Wizards of the Coast offered a subscription service, years ago, called Dungeons & Dragons Insider (DDI), which offered utility much like the current D&D Beyond, in that it provided tools and content for playing the Dungeons & Dragons game to anyone willing to pony up the cash.

The DDI service has ended, and questions on the site about topics like what a good content base to start playing the game with can be have had answers making reference to it. The response to my editing the top answer has been nuanced, but negative (and I probably ought to have brought this to meta in the first place). What's to be done?

Is there an incentive to create new posts which are unlikely to become the new accepted answer (what passers-by see first when their searches bring them to the site)?

Is legacy content worth preserving outside of revision histories, in a situation where the game is still playable?

Why should helping new players take a back seat to holding a snapshot of the year 2015, when D&D Next was still fresh in everyone's minds?

From what I understand, it's discouraged to ask a new question that has the same spirit as an existing question, which is the question I would end up asking if I were given free rein: "What set of books makes a complete starter set for 4e?". Is there a way to use the StackExchange platform to handle game states that shift over the course of a decade or more, long after the original posters' interest has waned?

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are also some answers that only exist to suggest an outdated tool/service like this. What should happen with those answers? See this locked question for example, where most answers are broken. \$\endgroup\$
    – Laurel
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Link rot happens. That's by the way one of the reasons why tool recommendations are banned - tools vanish from the internet at all times.

But we also shouldn't destroy the words of the OP. That means we don't remove stuff that is no longer available, we don't add new services. We may and should replace links with live ones or archive versions.

But what about services that are gone the way of the Dodo? Well, if fixing the links is not possible, I would keep the original text as best as possible and add a date when it was true - and then add a late "<date> update: DDI is no longer available." or similar.

It might also be handled with a comment indicating the service is gone, maybe indicating to When did the Dungeons and Dragons Insider exist? - should that find an answer.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ “That’s by the way one of the reasons why tool recommendations are banned - tools vanish from the internet at all times,” is incorrect. Tool recommendations are banned because the diamond moderators at the time unilaterally decided to ban them. There is no community consensus behind banning those questions at all, much less a reason for any such consensus. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 0:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Canonical meta on tool-recs in case this brings readers newly to the issue. Beware: somehow this rabbit hole goes deep enough that here there be dragons. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 3:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Honestly, that shouldn’t be the canonical post on the subject, this one should. But mxyzplk and SSD unilaterally decided to ban these questions, and then unilaterally closed the objection to that as a “duplicate” of the announcement that such questions have been unilaterally banned. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 14:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Shopping questions are by the way banned on a stack level on stacks all but Software Recommendations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 16:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish There are other exceptions, and sites are free to decide that they are one. RPG was one such exception for a long time—and the community decision to change that exception for game-rec was taken as license to can all -rec questions by the moderators, which was far more contrary to Stack rules and principles than shopping questions are. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 17:16

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