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I tend to answer a lot of Payday: The Heist questions, so when this one popped up on the main page I noticed it pretty quickly. I voted to close it as not a real question, but the person's problem bugged me enough that I kept thinking about it afterward, and decided to take a stab at what I thought the problem might be.

My answer gathered a couple upvotes (and got accepted) but the question itself was downvoted and closed, in part because of me. I helped the person, yes, but something about the circumstances seems wrong.

Is it appropriate to post a best guess answer to a "not a real question"?

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    It is generally not appropriate to answer a question you know should be closed instead. – badp Aug 12 '12 at 18:43
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If you feel that a question deserves an answer and that the question is salvageable, then also take the time to fix the question.

However, if the question cannot be saved and is doomed to be closed, answering the question only further complicates the issue. It means that future answers will never be able to surface. Even if you succeed in answering the question, no one will be able to challenge it in the future with a better answer. When visitors come to the site and find that question and answer, that answer will have to be accepted with authority.

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    It also allows for new users to come in with the mindset of, "Oh. I know this question isn't allowed.. But neither is that one that got answers. I'll post mine anyway!" – Niro Aug 12 '12 at 22:09

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