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Game canon questions which extend beyond the context of the story and its material

"Why are nukes so weak in the Starcraft universe?" received 3 close votes before being finished off by one of our beloved moderators, Darth Shark. It was reopened by 5 regular voters only to be unilaterally re-closed, again by Darth Shark. As of this writing, it has accrued 4 of the 5 needed votes to be community reopened again.

Clearly, the community disagrees with the mod here. I find this not good.

Should this question be closed? Why or why not?

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    I think the current answer is a big argument for reopening (the game canon does address the question at hand, apparently), but I don't want to step on Raven's toes. The question does have 4 reopen votes, so I'll just give it one more. – badp Jan 19 '12 at 16:03
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    It makes me wonder whether questions like this that are purely about lore should be redirected to a site like Sci-Fi fantasy. They seem to fit much better there. – bwarner Jan 19 '12 at 17:55

I don't think this question is unsalvageable (and indeed, has received a phenomenal answer despite that), but the underlying premise of the question as it currently stands is a poor one.

Is there an in-universe explanation why nuclear bombs are so weak in StarCraft? With the scale of the explosion, and the damage done, in does not seem bigger than an average mortar shell in real life.

Should I understand the in-game buildings as vast cities, and the in-game units as large armies, or are nukes really that small?

The first problem this question has is an issue of relativity. The contention: "Starcraft 2's Nukes are small" is an assumption. How many "in-universe" people does 1 marine equal? Is it one-to-one? Does each marine represent a squad of 20? How many miles are represented by an in-game unit of distance?

Such relative comparisons are unknown, and unknowable. There is no way to compare a game-mechanic (i.e., the size of the nuclear missle radius in distance units) to a real-world phenomenon (i.e., the size of a nuclear missle radius in kilometers).

By in-universe explanation I mean something different than "it would imbalance the game if one bomb could destroy everything on half the map."

The question also makes the assumption that the game was balanced around the size of the nuclear missile, instead of the reverse. But worse than that, it expressly forbids the only "real" answer available - that the size was mandated by game balance.

The bottom line is that this question isn't really asking about starcraft 2's lore at all. It's much more a question of, "This videogame doesn't match my view on reality. Why?" I'm not worried about this individual question so much as I'm worried about the precedent of allowing questions like this in the first place.

In short, I see this question as more of a rant about inconsistent storytelling than anything else:

The answer leaves 2 open questions: 1: what about the rogue factions, are they bounded by that law too? 2: This law was made before the big Zerg wars (maybe even before mankind's first encounter with the Zerg), so won't these new circumstances allow for, let's say, destroy all life on a planet if it's completely taken over by the Zerg (and no other life firms remain)?

Both of these "open questions" are purely speculative.

This question has very little to do with Starcraft, and much more to do with how something in Starcraft isn't what the Asker expected it to be.

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    Yeah, +1. I think the question is fine, but the asker's intent isn't so much. Why are nukes the way they are in StarCraft is a fine story-related question, but "Why don't they work like I expect them to?" is, it turns out, what they were really wanting to know. – agent86 Jan 19 '12 at 16:49
  • @agent86 which is why, with a little editing, I'd have no problems with the question. – Raven Dreamer Jan 19 '12 at 17:02
  • So why didn't you edit it then? I always though closing was supposed to be a last resort, of sorts. – John the Green Jan 19 '12 at 17:08
  • I've made an edit that hopefully improves things. – Matthew Read Jan 19 '12 at 17:14
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    @MatthewRead looks good. I'm going to go ahead and prune some obsolete comments, then. – Raven Dreamer Jan 19 '12 at 17:16
  • @JohnTheGreenGuy because when I initially closed it, much of the discussion about how to make it better and what exactly the Asker wanted hadn't happened, yet. – Raven Dreamer Jan 19 '12 at 17:20
  • I hope I can clear some misunderstandings about the intent of my question. (1) "Such relative comparisons are unknown, and unknowable." There are other weapons which have a splash radius, so there is at least one reference point. (2) "But worse than that, it expressly forbids the only "real" answer available..." This was only an example. I wrote it because of experience, I've seen a lot of in-universe questions receiving meta-answers like "because it's more fun", "because the author wanted it that way", or "because it improves balance". I think you made incorrect assumptions about my intent. – vsz Jan 19 '12 at 17:29
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    @JohnTheGreenGuy - I think many people find casting a close vote easier than editing a question. – au revoir Jan 19 '12 at 20:20
  • @Jason Yes, but Raven Dreamer is a mod. He's supposed to set a good example. – John the Green Jan 19 '12 at 21:36

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