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Build Wipe[]

I'm against it.

Part of the reason is that it's annoying. Instead of one-stop shopping for Build inspiration, I'll have to hunt around on User pages to find them. If that's too much work then I probably won't bother. The problem is that I like looking at favored, unfavored, tested, untested, PvP, PvE, farming, running - oh the whole gamut of builds. I look for ideas. I look for new ideas. Sometimes I don't know what I'm looking for until I find it. With builds now being scattered across the wiki, I foresee build-browsing to become a thing of the past. If you don't know what you're looking for, odds are you won't find it. This is the absolute opposite of user-friendliness.

Another reason I'm against the wipe is because it's reactionary. The Build-vetting process isn't perfect. Ok. Granted. And the rest of the Wiki is? I mean, what's the standard of perfection we're shooting for here? Oh never mind, that's getting off-point. My point is that the motivation for the Build Wipe is an effort to force the development of a policy that's better than the current one. And that sort of behavior really is pretty much the definition of reactionary. "Look kids! You get no dressers or closets until you figure out how to put away your clothes properly!" Uh-huh. Seriously, it makes no sense. It's a not-very-subtle way of permanently discouraging the publishing of any builds on GuildWiki. While we have no Build page here, we're going to find another place to develop, share & publish builds. Once we find that place, what, exactly, is our incentive to come back here and implement a new Build section? You guessed it, zero.

In my view the Build Wipe is a left-handed and cowardly way of saying, "Look. No more builds here. Buh-bye. It's been fun having you noisy kids, but it's time for you to go. Daddy's got a headache." I would have had more respect for it if the Admins had been up-front about not feeling like maintaining the section any more. The whole, "oh, you simply have to guess the double-secret more perfect-er Build-vetting policy and we'll be happy to put the Builds section back up" thing is really not the standard of maturity I was hoping for.

Ha! I'm looking for maturity on the internet. God, I'm an idiot. But my point is that complaining that people were being immature with the whole Build-voting, and then taking the ball away and letting no one play with it reminds me of the pot saying, oh kettle, thou art black.

Email to Tanaric[]

I emailed the following letter to Tanaric - or at least to the email address on that user page.


I wanted to drop you a brief note and respectfully register my dissent with the build wipe policy.

My reasons are entirely selfish: I like the Builds section; I use it; I don’t have any problem with it.

Do I think that it is perfect? Oh no. Honestly, I wish unfavored builds weren’t deleted. Other than that, I’m sure that there are improvements that could be made, but I don’t know what they are.

Do I think my argument is strong? No. It’s a hard argument to make. I’m a causual user. I am not a significant contributor. I’m a light consumer. I like to think that I’m very much like most of the 30k+ unique visitors to the site. I browse guildwiki primarily for skills, missions and builds. It was the well-organized build section that brought me back. Other sites have skill descriptions and mission walk-throughs. One-stop shopping for all of my GW needs is what I come to guildwiki for. Now at least a third (and honestly closer to 60-80%) of the reason visit guildwiki will be missing.

The thing I liked about the Builds section, as it was, *was* the arguing. Frequently it was passionate, but usually reasonably intelligent. I learned a lot from it.

I kind of feeling like I’m arguing with a developer. There’s this park I like. The build wipe proponents are the developers. They’re going to bulldoze the park and put up a parking garage. “I like the park,” I say “and I don’t drive.”
“Oh some time soon we’ll build you a new park.”
“Can’t say. Soon, hopefully.”
“‘Hopefully’ doesn’t sound good.”
“Oh stop being pessimistic. You’ll like the new park.”
“Will it be like the old park?”
“But I liked the old park.”
“The new one will be better.”
“Don’t know yet.”
“But I liked the old park just fine.”
“Some people didn’t. They thought it was nasty.”
sigh. What can I say to that?

Sorry Tanaric. I simply don’t see why I should loose the utility of the current build section because other people don’t like it. They are gettting at least some of what they want, and I’m getting none.

I hope you can at least appreciate why I find a policy that reduces collaboration on explictly game-related material to be disappointing. Yes, I can collaborate on policies. Look, I can only play for around 8-10 hours a week. I’m not going to collaborate on policies, my play-time is too limited. I’ll be happy to try new builds in-game, but writing policies just isn’t gonna happen. Yes, I’ll go to other sites for builds. Yes, I’ll poke around userpages for builds. Eventually I’ll find another place where I can efficiently browse a large number of builds. It may even be here. But until then…. The build wipe policy is costing me time I could be playing because I’m searching for builds; It’s costing me the potential fun of playing a build because I couldn’t find it. What is the cost to the people who are in favor? I don’t see it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,
(aka AnticDevices)

If you're so smart, why don't you contribute something useful rather than whining?[]

Bleh. Good point. I'll think about it User:AnticDevices/Thinking.

Final Thoughts[]

The Builds Wipe policy is both logically and practically unsound.

Logically: I asked Tanaric (or anyone) to give me an example supporting the premise that wiping something without a plan to replace it ever resulted in something better being created. I also pointed out that Tanaric never said that he expect something better to replace the current Builds section, only that he expected something to replace it. I asked, “Why are we going through all of this trouble if we aren’t going to replace it with something better?” This point was ignored.

In response to my main point, asking for an example or a model supporting Tanaric’s belief that the wipe will result in something better, he suggested that starting fresh can be a great spur to creativity and the development of something better. He pointed out that GWW started entirely fresh, and that wiki will probably be a great resource. This is, admittedly, a great example…

… a great counter-example to Tanaric’s belief. In order for it to be valid, GWiki would have to have been wiped in order for the development of GWW. GWiki existed and was up and running during (ie not wiped) the development of GWW. I pointed this out and it went entirely un-remarked.

Practically: Let me turn it around and phrase it the other way: Can you think of situations where one thing is destroyed and plans are in hand to replace it? Yep, bet you can. Not hard. Ok. Does the new plan always work out? Nope. (Four words: Regime change in Iraq. Many more examples are not difficult to come by.) So why is anyone confident that wiping builds without a plan to replace it will result in something better? It truly boggles the mind.

Let’s get more practical: Builds are an important part of playing GW. GWiki serves as a guide for GW players. Without a Builds section, GWiki will provide no guidance on builds. Yes, there are professional guides going up, and those are awesome. But they are explicitly not build guides, and when the rubber meets the road you’re going to need 8 skills on your bar along with some combination of equipment and attributes. By not supplying a Builds section, GWiki is failing in its primary function – to serve as a guide.

On an even more practical – and personal – level, it’s freakin’ annoying to look up a mission or Boss on GWiki, then have to search the net for a build that’s been effective in defeating that mission or Boss, then come back to GWiki to look up the skills. When I find a new site that allows me to do one-stop shopping, I’ll be using that site. I can’t help but wonder to what extent this isn’t the real aim of the Builds Wipe policy: to encourage GWiki users to go elsewhere. On the Builds Wipe page, users are very explicitly encouraged to use “many other better resources” for Builds. Without question, the impending Wipe has encouraged users to both archive the bejeebers out of builds AND create new sites. If the fact that people are willing to go through so much work to save and/or reproduce the current Builds section can’t be entered as evidence for it’s utility, I don’t know what will. No, Tanaric isn’t going to get 500 emails saying ‘keep the section’. Instead people are voting with their feet.

The Builds Wipe policy is founded upon a demonstrably unsound premise and is arguably not going to achieve its aim of a better section on this Wiki (especially as a better Build section is not inherently a goal of the Wipe policy); it is both illogical and unsound.

So. Why is it going forward? I have no clue. As near as I can tell, most people aren’t thinking about the logic or the consequences very hard. They’ve been encouraged to move on ‘by the powers that be’ and they’re taking the hint. They’ve been told to get off the public areas and take it to their private areas – or find another site. Sure enough, that’s what’s happening.

And how is that ultimately good for the health of this site? Seems to me, clearly it isn’t. Seems to me that this is the exact opposite direction you’d want to go if you’re a Wiki.