Forums: Helping Hand > Past tense

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Hi all, I like the wiki a lot and I read it very often. There is enough material that I will never finish.

I am wondering, why is there so much use of the past tense in so many of the articles?

For instance:

"The Spine of the World was a mountain range stretching from the westernmost part of Faerûn south of Icewind Dale to ..."

Those mountains are still there on the 4e map. I could site many other examples. For some reason this jumps out at me when I read your articles.

15:41, 15 January 2014‎ User:Cygnus Xone

We have established a policy that the wiki should be removed from the timeline and written from the viewpoint of someone in the far distant future. The main reason is because trying to maintain every article in a "present day" point of view is wayyyy too much work, and mostly pointless. Fourth edition advanced the time line suddenly by 100 years and there was much upheaval (political, economic, geographic, demographic, pantheonic, etc.) so a lot of things that "are" suddenly became "used to be". The Spine of the World may still be there, but most of the Shaar is not. For those who play campaigns in 1479 DR or so, the Time of Troubles is mostly just a memory. My campaign takes place just before the Time of Troubles, so the events are "present day" for me and my players. You can see the problem here. Why should an article about the Time of Troubles be written in present tense for me and not past tense for other folks? The only fair and practical solution is to write everything in past tense, because if it is not in the past right now, it soon will be (assuming WotC keeps advancing the timeline). Does that help?
Moviesign (talk) 21:21, January 15, 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, that explains a lot. At first when I started noticing this, I thought maybe the past tense was reserved for things that no longer applied in 4e. But then I got confused by the cases where that didn't explain it. I see now that you are preparing for when even 4e becomes history. I'll try not to let this bother me any more. The tone of the articles when taken together sometimes made me depressed because it made it seem as though the entire Forgotten Realms was "past tense" and no longer existed.

Anyway, thanks for the answer and keep up the great work here.

00:05, 16 January 2014‎ User:Cygnus Xone
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