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As our site evaluation showed, we have a few question topics that need clearing up.

What are these topics and how can we improve them?

Are there tags or subjects that need more attention on the site?

Are there games we don't cover well enough?

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The perception around the gaming community is that rpg stackexchange is largely weighted towards D&D 4e. Largely because of the sheer number of D&D 4e related questions that the inital user see. It is a bit unfair as questions for other editions and games get promptly and accurately answered.

Something on the site that explains the situation and reminds newcomers that it has been useful for a wide variety of RPGs would probably help a lot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I cannot agree more. We could do a drive/competition about either other systems or system agnostic questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion Apr 19 '12 at 13:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the long run the current edition of D&D is always going to have the largest number of questions. What I was getting after is to make sure that the site's main web pages reflects that other RPGs get questions answered as well. \$\endgroup\$ – RS Conley Apr 19 '12 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I, for one, have no interest whatsoever in D&D so anything that focus on other games is good from my point of view. Of course, I am no advocating any detriment of D&D questions. I just don't care about them... \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion Apr 19 '12 at 14:30
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Further to Rob's observation about 4e swamping our front page and the perception that creates for visitors:

I would love to see a public-facing, non-logged in page in parallel to our main page that hides question with certain (community- or mod-chosen) tags. It's easy for me to see that this site is useful to non-4e players with all the [dnd-4e] tags on my ignore list and the "hide ignored tags" option on, but new and casual visitors who never make an account will never get that view. A parallel front page that shows off all our non-4e content would go a long way to turning those visitors into repeat visitors or even users.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about the various tag pages, such as GM Techniques? \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Apr 30 '12 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon Suffers two problems: not easily discoverable like a front page, and only shows the question for one tag at a time instead of the questions for all tags except for [dnd-4e]. We can't tell unconvinced visitors to look for specific tags because, by definition, they've already left the site before we even know they're disappointed. Right now our front page looks like the "D&D 4e Stack Exchange". I'm suggesting a big, obvious alternate front page that shows that we're more than just D&D 4e. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 1 '12 at 6:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify "not easily discoverable like a front page?" Are you concerned with missing UI, SEO? \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, for all tags except dnd-4e, you can use this URL: http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/-dnd-4e \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a start! Now if we had a visitor-discoverable alias URL that was shorter we'd have something. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 1 '12 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ RE discoverable: Basic web site design principles. If the visitor types in "rpg.stackexchange.com" or follows a link, there should be a big obvious way to find what they're interested in, or have it be right there in front of them already. We don't have that for non-4e players. Right now our site looks like "D&D 4e Stack Exchange", not "RPG Stack Exchange", contrary to our name. This does not pull in visitors who aren't looking for 4e and gives the impression we think RPG = 4e. Those people leave and never come back. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 1 '12 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Mmm... It's up to the devs in this case, but I'm not a big fan of this sort of thing. For starters, our front page currently only has nine questions tagged dnd-4e. So if people aren't finding what they want, we can't just say "oh, 4e." We'd have to look at including Pathfinder, 3.5, and perhaps all the other dnd-* tags as well (or whatever set of games are "too popular"). The other issue i have is that it seems like it would attract more people who "don't like D&D" rather than people who "like <insert game here>." \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem is that the public perception is, for whatever reason, that we're a 4e site. It doesn't matter if that's accurate or not, it's something that needs addressing. Quite possibly the front page isn't the place to fix this—but then where? (And, why would making the site more obviously inclusive of other games to a visitor's brief impression attract 4e haters?) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 1 '12 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ My understanding of your proposal is that you would like a large button that automatically includes dnd-4e in the ignore list. "Opt out of seeing 4e" if you will. If I'm a player of Dread, or a generalist GM, or what have you such a button doesn't help me find questions that interest me. All it does is help me not see 4e questions. Adding such a button to everyone's UI is not inclusive; it is exclusive by definition. And while 4e can likely take it, I don't know that it would gain us much. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Certainly, we should fight the perception that we're a 4e-exclusive site. But I think we should do that by highlighting the awesome stuff we have, not by hiding 4e. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 17:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ How can we highlight that to people who never click past the main page, let alone make an account? (Not a rhetorical question.) I'm most definitely not talking about users with accounts, so no, not a "automatically add [dnd-4e] to the ignore list" button. I'm suggesting a page that highlights everything else, accessible and discoverable by non-user visitors. It needn't even mention 4e if the right name can be found. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 1 '12 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ When I said "automatically add [dnd-4e] to the ignore list" I meant a functionality identical to having dnd-4e on the ignore list, but for anonymous users. Is that not what you were proposing? \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon May 1 '12 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon No, that would be supressing 4e content for all anonymous users, which would be a disservice to those who do come looking for 4e answers. Instead, a parallel front page, maybe entitle "Hiddem Gems" or something else that says that it's for showing off all the other cool games that we have answers for. It could be for all but the Big Two games, showing that we do want to support more than just the big, well-marketed games like 4e (and maybe Pathfinder). The key is that it's an alternate front page that visitors could easily find. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 2 '12 at 17:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ In terms of functionality, one of those slide-down banners saying something like, "Looking for smaller-press games? Click here!" for new visitors might be the right mix of obvious and not being obnoxious to people who are here for a Big, Popular game. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 2 '12 at 17:46

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