Category talk:Custom Power Set Icons

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Revision as of 15:22, 11 July 2012 by Sekoia (Talk | contribs) (Suggestions)

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Icons

Blondeshell hit on what I feel is a great idea and added the various Paragon Market symbols to the Power Set articles that use them. How do folks feel about me (and other folks) creating custom icons for each of the power sets that are NOT purchasable via the store? (á là Custom Enemy Faction Icons)?

A blank example has been added already, I will attempt to use in-game screen shots and free images to composite appropriate symbology. Suggestions? Qualms? Reservations? Some other thing? — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 14:24, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I made Power Set Icon-Plant Control.png as an example, what do you think? — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 14:44, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I like. Perhaps a different border color to show the difference between a PMarket power set and a free-to-all power set? ~ AGGE talk/cons 20:58, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking about this exact thing earlier today after I uploaded those newest market icons. My first thought was to simply pick a representative icon for the type of power set with the appropriate color scheme, but your idea would be a bit flashier. More time-consuming, yes, but more interesting, too. We could just alter the border to set these off as non-purchasable. One other thing we should do when adding these icons is to update the overviews to say these are "standard power sets", and also make sure "power set" is two words, for consistency. Blondeshell Sig.png talk / contribs 21:08, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with the different border. How about silver? And I have been persistent (trying to be) in making sure I use "power set" and not "powerset" when I have to use a term. If you want, I can upload the PSD version of this that I have so others can work on it too. Smilies cool.gifPill-37.png Talk · Cont 23:49, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm wary of this. I don't like the mixing of official iconography with unofficial iconography because it has a high potential for confusion. And adding a different border isn't going to fix that. How is anyone supposed to know that one border means "purchasable" and the other means "we created this icon ourselves"? You'd have to explain that somewhere, but where would you explain it that people would find it? The risk of people thinking that the icon is from the game/market is very high; remember that we seek to convey official information, and anything that confuses official and unofficial imagery goes against that ideal. If the goal is to include something graphical that is representative of the power set, then I think you'd be much better off with screenshots. (Or perhaps use non-screenshot official illustrations where available.) I do think it's helpful to also include the Paragon Market icon where there is one (separate from the imagery to represent the power set), but perhaps it'd be wise to actually label it as such rather than just including it without explanation. -- Sekoia 21:26, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Is there something more that should be added to {{Power Set Icon}} that could accomplish this succinctly? I definitely see your point. — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 00:28, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I think it might be worth it to somehow indicate that the image is unofficial on the articles where they appear. It'd be somewhat unsightly, sure, but it should all but eliminate the potential for giving the wrong impression. --GuyPerfect 01:30, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
And it would be simpler/more intuitive to see the explanation in the article rather than having to click the image. I don't think the individual images need to have notes because they're already in a "Custom" category. Blondeshell Sig.png talk / contribs 02:16, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
That was sorta my feeling as well... there is a hover note regarding it not needing to be purchased, they are in a custom category... and there is precedent for this sorta thing with the {{Enemy Link}} template icons. *shrug* If folks feel there needs to be a note, I won't get in the way of that. (In the interim, I will add a short little note to the template that is being used though.) — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 02:30, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Being in a category is pretty meaningless for the point I'm concerned about. When someone is browsing the power set pages, they aren't going to click the image to see what category it's in to see if it's a custom image. They're just going to see the image, and whatever subconscious conclusions they draw are going to be drawn. Now that you mention it, we probably shouldn't be using custom images for the Enemy Link templates either, because it is the same issue. However, getting back to the power set articles, it seems the point I felt most strongly about got left behind: If you are using these icons to give an impression of the power set, then it would be much better to use screen shots or some other imagery rather than these icons. -- Sekoia 02:42, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Power sets that have some physical object-type component (such as weapons) will be easier to use screenshots or official imagery for creating custom icons. However, armors and other "soft" power sets are probably going to need some creativity to effectively communicate their effects and abilities into a single image. Blondeshell Sig.png talk / contribs 02:54, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting we use the screen shots to create custom icons. I was suggesting we use screenshots instead of custom icons. There's no need for us to represent the power sets in icon form. And you're right, one image may not work for all articles, so additional images may be worthwhile elsewhere in the article. However, that same argument works against icons as well; they're only going to capture one facet of the power set. -- Sekoia 12:33, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

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Put the wiki "W" (like the favicon) in the corner of the user-created ones. ~ AGGE talk/cons 04:38, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

That's a splendid idea! That's a much more obvious cue. I'm still not a fan of us creating custom icons, but this would make it much less problematic. -- Sekoia 12:33, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I just created a new "icon" involving a small Wiki logo... does it need to be significantly bigger? Power Set Icon-Fire Control.png Also, I really don't understand the dogged issues with using some user-created flair here and there. The wiki is indeed meant to be a repository of game information, but I don't see a reason to keep anything not found in the game out of it. Please don't decide that the Faction Icons should be gutted as well. Smilies frown.gifPill-37.png Talk · Cont 13:06, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that's too small. Perhaps we should create a template that super-imposes the image? That way, we're a bit more armored against resizing.
Since you asked, I'll try to further explain my reasoning:
When someone visits a power set article and sees an icon like that portrayed prominently at the top of the article, they aren't going to consciously think about it. They'll note it as the visual flair it is and move on. However, it's very likely that a lot of people are going to, in the back of their minds, assume that it's official material. This is exacerbated greatly if some of the icons are official material and others are not. Thus, we are representing NCsoft's brand with our own imagery and (unintentionally) misleading people into thinking that it's NCsoft's representation. Worse, we're doing so with images that may not even be as good as theirs. Some of the artwork I've seen uploaded for these so far is nice, but some of them to me aren't up to the same level as what the game is using. That is perhaps a harsh statement, but it's subjectively true. And even if they're up to the same level, that doesn't mean they perfectly match the style; the ones I've looked at have done a reasonably good job so far, but who's to say that will continue with the harder ones? In my mind, we're not providing official information at this point. We're using unofficial, fan-created artwork to visually represent the game and that is not Paragon Wiki's purpose. There are places where fan-created artwork can be useful on the wiki (such as the icons for rarity). But in my opinion, this is not one of those places. And unlike the rarity icons, these are not being used to represent something in short-hand; they're simply visual flair. But really, the key point here is, City of Heroes is NCsoft's brand, and it's wholly inappropriate for us to introduce imagery that people are going to think officially represents their brand, and even worse, imagery that may not represent their brand as well as they would. As long as it's very clear that it's fan-created, that's not an issue. But if we can't be exceedingly clear on that, then I think we are out of line. And thus far, we are not exceedingly clear on that; it has to be clear to the casual user who reads a single power set article, not just the power editor who clicks on the image and views it full-size or who looks at its categories.
There's also the fact that we're not all going to agree on how to represent these things. For instance, while I think the icons for Fiery Aura and Claws are both good, I don't think the icons for Fire Control or Will Power represent their sets clearly. Who's to say you're right and I'm wrong, or vice versa? Who are any of us to decide which of those images should represent the power set, even if we do find a way to make it clear they're custom? Is this really something we want to hash out? Frankly, it's probably something that won't get hashed out because most people won't want to complain, no matter how badly they think an icon matches the set or even how badly the icons looks period. Most people don't like to criticize artwork because it's so hard to make and we want to appreciate people's artistic efforts. Plus in this case, there's going to a be a ton of them. That means it's even more likely that we're going to end up with icons that poorly represent sets, and it's also very likely that we'll end up with icons that don't match the style or aren't "as good" otherwise. Perhaps that is also a harsh statement, but we shouldn't ignore harsh truths if it's going to compromise the wiki.
The compounding factor here is that these icons really aren't needed. We've done well without them for years and years. Yes, they add a nice visual flair, but that isn't a compelling reason to go against the above paragraphs. Perhaps they're also mildly helpful in giving a "feel" for the power set in some cases, but the benefit is mild there and I think it's very likely that many of the icons are going to fail at that, especially for the harder sets; if we really want to give a feel for the power sets, there are better ways than icons. The only reason we started including icons on the power set pages is because the Paragon Market has icons for the ones they sell. And the reason they have icons is because that's how the store works. They didn't create those icons because the power sets, of themselves, needed icons. They didn't create those icons because they were trying to broadly depict what the power sets are. If either of those were the case, they'd be using them in the power set selection screens. They simply created them so that the purchasable power sets would have something distinct and eye-catching next to their names in the market, because that's how the market works and it makes for more sales. That's not a compelling reason for us to start doing all of this.
To be clear: I'm not arguing we should keep all non-game imagery off the wiki. There are places where it's appropriate, and there are places where it's inappropriate. This is a place where I feel it's inappropriate. Hopefully the previous paragraphs clarify that.
Regarding the Faction Icons: they aren't displayed prominently at the top of the enemy group articles like these icons are. They're small and unobtrusive and it's hard to even see much detail on them in the articles where they are used. So the level of harm there is much diminished. I also think it's more clear that those icons aren't official. You don't encounter icons like that anywhere in game or on the website. They resemble the badge images, but an enemy group and a badge aren't the same thing, so the potential for confusion is lower. Maybe we shouldn't be making custom icons for them, and I've always felt vaguely uneasy about it though it didn't occur to my why until this came up. But perhaps that is a case where the level of harm is low enough that it's acceptable to use them for the visual flair and representation they provide. I'm not sure. I personally would probably be happier if we just used some sort of "blank" icon for groups that don't have a natural icon, but I'm not really interested in pushing that since I don't think the issue is anywhere near as problematic as this one.
And in any case, I don't get to decide whether we gut the faction icons. That's a decision to be made via consensus, as is the one regarding power set icons. (Though since I'm not inclined to push for it for the faction icons, I don't think you need to worry; I doubt anyone else is going to push for it, so it's moot.) And just because I can produce a novel explaining my POV doesn't mean I am on the side of consensus. Thus far, I seem to stand alone on the issue. :( -- Sekoia 13:58, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Figured it'd be easier to show what I meant by "create a template that super-imposes the image". I made a temporary demo at User:Sekoia/Sandbox/One, using the temporary template at User:Sekoia/Sandbox/t1. (Is the favicon image available somewhere on the wiki? I couldn't find it.) This allows icon authors to not have to worry about the custom branding, and it allows us to change the custom branding later if we want to. -- Sekoia 14:35, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I will upload a PNG of the image I created, it is essentially a larger version of the Favicon thingy. (I will also implement it in the example template if you don't mind.) — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 14:38, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Feel free to adjust my sandbox page. :) -- Sekoia 14:39, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Aaaargh, pet peeve alert! #864: Use of the word Faction. It's enemy group, not faction. They're not all divisions of a greater entity any more than character Alignment is. Leave Warcraft nomenclature on Azeroth. )-:<
For what it's worth, I've always been wary about the custom icons for enemy groups showing up in the contact info boxes... Though I'm decidedly opposed to representing power sets with user-created icons, even though it is fun and I'll continue to do it until a decision is made on the matter. (-:
Any unofficial/fan-made art being used in the same context as official imagery is, objectively speaking, inaccurate and misrepresentative. I won't go forcing my preferences in the matter, but I will point out that precedent has already been established on the wiki regarding the use of user-created images being used in an official-esque context. Aaaand, looking at that, it seems to have also involved present company. (-: --GuyPerfect 15:09, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Is it worth putting this to a vote, or should I just concede the point to the well reasoned thoughts above? I guess I was just frustrated earlier due to how much fun I was having making these. *shrug* Oh well, I can still churn them out for my own use on the OPortal! Smilies cool.gifPill-37.png Talk · Cont 19:10, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
With the "W" superimposed, my opposition drops from "strong" to "very mild". As it stands, there are three people who support (you, Agge, Blondeshell) and two who have voiced opposition (me, Guy) so I think conceding defeat would be a bit premature. ;) -- Sekoia 21:24, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

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I support both the custom enemy icons and the custom power set icons. Neither one are misrepresenting an icon already in the game, which is what the discussion that GuyPerfect linked to on the Alpha VR icon was about. There are no icons for enemy group icons, and there are no icons for power sets that are not available on the market. Thus GuyPerfect's objection to that is unjustified. ~ AGGE talk/cons 20:04, 10 July 2012 (UTC) Not to mention with the power set icons, Sekoia's "W" overlay template distinctly shows they are not Paragon's material. ~ AGGE talk/cons 20:05, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

I can live with it with the "W" overlay, especially with hover text that also indicates it is user contributed. I updated the template to implement the overlay code. -- Sekoia 21:24, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Suggestions

As you might surmise, there are a lot of powersets power sets out there... does anyone have any great idea for symbols/pictures to use for some of the more difficult ones? I was thinking something like the classic Newton's Apple for gravity control... or is that just a bit too reaching on a conceptual level? Also, while Fire itself is any easy theme, how does one make sure to differentiate Blast, Armor, Melee, Manipulation and Assault from one another? — Pill-37.png Talk · Cont 09:23, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Newton's Apple seems waaaay too conceptual. That wouldn't make me think "Gravity Control". As for your other questions, I have no idea. I don't think we're going to be able to successfully represent a lot of them, which is another reason I'm wary of the project. Perhaps you guys should start with the hardest power sets first. That way, if it proves untenable, you haven't invested a ton of effort in the easy power sets. Once you've invested a ton of effort in making icons, it's going to be much more difficult to abandon the idea no matter how untenable the harder power sets might prove to be. -- Sekoia 15:22, 11 July 2012 (UTC)