I came upon a question asking for help with a particular achievement. The achievement is quite extensive.. you need to complete several hundred levels, although they are only asking for help with about fifty of them. The accepted answer had a negative score, which seemed odd. On further reading, I found that it consisted only of links to videos demonstrating the various levels that needed to be completed and a comment to dissuade further downvoters, explaining that it would be impossible to write out an answer to cover the extensive amount of videos that were required to answer the question.

I posted a comment suggesting that the answer could try to sum up the videos, but the response was that the answer would involve summarising a very extensive number of levels. It was at this point that I realised that the person who posted the answer was also the person who posted the question.

I interpret this to mean that they are asking a question that they accept is so broad that the only way to answer it is to post forty-eight separate videos. As it is, it is entirely a link-only answer, which I understand to be not preferred. How do we view questions like this, where the answer is to provide (or detail) the contents of 40+ videos worth of levels?

2 Answers 2


I agree that that question is too broad. The "What types of questions should I avoid asking?" page says

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

I think it is entirely reasonable to say that if it is impossible for an answer post to contain the answer to the question, that is a strong signal that the question is not scoped properly for this site.

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    +1 Agreed, and I've tossed a final closing vote on that. If it was asking about a single mission, it be perfectly fine. asking about all missions, though, is way too broad.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 12:50
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    Except the answer did answer the question Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 14:53
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    In your answer, you said "it’s impossible for an answer to contain the contents of 48 videos". Since your answer consists of the contents of 48 videos, indirectly, that means that it's impossible for your answer [post] to contain your answer. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 14:55
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    @DjangoReinhardt and what happens to your answer when the content-uploader decides that they want to remove all their videos? Perhaps a content-ID system takes them down? You answer is basically useless. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 14:56

I am was said asker and answerer. The question was simply:

What are some tips and strategies for getting the "Virtually Impossible" achievement in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD.

That doesn't really seem too broad, does it? Tips on how to get a single achievement.

The issue is that this particular achievement requires the completion of 511 mini-missions. Most of them are extremely easy, but when you get to the end, they become excruciatingly difficult.

The final tier of missions (the hardest ones) are where you play Solid Snake from MGS1. These are the only missions described. After @Gnemlock's comment I did my best to add more content in order to make the answer not purely a "links" question.

However, the content in those videos are really where the answer lies.

This question was closed for being "too broad" because it would take an entire book to answer it. Except that patently isn't the case, because the existing answer answered it. And it wasn't a book.

I shared those videos because they're the only things that allowed me get through those levels on both XBox 360 and PS3. I know from first-hand experience how helpful they are.

If they disappear in the future, then by all means delete/down vote the answer. In the meantime it's a helpful question and a helpful answer...

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    Answers need to contain the information that answers the question. Yours does not. It refers to information contained in videos on another site. You say "If they disappear in the future, then by all means delete/down vote the answer", but that's simply not how the site's policy works; you have to preempt that. And if your answer did contain all of the information from all of those videos, it would be too long, and that's what makes the question too broad. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 15:12
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    @murgatroid99 I understand the policy, it's just a shame that a helpful question and answer are deleted because of a policy, rather than being judged on a case-by-case situation. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 15:32
  • It's not deleted, it's just closed. But yes it's too broad -- any "tips and strategies" question is because there's no correct answer. I can give you a tip and someone else can give you a tip -- which of our answers is the "correct" one? Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 23:07
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    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas Asking for strategies is asbolutely allowed, not too broad and not primarily opinion based. It is a great example of a "good subjective" question, where answers should explain why their proposed solution works. This specific question is asking for strategies for 48 different missions, which don't share similar goals, ideas, and in essence just reiterate strategies that are valid throughout the game. Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 8:14
  • Sure if it's "how do I get through a puzzle" or "how do I beat this boss" a strategy question makes sense. It's targeted, there are clear boundaries, and the "correctness" can easily be determined (eg. does the strategy work?) "Tips" are not strategies. I can ask for "tips" on how to play minecraft and we'd get 30 million low-quality responses, none of which are arguably "right". Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 15:11
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    That doesn't really seem too broad, does it? Tips on how to get a single achievement. I disagree strongly. This achievement combines several smaller missions, and as you've stated, there's no shared strategy. I think a good analogy would be whether a question asking for strategies on completing a "Get every achievement" achievement would be on topic -- I would think it wouldn't be.
    – Schism
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 19:44
  • @Schism As I already pointed out, the question was answered. I think what's possibly being missed here is the puzzle element to most of these missions. The reason why those videos are so helpful is because they tell you how to make it through the level. (Eg. "Pause here until the second guard turns his back, then move to behind this wall until the third guard pauses.") That takes a ton of trial and error (potentially hundreds of attempts on some missions without a guide). That's extremely helpful stuff, but the question is closed on a technicality: The videos might, one day, be deleted. Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 17:36

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