canon is concerned. --Scaletail 22:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I was quite fond of the MechCommander graphics myself. The only question is that those illustrations generally only apply to the Primary configurations in the case of omnimechs. You can refit the mech however you wanted and it would still look the same. ClanWolverine101 21:02, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Fanon tag color[edit]

A new point of discussion: the fanon tags, to me, give off the appearance of a warning by using the color red, rather than the vibe of a notice or announcement. I've had to re-add the tag to the Suomi Warders stories. Though Seth didn't indicate why he took them off, in the act of creating a fanon warning tag for his user page, I reflected that we reserve the color red for the higher levels of warning for a reason. The use of the color on fanon tags may give off the feeling we're warning the reader (and the author) that there is something wrong with 'this page.'
I'd like to suggest we utilize a different color. Maybe white or Sarna gold? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Old Game Rules[edit]

How are we going to treat out-dated rulebooks? Do we consider them as canon? I often see sources such as Maximum Tech and Master Rules refered to. Should these references be replaced with the TW/TM/TO/SO when possible? Should old rules be present on the site at all? --Neufeld 14:34, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

It really depends upon the context. If a rule has changed, an an article is referencing the rule, then I'd image it should point to the current book. But, if it hasn't changed, then it can reference all the books, so that any reader can use what they have on-hand. Simple answer: old citations should not be blindly updated with new ones. Do you have an example in question?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:21, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Since some players whom aren't update, they may be using the older names for rules. Such as Level 3 for instance. Some players maybe still USING older Battletech Master Rules Revised and Maximum Tech, that should be treated as they are. Level 3's replacement rules, Advanced and Experimental Tech are treated differiently since they split up Level 3's rules up and add new ones. -- Wrangler 15:57, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Wrangler correctly guessed that caught my attention, talk about Level 3 rules. There's also the issue of potential confusion caused by references to old rules. Maybe old rule stuff should be marked in some way? --Neufeld 16:10, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd be open to ideas as to how. But, rules aren't so much our focus as universe is. We try and shy away from discussion of the actual rules and get into the character of the universe. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:28, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
In that case, should all rules be separated out from fluff? Something like this: Dual Cockpit? --Neufeld 18:50, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I kinda like it. I think it needs to be a less bold color (maybe the Sarna gold?). But, I'm also of the belief we have to answer the question: is it necessary? Between you, me and every other Editor here on BTW (keep it quiet Wink.gif), I'd like us to approach BTW as in-character Sarna (Sarna University?) researchers from far in BT's future, looking back on these events leading up to the 32nd century, uncovering historical data. Therefore, things like yor break-out (from character) would be appropriate. However, if we're simply 21st century Real World fans, then that kind of break-out is not necessary (it can be argued).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:18, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
My own choice would be a reddish hue. Just wasn't motivated to try to find the perfect color. Something that makes it more fade into background rather than stand out would be preferable. --Neufeld 19:24, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Take a look at my edit. I'd be interested in seeing your color concept.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:35, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Associated Rules This is an out-of-universe game rule.

OLD: This is a game rule that is no longer valid in the current ruleset.

Looks better than gray, but I still favor red for some reason. Maybe it's because yellow is the Davionista color? See red example box above. --Neufeld 19:57, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I understand your (possible) dislike for the color because of nationalistic styles, but I'm working solely from the perspective of what fits the established site colors. I was actually thinking of even making it a darker yellow/gold (#FC0) (see your above example), but think the original example (#FFFFE0) is a better fit (less glaring). I just want to find something that stands out from the 'character' of the article, but doesn't distract the reader as uncharacteristic of the site. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:36, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I know you like red, Neufeld, but please don't use it. Anyone who's red/green colorblind (like my Dad) will have a hard time reading the content.
If you absolutely must use red, please use the Contrast Analyzer to be sure your content can be seen.
Rev if you're getting stuck on the color to use, you may want to check out the Color Blender tool that Eric Meyer put on his site. It's saved me a lot of time. (It shows that #FFF1B9 and #FFECA2 might be good colors for the note background color. Then use standard #FFCC00 for border color.)--Mbear 12:15, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I like the lighter yellow much better. The gold one is too bold. --Neufeld 12:27, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
..."you may want to check out the Color Blender tool..." Oooh, shiny. Thanks. I'm liking #FFE670; its a blend of the soft yellow in the left background and the bold gold of the site. Anyone else? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:42, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm extremely busy right now and don't really have time to contribute right now, but I have to chime in here: Personally, I disagree with Revanche's notion of keeping BTW in-universe (how would you justify OOC articles like Jordan Weisman or List of BattleTech products?). That aside, I wonder if we could create a Game Rules template for what you're going. It would provide a prominent frame outside of the normal article text, possibly save a lot of typing, and help by giving a pre-made format for noting down rules. Variables should be Source|Brief rules description. I'll revisit this when I have more time, give me a week. Frabby 21:19, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
LOL. Yeah, you're my primary opponent to that concept (in-character researchers), but we'll address that in a different setting. However, it sounds like you're in agreement with the idea of breaking out rules in the above style, but have a 'quick-start' idea for soing so. I'm interested in your idea.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:36, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to offer up Gauss rifle as an example of the way I handled this. --Scaletail 00:47, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
The reason I'm not partial to all italics is that the game rules material doesn't segregate itself well enough from the overall article, especially when it is likely there are other aspects of an article that may also use italics. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:36, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

To recap a little. I think we have agreed that rules should be put into into a box, and that part is mostly down to decide upon a color. However, what should we do about the old vs new rules? That still needs to be discussed. A page that really shows the problem is Cockpit Command Console. --Neufeld 14:42, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

How about with bulleted items, per the original source? Example:
  • BattleTech Compendium, p. 47: Umptysquat takes up three criticals and adds a +1 modifier.
  • Maximum Tech, p 49: Added the Uber-Umptysquat, which takes up four criticals, but requires no modifiers.
  • BattleTech Master Rules, p. 42: Umptysquat now only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.
  • Total Warfare, p. 247: Umptysquat only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.
  • Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 149: provides optional rule allowing for Uber-Umptysquat, with four criticals, to operate with a -1 modifier (up until the 4th year of the Pentagon Civil War).
As always, Editors only add then information they have direct access to and care to support with source. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 02:29, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm not too hot on that format. While a bulleted list might be the way to go, there's the problem that it doesn't clearly show which set of rules are the most current. Also the way the sources are listed seems contrary to the way we cite stuff on this site. Maybe more like this:
  • BattleTech Compendium: Umptysquat takes up three criticals and adds a +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Maximum Tech: Added the Uber-Umptysquat, which takes up four criticals, but requires no modifiers.(ref here)
  • BattleTech Master Rules: Umptysquat now only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)

  • Umptysquat only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Historical: Operation Klondike: provides optional rule allowing for Uber-Umptysquat, with four criticals, to operate with a -1 modifier (up until the 4th year of the Pentagon Civil War).(ref here)
(ref here) means a normal reference. Here I have split the box in two parts, old and new. Second, I have reserved bold for current rules. Third, since Total Warfare and Tech Manual are the current base rules, I have chosen not not state their name explicitly in the box, just in the reference. --Neufeld 18:29, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I like your use of bolding to indicate current rules, with a space between active and inactive sources. Two questions:
  1. Why not list the name of the current references at the beginning? A) it provides consistency between the methods (less confusing to Editors making the changes from 'active' to 'outdated') and B) if/when a source becomes outdated, it is simpler to move down and remove the bolding code (''').
  2. What about putting the active rules on top, so that is what is first seen by the reader (afterall, most important information should always come first)?
My example (a change on your's):

Active Rules:

  • Total Warfare: Umptysquat only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Historical: Operation Klondike: provides optional rule allowing for Uber-Umptysquat, with four criticals, to operate with a -1 modifier (up until the 4th year of the Pentagon Civil War).(ref here)

Outdated Rules:

  • BattleTech Compendium': Umptysquat takes up three criticals and adds a +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Maximum Tech: Added the Uber-Umptysquat, which takes up four criticals, but requires no modifiers.(ref here)
  • BattleTech Master Rules: Umptysquat now only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)
I'm liking this. I think we're making considerable progress. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:17, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes I agree on your changes. We still need to decide on headings. Level 2 for rules, and level 3 for Active Rules and Outdated Rules? --Neufeld 19:26, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd say Level 2, since it wouldn't be a subset of anything else (except maybe for ==Notes==). There's no need to go into Level 3, is there, if we use the box below the heading? (I.e., have both sets in the same box.)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:12, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'd say that the headings in the box needs a bit of highlight:

Active Rules:

  • Total Warfare: Umptysquat only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Historical: Operation Klondike: provides optional rule allowing for Uber-Umptysquat, with four criticals, to operate with a -1 modifier (up until the 4th year of the Pentagon Civil War).(ref here)

Outdated Rules:

  • BattleTech Compendium': Umptysquat takes up three criticals and adds a +1 modifier.(ref here)
  • Maximum Tech: Added the Uber-Umptysquat, which takes up four criticals, but requires no modifiers.(ref here)
  • BattleTech Master Rules: Umptysquat now only requires two criticals, but keeps the +1 modifier.(ref here)
like this. Also should the Rules heading be in or outside the box? --Neufeld 23:20, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. I'm of two minds on that: one is that the heading should be inside the box for completeness' sake. On the other is that now the opening box code has to be placed before the section heading, which means anyone editing the code itself has to open the edit section before it. That seems minor to me, though, for once the box is in place (by an experienced Editor), its in place.
How do you feel about it? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:41, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I think that it would look better inside the box, but it's not something that would bother me if it was outside. --Neufeld 21:42, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Neufeld. I have to say you've made a terrific job here, and Rev's concerns seem minor. Frabby 09:15, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

New themes[edit]

With the installation of House specific themes on, please update any Game Rules sections so they use this code:

<div class="gamerules">

instead of the previous code shown below.

<div style="background-color:#FFE670; border:1px solid #666; margin:1.5em 0 .5em 0; padding:0 .5em 0 1em; -moz-border-radius:.5em">

This will present Game Rules information in a Faction-specific color, rather than everyone getting Davion gold. Thanks!--Mbear 18:49, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Game Data in articles[edit]

While related, this is a separate discussion from how rules are to be presented (above). Please continue in that discussion, as well.

I'd like to discuss the 'character' of articles dealing with in-universe subjects ('Mechs, bios, etc.), when rules and gaming information are included. I wish I could remember the location of the discussion, but I thought one Editor responded well to another Editor's query about items in infoboxes by saying we tended to shy away from actual gaming data (armor amount, superstructure, etc.), but describing them as they might be discussed in a Jane's narrative (ex: "light on armor", "built with an extremely strong hull", etc.). Originally, this has been true, but done without a policy regarding this. Now, largely in part due to requests to me to include them, the infoboxes come out and explicitly state this data, which (IMO) robs both the in-universe encyclopedic character of the article and potential material to discuss in the narrative sections of the article.

What I'm asking for here is a conversation as to how we want articles to be used: are they TRO-like discussions of the fictional subject, are they real world encyclopedic metasources for both in-universe and gaming data? Do we want to strip gaming data out of these articles? Do we want to be more inclusive of it?

I'm going to weigh in following the first comments made by others, but please be aware of two points: 1) what we decide here does have far-reaching implications (it might be its own policy) and, 2) (more for Frabby) I'm not attempting to pursue my interest in making Editors 'in-character' Sarna researchers with this discussion. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Please comment:

I feel that using in-universe measurements like tonnage, speed and cost are OK and should be included. Border cases are things BV, SI points and such. I would prefer to include these also, but would not feel strongly about those. Consider for example Cheetah: Everything in first part of infobox is OK. In second part: Mass, Frame, Power Plant, Fuel weight, Armament, Comm system, Targeting system and heat sinks are all things someone in-universe could learn, and should be kept. Structural Integrity, Fuel points and BV are game stats that wouldn't be represented in the same way in-universe, and hence debatable. --Neufeld 14:51, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
And the fine point that must be understood is that BV listings on here will probably be well-fought for, as we've had them on here almost since day 1 (of the first 'Mech article). From there, then, comes the argument, "If not [my favorite game stat], why BV?" And I don't see any easy way to segregate game stats in the same way as game rules (as in the above discussion) with out it being awkward.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 02:18, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Good comments, Neufeld. At this point, we're just having a discussion and I feel it lacks enough involvement. Should we pursue a policy about article 'character'? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:45, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
My personal position is this : Anything short of blatant copyright infringement is fair game. I believe that more is, in fact, good. In answer to Rev's questions above, I say the articles in question can include all those things. However, as I usually do, I will follow the concensus. ClanWolverine101 22:28, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Rev, you are probably thinking of CJ's comments at BattleTechWiki_talk:Project_BattleMechs#Change_format.3F. I have made the argument many times in various places as well. That said, I will argue until I'm blue in the fingers for keeping BV because it's one of the things here that I actually find useful. When I'm running a game based on BV, I can make sure that every player has an official document that lists BV for every unit allowed, or I can just tell them "go to Sarna".
I think OOC information is where InfoBoxes excel precisely because they are separate from the body of the text. I'm pretty happy with the balance we have now, and would argue that any policy created should enshrine the status quo. --Scaletail 00:55, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Style Box[edit]

Copied from Mbear's talk page

Hy Mbear, is it usefull to add a style box, like the Game Rules in the Technology section, to the Military unit articles, it is a idea, any thought, thanks.--Doneve 19:52, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

At the moment I'd say no because AFAIK we haven't officially started adding the style box to the Game Rules articles. I'd prefer to finish one category (technology) completely and then start on the next thing.
I also don't know where you'd put the styled box on the Military Unit pages.--Mbear 19:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Take a look on this 21st Division (Word of Blake)‎, only a example.--Doneve 20:03, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh. Well. That looks OK to me, but we should probably discuss it before you just start doing it. I'll copy this page to the Policy_Talk:Canon#Game_Data_in_articles section to see what happens.--Mbear 20:10, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Citing BV[edit]

Whether an Editor is trying to complete an empty field for BV1 or BV2, there are plenty of vehicles (et al) that have yet to have those values canonized, via publishing in a master list or on the subject pages of a TRO. One Editor recently compiled BV based on the use of an non-official program (either SSW or MW) and cited it as such. The citation was reverted by another Editor, for that reason. That got me thinking: is BV only canon when actually published? My argument is no, it can be canon when properly determined via the canon rules for BV determination. I propose we accept as official any citation that uses the specific ruleset for that BV version (1 or 2). For example,

  • <ref>''TechManual'', pp. 302-304, "Calculating 'Mech BV"</ref>

Now, this obviously means some errors creep in, if an Editor is unable to correctly calculate, but that is true of errors anywhere on the wiki. In that case, and especially because the calculation section is referenced (rather than a direct source), other Editors are free to change the BV to either what they determine the BV to be (great if 2 or more Editors arrive at the same number independently) or as the BV is released in a direct source.
Comments?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:46, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, I considered starting up discussion on this subject myself. I just wanted to wait for the rules and year stuff to be done, so the discussion wouldn't distract from those. There's also the cost of units that's in the same boat as BV. --Neufeld 12:02, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, as conversation seems to have paused at the other two (semi-related) discussions, I'd be interested in your POV on what I've proposed. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:33, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Considering things that can be calculated, I'm of the opinion that rules trumps values given that might contain printing errors. --Neufeld 13:44, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
You and I agree in generalities, but I'm not sure I support this. In theory, I'd agree with you, but until it is either addressed with errata or acknowledged to be wrong, published BV would fall under our Canon policy. (However, if consensus leads to to an exception in this case, I'll follow).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:42, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
The point is verifiability. I can verify that the BV printed on page 103 of Combat Operations is the same as the one in the article. It is substantially more difficult to run the numbers myself to come up with the BV that you got. What if we get different numbers? Who is right? Obviously there is a correct answer, but what if somebody doesn't understand they are doing it wrong? This would also be considered original research, meaning that I can't possibly verify the information you put in the article, because you did it yourself.
Yes, there are always printing errors. In general, when that occurs, it is well documented on the CBT forums and TPTB quickly approve errata for it. To argue that your math or the math of a fan-made program is better than that in official publications is disingenuous at best. As an example, I know for a fact that the BV spit out by The Drawing Board was occasionally wrong. Not always, but often enough that I didn't trust it. No, like every other piece of information in this wiki, BV and cost should have cited sources from official publications. That there is a formula that determines both of those pieces of information does not mean they should be treated differently. --Scaletail 00:49, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
It will be hard to prove what the calculated BV is without the amounts of armor, number of heat sinks, and tons of ammo for the guns that is not mentioned in most of the articles. Or I should say that without this information it is rather difficult for an editor to make any checks on the calculations on somebodies work. While yes there are cannon rules for calculating BV and cost without the full amounts there can be no proof for the numbers given. Other then this objection, I do agree that calculated BV's can be used because the BV's of every object on a 'mech et. al. has been given in a source that is cannon. Hope I made myself understood. Underadarkhand 13:39, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Calculations should never be based on what's provided in this wiki, a meta-source. No, any calculations, in lieu of printed BV, must be based solely on official sources, using the current formulas (if we even allow this route).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:01, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
If the discussion of precedence between canon and rules' formulation continues, so be it. But, how do people feel about utilizing the rules in the absence of printed BV (when properly identified as having come from the rules)? I'm of the mind that the math could be presented on the discussion page, to allow for double-checking.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:18, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Keep the canon policy intact; separate the information. Create a separate section for fan-calculated BVs that is clearly labeled as such. As per the existing canon policy, just make it clear what is official and what is not. --Scaletail 00:41, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Could we create a BV computation template to put on the discussion page? Base it on the TechManual formula for BV 2. Then we just enter the values in the template. Once that's computed, post the completed worksheet on the discussion page for people to double-check. I'm thinking the template would be a worksheet, kind of like we have for the "Quickly create a Canon Mech" articles.--Mbear 13:34, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it needs to be mentioned that BV is something derivative, i.e. not something that can be decided. Instead, it is calculated from other canonical data. As such, I don't think you could call BV itself "canonical". Most importantly, it doesn't require a source (imho) because it's just the application of a formula, not something TPTB can really decide or change at a whim. I would even suggest removing it from BTW entirely, but it seems others do use it a lot for sorting and comparing, and so BV seems to have some use here after all. Frabby 16:06, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
When I started forming the policies and templates here (all by my lonesome...where the h#11 were you guys?!), I was just looking to get some consistency and value into the wiki; we didn't have anything approaching a core concept yet for the overall project. However, if I had known then that we'd be developing a kind of Jane's-type character here, I would have pushed more for in-universe only material, which would have negated the adding of BVs. It does appear readers enjoy the comparative and categorical benefits from using BVs, so...
I would like to support the use of Editor-calculated BVs where direct BVs are unavailable. Mbear's idea of a template seems reasonable to me, because then it can easily be checked by others for validity. Before we even entertain the idea of nixing Editor-calculated BVs, I'd like to give Mbear the opportunity to provide us one for an example. (Also, when a BV can be overwritten by a canon source, then it would be, no holds barred. Even if the calculation indicates otherwise.)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:56, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I am agreeable to Mbear's solution, assuming it's feasible. As long as the info can be verified to be correct, so a link to the talk page section would be fine. --Scaletail 23:39, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Mbear, are you up to crafting such an example template for a class of vehicle? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:51, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I'll start working on a Mech template tonight after work.--Mbear 19:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
This is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated, so I don't think I'll have the awesomely short turnaround time I had on some other projects. Please bear with me.--Mbear 11:29, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Defense part is (mostly) done. User:Mbear/BVWorksheet shows what I have so far. (Yes, the columns need to line up better and it's not wikified. Work in progress.)--Mbear 12:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Kind of sort of completed the template page. Please review User:Mbear/BVWorksheet to see what I have. Comments appreciated.--Mbear 14:10, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
My first thought was, "Wow...this may be much more complicated than we have allowed for." However, Mbear's template seems rather all inclusive. Before we baptize this template idea, I think maybe we should all take it for a test run and compute the same 'Mech, see if we get the same answers. If the current Wardens of the site can't compute BV2 in a clear manner, even with Mbear's template, we may want to shelve the idea of anything other than officially-provided numbers.
The template isn't to teach people how to compute BV2, but to show their computations leading to it, in order to check for errors.
So, who is willing to try the template on their own talk pages (probably a subpage, like Mbear has done here)? I propose the Raven RVN-3L from Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade (chosen randomly). We need at least 2 others (I'm the third).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:53, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
One other thing: As Nuefled pointed out on the discussion page, this sheet doesn't include the TechManual Errata yet. I just wanted to get a sample done so we could have something concrete to discuss.--Mbear 17:45, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The TechManual Errata has been integrated into the Worksheet.--Mbear 18:02, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
And I'm willing to compute BV for a 'Mech, but I don't have the TRO3050 Upgrade available, only the TRO3050. Will that be good enough? (Especially since I'm at work and don't have the TRO with me.)--Mbear 17:47, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Scaletail rightly pointed out that the page was big, and not exactly a template. It's more a worksheet. Maybe I should rename it?--Mbear 19:17, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry for not engaging sooner; too tired to do more than rote stuff.
Well, until we 'finish' it and move it to a regular page, I think it's fine right now.
Did you want to choose another 'Mech? (I had intended 2 people other than yourself to check it, but...)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:36, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Been there (too tired...) so no problem.
How about a mech from one of the TRO downloads on That way we're all using the same reference.
Just a thought.--Mbear 23:48, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
As a quick aside if you do start adding data from SSW the program adds ammo costs onto designs rather than exclude them as per the rules. No affect on BV as far as I can tell but be careful as to what you guys include — The preceding unsigned comment was provided by (talkcontribs) on 9 May 2010.

Poll regarding BV[edit]

Herb Beas put up a poll about Battle Value. Since this bears directly on the above discussion and voting closes on June 4th, I'd encourage everyone to vote in the poll.--Mbear 17:06, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

MUL canon?[edit]

Speaking about citing BV, is the MUL canon or meta-source? --Neufeld 15:53, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

It is canon.--Doneve 15:56, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Every indication I've seen is that it is official. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 16:38, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
No it's not. It will be canon once it is officially released, but the beta-version that was circulated for fact-checking is inofficial and thus a meta-source at best. Frabby 16:06, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
What is the MUL?--Cameron 19:40, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
MUL = Master Unit List. A project by a team of volunteers to identify every combat unit in the BattleTech universe. A preview is available at the site as the Master Unit Name List.--Mbear 19:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, is Peter LaCassie part of that bunch?--Cameron 14:34, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
AFAIK, Peter Lacasse is not. However, CBT forum member Xotl is part of the MUL team and his 'Mech list/RAT project is superior to and more recent than Lacasse's older work. In any case I think it's safe to say that the MUL team are aware of the Lacasse faction list. Frabby 23:26, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Rules Revisited[edit]

Hoping to jump start this discussion : How detailed can we be regarding the rules we present, specifically in the equipment articles? Can we designate certain rules "Level 3" vs. "Level 2"? That sort of thing. I think the differing views are out there, and its time to build a consensus. ClanWolverine101 20:59, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

First off, the "Level 2"/"Level 3" designation was eliminated in Total Warfare. There is tournament-legal and non-tournament-legal, and then there is experimental. To my knowledge, there is no prohibition against summarizing game data for weapons and equipment. --Scaletail 23:05, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I feel that we should give both designations... Old Rules Level 1, 2, 3, and N/A (equipment that was intorduced after the cut-over...) as well as the current Standard/Tournament, Advanced, and Experimental rules Levels. i guess N/A would be the rules level under both rules level systems for Fanon and Apocryphal content as Rules Levels only apply rules published in [i]Canon[/i] Materiel. Mainly linking to the Rules Level Page bookmark that deals with the specific section would work. Any template dealing with weapons and equipment should have a spot for rules levels in the side table. Question is should we go so far as to have the templates provide the options and the editor that creates the page would deleat the 2 to 4 options that do not apply.--Cameron 14:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

From the Fluff Side of Cannon[edit]

I recently asked a question about Star Adder saKhan succession in the Classic BT forum. I received a much bigger answer than I thought I would. [1] I have already posted this on the talk page of Kensington Talasko. --Rebs 08:09, 14 April 2012 (PDT)

Kickstarter Canon Characters[edit]

I feel like discussion of this issue was lost/forgotten beneath the massive number of daily edits that happened around the same time. I wanted to continue it here, in a more appropriate location, because I feel the definitions and policy are very clear but are not being adhered to. To revise and restate my stance: Information added to Canon Character articles that does not meet the definition of canon and should be labeled as non-canon (not-canon template), not as apocryphal. Apocrypal sources "are invariably official BattleTech products and were produced under a valid license." The raw bios submitted by fans are under no oversight whatsoever and do not meet this definition in any way. By labeling them as apocryphal, I believe we are stating that they are official products produced under a license. With respect to Ray Arrastia and the above-mentioned behind the curtain discussion, I don't believe he follows the policies and definitions as layed out in this wiki.

We should also add a new exception to Policy:Fanon if we choose to modify the policy on fanon for this purpose. It should be narrow and specific so that we don't back-track too far on the fanon policy and allow regression of "the site's quality as a BattleTech resource".--Cache (talk) 17:16, 5 January 2021 (EST)

Interestingly enough the issue raised its head yesterday regarding a user and his character.--Dmon (talk) 18:19, 5 January 2021 (EST)

CGL Policy on Kickstarter characters[edit]

Follow-up: The following is CGL's canon policy regarding the KickStarter characters. GreekFire asked the question, as a way to clarify how all characters canonized through the Kickstarter campaigns are to be recognized:

While this does not dictate Sarna policy in any regard, this can be used as a response to questions or statements regarding how unpublished backgrounds of paid-canonical characters are considered by CGL.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:34, 5 July 2021 (EDT)

It reaffirms both CGL's stance on Canon and Sarna's policy. That said, I was under the impression that Sarna's policy is indeed informed by CGL in the sense that they decide over canon and we attempt to implement that for Sarna - the Sarna BattleTechWiki cannot have a definition of Canon that is different from the definition used by TPTB. Frabby (talk) 03:51, 6 July 2021 (EDT)
I would then contact the user that was entering his details and explaining him the answer from CGL, and what it implies (a Fanon tag I would say as apocryphal does not seem ok).--Pserratv (talk) 05:35, 6 July 2021 (EDT)
I think the difference between Sarna and CGL canon lies solely with the word, "published". CGL does inform canon, but they do not dictate Sarna policy. CGL has information about canon that is not available to us that they act upon. Our information is based on what can be publicly verified—what is published. If there is a question, someone asks on the official forum and we consider written answers as published. In my opinion, for us, acting upon what cannot be publicly verified is speculation—fanon. The recent work mapping unpublished systems technically blurs that line, but only with CGL's promise that the information will be published (and steps were taken to provide verification). An email to a private individual that cannot be publicly verified should not meet our policy requirements. In the KS Character case, due diligence should be, and was, done to get "published" verification.--Cache (talk) 07:39, 6 July 2021 (EDT)
Cache stated it best when he described our autonomy; Ray Arrastia has confirmed that autonomy with respect to our moratorium policy. Again, my purpose in "immortalizing" the Line Developer's official response is solely for the purpose of giving people a concrete CGL policy to draw upon when responding to people saying CGL considers submissions as canon. Nothing else. The use of "dictate" was intentional and has different connotations than "informed by".
The distinction between CGL and Sarna needs to be clear; otherwise, some people will choose to believe CGL dictates Sarna policy and that Sarna legally represents CGL. Neither is true.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:53, 6 July 2021 (EDT)