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I had a clarification question on Can a creature use both its melee and ranged natural attacks during a full attack? so I left a comment which actually helped me formulate an answer. On writeup and review of the question over the last two days, I noticed there were 10 or so comments on the ticket (question).

When I went back to respond to some feedback on my answer, there were 0 (on the question, the comments on my answer were there).

This really surprised me since the question comment I asked actually helped me answer the question, so I assumed it was valuable (maybe I'm wrong?).

Regardless, is it bad form to ask why it was deleted (in another comment)?

I did read Why are site comments being deleted? and I don't believe it answers my Q but I wanted to semi-tangentially note that while the first answer bashes mxyzplk specifically a bit, one thing I've noticed is he generally posts why he removed a bunch of comments when he does so. As does SevenSidedDie. Not trying to suck up but at least that'd potentially prevent this question from being relavent if everyone did that regularly.

Thoughts appreciated.

PS: I am pretty sure there's a level of rep which lets you see more details but I think this question is still pertinent for folks that don't have that or are ignorant of that detail.

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    \$\begingroup\$ FYI, there's no level of rep which lets you see anything extra about comments. That's strictly a moderator thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Mar 2 '17 at 22:37
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The comments were all deleted because there were 10 of them and none needed to stay. In your case, you got an answer to your question, so you could go write an answer - so they were obsolete. The others were answers in comments and tangents.

On big comment threads if they seem to be going somewhere (debating a point) I'll move them to chat, but delete otherwise.

We don't leave comments for all deletions. First, that would lead to the heat death of the universe. Second, we delete hundreds of comments a month and there's not enough time. Third, having gotten crap about it in the meta q you link, we are more reluctant to leave comments because it riles up the rubes. So we pick and choose when to instruct and when to sift a big thread for gold.

I agree with your answer by the way, a stat block is not a "table" and that line looks like every other monster with ranged and melee options.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I appreciate your explaination of that particular thread, does it infer the answer generally is "everytime I wonder, post in meta"? (as opposed to a questioning comment?). Or maybe, "you can comment but we won't necessarily tell you"? As far as the particular comment of mine deleted, you're right, I was helped so it was obsolete for me but maybe it'd help someone else. That's why I was surprised. Greatly appreciate your time and effort FTR. \$\endgroup\$ – joedragons Mar 3 '17 at 16:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would generally encourage not asking, because the answer is almost always obvious given our comment policy. We don't leave comments because they "might help someone else", if it merited editing into the question instead of being a one-off response to you it should have been by the OP. The best answer you're going to get was "it got flagged and/or in my judgement it was time for it to go," based on all the criteria in all the other meta Qs about comments (subject, votes, timeliness, presence in a mob of comments...). Ask here if you really really really need to know. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Mar 4 '17 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @joedragons I have learned on SE to take any comment I find to be helpful and copy, then paste, it into a .txt file as soon as I have the "aha, that's a good point" response to the comment. Saves me the "aw nuts" when a comment thread is eventually deleted. See this answer for how it helped me in one case. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 6 '17 at 15:27
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Yeah, it's bad form. Unless there's a good reason for a comment not to be deleted (there almost never is), it's kinda bad form to ask about it. It makes it look like you don't really get how comments work. Comments aren't supposed to stay around, ideally (almost) every comment should be deleted shortly after its posting, having served its purpose.

Let's say you post a request for clarification (a totally valid use of a comment). Ideally, the thing the request is posted on is edited by it's author and is no longer unclear. Probably they ask you in a comment if the problem is resolved. You say it's much better. Ideally at this point both parties delete their comments, but in actuality usually at least one party doesn't. Eventually someone helpful comes along and flags as obsolete, and mods come and delete them for you (you lazy comment-litterer ;P)

Let's say you add additional important information to a question or answer in a comment. Ideally the poster agrees that that information is important and relevant, and incorporates it into their question or answer, respectively. At that point the poster flags your comment as obsolete and it's nuked.

Now, Let's say you post one of the above comments and before anyone responds to it, it's deleted. What should you do?

Well, in the second case, it's probable that someone decided your supposedly helpful and relevant additional information was actually 'not constructive', and at least one mod agreed. Sometimes they'll leave you a comment letting you know why they thought it non-constructive, but other times they won't, and they don't have any particular obligation to do so. In any case, your information has been processed and you should move on.

In the first case, perhaps the poster decided that their post is clear enough already and again hit you with a 'non-constructive' flag. Or maybe you meant to be requesting an explanation but they felt it was too flame-bait-y, that is, 'too chatty'. In any case, again, you should move on.

All this isn't to say that there's never a good reason to talk about deleted comments. Deletion of meta comments, for example, might be worth talking about, because meta comments are different and valuable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also sometimes comments are funny. Funny comments are special and cool and we hope the mods don't delete them but we don't complain when the mods do unless it turns into some sort of systematic Anti-Fun campaign, which it won't unless we elect a bunch of fun-hating ogres. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Mar 4 '17 at 7:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ The line between 'funny' and 'I thought that was funny but it's totally not' is a thin one, and we tend to go by votes when deciding to keep that kind of comment. So if you thought you had a funny but no one else did, it goes bye bye too. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Mar 6 '17 at 16:07
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How to capture comments without relying on comments remaining in place

@joedragons: I have learned on SE sites to take any comment I find to be helpful and do the following:

  1. Copy it and then paste it into a .txt file file as soon as I have the "aha, that's a good point" response to the comment.

  2. Use it, and credit it when I feel that is warranted, when I can finally get around to writing that answer.

This saves me the "aw nuts" feeling when a comment thread is eventually deleted. See this answer for how it helped me in one case.

It's also OK for a user to ping a mod (flag on the post, or in chat) to say they thought a comment was useful but it was removed before they could incorporate it, and could a mod retrieve it for them? That also has the benefit of highlighting where a comment removal was too hasty, which helps mods adjust their judgment of when to remove them. (credit to @SevenSidedDie♦

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    \$\begingroup\$ In such cases it's also OK for a user to ping a mod (flag on the post, or in chat) to say they thought a comment was useful but it was removed before they could incorporate it, and could we retrieve it for them. That also has the benefit of highlighting where a comment removal was too hasty, which helps us adjust our judgement of when to remove them. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 6 '17 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I have added that to my answer, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 6 '17 at 16:38

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