The purpose of this wiki is to document the game 7 Days To Die and part of that documentation should include historical documentation, and for a number of reasons.
One reason to retain historical information, even if it has been removed from the game, is that search engines crawl this wiki and index its pages. As individuals use those search engines to find information about the game and follow links to the wiki, those search engines prioritize the links, thus making them more and more prevalent for other searches. If a page is later deleted from the wiki after the item or feature has been removed from the game, then the link is broken from the search engine.
Also, it is important to let players know that an item or feature previously existed but no longer does. Letting them know this is better than them finding either a blank page with our "Deleted" tag on it or even worse, a 404 error from a page that has already been completely deleted.
Another reason to keep the pages is context. There are a lot of articles on this wiki and many of them link to one-another and unless all broken links are addressed after a page is deleted, a mess of confusion and partial information is left behind.
Gamepedia has a good section in their help pages that explains it well:
[U]nless the page is spam, advertising, gibberish, contains offensive content, or was created by mistake, there are often better alternatives to deletion.
To further illustrate the limited reasons for deleting a page; when admins delete a page, they are presented with a drop-down list of reasons for deletion, which includes:
- Author request
- Broken redirect
- Copyright violation
- Orphaned page
- Spam article
Alternatives To Deletion
- Move the page if the title is inappropriate. But remember if you move the page to create a redirect and document your actions in both the "summary" section of the edit as well as the talk page.
- Follow the process for Help:Removed_Items. In nearly all cases, this is enough. This will clearly identify that the item or feature has been removed from the game. When this is done properly, the wiki maintains the historical information and pages that link to it retain a valid link. However, it is important to use the special page "what links here" (found in the menu on the left) to fix any pages that use the removed item or feature out of context of the current game version. For example, game version A13 brought an entirely new menu system. All pages that linked to the old menu system had to be manually redirected to the pages detailing the new menus system, in order to maintain accurate information.
- Merge pages that contain duplicate or very similar information and replace one of the two with a redirect. As usual, document the process in the editing summary as well as relevant talk pages.
Again, to quote Gamepedia:
If the merge or deletion you have in mind is one which might cause upset, you should propose the change first. Do this by leaving a note to give your reasons on the talk page. If you need to get more attention, you can also leave a message on the talk page for the wiki's community portal. (Link added to quote)
Marking pages for deletion should be a rare event. More often than not, adding the tag: Removed is all that is necessary.
For further understanding and clarification of the philosophy of retention, see the discussion here: Admin Noticeboard, Archive 2015.