However none of the original question's answers address the specific details highlighted in the second question. I was informed that this doesn't change the fact that the second question is a dupe. Well, if its closed as a dupe, then the asker is basically left with a closed question and a link to a 'different' question that has no answers that help him in any way. I feel this situation brings negative attention to our website, as we're telling people they've already been helped, when they haven't. It makes us look like we're paying more attention to the rules than we are the reality. What should we do about this?
We all want hard and fast rules for this, but it comes down to judgment calls. And we all seem to be afraid of making judgment calls. I don't know much about League of Legends, so I might be off base here, but the original question seems pretty broad. The possible duplicate is pretty narrow. I'm going to try to talk about the general case of narrow vs broad here, and not the LoL question specifically, because as I said, I don't have the LoL knowledge to know where this specific example falls.
I do not believe we should close narrow questions as duplicates of broad questions unless there is a reasonable expectation that a decent answer to the broad question would cover the narrow case.
Note that whether or not an answer already exists to the broad question is irrelevant. It comes down to whether or not you have a reasonable expectation to assume the broad question pretty much requires the other question's info in an acceptable answer. Which is why this comes down to a judgment call, which a lot of people here seem uncomfortable with. We always seem to want a hard and fast rule, even when it is to our detriment.
In this particular case, not knowing much about League of Legends, I don't know what a reasonable expectation would be. For those of you familiar with it, would you have expected an answer to the broad question to have covered the duplicate question? If so, okay, let the duplicate closure stand. If you wouldn't have expected it until you saw the "dupe" asked, though, we're creating a bad situation in which the original question didn't really have a reasonable expectation of covering what was asked until after someone requested more details (via a separate question). Then people look at it, say "Oh, you know what, this broad question over here could kind of cover that, though really there's no expectation that someone will unless a bounty gets posted", and it gets closed as a dupe. What service are we doing to anyone by forcing some narrow details into a broad question? We're creating a situation in which someone is unlikely to get an answer. We're also creating an expectation that answers to broad questions should be all-encompassing, including nitty-gritty details that many people may never care about. That's bad. I mean, if an answer wants to cover that, great! But expecting it turns the Q&A format into a Wiki format.
Lastly, I really disagree with the idea that a user should be required to post a bounty to get their question some initial attention.
We are here to make the Internet a better place, specifically in regards to gaming. The way we specifically try to do that is by answering questions related to gaming.
How is it helping a gamer get his answer to a gaming question by disallowing his valid question because a similar question has already been asked, and its answer happens not to cover this specific case?
I get the whole point that the original answer should have been better. It should have been more thorough. I agree; it certainly should have. But it wasn't. If it's already accepted, there's little that you can do to add incentive to write new answers, aside from a bounty.
I shouldn't have to add a bounty to an existing question to get an answer to my question about new information. That's why you can ask questions without even having an account. We primarily want to get you answers to your questions. That's why we exist. Rules should help aid in that, not prevent that.
Once the new question gets its answer, sure, then we can merge the questions together or just link them as related or whatever. Closing the new question as a dupe does a disservice to the person asking the question and to our whole community. It's hostile and unnecessary.
As I stated in the comment that I left here, if the question doesn't answer the second question's particulars, then it does not change the fact that it may be a duplicate. It is not implicit that an answer already should have every single bit of the information you need. For example, games sometimes change and get patched and our solution to that is not to ask another question about updated functionality, but rather, to update the existing answers.
A full and complete answer to How does rune combiner work? should cover the rune combiner's mechanics, which is what When combining runes, can you get runes that you already have 9 of? asks about. If you feel that Raven Dreamer's answer is incomplete, ping him or put a bounty on the rune combining question explaining what the information you are missing is.
There are several cases of linked duplicates where there is a disconnect between the intent of the 'duplicate' and original questions, or the answers therein. Unfortunately I haven't kept track of them (can do so in future on request ;), but I've noticed cases where
- a question did not ask for particular info
- had an answer buried somewhere in the pile of replies that elaborated on extra details
- and then a new question specifically asking for this info is closed as a dup.
Regarding your question and example:
I agree with others that in this particular case, instead of a new question a comment on the original's answer that requested clarification is a good choice. However, if a question is asked and does not already have an answer elsewhere; I'd prefer to see it
- stay open with a comment so the asker can change it to a comment & delete, or
- stay open until answered, and then be merged with the original
Of course, re. (2) then someone will say 'hey, how can we merge Yes, you can get 10th rune of same type with the more general answer?' -> to which I'd say, if you cannot merge the two questions then they aren't exact duplicates at all right?
Another example of a dup-that-wasn't (imho):
was closed as a duplicate of
and my upvoted answer was moved to it, where it is quite out of place - I'll just repeat my comment on why I disagree with this:
I disagree with merging the other question into this - my answer is out of place here, it addresses where to farm and not what to do
To elaborate, the other question was asking how the asker would know when he would be ready to try Inferno - he never said anything at all about farming there.
I personally feel that if the 'original' question doesn't answer the second question's particulars, then its not a dupe. If it was, then it would have the neccesary answer now wouldn't it?
I feel just because a question should answer a second question's particulars doesn't neccesarily make the two questions duplicates. I think the duplicate clause should apply to answers to questions, not the questions themselves.
Edit: My final sentence is a bit unclear, allow me to clarify. I think the duplicate clause should apply to questions, but only if there is a current answer that applies to both questions.
There is room for more than one question about the rune combiner.
This question is essentially a yes/no question. An answer can shine by providing evidence... such as an anecdote or some dev commentary.
Diablo 3 difficulty levels are a broad and complicated topic. There is room for more than one question on the topic. Followup Edit: question reopened once - that's all I was asking for. Thanks.