I asked two questions about Diablo 3 yesterday. One user, in the comments, felt I should throw on them since Diablo 3 is still in beta. I'd considered it when writing the questions, but wasn't sure it would be necessary since the questions were about gameplay elements I felt had a very low likelihood of changing by release. But maybe I'm wrong. The tag wiki for is empty, so there's no help there.

There are a few approaches I could see for the beta tag:

  1. Add it to any game in beta, no matter what. The downside is that when the game releases, a lot of questions might be tagged with which are completely valid for the non-beta game. Maybe not a big deal.

  2. Don't even bother with . In some ways it seems roughly equivalent to having a tag added to every question so that you're making sure everyone knows what version of the software you're asking about, in case it later changes. That would be awful. Of course, beta versions are more likely to change than released versions. Which in turn means even if the question is marked , if it was about an in-flux system, the question might already be obsolete even during beta due to development changes.

  3. Add only for questions where you suspect there is a high likelihood the system may change by release. Of course, this means you're guessing, and is often subject to the same problem as #1.

  4. Get rid (is anyone going to follow ?) and instead, for games in beta, use a tag like .

  5. Your solution here.

Obviously, based on lack of tagging my questions with yesterday, I'm leaning towards #2 or #3, but that might also be because my questions dealt with things that I feel are unlikely to change, and thus I didn't have to worry about them becoming obsolete as much as other questions might.

  • Instead of a highly likelihoad in point 3 I would say a slight likelihood. this way we filter out more questions that actually have to do with the game being in beta
    – BRHSM
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 10:27

3 Answers 3


Beta should not be used at all. It's a blatant meta-tag.

As an easy example, Minecraft's been through both beta, and Alpha, and we've only used

Do we have some questions that are now nonsensical due to changes in the game between beta and release? Yes, we do -- but a secondary tag wouldn't have made any difference there.

Beta, in my mind, is even broader than the (relatively unused) genre tags.

  • Well yeah, sorting through the tag would of course make sense too when the game releases. But then you have to absolutely make sure that you do that, as there is no way that the system indicates that. Let's suppose Skyrim, in all it's mass, would've been released in Beta first; it's not-sensible to work through all that... Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 15:20
  • @TomWijsman I have no idea what you're trying to argue. Or even if you're arguing. Are you agreeing with me? :/ Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 20:45
  • I think this correctly addresses the general nature of games that change often, either because of release cycles, expansions, patches or the nature of MMOs.
    – Resorath
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 21:03
  • @RavenDreamer: That no beta indication at all makes it sufficiently harder to weed out all the beta-specific clutter, there's also no indication towards the community whether a question applies to the beta/retail or not. minecraft is a bad example, because they gradually improved instead of a big change between beta and retail. Of course it's hard to come up with a real example of a big change, but it could happen in the near future. But well, if you're willing to walk through the whole tag at once at retail release, go ahead. Just suggesting that it's easier to do iteratively/together. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 0:54
  • @Resorath: This is exactly why I don't disagree with Raven Dreamer for short development cycle games, however his suggestion does not necessarily apply to longer development cycle games which is what I based my (heavily downvoted) question on; just imagine if there were a Skyrim Beta that was different in many aspects from the current Skyrim. It would be a pain walking through the tag to get rid of the Beta information, while a skyrim-beta tag would have helped a lot... Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 0:58
  • @TomWijsman The issue there is that it's impossible to predict what will change in a beta. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 1:20
  • I agree with the beta tag. it prevent downvote, help gamers that are in beta, tell more about the game to people that are looking forward to play the game. And, in my opinion, helps the search, when we are looking for some information, and find a good voted question, that is out of date, we can ask if it's still working the answer or not. and this will generate "spam". With the beta tag, we can always update or bounty the question for improviment/update.
    – Michel
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:04

For the most part I agree with Raven Dreamer's answer, but there's an edge case.

Certain games have a mainstream stable version and a beta version for testing out upcoming features, with both versions of the game available concurrently. Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source spring to mind, and similarly some MMOs like Eve Online sometimes have beta servers with slightly different rules and conventions. In this case, a beta tag may be appropriate for questions that apply to those beta versions, but not the main version of the game.

Alternatively since this doesn't happen often, perhaps there's a case for separate tf2-beta and css-beta tags for questions about these versions.

  • It still doesn't seem like a tag is appropriate, just describe in the question text what you are talking about. The question ceases to become a beta specific question once the feature is rolled out.
    – bwarner
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 14:52
  • If anything, this seems like it would be an even bigger problem, since you would constantly have to change the tag every few weeks (or however often the beta server changes get pushed into production)
    – Sterno
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 14:57

@downvoters: I know this would better fit as an answer to https://gaming.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4437/how-to-handle-early-diablo-3-questions but unfortunately it has been closed due to being an exact duplicate of this question, which you proof to be wrong. But that's not my fault.

Some people seem to be convinced that we should not answer questions only relevant to the beta at all. There was a question on https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/62226/how-to-get-a-diablo-3-beta-key. I do not really see the point in why this question should be too localized.

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet

  1. currently this is probably one of the most interesting question that a future visitor (for the next month), who has no beta access (most of them have not), might have
  2. it might also be relevant after the beta, because you could be interested in how Blizzard handled Diablo III beta invites to make predictions for future titles

I generally think we should be way less aggressive with closing questions.

If there is the word "beta" in the title, the reader can quickly decide if he thinks its worth reading or not, if the game might already be released at that time.

  • 1
    This is the wrong thread for this. The question above is just about the usage of the [beta] tag, not whether questions such as one you have linked should be closed as too localized or not. If you wish to voice your opinion that the linked question should be re-opened, please post a new question on the meta site.
    – Oak
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 0:51
  • @Oak I came from meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/4437/… which YOU did close because it should be a exact duplicate of this question. This ironically underlines my whole argument of not closing questions so agressive.
    – Nappy
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 15:24
  • @Nappy both questions are about how to tag questions about the game, not whether they should be closed. The closest question I could find related to what you want to discuss is this one, but it's more concerned with unanswerable seed questions of a game in beta. I would ask a new question if you think there's a problem with closing Diablo 3 questions worth discussing.
    – user3389
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 16:16

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