Most competitive games are updated and change over time. I play starcraft and I almost never ask questions here, because the rules make for a toxic environment. My questions get downvoted because I don't care about strategies from 6 months ago. I want information based around the current state of the game.

Example: Starcraft is a game where new strategies are constantly developed. The game is always changing. Pro players push the usage of different unit combinations in drastically different ways. It's impossible to talk about most advanced concepts in Starcraft without putting a time range on it.

Our current rules do not encourage these types of questions. I think arqade.com should revise its rules or ban questions about any competitive game or any game that gets updated frequently. If that mods and admins of this site truly feel that rule is correct, then I think this site will be doomed to fail.

Banning competitive games would clearly hurt the site. So why not adapt the rules to the nature of the gaming industry?


This question should not have been closed.

Simply put, "Too Localized" does not apply here. Let's break it down:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors

I don't think this criterion applies. A good answer to this question will definitely help others. Even Decency's link based answer would help others.

it is only relevant to a small geographic area

Clearly not applicable

a specific moment in time

I believe this is an often misinterpreted clause of this definition. The fact that some potential hypothetical answer might become out of date has no reflection on the question. The question may not get an answer at all. What does that have to do with how localized it is? The "specific moment in time" clause should be applied to the question, not potential answers. It has been discussed various times that some games are hard to maintain since they are constantly updated - but that's what so great about the Stack model. We can change our votes. We can provide new answers. We have the technology.

or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet

Again, not valid. There is a wide audience of folks that are basically frothing at the mouth to know the answer to this question, especially if it changes over time. The fact that is hard to keep up with is not the asker or questions problem. It is Arqade's problem. We need to solicit and cultivate good users for all games, who can be there to provide the updates when patches occur and rules change. Scaring off users like Robotsushi by closing his question for bogus reasons obviously works directly against this.

In the end, this is just another instance of using the close vote as a super downvote, which is inappropriate. I think it is fair to say that the question could potentially be edited to better understand how to provide the best answer the asker is looking for. For example, asking not just about win rates, but also the root cause that contributes to those win rates, seems more interesting. However, if you don't like the question because it shows poor research effort, or seems not useful, then downvoting is the only appropriate action.

  • 3
    Should not have been closed as too localized? Sure. Should not have been closed at all? Can't agree with that. It's not constructive. May 16 '13 at 11:09
  • 1
    @StrixVaria We could debate every close reason, but I don't believe any of them apply. The main applicable clause from Not Constructive is "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." Here I think RobotSushi did a great job of already bounding the question enough to prevent this. "Which race is the best" - that's Not Constructive. "Which race has the best win/loss ratio in professional tournaments" - that's answerable at any time with a finite correct answer.
    – EBongo
    May 16 '13 at 11:43
  • 1
    I cite the previous meta on use of the close vote as a Super Downvote, because I firmly believe that's what happened here. When the community doesn't like a question, a) comment on how it could be improved OR b) downvote and move on. Voting to close and then trying to find a reason that fits amounts to using the close vote as a super downvote. It's not the right thing to do, plain and simple.
    – EBongo
    May 16 '13 at 11:47
  • 8
    Yes, it most certainly should be closed. I, for one, find your assumption that I voted to close it for specious reasons slightly insulting. If you don't want to close it, that's fine, but don't assume you know other's reasoning, and decide it's not good enough.
    – Frank
    May 16 '13 at 12:23
  • 5
    I'll still argue that it's Too Localized. Not because it will need updating, that is the case of any question. This question will require constant unprovoked attention to keep up to date. I call that Too Localized. Maybe a different close reason better applies, but I'll stand by my vote of TL all day.
    – user9983
    May 16 '13 at 13:12
  • 2
    Agreeing with @OrigamiRobot. Even though I'm anti-close by this SE's standards, I think this should be closed as too localised. There is a point where a question is unanswerable without updates that are unmaintainably frequent, and this question is beyond that point. May 16 '13 at 16:51
  • 1
    @fbueckert While you are not obligated to explain your vote, feel free to explain why you think Too Localized fits. I've explained why it doesn't. I see a question closed for an invalid reason, and I assume the "super downvote" usage model, yes. Folks rarely explain their voting on this site, so assumptions are often all we have.
    – EBongo
    May 16 '13 at 23:25
  • 3
    You already have one reason. Whether you agree with it or not, it's not your call to decide our reasons are invalid. If you disagree, your voice is as valid as mine. Your assumption that my reasoning is wrong is what I'm disagreeing with. Just like piracy, it should be a good faith assumption that my reasoning is valid.
    – Frank
    May 17 '13 at 0:31
  • 2
    @fbueckert Meta is where we discuss whether the reason is valid or not. We are all entitled to answer questions on Meta, and you have the same power as me to answer this question. You didn't act alone. I'm not singling you out. I disagree that this question is Too Localized, and justified that with logic.
    – EBongo
    May 17 '13 at 1:38
  • 1
    I will never be able to prove what anyone is thinking when they vote, but I serve it up to be considered that close votes should not be used as a "super downvote", and 48 people agree with me. I see you don't think that applies here. Agree to disagree.
    – EBongo
    May 17 '13 at 1:39
  • 4
    And again, by classifying our actions as using the close vote as a super downvote, you've already decided that our actions are invalid. You're strawmanning our actions to give you something to attack. How do you argue with someone who's decided you're wrong before it's even explained? By doing so, you're doing that which you're accusing us of. You're so sure we're wrong, that you've already decided we used the close votes in error. That is what I'm challenging.
    – Frank
    May 17 '13 at 13:59
  • 1
    From what I see, 4 people agree with you and 8 people disagree.
    – user9983
    May 17 '13 at 14:03
  • @OrigamiRobot I think you took what I said out of context. Clearly folks in this thread don't agree with me. I was stating that it is generally agreed that close votes should not be used as super downvotes. Whether that applies to this case is definitely more controversial, with fewer agreeing with me than disagreeing as you highlight.
    – EBongo
    May 18 '13 at 2:18
  • 1
    @fbueckert Yes, I do think your actions were incorrect. That's why the first line of my answer is "This question should not have been closed". I'd say your opinion is fairly set on the proper use of close votes, and I don't think I'm going to change your mind. As I've already said though, my answer isn't directed at you, it is a discussion of site policy for the benefit of anyone that reads this question and my answer. LessPop's treatise on proper close reasons is excellent, and since I feel we rush to close way too many valid questions, it makes sense to reference it.
    – EBongo
    May 18 '13 at 3:00
  • The question should have been closed as not constructive - I agree it's not "too localised" but this doesn't detract from the fact it should be closed. This isn't an instance of a close vote being used as a super downvote. Oh, and, 48 people agreed with LessPop_MoreFizz.
    – user27134
    May 18 '13 at 4:45

Good subjective questions (especially those based on strategy, like you mention) are decidedly on topic. I don't think there's an issue with the rules here, but rather with the problem of maintaining a good answer with an ever-changing meta environment.

The onus is not on the moderators to allow these questions. They are already allowed. It is on the expert community to continue to strive up update these questions with the newest information and strategies so that they remain relevant over time.

That said, a question like Which race has the best win rate? isn't really a good, constructive question. We're not here to look statistics up for you. That kind of question can't be answered expertly. Asking what race to play, as another example, is a bad subjective question. We don't know what race you'll find most fun, or have the best results with.

  • And this is why I don't like to ask questions here. "We're not here to look statistics up for you" - Nobody is holding a gun to your head demanding answers. My question strictly revolved around the context of professional tournaments. This is not something that your average starcraft player would know. You can't really answer many video game question expertly since there are no real measurements of a video game expert.Thanks for closing my question though, totally confirms the toxic nature of the mods in this site, but don't worry I wont be around anymore to ruin your 'expert site'
    – Robotsushi
    May 15 '13 at 5:26
  • 1
    On sites like stackoverflow, your moderation would be top notch. But this is a gaming site that takes itself entirely too seriously. Get off your high horse.
    – Robotsushi
    May 15 '13 at 5:33
  • 10
    @Robotsushi I don't understand whether you're arguing for us to shut up and answer your question like you're doing in the comments or you're asking us to shut up and ban all questions like yours like you do in the question.
    – badp
    May 15 '13 at 7:56
  • 8
    @Robotsushi Gaming sites that don't take themselves seriously devolve into trolling and flaming, kind of like your latest comment. Gaming sites that do set strict rules tend to get a community of people who actually care about the games and improve together. I'll gladly keep the site the way it is, with or without you. May 15 '13 at 11:43
  • 1
    How is gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/117279/… different from gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/97990/… ? How is one of these questions good and the other bad?
    – SimonL
    May 16 '13 at 1:00
  • @SimonL: The Crawl question is something which may never need to be updated, and if it does it will rarely need to be updated. The Crawl question is also essentially asking "What are highly effective spells?", which is a good subjective question. The Starcraft 2 question on the other hand will need constant updating. Everytime there is a new tournament you'll need to update the statistics. Considering the frequency of tournaments this will require the question to be updated multiple times a month for several years, which is just ridiculous.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    May 16 '13 at 17:03
  • @Wipqozn A lot of answers to games change over time, especially games that are competitive and being actively developed on. It appears there isn't a consensus to "how frequent" an answer might have to be updated which is part of the problem.
    – SimonL
    May 18 '13 at 21:33

I want to say welcome to Arqade but you have been here twice as long as I have, so I'll say welcome back.

I have a few things I want to address in this post and I'm not confident they're going to be popular with any particular group of people on either side of the current argument. Apologies for the wall of text that follows;

Let's start first with the reason that you posted: in my opinion your question should not have been closed as too localised - at least not yet. Let me explain;

Arqade does allow time based questions and we have many questions and answers that get updated over time as mechanics in a particular game change. Quite a few of them are in fact Blizzard games, including World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Starcraft 2 being one of our top tags. Another example is that we allow questions about Minecraft features that exist in nightly builds, and will be subject to change within the space of a month.

However in this particular instance of your question Which race has the best win rate? you're asking a question that simply needs a URL to a Win/Loss tracker to answer. This in itself is not great, but probably isn't a reason to close it. Depending on the quality of the link provided, the answer may stay relevant for some time, as the link may remain updated by whomever is running it. I digress a little bit, since we don't normally like link-only answers as they do not really add anything to our site and as such is not a good fit for our Q&A format.

I'm dealing with this at the moment as though you got a link only answer - why you ask? Well, one of the responses you got was from one of our more vocal competitive gamers Decency, who posted this as a comment to your question;

http://www.teamliquid.net/tlpd/sc2-international/players/detailed-elo Zerg right now.

I suspect that the link in question will survive for some time, but the clue is in the rest of the comment - "right now". I have no doubt that given the incentive, Decency would keep updating his answer for the next few months, but the moment the answer stops getting updated, you're left with a link and some text which doesn't match the content of the link - this is too localised.

What if you get an answer that isn't a link? Well - in this instance, this answer is going to be very high maintenance. Due to the nature of Blizzard games, mechanics can change - sometimes quite radically - between minor patches. This was seen most recently with Diablo 3 but we didn't go around closing those questions as "too localised". Granted, some have retrospectively been marked as too localised and some have been updated with new answers. There are systems in place on Stack Exchange to cater for both instances (close votes and bounties, respectively). If the answer doesn't receive updates, then yes - it will become too localised to the very specific point in time that the question was asked.

Now that we have got those details out of the way, let's take a look at the close text for too localised;

This question is unlikely to 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.

Line by line, in the instance of your question, if it is not kept updated, it will be unlikely to help any future visitors because it will be out of date. This makes it specific to a point of time if it isn't updated.

Starcraft is a popular enough game that nearly any question about it will be generally applicable to the worldwide audience of gamers on the internet, so narrow situation is out as well.

This means that provisionally, we meet one of the criteria to close as too localised making the assumption that the question is not updated. For this specific point in time though, it is on topic. Using the Minecraft precedent, this shouldn't have been closed as too localised, I still don't think it's a good question, though.

Another point that I want to address, it probably deserves it's own post but it's directly in relation to the contents of the posts present here so I'll keep it brief; you have clearly demonstrated a lack of differentiation between elected moderators and users on this site - the actions taken against your question had zero moderator intervention:

closed as too localized by spartacus, OrigamiRobot, LessPop_MoreFizz, fbueckert, StrixVaria 8 hours ago

As you can see from the above, which is the list of people who voted to close your question on the main site, not a single one of those users has a diamond ♦ next to their name. The first instance of a moderator getting involved was when you bought the discussion to meta (which was the correct way to handle it by the way, rather than littering the main site with comments). This is no single moderator taking action against you, this is the voice of the community members active at the time you posted your question enforcing what they believe to be the correct action at this time.

  • 1
    I voted to close as not constructive, for what it's worth. The first 4 were for "too localized". I agree with this post. May 15 '13 at 12:22
  • @kalina Right for the most part. The nice thing about linking to useful sites, though, is that the information therein is maintained automatically. If I were to answer that question while pretending to give a shit about what people think, I'd use the same link and then discuss how transient SC2 balance and the meta is without making anything time-sensitive in my answer. I could've also given a history of the balance over time by linking to stuff like this. But I'm not a huge fan of wasting my time- 'lead a horse to water' and all, so I just posted a link.
    – Decency
    Jun 17 '13 at 1:52

If you really want to fix the stale content issue. Appoint some type of community leaders to specif games and/or tags that are active in those specific communities.

Facilitate a process for these community leaders to get questions updated that are still relevant in the community, or to update answers themselves. This would not only prevent stale content, but encourage activity in the community from those who are truly passionate about specific games or game types.

I know some features have been implemented to encourage this, but I think a more hands on approach is required.

There is great benefit to having site moderators preventing terrible questions and enforcing site rules. However there are so many sites and communities that develop around each game, we need people who are aware of the 'meta' of competitive games. I believe that arqade.com should be the #1 source of gaming information, and it's not that far out of reach.

I don't know every reputation based privilege available in the stack exchange network and some of the things I suggest here may already be in place. I do hope if nothing else this encourages a stronger attempt to address the issue here.

  • 7
    The idea of appointing community leaders and whatnot is a complicated process at best, and isn't really how things work here, nor do I really believe it is a model that should be adopted.
    – Ash
    May 16 '13 at 5:29
  • List of all reputation based privileges
    – user27134
    May 16 '13 at 9:17
  • Also, to add, requiring specific users to keep their chosen subject matter up to date, rather than doing so voluntarily, will lead to loss of said users from burnout. Everything done here on Arqade is voluntary, and turning it into something someone has to do will lead to worse quality, in the long run.
    – Frank
    May 16 '13 at 12:27
  • 4
    The distributed-authority model the site currently runs on is designed to ensure robustness despite a changing userbase. Appointing individuals to specific jobs would introduce multiple points of failure that the site would be unable to cope with automatically, requiring a meta-system entirely resting on the shoulders of human organisers and social politics. I think this proposal would actually be detrimental to the site and its content, not an improvement. May 16 '13 at 16:56
  • 6
    Your aim for this site to be the #1 information source on games is noble, but misguided. The site will be what it will be--if it doesn't become the #1 information site for games, it's because the site's structure isn't suited to being the #1 site. No-one here is interested in breaking site functionality to aim for a goal the site may not be suited to anyway. It has a purpose that it's currently fulfilling just fine--high-quality answers to specific problems for most gamers--and that's not going to be sacrificed in a quest for ratings. May 16 '13 at 17:00
  • 2
    The general response here is that arqade is perfect and has no room for improvement. A lot of my statement appears to be grossly mis-interpreted. I hoped this would encourage a discussion of ideas, but it's business as usual here. I get it my opinion is wrong and I'm a bad person for suggesting change.
    – Robotsushi
    May 16 '13 at 17:38
  • 2
    There's nothing wrong with change. What you're suggesting, though, goes against the fundamental framework that StackExchange has created. Nothing says we think Arqade is perfect. Heck, we have a Meta for exactly this reason. We just disagree that there's a problem that needs to be solved here.
    – Frank
    May 16 '13 at 18:05
  • @Robotsushi If you check my Meta wrap sheet, you'll see I agree with challenging the establishment. I encourage you to stick it out, and remain vocal about changes you believe are right. Like your StarCraft question, I think your suggestion is good, it just needs some discussion. In particular, I'd point out that you can make a "StarCraft Community Leader" chat room to pilot your concept. If you recruit folks to participate in that chat, and champion question updates related to the competitive 'meta', it could be a success.
    – EBongo
    May 17 '13 at 1:53
  • 2
    The great thing about Stack is, it's a democracy. Creating new tools, or defining new official roles is hard, but you can crown yourself the King of Starcraft updates and no one can really stop you. I created and participated in a DragonVale Chat along these lines at one point, and I also maintain the DragonVale questions with the philosophy you describe. Folks get really hung up on "titles", which I think is much of what the negative feedback is about - that and folks disliking the question that started this Meta.
    – EBongo
    May 17 '13 at 1:58
  • 1
    "The general response here is that Arqade is perfect and has no room for improvement." It's not so much that as it is that this is just one site in a network of hundreds and we've realized that asking for site-specific changes to how the site works is very difficult to bear fruit. We have to make do with the hand we're dealt, and I'd say we're doing well all things considered.
    – badp
    May 18 '13 at 9:03
  • @badp "We can't justify modifying code for this" ... I think that's perfectly valid. However, most of the other comments basically state "this wouldn't work" or "I don't like this idea". I can see how RobotSushi interprets that as "no room for improvement".
    – EBongo
    May 18 '13 at 13:47
  • @EBongo That's why I left a clarification message.
    – badp
    May 18 '13 at 15:22
  • @badp And I appreciate that you did. I'm not sure the other negative comments are as simple as "this is hard on Stack", but if it is as simple as that I'd advocate leading with this kind of clarification any time folks ask for "mechanics" changes to Arqade. To folks that are not familiar with the Stack backend, the limitations are probably not obvious. As you can see, I also advocate using "people power" when changing the mechanics is hard. Much of the distributed moderation model of Stack already assumes such a model.
    – EBongo
    May 18 '13 at 17:36

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