GSWiki Raging Thrak
Welcome to the GemStone Wiki! Formerly hosted independently at krakiipedia.org, the repository of the wiki contents was cloned near New Year's Day 2015 and is now officially hosted by Simutronics. Anyone who can log in to a GemStone account at play.net can also log in to GSWiki. This article aims to introduce newcomers to GemStone and wiki-editing in general to GSWiki. This is a parody of the Raging Thrak, so please take the contents as well-meaning but the tone with a grain of salt.
How do I login?
Firstly, you need a subscription to play GemStone; if you don't have one, go sign up! After that, all you need to do is click the shiny 'Log in' in the upper right corner of your web browser pointed at the wiki. Simply enter your username and password, which hopefully you haven't left written on a slip of paper in your pants pocket for someone in your laundromat to find. It's common for wiki-engines (that'd be the program on the server doing all the heavy-lifting) to be CaSe-SeNsItIve to the user handle, so be sure you enter your username correctly! Finally, keep in mind if you recently changed your password on play.net, you might need to wait just a little while for the new password to register with the wiki system.
How can I make a user page?
Whether you want to lurk in the shadows or tell everyone who'll listen your whole life story, it's not a bad idea to create a user page for yourself. The main reason to make one is that redlinks (internal links that don't point to anywhere valid) are ugly, and the lack of a profile will keep people from easily chatting with you. Also, most folks will feel reluctant to create your user page for you, but without that base page, they can't access your Discussion page. An easy way to create your user page is merely click your user name at the top of the page, then just click the monsterbold saying you want to create that new page.
If you don't see such a user name at the top of the page, and you're sure you're logged in, try clicking this link and changing YOURLOGIN to your login, though it must be exact: User:YOURLOGIN. You can even Save Page with it blank, or with something simple like, "Hello!". If you want to play around, your own user space is the best place to do it. No one else should be editing that, unless it's your discussion page to talk with you. If someone does start a discussion with you, you'll get a message any time you login telling you there's a new message!
Everyone who does wikis, whether they are new or veteran, might like to play around a little. The problem with playing on a wiki is you'll risk changing all the content on a page and others might not take too kindly to your shouting, "I WANT TO WIKI!!!!!!!!!" in the middle of their beautiful article on tomb trolls. Well, in your own user space, you can make any pages you want, and not only won't you bother anyone else, probably they'll also ignore that stuff.
Unless you really require sub-pages for all your computers, your curriculum vitae, and your Batman poster collection, the only sub-page you need is a Sandbox. You could just click a link like this and then create the page. You'll want to make the link with your actual user name instead of YOURLOGIN, of course.
Your sandbox is a great place to test how fancy you can alter things or maybe start writing that guide on your ultimate toothpick of doom that you always wanted; here you can do that without interruption over a long period until it's polished to your standards and ready to be published as a normal article. If anyone comes and bothers you, don't be shy to tell them to go play in their own sandbox!
How do I edit?
Although you can immediately begin editing, it might be best to brush up on the local customs first. Otherwise you might find yourself face-to-face with a grumpy old editor who'll blast all the mud off your edits and probably remind you to always keep your comments to a single paragraph and sign them with ~~~~ on a Discussion page; those four wiggles will fill in your username and a timestamp to let people know who's been writing on the wall, and when.
Always be sure to check a Discussion page before jumping right in to slaying a new article to see if they need help before attempting to unload all that wisdom you learned back on that turnip farm of yours. There might be long-standing disputes you'd rather avoid, or maybe there'll be some calls for help on specific areas. If you're hunting for articles to slay, go ahead and check out the Stubs; these are usually young articles you shouldn't find too difficult to expand and improve.
Never edit someone else's text in the Discussion pages. It's dishonest, because that material is meant to be the voice of the user who signed it. The only case this is ever acceptable is if someone is using extremely foul language, or it's very clear that you discovered some spam advertising services that are entirely unrelated to GemStone; here you should use your judgment but still proceed with caution. Unless it's spam, even if someone else used words that would make your mother faint, it can be better to just reply and tell them this is not constructive, friendly, or professional. Leaving a more clear trace of their naughty efforts (which may not be the first such occurrence), would make it easier for admins to set trolls afire. As a general rule, consider the Discussion page as an "add only" (don't delete anything) and a place where your only edits are putting replies to what other people wrote, not changing it.
When are others editing?
It's also a generally a good idea to check the History page of an article first to see the latest edit; someone might be busy doing a lot of cleanup work or adding content. Usually, if folks are doing that, they'll ask others to please wait for your edits in their edit summary. Two people trying to edit the same thing at the same time will result in a collision; usually the wiki engine is smart enough to detect this and offer you a warning, but it can be a headache if your laptop battery is about to die and you didn't save the information somewhere outside your browser.
This is one reason that it's always a smart idea to only edit the section you want to edit, and not the whole article at once! Another problem could arise if—while you are editing the entire article—your cat pounces on the keyboard, deleting half the article. Then you'll be left scratching your head wondering what the article originally said and what you were trying to add. You can edit a single section by clicking the Edit button near a section heading instead of the edit button at the top of the article. Editing a single section at a time also helps us track where the edit was made, so you don't need to say as much in your Summary.
This brings me to my next point: always offer your fellow editors a brief summary of your edits. The summary does not need to be an in-depth analysis of all the characters in War and Peace, just a quick blurb telling others what you did and why you did it. If you just found a few typos or minor grammatical slips, just summarize it as "typo fixing" or "grammar" and go ahead and click the This is a minor edit box. On the other hand, if your edit changes the mechanics described in an article, it is a good idea to say which mechanics they were, why you think the correction was necessary, and provide a heads-up indicating where to find further discussion. If you got as far with the edit as you could, but still found your shoe-laces in knots, go ahead and express some uncertainty at the end of your summary or say something simple like, "More edits may be needed". The other editors will appreciate knowing you won't get mad if they go ahead and polish that up for you.
Poaching articles is also generally frowned upon. Sitting in one spot attacking the same article won't give your fellow editors any chance to get in and collaborate! Usually they just want to help you and if you walk away from that particular article for a bit, you might see a much prettier article when you return. Sometimes people will add formatting or links to pages you never heard of on that turnip farm of yours.
Other times, you see they changed that one sentence you took an hour to hammer out keystroke-by-keystroke between sips of coffee. If this happens, as long as you're pretty sure the other editor had a good intention, it's best to leave it for a few days and come back. Other editors can check the history too and they might also like the way you wrote it the first time. If they do, they will revert the edit for you, showing you're not the only one who thinks that way. If they don't, you can try pushing your ideal wording through again, but don't be surprised if someone else jumps right in there and changes it again! When this happens, you have to remind yourself that you weren't writing the article for yourself: you were writing it to help other people, some of whom seem to think it's better another way. Go ahead and check the discussion page on the article to see if anyone left you remarks or advice on this particular point; if they didn't, go ahead and explain why you think the article is nicer one way rather than another. Even if you don't flinch at the harshest insults, try and show the other editors the kindness and respect you'd want them to show your mother, who doesn't know anything about GemStone or GSWiki.
Also, if you see someone saying they want to add something themselves, go ahead and offer them advice or constructive ideas, but have some patience and don't just crush the article's head like a ripe melon with your huge claidhmore right before their eyes. After all, we all came here to have some fun slaying articles, not fellow editors! If you feel you'll need some extended time to work on a topic without others jumping in, this is a perfect time to use your sandbox!
Sometimes, you'll see a guide either has a character's name in the title, or you'll see a synopsis at the top where the author has taken credit for the work. There are several rules-of-thumb for these situations:
- Try to limit your edits to copy-editing, wikilinking, or updates of new material.
- Definitely discuss your intentions to edit and ideas on the wiki or outside GSWiki with the author beforehand, if you can.
- This is a perfect time to go to a user's own page and hit their Discussion tab. They might not check their old guide every ten minutes.
- Don't start in with your edits until the main text appears to be complete and the author hasn't made recent changes.
- Don't assume because one person's name is on it (whether it's your name or not), that it cannot be edited by anyone else.
- Don't assume because one person's name is on it that there have been absolutely no external contributions; however, you can assume the external contributors did not mind helping with someone else's project without credit outside the History page.
Overall, guides by characters or players have a long legacy in our game, back when there was no such thing as a wiki, and everyone walked uphill both ways to GemStone with a dial-up modem. If you want to make a new guide, please consider all the advantages a wiki and collaboration have to offer, and that you'll get credit in the article History without signing your name directly to the article itself.
How can I format?
I'm sure back on that turnip farm of yours, you heard about HTML, which is hypertext markup language. Well those markups get cumbersome, so wikis tend to use a style called markdown instead. If you never heard of any of that, I'm here to tell you formatting on wikis is pretty painless. After all, would you rather write <href="https://gswiki.play.net">GSWiki</href> or just [https://gswiki.play.net GSWiki]? They both link a website to appear as GSWiki, but the latter looks a lot prettier and is easier to type for us old timers who've been touch-typing before you were born and only have a few marbles left rattling around upstairs. Wikilinking is also crucial, which is where you make a link to another article on GSWiki; enter it like this for the raw link: [[Implosion (720)]]; or if you want to streamline the link in a sentence, like this for a titled wikilink: [[Implosion (720)|my favorite spell]]. Just remember: one bracket for external, two brackets for internal; and the external links use a space between the link and the name, whereas wikilinks use a pipe…don't ask.
Perhaps you want to make something bold? Don't use deprecated flags like <b>bold</b> when you can just do ' ' 'bold' ' '; that's three single quotes on both sides. Emphasizing text like this is also especially common for the article name within the article itself. Rather than using <i>italic</i> for italic, try encasing it in two single quotes: ' 'italic' '.
One of the best way to get formatting clues or ideas is to simply find an article with the formatting you like and hit Edit. Don't change anything, just inspect or copy the style the article uses, close that window without editing, and go on modifying the article you were working on. Also, don't check the first paragraph of this section, it's full of really terrible things so that you can see the raw versions directly in this article without having the special characters processed by the wiki engine!
- Making lists is also easy, but takes more time to explain when you are very tired.
What kind of editor are you?
I'm sure back where you came from, you were proficient at something. Maybe you can yank two turnips out of the ground in one fell swoop without damaging the stalks. Perhaps you have the slow patience to till the fields on your old farm. Or someone who always needs to go to the market and barter a good price for your hard-earned root vegetables. Well, see wiki editing is the same way. There are lots of kind of skills that are needed in our community, and they are all valuable. When you're just getting started, you might prefer to stick with something more in your comfort zone, or maybe you want to just get your hands dirty and get to work! Most of all, we like multi-tasking people around here, so don't feel like you need to just need to specialize in one skill. We mostly can break it down as follows:
- Content writers. This style looks for articles desperately needing of expansion, and they write the material.
- Fiddlers. People like this like to tinker with the loose ends; they like to tweak tables and page formatting, or even make templates.
- Technicians and testers. This sort of person likes to check what information is available against known data or go make tests in game. A lot of this work might be filling out lots of missing creature data for different stats, for instance.
- Pure editors. These kinds of people like to regularly peek at the Recent Changes and make sure everything is up to a reasonable standard. They aren't shy to jump right in on any article and fix formatting or make sure information isn't being duplicated willy-nilly all over the place.
There are surely other ways to work on our project here, but we just like to make sure anyone fresh off the farm can get an idea how to think about this job and find work that interests them. Whatever sorts of work that interests you, we hope it's enjoyable and fulfilling to see a newly-edited article afterwords! Please always keep in mind that there are editors with different interests and styles than your own. As soon as you create a new page, other editors are free to edit it as much as you are.
Did you learn anything?
- (Note: Some of the questions were not quite covered yet. If you also notice that, feel free to add such content.)
The GSWiki Raging Thrak rasps, "I will now ask you a few short questions regarding what you have just learned. Answer all of them correctly and you shall be amply rewarded. Miss any of them and perhaps you should come back and listen better next time another editor inadvertently incinerates your Pulitzer Prize contribution to dust. Remember to state your answer in the form of ANSWER 1-3 or ANSWER T/F." At the end of all your posts on a Discussion page, you should always make sure to write: 1. Yo, your mom called. 2. ~~~~ 3. Nothing, I'm capped and everyone knows me. >answer 2 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" If you can't edit a page, you should: 1. Login. 2. Call your ISP. 3. Email PM Wyrom your password, again. >answer 1 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" Upon finding someone reverted your contribution to an article, the best thing to do is: 1. Nothing. I have a script for that. 2. Get my friends to revert the edits sequentially, because then I am not culpable. 3. Take a break, and check back later. >answer 3 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" If you are working hard on a new section you don't want anyone to touch, but can't work any longer today, what should you do? 1. Put it in my Sandbox where no one will see it. 2. Post on the article Discussion page and tell no one to edit the article. 3. Get out my hammer pants and submit the edit with a summary YOU CAN'T TOUCH THIS. >answer 1 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" If you see someone complaining about content on GSWiki, you should ask them if they tried editing? (T/F) >answer t The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" When another editor offends you on GSWiki, the first thing to do is: 1. Assume the editor was well meaning, and calmly and politely ask for clarification. 2. Sign up their play.net address for mailing lists of indiscriminate nude photographs. 3. Stop bothering with GSWiki. >answer 1 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" If you read something on a normal GSWiki article, you know it must be right because it's hosted at play.net? (T/F) >answer F The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" If you can't remember how to do a particular format, you should: 1. Not worry about it. Someone else will fix it. 2. Click Edit on a page with a similar formatting and copy the method. 3. Put in the HTML tags that are almost as old as GemStone. >answer 2 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" When you stumble on a recent Announcement or GM-authored change on the forums, what's the first thing you should do? 1. Nothing, they never release anything new for my class. 2. Log in to GemStone and try to abuse any bugs in the new release. 3. Rush to GSWiki and edit the deprecated article and give myself a gold star. >answer 3 The GSWiki Raging Thrak exclaims, "That is correct!" The GSWiki Raging Thrak looks impressed. "Congratulations," he tells you, "You have learned our ways well. As a reward for your diligence I will kindly remind you about all the Stubs. Go forth now and practice what you have learned."