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Style Guide

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Style guidelines for the EN (English) World of Warships wiki are found below. Contributions made by players should adhere to these general guidelines; entries that do not may be deleted (or possibly edited until they comply, depending on the quality of the entry).

But English is English

  • Use North American English spellings. For example, "armour" is not correct.
  • Use relatively simple English because not all readers are native English speakers.

Date Format

Do not use ambiguous date formats, for example:

  • 3/5/2021
  • 5/3/2021

Use unambiguous date formats, for example:

  • 5 March 2021
  • 5 Mar 2021
  • March 5, 2021
  • 2021-03-05 (the order Y/M/D is implied)

See Date format by country (Wikipedia).

emdash, endash, hyphen

There are three major types of dashes.

  • hyphen, used in joining two part words together, e.g. "sub-zero", is on every keyboard.
  • endash, a little longer than a hyphen, is used in separating the two bounds of a range. E.g. "Tiers III–VII". endash is not on keyboards so most conveniently is coded in HTML: "& ndash;" without the space. Spaces preceding and following an endash generally are not used.
  • emdash, longest of all, offsets interjections that don't change the meaning of the sentence. E.g. "The supership — newly acquired that morning — detonated on the first hit." It is coded "& mdash;" with no space after the ampersand. Spaces preceding and following an emdash are preferred.

There are others, such as the minus sign and the figure dash, that aren't commonly used in this wiki.

Voice

  • Avoid direct second person ("you") address in descriptions, evaluations, or rules. Prefer "the player" or "captain" and use third person notations wherever necessary.
  • Second person is appropriate when instructing, e.g. How to Create a Clan. Also, in a section such as Game Play recommendation, direct address is much more powerful and easy to remember. E.g. "Do X, Y, then Z." Just avoid the pronoun "you".
  • First person is never appropriate.
  • Avoid passive voice, e.g. "the ball was thrown by him". "He threw the ball" is much more effective and less wimpy.
  • Political correctness is no excuse for poor grammar. Constructs like "A captain [singular] should check their [plural, just to avoid gender] aft..." is incorrect. "A captain should check his aft..." is correct. 'His' is the singular indefinite personal pronoun. Use it.

Tier

An example of the correct way to reference a specific tier is "Tier VI". "tier 6" — with a lower-case 't' and Arabic numeral — is incorrect. Use lower case "tier" when referring to the generic tier, e.g. "service costs depend on ship tier;" "X-ship is the best at her tier."

Colliding numbers

When referencing quantities of something - such as gun barrels - do not use back-to-back Arabic numerals. Instead of typing "12 15-inch guns", please use the format "twelve 15-inch guns", or "12x 15" guns" where space constrained.

Speaking of guns, remember to hyphenate "15-inch".

Things change

It's best not to use absolute comparisons. "X is the worst ship in the game." or '... has the lowest detectability of all destroyers." Sure as shootin', that will be true for maybe a month.

Try not to use literal numbers. Sometimes one needs to, but most numbers are subject to change. A ship page that is a litany of ship statistics is bad form.

Ship and class names

  • Italicize ship names.
  • Reference ships mentioned in an article at the first, or an early, occurrence: Scharnhorst.
  • When referring to a specific ship, grammar rules dictate that an article is not used at all. Example: "Bismarck's fifth salvo, however, produced catastrophic results." Think of it this way: We use a person's name when referring to a specific person. People aren't referred to as "the Dave" or "the Bill" or "the Janet". The same rule applies for ships. When they are singled out specifically by name, the definite article is dropped and they are simply referred to as Fletcher or Scharnhorst or Danae.
  • When referring to an entire class of ships, a definite article is used. Example: "The Iowas were among the fastest battleships ever built." The subject here is a group of ships, which is why the definite article is used (in most cases, depending on how the sentence is structured).
  • A ship class name used as a noun does NOT require hyphenation. Example: "The Neptune class was never " ...

Ship class names used as adjectives are hyphenated, e.g. "Unlike Iowa-class battleships, Italian battleships had terrible shells."

  • Ship nicknames are rarely appropriate. Use ''{{#var:ship_name}}'' if you can't spell the ship that the article is about.

Possessives

  • The correct way to format the possessive of a ship name (or anything else italicized)[1] is by using a third apostrophe - keyboard middle right - outside the italics markings, e.g. Atago's (''Atago'''s).
  • It is incorrect to use a back quote - keyboard upper left - instead of an apostrophe, or to set the possessive 's' in italics.

She?

While some nations (e.g. Russia, Japan) use the male gender in reference to their warships, there is considerable resistance among readers to us doing so here. Use female gender pronouns to avoid contention.

Very Very What?

Overuse of the word "very" devalues it. Don't overuse it. 95% of the time, you won't miss it. "Extremely" is even worse.

Ancient History

Avoid referring to previous updates (or even the current update) in main body text. Yeah, okay, they moved Akizuki to Tier VIII in Update 0.5.whatever, but five years later, no one cares. Where necessary to e.g. warn of upcoming changes, use a {{block|!|content= ... }} insert.

Likewise, avoid referring to game changes at all in main body text. "With the new IFHE rework, pen is now 58mm" just confuses things. State what *is*: "Pen is 58mm".

We track changes to a ship at the very end of a ship page article -- the Change Log. This is a work in progress; not all ships have it as of this writing.

Use the noun, not the adjective

AA stands for Anti-Aircraft and is an adjective. "The ship's AA batteries" is correct. "The ship's AA is weak" is not correct.

AAA stands for Anti-Aircraft Artillery and is a noun. "The ship's AAA is practically non-existent" is correct.

Fake Words

The following words are not real words, but jargonistic amalgamations:

  • replace 'gameplay' with game play or something else.
  • replace 'playstyle' with play style, or even style of play.
  • [more as I think of them]

References

There are three primary types of references.

  • An endnote <ref>Blah blah yammer.</ref> Endnotes are collected at <references />, usually at the end of a page.[2]
  • An inline internal reference (to another wiki page) [[formal page reference|inline text]]
  • An external reference to a web location: [URL text]

More on all this later.

Endnotes are also useful for comments that would disrupt the flow of the main text.

Third party reviews

References to good non-wiki reviews of ships, such as those of LittleWhiteMouse on the NA forum, may appear in a highlighted block immediately after Performance Pros and Cons. This is fine for ship pages that are weak or incomplete. For pages that have been completed by the Wiki Team, all external review references should appear under the Notes section. LWM's review citations can keep their {{Annowiki boxes.

Upgrades and Consumables references

Templates exist for easy embedding in an article of the names, effects, and links for Upgrades and Consumables. See Category:Upgrade Info Icons and Category:Consumable_shortcuts (don't ask about the naming discrepancy; they're constructed differently). However, on ship pages where the the Upgrade/Consumable is already referenced below the Performance or build text, in the article body prefer the use of the capitalized name without using the template.

Skills references

Given WG's propensity for regularly changing skills names and effects, it is best not to link / reference skills within articles. On ship pages, the links are readily available in the Commander Skills matrix.

Instead, capitalize and <u>underline</u> the skill name. "Dead Eye became Brisk and is Furious about it."

A ship page

Performance

Here is a suggested outline for the Performance section of a ship page. Headings are encouraged but not required.

  • Intro [no heading]
    • introductory sentence
    • history (if any)
    • distinguishing features, perhaps traits common to the line, or reference to same
  • The hull
    • Speed
    • Agility
    • Concealment
    • Armor [could be a separate section]
  • Armament
    • Main Battery
      • Turrets - layout, firing angles, turn time
      • Guns - range, reload, dispersion, shell types and effects
    • Secondaries (if significant)
    • AAA
    • Torps
    • Etc (air? ASW?)
  • Defining consumables, if any
  • Game Play

Pros & Cons

Be concise!
"The guns have a short firing range, meaning they can't hit many of the targets that the ship can see"
-> "Short ranged main battery"

Optimal Configuration

Discuss viable (and tempting but non-viable) builds in this section, followed by examples of different builds.

Good Writing Practices

"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that he make every word tell."
— "Elementary Principles of Composition", The Elements of Style (Strunk & White)


Everyone is different in how they approach and practice writing so it is difficult to say that these are Best Practices, but they certainly won't hinder the production of a quality product.

1) Outline the topic

Break it down into parts. This is a working document that can and should change as you develop the article. This is particularly important with Rules topics. Ship pages as a whole are largely pre-structured, but Performance Opinion needs outlining as much as any other topic.

2) Research the topic

For ships, this means first looking at the game client for options, particularly for possible builds, and at statistics exposed in the client and on the nascent ship page. This research should feed back into your outline so that you're able to start making propositions about strengths and weaknesses. Try not to use 'hearsay' but focus on your own findings and impressions.

Then play the ship. A dozen games is not excessive — play enough that you believe you understand what the ship can and cannot do. From preliminary research, you should have developed matters of interest that you will monitor and/or test during play. Put the ship in different situations and try different techniques and builds. While such a low sample won't give you anything like statistically significant evidence, it should give you a feel for the validity of your preliminary findings. Modify them as appropriate.

Do more research, comparing the ship to others in her line, at her tier, and in her matchmaking spread. Third party sources can be useful, notably Ship Tool. Feed these back into your outline, which by now should be looking pretty meaty.

For Rules topics, research may involve gathering official source citations (and deconstructing them to find out what they really mean), examining in-game implementations, viewing relevant videos, and gathering images to supplement the text.

3) Start writing

Finally! you can start painting your portrait of the topic. Some prefer to begin with an opening that places the ship or subject in context and provides an overall summary of, for a ship, her character. "X is a modernization of the Y design, continuing that class' strong performance as an anti-ship torpedo platform." Others will prefer to start with major sub-topics such as X' torpedo armament, and essentially build the article from the inside out.

Co-mingled with your writing should be .. more research. When you say something, ask yourself how you can justify it. Most of the relevant facts should be in your outline, but not all will be. Notate your non-obvious sources in endnotes, e.g. <ref>See DevBlog post [URL here].</ref>. (Endnotes will appear at the </references> tag near the bottom of the article.)

4) Edit yourself

Constantly, throughout your writing, read it. Write a few sentences, step back, and read the whole paragraph or section. How does it flow logically? Are there jumps and assumptions? Repetition? How does it flow rhythmically? Is it awkward? Are there words or phrases (or numbers) that don't add anything to it? Are you using waffle words or passive voice? If you've re-written a paragraph several times, you're probably doing it right.

Once in a while, take a short break, start cold, and read the whole article as if you were a first-time reader. Is any part confusing? Do statements in different sections seem to conflict? With a good outline, you shouldn't have to worry much about missing parts, but there may be some. And be sensitive to tone. Do you sound objective? or biased in some direction? Bored? "Used bote salesman"? Tone is hard to quantify or describe, but a good editor knows an inappropriate tone when he reads it.

5) Finish the project

When you think you're done, play the ship a few more times, then come back and read the article. There may be some tweaks, but you should feel pretty good about the result. Seek some outside review, especially from a recognized Wiki Editor. And accept our thanks for a job well done.

Notes

  1. The Chicago Manual of Style states that an 's' appended to form the possessive of an italicized noun is not itself italicized.
  2. Blah blah yammer.