Admittedly a bit slower that we’d have preferred (our bad), this is a continuance of rule intent discussion. (See why I’m avoiding saying revisit below).
As a brief summary, questions asking for designer intent were banned for seemingly inevitably leading to speculative answers. As that discussion was framed towards how to save the question group, a separate canonical post was made (and later added to FAQ). It was originally posted declaration style and accrued 17 votes before being split into more proper Q&A style. With time an opposing answer was posted which accrued slightly higher score than the accepted answer (29/-11 vs 30/-16). And the original question where the decision was intended to be had higher scores (44/-11 for accepted answer, no real opposing answer) but was closed (pointing to the canon Q&A). So votes have ended up a bit of a mess, pointing to the need to revisit.
However, there is another point which needs to be brought up at the same time, which leads me to not call it just a revisit. The question type was originally deemed off topic in response to a specific problem, which was that explicitly asking for designers reasons for specific rules lead to rampant speculation (required increased moderation). However, with time it seems sometimes any possibility that designer reasons could be relevant caused closure or at least close votes. And there’s a bit of a thing with History of Gaming questions.
As a highlight, it seemed sometimes the mere use of the word “why” would be enough to garner close votes. Why thus getting read as “why was this designed this way” as opposed to “what does this achieve within the system”. This suggests we need a bit of back to basics together, and agreement on how to read and evaluate questions for this particular concern. And this back to basics is useful as part of (or preceding) the revisit because we need clarity in what we’re considering the topicality of.
I’ll note that we don’t have a specific closure reason for designer reasons. This leads to questions either being closed as “opinion based” or “off-topic” with a custom reason (usually whichever got cast first). A consequence of this is that asker feedback is either conflicting or highly dependent on comments explaining things well. A custom close reason might be a good reason to explain the off topic reason better to both askers and close voters. Whether to ask for an additional slot or to rework some of our existing reasons is probably best left for its own discussion, as might well the full scope of the wording, but I’d like to offer it to answers here.
Outcomes for this discussion
With the aim of clarity, I’d like to give guidance towards the intended scope of discussion. This is not intended as extra rules for the discussion.
- We’re† open to the possibility of unbanning designer reasons. Such an answer should include the guidance for such questions and answers so they can be answered and curated properly. See the previous discussions for the issues that do come with the question type.
- We’re open to refocusing the actual practice to the actual issue.
This would be keeping the question type off-topic, but hopefully reducing the collateral. An answer should more clearly identify the problematic question type, and give good guidance for how to navigate around this.
Since the current state of the FAQ is a bit messy, it would be good for answers to give at least an outline for what the new FAQ should cover. (The existing “how can I ask instead meta is quite good for this/may be a good starting point/include)
- We’re open to expanding the scope of designer reasons. Such an answer should clearly identify the problems for which the expanded scope is needed, which questions need to be made off topic and an outline for ongoing guidance. Though, I’m mostly including this for completeness, I have very little expectation that it is the prevailing opinion.
†: This is the moderators speaking as moderators on behalf of the community. As much as possible we'd like for this to be read as the community or the discussion being open for these possibilities and that this discussion not being an exercise in convincing the moderators.