Steve_Conard_(200x200)Raise your hand if you own the Complete Tolkien Companion or The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth or have spent untold hours reading online Tolkien wikis.

Yeah, I thought so.

I suspect that, like myself, you routinely scour the Internet searching for maps and background material on characters and locations from your favorite books or TV shows. I’m sure you’ll agree, our favorite works of fiction are appalling light on ancillary details, details readers and viewers crave, such as, where the hell is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizarding in its directional relationship to London? Where does the Hogwarts Express go? My wife couldn’t give a shit less; she’s just happy finally seeing Ron and Hermione kiss. But I want to know. I know you want to know, too. That’s because we’re geeks.

I’m a big fan of World of Warcraft and have spent an embarrassing amount of time in that ridiculously addictive fantasy world. To prove my utter addiction, at one point I had five active accounts. If an MMO is worth playing, it’s worth playing five accounts at the same time. You know what I’m saying.

The challenge I have with WoW and similar all-immersive games is that the developers don’t provide vitally important information gamers want “in-game.” They force users to leave the relatively protective environment of the game and send them seeking information beyond, out on the vulnerable Internet.

Why do this?

Players are forced onto God-knows-whose website, which may contain viruses or any number of other nefarious account-hacking schemes. As players gamble, navigating these Internet mine fields, they seek information that’s questionable at best. Who manages the accuracy of the information found on these fan websites? After hours of spelunking the Web, you can still end up with information that’s error-laden. Sometimes nice players try to assist others, while immature haters shout ridicule like, “You’re an idiot.” That’s a lovely moment we’ve all experienced.

Again, why do this?

Think about it: Blizzard, the creators of WoW, has ALL THE INFORMATION. But they don’t give it to users. If pressed, they’d no doubt say, “It’s an exploratory game, and we want users to find the information on their own throughout the game.” Sure, you do. But players follow the path of least resistant, don’t they? So, when they get stuck in the game, rather than spending precious hours figuring out the puzzle on their own, many simply cruise the Internet for hints. That’s just human nature. Why do you think SparkNotes exists? People are simply too lazy to do it the old-fashioned way, through hard work.

Blizzard, like many developers, spends millions of dollars building a professional, slick, safe game environment. But then, due to their lack of in-game information, they force players to leave that controlled environment and send them into the wild, wild Webs.

Imagine you’re at Disneyland with your family, and you’re looking for a map of the park. When you ask the concierge for a map, he says, “We don’t have maps. But there is a map vendor in Long Beach; he’s the one behind the metal bars. But we can’t guarantee his maps are accurate.”

You see where I’m going with this. “Just give us the information we seek in-game, in the book, in whatever the experience is.”

I was a late comer to Game of Thrones. I simply had too many other things to occupy my attention—probably playing five accounts on WoW. Once the TV show aired, I picked up the books. I made the mistake of seeking out the oracle that is Wikipedia, looking for information on the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Guess what? You got it: I accidentally found out that Tyrion was married to Sansa. WTF!!! Nooo!! Goddamn it. And The Red Wedding…Jeez! Fucking Hell! I didn’t want to know that, either.

Join me as I say, “Spoilers are evil!” The downside to seeking information on the Internet, sometimes, more times than not, we learn too much.

It is out of all of these needs and difficulties that the idea for the Chaldeapedia formed. We want to provide additional Chaldea World Foundation material in a nice, safe environment we can control, one that doesn’t give away spoilers. As the Chaldea stories are released, the Chaldeapedia will expand with additional information. Chaldea is simply too big of a world setting to include all the details in our stories. So, we’ll release those nuggets of goodness in the Chaldeapedia.















Chaldeapedia experience and information will evolve.

Do you want to know more about your favorite character? Background information on your favorite kingdom? Want to see a battle map from your favorite war scene? We will have it. We can never prevent people from going to Wikipedia to look up information on Chaldea, but in the Chaldeapedia, the information will be both safe and accurate.

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Seeking missing information, let us know. We’ll do our best to provide it.

Steve Conard