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Certain types of games, such as Clash of Clans, seem to attract quite a few questions asking how to attack a specific player's base. These questions are usually titled "How do I attack this base?" (or something very similar), and consist of a screenshot of the base in question, followed by a description of the resources available to carry out the attack.

Should these sorts of questions be considered off-topic?

(Note: I have conflicting opinions myself on this, so I will post both as separate answers as community wikis to be voted on, please also feel free to expand upon either of them)

  • 7
    I agree that this is probably a discussion we should have, but I disagree with your straw poll methods. – Unionhawk Jun 29 '15 at 23:54
  • We can handle this two ways: have a kinda generic "What steps do I take to optimise an attack", or split it up into attacking specific styles of setups "How do I defeat the standard 3-tower build?" (Or something, I don't play CoC so I have no idea what sort of standard build strategies there are). Questions asking for specific "How do I attack this base" can then be duped to those questions. – Robotnik Jun 30 '15 at 1:00
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    @Unionhawk the two answers I posted are my own thoughts on the matter, they are not intended to be the only answers. If you (or anyone else) have alternative suggestions then I want them to be posted as answers as well – JonK Jun 30 '15 at 6:18
  • The question linked on "attract" is not actually an example of what you're referring to. – Brian Jul 6 '15 at 15:51
  • @Brian Good spot, I'll update it when I get back, I'm sure I can find another example of it. – JonK Jul 6 '15 at 15:52
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Yes, this type of question should be considered off-topic.

Clash of Clans evolves over time, and it makes its money doing so. Any question that targets a specific kind of base is going to be quickly outdated as base layouts and strategies change. Hell in my 6 month hiatus, there's been enough information to where I'd no longer be comfortable answering CoC questions just yet.

I believe that more generalized questions should remain on-topic. For example:

  • "How do I best deal with Clan Castle troops?"
  • "How do I most effectively farm gold?"
  • "What type of attacks should I prepare for when creating a TH8 base layout?"

These kind of questions allows us to provide specific information that applies to a lot of people.

  • "How should I attack this specific base?"

This kind of question applies only to the original poster. What limited people others may be able to get would be solely focused on how high of quality the answer may be. Everything in the answer will be based off of that one specific base being attacked, using a specific level of troops and troop capacity.

  • "How should I be best prepared attacking TH8 bases in War?"

This question may abstract from the specific details enough to be useful to others who come across the question. If we focus on overall strategies to consider to best prepare someone for attacking a TH8, then there's a lot of information that can help people help themselves.

It's not enough to tell someone "That's a base designed to defeat hogs, those troops are dangerous, so do X, Y, and Z." Sure it may help one person out, but they also might fudge it up and lose anyways. Boom, another useless question that benefits literally nobody.

However we could say "TH8 provides access to these new troops once you upgrade your barracks..... there are base design considerations that could either weaken a base to certain troops or strengthen the defenses to counter specific strategies". That would provide enough useful information for anybody to learn from.

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    This is the one I am leaning towards. I also think we need to have a question that helps people identify the different types of bases. That way we can then create a question for each type of base. – angussidney Jul 2 '15 at 5:40
  • The issue I have with this argument is that you can apply the same reasoning to plenty of other games and game types that are constantly patched in the name of game balance. Asking for tactical tips on attacking a raid boss or PvPing in other games is perfectly fine, is it not? Everything depends on what you have access to and what your boss/pvp target has access to. Then what's so different about attacking bases in Clash of Clans? I suspect that there's a middle-ground somewhere, perhaps by categorizing bases based on their layout into well-known and well-defined types. – Ellesedil Jul 13 '15 at 16:08
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    @Ellesedil Typically boss mechanics are rather fixed in most games. They aren't user-driven. CoC bases are user-generated, and there's a huge variety that it would create a huge un-searchable mess that benefits nobody but the original poster. It would be like asking "How would I navigate this maze in Minecraft?", when almost nobody is going to ever see that maze. However a boss is something many people are going to see, and the information is searchable and usable by more than one or two people. – Thebluefish Jul 13 '15 at 17:43
  • Great. Since pvp (which is what CoC raiding is) depends on other users and what level/class/abilities/items/whatever they have, should questions asking how to fight them also be off-topic? – Ellesedil Jul 13 '15 at 18:34
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    @Ellesedil If you link a specific build and ask "How do I counter this specific build", then yes that should be off-topic. However if you say "I'm having a problem fighting Sunsinger Warlocks in Destiny" or "How do I counter barch strategies in CoC?", that expands the question to where it could be actually useful. – Thebluefish Jul 13 '15 at 19:14
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    That is a more specific question than the one you suggest. "How should I be best prepared attacking TH8 bases in War?" isn't really a question that can provide useful information that can actually be applied in an attack, because it will depend on the design of the base. But, bases could be generally categorized beyond town hall level where those types of questions would be more narrow while generally applicable to many players. – Ellesedil Jul 13 '15 at 19:18
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    @Ellesedil Typically such an answer would cover various strategies used. Consider that a given base layout will target specific things. We shouldn't cover every possible variation of those elements, but explaining each element and its pros/cons should be plenty sufficient. – Thebluefish Jul 13 '15 at 21:26
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Yes, this type of question should be considered off-topic.

These questions are far too specific to that particular player to be of general use to a wider audience.

Players change their base layouts on a regular basis as they progress through these sorts of games, so shortly after the question is posted it may become completely meaningless because that player's base has changed.

Not only that, but the available combat resources will vary widely from player to player, so while any advice given may be transiently applicable to the author, it may be completely wrong for someone else facing a similar setup.

They may also attract opinionated answers - each individual player will likely have their own theory on how any particular base should be attacked, and for each question there could be a huge number of viable strategies.

As such, they should be considered off-topic.

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    This is the one I'm leaning towards myself... – JonK Jun 29 '15 at 23:40
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    Which of the close-reasons available will fit this? – WaldoAwesome Aug 9 '16 at 11:53
  • @awe That's a good question. Possibly primarily opinion based. The issue with these questions is that they're far too specific to be widely helpful, so "too broad" doesn't fit. – JonK Aug 9 '16 at 13:06
  • I remember in the old days on SO, there was a close reason for "too localized", which would would fit this, but it isn't present any longer. – WaldoAwesome Aug 10 '16 at 12:32
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No, this type of question should remain on-topic.

Rather than decreeing that these questions should be considered off-topic, instead we should create a canonical high-level "What should I consider when deciding how to attack enemy bases?" question for that game and close the base-specific questions as duplicates of the new canonical question. The old base-specific questions can then serve as pointers to the canonical question, and may reduce the number of these questions that get asked in the first place.

This would need to be done for each individual game where there are similar questions floating around, or once a few of them have been asked if no canonical question already exists.

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