Talk:Lotro-Wiki Contributors' Corner/Archive 2012

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Welcome to the Archive of the Talk Page of Contributors' Corner for 2012


How Do You Change a Page Name?

The quest "Orders of the Iron Crown" apparently was previously known as "Orders of the Black Crown". There is a page for "Orders of the Black Crown", so the name of the page needs to be changed. How is this done? Sarann (talk) 09:46, 19 January 2012 (EST)

Near the top of the page, next to 'View History', there should be a little drop-down arrow. Clicking that opens a menu with 'Move' and 'Watch'. - JnK (talk) 10:28, 19 January 2012 (EST)
Thank you! Sarann (talk) 10:39, 19 January 2012 (EST)

Liquid Threads Problems

Some of us are having problems using Liquid Threads. Here is the (non-LT) place to discuss this issue. RingTailCat (talk) 18:03, 19 January 2012 (EST)

  1. When trying to post a new discussion or a reply, the page appears to hang. The little spinning wait icon that comes up in the middle of the page does not go away before my patience runs out. This does not happen on all pages. I can post on User talk:RingTailCat and User talk:Lotroadmin with no problem. I can't post on User talk:Zimoon. It looks like Zimoon is not able to post on my User talk:RingTailCat page.
  2. I see a thread or thread reply in the Special:RecentChanges page. When I click it, I get a message that the thread does not exist. So we have a thread that has been partially created, enough that we see it in recent changes, but not enough that we can view it.
  3. The new message indicate shows up at the top of a page. When I click the "New Message" link, I get nothing. No doubt this is related to or a consequence of #2 above.
I concur, I tried to post a quick message at RTC's talk page yesterday and his description is accurate. It seems I can post on at least Magill's talk page though. Have not tested any more than his. So it looks RTC is borked somehow. Zimoon (talk) 02:10, 20 January 2012 (EST)
I venture into the same problems as the others. I cannot post anything on RTC's talk. I just get the spinning wait icon forever. The only way I got to talk to RTC yesterday was because he noticed there was something wrong on his page and we could talk on my (non-LT) talk page instead. --Ravanel (talk) 08:15, 20 January 2012 (EST)

And just when you thought we were caught up -- Riders of Rohan is announced:

Warner Brothers / Turbine toda (25 January 2012) announced the coming release ( Fall of 2012 ) of


  • Mounted Combat
  • Level cap bump to 85
"Details" at The_Lord_of_the_Rings_Online:_Riders_of_Rohan

Dev post from the Forums: (By Executive producer Nereid]

  • "This spring we’ll take our first steps along the path as we add another new region to the game and allow players to explore the shores of the Great River (Free for VIPs!). We’ll also introduce the option to bring Skirmish Soldier along to aid you on your adventures throughout Middle-earth. "

Forum: Riders-of-Rohan-Discussion

  • "So, bigger space than Moria, more stuff than Isengard." - Sapience

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:32, 25 January 2012 (EST)

Capitalization of XP

Ran into something that's not the same across all pages, and I don't think I've been consistent, either. For xp, do we leave it in lower case, put it in all caps (XP) or only capitalize the first letter (Xp)? I can't find anywhere in game that's shortened to xp, so I can't go by what the game has. To be consistent, I'd probably recommend XP, since most other acronyms are in full caps (LI, for example). And please, please don't recommend we spell it out everywhere. That will make me cry. Kadi (talk) 10:34, 31 January 2012 (EST)

I would go with XP. Could you perhaps give us some examples where the current usage is inconsistent? RingTailCat (talk) 11:02, 31 January 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately I didn't really pay much attention, besides on the LI page, which had some weird edits and the like before I started cleaning up. I'll keep my eyes open for it from now on. Kadi (talk) 11:23, 31 January 2012 (EST)
We often abbreviate item experience, as accumulated by legendary items, as IXP to distinguish it from character XP. RingTailCat (talk) 11:06, 31 January 2012 (EST)
XP looks like the most correct version to me as well. : ) --Ravanel (talk) 11:07, 31 January 2012 (EST)
I'll start changing everything to that, then, when I see it. Kadi (talk) 11:23, 31 January 2012 (EST)
For what it's worth -- IXP (all caps) is the standard abbreviation used for experience as applied to legendary Items - short for Item Experience - throughout the Forums and Dev postings. And if one of the bot-makers felt so inclined, it would be "easy" to fix, probably 90% of the capitalization errors.Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:38, 31 January 2012 (EST)
And XP is, as far as I know, the standard acronym over all concurrent game communities, even if some are more odd than others :-P Zimoon (talk) 13:20, 31 January 2012 (EST)

Some reference pages

Because I could never figure out "Who's on First?" ...

1- I created a couple of reference pages -- the start of a sort-of-a-kind-of index for Release Notes (boy are they screwed up) and Dev Diaries.

Enjoy... don't feel shy about point out errors, there are probably many as the pages are the result of some manic Emacs-ing and then cutting and pasting into the wiki editor.

2- On another note... Massive changes are under way in the Lua arena. I've just started to document the new Plugin tools and creating the pages in :Category:Lua

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 21:05, 1 February 2012 (EST)
Good to hear you're keeping the Lua stuff totally up to date! --Ravanel (talk) 05:53, 2 February 2012 (EST)

WOW... Turbine/Time Warner is hiring --

Quite an extensive list of positions in Boston -- some 44 position listings. About half of the list posted in 2012.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:21, 24 February 2012 (EST)

Unused files

The Special:UnusedFiles contains 250 < X < 500 items. As far as I see a bunch of old images of various quality, many of them are icons that are replaced by generic versions, and yet others are just unused. Deleting them one by one seems a tiresome task, somebody have a better idea?
Zimoon (talk) 09:13, 29 February 2012 (EST)

There is something odd going on with file references. See for instance: Item:Gondorian Shield which has icon=Gondorian Shield-icon, so it should reference Gondorian Shield-icon.png. But when you look at the File:Gondorian Shield-icon.png page, it says no pages reference the file.
If you look at Item:Bear Meat and Meat 3-icon.png, though, there is a reference.
I'm not sure what is going on here, but I urge extreme caution before deleting images that look like they are unused! RingTailCat (talk) 12:19, 29 February 2012 (EST)
I think the Item:Gondorian Shield vs Gondorian Shield-icon.png issue was simply one of timing. According to the file page, the image had been uploaded at 17:20, 28 February 2012 -- less than 24 hours befor your RTC's posting above -- and, I assume here, before the cron-job runs which generates the "what links here" reference list. If you check that page today, it contains both a pointer to the Item page and to this posting.
I don't know when/how often those cron-jobs run, or how long they take to run. (Or for that matter, how many such jobs run.)
As for automating the deletion of such things, one supposes that you could add a script which "moves" all items "about to be deleted" into a list, then runs a second time, 24 or 48 hours later, diff's the lists and then deletes the contents of that remaining list 24 or 48 hours later. "Obviously," one must believe that the contents of the list are in fact "unreferenced" -- or else there is no point in making the list. The only "hole" I see is if a "first part of a thingie" is added to one part of the Wiki WHILE or before the update is running, and that the "second part of a thingie" is added AFTER the update runs. (Classic DB race/update stuff.)
For what it's worth, I would assume that the main reason the list is so large is that it is "un-monitored." And once such a list gets to have more then about 10 items in it, it becomes something which cannot be easily monitored, and so therefore it gets left "until I have more time to look at this in detail." :)
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:14, 29 February 2012 (EST)

Hoping for an edit to all Crafted Item pages

Ok, so I've been pretty deep into crafting in LotRO since I started playing (about a year ago, FYI). Five of my characters are Master of the Guild with their respective crafting guilds - Scholar, Jeweller, Woodworker, Tailor, and Metalsmith. Since I started crafting, my premier source of crafting information has been Lotro-wiki. Now that I've decided to become less of a lurker on the site and more of a contributor, I want to address my biggest pet peeve about Lotro-wiki's crafting resources.

When I am at a crafted item's Item page, usually having just linked there from the corresponding Recipe Index page, there is no intuitive link back to said index. Obviously, I can just hit the "Back" button on the browser usually, but if I either searched for the item directly or was linked from somewhere else, it's not so easy. The only way I can find to get to the index is to use the "What links here" tool. Now, this wouldn't be a big deal if it weren't for the fact that every crafted item page veritably taunts me with blue text promising to link me to, say, Westfold (Tier 7). I can't tell you how many times I've clicked on that link, only to be sent to the Crafting#Crafting levels page. There's a reason that the Crafting page is the fifth most viewed page on this site; it currently has 601,981 views as I write this. If not for me, there's no way that page would have over 400k. It's just so very frustrating to be linked to an irrelevant page when, intuitively, clicking that link should send me elsewhere. For all intents and purposes, those damn links might as well be listed as Westfold (Tier 7).

What's the possibility of fixing this issue? Has anyone else ever had this same frustrating experience? I'm not really sure what the best way to solve the problem is. I'll give you my thoughts on the issue though. Currently, the template for a new item includes this (optional) section:

== Craft Information ==
Profession: [[Profession Name]]

Crafting Level: [[:Crafting#Crafting levels|Level Name (Tier Number)]]

Recipe: [[Item:Recipe Name|]]
Standard Recipe Result: [[Item:Standard Item Name|]]

Critical Success Result: [[Item:Critical Success Item Name|]]

The "Profession" link in the above template already set something of a precedent for the type of intuitive index link that I am hoping for. For instance, on the page for an item crafted by a woodworker, the "Profession" link links to Woodworker, not Woodworker. That would be counterintuitive. I think it would be very helpful to myself and a multitude of other crafters if the Crafting Level link in the template could be changed, effectively, to

[[Profession_Name Level_Name Recipe Index|Level Name (Tier Number)]]

(sidenote) I just did that crap again accidentally while looking something up, I kid you not. Crafting page views +1. (/sidenote) Anyway, changing the template in the way suggested obviously wouldn't immediately solve the issue of the thousands of crafted items currently in the system which link to the Crafting page (out of curiosity, I actually just checked this using What Links Here on the Crafting page, and searching only in the "Item" namespace - 6,112 items currently. Compare this to the 90 total pages that link to the Class page, the most viewed on the site short of the main page). A change that widespread would be something that I presume would be best performed by a bot of some sort. I don't really know what exactly goes into programming a bot; nor do I know how reasonable it would be to have a bot take care of this. If it would be possible, and if someone could point me in the right direction of a bot template or guide of some sort (?), I would be more than happy to prepare whatever programming would be necessary for the bot to perform this action.

If this change is not reasonable or feasible, please let me know. If this is a change that others would like to see and that would be feasible to implement, please let me know what I would need to do to get started. Of course, if there's a better/more intuitive way to solve this problem, any input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance! -- Uzekh (talk) 19:35, 14 March 2012 (EDT)

Heh, crafting was what brought me to this site too when I started playing last summer, and my first post at this site was at this very page, probably still in some archive. And it was not too far off from your concerns. The circle goes around ;-)
I agree that much can be done with how we inter-link recipes and items. Another example is how a recipes if obtained, usually that information is not found at the recipe page, where it should be first hand, but at the table of recipes-per-tier. But there are more items at my wish-list.
If there is anything that can be done to the templates for the crafted-item-pages we can definitely try to fix that, given some spare time. If this may be done by a bot I am sure some of the bot-owners might do it if notified -- and I guess RTC is here soon ;) -- But if this link is something that must be added manually onto each page I am afraid you need to walk over them manually, and anybody else having the urge too of course (this means: "I could do it but after completing the geography section of this site). So let us see if there is an automated way first.
Zimoon (talk) 03:53, 15 March 2012 (EDT)
I'm not much of a crafter, but I agree that the indexes are far too much 'hidden' - there's not an easy way to get to them. When I was new to the wiki I only stumbled into them by accident and always had trouble finding them back. Linking from the item pages to the index articles seems a good first step to do something about that. --Ravanel (talk) 04:20, 15 March 2012 (EDT)
Ha, Zimoon must be prescient. I've have really enjoyed crafting. I have Masters of the Guild in every guild and several Westfold Masters in every craft. Some of the crafts are better organized than others. I prefer the ones where the indexes are split up by tier. The numbers: 2800+ recipes (plus many more for all the legendary items), 7 tiers, and 10 vocations. The indexes are a real life saver when they are easy to navigate. I am a big fan of tabbed browsing. I probably use Ctrl-click to open a link in another tab more often that I Click to open the link in the same tab or window. That way I have an trail of open tabs as cookie crumbs, rather than having to use the browser back button. Picture the complexity of chasing down the farming requirements to make, for example, a cook's supreme repast. You have to follow through intermediate ingredients in lower tiers, to find all the crops your farmer has to grow. It's a lot easier to do when you have snapshot along the way to jump back to rather than working in a linear list of visited pages. But, my browsing habits aside, it is still easier to navigate the crafting pages when they are nicely organized.
If we could use a simple bot to make simple changes on a lot of pages, it would save a lot of time and effort. First off, the bot needs a list or set of pages to work with. That list can be a local text file containing a list of page references:
* [[page1]]
* [[page2]]
or it can be a category or category tree, or a namespace and starting page, or it can work on all the pages that link from or to a page. Second, one kind of simple bot needs a replacement specification. This is a set of regular expression search and replacement patterns. Another simple bot will add text at the top or bottom of the page. Doing more complex things requires that the bot understand the page contents and structure. Out-of-the box bots do not. I have spent some time trying to write a parser for wikitext. It is difficult because wikitext is a complex merger of html and the wiki markup language, which is not well defined, even by MediaWiki. So far, I have not found a BNF or EBNF specification of the language grammer. (Sorry, I didn't want to get too technical here.) The bottom line is that there are a lot of easy fixes that a bot can be made to do. The challenge is to develop the specification for a target page set, and the specifications of the desired changes. Have a look at User:RingTailBot where I have left the change specifications that I've used so far. RingTailCat (talk) 09:02, 15 March 2012 (EDT)
I've been frustrated by this at times too, and I think it would make more sense for the "Crafting Level" line to link to the relevant index, rather than the general crafting page. If the recipes were categorized by tier and profession, it wouldn't seem too hard to send a bot through them and replace that line, or add a separate link at the bottom or top. It would mean a large number of bot sweeps (10 professions x 7 tiers = 70, though the gathering professions are simpler), but that would still be quite a bit less work than doing them all by hand. (Granted I don't actually know anything about how bots work, so maybe I'm wrong. I should really look into it sometime.) Unfortunately, at the moment the recipes for each profession are only categorized in one very large category (Category:Cook Recipes for exmample). -- Elinnea (talk) 16:54, 16 March 2012 (EDT)
The recent change to the Recipe template at least categorize per profession, I hesitated to do it per tier. I will have a look during the weekend and see what can be done at a template level. Maybe maybe they could do the first turn, and let bots fix the rest. Zimoon (talk) 17:43, 16 March 2012 (EDT)
What about putting a grid of links at the bottom of every recipe page. If that's too much, perhaps just a single line for the recipe's craft:
Crafting Recipe Indexes
Craft Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 6 Tier 7
Cook Apprentice Journeyman Expert Artisan Master Supreme Westfold
Farmer Apprentice Journeyman Expert Artisan Master Supreme Westfold
This is a very rough partial example. Notice that the cells in the grid link back to the Craft Tier index pages. It would be very easy to place a template reference on the bottom of every recipe page to display something like this. If this grid is too bulky, we could make it a collapsible table so it only took up one line, like Quest Rewards.
RingTailCat (talk) 18:03, 16 March 2012 (EDT)
I have had a look at some templates but that is probably not the way to go, they are one-direction from the recipe to the item. That means that if we want a link backward from item to recipe we need a bot job done.
On the other hand, it is no problem adding links to recipe/crafting pages that link to the appropriate recipe index page, and to a master index page if that is wanted. Or anything else that the template knows about from the given parameters.
Now reading through the original post I wonder:
From an item, is it to the index you want to go? If so, why not to the recipe?
About that link "Crafting Level: Artisan (Tier 4) which takes you to Crafting#Crafting levels I cannot but concur, it is awful and I have no idea who came up with that brilliant idea ;) Of course it should take you to the profession or master index page. Since the Profession is stated nearby I guess the easiest solution is to have a bot replace that link with a link to the profession index page, but leaving the displayed tier-text as-is. right?
The above but leaving the profession link as-is. A bit down at that page the profession index is found, but yes, that includes some page scrolling.
@RTC: I guess botting on the Item namespace is OK, filtering on the crafting related stuff mentioned in this post. Yes, lots of pages but only a few needs a real edit so you should be able to run at one per sec or so. This issue is from-item to index-or-recipe, not recipe-forwards. To insert a link from items that miss a link to the proper recipe I guess we first need to scan all recipes and gather which items they produce and then iterate over those and fix them --- I don't know if a bot can do that. Producing a list of "defunct" items for manual fixing would also do.
Finally, whether to have a grid or link at each recipe is another subject, but worth thinking about. The neatest would simply be a link to the profession-index, and that is easiest done by the recipe template where all that info already exists.
  • We need a bot to replace Crafting Level: [[:Crafting#Crafting levels|Level Name (Tier Number)]]
    with Crafting Level: [[PROFESSION#Recipes|Level Name (Tier Number)]]
    where PROFESSION is extracted from the line Profession: [[Profession Name]].
  • We may want to add a link to the profession recipe index via the recipe template.
Zimoon (talk) 12:58, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
See Item:Crafted Buckler. I made a bot to change this page. If this is the correct change, I will try to develop the item list. It looks like there are only some 800 to 1000 items that fit this pattern. RingTailCat (talk) 14:09, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
IMHO it's perfect :-) -- Zimoon (talk) 20:00, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for the replies! I'm sorry I didn't contribute to the discussion past the first post. When I posted, I had clicked, "Watch this page", and I for some reason presumed that there would be a message at the top of the screen if anyone had replied. I hadn't actually come back to check the topic because of this, so I kind of thought I was being ignored :P So I was very excited to check the page out and see that you friendly people have summarily come up with a solution for the problem. Clearly, I've got a lot to learn.

Anyway, Zimoon, you mentioned having a link to the recipe from the item; if I understand you correctly, this link already exists on every crafted item page. You may be meaning something else though, I'm not sure.

RTC, the Item:Crafted Buckler page has exactly the change that I'd envisioned. As Zimoon said, it's perfect. If you've already put a bot together that takes care of it, that's great. You said that it looks like there are only 800-1000 items that fit that pattern, though, which seems off to me, judging by the sheer number of items that link to the Crafting page. I checked a few random items, and it looks like there are some items (perhaps just resource items?) that currently have the script

Tier Level: [[Crafting#Crafting levels|Level name (Tier number)]]

rather than

Crafting Level: [[:Crafting#Crafting levels|Level Name (Tier Number)]]

Cf. Item:Amethyst I'm going to try to look into this a bit more and see if I can figure out why only 800-1000 items would be showing up for you. I'm pretty sure that there's well over 1000 tailor items, for instance, all of which should have that script in their respective pages. -- Uzekh (talk) 18:30, 19 March 2012 (EDT)
I think there are two reasons for the low counts. One, the items may be ingredients to the recipies. In that case, like Item:Amethyst they may be using different wording. Two, the crafted item may not use the text. The text we are looking at is from the boilerplate rather than generated from the template. The page authors may have omitted that bit of text. I know I have created crafted item pages that did not contain that text. I think it may depend on the order in which items get created. If you create the recipe item and then the crafted item, you might be more likely to put in the crafting info, but if you create the item before (or without) the recipe, you might not know or take the time to insert the crafting info. A crafter might be more motivated to put the crafting information on the page, while an item user might only be interested in the items stats.
Now, for ingredients. Some crafts have ingredients that are unique to a tier. Other have ingredients that are used in several tiers, and some have crafted ingredients that are a bit of both, and could be made at one tier and used at another - Cook recipes come to mind.
What this all means is that we may need several passes, some easy, and some harder, to get the recipes right. RingTailCat (talk) 18:58, 19 March 2012 (EDT)
I've noticed something that strikes me as a bit odd while creating new items over the past couple weeks. In the boilerplate, the line in question is

Crafting Level: [[:Crafting#Crafting levels|Level name (Tier number)]],

while I would expect it to be

Crafting Level: [[Crafting#Crafting levels|Level name (Tier number)]].

Does that initial colon serve any functional purpose? Either way, if there are some items that have that colon and some that don't, is it possible that this would be affecting the bot's search? Uzekh (talk) 19:54, 19 March 2012 (EDT)

A busy night -- Stub Tag

I've been "cleaning up" the categories:

  • I finally fixed the "stacking bug" for the assorted tags! (I don't understand WHY it fixes it, but eliminating the "Category" statement at the beginning of the Template was the "fix."
  • So, I basically made them all "look alike." Using the one tag that seemed to "work" -- Category:Stubs/Crafting -- as a base, I was able to figure out "what was different" about the others -- now they all look and hopefully (sill) all work the same way.

To do all this, I created a page: User:Magill/sandbox-stubs which contains ALL the stubs from multiple locations. (That I've found so far. Let me know if there are others I don't have.)

That page contains examples of all the Tags. It also lists what I've done, and what still needs to be done as far as "documentation" and "culling."

As part of this effort, each template page is now at least "partially" documented. Primarily inserting a "when to use this tag" statement

At the bottom is a list of all the Categories where things wind up. There are a couple which are paired, which I've noted on their respective Category pages.

Template:Confirmation I don't think anything is changed or broken in the way the tags work. Let me know if you find anything. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 04:07, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

What I have seen you've made a great job /thumbsup -- Zimoon (talk) 08:36, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
I agree, good job on all that cleaning-up and compiling work. The mix of stubs and other templates is a bit confusing, and it's helpful to see everything laid out. Maybe we can put together some better documentation at the Stubs category page, or at another location perhaps. -- Elinnea (talk) 18:29, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

Prototype CSS3 Main Page for testing and comments

Main Page/Main Page CSS3 Example - SChalice (talk) 14:07, 23 March 2012 (EDT)

Nice change. Not as "plain." Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 03:46, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

Dunland - Dunbog, major catch-up

I just spent the evening "catching up" with Dunbog. Collecting missing images, adding "stuff," completing locations, etc.

I think I only have Lhan Coven ... er Lhan Colvarn yet to do.

If anyone has the time, please start at Dunbog and see what is missing (or screwed up). I've tried to make all the various locations, especially, consistent in their layout. Most of them were obviously only "place holders."

The major thing missing at this point is the KoLM stats. My LM is only 56, so I can't be much help there.

I'm assuming that the "next" set of Dunland areas is in a similar state. I had previously done similar work on Nan Curunír where there was quite a bit of information missing... like virtually all of the quests with Quickbeam. I added a lot of information about the various "buffs/debuffs" which the Mobs in the Vale all have. In retrospect, after working Dunbug, I realize that Most?All? of those Mobs need an "Abilities" section added.

I've added some "tactics" sections to some of the quest "Walkthroughs." If anyone has any experience with the Upper Barnavon quests, I'd love for suggestions. I haven't been able to solo them at 75 on either my Hunter of other Rune Keeper, they are tough solos even though Turbine labels them that way.

I'm leveling one of my Rune Keepers, who is now not quite Level 71, so I'll be working the rest of the areas in short order.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 04:10, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

Why don't we...

Don't know why this thought did not occur to me earlier -- maybe it did to everyone else and it has already been voted down...

Personally, I hate IRC. Don't know why, I just do.

So, since VIPs etc, can have toons on multiple servers -- why don't we pick a server and start our own Kinship on it? Yeah, I know it wold mean starting new characters, but what better way to check-up on what Turbine has been up to?

The Parallel suggestion is -- why don't we Mumble?

Mumble is much like Vent/Teamspeak -- in that you can get a "private" mumble server for a small number of people for cheap. ( -- The The servers are run by Lightspeed who also runs the Ventrillo and Teamspeak serves. I had one of their Vent servers for a couple of years.

15 mumble slots is $46.80/year.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:00, 27 March 2012 (EDT)
I've heard Gilrain referred to as the unofficial wiki server. There's a user created channel over there - I don't know what it's actually for, but I've used it to communicate with a number of wiki folk: Ravanel, EoD, Sethladan. I'm usually on Gilrain when I'm checking class information, but for other things I go elsewhere, because I don't have a high-level character on that server and it's sort of a pain to level one up when I already have another ready to log on. Some people, like Zimoon, have been working a lot at lower-level content, and for those sorts of things I think it would be fun to have our own kinship. I've thought about joining somebody else's server so we can work on some of the fellowship-type quests or deeds for wiki-info-gathering purposes. But for the people who are working at the level cap, or raiding, it would be much more inconvenient to go to a new server.
I think Mumble/Vent/etc. is not a bad idea, but I personally am very shy of voice chat. I think communicating through typed chat is much less intimidating, and I imagine it would be even more so for any newcomer who just wants to ask questions, etc. And of course somebody would have to pay for upkeep.
I don't mind IRC too much, although it had a steep learning curve when I first started using it, and it's a bit annoying when I'm away from my normal computer and don't have easy access to it (like this week). And sometimes it's hard to catch people there. But it's been a useful alternative to writing on everyone's talk pages.
I'm not aware that other options like these have been discussed since I've been here - but maybe it was before my time and someone else has an opinion. :) -- Elinnea (talk) 14:23, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
I'd prefer to see all discussions about the wiki in the talk pages of the wiki or in the forums. These should be accessible to anyone who visits, support searching, and be open and transparent. Discussions and decisions need to be documented for all to see.
Using IRC, or ever worse, voice chat, does not create a permanent record of the discussions, unless someone remembers to log the chats, and insert them into the wiki. IRC can serve a useful role for socializing and casual assistance while editing, but any discussions that involve changing templates, establishing best practices or policies must be in a more open, public and permanent arena. We have a global distribution of visitors and editors, and editors with vastly different time constraints for editing and gaming. No matter what time you pick for key real-time discussions (IRC or voice chat), some interested parties will not be able to participate. RingTailCat (talk) 14:55, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
Hi Magill, and good ideas! We haven't been talking about this before. I don't feel much for moving to another server myself, since I'm doing much end-game raiding at Gilrain, the unofficial wiki test server. :P We indeed have a chat channel there where I invited wiki-friends to, and you'd of course be welcome too if you'd want to set some characters up there. I'm not up for creating a kin though, I'm in two active ones already. You should also think of the huge time difference between American and European players (Gilrain is a server with peeks during European times).
I think the current way is the most logical, to be totally honest. Many people are vent-shy. Many people are even not on IRC yet! Which is a shame, in my opinion. I don't share RTC's ideas on this one: I found IRC a good place to be, not only to chat, but also to co-operate, stimulate each other for projects, brainstorm and get ideas. It doesn't really matter whether we use IRC or another program - the IRC just happened to be there, so that's why I started using it. --Ravanel (talk) 19:50, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
I've considered this in the past, but IRC is only marginally successful and a lot of that has to do with timezones.
  • Discussion/Talk pages -- offline discussions on issues about a given page, which is pretty local discussion for most pages. Few pages have a wiki-wide impact. --negative: slow to decision
  • Forums -- offline discussions on wiki-wide issues, few threads will impact a certain page --negative: slow to decision,
  • IRC -- near realtime tech support that folks can discuss wiki-wide and single page issues
  • Vent -- realtime tech support that folks can discuss wiki-wide and single page issues. --negative, limited number of connections.
I'm with RingTailCat that the key decisions should at least end up on a talk page or a help page for others to read and even comment on. My initial thought was if IRC was more successful, then I would have offered up a voice server, but I would have to consider how to manage the limited number of connections and do we limit it to certain ranks, or open to all... --Lotroadmin (talk) 20:30, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
I don't have anything to add really. Game-wise I play in a kin with guys I have known for years, actually longer than Lotro has existed. That means I am unwilling to change server. That means I already struggle with text-chat, when I am in|Lotro I really am and don't pay much attention to IRC (plus I like to play full-screen-mode). That means I am usually already in voice-chat, we have tried as well Vent as TS and all of us prefer TS (both have good voice but TS have way more intuitive UI and the features we like, paid 16-slot server for a few Euro a year). Would I not already have my gaming friends this would be a completely different tale.
I concur with Lotroadmins summary, IRC is great for quick tech/style questions but is also (mainly?) used for chit-chatting. Forums has the disadvantage to be decoupled from he wiki, yet another site to visit, hence I am hardly there. Talk pages are great for decisions and/or suggestions, but expect several days (or weeks) to get somewhere. -- Zimoon (talk) 02:02, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
To make sure I don't get misunderstood: I do totally agree changes should be discussed on talk pages, so they're open to everyone. We all know too well how frustrating it is when people go change stuff in a template you've worked on without even mentioning. --Ravanel (talk) 05:27, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
A couple of thoughts:
  • IRC can have a pretty steep learning curve, but there's an easily-accessible webchat for Freenode - - that I keep meaning to advise people about. It's a quick and easy way to hop on without setting up any client at all.
  • RTC's comment about talk pages makes me think it might be a good idea to encourage people to use project pages more often. I know I'm often impatient and want to change things quickly, so I hop on IRC, get someone to agree with me, and do it. Returning to those poor neglected project pages would a) better organize people interested in a certain area, b) allow better "documentation" of decisions, and c) probably allow for newcomers to more easily ease into contributing if they see a semi-centralized list of tasks to join. Sethladan 13:03, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

Yes, talk pages are probably THE most used as well as the most important means of communicating on the Wiki. I was kind of thinking past/beyond that issue.

I guess I'm thinking about "hooking" in the new "editors-to-be."

Forums? What Forums?... oh yeah, them....

Sigh, I used them when I first discovered the WIKI and then realized that nobody used them. It's a shame that they are so completely "unlinked" to the wiki. (Liquid Threads?)

IRC seemed to be somewhat more active, but not much. I don't have any technical issues with IRC, and easily configured GUI clients for all platforms abound today. The main reason that IRC usage is not widespread is that it is ancient history. It has been around since almost the beginning of the Internet (email and usenet news are older) and has always been considered "Techie" and therefore the province of "geeks" because it required "command line access" and required "typing" instead of "point and click" -- only used by those "in the know" and the Internet "underground. All that said, there are very few people on #lotro-wiki most of the time, and it's always only the same 4 or 5 folks. And I'm on all kinds of weird hours being EST/EDT and tend to be on nothing vaguely resembling a "normal" sleep schedule, seeming to fall into 36 hour days given the chance. So,it really doesn't seem to be "attractive" to "new editors."

I was thinking of Voice Chat, in essentially the same vein as I use IRC -- asking "simple" questions, not discussing policy, etc. I agree that neither forum provides any kind of "historic record."

The problem I have with the "Historic Record" is the fact that it doesn't really exist -- in in any kind of permanent or logical form. What exists for the most part, an agreement amongst individuals to do something "this way." The Templates tend to be the only documentation for this agreement. This is neither good nor bad, just the way it is. And from many points of view, it is clearly GOOD as it does limit the amount of fore-knowledge one needs before being able to contribute anything. I guess what I find, still, difficult is the "Help" section. But since I'm no longer new to the Wiki, my own foibles and prejudices get in the way of what I'm seeing. My biggest problem with the wiki is still "finding things!" -- what is "logical" to me most often, is not to others.

BTW, you'll notice I'm not "young and hip" and did not suggest that the "solution" was to have pages on "Facebook" and "Google+" and a "Twitter" account :) Yeah, I have accounts, but can't be bothered to learn how to use them. -- even though Turbine does. But then those are, I believe, aimed at the 10-15 year old demographic -- the F2P players -- should we care?

Oh well, off to create a new toon on Gilrain... hmmm... probably should be a squishy Lore Master...but I prefer Rune Keepers Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 16:12, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

People Template

Working with Evendim I come across a massive amount of tombs for characters that should go into Category:People. That category is for characters known from Tolkien's works, whether NPCs in Lotro or not. Whatever, since these guys are dead buried in these tombs they are not NPCs, still worth their own short page for the curious reader. Adding two of them earlier today I realized that some data would do better in an info-box than expressed in loose text, at least for the reader who want the quick facts. So, I experimented a bit with the idea, now visible at User:Zimoon/Sandbox#Testing People Template. If this is something we can go ahead with I am happy to polish it and add proper documentation.
Zimoon (talk) 13:55, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

Added usage text and an example (after some improvement). Comments please, at User:Zimoon/Sandbox#Testing People Template. I am a bit undecided about the left-aligned versus center-aligned, center emphasises the genealogy tree somewhat better, but that is its only reason.
Zimoon (talk) 13:47, 3 April 2012 (EDT)

Moria update status

I've just completed a large update of Moria "stuff" -- Iron Garrison Guards and Miners primarily. I think I've got it all right... at first I got caught on an unexpectedly-named transclude. If one starts at Category:Moria and works the Guards and Miners down and back up, I believe all of the parts mesh and the extras are gotten rid of.

I stuck some "documentation" on the Category pages Category:Iron Garrison Guards Reputation NPCs and Category:Iron Garrison Miners Reputation NPCs that is hopefully both accurate and will help the future updates. I thought I had a toon low enough in rep to get full prices, but alas, they are too low to get into Moria! But as I'm thinking about this as I write it... can you buy things from these rep vendors if you don't have the rep level (Ally) to get the discount?

I've done some work on Dolven-view and The Twenty-first Hall. Still more to be done on each. And milestones are missing all over the place.

One issue I have encountered in Moria frequently is the difference in usage between "The Name" and "Name." It looks like "most" of those pages have already been given re-directs. However, if one uses the In-game Maps as "naming references" there are still one or two differences -- Foundations of Stone is one in particular, which we call "The Foundations of Stone."

I've begun putting together a list in the top-level Moria category to use as we update the various Areas, Settlements and Locations and their respective navigation templates.

And the Images of Moria -- I realize Moria is "dark" but some of those images are REALLY dark!!! New "well lit" ones are welcomed.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:31, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

I have a character who has just entered Moria and hasn't worked up the rep yet, so I'll have her check with the vendors next time she's logged in. It is possible to talk with the rep vendors before having any reputation, though of course any items that require Ally or higher will always be purchased with the discount in effect. But the standard I've seen here is to mark everything with the non-discounted price, which I guess is the only way to make anything consistent. --Elinnea (talk) 11:23, 7 April 2012 (EDT)

News extension being replaced by DynamicPageList(intersection)

In preparation for the next MW upgrade, I've reviewed the extensions and noticed that DynamicPageList(intersection) and News are really duplicates of each other. It's unclear if News will be maintained with the new MW repository, so it got the axe. Please let me know if you see any issues. i.e. pages that have "Invalid tag extension name: news" --Lotroadmin (talk) 21:01, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

Creatures vs Mobs and other artifacts of time

There are quite a few places in this WIKI where consistency is "challenged." I just ran into another one.

Returning to work I was doing earlier -- trying to sort out (and document) "Stubs" -- I have encountered several similar categories, which one would expect to be virtually identical:

Why should they be "identical" you ask? Simply put, all of the "Tags" are templates which (should) put things into the matching Stubs, which represent "things to do" -- at least that sounds logical to me.

What I am theorizing (like an archaeologist or anthropologist trying to guess what happened long ago[1]) is the following:
What we have here is an example of the "change over time" syndrome.
... and as anybody in IT knows, changes rarely get documented in a timely manner, but are maintained by Oral Tradition -- until the person responsible becomes more interested in something else, i.e. gets laid off, changes jobs, etc. But I digress.

The first inconsistency one hits is not a big deal: Template:Confirmation should really be Template:Stub/Confirmation.

This is reenforced by the fact that the category "Stubs/Confirmation" exists. That one, I think, is a simple rename fix, especially since it is only used in 3 places.
However, interestingly, it appears that Category:Articles needing confirmation should contain pages marked with that tag, but it does not. AND that category is part of Category:Things_to_do but most all of the other "Stubs" categories are not -- but "Stubs" itself is... sigh.
  • So the first question is -- is that Template:Confirmation broken or just missing something? I don't know enough about templates at this point in time to know.

Then next we immediately encounter Template:Stub/Mob which has no "matching" "Stub" sub-category.

This one, I believe, started out one way, and then instead of changing, simply "partially added-on." MOB is an "archaic term" from the days of MUDs. "Creature" is clearly the preferred term of use on this WIKI.
  • So, I propose changing Template:Stub/Mob to Template:Stub/Creature, which it basically already is, except for alphabetization. It would become "Creatures (Mob) Stub" instead of "Mob (Creatures) Stub. ... oops ...
  • However, there is both a Stubs/Creature and Stubs/Mob which may or may not overlap. At first glance, it appears they do not.
Is this just because there were lots of "Stubs/Mobs" created in the early days, and all need to be BOT-converted to "Stubs/Creature" or is the fact that "Stubs/Mob" is (apparently) organized by Area but in some cases by Region, by virtue of the value of "location" in the Creature template.

A clear example of what is happening "now" is Rat - found in "Stubs/Mob - Category:The_Great_River_Mob_Stubs" and in "Category:The Great River Creatures" but NOT in "Stubs/Creature". "The Great River Creature" is in Creatures by Location.

Simply changing the Template name should not effect what the template does... just make it easier to find.
If we look at Splintertusk Mauler we discover that it appears in the three categories -- Stubs/Creature; Bree-land Creatures and Bree-land Mob Stubs. But as soon as we remove the Stub/Mob tag is removed, the Stubs/Creature category is removed. -- but in either case, there is nothing in the "Things to do" listing. Oh, there probably is, but with 1600 some odd listings there it is impossible to find. (If you could skip to an alpha heading that might be useful, but I don't know.)
  • I guess this makes the question -- is "Stubs/Creatures" a meaningful (useful) category at all! Is it intended to be a complete alphabetical listing of all Mobs? (I cannot find Rat in Stubs/Creatures (It does not have a Mob Tag.)
  1. Motel of the Mysteries, by David Macaulay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979
  • worked the tags stuff a bit more and created a "more permanent" home for the display page.
  • And, Oh yeah, almost forgot. (Hopefully) I cleaned up some of the Deed Faction vs Reputation usage this evening.

Apologies for rambling on, but I need to both short things out as well as remember what I started doing. :) Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 02:40, 10 April 2012 (EDT)

Too tired to read very careful, but I learned not long ago that there is one thing with stubs, which perhaps make it different from whattodo: you don't (have to) create categories for stubs, even if there is a red link. Example: you find a page that has a red link for XYZ Stubs, click the red link and in that page, click what-links-here. From the result page you can open new browser tabs for each page you want to update right there, but you don't create anything for the "red link". There are of course other ways to find these red-links, e.g. via some feature at Special Pages.
Without thought I wonder if management is for regular chores, such as walk over the collection of articles-for-deletion and the like. I have no idea what the whattodo is meant for, perhaps more of fix-this-bug, which is very different from a list of chores. But as I said, I am tired and have not investigated, still I am not convinced those three are 100% equal in all aspects.
Mobs versus creatures, now we are there again :)   I would not touch anything before asking Ravanel. Remember that the creature template automagically uses some of these different terms, sometimes stubs sometimes creatures ... and I have never had a reason to look at that code. Neither what it could break.
One other thing, Magill. Please .. keep everything at the same indention level for your entire post, that makes it sooooo much easier to see what is your post versus any others post. The zigzag line above does not add to the readability, so why use it? At least I find it hard to figure out who said what and when. Thanks in advance.
-- Zimoon (talk) 18:38, 10 April 2012 (EDT)

Update 6.1

Update 6.1 is currently on Bullroarer, and with the Anniversary festivities starting on Sunday I'd wager it'll go live before long. Patch notes are up on the LOTRO forums in the Bullroarer section.

One minor, unmentioned change I noticed is that the various cloak rewards from Dunland started using a new icon - still a generic, but a new one. The landscape reward uncommon cloaks use the uncommon version, and the rare cloaks from the Book 4 epic use the rare version. I've gone ahead and uploaded them as Cloak 7, but it's probably better to wait until the update goes live to start swapping them in. -- JnK (talk) 11:57, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

Er, I stand corrected. Apparently they overwrote the default cloak icon (our Cloak 1) with that new icon, which looks to depict the Cloak of the Fifth Spring. So the vast majority of cloaks are now using it. -- JnK (talk) 14:18, 16 April 2012 (EDT)
That's very strange, they really did. I feel like I should wait to update anything, just to see if they realize it was a mistake and take it all back. It's a nice enough icon, for the Cloak of the Fifth Spring, it just seems to have little to do with most of the cloaks it applies to now. I wonder why it happened. -- Elinnea (talk) 21:12, 17 April 2012 (EDT)
Why don't we replace just the icon file? If they change it back, we can change the icon back and don't need to update all the pages. --EoD (talk) 09:11, 18 April 2012 (EDT)
That sounds like a good plan. So far everywhere I've seen the old cloak icon has been completely replaced. -- Elinnea (talk) 10:34, 18 April 2012 (EDT)

Problem with "Upload File"

I have been uploading a bunch of MOB images and because of the rather obscure classification system we use for the images, I realized a rather glaring issue with the "upload file" process.

Simply put -- there is no preview capability. The need for preview relates directly to the ability to guess the correct name/spelling/capitalization for any given category until AFTER the image is uploaded. This necessitates a re-editing of the upload. An extra step which could be eliminated if, like all other WIKI editing pages, one could preview the results of the edit BEFORE committing. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 13:03, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

Problem with Creature template.

Because it lacks the ability to specify a specific image name, and because you cannot specify multiple names for an image, there are a huge number of duplicate images.

A good example is the Category:Lizard Images -- all 11 images are actually identical. Turbine does NOT use a different image base for all of their various lizards. The only difference in them is their backgrounds, which we crop out. This same problem is also seen, to a less obvious degree with Category:Warg Images, Category:Wolf Images and undoubtedly many others as well.

So, if using generic icons is a reasonable thing to do for Items -- why not for Creatures also?

I realize going back and "cleaning up" duplicates is a chore, but going forward it would be a HUGE simplification. I'm adding the KoLM information to most of the Creatures in Eregion right now and realize that each group of critter has the same image (and virtually the same stats), but because we have unique pages for each one, it is a BIG chore. So, for example in Eregion, we have:

All have virtually the same stats and images, and if you look at them this way, one wonders if in-fact, the information about levels and stat ranges we have are accurate. Should they all be Level 49-51, for example? In my "collecting" last night, I only found levels 50 and 51...

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 13:26, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
Actually, the creature template has the image parameter which allows you to name the image. This is necessary when the default image name, which is <name>.jpg is not correct. For instance, when the creature name is qualified to distinguish it from other similarly named creatures in other regions, e.g. Angmarim Scout (Emyn Naer). The creature name is "Angmarim Scout" (not "Angmarim Scount (Emyn Naer)" so the default image name is "Angmarim Scout.jpg" - which is not correct. We can use the image parameter to use the "Angmarim Scoutn (Emyn Naer).jpg" image. See Angmarim Scout or Angmarim Scout (Forochel).
BTW, are those mobs grey titled for your LM? Some of those stats you are collecting do not look like they accurately represent the on-level capabilities for the beasts.
-- RingTailCat (talk) 13:45, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

If the Creature Template has an "image" parameter -- it does NOT get inserted into the "Create Character" template. Which is to say there is a disconnect between the Template and the "Create script." And THAT lack of consistency is a major problem -- one does not know which to believe. In the vein, the "Create script" is missing a lot of information found on the template page, and vice versa. Put another way, there is no reason to believe that the "Create script" and the template page refer to the same thing because they ARE DIFFERENT. They are clearly not drawing from the same source(s).

As for the KoLM stuff... That's an interesting question. 1) In fact I'm 6 above (lvl56) most of these mobs, but they are not grey. 2) There is an "inspector-lvl" parameter which apparently is not used. I have a vague recollection of discussions Rav and I had about it last year, but I don't know if that parameter is anything more than a comment for the "next updater" (aha found it: User talk:Ravanel/Archive_2011#Interesting observation about LM and mob stats -- but I don't see any "conclusion," so I don't know if that parameter is supposed to be doing something. The implication is that the "change" was never completely implemented.

  • Ok... I made a change to the template to activate that parameter, see how it works.

- which reminds me...

  • A bot job is needed for creature scripts:
  1. the "inspector-lvl" parameter needs to be inserted into the Creature panels. (Insert it as the last parameter as it is in the "Create script" example.
  2. the "obsolete" parameters need to be deleted, at least where they are not yet filled in -- which seems to be a HUGE number of the Creature pages.

|melee-def = <-- Obsolete -->
|tactical-def = <-- Obsolete -->
|range-def = <-- Obsolete -->

3. I would like to see the "conj-immune" tag changed to match the display as "f.m.-immune"
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:20, 21 April 2012 (EDT)
To add a little historical perspective: The "image" parameter was not automatically included in all creature pages at Rogue's request, way back when we first added it. Her thinking, which made sense to me at the time, was that in the overwhelming majority of cases, mob names and image names would be in sync and adding another parameter would only serve to confuse people and lead to images being named all sorts of odd things in all sorts of odd places. This is, unfortunately, another example of things being agreed upon by the active editors (she and I) on that particular project at that particular time without being documented anywhere. That said, if people find it less confusing to have it there (and can explain that it's not always necessary to fill in) then definitely go for it. Sethladan 22:35, 21 April 2012 (EDT)

Ah... however, NOT having it there is inconsistent with the rest of the Templates where it's use is also optional. Personally, I much prefer the format of, minimally -- the Create Item page :

| icon = -icon

Or the various boilerplates which use the syntax, such as then NPC

| image = optional!

Similarly, there are or at least were, LOTS of pages which had the syntax


Interestingly, Looking through the Boilerplates and template docs (which are anything but constistent) it appears that some significant changes have taken place in the past year. One comment in particular is quite apprapoe, but is burried in Template:Npcbox

Optional - defaults to {{{name|}}}. This overwrites the filename of an image to include and should be used only if necessary, see optional image. Image will be scaled down to 200px width or 300px height, whichever is greater.

Sigh, this pushes me back towards my original project or trying to document this wiki...! and trying to define which usage is consistent with what !!!

One wonders how many OTHER undocumented parameters exist in ?All?Some?many? templates -- I now know of two "image" and "nocat"

--Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 17:51, 22 April 2012 (EDT)
And then you get into parameters that are documented but not used, or added to boilerplates but never coded, or that have been end-of-lifed but never cleaned up, and and and. Yes, it's a mess. :) Sethladan 19:19, 22 April 2012 (EDT)

A question about obsolete drops

In adding the KoLM information to the various Creatures in Eregion, I have noticed that many of them have a large collection of both Obsolete and Rare drop items listed.

I do not know if we list the Obsolete items anywhere (we don't seem to discuss the subject "in public," just on talk pages), but a list of them can easily be obtained in-game in Esteldin outside the craft hall. The hobbit who barters them is still there. So the question becomes -- what do we do with them? We do have Category:Obsolete which partially addresses the issue, although I notice that items in that Category are still listed in their primary category and not "tagged."

Which is a "hidden tag" that I just now discovered! (It's now in Category:Article Management Tags.)

BTW, the instructions for Articles are quite good. However, the issue of Items may not be adequately handled --- I haven't tried to follow the instructions for the various items, which are already in Category:Obsolete Items -- Item:Faded Heritage Rune of Knowledge is one such item that clearly did NOT follow those instructions. This may just be a "big cleanup" issue, we'll see.

For these Eregion Creatures I have simply started splitting out those items which I know to be obsolete drops and tagging them as such. For an example see: White-hand Howler. Personally, I believe they should be removed from the Creature page. (Following the instructions on Category_talk:Obsolete may resolve that quandary.

This particular Creature is also notable for a point I brought up earlier -- The particular specs are for a lvl 51 Warg, however, the Drops show both Exceptional Hide and Magnificent Hide as drops. I was not looking to verify that, but as I'm thinking back over other harvesting runs, lvl 50 Creatures drop Exceptional Hide while lvl 51 drop Magnificent Hide. Or put another way -- either the Drop items are wrong, or in fact, this creature is Level 50-51 (or maybe even 49-51).

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:25, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
That level 51 Warg should be level 50-51.
Obsolete item may still be present in vaults and inventories of inactive players; obsolete item in the creature drop is there as a historical record. I have been doing the same thing as you: create a second lootbox template with just the obsolete items.
-- RingTailCat (talk) 15:18, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

Planning for the future - ROR release in June?

Posted by Sapience on Friday 28 April...

Re: Update 7 teasers required!
Soooooooo... Update 7.
Development is well along and you'll be hearing more about it in the very near future. Probably sooner than you think. For those who have been wanting to see what we're doing in Fornost you'll get your chance in Update 7.
Also, there is no Update 6.2 planned. Update 7 is the next update.

And then later that evening:

As an apology, let me give another tidbit about Update 7.
You should get a look at it late next week on Bullroarer.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:30, 28 April 2012 (EDT)

This post sounds very much like Update 7 will be only Fornost related and this video says there will be an update before RoR. --EoD (talk) 06:47, 29 April 2012 (EDT)
Yeah, I was under the impression that Riders of Rohan (hm, we still need a page for this) was slated for a fall release, like the previous expansions. Exciting (and scary) to be seeing news about the next major update, though. Always more work to do. Very curious to see what the deal is with Fornost, since that's a really neat instance that most people hate doing, so some loving attention is well deserved. Sethladan 10:24, 29 April 2012 (EDT)


Could we add the __HIDDENCAT__ basically to all subcategories of Category:Things to do? This will hide the categories from the pages, so unregistered users will only see the useful categories while registered users can enable to see them all. --EoD (talk) 09:21, 29 April 2012 (EDT)

I would love to see the "administrative" categories marked as hidden; I think I've done this in the past with one or two. A couple of arguments against, though:
  • Most editors might not realize they need to go enable the hidden categories in their settings.
  • The more people who see a "thing to do" means a higher chance that it'll be done
  • If a reader (not editor) sees a page that's incomplete or has errors, and sees a stub category, then they know it might not be 100% accurate AND they know that we know about it.
Even with those arguments, I still think it would be cleaner for most visitors without the extra categories, heh. What can I say, I'm stubborn. Sethladan 10:19, 29 April 2012 (EDT)
I also had those points in mind, but I prefer to have a "clean" wiki. But your 1st bullet should be easily fixable by enabling it by default (user preference won't be overwritten that way). For future reference:
$wgDefaultUserOptions['showhiddencats'] = 1;
--EoD (talk) 15:18, 29 April 2012 (EDT)
LOL... until very recently those "Things to do" were missing a HUGE amount of "stuff" -- possibly intentionally, but I think not. And I think they are still less than 50% accurate or complete. I have periodically "remembered" that I was "Cleaning them up" and go back to trying to straighten them out and document them. Some of the categories, "Mobs needing an image" for example, do not describe their contents. MOBs? On this WIKI? Hardly. there are a couple, but that Category should be labeled "Creatures needing an image."
The Annoying thing is that so many of the pages of Creatures, especially, have these "funny" categories at the bottom of the page -- but no Administrative Tag indicating what the issue is, or that anyone is aware of the issue. And as I just recently discovered, the "Image=" parameter is itself a "hidden parameter." A large number, maybe over 50% of "Mobs needing an image" can in fact be "fixed" the same way in which Icons have been fixed -- by using an already existent image. After all, each and every Half-orc, just like people, have their own "Look" and using an image (let alone naming) for each one uniquely is a huge waste of effort.... and then Turbine comes along and gives them new outfits!!! (--Like the half-orcs in Enedwaith, some have gotten downright "colorful" recently.)
One question. One presumes that the $wg parameter above is directed to Lotroadmin, as I have no idea where such a parameter file might be located.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 16:38, 29 April 2012 (EDT)
Yep, that's a setting that Lotroadmin would have to change on the server side if he wanted to make that the default. Sethladan 19:46, 29 April 2012 (EDT)
I'm sure he'll do if, once we decided that we really want it. But before we decide that we want the new option, we should decide if we want use the __HIDDENCAT__ more aggressively :) --EoD (talk) 20:08, 29 April 2012 (EDT)

Update 7 gross summary

Major MORIA update! Turbine is calling it Part I, implying that there is more to come.

LIs get a new "toy" Starlit Crystals.

A sixth bag becomes available as part of the ROR pre-purcase - UI changes will be visible in update 7, but the bag won't be available till later.

LOL.... "You no longer need to be Acquaintance with the elves of Lórien in order to pass the borders. People will need to be able to run through this land in order to access Mirkwood, the Great River, and the lands beyond. It's time for the Elves to be a little more trusting. (You are a friend of Gandalf, Elrond, and the Fellowship, after all.)"

LOTS of "little" changes!

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:15, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
Yeah, looks like it on Moria.
Bullroarer B0 Patch Notes:
"Revisions of the later parts of Moria will be undertaken in future updates. A full developer diary will be available prior to the launch of Update 7."
And on that note, rather detailed Mora Dev Diary: -- JnK (talk) 15:40, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
Wow... just read the Moria Dev Diary -- "Oh, he also put the tame goat for sale in the Great Delving, no rep required."
  • Each zone got a little travel love in spots where it was most needed. New stable routes have been added, as well as other methods of teleportation which should cut down on unnecessary travel time.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:31, 5 May 2012 (EDT)

Wow. I think I'm going to stay out of Moria until U7. I'm not sure about letting all and sundry run through Lothlórien. That is a gross violation of Tolkien lore. I don't care about a sixth bag so much as extra vault space for cooks and scholars. RingTailCat (talk) 18:33, 4 May 2012 (EDT)
I guess since they're Elves and have the benefit of Galadriel (and her mirror), they know you (and all those heroes with you) are okay? -- JnK (talk) 19:50, 4 May 2012 (EDT)

Looks like this is another "short beta (Friday to Monday)" -- Update 7 probably will go live on Monday (7 May) with the "Scheduled Maintenance." Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:31, 5 May 2012 (EDT)

Another thing of note - the glitch with cloak icons appears to have been fixed in U7. -- JnK (talk) 06:56, 13 May 2012 (EDT)

Moria Update Diary discusses Turbine's "quest logic"

Reading between the lines of the Dev Diary for the Moria Revamp -- Revisiting the Mines of Moria (First Half) -- in the section entitled "A Different Feel to Questing" one can see the answer to the constant question/conflict we seem to have on organizing/labeling quest flow.... LOL, quest flow really IS "sequentially random" or maybe "randomly sequential." This Dev Diary says a lot, a very interesting read.

Two other changes with potential to require major (i.e. many in different locations) changes across the Wiki:

  • Big change in the way rep is awarded in Moria... "Revamped zones offer one rep faction reward or the other now, instead of rep being all over the place. For example, all Great Delving quests offer rep with the Guards, while the Silvertine Lodes area offers rep with the Miners. These will alternate for every zone by level."
  • The following comment matches changes made with The Great River with Task Turn-in. One wonders when/if it will propagate through the rest of Middle Earth.

Tasks have been added to Moria at last, and the duplicate quests will give rep with either faction: the Iron Garrison Guards or the Iron Garrison Miners. There is a task board in every major quest hub, and a handy collection box nearby for turn-in (so that you won’t have to haul the goods all the way back to one hub). Also, tasks now have their own unique icon: A golden feather on the radar! No more quest ring!

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 19:16, 5 May 2012 (EDT)

Problem with the Cat Challenge.

Hiya everyone. I was editing the Social:The Guard Of The Citadel page earlier today and when finished was presented with the "Cat Challenge" as i had added a new link. I filled out the challenge and then looked for the button to confirm my answer and there as none... Can you please tell why this is happening and how i can fix it. I would like to be able to edit pages.... not be blocked by cats... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Winterwolf (Contribs • User Talk) at 13 May 2012.

Did it not work in the end? If it did, it is working as intended. The cat/dog-thing is to prevent spam-bots from posting their filth too easily. Unfortunately this is something users here have to live with, which is sad as some stupid bots make life hard for good people. Regular contributors to out articles are, on the other hand, promoted over time and will eventually be released from this spam-blocker. Is this fair enough a response for you? -- Zimoon (talk) 12:41, 13 May 2012 (EDT)
I had the same problem earlier and never found a way around it so I gave up. Don't remember what it was anymore though. -- Candlelight (talkcontribs) 12:43, 13 May 2012 (EDT)

RoR Pre Order available --

Just posted a short time ago....

A new deed and quest on pre-purchase

Hmmm... an "interesting" new Deed appeared on login after account upgrade:

Class/Race/Epic - Epic -- "An Unusual Arrival" No idea what triggered it.

Kinmates claim it is related to the new War Horse intro.

Hmmmm... The Plot thickens:

A New mail message arrived:

From Combe Stable-help
Subject: Horse Needs Assistance
'The Stable-master of Combe instructed me to seek out assistance in helping a newly arrived horse here at the stables of Combe. This new horse seems unusual and could use some special attention that I just don't have time to give it right now! The stables have been having trouble keeping the current horses in good health with all the traffic in and out of Combe.
'Please take a moment to read the attached letter, and there are directions to the stables of Combe from Bree. I hope to see you soon!'
Combe Stable-help

The attached document: Starts a new quest: lvl 5 : New Arrival in Combe

  • Seek out the Stable-help in Combe
'The Stables in Combe have been unusually busy lately with many travelers coming in and going out of the city. I haven't seen this many visitors in a long time, and it's keeping up busy at the stables in trying to keep our horses in good health. Not only visitors are coming by these days either, for just this morning a new horse arrived that looks nothing like any horse I've ever seen!
'Can you come to the stables in Combe and help us tend to this new horse?
Combe is located just north of Arachet and east of Bree-town in Bree.

Quest: New Arrival in Combe -- I started this, but don't know how folks want this kind of quest formatted as it can start "anywhere."

  1. Quest:Earning Trust
  2. Quest:Worse for Wear (Combe)
  3. Quest:Proof of Trust

This apparently then opens a new Deed (Under Epic) "Horsing Around" --

  • Complete activities with the horse
  • 6/60 -- can be incremented
  • Cloak of the Equine - Cosmetic (BOA)

Guess that's why the RoR includes the Map to Bree-land - Hengstacher Farm Then that opens up another new deed :Discovering the Descendant -- complete 8 quest strings. --Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 04:07, 5 June 2012 (EDT)

Eastern Rohan -- First look

Turbine has just released "Discover Eastern Rohan" -- a page, not yet completely filled in, containing information on the new areas coming in September:

Eastern Rohan

It contains a bit of Chance Thomas' new music -- IGN interview The original Shadows of Angmar music was done by him.

CSTM blurb

Chance Thomas website.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 17:58, 21 June 2012 (EDT)

Do you do jewelry?

If you have either an interest in the Jewelry pages or have a lvl 75 toon, please take a look at:

While the Item Sets and Category:Item Sets need work, what I'm particularly interested in is the information and presentation of: Talk:Sage's Foresight. Someone needs to also "fact-check" my computations and comments.

The second question then becomes -- where does it go?

I'm inclined to put it on the Category:Anduin Jewellery (Level 75) page and then transclude that into the (rejuvenated) Item Sets page. (This transclusion has already been done with both The Great River and Angmar category pages item lists.)

And ultimately, needless to say, I'd like to see the same done with Lothlorian (Galadhrim) and Mirkwood (Malledhrim) sets. And any similar others as well. I don't know which they might be. That is -- multiple sets of Jewelery which are not obviously "best" for one class or another.


--Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:33, 26 June 2012 (EDT)
I like the table, very helpful. I've seen people debating which set they should use, so a visual comparison is useful. As for where to put it, I'm not sure either. A transclude to the Item Sets page would be reasonable, but I'm afraid it would overwhelm the page. Maybe we could make a fresh page, called "Anduin Jewelry" or some such, and link to it both from the Item Sets catalog page and from the individual sets or pieces. Then it could include as much analysis as we want, and people would be notified to go look at it. Just another thought.
One small point also: isn't it spelled "Jewellery" in Lotro? -- Elinnea (talk) 09:42, 27 June 2012 (EDT)

Hmmm, my spelling checker keeps making it one "l" :) -- bad spell check, bad ...

Ok, I created the new page and modified all the set pages to transclude it.

Check out: The Great River (Anduin) Jewellery Set Comparisons which is now trancluded into all of individual the set pages in Category:Anduin Jewellery (Level 75) (I've changed the spelling in them.)

--Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:52, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

Did they lower Level on The Great River...?

Today's offer from the LOTRO store for The Great River Quest Pack lists it as:

"Over 170 quests, a new 6-man instance, and a new group and fellowship questing area for levels 72+!
"Travel to the beautiful and dangerous region of the Great River where foes gather on all sides, prepared to begin an assault on Rohan. Hold the line against Easterlings, dangerous brigands and ancient enemies of Rohan, as well as allies of Isengard and Barad Dur."

I like the exclamation point following the + sign. Maybe they are just being cute calling it 72+.

--Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:05, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

Nah, that's how they've been promoting it from the outset. Basically, since you can do level 75 quests as early as level 70, they've been promoting it as a means for people who aren't quite 75 yet to finish their leveling.
Though, given that Enedwaith served a similar purpose for 60-65, and was subsequently redone to actually flow that way, it's possible they might redo Great River that way in the future. -- JnK (talk) 15:46, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

Dev Diary due this week on changes to Ettenmoors for RoR!

According to Sapience's post today on YouTube (16 July), the First Dev Diary for Riders of Rohan will deal with the Ettenmoors. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:15, 16 July 2012 (EDT)

Slow day 2012.07.18

Today, the site became very slow. For over 6 hours, my updates to a couple of hunter quests were the only posts. The main page, and the recent changes pages took a long time to refresh.

Then, I tried logging in using https. The site updates at close to normal speeds. The only change on my end was Firefox pushed out an upgrade from v13 to v14.

I hope our admin is able to diagnose the problem, and get the site back to normal operation.

- RingTailCat (talk) 00:58, 19 July 2012 (EDT)

Access via http seems to be running at normal speeds now. RingTailCat (talk) 02:55, 19 July 2012 (EDT)
Yeah, seems all fine now. -Isabelle87P (talk) 02:56, 19 July 2012 (EDT)

Policy regarding in-game typos

There is a lot of text in the game, and the vast-vast majority is of extremely high quality with regards to spelling, but it does happen that some typos slip in. I have found two of these so far. (Rune-keeperTrainer instead of Rune-keeper Trainer, and Dorollas' instead of Dorollas's)

How do we handle such typos? And of course my question only concerns cases which are obviously mistakes and could be corrected in an absolutely objective fashion. Apply the corrections, or be faithful to the in-game text literally to the letter? --CementHold (talk) 09:30, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

This is actually a very common problem. First, when you see a spelling or grammar error, you should /bug it in game. They do get fixed, but the priority is relatively low compared to more serious problems.
I have waffled back and forth between fixing spelling and using the current in-game spelling. In either case, now I try to always mark the discrepancy using an HTML comment. E.g., encode this wrod is spelled wrong as this wrod<!--sic--> is spelled wrong.
BTW, the game uses British English spelling variations. As a Candian, I use a Firefox dictionary add-on for Canadian English which recognized the British spelling of many words so I don't get so many red-lined words in the editor.
- RingTailCat (talk) 10:53, 2 August 2012 (EDT)
See also Help:Names for even more info on this topic. But let us say that I am not too fanatic about this, usually I "correct" the error without fuss. I know that a completionist would complain, but whatever... . When/if Turbine corrects the bug report we still need to find and edit this later on. It is a lot harder with those other issues, such as case of first letter after dash and these things.
-- Zimoon (talk) 11:18, 2 August 2012 (EDT)
I end up bugging typos right and left, since for wiki work I tend to read text carefully, even in obscure places that probably are not noticed by the casual gamer. I usually add a <!--sic--> comment to inform future editors that the mistake wasn't mine in transcribing it.
I used to be more hands-on with correcting Lotro's typos, until one time I found "Dad" misspelled as "Tad" - only to find out later that Tad is Welsh for father, and since we were in Dunland it was entirely intentional. Most typos are clearly mistakes, of course, but it's generally safer to follow the text precisely, so you don't have to make decisions in the borderline cases. I also think it's satisfying to find and fix what was previously a typo which has actually been corrected in the game. It helps my faith in the use of filing /bug reports. -- Elinnea (talk) 11:30, 2 August 2012 (EDT)
LOL... This is one I didn't even notice. I grew up in Phila many years ago when the school system still taught the Vowels as "A,E,I,O,U and sometimes Y and W." (W is pronounced as "double u" -- which is also the pronunciation taught in Broadcasting Schools for station call Letters -- WCAU, for example.) And "Tad" was a common reference to Father. I never thought of it as Welsh, just the "slang" we all used as kids! And yes, Philadelphia has (or had at the time) a large Welsh population. We have lots of places like Bala Cwynwyd (the y's count as vowels), the Welsh Tract is just west of the city limits, Merion, Radnor and Haverford are Welsh cities, while Tredyffrin and Uwchlan are pure Welsh. -- So, yeah, I've been right at home in Dunland!
The "spirit" which the Dunlanders are always invoking is spelled Uch Gwirod -- a good reference if you are of a linguistic bent: Iranon Of Arda's blog the entry: A Dunlending Lexicon OR All the Welsh Turbine will make you wish you knew
And in case you wonder about that strange new instrument Turbine added.. "The pibgorn is a Welsh hornpipe (leeks, pibgorns, the Dunlending language — someone at Turbine has been reading a lot about Wales). The instrument looks like a wooden flute with cattle horns stuck on either end. The smaller horn is a mouthpiece, you blow into it and it funnels the air into the reed. The larger horn serves as an amplifier."
So, as I normally sign my Emails ... T.T.F.N.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 19:33, 2 August 2012 (EDT)
Interesting, I had no idea Philadelphia had such a Welsh connection. I'll have to ask my dad about it, he grew up right near there. As digressions go, this is quite an interesting one! :D -- Elinnea (talk) 23:15, 2 August 2012 (EDT)

First-time editor trying to figure out how to use images with the npcbox

Hello folks. Thought I'd help by creating pages for missing NPCs. I created a page for Afirion and have uploaded an image for him, but I don't know how to add it to his page. Some help? Also, anything else I should know about contributing? AgamemnonV1 (talk) 13:12, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

Hiya, Agamemnon, and welcome aboard. :) Thanks for pitching in - there're always lots of NPCs and screenshots that need adding. It looks like you've uploaded your screenshot with the right name and all, so you're already well on your way, heh. The only issue is that we use .jpg for most images (.png for the 32x32 icons that you see scattered around for items and the like, though). If you convert your image to a jpeg format and upload it at File:Afirion.jpg, you should be set. When adding NPCs (and other pages) I've often found it easier to create the main page, and then follow broken links to make sure I'm putting images in the right place. Otherwise, take a look at Help:Contents and ask questions - our documentation is still rather disorganized, to the best way to learn is hands-on and bothering people. ;) Sethladan 13:23, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
Ah, thanks Sethladan! .jpg it is then. AgamemnonV1 (talk) 13:39, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
Congrats and welcome aboard!
Note that the syntax for insertion of an image, in general, is on the top of the upload page.
However, for the NPC (and other similar pages), if you have uploaded the image as the correct file type, and the name matches the NPC box, the page should pick-up the image "automagically." The "name =" parameter, which is normally the same as the page name. Note also, that this means the IMAGE being uploaded needs to have any special characters in the name, the same as the page. (You may have to clear your browser's cache to get it to display, but usually just a refresh will suffice.)
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:48, 4 August 2012 (EDT)
To reiterate, a good work flow is to create the article page first, to the point of doing a preview. Then, click on the broken image link. For an item it is the placeholder icon (with the question mark) or just "200px" or some such text in red. This will take you to the upload page (or indirectly to the upload page) with the correct image name filled in. Things will work very much better at this point if you click so as to open the upload page in a new tab or window. This gives you the opportunity to detect file name collisions - situations where there is already an image with the target name, but it is not the one you want. Just cancel the upload page. Then you go back to the page you are creating, and override the default icon or image name, preview again, and do the upload again. Be sure to preview to make sure you got the right image, then save the article page.
BTW, my preferred image editor is Paint.Net - a free download for Windows. Anything more sophisticated than the accessory that comes with Windows will do well.
- RingTailCat (talk) 15:09, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

New layout and template improvements for the wiki

Hello there. I have quite some experience in wiki editing and I'm starting out in helping this wiki but the first thing that I wanted to improve is the layout and templates. However, I would need admin permission or contact (to pass what I do for them to implement).

Most of this wiki's layout is not much different than default/wikipedia look (which is good for wikipedia, but for a gaming wiki, not so much).

To explain better what I mean by changing it, I would be coding a new layout that would look much more like the community part of the LotRO official site. A background image, things centered (with monitors large as today, a gaming wiki occupying the entire screen is not so nice to read in many short pages), a better menu (a dropout one, those where you hover the mouse and things pop up, you can put more things there and gives a better navigation), as well as other minor changes like changing tables and improving templates to look more like the game.

What is the wiki community's opinion on this? Would you like this improvement? If so, which admins I can contact to help me implement it?

Best regards, Gwenwyfar (talk) 08:15, 13 August 2012 (EDT)

You're contributions to the wiki will be appreciated. I would encourage you to be a significant content contributor before you offer to become a presentation contributor. One of the most enjoyable things about this wiki has been the emphasis on content. Adding of eye candy has been limited, almost exclusively, to the main page. This makes this entire web site stand out.
Copying the style of the lotro community site is, in my opinion, undesirable. It is a web page style that is showing its age. Web portals are a tried and failed technology. Attempting to be all things to all people from one central page is a faulty goal. Better to attempt to guide visitors to simpler and more focused content centers.
To reiterate, please establish a significant track record as a content contributor. Then, join the discussions on ways of improving the presentation. Do not become another fly by, hit and run, visitor that wants to completely revamp this wiki during their first week here!
- RingTailCat (talk) 10:32, 13 August 2012 (EDT)
I'm sorry you feel copying the site is undesirable, and I'm not sure you fully understand what I mean with it, I merely mean the layout will be similar, it will be very simple. I'm not looking to improve this for looks only, but for better navigation and readability on the content as well (in the form of better menus, main page, layout or templates), just as you say is what the wiki looks for.
I understand you would like to see me actually doing something before changing something this big, but I'm more of a coding person than content adding, I'd rather have a coding done before adding the content in it. I could, of course, do it all on my personal CSS page and show how it looks like, then if you find it is good enough, you can put it into the actual wiki, or ask me change whatever you would like.
Well, I do want to help a lot the wiki and not just revamp it, but coding is my favorite type of contribution in a wiki, and I find it could be improved a lot.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 11:33, 13 August 2012 (EDT)
Welcome around Gwenwyfar!
I kind of recognize myself in your entrance, having cool ideas and really good suggestions, only to be hushed down but at the same time warmly welcomed to contribute, and I actually managed to offend one or two, hopefully that is forgotten by now. Either way, the team here is great and have great knowledge of the game, each complementing the others. And by time I learned to know why the veterans wanted me, and everybody else, to prove oneself. Frankly speaking, parts of the underlying structure was a jungle which they have worked hard to iron out, and since then I hope I have help ironing too.
Content is King, as RTC implied, and I perfectly well understand that for am experienced coder like you it might feel dull and not exactly your cup of tea --- I am a software developer myself and well know how it is to be asked to create a bunch of PP slides for the marketing guys .. which perhaps is close enough ;) However, very few editors here have admin rights, and sometimes I guess we regret we gave it away to quickly (but there is always the rollback-button, but the time-sink). I am certain you understand that, but with your best of intentions and being kindest in the world it does not always feel fair, right?
That said, neither RTC nor I are empowered to finally say yay or nay, that is LotroAdmin's job to consider. What you can do right now is creating a sandbox in your user area, playing around and put up for display your suggestions. Limited, yes, but a good compromise. Certainly there are things that can be improved, some more, some less, and we are eager to review your suggestions. Does this sound fair enough?
-- Zimoon (talk) 15:02, 13 August 2012 (EDT)
(Typing at the same time as Zimoon, but he got his entry in first, heh. Pardon the repeat advice!)
Hi Gwenwyfar, and I'll add my voice to RingTailCat's in welcoming you to the wiki. Naturally, as a community-built site, we can only thrive with the influx of new ideas, feedback, and suggestions. As a fellow "coding nerd," I definitely appreciate your enthusiasm for pitching in with the behind-the-scenes layout and structural improvement sort of things - for my part, I'm really looking forward to modernizing a lot of our templates once I've more free time later this week.
Regarding visuals and layout, I would agree with RTC that moving closer to the look of the Lorebook/official pages isn't necessarily a good thing. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, either, but the goal should rather be "look our best," instead of "look like them." Historically, the wiki has worked hard to mimic the appearance of in-game elements, but this has been problematic at times, and it's my hope that we can move towards an independent approach and standard down the road. Unrelatedly, we recently had a CSS facelift applied to our main page, which was the work of one editor who had an idea, put together a proposal (User:SChalice/sandbox), and the crowd went wild. I would encourage you to do the same, as most people here aren't MediaWiki/JS/CSS code experts. Even those of us who are more handy with code sometimes benefit from a clear visual.
Yes, like any wiki (I imagine), we are something of a meritocracy - a history of contributions lends weight to one's ideas. I feel that a high quality idea carried through with community support, however, is a great start in that direction. To that end, I urge you again to put together a sample or several samples in manageable increments and then ask for feedback. If you need to use JavaScript, there is a development/test wiki where you could put together ideas as well. For feedback, I would recommend RingTailCat, User:Goingbald, and myself as the three admins most active in more advanced coding jobs. User:Zimoon is a software development professional and thus fantastic at providing advice and a pragmatic perspective, and anyone at all can give thumbs-up or -down about visual aesthetics (except me: I'm not much for pretty colors, heh).
Again, welcome aboard, and I hope you will sustain your enthusiasm, take feedback in stride, and use your coding powers only for good. :) Sethladan 15:19, 13 August 2012 (EDT)

Thank you, Zimoon and Sethladan. Nice to see that you understand my intent in helping the wiki. I had a similar offer to another wiki once and it was kinda rushed down by everyone as useless and waste of time. I joined LotRO because the community seemed much more mature to me than other games, and hell, it actually is :) Really, your welcomes are much appreciated, I was not expecting such warm salutations.

I think I might have given the wrong impression that I want to change things right away or get admin rights, but I just wanted to see how a change in layout would be welcomed by the community before working on it, and which admins to contact (since the list is quite huge by now and I didn't know which were active).

What I meant by the layout being similar to the official site, however, is that the organization and theme might end being similar, but I am not necessarily going towards copying it, it kind of falls being similar in what I plan in doing and I used it as an example. (For example, a better menu and being centered because of the practical uses of it, along with wanting to have a theme with a similar feel as that of the game end being quite similar with the site already). If you don't like a theme similar to the game, I could aim to something like a LoTR world theme instead, although for me it seems to make more sense to be similar to the game, since the wiki is about it in specific.

I will start working on it on test pages, then, when it is good enough, I'll show it to everyone to discuss it more :)

EDIT: A question: Personal css is not working/not enabled in this wiki? I added a common.css page but changes are not having any effect.

Gwenwyfar (talk) 23:29, 13 August 2012 (EDT)

Good question. I always figured I was just doing something wrong when using personal stylesheets. Let's see what Lotroadmin has to say. Sethladan 18:13, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
See Thread:User talk:Lotroadmin/User Stylesheets RingTailCat (talk) 21:40, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Welcome Gwenwfar! The user CSS/JS have been re-enabled since I don't remember why I disabled them. You can also tweak any of the other skins as they might have a simpler starting point. Feel free to give it a go and if you need me to adjust any settings just leave a note on my talk page. --Lotroadmin (talk) 02:24, 15 August 2012 (EDT)
Thank you. It will be much easier to get a working CSS under the actual wiki instead of just its html outside it :) I think I might stick to Monobook or vector, though, if it doesn't become too hard to change the main positioning. All of the others are so simple I'd need to do from scratch a lot of stuff that already looks just fine on the other two.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 13:04, 15 August 2012 (EDT)

Icon Count Overlays

Hi gang! Making my way through templates trying to organize and streamline, integrating feature requests and zapping bugs. One thing we've had for a while that has sort of seen its popularity wax and wane is the feature to overlay an icon with a number, thus: 3Greater Athelas Essence-icon.png  Greater Athelas Essence .

I know there was a brief discussion at Template talk:Reward#Amount reads Faintly and reception has generally been mixed once we got over the "This is so cool!" reaction. Off the top of my head, I don't know if this is consistently used anywhere on the wiki, and I'd like to get some thoughts from the community. Is this something we should keep? Where can we use it? How should it be improved?

Certainly we could keep it around for occasional use, but that makes it a) a lot more code to maintain for little reward and b) yet another alternative in the quest for standardization of how we present things on the wiki. I would rather see it either used "for real" or not at all, and I worry that the inconsistency in display across icons and browsers makes it impractical for large-scale use. At the same time, I know a lot of effort and some bot work went into making this a reality, so I'm reluctant to dismiss it out of hand. Editing community, go! :-P Sethladan 12:06, 19 August 2012 (EDT)

Overlay numbers, personally I like the looks of it, but occasionally it is hard to read. Babbling somewhat, as if I never do, in quests' reward-box they work really well. In barter tables less so, but there we can use the barter template so there is no problem. And other than that there are not too many places the icon will read any number as only one item is used. Or do I miss something, being somewhat tired?
Are there any places where the number is hard to read? And then I do not mean barter tables.
On the other hand, I would love to see Reward and Barter merged. If we figure out what they have in common and what is so special we may merge them. -- 'Having good carrots is one thing, having too many is another,' mumbled the donkey. -- Then, we also may have to rethink overlay and if that should be optional from a parameter=yes or what.
However, the tinted text in your example above is another story. Certainly so in lists or tables with a mix of tinted/shadowed and regular texts. Yes, I loved it at first sight, the novelty thing I guess, but not so much now. Having it optional is one thing, but for me personally it could go away.
-- Zimoon (talk) 18:30, 19 August 2012 (EDT)
I agree it is useful for reward and barter, can't really think of anything else for it to be used. As for readability, if the number is white with a black border, there aren't many issues of readability with that. I made one of those in another wiki I used and we never had a problem with a number being unreadable. I personally prefer it over writing xSomething to show a quantity, specially since it is the same way we see in the game.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 03:37, 20 August 2012 (EDT)
The overlays in game are implemented in a different way which masks out the icon image around the number. Our overlay simulates this with a bit of drop shadow (IIRC) that does not always result in as clear an overlay. I like the number overlay, but sometimes it is not sufficiently noticeable. Perhaps we should collect a list of problem icons and see if the overlay code can be tweeked to make it look better. RingTailCat (talk) 10:49, 20 August 2012 (EDT)
The number is very close to the border of the icon, maybe adding a 2px space to leave it a bit more to the center may help a little.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 08:46, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
Hah, I didn't realize people actually liked this. All the better! I'm sure we'll find ways to make the number more visible, then. :) Sethladan 11:59, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
In answer to the question -- "I don't know if this is consistently used anywhere on the wiki, " I have been happily converting "Item" entries to "Reward" and/or "Barter." So, while the "mode=imlink|amount=3" syntax is being "phased out", it is being replaced. FWIW, I don't think the "mode=imlink|amount=3" syntax ever really caught on, for whatever reason. As I recall it was only developed in the spring of 2011, when I was working on my first major project -- the Ettenmoors update. At that point, I had been completely unaware of its existence -- much like many Editors concerning "Reward" and "Barter." While "Reward" is "documented" (i.e. used in the example) on the Quest Boilerplate page, Barter is NOT "documented" on the NPC page, a most likely place, but rather the "barter table is built with examples using "Reward."
All that said, except for "NPC Barterers" there are probably very few places on the Wiki where multiple items exist. Quest "Rewards" being the only place I can think of. Provisioners and suppliers are taken care of with coin. The only other location which comes to mind where significant "multiples of one item" are used are in Recipes in Crafting.
White numbers with black borders sounds like a fine idea. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:58, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
I just updated the Boilerplate for NPC to use "Barter" in the Barter example. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 13:05, 21 August 2012 (EDT)
I ran my User:RingTailBot bot over most quest articles converting patterns like "[[icon.png]] [[Item:item]] x count" to use the Template:Reward, e.g. "{{Reward | item | count }}". I think the replacement logic for that change can easily be converted for other contexts, provided we can identify the set (or sets) of pages to work on (preferably a category or category tree), and any other constraints that might be needed to limit the changes to specific parts of articles or articles with other identifiable content. The bot allows me to confirm every change, and review page, the pre- and post- change. RingTailCat (talk) 14:17, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

Actually, after giving a better look on the game interface, I think we could use it for recipes as well. In the game it has both the overlay, and the x/x. Here we only have the x/x pattern, although in the game it is used to say how much of x ingredient you have, here we only need to show how many of an ingredient you need, so it might as well make more sense to have the overlay instead. Would likely just require a minor change in the template. Gwenwyfar (talk) 13:40, 30 August 2012 (EDT)

Riders of Rohan: Beta NDA Lifted

As per

"Today we have officially released Riders of Rohan beta testers from their NDA. Beta testing will contiune as we move towards our new release date of October 15th. In the meantime, those Beta testers who wish to share their thoughts and experiences thus far with the general community are encouraged to do so here." - Sapience

However, the PR department has also expressed a desire that beta testers not flood the web with screenshots. I wonder if that includes icons... -- JnK (talk) 14:13, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

Icons are not a particular issue. (I don't think.) However, many of them, if not most, are not yet final. There were some significant changes to the Mounted Combat Icons between Beta 1 and 3... not surprisingly. Are all of the new "class" icons for mounted combat final? Hard to say, but probably. I also know that many of the Icons, for example, crafting resources, are simply (still as of beta 3) just "placeholders" -- that is to say, they are identical to those used for T7 resources and "products." Output Icons, are probably similarly "not yet final." Another example, the UI itself changed pretty significantly in Beta 1, Beta 2, and Beta 3. Are more changes afoot? Probably not, the changes which occurred were in direct response to various Beta feedback issues. I don't think there were many "new" issues brought up in Beta 3.
I am fairly certain (hoping) that there will be a Beta 4 around the first week in September. At that point, I think I would be fairly confident that the "art assets" will be all in-place, and/or at least stable. I believe all of the issues surrounding the delay of the release had to do with some particularly nasty game-engine issues. And while some are Graphics issues, I don't think that they are likely to change "the look," just the way they work.
I was contemplating trying to build up some boilerplate for things like the new Mount UI, but haven't done a lot of thinking about it yet. It is quite complex and WILL include a LOT of icons!
My first goal is to try to begin a write-up on "How to get your War-steed" -- which I think was in its "pretty-much final" form in beta 3. It was THE MOST COMMON question in OOC and LFF during each beta. (Nobody RTFM!) The BIG question for the Wiki is "where to put it?" War-steeds are a big topic.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:08, 24 August 2012 (EDT)
Re: "Where to put it?" It sounds like Mounted Combat is probably going to earn its own "almost-top-level" category. Looking at the main page, my first suggestion is to add a link on the green box in the 9:00 position right under Combat (or as a subsection of that header, like Skirmishes), and then build down from there. The class skills will probably end up cross-referenced between pages like Hunter Skills and pages for Mounted Combat, but I'll have to leave that for our RoR-level players, heh. Sethladan 20:29, 24 August 2012 (EDT)
When they first added the Pinch of Westfold Herbs to the game, they re-used an old icon. It took a month (on live servers) before an update brought the new icon that they have now, as the file history will attest: File:Pinch of Westfold Herbs-icon.png. It seems like icons are some of the last things to be finalized. I wouldn't trust any of them until we see them on live. But then, of course placeholders are better than nothing!
I agree about the need to have a clear explanation of how to get the war-steed. It's what everyone is going to be asking. A general page along the same lines as Skirmishes would be a good place to start, and then it can summarize, transclude, or link out to the relevant quests, skills, cosmetics, trait lines, and everything else involved as they are gradually added to the wiki. What I'm curious about is how the war-steed obtaining process is going to work for people who haven't purchased the expansion. I haven't bought it yet, but in the beta everyone has had access for testing purposes. When it goes live I'll be paying close attention to what exactly the restrictions are going to be for people in that situation.
I find the mount UI pretty overwhelming in the game - complex is the word. At least now we have an extra month for strategizing. :) -- Elinnea (talk) 01:40, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
A quick, brief answer -- everyone gets their War-steed the same way. The only difference between those who did and those who didn't is the "kind" of War-steed. Everyone gets a Medium War-steed. Purchasers get all three -- light, medium, heavy. There are undoubtedly other "options" not yet clearly defined or understood, but that is the basic set-up. There are two "paths" to the stables -- one from the Epic quest line, and another from the general questing. They both converge at the Harwick Stbels Training Grounds.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:41, 25 August 2012 (EDT)

RoR Release delayed until 15 October

Riders of Rohan news from Kate Paiz, Executive Producer

We’ve had a very successful Beta program with some of the largest and most active beta player populations we’ve seen since Moria. The amount and quality of feedback on our largest expansion ever has been fantastic.

Thanks to some great efforts from beta players, we’ve identified issues that we think need to be addressed before we can launch. In order to address those issues and meet our expectations for quality we’re going to need more time. As a result, we’ve elected to delay our launch to October 15th.

We understand that many players have been looking forward to joining us in Rohan as soon as possible and will be disappointed by this news. As a token of our appreciation for your patience we are granting a gift to all pre-purchasers of Riders of Rohan.

We thank you for your feedback and patience and hope to see you all in Rohan in October.

As a result of the delay, players who have pre-purchased The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan will receive 500 Turbine Points and a goodie bag of consumables. Points will be awarded automatically and a code will be sent to players that have pre-purchased Riders of Rohan, The code will be redeemable from around September 5th to any account that has pre-purchased by that date.

The goodie bag will contain the following items –

  • 100% XP Boost (1hr)
  • Slayer Deed Accelerators x1 (60 min)
  • +20% Renown (3 hours)
  • +20% Mount Speed (1 hour)
  • Tome of Defence
  • Scroll of Finesse

For a list of in-game celebrations planned, including Frodo and Bilbo’s birthdays, please visit the calendar page using the tab above.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 22:01, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

RoR first impressions...

Sorry, the whole-house AC crapped out today and I've been "otherwise occupied" -- It was tied in with a Home Automation system I built, which turned out to be "half" the culprit -- the "smart" Thermostat ultimately proved to have blown its cool (RS485 circuit board), but it took a lot of "swapping" parts to narrow it down! Being a Computer Geek can have its downsides :)

At any rate. A couple of Important things about RoR.

1- This is a WHOLE NEW GAME! RoR is basically classic LOTRO wrapped over, under, around and through, with Mounted Combat.

Mounted Combat is unlike anything which you have experienced before in LOTRO, and in my limited experience in ANY MMORPG.

To start with, you have your new War-steed. Mounted combat is incredibly realistic. I don't know how much folks know about horses and "real-live" mid-evil armour etc. Full-plate armour was HEAVY -- even requiring a Hoist to get the Knight into his saddle for Tourneys. None of this -- "Grab the saddle horn and mount" stuff you see in Westerns. I've seen descriptions based on the Armour in museums that the full plate armour of a Knight weighed on the order of 100 - 150 pounds! And that was with him standing on the ground outside his armour. Add a 150-250 pound human... :). Anyone who knows a Quarter Horse or a Tennessee Walker from a Budweiser Clydesdale or a Lipenzaner will understand the difference between a LOTRO "riding horse" and a War-steed. The War-steed is BIG and FAST, and CANNOT "turn on a dime." The amount of Fury (new term to learn!) which is gained by the War-steed as he charges can translate into tremendously devastating "hits." But you only get "one shot" -- then you have to turn around and charge back. That sounds easy, but if you throw in Angular Momentum, You simply cannot do it! You either make big circles, which can work on slower mobs, or you stop and re-accellerate (also not easy). With faster mobs, they can be only a pace or two behind you, so when you stop, they are on top of you -- breathing fire, goring you with their horns, or slashing the bejesus out of you with their swords.

That said, there is a "new mob" -- the War Band. The problem with many mobs is that they no longer come solo. Especially with the Speed of your War-steed, you easily agro one mob after another -- even when you start out with them spread all over the landscape. But wit the War Bands, you "instantly" encounter three to many at once. Some are easily spotted (at the moment, the tracker pinpoints all of the "named" war bands), but frequently you simply crest a hill, or drop into a valley and "oops." Fortunately, at least so far, when I've stumbled on one unintentionally, I've been able to out run them, albite with a bunch of arrows in the back and assorted spells bouncing off me. It is possible to have the warg-riding goblins decide they like horses better than Wargs, and you discover someone stabbing you in the ribs from the back of your War-steed. As I said -- "something completely different." And, I almost forgot -- there is a whole new UI for Mounted Combat! And, another one for your War-steed... who levels and has LIs!

2- The music is AWESOME! Chance Thomas has been brilliant. There are 8 tracks now up on Turbine's U-Tube site to listen to, if you haven't already. I have them all linked, along with his comments on the music, on my own website: [url][/url]

3- The scenery is mind-boggling. It is gorgeous. And, amazing in its variety. In Beta 3, I followed the EPIC quest line as far as Amon Hen. Multiple session plays -- as Frodo, as Boromir, and Samwise -- as far as I have been so far. (I didn't go far enough with the EPiC to have Legolas to say, "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!" :) ) One of the Graphics bugs which helped with the delay -- there is only one Argonath until you get right on top of it! LOL -- and then it's BLUE instead of grey rock like it's twin. Water falls are another "fascination" -- they tend to be reminiscent of the The Big Rock Candy mountain -- multi-colored with "blocks" of jello for spume. oops.

4- Expect CST - Casual Stroll to Mordor to have some reports shortly -- they had several of their main correspondents present. Merric formed a CST Kinship while she was on. Kinship stuff kind of died in Beta 2 and 3, but that was mostly do to the fact that "Character Copy" was buggy in Beta 2, and in Beta 3 switched to European servers only. In Beta 1 and 2 European players did not have access to it. I had formed an OTG kin, which got up to 12 members in Beta 1, but in Beta 2, It kept disbanding the Kinship the day after I created it! They may have done a character wipe, but some "stuff" was obviously left hanging around.

5- Luas continue to work and the API has been expanded somewhat. That I know of 3 significant Lua developers had beta accounts so they were able to use the expanded API and test their plugins using it. Nothing earth shattering in the API changes, but a lot of "housekeeping" type changes, some basic support for mounts in the API now.

6- Lots of Class Changes -- they've all been pretty well described in the Dev Diaries.

7- I did not get around to visiting, but the Ettenmoors has had a SERIOUS revamp according to the corresponding Dev Diary.

8- Saving the best for last... There is FINALLY an official Mac Client. It works!!!! And for a rev 0.2 release it works surprisingly well! On my 27 inch Mid 2010 iMac, running on Very High resolution the graphics are fabulous (higher resolutions (i.e. retna displays) were "not yet supported." Mainly because when you jump the resolution up, the fonts in use become "really tiny." (Yeah, Resolution works that way, it really does.) At the moment, the MTBF seems to be about 2 hours. But judging from reports I've seen from the Windows clients, many of the client crash issues are common with the Windows client and directly related to "transitions" -- The main "issue" getting started with the Mac Client had to do with Mountain Lion -- Gatekeeper issues. But they should "go away" when the official "Registered" client is available. The location of "support files" is "funky" -- "sadly" they follow the Apple API for such things and they wind up in places like your "hidden" Library directory, and in "plist" format rather than plain text. Not a big deal, just "completely different."

Going back to Point 1 -- RoR IS a whole new game engine! I don't know how much for certain, but I believe A LOT, maybe all, of the game engine is new. A common issue in the beta was "Awesomium" -- it appears that this, the Google Crome Awesomium Web Framework, is now being used as the under-pinnings of the new clients -- for both the Mac and Windows. Needless to say? LOTRO is now "OpenGL" based. There is also a bit of Nokia's code for something, but I can't find my notes on it now.

One last comment. The player base is still trying to figure out "how to control" the War-steed -- Trac-pad, Trac-ball, mouse, arrow-keys, ASDW, joystick. So far there doesn't seem to be any consensus that any of them "work optimally," let alone better than any other.

So, that's kind of a "quick" overview of the Beta so far. I suspect we'll see a Beta 4 around the original scheduled release date. And if the RoI pattern is followed, which the lifting of the NDA implies, it will be an open beta. Aside from the Client Crash issues, which may or may not be a big deal, there are A LOT of "little" things that simply need time to clean up. Rohan IS big, either 4 or 5 major regions (I forget now, but they were listed in one of the original teasers). And while the engine may be responsible for many of the issues, I suspect that a lot of "textures" need tweaking. The first 3 betas were focused on Mounted Combat issues, so there are probably a lot more "Quest" bugs not yet experienced and therefore not "/bug" reported.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 00:15, 23 August 2012 (EDT)

RoR Naming conventions

As I'm starting to put things together for creating pages, I note the basic layout: User:Magill/Projects-ROR-Eastern-Rohan -- which begs the "THE" question -- What to do do about "The"?

I did not think to grab map-shots in Beta 3, so the only references I have are from beta 1, and the maps are now "artwork," not google-maps.

First off, the Overall area is either called "Eastmnet" or "Eastemnet" aka Eastern Rohan.

Turbine originally described most of the new regions without "The":

  • Eastwall -- is probably a candidate to be called "The Eastwall," but usage is inconsistent; with the Maps using, "The East Wall" and quests only "Eastwall."
  • The Wold -- already defined
  • Norcrofts -- possibly a candidate to be "The Norcrofts," but I've not seen it referred to that way. Radar showed no "the"
  • Sutcrofts -- possibly a candidate to be "The Sutcrofts," but I've not seen it referred to that way. Radar showed no "the"
  • Entwash Vale -- don't think I've ever seen a "the" prefix
  • Eaves of Fangorn -- seems to always be referred to WITHOUT "the"

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 13:11, 25 August 2012 (EDT)

I am really sick and tired of this business of adding the "The" to names. One of the biggest objections is that it causes too much stuff to get indexed under "T". Another is that in most cases, "The" is just a noise word added to make the name sound nice. Most native English speakers know to drop the article when looking things up in a dictionary, just as French speakers know to drop the singular/plural, male/female/neutral articles they use. And the users of other languages learn to omit their sometimes more complex articles.
I live near the Rocky Mountains. The name appears with "the" in many written and spoken contexts, but when you look it up on Google, or Wikipedia, or an ancient dead-tree encyclopedia, the name is "Rocky Mountains", and is indexed under "R", not "T". It does not make sense to edit hundreds or thousands of pages to change, e.g., "Misty Mountains" to "The Misty Mountains". It adds no value to the wiki. It is contrary to the basic rules from teachers and librarians. It insults the intelligence of everyone who plays the game.
There are numerous rules and conventions for inserting articles while writing and speaking, but these grammar rules do not change the noun to which the article is added.
There are even a couple of in-game examples to illustrate that "The" is not part of the name. Look at the names of the relics: Great River Gem of Faith, etc. Or the deed: Quests of Great River.
- RingTailCat (talk) 15:27, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
Would you rather we dropped them everywhere and played "Lord of Rings Online"? (I also happen to notice that even you, RTC, can't help but correct others' English to sound nicer to yourself, even when "most native English speakers" can jump from "candidat" to "candidate" without grievous mental agony.)
In all seriousness, it is a trivial issue, but one that ought to be resolved to make our lives easier - otherwise we end up with inconsistency and overgrown jungles of redirects. I personally trip up a little every time I read "Trollshaws" without "the"; plural-sounding locations beg for a determiner in front of them. My preferences aside, I believe the standard has been/become to use whichever name appears directly below the minimap/radar and/or whichever flashes on your screen as you enter said region/area/location. There have probably been cases where these were overruled, but this, at least, is the baseline from my understanding. Sethladan 16:08, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
There is a significant difference between the use of nouns, and the actual nouns. Good grammar says that we follow rules to insert articles to form a noun phrase when we use them in complete sentences. The noun itself does not include the article. Likewise, the place name usually does not include the article; we add it to make the phrase sound nice. Some few places require an article to turn a generic noun into a specific name. "The Shire" is a example. "Shire" is a generic term, while "The Shire" refers to a specific one of these. "Trollshaws" is a specific place. Adding "The" does not make it any more specific, it just makes it sound nicer, makes it flow mellifluously from the tongue. We say "Southern Trollshaws" not "Southern The Trollshaws" because the "the" is not part of the place name. RingTailCat (talk) 17:29, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
I grabbed screenshots of the maps in round three. The only areas with "The" on the map were The Wold and The East Wall. The entire region is labeled as East Rohan on the map (Eastemnet as a redirect might be appropriate here). This is still beta, of course, and the maps will probably change (they labeled Hytbold as Joe-town for crying out loud), and even Turbine is notoriously inconsistent when it comes to naming things. Personally, I prefer to drop the "The" where ever it makes sense. The Wold might be one of those special cases like The Shire in which we should retain the article, and possibly The East Wall as well. Whatever we decide on, I'll be happy as long as we're consistent and people can find the information. Neum (talk) 17:59, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
Personally, I think going with whatever appears on the map/radar is the best choice (even if it doesn't make sense if it has an "The" or not, its just the way the game calls it). Although there are some maps that have a "the" added here in the wiki but not in the game, like North Downs. Gwenwyfar (talk) 18:41, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
If you have followed my path through the lower level regions you would have seen me consequently changing to what it reads under the radar and what it reads when travelling over a border. There are naming rules at the Help:Names page, and some extra for the create-location pages. For example which to use when the outdoor/sign name is different from what reads under the radar when indoors (use the latter no matter what).
The in-game maps are inconsistent and cannot really be trusted. Not to mention how useless they are :P
Is there any very strong reason why bending the rules just because of RoR? A problem may be when Turbine changes the names at some point, yeah, then we have extra job to do :( I suggest we stick to the rules: use whatever it reads under the radar. Otherwise we will, in the end of the day, end up with the jungle we slowly have removed, so well in fact that I think newcomers have a hard time finding signs of those days any more ;)
-- Zimoon (talk) 20:33, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
*maps/radars, sorry. If it was left to personal opinion, I would go with RTC, adding "The" seems just silly to me, but in terms of consistency, yeah, going with what appears in the map/radar is best. Gwenwyfar (talk) 23:15, 25 August 2012 (EDT)

Icon images guidelines

The guidelines in regards of icons says how they should be named, and that they should follow the item's name, but in a discussion regarding server requests it was talked about how the generic ones are getting turned into a single one, with a generic name instead (like weapons, etc). Despite that, and the fact that there are some of them already used, like the champion's horn icon that is linked across all horns, some of the recent uploads are of same-icon-different-names images. So, what exactly is being done about that? Shouldn't the guidelines mention this exception if it is one? Gwenwyfar (talk) 23:50, 25 August 2012 (EDT)

Have you seen Help:Items#Notice about Icons? I think that is addressing this issue. My experience has been that finding the right help topic can sometimes be difficult. You might need to go into advanced search, clear all namespaces and only check the help namespace to find a helpful result. Even when you land on the right page, it may not sound as helpful as it could be. That's why technical writers have jobs! The technically correct information may not be very helpful unless you already know the answer. The page I reference looks like it points you in the right direction, but still leaves you with a lot of work to figure out what it really means. I often find it most helpful to find an example and work from there. RingTailCat (talk) 01:24, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Gwenwyfar is perfectly correct, but I think there is a history to it. It was not at all long ago, less than a year I think, that editors begun to streamline the icons and collect them as "generic icons" and then at the talk-pages. Meanwhile we have lived in "both worlds" with the help/guide-lines reading the old world and some, but not at all all, pages using the generic icons, if they existed. Now when we have come this far I believe we should update the help-texts.
Still we need to work more on the icon bit. It was suggested, somewhere, that the generic icon info should be moved to the main category page for better visibility. We should also summarize at each parent category so it is easier to find what-where-and-when. I often have to click through quite some categories to find what I am looking for, unless I cheat and begin with a similar item I happen to find :P It should not have to be that way.
Another issue is that for almost everything we have guidelines, help-texts, and rules spread over many places. That inevitably leads to some of those will always be out of sync. My personal choice would be to have guidelines/help/rules in the Help: namespace, always. Small pages about just one thing and those texts may be transcluded in full or partly to where it make sense. At least that would address the out-of-sync texts. I will see what I can do about the location stuff and maybe some more I have touched in the past, but leave the rest for others. -- Zimoon (talk) 09:02, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for the clarification, "managing" images is another thing I love to do, so I'll be working there later, getting better quality ones and cleaning out the duplicate files :)
I think we could make a category for "generic icons" perhaps? Would make it easier to find it when looking for them. --Gwenwyfar (talk) 11:43, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Or yet another category to not find ;)
Rather, keep information at the Category:Icons page clear, crisp and accurate would do, with links directly to the generic icon collections. I can do the latter right away. -- Zimoon (talk) 12:27, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
When you upload images, including icons you will get a notice when the new file is a binary copy of an existing file (i.e., has same hash value). The administrator (I think) has a utility which will do a fuzzy compare of images, so that it detects close matches and very similar images. IIRC, it will match slight colour variations that can result from anti-aliasing and other video processing effects. I think it is a fairly expensive process, so it does not run automatically. Then, it is a fairly simple process to consolidate the icons and use one generic version of the icon. As I recall, the report is sorted by number of duplicates, so it is easy to focus on the more serious problems first. Those are usually cases where the game is intentionally using the same icon for a large number of similar items.
Something that might help to use generic icons is to modify the first page we see when we click on a missing icon. In addition to a link to upload the icon, perhaps we could provide links to the palettes of generic icons. This would make it easier to look for a generic icon, as well as encourage folks to use a generic icon as an alternative to uploading a new icon. As it stands now, you need to know that there are generic icons, as well as where they are located.
- RingTailCat (talk) 13:00, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Good idea, RTC! I updated Mediawiki:Uploadtext to add a short note and link about generic icons - how does Special:Upload look to you no? The note could stand to be emphasized, I suppose, as it doesn't really catch anyone's attention as is unless they're sitting there reading through the "system message" for the first time, and who does that? Sethladan 14:43, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
  1. I think that works only if the files are 100% identical, right? What if they portrait the same icon but different resolution, maybe from screenshots of different graphics settings either in-game or OS settings?
  2. Good idea, plus what I posted at the Category talk:Icons page :)
-- Zimoon (talk) 14:46, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
PS: I would stress "icons" .. maybe
Icons: If you are uploading an icon, please ... . DS.
-- Zimoon (talk) 14:48, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
If you go to Category:Items missing an icon, click on any item, and the click on the blue question mark icon, you reach an intermediate page, where you click a link to upload the missing icon. Any idea where the boilerplate for that page resides? Can it be changed as well? I think that is a step earlier in the process, and a good place to really emphasis the option and potential gain of using a generic icon.
- RingTailCat (talk) 17:32, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Was able to find the system message for that one, too. There are a lot of similar messages in the software, so it's possible you'll happen across other pages that could stand to be updated if we can find the associated message to change. Sethladan 18:37, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Too many indents.:) ... Note that Help:Images references the "Icon project." Of course, that pointer points to a page which does not reference Icons at all, i.e. "Project Images" - The "Notice about Icons" is the same text as RTC refers to: Help:Items#Notice about Icons. Or put another way, there are "hints" that something is afoot all over the place -- but NOTHING says anything about -- What is actually happening; Who is doing what; or What anyone should be doing. I've avoided writing anything about the subject in the past for the simple reason that I cannot begin to answer any of those three basic question. I suspect that this is another situation where something was discussed on IRC and the information never promulgated to the WIKI. It also point out the problem with using Random "Talk" pages to "document" things, even as simple as what is to be done. The fact of the matter is, unless you are thinking with the same words as the original authors, nobody finds them. (And that problem is acute with the search engine, also.) And far too many talk pages are simply full of "crap" that should be archived, as it is no longer relevant.
Regarding Mediawiki:Uploadtext -- Z is correct (I just added it to that page). I would also raise the question -- while I realize the page can be used to upload any file, it should be tailored to our "most likely" usage -- uploading Images and Icons. Does the upload of "text" ever happen? Similarly, do we really "support" the use of ogg files?
I also just updated the man Help page to say "Image and Icons" instead of just "Images."
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 17:36, 27 August 2012 (EDT)

A question about page navigation

Someone mentioned that Stable-master is a long page.

One thing which I realize is that "toc" generates a list whereby we can easily "jump down" to a spot on the page.

I suppose that what is needed is an "equivalent" template called {{top}}. This could then be placed at the "end of" various sections and would "jump back to the top of the page."

In HTML terms, one simply sticks:

<a name="top"></a> at the top of the page, nominally right after <body>, and then sticks:
<a href="#top">return to top</a> wherever one wishes to "return to the top".

Or would it simply make things simpler to do this in raw html? (Except that you can't. Unless there is some "magic syntax" to make it work.) My search of the MediaWiki doc don't turn up anything for me on how to do either, even though I know you can insert certain HTML into the code... like <br />
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 17:04, 28 August 2012 (EDT)

Have you tried hitting the <Home> button? In Firefox 14, and every previous browser I can remember using, back to the early 1990's, pressing <Home> takes you to the top of the page.
You do find a few applications within web pages which hijack the <Home> button for their own purposes. Either it makes sense to do that, or I vote with my page views, and never go back.
- RingTailCat (talk) 17:13, 28 August 2012 (EDT)
Or press the back button. I have a many-buttons-mouse and have the back conveniently :)
-- Zimoon (talk) 17:46, 28 August 2012 (EDT)
This wasn't so much for me as for others who have been complaining about the page length. ... which implies that they don't use the TOC to travel the page, or else they are just "browsing" down the page. In either of those cases, the "Back" button won't take you to the top of the page but to your previous page. Only if you have used the TOC, it will take you back to the top (i.e. wherever your previous page happened to be.)
As far as the home button -- I don't know how many people ever use that to navigate a page. Even the Back button, is something that a great many folks browsing the web have no idea how to use. It's like the scroll bars themselves -- a huge number of people believe that if it's not on the screen in front of them "they can't see it." I realize that both of these situations are sad, but they are quite common.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:38, 30 August 2012 (EDT)
Very true, but then the Home button will do the same job, or Ctrl+Home depending on the user's settings. Rather than we adding superfluous links to the page I hope (in vain maybe?) that people will learn to use their computers' standard features. But what we should do about ignorant people, I do not know but I doubt this wiki is the right place to help them, is it?
-- Zimoon (talk) 02:13, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

+ 8 against FISH!

LoL -- you can get a Rohirric Fishing Rod -- at least in a "Blue Box of Wold Spoils" -- "a collection of rewards for defeating the Enemy's warbands roaming the Wold"

"A superb oak fishing rod with a wrapped handle for improved grip. The discerning fisherman's choice."

It's +8 against fish ! (+8 fishing skill).
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:41, 30 August 2012 (EDT)

Google Maps -- Has that Feature been discussed already?

I guess nobody here can honestly say they love the in-game maps. Some of the maps might perhaps "look" nice, but they are indeed useless. Pretend being a new-comer to Lotro, and then try using the map navigating within Rath Teraigh, the goblin camps of upper Greenfields in the Shire, Combe and Staddle in Bree-land, the Midge-water Marshes, Old Forest, and so forth. Not seldom you find yourself (the red arrow of yourself) "off the map" so to speak. And those badly detailed maps continue at least up until where I am now, in the Misty Mountains.

People understood the value of detailed maps already thousands of years ago, well before the fictional era of Tolkien's work is supposed to take place. Their knowledge might have been limited for certain regions but they indeed added all the small details they knew, or thought they knew. "Parchment" was not something they would have appreciated but was probably used to fuel the next camp site fire with. So...

Even if I am not overly excited about the looks of Turbine's Google maps, they are indeed helpful when planning on questing or other activities in certain locations. Has it been discussed at all if this wiki could make use of those maps? If not, is that something anybody would find interesting to add, if possible?

If it was there, or if we cooperated with any site that has done it already, I envision a link at each location page (or a widget) pinpointing that location. More features are of course possible, such as items, creature areas, etc., but let's wait until the bigger question is answered ;)
-- Zimoon (talk) 03:27, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

It is not clear what the source of those maps is or might be. The Lorebook offers "google maps" but I have never found them to be even close to accurate -- not even as useful as the in-game maps. But where those actual maps come from or how they are used is not particularly well (if at all) documented.
It has appeared from "beta maps" used in RoI and RoR that Turbine does use those Google Maps internally -- but if they are the same ones found in the Lorebook or not is not at all obvious. The Lorebook itself has not been updated since 2009 and the "Interactive Map" does not extend beyond Moria, and for me is utterly worthless as it always returns blank pages and nothing but search listings. (At one time there actually was a map that you could scroll through, but that has not been around for quite some time now.)
I've always found Dynamic Map to be the most accurate and useful although there are a number of others.
As to the issue of map detail -- it is not possible. The forums have complained for years about the fact that things which look "navigable" in-game or on the maps are in-fact "impassable." The number of "you can't get there from here" situations is immense. The reasons for that are many and in most cases quite obvious -- but that makes all of the maps and map-making truly worthless from a navigation point of view. The Dyna Map offers the best compromise -- it gives you the location of "stuff" and doesn't attempt to pretend to provide any more navigational detail than the in-game parchment maps provide.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 16:09, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
The in-game map images that are displayed in the radar, are TIFF images located in the game's image resource files. There is an Lua plugin (IRV)which will display these resource images. It has not been updated recently, and not all of the map fragments have been identified completely. RingTailCat (talk) 18:16, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
I am not sure where you find the "google maps" less accurate, Magill. I have yet not seen any mistake in them from having them in a browser besides me and exploring in-game. However, as with any map they are not 100% helpful as they still are 2D and sometimes you cannot tell a ditch from a ridge, neither if there is a way through a wall or a path under a thick forest (Old Forest for example). But have a look at e.g. Annúminas or Iorbar and tell me what is inaccurate, please. I would rather think your comment is about personal preferences about maps than accuracy as such, don't you think?
About the origin I was under the impression that Turbine created and made them available. Google provides an API for these kinds of maps under a quite relaxed license, but whether the maps are hosted at Google servers or elsewhere I have not researched. Either way, that is less important and was not really my original question, which I now repeat:
Question: Has it been discussed at all if this wiki could make use of those maps? If not, is that something anybody would find interesting to add, if possible?
-- Zimoon (talk) 05:10, 1 September 2012 (EDT)

Layout getting finished. Opinions?

The main elements of the layout I had suggested earlier are pretty much finished, and there are only minor details and colors to change and adjust now, so I'll show how it is so far:

Main page Main page middle Part of a normal page

I'd like to explain what I did and why, starting with which css I based it on:

I made it off monobook, its simpler than vector, so its easier to change, and it maintains all the elements styled nicely, so it saves the time of writing everything again in a plain one, which is kinda pointless since normal wiki basic styling is just fine.

Positioning: The most important thing was to center everything. This has the purpose of making pages easier to read, specially in larger monitors, its not very nice when you have to keep looking at each side of your monitor, or start reading a single phrase/small paragraph in one side and finishing on the other and also it makes the content look more rich as it is more condensed. As it is a game wiki much of our written content are tables, images and brief sentences, not like we're writing a whole book here. Also it follows the classic paper format so I believe its more familiar to everyone.

Making things centered makes some of the other changes follow up: The sides of the background look empty, so a background image to fill it up. The navigation would occupy too much space to be kept on the side, and would not degrade so nicely in different monitor sizes (and if the size was kept the same, then there would be little space for actual content). The logo position is basically the only place left that fits nicely along with the above, so I made it larger as well. Those, of course, also have the bonus of looking better, but that's not the only reason behind them.

The rest was left pretty much untouched, except for the different colors and styling, which I took all from inside the game itself (the in-game colors also have the bonus that lighter letters on darker backgrounds are more comfortable to read than the opposite).

About the main page, changing just the colors would be too simple and not match the rest, so I made it into game-like boxes, and left the positioning the same. I also changed the image as I think a ring image alone gets theme of the tolkien LoTR history better than a gollum one. The extra images were removed because they didn't match the new look, they looked just weird.

Regarding the coding, the layout uses a lot of images, so I turned them into sprites to reduce the amount of requests to the server. The result comes out as one image for background, one for logo, one for borders (border-image), and one for everything else (tabs, navigation). I might have to use an extra one for the content background, so that makes just 4-5 images with a total of around 500-900kb (will depend on the background).

As for compatibility, it should work fine on all major browsers (FF, Chrome, Safari, likely Opera too) and likely in most recent IE versions too. So far I've only tested it on FF and chrome, and both are working (except for a minor issue in chrome that the search input doesn't want to go transparent, but if I can't fix that I'll just make it a solid color). I'll test Safari later.

There were other things I wanted to do, but I'm not sure I can/or its not possible with CSS, only Js (and I have a thing against using js, just a pet peeve of mine, so many bad js codes out there that makes the language look basically a code blotch generator...), like making the checkboxes have the same look as the game, and it might be possible to change the body background image according to page, too, so we could have things like, in, say, the rohan page, a rohan image, in the shire page, a shire image, etc.

About the navigation, I just copied the current one, but I would suggest reorganizing it, (adding more links, changing their position, etc). A second line of buttons can be added if needed, as well as second-level sub-menus to accommodate more links. I'm just not sure if we can put a dynamic list in there, though (for popular pages, and toolbox). As for how to implement it, we can use site-notice, or, the other choice (if its even possible), is to put it into the HTML. I'd like your opinion/suggestions on what list of links to put there, though, that's why I didn't put much work into it.

... And I think this is everything. What do you think of it? Suggestions? What to change? --Gwenwyfar (talk) 15:57, 31 August 2012 (EDT)

(I'm ignoring all of the effort you have put into this, which I realize is significant, and just being critical :) ) --
The immediate thing which strikes me is -- another damm website that spends huge amounts of bandwidth downloading pretty background images. Personally, I find such websites both offensive and annoying. And yes is one. (BTW, I don't like Frames either.)
The second thing which jumps out at me -- white letters on black backgrounds -- again it's one of those readability issues. With a 27 inch 2560x1440 display, virtually everything is unreadable. The fonts you are using, except for the bold, are much too thin, and things like the italics on your "normal page" completely break-up. I've heard the "dark background" argument for years, but the only presentations which become unreadable by an audience are those where dark backgrounds are used. Granted there is a difference between screen images and projected images, but light text on dark backgrounds harken back to the days of the 3270 when the screen was green "to avoid eye-strain."
One thing which I don't know the explicit answer to -- I just noticed that the font presentation is very dependent upon viewing angle. The "heavier" the font, the wider the viewing angle. Again, I use a 27 inch monitor that typically has 2 browser windows open side by side.
The third thing -- The name of the site is LOTRO-Wiki ... not "The Lord of th Rings Online" Wiki. I assume that the long form is trademarked (not to mention the font and scrollwork) and that we would not be able to use it in any event.
So much for opinions -- Changes I would recommend:
The "top" of the main page is interesting. However, I think you should have either drop-downs or tabs, not both. (And loose the Forums link!!!)
You still wind up with the "user navigation" at the top edge of the page. I assume you can't get rid of it, but it is somewhat redundant.
I see no reason for both "search" and "go" buttons.
I assume, that header section would be found on the top of every page.
As I'm looking at the header I note that the link "Wiki" is blue text on a blue background -- virtually invisible.
I would loose "Popular Pages" and merge "Create Article" and "Toolbox" -- maybe change the name to Editing or Contributing -- and move everything else out of "navigation" into it -- change Navigation to simply be a button "Main Page." That would leave only "Contributing" as a drop-dowm which could have nested "Create article" and "Help" topics (probably a Java issue).
The tab "user page" should simply be "page" -- Move and protect will (should) only show for Editors
One other thing I would mention -- it is possible to time page downloads, at least using Safari. I've never done it, so I don't know either the technique or what information if provided.... but if we are doing a major overhaul, we should probably investigate that issue. Image downloads are expensive and there is a constant dribble in the forums about folks with bandwidth caps and "Slow DSL" lines. I do happen to have a 6meg DSL line and it DOES take a visibly long time to download your page examples. Maybe only a second or two, but noticeable as the image is painted down the screen.
All that said, I do like the center section "layout" -- (as is even!) just fix the fonts.
This is Safari 6.0 on ML 10.8.1 on a 27-inch mid-2010 iMac. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 17:04, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
Before all else, I have to say that I am very, very impressed by the visual appeal of those examples. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't that. You managed to transport us right into the game, basically, hahah. If I were in any sort of position of authority at Turbine, I would certainly recommend you for skinning work on their Lorebook.
Therein lies both my praise and my concern: It's not even Lotro-Wiki anymore. I think this is what some of us (RTC put it most forcefully and eloquently, perhaps) were hesitant about when you proposed a revision - this isn't a revision as much as an entirely new visual presentation for the site. Further, it's not even an original look, as (with no discredit to your personal creativity) all the media is basically lifted from game material. Yes, Lotro-Wiki as it is now looks an awful lot like vanilla Mediawiki/Wikipedia, but it's developed a bit of personality of its own in its more than five years of operation. Your suggestion - for lack of better phrasing - makes us a Turbine clone.
I say all this with deep regret because it's clear that this represents a great deal of hard work on your part, and it is stunningly beautiful to me. However, I find it to be not at all appropriate for our site. Reluctant as I am to send you back to the drawing board, I firmly feel that a more incremental approach would have served everyone better. Sethladan 17:37, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
While I was on my working holiday in August, I spent most of my viewing time on lotro-wiki using my Android phone. This does not look like it will work in that context. Even on my dual 23" monitors, my browser shares the screen with 4 or more other windows, plus the game! With the current layout, I can make my browser window just about any size and shape I want, and still does a fine job of displaying the content.
I don't know where this idea of white on black comes from but I want to do bad things to whoever came up with the idea. It's a throw back to the ancient glass tty's we used in the 70's and 80's. For me, it is an absolute show-stopper.
I think you would need to add a big disclaimer to make sure folks realize that this is not another Turbine site. I don't see any value in trying to look like their site. In fact, it may be a big advantage to visually distance ourselves from their site.
- RingTailCat (talk) 18:39, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
Well, it will only need to load the first time you get into a page, then it gets cached. When you're loading the page in actual css, only text appears, then the images go loading at once -background is loaded last of all (at least in firefox), maybe because of the order of things in css? I understand the concern for slower net connections, but I don't see this as a big issue, personally. Probably because I used dial-up connections for a long time, so I got used to rot while waiting any page to load, cable (12mb here) looks like a superjet compared to the old times. Lotro forums kind of explode on my scream when loading. As its stands now the page has around 500kb on images (not counting background which still unfinished so its a huge PNG).
About the framing and styling, I made it trying to copy the game default skin itself, as to create a familiar atmosphere for players and look very "lotroish", I got them from an official Turbine package. As the game is very detailed a simple no framed style with just plain colors wouldn't create that lotroish feeling.
I didn't change anything on the font besides the color, odd that it seems it is getting no anti-aliasing at all. I've changed the color and it looks better already (here), but I'm not having any luck with trying to make it have some sort of smoothing... I'll have to look into that later.
Eh? Could they complain about that? Its not like LOTRO doesn't mean Lord of the Rings online... Besides, its just a name, its not like we're claiming to be an official LOTRO wiki with the logo or something. But if that is really a problem I can make a LOTRO logo, the letters I used in "wiki"are not a font but letters I made myself just to match with the tolkien lore style, it wouldn't be an obstacle to do the whole LOTRO logo like that, instead of Lord of the Rings Online.
Despite it looking odd, "search" and "go" are the wiki's default (at least on html side, can't recall if it is like that on monobook), and they do different things. Go will go to a page of a matching name, and search will bring you the search page regardless of having a match or not. But we can change that to vector search if we want a simpler search (as we have here now). I personally prefer both, it is useful if you know how it works, having just go is kind of annoying when you wanna do a search and it goes to a page, or the other way around.
Why would the top user navigation be redundant? And yes, you can get rid of it, although I don't see why do that. I also just left it up there because I didn't really thing of anywhere else for it to go, so I just left where it was. I agree that its definitely ugly, it looks raw. Have to think of something to do with it.
Yeah, external links have a different class, so they were left with normal styling (also because of an issue of user css not being loaded after the others), it is readable enough on the darker blue, but I guess its better change it at least on the main page header.
I'll make a simple list with links later to see how it goes, but something I forgot to mention: I'm thinking of adding more links. Like, links to general pages such as characters, maps, etc, for better visitor navigation, instead of just what we have on the current one, so I wanted to know what kind of lists you think would be good to add. And I'm not using (nor need to use) any js for the dropdowns, even with multiple sub-menus. Its a sort of trick with display: none and hover.
The tab user page is user page on the layout we have now too, so I don't see why change it.
Yeah, they only show for editors, I just styled them, I didn't make it a fixed list. But I got that image from how I see the wiki while logged in, can't see how it looks for visitors as once I log out the normal css appears :P By the way, if you wanna see how it actually looks, just copy my css to your user css and change to monobook. But I must warn, it is still a mess. Lots of things to organize and finish, like the bottom of the background image.
Thank you for your compliments, they are really appreciated. When choosing the framing style I didn't think much about that actually, I just wanted to have a familiar face so I used in game default skin, haven't thought about being too much of a copy for turbine (well, in a way this will make us look more official than the lorebook itself, as its more similar than the game). If a in-game like style doesn't suffice, I would propose that instead of using a LOTROish style using a Tolkienish style, wouldn't be too hard to make that, would still feel familiar (and a ode to the king!) and be visually appealing. But still have to see how that would turn out.
Geez, stop posting while I write!
Isn't it possible to change css files according to browser or something of the likes, though? And could as well just have two separate css's for those cases, and whoever prefers the old one.
As for the white on black myth, my husband works with modelling softwares and he always uses a dark skin because the default light gray always strains his eyes a little after a long time of use, but I don't really know if it's that way for everyone.
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 18:52, 31 August 2012 (EDT)
Wow, what a massive amount f hours you have put into this! Impressive!!!
Yet, I am one of those people who literally go away from any gamers' fan site looking like that. Why must so many fan sites have very dark or black background? Why must there be image backgrounds? Why must it be light text on dark background, when everybody knows that is harder to read for so many? Does those things make the site better? Or is it just to look impressive? I know I know, that is superficial, a site with an impressive front can still have great content, but still I find the old saying true: Less Is More.
Actually, when I begun playing Lotro, which was not awfully long ago, and googled around for some information I of course found ZAM, mmodb, arda, and many more, but only Lotro-Wiki had an appeal that hooked me. It was not the slickest looking but it was bright and simplistic. Plus it was active, a kind and welcoming group of editors, and anybody could easily begin adding/amending things. Hence, from my personal values I'd prefer I very very lean, clean and bright style as the default; if there was an easy to way to provide dusk and dark skins for people with such preferences that is OK, but for me the default is a bright Less Is More.
Reading RTC comment about mobile phone I cannot but agree, though I am on Android. For a mobile it is really true that less is more. Always! Reading Seth's comment I have nothing more to say. I understand perfectly well that this is not fun to read, better than you may think I guess as I've been there, done that, and felt that myself with creations in my past, and since I am in a creative IT business that is still so. Saying this, our Wiki is still not the slickest looking, so there is indeed room for improvements, but I'd prefer to improve incrementally while keeping its well-known "face" and style.
-- Zimoon (talk) 05:45, 1 September 2012 (EDT)
Well, talking on some personal views and as web designer, I would have to disagree on the darker vs lighter design choice (personally). Talking about effects on the readers those two greatly differ. Darker designs give the feeling of a closed space, a private and solitary zone, it usually feels somewhat home comfortable (when it is not dull), like if you were reading a book in your own room with the main lights off and only tiny light source on the pages. While the lighter designs are used to give the feeling of a open space, a more public and inviting zone where there is little regard for private spaces and everyone is welcomed, it gives a more social presentation. That's why most sites, specially company ones (facebook, tumblr, twitter, google, wikipedia and many others), will use lighter tones (mainly white and blue) and only sites for specific communities will go for darker tones. I remember that when I was still playing WoW (something which I regret now, wasted years) I would spend hours reading the lore on the old WoWwiki (now WoWpedia if I'm not mistaken) where they have used a black graphite background on greyish letters and I have to say it was very comfortable, I would spend hours reading character articles (some were huge) and I would feel like home regardless where I was reading (work, cybercafes, friend's house), when a festival came up and they changed the style of the background or some logos it would really feel like a festival was happening, that something was different, instead of just an ad. Other WoWcommunity sites like Thottbot, which was basically a WoW Google, would feel totally dull and invasive (I guess one of the reasons for why WoWhead was more popular). But that is again, just my personal experience, and being a metalhead myself, it would be a lie to say I don't have any bias in my color choices :P
I can see that the first time I came here my reaction was the opposite of many members. My husband have found lotro-wiki first, but it looked so raw and simple (it was before the front page change back then) that he thought the project was dead, so he continued searching for other LOTRO community sites but didn't find any other. Only when I came to the site and went to take a look on the latest changes that I saw the project was very active, it just didn't seem so given the lack of customization (it is just a copy of the old Wikipedia style as its now). I gave a break on MMOGaming at the time so I didn't bother to come here, only now that I decided to play MMOs again and started playing LOTRO seriously that I decided to give my contribution to the wiki community, and having some experience as web designer obviously my best contribution would to the layout. Specially because there are really some things which jump in your eyes around here, like the tooltip templates that copy the in-game tooltips really don't match the whole feel of the wiki, or the monster templates. When I first suggested the facelift I had seen that the wiki has, at least historically, tried to mimic the in-game elements, so that was one of the reasons I just mimic'ed the in-game skin, it would feel familiar and match the other work already done on the wiki, but now I can definitely see that you all agree this is not a favorable approach. So, back to the drawing board :)
Since you want a unique and original vibe for the project, that one can definitely identify as “lotro-wiki” and not “wikipedia-lotro” or “Turbine-wiki” my best option would be a legitimate Tolkien design. I say its the best option because, believe it or not, no one managed to give a legitimate Tolkien design for their projects yet. They usually just get a superficial appearance of Tolkien's symbolism and infuse their own style on it, that's why every major project based on Arda feels different, Peter Jackson goes black and yellow, Turbine for silver and blue and etc. Hell, there is even a lego Tolkien design. But all these designs have little care for Tolkien's own art style and his view on his own work. That's why the Tolkien's family didn't like Peter Jackson movies and I think that Christopher might regret allowing it. And also, given the popularity of the movies many other projects just copy the Peter Jackson presentation, which as good as it might be, it is not in any way understanding of the Tolkien's style.
Tolkien was ultimately a Philologist and this attribute was the central motto of his passions and works. He focused particularly in Old English and Old Germanic tales, and was in some way, a medieval scholar. He wasn't a master just on the Beowulf epic but had an original view for the whole medieval northern cosmology. Words and languages for him weren't just a medium for communication with arbitrary rules but an indicative of the essences of world itself, which makes him, in some elastic definition, a philosopher. People usually take the original languages which he presented on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion, Síndarin for example, as just details for his world of Arda, like a if Sindarin was for Arda what Klingon is for Star Trek, which unfortunately for Tolkien is a mistake. In one of his letters, for an academic colleague I think, he explains:
“what I think is a primary ‘fact’ about my work, that it is all of a piece, and fundamentally linguistic in inspiration. [...] It is not a ‘hobby’, in the sense of something quite different from one’s work, taken up as a relief-outlet. The invention of languages is the foundation. The ‘stories’ were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me a name comes first and the story follows. I should have preferred to write in ‘Elvish’. But, of course, such a work as The Lord of the Rings has been edited and only as much ‘language’ has been left in as I thought would be stomached by readers. (I now find that many would have liked more.) [...] It is to me, anyway, largely an essay in ‘linguistic aesthetic’, as I sometimes say to people who ask me ‘what is it all about’." The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, page 219.
This philological motto of his work is very clear when he says his works are not an allegory and an allegorical approach would be totally misguided (something many fans have problems to comprehend, and unfortunately is the approach of many projects).
So my proposal would be to give the same philological approach to the wiki, changing it to fit wiki's necessities, but ultimately very Tolkienian in cosmological views. The base for his creation has been the old epics, particularly Old English and Old Germanic, and so is the composition of the languages. Quenya, his first glossopeia work and I believe to be the most complete of them, was the origin of his whole mythology, so I would probably be based on the aesthetics of this language to create an original work for the wiki and since Quenya uses a Tengwar scripts, it would probably follow the design of those shapes.
Sites with Tengwar scripts exist in lots, so to give a more unique feel something else would be added. The language is the primary reason for his mythology, but the mythology itself has been influenced in appearance by his studies on medieval and epic subjects. This influence is very clear on his drafts and drawings of the places he described. It would usually follow the same medieval presentation, with flattened forms in simplistic shapes but with a somewhat wide range of colors with little to no shadows. Tolkien's own art style, when colored and not in black and white, would follow patterns of green and blue, usually using yellow and white to distinct the forms as a slight illumination (and when the color of the object itself was white or yellow), as can be seen by his original drawings:
He was a more conservative person himself and and was fondle of rural scenarios, which probably explains his use of light green and blue. (the light tone comes from the fact that he used more watercolor than anything else).
So I would mix those three elements: The tegnwar runescript shapes, the forms and colors of his art and few elements from the medieval sources he used. This would create an atmosphere that most people could definitely identify as Tolkienish (identifying with the game), unique and yet simple and pleasing.
On technical terms it would be a lot harder and take much more time to do than my previous one since I would need to create every image from the ground up but would also make the page lighter since I would have better control of the alpha channels and the overall processing of the images and theme itself would go more for lighter colors. The practical aspects of the wiki, like the letters, would remain the same, the changes would happen to the button organization, content format and overall details. Also, following the same line of my previous example, all the code would be written using basic CSS to have a higher compatibility between browsers, though I must warn that some js may be required to change some minor elements (the same as I mentioned earlier, checkboxes and such, can't change it with css), but in principle it uses only CSS.
About the mobile devices issue. I, for one, am not really a fan of mobile browsing, the whole concept feels weird to me, never liked using them, it always feels like I'm trying to read a bible in a pocket mini-book, it is just not comfortable at all. When these mobile devices came along it just made the browser war even harder to handle :P The only one I find not so much of a pain to use it's the PS Vita, because the screen is a little larger than the rest (most tablets for me hardly enter the definition of “portable”, it is as portable as a tiny notebook, not “pocket portable” more like “bag portable”), phones like touch smartphones or blackberries are just unusable for me even though I have tiny hands. But I have to recognize that some people are really using these devices more than their computers to browse so I have to care about mobile browsing.
And unless the issue with browsing on them is the images you have to download, the css used is in fact much simpler than it might look. Only one of the things I used (border-image) is not compatible for some browsers (more like old ones), and even so, if the browser doesn't support it, all that will happen is that the normal borders will take its place, so it will be just a plain blue background instead. There is no js or fancy css3 incompatible stuff used besides that, just background images, and the menu just uses :hover to make it pop out, and as far as I know, only old IE versions don't support this. The background will likely not show at all too, because the content tries to adjust itself to the width, so if the width is too small, there is no space left for background (this width issue also goes for the monitor issues mentioned earlier, even in my medium-sized monitor of 21'' I could leave two windows open side by side just fine, and the reason the background is not entirely visible on the images I showed is also because even my monitor is too small for it, only larger ones will be able to see the entire image, and small ones will only see the content). Unless mobile browsers don't support a simple hover effect, sprites and backgrounds, it should work just fine. I just have to care a little more about the readability.
So far, these are my suggestions before going back to the drawing board, any comments on this ideas? (Note that the basic positioning would still be the same, a centered content with a background image, the logo and menu will depend, but will likely be about the same too, I'd just be remaking theme basically. I'll still finish the current one, though, even if we don't use it, we can leave it as a skin choice for registered users and I'll likely be using that one myself, it has been a lot more comfortable browsing around here with my code than the default one, my husband is thinking of registering just to get the code and don't have to deal with the vector monowhite anymore.)
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 16:31, 1 September 2012 (EDT)
Nice writeup. I enjoyed seeing those Hobbit illustrations again. They remind me of the lushness of parts of Enedwaith. I always felt that Middle-earth was basically a bright and cheery place, with a temporary dark evil menace obscuring it at times. Browsing with a mobile device is, at best, a poor second choice. I found myself sitting in the middle of a quarter section field (160 acres, 64 hectares) with time on my hands, and my mobile getting at most 1 bar of signal. Personally, I hate poking a tiny screen with my dirty and/or greasy fingers, but you learn to make do with what you have. Hover is a nice feature, but it requires that continuous pointing device that is not present in mobiles, tablets and surfaces. For me, content is most important. The background, framing; the frills and bells and whistles are a bit of a distraction. They look appealing for a short while, but on the long run, they are simply noise on the page, and must never get in the way of content. From an information theoretic point of view, static background images contain next to no information (due to repetitiveness and predictability). RingTailCat (talk) 17:22, 1 September 2012 (EDT)

I have to say that I personally find it much more pleasing to read the content when its all together in the middle, while the rest may distract from it, the fact that it is all "together" gives more focus to it, its kind of a tradeoff. It is like comparing reading a document on any open office-like software and Notepads, when the sentences stretch too much to the side you have not just to move your eyes but your head too, a formatted centered document that has more height than width is more comfortable to read since your eyes only need to follow the next line, not the next angle.

The first appeal is indeed neglectable and for a informational theory point of view it is pointless, as the image will always be there, but from a psychological point of view, even if it is just a static image it does have an effect on how do you feel about what you're seeing, even if you're not noticing it anymore. That's why I think this kind of presentation is important. Its also why I think about turning it into something more (changing background according to page), it would give out a general theme of the page you're in, and on the very least, become less boring and repetitive. Although this can have yet another downside of having to load it more often...

I could also make a third "option" for those of you who ultimately don't like the images, just plain and simple with a texture background (to not look completely empty on the sides), and not too different from the actual one, just centered and with a different menu, basically. Would be better to read and use, but would be completely simple. --Gwenwyfar (talk) 17:51, 1 September 2012 (EDT)

I always think back to trying to get up-to-minute info on the morning of 9/11. I was working for a major telephone company, so we had very good connectivity, but everyone and his brother was trying to get info. The sites that let you configure them for lean and mean operation were the only ones that were usable. A few clicks in Slashdot preferences made it usable, while most other sites failed under the strain of pumping out worthless boilerplate and massive portal menus and widgets. Skin-ability is something I care a lot about. Do I have a lot of display choices? I like the ability in the game, to turn off other player's ranks, titles and kinships. RingTailCat (talk) 18:29, 1 September 2012 (EDT)
I am very happy to see you took mine and others' critique well, that was my biggest concern yesterday. Honestly. I like your write-up and your thoughts. Though I deal with usability and affordance in software UI we share many thoughts about the psychological aspect, perceptions and first-impressions are very much more important than most engineers think of, though I am an engineer myself often my workmates think of me as the devil's lawyer. Whether it is possible to move forward incrementally or not I am indeed looking forward to another, leaner attempt.
What we have not, and perhaps should, is discussing what really must be at the front-page, and what not. And, perhaps more important, what should be in the left column that is shared over all pages. Or perhaps that one is OK as-is? Probably we are stuck with some WikiMedia constraints but it is always good to re-evaluate every now and then, even if it turns out that no action is necessary then and there.
-- Zimoon (talk) 07:22, 2 September 2012 (EDT)
Oh no problems with critique, my husband is a freelancer so we know the customer's say on the product is final and most important, if he doesn't like then we better change to something he would like :) I personally don't really have a problem with the one I showed (that's why I'm still using it and will be using it) but if you have, I have no problem in making another one.
Yes, I would like that to be discussed as well, and better yet, turned into a list. I personally find the side bar very lacking. It is useful mostly for editors and to see things about the wiki, but not so much for actual navigation. As for how I'm doing it, I can't turn that navigation into a menu with submenus because it is only one li, I need 2 lis or more for it to work, so that's why I'd use sitenotice to add it (since we can't change HTML I believe), it will be seen in every page of the site, and I hide the other menu to substitute it. Assuming we get only about 5-6 menu buttons on the first li, then about 10 on the next, if we add a third of another 10, that would make it possible for 600 different links to be added in a very small space (I think after the second sub-menu, adding more is too much). In reality it is obviously reduced, the space is not always used entirely, but its a huge amount of links we can add there. So instead of navigating through search and links in pages only, you have there a good way to find pages across the wiki, while still having enough space for all the links we currently have. To me, this is the second most important improvement.
This still have the mobile problem, since the navigation per sitenotice would still be useless to them, as they don't have a mouse. They would have to navigate using only the search bar or do a two phase process from clicking in the logo to go to the main page and depending what we have on the main page go to the other sections of the site, unless we can manage to modify the source HTML to include an exception on the CSS for mobile browsing, then we could make a tab menu with basic links to navigation that would only appear for mobiles, but I don't really know if we could change mediawiki HTML like that. Another way would be using the same thing we have now, basic js with collapse, but I personally don't think its a good idea to turn the navigation with so many links "clunky" for everyone just so mobiles can use it. (Clicking to open and close everything makes it not so nice, on what we have now its ok, but for a navigation with more submenus and links it can get a pain in the ass). Regardless, I think I'll make two examples, one with navigation on sitenotice and another on a side tab menu with no hover and see which one would fit your best interests. Although yet another thing they could do would be simply to change the skin to a simpler one that has the current style navbar.
PS: On a personal note, I don't really like the idea of changing things that will have worse effect on computers just so we can accommodate mobiles. It is a minority, and not really like mobile browsing is good by itself anyways...
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 13:03, 2 September 2012 (EDT)
Let me provide a bit of context here... I've been retired since 2005, after 30+ years supporting Computing at the University of Pennsylvania, including implementing WWW server #7 (No 7 in the world at that time) -- way back when. So, this is mostly a collection of general items, not specifics.
Mobil -- the W3 guidelines (of several years back now) recommend a completely separate set of "pages" for mobile devices. Rather than trying to shoe-horne any "pre-existing" web page into a teeny-tiny format. Today, from what I can tell, this have evolved into the "App." I haven't really looked at W3's recommendations in recent years.
Colors -- I had "original" American Editions of Tolkien's books and the Cammedon recordings he made. While the style is clearly his, I often wondered if the colors were his, or his publisher's. I happen to also have Donald Swan's (Swan and Elvin) Recordings and "Songbook" of the "Poems and Songs of Middle Earth" -- which is basically in Browns with some Red lettering. (I have since passed all of my Tolkien materials along to my nephew as I'm preparing to "downsize" and move from a "big-old-victorian" into a "retirement apartment" -- so I can't easily go back and look for "footnotes" about such things.) They (American editions) were all published when "earth tones" were big -- I even had an Avocado colored Fridge at the time. (Thank the gods at Panatone for that one) :) But other than that, I like that overall color structure much better than "pastels." BTW, I believe that the illustration for Rivendell is un-doctored Tolkien, while all of the others have been visited by an "art director." For some reason, I'm remembering the illustrations from the Original American Edition of the Hobbit as being simple line drawings (i.e. pen and ink), with the Cover being a "hollowed out" version of Bilbo comes to the Rescue. At the time "color printing" was expensive, and this was a big publishing gamble.
Navigation -- Personally, I hate frames. If for no other reason than the fact they make the HTML virtually unreadable. (Being a "hand coder" I notice that kind of thing especially.) I agree that the central navigation "stuff" is quite limited and not terribly "complete," let alone intuitive.
One discussion which we have had (at least) once before -- How do people use this site. I doubt that we have any way to know, but I would wager that 90+% of our readers, come to this site via "some search engine" -- probably Google. This means that while they will land on the page they want, they may not be able to find "what they really wanted to know." Zimoon in particular has worked to make "categories" both more complete and more accurate. Categories being the only way one has of leaving a page and heading to a "theoretically related" page or set of pages.
The companion discussion is -- what size browser/screen do people use. Being a Mac user, I'm spoiled with a 27-inch iMac, but I usually have 2 browser windows open side-by side. So I can "center" the text easily. I do agree with your point.
Media-wiki constraints -- This is the tough one. Except for Lotro-wiki, I've never worked with a "canned" web-server. I've always had full control over the whole business. So I have no idea what kind of straight-jacket Media-wiki makes for the kinds of things you are trying to do. I believe that one of the reasons that the "Black Blogs" are so prevalent is because that is what Wordpress offers.
Monobok vs Vector -- The (current) default skin is "Vector." In Vector, there is neither a "Search" nor "Go" button, only the idiot icon -- spyglass. Some of the other things in the tabs are the difference between those two formats (Page vs User Page).
Skins -- When you mentioned "Art Assets," I assume you are referring to the "skinning" kit that Narrel provides over at -- And, lol, everybody is now complaining about how the New UI in RoR "breaks" all of the old skins :) If you are not familiar with them, they are simply a "bunch of corners and lines." Check out the skinning section over there.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 20:24, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
This has been a fascinating discussion so far. I don't know anything about CSS, I don't even own any devices capable of mobile browsing, and unlike most of these people I'm not qualified in any way to judge web design, so I don't have much to contribute. But I too applaud the work that went into creating such a polished example. The only thing I feel strongly about is the dark background - I very much dislike reading light text on dark backgrounds, and having a predominantly dark website makes me feel shut in and uncomfortable to the point where I'm not likely to come back unless I need something from it. (The Turbine forums come to mind...) Of course I don't mind having skins available for people who like that kind of thing.
But I would go bananas for a nice Tolkien-themed skin. I love languages, and Tolkien, and this is the very reason I ever started playing Lotro. To me that is a much nicer association than Turbine's art design. Of course, I do realize that Turbine is what we're actually representing here: that is, Tolkien viewed through a particular lens, with much of their own material thrown in. But still, it would make me happy. I guess I could hardly demand such a thing just for me, if it would take so much extra work. -- Elinnea (talk) 22:38, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
After RTC's comments about Mobiles, I realized, I hadn't looked in ages. So, I checked with my V1 iPad and immediately three things were obvious ...
  1. The "samples" of the new front page you posted were NOT "pages," but screenshots! Duh, in retrospect, it should have been obvious, but.:( That clearly explains the "font issues" I was describing.
  2. The site DOES follow the W3 "mobile guidelines" -- i.e. it uses a separate <something> to "strip-off" the artwork from the side-frames, only displaying the forums content in the window. All very crisply rendered.
  3. The LOTRO-wiki website "fits" quite nicely, and readably, into the iPad window. The only thing "truncated" is the add from the bottom of the page. I don't know if this is by design or "dumb luck." But it "works" on the iPad. Also, the font rendering is quite sharp. I suspect that is merely because of the display's inherent sharpness, but I don't know. The "pinch" allows one to easily resize the text, but it isn't necessary. Neither is it for scrolling the home page. (Un-like User:Magill pages.)
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 10:46, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
Colors – Oh, I didn't notice that when posting the images, I even posted two images of Huts of Raft-elves (which clearly shows that at least one of them have been modified). Completely forgot the publishing issues Tolkien had. All of the drawings are indeed by Tolkien, but not all have been colored by him, most of them actually have been done only in pen and ink by Tolkien and colored later by Riddet for the posthumous Tolkien Calendars. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were released in times of paper rationing brought by the economic crisis (29 Depression lingered through The Hobbit and paper rationing still in effect after WWII for The lord of the Rings), the illustrations were all in black and white. Only the American edition, released 6 months after the original British edition if I'm not mistaken, had color in four illustrations, not all of them. These colored illustrations from that edition that were in fact colored by Tolkien himself: Rivendell, Conversation with Smaug, Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves and Bilbo Woke Up with the Early Sun in His Eyes.
If I'm not mistaken, The Hill: Hobbiton Across the Water have also been colored by him for later editions.
There are two books on the subject actually, Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien Artist and Illustrator, which details the production process in all of his illustrations, not just the ones related to Arda. Many of his paintings not related to Arda are very medieval in colors actually, with ample use of red and green, it really seems like a medieval tapestry by the colors and shapes. But talking about The Hobbit we can clearly see how he uses colors, and the colors done later by Riddet were mostly done with the purpose to mimic Tolkien's style in these 5 illustrations above, so I believe it is fair to assume this style was in fact Tolkien's intended style for the original books.
Navigation: Styling in HTML is kind of old nowadays, so no reason to hate frames anymore I guess :P Not to mention the excess of images needed to do it in HTML.
Use of the site: Indeed, even if you can look similar pages through categories, if you want to search something different, all you have left is the search bar, and hope you search for something similar to the page you want to find.
In regards of the navigation, actually, I'm really counting on you for at least what links to put, I have some idea on how to organize things, but in the end, I'm a newbie in LOTRO and the wiki itself, so I don't really know what things to add and what not, nor how the info is organized in the wiki, so... As for the editor and community links we have now, though, I'd compress them into one or 2 main tabs, “community”and “toolbox” (unless you can think of a way to leave both in the same one). Can add some extra links there too, like to recent changes on talk pages, if its possible to specify to show all talk pages on recent changes instead of just one like you can choose in the menu there. Edit: Aw, apparently it isn't possible.
Monobook vs vector: Yeah, I knew about the search thing, I just really like having both buttons so I left how it is in mono. As for the other differences, I thought the tabs would all be the same since they are in the html, but apparently not. (Ie: history vs view history), but user page is user page in both. I think those are minor things though, not really a big difference between both, and in the case of search bar, if you don't know what they mean you'll likely just click any :P (I confess I did that for a long time while wondering what each one did, till I checked the tooltip on them)
Skins: Yep, it is given by turbine, isn't it? Specially since they don't let you unpack their source files (a shame, it would make getting info and images for the wiki so much easier).
Ellinea: Every input is welcomed :) But that makes me wonder if I won't end up being the only one using the dark skin after all, since the Lotro community is full of tolkien fans, I'm sure most of them will like a tolkienish theme more :P Thinking about it, I find curious how people seem to not like Turbine UI design (even though most of the optional in-game skins I have seen are dark and medieval too).
1: Haha, I was thinking you thought that since your first comment, I thought you'd notice sooner or later (if you want to see an actual page, just copy my css to your user css and change to monobook, but as I said earlier, be expecting many things incomplete). The font issues are really an issue though, when I see that page on the other computer here and vector, I can notice the italic has some minor smoothing, but here it doesn't. Just plain full-color pixels. I didn't find much about that except the font-smooth property, which doesn't work... But normal fonts look fine.
2: The lotro website does what I mentioned earlier: the content tries to stay in the center regardless of window size (auto-margin). If you reduce the size of your window enough, you will be left with nothing but content and no background image, with the image I have now, you can only see all of it in a big monitor. I assume mobiles do the same thing, since their space is limited, the background gets cut off. (And a question: besides the background, everything else looks the same?). But I really hope we can change Media-wiki HTML, I think we will probably need to use alternate stylesheet for mobiles.
3: Tablets aren't much of my concern when thinking about mobiles actually. They're not much different than tiny notebooks, put a keyboard and a mouse in one with windows OS and you will have a PC, basically. The smartphones and other smaller devices are the problem child. Androids and Iphone can read most of CSS fine (at least the later ones), but some other brands might have problems. Some years back, when this mobile rage started a trick web designers used was testing its page on Opera, which had a mobile module, so if it worked well on mobile, it will work well on phones too, but now I'm not really sure, I guess only testing device per device and using some of W3C checkers, this will probably require some testing from the community to get it right, I don't have neither devices here.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 19:47, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
Regarding listing all talk pages, the closest I've been able to come is aggregating RSS feeds of each individual talk namespace. It's a good way to keep a bird's-eye view on wiki chatter, but sometimes a little patchy with how quickly stuff shows up. Sethladan 21:27, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
Gwenwyfar, wow, very interesting indeed. If you would, I've created a "custom" skin that perhaps you can migrate all of the CSS/JS to, and also upload the images (or other collateral) to this site (perhaps named custom_*.png|jpg). I do think we need to discuss the logo as we don't have permission to use it, so if you do decide to migrate it over, please tweak it such that it doesn't contain the turbine logo. I do feel the logo needs to clearly state "lotro-wiki" or "" in the name. This doesn't mean that the logo can't exist on the website, just it can't be our logo.
With the custom skin we can do a few things: 1) allow anyone to take a test drive with the new skin 2) allow anyone to change their preference to the new skin, 3) and perhaps down the road after we work out any kinks, we can consider changing the default skin to the "custom" skin. Once we have the css/js/images migrated over, we should definitely have a link to promote the new skin and all of your hard work.
If you have any issues with the migration leave a message on my talk page and I will try to correct.
--Lotroadmin (talk) 01:42, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
Glad to see you found it interesting :) I will edit the logo to be "LotRO wiki" then. Once I make a new one and complete some other stuff (some missing tabs) I'll start migrating it to the new skin.
More testing would be welcomed, there are plenty of small things that are only specific to a certain page (as well as I believe admins have extra tabs which I don't know what is the ID to make a tab image for them).
Gwenwyfar (talk) 05:57, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
-Peeks around the corner and sees whats going on.- Will take a closer look at this (I too have STRONG feelings)! I almost started spouting but I promised myself I wouldn't do that without really taking the time to look at the examples and read everyone's thoughts (in more detail than I have already). I did notice a couple opinions missing so if anyone wants to through their thoughts in with the mix please do so! Rogue (talk) 12:36, 6 September 2012 (EDT)

Attention Crafters - RoR Dev Diary Crafting:

The Dev diary for Crafting in RoR is out:

In particular, it looks like there will be changes throughout Middle Earth, not just in Rohan.

"One other small change was to the resource nodes themselves. The chance to acquire the rare crafting ingredients used in one-shot recipes was added to crafting resource nodes at their respective tiers. For example, players have a chance of acquiring Adamant shards from Dwarf-iron and Platinum Deposits, as well as from Lebethron branches and Forgotten Texts."

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:33, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

Nice catch, and nice improvement. You mean I no longer have to log out and in next to a known rare-elite location? Just to log in just after another player doing the same? :P
-- Zimoon (talk) 02:29, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

Darzil’s Armour Guide -- no longer updated...

Following the pointer from last week's The Free Peoples' Press 8-31-12 to Cosmetic Lotro, I note that Darzil’s Armour Guide is apparently no longer being updated.

The guide's front page states:

"Unfortunately I will no longer be keeping this site up to date. Am happy to host, however, so if you wish to discuss taking over the support work (ideally as a group of people), please contact me via the contact form"

He stated his reasonings in his Lorebook Blog: Why did I drift away from updating the site?.

Well, my immediate reaction is: Since we reference the site in numerous places, can we simply incorporate it into the Wiki?
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 10:30, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

I think that should be easy enough to do, and there's a number of forms it could take. As was pointed out in the comments on Cosmetic LOTRO, Darzill's was a resource for those trying to track down cosmetic appearances, as it showed them in a gallery format. We already have the information on individual recipes, so adding images of the sets (or even down to individual pieces) and tossing them into a gallery page (similar to Outfits?) wouldn't be too hard.
The beauty of the wiki, though, is that we have image categories. If a number of different pieces of armor use the same appearance, they can all use the a single image of that appearance. This in turn means that one could browse the category (say, Category:Chest Armour Images) click on a particular file, and it would link back to all the pages that use it. Populating images for every single piece of armor, though, is something that would be long and labor intensive.
Just an idea, anyway. :) -- JnK (talk) 10:50, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
We cannot "incorporate" anything from another site just like that, in case the site owner claims some "ownership". It can be argued that everything comes from Turbine/Lotro and is thus free, but that is not so. The site owner can claim personal effort put into whatever and thus also claim reasonable constraints. Usually, in this case, he cannot claim more than being properly credited and that we cannot just copy his images or whatever to this wiki. I advise you contact him and ask him if he can provide a zip-archive of the content, or just the images; second-hand ask if it is OK to copy stuff to this wiki (replace "stuff" with something appropriate). We probably still need to give credit in one way or the other, but since he cannot claim supreme copyright (that is Turbine/Lotro) I would not be surprised if he does not require that.
-- Zimoon (talk) 13:27, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
Unless the owner explicitly says you can't use it for anything, or asks for it to get removed, wikis have much more freedom to use content as far as I know. And I don't think any information about a game can be considered "copyrighted", because the copyright of it is owned by the company, everything else is fan-made.
But contacting him would be best in this case, even if at least to let him know that the wiki wishes to continue his project :P
Gwenwyfar (talk) 22:04, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
I meant to post something very brief, but ….
All material created and published anywhere, including on the web, is implicitly copyright by the author. You own the copyright on anything you write anywhere, forever. This is automatic, and no action is required to gain this protection. The author can grant others additional rights, and give up some or all of his rights. Note the GNU FDL badge at the bottom of every page on this wiki, and the "Please note" text below the edit window. It is the statement of rights the author (i.e, me and you) grants to his or her work by posting it on this web site. So, by posting on this site, we grant rights to what we create on this web site according to the GNU FDL.
In a quick examination, I did not see any copyright notice on Darzil's site, so the default copyright applies. Unless the author explicitly grants additional rights to the content he created and published on that site we are bound by that default copyright. He would need to explicitly grant rights to his work which are compatible with the GNU FDL for us to incorporate his work into our site. We, nor anyone else, can't just take his stuff, he needs to give the rights to it to us or everyone.
It is probably simple and easy for the author, if he wishes to do so, to grant us the necessary rights to his work. But, it is up to him. And, bear in mind, that he can only grant rights on his copyright material. It is very possible that his site includes material that is not his copyright material; unless such was granted to him, he has no right to change the rights granted on that work.
Using a license like the GNU FDL helps to keep things very simple. In the absence of a clear grant of rights, it gets more complicated, very quickly. And helps send lawyers' kids to college.
- RingTailCat (talk) 00:52, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
I had read briefly about this before, but I remembered it the wrong way, just read it again now and only content inside a wiki (that was "legally" put into the wiki) is available for use by anyone. I remembered there being some sort of exception for it being a wiki that you could post things more easily, but I was wrong. I recall seeing some complaints on another wiki network about books being sold at amazon with content taken out of some wikis, but there is nothing you can do about that.
In my understanding of copyright, though, you cannot own something that is already owned by someone else. If I spend months transcribing a book that has no digital version and publish it, that book will still not be mine, nor any rights related to it. I just did work over someone else's work, but that doesn't make it mine. I believe the same goes for games because the games (and all things in it) are owned by the game's company. I cannot take a screenshot of the game and go around claiming it "mine" and ask that nobody uses it, because it can't truly be mine, since it is already owned by the company who made the game. Guides might have a different approach, however, since its not really from the game company, but something you did yourself, but images and modifications, not really.
Either way, as he asked to contact him about it, even if we were free to use his work its best to tell him first :)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 01:38, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
If he doesn't mind then sure why not migrate it over. He should put either the GNU FDL or CC license on his site with the Turbine Disclaimer and be aware that it will be under the GNU FDL if we migrate it over. I didn't find a copyright statement on his site, but that doesn't mean we can copy his work. If he provides permission we should properly cite/credit his site for any page that we migrate over..
Basically Turbine owns all names, images, lore, etc. and everything else on lotro-wiki is under the FDL license here, meaning that folks can copy style, our text, etc given they keep the FDL license and provide a link to this site. But... they can't phish, scrape, mass download from this site...., I do allow hot-linking as long as it doesn't get out of hand, but I won't also give permission to do so and I don't ever expect us to hot-link to another site even if it's image shack.
In other words we should treat others how I expect them to treat us :) --Lotroadmin (talk) 01:59, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
To be fair, we don't really need to copy any content from Darzill's site. If someone wants to reach out to him and ask, that's certainly an option, and it would cut down on the workload of going through and visually documenting the various armor sets. But beyond the images of the sets, I think most of the data on Darzill's site is already on the wiki in alternate forms. At the very least, we've already established templates and so on for it.
Specifically, Darzill's page documents two things: the visual appearances of cosmetic items and vendor, barter, and crafted equipment, along the corresponding details of the price, barter items, or crafting recipe. We already have the information on acquisition either written up on the wiki, or at least have a style established for it and are slowly filling out the info for every single item. For example, many sets are listed on Armour Sets Index and in the NPCs that offer them, even if their individual pages are not yet written (in fact, only the Champion section is complete right now).
What Darzill has that we lack is A: pictures of each of the sets (though we could take it down to the individual item level), and B: collective presentation of the information. Details of items within a tier or level range or equipment slot are listed in single tables, and images of the sets in more of a gallery format. I'm not entirely sure we need the former, as we can just link back to individual recipes. But the visual documentation is one of the major draws, especially by cosmetics enthusiasts in search of clothes. Were we to try and do something similar (say, similar to Outfits), we could actually go one better, as Darzill avoided documenting quest rewards or treasure drops.
The main issue, though, would be the incredibly massive amount of work involved in taking a picture of each and every weapon and armor piece, especially when so many appearances are re-used. We'd end up having to have a set of generic images, much like we have generic icons, and include them in every iteration we run across. Yet, were we to actually accomplish this, and populate the database with such images, users would be able to go to any given image and see what pages link to it. Thus, as I mentioned, we'd end up creating an ability for those looking for a certain appearance of a certain piece to browse the image category, find something they like, visit the file, and see all the items that use that appearance.
For galleries, we could do individual pages in a similar style as Darzill, set up by crafting tier/instance cluster/level range/etc. Or perhaps something similar to LOTRO Stylist's guide to Dunland quest rewards, when the items are more regional. There's any number of ways we could go about it, really.
The question is, do we want to take this on? -- JnK (talk) 06:46, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
As a side note, having seen Massive Black's concept art for Dunland quest rewards, and given their popularity, I'm thinking a page on them might be beneficial. They could be organized into their original sets, corresponding to the concept art, and have the various quest rewards and instance drops that use that appearance listed. LOTRO Stylist's guide is nice enough, but it isn't complete. Plus, this could serve as a model for larger efforts. -- JnK (talk) 14:44, 7 September 2012 (EDT)

Layout getting finished. Opinions? -- Part II

This topic was getting entirely too long to edit!!!!

Some random comments:

Skins: Yep, it is given by turbine, isn't it? Specially since they don't let you unpack their source files (a shame, it would make getting info and images for the wiki so much easier).

Don't know what you mean here. There is virtually nothing but landscape graphics in any of the file(s) on your PC. All of the Icons/Tool-tip info, etc. is contained at "" which is semi-linked to the Lorebook. (And there are tools around which allow one to read those files.) This fact is one of the reasons why it takes so bloody long to open things like the crafting interface and specific recipes... all the data has to be downloaded in real-time. A similar situation exists for things like your Vault space, inventory bags, and NPCs like "suppliers/trainers/crafters, etc. The information on their "wares" has to be downloaded. Once downloaded, "some" (like the NPC info) is cached on your PC, but things like crafting info is problematic.

Some background: First, the Lorebook is a Media Wiki and has its own API (same as ours) and information can be directly retrieved from it. is (I think) a window into or a duplicate of, Turbine's primary database that runs LOTRO. "" has been broken since the RoI beta. One assumes that like the Lua interface, it is a "oh, and by the way, in your spare time" project. Narrel, who oversees the Lua work has acknowledged that about the Lua interface, but the "last" person known to have any responsibility for has been "in-communicato" since the WB acquisition.

I keep bugging Sapience and others (mostly via PMs) to keep the issue of the broken interface in their ken, and applaud Narrel and others for various things. I know the notes are read as I get random thank-yous for the plaudits.

Other than that, the UI Skinning is (apparently) also overseen by Narrel as he is the one who posts the Skinning Art Assets over at

Skinning Pack Update for 7.2 is the most current.

Info on can be found in one of my sandbox pages: User:Magill/Sandbox-4 the "Item_id" is used to retreive individual items icons and information from the Lorebook.

In the Lua plugin world, AltInventory, maintains several lists -- across all your characters on any give server -- of the contents of bags and vaults. It stores the Icon pointers in plain text files which could, in theory, be used to pull the info from the Lorebook. However, the Lorebook goes through periods of really "out-of-dateness." I'm not certain if ti does finally contain all of the RoI Items or not. I haven't checked in a while. It's pretty easy to tell as the "character sheets" you can generate at "" don't have all of the icons for the items your character has in-game... if you have certain RoI Items.

Thinking about it, I find curious how people seem to not like Turbine UI design (even though most of the optional in-game skins I have seen are dark and medieval too).

I suspect that this is the result of an early decision by an Art Director, who is likely no longer involved.

(Notice the radical difference between Moria before the recent revamp and after. It is incredible how much detail was thrown away by the decision to lower the light levels so dramatically. Previously the only way you could see anything in Moria was to kick-up the Gamma level on your monitor. But that, like your private torchlight, tended to keep you focused on the path in front of you. The recent "lightening up" of significant areas of Moria suddenly made certain aspects of the Dwarven Architecture spring to life as they were now visible from a good distance away, and in "full light" -- the Endless Stair is one item in particular which has some amazing detail, but which was previously lost in the darkness.)
Also, don't forget, Turbine did NOT create LOTRO from the ground up. They "took over" the franchise from Midway. Much of the negotiations between Turbine and Zaentz were seriously "colored" by the pre-existing licenses for the LOTR games. A lot of the "look and feel" was dictated by Zaentz as part of the licensing process. A LOT of details were/are covered in those contracts -- not simply things like, "You can't kill Frodo or Sam or let them participate in sex games or random acts of violence." And, don't forget, the Tolkien Estate did not participate in those negotiations, directly, if at all. Zantz controls all of the licenses, trademarks, copyrights, etc.
I just ran across a very interesting Interview with Christopher Tolkien in Le Monde (July 12, 2012).

The end result being that people have become accustomed to the "fog of war" look which permeated the early releases of the game as well as the maps. Partially, one assumes, it was clearly to mark a distinction between the "light and joyful" Hobbits and everybody else, let alone the pending war. The initial release of LOTRO was "gothic," and as with most all SCA and similar folks, "dark colors don't show the dirt." :) The other thing to keep in mind. Surprisingly few people use skins. There are a couple of dedicated artists who create and use them, but there are nowhere near as many "skinners" as there are "pluggers."

So, let us know when the new "skin" is created.

And now for something completely different: "New Line Film Productions Inc., often simply referred to as New Line Cinema, is an American film studio. It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne as a film distributor, later becoming an independent film studio. It became a subsidiary of Time Warner in 1996 and was merged with larger sister studio Warner Bros. in 2008." -- And you all know what New LIne Cinema produced.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 14:42, 6 September 2012 (EDT)

Oh. I thought everything was inside game dat files like most games do. Well, that certainly explains why things always keep lagging, specially when I go buy things at a supplier, ugh. I looked for a dat extractor and only found one that doesn't seem to work anymore, and a forum post asking about it and having as answer that turbine doesn't allow you to do it. I found some things about the data.lotro being broken in the process too, but didn't look much into it, thought it was just something related to lorebook or a source of info unrelated to the game.
At least for LOTRO we know that they use the books as a source still, and we have a community that would certainly complain if they did something that didn't make sense with it :P
Gwenwyfar (talk) 20:11, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
Edit: Since there's a custom skin now, there's one thing to ask you to change: The arrow images of recentchanges. I think they are into the image files of the skin itself, and as they have no ID, I can't change them through css like I did with the logo (though even for the logo, when all is finished its better to change it in the actual logo images instead of overriding it with css).
The images: Custom arrow-down.png Custom arrow-right.png
Gwenwyfar (talk) 22:58, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
Sadly this appears to be "hard-coded" and the images are in skin/common/images as arr_.png (blank) and arr_u/arr_d/arr_l/arr_r.png all 12x12 pixels and i'm not seeing a way to adjust the images for a custom skin or any skin. It will take me a few days to see if we an actually do anything here, but I'm guessing we will have to file a MW bug against this and see if they will migrate the pointer to the skins in a future MW release. The short term, worse case is that we update the images for all skins, something I think we can live with. I'm guessing the blank arrow might require all arrows to be 12x12 pixels, otherwise you might see text shift oddly as you expand and collapse this.
--Lotroadmin (talk) 00:32, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
@Magill: Are you sure that all graphics but landscape is not contained within the DAT files? How do you know?
That would be an extremely odd way of making a game, I would guess the only game of its kind. First of all it would make the game extremely sluggish, second it does not make sense doing it that way...other than for "volatile" stuff such as promo-splash-screens, but they live inside X:\Program Files (x86)\Turbine\The Lord of the Rings Online\raw\en\ so I am most confused now.
Second, Turbine's web UI is one animal, but the game is UI another animal. The two may share material, even coming from the same source, but after creation and distribution whatever may happen to them. Just so we do not confuse in-game graphics with Gwen's design-project, right?
-- Zimoon (talk) 02:13, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
Have look at Garan's IRV plugin. It allows you to access, and display some, of the resources in the local data files. Everything appears to be identified by a numeric resource id. The skin files mentioned above allow one to over-ride the resources found in the data files with resources found in the skin files. There are many kinds of resources. The IRV plugin uses a feature of the Lua plugin facility which allows you to display pairs of TIFF images. TIFF images do not have an alpha channel, so there is a second image, with the next higher resource id number which is a depth one mask for the proceeding resource. This interface will attempt to display non-tiff images as though they were tiff images, often crashing the client.
You can find resources for icon frames, icon backgrounds, icon interiors, and icon overlays. Also, map images (which get displayed when you press "M"), and the map tiles which, much like a Google Map, are displayed in the radar. You also find texture maps, which are the images that are wrapped around a 3-d object to make the skin on the object. For instance, different wolves have the same 3-d model, but a different texture map to give them different coloured skin. I suspect that there are also resources for text entities, as well as 3-D object models.
The icons we see for items are composed by taking a background, adding a frame, and overlaying with the interior imagery. You can see this very clearly when you compare the Amberjack-icon.png which appears in an inventory bag or the chat log with the Amberjack-w-icon.png which appear in the premium wallet. The framed icon has a shaded background, typical of barter items. The frame is the standard BoA barter item frame. The interior is exactly what you see in the wallet icon. The mask, which IRV will display, is the reverse image of the wallet icon, with everything that is "fish" set to black.
User interface elements are composed in a similar way that to many windowing systems build panels. You have separate images for every side, and a top title bar. Sometimes each corner has a image. The horizontal and vertical images can be stretched to allow re-sizing the panel. A fairly simple example is the Title panel. It has four corners, four sides. It has an interior background, which is in-turn overlay-ed by the culture inside the title panel.
This is all pretty standard 30-year old technology for designing user interfaces.
- RingTailCat (talk) 02:55, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
Hmm, I'll see if I can't make use of the surrounding IDs to change them in that case (that way we can change it for one skin only).
Just gave a look at that plugin on lotroInterface, sounds just the kind of thing I'd love to mess with for gathering info, definitely going to try it later :) On the last game/wiki I worked in I was getting almost everything directly from game files, its so much better than hunting them down in the game, specially if its possible to grab mob files from it somehow :P
And by the way, I just finished working on the new logo for the skin I'm working on now, here it is: File:Wiki Logo.png. (Still some minor tweakings to be done, actually, but just minor adjusting, nothing that changes how it is).
Gwenwyfar (talk) 03:35, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
Edit: I can change the arrow images with css, but that makes the JS not work when you click it (I actually managed to make it work once after multiple clicks, but no idea why, couldn't do it again), since apparently you must click the image, not the link the image is in. Can only replace the image with JS... Blah.
Edit2: A positioning problem actually, you have to click under where the image is for it to work. I think I can fix that.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 04:30, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
I just hate to hear that hacking like that is necessary. I know from experience that any time you have to fiddle so much to make something work, you are creating a fragile maintenance nightmare, a software time bomb waiting to catch the unwary down the road. Sometime there will be a change, or an upgrade to the underlying system, or the inevitable change to one of the related components, perhaps even to the javascript language, html or css specification. There is a reason why its called KISS, it's the politest thing we can say about the unknown creator of the mess we inherit. You have to admit that it is unlikely that you will be around to fix it forever, so it is better to make it so simple that it either doesn't break, or can be fixed by anyone.
It's impressive that you are attempting this, but take a step back and think about the legacy you are leaving. Most of the life cycle of your changes will be in maintenance. The maintainers of that code will not have the time, patient, or perhaps even expertise to properly maintain it.
- RingTailCat (talk) 07:32, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
Well, I found that what you need to click is in fact what comes before the link and image (which seem to just serve the purpose of well... being an image, and the link has the tooltip). I hide the image and put the new one on the element you need to click (span). The problem came from the fact that there was something on top of it, so you weren't clicking the span, but the link, so I hide it too. I agree, its not the best solution, but so far the only we have :P
... Or if you think that's really that bad, I can do it in JS. (I always leave JS as last resort, both because its heavier and because its like a code blotch generator, I already have enough of bugs going around with just css)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 16:30, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
I've moved the css over to MediaWiki:Custom.css, so you can use it now. I'm keeping a list of the things that still need to be done on my sandbox, so if anyone finds something missing/not styled/bugged/not working on some browser feel free to add it there (like missing tabs or some color that is still matching the white theme, in the case of missing tabs I'd appreciate if you added the ID along, I'm sure admins have tabs I can't see :P). And by the way, the background is still not finished either, and I kind of picked it at random, so don't mind it. Don't forget that there will be a lot of unfinished things around, so if you're gonna test it, consider it kind of an alpha testing, there is still much to be done and its by no means usable :P
I hope that with this we can drive the criticism further :)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 20:21, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
While admiring your hard work on this I am not the guy who would select common over vector. The one centred column wastes a lot of window space, but true, I do not have to rotate my head that much. I found the tabs on top containing things I do not use so often they justify their existence there, such as "Move" and "Delete" ... IMHO they should live in drop downs. And on and on.
Is it not possible to just apply something neat on the vector look but keeping most of the current functionality? Or am I just an old and mossy oldie?
-- Zimoon (talk) 12:41, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
I chose this size and not larger because this way it can fit small monitors too, without the need for a horizontal scroll bar. And as much as there is "empty space" on the sides, there's not really much to put there, the whole point of centering was to be able to not look on the sides so much, after all. The centered space will always look the same regardless the size of your monitor (unless it is too small, like 600x400 native screen size) while the changes to resolution will only happen to the sides, so its kind of a universal measure. Even though I know the registered people here have giant monitors of 27" there is a lot of people from third world countries or not so geeks that play LotRO too, so this organization kind of fits everyone by default. Its compact and simple, No one needs to resize the screen to read comfortably a site and no one needs to keep moving an horizontal scroll bar to read a sentence.
I'm not sure I can make those tabs into a dropdown. I'd have to try, but I don't think so, they are a single li. And even if I can, it would be ALL tabs in the dropdown, not just one or two.
Could you explain what you mean by this? The custom skin has no navigation because it needs sitenotice for the way I'm doing it and so it is only on my sandbox, but that's all there is missing. Everything else is the same. Or do we have something special going on in vector that I don't know of? But if you are talking about the layout itself, whether centered or not, I`m planning to do something like that, but not with this skin (given its unpopularity). I realize that most users around here have a thing against centered layouts and so its better to have both options, I'm planning to do a centered and a normal layout for the tolkien skin, and I can make that out of vector if the community prefers (personally, vector is just a simplified monobook). As Ringtailcat pointed out, having many options is the best thing. Only later after much testing and discussing we can decide if we change the default or not to suit the non registered users needs.
On a side note, would you mind giving me the ID of the delete tab? Also, I assume it only appears in 2 ways: normal unselected link and bold link, right?
Gwenwyfar (talk) 19:12, 8 September 2012 (EDT)

I've started making up a list on my sandbox of the links to put into the navigation. As I already mentioned, I find this to be one of the most important improvements for the wiki. As it is simply a navigation, it can also be implemented on all skins (including the current one, in the same place it is now, just with more links and a dropdown instead). Since I'm basing myself on something I can add on all the skins, however (for the skins I am making, differently than the current skin, since the menu is on the top instead of on the side, I have to keep in mind the space it will occupy), I'm trying to organize it in a way I can put all the links in that space. (I could add a second bar, but I'm not sure if that's a very good idea/if it won't look odd).

So far, this is what I came up with: List (note: if you look it through the custom skin, the links will be in the dropdown on the top, but the images won't match the titles of them, you'll just be able to see how it looks in the dropdown)

I've basically taken the current links we have and I'm adding some based off the main page (many of them are not in the main page). The first section I'm thinking of calling "the wiki" (although community would be fine too, though it is longer to write). There any links related to the wiki, I just added those we have now, but there could be more. I'll probably move "main page" out and have just a little house button on the corner. While we can just click the logo for the main page, I'm sure many people don't do that, or don't know that, so its good to have it. The second is Toolbox (or could as well, be called tools, though I might just keep toolbox), I tried to replicate the current dynamic links we have now, and all seems to work fine, except for printable version and permanent link which I haven't tried yet, I don't know if there is a way to generate the ID of the page you're viewing with wikicode. Although, does anyone use the printable version button anyways? It seems it doesn't work because it tries to go to a page with a name with &printable=yes at the end, instead of leaving that as a command, don't know if we can go around it.

The third is characters, well, basically what we have on main page.

The fourth is world, mostly all links we have in the main page section "middle-earth".

The sixth is social, all links we have on main page plus a list of all events.

Now, I'm not sure where I can fit monster play, crafting and gameplay info and still be intuitive. I probably could add some things from them like professions and emotes into character and it would still make sense, or a PvPM section into "world", but I really don't know. There is probably space for one more tab, but even so, I don't know what we could call it. Perhaps "gameplay" and then try to fit all remaining into those three sections?

I'd love to hear your opinions and suggestions on this (specially on any more links we can add into the existing sub-menus or any other complete form of organization of your own!). --Gwenwyfar (talk) 12:37, 14 September 2012 (EDT)

I've made a temporary and simple button version of the navigation (so it doesn't look such a mess of unrelated images), if anyone wants to give a look into it, so the buttons have the right name in them and you can see better what is what since its just like its gonna look as finished in the organization aspect. I left the first button as 'the wiki', since there is a 'community' submenu inside it. The character one does have a second submenu named character as well, though, but I can't think of a better name for it. Players perhaps?
I haven't changed the links much since then, though. Been slightly busier with other things, not working as much as before in this. The layout is a bit better and a bit more usable now too, though, but there are still a lot of things to go. One of them which I've been wanting to ask is about some divs around (like in help page, and create x article pages, they have a background set in the page. I'm going to add a class to them so I can change their colors specifically for each skin, but the only name I came up with is very similar (to not say a longer version of) to the one we already have: "backgroundcX". Any ideas for a better name that won't be so confusing later?
Looking at the bright side: by the end of this skin, I'll pretty much have most things related to the css itself done, will just have to work on the images and colors :)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 02:21, 4 October 2012 (EDT)

Noob Question How do I save an edit?

I have a Lotro themed youtube channel, and i am working on a Slayer Deed Guide (videos) and I would like to add links on the appropriate slayer deed pages, i figured out how to add the link, but when i go to save it, I click the box that say minor edit, select all the silly cats, and click save, and it just brings me back to the "select all cats" again.. am I doing something wrong? --User:Doug111973|Doug111973 (User talk:Doug111973|talk) 22:28, 13 September 2012 (EDT)

Unfortunately, the cat security mechanism is bugged for some people on some browsers and you end up stuck in an infinite loop when you try to add an external link. We could bump you up to Ninja status so you don't get checked by the captcha, but I wonder if it wouldn't be better to have a link to your channel on Game Guides or something instead of individual links on each of the slayer deeds? That's a lot of external links to maintain, heh. Sethladan 22:54, 13 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with Seth, it would be better adding a link to one or just a few pages, maybe also the Category:Slayer Deeds page. Already today we have many defunct links, found only by chance but how many visitors (who have not bothered fixing them) they have annoyed we do not know. You could also make a page of its own, a link collection, which you maintain and link to from a few pages that make sense, also that is easier to maintain --- add [[Category:Slayer Deeds|*]] to that page so it also is categorized properly. -- Zimoon (talk) 02:24, 14 September 2012 (EDT)

Policies about item drops

Since I noticed lots of mobs don't have a complete list of dropped items (or none at all) I started to add them to some creature's pages, but I don't know what kind of drops should I add. Right now I am only adding tasks items (or alike).

Recording all drops is not a problem. Since doing it in a manual way is too slow I log a tab with only "Quest" and "Standard" filters and get a file like this:

And with a fast and dirty python script I parse the log and get two files:

A "database" with all drops classified by creature:

and a "changelog" (to check only the new additions)

As you can see, with only a few kills/drops, some creatures (mostly humanoid) will have a very big list of dropped items. For example:

[Iron Crown Fighter]
--Artisan Scholar Scroll Case
--Artisan Woodworker Scroll Case
--Broken Great Sword
--Broken Halberd
--Gilded Sword Sheath
--Refined Celebrant Salve
--Soft Whetstone
--Studded Sword Sheath
--Well-kept Mathom
--Westernesse Steel Jacket of Might

What items should be added? Moinante (talk) 14:54, 14 September 2012 (EDT)

As far as I know, there's no set policy at this time, but there was recently a brief discussion on RingTailCat's Talk page about what to do with those "generic" drops. What I would love to see is the creation of some sort of loot table for broad mob categories like, say, level 35 - 42 humanoid mobs or whatever the tier distinctions happen to be, and then we just slap the same information on all mobs in that category. Of course, gathering that information becomes the challenge, as well as finding the parameters (e.g., level, location, genus) that determine which mobs get what loot table. This is especially so since chat logging doesn't tell you the level of the mob you're looting or - in the case of uncommon equipment drops - the level of the item you picked up. Lua scripting could help with this (actually, I think they're adding a GetTarget method that could let us track which corpse you're looting...hmm...) but the logging that you and others are doing is a great step forward, for sure!
Short answer: Heh, add whichever you like. :-P Sethladan 16:08, 14 September 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for the fast answer.
Ok. I'll be adding only tasks and quest items by now (Will save the logs just in case) and, if I have some time, will try to investigate about the lua interface (and learning lua at the same time) trying to figure out if there is a way to make those files within the game. I am specially interesested in creature levels, since lots of them have only one level in the wiki but ingame they usually are 2 or 3. Moinante (talk) 17:28, 14 September 2012 (EDT)
Tweak the Python script to write
and you save yourself some typing :)
And please add them in one column, not the old way of everything in one long line which is horrible to edit and sort alphabetically.
If you find a creature page with one level but it should be two or more, feel free to edit it.
Recently I begun adding all items they dropped, just grouping the red-links last. I also group items a bit, if it makes sense is another story: "resources" and quest-items first, "larger-boxes" second, task-items third, and red-links last. You can always have empty "slots" by adding another | character. Within each group sorted A-Z. But that is me and I do not suggest or demand it should be the norm.
-- Zimoon (talk) 17:56, 14 September 2012 (EDT)
Unless it is a global drop, I don't think there should be a problem in adding all items any mob drops (including those specific to a genus and not a specific mob, there's no way to who is looking the page to know that or go check the list for all types and levels, etc, unlike seeing a global drop list).
I think as for those items that are specific to certain genus/level range, those should go in the item page (which I just checked a random item and it was empty). Like sroll cases that drop from humanoids, instead of saying "drops from x, y, z, etc mob", when we find enough info, "drops from x genus from x level to y level".
Edit: Another thing I just noticed is how we don't have a list of what drops from scroll cases on their page. That just leaves you to look master indexes one by one in search for what you don't have and then see where you can get the recipe from... Apprentice scholar I think only has 1-2 recipes, so trying to get more to see if you get new recipes would be pointless, for instance. Others have more, but they all could have a very good use for who is looking what they drop, whatever the reason might be (completionism, seeing if there is anything interesting, etc).
Gwenwyfar (talk) 22:07, 14 September 2012 (EDT)
I too have collected lists of drops from the chat logs, and extracted them with a python script.
I believe that quest items should always be listed, and that also implies that there should be a quest involvement section which identifies the quests to which those drops belong.
While the trophy drops for most normal mobs is completely determined by the mob type and level, I always list the common trophy items next, ordered by vendor price and name.
Then I list the uncommon drops, again ordered by increasing vendor prices and name.
Incomparable, Epic, and Unique items follow, in that order and sorted by value and name.
So, I first sort by groups in the order of quest, common, uncommon, incomparable, epic, unique. Then usually, I sort by value, and name. Because the value is often not known, it often looks like they are sorted by name only.
This ordering arranges the drops in the rough order in highest to lowest drop probability. I consider most quest items to have a 100% drop rate, when you have the appropriate quest. As new drops are discovered adding them to the end of the list will often place them near to where I would place them by doing an ordered insert. When you glance at the list of drops, you will see, first, those items that you might want for quests, followed by the most likely drops, and later the rarer drops.
- RingTailCat (talk) 01:33, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
I do not know if we really need to distinguish between "global drop" and whatever drop at the creature pages. Explain why that should be please, I may be missing some piece of information here.
I do not think we need to be more explicit than we are when it comes to quests versus quest items. That would probably overload the creature page. Now there are links to relevant quest together with links for items that pertain to them. It should not the creature pages that are the major info-carrier in this case but it should be the quest- and item-pages. And as we do not list irrelevant quests at the creature pages that 1:1 connection is very clear, in most cases.
Ordering by price, that is the first time I ever hear about it and I have to admit that I would never have guessed. Grouping somehow and then by name would feel natural for most I guess. Certainly so when parsing log-files and some quick copy&pasting just watching out for errors.
Which order of the groups is best is always open for debate, hence I do not favour any preference, but personally:
Quest items top for two reasons, easy to find for visitors and they are small. Resources next, because in any game I explore crafting, and they are also small. Trophies after uncommon drops because they are so very common for that area that they become boring, I think no players visit our pages to figure out what creatures to kill for certain tasks, as well as all tasks are alike when it comes to "reputation per hour", hence those are indeed uninteresting but they should be listed for completeness.
Personally, the uncommon drops makes me somewhat undecided, but the completionist in me adds whatever my Python-script emits. That will also be some red-links. And here we may run into the problem of name-level-clashes in the future and it will be quite a task to clean up when somebody eventually adds items for those red-link. I have added a few items using level in the names, but I feel I won't do that too much as suddenly the wiki-ing feels more of a chore than adding that silver-line to my gaming.
Finally, and again personally, I tend to add blank "slots" to keep the groups together. I.e. if there is just one or two quest+resource items I add empty slot(s) before the uncommon or trophies begin. At least it looks neater ;)
Hence, my personal preferences differ from RTC in the sense I order "by interest" (at least interest for a certain player group), while RTC is ordering by drop rate. Whichever is the most wanted for our visitors is beyond us all, as long as we are not psychics, and none of us can say what is best or not best. Except for one thing: What should have been but is not listed is a piece of missing information -- even a red link has a bit of value, unless it is completely wrong or refers to something that is now obsolete.
-- Zimoon (talk) 07:49, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
@Differentiating between "global drop" and normal drops: I meant World Drops. No point in adding all of them to all creature pages, is it? Though I don't really know how world drops are in LOTRO, only know of pets ones.
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 14:19, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
If I interpret you correctly I'd say that there are no World Drops but anything is tied to certain constraints.
* Level of dropper is probably the No. 1 constraint. Creatures/mobs within a certain range can only drop certain items.
* Humanoid vs. creatures is perhaps next constraint. Or maybe genus right away.
After those two it is more uncertain how the loot tables are set up, or which/what pertain to them. Since we do not have access to the loot tables and the code the connects tables to creatures/mobs we can only infer those relations by having as complete data at hand as possible, that means as much as possible per each creature page. But then we might find patterns which possibly made it possible to set up groups of loots connected to groups of creatures/mobs.
Already today I think we might shortcut a few though, but that is yet uncertain. Think of tier X recipe scrolls ... I think that if a mob drops it for Cook it may also drop it for Tailor, but it won't drop tier W or Y. That would, if I am right, mean that we do not need to add all different recipes to each such mob but a generic "tier X recipe scrolls" and a page that lists all possible 7 to 10 scrolls. But anything else is a much harder nut to crack.
-- Zimoon (talk) 16:22, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
At one time there were "World Drops," they may still exist, at least in "the old world -- i.e. areas existent pre-Moria. These were, as far as I know, unique armour pieces leading to sets. In that sense, yes these items still drop for these Armour Sets, but extremely randomly probably at a 01% Rate. Armour of the Seven Fathers is one set, we have several listed in Armour Sets Index at the very bottom (Non-Class Specific). It is unclear if there was ever any "restriction" on world drops other than the rate defined in the loot table. i.e. they dropped from any MOB -- creature or humanoid. But that was the key, they WERE random drops! Definitely not something which could be attributed to any mob.
I don't know for certain, but I believe that "genus" only effects "quest drops" -- i.e. where you have to acquire xxx from yyy. But this might just as easily be a level restriction today. The only obvious situation I can think of is what qualifies as "worms," for example, Drakes do not. Historically, genus only made a difference for weapon bonus considerations, and similar attack/defense buffs and debuffs.
Most everything else is either a Crafting drop or "Vendor Trash." Crafting drops are well defined. Vendor Trash has two classes -- if you are "at level" the item may possibly be used as a Task item. However, if you are NOT at level (+/- whatever) the item has no value other than to be sold for coin.
Looking at the Iron Crown Fighter example above... the Loot Table has a tree structure (this has actually been confirmed over the years from various patch notes and Dev postings). First the item -- scroll case, then the level, then the craft, then the specific recipe. How the tables are populated is not known, but it is known that Turbine is constantly "tweeking" them in response to the complaints that "xxx doesn't drop." Usually the errors are pretty obvious, such as, at one time, cook scrolls were not dropping anywhere, but others tweeks imply that Turbine has some way of monitoring the drops to see if they match the expectations of the loot tables.
Personally, I prefer alpha order rather than "value" as the value is really fairly hidden, and to the extent that anybody is trying to find something, the Alpha look-up is a well-understood, and usually assumed mechanism.
And finally. Personally, I don't see any benefit to having loot drops listed with the MOB. If someone is looking for specific items, say extraordinary hides, one is not going to start searching through assorted mobs to find out "who drops them." On this Wiki, searching for "extraordinary hides" yields only one page which almost tells you "which" -- it tells you where and mob levels. Interestingly, the search string "extraordinary hides" does not yield the page: Extraordinary Hide, which actually provides a list of mobs which drop that hide!
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 18:47, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
Thanks M, that made the penny drop and I hear the music. No, in that case World Drops does not make sense.
From a search perspective you are right, M, nobody would begin to search for Exceptional Hide by browsing all possible creatures. But seen from the other end, recently when I came to the Misty Mountains I actually looked up those vicious fur-balls to see that, no, they do not drop hide in spite of their thick fur, and once again I cursed Turbine for having a virtue-deed on them when the only thing they ever gave was task-items. So whether that list is useful or not depends on in which direction your nose points.
That plus, it is easier to use what-links-here at the item-pages if something really links to them, right? But what is easier, to add items to creatures, or to add creatures to items, that is another question which I have not wondered over until now. Thanks for that thought.
I agree that you could possibly divide loot in the groups quest&deed-items, resources, scrolls, uncommon-useful, uncommon-vendor-trash, and task items (uncommon-useful==healing potions, uncommon-vendor-trash==armaments, I have yet to see one item from that group being really useful, given that quests-at-level give better and I can craft or buy much better). Not all creatures drop from all of those groups, hence it in a way makes sense to have complete lists. At least until we know for certain what is in these groups and what levels connect to what. But you are absolutely correct, M, I won't use list of creature pages to find something in particular so in a way the lists of vendor-trash are quite meaningless. Except for completionists. But the rest is OK I think, not high-value but neither are they useless.
-- Zimoon (talk) 19:14, 15 September 2012 (EDT)

Thanks for the tip, Zimoon. I had tweaked the script when I was sure the output were correct and now it dumps creatures and items in wiki language.
I don't like the idea of adding "common" gear in creature pages. AFAIK you can get almost anything in a couple of levels range and the list can be huge and, probably, useless. I started adding items because I was seeing creature pages with some trophies and the next one withou item info at all, and it is an easy way to contribute with the wiki.
In User:Moinante/Sandbox-1 I made some examples with different layouts to see wich one is less cluttered. Keep in mind the amount of time I was killing mobs were a few hours only. The list can be big if we list all items some creatures drop (humanoid mostly). To divide the lootbox in sections I opted for putting serveral "lootbox" templates, since using empty items may be seen diferent in another computer/screen resolution.
Which one is less bad? Moinante (talk) 19:35, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
Word of WARNING to those who collect log files and parse them: Do not wait too long to parse and update! Why?
We do have many same-name creatures and I have already seen others do and also done the mistake myself to add loot to the wrong creature. For new-comers, always check the location and if the page has an "Other" note topmost. All same-name pages should have an "Other" note topmost but not all does, which is less optimal. But just watch out and if the creature seems wrong, use the quick-search for the normal name and see if it suggests some name extended with location or level within parentheses.
-- Zimoon (talk) 07:08, 16 September 2012 (EDT)

New indentation : Talk:Creatures#Longer Discussion on Same-name Creatures -- Zimoon (talk) 08:02, 29 September 2012 (EDT)

Scroll cases

Excerpting from above:

Another thing I just noticed is how we don't have a list of what drops from scroll cases on their page. That just leaves you to look master indexes one by one in search for what you don't have and then see where you can get the recipe from... Apprentice scholar I think only has 1-2 recipes, so trying to get more to see if you get new recipes would be pointless, for instance. Others have more, but they all could have a very good use for who is looking what they drop, whatever the reason might be (completionism, seeing if there is anything interesting, etc).
Gwenwyfar (talk) 22:07, 14 September 2012 (EDT)
This is "another" change in the game mechanics which we have not kept-up with. Scroll Cases were introduced quite recently, but I don't recall which release.
(RoI maybe?) They are now the mechanism by which ALL Recipes "drop." Purchased recipes are a different story.
One thing which I noticed immediately, using Item:Journeyman Tailor Scroll Case as an example, is a "half correct" page. Namely it makes no reference to the fact that these scroll cases are also MOB drops. And more importantly, it makes no mention of the fact that the scroll case is like buying a pig-in-a-poke -- you have absolutely no idea what recipe is contained within. Similarly, no mention is made of the fact that unlike the recipes they contain, scroll cases "stack." I also notice that both Item:Journeyman Tailor Scroll Case and Item:Expert Scholar Scroll Case have two different icons displaying. Is that really true, or is it an artifact from something? This coloration is NOT carried over to the Scroll Case Icon's page. Other scroll cases have only one. Item:Journeyman Metalworker Scroll Case for example. Clearly one is correct and the other not. Turbine is not that inconsistent :)
I moved the Icon table from the talk page to the main category page Category:Scroll Case Icons Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:03, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
Scroll cases is exactly what I had in mind when I was talking about looking up an item and not having where it drops from listed. I haven't seen it in any scroll cases I looked. They also drop from those supply crates scattered around. Only common ones, though, rare scroll cases are only rewards/barter items.
As for what recipes are within, from my experience, there's a fixed "list" from which you can get one, similar to monster drops. So we can make a list of all possible recipes you may get when opening one.
Different icons: The recipes inside the rare scroll case and the other one are different. I believe only rare recipes come from rare scroll cases, while the other one can be anything, but rarely will be a rare recipe. Perhaps they are both the opposite of each other, rare recipes are rarer after all, but I never got a common recipe in a rare scroll case, but there are rare recipes in common scroll cases. That's the difference between them. As for some not having it, some tiers don't have rare versions of scroll cases, I guess only higher tier ones (journeyman onwards) do. Which is around the same time as rare recipes appear, I believe.
Also, I think we should differentiate which one is a drop (common or rare) and which one is barter in those with two (or separate them, I don't think that's necessary though).
I can start to make a list of any recipes I come across if we decide to list the recipe drops :) Personally, I'm all for it.
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 14:10, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
Fortunately the list of Recipes is quite finite. Each craft at each tier has a set of "starter" recipes. Then are what I guess you are calling common recipes. As for what you are calling Rare recipes, I assume them to be strictly the assortment of "one-shot" recipes. Don't know, just guessing, there may be others that qualify as "rare" -- I'll have to watch and see what is dropping. Can't say I ever noticed "common" vs "rare" recipe drops before. I'm also wondering if the terms "common and rare" are old nomenclature now replaced by "Decorated" and "Adorned?"
BTW, a useful tool to track recipes across toons is "Alt Inventory" -- presently you have to do things manually. With RoI, the Lua API is expanded to include many crafting components... including recipes. Have to see how Garan implements it in Alt Inventory. He's in the Beta also, and I know he's been working on it.
A related issue is in the various recipe indexes Tailor Apprentice Recipe Index for example, the recipes are listed by "armour type" with a column which indicates the source: Basic/Vendor/Reputation/Guild/Drop/Single Use. I have noticed when working on the Westfold group, that many of the recipes listed as "Vendor" were actually "Reputation" recipes, and a few were actually Guild recipes. I suspect that "Vendor" should be changed to be "Craft Trainer" or some such name so as not to be confused with "any" vendor. :) And note that "Single Use" really does not belong in the same category as the "source" of the recipes.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 19:13, 15 September 2012 (EDT)
I don't remember if single uses are the only "rare" recipes now. Maybe they are, but I'm basically differentiating between the recipe color (purple/white), which, for as far as I'm aware, purple named items are rare items :P
Edit: No, there are rare recipes that are not single use. Guild ones, for instance.
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 01:28, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
I've added the info for one of the scrolls here. "Low level" is vague, but I don't know what the level is exactly, so... And this scroll only has one recipe. For others it would be a complete list.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 12:44, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Exactly, that is one reason why it is good to capture exactly what drops what. Doing that at the creature pages ensure we capture the levels. Doing it here would require that the editor included that value, but it is not so hard I guess.
However, linking from creatures I think should go to a page such as Item:Apprentice_X_Scroll_Case|Apprentice_X_Scroll_Case which listed what such a scroll could result in. As Magill mentioned that is a very limited set of recipes. I would think, and could try to gather than info over time, that a scroll yields those recipes with scroll icon in the crafting window. However, if there are certain dropped scrolls that are rarer than others within the same crafting-tier, that would be something we needed to capture and have different pages per scroll-type. Though this is just my idea, you may have much better suggestions.
-- Zimoon (talk) 15:24, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
There's also some of those crates scattered around that drop them, but would have to know which crate drops which tier, too. I've been sorta keeping track of the levels when I drop one of those, but don't have enough info for a concise level range so far. I'm quite sure only humanoids (dwarfs, goblins, half orcs, orcs, humans, etc) drop them, though.
It could be just called "Apprentice Scroll Case", without the X, and then that page lists all possible apprentice scrolls.
We could differentiate the rarer scrolls differences in a single page, but it might get confusing. On the other hand, adding a separate page for each might get missed/be more annoying to look at when searching for a specific tier. For instance, the "drop" table could be the same, but have a tip saying that the rare scroll case only drops the rare recipes, but, again, can be confusing.
On second thought, we could have two "sections" on the same page, one for each quality, with separate acquisition/recipe drop info, then it wouldn't be confusing and would be all on the same place (somewhat like this). The name is the same, so there is no hassle needing to see both in different tabs/separately. Could still be better to separate them, though, just an idea.
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 16:06, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
Yes, good, that also means lower risk for errors. Good idea! Zimoon (talk) 18:30, 16 September 2012 (EDT)
I'll start gathering any info I come across while playing to add on the pages later then :)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 03:19, 17 September 2012 (EDT)

I removed the profession icon for use in the general scroll cases here: Journeyman Scroll Case-icon.png.I think it should be better to represent all scrolls. What do you think?

And I think listing the scrolls themselves instead of linking to master recipe list might be more accurate - not all recipes in the index come from the scroll, and it points out to exactly what the page is about (the scrolls). Gwenwyfar (talk) 15:53, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

I just posted a pending comment on Item Talk:Journeyman Scroll Case, we may hold on a bit until the usual editors have aired their concern. I am not 100% sure the idea is solid. But if we get a go I am all for a more neutral icon, though I prefer an exclamation mark then a question mark, or maybe just a faded roundish blob or so. -- Zimoon (talk) 16:27, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
I put an interrogation mark to kind of represent random/uncertainty over what the scroll is, the exclamation mark doesn't have much of that effect.
Gwenwyfar (talk) 16:35, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
But a question mark also gives an impression of we do not know what we are doing :P
Personally I'd prefer a neutral something, or nothing at all. But that is just little me. -- Zimoon (talk) 16:38, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
How about a number, even roman, with the tier level? Moinante (talk) 15:42, 22 September 2012 (EDT)
Have not been following this discussion, so don't count my vote for much, but I like Moinante's suggestion (although getting up to VIII might end up taking a lot of space). Sethladan 16:09, 22 September 2012 (EDT)
Sounds like a good idea. VIII fits, if the letters are smaller (still somewhat readable, too).
--Gwenwyfar (talk) 16:56, 22 September 2012 (EDT)
Since there seems to be some consensus with going with the tier number, I've uploaded a new version with it. (and sorry that it doesn't look exactly centered, but the number of pixels doesn't really help, its either slightly to one side or the other :P)
Gwenwyfar (talk) 17:05, 22 September 2012 (EDT)
Yes, that sound very clever :) -- Zimoon (talk) 19:44, 22 September 2012 (EDT)

RoR - Ettenmoors Minimum Level Increases, Older Sets to Be Retired

As of this post by Egg:

Hey folks!
Just wanted to let everyone know that we're raising the minimum level required to enter the Ettenmoors to 80. It's been 40 for... probably way too long, and given that mobs hover around 85 and Creeps are 85 too, there's not a whole lot for lower level characters to do except for... die.
So yeah we're bumping things up!
With this change, we're also going to be removing lower level gear from the class vendors in Glan Vraig. Note that if you already have one of these items, we're not taking them away, just making it so you can't get them anymore. The items are only creating clutter in a very crowded list of barter profiles.
Oh, we are also keeping the 75 set of Audacity gear for RoR.
That is all.

Since the items are not being removed from the client, and will still exist in player inventories, we can just edit those items to note their obsolescence when the time comes. -- JnK (talk) 06:40, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Hmm... I haven't paid any attention to the changes in the Moors for RoR -- but this announcement makes one wonder if:
  1. the recruiters will now be looking for these higher level folks or will they still "sucker" level 40s :)
  2. the recruiters will be moved from their present "level ridiculous" locations to more appropriate ones?
  3. additional recruiters will be added in say, Stangard?
    Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 16:51, 3 October 2012 (EDT)

Level Cap Change

I'd like to suggest that instead of changing the level from 75 to 85, we change it to a template reference like {{Level Cap}} which, until RoR release generates 75 and after, generates 85, and next expansion can be changed again to instantly upgrade the level for all level cap quests, items, etc. - RingTailCat (talk) 11:05, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

I have created Template:Level Cap. When you use {{Level Cap}}, the current level cap number will be inserted. Use it for things that automatically change levels when the level cap changes. All the quests in the Ettenmoors are at the level cap. Also, creeps and mobs in the moors have level cap, or level cap relative levels, e.g. 130, 131, 129.
- RingTailCat (talk) 12:04, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
Good idea! Sethladan 16:01, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
Nice. RTC, you mention level-relative and how to do. Could that not be built into the template? If there is any parameter it is supposed to be a number which is added to {{Level Cap}} (which always works also for negative numbers). But I may be asking too much, am I? -- Zimoon (talk) 16:33, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
Zimoon's suggestion makes good sense: It'd be a lot simpler to type, say, {{Level Cap|-1}} or {{Level Cap|+1}}, and most editors probably don't want to muck around with the parser functions. (I'm clearly not a fan of CamelCase, heh.) Sethladan 22:33, 20 September 2012 (EDT)
Both good suggestions. Renamed to Level Cap and internalized expr.
See Quest:A Dash of This and That and Taskmaster Gukthor for example usage.
- RingTailCat (talk) 02:01, 21 September 2012 (EDT)
Nice-er :-) -- Zimoon (talk) 02:51, 21 September 2012 (EDT)
Lovely! --EoD (talk) 06:18, 21 September 2012 (EDT)

Prep for Beta 6 and release

I think it is of most importance that we get the "opening" sequence as correct as possible as soon as possible. This will give us the most breathing room while individuals "assault" Rohan and progress to other areas. "How do I get my War-steed?" still being the dominant question when a new beta opens.

1- To that end, I started writing up langhold, Harwick and The Wold. Primarily so that we can verify them against what shows up in Beta 6.

2- Langhold has the "Langhold Quest Arc" which answers the question "How do I get my War-steed?" Category:The North Wold Quests

So, please check out these new pages, and feel free to update, correct, etc. them all. AND IMPORTANTLY, read the discussion pages.

Most categories exist. All Rohan pages should hopefully fit into these trees. Some (such as Mounted Skills) link back to other Categories.

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 01:05, 7 October 2012 (EDT)

It might be a good idea if we temporarily add a brief FAQ to the Main Page when the expansion launches answering perhaps the two biggest questions:
  1. How do I get my War-steed?
  2. Where does the new epic book start?
Or maybe it'd be better to have a very visible link to some portal that links to the expansion info. Also, Riders of Rohan and In the News/Riders of Rohan need some cleaning up. These might be good pages to list and link to new features. East Rohan needs fleshing out as well. Neum (talk) 11:32, 7 October 2012 (EDT)
If the text is shared and should be shared I suggest we split that out to pages of their own meant solely for transclusion. Similar to Transclusion NPCs. They may have a brief snippet explaining this, or it may make the page stand for itself, but the transcluded part is shared among different pages. Perhaps we should create a new category for such pages, kept near the utility template category?
I 110% agree that it is better splitting pages when one page becomes cumbersome to read and understand. Squeezing too much info at one page may feel handy but is seldom a good thing. Sharing information is what transclusion does brilliantly. The question is just which category such "pages" go into (see above).
Looking at "War-steed" it seems missing a first paragraph explaining what a "War-steed" is. Please always begin a page with one sentence (or paragraph) that right away sets the mind right. Then the pesky details or side-explanations may come.
I feel as the back-seat driver but on the other hand that maybe gives me a better overview ;)
But on the other hand, without front-line scouts as you guys, what would I have to polish on being in the rear troops hehehe. I often say to myself that, you have done a great job adding everything, I just have to connect some missing dots or fix some broken lines. And that is honest.
-- Zimoon (talk) 13:48, 7 October 2012 (EDT)
The structuring and content-adding work that's been done so far is looking very useful. I'll take a closer look at all of those when I get a chance this week. I definitely agree that it makes sense to focus on the earlier regions first, since that's what everyone's going to hit right away.
Perhaps the set of Related Information links would be better as an infobox-style? At the moment, when I open any of those five or so pages, the entire screen is filled with the small outline of related information links, so that all of those pages look identical until I scroll down. Having a separate template to transclude would help separate those links from the main information of each page.
Also while you're setting all this up, I'd recommend everybody keep in mind the difference between information that will be useful right at launch time, and details that will still be useful later on in Lotro's lifetime. The explanation of how to obtain a war-steed will be relevant as long as mounted combat is still in the game, but the details about where to pick up the next step in the epic quest line won't be as useful to everybody coming along later, who will have experienced no break.
If pages are filled with "New" and "Updated" and "Coming Soon", they are going to be out of date soon, or at the latest when the next expansion comes out. Each one of those news-y statements will then have to be edited manually. So don't go overboard proclaiming all the features as new, which aren't going to be new forever. It might even be best to keep all those news-style statements to separate news-style pages. I rather like the idea of a temporary FAQ linked from the main page. -- Elinnea (talk) 14:20, 7 October 2012 (EDT)

1- How's the "Questbox" work...? Just thinking... I guess I should make that a transcluded template itself... I also stuck the Beta tag inside the template.

2- The Question "How do I get my War Steed" is THE number one question one finds in OOC Chat during the Beta. Every time another "first timer" appears, that is the question they ask. The only portion of the answer currently missing from the War-steed page, is -- what is the "correct" response to F2P folks. I "generically" answered it in saying that it is a Lvl 75 area. The thing which will make this really complex, with the impact not yet "known" -- with the Release of RoR, the Moors jumps from a Lvl 40 area to a Lvl 80 area for Freeps. Although, I do not know if F2P players have access to the Moors as anything but Creeps. I've never spent much time in the Moors myself, so I have little experience with it since the level cap was raised to 75.

3- At any rate, I believe that when RoR is released, we should modify the Front page to emphasize its existence/importance. Although, the question then is, as always, how will people "arrive" at the site. If it is via a search engine for "war-steed" or "mounted combat" they will probably go directly to those two respective pages -- which is why I originally put the "related information" at the top.

Clearly, the Wiki, just like Rohan, (and Dunland before it) will suffer from "first day "itis." And the ether will be swamped with the "How do I" questions.

4- I've been trying to write things up accordingly. As I've mentioned to others before... Mounted Combat is a game within a game. Much like PvMP and the Moors, it uses a completely different set of skills and concepts compared to other "end-game" situations.

5- I've already started pitching LOTRO-Wiki to "friends" with questions about Rohan, but we can probably contact some of the other reviewers and offer them links to the information. BTW... hopefully the increased number of hits won't swamp the server.:)

And for the record, here's a VERY interesting post on "prepping for RoR" from a Raider's point of view. Preparing for Riders of Rohan End-Game It gives you a very good idea of the SCOPE of things and changes in RoR. And several good ways to play the AH market if you are so inclined :) Although, in-game Gold is almost worthless now, it is conceivable that with the boost to crafted items, "symbols" will suddenly sky-rocket in price.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:38, 7 October 2012 (EDT)

Aha, in updating Riders of Rohan and In the News/Riders of Rohan I re-read Turbine's original FAQ and answered the F2P question. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 15:46, 7 October 2012 (EDT)

Uh-Oh... Warbands is a term being "re-used."

As I started to create Warbands I just realized that Warbands is a term from the Creeps in the moors!

I suspect that Turbine simply used the name BECAUSE they are similar.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 21:33, 8 October 2012 (EDT)

The Eyes and Guard?

Not so much for right now, as the Rohan Beta ends tomorrow, but should we at some point establish a page for the Eyes and Guard Tavern? While not a part of the live world, it is a well-known and recurring part of LOTRO, so it might be worth having at least some basic information about it. -- JnK (talk) 02:37, 10 October 2012 (EDT)

I think any reference to the beta experience, especially as it relates to closed beta subject to NDA, should be limited to links to the main beta forum articles. This information is subject change to a much greater extent than live server information. If you have not downloaded the beta client, or, in the case of the closed betas, received an invitation, this is not available to you. Using the facilities of the Eyes and Guard Tavern to level up a character is so vastly different from how players level up in the live game that any mention of this capability on the general wiki pages would surely be more confusing than helpful. RingTailCat (talk) 13:27, 10 October 2012 (EDT)
I would also add, the E&G changes with every beta; and in fact changed mid-way through this one. There is normally one or two stickied posts explaining both how to use it in general and for specific testing situations. The basic problem is exactly the same as with Mounted Combat -- when a beta cycle opens, OCC and ADVICE are flooded with people who haven't read those posts -- demanding to know how to do this or that. (It was really acute when the character transfer was pointed at Europe.) When the "landrush" hits next Monday the 15th, there will be massive slaughter take place in the Great River and North Wold areas as all of the level 40s who can't get into the Moors anymore want to get their War-steeds so they can PvP in Rohan. Oops, they can't do that, but they all think they can. Those Salamanders will be well fed! Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 19:41, 10 October 2012 (EDT)
Supporting all three of you I believe it could be good to have a "Eyes and Guard Tavern" page that summarizes what all of you just said. That would make us have the page and the proper (but meagre) information at the same time. Kind of a page about the phenomena as such, but without any details that change from time to time. Right? -- Zimoon (talk) 03:30, 11 October 2012 (EDT)
Pretty much. It's worth having a page that summarizes it, or gives general details about what can be found there, but I don't think it'd be necessary to document every single quest or item or NPC on their own in-depth pages. They change often enough to start with, and there really isn't much to be gained from documenting quests that only serve to hand out equipment or levels or such.
What I was thinking was more of "this thing exists" page, saying what it is and a basic idea of what it's used for. It could have some coverage of the layout, with screenshots of a few of the rooms. Perhaps a list of NPCs and notation of the devs they're named after. Basically, something on par with a town or settlement page, but without branching off every single quest or NPC to their own pages. -- JnK (talk) 23:49, 14 October 2012 (EDT)

Correct link to the LOTRO store from crafting recipes

First Problem: There are about 400 pages for crafting recipes that link to the LOTRO store (Special:WhatLinksHere/LOTRO_Store_Crafting), usually with something like this:

* This recipe is also available at [[LOTRO Store Crafting#Tailor Recipes|LOTRO Store]]

For example: Item:Superb Scholar's Gloves Recipe. I believe this link is wrong, it should go to the page of the specific craft, for example, LOTRO Store Tailor Recipes. In some pages the link is wrong in a second way, for example, in a woodworking recipe the link goes to the tailor recipes, for example: the link in Item:Simple Drum Recipe goes to LOTRO Store Crafting#Tailor Recipes.

My guess is that it happened because of splitting the LOTRO store into several separate pages. I can fix it and there are 2 ways to fix this:

  1. Fix all the links to point to the correct individual page. Like I did with Item:Superior Beleriand Drum Recipe
  2. Remove the link from all pages. This is my suggested way as I see that information as redundant; it's already in the information of the recipe. Besides, are there any recipes that can't be bought at the LOTRO store?

Second problem: In Template:Recipe the link to the LOTRO store is a generic one, but like in the first problem, it could/should be a link to the specific page of that particular craft, for example, LOTRO Store Woodworker Recipes. It could also point to the generic LOTRO Store Crafting. Ideas?

Mogafi (talk) 23:08, 3 November 2012 (EDT)

My bot can do this kind of change very easily. The bot needs three things: The original text, the replacement text, and the category for the pages to change. The original and replacement text can be regular expressions. For example:
original: [[LOTRO Store Crafting#Tailor Recipes|LOTRO Store]]
replacement: [[LOTRO Store Woodworker Recipes|LOTRO Store]]
page set: [[Category:Woodworker Recipes]]
If you can specify several changes sets like that, I can run those changes very quickly. RingTailCat (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2012 (EST)
I think there is another thing too, which "perhaps" a bot could do. I noticed when editing several recipes (but not all) that the "| lotrostore = {{worth|tp=XX}}" was missing. But that requires the bot to have a table that maps tier to cost, and only for those recipes that indeed are sold at the store. I am not sure whichever is the best, a bot or manual labour. Just wanted to mention it. -- Zimoon (talk) 06:10, 4 November 2012 (EST)

Turbine released the Mac Client on 1 November....

I wound up selling my house and moving the 1st so I missed the announcement.

Note the Mac client is a full 16GB DMG file download!!! (and to quote Sapience -- no Pando, no Happy Cloud).

I'm still settling into my new place, and downloading the "new" Mac Client as I type this.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 22:02, 4 November 2012 (EST)

Bullroarer back on line for Update 9 Testing beginning this week (week of 26 November).

Sapience announced this in his Community Update of 20 November... which itself was NOT publicized on the Forums. I got an email about it! -- First email I've ever gotten from LOTRO besides random Beta invites!

Note this was his first Community Update video since October 8! Also note that it was done against a blank wall... one wonders if his Mother is still in the Hospital? (Celestra mentioned that fact on one of the General forums where his absence was being discussed earlier in November.)

The video DOES include a brief description of what is coming on Bullroarer:

  • Update 9 -- Instances
  • XP disabler
  • changes to Open Tapping (Middle Earth Wide)

Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 13:53, 25 November 2012 (EST)

Further information on U9, including the title: Update 9: Against the Shadow and the Rohan Instance cluster.
Looks like we get that Hobbit movie tie-in after all! -- JnK (talk) 11:30, 27 November 2012 (EST)
In a later note more details are revealed. We will have some work to do here at the Wiki, from minor to larger changes. Some are indeed interesting and wanted, though I guess some players will call them "dulling down the game", e.g. fast-travel back to quest-NPC to complete quest ;)
-- Zimoon (talk) 07:57, 28 November 2012 (EST)

New Game technology -- does it warrant a page?

Another new game technology: "Travel To Quest Location" -- goes live with Update 9 on Monday 17 December. It was described in a Dev Diary earlier this week.

The question is ... Does it warrant it's own page, or even an insert into an existing one? And if so,which one?

We don't seem to have a "Game Play" page or category (that I can find.) ... Game Terms seems to be the closest. (And that category/page is anything but "complete.")

Getting Started seems like it should contain some kind of comment on the UI and related "stuff" -- Category: Game Guides -- but I find nothing comparable, except the section "Game overview," which is pretty thin. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 20:57, 14 December 2012 (EST)

It seems this fall under two existing subjects, Travelling and Game Terms, right? However, my understanding when I first that article (and now reading it again) is: would not the proper game term would rather be "Travel to Quest Objective"? Location in this context is a bit fuzzy, but an objective is specific. I guess the dev simply did not think it through when titling that article, since he in the bread text consistently talks about "objective". This is definitely a game term. But it deserves a paragraph under Travelling as well. Perhaps transcluded from the game term page.
When it cones to "game play" I wonder, how would you structure such an article the best way? Probably it would consist of very brief summaries of things that are covered at many other pages. Such as "character creation and class and race overview/comparison*", "geography and travelling", "quests and/versus tasks", "lore and Epic quests lines", "monster play (PvP)", "deeds and traits", "reputation and factions", "crafting", "hobbies and player music", "role playing versus non-RP", "kinships and fellowships", "chat channels and emotes", "legendary system", "mounted combat (RoR)", "housing", and I have probably missed lots of stuff. Just the number of sections indicate that the page cannot go into details about anything but will just give a quick overview and links to the more exhaustive pages, right? (*here I mean in words and balanced comments, not the data as such as for a newbie the data is still too esoteric.)
From a personal point of view, this should be written from a new-to-Lotro player's perspective. But all newbies are different, while many parts are intuitive to skilled MMO players, Lotro has its oddities which could be pointed out. Role-players are probably more interested in certain information while PvP-ers and hardcore combateers are more interested in those areas, hence it is really hard to structure such a page in a certain way. Ordering it after what when players probably will face the subjects is one way, but there are others.
While I would welcome such a page, I rather miss well worded, balanced class guides. In facts, I miss helpful guides for quite a lot of subjects. Our Wiki pages are informative, and for players who already know the subject they are also informative and may add missing details. But for a newcomer we do not offer anything helpful rather than the character creation page. Example: assume a player who selected Hobbit Hunter, what should he look out for when it comes to virtue traits (deeds), what is to say about race and class virtues? What are the differences between Agility and Vitality that matters for him? What different builds should he go for with solo/group/PvP playing? Etc. I mean, data sheets is one thing, we are good at that, but good quick-starter guides are completely different animals ;-)
-- Zimoon (talk) 10:39, 15 December 2012 (EST)
PS. It struck me the split second I clicked Save that we also should have one page for UI stuff. Again it should probably enumerate the different UI elements with brief comments of their meaning, but refer to exhaustive pages for those. We already have quite a few pages on UI elements, but some are indeed missing and we have no good entry point for them all. Perhaps setting up such a page would also pinpoint which pages we should create? -- Zimoon (talk) 10:42, 15 December 2012 (EST)
I agree, this particular topic is one that LOTRO-wiki does a poor job at. Maybe it's not all that necessary. The probability that we see many "new" players seems low. I've been hanging out on the Steam LOTRO forum since the Mac Client was announced, and NOBODY there seems to have any idea that even EXIST, let alone!
Ditto on the "UI stuff" page -- I guess the "trick" will be the "naming of names." ... It turns out to be "humorous" -- if you look at the "new look" of the LOTRO website pages (where the Dev Diaries now reside), you will discover that it is clearly oriented to the "great unwashed" - folks new to LOTRO, and probably to MMOs. The "humorous" part is the lack of a link from the existing "" to the new "
At the new site, "The Game" drop-down has:
  • Game Features
  • Quickstart Guide
The fascinating thing here is that the "Quickstart Guide" is still the PDF from the "Siege of Mirkwood" release -- not updated!
  • Store Guide
  • Become a VIP
  • Articles
  • Download
Have to think on this some more. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:31, 15 December 2012 (EST)

Scaling loot

Hey all, do we have a standard for dealing with scaling loot? The scaling instances coming with Update 9 (and many of the pre-existing scaling instances) have item drops that scale based on the level that the instance is run at starting around level 50. I haven't tested every single level, but I believe this would mean you could get a ring at level 50 and could get the same ring at level 51 with slightly different stats. How should we display these types of items?

The way we've been doing it for skirmish drops has been to create two different pages (e.g., Wood-Bound Boots (Level 75) and Wood-Bound Boots (Level 85)). This works well for the wiki tooltips, but creating 35 pages, one for each level, for each piece of scaling loot will be a pain to both create and maintain.

I think we could put a table on the pages with the scaling stats for each level similar to what we do for certain skills and skirmish mobs. And on the tooltip itself we could either put an ellipsis (...) in place of the stats that scale, list the item level ranges, and refer to the table. Or we could list the stats of the level 85 item so people have an idea of which stats are on the item at which quantity, but we might need a way to indicate on the tooltip that it's an item that scales.

Any suggestions or ideas how to represent the scaling loot? And again, if we already have a way to display these, just point me in the right direction. Neum (talk) 17:03, 16 December 2012 (EST)

I do not know of any way to manage this. Now our question do not mention which pages you aim at, locations or creatures ;)
You suggestion with pages look nice. I could even envision the simpler approach with just one page but sections for the different levels. That would be less of links at the different location as well as creature pages. Having loot-pages is great, as it moves away information to their own pages rather than bloating locations and creatures with it. I'd go for that but would actually cast my vote for the simpler approach. -- Zimoon (talk) 17:42, 16 December 2012 (EST)
In this game, the scaling of items is an illusion created by giving different items the same name. Many different items can have the same name, but each one has a unique internal id, established at design time. In this game, new items with different attributes are not created on-the-fly. We see scaled items first with low level vendor items. The vendor often sells several different version of an item, all with the same name, but with different minimum levels and attributes. We also see this with dropped items, which usually have a minimum level matching the dropping mob.
Perhaps the deciding factor should be determined by the utility of the item. Is that item really a valued reward, or just vendor trash? Would you seek that item with the intention of equipping it?
If someone might legitimately want to equip the item, perhaps it should have a separate page. If not, perhaps a generic page would suffice.
RingTailCat (talk) 18:46, 16 December 2012 (EST)
Thanks RTC, I should not have replied anything since I was too tired 8-)
In that perspective, we have (until now) created different pages with "(Level X)" appended to the page name. However, as RTC indeed touches, we have two opposing subjects here: the completionists want maximum information, while the pragmatists want to skip or simplify less useful stuff. Logically I am leaning towards pragmatism but repeatedly find myself on autopilot in the other direction ;)
For vendor trash I go with RTC, use a "merged page" and have a table for the levels. Pretty much as for Effects and other kind of pages which serve several levels. For rewards, as well as useful and sought after stuff, create one page each level. But then, what is "useful"? What is useful in your eyes may be decent or crap in mine, right? An experiences player probably know what same-level crafted items are at, but what if there is an unusual attribute which cannot be obtained in any other way?
A good thing with merged pages is that we much easier can find out the "patterns" Turbine is using for those same-named items. The bad thing is the limited tool-tips as well as that transclusions will be less informative. The good thing with single pages is completeness and that exact data is displayed in tool-tips and transclusions. And all of this eventually means, I say "pass" ;-)
-- Zimoon (talk) 02:46, 17 December 2012 (EST)
Note that this particular problem has been "solved" (dealt with) previously for various topics, especially Lore Master Skills ... see: Power of Knowledge as a typical example. A more complex example is: Cracked Earth. User:Ravanel/Sandbox2 is a "source" for seeing the skills which are being monitored. Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:05, 17 December 2012 (EST)

Another "new technology" in Update 9.

Sigh... looks like we're building up the contents of the answer to the above: New Game technology -- does it warrant a page?

From the Update 9 Release Notes in the section detailing the Moria Revamp II:

  • "For the later zones that previously had little organized content, much of the content will be exploration-based. Quest chains won't vector there, but quests can be discovered using the new Remote Bestowal tech by finding interesting locations in the second half of Moria."

I'm not certain, but I believe the "Remote Bestowal" tech being referred to is what I and others have been calling "Automatic Quest Bestowal".

  • XP Disabler now available in LOTRO Store.
  • Fast Travel Stable-master System
"The Stable-master system has undergone a structural and functional change. The UI will look very different. You will now see ALL available travel options, regardless of any restrictions on going to each location. You will be able to travel to locations for gold/silver/copper as usual, with all restrictions applying, or use a specially made writ to go anywhere, regardless of restrictions"
  • Remote Looting on Chests
"We’ve added the ability for chests to support the Remote Looting tech introduced in Rohan. With the new update, chests in scaling Dol Guldur and the new 3-mans will automatically create rewards for each member of the group’s pending loot-list as soon as the chest is opened by any player in the instance. Each person will get their own loot at their own odds, independent of everyone else in their fellowship. This completely bypasses the standard loot rules currently seen in game, such as Master Looter, etc. In addition, equipment rewards will be based off of your class. All equipment within your personal loot-list will be something your character can potentially use. Also, most rewards will be Bind on Equip, to allow trading between players to still occur."
  • "Attempting to use an item or NPC which is outside usage distance will now trigger autonomous movement into range This will work for mounted or dismounted players.There is a new game option which can be used to toggle this functionality called Move To Use, which you will find on the Misc section of the UI Settings Option page."
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC (talk) 12:37, 17 December 2012 (EST)
Remote Bestowal does indeed look like the Automatic Quest Bestowal you mentioned - did a few of the new quests in 21st Hall and encountered at least three "sudden" quests offered while progressing through a normal exploration quest. Flows very nicely, I think, but it does make the perfectionist in me squirm - how easy it is to (permanently?) miss quests now! Sethladan 13:19, 17 December 2012 (EST)
Ditching this subject, but staying on the recent update. Massive changes to Bree, the Yule Festival quests are not level 1, 5, or 10 as they used but they equals the character's current level and they are auto-bestowed. I guess there are many "hidden" changes as well, so there will be "exploring" for us all in the lower level areas :-)
-- Zimoon (talk) 17:35, 17 December 2012 (EST)
NOTICE: The festival is now called "Yule Festival", without any "tide". Just before we add to many void links. -- Zimoon (talk) 17:38, 17 December 2012 (EST)