Let us compare 2 questions
Are people too fast in putting on hold things they do not like or/and do not understand or are they too positive about things they like and no one cares about how much "opinion based" is the question?
I guess, people, who answer questions, have their own set of themes which they would like to answer but which often happens to be on border, so I do not feel myself too special, when I see 1-2 times a month reasonable questions being put on hold(or killed other ways) and die that way. My concerns are that such actions discourage the reasonable people who ask the question in participation farther on WB.
An opinion based question should generate different opinions - right?
Now take a look at the stats about those questions:
What we have with human ship - 163 views, 5 answers, in about 23hours
What we have with gray goo - 140 views, 1 answer(I was lucky and fast enough this time)
The first answer for HS was after 5 hours
The first answer for GG was after 2 hours of Q existence.
The HS Q got in 6 hours 3 of its 5 answers, in 8 hours 4 A.
The GG question was put on hold after about 10 hours of its existence and got 1 Answer.
- yes, the OP had some difficulties to make the question less negative attention attracting Q, and someone(I do not wish to call the names) has changed the title in totally wrong way and question got additional 2 downvotes (my opinion for the reason, and it just so happened I was right there to observe the dynamics) just because of that(I would downvote it myself if the Q would be about that title - this is the reason for my opinion)
Both question where equal at attracting attention. One question was successful to generate 4 opinion based answers in 8 hours of its existence, another barely got 1 answer in 10 hours.
I would say that quality of formulating for both of the questions was about average.
- The GG Q has a bonus point for not containing useless for the problem text, it is the almost mathematical question(I may be biased because of my biological background).
Which one from those two is more likely to be an opinion based question?
Should mods wait until those opinions existence would be obvious? Or maybe a day of two?
Especially in situations when people may feel a lack of competence or in situations when it is not so obvious as with hard-science tag with a question about creating perpetual motion machines of the second type.
I guess - there is no such thing as bad publicity and if an Q will generate lots of google and people attention and produce 10+ decent answers we will be probably fine with the fact it is opinion based - right?
if a question generates zero opinions and low attention and votes to be opinion based from people who mostly answer fantasy questions - we close it just because even if we do not right not much harm is done.
The problem with the approach which had the place in the particular situation is the same problem as Japan had it from 1500 to 18xx and which it is famous for(traditional society). At the moment 80% of the questions are fantasy questions, and it will stay that way.
Should mention I have also a positive experience for mods do not rush on closing 30+ answers questions to be opinion based just because it have so many answers. And I glad to see that they sometimes understand their own knowledge limitations(and they think about indexing engines and that hot question list).
I'm cynical enough to understand the goal is not to make all happy rabbits, but make good for the system, by producing high enough quality answers and questions, which could be indexed by search engines and attract people which could consume (top secret for me(almost) and it seems not about the small part of the system like WB, which is an instrument to keep needed people to be entertained and increase the chance of consuming by that way)
My suggestion in the particular case - at least do not close a question which attracted too much negative attention as opinion based question as far as there are no other opinions than just one. If you close the question at least do it with other reason. In the case mod intervention was disruptive and the best course of action was to leave the question to its own destiny.
I do not expect any of actions, but I feel obligated to leave the information as feedback in hope it might have just above zero chance to help WB to develop itself a bit farther in some distant future, as the situation repeat itself not the first or second time.
Also, I understand some difficulties in making decisions and invertibility of errors and imperfection of the world.
I have simply rule - if I'm not competent enough to judge a particular situation or I have doubts about that I'm right - do nothing.
I have clear understanding that there exists many different groups of people and their questions which I disagree with - but also I understand that those groups of people have their own fan groups and possible readers and as far as - Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers, artists and others using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. - their question are ligit, as WB serves the purpose to help such people to implement their fantasies for their audiences. As result the immediate reactions for me deserves the question about how better to cook human meat(or something like that, do not recall at the moment exact formulation of the question we had not so long ago), the rest deserves answering a question - Do you belong to the audience whom the result of the question may be addressed, do you really might judge those people by choosing will the question have answers for them or not?
I understand that some people can't follow the rule because they are obligated to make decisions, for them was most of the above. But for others asking the question is necessary because of a broad spectrum of topics which are asked on WB. And the fact that most of the Q on WB are fantasy question at the moment isn't a good excuse to kill technical questions.