Is it alright to ask this kind of question? E.g. what is the best sword in Hypixel Skyblock Minecraft? Or no because it can be subjected to different opinions?
Yes. There is no Arqade or Stack Exchange–wide blanket ban policy that, if a question is subjective, it is off-topic.
SE already has the following guidelines on subjective questions:
- Good Subjective Bad Subjective (written by Robert Cartaino, former SE Director of Community Development)
- Real Questions have Answers (written by Jeff Atwood, SE co-founder)
Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions
- Great subjective questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”. The best subjective questions invite explanation. [...] In contrast, the bad subjective questions let answerers get away with hit-and-run answers that maybe provide a name and a link — but fail to provide any sort of adequate explanation, context, or background.
- Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers. The best subjective questions inspire your peers to share their actual experiences , not just post a mindless one-liner or cartoon in hopes of being rewarded with upvotes for being merely “first.” Sharing an experience takes at least one paragraph; ideally several paragraphs. [...]
- Great subjective questions have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone. [...] There is always more than one right way.
- Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions. Certainly experiences inform opinions, but the best subjective questions unabashedly and unashamedly prioritize sharing actual experiences over random opinions. It’s more useful to share with us what you’ve done than what you think. Everyone has an opinion. It takes zero effort or imagination to have an opinion about anything and everything. But people who have done things, real things in the world, and have the scars and arrows in their back to show for it — now that’s worth sharing. You should be uniquely qualified to have your opinion based on the specific experiences you had. And you should share those experiences, and more specifically what you learned from your experiences, with us!
- Great subjective questions insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references. Opinion isn’t all bad, so long as it’s backed up with something other than “because I’m an expert”, or “because I said so”, or “just because”. Use your specific experiences to back up your opinions, as above, or point to some research you’ve done on the web or elsewhere that provides evidence to support your claims. We like you. We want to believe you. But like Wikipedia itself, . And good subjective questions make this clear from the outset: back it up!
- Great subjective questions are more than just mindless social fun. [...]
“Good subjective” questions can be asked and answered successfully on Arqade. “What is the best” strategy/item/weapon questions are also one of the core expertise of our site.
For example: “What is the best [item] for [this purpose/context] in [game]?” questions are usually on-topic, especially if the OP explains in the question body what they’re looking for (e.g., DPS, or other factors). Even though these types of questions are subjective, where there might not be a “best” [thing], any given answer can still be based on objective facts and player experience. A quick look at the existing, open, similar types of questions on Arqade should give you a good idea of what types of questions are allowed here.
If it is unclear what exactly the “best” [thing] OP is looking for, then the close reason should be “needs details or clarity”, not “primarily opinion-based”.
The burden of proof of whether a question is “bad subjective” and primarily opinion-based, is on the close voter, not the OP.
For your specific example, it should be perfectly on-topic if you specify the purpose or context so that it can be answered based on objective facts and player experience. For example:
What is the best sword (for [insert purpose/context here]) in Hypixel Skyblock Minecraft?
Other meta discussions on subjective questions
Found these relevant meta posts, after I wrote the post above. Turns out this has been discussed multiple times in meta before. I’m quoting the relevant parts of the posts below:
Sounds like we're in for another round of "Good Subjective / Bad Subjective!"
The short of it, is that, even though these questions are subjective, they are able to base their answers on objective facts.
Consider the first: There may be no "best" or "appropriate" means to counter a jungle olaf, but any given answer can be based on objective facts [...].
For the nine millionth time... SUBJECTIVE QUESTIONS ARE FINE.
For crying out loud people, subjectivity isn't the devil. [...]
Subjectivity is fine. Discussions are not. They are not the same thing. It is perfectly common and appropriate for a single question to have more than one worthwhile answer and for knowledgable experts to disagree as to which one is 'best'.
Let's take another look at the difference between Good Subjective and Bad Subjective
I'm sure we've all seen subjective questions here, and some of us have voted to close many of those. I'm talking about questions like
- What's the strongest team composition to fight the final boss?
- Which weapon should I use to clear this quest?
- What's the preferred build order when aiming to use these endgame units?
These are subjective questions, yet I would argue that they are not primarily opinion based, and in fact they are exactly the type of question that we need more of: questions that are not simply answered by a Google search, but questions that require actual game expertise.
The issue with these questions comes from their answers. With subjective questions, many users are tempted to post a short answer with the team/weapon/build that worked for them, without explaining why those choices are good, and what challenges they overcome. But then, why are questions being closed if the answers are the problem?
[...] Good answers to good subjective questions should mention the poster's experience and explain why their answer is good.
Usually this kind of question is subjective so it wouldn't be on topic. It isn't specific enough for a single definitive answer. It would possibly generate multiple answers each claiming a different sword being "the best" for some reason.
If you can approach your question in a way that would ultimately lead to one conclusive answer, it would be better suited. For example, "What is the best sword for maximum DPS?" or "What is the best sword for durability?" Wording it this way makes for a specific definitive answer as there should only be one sword that's the best for DPS or durability (or maybe multiple swords that have the same DPS/durability).