UESPWiki talk:Style Guide/Quest Layout

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Since when was the ==Notes== section changed to ==Tips==? All of the Oblivion:Quests and most of the Morrowind:Miscellaneous Quests have the notes section, but Morrowind:Main Quest is the only one I know of with the ==Tips== title. Should the quest pages be changed or the style guide? --WerdnanoslenTalk 08:13, 14 November 2006 (EST)

I agree that Notes is far more commonly used right now, and is probably a more appropriate name for this section. So I'll change the quest layout guide. --Nephele 17:25, 23 November 2006 (EST)
Ok, phew thanks. Didn't want to rereformat all the pages I just finished. Anyway, I'll leave the ==Bugs== section in from now on too; usually I just combined them into the body area or the notes. --WerdnanoslenTalk 09:59, 24 November 2006 (EST)

Console Commands -> Journal Entries[edit]

Various Quest pages have a bottom section "Console Commands" (e.g. Accidents Happen). I intend to start adding them to all Oblivion and Shivering Isles Quests. However before I start I would like to propose a small change in the layout and style of this section. Currently the style of the section is aimed at people who intend to use the console to progress their quest state. My idea is to rename this section to "Journal Entries" so it looks more accessible for readers who are just curious about what Journal Entries a quest has. Ofcourse the QuestID and stage numbers will still be provided, but more like FormID's are given next to object descriptions.
I could make an example to show what I mean if this description isn't clear. --Timenn 11:32, 9 July 2007 (EDT)

Sounds good to me. For one thing, it probably means that the section is less likely to get deleted by Xbox/PS3 editors as irrelevant (as happened recently on Oblivion:A Dark Exile). --NepheleTalk 23:12, 9 July 2007 (EDT)
Please have a look at an example I made. I think it might still need some tweaking, but this is the general idea. The table looks big, but it's just the example quest that happened to have many quest entries. --Timenn 10:31, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Mainly thanks to Rpeh the Journal Entries have been added to all Oblivion and Shivering Isles quests. My idea was to use the same format for the Morrowind quests (and Tribunal's and Bloodmoon's quests). Some of the quests do have a journal entries table, but in a different format. My plan was to change these tables to the prior mentioned format. I think that format will also be able to cover some of the larger quests in Morrowind (e.g. The Citadels of the Sixth House). Just the fourth Note needs to be changed to reflect Morrowind's console command. --Timenn < talk > 05:38, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Console code in (Morrowind) quest walkthroughs.[edit]

I would like to suggest to move console code appearing in quest walkthroughs to the corresponding Notes section. This should also cover information intended only for console use, like FormID's and Positions. An example is the Ebony Mail quest. I can't help but feel that this code doesn't belong in the walkthrough itself, mainly because it is no part of playing the game without "cheating". I realise this code is mostly present in Morrowind's quest walkthroughs, but I was proposing to make this a universal policy right away. --Timenn < talk > 05:48, 17 January 2008 (EST)

I think it's a very good idea. --DrPhoton 08:27, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Skyrim Quest Walkthroughs[edit]

Note: this is a followup to the Skyrim Quest/Place Organization discussion on the Community Portal.

Just to get things started, I've taken a handful of points from the CP discussion and added them to the main article as proposed guidelines. My basic thought is that it might be easiest to keep track of what's going on if the main article is updated as the discussion progresses, so that it provides an up-to-date summary of what's been agreed on so far (or what we think has been agreed on). However, if you disagree with something on the article, just bring it up here.

So first and foremost, what I've put on the page so far is not meant to be final. I've taken liberties with adding details that I believe represent existing practices, as well as filling in details such as explanations based on what I think makes sense. It's also very incomplete, because that's all that I have time to do right now.

Feedback on some specific points:

  • Dialogue. I agree that Under Saarthal is probably at the upper limit of how much dialogue should be on a quest page. On the other hand, the preferred amount of dialogue probably varies a lot from person to person. What I added to the article for now is that the walkthrough would otherwise have to paraphrase a dialogue, it should just quote the dialogue directly — I think it's better to stick to the original source material instead of trying to shave 25% off the length and in the process introducing inaccuracies and/or misinterpretations. I think any such quoted dialogue needs to remain part of the walkthrough (instead of being moved to a separate dialogue section). Which then makes the idea of having a separate dialogue section problematic — if it only includes dialogue that's not integral to the walkthrough, does the section even need to exist?
  • Treasure. I tried to enumerate in the proposed guidelines what I consider to be "important" treasure that warrants being included even in a quest walkthrough. At this point, it's just one person's opinion (and I've probably overlooked some things). Most notably, I think the only random/leveled item that is really "important" is the boss chest. It's just too hard to justify saying "make sure you loot chest X and grab dagger Y" when chest X might only contain 2 gold and dagger Y might only be an Iron Dagger. It's just too difficult to try to expand that brief quest-appropriate sentence to properly explain that if you're at level 50, you might find a Daedric Dagger (and also too hard to know whether the reader is a level-1 character who is desperate for every 10-gold item, or a level-70 character who already has ten copies of every item in the game). Boss chests are the one exception -- in particular because radiant quests put their quest items into the boss chest.

Hopefully this is enough to get the discussion re-started, with a focus on how to take what's been discussed so far and transform it into guidelines that can be used by other editors without sifting through pages of information. In any case, it's all I have time for tonight! --NepheleTalk 06:07, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't have too much of a problem with in-line dialogue, but it has to be relevant, useful, and above all (in my mind) well-formatted. Treasure, though, is a bit trickier, especially because this is the quest walkthrough. We haven't specifically discussed whether or not we have the walkthrough cover everything of significance in that one dungeon or not. This is a really tricky area. On the one hand, if we do that, then we will be blurring the distinction between the quest and place walkthroughs so much that having both would be questionable to say the least. On the other hand, I would hate to go through a large Dwarven ruin for a quest and find out a few days later that there was an artifact that I missed or a Word Wall that I passed without realizing it. I personally don't make this mistake, and I make a point of exploring every nook and cranny in a dungeon, but I remember as a novice Oblivion player revisiting dungeons several times because I missed something important while I was there. Right now, I have no idea which one I prefer.
A general rule for me is to check every chest, every bookshelf, every Alchemy area, and any other places of significance. However, that's a matter of preference. ?• JATalk 06:49, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I guess I'm mostly summarizing what Jak said, but to me, anything that can be considered unique, or important to character development, should be allowable on a quest page, even if it's duplicated on the place page. His example of the Word Wall was one, similarly if you're passing near a Doomstone within a reasonable distance of a quest location, that would be another. I won't say it should be mentioned, because what's considered "a reasonable distance" and the importance of any particular item/landmark is subject to personal interpretation. Like Jak said, though, I don't want to go through a quest and find out I missed something crucial just because it was down the end of the only hallway in the dungeon not related to that quest. :) Leveled loot and/or trivial loot should probably not be mentioned at all on a quest page, I would think, except perhaps to add flavour like "there are a lot of chests in this room" when you're going to be going through/near it as part of the quest anyway. Robin Hoodtalk 08:34, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I mentioned the bookcases because that's to me one of the most important things. I love reading the books, and I love collecting them even more, so finding a bookcase with more than just ruined books and ugly silverware is a minor feat. That's a good example of personal preference, though. I love knowing that I can pick up a semi-rare copy of the Argonian Account in the Chieftain's room. The average reader probably couldn't care less. This definitely deserves a place on the place page, but what about the quest walkthrough? Where do we draw the line? For example, Lesser Soul Gems are very common loot found out in the open. If you are an Enchanter, these are a rarity and very useful. If you aren't one, though, you don't care about the locations of those annoying blue rocks that sometimes like to shoot fireballs at you. Gems are useful to most people. How about coins? Candlesticks are pretty valuable. Minor alchemy ingredients? Weak potions? So many things are useful to so many different people, and catering to one group yet ignoring another is unfair. You can't have everything, though, and you can't just say For more specific information on the minor loot, go here. Or can you? Basically, this is a very important decision.
I suggest this as a guideline (which may change): All minor loot chests that aren't way out of the way should be mentioned. All gems, skill books, artifacts, and word walls should be mentioned. I'm a bit iffy about potions and enchanted weapons. Unenchanted leveled weapons and armor is very iffy, because at level 60-something, it's usually glass (which is often the most valuable thing in the dungeon), but at level 5, it's usually iron. Rare alchemy ingredients should be mentioned (like Ectoplasm), but documenting every Purple Mountain Flower is not useful. Anything worth more than 50 gold (besides armor and weapons) should be mentioned. These are just ideas for now; what we decide on may be very different. ?• JATalk 19:14, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Besides the treasure/notable objects side, the guidelines proposed seem sound. I think everyone agrees that "notable" objects and treasure should be mentioned in the quest walkthrough. The task is to define what exactly "notable" means. I do not think we need to belabor this too much either. Nephele has given a fair definition. With little tweaking it will suffice, unless we are trying to define every possible item that can listed in a quest walkthrough. The latter approach would be a mistake IMHO. Rather, I believe, it would be better to define what should be listed. Items that are not on the "notable" list could still be added on a case by case basis (with the stipulation that they add to the quest in some way). For example; minor loot chests are normally not worth mentioning, but if there are a lot of them in a place that the player is going to pass through, the editor could be justified in mentioning them as a land mark in the walkthrough (though it would only be a passing reference not a clinical analysis of how many and what type of random loot each would give). Another case where minor loot chests would add to a quest walkthrough is No One Escapes Cidhna Mine. If you choose to kill Madanach, you are left with a solitary trek through Markarth Ruins with little equipment. There is a random loot chest not far from the entrance of Markarth Ruins that I would consider worth mentioning since almost anything is helpful at this point in the quest (in fact I have been saved by this chest on a warrior character who could not sneak or cast his way out of a cardboard box. He found a battle axe in the random chest and thus had a much easier fight with the dwemer spheres). Thus we could include the minor things in the rare cases that they add to the quest but usually leave them for the place pages which give the complete run down of a place.
In regards to Jak Atackka's point above, I agree that it would be unfair to just cater to one group. I think, however, that by providing a walkthrough on the place pages, we are covering our bases in that regard. The people who are primarily interested in the quest are going to be ignored if we bog down the quest with too much minor info and we will also fail those who are OCD about loot and books unless we include everything. It is better to maintain the quest focus on the quest page and comprehensively list everything on the place page. My guess is that players will exhibit the amount of diligence toward acquiring loot in their play style as on the wiki. Those just trying to finish the quest will take what they come across without us holding their hand and those, like me ;) with strong book/loot OCD, will carefully search every nook and cranny on their own and then look the place up just in case they missed something. Coronus 04:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that sounds fair. Okay, document every skill book, artifact, word wall, and relevant minor loot chest? This is a flexible guideline, so for an extreme example like Cidhna Mine where you need equipment then mentioning static drops or anything similar is acceptable. (Guess that isn't a whole lot different from Nephele's guidelines).
One question about the unique items: are we going to document random things like the largest loaf of bread in the game? I could see it as used for flavor ("In this room you can find an interesting curiosity, the largest loaf of bread in the game"), but not much else. ?• JATalk 08:03, 22 March 2012 (UTC)