We should probably not be closing as duplicate this way.
I've checked with a Code Review moderator about how they handle this. (Code review is currently my measuring stick for what makes successful iterative review.) They specifically do not close version 1 as a duplicate of version 2.
They do require version 2 to link back to version 1, which puts version 2 in the links sidebar of version 1. Sometimes a user will also edit version 1 to point forward to version 2.
They don't close as duplicate for two reasons:
- Duplicates silently redirect users to the duplicate target, at least for anonymous visitors (which are ≥90% of our site traffic).
- They're not actually the same questions, they don't have the same content and responses.
Point 1 there is the main concern. It sounds like it's helpful but it actually presents a problem. The pragmatic usefulness of a homebrew review question comes in two ways:
- We help the user improve their homebrew.
- We also build up a knowledge base of reference on better understanding how to craft successful homebrew through an accumulation of analysis, deconstruction, and feedback. Speaking as a homebrewer for a different non-TTRPG game, it's this accumulation of analysis that helps me learn how to build better homebrew content because I can learn from what other content did right or wrong.
Duplicates disrupt #2: if users get silently redirected away from earlier versions (without even know it's happened) it shuts away feedback and makes it harder to see and access. Someone clicking a link to version 1 (with tons of useful feedback) gets forwarded on silently to version 2 (which is much improved, but has very little feedback) and doesn't get to see the version 1 that lead to those improvements in version 2. As a user unfamiliar with our site they don't even know how to get back to version 1, and don't even know they were forwarded away from it and that there is a version 1 to reach.
This means the knowledge base we'd be otherwise building up is mostly inaccessible and hidden away. That's a problem we create by closing as duplicate.