Rampant changes in BS01

As many Bionicle fans, I read BS01 wiki on a regular basis, and there is always something interesting to delve into. As a result, I know many passages by heart.
Lately (~4 months), I have been noticing many minor changes occuring in the text - some of them added new details, or added sources, but far too many steered into different direction…
Details rooted in the minds of myself and no doubt many other fans have been altered under the banner of “Earlier answer takes precedence”. This is problematic and the resulting changes have been annoying to say the least.
The latest one upset me the most and I will use that as an example for this post:

On the page for Great Spirit Robot, in the Abilities and Traits section, for years the Robot was known to have its outermost shell made out of an alloy of Protosteel and Exsidian. Perfectly reasonable detail provided by Greg in Chat with Greg Farshtey. As of February 15th, this has been changed to simply metallic protodermis. Not only does this remove established and interesting details, it does so in favor of an outdated statement.
In fact metallic protodermis is just a much more vague description of what the shell is made out of and can easily include the two components. It is a decription someone would give you if they only had a very general idea of the shell composition. It being a mixture of specifically protosteel and some other metal is a more detailed answer, which we just lost access to, because of the change.
This is only one of several cases where a more detailed and long known piece of lore has been exchanged for out of date, less accurate or less detailed info. Information “updated” on the BS01 should never be reductory in nature, skewing or altering information that has been the norm for over a decade and firmly rooted in the rich lore.

Of course, I know where all of this is coming from: The classic: “Greg said his previous answers take precedence.”
Yes I know Greg had said it in the past, but this hasn’t actually been true for many years now.
“Previous statemnets take precedence” is in itself an outdated statement - and thus should not be followed as the main guideline globaly affecting all the desitions made by BS01 staff.
I do not claim to know inner workings of BS01, but it seems to me that much of the staff there clings to this as if it were an iron-clad rule.
Many of Greg’s answers have changed and he insists on the newer versions. To ignore that in favor of an older answer would be to actively ignore accurate information - direct opposite of what BS01 stands for.

I regularly explore all the sources of Greg’s input, so I know how his answers to many things have evolved over the years, as well as what his previous ones were. I can tell you that if this “old is canon and nothing new is” mentality were to be completely embraced, enormous amount of canon details would be lost.

So I once again repeat: This should NOT be the main guideline!

Far better and sensible option is to take all of Greg’s statement on the particular matter as a whole and see what his most common answer is and/or what he most strongly adheres to. If he said A once in 2006, but then consistently said B ten times since then, would you say A is true, just because it came first? No.
Most consistent answer should be considered canon, not the oldest one.

So if anyone in power happens to read this I urge you, do not be bound by that old view - it hasn’t been true for years.

And in case it continues then well…
It is sad, because it means I can no longer trust BS01 to provide me the most accurate and complete information :frowning_face:

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That isn’t the whole rule.

That is to be applied only in situations where Greg accidentally contradicts himself. If Greg acknowledges a contradiction, his newest answer is to be taken as canon. Additionally, an old answer shouldn’t be the only answer. If Greg first said “metallic protodermis” and then later said “Exsidian and protodermis”, there’s no reason that those can’t both be true. One is just a more specific version of the other.

I am not really involved with BS01 at all, so I couldn’t tell you how they run it. But I can tell you that this is how it should be run.

EDIT: Having looked closer at the source in question, I see Greg said Protosteel and Exsidian, which definitely contradicts the original quote. What I said about the general rules still stands though.

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Exactly this. I don’t know why folks at BS01 would think that the earliest answer is automatically the truest – there is a lot of lore from the earliest days (early 2001 flavor text, for example) that is outright non-canon now.

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That the post-BZP era answers in specific cannot overwrite what was established prior is something Greg has said himself;



As for the shell of the GSR, the Protosteel/Exsidian alloy detail is something that is fairly recent in itself. I added it, and as per the above quotes, Dag was absolutely right in that it is inaccurate.

There are of course exceptions to this, such as if Rahi are revived on the Red Star. This is because in this case, the contradiction was brought up directly to Greg.

I will say, however, that the older answers taking precedence does not have as much weight however on BZP/active story-era answers. Some things definitely changed as the story evolved. This is especially true to pre-06 era details.

There are of course also contradictions elements are written in the story, and as such also reflected in Greg’s answers, such as how the Rode is described as working between 2006 and 2009.

Another case to bring up would be Krakua’s mask shape. He wears a Suletu, of course. In the combiner model, it is shaped as a Hau, and as is commonly believed this is also what it is shaped like, in similar fashion to Norik’s Pehkui, and while Greg has at one point stated it is Hau-shaped in-universe, all of the numerous earlier answers say it is not. However, that is not what settles it as Suletu-shaped, but its description in the story of 2008, when Takanuva meets Krakua and Helryx.

No, it would be ignoring inaccurate information.
BS01 is not the dictator of canon, it is a resource to keep track of it, however it is maintained by editors - humans. We are not omnipotent. We miss things, and yes, that is a failure on us editors, however using BS01 as some sort of omnipotent story bible is a failure on the community.

To some degree, these issues also date back to older BS01 policies of not implimenting citations, which made keeping track of the accuracy of statements impossible.

What the community makes of canon is up to it. The canon saying one thing does not dictate what the community does on its own. What the norm believe does however not dictate what is accurate, it has absolutely no influence on it. They are misconceptions.

However – I do believe these details that “over-ruled” should still be detailed to some extent, which is part of my suggestion for Behind the Scenes sections on the wiki.

You have to understand that everything is a case-by-case basis. If you can make a strong case for why a piece of information is accurate, then go ahead and try.

This is not what the mentality is about at all. New additive information is perfectly fine.

Additionally, I’d like to make it clear that BS01 is not primarily edited by staff. Just editors. Anyone can sign up as a user and edit. Some staff members are also active editors, and generally monitor edits, but they do not make up the majority of the editors.

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Since I was the one who edited this change, I think I should give my reasoning.
At first, all I had was the earlier quote which said it was just metallic protodermis, so it was simply a case of earlier answers taking precedence (which, even if you disagree with it, which I have also at times, is the standard on BS01). But then, I found that The Rising says " A tremendous head made of metallic protodermis rises from beneath the shattered remains of the once-beautiful island." I’m not entirely sure, but I assume it has more weight than Greg’s online answers, so it seems like a closed case.

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Well, protosteel is a form Metallic protodermis. However, if you actually read the full quote, as in, read the context of the question as well, Greg is saying, ‘No, it’s not protosteel, just regular metallic protodermis,’ because the question was specifically asking whether it was met. pd or if it was protosteel, not simply what it was made of. https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2008-2010/page196#post7825-line32-33

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This part in particular is something I wanted to highlight. As the de facto representative of the BS01 staff, I can confirm that we don’t honestly have as much time to dedicate to the chronicling of the lore that we once had 10 years ago. Certainly we still keep an eye on the site, but it’s because of editors like Wolk and Dag that the site keeps up to proper speed.

To clarify further, this topic did indeed come up two months ago on the BS01 Main Page talk page, and was addressed by Dorek: Talk:Main Page - BIONICLEsector01 (biosector01.com). While I was not advised on the response itself, I stand by what it says. Consider it more like a guideline than any actual policy or rule. Basically speaking: IF Greg said it before, consider than canon, unless he specifically says something else is canon instead, otherwise we end up with more sentient clouds.

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Thank you @Wolk, @Dag, @Swert for your explanations and insights! I appreciate your response.

Now that I understand the situation a little bit more let me clarify a few things on my part.

First of all @Wolk yes I am aware Greg said it himself (I said a smuch in the original post). What I was being skeptical about is using it to overrule anything else. You have explained that is not the case and it should only be used when Greg contradicts himself. Of course this way of using this practice is 100% reasonable, however, how do you handle Greg changing his mind on a subject?

I can see older answer taking precedence when:

  • there is an abundace of older answers, all of them similar, but then later is contradicted by a later answer.

  • there is just a single, but concrete answer to a question, later contradicted and not clarified as to which one is actually correct.

  • several different answers exist to a single topic, then the first one would be considered correct.

Now, what I do not see as an appropriate usage would include:

  • something is stated once, but then superseeded by a number of different
    answers, which are however all consistent among themselves and only contradict the very first answer.

  • Greg explicitly stating which of the answers he gave is the correct one.

  • a whole host of different answers is present, but one has a clear numerical advantage and holds a majority.

Of course everything is case by case basis but if situations like these arise, and you can apply methods, which I have suggested in the original post, do you do it or, stick to an older answer despite Greg clearly changing his mind on the matter, or himself giving a different but consistent answer several times?

Now I will focus on the specific case of GSR shell.
@Wolk, @Dag
I understand what your basis for the change was here, but I disagree with it. As I stated befofore, many of the changes I have noticed were nice and added details. Some others leaned too much in the direction of “old is better” overusage, but they were inocuous enough so te change was not that jarring and were “mildly annyoing” (to me personally).
However, this specific change I believed to be problematic on the objective level, not just for me (I will explain shortly). It popped up as a red flag and along with the previous less severe changes, made me realize this trend that has been going on and made me worry for the future of BS01, hence the topic.

Why do I feel like GSR shell change is the most severe? I believe the later addition of Protosteel and Exsidian alloy is exactly the type of additive information that you are supposedly in favor of.
As I already said before the metallic protodermis in The Rising is more of a generalization. The exact composition is a detail provided later. Protosteel (a specific type of metallic protodermis) and an addition of another metal Exsidian (perfectly reasonable to aid in GSR longevity on its travels).

The bit about Greg answering a direct question if it is protosteel, is a fair point, but keep in mind the same is the case in the later question - "Is it the protosteel, or X? In one case, the X was just generalization again, in the other, it was another specific. Greg then proceeded to answer even more specifically by combining two already specific answers.
So this is a combination of Greg changing his mind on a part of a subject and utilizing it to provide a more specific and detailed answer than we had before - additive information.


@Swert

So I see it was not just my imagination, the trend does indeed exist and was established (or rather reinforced) recently.
It is ok to use the guideline when Greg randomly contradicts himself, but not when he consistently gives updated answers. Yes, sure sometimes it is hard to distinguish between Greg “not remembering” and changing his mind, but alterations I have seen been removed from the page would fall under the latter.
What I see in the converstaion you posted, is that some of you agree with my view that when a source was published should not be the main factor, and that there are other ways of evaluation. Yet, I still see a “hierarchy” of sources being established, which kind of reverts to the “older is better” mentality. But we know from numerous practical examples that it is not necessarily true.
You may not have intended for it to be a general policy, but I see it being used as such (and I am merely a frequent reader, yet I still see it).

What do you think about my suggestion of using the most consistent answer, instead of the one that cae first? When appliable of course.

Once again: If Greg says X in Official Greg Discussion, but then years later consistently answers Y (several times, not just once) in Chat with Greg Farshtey, do you disregard all of that in favor of older answer?
old 1X vs new 8Y ?
I say Y should be correct in such case, because it is more consistent.

So this is what and why it concerns me so much.
I know of several examples of subjects, whose current official answer relies on the information provided later in a more consistent manner just as I desribed here.
They are story details we would all agree on in a manner of: “Yes, of course that is how it is, why would you think otherwise?”
However, should the “time of release precedence” policy be completely embraced, it would result in massive changes of non-trivial information.

I do not dare state them here, for fear that exact thing would happen.

After my initial post here, I discussed on the BS01 talkpage that there were two more Greg quotes that were relevant, one from CwGF that said it was undetermined, and one from OGDi that says it was a mix of metallic protodermis and protosteel. As Wolk already said, protosteel is a type of metallic protodermis, so saying it is a mix of both wouldn’t contradict The Rising, and I would not mind at all updating the page again to reflect that. The problem, however, is the exsidian part. So far, the only source to claim that is the one CwGF qoute. The reason Greg’s CwGF and TTV answers aren’t priority isn’t simply because they’re later, but because Greg at this point is more than a few years removed from the story, and he can’t be expected to remember everything, as he even admitted himself several times.

I did not remove information by removing the quote that said the GSR is an alloy of protosteel and exsidian. I changed it. The detail about what the GSR is made of is still on the page, but what exactly it is made of has changed. If you see that as being less specific, that’s just your opinion. I agree exsidian would make sense for the Great Beings to include into the GSR because of it’s resistance to corrosion, but it is what it is.

While good on paper, it doesn’t exactly work in practice, at least when dealing with contradictions. For example, Greg first said the 08 matoran masks are not nobles of their Toa/Makuta counterparts five times.[1][2][3][4][5] Then, Bonesiii asked him to canonize it, which he accepted,[7] and ever since, held that position.[8][9][10] If we go by most consistent answer in this case, the 08 matoran mask powers become decanonized, which would be reductive and exactly the opposite of what you’ve been arguing for.

In the interest of bringing everything together in one spot, I have found all four quotes that have been referenced, in the order that they appeared:


July 13, 2009: https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2008-2010/page196#post7825-line32-33

  1. Is The Mata Nui Robot made of Protosteel, or just metallic protodermis?
  1. Metallic protodermis

December 2, 2009: https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2008-2010/page236#post9429-line8,17

  1. Is Mata Nui’s robot body made out of normal Protodermis, or Protosteel (or a mix of both)?
  1. Mix

October 25, 2014: https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page523#post11505231-line4-5,13

  1. From which metal is made the great spirit robot? Protosteel?5Or exsidian?
  1. An alloy made from both

November 1, 2014: https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page532#post11572525-line2,7

  1. The Great Spirit Robot and the Prototype Robot are made of metallic Protodermis, right?
  1. They are made of metal, but whether it is simply metallic protodermis or it is protosteel has not been determined.

Looking at the first answer, we must keep in mind that Protosteel is a form of metallic protodermis; saying that it is made of metallic protodermis doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no Protosteel at all: just that it isn’t entirely Protosteel.

This answer is supported by the second chronological answer, which says it is a mix of Protosteel and metallic protodemis. I interpret this to mean that some components are protodermis, while others are Protosteel; if it were an alloy, then the Protosteel wouldn’t be Protosteel anymore.

The third answer actually doesn’t necessarily contradict the first two; it specifies that there was an “alloy” of Exsidian and Protosteel. Would a Protosteel-Exsidian alloy still be considered metallic protodermis? Personally, I think it could be, in which case this third answer complies with the original “metallic protodermis” statement.

Then, finally, the fourth answer is clearly just Greg forgetting previous answers.

If we take all three relevant answers as canon, then it would mean that some components of the robot were pure Protosteel, others were a Protosteel-Exsidian alloy, and the rest were regular metallic protodermis. (Or maybe the regular, non-Protosteel protodermis was the alloy.)

And honestly, this makes the most sense; different parts of Mata Nui’s body would require different material properties.

Give us one.

You can’t just say “there are a bunch of examples proving my point, but I’m not sharing”.

To address this part first:

In general, this is indeed what applies. This is why Rahi are currently said to not be revived on the Red Star despite being from the CwGF topic: https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page338#post10107375
This is also in general why a lot of the earliest answers like those from 2003 are generally considered overwritten.
I believe the part of the CwGF not taking precedence unless stated otherwise can’t really be ignored any more than Greg’s other comments that it’s being dealt with. It is primarily a short rule for how to solve issues Greg creates due to forgetting. A case of Greg forgetting and giving another explaination is the Core Processor Glatorian:
https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page921#post14657543-line1,5
Now, these “earlier takes precedence” rules don’t really fully exist for pre-CwGF questions. As far as I’ve understood them, they were only really “hard-and-fast” established for that purpose.

So the problem here is, we can’t really know if Greg changed his mind, or simply forgot if it is not explicitely mentioned, which it tends to not be. Usually, one would have to assume he forgot, but if it’s consistent afterwards then yes, the later answer is probably the more accurate one during the BZP-era. However in many cases, these questions haven’t been answered many times. I don’t think numerical advantage plays much role in things however, unless it’s something big like 1:10 (in many cases, it’d be maybe 3:4).

So again, everything is a case-by-case. If there are any other specific ones you’d like to re-evaluate, do bring them. Nothing is black-and-white, and ultimately I’d like to have all ‘takes’ documented regardless of which is “accurate.”

Hope this doesn’t feel too much like restating what I already said…

Now as for the GSR shell:
My issue with it was not the exsidian. Protosteel is a form of metallic protodermis, and as, an alloy using it would be (partially) made of metallic protodermis. The problem is with the Protosteel.
The July 13th, 2009 quote, if you read the context of the question, not just the answer to it, it says, as far as I understand it:
‘Is it made of Protosteel or is it made of another Metallic Protodermis?’ ‘No, it is not made of Protosteel, it is made of another Metallic Protodermis.’ In this context, it rules out Protosteel.
It’s like, if I was to say,
Now, if this was the end of it prior to the CwGF quotes, then I’d call this fairly clear-cut, however the second quote Jerminator posted is from the BZP-era, and that definitely muddies the water.

@Wolk content of this post also adresses your response.

Understandable, but not everything is something to be remembered from the past. This specific example we are discussing is one such case - I doubt the specifics of the GSR shell composition were determined beyond simply some form of metallic protodermis. These details were only created by Greg upon demand from fans.
The qoute from The Rising is clearly a generalization, simply stating some undescript mass of protodermic metal. It does not exlude anything.

Then we have one qoute mantaining uncertainty, and three qoutes specifying: 1) just regular metallic protodermis; 2) a mixture of protosteel and regular metallic protodermis; 3) a mixture of protosteel and Exsidian.
So all in all we have 5 statements, two of which are non-informative (The Rising and the “undetermined” qoute), one stating homogenous non-protosteel compostion and two stating heterogenous protosteel compostition.
A majority of informative statements implies a mixture of protosteel and something else.
The something else is either a normal metallic protodermis, or Exsidian. Out of these two options, what makes much more logical sense is Exsidian because of the ideal properties of the material (which we both agree on) and because other option is just a lower quality version of the other component.

It’s true that the information “GSR shell is made out of something.” is still on the page, but there is still an information loss (or rather resolution of said information), because of the reversion to a more general form. To put an analogy to place, it is the same as if there was a description of a statue: “made out of stone” instead of “made out of quartz”.

Well that is why I added “When appliable”. In this case a simple majority would not be applieble because Greg explicitly changed his mind by canonizing them as Noble shapes. So there is a clear hard line separating his older answers from the new updated ones.
So no, that does not discredit my approach at all, it holds up just fine.
(By the way, if it did, it would automatically do the same to the time precedence method, which argues for non-Noble masks explanation, since it came chronologically first.)
So what I am saying about the useflness of differnt methods of answer hunting is: explicit Greg change > answer consistency > answer chronology.

It excludes Exsidian, which is not protodermis based at all.

But that’s my point. There are no universal rules for the different tiers of canon. I would say the only universal rule would be books taking precedence over Greg’s online answers, and yet that one’s even broken by the fact Greg’s retcon for the Mask of Creation being able to create things out of thin air is the one BS01 currently goes with, despite the World guidebook directly stating otherwise.
And Greg did directly change his mind, but it’s impossible to say whether or not this is a ‘forgetcon’ because no one (including Bonesiii) who later asked about the mask powers pointed out his earlier answers that said no. The time between his last answer saying ‘no’ and Bonesiii’s question is a year, so it’s possible he just forgot.