MMO wikis are leaving Wikia in larger numbers – RuneScape is just the latest

    
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Knowledge!

What are your thoughts on Wikia? If you’re like most people, you likely don’t have any and might even respond to that question with an expression of confusion. But it’s a highly relevant question for the people who run the Runescape wiki, as the team behind that site is migrating the entirety of said wiki off of Wikia’s Fandom servers and onto a new domain with support directly from Jagex.

They’re not alone; the Warframe wiki is debating moving off as well, due to intrusive advertisements and auto-playing videos. A move had actually begun already for the Warframe wiki but it went on hiatus as the community debated over things further. Nor are these troubles new for users of Wikia, which already had high-profile departures such as the Transformers wiki back in 2008 and the DOOM wiki back in 2011.

Of course, MMOs in their ever-changing natures make the ability to alter things in a wiki structure quite important, but Wikia’s particular status as a for-profit company has run up against community needs for reliable hosting. It’s a complex issue, but in this case it means you’ll want to update your bookmarks for one wiki and get ready to change for more.

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flyingltj
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flyingltj

Wikia does have a problem with aggressive advertisements. But the MMO community is FAR too small a segment of Wikia to make even a noticeable blip on their traffic radar.

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Goettel

I’ve gotten used to the top quality of the official GW2 wiki. It’s probably a good idea for the competition to catch up and at least start hosting their own wikis. I’ve no doubt many would flock to them to help fill it all out.

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Tony Vazquez

I have personal experience with Wikia regarding the Paragon Wiki, which was our wiki about the City of Heroes MMORPG. It was a long time ago, but it wasn’t good. I documented it publicly here, not wanting to air out a bunch of dirty laundry:

https://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php?topic=1641.msg19031

But privately, I posted a message with the whole story for the benefit of the Titan Network (of which the Paragon Wiki is part of) developers. I’m still pretty sore about this, and to this day, I avoid Wikia. If you guys (MassivelyOP) want to know the whole story behind this, let me know.

The nutshell version is that right around the time I was getting nastygrams from my hosting provider about how much CPU the wiki was consuming (we were getting around 3 million page loads per month at the time), Wikia came to me with a nice song and dance about how awesome it would be to not have to personally deal with the hosting side of the wiki.

I told them that I didn’t want to do that because I was highly against obnoxious ads, and they provided various assurances that our wiki would never be plagued by such things, that they would run at most one ad per page, and it would be a simple text banner ad above the content. We signed a contract, moved the site over, and within a few months, they were doing things like running ads that would expand to cover the whole page when a user hovered over them, ads injected to look like part of the content of articles, and so on. Thanks to them screwing up with the terms of the contract they signed, we were able to re-host the wiki ourselves and get the domain name back.

But yeah, my advice to any site owners is to avoid Wikia like the plague. I get that they have to make money to cover their costs, but they are clearly seeing Wikia as a revenue machine. They got greedy, and basically destroyed any good will that I had for Wikipedia and Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales (who at one point personally emailed me as part of Wikia’s song and dance to get our site).

Anyway, like I said, if Massively wants any more details, feel free to ping me. The Titan Network devs and I remember that dark spot in our history all too well.

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Giggilybits

Don’t know if its the same DDOwiki and LOTROwiki one of the best MMO resource sites ive ever seen. A real labour of love.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

Nope – both of those are self-hosted instances of the WikiMedia Wiki software (the company that runs Wikipedia). Pretty much the gold standard standard in Wiki softwares — but also super clunky.

Compare that with the Warframe – http://warframe.wikia.com/wiki/WARFRAME_Wiki

The site looks marginally prettier, but is significantly more resource intensive. I was actually surprised at the lack of Ads I saw on the Warframe one — I’m doing a search for a game and a wikia site comes on, I just scroll on by.

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John Kiser

Wikia is trash because of too much video ads, too much bogging any system down (it uses an inordinate amount of ram for what it displays), and the fact that a huge slew of pages for a long time crashed. More and more are going to leave just because of how it ends up.

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Minimalistway

The auto-playing videos are a plague, Wikia was ok until they started using them.

So good on the wikis trying to give readers better experience, moving from Wikia is the right move.

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Bruce Morrison

I know years ago Paragon Wiki the City of Heroes Wiki left Wikia years ago because of possible malware from the ads.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

wikia-bandon ship!.gif
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Alex Willis

It is a hugely clunky and resource-intensive site. My desktop experiences noticeable slowdown whenever I have a window open.

The most important thing for a wiki of any kind is that it be well-indexed and easy to maintain. Everything else is window dressing. I hope wherever Warframe moves it will allow them to move that ENORMOUS database to a place where accessibility and organization are key.

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Angel

The best example of a gaming wiki I know is one that was always hosted by the company itself, those of Guild Wars & Guild Wars 2. They have always had amazing wikis and I’m not bombarded with ad’s when I visit them. I think more games should follow their lead personally.

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Utakata

The noisy ads that make your machine speak and “sing” at you, are the worst. Next to the porn ones. /bleh :(

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Bryan Correll

I disagree. They’re really much worse than the porn ones.

Um…….Or so I’m led to believe…….

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Utakata

…actually that was said in error. As I meant to convey porn ads only come in second to this issue, not the other way around. >.<

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Sally Bowls

I agree. The risk is it is the best, until the company stops it. At least the crowdsourced site is immune to dev budgets. But still, company sites have tended to work out better.