The Manual of Style (MoS or MOS) is the style manual for all Dragdown Wiki articles. This primary page is supported by further Writing Character Pages and Writing System Explanations. If any contradiction arises, this page has precedence and its judgement is only superseded by admin opinion. Failing to follow this document is considered a violation of user policy. In the majority of situations no action will be taken against a user who fails to follow this guide because the admins involved recognize that mistakes happen, and not every user is confident and comfortable with editing wikis. With that made clear, the team does still reserve the right to remove user's edit access if that user makes egregious and intentional violations of this page.
Retaining Existing Styles
Sometimes the MoS provides more than one acceptable style or gives no specific guidance. The Moderation Team has expressed the principle that "Format is flexible and individual users can push innovation". This does not mean anything goes. If you believe an alternative style would be more appropriate for a particular section, please discuss it in the Dragdown Discord.
Edit-warring over style is never acceptable.
General Writing Style
Dragdown aims at being a relatively impartial, but still community driven source of information and education. In order to achieve that, articles need to be written in a manner conducive to maintaining degrees of trust, professionalism, and respect. Dragdown would also like to recognize that a significant audience of the site does not speak English as their first language, and so the administration of the site asks that sentences are kept relatively simple when possible.
As a general rule of thumb:
- Avoid excessively emotive language when possible. (eg: "insanely oppressive offense and abysmally awful defense")
- Try to be impartial and objective. (eg: "I typically use it in this situation for..." is not very appropriate in most instances, but "Can be used in this situation for..." is generally better.)
- Avoid using swears whenever possible.
- Never use slurs under any circumstances.
To add to that point, Dragdown needs to be written agnostic to the skill of the reader. You should try to not assume a certain level of reader competence; write such that even a beginner could understand it, or include supplementary information via tooltips and links to catch readers up to speed on a text. An easy way to achieve this is to stick to the descriptive nature of what the character can do as opposed to what the player can do. Instead of "you can block while in the air", write "X Character can block while in the air".
Casual language and inside jokes are acceptable, so long as they are kept in moderation.
Dragdown is an English website. Until the day comes that we have the resources, staff, and volunteers to set up an infrastructure for multiple languages, that will continue to be the case. Therefore, the wiki should remain in English.
Furthermore, the English localization always take priority. If the English and Japanese text for a game on this wiki differs, the official English localization takes priority.
Color Coding and Highlighting
If you've used the site for some time, you're sure to have noticed text with colors such as this: U-Tilt > U-Air, using a template for each. This is a technique authors use on the site to put more emphasis on mentions of attacks. However, color coding can pose problems for users with color-deficient vision. Please be conservative and do not add color coding outside of recommended use cases in this list.
Things you are encouraged to color code:
- Attack shorthands (eg: F-Tilt, D-Special, etc)
- Difficulty ratings for combo tables (eg: Easy, Hard)
Things you should not color code:
- Move names (eg: Quick Attack, Mach Tornado)
- Text you wish to emphasize (use regular markdown instead!)
Pronouns and Gendered Language
We recommend an approach adopted from the APA Style. These best practices should not be taken as thoroughly vetted by the community nor representing consensus.
Use "They/Their/Them" When:
- If They/Their/Them are the official pronouns used, or if non-gendered pronouns are used.
- The gender of the subject is irrelevant to the point being discussed
- The gender of the subject is unknown
- There are multiple subjects
Use Official Gender Pronouns When:
- The source material uses gendered pronouns for text that will be copied to the wiki
- The text needs the additional specification of gender to be clear
Caption Spaces & Usage
Underneath some images of moves on Dragdown are captions that are mainly intended to serve as an aid to existing images. They are mostly used to label or describe unclear or multiple visuals of a move being shown. This should be their main usage and the main priority if they are ever added to a page. In other cases, they are sometimes used as quips to quickly summarize the nature of an entire move. Do note that captions are not meant to replace the descriptions on move cards, and even one-to-two sentence summaries of moves are still preferred to be in them too.
You can find where to edit the overview page's set of captions by appending
/Data to the end of the character's main page on the wiki (i.e.
dragdown.wiki/wiki/SSBU/Byleth/Data will go to the Data page for Byleth. Typically, there is also a link to the page at the bottom of the Overview page as well.
Other wikis similar in scope to Dragdown such as Dustloop, Mizuumi, and SuperCombo have a long history of having "joke" captions under the images for moves, and sometimes even in the overviews. Some of these captions are genuinely funny and can be considered a welcome and fun part of a wiki experience, since this one is based on a game after all, but at times they have proven to be able to become more trouble than they are worth and have become a major point of contention for clarity and user preferences.
The current stance of the administration team is that we do not want to pre-emptively do away with joke captions here, and would still like to grant them some good will, but joke captions will be treated with great scrutiny, and as a result, less of them will probably be tolerated per-page. There is no hard limit, and will be handled case-by-case. Move captions should be on-topic. Personal discretion applies here, so please operate on the honor system.
- Not every move needs a caption. They are an additive aid, not a necessity. If you can't think of a caption for a move, it probably doesn't need one.
- Captions that aren't simply labels shouldn't be long. At most, one good sentence or two short sentences are all you need most of the time, if even necessary.
- Embedding images/other media as captions is generally unacceptable. This can add confusion to the move in having unrelated or misplaced visuals and also often does not have the best presentation for your intended effect.
- Remember that filling out detailed move descriptions is by and far more important and valued than one-liner captions. The latter can and will be removed if they're deemed unnecessary or excessive while a page isn't properly filled out otherwise.
Criteria for welcome jokes and captions:
- Jokes that are relevant to the character as they appear in game
- Explanations of what the moves do
- Comedic or lighthearted references to how the move is used
- Comedic references to the primary source material (this game itself!)
- References to the metagame
- Anything that attempts to be informative or educational
Examples of unwelcome jokes and captions:
- Inside Jokes
- Unrelated References/Quotes from YouTube/Twitter/social media
- References/Quotes to content unrelated to the source material
- Memes that you would expect to find on Tik-Tok (YEET, etc)
- Political content or hateful content
The bottom line is that purpose of the site is not to be a platform for jokes, stand-up comedy, or twitter gimmick account fodder, but instead to be informative and helpful. If a dispute comes down to it, know that information clarity and quality can and will always take precedence over jokes.
Bullet Points vs Paragraphs
Bullet points are a form of writing which help communicate lists of information quickly while emphasizing that text on the page. It is, however, possible to poorly use bullet points and thus de-value them in writing.
For this reason, it is recommended that writers follow these guidelines for the use of bullet points as set by Miami University.
- Make sure all items in the list are related to each other
- Keep bullet points short, preferably no more than three lines long
- Emphasize the beginning of each bullet point to make the list skim-friendly
- Begin all items with the same part of speech (active verbs work well) and make sure they are in parallel form
- Make all bullet points approximately the same length
- Use periods at the end of each line only if they are complete sentences
Even with these guidelines, it is generally preferable for a bulk of the writing on a move description to be in paragraph format, using complete sentences. Paragraphs generally format and flow even better than bullet points for the most part, and allow you to separate *and* leave "breaks" between sets of ideas. Overall, this can be more coherently digestible than a bullet point list.
Character Overview Pages are the most commonly read articles on the entirety of Dragdown. As such, these articles will be held to the highest standard.
Many readers do not have a long attention span, so get to the point. Be descriptive, detailed, and accurate, but avoid wasting time with flowery language. Overviews need to cover a lot of information in a relatively compact space so it is recommended that editors avoid making excessive use of adjectives or fluff phrases.
The overview for a given character should give a reader a basic understanding of what the character can do, what the character's gameplan is, crucial flaws, and key strengths are. The latter two points can be carried by the pros/cons table in the majority of situations, but it is sometimes appropriate to mention things in greater detail within the overview. A reader should walk away from an overview with a baseline understanding of how a character players at a macro scale.
Playstyle summaries are single sentence summaries of their respective character's overview. These do not need to be incredibly detailed and are meant to be read at a glance. The template will force every playstyle summary to start with an icon of the character and the character's name.
Strengths and Weaknesses Tables
Strengths and Weaknesses tables, also known as the pros/cons section, are potentially very contentious and can be damaging to the site's reputation when handled without care. As such, these sections should be collaborative efforts which are frequently cross referenced and verified. Below is a non-exhaustive list of guidelines to follow when editing this section. The administration team reserves the right to make rulings on these sections on a per-case basis.
- Begin every bullet point with a bolded summary of the bullet point, followed by an un-bolded colon.
- Try to Keep each bullet point to a maximum of 4 lines of text.
- Be specific. If a point depends on a specific set of moves or situations, enumerate them.
- Be fair. It is natural to want to emphasize how weak a character's option may be, or how strong it may be. Keep these lists metered and avoid making absolute statements as to what is best and worst in the game.
This section will be one of the most scrutinized by outside eyes, and as such it is ideal for it to contain the absolute bare minimum of jokes.
What Constitutes a pro and a con?
This is constantly up for debate, and sometimes people's opinions will change with time. The goal with these lists should be to inform readers as to the following traits:
- What does this character excel at?
- What can I abuse as this character to gain an advantage?
- What flaws do I have to play around with this character?
- What about my character can opposing characters exploit to gain an advantage over me?
A Note on Execution
High execution should only be a Con if the character loses something significant from execution mistakes. If you're having trouble thinking about whether to list it as a Con, think about this question.
- What does the character lose by dropping a hard combo, and how integral is that to playing properly?
Pichu screws up a dragdown BAir combo. Do they die for it? If Pichu is at medium percentages, yes. Most characters don't actually die at medium percentages so this is huge. Does Pichu have to play neutral again? Yes. Except that it's because Pichu lost a stock instead of resetting to neutral naturally. Is Pichu's neutral good? It's not the worst, but if you get touched you lose a stock. Sure Pichu has good buttons but they don't have the range to challenge characters. Is this critical to playing Pichu? Absolutely. If Pichu drops and trades they will die, meaning you either hard commit to the combo and ensure you can complete it, or you stick to picking off stray hits off in neutral and you cannot mess that up.
In this case, this is a valid con, and should be listed in the cons. For characters that do have high execution but don't have that dire consequences for messing up you can list it as a footnote to the Overview Template (by adding the |footnote= argument with an explanation),
Move lists leave freedom to the community to act as a guide in addition to a fact source. Every move contains a description area where editors can give advice on how a move can be used, the important drawbacks of a move, and so forth. Specific details on how to style these sections can be found on Writing Character Pages, but in general this section is open to whatever people feel is appropriate.
Using Move Names or Inputs
Depending on the context, either full move names, shorthands, or just the inputs can be appropriately used, and all come with advantages and disadvantages. Some players know moves by their inputs, other by their names or nicknames. In order to reduce confusion for readers who are less familiar with a character, you can use tooltip data or include a parenthetical reference to other things the move may be called.