This is something that has bothered me for a good while, mostly because of how prevalent the subpar quality is. I’m talking about the state of useless wiki’s for games.
Why are Gaming Wiki’s so Useless?
I don’t want to narrow it down to one thing, which is why I have to say general uselessness when it comes to information. This wiki is suppose to be an end all location for any information on a subject, edited and based on many people using it. Duh. We all know that, yet here they are.
Part of it for me is just how general they seem to be. For example, let’s say I want to look up a specific enemy in a game, I don’t want to just see, “This is the bad guy, you shoot him.”
Oh my God! Thanks for clearing that up I had no idea. Such wiki much info. Just for fun, how about:
- I want to know where the guy is.
- I want to know his spawn time and parameters required (i.e. kill this other dude first.)
- I want to know his moves list.
- I want to know what he changes and why (i.e. low hp more aggressive.)
You see where I’m going with this. If I’m looking up an NPC in a game, the damn wiki shouldn’t just say, “It’s this dude, he’s in the game” and nothing else. Weak.
Here’s a small example. On Destiny yesterday I wanted to know at 3 a.m. how many slams does Crota take in “Crota’s End” (hard mode) to enrage when using a sword as a level 34. I was looking for a number, one that I could count on both hands.
No one had it. Rather, it couldn’t be nailed down. “Oh it takes 7.” “I hit Crota 9 times without him raging.” “9? Mine raged on the 8th” The worse part it that the hit is suppose to always be the same number hit-to-hit. (That is information I didn’t get from a wiki fyi.) So what’s so hard about this then?
Maybe it’s the Style of Game.
Here’s a page from Destiny’s wiki: The Hive
Here’s a page from Final Fantasy XI wiki: Yagudo
These are both pages of Enemy Families in two different games. While similar-ish, they are on different levels. The Yagudo one is way more in-depth. Locations, levels, special names ones. I can tell you from personal experience that the Yagudo page is set up in a way that you will find the info you are looking for. You may not know what you are looking for but the way to find it is right there. On the Hive page, click on Technology link for Shredder. This is where I start to have issues. Way too many pages look like that. I just described it above didn’t I? “This is a weapon in the game” Thanks info page.
Here’s a random small link from that Yagudo page. It tells you:
- How many of that type there is.
- Where they are located.
- Their spawn times.
- The items they can drop and at what percentage rate (over 100% means it drops two sometimes.)
- What you can steal from them.
- Their job type.
- Their elemental weakness.
- What crystal type they have.
- How they see, hear, and smell.
- And how they become hostile, if at all.
You see this difference right? I chose a tiny page on FFXI intentionally, of a little nothing enemy of little consequence. It still has so much information on it.
Here’s one that was always important to me as a Samurai in FFXI, the Store TP formula. I know that asking anyone who hasn’t played this game to understand in a second what this means is silly. Just understand that it is good, solid math. No guesses, no second hand stories, no confusion. Here’s the formula’s behind building TP for special attacks (think overdrives from other Final Fantasy games.)
Is that a problem of the game style? I believe that the Destiny game can’t hold a candle to FFXI in terms of stuff in game, lore, and information, but they are vastly different games. By it’s nature I believe Destiny can’t. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. I don’t expect a FPS to keep up with an MMO in that regard. But I expect the wiki’s to try. Links that lead to blank pages are pathetic. Maybe I’m biased because the first wiki I ever used was the FFXI wiki and it’s so in-depth that all wiki’s that come after it just pale in comparison.
Then again I did say at the beginning wiki’s are edited based on users.
Maybe it’s the Type of Gamers.
Before I go into this, no I and NOT calling any gamer demographic stupid here. That’s not what is going on here. If anything I would say it is how much they care as a group. Look at something like the enmity build up of enemies in game, how it is shown with actual values mostly thanks to one group of guys who worked on it to figure it out.
Dude’s name is Kanican iirc, and he broke apart hate formula. Giving it actual numbers that worked. He figured out back then that hate had a cap of 10,000 units. And figuring out the decay rate of hate, and a bunch of other stuff just look at the links.
Meanwhile in Destiny, Crota is suppose to kneel for five seconds when downed. But sometimes, y’know, whatever. He can quickly stand up sometimes and insta-gib your swordbearer. And the responses are always the same, “This is Bullshit” “This lag Sucks” et cetera.
But that’s the thing, it isn’t lag, it can’t be “lag” every time something goes wrong. My hypothesis: Instead of five seconds, what if it’s five server ticks. Meaning that the game has a sort of metronome in the background that counts ticks. Tick Tick Tick. So five seconds should really five ticks. What this implies is that counting to five from him going down is incorrect because that may not be the actual start of the counter, it may have already started in his animation cause a server tick hit at just the right moment.
You can kind of see this in the first part of the raid when you run into the start and get the “Weight of Darkness.” Sometimes it takes a few seconds to really start yet sometimes you almost immediately hit Weight x2. The timer isn’t based on when you enter the darkness, its when the first server tick hits when you are in the darkness.
But here’s the thing, you don’t see this info on a wiki anywhere. I might even be wrong, but no one talks about this, and I can’t talk to anyone about this either. And the worst is I don’t think anyone even cares. When trying to figure out something mid-game, the attitude of “I just want to shoot stuff” rears it’s stupid head. The guy who figured out hate was in college at the time, while the guy in my ear that just wants to shoot things sounds like his parents wouldn’t want him up this late.
Is Youtube and Other Sources Killing Wiki’s then?
Maybe it’s the maturity of the gamer community then. They don’t want to read and have knowledge, they want to see it happen and replicate. It’s how some people learn, so I don’t hate it. If anything I hate the style of video that is suppose to be a learning model.
*Cue instant dubstep that is 15 decibels too loud for intro with bright blue background image*
WHAT’S UP everybody it’s your boy xXx420YOLOx$wAgXxX here today to show you how to make a lot of money in Destiny quickly ok?
*As the screen fades to game footage not even related to the subject matter, our host continues to ramble on for five minutes while not talking about how to make in-game money quickly.*
“Ok so here’s what you have to do, just shoot the yellow health enemies cause they drop money. Don’t for forget to like, rate, and subscribe, I’m out. Peace!”
*Cue another too-loud song cause they don’t know how to edit their videos being made, let alone how to make an informative video*
This to me is the equivalent to a link that goes to a mostly-blank page that says, “This gun in-game is a gun that’s in the game.” I wanted to give you all an actual example but:
- I didn’t want to force that level of “ugh” on you.
- I didn’t want to risk giving them ad-revenue.
It’s not that youtube is killing wikis, at least not yet. It’s actually just a huge battle of quality versus quantity. Wiki’s are subject to multiple people editing them, and being updated if and when there is updated or correct info. If someone puts up something that is seen as garbage, not part of the discussion or info, or incorrect, it will be fixed. And depending on the size of the community, rather quickly.
Meanwhile on youtube, anyone can make a video. The key point being a single anybody, of any age, of any maturity level, can make a video. And they do. You get videos of a 10 year old trying to teach you how to use and Elgato HD60 recording device. The problem being that the title of the video is about problematic hookups and how to correct it, but upon viewing it you find it has no relation to the topic.
Do you remember that example above about people not being able to come to a concrete answer to how many slams to Crota enrage earlier? That was the destiny subreddit and the post was specifically about the amount of Slams a 34 has to do. The post title was exactly what I was looking for and the content inside was not.
At the End of the Day
It comes down to the want of the community and the will of those who like to figure out how something ticks. This is something I have yet to find for any xbox game I’ve played, I’m not just picking on Destiny here. The Kingdoms of Amalur wiki that I used recently has many NPC’s that when you click on, it doesn’t tell you where they are in the game, or even a picture so you go, “Oh I remember that guy.” Left 4 Dead 2’s wiki doesn’t even have overview maps of the levels, something that would be really cool. A few missions in the game itself have them.
I wish I had a better answer to fix what I see as a problem, but it isn’t something one person can fix. Wiki’s problems are a community problem, and the community needs to fix it. Otherwise we might all hail the era of dumb misinformation videos.
Don’t bother to point out the futility of using a written format to implore those who only watch videos because they can’t be bothered to read.
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