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So I recently tried a seed question as an experiment for Diablo 3, which is obviously going to be a super popular game. The problem was the question couldn't be answered yet at this time since beta is level capped. I don't mind that will be soon closed, but I'm curious what others feel about these type of questions? Should they strictly be regulated to questions that can be answered at the time of asking?

  • I think we should restrict site-questions about these games until they're fully released. Asking about Beta/Alpha games in chat is fine, though. – GnomeSlice Sep 21 '11 at 19:14
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    @GnomeSlice Shall we just close all Minecraft questions then? – Invader Skoodge Sep 21 '11 at 19:15
  • Asking about closed Beta/Alpha games is what I meant. – GnomeSlice Sep 21 '11 at 19:39
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    Related: When is it OK to start talking about new games? – user3389 Sep 22 '11 at 4:36
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Unanswerable questions shouldn't be asked.

I have no problem re-opening your question once it becomes answerable through official release. It's a fine and frankly interesting question.

The problem for now is having this question sit around with no answers for a while. It's ugly. No one can possibly answer it, but seeing a question with no answers prompts speculation. People will answer what they think might happen without any basis for backing it up. Or, people will come to the site and see this (temporarily) garbage question and think poorly of us for it.

  • To expand upon this, I don't think questions that could be answered by the beta content should be considered at the moment either. It's pretty much accepted that the content in the beta is by no means final. This may only specifically apply to this instance, but I think in general most betas are assumed to be in-works, even if it's close to the finished content. – TheQ Sep 21 '11 at 19:15
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    +1. An unanswerable question is worse than ugly, it's a Bad Thing (tm). It creates a Google-indexed webpage which does not - and cannot - contain an answer, sending people to a dead-end. – Oak Sep 21 '11 at 19:19
  • I should also note that obvious exceptions like Minecraft that's been in a perpetual open beta should be considered, though this may blur the line into gray areas, which I know we don't want. – TheQ Sep 21 '11 at 19:21
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    @TheQ The beta's still a game. I don't see why you shouldn't be able to ask about it as long as you specify the version. – Matthew Read Sep 21 '11 at 19:30
  • @MatthewRead I'm just not sure where to draw the line, is all. While Minecraft is still in beta, for example, it's clearly more of a finished game than a beta typically entails. When you look at the Diablo 3 beta, it's a small fraction of the game's content with lots of unfinalized pieces. If the general consensus is to simply specify beta and/or version number, that's fine then. – TheQ Sep 21 '11 at 20:26
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    @TheQ, one difference is that a question that can be answered by public beta testers has a correct, known answer now, even if the answer may not be the same on release. (See, for example, the Desktop Dungeons paid questions.) A question that can't even be answered by public beta testers has no correct, known answer. – Dave DuPlantis Sep 21 '11 at 20:38
  • @DaveDuPlantis Don't get me wrong, I'm not for questions that have no answer as per the one in question. I'm just trying to raise a point as to where the line is too blurry between beta and non, in regards to answerable and time-sensitive questions. If it's not something that people are worried about, then my concern is a moot point. – TheQ Sep 21 '11 at 22:19
  • yes, lets assume the question was about a lower tier skill that CAN be answered, but the game is still in closed beta, should those be encouraged or not? – l I Sep 21 '11 at 22:33
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    @yx Yes, I think we should encourage questions that can be answered by beta participants, with the understanding that if things change, the answers should be updated appropriately. – bwarner Sep 22 '11 at 1:00
  • @bwarner there seems to be a lot of disagreement in that regard though – l I Sep 22 '11 at 11:14
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    @yx less disagreement, more lack of clarity. The two key points that you should take away are: Unanswerable questions about future products? Generally bad. Questions based on speculation and not gameplay experience? Also generally bad. In general, the idea of 'seeding' questions isn't a great idea. Ask a question because you want to know the answer. Not because you think that someone else will. – LessPop_MoreFizz Sep 22 '11 at 15:08
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Unanswerable questions about a beta that you haven't played: Bad.

Answerable questions about a beta that you are participating in? Good.

Diablo 3 Beta questions should be welcomed. If we want, we can tag them , and do a mass cleanup/tag merge at release in order to prevent outdated info from sticking around after that point, but I see no reason to flat out restrict the content. Yes, information changes often, but that also means that said information is in especially high demand, and, furthermore, since the beta has no NDA, will be all over the web.

It seems silly for us to simply forego traffic like that.

If the game is available to some segment of the public, and that segment of the public is legally allowed to talk about it, we should be encouraging them to do so here. If we're concerned about out of date cruft sticking around, tag questions about the Beta in a way that reflects this and use Meta to coordinate a cleanup effort at release time.

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    we should be encouraging them to do so here I'm still not sure if I entirely agree with that. I outlined my reasons for that in this answer. I think we have to be careful about how we toe the line between providing a service to the internet and just trying to pull traffic to the site when it may potentially be not what is in the best interest for the game itself. – FAE Sep 22 '11 at 15:19
  • Keep in mind, the DIII Beta has no NDA. Encouraging violations of NDA's is not a good idea, goes without saying. – LessPop_MoreFizz Sep 22 '11 at 15:45
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    I'm aware of that. It's not the NDA part I'm concerned about at all, it's the potential to pull traffic from the official site when it comes to questions/problems that should be on their site in order for them to correctly assess the feedback for the game. – FAE Sep 22 '11 at 15:53

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