Policy Talk:Notability

Peder Smythe[edit]

Note that this discussion originated on the Peder Smythe article and has been moved here.

Is this article really notable? I cannot see it being expanded beyond its current size, so, in lieu of the fact that Category:People is growing quickly, do we want to keep this (and other, similar articles)? --Scaletail 15:35, 30 November 2007 (CST)

Weak Keep: I envision BTW to be the end-all, be-all of everything that was every printed in CBT, and in this respect, I had been planning to 'lead the way' by creating at leats a stub entry for every name I found in at least one title. However, I am a lot less niave now (but no less wishful). Compared to many of the people in the People category, he is definitely non-notable. However does it hurt the wiki to have him on? For someone (possibly a CBT writer) who may some day search for a person who fits certain parameters (in this case: intelligence, Magistracy, 3067), the search would lead him here and maybe they'd expand the character accordingly.
To be honest, I won't fight to keep him, but I don't see a reason to delete him. Notability within the scope of this wiki is different than that for Wikipedia. I'd not allow vanity articles about fans, but for everyone who's ever been associated with official products (fictional and real), I'd think this wiki would provide some value.
In the last few days, I've really taken some lessons from Star Trek's Memory Alpha and Memory Beta wikis on how to handle in-character and real-world (i.e. background) information and I appreicate how they compile information on the smallest of characters. Since 'our' universe is arguably richer than Trek's, I'd like to see us reap the benefits of a similar system (that is, information at the pam of one's hand, whether you own OOP books or not). Too preachy? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:47, 6 December 2007 (CST)
I'm not fighting to delete (note that I did not even put up a deletion tag), but I think we need to discuss and come to a consensus on exactly what we want BTW to be. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with creating a page for every character that gets a mention in a sourcebook, because then we would have thousands of one-line stubs like this with various officers from the Field Manual series. I understand your point that notability here is not what it is on WP (hell, I'm trying to decide if I'm going to contest deletion on "ComStar" over there), but I don't think that anything and everything BT is notable, so I believe we need to hammer out some guidelines on notability.
Perhaps Peder should stay, but if someone were (hypothetically) to create an article on one of the infantry regiment commanders from the 6th Syrtis Fusiliers that gets no mention elsewhere, do we keep it? If this person were then to do the same for every infantry regiment commander in Field Manual: Federated Suns, do we keep them all? Where does it stop? --Scaletail 14:27, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Your POV is just as valid, I have to say. You are absolutely right: we need to create a notability policy, after hashing out what we want. I'm a bit short of time right now, but might I suggest you create a (mostly) blank Policy:Notability page and then transfer this conversation to its talk page? We can advertise on the news section that the discussion is taking place, because, frankly, I think it is /the/ defining issue for this wiki and as many editors as we can get need to take part in the discussion. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:35, 6 December 2007 (CST)

Notability Policy[edit]

The above discussion was one started by Scaletail and Revanche on the notability of a very minor character. The discussion was quickly realized to be one of BattleTech Wiki policy, which involves all editors. So, at the start, two viewpoints are being put forth. They are separated below for easy discussion on their individual merits. If any other editors want to suggest a third option, please start a new section below these first two. Please limit discussion of the suggested policies to within their segregated sections.

First POV: An Encyclopedia of notable information

  • This POV suggests that there should be some criteria, however limited, for inclusion in BTW. The exact guidelines will obviously need to be determined, but nobody is served by thousands of one-line articles that can be traced only to passing references in sourcebooks that have not been fleshed out. Just because a mercenary unit, weapon, or person is mentioned does not mean that he/she/it/they deserve an article. Note that this does not preclude something that may have began as a passing reference, but has been fleshed out, from inclusion. Similarly, something that may someday be notable should not be included. This POV wishes to ensure that a BTW article provides actual information about the subject.

Second POV: Galactica Encyclopedia for BattleTech

  • This POV suggests that anything established within canon (oh, good lord: another policy to be hammered out), no matter how small, is pertinent to this BattleTech depository. I hold that -at some point- Sarna will be the starting point for any research needed to find out where characters, 'Mechs, locations, writers were ever mentioned in anything published by FASA, FanPro, Catalyst or any other future trademark owners. By being the Wikipedia of BattleTech, at the least someone who wants to find out where something was mentioned can come across (again, at the least a stub article providing a reference to the originating book).

Policy fun[edit]

While both sides of this discussion have merit, to me it comes down to an equation of energy spent to number of hits. It seems to me that while tons of hours could be devoted to making an article (at least a stub) for each of these supremely minor characters, that time could be better served streamlining the current content. While to an extent i feel like i am over stepping my boundaries, certain articles about very important characters are lacking (not due to any lack of effort but for all intents and purposes lack of sources) i was attempting to look up Precentor Dieron / Primus Sharilar Mori to show something to a friend and when i got to the article it still contained all of the 'insert here' text. But thats enough from me, so in conclusion i guess i support the POV of relevancy over all inclusive (for the time being that is). Thanks MasterOfDisaster 22:48, 7 December 2007 (CST)

I mainly agree with the second POV -- that we should include anything canon from the universe, no matter how small. However, I don't think that we should strive to include everything from the universe. Meaning, if someone sees an article that is lacking, and they want to use the energy making the article, we should not delete the article. But we shouldn't have the end-goal as having an article for every minute character. If someone found a character interesting enough to create an article, we should keep it. Nicjansma 11:14, 8 December 2007 (CST)
I second Nic's statement. If it's canon then it's canon, and as such matters to this wiki, at least if someone can be bothered to write it up. (See the Talk page for Wolf's Dragoons when my references to CritterTEK were deleted for being "irrelevant".) Incidentially, I was going to include a number of mercenary units solely on grounds of a note when and where they were destroyed, and by whom. Yes, their notability might be arguable. But the incidents provide loose ends to be fleshed out in a scenario or short story. As a GM I like it to use exactly that kind of hooks as the basis of a campaign, to tie it in with the canon. Frabby 14:11, 8 December 2007 (CST)
I guess that's where I ultimately stand. I see 'canonicity' therefore being the next issue, but think we should table that discussion until we see where this one goes. (Once we're clear as to consensus on notability, Scaletail and I will start one on the BTWiki's definition of 'canon.') As for notability, I back keeping any character that has met canon requirements, no matter how small (though stub tags should be employed, as necessary - with the exception of minute characters where no further information is available). --Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:12, 8 December 2007 (CST)
While I see no problem in doing it this way, I think we need to be aware that most people are not looking for one line blurbs about "X" that they've never heard of before because it's so minor it barely merits attention. *So*, we need to differentiate the little stuff out, for example by creating a "minor characters" category so people who are interested in that could go there from Category:People. Does that sound reasonable? --Scaletail 19:29, 8 December 2007 (CST)
This idea intrigues me. What you're suggesting, then, is that instead of deleting minor articles that have little-to-no chance of being further developed, they instead get tagged with an appropriate category (and possibly tag?). Is that right? Just to be clear, are you suggesting we keep them out of the 'major peoples' category? In that case, each article (with exceptions for things like planets and vehicles) will need to be categorized into a major or minor category. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:11, 8 December 2007 (CST)
I'm not sure what you mean by "mainspace," but the other answers would be "yes." Perhaps categories such as "People (minor)", "BattleMechs (incomplete)", and could denote such articles. For instance, there was a story about Clan Wolverine released on BattleCorps that included new 'Mechs, but no technical data was given for those 'Mechs. We could have an article on one such unit, but since there are no stats for the design, it should be categorized differently as it would of necessity be different than the other BattleMech articles. The same goes for people and anything else that we have extremely limited data on. Again, there may come a time when the "minor" tag can be removed, so the article would not be permanently relegated to that status, but it should be noted until such time as that happens. --Scaletail 11:34, 9 December 2007 (CST)
Okay, I'm liking this. I'd like to redivert this conversation now to explictly discuss this concept. I'll start it below. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:14, 9 December 2007 (CST)

Being a new user, I support the second POV with the following caveats. 1.) The character or fact should be canon and 2.) Source should DEFINITELY be provided. Inherent in a "Wiki" is that it is open to be edited and added to by anyone about anything related to the subject at hand. If someone wants to take the time to write an article about the history of the "treads on a Demolisher", then they should be allowed as long as the facts are supported by source material. It is their time and energy and I don't feel that they should be limited if they are willing to volunteer that time and energy.
This is actually interesting to me because during my research yesterday regarding Oleg Tikonov, the Second Soviet Civil War and the Tikonov Accords, Brigadier Arthur Davion is mentioned. I did think about researching him and creating an article regarding his being created a Baron even though he's a minor, minor, minor figure.
However, you never really know if the character is minor because they could be the eventual catalyst for a major event down the road. Timelines, dates and history are an integral part of Battletech AND someone could come along and flesh out the article with forgotten information.
I argue in the favor of completeness, again, as long as it's factual and sourced. Locis 08:17, 8 January 2008 (CST) --Communibus locis

Solution Proposal[edit]

Scaletail has proposed that articles where notability is in doubt be categorized within an appropriate minor category. That is, when ever an editor starts or edits an article where the object of the article is non-notable, instead of requesting a deletion review, the editor will place the article in the appropriate minor category. An upper tier category will be created to list all of the 'minor' categories available. When the article has been expanded enough to warrant notability, then the tag will be replaced with the appropriate 'major' category.
For example: the article Peder Smythe is definitely a stub article and its notability is almost non-existant. As such, an editor can deem the article 'minor' and tack the Peder Smythe tag onto it. Later, another editor may choose to beef up the article with relevant and amplifying information about Peder Smythe. Upon completion, he may determine that the article is relevant enough to remove both the stub and 'minor' classifications and add the Category:People tag to it instead.
Looking for opinions on this proposal:

Agree: I think this is an acceptable way to address the relevancy of all canon articles to BTW, without over-emphasizing minor characters, et al, especially those that will most likely not be expanded upon. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:14, 9 December 2007 (CST)

Now will this re-classification of articles be Wiki-wide or is it just applicable to characters only? Regardless I am in concurrence with Revanche. MasterOfDisaster 02:18, 10 December 2007 (CST)
I gotta be honest with you: if an editor feels an article is not notable, no matter the subject of the article, they'd be able to place it in this category. The purpose of this compromise is to acknowledge that anything within the canon deserves to be on BTW (and not deleted), but some items cannot ever achieve more than stub status. However, if an article's notability is debatable, then a consensus discussion could lead to the article being returned to the larger 'majority' category. Scaletail's example above of canon 'Mechs being discussed on BattleCorps is an excellent example of certain 'Mechs (tho very rare) not being up to the standards of having standard articles being built around them. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:44, 10 December 2007 (CST)
As of right now, the only articles that would qualify as such that I know of are on characters. As I tried to point out with my above example, it is theoretically possible that other types of articles could fall under this categorization scheme, though none have yet been created. --Scaletail 19:48, 10 December 2007 (CST)
IMO the wiki should be as comprehensive as possible, but also each page should be valuable in terms of content. Personally, I would rather redirect minor characters to a small listing (in this case "Magistracy of Canopus/Minor characters" or some such). Then categorize the redirect to allow it appear in all applicable categories. A minor character page can be expanded even if it only starts with someone like Peder Smythe making it more valuable but allowing the wiki to be completely comprehensive.
I believe the entries should appear in those categories no matter how minor, to be inclusive as a listing. IMO splitting people between Category:Minor characters and Category:Major characters is perfectly acceptable, but I think it should be in addition to a total listing of Category:People. --avfanatic (talk) 20:17, 10 December 2007 (CST)
I can see the merit in creating a "minor characters" subpage for faction articles and listing them there. Then, we would not need a "minor characters" category, as those pages would simple be categorized under Category:People. My only concern is for mercenary characters, as most minor characters are only associated with one faction. I suppose we could simply create a similar page off of "Mercenaries". IIRC, it's also how the situation is dealt with on Wikipedia. --Scaletail 11:03, 22 December 2007 (CST)
As I understand it you are saying that you are going to create pages like "Minor Mercenary Units", "Minor BattleTech characters", etc. that contain a list of items with a short descriptions, and use links like [ [Minor BattleTech characters#Peder Smythe]], similar as has been done with Bandit Kingdoms in this wiki already (eg. Bandit Kingdom#Belt Pirates. I like this solution. Especially since the entries can be taken out of the "Minor" list and be made into their articles if more information becomes available. The "minor" pages would then either be placed in their respective category and/or be mentioned in the category description. Frabby 06:45, 23 December 2007 (CST)

Disagree: I see no reason to divide an otherwise coherent group of items within a category into those which are unimportant and those which are not. You would probably end up with no end of trouble trying to tell "normal" articles apart from "minor" ones. It is the nature of a wiki that some articles are bound to be very short, incomplete or simply covering a "minor" issue. Frabby 14:48, 9 December 2007 (CST)

Granted, there will be judgment calls to make on some occasions. When in doubt, in shouldn't be classified as minor. However, look at the difference between Peder Smythe and Katherine Steiner-Davion, or even Tancred Sandoval or George Hasek. The differences are immediately evident, especially under the "References" section. My concern is that somebody will pull up a given category and find it clogged with articles that give very little information. I also disagree with you on the nature of wikis. On any of them that I know, such an article would be considered "not notable" and deleted, but everybody other than myself wants to be quite inclusive. --Scaletail 19:03, 9 December 2007 (CST)
If every little canon detail is included, wouldn't that just be replacing the TROs, House Books, etc? I don't really see the wiki this way, and I'll give an example of how I think it should work. In the House Davion sourcebook there is a short article on a mutiny by Beaufort's Cossacks when they could not get what they ordered at the local Triple F restaurant. Adding Beaufort's Cossacks in the list of mercenaries would be pointless, since this is the only mention of them (that I know of) and could be put to better use as a small stub within an article on Federated Fast Foods, if there is enough information for an article on the restaurant chain. Otherwise, the wiki feels like a replacement for the books, and becomes an unwieldy source for someone who is looking up information. If someone writes a novel or a new sourcebook has a large entry on Peder Smythe then an article can be made for him, no need in having a minor article with one or two lines first. Just my two cents. Dmzline 17:10, 26 December 2007 (EST)
I'm having a tough time with this one. While I think that it makes sense to delineate between "major" and "minor" characters, I'm not certain whether segmenting them at this point makes a lot of sense. We currently don't have a lot of People articles (88 last count). Honestly, I'm surprised this even came up as we have so many major characters that are undocumented (the first Minoru Kurita anyone?). I think that in general the idea is good. I would worry about the execution. And the issue of "what is canon", but that's a different discussion (that I very much look forward to :). I certainly wouldn't expect people to put their own MechWarrior characters in the BTechWiki (unless they were published in a canon source). I guess I don't see that it's a major issue at this stage and that we can either choose to do something (create the minor category and place those few articles under that banner) or let it play out longer to see if it's truly something we need to address. Bdevoe 07:50, 27 December 2007 (CST)
It's much easier to address it now, rather than going back later and recategorizing pages. If we figure out what we want to do now, we can implement as we create. --Scaletail 08:14, 27 December 2007 (CST)
I agree that it would be easier to address it now than go back, but I'm not sure I agree that it's a problem. I would rather not spend the effort to resolve a non-issue than to let it go to find out if it truly is a problem (i.e., I would hate to "over-engineer" a solution). However, going through the list of "people", there are obviously some "minor" characters in that list (and quite a few I've never heard of, but they're from Clan times, so I can't speak to their importance). I didn't notice a trend of adding minor characters. Going back and doing it later certainly couldn't be more difficult than the Blue Diamond/Menkent thing. :) Or fixing ALL of the planet coordinates to be correct. (Obviously, I'm kidding). I just think our time can be better spent than determining the relative importance of characters from source books and novels. Bdevoe 13:31, 29 December 2007 (CST)

Agree: I've spent a few days mulling this over. When I began to think about the future of BTW and where it was going, I began to realize the potential impacts. I concur with the view that BTW should be the starting place for research in the BT universe. Given the vast number of people that can be added and the fact that 90% of them are one-off names tossed in by the writers to make their work seem more "authentic", I think the proposed solution is the correct one. Anything else seems to make it unwieldy and unusable. Bdevoe 08:11, 3 January 2008 (CST)

Okay - it's been 3 weeks since the last post. What's the final verdict on the Notability policy? And when do we start on the definition of "canon"? :) Bdevoe 17:47, 29 January 2008 (CST)
Unless there are any serious objections, I will begin compiling the minor character pages into faction-specific articles that list minor characters. I would like to stress serious objections with the caveat that I would prefer this be done another way, but this seems to be the best compromise that everybody is willing to agree upon.
Whenever you'd like, just start the discussion.--Scaletail 19:14, 29 January 2008 (CST)
If I understand what you are saying correctly, then this would be similar to the Jedi and List of Minor Jedi collected on Wikipedia? If that is the case, then I'm on board and agree. Are the factions setup and in stone here? What constitutes a faction? Locis 23:37, 29 January 2008 (CST)
I couldn't find it in my cursory search, but the ones I did find were set up the same way at List of BattleTech characters, which is what I envisage as the model, so "yes." Click on "Factions" on the sidebar to see what are factions here, or Category:Factions & Category:CBT Factions. --Scaletail 16:07, 30 January 2008 (CST)

Criteria for notability[edit]

What would you define as suitable criteria for inclusion in its own article?

--Workerbee 23:03, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

For people within the BT universe, personally I find them notable if they either
  • have a military rank of at least regimental commander (usually Colonel or higher) and serve in a prominent unit (such as the Sword of Light regiments),
  • command a mercenary unit,
  • play a prominent role in any BT novel or computer game storyline
  • are mentioned in at least two different canon sources (unless in a totally trivial context).
Otherwise, I reckon anything is notable and worth including in this wiki that is typical, or important, to the BT universe (fictional history and technoloy). Real-world items may warrant an entry if they are percieved differently in the BT universe than in the real world.
"Minor" items which are included in some major article should probably have redirects to the main article (i.e. Operation Orochi should redirect to War of 3039). Frabby 03:40, 8 April 2008 (CDT)
I don't understand what you mean. Please explain. --Scaletail 19:38, 8 April 2008 (CDT)

What I meant, Scaletail, is how many references for something should there be within the BattleTech universe (sourcebooks, Classic BattleTech, novels, etc.) for it to warrant its own article?

Sorry, slipped my head to sign previous comment

--Workerbee 21:20, 8 April 2008 (CDT)

I know I'm coming into this rather late but after reading it and Scaletail's comment about 'Mechs I find myself wanting to comment. My beliefs are as follows for a notable enough person place or thing:
  • 1 - can you write an entire paragraph or more concering it/them
  • 2 - Do we have any historical details on the person/thing
  • 3 - Can the Thechnical Detail be filled out (Equipment only)

I have 2 good examples of this:


  • Aiden Pryde - We have his history from childhood to adulthood and also have his rank, and notable events/firsts surrounding him
  • The Tech who Aiden was under in the Technician Caste - Thats about all we have on that guy.


  • Pulverizer BattleMech - We have a description in the Foundations of Fate Series on BC but no specs or anything else
  • Black Hawk-KU - See article for example of notable equipment

Just my 2 cents on what is and isnt notable in my book. CJ 02:40, 9 April 2008 (CDT)

Community consensus indicates that one source is enough, as with the characters in Magistracy of Canopus/Minor Characters. The compromise is that anything that could not logically be expanded into a full article as the current source material stands, it needs to be integrated into another article. My own opinions about this are above, but the nature of compromise is that nobody is ever happy, but everyone is content. This means that, for instance, the Pulverizer is notable enough to be included, but it would need to be in a larger article ("List of BattleMechs from "'Foundations of Fate'", for example).--Scaletail 18:00, 9 April 2008 (CDT)

Thanks for your opinions.

--Workerbee 22:00, 9 April 2008 (CDT)

Merge into Policy:Canon?[edit]

It seems to me this policy is closely related to Policy:Canon and should probably be included there. Frabby 13:20, 11 August 2008 (CDT)

I concur. I think this policy is a bit split between two major points: 1) what is allowed to be included & 2)how minor characters should be written. The first is quite clearly discussed in the developing Canon policy while the term "notability" doesn't really best apply to the minor character issues. I recommend that the policy get redirected to the Canon policy and the discussion archived on both the Canon talk page and the Project Biographies talk page. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:16, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
At this point I am having second thoughts, and distance myself from the suggestion. Canonicity and notability do seem to be separate issues after all, especially since we have now established the cornerstone of the Canon Policy that is "BTW does not seek to decide what is Canon and what is not." Frabby 03:57, 18 August 2008 (CDT)

Lists vs. Articles[edit]

Wow, that was a good read; thanks to Scaletail for re-directing me to this discussion. A lot of good points, and it seems to be on whether or not lists should be created. To be honest, I think the Notability policy is clear that all future minor character articles shall be created on a list, pertinent to the issue at hand (though it also has a 2nd point: that of what is allowed on CBT). For example, I created three new minor character articles a few days ago: Rupert Masterson, Takahiro Naguchi and David Pratcher. All three appeared on the program Universal Truth, of which there is currently no article. All three of these characters could be included into a list on a Universal Truth article. Now, Masterson might get mentioned in books other than ISP2, so might get broken out (a ==See Also== or wiki link on the UT article). But Naguchi and Pratcher come from different states and I think it would be confusing (and incomplete) to include them on their respective state articles, since referencing them there would be unwieldy. I don't know: the counter-argument is just as valid as for why they should. I just think, some day, if a future writer uses this as a resource, to see how much more information on Naguchi can be found (possibly to expand him), being able to find out that only this or all of that is out there, a minor character stub article (properly documented,, of course) would be easier and more helpful. With a properly crafted search term, however, all results would be found.

Okay, maybe I have it now: if another source uses Universal Truth as a device, and three new characters are created (maybe Masterson has been replaced as host), an Editor comes along and wants to document them. To me, it is not obvious (though definitely possible) that the Editor will start off with a search term of "Universal Truth." Instead, it seems to me that he'd be more likely do a search term for the names of the three characters, create those articles and then you'd have an incomplete list on the Universal Truth article and three minor characters that have been included on the program, but are not tied to it the same way. I guess I feel that some one would have to know the list exists, already, in order to add to it.

In the end, my POV is that lists and articles both have their places for minor characters. I just don't want to exclude articles as an engine for further character development. Its a bit easier to expand an already existing article than it is to cull data from another larger scale article. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:04, 17 August 2008 (CDT)

If we opt for a "List of minor Characters" then it would have to be one single article. There is no point differentiating between different factions because, as has been demonstrated above, you could as well differentiate by time period, role, source, et cetera. This in turn brings me to the conclusion that "minor" characters are those about whom little to nothing is known besides the name, otherwise the "Minor Characters" list would blow out of proportions in no time. And that, to me, indicates that even short articles like the one on Hanya No Cha is long enough to warrant "regular" (as opposed to "minor") character status.
I guess the important question is how to approach the issue: Is a charakter "notable" or "minor" by default? I say it has to be the former. Frabby 13:08, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
Personally, if a character is so minor that it is only associated with one event, then I question the necessity of having an article for that character. For example, Hanya No Cha is only noted in the context of her marriage to Tormano Liao. Why does she need her own article, when the only information provided on her can easily be given in "Tormano Liao"? Should something more be created for her, then of course she would get her own article, but she would be what I would consider "not notable" until such time, and therefore not deserving of her own article. That does not mean that we delete the information, simply that we present it differently.
I have two points on any difficulty somebody might have trying to find information on a given character. First, they can search for it. While Wikimedia's search engine is not the greatest, any person who has used the Internet for more than a month should be able to find information on "Hugai Kurita," even though he does not have his own article. The second is that we can create redirects. Typing in "Jenni Elliot" redirects you to her section in Magistracy of Canopus/Minor Characters. While I do understand your point about "List of Characters on Universal Truth", there is no reason we cannot redirect to it.
Frabby, I disagree with the idea of creating "List of Minor Characters" for exactly the reason you say it is not practical and which is the reason I already sought to break it up. Breaking it up by faction is, in my opinion, the easiest because most minor characters are associated with one faction. I specifically had in mind here the lists that could be created if somebody went through, for example, Field Manual: Federated Suns and created a section for every single character that was mentioned. Each one of those is obviously very closely associated with the Suns. While this may be impractical for a few characters, I think this is the exception rather than the rule.
Imagine somebody wants information on "Rupert Masterson" under this method. They type in "Rupert Masterson" and click "Go". Hypothetically, this person is redirected to Lyran Alliance/Minor Characters#Rupert Masterson. The section reads "Rupert Masterson appeared on the tri-vid program Universal Truth in 3073." He or she clicks on the link and can see the article on Universal Truth, along with the other guests that were present (perhaps in the "List of Tri-Vid Programs" article, as Universal Truth probably isn't notable to warrant its own article either).
There is a lot of fluff out there in BT. There are dozens of newspapers and broadcasting companies, and shows that could each have their own article, but the vast majority of them would not be longer than two sentences. By creating an article for each of these, it makes all of them look incomplete, even though they are not. By compiling them into a list, it sends a clearer message that there simply is not a lot of information available on the subjects. --Scaletail 14:23, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
Scaletail, I guess on this one we have to agree to disagree. Why should there be more than one single list of "Minor Charakters"? Given that all characters on that list would have very little information (otherwise they'd get their own article), information like their faction should be in their entries, and not splitting the list. To use Hanya No Cha as an example, what would you say is her faction? Liao? Brazen Heart? FedSuns? St.Ives? Free Capella? How would maintaining a multitude of lists be desirable over having a single one comprehensive list of minor characters, especially considering that any single entry might become a full-blown article eventually? Frabby 15:58, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
I love how all three of us can agree with one another on one point, but disagree on a similarly related but different one. I agree with Scaletail that there should not be only one list of minor characters, because the administration of that list would be unwieldy for someone like me that feels everything needs a citation as to where that character appeared. You get one list of 2,000+ minor characters (and, yes: I see that as very probable), then you're going to have a references section at the bottom over 3,000+. The number of characters alone would make the list daunting for Reader & Editor alike; the references section would scare off even me.
Plus, I think Frabby makes an excellent point as to what lists does one belong, especially with his example. The three of us here might be able to nail down which one we feel she best belongs, but it should not be required to do that. Default: she appears on all lists where she has any relevance. And here is where I make my solitary stand. Articles are infinitely expandable, especially in regards to characters. Hanya No Cha may very well become even further notable down the line (we, as only fans, just don't know). As it stands now, an article on her can be expanded with new information and new references easily. Lets say, for example, the character 'Starling' makes another appearance on CBT forums and proclaims something of interest about her, in relation to a forthcoming title. On a list, the entry could possibly be expanded and could possibly be referenced, but might you be more apt to cull that new data, since the entry is on a list and the forums is not a standard source for information? However, with an article, the inclusion of the data can be explained in a sub-section, as to why or why not the information should be seen as reliable (though it is canon).
Guys, I just really like the ease at which any reader can write something about a character that has never been written before and the adaptability of any Editors to expand upon it. I'm a pro-article guy, and I'm just seeing the utility and consistency available to Users and (canon) writers together by coming across a standard article. Even if the article is short, as long as its properly referenced (such as with Takahiro Naguchi, for example) someone can easily feel that the information is credible, with minimum effort. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:38, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
I feel we are starting to run in circles, but perhaps we are still closing in on the subject. The distinction between "minor" and "not-minor" characters has no value in itself; it is just a tool for editors to decide wether or not a given character should get his own article, or be included in a list.
My stance is that I vastly prefer articles to list entries wherever there is more than just a name available. The "Minor Characters" list would probably not be as big as big or unwiedly as you fear because those minor enough to end up there essentially only have a name, possibly a position/time period and a source. One-liners. All others should get articles. I'd also like to point out that articles are vastly easier to link to from other articles, while characters on the list will typically end up as redlinks unless the editor realizes they are on the "minor" list and links them properly. And personally, I would probably use the search function on one single list but could certainly not be bothered to work through several.
Similarly to my feeling that there should be only one single "Minor Characters" list I strongly feel that there should only be one single category. A character who has his own article should be in Category:People (this could really do with a rename to Category:Characters for clarity btw). I fail to see the point in creating a "Minor Characters" category. It says nothing at all about the character except that some editor thought them minor. Just like with Canonicity, why don't you just provide the facts and let people decide for themselves if they feel the character is a minor one? It's just ripping apart the category for no reason. Frabby 03:57, 18 August 2008 (CDT)
I'm not so invested in lists that I'm going to stand up and block this. I've made my case for them, and if you still aren't swayed, then fine. What I will not do is allow a thousand character names who have roughly three words devoted to them in a sourcebook clog up the same category that characters who starred in multiple novels are in. The idea that somehow all of these characters are equal is ludicrous. Essentially, the whole reason that we have the articles on these one-line names (they're not even really characters) is because some day, at some future date, some person who actually writes something for InMediaRes or Wizkids might come here to find info and turn a name into a character. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a database of names.
The compromise that came out of the notability discussion was that articles that could be considered "not notable" would be included on BTW, but would have to somehow be differentiated from the more notable ones. This has been most problematic with the characters, because there are so fraking many. I would rather see them compiled into lists because that is the way it is done on Wikipedia, but if you want to go with the suggestion I made so long ago and give them their own articles and categorize them as "Minor Characters", fine. I'm even agreeable to leaving everybody in Category:People, then giving them all a secondary category of "Major" or "Minor".
I agree that we will have to come up with some sort of standard to determine what is major or minor with regards to characters. Perhaps being mentioned in more than one source will be good enough, but we can determine that on a separate occasion. What we need to do now is to agree in principle to the compromise that was already made. --Scaletail 10:05, 18 August 2008 (CDT)
I guess I'm with Scaletail in resigning a stance, in this case there must be two categories. I see Frabby's POV that there should be one way to find every Character article on BTW and a Category:Characters would be the most descriptive way of doing this. However, I would like to point out that, if BTW expands and develops a community led my larger numbers than we see now (another probable event), there is no way to prevent the expansion of additional Character-based categories. Instead, we can help establish a minimum requirement for each article.
So, I'd like to propose the following, each for further development:
  1. Category:People be re-named Category:Characters (and stand as a primary category for all Character based articles)
  2. No policy be established preventing the development of additional Character-based categories, with the understanding of the primary (above) applying to all Character articles
  3. Articles created that are sub-par (i.e., consisting of a name and no more than, say, one additional fact) be tagged appropriately as requiring development within a certain amount of time or...
  4. Lists continue to be developed, as a means of fleshing out articles.
Discussion sections follow below. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:11, 18 August 2008 (CDT)

Revisiting this in 2019[edit]

More than a decade later, I'm still here and I have come to regard the introduction of "minor somethings" list articles and/or categories as a mistake. Nothing is ever objectively "minor", that's just an arbitrary label translating as "we don't think we have enough info on this yet". I didn't even recall this discussion until I revisited this policy for the first time in years (I was going to branch off a possible Notable Pilots policy).

I find that had a change of heart, and now believe every individual subject needs its own article - and if there is only enough information for a very short article or a stub article, so be it. With all the infoboxes and established formats it is way less work to expand an existing article than keeping separate "minor" lists or categories, plus the appellation is just misleading.

But without further input from the community (ten years down the line...) I am loathe to break the old user consensus and unilaterally change the policy. So... thoughs? Frabby (talk) 08:50, 15 January 2019 (EST)

Agree. Somethings might only live as redirects to other articles, but if its standalone item so be it. Cyc (talk) 17:37, 15 January 2019 (EST)
I also agree. Looking at the Article Count History we where at five or six thousand articles on the entire wiki at the time of this consensus, we are past twenty-five thousand now and we have most of the "big things" covered now. Every 'Mech, vehicle, weapon, planet and major character and then there is the real world stuff like the source books, video games, novels and even stuff like Dice!
What does this matter to notability? [Category:Noble Houses], [Category:Titles and Positions] and [Category:Bloodnames] are three major projects I started last year that all where researched almost exclusively within the wiki. That is about 1,400 articles that are designed specifically to use wikilinks to other articles and function as a category rather than an individual article. Hardly any of the articles really stand up to being notable on their own and I knew from the outset I was taking a lot of liberty in creating them. I think the results have turned out as something that is quite cool.
I believe most growth in the future is going to be new articles for "big Things" as new sources get released by CGL, HBS or PGI or comosite articles like the ones I have mentioned that rely on bringing minor details together to create articles or categories. A perfect example is a new one I created last month [Category:Foods and Beverages], there are about a dozen foods and drinks mentioned in the Warrior trilogy alone!.--Dmon (talk) 19:38, 15 January 2019 (EST)
I am of the opinion that everything should have a link to it, that way you can search it. I may be new to this wiki, but the search function is everything. Making individual pages for each notable character, regardless of "how" notable is a good idea. With the sheer amount of "things" that exist in-universe, someone may want to come along and look up the most obscure character, for their own reasons, and may not be able to find them. They may be mentioned in the current system as a notable pilot on an individual page, for a specific book or event, but the character doesn't have their own page to search. This can possibly be problematic with people who share names though (eg, the entirety of the great houses) when it comes down to search terms in the system. If it exists, it should be added though in it's own topic if it can.Admiral Obvious (talk) 00:19, 16 January 2019 (EST)
I'm 100% on ending with the Minor Pages, as this is an arbitrary distinction. And I've tried to create articles for those characters in those pages and linking to the correct group. That said, I'm not going to create articles for all of them (yet :D), though as part of my Clan Bloodnamed Warriors project it might happen). Now, if somebody whats to create an article for all the in-universe writers of books, perfect :).--Pserratv (talk) 04:01, 16 January 2019 (EST)

So, in keeping with the procedure established by Revanche back in the day, I formally call for user consensus:

  • Proposal: Previously, user consensus for Policy:Notability was to avoid stub articles and opt for collective articles of "minor" subjects, such as "Minor Characters". This approach is deliberately abandoned in favor of individual articles for all subjects, even if they end up very short or as "stubs". Existing pages and categories containing the word "minor" shall be purged as a general rule; we shall seek to avoid classifying something as "minor" forthwith.
    This overturns the previous user consensus on "Sub-Par Character Articles Be Flagged for Review/Deletion."
  • Rationale: "Minor" is a subjective and arbitrary categorisation to begin with, and should thus be avoided. Catch-all articles are unhelpful for searching, sorting and categorizing, whereas individual articles can be sorted into the right categories. Given the size and quality this wiki has achieved since, individual articles are thus regarded as positively desirable to have instead. We should no longer be afraid of stub articles.
  • Proposal Closure: 00:00 31 January 2019 (GMT)


  1. Agree (being the person who dragged this topic into the limelight) Frabby (talk) 16:29, 17 January 2019‎ (EST)
  2. Agree It simply makes sense --Dmon (talk) 19:01, 17 January 2019 (EST)
  3. Agree There is no such thing as "minor" if someone wrote something about it.Admiral Obvious (talk) 23:00, 17 January 2019 (EST)
  4. Agree I'm on writing on those minor ones.--Pserratv (talk) 04:37, 18 January 2019 (EST)
  5. Agree I see no reason why each named character should not have their own page/article. I would like to see a separate policy for Notable Pilots in 'Mech, vehicle, etc. articles. --Cache (talk) 19:03, 19 January 2019 (EST)
  6. Agree I think the underpinning rationale for the Wiki has changed; when the proposal was first made, the onus was on attempting to get major articles updated and improved, with minor articles as a secondary priority. Getting major articles updated is still an issue, but the wiki is now a much more in-depth resource than it was when the proposal was originally made. By allowing minor articles to flourish, I think we'll encourage people to add to the wiki, and I think it'll make it easier to trace obscure repeat references to people, places and the like and link them together. Adding all of the individual ship articles for DropShips, JumpShips and WarShips doesn't seem to have detracted from the wiki's main purpose, but has given the opportunity to provide far more information on many of those ships by pulling together information from multiple sources than was ever present when each was a summary notation (at best) in an article on the ship class, which to me suggests we found the proof in the pudding. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 02:47, 21 January 2019 (EST)

Alternative to Notable 'Mechwarrior (etc.) Sections[edit]

Seeing the addition and removal of Notable Pilots in 'Mech, vehicle, etc. articles over the last several years, and with no clear policy on what does or does not qualify, I would like to suggest an alternative: Replace the Notable Pilots section with a list of "Known Pilots". The list would be names only, no descriptions. Each pilot added to the list should have their own article (as per the 2019 policy re-evaluation). The purpose of this is to add a unique feature to the wiki rather than just mirroring TRO's. One that may aid players seeking stories and/or paint schemes for their miniatures. This could also be accomplished with categories, I just am not certain which method would be best. Thoughts?--Cache (talk) 12:54, 24 November 2020 (EST)

The question becomes how is Known any different from Notable? Is going to be every instance of characters who piloted that 'Mech, the much referenced Kai Allard-Liao piloted a Hatchetman once, or just for who that is the primary 'Mech associated with them?Cyc (talk) 15:19, 24 November 2020 (EST)
I'm not opposed to different terminology. As for a suggested definition, we are looking for extended use. If a character has a primary 'Mech but pilots something else in one battle, that second 'Mech would not count. Piloting a second 'Mech in a campaign would count. I.e. Kai Allard-Liao would be listed under a Centurion, Penetrator (Operation Bulldog), and Ryoken, but not a Hatchetman (Twycross) or Dire Wolf (Outreach). --Cache (talk) 19:44, 24 November 2020 (EST)
If I am honest, my personal opinion of the pilots section has slowly shifted from "a bit of flavour" to a bit of a menace where people ignore any idea of standards. Changing notable to known would just greenlight characters like Allard-Liao, Morgan Kell and the other legends to pop up in the article of every 'Mech they ever piloted and Backer Characters to be added to articles (It was a backer adding himself to the Awesome article that prompted the creation of List of Clan Invasion Kickstarter Characters in an attempt to divert such actions) and in my opinion not much else. If anything I find myself increasingly wanting to kill the section entierly.--Dmon (talk) 05:38, 25 November 2020 (EST)
For me in the mech, vehicle pages sincerely the entries of Notable Pilots are dangerous, as again with other topics as Minor, what makes somebody Notable? We have the TRO Notable pilots, but nevertheless I feel this is best served pointing in the person page his battlemech, tank and so on.--Pserratv (talk) 06:57, 25 November 2020 (EST)
I support deletion of the Notable Pilots section from the articles as well. All entries should be noted on the respective character pages before deletion, of course, similar to Kai.--Cache (talk) 12:04, 25 November 2020 (EST)

I see where you're coming from with the suggestion. I feel the solution you're suggesting - "known" pilots instead of "notable" pilots - reframes the problem but doesn't solve it. I have a counter-proposal: Do away with this section, and remake it into a category, e.g. Category: Notable Locust pilots. Simply link to the appropriate category in every 'Mech article, and sort individual pilots into the category as you see fit. That in and of itself should go a long way to cleaning up the 'Mech articles. Personally I think the categories should still be limited to "notable" pilots for two reasons: 1) I don't see any value in listing "known" pilots of a given design, but I do see value in a listing of "notable" pilots - if only because that's a BT thing that was established in the earliest TROs and proved popular with the fan base; 2) ultimately, I agree with Cache that you would still have the problem of defining what makes someone a "known" pilot of a 'Mech; "notable" is more limited and we've actually made some headway into defining that so I vastly prefer going with "notable". As a template text for the categories, I'd suggest something along the following lines:

The articles in this category are about individual MechWarriors who are considered notable pilots of the ['Mech design]. According to our Policy: Notability#Notable 'Mechs and Pilots, a pilot or individual vehicle is notable if either mentioned as such in a canonical source (typically, a Technical Readout), or otherwise if the pilot is both a somewhat prominent character in BattleTech fiction and also strongly associated with the vehicle in question (and vice versa).

Frabby (talk) 05:59, 26 November 2020 (EST)

I thought I had replied to this earlier, but I guess not. I support the "Notable" category idea. I see that you've done this for the Locust and Rifleman, now, and I like that you put a link to the notability policy in each. I'd have been fine with a link plus synopsis as in your example above, too.--Cache (talk) 10:07, 7 March 2021 (EST)
I too support moving notable pilots from article sections to their own respective categories (with link provided in the 'Mech article).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:42, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
Yet another question as to "known" versus" "notable": I've just written an article on Natasha Ergen, featured in the short story in Jihad Turning Points: New Avalon. She is the subject of the story, but other than the barest details about a relationship to her mother through ownership of their Griffin, Natasha is not expanded upon in any detail. She defeats her 'Mech opponent at the end of the one-pager. Is she a "notable" Griffin pilot, having been the subject of her own short story (in an otherwise unremarkable skirmish), to be included in the Griffin list, or "known" (and not to be included)? Seeking guidance. I guess the policy question is being called out as notable (such as in TROs) a requirement, or is being noted as a pilot of a certain 'Mech model an entry-worthy factoid? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:42, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
Your question on Ergen was answered in that she appeared as a notable pilot in TRO: 3039. Without that entry, I do not feel that a one-page story would make her notable. Being a "somewhat prominent character in BattleTech fiction" is more than a one-off short story in my opinion. Piloting a famous/named BattleMech in addition to that does make her notable. --Cache (talk) 22:35, 3 June 2021 (EDT)
Makes sense to me; the notability is in-universe, rather than from a meta condition. Thank you.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:51, 4 June 2021 (EDT)

Consensus Determination[edit]

2019 re-evaluation and changes[edit]

Category:People renamed to Category:Characters[edit]

Allowance for Additional Character Categories[edit]

Sub-Par Character Articles Be Flagged for Review/Deletion[edit]