I asked a question about D&D 5th Ed, but since it has only just been announced, details are scarce, and so it doesn't seem to have a definitive answer at the moment. However, more information should be released in the next few months such as to make it an answerable question.

How should we deal with this situation? The problem isn't unique to RPG.SE, but is presumably also present in other SE sites (such as Gaming.SE and SciFi.SE) - how do they deal with this type of question?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I've now looked through some meta discussions from Gaming.SE and SciFi.SE about future releases, release dates and rumours. The general consensus is that they are generally not very useful. Some of the arguments don't entirely apply here, but I think the best point came from Jeff Atwood:

Consider, too, how utterly useless such questions are in time.

Who in 2010 cares about a question in 2005 about the release date of, say, Quake 4?

I think a similar thing applies here. As soon as the play test is over and D&D 5e is released, the question will be useless outside of historical interest.

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I think this site featuring Q&A about playtesting and game release could be far more constructive than release dates for Games etc. –  Pureferret Jan 9 '12 at 21:28
    
This case does differ from the general "release dates" and "rumours" questions specifically referred to, but the time-localisation still applies. Questions about play testing in general would be useful, maybe not so much for specific game systems. However, as you pointed out in chat, there may be some aspect of historical significance or interest. –  Aether Jan 9 '12 at 21:32
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I agree that these are 'too localized' - and we don't want a land rush of people asking 200 5e factoid questions that will eventually be answerable (what classes will be in 5e? What races will be in 5e?). –  mxyzplk Jan 9 '12 at 22:33
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I think this is one of the few times a community wiki would work, allowing/encouraging multiple people to contribute to the answers as more information develops.

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We should consider this - we went from CW-happy to "CW is anathema!" Perhaps we should consider valid uses for one, and some CW about the upcoming 5e release may be a good idea from a couple different perspectives (prevent re-asking, SEO). –  mxyzplk Jan 9 '12 at 22:50
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I think making a question like this CW does not address what I see as the main problem with these questions, which is that answers are, in almost all cases, purely speculative. (Even answers based on content directly from, say, Wizards would still be essentially "As of X date, ...." I think it is better for the site to focus on post-release questions. –  Dave DuPlantis Jan 10 '12 at 14:15
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The question linked to by Aether is, imho, a question best answered by Wizards. We coule speculate but really the best source is going to be on Wizard's website. And even then, like Aether said, after a certain amount of time the question and answer are useless.

Now, in other specific cases I'm ok with a question staying open if it doesn't have an immediate answer but will be useful in a long term case.

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