1

Also tech support questions in general.

I've been a member of this site for some time and these questions seem to be common and often completely useless. We've all seen them- usually along the lines of "Help, Minecraft isn't working" with varying levels of information.

Even the better ones tend to turn into an endless back and forth in the comments where people ask for info and suggest the obvious until the OP leaves and/or the question gets closed due to "Unclear what you're asking".

These questions typically only give answers relevant to the asker rather than to anyone else, often don't fit the Q&A format and are best asked on the Minecraft forums anyway.

Is there an example of a "good" 'Minecraft won't start' question anywhere?

12

It's been a while since we had a "there are a lot of bad X questions can we ban all X questions?" meta.

The central points in favor of mass burnination here (and generally most times we have a meta of this type) seem to be:

  • There are a lot of these type of questions
  • Many are low quality
  • Often they are closed
  • The problems and their answers are frequently unique
  • There are other potential places to find this information

I can understand that seeing similar questions on a daily basis can be frustrating, especially when they're hard to answer or many come from people who don't quite understand how to properly ask a question.

However, I feel like this list of attributes indicates a few of things:

  • These types of issues are common and likely to (re)occur
  • There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, many times the answer may grow from a common root but require specific expertise
  • This type of problem generally occurs to inexperienced users
  • The other potential places on the internet aren't adequately solving the problem(s) or organizing the solutions in a way that is generally helpful

These all seem like areas where the SE network is strong. A lot of these are the motivating factors for the origins of the SE network.

Dealing with questions asked by inexperienced users that often repeat bits of questions asked by other inexperienced users is a part of life on a Q&A site. Inexperienced users are always going to ask questions that get closed as unclear. There is no amount of banning that will make it go away. The amount of ignorance and tl;dr on the internet is effectively infinite.

My suggestion is that we not burn things because we're tired of them and want them to stop repeating. Burning things does not prevent them from repeating.

  • 2
    Perhaps burning them doesn't make them stop, but damn if it's not satisfying every now and then. At the same time, tech support has always been a problematic thing here at Arqade. Sometimes, it works. Most of the time, it doesn't. – Frank Jul 16 '14 at 17:19
1

First thing i would like to say is that the idea that these answers only help the specific user isn't correct, on a few occasions i have had to look at these questions to find answers for myself so they shouldn't all be banned.

Instead of simply banning them could we create a template for the questions that would improve the quality e.g.

Version:

Server/Client:

Device Type:

Link to Error Log:

Screenshot:

Issue: "This should be clear and concise to explain at what point the issue occurs, whether it happens to other versions of the game etc."

System Spec:

The bold fields should be mandatory so that we have all the information we require to at be able to start answering straight away without asking the same questions we always have to. If someone doesn't comply with this then their question should be put on hold and they can be given a link to this format instead of the barrage of comments usually generated by these.

Also the title of the question should be more specific at least stating which version of minecraft isn't working

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