Forum:Replacing "Official length" in Quest details template

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Forums: Redwood Grove > Replacing "Official length" in Quest details template
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This thread was archived on 26 February 2020 by Spineweilder.

Official lengths for quests are used to determine roughly how long it takes for a quest to be completed. The parameters used are Short, Medium, Long, Very Long and Very, Very Long. Some even use them in between (e.x. Short to Medium), and it seems we don't actually have a set definition for them. In addition, the Old School team has not set any official length for any of the quests exclusive to Old School.

I suggest using our own lengths in place of these outdated, obsolete and ambiguous parameters.

This thread aims to accomplish two things:

  1. Consensus to replace "Official length" to a satisfactory length for the average player.
  2. Define the satisfactory length we'll be using in place of Official lengths.

Here's some things to consider. For One Small Favour, the time completed can range from 40 minutes to over an hour, depending on the type account (regular or ironman , whether the player is space-barring everything, etc.

There's also going to be that some weird ones such as Recipe for Disaster. What would be the satisfactory time to put as the length? Do we want a range, such as "40 minutes to 2 hours", or an average amount based on a number of video guides?


Support - I believe replacing official length with a satisfactory length (e.x. X minutes) put in its place, would benefit visitors to the site more than an ambiguous term. -- Recent uploads SpineTalkContribs 05:18, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Support - Vague and subjective terms have no place on the wiki. Jeljo (talk) 05:25, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Time to complete a quest often varies heavily player-to-player anyway, how would be have a definite value for length? Chen (talk) 05:26, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
I wouldn't necessarily go for one definite value. Could also take a range based on speedrun/spacebarbois and relaxed dialogue-readers.
However, I think I'd opt for a baseline of the average time a person who reads dialogue and has not completed the quest before would take. People being faster will feel like they're pro as heck, and people slower will be reading dialogue and looking around for extra content anyways.
Finding this value could be done by taking the average of video quest guides' lengths.
It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate, as long as it's within a margin of 5-15 minutes, depending on the quest, it should help a great deal more than just "long". Jeljo (talk) 05:43, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
The problem with having a "baseline" value as such is people who go faster will be like "wow the wiki is way off this quest is shorter than that" and edit it, and people who go slower will be like "wow the wiki is way off this quest is way longer than that" and edit it. Having a range could work, but are we going to tick-perfectly optimize every quest guide? Have an editor speedrun them all? We still need some way to come up with a number which is liable to be inaccurate. Do we account for reading speed and meandering? I'm sure plenty of people read slower than me; now the timeframe is inaccurate again. Chen (talk) 05:52, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Good point. Maybe we could treat it like the Zalcano/nightmare drops, where we set a base range, and people can update it if they do it faster than our lowest time, or slower than our highest time? Might need to curate the big outliers when they happen, but it could work. Or require video proof in the edit message for extreme outliers. Jeljo (talk) 05:57, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - Someone added estimated times on RSW, and it resulted in the thread rsw:Forum:Remove estimated time from quest guides. The arguments in that thread also apply here. Also to Jeljo above, I don't see how you can say that an estimated time is any less "subjective" than having official lengths. Template:Signatures/JaydenKieran 09:43, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Reading the rsw forum thread, they have official Jagex lengths. Do we have those? If we do, I suppose that's alright then. I thought these were just picked by wiki editors, that's why I thought they were subjective.
And what do you think about the range idea, that I posted in my last message. It should counter the edit war problem. Jeljo (talk) 15:23, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Idk about OSRS/OSW, but the Official length on RSW is taken from in-game hence the word official. :P Farming icon.png Salix (Talk) Quest point icon.png 16:12, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
It says in the introduction paragraph "In addition, the Old School team has not set any official length for any of the quests exclusive to Old School." For older quests presumably we'd just copy the ones from rs3. Chen (talk) 18:22, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - I don't like citing videos which can be edited down or include people rabbling on about useless information or have straight up misinformation such as slayermusiq's or soup's. Citing videos is a bigger problem than ever right now imo, now that youtube has made it possible to edit a video after uploading it, a citation may include a part of a video that doesn't even exist in a month.

The length of a quest is so insanely subjective to each individual person that I think it's impossible to get a realistic time estimate, especially for newer quests which generally have more complexity in puzzles or whatnot. This is ignoring the people that start a quest and quit for a month, I know people have done this and will likely continue to do this. Or for quests that only have skill reqs during a specific portion, they complete the quest up to that portion and then procrastinate getting the reqs for 3 months before continuing it.

I'd rather see length estimates removed from the details. If not removal, semi-protected official length where possible and nothing everywhere else. Crow653 (talk) 21:23, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Support & Comment - I support the idea of changing the status quo. However, I'm not convinced that the methods provided would share a level of consistency. I think that we should change to one of the following:

  • We get the OS team to come up with official lengths, perhaps convincing them to poll the added lengths bit to the in-game guides?
  • We create our own parameters, but make it about steps in the guides (excluding quick guides of course) that we write. We could set up our own ranges. If a quest has three steps or fewer, it's Very Short. Four to six steps and we consider it Short, etc. This is something that I think would be more objective than trying to come up with a middle ground for people's speeds. Legaia2Pla · ʟ · 22:45, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Support I agree with several points from both sides of this discussion and would like to propose a middle ground that I believe has been touched on but not really elaborated on. I would like to recommend we keep the "official" identifiers as they are and perhaps have a chart somewhere (main quest page perhaps) identifying rough/estimated time ranges for each length category that can be linked to. We can include a standard blurb that actual completion time will vary based on the player/acct type. I know there have been numerous occasions where i would check a quest for an estimated duration forgetting that its just listed as short/long etc when trying to guage if i had the time to burn through the full quest or just a partial completion. Brightfang3 (talk) 07:10, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose per RSW discussion. The official quest lengths are interested from an encyclopaediac point of view however inaccurate they may be (and based on Diesel's analysis they weren't completely off) Gau Cho (talk) 20:18, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - I think the "Official Length" is worth keeping from a historical point of view, so I don't think those need to change for older quests. While they aren't a perfect measure of a quest's length, they're not a terrible metric, and none of the given lengths stand out as being particularly wrong or misleading. For the newer quests, I think we've done a pretty good job of selecting the Length parameter so that they're consistent with the old official ones. As Gau mentioned, I did a quick bit of data analysis, looking at the length of video quest guides and comparing them to the length parameter from the wiki. Looking at the numbers, for the most part our unofficial lengths fall squarely inbetween other official lengths. For example, Slayermusiq1's quest guide for A Taste of Hope (unofficially labeled "Long") is 34 minutes long, which places it right between his quest guides for Tai Bwo Wannai Trio at 33 minutes and Watchtower at 35 (both of which are officially labeled "Long"). This indicates that for the most part, our unofficial lengths are fairly consistent with Jagex's discontinued official lengths.

The only exceptions to this are Rag and Bone Man II, where Slayermusiq1's video guide is significantly longer than other "Long" quests, and Bone Voyage, where his video guide is shorter than other "Short - Medium" quests. I would consider changing the length param of Rag and Bone Man II to "Very long", and maybe move Bone Voyage down to "Short", though that one is a bit more dependent on teleports and whatnot. Other than those, I think the unofficial length labels we have on the wiki are perfectly in line with the official ones, so I don't think there's any reason to change.

I would generally oppose replacing the rough length descriptions with any sort of estimated time to complete, as those sorts of numbers seem very prone to variance depending on playstyle and player skill. I would be interested in seeing how a step-based metric compares to the official, unofficial, and video lengths, as Legaia mentioned above, but I'd want to see numbers on that before supporting it as a true replacement. BigDiesel2m (talk) 22:29, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - In short, I don't think the alternatives are better than the current version. Due to the variance of completion time based on the player's available teleports and reading speeds etc., I don't think we'll necessarily benefit from a time range in minutes as opposed to the current 'official lenghts'. Demilancer (talk) 10:20, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - While I would be in favour of a way to document and display accurate lengths, I haven't seen a proposed idea that solves the issue raised any better/more accurate than what is currently used as any length with heavily depend on the players actions, stats, and prior knowledge/experience. Choppetalk 20:59, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - As others have pointed out, this was tried and tested on RSW, and it was far from optimal. Talk-to Kelsey 15:41, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Closure - While it is acknowledged that there are issues with the current quest length system, there is much opposition to the proposed changes, and there is no solution put forward by others that have unanimous support. Thus, we'll be keeping the current official length system. -- Recent uploads SpineTalkContribs 00:35, 27 February 2020 (UTC)