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Technobliterator

No to deleting characters/locations/enemies list. Categories are useful because they can be used for navigation but I wouldn't say it's their purpose which is more to do with site structure. On the other hand, lists can be used for navigation, but they don't just exist for navigation. There's a lot of benefit to manual curation such as the manual ordering and splitting them into logical sections. We provide additional information such as comment descriptions and providing alternate names that categories don't care about. More importantly the list pages aren't only for listing things that have pages because some things will belong on a list but not pass a notability check.

Article naming is something I feel less strongly about, but I don't particularly agree. Suggesting "plural in titles" implies list is a little bit too simple: I assume to avoid this situation entirely you're just going to suggest merging Summoned monsters with List of summons, and Airship with List of airships though. And I assume your consistency point means you're going to move pages like Add-on (Final Fantasy IX) to "Final Fantasy IX Add-ons"? JBed (talk) 19:13, December 10, 2018 (UTC)

In the past, categories were used for site structure, but it is very clear from how prominent they are as navigation on the mobile site, how they have been made more prominent on desktop with each new update, and the new category appearance, that the intent is to make them front facing navigation for readers now. Plus, the new updates mean categories already have images next to each page listed, making list of enemies as an example redundant. Only in instances where lists have unique content should the list be kept.
"Add-on (Final Fantasy IX)" is not a list page, it is a mechanic page and does not solely exist as a list. As for summoned monsters/list of summons, we can just use the category to provide navigation here.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 19:30, December 10, 2018 (UTC)
We agree about the Add-on situation, so then I assume the consistency point is consistency between Translations pages and Lists? They don't need consistency, they're different types of pages. But this minor point doesn't really matter.
The Airships and Summons examples are instances where categories don't work. List articles are not just a bulleted lists of links. List of airships contains many airships that don't have their own articles and includes other commentary even when they do.
Another thing about lists: I mean, this is sort of a current problem but also not because categories are for wiki structure and not navigation, but Category:Non-player characters in Final Fantasy XIII features Chocolina in its list with a XIII-2 picture, while naturally Final Fantasy XIII characters lists "Chocobo Chick", the name of the character in that game, and if it featured an image it would be of the chick in XIII.
All of our character lists should be including characters that aren't article-worthy, all of our location pages shouldn't be your standard lists and should be structured according to world layout and provide additional commentary. Our enemy lists... well I've already mentioned that enemy lists have to cater for people using various translations (and categories can't do that unless we create+cat redirects). For the other enemy articles that don't have multiple translations, the galleries man! They look so cool!
You could argue that other enemy lists aren't that much different from the enemy categories (good luck finding the bosses. thanks wikia), but this isn't going to make me think we should use categories as a replacement in this one instance.
I've thought our list of enemies pages could be improved by having them in sortable tables, but there's a lot of stats and most aren't really worth comparing for every enemy. But if we wanted to give them utility we could feature more interesting comparative data like locations, families, and types. We could even do that without a table. JBed (talk) 20:48, December 10, 2018 (UTC)
This is still an outdated view of categories. I wish it were still true, because categories are a huge pain in the ass to do anything with, but the facts are:
  1. Categories are used on the Mobile Main Page, the article navigation header, in the increasingly prominent "See also" sections below pages, and recently received a new update. These are only going to become more prominent over time, so the sooner we adapt and start treating categories like navigation, the better.
  2. You'll find suggestions from FANDOM themselves, for instance, in the Community Viewership Report for Marvel's Spider-Man Wiki, that this is the direction categories are going in, and that it is better not to repeat an article when a category is used. The only time to use an article is if the article contains unique content that does not belong on the category.
  3. This is not unique to our host. MediaWiki suggests quite high up to use categories to browse pages.
The article should be used for unique content. The category should be used for browsing.
The original question was mostly about individual game lists, but honestly, most of the other lists seem useless too. "List of summons" is mostly redundant, all that information belongs on individual games' summon pages. "List of airships" shouldn't exist, correct, better to give the airships individual pages or just individual list pages for transport like "Final Fantasy VII transportation".
If the plan is to give enemy list pages actual content, then those can be kept. As they are, they are mostly just bloat. Sounds like we can at least go ahead with dropping "list of" from the titles of per-game lists and work out what to delete and what to do with non-game lists later.
p.s. Categories are pretty great for SEO because they provide semantic and contextual links, and much better for this than article lists (which probably confuse readers and search bots more than anything).--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 00:53, December 11, 2018 (UTC)
Forgot to mention this: I'm in favor of categorizing redirects for other translations, and other things, so that they appear in the categories. That was going to be covered in another forum topic about overhauling categories in general, but I have no problem starting it now.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 02:52, December 11, 2018 (UTC)
Wikia elevating categories is just classic Wikia. Because categories can be used for navigation, they make it the system for navigation because then it's fine for wikis where pages themselves aren't logically interconnected. Whether it's needed on a wiki or not doesn't matter.
I'm for categorising redirects when the category applies to a subject on the page but not the entire page itself: e.g. We cover "Chocobo Sage's House" on the Chocobo Sage article, so we should categorise the redirect as a location. If there was a time where it made sense to categorise Biggs separately from Wedge, then we could categorise "Biggs (Final Fantasy VII)", but I don't know whether we should categorise them individually in categories that apply to both.
Translations was not on my list of reasons to create redirects/categorise them because of my underlying belief that categories are for indexing and navigating pages based on their contents. Isolating the subject on a page that makes it warrant a category is acceptable (as in the above examples), but a.k.a.s are not.
To demonstrate a problem with categorising a.k.a.s: "ZomBULL" and "Necrotaur" will be catted as FFI SNES enemies and FFI PS enemies respectively, while Minotaur Zombie (Final Fantasy) will be catted as FFI GBA enemies and FFI PSP enemies. If you were to go onto Minotaur Zombie (Final Fantasy) article and look at its categories, you would be confused as to why it only listed GBA and PSP when the enemy appears in NES and PS also.
The technical way to avoid this is to consider that the page covers 4 "enemy versions", ZomBULL [NES], Necrotaur [PS], Minotaur Zombie (Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls) [GBA], and Minotaur Zombie (Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary) [PSP]. The latter two would be redirects and categorised and the situation is mostly avoided. JBed (talk) 04:30, December 11, 2018 (UTC)
Pretty sure the reasons for elevating categories are more related to SEO and the fact that all wikis have different navigation systems so it was easiest to use the thing common throughout each for the mobile skin than hack together something else.
I agree with you on redirect categorizing, we can discuss this when I make the category forum. Might just do it today, but I won't act on it before the list page renaming, just because it's a much bigger bot job.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 08:14, December 11, 2018 (UTC)

I don't think we should just delete the lists of characters. Sure they're poorly made (with the horrible Wikia gallery), but we can improve them and make them more useful, like how guidebooks do for their character introduction pages. These pages shouldn't be a gallery page in the first place.

And I want to change something in the character categories, we should stop sorting them by their surnames. It's ok for real persons like voice actor category, but for game characters, nobody's going to look into the "S" section for "Cloud Strife", they'll check the "C" section. Monterossa (talk) 04:39, December 11, 2018 (UTC)

Doesn't sound all that useful to readers if I'm honest. These list pages do not have unique content of their own, and are not likely to be popular, but more likely to just end up fighting the category, and cannibalizing each other for SEO space. Feels like a poor use of editors' time if few people read these pages. That said I totally agree with you on not sorting character categories by surnames, that never seemed helpful.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 08:14, December 11, 2018 (UTC)

There are still characters that exist only on the "list of characters" pages. Like Sylvester. I'd still like these to lead somewhere if someone were to type them in the search bar. Lists with images attached are also useful if you don't remember everyone's name, like you might not remember who "Camelia Claustra" is but would recognise the character from an image. Categories seem to show images now, which is good, (though some are unoptimally picked, Caligo Ulldor's image is just a flag).

I believe the List of... format is a holdover from Wikipedia days, as encyclopedias don't list entries in plural form. The wiki isn't just an encyclopedia though, there's a bunch of guide-type content around. The list of weapons pages are often more than just a list of weapons too, like certain games like FFXII and FFXV have explanations on how each weapon type works.Keltainentoukokuu (talk) 17:02, December 11, 2018 (UTC)

Sounds like we won't be deleting any lists just yet. I'll go ahead with the renaming to drop "List of" from game-related and rename game-related pages to a consistent name for now. We can work out what to do with non-game lists later. Next up will be category reforms.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 18:09, December 11, 2018 (UTC)

Final proposal I forgot to mention. For list articles, I propose in order to shorten the names further (helping with SEO), we use tag names for the game instead of the full title. So List of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings items to just Revenant Wings items. Thoughts?--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 01:18, December 13, 2018 (UTC)

Will it help though? Google's smart and it seems to have some understanding when you use common abbreviations of full titles. Searching "FFXIIRW weapons" is bringing me our article, but I don't know if that would still apply if we're just using "Revenant Wings".
But most other places on the internet use fill titles and I've never seen FFWiki not at the top of google results anyway. JBed (talk) 13:52, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
Edit: On further testing, no idea what's better for search engines. Regardless of SEO, since the game is being used as part of the page title (and not the tag whose only requirement is distinction), the full title is my personal preference. JBed (talk) 14:17, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
It would. As an example, search "jak 1 precursor orb locations" on Google, and the top result is w:c:jakanddaxter:The Precursor Legacy Precursor orb locations, despite "jak 1" not being used anywhere on that page, and not even being an official title used by Naughty Dog. The same will apply here. When you have longass page titles like "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius characters/Final Fantasy Brave Exvius", it's reasonable to assume that shortening this to "Brave Exvius characters/Brave Exvius" will be an enormous improvement for SEO.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 14:34, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
??? But why is that reasonable to assume? Your Jak 1 example just shows that Google figured it out either way. I think it's most reasonable to assume that Google is more likely to figure out alternate names when the full title is present. Chrysalis wiki uses "Grimoire of the Rift" to refer to FFTA2 things, and because of that they get slammed by Google ranking whenever people are searching with "FFTA2".
If you google "Revenant Wings [anything]" you're mostly returned sites using the full title. JBed (talk) 15:35, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
No, there is no reason to assume that, because Google doesn't work anything out based on the full title. It works it out based on the contents of the page (and the full game title will be included on the page contents, obviously), ignoring the title. Google's search bots do penalize longer titles even still, hence why MediaWiki:Pagetitle was disabled. Plus, the anecdotal evidence provided by the last sentence is actually disproved by the Jak 1 example, where the page with the shortened game title appears at the top while the rest of the results are pages with the full game title, which appear lower. It is a simple fact the shorter titles are better for SEO.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 15:50, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
My anecdotal evidence was mainly to show that Google doesn't give preferential treatment to shorter and more exact matches. No one's beating us because they dropped "Final Fantasy XII". Wikia naturally wins though, which is what the Jak example shows.
Funnily enough, google "Jak 1" and you don't get the Wikia game page. You do get the Wikipedia page. I wonder if it has anything to do with redirects, because WP has "Jak 1" redirect but Jak wiki doesn't.
Anyway, I don't think it has much to do with title length. "Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings weapons" isn't a long title, it has two components, the game name and "weapons". In terms of context, searching "Revenant Wings weapons" is still essentially seen as a match for the entire page title.
But the reason why full title is probably better is because we want to match as many different search meanings as possible. You may posit "Revenant Wings" is what people are most likely to search, but it won't be the only thing. I searched "FF12:RW weapons" and NeoSeeker's page (which doesn't have "Final Fantasy XII" in its page title) doesn't seem be anywhere in sight, but ours is. I also searched "12:RW weapons" and our site comes up (I think that's mostly helped because RW managed to be used on the page, presumably in a file name).
Getting all the abbreviations into the page or in metatags seems like the best thing we can do for our SEO. JBed (talk) 16:58, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
"Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings weapons" isn't a long title, even if it's still longer than it needs to be. "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius characters/Final Fantasy Brave Exvius", however, is an unquestionably long title, as is "Final Fantasy Record Keeper/Translations/Soul Breaks/Final Fantasy Type-0". This is why the shortened title is needed.
Google's documentation actually advises the concise titles and avoiding keyword stuffing, and the search bots don't actually look much at the title to find page context, but do penalize sites for long titles. Angelina made a pretty good thread about this on Central for how to apply this to us.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 17:14, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
Including the full name isn't keyword stuffing. And switching to abbreviations prolly isn't really what they're talking about when they say conciseness, because unless it's the most recognisable form of the word (like "SEO"), you're probably losing out -- as the FF12:RW NeoSeeker example demonstrated. It does make the point about appearance in search results though, which I guess is true. Our competition is StrategyWiki and GameFAQs which end up with similar looking titles. However, I am definitely convinced abandoning "List of" is for the best now.
The page about translations of Soul Breaks of Final Fantasy Type-0 originating characters in FFRK has quite a good title. This very specific topic has all the words you'd need to search to find this very specific topic (although you probably wouldn't, because this is a very specific topic and people who find this page aren't likely going to make their way from Google).
The Brave Exvius characters units subpage seems like a bad title: Although we'd expect people to navigate to that page from the main FFBE units page. If someone were specifically looking for FFBE original character units it wouldn't be very easy to articulate a search to find it anyway.
Using the abbreviated name for the subpage name wouldn't be weird though. We already do that in other cases. JBed (talk) 18:33, December 13, 2018 (UTC)
Techno asked me for my opinion, so: get rid of "list of" title, and I agree with JBed that having the full name in the title isn't keyword stuffing. "Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings weapons" carries more information than "Revenant Wings weapons", and if I'm a newbie to the Final Fantasy series who doesn't know about the FFXII spinoffs, I'd probably find the latter confusing.
But for the ridiculously long subpage titles it's probably for the best to shorten them. Really long titles are just obnoxious. Cat (meowhunt) 23:27, December 13, 2018 (UTC)

Alright, consensus seems to be in favor of removing "list of", at least on games, changing /Translations subpages to game lists, and keeping full titles, but using shortened tag titles for subpage names. Seems like a reasonable compromise, as it's mostly the list pages with subpages that are ridiculously long anyway. No consensus in favor of deleting any list pages, so I won't do that, might bring it up again in future, and for the time being I'll leave non-game lists like "list of airships" as those are a whole other can of worms.

Can set up bash scripts to get the bot do the moving sometime next week, if there are no objections by then. Will probably then need to run another bot to remove "List of" in DISPLAYTITLEs. In the meantime, new but slightly related topic.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 00:10, December 14, 2018 (UTC)

Can the bot remove those DEFAULTSORT (by char surnames) for us? It'd be a pain to manually do that. Monterossa (talk) 04:43, December 14, 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it can do that fairly easily.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 13:26, December 14, 2018 (UTC)

I've set up the bot to rename all the list articles, so it will do that tomorrow (when I can keep an eye on it for longer), and rename the subpages (concept art, translations, etc) and the rest later in a separate run. I've also just moved a few stragglers now, that could've left out "list of" even before this. Right now, weird pages (like "list of blitzball agents", "list of FATEs", but also stuff like "list of antagonists") have been left alone. These will need to be individually dealt with, and there aren't too many, but I'll leave them for now. I still say just delete them and use categories, but for now I'll leave them and possibly rename that a later date, and bring up deleting them at a later date when the dust settles. After all the moving, bot can remove DEFAULTSORT, before I start work on the category stuff (which will be trickier, probably need to write bot scripts).--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 02:09, December 20, 2018 (UTC)

Bot is now running on subpages, and has finished running on "list of " pages. We can handle DEFAULTSORT later. It's basically running on all subpages, apart from obvious exceptions like "/Legacy", and apart from /Manual subpages where I'll replace those with pdfs soon. This has been enacted though, so I'll close the forum. Let me know on my talk pages if the bot runs into any issues, though I doubt it will at this stage.--Magicite-ffvi-ios Technobliterator TC 08:37, December 21, 2018 (UTC)

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