TL;DR: Two highly-voted questions by high-rep users appear to have been deleted for reasons we do not accept as valid close reasons, anymore. Can we reopen them with a disclaimer that they apply to older, un-playable features of the game?
We have these two questions concerning Diablo 3:
- 49 upvotes, 18 stars.
- 12 answers: 10 actual answers(-1, 0, 0, +1, +1, +2, +3, +5, +19, +25)
- 2 illegitimate answers (-2 : spam, -8: low quality).
- The most upvoted answer also has a 200 bounty on it.
- 8 upvotes. 2 answers (+6, 0).
Both questions were deleted by badp, presumably because the questions were 'too localised', after Blizzard removed the Auction House from Diablo 3 all together.
We have previously closed questions as 'too localised', in cases where the content was no longer accessible. However, I have been told that this reason is no longer valid, by our current standards. I have also seen a lot of arguments on why these questions are still good. The big ones I agree with are as follows:
- The questions are still interesting - serving the purpose of satisfying curiosity. We only close questions for "unreleased" content due to speculation, which is not an issue these questions face.
- The questions are good examples of high-quality. The first one is a prime example. With all the low quality posts we take on this site, I'd like to have as many "+50" questions as we can.
- Removing them penalises the users involved - The removal of the questions actually penalises the users who posted them. With the effort that was obviously put into some of the content, this is something I am absolutely against on merit.
Unfortunately, a lot of the meta discussions regarding this sort of practice is a bit old. Unfortunately, if we were to bring the question back up, it would just be closed as a duplicate of the original, given our standards. Regardless, the old metas make very good points, which I think still applies.
Ultimately, I think these two questions serve to promote quality on Arqade. I think a better course of action then deletion would simply be to leave them open, but locked, with an obvious disclaimer at the top detailing exactly why the question is no longer applicable to the current state of the game.
Related Meta Discussions:
Murgatroid's post speaks for itself. The post consists of a request to stop closing as too localised, with a bunch of answers that seem to agree in one way or another.
An ex-user posts a question asking "What should be done with out of version questions? How should these questions be handled, going forward?", relating to the general sense that these things occur a lot in gaming.
The most upvoted answer only has 8 votes, but agent86 has gone to great effort to simplify the main reasons why we should keep them. Of particular note are the listed reasons on why "Deleting is bad":
- Sometimes the content comes back (probably not the case, here1).
- Sometimes dead content is interesting
- It is one of the hardest post modifications to recover from
I will not post the elaborations, here, but I implore readers to read the post, as it is well thought out.
Fredley asked "What to do with historic questions that no longer make sense? - Should we delete them?", in relation to an update to Minecraft. This relates to the Diablo Auction House quite easily.
Fredleys opinion is "No", and received no contest. The question in question is still open.
Frank previously asked "What do we do with questions about games that can no longer be played?", which I think applies just as much to parts of a game that can no longer be played. One suggestion is to historical lock the posts. I am not entirely sure what that means, but it is also suggested that we only do so if there is an actual problem.
The most up-voted answer (count the votes, +65,-0) says leave these questions be. A comment addresses the fact that deleting these questions penalises the users who put effort into the answers, and with the case of the first, that's a big reputation penalty. It is worth noting that the primary argument is 'they may bring it back', which I do not think applies to the Auction House1.
Another answer with +15/-0 votes points out that we have no real reason to remove such questions. If the feature/game no longer exists, users will not ask/answer about it them. A disclaimer would alert users to the fact that the question concerns unplayable content, so we are not as concerned about users still trying to answer the question.
A user does actually say "Delete them all". The answer received a vote of +0/-8, and was eventually deleted by Raven.
1 For those unfamiliar with the Auction House, the initial release of Diablo 3 allowed users to trade items through an auction system similar to that found in World of Warcraft. Real money was an available method of payment, so you could literally sell your Diablo gold for real gold. Blizzard decided to remove the feature, and spent alot of resource rebalancing the in-game economy, as a result. I have this case detailed as "the only real reason Diablo 3 was not as financially successful as it could have been". It is fair to say a company will not undo such a critical decision, especially considering the weight that went into making the decision to axe it.