May 20 2013

Contribute to wowdb.com!

I help out with wowdb, and I’d really like to encourage anyone else who likes that sort of thing to help out, too. It’s a fun project to work on.

Yes, I know wowhead is more established and has more comments. Yes, I know wowdb doesn’t have a model viewer. However, the way to get more comments is to get more contributors. The way to get a model viewer is to get more people to use the site so Curse directs more devs there. Even if wowhead is still your go-to site for information, consider that a lot of other sites that you might use (icy veins and mr robot are two primary example) rely on wowdb, and those sites will be able to serve you better if wowdb gets more support.

Basically, I’m asking you guys to help out if that’s the kind of thing you like to do (if it isn’t, no worries). Some of you know a lot of cool tips and tricks and all of you have been around long enough to be good resources for stuff.

How To Contribute

You need to log in to wowdb.com with your curse account (the one you would use for the curse client if you use it).  It’s easy to register if you don’t have one.  You do not need Curse Premium or anything like that.

Comments

We need helpful comments on quests, items, spells & abilities, NPCs/bosses/mobs, achievements, etc. Detailed explanations, strategies, tips; anything that isn’t immediately apparent from the in-game text, like if you’re aware of any prerequisite quests, but also linking related items or quests, achievements, providing spawn points, coordinates, any tips, suggestions, outside resources, whatever.

We especially need comments on all the new content – any of the new Mists quests, bosses, items, achievements, spells, talents, and on things like pet battles where comments are a better source of information than anything in-game.

Examples of some good comments: here, here, here and here

One thing I like to do is open the website when I level alts and leave comment each time I encounter a quest that isn’t completely straightforward and just leave a few sentences here or there as I play. It just takes a couple extra seconds per quest and is way easier than trying to remember later which quests needed comments.

Unlike wowhead, you can leave embedded images and videos in your comments if you find those are particularly helpful.

Comments are posted immediately and moderated reactively.

Screenshots

To take screenshots:

ALT + Z to disable your UI then Print Screen button. You then can either find the screenshot in your WoW/screenshots folder (sort by date is very helpful here) or you can just paste the screenshot immediately into a blank file in Photoshop or Gimp or whatever and save somewhere. The upload tool has its own crop utility so you shouldn’t need to crop in advance.

Again, we need screenshots especially of newer stuff. What that quest mob looks like, the entrance to the cave that is hard to find, appearance of those footprints that the stealthed pet is supposed to leave behind, quest objectives, armor models, boss models, tameable pets, etc, etc. People like to know what stuff looks like.

Example: here. Shot of the track, what the tooltip says, shot of the mob itself.

Screenshots are approved manually by mods and admins and can take a day to appear (or poke me and I can do it immediately).

Use the Curse Client

When you are playing the wowdb profiler that comes with the curse client will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there. Be sure you have Curse Client open (even if it is just running in your system tray) before you close WoW so that the data will upload!

Image

Contributing in the right places

Remember when you contribute anything to add it to all the related pages. Mount screenshots, for example, should be on both the item-that-teaches-the-mount page and the spell-once-you’ve-learned-it page. Some quests are completed the same for both factions but are separate in the database, and you will want to make sure the helpful comment is included on both. Another example is my comments here about acquiring one of the new raptor pets; I left this exact comment on the page for every single raptor mount, as well as on the pages for both the eggs that are part of the process.

Dont steal

This is really important: don’t copy comments or screenshots from wowhead.  That’s inappropriate – not fair to wowhead or its community, and it will just get taken down from wowdb anyway.

If wowhead has some super helpful information that you think wowdb absolutely needs, then rewrite it yourself.

Why wowdb exists

Comments from Boubouille, the creator/owner of MMO-Champion:

WoWDB is used to power most of what’s behind MMO-Champion‘s news. It replaced db.mmo-champion.com that was becoming super obsolete and wouldn’t have survived MoP. It’s also a way to try to improve user experience on MMO-C over db.mmo-champion.com pages we had because those were pretty bad.

db.mmo-champion.com was created because Wowhead refused to work with us years ago and we needed it to run MMO-Champion. There is absolutely no way for a company as big as Wowhead/Zam/Tencent Games to work with MMO-Champion in the first place because it would require us to have access to absolutely everything they have, which is a pretty good reason to refuse.

Some people also mentioned that competition is good, and I tend to agree with that. WoWDB was the first database to support a bunch of things such as spec variable spells or item upgrades. We also focus a lot more on newsing, so our spell parsing tends to be much cleaner to keep the unofficial notes clear: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=100780/jab / http://www.wowdb.com/spells/100780-jab

We also have random features like reagents breakdown http://www.wowdb.com/spells/93328-vial-of-the-sands

It’s a technological sandbox to let us improve the database platform on a company level. The improvements on wowdb are partially the reason why gw2db was more succesful than other databases for example.

The goal isn’t really to compete with Wowhead, it’s more of a pet project to see if we can find new ways to improve MMO-C and make the experience more enjoyable for users with what we have.

WoWDB  is mostly a “hey let’s see what we can do with this” project with no real goal. It’s a 100% money sink for the company and even if we added an ad slot somewhere it would still be a pretty huge money loss. The main goal is really just to support MMO-Champion‘s news and make our life easier on this side.

However, I’m glad that some people/other major sites adopted it because it lets me work with smart minds that provide us with a decent amount of feedback and let us improve our database platform altogether (contributing to the success of gw2db.com for example) but I’m not really on a crusade to destroy Wowhead, otherwise I wouldn’t have them listed as the most obvious link on every page you click.

And just so there is no question, I’m not a shill for Curse.  I don’t get paid by them or anything, I’m not advertising for them, and my only affiliation with them is being a volunteer on wowdb (and at MMOC).  I don’t have a vendetta against wowhead and am not asking people not to use it — I think it’s a great site and I use it daily.  I am involved with wowdb largely because it’s a fun project and I think it has a lot of potential to be a great database that is useful and helpful to the community.

Anyway, if you do choose to help out, great.  Here is a link to the Public Feedback Thread.

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