The item infobox currently offers to list the areas the item can be found in, as well as a field "Obtained from" which shall list related creatures and/or quests. However, there's no mention of how many things could be listed here, nor about the formatting of the area section that additionally shall show the area code and coordinates. (What the documentation shows now as formatting example was added by me just today.)
So, there's potential for improvements. Here's my ideas, many of which serve the purpose to not blow up the infobox, as shown, too much, but they will blow up the infobox's base code by adding parameters:
Add "Reward for" if the item is acquired as a quest reward.
In this case, don't add the rewarding character to the "Obtained from" list, even if it could as well be pickpocketed – the latter info should be noted in the article main space's section "Locations" instead.
Don't restrict number of creatures/quests; don't make them a bullet point list, rather separate them by semicolons. (Semicolons are better than commas, in case the e.g. quest name contains a comma; also there might be future features on the wiki that can read data from the infoboxes, but might have issues with commas – semicolons are the preferred separator.)
Possibly add "Sold at", referring to areas, not the merchant. Unrestricted list as well, and not mentioning them under "Obtained from".
Don't list any area for an acquisition that's covered in the above mentioned fields.
Restrict areas to one for each game, with separate mentions for expansions but no distinguishing between editions. If there's more than one place in any game, omit the field completely and not, as I'm currently doing it, link to the article's "Locations" section.
As for the area parameters and the formatting
Add the following parameters to infobox code
Each one with a prefix for the games: bp1, bg1, totsc, sod, soa, tob, bp2.
Leave the current parameters untouched, until all infoboxes are updated.
Either centered (perhaps title only) or left-aligned.
If it appears in only one installment, the game title won't be shown.
The formatting is handled by the infobox, only the parameters have to be filled.
The by-game separation with titles could also be done for the other sections, though that would require more additional parameters: again each field with a game prefix.
We could as well decide to mention more than one area, perhaps two or maximum three (with the above mentioned five parameters doubled or tripled). But keep in mind that that could create a list of up to twenty-one entries on the page.
Another option is to restrict the overall number, but that requires complexer coding.
In case of more than one area, I'd prefer the game titles centered and the areas with bullet point list.
These things would then also apply to spells and can in a similar way be implemented for creatures, though with less restrictions.
Suggestions, regarding other fields
Special, all "… abilities": use hyphens and manual line breaks instead of bullet point lists; CalOkand, if I remember correctly, has done so sometimes – a creator of many, many item articles; it would also reflect the notation in-game; and it would make a particular thing much easier for me to achieve, regarding protection from critical hits for headgear.
"Combat type": I'd like to expand the use of this field and also include things as The One Gift Lost or wands, but have yet to think about good and consistent wording for them.
Other news, regarding this specific infobox
Auto-categorization for all weapons and many other categories is implemented for those items that have the "general" parameter correctly set – see the list here.
Some parameters for this to work were added. See also the expanded (only a start, yet, down to areas) "How to fill" section for the infobox and the topic Item header flags.
The icon row between infobox title and description image is enabled. I'm aware that this looks bad on many non-updated articles, but each item that has any of the infobox's top parameters for game appearances set will show icons now, which is intended to replace the "Appears in" field.
The number of those parameters has been expanded by "cut_" and "mod_content", so it's now possible to mark things not appearing in any game accordingly (exclusive use only of these), which can currently be done also for areas and creatures, while quests and spells will be added later.
Some fields are filled automatically, some will show content with a different capitalization than what's entered; will be explained on the infobox's documentation over time.
Take also a look at some new data templates: the "em.." ones can be used to easily display a note about the item's enchantment and magical status, while simultaneously linking to these articles; and the item artwork shall replace the description-image/icons galleries on item articles.
A note about auto-categorization: this works only if a field contains a plain value (currently only without link brackets, though that feature could be added and links would work, too). If there's a note to be made, e.g. about a bug, or if multiple values for multiple games have to be given, then categories still have to be added manually. (Same thing for the connected auto-link feature.)
But back to my initial request: what do you think about the item acquisition restrictions and expansions?
Again, add "Reward for", and then change "Related quests" for any other quest involvement, including "usage" as in 'needed for'. Change "Used for" to take the role of "Other uses" (like items needed to e.g. unlock certain things or gain access to areas – if not covered by a quest). Replace "Other uses" with "Component of" or "Component for", for smithing purposes. Perhaps add "Unlocks" for such key items.
Since some time, several parameters have been marked as "legacy" or "deprecated", starting around two years ago.
For "Armor class", that's the specific physical damage type modifiers, which makes sense to integrate it into the armor class line itself.
However, "Armor class" is a whole section of the infobox – which then would have only a single line.
Others, as "Saving throws" and "Resistances", shall be listed under "Equipped abilities".
That makes sense in a way of reflecting how the games describe items.
But do we have to follow this in the minutest detail?
In fact, I often prefer to style or word things on the wiki the same way the games do. But there are differences between how editions display especially item statistics: the whole "Equipped …", "Combat …" and "Charge abilities" are much less prominent in original games' item descriptions. And, strictly speaking, wouldn't "Armor class" not be an "Equipped ability" as well? Not to mention the "Combat" section if it's about "equipped" weapons …
So, here my proposal for further changes:
Rename "Combat" to "Combat abilities".
Add a "Special" field to that section that can cover what goes into the current "Combat …" and "Charge abilities" and can't be listed elsewhere in that section (under e.g. "Damage" or "Range").
Rename the section header "Armor class" to "Protection".
'Remove' the section header "Saving throws" as well as the field by the same name (only leave it out from new item articles, but keep it for those that use it until updated).
The single (reactivated) "Save v. …" fields are part of "Protection" then.
Again, add a "Special" field also to this section that can cover what goes into the current "Equipped …" and "Charge abilities" regarding all protection and resistance things.
Followed by the (reactivated) section "Resistances"; this needs an own header because of its complexity, but can be styled similar to how it's done on the creature infobox. Directly following the "Protection" section, I don't think, another header distracts too much.
Use "Equipped …", "Combat …" and "Charge abilities" only for those things that absolutely can't be listed elsewhere.
I mean, if I have a necklace that can create a fireball, why not put this under combat? (See also my further above mentioned idea of expanding the use of the field "Combat type".)
I've continued reworking the template documentation but am not done, yet. When finally through with it, I will start implementing ideas from this thread if no opposing feedback was given.
The changes look solid; I will ahve to track down a new to the wiki weapon or implement to get the full usage out of the changes. That addition will wait for another day.
My two complaints are — right off — that if an item is not magical or cursed, those boxes still appear. There are a number of objects that are magical, sure, but there are far fewer cursed items than not. I appreciate the fields, but do the values appear on the infobox if it's not magical or cursed?
So, the choices are to have either several lines (up to four) underneath each other or to display them horizontally. For an item that has the same stats in all games and nothing has to be noted in these fields, this would look like this:
As enchantment and magical in most cases go hand-in-hand, and as cold iron and silver, as well as adamantine, are all materials, I thought "why not group them" when choosing the current design – especially, as all fields usually have very short (narrow) entries. So, I made two rows with three columns each, placing cursed in the enchantment/magical one (loosely related to the latter).
Next question of design was, how does it look if only one of the three possible columns has a value? Display only that one? In my opinion – which can be questioned – it looks better to show even "no" and "0" fields, rather than a single one, to make the rows complete … filled.
Due to the importance (see above) of these stats for weapons and ammunition – not including bows, crossbows and slings –, those always show all these fields: a plain short sword (I do not link this because the page isn't updated, yet) will display 0 enchantment and "No" for magical, cursed, adamantine, cold iron and silver.
All other items will only show the row(s) if one of the fields has a positive entry, but still all three columns in this case (see the above mentioned design choice).
(And if you'd have followed the infobox documentation, CalOkand, especially "Set to '0' if not enchanted", then Coroniir would have looked better. ;) )
As said – these choices can be questioned. Anybody?
(I haven't got the meaning of your first paragraph, CalOkand.)
Does anything speak against renaming "Max. stacks" to "Stacks"? I always think, abbreviations (and their periods) look bad and should be avoided wherever possible.
Also, I'd like to exclude this single field from showing game icons, names or abbreviations if the value is different throughout the games – it looks horrible for e.g. ammunition which has to list three different values. Instead place that information on the article's main space and put only "20 | 40 | 80" into the box.
Then I'd like to move this field up to "Weight", which it is directly connected to.
Drat! Part of my complaint was tied to me filling out the infobox wrong. If it is magical and it isn't cursed, do we need cursed to appear?A percentage of the items are magical, sure, but a smaller percentage of them will be cursed (and could cursed items could stand out more, maybe? A redder box? A bold yes?). Honestly, it's great and appropriate that they line up — when they both apply!
Max stacks is short for "Maximum in Stack", the direct attribute from Near Infinity. I am open to change it, but it may be a hindrance for those new to the wiki; the documentation may expand upon this.
Moving 'Stacks and Weight together totally makes sense!
Upon "cursed": I'd say, a big percentage of items is magical, but only a small percentage will be cursed. ;) But, no please, no boldness or even color scheme here (the latter is also very hard to achieve in infoboxes, if at all). But I've moved it to the first place of the row.
The same – not displaying it – could be considered about adamantine, as this doesn't affect any immunities (as far as I know).
So, now two example images of two-/three-column rows. I still think, all three being displayed makes the fields look less … lonely.
The Near Infinity field reads exactly "Maximum in stack" – which would cause a line break for that row, so, not this way. The (previous – I've already changed it) header was "Max. stack" (or "Max. Stack" before an earlier change), while the parameter is named "max_in_stack".
Considering your concerns, it might be a good idea to add the NI field name to each parameter in the documentation …
But this is about presentation on the article, not about how to fill the infobox. (By the way, I've moved the general "how-to-fill" section to the infoboxes category – for now, until it becomes a help page of sorts – and only link to that section on the single infobox.) That one currently reads "Stacks – How many units of the item can fit into one inventory slot."
Back to presentation: As mentioned, my intention was to get rid of the abbreviation. But when looking for alternatives, me not being a native English speaker was my hindrance. I had thought about "Stacks up to", "Stacking", "Stacks to", and more – but my dictionary didn't show these as what they shall express (if even being valid at all). What do you say?
Regarding "Rename the section header 'Armor class' to 'Protection'," that just applies to the secion header and not the value in the infobox, right?
"Stacks at" or just "Stacks" would be understandable replacement for "max_in_stack".
I understand grouping the boxes into three when they are needed, but Adamantine and Cursed should be optional fields that only appear when they apply. Having them present when they don't apply can clutter up the infobox, lonely or not.
The other change and reason behind them make a lot of sense. The sample Infobox still displayed the Save Vs. values which is what threw me off yesterday.
The section header "Protection", the field name still "Armor class" (currently it's both "Armor class" – another point for a change).
Then I go for "Stacks at".
Okay, not showing "Adamantine" and "Cursed" when it's not.
I'm currently working on a solution – not for mobile, though – to make your wish of "Cursed" being displayed more outstanding true, alongside quest items. I'm trying to implement icons into the title to the right via CSS. That would then show the inventory slot icon (STON….bam) to the right, Remove Curse as next and a third yet-to-be-uploaded icon for quests. (I think of the "Q" from INITIALS.bam but am not sure, yet.
May take me a while, though, as I'm far from knowledgable with CSS. Currently I'm fiddling with the positioning …
The sample infobox still shows all parameters to have them documented and seen working somewhere.
I don't know if you noticed the article Item levels. I've already documented a new parameter "Power" for the item infobox, but it's not in there, yet. Would be shown with "Charge abilities" and is intended to reflect the values that are topic of this article. For the spell infobox, it's implemented since months.
I've proposed it for deletion – what do you think? Besides being an orphan page (though it has earned some comments recently), I'm not satisfied with the name; and is such an overview needed?
Godspeed with the CSS. Search browsers are your friend...
I hadn't seen Item Levels. It does make sense to have that resource or power level on the item's pages because it's helpful to know what level spell/power trumps what. The last thing users want to do in a tight spot is to spend a turn using an ability that does nothing. It's helpful but I don't know if it necessarily warrants a page if its own. Maybe it could be a field under Special or Combat? But it would need to link to a place where it explains magic level; does something like that exist?
First: Uhm … do you mean "bg1ee_tbp1" etc.? Didn't you fill them already on items? They are the same. The how-to-fill section explains them, though I've changed some wording and formatting of it on the items infobox. (Aren't they self-explanatory – at least if familiar with the various games, expansions and abbreviations? If not, please tell me or make improvement suggestions.) Else I don't know what you're speaking of …
Although some people seem to think, this has become my wiki, it's still a community – you're welcome! :)
No CSS – that would perhaps work with the "Europa Infobox Theme", but I don't like that (see e.g. Easthaven; well, yes, the world map icons will be next, then spell "books"). Even if trying with that theme, placing the icon to the right seems very hard to achieve (at least with my knowledge of CSS).
So, it has become a template. And it works! :) (At least for the currentd item type list.)
Due to forum mechanics, no examples possible. Please refer to this instead – right beside the TOC.
Oh, and again something forgotten … "Magic level" (or similar) would be more appropriate – good idea! – because it's more about the level of the spell/ability used by the item. Such an article could explain the mechanics on a broader level, giving more details about spells that use them and list also affected spells, alongside items.
Let me take a step back. In your initial post here, under the "As for the area parameters and the formatting", I can't figure out how to implement the area parameters. I think they go under "area," but I don't know how to set them up correctly. Where do they go? How do they appear? Adding an example to the infobox would help...
If you think this is a lot of work now, just wait until they announce Baldur's Gate 3!
Oh, that you meant. Those changes aren't implemented, yet. No, still working on the icons. (Don't you like them? No single comment about it …)
"So much work …" happened to come to my mind when I was thinking about what research would be necessary to expand that article while simultaneously browsing through that mass of images I have extracted from all the games and editions. Baldur's Gate III – yeah! Will they name it The Black Hound? And what will happen with Beamdog then? Will they also release some third content they are allowed to make? (And what will all that mean for the wiki?)
What do you see when you open either Candlekeep or The One Gift Lost? An icon row beneath the infobox title that's higher than usual? (Perhaps make a hard refresh, CTRL+F5.) If so, was such already the case yesterday or earlier?
I've created new templates and renamed old ones, but besides a different name, all should be the same as it was yesterday, when to me all seemed okay – I can't find the error …
Ok! I felt like I was going crazy trying to add teh area parameters and having nothing work. If they are on the way, I will be patient for those changes. That said, adding them in the HTML may be what I do until they are implemented widely. I think they are a helpful change! It makes sense to store it all on one line per game, where you can.
The use of the tentacles in the Larian website makes me think it might embrace the ocean around the Sword Coast more. We'll have to hope that it IS BGIII and see what happens. I don't know about Beamdog. While I dig the changes they implemented and many of the new characters, not everyone responded well to them. With the popularity of D&D on the rise for sure, it would make sense for WOTC to shop around for whoever could make them the best game with the BG license. I just hope the bulk of the companions new and old return!
I am glad you fixed what went awry with the Candlekeep or The One Gift List!