My point is that almost every answer to a question is opinion based. it will be very rare to find a single answer to any question and it is always what the "answerer" thinks is best.

Many other stack sites are almost completely opinion based.

So how can you distinguish this to other questions that are specific but could have a range of answers.

I am not talking about

what is the best gun?

but more like

What mods could be used to get the result i want?

what is really wrong with the latter, i thought this site was about helping people but more and more i see questions on hold or closed because there are users that seem to spend all there time just doing this. and some of these i would love to answer but i can't. Or i have asked really hoping for an answer and i can't get one.

I try to not ask these kinds of questions unless i can't find an answer somewhere else, but I much prefer the opinion of users here than anywhere else on the internet.

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    I much prefer the opinion of users here If this is the case you are talking opinion based. – Arperum Jul 10 '14 at 12:59
  • Your second question is also off-topic for being a mod-recommendation question. These are open lists that need constant updating to be kept correct. – Arperum Jul 10 '14 at 13:00
  • Related: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/q/8147/51318 – 3ventic Jul 10 '14 at 13:03
  • With Games like minecraft for instance which has probably one of the largest mod communities and there are many players who only play modded minecraft now. What is wrong with asking about mods specifically, i have read past discussions now about mod rec and it seems that it is not a reason to close a question but the question needs to be changed so that it can have an answer. Now i had a question that was mostly asking if these mods existed, i didn't want a massive list maybe just a link to a site which had a list or an example of one. How is that off topic – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:36
  • That is even worse. You've just turned it from a mod recommendation into a website recommendation. Those are completely off-topic, even worse than mod-rec. Some mod-rec is allowable, so long as there is an underlying problem that can be solved. Website recommendations don't even have that going for it. Take a look at my comment here for more details about recommendations. – Frank Jul 10 '14 at 13:40
  • Ok so i don't mean website rec, it was just a suggestion to get around the list option. – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:42
  • What i think i have discovered is that these types of questions are decided based on the opinions of the people viewing them and that there doesn't seem to be a strict rule. otherwise all mod rec would be closed and not just some. – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:43
  • @Flaunting: Because of the community run nature of the site we do run into issues where we will have inconsistent closures, where one question is closed and a near identical question will be left open. When you come across situations like this flagging the question, commenting, or even posting the question in chat can get the issue resolved (or give you an answer why the questions are different enough to justify one being closed and the other open). continued in next comment – Wipqozn Jul 11 '14 at 10:32
  • As for mod rec, the current policy is that mod recs which are asked to solve an actual problem are fine. Other mod recs, such as just looking for mods which do "fun" things (like: Is there a mod to add Unicorns to the game?) are not. We do have some users who disagree with this, and may not even be aware of our current policy on mod rec, which is why you've likely seen inconsistent behaviour with regards to closures. The division/confusion comes from the fact that we don't allowed Game Recommendation questions, and so some users think that policy extends to mod rec as well. – Wipqozn Jul 11 '14 at 10:59
  • If you want to read more above mod reds, you can do so here, here, here, and here. These posts go into what I've said above into more detail, but will give you an idea why opinions are mod rec are mixed. – Wipqozn Jul 11 '14 at 11:05

First of all You have to distinguish between Good and Bad Subjective questions. (This can be really hard sometimes)

To your 2 Example questions: The first question is too broad while the second question is a software Rec (so no chance for the second one to be on-topic). But I think the first question could be a good subjective question if it wasn't too broad.

If a question is asked you should ask yourself: Can an experienced player answer this based on facts?. If the answer is yes it is most likely a Good Subjective question. If no... Well you get it.

Bad subjective questions are usually poll questions

What's your favorite weapon

while good subjective questions could be answered based on Experience, Maths and Facts

What is the most effective weapon when facing a large group of Zombies.

Both questions are rather opinion based but the latter is more specific and an experienced player will surely know why it is the "Best" gun.

Also if the question is more specific it will also be a better subjective question. A broad subjective question is almost always bad, while a rather subjective question that specifies on a certain point in a game can be excellent.

And yes while in gaming a lot of things are really opinion based, askers and aswerers should not always only include the "How" but also the "Why".

  • This was the kind of answer that i was looking for. tbh i wish there was just a subsite which allowed for slightly more objective based questions. this allows for discussion and devolopement of ideas from experienced users. – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:50
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    @Flaunting The reason experts stick around is because the scope is kept narrow. SE isn't for discussions, and questions are actively burned for that reason. No objective answer usually means it's not something worth keeping. Not here, anyways. SE was designed to be an anti-forum, and that's the secret to their success. – Frank Jul 10 '14 at 13:52
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    @Flaunting While POB questions are not really welcome on our main site, you can still chat about them with other users in the chatroom of this site. – Jutschge Jul 10 '14 at 13:52
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    While I agree with most of this, I wouldn't put mod-rec in the same category with software-rec. Mod-recs usually pop up because the user needs to solve a problem they're facing in the game. Directly asking for a list of mods to solve it isn't the right way to ask, but that's usually very easy to fix with an edit by anyone. – 3ventic Jul 10 '14 at 13:53
  • This came about because i was asked to do that. and i did edit my question, I knew that this was something that could only be done through mods or resource packs for minecraft so i aimed the question, I didn't ask for i list i asked if they existed. I didn't care if someone just said yes they have used them so they exist. that would of answered my question – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:56
  • "I didn't care if someone just said yes" -- this proves the point. That's a horrible answer and should not be preserved in the question and answer format. It's exactly the kind of thing that should be asked in chat or on some forum site. – Brythan Jul 16 '14 at 6:09

When it comes to video games, there are many questions that are extremely objective. You yourself unfortunately don't have any, so I've taken some of the latest asked questions as examples:

I can't reach the main mission: Describes a goal (get to the main mission), and the problem when attempting it (memory not available). While we might need more information from the asker to clarify, this will have an objective answer. It probably means something was missed that needs to be done.

Skyrim gear comparison: This one might be a little bit more iffy. It's asking for a mod or option that does one specific task. It is (probably) acceptable, as the goal that is stated can have an objective answer. I personally would probably remove the mod-rec part, but that's just me being picky.

How can I order my troops to specific locations: Completely objective. Asker was watching videos, and was noticing an aspect he had not seen in-game. Unable to duplicate the feat, he asks here.

All of these questions require no opinion to answer. If there is more than one way to complete the objective, an answerer can point out all paths, and if desired, why a specific path is better. Yeah, that part is opinion-based, but that's alright.

A good rule of thumb for questions here are: Can the knowledge to answer this question be gleaned in-game (or for Steam/consoles, in their systems)? If the answer to that question is yes, then chances are good it belongs here. If not, we get into very iffy territory.

The rule of thumb breaks down when you take into account, so it's definitely not perfect. But it gives you a good general idea of what is allowed here.

  • "All of these questions require no opinion to answer" I'm sorry but that simply isn't true, as i have stated in my question, almost every solution to a question will have people saying there are other ways to do it, the answer given is often the best answer "in the opinion" of the person who wrote it. That is why we get multiple answers to questions. And that is why i love the site because i get to see different ways to solve something and learn from different people. – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:40
  • Not a single one of those requires an opinion. They can be answered without one for any of those. You can add in your opinion, and that would make the answer better, but at no point is it necessary. – Frank Jul 10 '14 at 13:42
  • The only way an opinion is not taken into account is if the person answering lists every possible solution. if he just gives the one he thinks is best that is his opinion – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:45
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    Nope. The person doesn't need to list every single solution. Can they? Yes. Do they have to? No. The objectivity comes from completing the goal. If their solution completes the goal, that's all that matters. Besides, requiring users to list every possible solution is an exercise in futility. Often, nobody knows all the solutions. – Frank Jul 10 '14 at 13:46
  • @Flaunting yes but usually a good answer to a question where there are multiple options also contains multiple options and multiple explanations. Not all options but enough to make the asker think about why something is done that way. – Jutschge Jul 10 '14 at 13:47
  • I do agree, I am just saying that ok there is different levels of opinion allowed on the website ranging from what someone thinks is the best solution to whole sites like tv&film dedicated to open ended answers. If i ask a slightly open question truly looking for help and i am specific about the result i am looking for. without looking for the "Best" of something then what is wrong with that. I see it as no different than receiving acceptable solutions to an objective question. there are still right and wrong answers – Flaunting Jul 10 '14 at 13:53

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