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This forum was originally meant for the Administration Team of Halo Fanon, but I supposed we should also include the opinion of the community in order to reconcile the fact that Bungie is out of the game.
As you might now, the current canon policy of Halo Fanon has been as such:
The problem with our current policy is that Bungie is no longer part of the Halo Universe, and, as much as we love their work, we would have to change the order of canon to accommodate future canons, thus placing 343i as the primary source of official canon.
Now, I will address the amendments that should be applied to the canon policy;
Who's the top?
While I am aware that 343i would be the official word of all things canon and not Bungie after September 14, 2010, let us not forget that it is Bungie's products that made the universe of Halo as unique as it is. Due to this unique status, the canon policy would have to adopt similar policy as laid out in Wookiepedia, where the six films are the highest source of canon and all others are below the films. Consider this as a "creator's rights" to the franchise.
Introducing Bungie-canon, Microsoft-canon and Fanon-canon
Bungie-canon consists of products made by Bungie, that is the Halo Trilogy and Halo: Reach. Microsoft-canon would include everything else ranging from novels, trailers to third-party reports.
Some may ask, what about the novels? Wouldn't they be part of Bungie-canon?
"It's pretty fair to say that the Fall of Reach novel was considered a Microsoft project rather than a Bungie project -- I don't think anyone would argue with that..."
To simply put; no. As per above, the novels is a project headed by Microsoft Development Team (now known as 343i) since 2001. And yes, this includes even Staten's Contact Harvest novel. While Microsoft develops the novels using their assets, Bungie was only there to supervise and give suggestions to make the novels more appealing/true to the Halo Universe. In other words, Bungie was not directly involved in the writing of the novels; they only gave suggestions to improve the content. So, where would this put the novels in the canon hierarchy? Under Microsoft-canon, under Microsoft games. It should note that Halo Wars, despite having some content improvement suggestions from Bungie, is entirely 343i/Microsoft, thus making it part of Microsoft-canon.
So, what do this mean? Who's superior? Back to first issue, Bungie is deemed to have earned the "creator's right". This unique right allows them to be the superior source of canon for the entire 10 years of being in contract with Microsoft. This does not include products released by Bungie after September 14, 2010. This right only holds them being credible from 2001 to 2010. Microsoft would be the secondary source of canon, followed by third party reports
What is Microsoft-canon exactly?
Microsoft-canon, also known as 343i-canon, is the continuity/expanded project of the Halo Universe. 343i, approved by Microsoft, would be the primary source under Microsoft-canon and anything released by them will be considered as official canon. Anything created by Microsoft and its affiliates would have been considered as being approved automatically by Bungie, thus making them canon.
Under Microsoft-canon, it would have a secondary canon hierarchy; the games would be superior, followed by the novels, other literatures, the marketing campaigns and other promotional items... in that exact order. Because Halo is essentially a game franchise, game titles would be the superior source of canon in each category.
Fanon-canon is simply fixed errors made in official canon by members of the Halo Fanons. For example, the Falcon is actually a tilt-rotor vehicle and not a helicopter. Despite this, canon still designates it as the UH-144. Fanon-canon would correct this to UV-144. Fanon-canon is a very messy source of canon; it is not official and it changes as the Halo Universe expands and nothing is ever fixed. This form of canon some times ignore the hierarchy of canon, simply to fix the errors made in the Halo Universe. However, one should always be reminded that fanon-canon is no way of being fully superior over all other forms of official canon and that anything under fanon-canon can change at any time. If you don't fully understand the concept of fanon-canon, ignore it and simply focus on official canon.
What about Marketing Campaigns?
"We wanted to, as a studio, stay focused on making great games. The novels were great [for Bungie] because we knew we had created this universe that had the possibility for lots of different stories. But we, Bungie, simply didn't have the bandwidth, and honestly the talent, necessarily, to do things like novels or comic books, et cetera."
The above quote should be sufficient to establish that Bungie had no time to be directly involved in the Marketing Campaigns. This would place them directly under Microsoft-canon.
Is that it?
Historically, over the decade of Halo storytelling, Bungie would maintain creative ownership and direction of these various projects.
Yes for making amendments to Canon Policy. There's one final thing I would like to amend, see below. The four guidelines laid out in the Canon Policy is still workable and need no update. The only problem we have right now is who's superior and who's inferior. Hopefully, you had a nice read.
More specifically, Alternate. In Halo Fan Fiction Wiki, we take pride of able to write fanon and make it work alongside canon. When a fanon contradicts an official canon source, authors would go in and fix their articles. This has always been the common practise in Halo Fan Fiction Wiki ever since the birth of the wiki.
The problem with Alternate template is that it discourages authors to fix their article to make them workable with official canon. It functions as a free-to-ignore-canon card. There is no limitations of the template; you can simply use it on any article that seems to have contradict canon, or on any article you find hardship of fixing. Let me illustrate several scenarios:
An article was NCF'ed because it contradicts an official canon. Add the template and you're free from future canon problems.
The author dislikes the way official party of the franchise presented the character/event/subject. Add the template and you can make them likeable to your taste.
An author is simply a Bungie-fan and dislikes 343i and Microsoft. Add the template and you can ignore everything (or omit most of what) 343i/Microsoft has released.
The above scenarios are common in Halo Fan Fiction Wiki nowadays and it's spreading rapidly throughout the community. I understand that most users do not like the direction of the Halo Universe under 343i/Microsoft, but that's how things are.
The alternate template has no ending to its implementation and presents as a fundamental problem to keeping things in canon. It's basically turning Halo Fan Fiction Wiki into fanfiction.net. Not everything on fanfiction.net is pleasant to read. Most of them is pretty much the typical and boring action-hero-macho-ism!
In short, the template presents itself as a form of floodgate, where there is no end to the application and that there is high potential of abuse.
Just in case someone brought up the Halo: Reach is not canon and FoR is superior... the events of Halo: Reach is Bungie-canon whereas events in FoR is Microsoft-canon. Events in FoR still took place, though the dates would need to shift around in order to make sense of the events.- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 18:31, October 31, 2010 (UTC)
All of that looks good, with the exception of two products. I'm thinking that Legends and the Encyclopedia should have their "canon tier" between the 343i comics and Marketing material, considering their unpopularity and discrepancy-filled nature.
As per the recent interviews, all of the novels (with a minor exception to Contact Harvest) were managed by a team at Microsoft Game Studios. So in essence, there wasn't any major shift in that department when 343i was formed and announced to the public.
Sounds good. I did feel that Evolutions needed to be placed on a higher tier than the current canon policy had allowed it. Good job.
Regarding the alternate universe template, what happens if a user is doing a “what-if” sort of story? (That old RP, can’t remember what it was called, with the Covenant worshipping the Precursors and everything, that’s one example.) Is it now off-limits, or is there perhaps a separate thing for that?
"what happens if a user is doing a “what-if” sort of story? (That old RP, can’t remember what it was called"
This is makes me laugh right here, because, while you can't remember the name, the RP was simply RP:What If?. On topic though, we obviously need some form of alternate universe policy, or otherwise more important things (like Halo 3: Ascension) will suddenly be unacceptable, and that just can't be stood for
LOMI: Halo 3: Ascension, being a story that was released long before the campaign of Halo 3 was revealed, would be an exceptional case as any changes made to the story without losing its appeal. I'm guessing it all depends on the uniqueness/foundation of the article; if the foundation of the article is minuscule and somewhat minor, the author should change the content to follow the official canon, but whereas the foundation of the article is major, such example would be Dragonclaw's Halo 3 story, then it would be of an exceptional case. This doesn't apply to community projects though. - 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 21:01, October 31, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I should have mentioned that the use of the Alternate template would only cease to work on future articles. Current articles currently using them are the only exceptional subjects.- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 21:04, October 31, 2010 (UTC)
I'll admit that I didn't notice that bit of Kai's proposal, so this will be a moderately lengthy post...
In my opinion, the Alternate template hasn't been used in extremely excessive and unneeded ways like she just stated, rather it's been quite the opposite. The purpose of this template was to be used in an alternative universe setting (such as if Operation RED FLAG, the SPARTAN-II's original mission were to happen), or even to a lesser extent, time travel stories. In some cases, the template has also been used to highlight a more factual and reasonable opinion on a particular subject, such as my Carter-A259 article in which the character is able to eject from the Pelican instead of needlessly wasting his life. And it's quite odd that it wasn't until recently that established fan fiction was criticized for not bending to new content, such as Halo: Reach.
However, the Alternate template was never intended for some half-assed, bat-shit insane story that has Darth Vader and the Imperial Fleet mysteriously spawning over Reach in the Summer of 2552, wiping out the Covenant fleet or some godmodded Unggoy movement that consumes the galaxy. In essence, the template is only designed for those who respect canon, but want to have a bit more fun with it.
To answer your questions, "What-if" stories should always have a direct correlation to events previously established in the Halo universe. For example, you could say that the UNSC Iroquois was recalled towards the fleet early in the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV, which causes the Covenant to still be unaware to the location of Reach. Using the invasion of Reach as the focal point for your "what-if", having Jacob Keyes never join the military wouldn't be necessarily canon-friendly in this regard.
The thing is that there is no such limitations when you created the template, which makes it a problem. Perhaps construct a limitation section in the template? - 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 21:01, October 31, 2010 (UTC)
I’d say we limit it, just we limit the humor template, to make it explicit that it’s not too be used for idiocy or for hiding a god-modded article. Same sort of policy with “Alternate”, not to be used unless the story is EXPLICITLY meant to be “what-if” or “time-travel”, and not for saying “I don’t like this in the canon, I refuse to have it.”
Oh, and that made me laugh, LOMI. Department of Dramatic Irony!
If I remember correctly, I placed a disclaimer on the template page stating that we didn't want any batshit ideas. But i'll take a look at it later and write a guide for those wishing to properly use and get the most out of the template without being a pain in the ass for the Administration.
Also Tucker, that "I don't like it" statement falls directly into the "fanon-canon" section, as there are many instances within canon that support this.
I meant something more like “I don’t like Legends, I’m taking those Spartan tags” sort of thing or like the infamous Noble Team debate. When you hear things as crazy as, “Emile didn’t die caz his shields are still up” or “Halo:CE co-op is where Noble Six survived”, there’s clearly got to be something in place for that! All those are real, and bad for this wiki.
Tony, I don't mean to be the bad guy here, but there's a very fine line between "batshit insane" canon-breakers and "bending the story" articles like Carter-A259. We've got to be very careful as we write the rules for the Alternate template or else people will start using the "this obviously didn't happen in canon, so why can't mine" argument to break our NCF restrictions. I mean, it's certainly possible to do, but I recommend that a good deal of thought be put into it before we officially adopt Alternative as a site-wide policy and not just a "cover Tony's ass" thing. I am very much with Subs in expressing my annoyance at how it's been rather bent about as an excuse to dodge the vaunted NCF tag; I mean hell, I've been called Halo Fanon's Hitler when it comes to canon. So, if we're going to do this, I say let's do it well and do it reasonably.
Quite frankly, you are far from being the Hitler of Halo Fanon Canon Policy...
Read the revised rules concerning the Alternate template on it's page, however, as the master of an alternative canon lifestyle, you and Kai are blowing this far out of proportion. Those who use the Alternative Universe template for the most part simply want to present a story that is clearly marked as such that has a little fun with certain aspects of canon. Please don't throw in people such as myself who respect the holy Alternate template, as with the majority of it's users, with those who use it as a widespread excuse to disregard canon.
I don't recall lumping the two groups together at all in my above statement, nor blowing anything out of proportion. Stop being such a drama queen.
At any rate, in the past-- before you arrived at the site, in fact-- the Alternative template had indeed been bandied about as an excuse to not follow the rules, which justifies Kai's and my preexisting concerns. I know for a fact that your articles are paragons of how the Alternate template should be used, but I cannot speak the same for any other future users who might use the template as their chance to squirm out of a valid NCF tag.
Also, I'd be tempted to put Legends below the novels in the importance of canon, seeing as it's been generally acknowledged by the community to contain a great deal of errors in regards to "Bungie" canon.
I’m trying to remember exactly all the canon problems that popped up in Legends, but at least the Spartan numbers one seemed to have been solved thanks to Halsey’s journal. After that, there seems to be little else, aside from just aesthetics of characters, but I’ve probably missed something.
Regarding the “Alternate” though, we can’t deny that there will be rule-breakers. The thing is making sure said rulebreakers don’t get off with it. Remember the Tier Zero fiasco? It was a legitimate excuse, but we all understood it was a cop-out, so the page got namespaced anyway. It all depends on whether the rules of the Alternate template are clear enough. If they are, then it will be easy to decide when it’s passable and when it’s not. If not, then it needs to adjusted to that it’s clear enough to the executing. There’s always going to be rule-breakers, but if the rules are clear enough, then taking care of later instances shouldn’t be a problem.
Actually, I want to know about the prophet thing in the Babysitter...we still don't have an explanation for why the Spartans and Dr. Halsey were only just barely aware of the fact that there may have been a top leader caste in 2552, yet a typical ONI officer and a team of ODSTs knew fully well what a Prophet was 'round 2540.
To Matt256: as I said before and I stress this point once again to everyone, this thread only concerns with the canon hierarchy (that is, rearranging the hierarchy to show the most up-to-date canon pyramid/chain). Contradictions would be considered as "loopholes" as laid out in the guidelines of the Canon Policy. Because these contradictions are not definite canon, you can easily exploit this loophole until an official source confirms the info.
To Specops: the MAC argument has been resolved by this community some time ago. Sgt.johnson and the others had done the math and double-triple checked with multiple sources and run the calculations through some third party software. You can see the corrected-version here. The article was originally a carbon copy of the Halopedia article, but modified to represent the most up-to-date info.- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 19:47, November 1, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with what the amendment lays out (which, when you get right down to it, is just a decision to heighten the importance of non-Bungie games and apply stricter controls to the use of the alternate template). I doubt it will affect how we do things around here much at all, so I say we implement it and move on.
Like 091 said, do it well and do it reasonably. But let's also do it fast, with the least amount of splitting hairs.
The problem is that it's really hard to explain why it is the way it should be, the MAC strength argument that is. It is arguably the best example, but a difficult one to explain why. I also blame myself for the lack of recording the explanation process. It would have been certainly helpful if I had done so. Thus why I chose the Falcon designation argument; it is a simple argument that shows a minor error made by Bungie, and requires no extra research.- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 21:04, November 1, 2010 (UTC)
Guess I'm late for the party, but meh...I say this hierarchy is kickass (although I think Legends wasn't actually as bad as some *glares at Matt* makes it out to be) =3
We don't really need a vote. Judging from the comments right now, it's enough to say that the amendments is understood and approved by all. However, the issue with the Alternate template remains unresolved for now, so nothing is certain about that one.
Well, I took a look over at the new Alternate template rules as detailed out by Tony, and they seem to be fine, if not rather lengthy. But I’m not an admin, so that’s just me! Still, perhaps the others should take a look, I personally think they cover all the correct bases, but seem too long for any new user to reasonably read assuming the average newcomers here.