I'm probably a repeat offender on this and kinda see world-building in general as this. We typically have one of 2 stances when we ask a real question:
- I have all the Legos. How should I put them together?
- I'm building something. What Lego do I need to fill this hole?
And those are rather open-ended and opinion-based thoughts usually. Granted, not everything fits those two questions, and you can always reword a question enough that it fits the site policy. But generally I think there's a good measuring stick:
- How snarkily can I answer the question while getting away with it?
For anti-psychic if they gave no extra info I could say "Wear tinfoil hats"
For something like "Harness Planetary Energy" there's an actual limited list if you include hard-science tag. If you don't then more info may be required.
Sometimes a question is open-ended without context. Sometimes it's completely locked down with context. But as a resource the site does better from easily digestible questions regardless of how open-ended. Being able to see that a question is related to why you came there at a glance is nice. Especially if the title isn't spot-on to the minutia of the question context. The abundance of opinion based answers in a TOO broad question will still have good answers bubble to the top with the voting system. It'll attract low-quality too. Which is one of the reasons I think these kind of answers get closed? Lack of critical thinking added to sheer volume?
....Which wraps back to the Snark Test. If I give you a question locked down entirely with context and tons of detail: a) I might not even be able to be snarky b) By imagining a snarky response I just might be ashamed of myself for walking over someone's effort. If I can feel absolutely certain I can get away with a snarky response... then maybe it isn't worth my effort to even respond. Just vote close and move on. At the most maybe help them improve.
While I'm here responding to comments, I'm going to preemptively defend my stance on the opinion-based potentially being a resource bit: If all questions were meant to be useful only in the specific context of the OP, then we'd be a forum. Nobody would ever need to see an answer again besides the OP. We're a resource, having some room for opinion or varied answers is a must. Not because it is in general required for Q&A format but because we're a site related to creativity. If our sets of answers are tailored too fundamentally to specific Qs then general answers aren't as clearly separated (assume they exist) for notice/consumption by an external visitor.
There is a limit to generalization as far as the site is concerned. Like I stated in my comments though, while you can measure this (I use my Snark Test) a check for a good Q isn't necessarily a check for a redeemable Q.
Ex: The "Creating a realistic world map" series by Tim B is more open-ended than most posts but has a clear use, you can't really be snarky. If he tried to generalize it all into one post it would've been easier to be snarky....
However while "How do I make a world" wouldn't have been as golden it's essentially the same as "Creating a realistic world map: Steps?" (yes "realistic" is a big context difference, but throw me that bone, that's something we fight in the comments all the time... or at least we used to >_>), an answer of "Landmass, Weather, Erosion, etc." could have been potentially useful and if it hit points most people wouldn't think about right away (Heat Map, etc.) then it probably would've been a redeeming answer for provoking thought.
Still voting to close but the reason might be instead of "too broad"... maybe it's become in a way "attracting low-quality" because all that could be said has been.
Alternatively, maybe there's a pretty amazing step-based way of doing unrealistic world maps. I would never be bold enough to ask "Creating a fantasy world map", it seems too open-ended. I don't really know, I haven't thought enough on it, but if an answer managed to convince me of a process I would be pleased. Granted we would still prefer these being 2 separate questions... but that's maybe a different meta.
Then again, maybe there is no redeeming answer. Then it's business as usual: Snark Test, flag.