Forums: Village pump → Managing removed content

Hey there people. As you already know, I am kinda passionate about the subject of removed content, and this is why you've seen me weighting on issues such as Classic WoW and NPCs removed from game almost constantly since I joined wowpedia.

This has resulted in me creating many categories such as Category:Durotar (original) mobs for all mobs having ever appeared in Durotar but now being gone. Note that this lists contain: mobs that appeared in vanilla and were removed with the Cataclysm, mobs that only temporarily appeared during Zalazane's Fall, mobs that only appeared during Battlefield: Barrens... There is no distinctions between them all, the only criteria to belong in the category is to have been in Durotar once but not anymore.


So my proposal is that I want to extend that system further. Pcj has been kind enough to use a bot to "harvest" all the categories which pages using {{removed}} belonged to before the template was added. With that he created an excel sheet, that I tweaked by hand. Then a new bot would go through all the pages using the template to add back selected categories to match the old ones. For example, all boats that belonged to Category:Active passenger transports would be put into Category:Inactive passenger transports instead of having the category deleted entirely. All NPCs that belonged to Category:Arathi Highlands NPCs would be put into Category:Arathi Highlands (original) NPCs instead of having the category deleted. And this would happen for NPCs, quests, items, etc.

For example, the following NPC Lieutenant Benedict would end up with the following categories:

As another example, the  [Bonecreeper Stylus] that dropped on the original version of Darkmaster Gandling would end up with the following categories:

The bot would also remove "|doc=" parameters and of course not add a category twice if it is already present.


I believe this proposal has many advantages:

  • This will add back a lot of information that was, in my opinion, unnecessary to remove.
  • If we ever decide to create Classic specific pages or categories, we can browse through the (original) categories to make our work much faster.
  • Even if we later decide that "(original)" isn't such a good name and that we want to rename everything to another name, since everything would be categorized properly, it would be very easy to use a bot to rename all the categories.

Of course this isn't a magical system and there are still some flaws:

  • 1) All the characters that were removed from a zone but added to another won't have the {{removed}} template and as such wouldn't be affected by the bot. Such NPCs will have to be found and edited manually.
  • 2) It seems at some point it was standard to put "Unknown" as the location of NPCs once they were removed from WoW. A bot can't fix that.
  • 3) The bot only parsed through pages using the {{removed}} or {{Unobtainable}} templates, it didn't go through pages using the unique event or holiday ones so those will be left unaffected.
  • 4) There is the possibility that some pages were mis-categorized in the past, and as such that bogus categories will be added back to wowpedia.

Nothing we can really do about 1, 2 and 3 considering that's already happening, and for point 4 I believe it won't be too much of a problem, because the bot will add the categories at the very end of each page and as such it'll make it easy to take a look at them and decide wether they are good or not.

Of course the proposal is not perfect but I think we should go forward with it. What do you guys think? --Xporc (talk) 13:31, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

The original categories shouldn't have been removed in the first place just because the NPC was removed. Now we have countless uncategorized pages floating around in the database. If we can bring them back, I'm in. -- MyMindWontQuiet 13:53, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Better than leaving these old pages in the void. Go for it. --Ryon21 (talk) 13:57, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
BTW {{Unobtainable}} *was* also parsed. --PcjWowpedia wiki manager (TDrop me a line!C207,729 contributions and counting) 14:56, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Great news! Xporc (talk) 15:31, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Goodie. PeterWind (talk) 12:00, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

I had to edit your Benedict example because, due to him being friendly to Alliance, he goes to the NPC category and is not a mob, despite his job is being killed of by the Horde :-/
Regarding the proposal, the advantages seem to be more important / valued than the flaws. Mordecay (talk) 13:26, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
In that case your edit is wrong, considering the bot would be reinstating Benedict's former values, which tagged him as a mob, but whatever Xporc (talk) 14:12, 19 October 2018 (UTC)


I'll be throwing some notes about the work that remains to do.

  • Handle Category:Barrens subzones, maybe move category to "Barrens (original) subzones" and make sure the template is used everywhere it needs to be.
  • Handle Category:Alterac Mountains subzones, maybe make sure the template is used everywhere it needs to be.
  • Handle all the removed quests belonging to two categories at once, such as Category:Elwynn Forest quests and Category:Elwynn Forest (original) quests.
  • Think about Category:Naxxramas (original) items: the category was cleaned before patch date and as such isn't correctly filled. See Naxxramas (Classic) loot.
    • The tier 3 items are still to be handled properly, it's a big mess.
  • Maybe manually check all the usage of {{rfg-section}} to add missing categories that were not covered by the bot.
  • It seems the pages that belonged to Category:Removed from World of Warcraft (aka no patch tag) were not handled properly by the bot, who didn't dig in their history to restore their former categories.
  • The (original) zone pages have no consistency. Some have their respective continent templates, some have their subzones templates, others don't have them, etc.
  • Often, mobs were shuffled around with new names. This happened to all the Defias Brotherhood gangers in Elwynn, all the Dalaran agents in Silverpine, and all the Scarlet Crusaders in Stratholme. Should we split their pages?
  • The pages that use holiday or event templates such as {{Hallow's End}} or {{Gates of Ahn'Qiraj}} will have to be covered manually
  • Need to create a bot request to move the removed class abilities and talents to "(original)" categories.
    • Even after the bot request was created, some talents belong in both categories, for example [Endurance] is in both Rogue talents and Rogue (original) talents

Xporc (talk) 15:32, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Category naming

Could we switch to a [[Category:Removed X Y]] naming scheme instead of using [[Category:X (original) Y]] (e.g. [[Category:Durotar (original) mobs]][[Category:Removed Durotar mobs]])? Having disambiguation-like parentheses in the middle is somewhat annoying, as is the implication of a single "original" version: those (original) categories might end up containing things that didn't co-exist in any version of WoW (for example, Attuned Frog and Kor'kron Paratrooper). – Foxlit (talk) 20:29, 13 January 2019 (UTC)

That format does look nice, especially because of no parentheses. — SurafbrovWowpedia's wiki representative T / C 21:00, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Also, the "X (original)" format comes from the idea that every zone has a chance to be revamped, like Barrens (Classic), and it would be less work to file removed things with the future original zone now instead of later.--SWM2448 21:30, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
The problem with the "removed X Y" is that once Classic comes, these things won't be removed anymore, but eh Xporc (talk) 22:31, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
We'll have to come up with some way to differentiate between Classic and Modern, though, and calling everything (original) even when it isn't won't be accurate either. -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 22:33, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
That is understandable for classic content, but there would still be a reason for these categories considering stuff that was introduced in expansions but removed later like pre-events such as the BfA Darkshore event. However, I'm not sure whether new categories should be made to consider classic content. But if so, should they still in the removed category because they were once part of the retail game. — SurafbrovWowpedia's wiki representative T / C 22:37, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Classic indeed needs a separate category structure (probably "Classic X Y" or "Classic:X Y", like "Classic Durotar mobs"), with the understanding that WoW categories without the Classic marker don't apply to Classic WoW content. It seems a bit too early to bother with these categories while Classic isn't actually playable. Similarly, I wouldn't think optimizing for potential future zone revamps is all that useful. — foxlit (talk) 19:55, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate categories

Alright, it's time to start thinking about how to fix pages appearing in duplicate categories, like the Elwynn Forest ones. It's probably possible to use the original excel file and a bot to do it, we just need to decide how to handle it properly.

The questions are:

  • how many categories are affected? I know of at least area quests, class quests, and some class abilities. Anyone know about more cases? Maybe we could use a bot to try and find them all.
  • how to fix the different cases?

For area quests, it should be relatively easy. The algorithm would be as such for the bot

  • List all categories following the "Category:XXX (original) quests" naming convention (note: the list can be extracted from the original excel file if necessary)
  • For each category, look for the original "Category:XXX quests"
  • For all quests belonging to both categories, look for the "| category = XXX" line in the questbox and replace it by "| category = XXX (original) | zone = XXX". That will make it appear in the proper "(original)" category and only there.

For class quests, I don't know how to handle it. Anyone here knows the name of the template that handles the display of the little class icons on an hyperlink? Maybe we could edit that template to also accept "Druid (original)" instead of just "Druid" and still display the druid class icon on hyperlinks.

For class abilities, same as above. I usually don't deal with those so I have no experience on the templates that they are using Xporc (talk) 14:56, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

Fix {{questbox}} to accept another parameter indicating that the quest has been removed, and adjust its categorization logic accordingly. Propagating the (original) aliases to other templates seems really unappealing (and "Druid (original)" makes me think "what, did they remove/replace Druids?"). — foxlit (talk) 19:58, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
If someone can do that, good enough for me Xporc (talk) 13:43, 25 January 2019 (UTC)