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PWpedia:Wiki Style Guide

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This Wiki Style Guide outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on this wiki. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. These guidelines will never be unerringly perfect for every situation. However, please try your best to keep to the advice outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing their own articles. Most of all, it will help readers to easily read and understand your articles rather than to cause confusion.

If you'd like to discuss any changes or additions to the Style Guide, please do so on the Discussion Page.

Article Layout[edit source]

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. Structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well structured article, and you're more likely to have a high quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually leads to a confusing or unreadable article. See #Section headings for more info on writing section headings.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear. They are presented in the order in which they should appear in an article.

Infoboxes[edit source]

Infoboxes, boxes which summarize data relating to the article, should appear at the top-right corner of the article content. Infoboxes should generally summarize available information; speculation, as well as "unknown" or "n/a" rows should be avoided. Most rows in available infoboxes have been designed to be optional to use.

Certain pages will have infoboxes on them, such as dungeons or quests; not all articles will require infoboxes. To see what infoboxes are available to use, refer to Category:Infobox templates.

Lead Section[edit source]

An article should begin with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article. The lead should not be explicitly entitled == Introduction == or any header with equivalent meaning.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write "Health Potions are a basic item used to replenish your character's health" as the first sentence on the page titled "Health Potions."

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes—'''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example:

Reawakening, or Rebirth, is the process of going back to level 1...

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example, "A Fashion Weapon is a cosmetic skin for your weapon..." versus "A Fashion Weapon is a cosmetic skin for your weapon..."

Table of Contents[edit source]

A table of contents (TOC) will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned - but this should only be done if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an infobox is not occupying the top-right corner of the article.

  • Right-aligned TOC that floats next to text: {{tocright}}

An alternative if the TOC is too long, and an infobox is occupying the top-right corner of an article, is limiting the amount of section headers that the TOC lists. Sometimes articles will contain several different subsections, causing the TOC to become very long.

  • To limit the section headers: {{TOC|limit=#}}
  • To limit the section headers with a right-aligned TOC: {{tocright|limit=#}}

By setting a number value for |limit=, only headings of the specified level or greater will display. For example, {{TOC|limit=2}} will include only level two headings (==Heading==), while {{TOC|limit=3}} will include level three headings (===Heading===) as well as level two headings, and so on.

The table of contents can also be laid out in a horizontal format instead of a vertical one. This is useful if your article is separated by letters (A, B, C, D...)

  • To use a horizontal TOC: {{Horizontal TOC}}
  • To use a horizontal TOC without heading numbers: {{Horizontal TOC|nonum=yes}}

Article Content[edit source]

For information on writing the article itself, see the #Writing section.

Gallery[edit source]

For information on galleries and their usage, see Image Policy.

Separating Articles[edit source]

Try not to separate articles too much, as this could result in them being too short. For example if your article were to be about Auctioneers, this could be included within the Auction House page instead of being on its own page.

If there is a sufficient amount of information to separate articles however, such as the Perfect Chronicles chapters, to the point that having it in one article would be long and complicated, then you may do so. An option for this is to make the acts a subpage of Perfect Chronicles itself, though this is not always necessary for all articles. To do this, you would create a page in the format main page/subpage, for example Perfect Chronicles/Origins.

Sandboxes[edit source]

If you want to experiment with an existing article's layout, or simply test something, you can create a sandbox page. The way to do this is by creating a page called article name/Sandbox. It is recommended to create this sandbox under your own name such as User:your name/Sandbox.

Articles About Items, Quests, and NPCS[edit source]

Please try to avoid creating articles about the following subjects:

  • Simple items that do not need explanations or have little use in the game. Exceptions are common items that players may search for, or complex items that require more explanation than Pwdatabase can allow.
  • Simple Quests. Exceptions are longer quest chains or highly used quests such as Cultivation, Daily Quests, quests associated with instances such as Silvery Flow (which should be included in the instance's article), etc.
  • NPCs. Exceptions are NPCs mentioned within articles such as Realm of Reflection; they should be included within the page.

The main reason such articles are not encouraged is that the Perfect World Database (pwdb) indexes items, quests, and NPCs quite well, and as such most of them are not needed on the wiki. It would also require a lot of work to create and maintain such articles.

Articles About Upcoming Content[edit source]

Quite often you may see information on the Arc Forums about features or content updates released on the Chinese version of Perfect World (PWCN), or even teasers from Perfect World staff. Usually it is best to avoid creating articles about unreleased content unless it has been officially announced by Perfect World International itself, which is usually found on the Arc News page. Unreleased content is subject to speculation and rumor, and is often translated from Chinese to English by the player base. These translations are not guaranteed to be accurate once they reach the International servers. Therefore, it is better to hold off on creating articles about newer content until it has been officially released and accurate information has been gathered.

If you do come across announced features that have not been released, this information should go on the appropriate Expansion page. If the expansion has not received a name yet, the information should go on an Upcoming Expansion page. Only include features that have been announced officially by Perfect World International; avoid including information that may have come from the Chinese version of the game.

Please avoid creating empty articles on newer content, as it is not guaranteed to be filled with information from other contributors. Only create articles on newer content if you are able to provide a sufficient amount of information for it. Articles that are empty or contain little to no useful content will be deleted.

Links to Perfect World Database[edit source]

The Perfect World Database (Pwdatabase) indexes most items, quests, NPCs, monsters, etc. While the wiki lacks articles on most of these, you may include external links to the appropriate Pwdatabase page if necessary. For example, you might want to refer to a boss in Flowsilver Palace, so you would link the database page for Tyrant Prince Mushi within your article.

For articles about certain items/quests/NPCs/monsters, there is a template available to use which will link to the subject. This template should be used at the bottom of an article under an External Links heading. For more information on the template and how to use it, see Template:Pwdatabase.

For information on how to use external links, see Gamepedia's help article on links.

Videos[edit source]

Please try to avoid embedding actual videos on the page itself. The only exception to this are official trailers for various Expansions. If there are multiple videos, such as in the PWI Genesis page, it is highly recommended to use a table so that videos can be aligned alongside each other. In-game previews should still be listed in bullet-point form.

Video links at the end of the article are acceptable in their own section, usually called == Videos ==, however please avoid placing several links for videos - 1 or 2 is usually enough. Avoid using the video section for self-advertisement; the purpose of a video is to further help inform readers, not to increase your subscriber count.

If you are including a video link on a page, please make sure to still explain the subject of the article in text as well, rather than recommending the reader to "view the video for more information". Videos, like images, should be used as an aide rather than a replacement for written content.

See Also[edit source]

This section is used to list links to related topics on the same project, which may not have been linked within the article content. Use bullets to list the links. For example, a page about a particular potion might also list the article about how to craft potions in this section.

External Links[edit source]

In the external links section should be any external links relating to the article. External links should be used sparingly and only for external pages that are directly related to the content, such as official game websites. Links to Perfect World Database (Pwdatabase) entries can be included in this section as well for articles about certain items, quests, NPCS, etc using the Pwdatabase template.

Categories and Interwiki Links[edit source]

Categories and interwiki links should be added at the very end of the article, with category links followed by interwiki links. A full list of categories can be found on Special:Categories. They take the form [[Category:Categoryname]], and should be named in the same fashion as articles. Ideally all pages on a wiki should be categorized.

Some navigational boxes (navboxes) may automatically categorize pages that they are included on. For more information on which navboxes categorize pages, refer to Category:Navigational templates.

Writing[edit source]

We now come to the meat of an article: the words themselves. When you're editing wikis, you're both academic and artist. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you have to skillfully balance both.

Style[edit source]

  • Write articles using American English rather than using British English. This is because American English is the primary language used in the game. Exceptions can be made for items, NPCs, or quests that use British English in their names, such as the item "Grey Pigment".
  • Write from an impersonal perspective, AKA write in 3rd person. This means that you shouldn't use, "I say you should probably do X." Instead that should be written something like, "It's recommended that you do X." Attention should not be drawn to the author.
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use 'u' in place of 'you' or '2' in place of 'to'. Write the way you would for a class paper or a newspaper article. This makes it easier for all readers to understand, not just the ones accustomed to the same conventions you are.
  • Do not elongate or capitalize words for emphasis, such as 'you neeeed to heal yourself' or 'you NEED to heal yourself', or a combination of both. This can mostly be avoided altogether. If it absolutely needs to be in the article though, use italics as demonstrated in this sentence.
  • Try to keep your writing as simple as possible. Using complicated words or incomplete sentences can make it difficult for readers to understand, especially since this is an international game and as such many players may not use English as their first language.

Content[edit source]

  • When writing articles, keep in mind that the person reading your article might not know a lot about the subject you are writing about. Many readers come to wikis to learn new things that they are not familiar with, and there are still many players who are new to the game. Never be vague about an explanation under the assumption that the player should know what you are writing about.
  • Keep all of the topics you cover within the scope of the article. What that means is, you don't need to give a detailed history of venomancers on the page about venomancer pets. Consider the article's title as your point of origin and write from that perspective. Make use of the wiki's ability to link to more detailed articles or external sources for more information.

Guides[edit source]

For information on writing guides, see Guides Policy.

Grammar[edit source]

Grammar is a writer's toolbox. You can't build good sentences without knowing how to use your tools. Since a wiki article must be as clear as possible for all of the people reading it, editors must maintain a high level of adherence with the rules of grammatical use, to ensure clear communication. Note that a sentence that seems grammatically incorrect, may not be depending on context.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Numerous edits to the Wiki have to be performed, which are purely for the purpose of correcting truly atrocious grammar. Do not use a native language other than English as an excuse - there are any number of grammar tutorials and references available on the Web, so you should be doing your utmost to make your contributions correct while improving your command of the language.

Capitalization[edit source]

Capitalization generally follows the rules used in-universe, even in cases where the term could be used in both in- and out-of-universe contexts. This provides a consistent standard without bogging down editors in trying to figure out which is correct in every individual case. When in doubt, follow the precedent set by other page titles.

  • Class and race names should both not be capitalized. They are used interchangeably in game, however it makes more sense for us to call animals dogs rather than Dogs and a breed of an animal a pug rather than a Pug (unless the name is derived from a proper noun.)
  • The words "sage" and "demon" should not be capitalized.
  • Skill names, item names, etc, should be capitalized since this is how they consistently appear in the game.

Tense[edit source]

Most articles should be described as facts, so use the present or future tenses. "The quest starts at Elysium Village." "Combat pets can be used by venomancers"

There may be exceptions, such as when describing changes to a game brought about through patches or other updates. "The doors inside Wraithgate were removed."

Signing Articles[edit source]

Please do not sign your work or give credit on wiki articles on the main namespace. It draws attention to the author (or other contributors), which it shouldn't. When a wiki article is created, anybody can edit it, including anonymous users. This means that anyone can edit, add, or delete the information you have written, meaning that it won't always be "your property" or "your guide". Having multiple people signing a single article would make it very cluttered; the article's history will usually reflect who has worked on the article and what they have contributed.

Formatting[edit source]

Wiki Markup[edit source]

When formatting articles, it is best to use wiki markup where possible e.g. '''bold text''' instead of <strong>bold text</strong>.

For information on wiki markup, see Gamepedia's help article on Formatting.

Images[edit source]

For information on how to insert and format images, see Image Policy.

Special Characters in Names[edit source]

Some item, monster, NPC, and other names contain special symbols in them, such as the item ★★★Crown of Madness. When writing such names, try to do so the same way it appears in the game. Try to avoid using the symbols that Perfect World Database uses as they are not always accurate; for example most equipment names use ☆ instead of ★. All symbols used in-game can be found in the Source Editor under Special Characters > Symbols. The Visual Editor does not include most of these symbols.

Titles of Articles[edit source]

When naming your article, the title should be something meaningful so that the reader will know what it is. For example, a reader may see the page "Auction" and expect to find an article on the Auction House, so it would be quite confusing for it to actually be a page about the Bidding Hall instead. The title should be written how it appears in the game, and be appropriately capitalized. So for example a title on "Rebirth" when referring to Reawakening might be misleading as there is also "Rebirth" when referring to the Valley of Reciprocity modes, or the reader might simply not realize that the terms Rebirth and Reawakening used interchangeably.

  • If a certain subject has multiple ways to refer to it, such as Frostcovered City, you can use redirects to help readers find the page if they search for "FC", "FCC", or "Forgotten Frostlands" for example. To see how to use redirects, see the help article on redirects.
  • If there are multiple subjects that have the same name, such as Mysterious Merchant, which is the name for two different NPCs (one which exchanges Mysterious Chips and one which sells items in dungeons), you can include brackets with a word that describes which kind one or both of them are. So with the example above, it would be appropriate to have the titles Mysterious Merchant and Mysterious Merchant (Dungeon). In most cases only one subject should have brackets, which is usually the less-common subject or the one which was released later in the game.
    • When using this form of naming convention it is recommended to also use Template:DisambigMsg at the top of the page to help direct readers to the correct content.
  • Try to avoid using plurals in your articles, such as "Winged Elves" instead of "Winged Elf", unless it is necessary (i.e. "Quests".) It is recommended to create redirects for plurals for players who may search for them.
  • Do not use ampersands (&) in titles; use the word "and" instead.
  • Do not use question marks (?) and plus signs (+) in titles; if a certain subject (such as "You want a Zongzi, don't you?") includes these, simply omit the character.
  • Do not use forward slashes (/) in titles, as this will unintentionally create a subpage.

Tables[edit source]

Tables should use the "wikitable" class design when possible, and should include as little "fancy" formatting as possible. Adding the "wikitable" class works as follows:

{| class="wikitable"
! header
| content
|-
! header
…
|}

This will automatically set up your table in this wiki's particular table style parameters, so that your table can be automatically updated should the wiki's color style be updated.

Templates[edit source]

Please use the templates available to you when creating or editing pages (such as notices or infoboxes). See the Templates page for an extensive list of currently available templates so that you know what is appropriate for your article. Most templates also include documentation to help you understand what everything means and how to use the template.

Colored Fonts[edit source]

Avoid using colored fonts for the sake of decoration. Coloring words in the middle of your content for no good reason can be distracting and also blinding. The only times that font should ideally be colored is when referring to an item, quest, skill, title, or other name. Try to keep it consistent with the colors that are used in the game unless that color clashes with the layout or proves to be difficult on the eyes. If this is the case, then you do not need to include a color for the text.

Line Breaks[edit source]

Sometimes you may want to create just one line break rather than a new paragraph, such as when including dialogue for a quest. You can force a single line break by using the <br> tag. In the editor, trying to just separate lines with no whitespace in between them be turned into a single paragraph which might not be what you want.

That said, do not use <br><br> to separate paragraphs as this is not needed. Instead, simply create a new paragraph with two normal line breaks (e.g. pressing the "Enter" or "Return" key twice).

Underlined Text[edit source]

Avoid using underlined text like this text here. Sometimes it may be confused with a link.

Capitalizing Text[edit source]

Please do not write text in "all caps" to emphasize something, such as THE END OF THIS SENTENCE. If you need to emphasize something, use ''italics'' instead.

Dates[edit source]

Use the MM/DD/YYYY format for dates. For consistency and less confusion, all dates should be in the Month/Day/Year format (October 20th, 2010), and it is acceptable to abbreviate the year (so, "2012" can be shown as "12").

Section Headings[edit source]

Use the == (two equal signs) style markup for main headings, equivalent to <h2>.

Do not use a single =. This is because a single = creates an <h1> heading. The page header already uses an h1, and to use further h1s would be poor semantics. In addition, do not use wikilinks in subject headings. When edited, these sections become confusing in the edit history because of the link code. Consider instead putting the word in the first or second sentence of the section and linking it there.

Capitalize section headings consistently across the entire wiki. For example, either use History and Lore and Crafting Guide or History and lore and Crafting guide, but avoid History and Lore and Crafting guide.

Avoid special characters in headings, such as an ampersand (&), a plus sign (+), curly braces ({}), or square braces ([]). In place of the ampersand, use the word "and" (unless the ampersand is part of a formal name).

Always keep headings short and simple. Headings are guidelines to your page's structure and should inform the reader rather than confuse. To keep it short, avoid unnecessary words or redundancy in headings, i.e. avoid a, an, and the, pronouns, repeating the article title, and so on. Also, try to avoid giving identical titles to different sections.

Conclusion[edit source]

Every article can be improved (even this one). Following these guidelines will not ensure a perfect article the first time, but it will give the article a stronger skeleton. It's ultimately your job as an editor to put meat on it.

See Also[edit source]