10

Well everyone, it's been over 3 months (closer to 5!) since we implemented the Minecraft close reason, and we have some fresh statistics to review.

First up, here's the previous discussion in case you missed it: Let's test out the Modded Minecraft Tech Support close reason

The new and old percentage breakdowns are on this Google Sheet. Some key takeaways:

  • The percentage of Unclear, Game Identification and Game Dev closures have spiked up while Duplicates have dropped slightly
  • Modded Minecraft closure percent has gone down slightly in response
  • Unreleased/Illegal stayed relatively steady.

Here's a pie graph comparing the off-topic close reasons (i.e. excluding Duplicate, Too Broad etc):

Off-topic stats usage breakdown

While Modded Minecraft closures have gone down slightly, this can be attributed to an increase in other types of closures. It's usage over this period seems about consistent with our other off-topic close reasons, some of which have spiked as mentioned before.

In comparison, Unreleased/Illegal has seen a small increase overall (0.76% of total, or 2.3% of other off-topic reasons), but is still a lot less than other types of off-topic closures.

Based on these stats, the mod team is leaning towards leaving the Modded Minecraft close reason in place, however - that's not solely our decision to make:

What do you think?

Should we change the 'Modded Minecraft' close reason back to Unreleased/Illegal, or leave it in place?

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  • 4
    To reflect my comments on a previous meta discussion, I still find it very strange that this close reason is being applied specifically to Minecraft. Although the community seemed to agree through consensus that these Minecraft questions are off-topic, they also agreed through consensus that the close reason should be more general than just Minecraft; but that seemed to be ignored when setting up the new close reason. – JMac Feb 6 at 20:51
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    @JMac The main problem is that a ton of small children play Minecraft, see modded LPs, put in the absolute minimum effort to download a random pack of a gazillion mods in one and usually don't receive proper warning that these packs aren't official or as well tested/developed as the main game. And then they come here to complain. I don't know if this combination of circumstances exists in other games. – Fabian Röling Feb 7 at 11:15
  • @FabianRöling I don't see how stereotyping the MC player base really helps. Small children can play other games too, and teens and adults can also ask unanswerable modding questions. Sure, MC might be the biggest culprit by far, but it doesn't mean that the same rules couldn't and shouldn't apply to other games. I don't see the point of limiting the rule to one game when the same problem can show up with a large range of games. – JMac Feb 7 at 15:34
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    @JMac For me, it's a numbers game. If an issue is occurring at 18%, and the next cloest issue is 7%, it just makes sense. The issue that was bogging down the site was the users who knew the rules had to close, input a custom reason, leave a comment to a user who was probably not going to come back and then point them to get help elsewhere. The entire process took too long for the amount of times we had to do it. Yes, there are other issues with other games, yes there are issues with new users not reading the rules, but in this instance it was the best thing to do IMO. – FoxMcCloud Feb 7 at 16:25
  • @FoxMcCloud That still doesn't really address why you wouldn't make the rule more general than just modded Minecraft tech support. It seemed like at the time, having the rule be so specific to Minecraft was already considered non-ideal based on that meta discussion I linked. Now that it's actually one of the default off-topic close reasons, that seems even more relevant. It seems problematic that the close reason is worded towards one game, when the same questions about other games should be equally off-topic, though less frequent. – JMac Feb 7 at 17:44
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    @JMac I'm not stereotyping Minecraft players, because that would include myself. I'm just saying that a ton of small children play it, who simply don't have much experience in how to type out the perfect question, and that this combination of circumstances happens often in Minecraft. The barrier to entry is just very low in Minecraft and mod developers don't usually program in a way that every noob can perfectly set up every modpack perfectly on the first try. Heck, not even Linux does that. It's one of the few things that big companies like Microsoft are really good at. – Fabian Röling Feb 8 at 18:05
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I think the Modded Minecraft close reason serves a good purpose and should remain. While I think the Unreleased/Illegal close reason was also useful, we get more off-topic Modded Minecraft posts than we do Unreleased/Illegal ones. Therefore, using a custom close reason for Unreleased/Illegal questions instead I feel is a much better trade off.

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    Pretty much my exact thoughts on the matter. In the ideal world, we would have both, but we have been told we can't do that at this time. – Dragonrage Feb 6 at 16:33
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    Could not agree more. Modded Minecraft questions were my most hated type of questions on Arqade. I'm glad to see them being less of a bother. – FoxMcCloud Feb 6 at 17:55
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I think we should leave it in place.

It serves as a helpful guide, especially for newer users to the site. It also provides resources the asker can use to get the help they need. If there wasn't a specific close reason to address modded Minecraft, those linked resources would commonly not make it to the asker.

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I think we should leave it in place, and expand it to other games.

We can keep both the "tech support for modded Minecraft" and "unreleased/illegal content" close reasons by merging them into a category meaning "We do not provide support for unofficial content releases. In this context, unofficial content releases means pirated games, modded content installed through unofficial means and content that is still in development."

Now, I know that this does also mean that we're dropping overall gameplay support for modded minecraft, as well as any support for modded content for games that don't officially support mods. I personally don't think this is a problem because I don't think we should provide modding support if the developer doesn't support it themselves.

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