My question was closed as too localized because it was asking about an unreleased game. This is about actual information on upcoming games, not release dates, so this is different from this question about release dates.

I know that the information may change, since it is still being developed. But this is true for any game that is actively bugfixed and/or balanced. Take for example Starcraft II. Each patch is changing the balance, making some builds totally unusable.

Therefore I want to ask where the limit is. What is too localized and what not?

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  • Future releases were covered in our discussion here. This strikes me as mostly the same concern as that question, just from the opposite side of the fence. – Grace Note Apr 6 '11 at 15:59
  • @Grace Asking for information about a future release isn't covered in the discussion. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 16:18
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    You might consider clarifying what you mean, then, because I'm having difficulty with just the words "future release", how it is not the same as a release date or game data confirmation question. Perhaps you should link the question you're referring to. – Grace Note Apr 6 '11 at 16:47
  • Though I believe your question should have been closed, it's not the first of its kind: this question (which was posted before the patch was released) and this one (which is, evidently, better phrased) both ask about details of future releases, and both are open. So maybe we do need a clearer policy. – Oak Apr 6 '11 at 16:51
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    @Oak Not really; the 1.1 patch is even now historically significant (I know I wanted this information for other games such as Die2Nite), while the other question asks for resources in a similar manner to the only open game-rec questions do. This question? This question is about an unnamed, unannounced game the existance of which was leaked in internal, old plans. We close release-date questions that are much more rooted in reality. – badp Apr 6 '11 at 17:26
  • @Grace Sorry, I'm not native English speaker. I didn't consider that "release date" and "future release" can have overlapping meaning. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 17:45
  • No worries. It's an honest confusion. – Grace Note Apr 6 '11 at 17:47

I don't think all data is too localized (I think badp made a good point here, knowing what patch 1.1 had can be important even long after that patch), but I'd like to address a single example you made:

Take for example Starcraft II. Each patch is changing the balance, making some builds totally unusable.

This has come up a couple times:

Not surprisingly you'll notice that I've been answering them. What might surprise you though, is that I've lobbied in the past to have them closed as "too localized" without any success.

Now some of these questions came after the patch, and are valid questions. For example:

But most of them are largely speculative; and while I appreciate the faith the community places in my speculation, I am still uncomfortable with these questions appearing before a patch has been released. There is no guarantee the data I've provided with be accurate or will continue to hold over time and even if I meticulously update the answers, there is no guarantee the data will be correct before the next patch comes out and changes everything. Very frequently we only know what the value of a patch was in hindsight.

So as to the OP's question, I think sometimes yes/sometimes no, but on this specific point, I'd rather we err on the side of NOT speculating. At least until the patch has been released.

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  • But why is that such a big deal? Seriously, this is the only site (on Stackexchange) where I bumped into this. Specifically for gaming Q&A site, which is a very dynamic topic, this doesn't make any sense. I would agree, that the questions should contain information about the patch/version of the game, for easy identification. – Šimon Tóth Apr 7 '11 at 19:01
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    @Let_Me_Be we don't want inaccurate information to float. There are two important reasons why: 1) People might believe the inaccurate information (and thus suffer as a result) and 2) People will associate the site with inaccurate information and stop coming. The issue with speculation is that it is, by definition, not provably accurate. It is a guess (and sometimes an opinion). In the questions I listed people respected my opinion and upvoted my answers, without the ability to confirm them. There was no guarantee they were right. – tzenes Apr 8 '11 at 1:00
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    The goal of voting is to increase the signal to noise ratio. Wrong answers, here, represent noise. If wrong answers are floating then our site is becoming noise and people become incapable of finding the answer to their questions. Gaming is very dynamic (as you yourself suggested) which means there is a lot of noise. As a result we need to be proactive about reducing that noise. It is my personal belief that opinions (and to a degree speculation) represent noise. Now I've been over ruled on this before, but I'm still trying to work to make this site better. – tzenes Apr 8 '11 at 1:03

A similar question regarding rumors and release dates—both of which aptly apply to this question—came up on Meta.SciFi.SE, so I'm going to quote what I said there:

I think they are two different types of questions, to be closed for different reasons:

In terms of release date questions, there's a knowable date after which the question becomes useless. Those types of questions are a great example of something that should be closed as too localized, especially on a site like SciFi.SE: it's self-obviated on release date and there's no clear and present need for knowing the release date ahead of time (unlike, perhaps, knowing when PHP 6 or Python 3 is coming out, which can dictate how to proceed with a development project).

In terms of rumor questions, I think your assessment is correct: they should be closed as not a real question, in line with Real Questions have Answers: rumor questions, by their nature, begin with the premise that the question answerers cannot speak with any authority about the subject matter; otherwise it wouldn't be a question about a rumor.

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  • Doesn't apply. This is specifically about questions that don't fall into these categories. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 20:51
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    @Let_Me_Be You're asking about rumors about a future release date. It definitely applies. Any answers are effectively useless once it comes out, and there is nobody outside of Blizzard who can speak to any kind of authority about the project (and they're not talking). – user3389 Apr 6 '11 at 20:56
  • @Mark No, I'm asking for confirmed information about a game that hasn't been released yet (will be released late 2012, early 2013). The problem is that the information is scattered across interviews with developers, that drop a bit of info here and there. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 21:03
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    @Let_Me_Be No, there is no official information about the project except for an unconfirmed "leaked" document. The entire premise of the question is predicated upon a rumor. It's not answerable, hence it's not a real question. Even if it had an answer, the answer would be completely useless once the alleged game comes out. Does the question have the potential to solve a problem for the person stumbling onto it in 5 years time? If the answer is "no", it's doesn't belong on the Stack Exchange network. The answer is "no". – user3389 Apr 6 '11 at 21:13
  • @Mark Yeah sure: blizzmmo.com/topic/44-no-announcement-for-another-year – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 21:15
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    @Let_Me_Be Where's the evidence except for some random guy (much like yourself) saying there's info? To put it in context, there is more empirical evidence for the existence of UFOs and Sasquatch than there is for "Project Titan". – user3389 Apr 6 '11 at 21:17
  • @Mark Where the hell did this "Question has to be helpful for at least 5 year to at least 1000 visitors" attitude come from? How do questions like "This code is crashing, where is the problem?", that are so common on StackOverflow (and all sites that forked from StackOverflow) fit into this? This is Q&A site, stop acting as if it was Wikipedia. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 21:19
  • @Mark Yeah he is some totally random guy that happens to be the Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard Entertainment. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 21:21
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    @Let_Me_Be you haven't shown that the EVP of Game Design at Blizzard said there's definitely a project coming out in 2012. You've shown that some random blogger claims he heard some Blizzard employees talking about an announcement coming in at least a year for an unnamed experimental project they're working on. That's not the same. – user3389 Apr 6 '11 at 21:26
  • @Mark I did actually ask the original question just to avoid doing this digging through internet and get some solid information from people who already have it, but here is an interview on Gamasutra with further information: gamasutra.com/view/news/33209/… – Šimon Tóth Apr 7 '11 at 11:55
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    @Let_me_be, I think what Mark is getting at here is, just because they announce it, doesn't make it so. I can't begin to count the number of times I heard Starcraft Ghost announced (or Duke Nukem Forever) with a release date, only to have my hopes dashed. Ultimately, release dates change; Blizzard release dates more frequently than others. We don't want to have wrong information lingering on our site because its out of date. While some data is useful for historical context (ie. what were the patch notes in 1.1), until it is released there is no way to know its accuracy. – tzenes Apr 7 '11 at 16:43
  • @tzenes Oh god. Yes release dates change. How is that related to this discussion? Plus they didn't announce the game. They announced that it is playable. Not that it matters. What I want to know is why is the fact that the information in the answers might get invalidated with time (and again, this is not about release dates nor rumours, I was trying to collect details) is such a barrier for the question not being closed. – Šimon Tóth Apr 7 '11 at 18:48
  • @Let you've asked this in two places so I'm going to answer it in the other one. Here I was trying to clarify what I think Mark's position is, I can't speak for him on this issue. – tzenes Apr 8 '11 at 0:58

The fundamental problem with these questions is that they will be irrelevant when the game comes out - that is, they are clearly localized in time. This is different, in my opinion, than asking questions about games in which features might get changed as future patches are released; but again, I would extend my reservation to questions asking about future features as well, not just future games.

Though I hesitate to say it, I think that maybe even this question should be closed, though I've personally found it really interesting and its answer helpful. The problem, of course, is that it is guaranteed to be no longer relevant once the game is released.

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  • How will it be outdated? Maybe noone will ask, because the features will well known, but outdated? – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 17:41
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    @Let I've reworded - it should be "relevant". I consider a question asking "what details are known about the upcoming Half-Life 2 game" irrelevant and no longer useful, no matter how good its answers may be. – Oak Apr 6 '11 at 17:48
  • @Oak Heh. OK then. The weird thing is that this site has probably the most rigid rules from all the stackexchange sites while handling probably the most dynamic topic. :) – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 18:23
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    @Let you can propose a different policy, you know, this post is just my opinion and it hasn't even been upvoted. And as I said, I do think these sort of questions can have value. I just know that stackexchange have a purpose of building a long-lasting database of questions and answers, and things that become irrelevant after a while don't belong here - in my opinion, at least. For the same reason, if a game get patched in a way that changes existing questions or answers, I also support changing them so that the data will remain relevant. – Oak Apr 6 '11 at 20:02
  • @Oak OK, let's be constructive then. If you check other stackexchange sites, there is plethora of questions that are only relevant to the asker. StackOverflow is full of such questions. What you are describing sound more like a Wiki not an Q&A site. – Šimon Tóth Apr 6 '11 at 20:55
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    @Let_Me_Be by no means do we ask that questions be relevant to more than one person (ITG and Tech Support are evidence of this). If you got that impression (or if Oak is implying it) then let me dissuade you. GSE policy is: The question must be helpful to at least 1 person (even if that person is the asker). As for the rigidity of our rules (though I'd say its not as bad as Math.SE), they are the result of long standing conflicts. We have quite a history of disagreement here, and if you want to challenge the Status Quo I suggest you read through that history. – tzenes Apr 7 '11 at 16:38
  • @tzenes If I'm challenging a Status Quo, then I'm sorry. I would say, that rigid rules and Math go well together :) Not so much for gaming. – Šimon Tóth Apr 7 '11 at 19:10
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    @Let_Me_Be I don't know how much time you've spent on gaming sites like: Teamliquid, ElitistJerks, ArenaJunkies, but they have very rigid rules (sometimes Draconian). I would argue that really successful gaming sites require them. – tzenes Apr 8 '11 at 0:57

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