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7:37 AM
I'm user 18 here - that's not bad :)
 
8:22 AM
Hmm, I think we need to go to public beta, everyone's run out of questions and answers...
 
Yeah, I've noticed it's slowing a lot :(
Again, partly the weekend - hopefully we should get some feedback from SE soon!
 
Well with 200 people there are only so many questions to ask
 
9:05 AM
I'm still with what BESW wrote earlier:
Sep 17 at 13:09, by BESW
Although we're seeding a beta, that doesn't mean we should force out questions just for the sake of having more questions.
 
I agree, I'm trying to think back to what the highly rated questions in the proposal
 
9:21 AM
That sounds like a good strategy to me.
Besides, we only have 43 "avid" users according to Area51. I don't know the exact definition for avidness, but I imagine we have a number of users who have contributed minimally. About half of the 210 Worldbuilding users appear to only have the association bonus, for example.
So it's more like a hundred people who have even ever actively participated on the site. Which makes the number 43 avid users seem rather reasonable, actually.
That said, every site goes through periods of higher and lower activity. I seriously doubt that a slightly lower activity level toward the end of the private beta period is going to be what causes SE to pull the plug on a site, as long as the questions and answers posted remain of high quality.
 
9:46 AM
Yeah, they said they would hold us back for another week after the first one. We're at 12 days now, so we'll see what happens, but probably something will happen soon.
BTW, we are staying well above the "5 questions a day needs some work" limit on Area51, and there are betas out there below that limit, so I think we are actually doing ok.
 
That's true, 5-10 is apparently healthy. We were on 15 and have sank to about 10... I'm not too worried. As Tim B there are only so many questions 200 people have in them without resorting to outside inspiration.
 
@DonyorM Even if we were to drop slightly below that for some particular day, I believe it would still be considered in the context of previous activity. Again, there are only so many high-quality questions that a limited number of people can ask in a short period of time.
 
Keep in mind those figures are for public beta too
 
@Liath I'm guessing very few sites last beyond two week in private beta, it's not sustainable
@MichaelKjörling @TimB Yeah, I know. I'm not worried.
 
@DonyorM Right. The extra time was mostly to sort out the scope a bit, and it seems that has largely been done.
I'd still like to address the conversation I and Monica had though (see above), where the two of us ended up pretty much in agreement that perhaps it's better to not say anything about software-related questions at all in the help center for now until we have managed to figure out just what scope we want to take on with regards to those.
 
9:58 AM
tbh I think how it currently is makes sense
it's not listed in allowed at all
but under not allowed we specific disallow off-topic ones
so people can infer which ones they are allowed to ask but we don't push people into asking lots of softrec q
 
@MichaelKjörling Yeah, I read you're conversation, then I deleted the section in the on-topic area. But I think leaving it as off-topic is good, because those kind of questions can be annoying.
 
10:23 AM
3 more measly rep...
 
What you want 3 rep for?
 
No, 3 more rep on the site. Then I get a new privliege
The rep shown here is all my rep added up
I'm about 500 rep lower on WB
*all my rep added up on all sites
 
1246? what do you get for that?
ahh tag synonyms
all the requirements are lower in this beta site
I needed thousands to get that on stack overflow
you also need rep in the tag so I still couldn't make them :(
 
Yeah, they'll get higher when we go to public
then higher if/when we hit full
 
indeed
 
10:27 AM
Does that mean we'll all lose privileges?
 
I need 90 or so rep to unlock everythinh
on stack overflow i needed 20k to get that
here 2k
@Liath if your rep drops you lose privs, dunno about what happens when site reqs change...depends how they code it
I might start pulling over some of the well recieved area 51 questions...
be better if the people who posted them there ask them here though
 
10:41 AM
@TimB I can't help worrying that question is too broad. :(
It's a bit like my "What principles do I need to consider when building a language?" one
 
Yeah, I know...I did consider that...
however this one is specific enough to be answerable
Actually I'll edit it a bit more
added geology
I agree it's borderline, if it closes it closes. That's useful in of itself
but I think it's specific enough to be answerable and generally useful for people
 
Let's let it role - I want to know the answer too, people can always vote if they disagree
 
yeah, ironically the language question is much bigger even though on the surface it looks the same
the broad-strikes geography/geology processes are fairly well understood and describable
 
@Liath @TimB When the reputation requirements for a privilege change, users are subject to the new limitations so may gain or lose privileges according to the new limitation and their current rep.
2
 
right
well rep is easy to acquire anyway so I'm not too worried
 
10:53 AM
@TimB About your "realistic world map" question; I like it as a concept, but I feel as it stands the question is really quite broad. Any way we could narrow it down a little?
0
Q: Advice for creating a realistic world map

Tim BWhen trying to create a realistic world map what are the basic geographic and geological principles I need to take into account in order to create an "earth-like" world?

 
I'm open to ideas
I mean the answer I'd write would have plate tectonics, volcanism, weather patterns & erosion
so maybe it can be split into each of those
but they don't make sense in isolation
you need tectonics/volcanism to generate mountains to then effect weather patterns and erosion
 
But weather patterns are probably influenced more by mountains than mountains are influenced by weather patterns :)
 
not in the long run
water beats stone
 
I'm not sure if it's a great way but I was thinking maybe in terms of per type of area. That would at least narrow it down somewhat. So maybe "what are the geological factors causing mountains to form and grow to various heights?" as one, and "what are the geological factors that cause flatlands to form?" as another. Just as examples.
 
I don't really feel qualified to answer as my world has a massive circle of islands... not really a natural looking world ;-)
 
11:01 AM
@Liath I was the one who asked about shapeshifters... :P
 
11:14 AM
Is this any better?
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Q: Creating a realistic world map - Step 1 - Landmass formation

Tim BThis is part of a series of questions that tries to break down the process of creating a physical world from initial creation of the landmass through to erosion, weather patterns, and the result biomes. This is assuming an earth-like spherical world in orbit in the habitable band. This question ...

 
I think it is. I don't think though that you need to call out in the title that it is part of a series; that adds nothing of value there. However, by the time you have posted the questions, consider linking among them (but I strongly suggest if you do it, do so at the bottom of the question text to conserve preview question text space).
 
I've been thinking about a soft-science tag
I'm going to ask some question about creatures that I want plausible explanations for, but they don't have to be routed in hard science.
Magic isn't involved, but weird evolution could be.
Talking with @TimB, this seems to be part of the Hard science through to "A wizard did it" spectrum, so I'm trying to think what the points on that spectrum might be. Hard-Science, Soft-Science,Mythic,A wizard did it?
With "A wizard did it" meaning that its not really suitable for this site (too broad)
@githubphagocyte Hi
 
0
Q: Creating a realistic world map - Landmass formation

Tim BThis question focuses on the initial creation of landmasses. What are the processes that causes land-masses to form, and continents and islands to rise up from the sea and sink back into it? How can those processes be easily drawn upon to create realistic looking maps? This is the first of a...

any better?
 
Is that not a geography or cartography question?
 
Hi @Mourdos
 
11:23 AM
my question?
cartography is about the actual process of making maps, this is more about how a world forms...which would then feed into cartography but I don't think actually is cartography
maybe :D
 
11:37 AM
@TimB Much better than the original. And @Mourdos, I believe that question is geology, if anything. :)
 
I got 1250! Yeah!.
*1250 rep
 
@Mourdos I'm not sure we would have that much use for a tag for that purpose. I absolutely see the value in the [science-based] tag because it makes it easy to filter for those questions if one wants to ("I want hard-science answers to geology questions"), but for soft-science... what would be the advantage? Keeping in mind the discussion we had that not everything needs to be a tag.
 
@DonyorM congrats!
 
@Liath thanks!
 
@DonyorM Have another +10.
 
11:43 AM
@MichaelKjörling Thanks as well!
 
If meta participation awarded rep, I'd have tons more than I do, but alas... :)
 
Of course, unless you suggested a bad idea.
Does everyone think this is good?
2
Q: Create Custom Help Center Articles

DonyorMWe need to prepare for our site to enter public beta, and one of the things we need to do is define what goes in the help center and the tour. This is one of The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta. Here's what the 7 Essential Questions page says about creating documentation: Much of th...

And did people see the tour article as well?
 
@DonyorM I think not.
 
Ok, hopefully they take a look and edit/suggest edits to fix errors. @MichaelKjörling Do you think the articles are good?
Or are there still some issues you want worked out?
 
@DonyorM I would imagine that one is about as good as we can make it for now, at least. It is going to evolve once we start getting more users and we start testing the limits of what we consider to be on topic and off topic. I imagine quite a few questions will be borderline and we're going to have to work it out as we go.
 
11:51 AM
@MichaelKjörling Of course. But I agree that it is pretty good for what we know right now. The software issue was a good one to work out.
 
I must admit I really haven't paid much attention to the tour text, but it's worth noting that on Amateur Radio (which launched into private beta around a year ago now) we still have the default Tour content.
And nobody has complained that I know of :)
 
I figured that would happen, but it was worth putting it in there. Maybe someone will have a stroke of genius and want to edit that. It's not real important anyway. If someone is going to read the the help center, they'll read it. If not, it won't matter to much what you say in either way.
 
Maybe it would have received more attention if it had been posted as an answer to a separate question. The question being "What should the X help center page say?".
@DonyorM That's how it happens on MSE, by the way. That's a meta site where you actually earn/lose rep, just like a regular main site. It's sort of a hybrid in that sense.
 
@MichaelKjörling I know, which makes it work a little weird. Not real active there but I have asked/answered a few things.
 
Personally, I like how that proposed help center article also suggests other places to go to for questions which are considered off topic on WB.
Obviously that doesn't mean that all questions which we might close as "not about worldbuilding" would fit on those sites, but it gives people some idea where their question at least might be on topic.
 
12:12 PM
Yeah, I think both help center text and tour look pretty good
 
@MichaelKjörling I agree with the science-based, the reason I'm thinking soft-science is because it saves typing up a definition of what I want to base this on. I always tend to see tags as common terms for a question. For instance on RPG.SE there is a RAW tag, for Rules-As-Written, which generally means that the question must as part of its back it up, reference rules books, not personal experience.
Its a tag that people see and know "this person don't want advice on how to handle, they want a hard rule". I was thinking that Soft-Science would be a similar to this and hard-science "The answers should be plausible, but don't need to rely on hard science to explain how they work. Feel free to come up with new organs for creatures that wouldn't have gradually evolved "
etc
 
@Mourdos Except didn't we already determine that even fantasy-based questions should receive plausible answers? That's the whole reason for the proposed help center text about including details on the magic system if magic-based answers are wanted.
If one doesn't care about plausibility, then there's no need to come to a site like this anyway; just hand-wave it away. There is certainly precedent for doing so in fiction.
 
I suspect I worded that wrongly. I'm not looking for "Magic causes it". I'm looking for answers that are internally consistent. I'm not worried about how they came to be, but I am worried about them making sense now that they are.
 
@Mourdos fantasy doesn't necessarily need to be magic, generally it is but not always
 
12:28 PM
@DonyorM I'm aware of this. I'm using "Magic" to mean "unexplained".
 
It amuses me that we have a tag "bewildered-gods" :)
 
See the 11 star favorite on the feed to the right :-)
 
Only here, click it and it won't take you anywhere
 
indeed
I never get starred :(
I'm clearly not an interesting person
6
 
Of course that immediately gets stars
We love irony
2
 
12:29 PM
It looks like everyone agrees.
 
@DonyorM The best way to get stars in chat is to complain about not getting stars. That's why I almost never get any.
 
Nope, not going to work :P
 
I was tempted to suggest something like the gods thing for our tag line, but I feared that it would offend many people (and some ways it could branch off would offend myself)
But it would still be fun
 
I'm not going to star you for talking about how you never talk about not getting stars. Firstly, it makes my head hurt, considering how meta meta it is and secondly, just no :-)
 
@Mourdos makes my head hurt by talking about talking about not talking about ... aw schucks.
 
12:32 PM
I vote for meta.meta.stackexchange
2
Talk about how meta should work!
 
Take that up on meta.stackexchange
That is rather... meta.
 
lol
 
Good morning, fellow Creators.
 
Good afternoon, fellow Diamond Holder.
 
Good Afternoon, fellow Bewildered Being.
Because calling someone a Balloon Whale is rude :-)
 
12:43 PM
@Mourdos Particularly when they wield the power to kick you out of the room? ;-)
 
Quite possibly, though I never really take that into account.
I think its time to ask a question about how you would structure an underground castle.
 
No, no, no! At first you must ask on Meta if you should. Then you need to ask whether we need an [underground-castles] tag. Only thereafter may you consider asking how to structure an underground castle, assuming that the meta discussion on structuring finds that such questions are sufficiently broad for the site's scope!
2
 
No, you missed a step. I need to ask on meta.meta.worldbuilding if meta.worldbuilding should be used to ask questions about new tags yet.
is meta.meta.stackexchange about meta.stackexchange or meta.meta.worldbuilding? Should I ask that on meta.meta.meta.stackexchange?
I think I need to ask if we need a new URL shortcut because typing meta.meta.meta.stackexchange is tedious. cubed.meta.stackexchange?
This all kind of reminds me of how I imagine 17 dimensional arrays in my head.
 
@DonyorM I say ship it. :-) I did see the tour but haven't thought much about it yet.
2
 
Cool. Just making sure, I like to see movement on things like that.
 
12:58 PM
I think it would get more notice as its own question.
I didn't even notice it >.>
 
The tour isn't that big of deal, is it really worth it's own question? It's basically the same as the on-topic/off-topic lists of the what to ask article
 
I think it's fine, just use what you've put
they will change over time anyway
 
of course, but I think (Especially the other article) these articles have helped us better describe our scope
 
so has there been any more news on beta progress?
or we just waiting to see if they happy with the extra week?
 
Not that I've seen
Although I think the last feedback was Tuesday
 
1:05 PM
@TimB Personally, I think in this case, no news is reasonably good news.
Given that we have been making progress on finding the scope of the site, which at least to me seemed to be one of the biggest issues we had.
 
They said another week, which would mean two weeks, and it's twelve days
But we'll see what the community managers say
 
indeed
hmm...apparently I've not fulfilled my commitment (according to area 51)
thought I signed up to write 10 questions/answers...which I've more than done
what am I missing?
ahh, 3 months
 
we got some time yet.
 
yeah part of the commitment is to participate in the site for at least 3 months
so it won't go to fulfilled for another 10 weeks or so
 
Too broad? anything I could add?
0
Q: How would the design of an underground castle differ?

MourdosHow would the fundamental design of a medieval castle differ if it was designed downwards instead of upwards? The premise for this question is that walls have become irreverent (due to a penchant for siege engines) and therefore defensive structures have been built into the ground. I'm trying t...

 
1:23 PM
When you say siege weapons do you mean trebuchet levels or are we talking explosives yet? I'm just thinking about the very deep holes in Lochnagar crater in Normandy!
I assume we're talking battering rams though
 
I was thinking trebuchet.
Archery becomes almost irreverent as a form of defense as well.
 
irrelevant , not irreverent
they mean very different things :P
I just fixed that in your Q
 
The biggest problem I see is that there's no way to see an enemy coming. You could siege the entrances and send 50 different teams to dig entrances in different places. How could you defend against that!?
Or just call in the Thunderbirds ;)
 
I've got a number of question along this topic. I'm planning a warlike game, and castles are going to be quite an important defensive structure, but I want something a little different, so I'm going to be asking about a number of different ways of building castles.
 
1:28 PM
vibrations
hearing is very powerful underground
 
@MichaelKjörling underground
@TimB vibrations is good, again WW1 listening for tunnels and setting mines in their paths
 
One of the follow up question to this might be what happens in this case if large digging animals exist.
 
Rat poison :)
I think you'd have a bunker system, interconnected so if one area is breached you would be able to collapse the tunnels around it
 
I would be curious what might cause someone to build a defensive structure downwards rather than upwards, but that alone might well be too broad.
 
Sounds good.
 
1:30 PM
It's a nice question though - I'll give it some thought, unfortunately I'm mostly thinking of ways to attack it at the moment
 
Yes. That is kind of a flaw in my question.
 
Well, mammals burrow because it's safer underground because their enemies are stronger in the air/land... Meerkats ;)
 
@MichaelKjörling I might ask it anyway. What are the smallest changes that would need to happen in a medieval world for it to be more effective to build castles as bunkers as opposed to above ground?
 
Personally if I had a choice between fighting earthworms or dragons I'd prefer the worms!
 
@Liath Doesn't work very well though when your enemies are of the same species as yourself and neither side has any particularly large advantage over the other.
 
1:32 PM
Hehe.
Actually, I might just change my question to say "because dragons"
 
Yes, a spin-off of the "how would flying creatures affect castle design" might work, if you're willing to turn the question on its head...
 
Its a much better reason
Okay, give me a moment to rewrite
 
@Mourdos Just make sure you don't make it a duplicate of that one.
 
@MichaelKjörling yeah, I'm trying to think why we'd dig down instead of taking the height advantage. Best answer so far, because someone else has a better advantage in the skies
 
@Liath Circling above the structure, ready to strike the moment you emerge?
 
1:34 PM
Yeah
 
@Mourdos I like the question. It states a problem, proposes a solution and asks what the impact of that solution would be.
2
That's a pattern that very well might work well for us, in general, for those kinds of questions.
 
Yeah.
My next question is likely to be "And now they have digging beasts, WHAT NOW PPL?!?"
Or maybe explosives.
 
@Mourdos Why not just "how do defend a medieval-level underground structure against large, underground-dwelling, digging animals?".
 
Though explosives tends to make castles irrelivent.
 
1:38 PM
Yeah, explosives is a whole different ballgame.
 
True.
I might ask that tomorrow.
One of the questions I want to ask is "How could a creature make tunnels that didn't flood under the water table?" Assume the creature is the size of a large dog.
I want to lead it down the biological route though
 
@Mourdos The obvious comment to that would probably be "why would it make such tunnels?".
 
See, I don't care about how it came to be. I want this to exist and I want a plausible explanation as to why they don't flood.
If I ask many more of these questions, I'm going to have starting to tag them with castle and medieval.
I do like the medieval tag idea... "Assume that the world is based in medieval earth except where stated otherwise in the question."
I think its a popular time frame for asking question in
 
@Mourdos Medieval Europe or same-time China? ;)
 
Europe
The tag description could clear that up :P
Do we think that "What are the subtlest change that would mean habitation was built underground in an otherwise medieval period Europe?" is too broad?
maybe change habitation to defensive structures?
 
1:53 PM
The "subtlest" part probably makes it rather opinion-based.
 
I was trying for "small"
 
Because how do you judge subtlety?
 
To make it less broad.
I didn't want answers like "The people are actually giant ants"
or "The heat of the sun burns everything during the day"
Small works better than subtle?
 
Although in making it less broad you at the same time (IMO) made it more opinion-based, because you present no criteria for judging how "subtle" or "small" a change is.
 
Once again, the answer is dragons :-)
 
1:56 PM
Maybe attack that problem from a different angle, and just say "assuming a world otherwise like ours, at a technological level of medieval Europe, what might cause people to build defensive structures underground rather than above ground?" -- I think it gets what you are after, but without the problem of being opinion-based at least.
 
Is that not too broad?
 
"Dragons."
2
 
I'm definatly creating the Medieval Europe tag for that question.
Dragons indeed.
 
I'm just saying that without something concrete to go on, "small" or "subtle" change is difficult to quantify, and thus risks pushing the question into the opinion-based portion of the spectrum.
 
True
 
1:59 PM
So if you can reasonably define what you mean by those terms or how to judge it, then your original proposal might work.
Yes, it's hard. No, nobody said this would be an easy site. ;)
 
easy is over-rated :)
ooo, I hit 2k rep :D
2
all your edits are belong to me
3
 
goes off to again downvote Tim B ;)
 
hehe
 
what do you mean "again?" *peers suspiciously at @MichaelKjörling
 
If we all do it, we could push him down to like... 1800? ;)
3
 
2:05 PM
then serial downvoting kicks in and you all get banned
muhahaha
 
@TimB You learn things as a mod.
 
DDORA?
 
On a more serious note though, I'm the one arguing that both up- and downvoting is good.
 
Distributed Denial of Reputation Attack
 
DDOPA, perhaps. Permission.
 
2:07 PM
I thought that initially
Proposed text for the medieval-europe tag
Might do a full wiki writeup later
 
one sounds like a childrens cartoon, the other sounds dopey....neither strikes fear into my heart
 
Right, second question up.
and now into the news feed
I don't think that this answered understood my question... worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/586/…
I don't think he read the part where I talked about dragons and large flying ridable craetures.
 
2:24 PM
Maybe you need to add the fantasy tag?
 
I shouldn't need to
but sure
why not
 
I can't help thinking you've asked the same question from two angles. IE you could post one as an answer to the other...
 
I have.
Except that in this question I mentioned large riding flying creatures already and asked for other things.
Changed the title to "alternate world"
I'm pretty sure I shouldn't need to
I want to yell "Do you not read?" at the latest comment on my question. Seriously, that is two people who have not read the question. Is it really that non-obvious?
Also, @Liath Hi. Should have done that earlier.
 
2:56 PM
I might answer your questions this evening @Mourdos, or tomorrow if I have some lunchtime left over.
 
Can we assume a lack of local earthquakes? That could go poorly quickly otherwise...
 
Apparently, my questions are not clear enough. I personally think that a couple of them need to read?
Maybe I'm a little spoiled by RPG.SE where people read tags, but I would have thought that the medieval-europe tag would have indicated that the basis for this question was medieval technology and set in a place like... europe?
@Vulcronos Yes you can. As far as I am aware, Europe doesn't tend to suffer from that many earthquakes.
I could be horribly wrong there.
 
0
Q: Follow up questions referencing their origin

MourdosWhen posting a question that uses a previous question or answer as a premise, is just linking the question/answer good enough, or should we quote the question/answer as well? If the latter, how much quoting is too much?

 
3:35 PM
@Mourdos Europe is pretty big. Do you include the Balkans and Turkey? They have earthquakes, so does Italy, and Greece.
 
I was thinking more western. My understanding of medieval is mostly from British history.
 
3:50 PM
0
Q: So does our 'week' of Private beta end

bowlturnerToday, Tomorrow or Wednesday? I saw the post earlier, just wondering when our Beta will finally go public, we seem to be slowing down without the influx of new users.

2
 
 
1 hour later…
5:15 PM
@Feeds1352 Well, you remember the movie Groundhog Day...
 
@Donald.McLean Don't post angry.
 
@James That was light hearted humor. I'm perfectly aware that things take as long as they take.
 
 
3 hours later…
8:33 PM
@Donald.McLean As was mine...I was simply pointing out that I appreciated the GHD reference. hahaha. Bill Murray, Groundhog...driving off the cliff, he tells the Groundhog "Don't drive angry"
 
@James That's right, I forgot about that part. :-)
 
9:08 PM
... and We Are PUBLIC. Woot.
7
 
9:30 PM
@Donald.McLean oh cool! And Beta badges just went out.
3
 
9:44 PM
I should have answered another question :(
 
10:00 PM
heh
So public beta now - let's hope we get some more visitors :)
3
 
10:50 PM
Glad we made it
 

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