Help:Manual of Style
The Manual of Style (MoS or MOS) is the style manual for all Dustloop articles. This primary page is supported by further Writing Character Pages and Writing System Explanations. If any contradiction arises, this page has precedence. Failing to follow this document is considered a violation of the user Policy. In the majority of situations no action will be taken against a user who fails to follow this guide because the Bureaucrat Team recognizes that mistakes happen, and not every user is confident and comfortable with editing wikis. With that made clear, the team does still reserve the right to remove user's edit access if that user makes egregious and intentional violations of this page.
Retaining Existing Styles
Sometimes the MoS provides more than one acceptable style or gives no specific guidance. The Moderation Team has expressed the principle that "Format is flexible and individual users can push innovation. This does not mean anything goes. If you believe an alternative style would be more appropriate for a particular section, please discuss it in the Dustloop Discord.
Edit-warring over style is never acceptable.
General Writing Style
Dustloop aims at being an impartial, community driven source of information and education. In order to achieve that, articles need to be written in a manner conducive to maintaining trust, professionalism, and respect. Dustloop would also like to recognize that a significant audience of the site does not speak English as their first language, and so the administration of the site asks that sentences are kept relatively simple. Some things which can help are listed below.
- Write in the 3rd person.
- Avoid writing in a way that directly addresses the reader. ("you")
- Avoid excessively emotive language when possible. (eg: "insanely oppressive offense and abysmally awful defense")
As a general note, Dustloop aims to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. Describe the options which are made available by the game systems and characters. To add to that point, Dustloop needs to be written agnostic to the skill of the reader. Never assume a particular level of reader competence so that the largest audience reasonably possible. An easy way to achieve this is to stick to the descriptive nature of what the character can do as opposed to what the player can do. Instead of "you can block while in the air", write "X Character can block while in the air".
Casual language and inside jokes are fair game so long as they are kept in moderation. The purpose of the site is not to be a platform for jokes, but instead to help people learn and maybe have fun in the process.
Character Pages are the most commonly read articles on the entirety of Dustloop. As such, these articles will be held to the highest standard.
Many readers do not have a long attention span, so get to the point. Be descriptive, detailed, and accurate, but avoid waxing poetic. Overviews need to cover a lot of information in a relatively compact space so it is recommended that editors avoid making excessive use of adjectives fluff phrases.
The overview for a given character should give a reader a basic understanding of what the character can do, what the character's gameplan is, crucial flaws, and key strengths are. The latter two points can be carried by the pros/cons table in the majority of situations, but it is sometimes appropriate to mention things in greater detail within the overview. A reader should walk away from an overview with a baseline understanding of how a character players at a macro scale.
Lore blurbs are optional fields in the overview for a character designed to communicate some information about the character outside of gameplay. Whenever possible, these blurbs should be taken word-for-word from official sources. An example of this would be Granblue Fantasy Versus. Each character, at the time of writing this article, has an official lore description available on their website. In the event that user wishes to write an unofficial lore summary, the summary should be kept short and simple. Four (4) to Six (6) sentences should be considered a safe upper limit for the length of the lore blurb.
If the quote field is used, it should either use quotes from official sources, such as Arc System Works' websites, or quotes which are directly verifiable within their respective game.
Playstyle summaries are single sentence summaries of their respective character's overview. These do not need to be incredibly detailed and are meant to be read at a glance. The template will force every playstyle summary to start with an icon of the character and the character's name.
Strengths and Weaknesses Tables
Strengths and Weaknesses tables, also known as the pros/cons section, are potentially very contentious and can be damaging to the site's reputation when handled without care. As such, these sections should be collaborative efforts which are frequently cross referenced and verified. Below is a non-exhaustive list of guidelines to follow when editing this section. The Bureaucrat team reserves the right to make rulings on these sections on a per-case basis.
- Begin every bullet point with a bolded summary of the bullet point, followed by an un-bolded colon.
- Keep each bullet point to a maximum of 4 lines of text.
- Be specific. If a point depends on a specific set of moves or situations, enumerate them.
- Be fair. It is natural to want to emphasize how weak a character's option may be, or how strong it may be. Keep these lists metered and avoid making absolute statements as to what is best and worst in the game.
This section is one of the most scrutinized by outside eyes, and as such it should contain the bare minimum of jokes. However many jokes may be acceptable in the rest of the page, this section should contain a fourth of that.
Move lists leave freedom to the community to act as a guide in addition to a fact source. Every move contains a description area where editors can give advice on how a move can be used, the important drawbacks of a move, and so forth. Specific details on how to style these sections can be found on Writing Character Pages, but in general this section is open to whatever people feel is appropriate.
A Note on Joke Captions
Dustloop has a long history of having joke captions under the images for moves, and sometimes even in the overviews. Some of these captions were genuinely funny and considered a welcome and fun part of the Dustloop experience. Within recent time, joke captions have become increasingly problematic. Many users on external sites, sites such as Twitter, have taken these too far. People now edit war over these captions, add inflammatory remarks, and overall degrade the quality of the page for the sake of being able to post screenshots for attention.
The current stance of the Bureaucrat Team is that we do not want to do away with joke captions entirely, and would still like to grant them some good will, but joke captions will be treated with greater scrutiny in the future, and less of them will be allowed per-page. There is no hard limit, and will be handled case-by-case. Please exercise some degree of restraint. Some jokes are bangers and are welcome, but sometimes a joke just isn't worth immortalizing on the site.