Help, Guide, FAQ

So, I was trying to find my way around in my account under the “manage races”-section when naturally, after an about 200-year-absence from IC, I needed to polish up my very rusty knowledge about ops, races etc.

Delighted I found the links to “Guide” and “Help” in the navi-bar but this led me only to:
Guide
Help
which isn’t really helpful, sorry to say so.

Only by chance I found the original:
Guide (original)
FAQ (original)

While some things seem to be outdated I nevertheless was rather surprised how many things were still accurate or even seemed to have been updated. And thus I’d judge it still the best place to get basic and not so basic information. (Well, the race data for WD is wrong, though)

So, why does it look like the old Guide and FAQ are hidden and only accessible by those who know the URL. Or am I just overlooking some links to it in plain sight?

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Nah, you’re not overlooking it. This was most recently referenced by the old IC-Wiki, but that’s since been deprecated in favor of the #ic-wiki wiki-fied topics here in the forum.

The problem is, we need help porting topics from that wiki (and ic-wiki.com) to the new wiki format here in the forums. This is something that we need community volunteers for, as there is no need to touch any code; anybody can create, edit, and maintain wiki pages.

There is no longer any need to maintain resources that only staff can edit. In fact, we’d be worse off doing so as they would continue to go out of date. Instead, we will benefit from the community helping itself in this regard.

What we most need here is people willing to help:

  1. Build and manage the FAQ as a wiki topic.
  2. Replicate the existing guide topics as wiki topics.

Both of these would become more easily searchable and taggable in the forums.

@HydroP has recently been doing some fantastic work on video guides, but we still need a lot of help managing text versions of these things.

Volunteers are more than welcome, I’ve barely had time to look for people to help let alone update any of it myself.

All too common: the one who programs dislikes/has no time to do the documentations… I can fully understand.

Nevertheless it is one of the most important things on a “to do” list.

At the moment there is no guide and faq (only hidden and outdated ones) and the wealth of information in the strat and question of the old forum is somehow hidden for new players as well (and then they never know wether it is outdated or still vaild).

This leaves the family the only source for new players to learn the game.

But additionally to this what defines a good and ambitios player (or one on the way to it) is the willingness and ability to learn the in and outs of a game by diving into the guide, faqs and strat articles… difficult or impossible at the moment.

My suggestions:

  1. Recreate the old strategy subforum.
  2. Name mods for the “questions” and “strat” subforums. Yes, I know you just go rid of mods but they are too helpful for some things to do so, just redefine their work field and abilities:
    Instead of policing they are actually to moderate those subforums, to keep them in good order and helpful. Allow them to make threads sticky at the top to enable introductive and easy to access threads in which they can collect and/or link the most asked questions, the most valuable strat guides etc. (or is it just me who finds it a bit difficult to find stuff in this new forums?).
  3. Name a group of players who feel responsible for creating faq and guide, if necessary think about some incentives.
  4. Same group or an additional one called “archivars” to search, sort and collect the most valuable stuff in the old forums and to introduce it into the new forum/wiki/guide.

You can rely on players. The weird thing about the IC community, it is and always was a much more versatile group than you would expect from a wargame. Some like diplo, some building, formulas, some role-playing, some and those were often treated as the most loved ones write great stories about wars etc. (basically archivars or the bards of old), some really like to be helpful and to share their knowledge about IC. And yes, some are also idiots and trolls *grin
But at the moment, at least I have that impression, many of them stand a bit aside because they don’t know how to actually make their inputs because it somehow vanishes in this new forums (which might be true or just ignorance of how it could be used, I don’t know).

The youtube videos are a great start (and a perfect example of what I stated above). And yes, text versions are necessary, too. IC is a text based game and thus have a text oriented player base that “needs” or find text based infos probably the most helpful.

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Here a staggering and absolutely excellent example of a FAQ and Strat article base, to explain what I mean when talking about “wealth” of player input in terms of strat&tact, questions and helpful answeres.

The game called Stars! is even a bit older than IC, still played by a diminishing player base, and, while not an online but rather a pbem-based game, nevertheless comparable to IC in terms of strat and tact approach, map and text based and lasts for several months.

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Great insight @Altruist!

The trickiest part for me at the moment is that my non-IC responsibilities are becoming so overwhelming that I don’t even have time to code. Avoiding documentation isn’t even a matter of preference for me right now.

Some quick thoughts:

We did this awhile ago, you can see by clicking on #support:strategy.

There’s no longer any need for hand-picked mods. Our new forums have a concept of “Trust Levels” that recognize our most high-value forum contributors based on their activity and the quality of their posts. This is the @team group.

Bringing back a system of hand-picking is only going to bring back the drama that came with it. There’s simply no need for it.

Additionally, even players who aren’t in this new group can already create and edit wiki posts. There’s nothing somebody with a “Mod” title could do that a “regular” player can’t also do.

The issue there is that this stuff isn’t easy to find and most players probably don’t even realize that it exists. I need to take some time when I can to make a step-by-step guide on how to do this.

Incentives for wiki contributions are a great idea. :+1:


You’re right, we very much can rely on our players. At risk of stroking your ego, the archival work you did during the betas is an important example of how much value can be added for everybody if just a single player takes just some of their time to contribute.

Imagine if we were to get many single players motivated. :open_mouth:

My job atm isn’t to help manage the guide, it’s to help create a guide for players to manage the guide. The goal is to put as much of this as possible into the hands of each individual player.

I wouldnt mind writing a section. Or at least giving my thoughts on what should be included

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