Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Forum FAQ?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Gelare
Pretty much every new person that comes to these forums asks the same stuff: how does having more IP's let the gun shoot faster, where are the prices for combat drugs, how the hell does the matrix work, and so on. I know they do because it's happening again now, and it happened when I showed up and made such threads myself just a few months ago (hi, everybody!) so I'm wondering what the rest of you DSers think about making a FAQ with stuff like this and stickying it at the top of this forum.

Some people will probably say this would be redundant with the real SR4 FAQ, and I agree that it could be on some issues, but the SR4 FAQ doesn't say things like:

Q: Where are my drugs, man?
A: They're not in the book, make up numbers for them.

and

Q: How does having more IPs let me hold down the trigger better on my full-auto weapon?
A: It doesn't, it just cuts down on aiming time and makes you more efficient at choosing when to hold the trigger, here are some sample rates of fire that we love to cite.

and

Q: How do agents work?
A: Choose one of these house rules and please, please try not to think about it too hard, it'll just make your head hurt.

Any interest in such a document?

(Disclaimer: It's entirely possible the SR4 FAQ does, in fact, say that stuff. Checking your facts is for sissies.)
Buster
I created 2 FAQ threads with extensive page references, but the moderators refuse to make them sticky (a few people have requested it). A sticky thread with links to all the FAQs would be nice.

Possession FAQ:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=18486

AR, VR, and Sim FAQ:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=18512
Moon-Hawk
But, then what would we have to talk about? biggrin.gif

It's a good idea, but very few of these ideas have very simple, short, universally agreed upon answers. (except for the drug question) I suspect that threads asking simple questions would be replaced by threads bickering minutia of the FAQ, which would itself be burdened trying to explain all the different points-of-view.

On the bright side, rather than feeling bad it gives you a sense of validation to see these same questions coming up again and again. It means they're good questions and no one thinks you're an idiot for asking them. smile.gif
Fortune
I vote no! I have no problems with people asking the same questions again and again. That's one of the reasons we all gather here, and a fresh examination of an old question does not usually go astray, and may very well lead to a new way of looking at things. So ... I vote no.
Gelare
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
On the bright side, rather than feeling bad it gives you a sense of validation to see these same questions coming up again and again.  It means they're good questions and no one thinks you're an idiot for asking them.  smile.gif

That's a good point. smile.gif

EDIT: @Fortune, I don't have any problems with it, I'm always happy to help people with the same questions I got helped with (oh, there's another one: Detecting people hacking into a node is an extended test!), but I think new people would appreciate, rather than having to always wait for answers to their almost universally asked questions, if there were a compilation For Your Convenience™.
eidolon
It's true that we have a fairly anti-sticky-clutter culture, but don't feel like we're singling any specific threads out for refusal of sticky-ness.

For my part, I don't see anything wrong with someone asking something that has been discussed before. A lot of times, especially on a broader subject than "where are drug prices", multiple discussions lead to a lot of different ideas getting out there.

Likewise, if done politely, there's nothing wrong with letting someone know that a subject has come up before, and either suggesting a search or actually searching and giving someone a link.

That said, you're always free to create a FAQ and ask us to consider making it a sticky. We just won't guarantee that we'll do it. wink.gif

Keep in mind that a FAQ addresses just that: frequently asked questions, that have an actual, canon, official answer. Speculation and interpretation aren't likely to make the cut, simply because they're not official.
Gelare
QUOTE (eidolon)
Keep in mind that a FAQ addresses just that: frequently asked questions, that have an actual, canon, official answer.  Speculation and interpretation aren't likely to make the cut, simply because they're not official.

Well, there goes that idea, then. I was hoping for a sort of less formal, less official FAQ (seeing as this, after all, is not the official site), with stuff like, Q: Hey, logic isn't used in any matrix actions! A: Yep, we know, these are some house rules, and also some terms you might like to know, script kiddie, Agent Smith...

I don't see any particular need to have a 100% official, by the RAW FAQ, but then, I'm not an admin. biggrin.gif Oh well.

EDIT: Also, if Buster's FAQs don't make the cut, mine wouldn't stand a chance.
Adam
I think it would be tremendous if such FAQ material was hosted away from the forums, on external site, where it could be searched for and used as a reference for Dumpshock users and non-users alike; a FAQ buried in forums is unlikely to be a useful resource for people outside of the forums.
eidolon
That's just it though. (And keep in mind that I'm speaking for myself, and not for the rest of the staff.) If something isn't official, then it's up for discussion, and there's no harm in it being discussed again. wink.gif
Gelare
Sure there's no harm in it, don't get me wrong, I'm all for continuing discussion, but there's plenty of stuff that would just be nice as a reference. Naturally, we could keep discussing various Matrix things ad infinitum, and I sincerely hope we do. But when someone notices that logic isn't used for any Matrix tests, they can go, "Hey, that's weird! Is that really true? Maybe the FAQ has something on it." And they'll see that, yes, it is the case, and someone with no hacking skills and rating 6 everything is called a script kiddie, and the most common house rules are to cap hits by logic or program rating, and if they still have questions, they are totally more than welcome to ask.

I don't mean to put discussion down, I just want to make it easier for people to get up to speed.
Fortune
Then, as Adam has suggested, you might consider developing an offsite FAQ to serve that purpose, and put the link in your sig.
Gelare
Well that would do even less good - how many people do you think would come to my sig as a place for a FAQ? I don't object to it being off-site, but I sure don't have one. And indeed, this FAQ I'm suggesting probably shouldn't deal with strict rule stuff, because they already have a FAQ for that - it's called The FAQ, and SR4 has an official one. That's the place for official, RAW explanations of stuff. I'm talking about the sort of metastuff we discuss here, like Wired Reflexes and Rates of Fire.
Fortune
Right. My point is that we do discuss it here. Why try to organize things in such a way as to lessen the amount of discussion and interaction on this forum?
Gelare
Come on Fortune, that's hardly a fair assessment. Why not answer the questions that new players frequently ask? If I were a new GM (which I was) about to run a game, I would be very grateful for a FAQ that gives me some insight into those nagging holes in SR4 I'd been pondering. I'm not suggesting that we try to reduce participation on the boards, that's madness. Or possibly Sparta, I can never remember which. But it's simply the case that a lot of people come here with the same questions, some of which have simple enough answers that lend themselves to being compiled in a handy way. It could really benefit new players and GMs.
Fortune
QUOTE (Gelare)
Why not answer the questions that new players frequently ask?

We do answer the questions people ask. Frequently, and in a timely manner.

Why do you feel it would be easier for a newcomer to search through a huge FAQ thread for a simple answer than for him or her to just post their question and receive a response almost immediately? As an added bonus side effect of doing the latter, the newcomer has announced his presence to the forum and has joined in the community.
Gelare
That assumes that the FAQ is huge and designed like an M.C. Escher sketch. I would prefer to assume the opposite. Heck, I would be interested in reading the stuff that would go into a FAQ like this. Can't know the basics too well, or whatever. In forming this idea I was kinda thinking from the mindset of someone who doesn't have the luxury of posting a question and waiting for the, I do agree, well-informed, friendly, and timely members of the boards to come to the rescue. Say, someone in the middle of a game, or about to be in one, or who doesn't want to be checking the computer frequently.

However, you do make a good point, that in the course of asking us questions newcomers are welcomed into the forum. I would suggest that some people shy away from asking questions they perceive as being simple, for fear of wasting time. But I certainly wouldn't want to discourage new members from posting. Anyone else want to chime in? Got any ideas?
Adam
QUOTE (Gelare)
Well that would do even less good - how many people do you think would come to my sig as a place for a FAQ? I don't object to it being off-site, but I sure don't have one.

Build it, and they will come. Use pbwiki.com or something like that to create a wiki, start dumping FAQs into it, and encourage other people to contribute/add corrections/etc.
Jaid
one thing i would mention in favor of the FAQ idea is that when someone shows up with a list of 20 questions, i sometimes tend to not answer, whereas if someone has 1 or 2 questions, i'm much more likely to answer. an FAQ would presumably reduce the number of questions that would need to be answerred, simply because we could refer them to the FAQ.
Cain
Might I suggest a compromise?

Why not sticky a thread with links to the threads most commonly referred to? A lot of the time, when someone asks a frequently repeatred question, we end up linking to a past thread anyway. This almost never kills discussion, although it does sometimes result in necro'd threads.
Aristotle
QUOTE (Fortune)
I have no problems with people asking the same questions again and again. That's one of the reasons we all gather here, and a fresh examination of an old question does not usually go astray, and may very well lead to a new way of looking at things.
I agree 100%. I encourage new users to use the search feature to look up previous discussion, but new discussion about old topics sometimes leads to interesting new insights. Those are often the best of the best discussions we have here.

QUOTE (Gelare)
Sure there's no harm in it, don't get me wrong, I'm all for continuing discussion, but there's plenty of stuff that would just be nice as a reference.
I agree, but I don’t know that I agree that a forum post is the best way to feature the resource. (I'm going to shock some other mods here, as I've voiced a pro stance on stiki posts in discussions we've had in the past.) Some folks have mentioned a wiki. I’m not a huge fan of that either, but it’s better. I’ve seen, but not used, specialized FAQ applications as well. I think that’s the direction I would go.

QUOTE (Gelare)
Well that would do even less good - how many people do you think would come to my sig as a place for a FAQ?
Well. I may be an exception to the rule, but I “sig surf? all the time when I’m bored. I also did searches on a couple of users this afternoon at work specifically to grab resources from their sigs. Anyway. Once the project is established, and has proven that it’s got some support, we might even be able to talk the admins into putting a link to it on the front page. Just a thought.
eidolon
Yup. I use sig links all the time. Notably Aaron's and Knasser's, but I use others on occasion. Usually I follow them and just bookmark the site, but that's still how I find them.
Fortune
QUOTE (eidolon)
I use sig links all the time ... Usually I follow them and just bookmark the site, but that's still how I find them.

I do pretty much the very same thing. biggrin.gif
Gelare
I use sigs like Aaron's and Knasser's, but that is because their links are, with all due respect, awesome. Simply put, I couldn't do a thing like this by myself, since I simply haven't been around long enough. (Also, very long day.) But what do people think of, like, a FAQ of FAQs, or a Wiki with a bunch of FAQs on it?
Adam
Without trying to be snide: sometimes when you want something done, you just have to DO it. When Paolo Marcucci started the Shadowrun Archive, he built it, announced it, and people began to use it. When I wanted a Shadowrun magazine, I emailed a few pals, asked them to contribute, and the Shadowrun Supplemental was born. I'm sure Dave Hyatt's story about creating Shadowland is similar.

I really don't have a giant objection to turning the Conversions sticky into a FAQs and Conversions sticky thread, but I think any game resource is likely to attract more traffic and therefore potential contributors if it is not seen as being tied to one forum.
Gelare
No snideness taken, Adam. You are quite right, after all, that if you want something done, do it yourself. I don't have the time for it right now, no shame in that, it just means the thing won't get done. But I am glad to hear what other people think about it.

I can't see any reason why the Conversions thread shouldn't be turned into a Conversions and FAQs thread, especially as conversions have become less commonplace. I must admit though, I'm a bit hazy on what you mean about not tying such a resource to a forum. They have to go somewhere, and any site you put them on, with the exception of the actual SR4 site, is going to be relatively limited in traffic and contributors. Do you mean putting it on the main Dumpshock site, or on the Sixth World Wiki, or some such?
Adam
They're out of the scope of the Sixth World Wiki; it's a universe resource, not a game resource.

My belief is that a resource that actually appears to be a standalone site is going to attract more widespread attention than a bunch of threads on a message board; it's easier for people to refer and link to, and it's less likely to suffer from outside stigma -- "oh, those FAQs are on Dumpshock? I don't visit _there_.", and it's less possible that people will think the FAQs purely relate to the games played on Dumpshock.

Plus, it's less work for the people running Dumpshock, and given that we all have limited time, that would be a welcome relief. I know that between _working_ on Shadowrun and keeping up with what I need to keep up with Dumpshock and the Sixth World Wiki, I have no time available to help out with anything. There needs to be a new crowd of people who are willing to take their love of Shadowrun and devote time and energy and skills to enhancing it for other fans, because the "old guard" isn't what it used to be.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012