An unfortunate trend I've noticed with real world weapon comparisons are that they tend to become the focus of the page they're on. In my opinion the real world weapon comparisons should be more like those on the he problem currently in my opinion is that the policy (reprinted below) states when you can make a comparison, but not what can be in a comparison.
To use an actual page, I think that the .45 Auto pistol should be the standard for real world weapon comparisons - the comparison is a few bullet points in the behind the scenes section, and the rest of the page focuses on the in game weapon. Contrast that with the 50 cal machine gun and Light machine gun (Fallout 76) prior to changes made earlier today - both pages had entire paragraphs dedicated to the MG42 and Browning M2 that were longer than the paragraphs about the in game weapon.
Similarities between in-game weapons and real-world weapons are not to be included in articles, with the following two exceptions:
- If there is a sourced quote from a game developer stating which real-world weapon the in-game weapon is based on.
- If the in-game weapon shares the exact name of the real-world weapon.
- Change policy to have state what can be said in a comparison.
- Set a concrete format for writing the comparisons in the policy, i.e. in the behind the scenes; "According to developer __ the (in game weapon) was based on the (real world weapon)." or "(In game weapon) shares its name with (real world weapon)."
- Do away with the comparisons entirely - I get this won't be popular, but what do the comparisons truly add in the context of a video-game wiki?
To summarise, we tend to have edit wars and other problems crop up around comparisons being added to pages they aren't allowed on, but the policy as it is deals with these pretty well. But on pages where they're allowed, we don't have anything on what information about the real world weapon is relevant to the in game weapon.
This has made some pages bloated with info on real world weapons that are arguably irrelevant to the wider article, and I think we need to make changes. If anyone has ideas for different solutions I'd appreciate them. Aiden4017 (talk) 04:00, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
I would argue there are two different issues here:
- Documenting weapon history
- Making real world weapon comparisons
Though related in some respects, in the (increasingly) rare instances where an in game weapon is known to be a real world weapon, the real world history of the weapon is relevant to the article and should be acceptable in the "background" portion. That is the weapon's background, and in most cases, there is no new history for the weapon specific to Fallout. Looking to the MG42 example you cited, of course the real world history will take up more of the background section than the in game lore information. For the MG42, the extent of new, Fallout specific information which could be added is limited to "it existed in Appalachia" with no other details available. Was there any significance to why it's there? Did anyone of note make use of it? So far anyway, these areas are left completely unaddressed by the game. As far as I am aware, not even a casual terminal entry explaining the weapon's origin in Appalachia, as imports or reproductions. If there is a real world weapon which appears, and it does have significant place in the story or setting of the Fallout title it appears in, then we should expect to hear more about that lore information, but the lack of such information, should not invalidate the real world history of the weapon being documented. Does it need to be the worlds most thorough history, recounting every IRL battle the weapons were used in? No, but a cursory history and touching on the significant beats should be the goal (also browsing the MG page, I'm not a fan of the citation reading little more than "Real-world history of the MG42" when some thing like a wikipedia link is much more useful. Just saying). If there is lore to add along side the history, then add it where available, but in most instances of IRL weapons we currently have, there will be more history than Fallout lore... because "it exists" is about all we know about it.
Notes about form and function as it appears in game, can easily be separated as part of "characteristics." If you are worried about IRL invading the description of the weapon in question, I see no reason why the characteristics should be anything but game only information. In this section, unlike the background, we can actually make observations about the weapon. What does it look like, how does it function, etc.
Comparisons between the IRL weapon and the in game version are a little trickier. If someone comes along and says "well, the fire control group is depicted as being 7% smaller in game than it would be in reality" that's a level minutia which I do not believe merits a notation. However, there could be points worth noting. Things like the infamous Pancor Jackhammer's BTS pointing out how, in reality, it was a prototype weapon IRL which never existed as more than a small handful of functioning tool room examples, contrasted with Fallout where it saw actual production. Another example would be, if we saw significant alterations made to an IRL weapon to make it left handed, like the F4/76 hunting rifle and lever action rifles are. Thankfully these weapons are generics, but if they were name brand, that's a fairly significant departure, which would be worth noting.
If we are dealing with a facsimile weapon, where its known to intentionally be a Shmiteen Shmeleven and not a 1911, then a page like the .45 auto should be the model. Have a specific and exact reference to why we know the weapon it is based on, which confirms this beyond commenting appearance or speculation, and have a link to what the real world weapon is so users can decide for themselves whether it is or is not what is being depicted in game. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 13:55, 17 June 2021 (UTC)
I support this, Aiden. We are a wiki about a video game series and stray too often away from this scope. We don't need to describe weapons, players can see them. Characteristics sections more often than not invite speculation outright. I would like to see the bts change you have suggested - either a developer quote or an exact name, nothing more, or we begin to speculate once again and see the focus creep back to real world information irrelevant to Fallout. -kdarrow take her for a spin! 01:00, 18 June 2021 (UTC)