I'm really confused. Strix says that this site is not for guides. Yet we have plenty of questions with guides covering strategies from Mobas, FPSs, RTSs, single player games, RPGs, etc.

Are these bad questions, based off of Strix's premise:

Are guide questions off topic? He says these questions are supposedly off-topic, yet no one is actually closing said questions and those questions receive plenty of votes.

  • 2
    I think this has less to do with "guide questions" and more to do with the fact that you seem to be answering a lot of your own questions moments after posting them.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 20:37
  • 2
    @Lumberjack Is there an issue if the answers are high quality and are going to help someone on the internet? What do we care more about here, asker intent, or question/answer quality? Is the former that important? Should we second guess every person who asks a question and question their motives?
    – childe
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 20:39
  • I don't really feel like it is for me to say, but judging by the down votes, I'd guess it is an unpopular practice.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 20:43
  • 5
    As usual, you have misrepresented my position. I'm on a phone now and have no time or energy to give a real response, but I do not support the stances I'm purported to support here. Commented May 5, 2016 at 20:58
  • @StrixVaria If you feel I've misrepresented I'll change it accordingly but that's the vibe I got from you during our entire conversation
    – childe
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 21:02
  • @Lumberjack - answering your own question is allowed, there's even a checkbox when asking a question to allow you to post an answer along with it.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 21:16
  • 2
    That said, Retro (the asker) has a history of skirting the line of what is and isn't acceptable, so generally, he gets a rougher reception and less good faith assumption when asking questions. Fair or not...it's sorta earned.
    – Frank
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 21:39
  • 2
    @Frank Whether or not a question has good or bad faith is never acceptable at all. I don't get where you come from with this whole righteousness of "oh I don't like OP since he does X, thus this question, regardless of content, is equally as bad"
    – childe
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:22
  • 5
    Says the guy running the line. Good faith or not, you've kind earned the dislike.
    – Frank
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:23
  • 4
    I honestly think the issue is that the threshold of effort for self-answered questions is higher than that of standard questions. When a question is asked and self-answered, and users interpret it as 'easily google-able', it can be taken as a rep-grab. Personally, when I see a self-answered question, I check the level of effort done in research, if the resource is available anywhere else, and if it fits the Arqade criteria.
    – king14nyr
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 14:18
  • As for an example, I upvoted this self-answered question. I feel it took time, research, and effort, and I found it not to be easy to locate elsewhere.
    – king14nyr
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


When I said "guides", I presumed the context would make it clear what I meant, but I guess it didn't, and that's my mistake. In this context, a "guide" is when someone posts a question and immediate self-answer for the sake of sharing known information with a larger audience, thinking it might be helpful to them. This is a noble cause, but something that's a little bit weird on our site. It's technically allowed, but it's also frowned upon to do it for information that is either fairly simply to look up or to find with a bit of quick poking around.

I'm not even sure what you think the common thread is between the example questions you've shown here. They all simply have answers to questions, but that's what our whole site is, questions and answers. What our site isn't is articles about how to do things better. For the most part, if you have a question about how something works in a game, please do ask it. But if you have an answer about how to do something, then that's just your latent expertise, which you may use in answering other questions as they come up.

Is asking and self-answering allowed? Yes, in some cases. My gut feeling was that the question you asked today wasn't one of those cases. Hopefully someone else will come along and provide an argument as to why that may or may not have been correct, but I don't have time to ponder the intricacies of that specific policy at this specific time.

  • I have seen StackExchange detail, elsewhere, that if you had the question before looking it up then it is a good fit for self answer. If it is fairly obvious, I agree that it it's probably bad form, but I completely disagree with the "small poking around" part. In fact, some of my highest voted questions derive from self answers where I had the question, and only had to do what I consider to be a small amount of poking around.
    – user106385
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 23:36
  • that said, I do consider reading the menu tooltips to be a little obvious, and have downvoted the question in context.
    – user106385
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 23:37

I don't know if anyone else is/was in the same position, but when I first looked at this meta I didn't really understand the problem. After some poking around I believe the source of this meta is based on this question:

How do I change my Profile Icon?

... and the real problem isn't whether we allow "guide questions" but, in fact, other underlying problems/points of discussion. Namely:

  • When is it appropriate to self-answer?
  • What to do with obvious/easy questions?
  • What is the policy on seeding?

I came to this conclusion because the OP has a history of asking a significant number of questions on new games. A proportion of such questions are self-answered, as well as a proportion of questions being "easy" to answer.

When is it appropriate to self-answer?

It is acceptable and encouraged, as detailed in these meta posts:

What to do with obvious/easy questions?

It seems that the policy is to answer the question. Remember you can downvote if you don't find the question/answer useful or perhaps lacking research effort.

What is the policy on seeding?

From what I can gather, it isn't against the site policy to "spam" a series of easy questions for new games, but as noted in the below meta, we should make sure the question/answer is of a good quality:

  • If you are scratching your head at some of the comments in the OP, hopefully this will help shed some light on the matter
    – user101016
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 12:03

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