Is it really the case that just two votes are sufficient to close a question these days?
I may not like the subject matter, but it would be a terrible thing if we can't discuss the evolution of gaming formats in a calm, qualitative way, without having degrees in data science to introduce the necessary analytics so that the question isn't "opinion-based".
There is a complete misconception about this term. To me, an opinion-based question is something like "Is coffee better than tea?" The Auto Chess question here is like "Are drones good for the future of society?" It's the kind of question which one can imagine encountering in a University Entrance Exam. Answers may display clear, logical thinking, evenhandedly discussing pros and cons, bearing in mind that we probably don't have statistical evidence.
Sometimes I think (and I apologize if I do fellow members here an injustice) that if a person doesn't like a subject, they will reach for the nearest convenient excuse to block that discussion, even if it is inappropriate.
This case is particularly egregious since it refers to a newcomer. What a nice welcome for this person! And as usual, the Hammer of Closing has been wielded without no argument as to how this particular question is "opinion-based". So ironically, without any supporting evidence, this closing decision is "just an opinion".
Glorfindel in particular I expected better of you! (You may take this as a compliment.)
EDIT: There is a big difference between a "discussion-based question" and a "discussion focused on diverse opinion" (which I read as intended as a euphemism for polarized argument). I see nothing wrong with discussion-based questions. If you look at some other thriving Stack Exchanges, here are some random discussion-type questions which I think are totally cool. This is exactly the kind of thing we need more of in chess.com:
Sometimes a question needs editing but this one is honestly focused and fine.
I didn't leave a comment because the banner above the question contains a link to the help center explaining why questions like that are closed.
That gives the stark rule in the abstract, but the whole issue here is the mapping between this rule and this question. Justification of the opinion that this mapping is correct (which it may well be) is reasonably required of anyone choosing to wield the Close Hammer. This is doubly true for a newcomer's post.
EDIT2: Thanks for your detailed response, Glorfindel. I really appreciate you taking the time.
You haven’t yet addressed my distinction between discussion-based questions and what I rephrased as polarised argument. I don’t think you have shown sufficient grounds to map the question to the policy that you cited. It doesn’t apply.
But you do introduce a surprising idea - that chess is different from other hobby Stack Exchanges, and you are trying to be closer to an engineering Stack Exchange of some kind.
This to me seems very strange. And I don’t actually see this spelled out in the CSE “terms and conditions” that I’ve read. Please let’s remember that chess is just “a bit of fun”. I am not suggesting go crazy but it is perfectly reasonable that a question may have multiple answers and yet not be “opinion-based”.
The problem, which has been observed over and over again on Stack Exchange, is that in practice most answers won't display this behaviour; they tend to generate low-quality answers (mostly) by new users who aren't too familiar with the Stack Exchange format. Then we have to moderate those answers, so on Stack Exchange we tend to tackle the root problem, which in this case is the question. Yes, it may be an interesting or even good question, it just isn't well-suited for the Stack Exchange.
And this idea rather undercuts your paragraph about problems at the SE level. These other hobby SEs manage to thrive without descending into “low-quality”.
I suspect that this strange view is one cause of the difficulties CSE has had expanding as a forum. We never escaped from Beta under our own merits, let’s remember, it’s just that the powers-that-be got tired of waiting.
The arrival of Auto Chess is an interesting topical phenomenon, and it deserves a question in CSE about its long term impact, positive and negative, on our hobby.
But I realise now that I have a broader concern with the peculiar reluctance to accept open-ended questions at all in CSE.
If you are concerned about hypothetical low-quality answers, then isn’t there a mechanism you have for mandating a minimum point level on responders to a certain question?
Bottom line: Chess is only a hobby not engineering and IMHO we should model ourselves more on other responsible and successful hobby SEs.
EDIT3: my final comment on this matter.
In my opinion we need to be extremely rigorous and self-critical in closing any question, particularly when newcomers are involved. It is all too easy to not like a subject and flail around for a vague reason like the "opinion-based" hammer. It's just not good enough. The absence of explanation to the poor newcomer of why this particular reason was applicable is particularly shocking.
The fact that Remillion came up with a better reason is no excuse for the earlier "opinion-based" reflex, although Glorfindel may feel that Remillion let him off the hook in some sense.
Glorfindel has not engaged with my point that to explain the relationship between Auto Chess and real Chess (which is more complex than Remillion's sound bite suggests) would be a useful topic for one (1) CSE question. Far better to answer that question properly in the real CSE than superficially in the meta area here. Why should the moderator prejudge the issue here? It's so odd to insist on that.
Glorfindel has also not engaged with my more general suggestion that we should model ourselves on the much busier hobby websites than ours, in order to encourage more interesting and diverse content, and bring new users in.
Of course there are subjects which would probably be irrelevant to us, e.g. politics. But that's no excuse for failing to give the benefit of the doubt to honest questions whose answer can shed light on chess.
I'm sorry to have repeated myself a little here, but I feel many of my recent points were not addressed in the moderatorial response. However, this is my last post on this matter.