I am talking about this question: Why do the tiers of classes change so little regardless of what additional material is used. I am aware that it already generated another meta question here, but my question is about what to do with this specific question and not about what precedent to set for the future.

Should the question be edited/closed or should we just let it as it is?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's tangential here, but I don't understand this post's use of "political direction" in that context. What does that mean? \$\endgroup\$ May 31, 2017 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not so sure I understand the downvotes on the question itself. Do we want to send the message it isn't even okay to ask what to do about questions where the community is somewhat split? \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 4, 2017 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


The Question should be left open

The three questions that are all related:

  • "Why do the tiers of classes change so little regardless of what additional material is used?"

  • "What reasons has Paizo had for not changing the core classes' tiers?"

  • "What reasons do the Pathfinder developers have for maintaining the original power discrepancies between classes?"

    are all, at their core, appropriate questions for the site. Whatever the motives behind asking the question, the questions are all, at least in theory, answerable.

Rant questions should be distinguished by primarily Content, Not Tone

The original question, before the edits, had a ranty tone, if nothing else. That should be avoided and removed since it drives away good answers. The question may have needed to be closed before the "rantiness" was edited away. However, the question is not "____ sucks, am I right?", nor is it a disguised version of that kind of question.

The question has several potential answers, such as

  • "Paizo has changed class tiers with supplementary material" (frame challenge)

  • "Paizo believes in preserving the feel of 3.5" (not a frame challenge)

  • "Paizo is unaware of the problem" (as one of the current answer states)

  • or even "Paizo's adventures are balanced for encounters where versatility rarely matters as much" (Another potential non-frame challenge answer).

I think a good rule of thumb is this: If there are multiple good potential answers that are not frame-challenges, the question is not a rant question. The only really good answers to rant questions are frame-challenges or no answer at all. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb (rules as worded questions usually have one correct answer), but those exceptions should be obvious.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Footnote: The question as it currently stands should be left open. No comment about the question before editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    May 31, 2017 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a frame challenge among the current answers, and it has been rejected by the OP ("weirdly asserting that the gap between mundane combatants and spellcasters in Pathfinder is less than in 3.5, which I'm pretty sure we can all agree is false"), so apparently that's not the indented purpose of this question. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1, 2017 at 12:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's the risk with frame challenges, that they'll be received poorly by the asker and the site. That's not necessarily a problem with the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 1, 2017 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see a contradiction between your last comment and the sentence in bold in your answer. Can you explain me how these two statements can cohabit? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2, 2017 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme The point is that all of those answers are conceivable answers if you consider the question from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know and is interested in finding out. It is not necessary that all of those answers actually be true for the particular case asked about, such as in this case your answer which is considered to be factually inaccurate by a majority of those who have taken the time to read and vote. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 2, 2017 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme There's no contradiction; because possibly good frame-challenges to a question exist does not make the question bad. If good frame-challenges are the only good answers that exist, then the question might be bad or a rant question. I can understand how the wording might be confusing, though; I'm not prohibiting frame-challenges as answers with that statement. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WrongOnTheInternet: In that case I simply can't agree with you. It is definitely possible to have a rant question like "This new game is stupid, and the book cost way too much for its quality. What is the medical condition of the author to be so stupid?" with an answer quoting tweets from some people who don't like the author and rant on him that ends up considered as "good". The question would still be a rant. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6, 2017 at 8:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme There's a reason this is a rule of thumb, but I very much doubt an answer like that would be considered good by the majority of the site. The question is off topic as well, since it's about the mental condition of an author and not about RPGs. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 6, 2017 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WrongOnTheInternet and the question about tier fixedness relies on the same kind of rant as the question about mental conditions. It is heavily loaded, basically: "Paizo is destroying its own game, why?". There are many questions with a positive score which are closed for being inappropriate, so your argument about that doesn't hold either. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2017 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme My personal opinion is A) Tiers are a real thing, and B) I'm totally cool with classes in 3.PF having that variable power/versatility. Tiers are an apparent balance issue; pointing to an apparent issue and asking why it isn't changed might have the answers 1) It isn't an issue, 2) the issue brings bigger positives than negatives, and 3) The designers aren't aware of the issue (which is apparently the case, based on the commentary in the accepted answer). Saying "This is an issue, why is it here?" is very different from saying "Why are the designers destroying their game?!" \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 7, 2017 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Except that the question wasn't actually considering the possibility that it wasn't an issue. The proof is that the OP reacted so defensively to the answer stating that. You seem to keep ignoring that fact. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2017 at 8:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme It looks to me like OP rejected the answer for not backing it up to the question's specifications, albeit in a way that comes across as abrasive. I'm not seeing an element of rejecting "Oh, tiers don't matter to some players" because that wasn't what the question was about. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 8, 2017 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WrongOnTheInternet: That's because the implicit question specifications were that the answer should retain the OP's opinion. To sum up the question is "X is true, so why is X true?", the answer is "X is not true, for these reason, and there are material evidences of that", and OP's comment is "I asked for serious specifications, and any evidence that states that X is not true can't be considered serious". Just read it again if you don't believe me. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2017 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme I've read those comments several times. OP doesn't say "any evidence that state X is not true can't be considered serious", they say, "You've failed to show how your evidence supports your conclusion." \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Jun 9, 2017 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WrongOnTheInternet: his comment contains the exact sentence: "this doesn't seem to be citing dev commentary or anything so much as weirdly asserting that the gap between mundane combatants and spellcasters in Pathfinder is less than in 3.5, which I'm pretty sure we can all agree is false." when my answer cites 5 different sources from my claim. Some of them may be of a lower quality, but that's far away from "doesn't seem to be citing dev commentary or anything". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 10, 2017 at 12:02

The question should be closed, for these reasons:

First, the title is not the real question. The title is:

Why do the tiers of classes change so little regardless of what additional material is used

and the questions bolded in the content are:

What reasons has Paizo had for not changing the core classes' tiers?

What reasons do the Pathfinder developers have for maintaining the original power discrepancies between classes?

Considering the tags the title indicates that the question is about how each additional Pathfinder material is changing the tier list. A phenomenon is identified ("additional materials in Pathfinder doesn't make the tier-list change"), it's on-topic because related to RPGs.

Then by reading the core of the question it shifts to: "I know the developers are trying to do that, what is their motivation?". I agree a small change in meaning is not always avoidable but here it could be easily corrected by editing the title to something like "What is the motivation of Paizo behind preserving the tier-list?" which would be less misleading.

Secondly the whole question is imputing motives without at all considering that maybe its premise could be wrong. I presented an answer with tangible elements that contradict it and the reaction of the OP is "I'm pretty sure we can all agree is false", without presenting any element in this direction.

Finally, I think these bolded questions are simply not very nice. Maybe not un-nice enough for requiring anything, but it adds up with its other issues.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for revising to clarify. I agree the question body may express a loaded question or leading question. If the title doesn't correspond to the question body, practice would be to revise the title to make it more correctly representative of what the question is about. It is the case that sometimes a poor title can be confusing. \$\endgroup\$ May 31, 2017 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I pretty much agree with you. I don't find that question to come from a genuine place of "wanting to understand," it's just a critique posed as a question and the leading answer has certainly followed that lead. It assumes that tiers = balance and other things that are only the groupthink of a specific subset of gamers. But as for what to do - I commented and used my close vote, now I'm just ignoring it. Not much else to do if more people want it open. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    May 31, 2017 at 12:26

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