15

The question I have in mind, in particular, is this one. There are arguments being made that this question is off topic because it requires developer insight in order to have a 100% authoritative answer. Does this fall under the category of developer intent or not?

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    The cited question seems like a "what if" question. While the scenario seems very unlikely, a game as popular as LoL may very well have several games that ended this way. It's like asking "What if 2 players hit/shoot each other at the same time in [insert FPS game]". This information might not be easy to find and is difficult to test alone. Experts (which is what Arqade claims to be) may have experienced that scenario several times and can easily offer an answer. – Batophobia Sep 8 '14 at 17:46
22

This is not developer intent.

As we have discussed before, answerability is a horrible metric for whether or not a question should be considered on-topic or not. In this case, without scouring the game code, there is no way to prove anything that those answering the question are saying, fair enough. However, this doesn't suddenly make it about developer intent. The question asks about a game mechanic, and how it works. It does not ask why it works, nor does it ask what the developer was thinking when implementing it.

Sure we can't prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt, but we can make a reasonable assessment based on experience, and the knowledge we can uncover. But that does not make it off-topic.

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    Answerability, yeah, bad metric. Reasonably testable, within our skillset, not so much. Not really applicable to the whole developer intent aspect, though. – Frank Aug 29 '14 at 4:24
  • @Frank What exactly is the difference between "reasonably testable" and "answerable"? I'm confused. – Unionhawk Aug 29 '14 at 4:38
  • Any question about a game can be answered. Eventually. No matter how obscure or trivial. But some questions, as the one mentioned in the question here, require an extreme amount of effort to even begin trying to answer it. The one we're discussing is easily into the, "not reasonably testable" category with no problem at all. – Frank Aug 29 '14 at 4:48
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    Shockingly, I disagree with @Frank. There is no restriction on the site that questions must be "reasonably testable" to answer. That's another way of saying we should VTC questions that are "too hard". No. That said, the question is basically a thought experiment and worthy of downvotes. – Sterno Aug 29 '14 at 11:49
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    @Sterno I agree, downvote all you like, but the question is 100% on-topic. – Unionhawk Aug 29 '14 at 14:29
  • @Sterno In fact I strongly encourage people to downvote such questions. There are a lot of game mechanics questions that ultimately cannot be answered in a reasonable way. The less reputation people get for it, the clearer it will be. – Zibbobz Aug 29 '14 at 17:55
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    It occurred to me: If the question was less, "Can I make a draw happen?" and more, "What other end game states are there?", I'd have absolutely no issue with the question whatsoever. It broadens the question slightly, but is much more capable of being answered. – Frank Aug 29 '14 at 23:10
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    @Frank How is "Is there an end game state other than win or loss?" different from "Is it possible to have a draw?" – Unionhawk Aug 30 '14 at 1:21
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    One posits a specific game state, that may or may not exist, and it is incredibly difficult to prove a negative. The other turns it around, and makes it possible to point out any evidence of any other states that exist. Goes from proving a negative (if it doesn't exist), to showing the possibility of other states, based on what information we can find. – Frank Aug 30 '14 at 2:47
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    @Frank If two states are already known to be "win" and "loss", it stands to reason that "draw" is the only possible alternative state. – Unionhawk Aug 30 '14 at 16:44
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    There's also stalemate, to my understanding of LoL. I don't know how that gets triggered, but that's also an end-game state. That's the point, though; rather than attempt to prove something that may or may not exist, find the possibilities that do exist. – Frank Aug 30 '14 at 16:46
-10

The question is asking : "Have Riot's developers intended for a draw to be possible?". Regardless of how it happens in the game, that's the question. That the asker made up a "Imagine if" scenario doesn't change what is asked.

So it is does fall under the category of developer intent. Unless it was intended to happen, it won't.

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    By this logic, any question about any game mechanic at all can be deconstructed to "Have the developers intended for this to happen in this way?" – Unionhawk Aug 30 '14 at 17:17
  • That's a straw man. The vast majority of questions on game mechanics are about documented features, not some unknown one. – Jonathan Drapeau Sep 2 '14 at 11:54
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    A feature is documented as soon as someone writes about it. Just because no one has taken the time to experiment with something yet doesn't mean that the topic becomes taboo. – Koviko Sep 2 '14 at 12:37
  • A feature is not documented the moment someone writes about it. Not because we just have a question on draws in League that it is now a documented feature. The vast majority of questions on mechanics are about skills combo, skills/passive combo results, etc. All those things are usually documented to some extend within the game or by the game's manual. Some are about different ending and how to get them, which are not always documented but have achievement or other things related to them. – Jonathan Drapeau Sep 2 '14 at 12:42
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    And now we're back to answerability. We can't and shouldn't judge a question based on whether or not an answer exists. – Unionhawk Sep 2 '14 at 14:09
  • Then we shouldn't close questions when they are about developers intent... but we do. – Jonathan Drapeau Sep 2 '14 at 14:15
  • It's possible to ask a question that is only developer intent. For example, "Is this a bug?" Or "What did the developers intend?" Those questions aren't answerable without developer knowledge. This question is answerable without developer knowledge -- in fact, someone answered it. Note also that if the answer had been yes rather than no, then the answer could be as simple as a screenshot. – Brythan Sep 9 '14 at 1:13
  • Yes then we should revisit the "Close questions about developers intent" as we have a double standard right now, some are ok, some are not. – Jonathan Drapeau Sep 9 '14 at 12:03

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