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A place to discuss

A place to ask questions --Lotroadmin (talk) 22:09, 27 September 2012 (EDT)

Pages with an alternate layout

Just wondering what, if anything, should be done with pages like Item:Hearty Eastemnet Crop Seed that do not appear correctly on loading. The wiki article's data appears, but the wiki boilerplate/template and other wiki-fication is missing. I've seen a few of these in the last month, but I keep forgetting to ask about them. (Then of course, there is the whole "What's the difference between normal crops and hearty crops?"... which is how I found that page... but that's another discussion entirely!) -- Squirmier (talk) 13:33, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that! It's a server side cache issue that happens from time to time, and the short term fix is just to flush the cache so they get rebuilt. Sometimes if you add ?action=purge to the end of a URL, that too can correct the issue for that given article. --Lotroadmin (talk) 17:30, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Missing Articles?

Perhaps I just haven't found the right search term, but I cannot locate a page explaining the coinage system used in-game (gold/silver/copper) or it's exchange rate. I tried several terms, none of which provided the info I wanted. I tried: wallet, vault, currency, coinage, exchange rate, gold cap, currency exchange, gold coin, ... probably others that I've forgotten as I've tried over the last week or so.

Nor can I find a page about in-game time. Delineating the various time periods, their length, and (if it applies, not sure) the offset or cycle as compared to real time (ie, Monday, 3am is always a "Midnight", with a game "day" passing every 4/6 hrs thereafter). Considering Turbine is using more timed events (quests, festivals, etc) it seems like there should be an article about in-game time to help players. Again, perhaps I've missed the correct search term? -- Squirmier (talk) 18:08, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

These are both good questions! With a little luck I was able to find Time of day for you, but perhaps only because I had an idea of where to look - it didn't show up near the top of the searches or anything. Regarding coinage, I believe it's 100 copper to 1 silver and 1,000 silver to 1 gold; that information should definitely be included somewhere useful, though, perhaps Barter Wallet (which probably needs to be moved to "Wallet").
Thank you for speaking up! It's only when people can't find something do we realize that it can't be found, hahah. Sethladan 04:29, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
It's an old "Security by Obscurity" page undoubtedly! It turns out that if you go to: copper the currency equivalents are defined!
On the Main Page under Game Guides there is an article (but really a category link) Category: Game Terms and another one, Glossary, which turns out to be a redirect to the same Category page: Category: Game Terms
  • In working the issue a bit, it turns out that one "keyword" was "Money." Oh well, I created In-game Currency, which begins to capture info. It definitely needs work! (and the brain is a bit mushy now.)
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC - talk 03:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Maybe Redirect Pages with common keywords directing to the appropriate article for each subject? Main Article = In-game Time Redirect: Time, Time of Day, Daytime, Day-Time, Day Time, Dawn, Morning, Noon, Afternoon, Dusk, Nighttime, Night Time, Night-Time, Gloaming, Evening, Midnight, Late Watches, Foredawn, clock, game clock, game time. Main Article = In-game Currency Redirect: Money, Coin, Coins, Coinage, Gold Coin, Silver Coin, Copper Coin, Currency, Currency Exchange, Exchange Rate, game currency. Although "In-game" isn't the most likely term to be searched, I think it adds a clear distinction between real and game time/money. It also allows commentary about related issues to be added, making the potential articles larger in scope, and making them more useful due to thoroughness. The redirect pages should funnel people to the correct article name, alleviating the potential obscure name problem. It should be noted that this might cause a fork of Category:Timed Quests to differentiate "stopwatch" (complete objective in X minutes) and "temporal" (quests requiring a certain time of day) quests. -- Squirmier (talk) 10:28, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
This is what "Google" is all about. :) The concept of "search" is more than slightly interesting and convoluted. I don't know the answer, maybe Sethladan does, but my understanding has always been -- redirects are "expensive" in terms of system load.
The search engine the Wiki uses is "SphinxSearch" (See Special Pages/Versions for link). I think we are "mostly current" -- as of 2 weeks ago (14 May) I think we are behind in releases, but I don't know the implementation "parts" details without a lot more reading.
At any rate. One question I don't know the answer to, which might "solve" the problem -- "SEO" - Search Engine Optimization - How does it integrate with MediaWiki?
I.e. How does one "Seed" pages such that the search engine "hits" on them?" -- both our internal Sphinx engine and externals like Google.
As I'm playing with this, I notice that there are a number of "old" "Currency" articles that are "historical" but no longer relevant for some 90-99% of players -- which complicates the entire issue. How does one rank these articles.
If one searches for "Currency lotrowiki" in Google (using Safari's search bar), the first hit is from 2011 -- Currency -- about as worthless a pages as we have!
The second hit "Currency Unification" is one of those -- only meaningful to now returning players who haven't played since ??? whenever that page was written, June of 2012), which is not mentioned in the article.
If you visit and search for SEO, there is an extension which allows (facilitates) HTML Meta tags.
I suspect we are close to the point where we should move this over to LOTROADMIN's page. All of this SEO stuff didn't exist when I retired! It was just being "invented" back in 2003!
As I'm looking at, it seems that it's just as easy to simply insert the raw html "<meta name="keywords" content="ListOfKeywords" />" SOMEPLACE on the page. (Would it matter - top/bottom/middle?)
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC - talk 01:03, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I have generally been opposed to a multitude of redirect pages. I'm not aware of any technical issues with either having them or not having them, and Lotroadmin has told me on a few occasions not to worry about having "too many" pages. From a maintenance perspective (and a matter of aesthetic) I dread the thought of lots and lots of redirect pages that would need to be checked periodically to make sure they point to the right place, make sure information isn't duplicated, etc. Redirecting to subsections of a page gets even worse because it's never readily apparent when moving a section will break that kind of link. I like running a tidy ship with as few loose hairs floating about as possible (obviously wiki is the wrong field for me, haha).
That said, I see the pain of having so much trouble finding what you're looking for! My knee-jerk reaction would be, "Well, then we need to organize information better!" Like Magill said, we have a lot of old/outdated articles that are in odd sorts of places with odd sorts of names. For better or worse, though, people are going to use/need to use the search until we (or even if we do) make links more navigable right from the front page.
Reluctant as I am, I'd say go ahead and add a few redirects as you feel it would be useful. If you do so, however, please please please also try to poke around some other pages and add links to/from relevant articles as well. Regardless of how and where people "land" on the wiki, they should be able to traverse freely for more information through wikilinks (at an appropriate density), just like Wikipedia. Sethladan 17:43, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
That is a very good point -- there are a HUGE number of pages with no Wikilinks! And some where they link to no place useful, almost self-referential type links.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC - talk 23:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I normally try to stay clear of editorial topics, but I might agree with Squirmer that some situations, redirects might be warranted. Also keep in mind that for MW searches, the name of a page has a higher search score than any matching word in the body of the page. Because of that, I do think redirects are probably the right solution for this scenario. I just started to review some of the redirects where redirects mostly exist to remove a special character from a name to help with the search results, now that we have been using sphinx search for some time, I don't believe those are necessary. But that's another topic.
As for the SEO extensions, there's one stable extension that we can try, but the I need to make how search engines respond to only a few pages have the keywords meta tag defined. Also, I don't know how that would really improve the search results since they do scan the content of each page. Those crafty searchbots only scan pages that was linked from another page, internal or external link. If a page doesn't have a category or a link to it, it will never show up on a google or bing search, also external search engines ranks pages based on page views, age, number of external links and of course links on that page. It is even possible that these pages will still land last on the search page if we relied on the metatag to provide the keywords vs creating the redirect. --Lotroadmin (talk) 23:46, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


How does someone become or apply to be a Ninja or something higher up in status (ex. Editor)? --Gestrid (talk) 02:27, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Simply by active work. Promotions are based solely on one of the Senior Editors noticing your activities and doing the promotional "stuff."
There are no specific requirements involved, consequently the timings and frequency of promotions are fairly arbitrary.
Usually, promotion to Ninja and then to Editor is triggered by the frequency of items being "patrolled."
Edits by anyone below Editor status are patrolled regularly. Someone making a lot of edits tends to get promoted fairly quickly to cut down on the length of the list of articles to Patrol. :)
Then in addition to that, activity is tracked via Special:ContributionScores
Beyond Editor, promotions are primarily related to longevity and therefor commitment to the Wiki.
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC - talk 19:25, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the code used in this wiki? MediaWiki? Standard? Are there versions?

Nobody likes criticism, but I'd like to point out my travels in trying to learn how to help contribute to this Wiki. At first I didn't know you were using MediaWiki at all, and I don't contribute to Wikipedia because of the continual edit wars over there. Anyway, it was obvious I needed to learn some kind of code, but what? Even the term wiki markup is vague and non specific. At least saying HTML is specific (though has variants by version). Similarly I'm still not clear on whether this is a variant of MediaWiki or even what version, or if there are versions. I'm still researching that to keep my mind from breaking down from all the uncertainty.

The easiest way to discover that we are running MediaWiki is to look at the "bug" in the lower right hand corner of every page. "Powered by MediaWiki" - which, if you click on it will take you to the Media Wiki home page --
To find out which version we are running, visit the "Special Pages" -- found under "Tools" in the left hand column. On that page, under the "Data and Tools" section you will find an entry: "Version". That page will tell you which version of MediaWiki we are running, and what extensions we have installed.

I've made simple edits before, but when you get into the TOC and collapsed tables stuff, I'm lost and I've been trying to figure out how to get less lost. Here were my thoughts while trying to create a Quest page... you might think some of the things I thought were obvious, but really they're not:

It's more than HTML because for example, you're not using %nn to designate special characters, or if you are, then it's not visible to the person writing the wiki. Also I'm noticing that there must be a way to describe "in the TOC, put only the name of the Quest chain, but in the body, put the collapsed table containing the Quest Chain". Which is actually what I'm attempting to do, but not clear on how it works. To not make a mess, I was going to make a sandbox, then I realized I didn't know specifically how to add a page that is only linked from my own page except by [[]], however that's not just my page then, it goes into the main list of pages. And such a page doesn't start with the <DOCTYPE!=HTML> or any other tag familiar to hand coded HTML rules. So I started here,2817,2399582,00.asp

... and it was pretty clear that there are several kinds of wikis each with their own specific ways of functioning. What I mean specifically is wiki markup sytaxes. It looks like I should be able to "monkey see monkey do" but it's not that easy. (Lookout for the word "should".)

To the best of my knowledge, there is no "textbook" of Wiki Syntax. Probably because it is NOT a language as such but rather shorthand commands to the MediaWiki engine.
One useful page at is on "Formatting." - But it does not define Wiki Markup, but simply states:
You can format your text by using wiki markup. This consists of normal characters like asterisks, apostrophes or equal signs which have a special function in the wiki, sometimes depending on their position. For example, to format a word in italic, you include it in two pairs of apostrophes like '''this''.
Now just to make matters even more confusing, if you look at the line above, you will note that it includes the tags <code></code> -- but they don't do anything - on THIS Wiki, but they do at sigh.
If you look at my page: User:Magill#Reference you will see a couple of pages of editing tips and graphics notes.
I basically put it together as I was learning how this thing works -- just the same way you are... OJT!!!
Wm Magill - Valamar - OTG/OTC - talk 05:08, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

I tried to create a page for one of the new MT quests and it created one fine, but when I tried to add the Quest Chain, I got a non-tabulated Quest Chain listing and it was fully repeated in the TOC instead of just the link to the page with the Quest Chain in it. So I went here, but didn't have any further enlightenment, I'm afraid:

So I went all the way back to the basic help page. It looks like I need more basic information than is found on your help page. For one thing, it says that some understanding is assumed. We all know what happens when you assume. I plunged on...

Eventually I was led here: before I plunge into that code, I think it should be explicitly stated that you're using MediaWiki sytax. Or something else, especially if you're using a variant of MediaWiki (are you?). I've coded C++, various non-compiled languages, several markups for documents, HTML by hand (in the heyday of Netscape), and Java. I was still lost on the basics because they don't seem specified simply. So I was having trouble even getting started because I think maybe you assume I know which wiki markup you're using. Then I had an idea I should've had earlier (Should!):

Finally I noticed the tags on the bottom of the pages, "Powered by MediaWiki", which finally stated explicitly what you're using. I'm sure the average person automatically ignores any tags on pages. Even if one notices it, questions remain. Is it standard exactly as stated in the editing page on the external site? I know I'm not the sharpest person on earth, but if I basically understand code, and had this much trouble, idk I think it says something about simplicity of communication. I know coders have a habit of only putting information in one place ever, it's the driving force of computing, but the help pages are for humans to read. And I assume you're not only looking for edits from people who have my experience level. I mean that's the point of wiki markup, anyone can do it. (We assume!)  ;) I'm just hoping you'll give people more pointers toward where specifically to put their effort if they want to learn more.

I'm following more of my difficulties and discoveries on my talk page, maybe it can help enlighten the dark spots. I just don't want to write a novel here on the Help page. By the time you read this, I may have worked out some of the problems.

As always, thank you for maintaining this wiki, it's surely often difficult, and your work is appreciated. Acatlover2 (talk) 14:01, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Many thanks for the tips and advice! I wrote some of my first papers for college on a mainframe with markup like this: ".i" etc... can't remember what it was called but it's immaterial now, some kind of "dot" markup. So anyway, no fear of markups. The reference page is very helpful. I have a lot of reading to do. For instance in your italics example, it didn't occur to me until now that the wiki tag is assumed, but of course it is. Not explicitly knowing that means that it wouldn't have organically occurred to me to use the nowiki tag and I was kind of wondering what the "literal" tag was since it's not the slash (/) or star (*) Acatlover2 (talk) 17:09, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

"Automatic" stats

It's great that people are entering item information in Wiki, but sadly stats across the board can change so easily in a blink of an eye by a single number change by a dev, causing stats in Wiki to be utter unreliable.
This is why that I wanted to be able to calculate any stat myself right from the beginning when I started to make planning spreadsheets.
My stats are all calculated with precision by a single function and is available in a number of script formats (see It's in the shape of Value = CalcStat(statname,level,optional number or string). I'm not at home in html, but I guess it could be made to work with PHP, like /calcstat.php?statname=.. etc.
Stats on wiki pages would need to be entered differently to make this work. For instance now you have something like Agility = 1303 hardcoded in the item. This would need to change to statname = "Agility", level = <any relevant item level>, number = <number of stat points>. With the item level and number of stat points this will then result in 1303 from the function, so basically you enter stat points instead of the immediate stat amount for a single item level. For instance: a normal essence contains 1 point, so you enter 1 for number of points.
Stat points on items rarely change. What is changed is almost always the calculation method from point to stat. With CalcStat this can be practically done in the same way as a Dev does: change a number and all stats are changed in a moment.
CalcStat is not the only "package" at the moment which can do calculations and is not the most reliable either, because it's involves stat programming by hand and so is not automatic from the game. Also, not every stat is available. For instance I don't have calculations for how much you can sell an item to NPCs. However, I think it's the most accessible at the moment.--Gisel Avaleazar (talk) 12:02, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

I guess using something like this could work:
{{#calcstat:Agility | 407 | 1.6 }} (which should display 3032) --Gisel Avaleazar (talk) 14:18, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

New Layout 2022-03-19

The new layout looks great and I am pleased to see this "project" moving forward. Separating "beginner's entry" from "advanced pages" is great. Superb! — Zimoon 00:40, 19 March 2022 (UTC)