Forum:Clarifying Quest items

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Forums: Redwood Grove > Clarifying Quest items


Previously on OSRSWiki TV: Forum:The Quest Item Debate

In the previous thread about Quest Items, the decision was made that "any (non-common) item made or obtained, then used to progress the quest" is considered a quest item. However, the ambiguity of the 'non-common' part of that sentence makes it hard to clearly determine which items should list the quests they are featured in. In a discussion in Discord yesterday, a few possible definitions of 'non-common' were suggested, with their respective issues listed below each of them:

  1. Items that at least require a quest to be obtainable. This would also include items reobtainable after the quest (Origami balloon is an excellent example of this).
    • This would exclude Red bead and Goblin mail, since those are obtainable before starting their respective quests.
  2. Items that serve no purpose outside quests, regardless of obtainability. Poison, Red bead and Goblin mail are good examples of such items.
  3. Items which could be used regardless of quest process, but generally don't get used by most players, other than for quest purposes. White apron or Fish food would be great examples.
    • This is inherently subjective; it's unclear if Cooked rabbit, Karamjan rum and Priest gown should be quest items. Most players won't typically use them, but there are some legitimate uses for them: Poisoned Prifdinass pilgrims in a pinch might want to eat a rabbit, karamjan rum is just another spirit so could be used as healing item as well, and priest gowns are a very niche BIS prayer bonus for f2p ironmen under level 31 prayer, who cannot obtain Monk's robes.

Currently, the definition of 'non-common' items seems to be a very inconsistent combination of definitions 1 and 2. Red bead is a quest item, but Goblin mail isn't. Ogre bow is a quest item, but Comp ogre bow isn't. Of course, it would be possible to make each of those pages consistent with eachother, but because of the vague definition of 'quest item' we currently have in place, this seems like something that would benefit from a discussion to decide what should be included in this infobox parameter.

I think this ambiguity can be resolved in a couple of ways, which is also based on what I've seen people suggest in the same Discord conversation I mentioned earlier. I will list what I think some reasonable options are, but I honestly don't really know for sure which of these would be the best option. I'm just putting some ideas out there.

Because I also wanted a fancy table: an overview
Item Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 (Jagex classification)
Magic glue
Unlocked in, and required for, quests
Yes Yes Yes Yes - Eyes of Glouphrie
Goblin mail
Only useful in quests, but always obtainable
Yes Yes Yes Yes - Goblin Diplomacy
Beer
Very common item, but used in several quests
No Outside infobox Yes No - Food
Fish food
Has non-quest uses, always obtainable
No Yes Yes Yes - Ernest the Chicken
White apron
Only useful for fashionscape, other than quests
Arguably not Yes Yes Normal version: No - clothing
Gerrant version: Yes - Pirate's Treasure
Crushed gem
Randomised item requirement
Arguably Arguably Yes No - Barbarian Training miniquest
Irit leaf
Randomised item requirement with other uses
No Arguably Yes No - Herblore skill
Karamjan rum (banana)
Red herring for a quest, useless otherwise
Yes Yes Yes Yes - Tai Bwo Wannai Trio
Dead orb
Unobtainable item, related to specific quest
Yes Yes Yes Yes - Underground Pass
Wolfbane
Direct quest reward
Yes Yes Yes Yes - Priest in Peril
Mind shield
Quest unlock, non-direct reward
No No Possibly Yes - Elemental Workshop II
Hammer
Any tools
No No Probably not No - Smithing skill

Option 1: Tweaked status quo

The status quo is a fairly decent option, if it's made a bit clearer what counts as a 'non-common' item. Changing the qualification of "quest items" to the following would (hopefully) remove all ambiguity from this definition:

A quest item is any direct quest reward, or any item that is required to complete certain quest(s), which either serves no purpose outside the quest(s), or first becomes obtainable during one of the quests. Red herrings for quests and unobtainable quest-related items also count as quest items.

This seems to be a pretty clear fit for the consensus that was reached in the previous thread. However, it could be argued that items such as Fish food would be excluded, due to its very limited "use" (if it can be called that) being the ability to feed a Pet fish. Also, Buttons would probably not count, since they are a crafting experience source, obtainable before starting any quest, even though their polished variant is only useful for quests.

This also seems to have the added issue that, if a non-quest use for poison would be added to the game, the item would suddenly not be a quest item anymore, if we were to apply this definition. It's not very likely this will happen, but it has happened before that quest-only items were given a new use much later, so it's entirely possible something like that could happen in the future.

I've included an exception for red herrings to make the seemingly random distinction between weird gloop and ??? mixture (which was never actually implemented) from the previous thread a bit more consistent.

A question here would be: do 'randomised' items such as those required in Fairytale I, Forgettable Tale... and Wanted! count as quest items? And how about different items which all work for a single purpose, such as flowers for Throne of Miscellania?

Option 2: List all quests

Another option that was raised was to change the parameter (and possibly rename the infobox label as well) to include a list of all quests an item is absolutely required to complete. In order to avoid tools (bucket, rope, pickaxe) and currency from getting a massive list, this definition would exclude general-purpose tools and currency from this definition. The wording could be:

A quest item is any quest reward, or item that is directly required in order to complete a quest, other than currencies and general-purpose tools such as buckets, ropes, and pickaxes. Red herrings for quests and unobtainable quest-related items also count as quest items.

This would be a much broader definition, so a clause could be added that "If an item is required for a large number of quests, the relevant quests should be listed outside the infobox in a separate section". Using this definition, some much more common items would also list the quests they play a role in. As far as I could come up with, some of the more common items this would include are Beer, plank, steel nails, Willow sapling, Clockwork, Red topaz, and a decent amount of runes. Like with option 1, the inclusion of red herrings and unobtainable quest-related items is to remove differences between weird gloop and banana rum.

However, this option also has its issues, namely that it's just moving the issue with 'non-common' items to the topic of 'general purpose tools'. This can be solved by either creating an exhaustive list of all items that are considered tools (to be honest, that disambiguation page is a decent list already, although it's missing vessels like buckets), or by simply scrapping this exclusion of tools, and just listing all quests a certain tool is used in. The former would probably require the tool page itself to have a clear definition of what counts as a tool, such as:

A tool is an item that is typically used in certain interactions, without the item being used up in the process.

And the latter would simply cause tool pages to have a massive list of seemingly unrelated quests in a new section on the page. Personally, I'm leaning towards the first approach.

Just like with Option 1, items on randomised lists, or 'any of these' requirements would be unclear in this solution.

Option 3: Delete infobox parameter for new article section

Another option is to do essentially what option 2 proposes, but instead of having all information in the infobox, put it all in a section on the page. This has significant advantages for items such as the Ring of charos (which already does this), Beer (which already has an incomplete list in the introductory paragraph), and plank (which just mentions "several quests"). However this would also mean that items which have no use whatsoever, other than their role in a single quest (such as magic glue, monkey skin and Teddy), would get a new section for what is essentially a copy of the introductory prose.

This option would still maintain the decision from previous thread that indirect quest rewards such as the Salve amulet(i), mind shield and Rune platebody would not get such a section.

Option 4: Use configuration values

The fourth option, rather than having endless disputes over what constitutes a "Quest item", is just to use Jagex's own definition. Presumably for internal development, every item that is considered to be used in a specific quest was grouped together. For example with the launch of RS2, you can see here [1] that the Dwarf Cannon items are first, followed by Holy Grail, Clock Tower, Fishing Contest, Merlin's Crystal, etc.

More recently the object weights that were provided gave an updated version of this. So it is known which items, from Jagex' perspective, are considered to be quest items or not.

The main problem with using this definition, however, is that it depends upon Jagex releasing updated versions of the information. It can't easily be scraped from anywhere. So I don't expect this option to be selected, but it does serve as a contrast to the other three choices.

Discussion

Support option 2 - I'm honestly open to other solutions if anyone has a better suggestion. For now though, I think this solution would be the best approach, since it would make useful information directly available. Listing common quest items outside the infobox only if the infobox would become cluttered (say >3 quests) seems useful, but removing the infobox parameter is unnecessary I think. Joeytje50 talk Santa hat.png 23:12, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Question - I'm unsure what "directly available" means here. Does that mean it's immediately visible because it's in the infobox or that it can be set up to use SMW in some way to pull these lists somewhere? It can be pretty easily argued that all options are quick to access either through the infobox or the TOC if a section were added so I'm unsure why this is justification for option 2 alone unless it is SMW related or something that I'm missing. - Andmcadams (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
What I meant by that is that the infobox is typically the first place people look for structured information. For things that don't fit in an infobox, it makes sense to scroll further down the page (just like Postie Pete and Anvil have for their "location" parameter), but I think the majority of all items that are used in quests will probably be featured in just one or two quests. Only a small number of items (stuff like beer) are used in a larger amount of quests, so having the information more easily accessible in the infobox seems useful to me. Just like with other infobox parameters, the occasional article that lists ''See below'' and has the full list in a section seems reasonable to me.
Also, after some more consideration I would also support option 2 without the seemingly arbitrary exception for tools. Tools could just have a section with the quests they're featured in, instead of using the infobox parameter, and make use of the "see below" thing I just mentioned. I think that actually there really isn't a need to make an exception for tool items.
So, I'm not sure if this means I really change my vote to this, but my opinion right now is that it would probably be best to have the infobox parameter for any items that get featured in one or two quests, and divert to a section for any items that are used in a larger amount of quests.
To respond to the SMW question: Yes, this would also make it a bit easier to set up SMW properties for this kind of thing, although the issue with not all items having this information fit in the infobox would raise another issue with making sure every item is properly tracked in SMW. For now though, I don't think SMW plays a role in my decision making, as I haven't considered how that would be made practically possible. Joeytje50 talk Santa hat.png 16:27, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
I definitely support getting rid of the tool exception. The visibility argument makes sense, but my initial thought was that the information is still not "visible" in the infobox due to the fact that you have to go read the prose to figure out why it's actually a quest item. For example, look at something like burnt meat, which would list three quests. Of those, two are rewards (Eadgar's Ruse and Making Friends with My Arm) and the other requires it (Witch's Potion), but you wouldn't know that unless you trawled through the prose. However, I think what you're saying about the infobox being the first place people look is true, and the param does alert people to the fact that it is used in quests and gives them a quick way to answer "Do I care enough to read more?". - Andmcadams (talk) 18:00, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Support 3 - To be frank, I don't see the point of the infobox param. Option 2 seems like a worse option 3 as it lacks context and seems to shift the current problem to "tools", even if it lessens it slightly. It also struggles with cases like archery ticket, which is sometimes needed during Mourning's End Part II depending on RNG and is also a currency. In my mind this option would allow the archery ticket to be classified as a quest item, but I think it's still a tad unclear due to the exclusion of currency in the explanation. I think we will only see more of these cases as time goes on. Option 1 suffers from similar problems.

Option 4 is objective and gets around most of these issues, but has the downside of being a param that random readers will not understand is fixed. We've seen this happen to the value param on hardcoded items where cache value differs from the value shown in the IKOD UI, and it has resulted in a decent amount of confusion. I'm also not convinced it'd be particularly useful as anything other than an advanced property where people seeing it likely understand it comes from the cache.

Option 3 allows us to add context surrounding the item's use in a quest and is much more flexible than an infobox param. That said, it'd be a lot of work compared to the other options. It might need to be OSWF-ed if we were to take that route. This doesn't necessarily solve the problem of what pages this section would go on, but I think that this option is much more objective than 1, and more useful than 2 and 4 with the added context. This is already done to some extent on pages in regular prose like Guthix balance. Making a separate section would give this more structure. This section and the param are not mutually exclusive, and while I personally don't see the benefit in the param, I wouldn't mind it staying untouched and ignored if we added this section. The main benefit I see in getting rid of the param is that people no longer have to attempt to figure out what it means. - Andmcadams (talk) 01:35, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Strong oppose option 4 - Turns out that option 4 is not as objective as I thought. This makes it both subjective and confusing to non-cache aware editors. - Andmcadams (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Comment - Quest items and its subpages do exist, and I think that if we are changing how we define what a quest item is based on the infobox param, then we need to make sure we update it elsewhere. Just something I didn't want us to miss. --Legaia 2 Pla · ʟ · 22:23, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

Support 2, Oppose New Section And Removal From Infobox - I think this is the best option, I don't want to have separate sections that end up deleting introductory prose (which is all a lot of these pages have for prose) or some random grouping by id in the cache. Just put quest usage in the main body of the page, a separate section would be miniscule for a lot of things.

By the way, option 4 is not really an option, it makes a big assumption that all ids are consistently grouped together by quest or that jagex always sets descriptive quest-specific config names. We can't use config names anyways given I'm fairly certain they told us not to publicize them. zTUG5mD.png Crow  05:55, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

Response - For what it's worth, option 3 does not require deleting prose from intro paragraphs, and I think it would be a bad idea to do so in certain cases. I'd be a much bigger fan of UCS to determine whether or not a section is required or if the initial prose is sufficient and too small to split (though this isn't mentioned in the proposal itself). In my opinion, a page like magic glue already gets the job done and wouldn't need changing other than perhaps adding info about how it's used during the quest. However, if we really wanted to add a section per Option 3 for consistency, I would expect the initial prose to remain in tact and the additional info (how is the item actually used or is it even used?) in the new section. - Andmcadams (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Note - I'll just point out that recently (likely all related to Vannaka's series relying on the wiki's classification of "quest items" currently), people have been paying more attention to the infobox parameter, and we can probably expect edits like this or this more often. As long as we don't really have clear rules about the infobox parameter, it's hard to point to clear reasons to keep / undo these kinds of edits. Joeytje50 talk Santa hat.png 22:20, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

Support 3 I support 3 for greatest consistency and definition clarity. Option 3, as I understand it (correct if wrong), seems to be Any item directly used to complete a quest is a quest item. Red herrings and unobtainable items are also quest items. Quest use should be detailed in a separate section.

I think option 3 also would result in a consistent location for quest-related information across wiki pages, while also ensuring pages for something like rope don't have a large number of quests listed in an infobox. For something like Ground mud runes (interestingly enough, the body says it's a quest item and the infobox doesn't), I think having a section for quest use would be good for consistency.

I think option 1 would turn out to be slightly confusing to implement or explain, and could also lead to instances of having to change the "quest" status of an item because another use was suddenly discovered.

Option 2 seems like it would lead to inconsistencies between the location of quest-related information on pages with quest information only in an infobox, and pages with their own section. Additionally, I agree with Andmcadams that option 2 basically opens up the same can of worms, but with what is considered a "tool". I also agree with Andmcadams that I don't care what happens with the infobox parameter, as long as quest use is detailed in a separate section.

No comment on option 4, I've never poked at the cache. Lamp (talk) 05:23, 4 May 2021 (UTC)

Support both Options 2 & 3

There are use cases for looking up almost any item & wondering if it is needed for a specific quest. This includes some items listed in these options that are suggested to be withheld from the edit, such as tools and runes. E.g. "Do I need Fire Runes for Horror from the Deep?". It is nice to have a direct, concise list of quests the particular item is used for. The only item I would consider limiting is gold, and even then I personally could see use from a user perspective.

For those that might not quite see the usecase, there are some accounts that lock themselves from specific content (e.g. items) until they achieve other goals. For example, the Youtube user Vannaka has inspired a number of slayer-only ironmen, who can only acquire items through slayer + their player-owned house. So, as these accounts acquire items, their users may find it useful to quickly look up items such as newly unlocked tools to see what quest(s) they might have unlocked. It may be too much to ask users to visit every quest page to find out what quest(s) they can do now.

For some of these item pages that might list a lot of quests (20+), if there is a concern about increasing the page size by too much, perhaps theres a way we could format the bulletted list to support multiple bullet points per line?

I like the idea Option 3 offers as well, but users might not immediately think about finding this particular page & instead go to a particular item page instead. This is why I like the concept of doing both Options 2 & 3.

--ImNuckinFuts (talk) 21:20, 7 May 2021 (UTC)

Question - I just want to make sure I understand, is the reasoning for doing both 2 and 3 because you think that the info would be on different pages under the different options? Option 3 would make a section on the item page itself, similar to the bulleted lists you were adding here except with more explanation of how the item is used/obtained in the quest. - Andmcadams (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Support 1 for infobox, Support 3 for article - Sounds weird, howeer I think having a tight description of what a "quest item" is, is good. Of the items in teh table, I would classify magic glue, goblin mail, karamjan run banana, dead orb, and wolfbane all quest items, even wolfbane could be classified as not, but I don't really care. BUT I dont think items used IN quests makes them a quest item, however I believe fully that anything listed in |items parameter of Template:Quest details should be displayed on a table on each items page. Regardless of definition of quest items changing, it has been one fo the things I've wanted to do for a long time because it is very useful to see what is required (not recommended) for a quest. I think both of these things are VERY different. Fjaratalk 16:41, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

I hadn't considered this approach, but this honestly sounds like a very good approach. Aside from still supporting option 2, this approach also gets my support. Joeytje50 talk Santa hat.png 16:54, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
I think a combo of approaches here is good, but I would say that it might be better for consistency reasons to have the two agree on what quests an item falls under. It would be kind of confusing to not list all the quests mentioned in the section in the infobox or vice versa (with the exception of a "See below" in the infobox). If we are going to explain the context of the item's use I don't have a problem expanding the definition to a more option 2 like approach. I get where you're coming from with items used in quests not being "quest items" per se, but if we renamed the infobox label to something more fitting would that be fine with you? - Andmcadams (talk) 18:00, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Renaming it could definitely work, I'm not sure what a fitting identifier would be however. Fjaratalk 20:05, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

Closed - This is a tough one to draw clear conclusions from, so I'll walk you through the reasoning behind my closure. There is a consensus to not delete the infobox parameter. There isn't much support for the omission of tools in the classification of option 2, but other than that there is a consensus to adopt the classification given in option 2 (without the tools exception) and 3. There is also consensus to divert to a section in the article, if the infobox parameter does not suffice (e.g. items used in many quests, or extra explanation being needed). Based on all of this, I conclude the following is an approach (almost) everyone can work with:

The classification of Option 3 will be used. If the list of quests cleanly fits in the infobox, a list of quests should be linked there. If there are some additional notes regarding the item's involvement in a quest (e.g. checklist items during Fairytale I), or the list of quests would be too long for the infobox, a new section should be created where the list of quests and the additional information can be provided. In the infobox there should then be a notice saying ''See below''.

TL;DR: Combination of #2 and #3, without the tools exception. Put it in the infobox if it fits well, otherwise put it in a section. Joeytje50 talk Santa hat.png 00:46, 17 June 2021 (UTC)