Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

POV of article[]

If "Prometheus" is a material option offered to players of STO for their ships, isn't this in the "realworld" POV?

The way the article is written it sounds like it is being described as a material in the POV of the Star Trek universe, which seems incorrect. Furthermore, is there a great need to break out every skinning option from STO as its own article? It makes more sense to have one article describing a list of the options available to the players. It would be a lot easier to keep organized by populating one list where the different materials can be described and compared -- captainmike Site-logo.png 16:02, April 13, 2020 (UTC)

Like the rest of the components in the shipyard interface, it's an in-universe thing. Because Memory Beta strives to be an encyclopedia about everything referenced in licensed, published Star Trek material, any mentioned or seen starship component has its place. It is easier to keep them as separate articles because they can grow (galleries of each available material, on each playable ship), and down the line there are topics that Memory Alpha is already delving into, like individual colors, where we want to link to specific pages rather than overview lists. For instance, the (future) article "Blue" would only link to those hull materials that include the color blue. Kind regards, -- Markonian 16:25, April 13, 2020 (UTC)
I agree that having a separate page for each and every hull material seems a bit overkill. - Bell'Orso (talk) 18:22, April 13, 2020 (UTC)
Even the official STO wiki doesn't even have a page for hull materials in general, let alone each one. It's covered on their ship pages, if relevant. Yes, we want to be comprehensive, but there's still a realm of *too* specific and detailed. Hull materials and color schemes are not really something referenced in a story, despite being theoretically "in universe," and people aren't going to come here looking for that kind of information about STO. We don't need a page for every one, honestly. If we did, that'd lead to adding a page for every single paint pattern you can put on your hulls, every single piece of every single outfit in the tailor. It's all theoretically in universe, but it only has relevance as a player of the game, and STO wiki is better suited to dealing with these kinds of technical gameplay aspects. --TimPendragon (talk) 19:16, April 13, 2020 (UTC)
Here's one thing to remember -- Memory Beta is focused on stories, and the details in them. We don't really have articles for every licensed Star Trek product -- the Playmates action figures, Star Trek Monopoly, etc -- just those with story elements, or that provide detail on characters, ships, and the like that have been featured in stories (like the CCG and the Eaglemoss collections). Ship skins, in this regard, are not really story elements. STOWiki can cover them better, just as they can character abilities and skill trees, and all of those gameplay aspects that aren't a part of the story. I think having one article on hull materials here should be sufficient. Otherwise this is a very deep rabbit hole to go down that actually serves no purpose on this wiki. --TimPendragon (talk) 19:23, April 13, 2020 (UTC)
Your example with covering clothing items - this is what I was going for. Memory Alpha covers individual colors, body parts, etc, which we'll have to cover eventually, too. I thought the reason we haven't covered toys etc. is because we haven't gotten around to it yet. Plus, it's not like these topics take up bandwidth. STOwiki covers gameplay elements, but I'm not somebody who can write about gameplay. This is purely about cataloging the entirety of the Star Trek multiverse, which covers ships, people, planets, furniture, brains, chairs, vaping, Quark's action figures, and so on.
For the example of the hull material, the visual varieties a ship class can have is covered on the individual ship class pages. This page allows comparing the same type of visual variety among different ship classes. It is an element of in-universe technology, no different from say the Niners vanity shield. It is arbitrary to cover one but not the other.
Does this boil down to whether Memory Beta is a storybook or an encyclopedia? Kind regards, -- Markonian 21:17, April 13, 2020 (UTC)
STOWiki is not solely concerned with gameplay, as they also cover the "in universe" aspects of the game, and do so in far more depth than Memory Beta ever could, or arguably should. And here's another example of where I think there's a major line to be drawn. Are vanity shields actually "in universe technology"? There's no reference to them whatsoever in the substance of the game or its lore. They are a visual modification that players can apply to their starships, but there's no "in universe" source that ever actually refers to them. As far as I know, they are a purely extradiegetic concept, just like a "skill tree" or a "captain retrain token." As for what Memory Beta is, well, yeah, it's an encylopedia of licensed Trek works. Works, meaning creative works, presented in an in universe style. Action figures are not creative works, and in depth information on them belongs on a memorabilia wiki, of which there are several. We can, and probably should, have a main article for the Playmates Action Figure line, as that does have some "in universe" content to register, just like Eaglemoss' The Official Starships Collection, but we most definitely should not have an article for ever action figure they made, anymore than we need an individual article for every ship model Eaglemoss puts out. It's simply not relevant, nor useful. Likewise, we have an article on the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, and each of its expansions, but not for every individual card. That's a level of pointless detail. No one is going to come to this wiki looking for that, as no one will come here looking for info on hull materials in STO. They'll go to STOWiki, which is where that info belongs. It's a matter of focus and relevance. Creative works are the focus of this wiki. We don't need an article on every ship console STO has put out, either, though they are in universe technologies. They should be referenced on the ship pages and on the relevant technological articles (SIF Generator consoles can/should be referenced on structural integrity field, for example), or have articles if they are major parts of a story like the hargh'peng torpedoes, but beyond that, the material is best suited to STOwiki. --TimPendragon (talk) 07:24, April 14, 2020 (UTC)
Sorry for being imprecise, I was thinking of the action figures Quark holds in the 90s advert. The hull materials represent an in-universe technology and appear in the same shipyard interface as ship class and warp nacelles. They are individually named objects, like the Odyssey or Sierra uniforms, like a tetryon beam array, refracting tetryon beam array, the Andorian badge combadge, ion storm generator console - everyone an item from within the Trek universe, published in a licenced product. I maintain that an individually named item deserves its own page.
You propose to merge the materials. Bear in mind that there are currently close to 100 hull materials. If we merge that even into just faction-specific pages, such pages would be massively long with (1) the history & description of each hull material, and (2) galleries for each material. That'd like lumping all planets within a solar system together, or having one article for each ship named Lakota.
I cannot believe we are arguing against the expansion of this Wiki. We have just over 50,000 articles. Wikipedia has millions. The entirety of licensed Trek production across all media provides room for thousands of more pages, if we get around to cataloging it. This is about the quality of aiming to be comprehensive. Kind regards, -- Markonian 13:14, April 14, 2020 (UTC)
It really sounds like you're confusing quantity of articles with quality of information. And it really sounds like you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Memory Beta is. We are not the "EVERYTHING STAR TREK EVER" wiki. We do not need multiple articles on the hull materials on this wiki. A brief summary page with a link to STOWiki will suffice for that, for the vanity shields (if they should even be here at all), for all of that kind of thing. Why? Because it's covered elsewhere in greater depth, and these kinds of things -- like hundreds of ships that are just randomly generated names and registries with no history -- can crowd out actually relevant data. This wiki does not focus on every licensed Trek product -- just try and write an in universe article about the Enterprise pizza cutter from ThinkGeek -- but on the creative works.
A bunch of small articles on hull materials -- no matter how many pictures you put on each -- that don't contain information about what those materials are (duranium? tritanium? rodinium? - we don't know, they don't say!), or how they're used in the narrative (they aren't) are not really useful for anyone coming here to get a view of the Star Trek universe as told through licensed fiction, which is the main purpose of this wiki. To provide a comprehensive reference for the narrative content of Star Trek's licensed media.
Conversely, a list that names these undeveloped materials with the stubs of information that go with each of them would actually be useful to the average visitor, because it gives the information that is available in context, and shows there is room to build on it -- especially useful for the writers who have used this wiki as a referenced over the last two decades.
We don't need every picture of every variant of every ship in every hull material, or anywhere near that. STO Wiki covers that, as they should. It's irrelevant to the scope of Memory Beta. --TimPendragon (talk) 13:27, April 14, 2020 (UTC)
"Hull materials" is the pseudo-diegetic name that STO gives to what are really just "ship skins." The names of the "materials" reflect their usage as "skins" in the gaming sense, and aren't truly appropriate as names of "hull materials" in universe. That kind of grey area is where a certain degree of judgment needs to come into play between what is really "in universe" and what is just an interactive item or feature from a gaming perspective. There's no history or information for what the "hull materials" actually are in the world of STO. As such, a simple list makes much more sense than dozens of essentially stub articles that all say variants of the same thing and host image galleries that are better suited for STOwiki, where they are already found. --TimPendragon (talk) 13:56, April 14, 2020 (UTC)
The main page states, "Memory Beta is a wikipedia-style database for licensed Star Trek works, including novels, comic books, RPG sourcebooks, video games and any other licensed works." It doesn't define what "works" means, so I will not jump to the conclusion it is about narrative. Cryptic Studios could have named ship materials "skins" but they did not. The developers made the effort to give these, and hair styles, and uniform pieces etc. a diegetic name. In in an episode Picard is in his quarters and there's a vase or a flowerpot in the corner, that doesn't contribute to a narrative put it's part of the universe so we cover it. This wiki, unlike any other Trek wiki out there, is about Everything in Licensed Trek Ever. Who is to judge what contributes to a narrative and what doesn't? That would be arbitrary. It cannot be an encyclopedia if it doesn't aim for the coverage of the sum total of its subject matter. I will also not make a prediction about who would and would not read it.
STOWiki doesn't have much detail on ship materials. They're focused on gameplay and stats. That's not my focus because mine is about material pertaining to in-universe content. This does not cover procedurally generated content but something specifically designed to fit into the larger universe and be possible to encounter by every player. Kind regards, -- Markonian 14:33, April 14, 2020 (UTC)
If the material is deficient on STOwiki, well then, ultimately, you can always go add it there - and should! They will welcome it, they need it to fulfill their own mandate, which is drastically different from ours. STO wiki doesn't segregate itself to just gameplay, they absolutely focus on in universe content as well, and this is the kind of detail they want. Believe me, I've spoken to enough users and admins over there over the years.
As for what Memory Beta is, I've said what we're about -- it's what we've been about since the very beginning -- and you've chosen to ignore that. "Works" is defined in context of those things listed on the main page, not exhaustively, but that absolutely does provide the context of "creative works." We also write from an in-universe style, primarily, as to be as much of an "in character" encyclopedia as possible, just like the Star Trek: Encyclopedia and Star Trek: Chronology books on which both Memories Alpha and Beta are based. We do not cover memorabilia, licsened clothing, officially licensed conventions, etc, because those things don't have an "in universe" perspective on which to write about. Memory Beta was originally called "The Non-Canon Star Trek wiki," so we don't focus on the canon material, either. We don't aim to duplicate Memory Alpha, or cover canon as exhaustively as they do. We provide enough canon material as is needed for the non-canon material to reference, and as a context for that material, and link to Memory Alpha for the rest. The tagline for this site eventually changed from "non-canon" to reflect "licensed works" so as to make sure people knew fanfic is not appropriate for this wiki. All of these things taken together show that, no, we are not the "Everything Star Trek Ever" wiki. Others will have to weigh in, I suppose. Ultimately, this is an issue of relevance and signal-to-noise ratio, and the ease of finding information.
As for what is and is not part of the narrative of STO, not everything you as a player interact with in the game through your character/avatar is part of the game's story. "Lockboxes" may or may not exist, but when a character opens one, for example, and gets a boxed T-6 ship, that doesn't mean that in universe, Captain X is walking around Earth Spacedock with a Jem'Hadar Attack Ship stuffed in their pocket, or stuffed into their personal storage locker. Judgment calls like that have to be made here, to determine what is appropriate for Memory Beta. We want an article on hull materials, to provide context; we don't need to cover them as exhaustively as you want to. But that material is absolutely relevant to STOwiki, though, and I again encourage you to add it there if it's missing. We're going to keep going around and around on this, because we're coming from two different perspectives on what Memory Beta is. I've been here since the beginning, so I daresay I actually have a more complete context for it than you are aware of, but at this point, others will have to continue this discussion because I've said all I can for the moment. --TimPendragon (talk) 19:22, April 14, 2020 (UTC)

I agree with Admiral Markonian that Memory Beta should be "Everything in Licensed Trek Ever" even if that wasn't its original purpose. Other franchises like Doctor Who and Star Wars have a single wiki devoted to the entire franchise, so I think Star Trek should also have at least one wiki that is complete.

I agree with captainmike and TimPendragon that Prometheus (material) is part of the game mechanics as opposed to an in-universe subject. However, for other STO items, it can be a bit tricky deciding if the item is in-universe or not, so to keep things simple and avoid creating countless arguments, maybe it's best to treat Prometheus (material) as in-universe and leave the article as it is.

Personally, I have 0 interest in the hull material articles, so I don't care if they get merged or not. But I do sympathize with Markonian, who worked hard on these articles only to see them threatened with merging. The same thing happened to me. Tim, you talk about a "signal-to-noise ratio", presumably defining hull materials, Armada ships and anything else you're not interested in as "noise". To other people, these might be interesting topics and no one's forcing you to click on them, so how about we leave everything the way it is, without trying to merge away other editors' hard work? --NetSpiker (talk) 08:49, April 15, 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for weighing in about the suggested merge, NetSpiker.
I've spoken with Markonian about starting a /temp article to illustrate what I meant. Probably will lead to a fresh discussion page about the merits of what the merged article looks like, its category tree, etc.
I offered to edit an actual /temp article because I think that in order to be constructive, actions speak louder than words. We could go back and forth on talk pages all day but it is immaterial until someone actually performs an edit. Performing those edits are what we're here to do. Not confront each other on talk pages.
In a discussion where the phrase "signal-to-noise ratio" has been used, it's amazing that things have gotten so off track. I'd caution everyone to check the name of the talk page you are commenting on when you get this deep into a discussion. This is "talk:Prometheus (material)" - we're discussing a suggested edit to this type of article. this discussion has expanded to a far wider scope including, among other things "forum:What Is Memory Beta". That's off topic. If you have reason to discuss that larger issue, do the right thing, go ahead and start that page. don't bog down this or another discussion with added discord.
Since we're mostly in support of merge and/or installing a mechanism to clarify POV, with author remaining undecided, the discussion is closed pending the demonstration of such a /temp edit for review by the author. kind regards, captainmike Site-logo.png 09:19, April 15, 2020 (UTC)