When I posted Where can I find all the datacrons and what can I get from them?, I got this response:
This seems like an overly broad (aka List) question. – Powerlord Dec 17 '11 at 1:26
While not a "list question" in the sense generally used on SE (the answers aren't single items that together form a list), it's accurate to say that I asked for an answer containing a list.
We have more than a few good answers that contain some sort of list, so that isn't a problem here. The problem seems to be that the game is an MMORPG, and the list is probably going to grow for quite some time. That means the answer will become out of date at some point, which is a problem; we want Gaming to have accurate answers that will continue to be useful for as long as possible. So I totally understand Powerlord's view that this sort of question should be closed.
On the other hand, a ton of people are looking for this information (a similar question of mine already has 10k views and we're getting more questions of the same kind), and I don't think we should discourage a particular type of question only for a particular type of game.
One solution is to have answers linking outside the site, which has its own problems:
- Link rot.
- I have never seen so many sites dedicated to a single game. It's impossible to compare them all and determine which one has the most complete and accurate information.
- We shouldn't be Googling stuff for people and throwing them a link. That's just silly.
Another is to make these questions into our own Community Wikis. If we just had one answer to these questions that everyone was explicitly encouraged to maintain, I have no doubt that they would do well, given the large audience for the game and the number of non-new members we already have playing it. I think we have a chance to grab a large chunk of traffic here without harming the site. Hosting full quest guides or something would probably be a mistake (someone who gets stuck should ask a specific question), but these are better (if you don't see a datacron's glowiness somewhere you simply don't know where it is, and we don't want individual questions for each of the many datacrons).
In The Future of Community Wiki, Grace warns that "a site should never have more than one community wiki question for every hundred questions". I don't know where we are by that metric but my proposal would admittedly create quite a few of them. But I think this is exactly what CW is designed for:
[C]ommunity wiki ... encourages people to contribute by adding to the existing content, with a small benefit of also discouraging unwarranted and low quality posts.
These questions are already getting overlapping posts, two-line posts that just link away from the site, and so on. I think we should improve them or eliminate them.