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  • Greetings everyone! In this thread I propose to create separate articles for books in ESO (although for consistency that can also be done to book articles from other games). The main reason for that is because Zenimax has changed the contents of some of the books by fixing errors, changing wording, changing authors, adding and removing fragments of the text.

    For example, that happened to:

    The second reason for separate articles stems from the introduction of DPL extension to our wiki. It allows us to make huge lists (such as Characters (Online)/A) using less than 10 lines in the article itself instead of filling the table manually, spending an enormous amount of time on that and having to update it every time something is added to the game. In that regard, DPL is perfect for being used on the Books (Online) page. But it cannot be applied because of Online book pages not using a single template. Separating the book articles would unify the usage of a template and allow us to use DPL.

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    • So, would this be for every book that's in Online, that also happens to appear in other game(s)? That would be quite a few I believe, would take a bit and maybe prioritized due to missing other Online stuff (like Imperial City and Elsweyr)

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    • I really only think seperate articles are justified when there are significant differences between the appearance of a book in game A and game B.

      Having them be seperate just because they appear in different games (while the content remains identical) just seems like an unnecessary amount of work.

      EDIT:

      Small edits like a change in author, or a (fixed) typo, also seems like too small of a change to be worth a seperate article.

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    • Since we have a fairly poor track record with CT timeliness, I'm going to make an executive decision that we will reach some sort of consensus about this in absolutely no more than one month, but ideally much sooner. There's no reason that we have to stretch CTs to multi-month timelines, as we've lazily done in the past.

      This is an interesting proposal. I think it can be broken down in the following ways:

      Benefits
      • We will be able to easily reference different versions of the same book on lore articles. Since many books change over time, this would certainly make things easier for the lorebeards.
      • We can document book differences without relying on {{hide}} or other such templates, which have limited functionality on the mobile skin.
      • It might be stylistically nicer to be able to have screenshots of the book content from each game in the infobox (right now, it's often stored in a gallery at the bottom).
      Costs
      • We will have to manually create articles for every single duplicated book in the series. This would be extremely time-consuming, as it cannot reasonably be automated by a bot.
      • I'm relatively certain that there would be a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) disadvantage were we to begin adding articles that are near-duplicates of each other in large quantities. The real question here is "how big would this SEO hit be?" I can reach out to some folks at Wikia about this and see if they have any thoughts. It's worth remembering that most of our traffic comes from search results.

      The issue you're bringing up is real, and certainly annoying. Bethesda seems to be fairly consistent with their book reproduction, requiring few notes about changes across titles, but ZeniMax is much more particular about their use of punctuation, grammar, etc., and the inherently retconnic nature of ESO means that they make weird content changes too, on occasion. Our current system does an okay-but-not-great job of clarifying these differences.

      The DPL call could theoretically be fixed if we added a collection parameter to the regular {{Books}} template, and only used it for ESO pages. This would unify the templates and allow us to generate these lists automatically, without requiring us to split up any existing articles.

      For books whose contents are indeed different across games (which is the case for many, but not all, multi-game books), an alternative could be to document both versions on the same page. An example of this in use currently is the article KINMUNE; one version is listed before the other, instead of being combined via {{hide}}. It's possible that this could result in a lesser SEO hit than splitting them up. I will have to look into that as well.

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    • Atvelonis wrote:

      • We will have to manually create articles for every single duplicated book in the series. This would be extremely time-consuming, as it cannot reasonably be automated by a bot.

      If we decide to create those articles only for ESO, we would have to create no more than somewhere around 30 of them

      Atvelonis wrote:
      The DPL call could theoretically be fixed if we added a collection parameter to the regular {{Books}} template, and only used it for ESO pages.

      Online Book articles will be using two templates this way. This inconsistency may confuse new editors, will require changes to newarticle template (we can't rule out the possibility that some book from the previous game can be added requiring a new article to be created) and require more rules for the AWB. And if the Books template does the same thing that the OnlineBooks does, wouldn't the second one be superfluous?

      Atvelonis wrote:
      SEO hit

      Most of the people search for Skyrim books, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. In addition to that, those Skyrim Oblivion Morrowind books get one more link from another article. And those Online books have a link from those Skyrim book pages too. (Total SEO in the world increased, so whatever (?))

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    • ^Google (and maybe other search engines) rely a lot on automation, and they penalize sites that appear to have duplicates and stuff like that. So there probably would be some penalty across the wiki

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    • If I am not wrong, that only affects sites with complete duplicates, not partial ones. And even if it did, the book articles are only a fraction of our wiki (there is a lot of content aside from books), so it probably wouldn't have penalized us.

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    • TinyClayMan wrote:
      Most of the people search for Skyrim books, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. In addition to that, those Skyrim Oblivion Morrowind books get one more link from another article. And those Online books have a link from those Skyrim book pages too. (Total SEO in the world increased, so whatever (?))

      I'm not really sure what you mean by this. The issue I'm bringing up is about content duplication; if Google notices that a lot of pages on a website have the same or very similar content, they will automatically apply a penalty to that site in search result rankings. I imagine it's continuous; it's not like it's a single point where they say "ok, too much repetition, let's purge them." Rather, as the level of duplication increases, the penalization increases proportionally, and vice versa. Or so my assumption would be. I would have to look into it.

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    • I reached out to FishTank, who said that the SEO impact associated with this would not be too significant. However, he was speaking in the context of a page naming system that we do not use; subpages, e.g. The Adabal-a/Skyrim (rather than The Adabal-a (Skyrim)). The SEO impact would apparently be slightly greater with our current naming scheme.

      That content duplication is minimal, under the circumstances, but the original textual content should be on the base page, and textual deviations and variant data on the subpages. You can even transclude, if the narrative is 100% the same.

      We've effectively come to the SEO conclusion that qualified articles (e.g. "FooBar (episode)") works when it's a different content entity or means a totally independent and different thing than the base page, but that subpages should be used for dependent articles that illustrate or deviate but are strongly related to the base page.

      So another question here would be whether we want to use a subpage system for books or not. What are people's thoughts on that?

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    • Antikudo
      Slashes in the name of the article don't look nice. And that naming system would have to be used (for consistency) not only for books but also for creatures, characters and locations. That can be avoided by starting doing something like M'aiq's page at some point of time, with tabs for different games.
      But this solution doesn't look nice either.

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    • So, this has happened before. The version of The Real Barenziah (Daggerfall) is substantively different than the version that appears in Morrowind and later games after the Puritans, I mean the Ordinators, I mean management at Bethesda got their hands on it and removed the sexy bits. ;)

      Since we have two different pages for that book, it seems to me that that is a precedent for splitting pages when the versions of a book are different enough, though it will always be a judgement call as to what "different enough" means.

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    • I 100% support using a subpage system for books from different games.

      Separating books is something the Polish wiki already does with the format [Book Title] ([Game]). To remain consistent, they do it even when the books are pretty much identical.

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    • Do we have a rough idea of how many books would be duplicated (as of existing games/DLC)?

      I'm not a big fan of making subpages as it looks a bit odd and potentially confusing for readers, as well as workload involved (potentially could be a lot), and it conflicts with our current page naming system. Not a big deal if there's ~15 books with subpages, but if we're talking 200+ then that's a concern imo

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    • 1857a wrote:

      Separating books is something the Polish wiki already does with the format [Book Title] ([Game]). To remain consistent, they do it even when the books are pretty much identical.

      And thus falsely increasing the number of articles on the wiki, which is their goal apparently. As for the topic of discussion, just use tabs for different games, this will be enough.

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    • ZulMeyGut wrote: And thus falsely increasing the number of articles on the wiki, which is their goal apparently.

      Please keep opinions of other wikis to yourself, as they have no place in this discussion.

      I have typically supported making new pages when it may be beneficial, and I have not changed that general mind set.

      Although it would be a bit of work, if content is different then I'd say just make additional pages. As a wiki, we want to (at the very least) document all versions of the books in some way, and making new pages for differentiated versions would probably fit the theme of this wiki.

      If there's only a few slight changes for a book then a tabber could work, although I've heard people in the past call this hard to maintain as M'aiq the Liar is no longer like this. Therefore, I'd say it's best to just make new (regular) pages for books of slightly different wording, and then just keep books as they are that are the same.

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    • DaBarkspawn makes a good point, we do have a bit of standing precedent for splitting book pages with The Real Barenziah. The content is noticeably different between the volumes. It's probably not that useful to replicate this for all books; if the only thing being changed is minor, like punctuation, I think we can get away with noting that in Trivia.

      I'm a little skeptical of tabbers, as they don't port very well to mobile devices, and have a bit of JS overhead.

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    • What if the ESO books got their own page, but everything else just got "disambiguation" with a "book sources included" that lists those games with similar material, inside the template, then said alternate versions with links to the ESO and any other alternate versions that wildly vary?

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    • 1857a wrote:
      Separating books is something the Polish wiki already does with the format [Book Title] ([Game]). To remain consistent, they do it even when the books are pretty much identical.

      Kudo from me. Now that you mention it, I think that it would help with the interwiki links (especially those leading from the EN wiki).

      DaBarkspawn wrote:
      ... as to what "different enough" means.

      • Create articles for all the books that appear in different games. (Or it can be limited to ESO)

      or

      • Create articles for the books that have content differences (words added, words changed, portions of text added, the text is split into several books, etc), but use {hide} for punctuation or spelling mistakes.

      Shockstorm wrote:
      Do we have a rough idea of how many books would be duplicated (as of existing games/DLC)?

      Someone should count all the pages that have both the Online: Books category and some other game books category.

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    • Just as a general principle, I think we should avoid ESO-specific rules when possible. Consistency is to use the same rule everywhere.

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    • DaBarkspawn wrote: Just as a general principle, I think we should avoid ESO-specific rules when possible. Consistency is to use the same rule everywhere.

      It would be consistent to call a spade a spade though... the numbered games and any game not online will have defined end dates and minimal alterations, ESO just keeps going till it's too outdated to support, this means constant changes and inconsistencies are the norm and to be expected while the others remain static. Anything else that is online only should get the same treatment, but atm only ESO seems to have the staying power to fill that rule.

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    • 73.Anon.52 wrote:

      DaBarkspawn wrote: Just as a general principle, I think we should avoid ESO-specific rules when possible. Consistency is to use the same rule everywhere.

      It would be consistent to call a spade a spade though... the numbered games and any game not online will have defined end dates and minimal alterations, ESO just keeps going till it's too outdated to support, this means constant changes and inconsistencies are the norm and to be expected while the others remain static. Anything else that is online only should get the same treatment, but atm only ESO seems to have the staying power to fill that rule.

      I think if you want call ESO a spade, then you have to call the main line of games hearts, Blades as diamonds and Legends as clubs. The point being that the wiki is a pack of cards entire, it isn't here to support any one of the suits in particular. I also think that "the numbered games and any game not online will have defined end dates and minimal alterations" misses the point of the The Real Barenziah example, because it was significantly later in Morrowind that the book was radically abbreviated from its Daggerfall form. Change has happened in other books over series of games as well.

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    • DaBarkspawn wrote:


      I think if you want call ESO a spade... it isn't here to support any one of the suits in particular. I also think that "the numbered games and any game not online will have defined end dates and minimal alterations" misses the point of the The Real Barenziah example, because it was significantly later in Morrowind that the book was radically abbreviated from its Daggerfall form. Change has happened in other books over series of games as well.

      My point was that the example you gave was an aberration, not the norm, ESO is likewise an aberration from the other games in that it redefines it's own continuity, if you want to get technical, ESO is a joker, because it breaks normal suit conventions.

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    • Please stay on topic. Anyway, I believe if there is even the slightest difference between books in the older games and ESO, there should be separate pages. If books in the older games and ESO are identical, with no revisions or spelling/grammar fixes, then there is no need to separate them.

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    • The Cat Master wrote: I believe if there is even the slightest difference between books in the older games and ESO, there should be separate pages. If books in the older games and ESO are identical, with no revisions or spelling/grammar fixes, then there is no need to separate them.

      I fully agree with that. I think we should have separate pages if there is any difference between texts whatsoever.

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    • The Cat Master wrote:
      ... between books in the older games and ESO ... If books in the older games and ESO are identical ...

      Will these separate book articles for differences in the contents be an ESO-specific rule then?

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    • I'd assume that for consistency it should be for all book articles. ESO may have started this discussion but it would be best if we applied it to everything (again like The Real Barenziah).

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    • The Cat Master wrote: Please stay on topic. Anyway, I believe if there is even the slightest difference between books in the older games and ESO, there should be separate pages. If books in the older games and ESO are identical, with no revisions or spelling/grammar fixes, then there is no need to separate them.

      I was, my point is that ESO will likely be different so often we might as well make a different rule to separate it, if we don't, what happens if they go in and fix the grammar or add chapters for new quests in a few years but editors long ago decided it gets the same page and the only person who notices is an anon with no idea how or where to make the claim of it being different?

      When you have a singular page, anyone playing a game that finds it contrary can't really say "this is all different, you're wrong", but if ESO is on it's own page and they see different they will know the article is wrong and needs editing.

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    • I've been going back and forth on this one but ultimately, I think ESO should be separate at least for books with variations. Although all the changes are a bit annoying, it seems like separating the material could be beneficial for lore people/players of ESO or for future changes to these books.

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    • The consensus we seem to be leaning toward is to indeed create individual book articles for at least some books in the series. Since we are all more or less agreed that our current state is imperfect—as 73.Anon.52 pointed out, many new editors are a little confused about how to treat small revisions to books between titles—it doesn't exactly make sense to have this rule apply just to ESO on the basis that, were we to decide to do nothing, people would be confused. They're already confused, so we'd just be at square one. Since we are doing something, we may as well have it apply to all of the games. It's usually good to avoid unnecessary exceptions in guidelines, and apply them broadly where applicable.

      So the real question now is:

      • Do we want to create game-specific book pages only when the content or meaning is changed?
      • Or do we want to create game-specific book pages if any material in the book is changed?
      • Or do we want to maintain one page per book, but still documenting multiple versions on it?

      I would be fine with any of these, but I'd prefer the second or third points. I would make the argument that punctuation and other minor fixes can actually change the meaning of a text as much as revisions to the actual words. The idea of "content changes" are also slightly subjective, so it would reduce future conflicts about what constitutes a significant change if we avoided the issue altogether.

      If we went with #2, FishTank said that the SEO hit from creating these pages would be fairly minimal, and there are not too many for it to be impossible. Still, the SEO hit isn't zero, so #3 would avoid that duplication completely. You could make an argument for both #2 or #3 being better suited for efficient referencing. If there's only one page to reference (#3), that's no problem for new editors. But it might be valuable to be able to cite the specific versions via page titles (#2), without additional qualifiers.

      We'd also have to decide how to handle infoboxes. I'm not really keen on re-creating a ton of game-specific book infoboxes, considering {{Book}} exists and works quite well. I'd suggest that we simply continue to use {{Book}} on these individual pages, with all of the games' stats appearing in the collapsibles for comparison.

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    • would it be better to separate them into Tabs for individual entry's rather than full pages? for example on the RWBY Wiki's page for characters(for simplicity's sake example Ruby Rose's)

      There are 6 tabs above the article for overview, history, etc(now that I look at it, they may actually be separate pages) that style of tab could easily be adopted for different games books are in to make them feel separate without as much upfront work I'd think.

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    • The tabs on Ruby Rose are separate articles simply linked on a main page. They're also technically not real tabs, as you'd see with the <tabber></tabber> tag (which we should probably avoid, per JS overhead).

      You've reminded me of what I brought up earlier, though, which is that instead of creating separate articles, we could add separate versions of the same book on one single page, à la KINMUNE. So that is a third option.

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    • Sounds to me like #3 is best

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    • agreed

      edit; nvm about #3, not a fan of how Kinmune looks, #2 would be better.

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    • 2 or 3 works for me. I have a slight preference for 2 since it matches what we do with locations.

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    • I think that we should adopt the same measures for all ESO books for consistency.

      The different versions of each book should be available on the wiki in one way or another. They are a source of information after all.

      The NPCs have separate pages for each game, this works nicely for them, but as many have mentioned, there are many books that are mostly the same in different games. This would lead to an effective duplication of pages. In addition, when citing a book how would we choose which version to cite?

      I think that we should stick to one page per book unless the book has been split into different volumes in a particular game. Each book page would then have a tab for every game regarless of the content change.

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    • I'm rather mixed on choosing either option 2 or 3, seeing as both have pros and cons. Doing separate pages requires duplication (never really cared much about that, though) for some books, while option 3 will cause sourcing to be a bit harder for books that have changed over the games. I'm good with either option but for references sake I do lean slightly toward option 2.

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    • The 1st point is a half measure which will lead to subjective changes
      I prefer the 2nd point.

      • It would allow us to document every book change without using {hide} for changed/added/removed parts or requiring us to make several headers on a single article for multiple book versions.
      • This solution is very simple for both the editor and the reader and will help with finding different book versions.

      So if we accept it, we only have to add less than 50 pages with different versions (there are not that many (definitely not more than 100) books that are different between the games which don't have separate articles).
      As for the 3rd option (Which is "Put all versions of the book to one page"):

      • It requires us to add all the different texts to a single page. E.g. 3rd point makes no difference between ...ine Commands of Eight Divines, Nine Commands of the Eight ... and Nine Commands of the Eight Divines - therefore, we have to add all three to a single page and remove the currently existing pages.
      • Because all of them are different, images in the template are out of the question and have to be added to the gallery (which will make a very big gallery if the book has more than 2 pages).
      • Completely different texts make it impossible to use {hide} - we have to use separate "Contents" headers. Even if the change is minor and we try to use {hide}, the book can have more than two versions leading to a logical conclusion that we either use {hide} inside a {hide} or use separate headers. For consistency, it can be agreed that we abandon the use of {hide} for this purpose and use headers instead.
      • The summary header that we are using for not-ESO books is now have to be split into N separate subheaders or contain an unmarked list with different summaries.
      • Location list (which is already quite long due to Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim locations) has to be split for different book versions too.
      • Different book versions need to have different parameter values in the templates, because they can have different authors, different sequels and prequels, etc.
      • Sourcing has to lead to the headers in the articles, so it won't affect links that much.

      Simply adopting the 3rd option will make us create long amalgams of different books from different games, which would not help the reader. To find something he needs (the location of the book or its contents), he has to look through ALL the locations and book versions from all the games.
      We will have to change several hundred pages, adding content to the hub pages and removing pages for different versions of the book (that does not exclude not-ESO books), and make the pages incomprehensible.
      I don't think that we can gain anything by accepting the 3rd option.

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    • A bit more about why the 3rd option is "Put all versions of the book to one page":
      If we decide that content differences don't qualify for the book to have a separate article, then even if the book has completely different contents but still has the same (or almost the same) name or parts of the text, it is added to the hub book article.
      A bit of "reductio ad absurdum" to show that we either accept the 2nd point and follow the SF to the word or accept the 3rd point and either be inconsistent and subjective or make long hub articles for logically different books.

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    • My main concern would be that the titles differ between some iterations of books, as you pointed out, so we'd have to stick with just one, as we currently do. e.g. The Annotated Anuad vs. A Children's Anuad. I think a lot of those points are not really the end of the world for #3, because we already have the general book information combined in a manageable format (just without the corresponding content), but nevertheless I agree that the second option would be cleaner.

      Another question: suppose we're referencing a book that has some changes between two games, but that the section of the book we're referencing is the same. Do we reference the disambiguation page, or link one of the individual versions, even though it would maybe be slightly misleading, because it would imply that that info isn't in the other one? My preference would be the disambig for this reason. We should also decide if we're transcluding the individual pages onto the disambig, or just linking to the pages.

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    • One thing that would help #2 would be using the For template to link the versions together. Is that a bot task?

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    • On the individual articles we'd probably stick to our current system, which uses {{For}} to link to disambiguation pages. Depending on how many pages there are, we could do it with the bot, or just by hand (since we'd have to create them by hand anyway). Tiny said that there would only be about 50–100, which is not so bad.

      I'm just not sure if those disambigs themselves should transclude the book contents in a centralized location via <onlyinclude></onlyinclude> or if it should be left more like a standard disambig. Making it like other disambigs would be much simpler, at least.

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    • There is not much reason to transclude parts of the text into the disambig. We can add a leading paragraph to them (something like a summary from previous games' book articles). But otherwise it just seems to be an unnecessary complication.

      Atvelonis wrote:
      ... referencing a book ...

      If the book is referenced on a page about something from the game, a book from that game is referenced (that seems to be customary on all the pages I saw). As for lore pages (and references to books outside that game), the disambig would be better.

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    • Ok, I'm moving this thread into its voting phase. Let's get this done quickly, folks. The consensus upon which we are voting is as follows:

      If a book appears in multiple games, and has any differences between those versions, we will document each unique appearance of it on separate articles, linked to one another via a standard disambiguation page. They will each continue to use {{Book}}. While referencing such books, the specific version being referred to can be used, or if the changes are not applicable to the content being referenced, the disambiguation page is fine.

      Voting-support Support
      I think that this is a reasonable solution and will help readers in the long run.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I think this is logical enough.

      I do hope there's going to be a lore-like page to compliment these new pages, like how Labyrinthian exists, for Labyrinthian (Arena) and Labyrinthian (Skyrim). Help to differentiate the page, and provide an overview of all topics in one page. Just an ease-of-life thing.

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    • Voting-support Support
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    • Voting-support Support
      this will definitely be cleaner than 3rd option. I can think of multiple ways to list the articles: standard disambig formatting, tabs (not recommended), navigation template, or even with DPL.
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    • Voting-support Support
      More work, but more readable.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I was leaning more towards the second option anyway.
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    • Voting-support Support
      Most definitely.
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    • 1857a
      1857a removed this reply because:
      21:50, October 17, 2019
      This reply has been removed
    • Voting-support Support
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    • Voting-support Support
      Sounds good.
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    • Voting-support Support
      If there are significant content changes, having them be seperated would get rid of possible confusions.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I couldn't think of any better solution
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    • A FANDOM user
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