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This question was closed for Game Design and Development. But to me it seems on-topic.

As a DotA2 player the term used is correct and is asking about a mechanic:

Why don't Desolator and Mask of Madness stack?

They got an answer about the mechanic and OP accepted it, but later the question got a comment and was closed.


As someone who doesn't really use Arqade I wanted to know how it was 'speculative about developer intent'. And how I would not ask a mechanic question that is off-topic for the same reason(s).

I also done a quick search of 'Game Design and Development' meta questions and would assume it to be on-topic, but that was a while back and may have changed. (My ability to search is bad)

  • This would not be on topic at GDSE, but that's not why it was closed and not what that close reason means. The GDSE bit is purely a "Maybe this place can help? Read their FAQ first!" – Elva Feb 22 '16 at 12:25
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I see where these people are coming from, but I believe it's because they take overly-harsh interpretations of the "we can't answer why the developers did it that way" questions.

I mean, yes, the question could be about why the developers designed the game that way. But more specifically, and more helpfully to other users and possibly other effects that stack, the reason is that the OP (and clearly, the person who also had the issue) did not understand that these things don't stack and how to have known that they wouldn't stack.

You don't even have to read between the lines that far on this question to see that the real question is "Should I know that these wouldn't stack? How can I know that? What's the criteria for it? Are other things affected similarly?"

Some people here are happy to make that small leap. Others aren't, and want the question closed until it's edited to be clearer.

I'm pretty sure that whichever side people fall on, they could agree that with some minor editing, the question would be fine.

  • I edited the bold question and title. Think it's probably better now. – DCShannon Feb 23 '16 at 21:40
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The answer to the question...

Why don't Desolator and Mask of Madness stack?

...is that the developers didn't make them stack. It could have been about balance, or it could have been about a technical restriction, or it could have been an oversight. We'll never know, because we're not the developers. Even if one user actually is one of the developers, by some coincidence, "we"--the group of users who comprise Arqade as a collective--are not the developers, and we can't know that answer.

If the user instead were asking something like...

Do Desolator and Mask of Madness stack?

...then that would have been a perfectly acceptable question, since gamers can canonically test and deduce the answer without developer assistance.

It turns out that in this specific question, the user isn't necessarily asking about developer intent, but could be asking because he doesn't quite understand why things aren't working as he expects. Unfortunately, the way he worded the question made it easy to confuse with one that is clearly off topic.

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    Not sure your suggested edit would really make sense either. I mean, the guy already says he knows they don't stack. That's not really what's he's asking. A better title might be "What prevents Desolator and Mask of Madness from stacking?", but you'll notice that's just a rephrased version of "Why don't Desolator and Mask of Madness stack?" I'm wondering if we're just playing word gymnastics for no reason. – Sterno Feb 22 '16 at 14:13
  • @Sterno It's not a suggestion about how to fix this question. It's just an example of a question that's clearly not developer intent about these two things. – Invader Skoodge Feb 22 '16 at 14:14
  • Ah, understood. – Sterno Feb 22 '16 at 14:14
  • @Sterno We are playing word gymnastics, but it's for a reason. People don't always read questions closely before closing or voting. A surprising number of people seem to just read the title. Your suggested better title would be more likely to be interpreted as being about mechanics (although theoretically one could say "the developers' decision"), and the previous title is more likely to be interpreted as about intent (although one could say "because those kind of effects don't stack"). – DCShannon Feb 24 '16 at 5:32

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