A week ago our community was contacted by Tagaziel, bureaucrat from The Vault Fallout Wiki at Gamepedia. As you may have heard, about half a year ago, Gamepedia was acquired by Fandom, making both wikis grow closer to each other, as they are now under the same roof, paid by the same employer and not so much competitors anymore. For this reason, The Vault has proposed we look into a merger of both wikis, making it the best Fallout wiki that can be, combining our content. After due consideration, The Vault is prepared to merge their content to our wiki, here at Nukapedia, making it a homecoming of sorts.
First this proposal came to our bureaucrats, and our initial response was positive. Because when we look at the service to the general Fallout community worldwide, there can only be positive effects. As explained below by Tagaziel, both wikis have areas where they have the stronger content, and combining those can only improve our strength. And joining forces again means The Vault users will come over here, the activity will pick up, creating more content, the Fallout community is together once more.
After some discussion by the bureaucrats, we have dropped the news in Discord's Overseer's desk, so all of our admins could respond to it. With some reservations we believe we can overcome, they are also positive about giving this merge an honest try. (Note: during the merge, The Vault would be locked for editing).
Obviously, with such a large merge, there are bound to be challenges:
- First of all, the scale: Although we share the same basis, 7.5 years of differences in content is quite a lot to catch up with.
- Then we have both our content to combine. Since this might become a major issue in certain instances, with discussions between editors from both sides. The initial guideline is twofold: Nukapedia has overall better gameplay and walkthrough coverage, while The Vault has the better lore/background sections, so it only makes sense to combine the two.
We will do our best the make the right decisions and address issues as they appear. Of course, there would be regular evaluations and talks between the wikis, to see if they can be overcome.
In summary, there will be challenges, as with any project of such size, but the administration feels they are well outweighed by the positive result that can come of it, a unified Fallout wiki with strong content, the family back together!
Below you can find The Vault's proposal, with our administration's response to it. Keep in mind, this is not yet a done deal. We are a community oriented wiki, and we are now asking for your opinions about the plan before we go further detailing it. Below, the document proposal we received from Tagaziel, give it a read. Our remarks are in cursive.
- Merge wikis on a single platform through Fandom’s official Project Crossover.
- Unify content and template functionality with a focus on quality.
- Do so in such a way that permits the continued use of social media accounts.
The Vault Fallout Wiki was originally founded on Duck and Cover's servers by Ausir in 2005, before moving to Wikia (now Fandom) in 2006. Through the release of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas it created a robust, complex codebase and developed a sizable community. In 2011, The Vault was one of the first wikis to move to the Gamepedia platform, helmed by Ausir. The move divided the wiki community into those who moved onto the new platform, retaining The Vault name and brand, and those who remained at Wikia, reorganizing into Nukapedia under new leadership.
Eight years later, the two wikis remain active with dedicated contributors and a (relatively) up to date body of content. In the light of Curse’s acquisition by Fandom, there is no need to remain separate. In fact, remaining separate means effectively fighting ourselves.
Unifying the wikis would allow everyone to focus on the goal of making the ultimate guide to Fallout and leveraging the skills of editors on both sides. That is why we are gathered here today, to bring about a reunion of sorts to both wikis through various proposals and discussions.
Benefits in a nutshell
- A single definitive source for Fallout lore, gameplay, strategies, secrets, pop cultural references, and random facts everyone loves to know.
- Two cadres of veteran editors working for a single wiki.
- Two wiki managers (Tagaziel and Tephra) supporting the wiki with CSS, wikicode, and template expertise.
- Opportunity to review, upgrade, and generally improve articles.
- The Unified Wiki becomes a flagship Crossover project.
- It's basically the Fallout 2 ending.
The decision on branding is critical. The option to just strip one wiki's branding and go with the other would effectively render social media for that platform unusable (The Vault has a 181 user Discord; fan pages on Facebook and Tumblr with 5130+ followers and 16000+ followers respectively; Nukapedia has a 164 user Discord and Twitter with 2500+ followers).
Stripping the branding and just calling it the Fallout Wiki would theoretically permit the continued use of existing social media profiles as long as an explanation is included. (Potential continuation of using both names, with some kind of informative distinction?)
United branding (The Vault/Nukapedia, Nukapedia + The Vault, The NukaVault etc.) would be a straightforward option, but cumbersome in the long term.
Social media accounts are continued to be used separately, three months into the merge an evaluation, with possible choice of strongest account.
Combined name/logo for a year or shorter period if merge is completed sooner, then a vote between three options.
Merging the content would require a clear set of criteria and a focus first and foremost on quality. All editors are already informed that their contributions are subject to merciless editing and changing as part of the license. However, mergers should not be a matter of overwriting, but a matter of merging article versions to take the best from both wikis. In other words, it should be a consensus, rather than a compromise: An article with a hundred references would serve as basis, augmented with well-written passages from an article that has fewer references, but is easier to read. (However, references that clearly relate to each and every subject should be condensed into subsequent articles, Ex: “APA was developed by the Enclave <ref>See Articles X, Y, and Z for further information.</ref>”, rather than having “catch-all” articles that could lead to misinformation and confusion.)
Administrators and editors will transfer with their user rights intact. The general idea is to assume goodwill on both sides. Standard rules regarding inactivity and user conduct will remain in place.
We do not expect bans to interfere with the transfers. If they do, they may be reviewed. Note: This only applies to local bans on users that have remained active on The Vault. Globally blocked users will not be affected.
Active users-rights holders from The Vault get the same rights on Nukapedia.
The migration would have to take place fast and with minimal disruption to services. Note that the communities will not be left to fend for themselves: There will be official support both from wiki managers (Tephra and Tagaziel), as well as other members of the staff.
The project will be officially supported by Fandom and we will not be left alone to piece this jigsaw together.
If need be, Tagaziel will be on hand to answer any problems and issues that they crop up. For direct queries, contact Tagaziel#8836 on Discord.