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This question just got asked:

What is the highscore for each vehicle on Countryside? (Hill Climb Racing)

I have the feeling it's off-topic, but I don't really know why.
It's trivial, it doesn't add anything to our understanding of the game or its gameplay, and some high scores can be found (here, for example), but I doubt the highest scores can be found, as the game doesn't register them (I think). These are not sufficient reasons to VTC, however.

There have been questions about what the highest theoretical scores are, but that's about a game's mechanics. This score would just be an arbitrary number, prone to change.

I couldn't find a precedent, nor any related question here on meta.

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    This is a tricky one. The way the question is phrased is more objective than subjective, which makes it more on-topic than off-topic. But as you said, it's very trivial, subject to change, and provides very little benefit. Had they asked where the highscores could be found, then it'd sure be off-topic for asking for resources – Wondercricket May 15 at 20:26
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    Don't forget that close votes are not super-downvotes. If it doesn't look like it's off-topic you can always just downvote it and move on. – JonK May 18 at 6:57
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    @JonK I realize that, but I think determining a straightforward policy is more important than circumventing obstacles. – Joachim May 18 at 11:13
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If there were some well-known resource that records and validates scores, it would be trivial to just quote that resource as an answer. It would not be useful and it would essentially indirectly be asking for such a resource (which is off topic).

If there weren't some well-known resource for this, the answer might be hidden in an endless stream of YouTube videos, Twitch streams, etc. (of greatly varying quality).

  • That basically turns it into a scavenger hunt, which just feels like it doesn't belong on a site intended for expert answers.
  • If that isn't compelling enough of a reason, it might be extremely difficult to validate any given answer, as in to make sure there wasn't any cheating, tool assistance or game modifications involved.

    The speed-running community seems to deal with such problems quite well, from what I've seen. But there are a lot of people voting on here that wouldn't have the necessary expertise, or time, to detect these things. It would be quite easy for upvotes by them to trivialise the downvotes and comments of those who do have the expertise, if they finally get around to analysing the game run.

    It might make a bit more sense if those experts could delete the answer, but currently that's something only mods can do and it wouldn't really be their place to handle these cases (either they'd need the expertise themselves, which isn't a realistic expectation, or they'd need to just blindly trust others, which somewhat defeats the purpose of electing them in the first place).

    Also, gaining this expertise can take a lot of time for any given game, so opening the floodgates may leave the majority of less popular games without anyone with enough expertise to validate any given answer.

  • It probably needs to be video proof of the game run, since just an image of the final score would be easy to fake. Thus the proof will need to be offsite. Since they'll be quite dependent on this, that wouldn't be great as Stack Exchange answers should aim to be self-contained.

It also wouldn't fit all that well on the site as post score, and thus ordering, would become mostly meaningless as the highest score is automatically the correct answer, but any new answer posted (with a higher game score) will have a hard time competing with older answers featuring a lower game score with a high post score. The only reliable way to get them to the top would be through acceptance, but we can't really rely on the asker to still be around to do that.

In some cases there may be some great story behind a well-known top score of historical significance for a well-known game, which could make for a useful and interesting answer. But these will likely be overshadowed by many much less useful answers that can't say much more than what the score was and provide a link to proof. Overall, it probably won't be worth it to allow that.

In conclusion, it probably shouldn't be on topic.

Close reason? *Shrug*.


... unless the question is just asking about the theoretical maximum score. That might be fine if there's an analytical way to calculate or approximate that in that specific game.

Focused questions about how to get a greater score may also be fine, like ones about specific strategies to use in a certain areas or situations.

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    "It probably shouldn't be on topic. Close reason? *Shrug*" is exactly how I've felt about this question. A Q&A website is a terrible place to keep an up to date leaderboard. – Wrigglenite May 22 at 8:42
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    One clarification -- asking for resources is not necessarily off-topic (e.g. requesting an official leaderboard, source, etc). The line is drawn at recommendations. If there as an objective, non-list answer, then it should be okay. – Schism May 26 at 2:59
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    RE: your last point about maximum possible scores: these sorts of questions are 100% on-topic and can lead to great answers based on the intricacies of the game in question. For example, this one on Pac-Man – Robotnik May 26 at 23:42
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There are ways where high scores can be actually good questions, following the 'inspire answers that explain "why" and "how"' principle that I can know of:

  • What is maximum possible score for X
  • How can I obtain the maximum score (completion rate is a "score" too)

That obviously depends on the game and their mechanics (and how broken they are). I think that these kind of questions should only be seen in the same terms of speed running, just that instead of the shortest time to achieve X, it's the method to achieve teorical maximum X.

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    Yes, but the problem is that this particular question is not one of those types. Hence the question :) – Joachim May 17 at 14:54
  • @Joachim I can read it as the first bullet point in my list. "Which is the maximum achievable score possible for all vehicles?" but I'm trying to fix the question interpreting it that way. – Braiam May 17 at 17:19
  • In addition to speedrunning, I think these questions can also be compared to things like "What weapon has the highest DPS" or "Which character moves the fastest" – Batophobia May 29 at 20:37
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It's on-topic

Questions about scores-- both world record histories and the strategies involved in them, among other things-- are totally on-topic and fine. The specific question linked is bad for other reasons-- specifically lack of research effort and lack of usefulness. It should be downvoted, not closed.

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  • You don't really give a reason for those questions to be on-topic, however (that's not really a problem if this gets voted up or down according to The People's Voice, but still). – Joachim May 21 at 23:24
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    @Joachim I mean, they just seem so prima facie on-topic to me I have trouble arguing for it. Like, how is this and material like it not good, substantive answers we could be providing in response to questions like "What is the history of Centipede High Score Runs?" or whatever? And, even if there is something that makes it not a kind of question we want to deal with, it's still not, like, off-topic, because that means 'not about video-games'. It might not be a question we want to allow, I guess, but that's different. – Please stop being evil May 21 at 23:34
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    As an example, "What is the best video game?" is something I would consider on-topic, because it's about video games, but not okay to ask here, because it's Primarily Opinion-Based/Too Subjective or whatever we are calling that close reason now. It's a bad question for the site, but it's not because of topicality. On the other hand "Is it best practice to adjust tire pressure on half-size Ford trucks after descending the Rockies?" is a fine question for a stack exchange site, but it's very much Off-Topic here. – Please stop being evil May 21 at 23:38
  • That video seems to be about speedrunning, which is a completely different matter. And I'm not asking about the general topicality of scores, but about a particular case. – Joachim May 21 at 23:41
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    @Pleasestopbeingevil Some people, myself included (generally), define "on topic" to include any close reason (with the possible exception of duplicates). In fact, until recently "off topic" used to be used on Stack Exchange itself for questions that are most definitely about the topic at hand, but just aren't a good fit for the site. Generally "is this on topic" can be considered equivalent to "does this belong here". – NotThatGuy May 21 at 23:53
  • @NotThatGuy I'm aware some people do that, but I think it is unhelpful because using specific and clear close reasons helps people to learn how to use the site. It also helps people learn how to close vote. This position is essentially identical to the highest upvoted answer to the meta you linked – Please stop being evil May 22 at 4:16
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    @Pleasestopbeingevil Either way, it would probably be more helpful to assume the meaning that makes most sense in the given context, or to address both possibilities, than to stick to one interpretation that often won't match what the other person meant (which mostly just leads to misunderstanding, confusion and frustration). Additionally or alternatively, you could leaving a comment or footnote providing or requesting clarification about which meaning is used. – NotThatGuy May 22 at 12:17
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    I agree with NotThatGuy. On all these StackExchange boards, "on topic" and "OK to ask here" are synonymous and pretty much always have been. Treating them as two different concepts just means you're going to be talking past people. – Kyralessa May 26 at 5:52
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I sat looking at this in the close queue for 10 minutes and really couldn't decide. It doesn't go against any of the rules directly but it's not covered at all under the allowed topics in the help center.

The best I could find was under "What types of questions should I avoid asking? in the help center. The first two bullet points under "Constructive subjective questions:"

  • Inspire answers that explain "why" and "how"

and

  • Tend to have long, not short answers

They both clearly go against that question and since as it was already a little bit subjective and overall a pretty low quality post I decided that the question should be closed.

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    High scores are sometimes noteworthy. Some even have documentaries surrounding them, for example: The King of Kong. Most game high scores are either entirely un-noteworthy, trivial, easy to hack or fake, or too limited in scope to have any flexibility in how to achieve them. For example, Dance Dance Revolution high scores are simply perfect runs, there's only one way to get them, thus there's nothing special about them. Personally, I wouldn't want to see Arqade turn into a high score board for random games. – Booga Roo May 16 at 9:49
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    The linked question is not subjective. – user136727 May 16 at 9:54
  • @user136727 I agree the question is not subjective, but the answers likely will be (as addressed in my question: the findable high scores are the ones that are registered by users, which might change constantly). As for Robbie's considerations, I agree as well: any (apparently or intended-as-such) correct answer given will be short and likely not include any argumentation. So, even though the question is theoretically objective, it might not generate any (provable) objective answer, making these considerations still valid. – Joachim May 16 at 17:25
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    @Joachim That would make the answer incorrect, not subjective. I fail to see how length or how many arguments a potential answer makes would make a question off-topic. This site must have some strange rules... – user136727 May 16 at 17:37
  • @user136727 Subjective in the sense that it's dependent on context and information, and opposing objective. As for the rest: Robbie gave the link to those rules, and I rephrased them incompetently. – Joachim May 16 at 17:41

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