Archive:GuildWiki/GuildWiki talk:Wikia Move

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This page is an archive. The original page wikia:c:guildwars:GuildWiki talk:Wikia Move may have since been updated or removed. This content is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA and was last retrieved on December 2008.


Organized Discussions[edit]

If an opinion of yours belong into one of the following topics, you are strongly recommended to put your thoughts in the respective subpages, instead of inside the generic "Misc discussions" section on this page. This helps everyone to keep the discussions on tracks, in stead of going in circles and repeating what everyone has said and not getting anywhere.

  • Gravewit's compensation- On issues pertaining Gravewit receiving money from Wikia in the transaction, and legal/copyleft/license issues on the monetary transaction surrounding a BY-NC-SA site.
  • BY-NC-SA vs Site advertisements- On issues pertaining the GuildWiki (a BY-NC-SA site) having advertisements, either during the Gravewit era or under the new Wikia dominion.
  • Technical- DNS, server, extensions, skins issues related to the Wikia move.
  • Forking- For people with thoughts on taking a database dump (which Wikia will supply if requested) and start a fork elsewhere.
  • Poll of the community's opinions of the sale.


In Guildwiki's early days, we were kept afloat for awhile by the generosity of our users, which we depended on not only to pay for the server, but to keep the site alive and fresh as they always have. Asking for money wasn't an easy decision, and it never sat particularly well with me; we switched over to ads once it was viable to do so, and stopped accepting donations at all.

Following the announcement that we were moving to Wikia, many of you have brought up issue with this bit of site history, and I feel with good reason. Now that it is possible to return that money, I have begun doing so. Anyone who donated to the site whose information I can find (paypal seems to be having issues going back that far) will be fully reimbursed monetarily, and enclosed will be my personal thanks. This is only the first step in doing what is right by our still-amazing-after-all-these-years userbase, in light of our coming changes.

I truly thank you for every single edit. Gravewit 00:19, 17 September 2007 (CDT) <-- the motivation of the above posting
Instead of passing out Wikia's money in $50 chunks, how about you donate everything you "earned" to a worthy charity selected by the community? If the money isn't really important, then I'm sure you'll be eager to make that kind of amend.
I'd settle for Wikia making a matching donation (Gravewit's payout) to a community chosen charity. Since Wikia seems to enjoy throwing money away in a dot-com bubble-ish sort of way, it shouldn't be too hard for them to scare up another $200 grand.
If you have nothing to hide, how about agreeing to disclosure of the full contract and making a detailed ledger of all of your ad revenues/expenditures prior to selling the domain name? Shouldn't be that hard, since you probably already have such a ledger for the IRS's benefit. Right?
I'd also like an accounting of how many community members are being paid off by Wikia. I know the number is climbing. Instead of being all sekret shady about it, y'all could be "transparent". -- me, 17 September 2007.
It only took 6 full days of silence, growing community anger, the FFXIcyclopedia disaster, and probably Gil Penchina's help for Gravewit to actually do this. And not only does it sound like it was written by a bad PR department, Gravewit still doesn't take any responsibility for creating the problem in the first place. (And do check that image "me" posted, it explains a lot about Gravewit's post.) But at least it's the right thing to do, and I hope the money is coming from Gravewit's pocket and not as an extra payment from Wikia. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 07:26, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
After several years of the use of their funds, you buy them out at the amount they initially contributed, with no interest or share of the profits? Wow, why didn't Microsoft think of doing that to its early investors? "Hey, thanks, here's the money back for the shares you bought when we were just starting out. Please ignore the fact that you are actually entitled to far more now".
Wikia, a for-profit organization, is promising to reduce the ad load on this wiki's pages. I find it hard to believe that they offer to do this if a lower ad level would not still cover costs plus provide a slight profit. Yet, you make the absurd claim above that only now, with the buyout, you are able to repay the initial contributions. This despite your reported (by Fyren) claims in the past that the ad revenue, before you expanded the numbers of them here, were even then enough to cover costs plus cover saving for the costs of the additional server.
Now you also claim that accepting domations was regretable. You likely find it so now, but at the time you reportedly (by Tanaric) claimed "I'm curious if a community-edited strategy guide can exist solely by community donations and effort. It'd be incredibly awesome if it could".
Yet, despite this double talk, we're still expected to trust you, Wikia, and those advising you on your comments? -- 11:32, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Sure. I'll support you for a third of your buyout and stock options, two years of back salary at, say, $20k a year, and two years of back interest.

If I'm going to sell out a non-profit community endeavor, I'm going to paid well for it.

Tanaric 12:15, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Gravewit, what is your progress on returning the donations? You need to show documentation that you are really trying to contact the entire list, not just the people who are posting here. You were quite vague on how thorough you were going to be and your timeline, and you even set it up to blame PayPal for not giving back everything you owe. And what of the interest or additional shares you owe those folks for essentially investing in your company? Of course, you're working on yet another week of total silence on these and other important issues. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 03:02, 25 September 2007 (CDT)

Other readings[edit]

These readings are from various talk pages addressing specific issues between individuals. It may or may not be appropriate for others to join in those conversations, but they may provide additional background information on the issues.

  • This posting to Gravewit's talk page covers the founding of this wiki, and how other co-founders and financial contributors to the wiki have been, for lack of better words, cheated and deceived by Gravewit's actions, including the sale.
  • This post on Gravewit's talk page addresses one of the more vocal user's legal concerns. Especially around the site license, which is explicitly non-commercial.
  • This post on Tanaric's talk page covers a potential route for the community to create their own branch, as Gravewit is believed to have never owned the domain (even though it was the domain under which this wiki operated for quite some time).

Candidate for Archiving[edit]

Subsections listed here will be archived soon unless someone move them back under "Misc discussions". Anyone may move any subsection(s) back under "Misc discussions" and prevent it from being archived.

A way forward[edit]

The reason I joined Wikia was because I fell in love with the mission of making high quality information free to the public. Free of subscription fees, free to be re-used by others commercially or otherwise, freely available for all to read, share and learn from. Part of that mission is to be the steward for communities and in the case of the Guildwars community, it’s clear that a portion of the community is angry with our decisions and our process. For this I apologize. Let me provide some background and our proposal to go forward after listening to you.

One of the principles of our decision to license most of our content under GFDL is that we are not anti-commercial, nor are our customers. We freely welcome others to take the information we host and profit from it, either by putting it on their web site, or by publishing a book that uses the community’s content. If someone wants to sell a copy of our content on a memory stick for $5, they are free to do so. Similarly if someone builds a web site and wants to sell us the URL, we are not opposed to the owner making a profit with our content.

However, I believe that because we are founded and lead by Jimmy Wales, we should be held to a higher standard. We are a steward for the community and we have set up a system where ALL content on Wikia is under a copyleft license and supported by advertising. We did this for a few reasons

  • Copyleft ensures that at no point in the future can we restrict access to the information or charge subscription fees for it
  • Copyleft with frequent data dumps (which we do voluntarily) ensures the community has the power and responsibility to fork our projects if they feel we are doing something wrong, or not supporting the community as well as they feel we should.

As part of our mission, I asked our team to reach out to other wiki projects and encourage them to join our family and our mission. Many have, while some chose not to for a variety of reasons. Some prefer for us to do the hard work of keeping the sites up and stable. Others want access to our software or the promotion we provide to their efforts. Some just appreciate Jimmy and trust him to do the right thing. To date, we are hosting over 4,000 communities of which a handful joined via an acquisition and we had never heard complaints before. Starting a community can be hard work and hosting the service is not free, so I have no objection to those who feel they are due some compensation for their efforts. This is not without precedent as other wiki projects like Wikitravel and FaqFarm (now wikianswers) have been acquired by for-profit companies and remain successful communities providing great information to the public.

Our intentions in reaching out to Gravewit were honorable, but the process does not leave me 100% proud. I would say in our defense that we are human, with all the frailty and occasional poor judgment that comes with. I make mistakes, everyone on the team does. We try to learn from those mistakes and do better every day, in the knowledge that wiki-users and the open source community holds us to a very high standard. We balance the needs of our customers, the Wikia admins, employees and shareholders on a daily basis. We try to find a balance between customers who want more features and information and those that want faster site speed, as the two are in daily tension with each other.

In retrospect, I could have put in place a more transparent process for these recent acquisitions. Going forward we will:

  • Talk to each community BEFORE signing any legal papers. The better wiki founders did this, but some chose not to and we didn’t force the issue. In the future, we will demand it.
  • Require as part of any contract that the community be offered re-imbursement for any donations they may have made previously
  • Encourage the domain owner(s) to disclose any compensation and at a minimum disclose if there is compensation being offered and to whom

For the Guildwars community. Jimmy and I have talked at length about the various interpretations of CC-NC-SA advocated for on this talk page. Having talked to a number of experts, I am comfortable both with our contract to acquire domain names and with the way we operate Gamewikis today. That said, when I screw up – and you’ve been clear that I did, I have a responsibility to fix it, so this is a issue of stewardship, not license interpretation to me. As I understand it the issues are:

  • Many community members do not want us to profit from the ads on the site and wants an open record on any costs and revenues going forward
  • Some community members would like all of the details on the deal we signed with Gravewit
  • Some community members do not value the work Gravewit did in paying for the domain fees, servers, managing the ad sales, etc and feels he was excessively compensated for his work given that he was not an active editor in the community
  • Most think should have talked to a larger portion of the community first and gotten your approval

I would like to make the following proposal, to help the community understand that we really are trying to be a steward and regain your trust

  • Many community members do not want us to profit from the ads on the site and wants an open record on any costs and revenues going forward
We will publish an annual report on the revenue and costs of running the guildwars wiki. Revenue can easily be tracked by ads sold. Costs can be calculated by the total cost of running all wikis and selling their advertising (servers, bandwith, engineer’s salaries, QA for bug fixes, ad sales, accounting, customer support, etc) and then calculating the percentage of total page views generated by guildwars vs. the rest of Wikia to determine the portion to be allocated to guildwars. Any profits will be taken at the end of the year and spent on give-aways to guildwars visitors or users
  • Some community members would like all of the details on the deal we signed with Gravewit
In light of the above, we will re-negotiate the deal with Gravewit instead of paying out a portion of the purchase price to the community and then upload a jpg copy of the revised contract on the guildwars wiki for all to see

  • Some community members do not value the work Gravewit did in paying for the domain fees, servers, managing the ad sales, etc and feels he was excessively compensated for his work given that he was not an active editor in the community
Here I respectfully disagree. Gravewit did the “not fun” part of managing a community that in many ways Wikia’s engineers and ad sales people do today. He also had legal ownership over domains that he sold us. I will work on re-negotiating the contract, but I do feel he earned something for the work.

  • Most think should have talked to a larger portion of the community first and gotten your approval
Not much I can do here, other than apologize and ensure we learn from that lesson and change our behavior. By offering to host your guildwars content without profits, I hope you understand how seriously we are taking your concerns.

What will happen going forward if you as a community agree to this

  • We will continue hosting gamewikis content
  • We will actively promote guildwars content to our other users and similarly promote other wikis on guildwars via the system we call “spotlights”
  • We will continue to do regular data dumps of the content as we do on all wikis
  • We will report to you annually on the profits or losses from the ads on the content and will track accumulated deficits until we reach a lifetime breakeven (ie if we lose money in 2008 as we expect to, we have the right to earn that back in later years without it being deemed a profit). After reaching breakeven, any profits would be returned to the community as sponsorships for visitors to attend fan events, or prizes, etc
  • We will migrate the wiki to the new wikia skin later this year, that you can see at or so you can use the new widgets and other tools we have developed. However monobook as always remains an option for those who prefer it
  • We will continue to support you with technical services and live support as needed

I can’t take back the mistakes we’ve made, the frustration we’ve caused you, or the time it has taken for us to respond to the wide variety of issues and complaints we heard. Please know that we’re listening and working diligently to earn your trust. I await your thoughts.

Thanks for your patience

Penchina 02:38, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

At the very least, you guys look like you're trying, and that's something to be appreciated. Weather or not many users can simply take this apology/promise and say "okay, we're cool now" is still up to those users; I personally don't have much to gain or lose in all this, but there are many who do.
A simple question on the skins topic; when you say you will be "migrating" the wiki to the new skin, what exactly does this mean? Will anything be changed content- or coding-wise? I believe a pretty big number of users have already... how shall I say, "expressed disdain" at the Wikia skin, myself included. I would hate to have the migration affect the monobook skin at all, the last thing I would want to do is have to use a different skin just to continue getting the most out of the wiki. --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 03:03, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
The way it works on Wikia is that there is a default skin (which you see) and then a seperate logged-in skin without any commercial ads. That is the default but you can ALWAYS change your preferences to monobook, as many old-timers prefer it and we believe in giving people choices whenever possible Penchina 03:30, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
...That took awhile. I think you provided more actual useful information in this one post, Gil, than you (and Jimmy, and Angela...) have cumulatively done before. You admitted that some mistakes were made instead of giving a bland gloss-over without addressing the issues. I appreciate that, and I think we are approaching transparancy at last. Most of what you said is practical and I agree with it; well, no, I'm pleased with it to be honest - this is more than I expected to get out of our complaints, certainly better than simply throwing money at us (though that was a start).
However, I will have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Gravewit. I believe that if you and your folks dug deeper into GuildWiki's past...if you had been here when the issues came'd understand why even though "Gravewit did the “not fun” part of managing a community that in many ways Wikia’s engineers and ad sales people do today. He also had legal ownership over domains that he sold us," he is still not appreciated by many of us. While Gravewit certainly took care of the ads, or at least put them up, I think it's a stretch to say that he "managed the community"...Moreover, Gravewit legally owned the domains, sure. Let's call that private property or a business. Well, isn't the whole purpose of "management" to spend resources as efficiently as possible so as to maximize profits? Gravewit certainly managed the profit part, but efficiency...meh. We are not speaking lightly when we call him am "absentee owner". I really don't think he deserves much more compensation than he already has/had. If pay equals effort put into the endeavor, Gravewit fails for effort, and at best he can only claim initiative or entrepreneurship for buying the domain in the first place. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 03:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I never said I was smart or fast :-) but I do try to get to the right answer eventually. I just needed time to hear from EVERYONE in the community and then to talk with our team. I do apologize that these things take longer than anyone including me would like. I hear what you're saying about Gravewit. I'm just saying that there are property rights, that he did have ownership of the domain and did do some things that supported the site. Penchina 03:30, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, the 60k window of opportunity closed while you guys were haggling over who should get it... Shoulda just donated it away to charity. Now nobody gets a cent of it. That off my chest, I'll say this: Wikia are at least being transparent and whether the sentiment is there or not, I doubt there will be many apologies/explanations/assurances like the one above being dished out in the future. So, if nothing else, our actions here have caused the CEO to rewrite their policies. That's quite some achievement. Note: What follows is my personal opinion and thoughts, and I don't ask that you agree or approve, I'm just getting closure - The wiki itself: I no longer have any desire to participate. The last few weeks killed it off for me. The saddest side-effect is that the sour taste of it all has rubbed off on my gaming too, and I no longer bother playing GW, having migrated to EVE Online. Its a sad and sorry state of affairs. I don't feel any particular malice to Wikia, I'm indifferent to them and the current state of play. I feel slightly aggrieved that Gravewit caused all this through - let's be honest - his greed and sneakiness, but wtf? This is my last edit, I'm not gonna get ulcers over him or the wiki anymore. So Long. And Thanks For All The Fish. 14:21, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
We all donated time, Fryen manage the servers, user contributed to article and Gravewit manage the site. I have no problem with paying Gravewit the money he lost if he actually lost any money but if he is making a profit that is wrong. Many user see this has a non profit venture. Now I understand that legally this has no weight since everybody thinks the domains doesn't fit under the license. But is still seems wrong. You don't see in real life people organizing even and turn after the work is done and say: I found people to do the work for free but now pay me. Profiting from the work of people did for free sounds like slavery.—├ Aratak 14:22, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
You have no right to absolve Gravewit's commitment. He told us he'd give us the majority of the cash buyout. He told us it would be around $62,000. You can refuse to uphold that commitment for him, but he is still obligated to give us that money. —Tanaric 16:44, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Tanaric, you might want to re-read Gravewit's words:

I've reworked my deal with Wikia, and they have agreed to set aside the majority of the cash portion from our original contract aside, for you, the community, to spread around as you see fit (this is in addition to my promise to personally refund all donations, which is ongoing). I think you'll find this solution unique in the history of community websites on the internet. The money is yours to do with what you decide, when you decide it. Gil from Wikia will be weighing in on the specifics of how much, etc, shortly. It should be in the neighbourhood of about $62,000 USD. Let the discussion commence.

Thus, it wouldn't be Gravewit giving the money to us directly, but rather Gravewit taking ~$62,000 less money from Wikia, and Wikia giving ~$62,000 to the community. If Gravewit was the one giving the community the money, Wikia would not have to agree to to anything with respect to the blockquoted context. As for Gil's latest words, "I will work on re-negotiating the contract, but I do feel he earned something for the work", it is ambiguous, but I think it implies Gravewit would receive less money than the previous deal (how much less and whether the Community would still get the money is completely glossed over of course). Anyways, I disagree that Gravewit is obligated to give us that money. I think Gravewit is obligated to receive at least ~$62,000 less money (cash plus value of stock option etc) from Wikia, while the ~$62,000 community was expecting was a commitment from Wikia. Mathematically it works out the same, but burden of responsibility is greatly different. If Gravewit receives $62,000 less money from Wikia but the community does not get that money, the matter is between Wikia and the community, and should not be considered as Gravewit breaking his commitment. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 18:35, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough -- I missed that and was posting in anger.
I don't think I have anything left to do here. My edits are released under the GFDL and thus I have no meaningful legal claim against Wikia -- at worst I can say they're misrepresenting my work as non-commercial when it actually isn't, but that's not really purposeful. My argument with Phil cannot and will not be settled on-wiki. I don't want any more of my work to be usurped by a company so willing to flagrantly violate the intent of our license here -- whether it's legal or not -- so my only solution is to stop contributing, even in talk pages.
It's been fun, etc. See you on the official wiki.
Tanaric 04:59, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I've said plenty on this elsewhere, so I'll leave most of the words to Pink Floyd this time:
Us and them; and after all we're only ordinary men.
Me and you - God only knows it's not what we would choose to do . . .
Black and blue; and who knows which is which and who is who?
Up and down - and in the end it's only round and round and round.
I support the proposals for increased transparency and community involvement in current and future deals. Hopefully they will succeed in reducing friction, to everyone's benefit. As for past troubles, I doubt they'll be forgotten any time soon, but perhaps some of the community will be willing to forgive after this is all over. GreenReaper 05:27, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
"* Some community members do not value the work Gravewit did in paying for the domain fees, servers, managing the ad sales, etc and feels he was excessively compensated for his work given that he was not an active editor in the community
Here I respectfully disagree. Gravewit did the “not fun” part of managing a community that in many ways Wikia’s engineers and ad sales people do today. He also had legal ownership over domains that he sold us. I will work on re-negotiating the contract, but I do feel he earned something for the work.'"
Just to clarify, but to the best of my knowledge, Gravewit was simply one of many wiki community for Guild Wars that happened, by luck-of-the-draw, to end up being the one to assimilate all the rest for the purpose of producing a more adequate wiki. The domain fees were initially covered by donators, the decision to use advertisements to support the wiki instead was his own, and the issue is not valuing what he did do; in a vacuum, a CEO's stress looks enormous. Poor individuals living from paycheck to paycheck have far more stress issues on average, though. Gravewit was -A- contributor to the wiki, in his own ways, but ways that warranted 6 digit compensation?
It's not even "how much" compensation he's getting that's the issue. You're distorting the complaints there. It's that he's receiving compensation at all, and depending who you ask, beyond costs or fees associated with running the wiki. People came to create a collective, non-commercial work, for the sake of informing others - not to line the pockets of someone else.
The success of wikis, in particular, and in general, hinge on good faith and trust. The sheer amount of labor involved in fact finding, editing, and editing ad infinitum would probably be too expensive to support otherwise. At least on ad revenues alone.
That you not only let this slide, but support this, seriously shakes my faith in the wiki system, especially considering your involvement in the non-profit wikipedia foundation. The only thing I'm hearing out of this is, "In the future, we'll try not to upset the community too much, because what we're really after is the acquisition of large communities and the work they've done; it'd be a bum deal if the retention rate of community member dipped too low upon acquisition." From the get-go, it's always been, "Reasons A, B, and C we're the good guys - deflect comments we can't or won't answer, strawman the rest."
Yes, I may be somewhat unreasonable, taking things a little personally. I'm not going to feel ashamed about it, though, because I feel I have good reason to be. Not only is all the work everyone's put into the wiki being profited off of indirectly (would you really be paying Gravewit anywhere near the amount you are for the domain if it were barren of the work others put into the site?), but you've also >bought< a community to boost your userbase, and Gravewit has sold a community as if they were cattle. That, at the core, is really what annoys me most. Gathering people together under a noble idea, and selling them off for personal gain. Legally, sure, it's probably fine. Ethically... it's garbage.
And yes, if I don't like it, I can leave. There may be forks in the future, and there's an official wiki. Since it seems this issue has resolved, for the better or worse, then so be it. Enjoy your acquisition - I hope it's not a sign of what's to become of collective works on the internet. Merengue 17:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
(an aside to GreenReaper)How can you quote Floyd and come up with that? Surely you mean...
Money, get back.
Im all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, its a hit.
Dont give me that do goody good bullshit.
Im in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a lear jet.
...sorry :) --SnogratImage:User Snograt signature.png 19:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, for me it's not about the money so much as it is about self-determination - the struggle between "us" and "them". Friction occurs when the interests of one group are not aligned with the other. This is self-correcting to some extent, since people who don't like it will eventually leave; but splits are rarely an optimal solution.
That's not to say you shouldn't keep track of money if people do decide to donate - that's just a basic level of fiduciary responsibility. I'm always surprised when I see people giving quite significant sums without receiving a proper accounting of them. It takes time, but not much time.
Come to think of it, that's an interesting concept - that a wiki leader (or host?) is a fiduciary for their community, and hence must always act in their best interests, including disclosing and forfeiting all profit to the community. Doubt you could make that stick in court, but it's a nice standard to aspire to, and I think if wiki communities demanded it they'd find they got a higher caliber of leadership. GreenReaper 21:35, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

This is nothing but a PR offensive designed to confuse and distract. Dangle some money in front of the community, then spirit it away with a ha ha. As I have said above, the damage to Guild Wars is minimal because Wikia doesn't realize how late they are to the Guild Wars wikiscape, and how little their oft-proclaimed stewardship means to us. We are witnessing the end of innocence for wikikind, I think. It will be a damn shame for current and future gamers if all game wikis end up in the belly of this corporation, but I'll cling to my optimism that game companies are starting to see corporate fansites for the parasites they are. 16:08, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Yep. Do not buy this "I fell in love with the mission of making high quality information free to the public" from a for-profit organization. Also, do not forget that Gravewit sold what he could not legally sell at all. STOP CONTRIBUTING TO THIS WIKI. The only thing you can do. There is an official Wiki, after all. Probably better to shove it the makers of Guild Wars in the throat then Wiki, to put it bluntly. -- 18:02, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand this lash of hatred at Gil's suggestion. The community has problems with Wikia making money off GuildWiki? Wikia has offered to return all the profits to the community and no longer make a profit. You don't believe them? They have offered to provide accounting documents to show that. Still don't believe them? What's the issue? And, yes, I have read most of this page and most of the accompanying pages. I understand the issues and the problems. I even agree with a lot of them. But not this reaction to a reasonable proposal. If you feel it's flawed or suspect, please provide more than ranting.

And, as for not buying into "I fell in love with the mission...," that doesn't exactly require Gil to also want to do it for free. If he can make money by providing information for free, more power to him. --Jeremy Winston 04:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Our course of action...[edit]

Since Gil has outlined his course of action, and it somehow managed to make Gravewit's $62,000 disappear as well as made no mention of returning the donations to the donors; I think it's time we stopped talking and made a move. Someone edited the main site's notice to say that the page now has information about refunding of donations. I do not see a ledger with a list of donors and their names checked off, and I have personally not received my donation back with or without the profits I requested.

I believe this is high-way robbery, basically, and I believe that people of principle should not let this slide. I believe that letting it go with the promise from Gil (the same guy who just broke Phil's promise) that "going forward" they will not make the same mistakes again would be a VERY stupid move on our part. You'd have to be an idiot to believe that they will "not do it again." They show no remorse in how they plan to repair the damage here, only promises of not doing it again. If they were truly remorseful, they would have honored the 62K pledge. If they were truly remorseful they would have set out with great zeal to pay back all the donors or make sure Phil does. They are not remorseful, they just wanna get this hoopla over with. and so they suggest a way forward without any remedies for what has transpired already.

My suggested course of action is for all site admins to quit their jobs. Collectively. Let them manage the site, promote their own bureaucrats and admins and run the show and see if they can do a better job. For this to succeed, every admin and bureaucrat would have to step down (or Biro boots all of them and then steps down himself, though I have my doubts he would do that). They can manage the deletions and blocking and what not. If they're going to be making money off of this site, they might as well earn their pay.

I would appreciate if the admins weighed in on this. If we do it, it would have to be ALL, no one lingers behind, not even the inside man, Mr.PanSola. If people get re-promoted by Wikia, so be it. --Karlos 12:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

You could just annihilate the wiki by banning every IP address there is and deleting all the articles. Though I'm not sure that would be appreciated by some people. Lord of all tyria 16:18, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I can't do that, Karlos. My loyalties are first and foremost to GuildWiki, no matter who owns it...If we forked off ("moved") or some such, then sure, I'll throw in the towel and be over there instead. As it is now, though, my choices are either to stop editing any sort of Wikis permanently, or to continue here despite the sour aftertaste of corporate takeover. How much will it take to satisfy our principles? Let GuildWiki crash and burn down to the ground? To me that would be almost worse than if all of us simply sighed and moved on without caring about the Wikia move at all. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 16:22, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
At this point, our options are limited and actually quite clear:
  1. We could sabotage the wiki as the Lord of Tyria mentioned. This is unacceptable to any half-decent human being. First of all it's a betrayal to the work of all those people who entrusted us with it. Second, it's a black spot on our own resume as stewards/leaders/people who have vocal opinions. I would not listen to someone who sabotaged his own communities work (see Gravewit). Finally, it will achieve nothing as the entire data can always be copied and re-hosted and what not.
  2. We could do nothing. Just vanish individually without a trace and walk away from the wiki one by one. That would mean that those who "know" and who are "aware" and who helped this community "succeed" will give up and let the "bad guys" win. Those who operate in the dark, those who care about the bottom line and those who partake in double-speak. Now, it's not about "winning" or "losing" it's about precedent. This is THE most successful gaming wiki out there, and I think we owe it to ur own work to make a fight for what we believe is right. Walking away will not "hurt" the wiki in terms of edits, because we established a very good system, new users will always come and contribute (I hardly made any serious edits for GWEN and the sections are fille dup nicely) and 95% of wiki users do not read talk pages. Wikia know wikis very well and they know that no angry group of users, no matter how angry can really affect the contribution once the wiki is up and running. What really matters is if the core group is dedicated and placing good policies and systems for the average user to find and contribute info.
  3. We could advocate people going over to the official wiki and "letting this one die" but this one is not going to die and advertising the official wiki as the hope of hopes JUST because it's not this wiki is false advertisement. They have their own issues there and their management problems that I am not all too happy with. It's just not a wise move.
  4. We could do this move of all the admins walking away as a show of solidarity among the leadership, a show of discontent and to show we are serious about requests that they listen to us. This whole "moving forward" thing shows that they clearly do not want this unrest and discontent to carry on. The one thing that matters is having systems and a healthy culture. So, having the head figures in the wiki (not the vocal angry people who hate all establishments and cry doom and gloom) walk away is a serious thing. Because even though you can promote others, in time, the vision of inclusinveness or thoroughness and so forth will wither (unless you get lucky and find a new set of admins who all embrace the same views). This will cause the community to splinter and crack. Having a level-headed leadership that has kept this wiki open, running and thorough is one of the main reasons for its success and Wikia knows that and this is why it's trying to avoid friction and placate people.
This is why I believe this is a measured move. Nothing too drastic or disruptive (I care about this place too much to destroy it to make a point) but also a strong statement that the veteran contributors are not acdepting this. --Karlos 08:27, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
#2 is the best option. The others are just wikidrama. Wikia has no need for this community, just GuildWiki's pagerank. (Gil Penchina might well claim that this wiki is meant to be a loss in its first year, but (a) that's coming from Jimbo and his minions, not the most trustworthy lot, and (b) if Wikia bought GuildWiki at a loss for the final year of GW1, they are uncharacteristically stupid.) The official wiki has too toxic a community for my tastes, mainly because the usual fansite blowhards are treating it as an official forum, but insofar as the most popular and useful wiki pages go there isn't much to complain. 02:39, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I suggest option #2 or #3. TBH Karlos, that you are not an admin on ANet's official wiki is more a personal issue, while this Wiki has been sold out to Wikia. -- 18:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Advertising crap[edit]

I think selling out is one thing, but starting with gold selling advertisings is another thing.


Please stop this. Gcardinal 13:35, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Nothing new. Wiki buys google ads, google sees the site is about GW, google places GW-related ads. Whoever administrates teh ads can block specific ones, but can't just block goldselling as a category. 15:57, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah I sense a big nice box smelling quality bullshit here. Couse:
Will There Be More Gold Ads, Now?
Wikia has a deal with Google to block gold ads automatically. Their set up should be much more effecient than ours, currently.
B*** me side ways... I sense bullshit here. 19:55, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I think this brings forth a simpel question: Who's the site admin now who can block this add? Gravewit, I think, is done with this place. Fyren is no longer contributing to this site, so, who can fix this? --Karlos 21:51, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikia is not yet running any ads on this wiki. Any ads you see are from Gravewit's account. As soon as we get this changed over, you can email me (angela at or leave a message on my talk page to request removal of bad ads ad I'll get them blocked as soon as possible. There should be very of these since we automatically block anything with the word "gold" in it. Please feel free to contact me about bad ads or any other problems on this wiki. Angela 23:21, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Well in the particular example above from Gravewit's account, the "gold" is part of the image, so it's a sign that gold-sellers are also adopting around word-blocking. I hope text-recognition software will be developed to screen image-ads in the not-so-distant future... -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 00:17, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
"Plat" and "Platinum" are words you'll need to keep an eye out for, as well. --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 00:21, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikia now has control over the ads, so if there are any that need removing please tell me. Angela 22:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

my 2 cents[edit]

as long as i can edit as long as we as a community can edit... why does this matter at all. OH NO were going to have a longer life span, wopede do, THATS A GOOD THING all i care about is if random page and the edit and the talk buttons work. why do you all care so much about nothing, let this run its course. okay. as long as i can help in 2 years when gw2 gets announced i'm happy.orao de seno is not a mexican person he just likes the name. 03:57, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Ignorance, apathy ftl. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 04:14, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

okay good argument, one question is guildwiki still going to be editable YES is guild wiki still going to allow free speach on talk pages YES is guild wiki going to have the same policys other then the copyright policy YES. its like omg we'll have a new policy oh no. seriously explain to me whats so bad about this move. all i need is a wiki to post info about gw2 when it comes out.orao de seno is not a mexican person he just likes the name. 01:30, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I just left a similar comment on Gravewit's talk page, but I'll repeat myself for anyone else's benefit. GuildWiki joining Wikia? Probably going to result in more helpful editors, better bandwith, and so on.
It's Gravewit's actions and handling of the situation that are the major problem here, and the reason everyone's bent out of shape, in my opinion. Had Gravewit asked for opinions, and clued the community in on a deal that involves the community, things would have gone better, I can assure you. But he didn't. From the looks of things, Gravewit never bothered to ask anyone because doing so would result in a different deal; one with a much smaller payout straight to him. Weather planned event or happy coincidence, Gravewit raked in enough money to comfortably live off of for quite a while. --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 04:57, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
If you don't understand the issues, then your opinion is inherently flawed. If you have already read all the discussion and still stand by your position - then I must ask you, sir, where do your morals lie? Even people who do not mind the move at all believe that Gravewit and/or Wikia could have gone about it in a better way so as to avoid so many (as you said on Gravewit's talkpage) "people looking for something to bitch about" getting pissed. The fact that you fail to even understand why people are upset is disturbing. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 06:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

My argument in short[edit]

PvXwiki has a neater skin and, if I interpret it right, has offered to host a copy of GuildWiki. This seems like easy math to me. (who claims to be Armond and Armond) 03:46, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

See /Forking#PanSola's thoughts on Forking regarding what I think your math left out. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 04:00, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Stop being a wimp[edit]

Keep all the money gravewit, even the donations. Tell anyone who complains that you will hire an assassin to drive an ice pick thru their head. Be a brave man, like Stalin.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (contribs) .

So sue me for not being able to read sarcasm on the Internets, but, that is about the most ignorant and uncalled for comment I have seen in this entire discussion. That is seriously not funny. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 06:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

All this time...[edit]

He says it's not for the money. Then we find out the amount is OVER 60 grand. Bull-freakin-shit.

Way over, that 62k was just the half or so of the actual cash he got. Keep in mind there's probably stocks involved as well. 19:59, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps if you're already rich, 60-120k is just pocket change...? If so, Gravewit didn't lie there. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 06:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

List of arguments against the move Gravewit's handling of the move[edit]

  • Gravewit has moved (or "sold") what he does not own, without giving us much warning
  • He allegedly has violated several laws
  • There is evidence that he is getting a large sum of money for himself (over $62k)
    • He isn't giving any of this evidently large sum to his co-workers, who have apparently been promised some

Add more to this if I missed anything at all (which i think i did). ~ ZamaneeImage:Zealot's Fire.jpg(contribs) 21:20, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The way you phrased the thing, it kinda implies you prefer GuildWiki and Gamewikis to remain in Gravewit's hands. I personally don't like that idea (letting Gravewit hold on to GuildWiki). -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 21:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I fixed the section title. —Dr Ishmael Image:Diablo the chicken.gif 23:27, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Oops, sorry pan. ~ ZamaneeImage:Zealot's Fire.jpg(contribs) 21:07, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I find it very, very funny that ArenaNet doesn't believe that it's legal for Gravewit to sell GuildWiki. Look here 14:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

And we can only assume a company like ANet would know what they're talking about, eh? Either that or they're wrong, and technically could have bought the entire Wiki. (which I personally think is a much better option.) --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 18:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
The funny think you linked to used the word "probably", which probably means Anet wasn't sure about the legalities and just wanted to play it conservatively. I'm not saying whether it's legal or not, I'm stating my judgment of what Anet felt on the legality issue. And again, Gravewit only sold the Gamewikis domain, he didn't sell the content. Wikia has ensured the database dump is available to the public at (and database dump of its other wikis under No-Commercial license such as Uncyclopedia and Memory-Alpha can be found at -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 21:49, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Why do we have ads at all?[edit]

There are two other CC-NC wikis hosted by Wikia: Uncyclopedia and Memory Alpha. Neither has any ads. Why does GuildWiki? 02:56, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe it's because we are hosted on our own server seperate from Wikia, even if we are owned by them--Image:Marcopolo47 signature new.jpg (Talk) (Contr.) 03:04, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
In that case, if Wikia's got control over the server anyway, wouldn't it be easier to have them host it entirely themselves and take off the ads? I mean, they're not planning to make any profit off this wiki anyway, and I don't think they'd have many costs if they hosted on the huge amount of servers they've probably got... --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 04:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Memory Alpha in fact has Google ads, for quite a long time too... Uncyc is the only special case I believe. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 07:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, so we're still stuck with ads too. Remind me again, did this move help us in ANY way whatsoever? DKS01 07:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Theoretically speaking:
  • more/better tech support if we ever need it (not saying Fyren was doing a bad job, but he's just one single individual, and doing this on hise free time)
  • probably better response time to gold ad removal when someone reports it
  • database dump regularly available if anyone ever needs it (back in the Gravewit era, database dumps was quite a hassle to obtain, otherwise GuildWiki probably would've forked by the first ever Halloween event...)
  • redundant database backups in case of catastrophic database server failure
  • back in the Gravewit era, if someone ever stabbed his back (or just happen to drove over him) and killed him, the rest of us will probably never learn of it (well, maybe Nunix, so let's say if they both get stabbed), and when the server/bandwidth hosting contract runs to its end, GuildWiki would suddenly disappear off the cyberspace without warning. If Wikia gets assassinated, we'll most likely learn about it on Slashdot among other channels, and have time to react and seek a new host provider, hopefully losing at most only a week or two's edits. (this is also part of the reason I strongly believe any fork of GuildWiki being attempted must be managed by a foundation instead of owned by a private individual)
  • Access to various widgets if you can put up with the look of the new skin they are developing (not available on GuildWiki yet). I personally enjoy seeing the Recent Changes on the sidebar without leaving the article I'm on.
  • Under the new Wikia skin (not available on GuildWiki yet), logged-in users won't see any google ads at all. the only form of advertisement you'll see are Wikia spotlight, which features other wikis owned by Wikia.
Of course, in the ideal world, we probably wouldn't need to utilize most of those services Wikia provides... So in summary, not much (but IMO better than nothing). -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 22:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Uncyclopedia just got pseudo-ads too. Pffeh. Entrea Sumatae 00:29, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Gravewit and Wikia's actions during this sale were simply disgusting. The secrecy, the massive amount of money paid, the long silences, the PR double-talk, ignoring the NC license, ignoring donations, the agreements offered but left unhonored... and above all, the amazing ignorance of and disrespect for the wiki's community. And when they had opportunities to correct their mistakes, they compounded them. Gravewit and Wikia should be ashamed of themselves for the damage they did to this wiki... Gravewit for being a terrible manager for so long, and Wikia for being so clueless in dealing with the community. Even in his reconciliation post, Penchina managed to create more trouble by reneging on the agreement Gravewit offered. Perhaps there are contributors who will continue here, but this wiki, already damaged from Gravewit's mismanagement and the better-run official competition, is tainted. The official wiki is a far better alternative. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 12:15, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

You are quite late to the party. BTW, do you consider the NC license still being violated after Gil's latest update on their plans? Just curious. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 16:52, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The "Official" Wiki is too tainted for my tastes. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 04:59, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
It's just different. GuildWiki's pretty tainted in it's own way, but everyone here's used to it, and knows how to deal with it. (more or less.) GWW has plenty of faults, but it's got plenty of good things going for it as well... it's a matter of personal preference between the two. GuildWiki's biggest fault just got a lot bigger, but it still has the advantage of all the other faults being quite small... while GWW is fairly consistent in it's ups and downs. --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 05:04, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The downs are pretty atrocious though. Not to mention lack of good sysop staff/policy. GWW does suck as a whole :/ -Auron 06:07, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
GW sucks as a whole. Have nothing better to do unfortunately :/. Readem 06:41, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


Image:Wiki theft.jpg

--Armond Warblade Template:ProfessionIcon(talk) 22:18, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

To be fair, Gravewit was nice enough to announce all this on Sept. 10th, not the 11th. The latter would have at least had some humorous qualities though. --Image:GEO-logo.png Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 04:00, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
That pic is awesome. Readem 06:41, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The article's history says otherwise. --Armond Warblade Template:ProfessionIcon(talk) 05:04, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Final gamewiki contract[edit]

Attached, as promised is the final contract between Gravewit and Wikia. Penchina 01:49, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
GW 1.png
GW 2.png
GW 3.png
GW 4.png
GW 5.png

Not being a lawyer, I can't be sure of my assessment, but the only worrying thing I see is that there is nothing regarding the $62,000 Gravewit promised us. Perhaps I missed something somewhere, though. Armond 09:05, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Misc discussions[edit]

The 62 grand vs non-profit[edit]

Gil's Oct 4th message basically says "You have an issue with us profiting, well fine, we'll give your contribution of the profit back to your users/visitors. In exchange, you are gonna miss out on the 62 grand." With a completely different tone of voice of course, but I believe that's the gist of it. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 08:43, 11 December 2007 (UTC)