Game recommendation applies to both the recommending of games and the recommending of products for games, such as tools. The recommending of game systems in particular is the basis for our game-recommendation guidelines/banner. Do these guidelines need to be followed on other sorts of recommendation questions other than system recommendations? If someone asks, for example, whether to purchase Complete Psionic or Expanded Psionics Handbook for their 3.5 game, must I have actual play experience with Complete Psionic to answer or is "Complete Psionic is one of the worst books written for 3.5 [citation][citation][citation] (none of which cite actual play directly, but rather cite thorough rules analysis, balance analysis, rpg theories, etc). The Expanded Psionics Handbook is one of the best books written for 3.5 [similar citations]. You should get the Expanded Psionics Handbook." an acceptable answer, since it's not a recommendation for a game.
Do these guidelines need to be followed on other sorts of recommendation questions other than system recommendations?
No. Our game recommendation guidelines never really got genericised. It is not universal. It applies spottily to some things other than the recommendation of actual games, but not to all recommendations.
What applies to all recommendation questions is good subjective guidelines. Our game-rec rules just translate these with some extra specifics. The good subjective guidelines are the one that carry the famous Back It Up principle, i.e. our iron-clad rule you must be able to say you've seen it done, or else back your statements up with a conclusive reference.
We've had some discussion on the generic-ness of our game rec rules. Here's the results:
- Has [system-recommendation] grown too big for its britches? (December 2012). The most conclusive answer in here opposes a genericised recommendation tag. Low support here for the rules being genericised.
- Can we add an adventure-recommendation tag? (December 2013) has an assertion game-rec should apply for published adventures too. We've taken up that practice.
- Let's make [game-recommendation] actually be for recommendations of games (February 2014) has a strongly supported assertion that the game-rec rules and tag should not be generic.
- What are our requirements for tool recommendation questions and answers? (March 2015) asserted that the game-rec rules apply but was never heavily supported. (As the author, I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time, I could have just referenced GSBS.) To date no tool-recommendation questions have our blue game recommendations rules notice.
The community has never expressed strong support for universalising the game-rec rules. Historically stronger support seems to be for not doing that. Game-rec rules have been extended into one place only: adventure modules and other published game material expansions. The important bits are already standard procedure: back it up, don't be too broad, don't ask a question that's entirely opinion based, etc, and we don't need the game-rec rules to implement those.
Yes and no. Yes, officially, game-rec covers anything recommended for a game, not just the recommendation of games themselves. This includes everything under the tool-recommendation tag as well (which is just a tagging convenience due to volume, not a separate site-rules jurisdiction).
However, in practice the tool-recs aren't a problem like other game-recs are. Are they full of great answers? Not usually. They're usually pretty crappy list questions, actually. But in practice, we don't see the same massive partisanship and popularity-voting on those questions. So in practice, they're benevolently neglected as regards the game-rec guidelines.
They still get closed when they're too-broad list questions, mostly a matter of opinion, or insufficiently specified (i.e., unclear) though. Sometimes they're slow to be closed, as the community waits to see evidentially if they're going to be a good or bad question. That's the thing though: the normal SE processes tend to work fine, so those processes are left to take care of it as normal.
So yes, de jure they are under the game-rec guidelines.
But de facto they don't get the guidelines as zealously applied to them, so long as they don't make a nuisance of themselves.
The game-recommendation tag applies to any recommendation question, per earlier discussions like Has [system-recommendation] grown too big for its britches?. In fact, we changed the tag from system-recommendation to game-recommendation to genericize it.
Note that this guidance is really just a codification of general SE best practices for an edge case where people seem really tempted to ignore them.
As a result, no, personal speculative opinions are not a valid answer. Neither is citing other peoples' personal speculative opinions. Only experience, personal or documented on behalf of someone else, is proper support for a subjective question. I'm not going to bother linking Good Subjective, Bad Subjective again, but read it, it applies to all subjective content on this SE. Of course, where there is objective content (e.g. this generates a higher DPS), that is not subjective and doesn't fall under that requirement.