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State of the Wiki: An Outcry For Change

Hello everyone. For those who don’t know me I go by Al and I’m a former Chat Moderator. I resigned from my position because I had become relatively inactive and wanted to be able to speak freely whenever I popped into the wiki. Recently I’ve returned to the wiki and it’s come to my attention that the wiki is in far dire straits than when I left it. The database as a whole is largely incomplete, there are few users contributing to articles, glaring issues are being allowed to go unresolved, and members of the staff are making large changes to the wiki without community input. I feel like this post has been a long time coming, so lets get into it.

To say that our current database is sub-par would be fairly generous. Both our Dark Souls 2 and 3 articles are horrendously incomplete. With the Dark Souls 3 articles this is a more understandable issue, but the same cannot be argued for Dark Souls 2. Before I took my leave of absence for the wiki I attempted to institute a new policy, the Edit Priority system: http://darksouls.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:128048 . This system was designed to categorize articles based on the amount of information they were lacking with the intention being that any contributor wishing to help out could quickly and easily find something to do that falls into their wheelhouse of experience. Whether you were brand new and needed something simple, or you were a seasoned editor looking to make more substantial edits this system would be a very useful tool. The system was pushed forward with no opposition and a fair amount of enthusiasm from the community. Despite this enthusiasm when it came to working on the priority system I received no support from the Staff or the community and inevitably burnt myself out trying to implement this system across every single Dark Souls 2 article. As it stands the system could still function and even be tweaked to encompass Dark Souls 3 articles, but that would be quite a large task and would require help from the community.

As it stands the community itself is facing multiple issues, the most telling of which being the fact that for five months the Armor Template for Dark Souls 1 was broken by an editor resulting in an obvious eyesore across all Dark Souls 1 armor articles. The staff was aware of this issue as it was mentioned in their private Discord channel and yet not only did the issue go unresolved, but there was no open discussion with the community about the issue. After five months this issue was solved by myself and Cosmicsilver, a former Bureaucrat for the Dark Souls wiki. The problem here is that two users who haven’t edited the wiki in a year and a half solved a five month problem that the current staff either could not, or would not fix. The entire process of solving and fixing the template was simple and took less than a day, so why did it go unchecked for so long? Had the staff taken it upon themselves to discuss this with the community could the issue have been resolved sooner? I believe so. The fact that two editors took it upon themselves to look into this problem and then fix it is evidence of that.

Another issue that the community is facing is a lack of editors. As it stands the bulk of editing is being done by a small group of users and there seems to be a very small influx of new editors joining the wiki. How can that be when, up until the recent DLC release, Dark Souls 3 was still a lively game with new content that hadn’t even been rolled out yet? I would say that our lack of new editors could be attributed to the overall state of the wiki. A lack of communication from both the community and the staff, little to no structure or direction in regards to what needs to be done, and a lack of activity from the existing community on the wiki. All of these things can be extremely discouraging to new editors.

Last, but not least, is the matter of large changes being made to the wiki without community input or approval. One such example is the fact that today the visual layout of the wiki was drastically changed in a way that people believe to be unsuitable. Whether people like or dislike the changes is a matter of opinion; the issue here is that a significant change was made without prompting or input from the community. This wiki belongs to everyone, it is not a plaything for a select few to change on a whim. When changes like this are in question they should be presented to the community as they were in the past so that people may choose to argue in favor or opposition of the aforementioned changes. This process allows for discussion and potential compromises so that we can all be satisfied with working in this shared space.

In conclusion if the wiki is to fulfill its intended purpose and return to its previous quality some serious changes need to be made. The community as a whole needs to band together to work efficiently, welcome new editors, and do what we can to make completing our database a smoother process. To the staff I have this to say: the service you provide isn’t an easy one, but it’s just that. A service. Your job is to provide guidance, knowledge, and structure to the community and as of late I believe you’ve been failing in that regard. This isn’t meant as an insult, but as a reality check. Significant changes need to be made to save the wiki from its own stagnation. Going forward you all need to ask yourselves if you’re capable, willing, and have the time to not only make, but work with the community to ensure the success of these changes. If your answer to those questions is “no” then it is your obligation to step down and out of the way so that those who answer “yes” can step up.

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