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FuzzicalLogic suggested ideas for setting WoWWiki apart from Wowpedia. I happen to agree that presentation and usability are important steps towards that goal. I feel that the dungeon/instance pages can be better streamlined to emphasize important information when intending to clear a dungeon, such as strategies with bosses and certain tips concerning dangerous situations or mobs.
For now, I'd like to suggest just two possible changes and I hope I can get some feedback on this.
When browsing the page quickly and skipping the ToC, the table is easily overlooked. On the one hand, this is due to its placement beneath the (often) long list of races that inhabit the dungeon. On the other, there is no comment in, above or beneath the table which calls attention to it and so looks itself very inconspicuous. For first time users, it takes an additional mental step to make the connection and open a new page to one of the bosses. For experienced users, it's a waste of space and time having to open an extra page for each boss when s/he simply wants a quick look at what s/he needs to look out for. Not everybody wants or needs to read through paragraphs of text and often it's unnecessary.
The first and easiest change I would make is switching the denizens list with the encounters table, so that the table is directly beneath the heading. Also, maybe place the denizens list in a collapsible table to make the page feel a little less cluttered.
I don't intend to integrate all the boss information into the dungeon page. With the number of bosses in each dungeon, it would make the pages large and unwieldy. Instead, I'd like to break down the single table we have now into one table per area and the associated boss. Within each table, mobs will be listed first with (important) notes on abilities or situations to watch out for (pull back, LoS pull, avoid patrol, fear, etc.). It doesn't have to be a per unit breakdown, but all the information (as precisely and concisely as possible) needed to clear the area should be there at first glance. Similarly with the associated boss. Important tips, a short list on abilities and, for each, a sentence on what it does (and whether interruptible, AoE, etc.). The above would be done for each area and would give readers a quick overview of a dungeon without having to delve into individual pages.
I'm willing to create an example of how this would look if anybody is interested (to be honest, I only have a rough idea of what it might look like, but I'll give it a try). --Jplayer01 (talk) 00:37, April 27, 2011 (UTC)
- I agree with moving the boss encounters above list of trash mobs. The list of bosses is what most visitors are interested in. If we get a few more people to agree, that should be a quick change (although there are a lot of pages to update).
- As for the more complex changes, I would sandbox an idea of how you want the new instance pages to look. You could make a copy of Blackrock Caverns at User:Jplayer01/Blackrock Caverns, make your changes there, and then tell us when you think it is ready to take a look. -- (talk · contr) 26 Apr 2011 6:18 PM Pacific
Furthermore, most mobs seem to link to mostly empty pages that list a few unimportant stats and then offer links to wowhead. Why the extra step? Why not link directly to wowhead? If a mob requires extra information, if somebody intends to finally add information at all, then a new individual page for that mob can be made. Otherwise, it seems like hollow padding that serves no purpose.
I have a final question though. Why aren't collapsible tables used more often? That way information like loot rewards or more detailed information could be integrated into a page, yet hidden until clicked on. This would keep the page clean and emphasize more important information, while also keeping the details close at hand.
- If we were to link directly to Wowhead, we might as well just link to Wowhead's instance pages and not have them on WoWWiki. You have to draw the line somewhere.
- As for collapsible tables, they can make page loading slow down quite a bit, but also as with the boss links, people can miss them. -- (talk · contr) 26 Apr 2011 6:11 PM Pacific
- Well, that's the thing, isn't it? If you can't differentiate from Wowhead, then why bother? The changes I suggest about making clearing information more accessible would be a step towards making the WoWWiki instance page more useful than, say, those on Wowpedia or Wowhead, as well as pruning pages which only clutter things up. Wowhead serves as a database of in-game objects, mobs, etc. Why not tap into it directly if you/we have no extra information to add on individual mobs? Unless you want to copy the Wowhead ability, loot, location information word for word, I don't see why individual mobs deserve their own pages. --Jplayer01 (talk) 09:29, April 27, 2011 (UTC)