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The terminology here can be a little confusing, as Xbox One and PS4 are "consoles", but only PC players have access to the "console". For the rest of this question, "console" by itself refers to the interface PC users have access to, and "gaming console" refers to an Xbox or PS.

I've seen some answers for Fallout-4 questions that offer a solution to a problem that requires using the console, with no alternative solution for gaming console players, even if one exists. I am leaning toward just downvoting all of these, unless the asker specifically says they are playing on PC. These answers are useless for gaming console players, but are often accepted by the asker, making it difficult for the gaming console players to get a useful answer. I imagine this problem exists in previous Bethesda games as well, but I didn't use this particular site much before Fallout 4 came out.

Many would also consider using the console to be cheating for most purposes. When a solution that doesn't involve cheating exists, then only offering one that does is clearly inferior, right?

How do we feel about this situation, and would downvotes be justified?

  • This is an issue I had with the way Skyrim questions were answered. Even as a PC player, I had no interest in the console for solutions, and had the same annoyance. – Invader Skoodge Nov 20 '15 at 3:51
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    If a solution doesn't work for you, downvote it. That's what they're for. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 3:59
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    @Frank That's true up to a point, but it seems a little wrong to be downvoting answers that work perfectly well for others, which is why I ask. I mean, the downvote is more to express a judgement of the question for others to reference than it is to remind me which ones I liked. – DCShannon Nov 20 '15 at 4:13
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    Whilst I agree that if a solution doesn't work for you, you can downvote it, having that solution for other people is of benefit. People playing Fallout 4 on every platform are going to find that question, and having multiple solutions available for that reason is a good thing. For example, I have no problem with a solution that lists tcl'ing through objects if you get stuck, even if that solution won't work for the OP playing console (so long as another alternative is presented for PS4/Xbox players). – Robotnik Nov 20 '15 at 4:13
  • That's why it's an aggregated vote; it doesn't work for you, but it could work for others. That's the point of voting. To provide a metric of quality. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 4:14
  • @Frank Fair enough. Unless someone presents a convincing argument otherwise I'll probably downvote and link here as an explanation. If they want to complain they can do it here instead of in comments. – DCShannon Nov 20 '15 at 4:15
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    @Frank - the problem is, that isn't really a metric of quality, it's a metric of who plays what on what console :) – Robotnik Nov 20 '15 at 4:17
  • @Robotnik For questions that span consoles and PC, it gives a pretty good cross section of answers that work across the board, and then lower voted answers for console-only stuff. At least, that's how I'd expect it to work out. Broad application would bubble to the top. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 4:20
  • @Frank - fair call. I was unnecessarily excluding answers that cater to all platforms, thinking especially about answers that each cater to a specific platform :) – Robotnik Nov 20 '15 at 4:27
  • @Robotnik In which case, specific platform answers would probably naturally be voted lower than those that work across the board, I'd say. It's the system working as intended. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 4:33
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    @Frank But If the only way to fix the problem is with the console itself, wouldn't the answer be then PC players: Put this in the console, Console players: Tough luck, hope for a patch. – Lyrion Nov 20 '15 at 14:27
  • @Lyrion Which, by definition, would be less useful than the console command. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 16:54
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Well your votes are yours, so downvote away if you like, but here's my take.

If the answers are valid solutions to the problem, they don't deserve down votes. If you don't want to or can't verify them, then don't upvote them either. Or if you don't think they are useful to anyone, then downvote them.

But from my perspective this site exists to answer questions and help people. And even if it doesn't help you, it may help someone else. So, yeah, I'm not going to bury answers just because I personally didn't use it. I may or may not bump it to the top, but I won't downvote it.

All that said, ideally, the best answer will have both solutions. This will not always be the case, but that is the most complete solution and therefore I think that would be the best possible way to answer such a question.

Caveat: If you are seeking a solution to a problem and call out you are on a system, I will likely not vote an answer up that provides a PC solution even though I still think it is a valid answer for other users. I have used answers like that on questions for console versions, but that doesn't mean that it answers the askers question, just that it may answer the question for other users.

Second Caveat: If the question is something like "how do I get up this hill?" An answer of "use this console command to teleport there" is clearly not valid. Use your brain/judgement.

  • I'm going to disagree with you here, I'm afraid. Downvotes are about the voter's perception of utility. If an answer is valid, but it doesn't help them specifically, they should downvote it. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 4:21
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    "If the answers are valid solutions to the problem, they don't deserve down votes. If you don't want to or can't verify [the answer], then don't upvote them either". Pretty much sums it up for me. People forget that not-voting at all is in itself an action, so if a solution doesn't work for you but it's obviously a quality answer for someone else you should just leave it alone. – Robotnik Nov 20 '15 at 4:22
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    @Frank I will agree to disagree then. I think votes for some users is about their perspective. I think, however, users with more knowledge of the greater workings and utility of the site as a whole should use the votes more wisely and consider users and situations other than their own when voting. That's my take and how I use my votes. You can vote the way you like. Beauty of the system :) – LoveAndCoding Nov 20 '15 at 4:24
  • Other than the implication that knowledgeable users are held to a higher duty than other users, yes, I agree with you. Everyone's votes are theirs to use as they see fit. – Frank Nov 20 '15 at 4:32
  • Hey @Frank, do you want to write an answer? You seem like you have a strong opinion on the matter, and all your comments so far have been at least intelligent, if not universally agreed upon. – DCShannon Nov 20 '15 at 7:13
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    I only disagree with the second caveat. Using a console command to move around is a valid answer. That people don't wanna use the console isn't important in making an answer valid or not. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 20 '15 at 12:48
  • Also, you contradict yourself with your first bolded sentence and the second caveat... it's useful, it's valid... wait no it ain't!?!? – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 26 '15 at 19:45
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Votes are yours, do with them what you want. But I do not think that an answer which only serves a PC-Solution should be downvoted.

Whenever i think about voting, I'll ask myself the following questions:

  • Did the answer solve the problem asked in the question? Was a lot of effort put into the answer (Is the answer high quality?) and can I confirm that the answer is valid? -> Upvote

  • Can't I confirm that the solution is valid? Is it about a topic I know nothing about? And isn't it a great looking solution with all sources you need to confirm it? -> Leave it

  • Is the answer wrong completely? Do i have to flag it because of low quality or other reasons? Do i get eye cancer by reading it? -> Downvote

While a PC-Console solution is not useful for a console player, it is still a valid answer if the asker didn't ask specifically for console solutions. Downvoting them would imply that they are wrong, which isn't the case. A high voted PC-Console solution might exist next to an accepted console solution. If you google for problems, you rarely add "PC" or "PS4" to your search term. If you have both solutions in one answer, people get their information a lot faster.

Also, you have one question for one problem, not 3 questions for one problem on 3 consoles. This might also reduce "wrong" possible duplicate flags.

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