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Template talk:Infobox-spell

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Shouldn't SLAs belong to category SLAs, rather than All spells? Or are you still working on it? -- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 01:50, July 20, 2019 (EDT)

Thoughts? Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 16:03, July 21, 2019 (EDT)
Probably a good idea! Probably involves some work editing pages to new categories. That's what I am worried most, I am lazy. --Cru121
That's what makes this a convenient opportunity. All or nearly all of the categorization could be performed by {{Spell}}. Only the category tree would need to be built by hand, and that shouldn't be too arduous. (I plan to do it, so you can still be lazy. ;) Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 16:57, July 22, 2019 (EDT)
Yes, I took it as a given that {{Redirect category}}s would be used appropriately. I'm all for not breaking things.
I was originally going to suggest merging Spells & All spells, but then I realized they serve distinct purposes: All of the pages below All spells are individual spells, while pages below Spells can be things like Spell Power or Transmutation, which apply to both spells and SLAs. Hence the suggestion to make the top category more generic, with subcategories specific to spells and SLAs, respectively.
I wanted to rename SLAs to Spell-like abilities for clarity, figuring the acronym in the subcategories would then be obvious; following the principle in formal writing that you define an acronym the first time it is used (only). Spelling it out in all the subcategories would seem unwieldy. Given a choice between all acronyms or all spelled-out, I'd go with all acronyms. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 16:57, July 22, 2019 (EDT)
  • So I reviewed the existing categories briefly and it seems that we could indeed use if the existing C:Spells was cleaned up a bit. A new higher level category, for example C:Spellcasting does make sense. All stuff about spell casting mechanics could be moved there. This would allow us get rid of C:All spells and list the spells in C:Spells. One speculative suggestion: Should we move C:Epic spells under C:Spells by class? Or to C:spells directly? -- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 04:16, July 24, 2019 (EDT)
  • Individual spells shouldn't be in Spells (or All spells) if we're breaking them up "by class", "by school", "by level" - they should only be listed in the appropriate sub-categories and the sub-categories should be listed in the parent Spells. This eliminates the need for All spells and a new Spell-casting. We can create DPL pulls for each "by thing" sub-category to create lists in them (and be transcluded in the correct class/school pages) and then, if desired, we can create a DPL pull to list all of the known spells with sorting for class/level/school/etc. DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 10:00, July 24, 2019 (EDT)
  • Thanks for the ideas. I'll move forward as discussed, and try my hand at DPL. We can always revisit. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:51, July 24, 2019 (EDT)


Could we add a granted slot like Template:SLA? That would better accommodate spells that are also SLAs, e.g., Nimbus of Light. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 09:12, February 21, 2017 (EST)

  • If we're going to do that, what's the point of having two separate templates. I'd say merge them together into a single template. DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 10:10, February 21, 2017 (EST)
    • No argument here. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 15:56, May 5, 2017 (EDT)
      • Note: Moved merge template where it belonged DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 09:47, July 17, 2019 (EDT)
      • Look at the reasons why someone created the new template 7 years ago: I've seen some spell-like abilities using the spell description template. It seems to work well at first glance, but it auto-categorizes in several ways that it shouldn't, and a number of fields don't apply to SLA's to begin with. If anyone embarks on the merging project, make sure this is solved. Thanks. (Personally I think this smells like work.) -- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 15:39, July 17, 2019 (EDT)
        • That was 7 years ago, perhaps things have changed. We certainly have more editing freedom with the MW core updates and new extensions than we had back then. We can dig into it deeper.  👟 ShoeMaker (Contribs • Message) 👟 16:48, July 17, 2019 (EDT)
  • Cru121 where did you find that comment? Are there any more specifics, particularly on miscategorization? I eyeballed the source, and nothing jumped out at me.


While we're making changes, should we rename it to titlecase, T:SpellDescription? Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage)

  • No. If we're going to rename it, it should follow the naming convention for everything else. The reason I haven't gone through and fixed all of these old template names is there is a LOT of work involved in going through all of the transclusions and updating the name AND it tends to break "historical" versions of the page. So, if we're going to do a rename (which I'm ALL for if there is an agreement on it), then I want to make sure it's right the first time, so we don't have to do it again. Proper renaming for this would probably be {{Infobox-spell}} (and all of our other infoboxes like {{MissionInfoBox}} (which should be {{Infobox-quest}}), {{Monster}} (which already has a {{Infobox-monster}} redirect), and any other such things I can't think of at the moment).
  • I didn't know we had such a convention, but I'm happy to abide by it. I don't volunteer to rename all the legacy templates, however. Wilting Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:06, July 24, 2019 (EDT)


Granted spells[edit]

Should maybe be allowed for spells. For example, Heal is a bard spell granted by Spellsinger capstone. Or Warlock pacts, etc. What do you think? -- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 01:52, July 20, 2019 (EDT)

The way I have it set up now, any of the spell level parameters (artificer, etc.) indicates a spell, while the sla parameter (or granted for backward compatibility) indicates an SLA. A hybrid like Nimbus of Light has both. It seems we'll need another parameter that indicates a spell gained through non-traditional means, perhaps granted spell? Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:28, July 20, 2019 (EDT)
Ack, it's worse than that. For perfect elegance, we'd need a way to specify that Heal is a level 6 Bard spell attainable only through the enhancement. I'm open to ideas. (Note that this capacity doesn't exist in the legacy templates.)
Or we could settle for "good enough" instead of perfect elegance. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:38, July 20, 2019 (EDT)
I implemented a "good enough" solution using the granted spell parameter. Thoughts? Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 14:02, July 20, 2019 (EDT)
The parameter is now called special. It's rather generic, but easier to remember and use, I think. The Heal spell shows how this works. I'd welcome feedback. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 09:23, July 22, 2019 (EDT)
Good enough imho. --Cru121
<thumbsup/> Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 16:59, July 22, 2019 (EDT)
  • Should probably be reworked at some time for 100% accuracy, but good enough is fine for now to reduce burn-out on a specific thing. Thumbs Up ↑ DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 10:26, July 24, 2019 (EDT)


T:Spelldescription has an epic parameter, but I haven't found any pages that use it. I'm unclear how it should figure in. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:16, July 20, 2019 (EDT)

  • I might have hacked that one in. Kinda redundant with granted by i guess. It's iirc used eg Burst of Glacial Wrath here.-- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 14:32, July 20, 2019 (EDT)
    • Thanks, that explains it. I see why you would have wanted that, given that granted wasn't available.
Burst of Glacial Wrath raises another sticky problem. I had kinda hoped that {{Spell}} would supersede {{Feat}} for spell/SLA feats. Obviously, that won't work when the feat also has a passive component. However, we don't want to duplicate information, either. I'll come back to this. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 15:29, July 20, 2019 (EDT)
I think I found a reasonable solution, demonstrated in Burst of Glacial Wrath. Fields in {{Feat}} that are redundant with fields in {{Spell}} would remain for backward-compatibility, but considered deprecated (and probably removed from the USAGE doc).


Indeed, I was looking for a way to do that, thanks. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 10:17, July 22, 2019 (EDT)


There seem to be inconsistencies in how various terms are interpreted. For example, {{SLA}} and the current iteration of {{Spell}} interpret a Target of Foe to mean an individual, and a Target of AoE to mean an area. However, in-game Foe indicates only the type of target, not the cardinality; so that Iceberg, Scorching Ray and Fireball all have a Foe target. Scorching Ray and Fireball both have Directional, so that does not distinguish, either. Indeed, in-game mechanics do not appear to offer any reliable means to distinguish individual from AoE. (Oddly, Mass Suggestion has a Target of Foe, Positional, while Mass Charm Monster has only Foe.) Apparently, the heuristic implemented in {{SLA}} and mimicked in {{Spell}} is misguided.

We must instead rely on features beyond what are offered in-game. Spell suggests Range and Area, which seem promising. However, the explanations are imprecise, apparently having accrued incrementally over the years. For instance, what is the Range of Cone of Cold, which is anchored at the caster, but extends outwards in a cone? Is it Personal or Standard? Furthermore, only Range is implemented in {{Spelldescription}} and {{SLA}}, leaving the question of individual vs. AoE unresolved.

A solution would be to refine the definitions of Range and Area, and then implement these definitions in {{Spell}}, adding the missing Area field. I will pursue this further in Talk:Spell (later). Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 22:25, July 22, 2019 (EDT)

  • This is DDO, there are inconsistencies and exceptions to unspoken rules everywhere. One option would be to faithfully copy in-game terms and parameters, and in a free description, describe what the spell actually does. If the game does not tell us exact value of a parameter, then we'd have to guess, different editors would use different metrics, etc. DnD terminology is confusing for many, probably even devs. -- Cru121 (ContribsMessage) 02:17, July 23, 2019 (EDT)
  • Understood. I don't always have to be OCD. :) After I wrote the above comment, I realized I could simply get rid of the individual/AoE distinction in the template -- like {{Spelldescription}} does now -- and not worry about it. Lazy is good. :) Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 10:38, July 23, 2019 (EDT)
  • What are we trying to accomplish by making the distinction? A useful list of single target vs area of effect spells? Certain categorization for a specific purpose? Something else? DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 11:41, July 24, 2019 (EDT)
    • I have no specific purpose for the individual/AoE distinction; hence my willingness to drop it. It looks like U:Technical 13 initiated the distinction on February 11, 2013. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:01, July 24, 2019 (EDT)
      • I see no introduction there, just typo fixes and convention fixes, and mechanical template fixes for the template creator. I think having a category or list of single target vs. AoE spells would be useful to our readers, and I'd be happy to help someone else make one if they wanted with little to no interest in doing it on my own. DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 11:18, July 31, 2019 (EDT)

Ready to merge[edit]

I've tested what I believe to be a representative set of test cases, and am satisfied with the results. I would invite others to run their own tests. Once all are in agreement, I'd appreciate it if someone would run a bot to replace all calls to {{Spelldescription}} and {{SLA}} with calls to {{Infobox-spell}}. We can also redirect those templates, but redirected calls won't show up in DPL, e.g. All SLAs/sandbox. Many pages will merit revisiting, but they shouldn't be any worse off than they are now. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 14:50, July 27, 2019 (EDT)

  • Confused Face Are you using LIVE pages as testcases? Eeeek! Please tell me it isn't so... Rolls Eyes I really need to put together a video on just "How to sandbox a template and create testcases"... DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 11:30, July 31, 2019 (EDT)
    • I wouldn't think of it! In fact, I didn't think of it. Cool Face I suppose I didn't consider the risk of catastrophic failure to be particularly high. I have been sure to test each feature thoroughly in sandbox before promoting it to Main. (Hmm... would it be convenient for Sandbox: to be an actual distinct namespace?) Anyway, I promise to be more disciplined on my next effort. Wink
P.S. I wouldn't take the time to watch a video. Now, if you had written guidelines... Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:51, August 6, 2019 (EDT)


Note that a spell/SLA page that doesn't trigger any of the Spells by X or SLAs by X categories will not receive any related category at all. This can happen, e.g., if the granted field of an SLA has a value that does not name a race or class, such as Henshin Mystic or Exalted Angel. This, I imagine, is why a previous author assigned all spells directly to C:All spells. I'm open to suggestions. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 14:50, July 27, 2019 (EDT)

  • The common/best way to resolve that is if there should be a "by X" designation and there isn't to have it auto-apply [[Category:(Spell|SLA)s with unknown X]] where X is school, type, etc and then put the "with unknown X" categories in the proper parent categories (and include in the appropriate "needs work" maintenance categories). DDOstream (ContribsMessage) 11:30, July 31, 2019 (EDT)
    • I've implemented a bunch of categories along the lines of C:Spells with unknown school. This, indeed, makes it far less likely for a page to slip through the cracks. Thanks for the suggestion.
I also discovered you can define All spells based on template use rather than category. This mitigates the risk of undercategorization, and also eliminates one motivation to make C:Spells contain only spell pages. Hoopy Froodle (ContribsMessage) 13:51, August 6, 2019 (EDT)