View Full Version : Help me make the Dungeons & Dragons Wiki better for you

2009-11-13, 07:49 PM
It's been a couple months since I announced here the launch of The Dungeons & Dragons Wiki (http://dungeons.wikia.com). In that thread I posted a bunch of information about what we were planning on doing to make it a better resource for everyone; in this thread I'd like to provide a little update on what we've accomplished to do just that, as well as take suggestions for how we can continue to make the Dungeons & Dragons Wiki a better resource for you. First I'd like to talk about things we've done, then I'd like to take a few suggestions as to what we can do better in a few areas, and finally I'd like to outline the sort of stuff we have in the pipeline.

What's Done So Far

First, in the previous thread, I mentioned how it was our goal to tag every article on the wiki with a rough balance point -- a point which should be read as "if your campaign already includes <this WotC published item>, this item that you're reading here should be, to the best of our foresight, fine to include in your game and will not unbalance it". Thanks to the tireless efforts of one of our users (Ghostwheel), I believe we have somewhere between one-half and three-quarters of all 3.5e articles on the wiki tagged with appropriate balance points. I'm really happy about this because it makes the job of the DM deciding what they want to allow much easier -- something that substantially increases our wiki's overall usefulness.

I would like to expand by asking you: would you like to see more navigation pages that sort articles by balance point, or only display articles of a specific balance point? We can do that, and if you would find it useful we would be happy do that.

Next, I'd like to note that we're finally almost entirely navigable. There are a couple sections left to make such (spells and equipment), and those are in-progress. It's actually a bit of a strange beast to make some of this stuff navigable at all, and we've uncovered a few bugs and shortcomings in the software we use to make it navigable (Semantic MediaWiki) -- so there's been a bit of a delay finishing this because we are in the process of writing some patches for Semantic MediaWiki that will allow us to do what we need to do. Work has never stopped however; there is very steady progress.

What Do You Want To See?

There are people who only use the wiki for the SRD, and one of the things that was brought up in the previous thread was the possibility of an SRD reorganization. I think that's a good idea -- I recognize that it's perhaps not organized in the most logical and rational fashion. The problem is that I don't really use that organizational structure at all, so I really don't know where to start. If you have suggestions for how you think the SRD on the wiki can be organized better, please let me know and we will see about implementing them.

What's Coming in the Future?

We have several projects coming in the future to help make the wiki more usable. One of the biggest projects we have, and the one I personally am most excited about, is a really advanced search feature -- where you can say, in a user-friendly and easy fashion "list all prestige classes with a good will save, full spellcasting, and a d10 hit die" and it will return back a list of exactly that.

How far are we away from that? I'd say about half-way. You can already do this sort of search using a page known as "Special:Ask", but it's somewhat complicated and not at all user friendly. What we want to do is write some software that will take in all this information from you in a very intuitive fashion and then output the results -- there is currently nothing out there that does this, so it's been a bit of slow going and this is a long-term goal. We are working on it though, and it is a big and definite goal we have in mind.

Another project we are working on is a publication list. We want to be the one-stop source for information about published D&D books, of every edition. This includes indexes, even from books that didn't have them. As you might expect that's a bit of a time-consuming thing, so don't expect it overnight -- however, I think once it's finished it will be quite an excellent resource for the community.

Tying in to the above is a repository of OGL material. There are a lot of books (hard cover, even) out there that are published with substantial OGL material. It's our goal to transcribe all this stuff onto our wiki and do it in the same easily-searchable, easily-indexible fashion that the rest of the wiki material is. We're working on this, but it's slow going. If you want to help I invite you to join in and I can point you to where we started. Another huge way to help is, if you own any of these books with open gaming content in them, start transcribing that content. It doesn't have to be in the wiki format -- you can really make it in whatever format and I'll reformat it for you.

Other projects we have in mind are support of AD&D 2e. I haven't started with that one yet because it would tax my own resources too much -- I don't know anything about AD&D (I started playing in 3rd edition) and do not even know where to begin. If you'd be interested in seeing an AD&D section on the wiki, please talk to me and we can start such a resource together. I'm excited about having one, because I know there is a lot of homebrew AD&D material out there, but practically none of it is indexed in a way that anyone can reasonably search.

Finally, I've just been keeping my eye out for other good homebrew and getting permission to post it on the wiki. Expect to see an increase in that stuff lately.

In Conclusion

It's been a pretty good couple of months for us, even with my limited resources (I'm only one guy, and I'm one of only two guys on the wiki who even understand the template language). We're working at a really steady rate. I hope to provide an update on how we're doing, what's new, and what you can look forward to in the future every month -- I don't want us to be aloof administrators who don't ever communicate to our users. Enjoy the wiki!

2009-11-14, 05:29 PM
I liked how in the old wiki you could see all the names of home brew classes without scrolling down, grouped by letter.

The races page would be better if the races were grouped by types.

2009-11-15, 03:45 PM
Kiren: I'm not sure what you mean by the first -- you mean a bunch of different links on the top where you'd click, say, "L" and then it would jump down to everything that started with an L? I'm sure we can do that for you.

Good call about the races, too -- I had completely forgotten about that. If I'm lucky, that should be up and running within the next two weeks.

2009-11-15, 06:39 PM

2009-11-18, 03:10 PM

This is more what I meant with the classes, from the old one.

2009-11-18, 03:59 PM

This is more what I meant with the classes, from the old one.
It is done. (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/3.5e_Base_Classes_Category_Format) We'll make the same for the other sections as well.

2009-11-26, 12:23 PM
Thank you, it makes it much easier to find an interesting class.