Guild Wars Wiki talk:Charter policy

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Foundational policy[edit]

One thing I'd like to see some sort of "foundational policy" decreed by ArenaNet (though perhaps authored/refined by users first) that clarifies expectations between them and the userbase. These are policies that should be immutable without ArenaNet's consent. I don't know exactly what form this should take, but here are some ideas for things it could cover (note that I don't necessarily advocate everything here):
1. The userbase should manage themselves through community consensus.

This would be the basic foundation around which we would form any government, and also the way to fix whatever we mess up. It excludes many undesirable government models and helps limit politics and power struggles. We could still form offices with whatever powers under this, but ultimately they'd always be answerable to consensus in case of severe abuse.

2. The wiki is a guide and reference for playing Guild Wars. (or some basic definition like that)

Basically, try to define the core nature/goal of the wiki. This helps us all to get on the same page about what the wiki is and isn't. A big consideration here is how this relates to content which isn't objective core game info (builds & guilds, price guides, vanity pages, etc).

3. The wiki will be openly editable by the public (although allowing for specific protections and bans as a practical necessity), and the content should adhere to GFDL.
4. A list of prohibited content. This could be handled by community policy, but if the root reason for prohibiting something is simply because ANet has to disallow it, we should iron it out at that level if we can.

a. gold-selling & item-selling (for real world money)
b. ways to violate the GW EULA?
c. illegal content
d. non-family-friendly stuff?
e. derogatory remarks about competitor products?
f. discussion of competitor products?
g. ?

5. If the wiki ever becomes permanently or semi-permanently inaccessible to the general public, ArenaNet will make sure that the GFDL content becomes freely available in some form (like a downloadable archive) to whoever wants it, for a reasonable period of time.

Users shouldn't ever have to worry about their hard work becoming lost to them. Probably not a big deal here but would be nice to get this kind of assurance. Idea from Wikia.

6. What scenarios can we foresee in which ANet may need to exercise their authority? Ideally, the userbase should be very autonomous. Realistically though, as the hosting service, ANet will still need to watch out for some of their own responsibilities. Best to spell out what we can now. Figuring out a precise list would also really help define our autonomy.

a. Legal issues. (Those that the community can't/doesn't take care of)
b. Anything that requires server-side work requires them to use their discretion.
c. If the userbase fails in forming stable consensus management. (in case everything goes to heck!)
d. Basic website elements? (site name/icons? overall site look-and-feel? legal disclaimers in the footer?)
e. If it's just really, really necessary. In case we overlooked something, since we make mistakes.
f. ?

Some similar stuff from other wikis:

Obviously, this kind of thing would require general agreement from both ArenaNet and the userbase. What do you all think? Is something like this worth pursuing?

--Rezyk 01:20, 9 February 2007 (PST)

This is a good idea. It would make clear what are goals are, acting as a base for everything else on the wiki. The main points listed above seem fine to me. --Gem (talk) 03:40, 9 February 2007 (PST)
Hmmmm. I totally agree with all the points you list, but I dont see the need for Arenanet to "decree" them as "foundational policy". Points 3 and 4 are not so much policies, but demands towards ANet. Point 1 was already explained by Anet (in various posts, for example here. Similar, point 2 would go in here. --Xeeron 08:20, 9 February 2007 (PST)
(I assume you meant 3 and 5 as being more like demands.) I completely agree that 5 doesn't fit here; it's more appropriate as part of a user wishlist. 3 cuts both ways -- it restricts ArenaNet (for example, can't start requiring CD-keys to edit) and restricts the users (for example, can't just drop the GFDL requirement without ArenaNet consent). Later, I'll make some attempt to convince you (and others that might share your opinion) that having some stuff like this decreed is desirable. --Rezyk 02:13, 12 February 2007 (PST)
I think this is a good idea. I think its more useful for users to see that Arenanet does have a unique position. Although this isn't exactly legally binding... I mean we could write If the wiki ever becomes permanently or semi-permanently inaccessible to the general public, ArenaNet will make sure that the GFDL content becomes freely available in some form (like a downloadable archive) to whoever wants it, for a reasonable period of time. but they are in no way obligated to do. Vlad 09:53, 13 February 2007 (PST)
Well, if ArenaNet happened to assert it, there would be some (non-legal) obligation on their part, and that might encourage more contributors. Of course, we should leave it up to them to assert or not. --Rezyk 15:54, 14 February 2007 (PST)

Why we should do this[edit]

Sigh. I've been trying to write my full explanation for this for a while, but it keeps ending up as a long-winded soapbox rant about how to develop a prosperous wiki. I'll try starting with something more modest; if anyone wants a deeper explanation of any of this, please let me know.

  • The main reason we should try to get something like this implemented is for the simple sake of clarity. ArenaNet has a unique influence/position on this wiki, and surely it is not as simple as "they just provide hosting, we are otherwise autonomous". This article is essentially an attempt to start documenting that position and centralize discussion on it. By separating out which parts of our system are built on community consensus, and which are from the direction of our host, we would greatly clarify the relationship between ArenaNet and the userbase -- and that is important for so many reasons. It benefits the editors, the legislators, the sysops, the bureaucrats, ArenaNet, and the potential contributors/viewers who want to understand this wiki, and ultimately helps to secure/increase our autonomy by focusing the restrictions on us.

--Rezyk 09:39, 13 February 2007 (PST)

What you say there almost sounds more like it should be something written by ANet, not by the community. You say that ArenaNet has a unique influence/position on this wiki, then say that This article is essentially an attempt to start documenting that position — isn't that saying that this article, created by the community, is an attempt by the community to decide ANet's poisition on this wiki? What right do we have to decide what ANet can/can't do here, or what their responsibilities are if something goes wrong?
What might fit better here (for now, until/if ANet decides to write this policy themselves) is a culling of pertinent info from the Official Guild Wars Wiki FAQ and other sources where ANet themselves have officially stated what their position here is. —Dr Ishmael The Chicken King 21:08, 13 February 2007 (PST)
I agree that this stuff is for ANet to decide, not us -- but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to help write it! For example, the community generally decides on our other policies, yet much of the wording of those policies were authored by people who have never even heard of Guild Wars. In the same fashion, it's up to ArenaNet to decide on some policies, yet they can be authored by us, in an effort to assist. This is also why I went ahead with removing #5; I don't want this to be confused as any sort of demand from anyone toward ArenaNet.
Note the disclaimer that this is not intended to go through the normal policy proposal process. Here's my rough plan:
  1. Bring up the idea with the community. Get some general feedback and build a rough example document with brainstormed ideas.
  2. Ask ArenaNet to consider the overall idea (not the specific points!) and let us know how open they are to it.
  3. Get more precise feedback from the community and ArenaNet to refine the specific points.
  4. Draft a copy of the document with my personal commentary and encourage others to do the same.
  5. Submit everything to ArenaNet and ask for a final decision.
Of course, this is all very prone to change depending on how things pan out. Maybe ArenaNet will look at this idea and simply say they don't want to do it, or that our efforts here aren't going to be worthwhile, in which case I'll just focus my energies elsewhere on the wiki. As far as us just documenting what they've stated: I think we could do that somewhere but should still try to go farther. --Rezyk 15:52, 14 February 2007 (PST)
This would have been a great policy on its time, specially the "prohibited content" part... sad i just found about it just now, while checking the redirect list :(.--Fighterdoken 21:08, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


This proposal wasn't especially opposed, but also never got the follow-through work that would be needed to make it happen. So I'm setting it to "rejected policy". --Rezyk 02:00, 1 May 2007 (EDT)



  • If you start working on this again, you might think of putting the proposal tag back on, should be enough time since rejection. Not sure about the other tags though.
  • Where the "redundant" entries different proposals?
  • Don't get too set up on ESRB ratings. There are tons of different legal ratings (I bet one for each country GW is sold in). Better to write in there exactly what we want than redirect to some outside page for what we want. --Xeeron 22:55, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to avoid making the text of this document just about what I/we want, but rather something that provides good coverage of various things that may be worthwhile for ArenaNet to consider. Hence the contradictory/redundant entries (and also some that I personally would advise against). --Rezyk 04:30, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
For your info: Gordon Ecker did remove all the redundancy. --Xeeron 09:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)