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Predictions for Skyrim and UESP

Predictions for Skyrim and UESP

  05:41:57 pm, by Nephele   , 1058 words  
Viewed 63998 times since 09/25/11
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, UESP

I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what I foresee happening on UESP when Skyrim is released -- beyond the obvious points, such as that UESP is going to get alot more traffic. These thoughts are in part based on what I witnessed when Shivering Isles was released -- which was the last major game release for UESP. However, SI hardly compares to Skyrim, because SI was only an expansion and therefore didn't introduce any new game mechanics.

As an aside, for those who may have wondered, the release of Oblivion doesn't provide us with much as far as an example for what to expect with Skyrim. Not that I was active on UESP when Oblivion came out; I first discovered UESP a couple months after Oblivion's release. But I do know that UESP had only recently converted to a wiki when Oblivion came out. Even by the time I started editing, the site was pretty minimal, at least compared to where it is now. Templates, screenshots, redirects, help pages, style guidelines, site policies -- none of these were in place yet. Anonymous editing was first enabled months after I started editing -- and, for the record, no, that didn't mean that there was a dramatic increase in vandalism, badly-written content, or unwanted content.

So, back to the future.

1. UESP is facing alot of competition. When it comes to Skyrim, UESP is starting from square one, just like every other wiki being set up to cover Skyrim. People are going to choose which website to read based primarily on google -- and at this moment UESP is doing pretty poorly on google searches related to Skyrim. Fewer readers means fewer editors. Which means less new content, and therefore even fewer readers, etc. I'd like to see UESP do well -- and not just for the sake of UESP, but for the sake of the Elder Scrolls community as a whole. Having as many editors as possible work on the same wiki means that the community has one good, comprehensive website -- instead of a half-dozen incomplete websites with overlapping (but inconsistent) content. If UESP wants to be the primary Skyrim wiki, we're going to have work aggressively towards that goal.

2. New content will be added very quickly. I'm guessing that by November 12th people are likely to have posted (minimal) walkthroughs for the majority of the game's quests, and basic desccriptions of nearly every place -- if not on UESP, then on some other Skyrim wiki. My guess is based upon how quickly content was added for SI: one day after the game's release, the quests page already contained a walkthrough of the entire main quest.

3. Most of UESP's regular editors will disappear. We all want to play Skyrim, plus we'd all like to avoid learning any spoilers about the game. And for most of us, playing the game doesn't mean rushing through the main quest in 30 hours; it means spending hundreds of hours exploring all the random corners of the world. So those editors who buy Skyrim are going to be too busy to visit UESP for several weeks. Those who don't have the game are going to actively avoid the Skyrim namespace. I'm not trying to blame anyone or make anyone feel guilty -- it's just human nature, and it needs to be taken into account when anticipating how Skyrim's release will affect UESP. I'd also love to be proven wrong!

4. New editors / anonymous editors will be responsible for most of the new content. It's just a natural consequence of points #2 and #3. Although UESP's regular editors are unlikely to be rushing to add to the wiki, there are other people who enjoy being the first ones to post information online about a new game. Those editors will be the ones who are most active on UESP starting November 11th. Even though the new editors are likely to have little wiki experience, it doesn't mean that the new content will all be a horrid mess. For example, look at the history of an SI quest such as The Cold Flame of Agnon. In three days, it was transformed from an unformatted dump to a proper quest page -- incomplete, but properly laid out and properly written. Nearly all the work was done by anonymous IPs and brand new editors, such as Jrtaylor91 (whose first UESP edit was on that quest page).

5. Fact checking of Skyrim content won't be possible -- at least not at anywhere near the level we're used to for other games -- for many months. The most obvious problem is that initially none of us will know the quests or any other game details. But beyond that there are a couple of other issues that might not be so obvious.

  • We don't know when the Creation Kit (aka Construction Set) will be available. Without it, we can't do any of the quick fact checks we're used to -- for weapon damage, gold values, dialogue,etc. We won't even know how to take in-game values, such as weapon damage, and convert them to base values -- will weapon damage be affected by skill level in Skyrim and, if so, what's the equation?
  • We won't understand of the new game mechanics. For example, if editors disagree over the reward for a quest, we won't be able to resolve the question. Is it a levelled quest reward -- but how does levelling work in Skyrim? Is it a random reward -- again, how do random lists work? Is the reward dependent upon other factors that are a new feature of Skyrim, such as Radiant quests? As far as we know right now, two players could have different experiences for nearly any detail of a quest. So how do we figure out whether edit X is adding incorrect information to an article? Eventually -- 2012? -- we'll hopefully start to get a handle on the range of possibilities (although it took a couple of years to understand various nuances of Oblivion's levelled lists). But we'll have to write most of the site's web pages before then.

There's no way to know until a couple months from now what really is going to happen. But these are some of the issues going though my mind when I think about how UESP can start to prepare for Skyrim's release.

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3 comments

Comment from: Eddie The Head [Member]
Eddie The Head

theres also the element of not knowing if its a randomley generated quest or not which will cause some problems, i will do my best to help while im playing but like you said, we all want to play it and i defiantly do not want spoilers when im playing, we’ve already had enough information given to us and leaked.

10/19/11 @ 09:30 am
Comment from: Kalis Agea [Member]
Kalis Agea

I really have nothing more to add. There is a chance that I may not have Skyrim by 11/11/11, and although I might I will try my best not disappear from the wiki in either scenario. :) And, providing that goes as planned, I’ll be working to help out as much as possible (much more in the Lore space rather than the Skyrim namespace, most likely, but I may make a few SR contributions here and there). I’m really not uncomfortable about spoilers either, so I’ll be fine to both enjoy the game and work on maintaining this site. But for now, I suppose I’ll focus on Lore and Oblivion. :D

10/19/11 @ 11:27 pm
Comment from: Nathan [Visitor]
Nathan

There are alot of other WIKI pages but UESP.net is my choice i have been following it for a year or 2 now i am satisfied.

10/31/11 @ 01:33 pm


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