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Databases and Wikis - Why Not ZAM?Follow

#1 Nov 30 2010 at 10:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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Let me preface this post by saying that this isn't some sort of request for you, our readers, to start using our database / wiki. While I'd love it if all of you started avidly using our content and shouting our glory to the heavens (*grins*), I know that people have preferences in where they go for information and once someone has used a site for awhile, it's hard to tear them away.

That said, in the epic drama thread that cropped up in here last week, it was mentioned that ZAM isn't really a primary source for FFXI users looking for database or wiki information. Since you are all pretty longtime users of ZAM (and I assume places like Gartr [sp?] and ffxilopedia [sp]), you can actually answer this question better than anyone else I've ever asked.

Why did you decide to use those other sites for FFXI info rather than ZAM? What convinced you that that was the place to go?

And, if you're feeling really ambitious, what could we do in the future to make sure that we don't lack in those areas again? What would make us better than our competitors, in your eyes?

I'm interested to hear what you folks think about our sites.
#2 Nov 30 2010 at 11:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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Originally, zam was one of the places to go but ffxiclopedia made editing and having real time information available. Most the time it's correct but newer content usually takes awhile to get edited. This is much faster than the old days when you had to submit page corrections on ZAM and maybe months down the line it might get updated. I can probably pick a random page on ffxi zam and it wont have all the drops listed it should compared to ffxiclopedia.

ex. Chukwa has been out for 6 months or more now. It is spammed for chloris pops by some people. Drops are pretty well known. However, FFXI ZAM has 4 drops. FFxiclopedia has 22 drops.

see the problem? lol
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#3 Nov 30 2010 at 11:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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ffxiclopedia is the best source for information about FFXI because it has information on everything in great detail and it's updated very quickly(usually), BG has the best informative forums for FFXI. Also I think the FFXI staff are more intrested in FFXIV these days so the rather inadequate updating system gets even less attention than it used to.

Alla to most is simply a basic FFXI chat forum, it honestly offers very little else of value that isnt done better elsewhere. If forum 10 was removed I'm pretty sure the site would lose the majority of it's regular visitors.



Edited, Nov 30th 2010 12:14pm by preludes
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#4 Nov 30 2010 at 11:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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What you could do is like some sites. Have whatever is being talked about automatically linked to the wiki and have that information correct or the ability for people to correct that information.

ex. In the previous example, If I say "Chukwa" It links directly to that page. Someone can look at it as a source of information instead of maybe putting another window/tab and search it on another site.
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#5 Nov 30 2010 at 11:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Editing here takes too long, and the tags aren't explained well enough. I tried doing some routine edits and had the hardest time trying to figure out how to link articles I was creating both to existing content and to each other.

Plus the Help files here are minuscule at best, and threadbare at worst.

The "Wikibase" is too convoluted for proper use and searching. Wikis are simply easier to create, edit, tag and search.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 12:19pm by Pawkeshup
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#6 Nov 30 2010 at 11:19 AM Rating: Good
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I used to use alla.com for everything. When I learned of the wiki for FFXI it allowed me access to real time editing/distribution of information that made other sources a stagnant place for outdated information.

Sorry, I don't mean to bash anyone...but knowledge is power as they say. For current info on anything ZAM is one of the last places I go to now.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 9:21am by spcwill
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#7 Nov 30 2010 at 11:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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As someone who found ZAM as a level 11 no SJ Rdm back in 2004 and used it from then until now both for FFXI and a few years for WoW, I would say it is just uncomfortable.

When I first played, I didn't know about Wiki so I ONLY used Zam. For quests it was alright and for items it's great (mouse over is fantastic) but once I found wiki I've used Zam ONLY for the forum and not at all for quest/item look ups.


User friendliness goes right to Wiki though, no offense.

-Auto-finish on words is amazing. I've not know exact spelling of NM's I wanted to look up, I'd type 2-3 letters and a drop down appears. I love it.

-Visuals of Wiki. The maps are easily visible and marked nicely, every mob has a pic, info is clearly shown in a very easy to read manner and spells/JA's/jobs are not only up to date, but detailed.

-URL accessibility. This is something I doubt you can fix, but the absolute greatest thing for me on Wiki is that I can simply type whatever I am looking for after "wiki/" and it takes me right to the page. Convenient beyond belief.


Perfect examples:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/quests.html?fquest=1474

vs

http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Sword_Trials

At first glance Wiki is already in the lead. The URL is perfect. On the page(we'll pretend the Zam one is actually filled out) the layout is very uncomfortable vs wiki's.

Another

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/spell.html?ffspell=609

vs

http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Blastbomb

The search to begin starts off differently. If you search Blastbomb on Wiki(or type in URL) it automatically takes you to the page. On Zam, it takes you to a hub, with it as the only option. The pages spell out the huge difference in the values though.

Zam has the basic stats of the spell, the spell description, but a horrible descript of obtaining it. Wiki has the picture of the spell text, detailed info on the stats, additional notes, exactly what mobs to fight to learn it (with links to their pages) a VIDEO of the spell's animation and for every magic type, the bottom of the page has a link table of all spells in that type sorted by what they are.


I love Zam forums, but for information it is not nearly as friendly as Wiki :(
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#8 Nov 30 2010 at 11:29 AM Rating: Good
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Alla caused this to themselves by lagging on implementing these systems (wiki database, free search. etc), while other sites were innovating.

I was shocked when Alla was not interested in paying a discounted rate for me to produce high quality happy friday comics, which would have given them a huge viewership edge over the other Ffxi sites and therefore profits. They were also not interested in doing this for the then-upcoming FFXIV site, which would have given them an instant user-grab out of the gate. But this meshes with the realization that Zam has no interest in competing whatsoever, which to be frank dooms them to eventual failure in the face of innovative competition. It is apparent that Zam operates on "minimal investment/no innovation" type operation.

The fact that people are using other sites as their information source, where this site used to be THE place for that, is just another symptom of this. To expect users to revive your horribly outdated database, which you have neglected, is not the answer. Lack of investment by the owners of Zam, and no interest in innovation, is what needs to change, not a database update.

Fact is even if you update everything yourselves, nobody bothers to look here for that info anymore anyway so it will again fall into disrepair from lack of user input. You've lost the FFXI-info battle forever to FFXIclopedia. What else you lose is up to your management. You are now purely a forum discussion site, focus on improving that.


While on that very topic, here's another piece of innovation I suggest. Let's see if you listen this time.

Change the karma system : Allow only a rate-up option, the rate-down replacement being "report a violation" button in which the clicker has to select from a short list of what rule was violated before proceeding. This would then act as a rate-down and be recorded for admin viewing. If a complaint is filed that someone is getting rated down for no reason, it will be easy to look at the reasons people selected for the rate-down and see if they were in the right or abusing the system. Also the more steps a rate-down takes, the less people will spam it just as the "I disagree" button. Posts that become 'excellent would get a small highlight border around them; rewarding good contributions with improved visibility and making them easier to find.

Result :
-Users that contribute positively to your site are rewarded with appropriate status.
-Users that just kick around chit-chatting suffer no ill effects and are motivated to start contributing to discussion instead of hide from rate-downs.
-Rate-down abusers are now forced to provide a valid TOS reason for their down-ratings, 90% will stop abusing it.

Do you see that? It's innovation. Rather than have a system that's more likely to abuse a user, you end up with a system which rewards good contribution with improved visibility. Instead of highlighting the bad by making sub-d collapsed posts which actually stand out.

Want to thank me for this? Guru me. If it wasn't for the years of rate-down haters I would be guru'd years ago. God knows I logged enough contributory keystrokes to earn it.
Quote:
I used to use alla.com for everything. When I learned of the wiki for FFXI it allowed me access to real time editing/distribution of information that made other sources a stagnant place for outdated information.

Quote:
I think it really comes down to the fact that FFXIclopedia was the first to set up a proper wiki and once it took off, it snowballed. Just like others have said, they go to FFXIclopedia because it's more accurate and complete than the info here.

Quote:
Originally, zam was one of the places to go but ffxiclopedia made editing and having real time information available.

Quote:
Trying to catch zam up just doesn't even make sense.

Quote:
I don't use ZAM's wiki simply because it was slow to arrive


Case in point: This very post has already gotten rate-downs, i guarentee for "i disagree". Kindly tell me what part of the TOS validates rating down this contributory post that took over 15 minutes of my day to write and edit to help out? This is exactly why people have and will continue to leave even your discussion forums. Defend this last reason for your site to exist, or face obscurity, failure, and loss of what small pay Zam gives you.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 1:24pm by RattyBatty
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#9 Nov 30 2010 at 11:35 AM Rating: Good
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I think it really comes down to the fact that FFXIclopedia was the first to set up a proper wiki and once it took off, it snowballed. Just like others have said, they go to FFXIclopedia because it's more accurate and complete than the info here. Since it's visited more often for that information, that information gets updated more often as well. That's not the Alla administration's fault per se, it's just that you guys joined the parade after it had already left. Wiki established itself as the single source of information during a time when Alla was struggling to keep even mildly up-to-date information. The move to a wiki was a good idea, but I think it just came too late when people had already gotten used to using FFXIclopedia.

It's a shame too, with FFXIclopedia getting bastardized by Wikia more and more lately. I kept telling everyone this would happen, ever since the original owners sold the site mere weeks after concluding a successful fundraiser. (They sure cashed out on that one...) I would rather have seen Alla take off, but like I said, I think you guys were growing stagnant during this time and it presented an opportunity which FFXIclopedia jumped on.

That being said, now might be an opportune time to try to bring Alla back into the fold. I think everyone is pretty much agreed that FFXIclopedia's new layout is trash. However, the first step if Alla is going to get serious about it would be to update their information. I don't know how you'd go about doing that, but right now Alla's wikibase is very incomplete compared to FFXIclopedia. You might do well to find a way to motivate people to replicate the information from FFXIclopedia over here. Obviously you can't just copy & paste everything word-for-word, but the basic information like which mobs drop which items can be copied. Obtaining a flow of information into the wiki area of the site will be your #1 hurdle. If you can get that, you're in like Flint.

If you're going to seriously go down that path, one thing I'd suggest that would give you a leg up on FFXIclopedia is providing a strategy section that allows people to discuss strategy in a way that's more formal than the "talk/discussion" pages on FFXIclopedia. Those discussion pages are a mess, you could do a lot better. Perhaps break it up into a few different categories of strategies like standard tank and kill, manaburn, kite & DOT, pet burn, etc. That way people can come to a page, and look at the strategies that apply to their particular setup without sifting through pages of discussion on things varying from some guy's experience getting killed when he popped it solo to someone's opinion on the philosophical meaning of the mob's placement in the game.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents!
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#10 Nov 30 2010 at 11:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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This is an example of the failure of Wiki vs. Alla's solution. You see, Alla used to use a back-end edited database (I still remember the days where the front page was loaded with updates from Pikko and others as they added in information submitted via email).

Alla, seeing wikis becoming the new wave of editing, tried to wedge in a wiki-editing style to their existing database. However, they fundamentally work differently. What you're seeing is a throw-back to the old GET style of item calling used by databases. The text after the ? is the call into the back-end functions used for a database, where as the Wiki uses a different system entirely.

Dinishte wrote:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/spell.html?ffspell=609

vs

http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Blastbomb

The search to begin starts off differently. If you search Blastbomb on Wiki(or type in URL) it automatically takes you to the page. On Zam, it takes you to a hub, with it as the only option. The pages spell out the huge difference in the values though.


Disregarding the info sent in/edited on the spell itself, you've encountered the issue I had. Making a page that is easily found via a search is EXTREMELY challenging. Plus it takes time for the indexing of every page to occur, so when you're testing searchability, you literally have to wait for the database to "catch up". Because editing is such a pain, information is bound to be old, inaccurate, or altogether false.

ZAM would either need to go back to having people internally create all pages (ironically by copying info found on other sites of course), or scrap the database and institute a full-blown wiki.
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#11 Nov 30 2010 at 11:47 AM Rating: Decent
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I definitely understand the difficulty, which is what makes it sad. Zam is a great forum but you cannot beat that when I open Firefox, I type in "Fie" in the URL bar and it recalls the Field Manual wiki page for me. Here I used to have to bookmark 20-30 pages I frequented.
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#12 Nov 30 2010 at 11:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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There are many reasons why I go to ffxiclopedia instead of zam for info. Here is a very strong one:

Go to ffxiclopedia and search for "Charis Tiara +1". The page that comes up contains:

* Stats and links to info about stat modifiers
* Quest needed to obtain the item
* Quest that the item is required for
* A link to view the entire set that the item is a part of
* Any special notes about mods provided by the piece

Now go to zam and search for "Charis Tiara +1". The resulting page contains:

* Stats and links to info about stat modifiers

And that's it.

Quick and convenient accessibility to complete and relevant content is why ffxiclopedia beats out others.
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#13 Nov 30 2010 at 11:55 AM Rating: Good
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And, if you're feeling really ambitious, what could we do in the future to make sure that we don't lack in those areas again? What would make us better than our competitors, in your eyes?
At this point, that's not even possible. Zam is so far behind wiki, it would take years to catch up, unless we had hundreds of people constantly updating it. And that will obviously never happen, and it shouldn't happen, because there is still work that needs to be done on ffxiclopedia. There are two sources for ffxi: zam, which is maybe 50% complete, and ffxiclopedia, which is 95%~ complete. Trying to catch zam up just doesn't even make sense.
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#14 Nov 30 2010 at 12:08 PM Rating: Good
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

Basically, the Wiki model is more suited to community collaboration than the forum/database model. And once it starts picking up steam and being useful, it's in the entire community's best interest to support one (or a small handful) or resources for the widespread user base to update.

I use Zam for forums - I'll also note that the structure of FFXI itself was really helpful for Zam's forum setup. I have spent a lot of time in the job-specific forums, which are GREAT resources for learning to play jobs, specific questions, gear guides, etc. For a game like FFXIV, where identity is less reliant on which job you play (one of the things I found myself disliking about XIV), job specific forums are a lot less useful.

I use ffxiclopedia for missions/quests, looking up NMs, etc.

I use ffxiah.com for quick item lookups because it's MUCH faster than any other resource and the search syntax is fairly forgiving (partial word = will come up with correct search). And of course, I also use it to check prices.

I use BG when I want to dig through a sloppy forum full of elitist a-holes, but occasionally find some good high level strategic discussion.
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#15 Nov 30 2010 at 12:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't use ZAM's wiki simply because it was slow to arrive. Also, maybe it's changed, but it has always seemed to me like the information in ZAM's wiki and database is extremely crowded. As for the lack of information/formatting/etc (that most are commenting on and could be changed by the users)... it's just because there are only so many people in the world that will take the time to edit a wiki and they're already focused on a different site.


Pawkeshup Delivers on Time wrote:
(I still remember the days where the front page was loaded with updates from Pikko and others as they added in information submitted via email).
This is precisely how I learned about most of the items in FFXI. I'd just browse the front page, looking at items with interesting names.


EDIT: Also, whoever had the idea of linking entries to a topic that was being talked about in threads, I think that would help to update the database. I agree with Rog in that ZAM will never catch up to wiki with their information though.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 12:17pm by xypin
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#16 Nov 30 2010 at 12:54 PM Rating: Good
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Put simply: Zam's database is a malnourished dinosaur in a back room that you can only communicate with through pneumatic tubes. That was the impression I got just when trying to edit an existing page... Creating a new page without the sort of templates available over at Wiki was nigh impossible (without achieving the same by copying an existing page).

Wiki was up for a year or two before alla decided to cobble their database together.
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#17 Nov 30 2010 at 1:07 PM Rating: Default
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Mohit wrote:
Originally, zam was one of the places to go but ffxiclopedia made editing and having real time information available. Most the time it's correct but newer content usually takes awhile to get edited. This is much faster than the old days when you had to submit page corrections on ZAM and maybe months down the line it might get updated. I can probably pick a random page on ffxi zam and it wont have all the drops listed it should compared to ffxiclopedia.

ex. Chukwa has been out for 6 months or more now. It is spammed for chloris pops by some people. Drops are pretty well known. However, FFXI ZAM has 4 drops. FFxiclopedia has 22 drops.

see the problem? lol


On the other hand, it is like a week left to the update, and nobody has updated the staff trials since last update on wiki.

I can't say why I go there though. Just as I can't say why this forum ended up being the one I stayed at.
#18 Nov 30 2010 at 1:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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About the only time I link to the Wikibase here is if I'm linking to something with stats (i.e. an item) and I want people to be able to roll over and see the stats or description without having to click on the link. Implementing that was a very helpful, very good idea.

Wikia also has an autofill function on the search field. Many items in FFXI are not exactly easy to spell, and the exact name may be weird. They have it indexed so that it detects the search string based on the first few letters and provides a list of possible matches.
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#19 Nov 30 2010 at 1:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Zam's setup just isn't complete, up to date or all that easy to navigate. The one thing it really has going for it though, is the mouseover item display. Other than that, ffxiclopdedia beats the pants off it in every category.
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#20 Nov 30 2010 at 1:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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That's because Alla was pay-to-search for so long and while they removed the need to have a Premium Account to search now, it's too little, too late.

FFXIcylopedia is for ffxi info, Alla is for forum lulz.
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#21 Nov 30 2010 at 1:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Miitan wrote:
That's because Alla was pay-to-search for so long and while they removed the need to have a Premium Account to search now, it's too little, too late.
You know that was only the forum search, right? You could always search the database for free, regardless of your account status.
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#22 Nov 30 2010 at 1:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Grand Master Leatherworker ThePsychoticO wrote:
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And, if you're feeling really ambitious, what could we do in the future to make sure that we don't lack in those areas again? What would make us better than our competitors, in your eyes?
At this point, that's not even possible. Zam is so far behind wiki, it would take years to catch up, unless we had hundreds of people constantly updating it. And that will obviously never happen, and it shouldn't happen, because there is still work that needs to be done on ffxiclopedia. There are two sources for ffxi: zam, which is maybe 50% complete, and ffxiclopedia, which is 95%~ complete. Trying to catch zam up just doesn't even make sense.


In some sense, I agree. That said, a lot of what we do with the wiki is translated to our other sites, so making the user experience better for FFXI would mean making it better for all our sites. I'd hope that, in some ways, if we made it better for XI, there could be some things that would naturally improve - such as the strategy discussions that were talked about.
#23 Nov 30 2010 at 1:34 PM Rating: Good
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Micajah wrote:
Grand Master Leatherworker ThePsychoticO wrote:
Quote:
And, if you're feeling really ambitious, what could we do in the future to make sure that we don't lack in those areas again? What would make us better than our competitors, in your eyes?
At this point, that's not even possible. Zam is so far behind wiki, it would take years to catch up, unless we had hundreds of people constantly updating it. And that will obviously never happen, and it shouldn't happen, because there is still work that needs to be done on ffxiclopedia. There are two sources for ffxi: zam, which is maybe 50% complete, and ffxiclopedia, which is 95%~ complete. Trying to catch zam up just doesn't even make sense.
In some sense, I agree. That said, a lot of what we do with the wiki is translated to our other sites, so making the user experience better for FFXI would mean making it better for all our sites. I'd hope that, in some ways, if we made it better for XI, there could be some things that would naturally improve - such as the strategy discussions that were talked about.
The issue here isn't really the database/wiki itself, but the available information.

There really is nothing you can do to get people to switch from ffxiclopedia to zam for such information.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 2:35pm by ThePsychoticOne
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#24 Nov 30 2010 at 1:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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xypin wrote:
Miitan wrote:
That's because Alla was pay-to-search for so long and while they removed the need to have a Premium Account to search now, it's too little, too late.
You know that was only the forum search, right? You could always search the database for free, regardless of your account status.


Actually, you could only change search criteria if you had Premium (they'd appear greyed out otherwise) and the data was, as has been previously stated, out of date at best or non-existent.

To get ZAM up to FFXIcyclopedia standard would require such as massive amount of effort that it would be completely impractical.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 2:45pm by Miitan
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#25 Nov 30 2010 at 1:47 PM Rating: Good
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Grand Master Leatherworker ThePsychoticO wrote:
The issue here isn't really the database/wiki itself, but the available information.

There really is nothing you can do to get people to switch from ffxiclopedia to zam for such information.


Completely correct, and it only makes sense. Yet again, because it's such an important concept, I'll post: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect. Once a network is in place and the whole community uses it, and it's more complete or widely used than any competitors (even if those competitors are slightly better in some areas), there's a strong incentive to just buy in to the established system rather than reinventing the wheel for information that's already out there.

Now, that being said, ZAM could certainly do something for FUTURE MMOs (and FFXIV is still new enough that the community and resources are still not entirely established). There's zero chance of making ZAM's FFXI database/wiki competitive though, ever. Just looked up the WotG mission fight "Darkness Descends" on both - ffxiclopedia has lots of information, specifics on the battle and lots of strategies. ZAM has the FFXI mission log description, and that's it. And this is for one of the bigger fights in the WotG mission storyline. It's been around since March.

I'm assuming that the OP was thinking more long term and trying to figure out ways to make ZAM appealing for future games where the community isn't so established already. That's a worthwhile cause, and worth looking at people's insights into why they choose one over another.
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#26 Nov 30 2010 at 1:50 PM Rating: Decent
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The two big ones I think have already been covered (updates were slow and organization of data is better)....but I think you need to dig one layer deeper to arrive at the reason for that--people like that idea of being able to have real control over how the information is presented.

It's much easier to receive active participation from the community when gathering data for something like a wiki if you give the same users who are helping you greater control.

This is the same reason the open source community works much better than people writing snippets of code and having a software house make use of that code--the coders feel as if they lose that sense of ownership.
#27 Nov 30 2010 at 2:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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FFXIwiki also had an incentive system in place to encourage people to update. A friend of mine spent months painstakingly transcribing cutscenes for site credit. Every edit you make that isn't reverted gives you points toward new titles and goals.

That could possibly be tied into the ZAM karma system - every page you update with a certain number of words boosts your karma. So if you provide a lot of content updates, even if you don't make a lot of forum posts, you can still earn the guru title.
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#28 Nov 30 2010 at 2:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with most of the posters. ZAM database is too thin to catch up with the wikis. Even if ZAM manages to catch up with a lot of man power, the cumbersome interface and lack of access/speed and updates prevent people from updating the database constantly. ZAM would be much better off by providing some form of guides and articles database similar to a library instead of a wiki.

On the bright side, ZAM has a lot of helpful people contributing to its wealth of knowledge in the form of forum posts. Every once in a while, someone will post something 'helpful' or interesting about a specific subject or a guide of some sort and everyone contributes a bit of their knowledge/info to it. I think the Apkallu hate system can be considered one of the example. The FFXI wiki doesn't have as many knowledgeable members.

On the other hand, these kinds of knowledge are difficult to find, understand and comprehend. Searching through the forums for a specific piece of info is not very productive for non-active members or for someone just needing a quick 'look up'. Most of the information are in forum posts so they are buried as new posts are made. Sometimes the posts get developed into some sort of peer-review/team research type and ended up as something so arcane that you'll need to be a Sch/Blm understand. Even when you manage to understand bits and pieces; you'll need to apply them to your own character to make use of them. Those few who managed to grasp these stuff will mostly transfer them into the wiki database for average Joes and Janes to read.

If ZAM wants to improve its database, I believe it should find a way to transfer the useful research/discussions into something average people will read. Perhaps some form of how-to guides or in-depth articles about the game and keep them updated. It should also make these guides more accessible to a wider range of readers. Finally, It should find a way to reward members who contribute by writing the articles or guides.
#29 Nov 30 2010 at 2:51 PM Rating: Good
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Haveing items indexed so when we searcha nd they pop up like wiki would be a start, beyond that its just to difficult to edit a page. Ive edited a few pages here and its just so hard to udnerstand and the formatting options are so minimalist it just takes all the fun out of it.

I think editing is the major problem stopping people.
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#30 Nov 30 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Anza wrote:

Now, that being said, ZAM could certainly do something for FUTURE MMOs (and FFXIV is still new enough that the community and resources are still not entirely established). There's zero chance of making ZAM's FFXI database/wiki competitive though, ever. Just looked up the WotG mission fight "Darkness Descends" on both - ffxiclopedia has lots of information, specifics on the battle and lots of strategies. ZAM has the FFXI mission log description, and that's it. And this is for one of the bigger fights in the WotG mission storyline. It's been around since March.

I'm assuming that the OP was thinking more long term and trying to figure out ways to make ZAM appealing for future games where the community isn't so established already. That's a worthwhile cause, and worth looking at people's insights into why they choose one over another.


You nailed it on the head, Anza. Any general improvements we make could be felt here, but in general this is more longterm in scope. The biggest reason why I'm asking is that you guys are communicative and helpful, and FFXI has gone through a definite MMO lifecycle in terms of its existence.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 3:13pm by Micajah
#31 Nov 30 2010 at 3:29 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
FFXIwiki also had an incentive system in place to encourage people to update. A friend of mine spent months painstakingly transcribing cutscenes for site credit. Every edit you make that isn't reverted gives you points toward new titles and goals.

That could possibly be tied into the ZAM karma system - every page you update with a certain number of words boosts your karma. So if you provide a lot of content updates, even if you don't make a lot of forum posts, you can still earn the guru title.


I think this is a great idea if ZAM management is interested in motivating users to edit their pages.

edit: you know, after you make it easier to use and not so ugly XD

Edit2: I would also say from a user standpoint, your premium features are kind of bleh. And are things that a forum should already give you acess too.

In a perfect world, If I was going to offer PREMIUM ZAM membership perks, they would be along the lines of insider, you get access to them first as a premium member kinds of things.

You are a premier site, so partner with SE (and others) a bit on this as to what that might be. But things like, in game items, excluse first peaks into Dev interviews, contests and giveaways JUST for premium members (like the opportunity to have 4 of YOUR questions asked at the next Dev Q and A), discounts or first access to fanfest tickets etc etc.

I'm not saying those are it, I'm just saying find a way to connect with your users and offer relevant incentives. I always thought the premium features on ZAM were lol. But thats just me...basic forum functions labeled as premium...eh

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 4:55pm by ThiefKiller

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 4:56pm by ThiefKiller
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#32 Nov 30 2010 at 3:32 PM Rating: Good
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ThiefKiller wrote:
catwho wrote:
FFXIwiki also had an incentive system in place to encourage people to update. A friend of mine spent months painstakingly transcribing cutscenes for site credit. Every edit you make that isn't reverted gives you points toward new titles and goals.

That could possibly be tied into the ZAM karma system - every page you update with a certain number of words boosts your karma. So if you provide a lot of content updates, even if you don't make a lot of forum posts, you can still earn the guru title.


I think this is a great idea if ZAM management is interested in motivating users to edit their pages.


I agree 1000000% that the idea is amazing. Just make sure the impact is AFTER it is verified. Otherwise you'll have people spamming foolish nonsense just to get Guru.
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#33 Nov 30 2010 at 3:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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For FFXI information, I use ZAM for item searches (to see stats) but that's about it. That's just because I can type a couple letters into ZAM and search and it brings back good results. Wiki's search is garbage. Actually, I sometimes use ZAM's search to find out the correct spelling of a mob's name, and then go Wiki it. Smiley: lol Smiley: blush

I think that for FFXIV and for new/future MMOs, ZAM could definitely have good Wiki traffic. You will just need to have it spotlighted, and have it being updated. The staff who are playing the game will need to be on top of it, and you'll have to spread the word in-game that this is where you are getting your info. You are going to want to have peopel explaining the newest information to others, and when they ask where they found it out, have the response be "over on ZAM." Editing/updating has to be easily accessible.

I agree with others who have mentioned the Karma system. There's a vBulliten-based board that I frequent that uses a reputations system. You can only dole out so much rep per 24 hours. You have to spread it around before you can give rep to the same poster again, and negative rep is reserved basically for flagrant abuse of board rules. Basically, those who make the most knowledgeable posts or what have you end up with a lot of positive rep, but those who aren't popular or whatever aren't penalized by having people bomb them with negative rep. They just don't get rated very often.

ETA: The other thing about the vBulliten rep system the other board uses is that you see who gave you rep in your User CP. When you take the anonymity out of the equation, people are generally less downrate happy. Also, while positive rep does not require a comment to be given out, negative rep does require you to put a comment in there or it won't go through. Basically, you have to justify your reasoning.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 6:27pm by Spoonless
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#34 Nov 30 2010 at 3:57 PM Rating: Good
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inb4 Rog, the guru.
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#35 Nov 30 2010 at 4:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Dinishte wrote:
I agree 1000000% that the idea is amazing. Just make sure the impact is AFTER it is verified. Otherwise you'll have people spamming foolish nonsense just to get Guru.

And the latter would be different from the forum.. how?
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#36 Nov 30 2010 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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ThiefKiller wrote:
inb4 Rog, the guru.
My edits on wiki:
Quote:
Total  	 	7,248 	100% 
Article 	6,886 	95.01%
Yeah, i'd probably get guru pretty quick if we got karma for editing the wiki.
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#37 Nov 30 2010 at 4:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Raelix wrote:
Dinishte wrote:
I agree 1000000% that the idea is amazing. Just make sure the impact is AFTER it is verified. Otherwise you'll have people spamming foolish nonsense just to get Guru.
And the latter would be different from the forum.. how?
Foolish nonsense doesn't (usually) get you guru.
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#39 Nov 30 2010 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I have to agree with what most people say, that FFXIclopedia has much more information than most Zam articles.

That being said, it does work both ways. I'd definately say Zam is more talkative and fun to communicate with than the Wiki bunch. As such, I'd rather you stuck to your strong points, than have a case of too little too late cat and mouse chase with Wiki.

The forums as a whole are much better moderated and organised. The Karma system, Premium content and professional moderators are just a few perks to name a few.

So yeah, I'd say don't worry so much about databases, and stick to what you already know.
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#40 Nov 30 2010 at 4:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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ditx wrote:
So yeah, I'd say don't worry so much about databases, and stick to what you already know.


Ironically, databases are what made ZAM (as a whole) popular in the first place. Smiley: lol
#41 Nov 30 2010 at 5:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why not ZAM?

Allakhazam did not make its wiki effort more compelling to record or search for info than FFXIclopedia, nevermind catching up in terms of amount of information. ZAM loses.

It's as simple as that.

* * *

I think FFXIClopedia's big ball of information hit critical mass long before Allakhazam realized it was no longer seen as the place to go for the most authoritative info.

Really want to win, still? You can; FFXiclopedia is bloated and slow and annoying. With money and effort, you can beat it.

I don't believe there's any impassible legal barrier to copy the info on FFXIclopedia. Copy it all, then make the content more accessible--faster, easier to find, trivial to update.

Once you have that, then ally yourself with FFXIAH and Guildwork. (You'll need to create API's to your wiki/database that are tailored to their needs/desires, of course.)

Strike up a two-way revenue sharing deal with FFXIAH; have FFXI display real-time and automatically collected info (including AH and user bazaar) in your item page, while let FFXIAH have access to ZAM's user generated info on that same item from within its item page. FFXIClopedia is paranoid about losing revenue and require users to watch an ad before going to FFXIAH--by inline'ing FFXIAH's info, you can beat that (idiotic) experience easily.

Same with Guildwork though it doesn't seem to have a solid revenue model, yet, so revenue sharing may be iffy. Maybe ZAM can offer to take care of item databases/wiki for FF11/14 in exchange for Guildwork to use some API ZAM can offer to allow their users to edit item wiki/db here directly? *shrug*


* * *

Yahoo was at one time the king of Internet search engine, the one place almost everyone went to for information. Google came, crawled the web, and beat Yahoo to a bloody pulp.

Today, Google is a verb, while Yahoo is a joke. Why? Google became a much better way to locate information than Yahoo--it beat Yahoo at its game.

Can ZAM beat FFXIclopedia at its game?
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#42 Nov 30 2010 at 5:05 PM Rating: Decent
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IfritnoItazura wrote:


Once you have that, then ally yourself with FFXIAH and Guildwork. (You'll need to create API's to your wiki/database that are tailored to their needs/desires, of course.)

Strike up a two-way revenue sharing deal with FFXIAH; have FFXI display real-time and automatically collected info (including AH and user bazaar) in your item page, while let FFXIAH have access to ZAM's user generated info on that same item from within its item page. FFXIClopedia is paranoid about losing revenue and require users to watch an ad before going to FFXIAH--by inline'ing FFXIAH's info, you can beat that (idiotic) experience easily.

Same with Guildwork though it doesn't seem to have a solid revenue model, yet, so revenue sharing may be iffy. Maybe ZAM can offer to take care of item databases/wiki for FF11/14 in exchange for Guildwork to use some API ZAM can offer to allow their users to edit item wiki/db here directly? *shrug*


The problem with that is, FFXIAH isnt sanctioned by SE and technically voids their terms or service. (If im wrong please correct.) The other issues is that guildworks may or may not blow up. Its still in its baby form and while it is an awesome site for 11, im not sure how it will fair under other games.

Quote:
You nailed it on the head, Anza. Any general improvements we make could be felt here, but in general this is more longterm in scope. The biggest reason why I'm asking is that you guys are communicative and helpful, and FFXI has gone through a definite MMO lifecycle in terms of its existence.



Translation: You guys whine and cry about things instead of not saying stuff, so we came to you.
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#43 Nov 30 2010 at 6:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Alobont wrote:
The problem with that is, FFXIAH isnt sanctioned by SE and technically voids their terms or service. (If im wrong please correct.) The other issues is that guildworks may or may not blow up. Its still in its baby form and while it is an awesome site for 11, im not sure how it will fair under other games.


I do remember Pikko mentioning prolly 2-3 years ago that allakhazam was working on a way to view AH transactions. I guess that idea got scrapped when ffxiah came out. Or maybe just a negative response from SE.
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#44 Nov 30 2010 at 9:31 PM Rating: Good
I don't think it's a bad thing that each website has found its own niche within the FFXI community. I see Allakhazam's strong point in its forums, like others have pointed out. You come to Alla to make a post and expect an exchange of ideas, different points of view, but all, in a controlled environment. To sum it up, you can post a thread to Alla, and expect it to flourish nicely... a troll here and there, but they simply add to the comic relief. Overall, good conversations come out of Alla's thread.

Try that on BG, for instance, and you end up with a never-ending thread, going on 50-pages long, with 49 of those pages being of people discussing something that has nothing to do with the OP, usually people bashing on each other. BG's strong point is that a lot of players see it as a source for more hardcore research, and you do see a lot of good threads like that on there. But, again, because of the spam fest, you're better off waiting for results to come out, and have someone link to them or post them in a new thread (which will end up with 50+ pages as well).

FFXIAH is where you look up pricing information, that's a given. I do like the integration with FFXIWiki that was added sometime ago.

When I first started playing, I actually did use the Alla database. But not for its information, because that was close to non-existent, but because of the user commentaries. That was useful back then, some 3-4 years ago. These days, though, FF Wiki has taken over that role as well, so I can't remember the last time I accessed the Alla database. I actually remember I posted once on the FFXIAH forums that they should consider linking to the Alla database as well for that reason, but it was shot-down by an administrator there as a bad idea.

I think at this point in the life of the game, talking specifically about FFXI, you're better off spending your resources improving what you already do best for the community: the forums. You already received some suggestions regarding that, so I won't add much, as I've seen some good ideas. For all intents and purposes, you guys can bury the Alla FFXI wiki, and give it an honorable funeral. Whatever time members of your team were going to spend on your wiki, have them dedicate that time to improving the forums, always working to make it a better experience for your users.

What drew people to FFXIclopedia, I believe, is the widely known wiki format that we have gotten comfortable over the years. On Alla, the wiki is all sorts of different colors, and... well, different; people had no reason to change, there was nothing new, and no incentives... it was the whole opposite, as others have already explained.

FFXIclopedia has forums too... but who goes to them? No one. I come to Alla for the forums; I go to FFXIclopedia for the information. Keep it that way.

We're past the era of the internet in which you were big solely for having content online. Everything is so saturated now, that unless it's good and your users can see that right away, the person has already moved to the next site after 10 seconds.

I also recall that right after the scandal about FFXIclopedia having been sold to Wikia, the BG community tried to build a wiki of their own, trying to sabotage FFXIclopedia. From what I remember, they kept that going for a while, almost having a rule that you couldn't mention FFXIclopedia, with its members referring to it as "that other wiki". I, for one, have never been to the BG wiki, and I'm not quite sure if they have given up on it. But, recently, the BG threads I've seen link freely to FFXIclopedia. But pretty much... they too attempted to go into the wiki business, and pretty much failed. FFXIclopedia has the stronghold and is keeping it.

For those complaining about the new interface that Wikia enabled, all you have to do is register on the site... you choose the old template, and voilĂ . It's not hard to change it to the old one.

What I would like to see from you guys, regarding improvement of the forums, is perhaps a karma system revamp, and better moderation. You always see the administrators reminding people of the rules, but there are certain regular posters who violate these rules all the time, and, because they're "regulars", the administrators do nothing to them. Taking care of this would certainly improve what Alla is already good at.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 7:42pm by FiliusLunae
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#45 Nov 30 2010 at 9:50 PM Rating: Good
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Try that on BG, for instance, and you end up with a never-ending thread, going on 50-pages long, with 49 of those pages being of people discussing something that has nothing to do with the OP, usually people bashing on each other. BG's strong point is that a lot of players see it as a source for more hardcore research, and you do see a lot of good threads like that on there. But, again, because of the spam fest, you're better off waiting for results to come out, and have someone link to them or post them in a new thread (which will end up with 50+ pages as well).
Actually it'll go for 1-20 posts before it gets locked, and you're told to post in random question (most of the other responses will likely tell you the same thing). Go take a look at BG's advanced forum, and you'll find that 1/3 of the threads on the first page are 10-300 pages, 1/3 are locked with 1-2 pages, and the other 1/3 is boring sh*t that no one cares about. Unlike on alla, making threads on bg is only done if there is a notable topic. If a topic can't sustain 10+ pages, it doesn't get a thread at all. For small questions, or even to make a small point that doesn't really need its own thread, they have the random question thread. I would argue that random question is by far the best place to go for quick information that you can't find elsewhere (wiki, etc). You will quickly get a straight forward response, with 1/50 the trolling that you'll get anywhere else.
Quote:
What I would like to see from you guys, regarding improvement of the forums, is perhaps a karma revamp system, and better moderation. You always see the administrators reminding people of the rules, but there are certain regular posters who violate these rules all the time, and, because they're "regulars", the administrators do nothing to them. Taking of this would certainly improve what Alla is already good at.
Just because you don't see anything happen doesn't mean nothing happened.
Quote:
I also recall that right after the scandal about FFXIclopedia having been sold to Wikia, the BG community tried to build a wiki of their own, trying to sabotage FFXIclopedia. From what I remember, they kept that going for a while, almost having a rule that you couldn't mention FFXIclopedia, with its members referring to it as "that other wiki". I, for one, have never been to the BG wiki, and I'm not quite sure if they have given up on it. But, recently, the BG threads I've seen link freely to FFXIclopedia. But pretty much... they too attempted to go into the wiki business, and pretty much failed. FFXIclopedia has the stronghold and is keeping it.
It wasn't a rule, there were just a lot of people that were really ******* and refused to use it. People called it otherwiki as a protest, not because they had to. Not everyone there went along with it.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 10:52pm by ThePsychoticOne
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#46 Nov 30 2010 at 11:01 PM Rating: Decent
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The only reason FFXIclopedia is more popular than the Allakazham wiki is because it was first and people went there. Now people just keep going there and therefore things get editted. I'm not about to edit three or four different wikis with the same information, nor am I about to search three or four when one will do.
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#47 Dec 01 2010 at 12:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't believe there's any impassible legal barrier to copy the info on FFXIclopedia. Copy it all, then make the content more accessible--faster, easier to find, trivial to update.


FFXIclopedia content is under Creative Commons licensing which means it is free to use not for profit, and permission is required for commercial use (which would be ZAM). You can be **** sure wikia won't give use permission to their competition.
#48 Dec 01 2010 at 3:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Actually it'll go for 1-20 posts before it gets locked, and you're told to post in random question (most of the other responses will likely tell you the same thing). Go take a look at BG's advanced forum, and you'll find that 1/3 of the threads on the first page are 10-300 pages, 1/3 are locked with 1-2 pages, and the other 1/3 is boring sh*t that no one cares about. Unlike on alla, making threads on bg is only done if there is a notable topic. If a topic can't sustain 10+ pages, it doesn't get a thread at all. For small questions, or even to make a small point that doesn't really need its own thread, they have the random question thread. I would argue that random question is by far the best place to go for quick information that you can't find elsewhere (wiki, etc). You will quickly get a straight forward response, with 1/50 the trolling that you'll get anywhere else.


BG is far from newbie friendly. I've never posted there, and don't hang out on there either; I'm only on the forums when someone links to information on them; I did say that useful game research has come out of those forums. I'll trust your word on the rest about the BG forums; however, at least for me, if I want a conversation about the game, if I want to know what players think about XYZ, if I want to read about speculation about a new update, etc, Alla is the place to come. I honestly get chills anytime I do read something on BG, the threads just seem to go and on and on forever with no point. Even those research threads... they start off nicely, then 50 pages later something new is found, and you better hope the OP linked to it on the original post. In any case, that's why I prefer to read only the information that is linked to from BG, right here on Alla for instance.

Quote:
What I would like to see from you guys, regarding improvement of the forums, is perhaps a karma revamp system, and better moderation. You always see the administrators reminding people of the rules, but there are certain regular posters who violate these rules all the time, and, because they're "regulars", the administrators do nothing to them. Taking of this would certainly improve what Alla is already good at.

When I see certain users do the same thing over and over, I have to assume that any warnings given to this person aren't effective. Effective would mean "You do this once, you get a warning; do it twice, get a two-day suspension; after X warning, you get banned".

Quote:
It wasn't a rule, there were just a lot of people that were really ******* and refused to use it. People called it otherwiki as a protest, not because they had to. Not everyone there went along with it.

Didn't mean that was an official rule, it was just the attitude of the posters there.

EDIT: I just want to add that I'm not dismissing BG as a legitimate community site. On the contrary, I think they're an important part of the FFXI community, along with Alla, FFXIclopedia and FFXIAH. But that's why I've said that each site has found its place, and that's why we, as FFXI players, visit all four, just for different purposes like I said on my first post here.



Edited, Dec 1st 2010 1:53am by FiliusLunae
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#49 Dec 01 2010 at 4:56 AM Rating: Good
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As a long time lurker since 2004(?), my friends and I used Zam for all the quest/mission guides. I like having the basic quest/mission information (location/npc/reward/etc) and user input all on one page. Seemed to make it more friendly to use. Maybe it was about the time FFXIwiki took off and Zam changed the pages to their wiki format we made the switch to using FFXIwiki for our game info. Also seemed Zam's updates came slower and slower (due to lack/slow user provided data no doubt) happened about the same time.

I will say, the equipment pages for specific jobs was great to use. I liked having that complete list of all the gear that was usable for that job. It was like being a kid and knowing, "Hey, at 16 I can start driving on my own and 21 I can buy my own drinks!" The pages usually took a bit to load up on my PC, but was worth it once it did open.

I guess in a nutshell, the site layout at the time really did for me. The pages themselves that is. I've see the changes made to the site over the years and it seems it's gravitated more toward forum usage as a main theme than a treasure trove of data, such that FFXIwiki became.
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#50 Dec 01 2010 at 6:39 AM Rating: Decent
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I used to love posting on here but over the years this forum went downhill. People stopped posting cause people was rude and just pretty much shut down any question or idea. The job forums are so outdated, I mostly come here for ***** and giggles now days. And if ya noticed only the same people post each and everyday. The karma system is a joke and always will be on here. People spam things and words just to get rated up. This used to be a great site for Info but now days I go to WIKI and BG. I let my premium account go cause any new ideas would be bashed to a pulp if it don't go along with the long time posters views of how to play. You asked for an honest answer that's it in a nutshell.
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For the most part, I use FFXIclopedia for the same reasons as everyone else, it just has more up-to-date info, and is easier to edit. However, I absolutely love Alla's Advanced Search, which is something that wiki doesn't have, and if FFXIAH has, I've never figured out how to work it. Most people don't know about the advanced search because for some silly reason, you guys decided to make it a premium feature. It really shouldn't be. If you want to draw people to your database, you shouldn't make them pay to access the most useful search functions that make the whole database worthwhile. I look at Premium Membership, now anyway, as basically a way of donating to the site to help it run, and getting some goodies in return. Something that's necessary for the basic functioning of the database should not be a "goodie" available only to those who pay for it, it should be available to everyone, so that everyone would even want to use the database in the first place Smiley: dubious
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Theytak, Siren Server
LOLGAXE IS MY ETERNAL RIVAL!

Reiterpallasch wrote:
Glitterhands wrote:
Am I the only one who clicked on this thread expecting actual baby photos [of Jinte]? o.O

Except if it were baby photos, it would be like looking at before and afters of Michael Jackson. Only instead of turning into a white guy, he changes into a chick!
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