Depending on which writing style people have been taught in school and which region they are from, there are going to be differences in opinion about how words are typed and used on the Dota 2 Wiki.
This guide will hopefully help people adhere to a consistent standard of style and formatting throughout Dota 2 Wiki articles. Covering all situations would take a long time and the following is only meant to be a reference for Dota 2 Wiki specific guidelines. For a complete manual of style the Wikipedia Manual of Style should be consulted.
Articles are only allowed on the main namespace if they fit the following criteria. Articles that do not fit the criteria may be moved or deleted without notice.
- Articles must contain enough information to warrant a full page. If they do not have enough content, they should be merged with other similar articles.
- Articles must pertain directly to Dota 2 or the professional scene in some way.
Redirects may be created if they fit one of the following criteria:
- Alternate spelling, such as Armour instead of Armor.
- Alternate or shortened name, provided the name is common usage, such as Sheepstick instead of Scythe of Vyse.
- Alternate capitalization or form, including changing the title to plural case.
- Parts of a multi-topic article, such as Respawn time.
- Version number redirects, such as 7.00.
Article titles should be short, simple and to the point. As a general rule, the first word should be capitalized and any subsequent words should be lowercase. However, this isn't a hard and fast rule and some words may be capitalized to adhere to other guidelines (see Specific wording). Superfluous words such as "properly", "correctly", and "the right way" should be avoided, as should the use of pronunciation marks. Articles are usually on one subject so the title should not be on multiple topics.
Examples of good titles
- Aghanim's Scepter
- Windranger responses
- Creep control techniques
Examples of bad titles
- DOTA 2 MODS
- How to dominate top lane
- Critical Strike
The introduction of a Dota 2 Wiki article is the section before the first heading. The table of contents, if displayed, appears between the lead section and the first headline.
The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, briefly describing its most important points. It should contain up to four paragraphs and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article.
The article's subject should be mentioned at the earliest natural point in the prose in the first sentence, and should appear in boldface. For example:
The Valve Steam and game statistics allows Valve to monitor player and server statistics through Steam.
General writing style
Articles should be written in the third person if possible. While writing on Dota 2 Wiki doesn't need to be neutral, you should try to avoid personal reference. Sentences such as "I like to duck behind the boxes because it gives me better cover" could easily be phrased as "Ducking behind the boxes provides better cover".
Formatting functions like bold, italics, and linking are provided to improve readability of articles, so use them (see Wikipedia cheatsheet for additional help). If you wish to emphasize a word use italics rather than bold or CAPITALS. Use of the bold face type should be limited within an article whenever possible to definitions, table headers, and name highlighting (although names should only be highlighted once in an article). Double emphasis should also be avoided but can be used for text such as important warnings by making the word bold italic. Italics and quotation marks are also used in names of pieces of media. For example, game names are italicized.
Do not use:
- ALL CAPS
- Instant messenger language abbreviations - R U OK?
- Emoticons - :)
- Excessive punctuation - !!!
- Sentences starting with lowercase - "cast the spell on your ally"
The use of links is a difficult balance between providing the reader enough useful links to allow them to "wander through" articles and excessive linking which can distract them from their reading flow.
Underlinking can cause the reader to become frustrated because questions may arise about the article's contents which can only be resolved by using the search option or other sources for clarification, interrupting and distracting the reader.
Overlinking may distract the reader because links are usually colored differently causing the eye to shift focus constantly. Additionally if the same word is linked multiple times in the same paragraph it can cause the reader to question if the links are directing them to different articles or not.
The guidelines for linking are:
- No more than 10 percent of the words in an article are contained in links.
- Two links should not be next to each other in the text, so that it looks like one link - such as ranged damage.
- Links for any single term should not be excessively repeated in the same article. Excessive linking is more than once for the same term, in a line or a paragraph, which will almost certainly appear needlessly on the viewer's screen. Remember, the purpose of links is to direct the reader to a new spot at the point(s) where the reader is most likely to take a temporary detour due to needing more information.
- Duplicating an important link distant from a previous occurrence in an article may well be appropriate. If an important term appears many times in a long article, but is only linked once at the very beginning of the article, it may actually be underlinked. Indeed, readers who jump directly to a subsection of interest must still be able to find a link. But take care in fixing such problems, the distance between duplicate links is an editor's preference, however if in doubt duplicate the term further down the article.
National variations of English will occur depending on the nationality of the author. There is no preferred variation for articles and users should be aware of this, however consistency should be maintained. If the article was written in American English then this form should be used throughout and British English, Canadian English, or Australian English users should not change to their variation part way through.
If possible try to avoid the situation altogether by using common substitutions, for instance: "analyze the situation" could be changed to "examine the situation".
This does not extend to the discussion pages where users can use variations freely.
General spelling and grammar should be legible and correct. Use the preview button to check your work for errors before you submit your edit. If English is not your first language or you have difficulties with writing, it is recommended you bring up your point in discussion so that other editors may add it. This makes copy-editing additions much easier.
It does not help that Dota 2 Beta has internally inconsistent style and terminology. What follows are best guesses and recommendations, and is subject to revision.
Note: Many words in the Dota 2 UI are in title case. Not all such words are capitalized when written in sentence case.
Words that should be capitalized
- Dota 2
- Factions: The Radiant and The Dire
- Ancient (Rarely: Ancient Fortress)
- Roshan the Immortal
- Heroes' names: Lanaya
- Heroes' titles: Templar Assassin
- Abilities of heroes, items, and units: Shadow Shaman's Hex, Scythe of Vyse's Hex, Ogre Frostmage's Ice Armor
- Items: Town Portal Scroll
- Summoned units: Beastmaster's Boar, Animal Courier
- Neutral creeps and camps: Kobold Taskmaster, Kobold Camp
- Shops: Secret Shop and its Shopkeeper, Side Shop, and Home Shop
- True Sight
Words that should not be capitalized
- Unit properties: attributes, strength, agility, intelligence, damage, armor, health, health regeneration, mana, mana regeneration
- Attacks: attack speed, projectile speed, attack range, sight range, attack animation, casting animation, base attack time
- Ability terminology: ability, ultimate, active, passive, toggle, range, cooldown, mana cost
- Effects: lifesteal, critical strike, bash, cleave, disable, stun, mini-stun, silence, entagle, slow, hex, ethereal
- Roles: carry, semi-carry, ganker, support, jungler, initiator, pusher, tank, disabler
- Verbs: gank, jungle, initiate, push, tank, disable, farm, kite, stack, pull
- Damage types: physical damage, magical damage, pure damage, mixed damage, HP removal
- Experience, gold, level, ranged, melee
- map, minimap, fog of war, day, night, forest, jungle, camp, creep camp
- creep, lane creep, neutral creep, melee creep, ranged creep, siege creep, ancient creep
- item, cost, recipe
- illusion [of a unit]
- base, tower, building, fountain
- almost everything else
Words with ambiguous or unknown capitalization
- mega creeps
Abilities and levels
- Heroes and items have abilities.
- Abilities have levels.
- Heroes have levels.
- Upon gaining a level, a hero receives an ability point (or point) which they can use to level up an ability.
- A spell is a casting of a hero ability.
Words best avoided
- DOTA 2, DotA 2, Dota, Defense of the Ancients 2: Should be Dota 2. DOTA 2 is used in the logotype only. Defense of the Ancients and DotA refer to the original game.
- spell resistance, magical resistance: Should be magic resistance.
- magic immunity, magical immunity: Should be spell immunity.
- movespeed, move speed: Should be movement speed.
- stats: Slang for attributes.
- skill: Should be ability.
- rank: Should be level, for both hero levels and ability levels.
- hitpoints or hit points: Should be health when referring to the thing itself, or HP when referring to the units in which health is measured.
- AoE, area of effect, area: Usually should be radius, but can be "area of effect" or "area" when not used to mean radius.
- mêlée: Should be melee. (Deal with it, Pierre Larousse.)
When adding data that has been recently changed or added via patch, do not add a note stating that it was added on the '[Date] Patch' but write as if the new data was always the norm, unless the old data is somehow relevant. This is to avoid pages that talk about "recently patched data" which is now years old, as well as articles that have long sections of outdated information followed by "However this was patched and now does not work".
Strategy pages contain advice instead of neutral statements about gameplay, so writing "you," giving commands, being accurate and being brief are preferred to encyclopedic language. Whenever applicable, the scope of a strategy should be specified. In some cases, this will require phrases that are normally weasel words, such as "probably" and "on occasion."
Many strategies will be impossible to cite, so use judgment. The best strategy entries will apply universally and will not require enemy players to be stupid, inexperienced or foolish. For example, strategies requiring deception are poor advice because they will never work against excellent players. Success in general can be a poor measuring stick, since any strategy will work against sufficiently poor enemies. Give advice that would succeed against the best possible foes.
Though Dota 2 is a PC-only title, many players will change their default binds. Therefore, references to commands should refer to those commands in simple, bind-neutral terms, including default key assignments only as extra information (possible added in parentheses, and not repeated at additional mentions of the same command within the article). For example, "Press Q to use Puck's Illusory Orb" would be more appropriately phrased, "Use Puck's Illusory Orb (default key Q)" or, if recently described with key bindings already, simple "Use Puck's Illusory Orb."
- Exception: Referring to abilities across heroes is done via their hotkey, as they often share similar traits (Q abilities are frequently your main ability, R is always the ultimate, for example.) In circumstances where this is more correct, always use the default key bind. In the Ability template, hotkey and legacy hotkey are required. Even if the ability is passive (cannot be used), provide the default hotkey that corresponds to it (in the case of legacy hotkeys, use the corresponding key from DotA.)
The Dota 2 Wiki is used around the world. As such problems with some date formats (e.g. 12/11/10) can arise. Instead use follow either the Month DD, YYYY format, or the ISO 8601 standard (YYYY-MM-DD).