I recently started learning how to speedrun Super Metroid. There are lots of YouTube and Twitch videos for specific, well-known strats (e.g. short-charging, Kraid quick-kill, etc.), but I see many strats emerging from currently active speedrunners that don't have tutorials or explanations yet.

Currently, to find out how to do a strat, I either have to wait for a streamer to come online, or hope I run into a well-known strat developer in chat. I don't mind either, but sometimes asking a streamer an involved question mid-speedrun is rude, and sometimes users aren't willing to explain a complicated strat in chat.

So, it'd be great if I could ask here, instead. But (1) I'm not sure something so niche is on-topic, and (2) I worry that I'd look like I'm farming rep, the way I'd like to go about it.

Ultimately what I'd like to do is draw the Super Metroid speedrunning community into Arqade. Without dropping links in their Twitch chat. What I have in mind is...

  1. Asking how to do a well-known strat that isn't so well-known that there are already a hundred resources. (No point in adding a question that won't bring in Google hits.)

  2. Answering the question myself if the answer is complex. This is to seed the site with some useful speedrunning answers.

  3. Leaving the question alone if the answer is easy. This is to leave the question to be discovered by someone in the SM speedrunning community, enticing them to participate.

  4. Asking actual questions I have, because, well, that's ultimate the goal for me.

What do you guys think?

  • I'd say don't do #3, that's just silly. But, more 'good' users are always welcome? Mar 3 '16 at 20:05
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    Generally, #4 is what you should be doing. Seeding questions for the sake of seeding is somewhat frowned upon.
    – Frank
    Mar 3 '16 at 20:08
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    Don't ask and self answer for the purpose of seeding. But if you have some information that you think is worth sharing and fits well in the question and answer format, then it's fine to post. Mar 3 '16 at 20:23
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    Also, keep in mind that not all (and sometimes few) users are friendly to "easy" questions that could easily be Googled. One of the reasons to downvote is "This question does not show any research effort", so if you don't post carefully and thoughtfully, some users may feel that the question warrants a downvote. Mar 3 '16 at 22:24
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    Thanks for the comments, everyone. All points duly noted. I think what I'll do is post questions that I genuinely have or had (and couldn't find answers to on Google), and answer the ones I now know how to do. At first I thought #3 was a good idea, but yeah, maybe it is a little silly. Mar 4 '16 at 4:23

Please do share knowledge.

This sort of information is totally on topic here. Having to learn it by watching videos probably works and certainly is entertaining, but doesn't scale well.

I don't know if we host the kind of audience that can really help, but that is a chicken and egg problem rather than site policy.

The kind of question seeding we frown upon the hardest is the systematic one, as in a bunch of largely identical questions that differ slightly (e.g. asking "how can I obtain an X" for every item in an RPG). Either phrase the question more generally, or only ask for values of X that you actually are struggling/have struggled with.

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    And as usual, the community will voice their opinions on the questions (through votes and/or comments) and it will show. If many overly simply or unresearched questions are being posted, they will certainly be noticed and likely downvoted, regardless of how on-topic they are. Mar 3 '16 at 22:28
  • Thanks @DangerZone and @@badp. I've decided to go ahead and ask any questions that I genuinely had or still have, but leave out any "invented" ones. Mar 4 '16 at 4:27
  • @badp - Hope you don't mind me quoting you on a similar question someone happened to ask at meta.beer.se. Mar 4 '16 at 4:27
  • @AndrewCheong I don't mind one bit :)
    – badp
    Mar 4 '16 at 9:27
  • @AndrewCheong I'm disappointed. I was hoping it was a question about speed-beering.
    – Sterno
    Mar 5 '16 at 17:59

If a speedrunning question gets closed, it won't be because it's about speedrunning.

Speed-runs are a part of gaming, and are therefore inherently on-topic. These questions will still need to be narrowly scoped, clear, and answerable, of course.

Regardless of the topic, don't seed questions. Ask questions to which you need answers, or ask and answer your own question if it's knowledge you expect to community to appreciate that isn't already easily available.

I'd also like to add that I, for one, would be interested in these types of questions. I do (no-glitch) speed runs quite often in games I enjoy, such as the Fallout games. I'm actually seeing how fast I can beat Fallout 4 on Survival difficulty right now. I've already beat it in about 10 hours on Normal, and expect I could pare that down a few more hours on a future attempt.

  • the bold part in itself is a complete contradiction. "speed runs might be off topic, except speed runs are not off topic"
    – user106385
    Mar 5 '16 at 14:01
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    @Timelord64 What Shannon means by the bold part is "any question might be off-topic, but that's due to the question itself not being a good fit, not because of the topic of the question". Asking "What is the fastest time you've beat this Super Metroid section in" is off-topic, but that's not because it's speed running related, but because the question itself is a poor fit. However, asking "What is the speedrunning strategy for this Super Metroid Section?" would probably be on-topic, because there is actually an objectively best (I.e. fastest) answer.
    – Nzall
    Mar 5 '16 at 17:28
  • @NateKerkhofs, with all do respect, what Shannon means can easily be any manner of things other then what you interpret. Only Shannon can give us that insight. Otherwise, he has still stated his meaning in a contradiction. This makes the answer confusing. Given that the contradiction is in bold markup, it suggests that this one sentence is the most important of all. While some users will read the whole answer and take your interpretation, others will skim read and take just one sentence. These same users have the same rights to vote and close, so confusing them is unhelpful to our cause.
    – user106385
    Mar 5 '16 at 17:37
  • Never underestimate the potential of formatting. It is literally where a majority of my rep comes from.
    – user106385
    Mar 5 '16 at 17:38
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    Maybe that sentence is clearer now?
    – badp
    Mar 5 '16 at 18:05
  • @Timelord64 - I get what you're saying, yes it was confusing and yes some users will skim posts, but that doesn't mean we all skim posts. The rest of the post makes Shannon's point pretty clear therefore we can make an informed edit and clarify the post without Shannon's direct input (as badp has done).
    – Robotnik Mod
    Mar 5 '16 at 23:01
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    @Timelord64 I don't think the original phrasing was ambiguous. The edit is an equivalent statement.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 8 '16 at 9:16
  • Not too important, but I finished that FO4 run on survival in 7h 45m. Can probably cut out a couple more hours. Already got to Vault 114 an hour earlier on the next try.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 8 '16 at 16:55

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