Team Fortress Wiki:Community topics notability guidelines

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This page is about Team Fortress Wiki Policy regarding notability of Community topics covered by this wiki. For the main page of Team Fortress Wiki Policies, see Team Fortress Wiki:Policies.
See Team Fortress Wiki:Community topics notability assessment project.

Community topics are pages about notable content related to the Team Fortress series but not directly supported by Valve.

Because the Team Fortress Wiki is treated as a reliable source of useful information by players, all new page additions are reviewed by staff to ensure that they meet minimum quality standards. This includes official upstream content but Community topics in particular are scrutinized due to historical issues with such pages.

A significant amount of TF2 playtime is spent on Community servers where players are likely to encounter many modifications and related content installed. Therefore our aim with these pages is to find a balance between documentation that is useful to players but with notability requirements strict enough that it doesn't devolve into an all-inclusive sprawl or allow opportunities for spamming. Content that has a known presence and user base in the community is preferred and should be prioritized.

To avoid mod edits and maintain this standard of quality, please ensure that your page meets the general guidelines outlined above and in the content-specific sections below. If staff find a page related to a community topic that don't satisfy these guidelines they may create a talk page section asking you to join the IRC channel to coordinate edits. Or ask for clarification and request edits to make it fit the community topic guidelines. Otherwise the page may be moved to a subpage of your User page without a redirect. Please note that due to the inherent difficulties of deciding notability with certainty, the problem might be as simple as lack of significant community presence and demonstrated user base.


General rules

As with any article, incompleteness, poor grammar, inconsistent formatting, and other quality issues are completely separate issues from notability — low quality is not a reason to tag for non-notability. All notable topic pages with quality issues can and should be fixed by normal editing. Severely underdeveloped pages can be moved by authors or custodians to User sandboxes until improved to at least stub quality. Similarly, there no requirement that stub be completed; some Valve maps languished as stubs for years.

Generally, to neutrally reinforce notability, a Community topic page should not be written by anyone who developed the subject of the page. "No self-nomination."

Notability is forever. Once a topic is notable, it is notable indefinitely; even if a topic can no longer be found hosted in the Community, or by Valve (e.g., Asteroid), it still retains its notability.

Mod notability

A mod is a Community modification of a Team Fortress series game, which, naturally, are distributed and hosted only by Community servers. (See: Category:Mods) Team Fortress itself was a mod of another game. A particular mod is notable enough for coverage in a page in this wiki if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Running on multiple servers: The mod in question must be shown to be in use on multiple servers, run by different entities (meaning that if there are a half-dozen servers being run by one group or person, it doesn't count). These servers also have to show a reasonable amount of player activity, and not simply be empty all the time. If a mod truly is notable in the community, then players will request that server admins run the mod and/or plugin, and it will see reasonable activity in those servers.
  • Discussion among the community: Discussion of the mod must extend beyond the thread announcing its creation and development. It must be shown that the mod is actively discussed by multiple users over multiple communities, in order to illustrate its popularity among players.
  • Reported in game media (blogs, youtube, etc): A very good marker of popularity is if a prominent YouTuber uploads a video of gameplay of the mod, or a popular Twitch streamer plays it (with or without fans/subscribers is acceptable). Simply showcasing the mod over the course of a few videos and a few personalities is proof enough of trending popularity; it does not have to be multiple videos over a consistent time period.

However, a Mod page on this wiki must not serve as the website for the Mod; the "creators/owners" of the Mod have the responsibilities of supporting the Mod online as necessary.

Total conversions

Total conversion mods are quite a rare case, and are seen more so as individual games rather mods of any Team Fortress game; and as such, are better off documented on their own wiki. What would be considered a total conversion would be:

  • A mod that completely changes the art style of the game, to the point where it is unrecognizable as a Team Fortress game.
  • The mod is dependent on third-party software repository clients for downloading assets.

Variant games

Variant games or fan games are such complete conversions that they are in fact their own games and cannot be played except outside of any Team Fortress game. There is a large variety of Team Fortress-inspired/fan games; it is simply not relevant for the wiki to document their presence and they are better covered by their own wiki. This does not include topics that are covered better by other wikis or sites that were published by Valve, such as Garry's Mod and Counter-Strike, or part of a game promotion such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Community event notability

Community events are significant, higher-profile events sponsored by organizations other than Valve; such as content competitions, special server activations, charities, tournaments, campaigns, or tours. Community events have been a source of many Community maps, community items, and other content that have been added to the game by Valve. However, Community events can be significant areas of Community activity in their own right, rivaling the popularity of some activities on Valve servers.

  • Promotion by Valve: including Valve's official Team Fortress blog posts and news and/or patched promotional/reward items
  • Running multiple event servers
  • Significant participation: player count, players earning rewards
  • Perpetual event: Event content (e.g., maps/mechanics) are/were publicly used outside of the event on Community servers
  • Reported in game media (blogs, youtube, etc)

To be useful and to prevent the loss of historic record, coverage of a Community event should begin with Valve's notification of the Community event (or other condition of notability) and continue past the end of the event. Essentially, coverage that begins after an event can lose much useful information. Valve's announcements might not cover important changes to the event, and the Host may delete records of events shortly after the event is over. If the event turns out to be non-notable after all, coverage may then be tagged and removed according to discussion (less harm is done by giving temporary attention to a trivial event than by permanently missing details of a notable event). The Team Fortress Wiki article covering the event should ...

  • ... include at least as much linkage to important information and resources for the event as the Valve announcement does (e.g., Valve’s announcement of Operation: Digital Directive provides no less than 6 links into the host’s website).
  • … include updates for important changes in the event (extensions, rule changes).
  • … include event outcomes, such as participation numbers, achievement levels, contest winners, and charity donations.
  • … include navigation to similar past events run by the present host and other past hosts as relevant.

However, a Community event article should be no more than encyclopedic; it must not perform the functions of the host's webpage.

Custom map notability

Custom maps are maps created within the Community for play with patched and/or modded versions of Team Fortress, Team Fortress Classic, and Team Fortress 2. (Particularly, these are not maps termed by Valve as "Community maps", which are Community-created Custom maps that have been officially Patched into published Team Fortress games, and therefore are automatically all notable enough to be covered by Team Fortress Wiki pages.) Many Custom maps are incomplete or amateurish, but several have become popular on Community servers or have significantly influenced game play. Some Custom maps have eventually been included in the game by Valve as Community maps. The following criteria should be considered for assessing the notability of a Custom map.

Note: It is not necessary that a map meet all or even many criteria to be considered notable enough for a page, since some criteria are mutually exclusively and a few other overlap. Neither should the notability assessment consider the completeness or style of the map's article -- article quality is subject to other policies. As is the case with any article about Official and Community maps, it is acceptable for a Custom map to remain at stub quality indefinitely.

  • Original version: A Custom map later modified for and patched into a Valve Event is often considered notable on this basis alone (for example, Fifthcurve).
  • Significant use: Popularly counts to notability, as measured by player count, multiple server occupation at least during peak hours (several Valve maps on Valve servers go unoccupied, even in peak hours.)
  • Vetted quality: Winning or placing in a judged competition supports notability.
  • Used in a notable Community event
  • Rivaling Valve servers: Custom maps with multiple variants that recently or historically collectively rival popularity of some of Valve maps, even if not highly finished (e.g., Achievement Idle); such may receive a collective article broadly covering the variants.
  • Originated or particularly promoted new Community activities: Certain Custom maps that created or supported popular new Community activities definitely rivaled some Valve game modes, especially when including many derivative variants in the consideration. Examples: Achievement Idle (Idling maps), Walkway (Training maps), Trade Plaza (Trading maps), etc. A particular factor is whether the wiki has reason to mention the map in a main namespace article.
  • History making: These are maps that were notable for introducing significant mods, Community activities, or official modes (for example, trading, Surfing, etc.) (singly or collected as appropriate).
  • Perpetual event: If the Custom map was part of a Community event, its notability is especially supported when it is/was hosted on Community servers not associated with the original event (that is, independent Community use continues after the event).
  • Difficult to assess but may support notability:
    • Reported in game media (blogs, youtube, etc)
    • Discussion among the Community

As is the case with any other type of Community topic, Custom map articles must conform to all policies and styles applicable to official map articles.

The following do not count for notability:

  • "This is a really good map." (Let a Competition and the Community be the judge of that.)
  • "Obviously, someone put a lot of time and effort into this map." (If, so, then enter it into a competition!)
  • "Such and such have pages and they aren't notable, so this one should get a page, too." (Staff is working on it; join the editors and help the process of discussing and categorizing notable Community content.)

Custom MvM missions

Due to hiatus of Valve publication of new MvM maps and missions and the increase the Community MvM events of recent years, custom missions have been added to the Community. Of course, some of these missions have been used in notable events, but missions should still subject to guidelines to prevent flooding the wiki with non-notable custom missions, e.g., custom missions never used in events.

As a factor for notability, a custom mission may only be noted/granted an article if:

  • It is used with a notable Custom MvM map, and
  • It was part of a Community event that has been announced by Valve, e.g. Operation Canteen Crasher

As is the case with any other type of Community topic, custom mission articles must conform to all policies and styles applicable to official map articles. Any media must conform to the naming schemes as well as categorizations, meaning that files are to be prefixed with the event name, e.g. File:Operation Digital Directive Blimp.png and categorized under Category:Custom Mann vs. Machine missions media. In addition to this, custom mission articles should be categorized under Category:Custom Mann vs. Machine missions along with the event name, e.g. Category:Operation Canteen Crasher missions‎.

Per Policy, media that contains copyrighted material is prohibited and is subject to deletion. See also Licensing images.

Community assets/collections

While certain Community assess packs have been popularly used not just in custom maps but in many newer maps that Valve has added to their game, it it not necessary for the Team Fortress Wiki to deeply cover all of them.

Priority should be given those that packs have been notably promoted by Valve, such as Swamp Theme, Construction Theme, and Bullet Crops Project. Other less notable better covered on their mapping platform (e.g., TF2Maps) rather than using the Team Fortress Wiki as a separate webhost or simply mirroring a webpage as in the case of The London Pack.

Community content "patches"

Community content "patches" also know as Fan updates are unofficial content releases, some with fanfare and Update days mimicking the Valve Updates of old. Most of their content is usable only on Community servers. These may be mentioned where relevant and when notable.

Tags and assessment process

Tags are applied to Community topics, first to serve notice that the page undergoing review/assessment for notability, then to indicate that the page has passed the assessment for continued inclusion.

  • Community topic pages not yet discussed for notability should be tagged to prompt assessment by editors under a Community topics notability assessment project. The template should look something like this: {{custom content notice|assertment=no}}.
  • Community topic pages assessed as notable are tagged as such with link in the tag to the subpage where the assessment was recorded. The template should look something like this: {{custom content notice|assertment=yes}}.
  • Community topic pages assessed as not notable are removed from the main namespace.