Context: in the Writer's Group subreddit, there's the rule that you have to critique, not just submit drafts/stories to be critiqued, which makes me think what I'm doing right now is very wrong.

If you look at my questions, not counting the ones that have been deleted by me or the bots, you still have 288 left. Just 12 more and I can hold off the Persians, assuming I can bottleneck them first.

Yes, some of it wasn't well-received, but my current "streak" looks promising. However, I've never really given answers, only 26. That's one answer for every eleventh question. And some of those were poorly received.

That gap will only continue to grow over time, as I still didn't ask about how werewolves and other furred demi-humans keep themselves flea-free.

I also had many questions, regarding dragons, a tag that seems to be an attention magnet. Of course, I developed the concept over time, such as having dragons initially use a biogenic oil as a breath weapon, then aqua regia, then sulfuric acid, then micromachines that were powered by the acid. This happened with other variables as well.

To be honest, that tag seems perfect for "milking". I mean, what is a dragon? A miserable pile of secrets!.

It still just feels wrong wrong. I mean, when developing a world I don't think even a thousand questions will be enough, but I asking them without giving many answers in return.

Is it okay to do what I'm doing?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ this is not the Writer's Group subreddit. Have you received any warning here? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch Mod
    Jul 30, 2020 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica No, I didn't. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2020 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica But I was still concerned. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2020 at 3:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This site is for everybody - people who ask, people who answer, people who just read the submissions, people who do moderation (user level or otherwise), or any overlapping groups. As long as you're not breaking the rules (e.g., spam, voting fraud, excessive rudeness, etc). I would think you're welcome. As is everybody else. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Jul 30, 2020 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ As a side note, I didn't upvote nor can I really downvote to show approval/disapproval. The title is asking one question but the end of the text the opposite. If I upvote it's not clear whether I'm saying "Yes, you are asking too many questions" or "Yes, what you're doing is OK" and vice versa for downvoting. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Jul 30, 2020 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Okay, I tried to fix that. What do you think? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2020 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think I can upvote now. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Jul 30, 2020 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ Related: What does being a 'Contributor' look like on Worldbuilding? $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ On a side note: Don't feel bad about not engaging in all parts of the system. I rarely ask (can solve most issues on my own) or answer (others provide better answers faster), but I comment (sometimes with snark) and moderate (usually with commentary), and that's enough. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Look at it this way: there are people who don't like asking questions but love answering them (like me). If you didn't ask more than you answer, there wouldn't be enough for us to do! $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jul 30, 2020 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Been there done that ;D $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Aug 5, 2020 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ kiriakakis.net/comics/mused/a-day-at-the-park $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 21:42

6 Answers 6


As a general rule of thumb, when a user does something wrong or off, they will notice.

Either a moderator will get in touch, or the community will make it visible through comments, votes and meta question. See for example the recent example of ACS and discussions here.

You say that you have not received any warning, so it sounds like you are fine.

Moreover recently the whole SE has moved back to +10 rep for upvotes on questions, while for a while it was +5. This says that asking questions is equally important as giving answers. Think of it: you can post a question and get no answer, but you can't answer a question which is not asked.


Stress Less:

If it worries you, then just make a point of answering more questions. Some people love the creativity, and others are looking for points and badges (it takes all kinds). I suspect that most people here earn more points off answers than questions, so the point-driven people are okay with it. Maybe you're feeling insecure about your worldbuilding, and in that case it's probably good to spend more time on researching your own stuff. Then you can feel better when you do ask questions. I have a hard time asking questions, so my ratio of Q & A is about opposite of yours. It all evens out.

If no one noticed and you haven't had a huge number of closed questions, I don't think you need to stress, unless stressing is what gets your creative juices flowing.


There are two types of Worldbuilders - those who ask questions and those who give answers.

When I say 'Worldbuilder', I'm just referring to the way someone uses this site and not the actual act of Worldbuilding. It's not really true, but it's pretty close to it. If you take a quick glance at the publicly available information about this website, (by which I mean I took a sampling of about a dozen of the top 100 users) generally speaking it'll be someone who generally asks questions and someone who generally gives answers. Sure, everyone does both, but the difference is usually around a magnitude - take myself, for instance. I've given around 450 answers and asked only 8 at the time of writing this. Granted, Worldbuilding averages around 5 answers to a question, but even still I've only generated 40 or so answers*, nowhere close to the 450 I've given.

What that basically means is that, very unlike how critique groups are run (which I am familiar with, being part of one myself) in that everyone is expected to critique as well as submit, the way Worldbuilding is run is that there are two sides to the community - the questioners and the answerers. I would say that it's not just 'okay' with what you're doing, it's 'good' or maybe even 'excellent'. This is just simply how our site runs and in no way should you hesitate from asking question at any point just because you feel like you should answer more. Of course, that doesn't mean that you should lock yourself in the mode of 'I only ask questions', you've no doubt learned a great deal over the 288 questions you've asked as well as information you've gained on your own through research, so by all means, keep up both the questions and the answers as fast as you can think them up**.

*By '40 or so', I mean that by averages I should have about 40, but in actuality I have 59 so I beat the average. It could mean that I ask good questions, or vague ones which can be given far too many types of answers.

**Maybe not actually throw out every question that pops immediately to mind. Like, more than three a day seems excessive and if you ever reach that point, stop and ask the question to the meta again.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, new question is out, want to take a look? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2020 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for providing that reassurance that I'm not alone - I have yet to ask a question on this site but have answered quite a few. I hadn't looked at overall user patterns of behaviour. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2020 at 23:12

To answer your title question, I'd just refer to the Tour:

Ask questions, get answers, no distractions; This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.

and the Help Desk:

crickets chirping

and this reference on What Worldbuilding is All About:

We're here to help you, whether you're a prospective worldbuilder or an experienced geopoet, devise, construct, build, refine, and clarify all aspects of your invented world!

  • We're here to answer your questions, no matter how few or many (so long as they're a good fit for the forum!
  • There's not a whiff or hint about asking too many questions!

On top of what everyone else said, we have medals for asking a lot of well-received questions:

  • Curious (bronze): Ask a well-received question on 5 separate days, and maintain a positive question record.
  • Inquisitive (silver): Ask a well-received question on 30 separate days, and maintain a positive question record.
  • Socratic (gold): Ask a well-received question on 100 separate days, and maintain a positive question record.

Badges are awarded for behaviours we want to encourage, so if you have progress towards these badges you're doing good.


It's only natural for most of us to ask more than answer. Why?

Because we are only competent and knowledge about a tiny domain or a couple of domains while we are ignorant or not knowledgeable enough about most of the others.

So whenever I'm browsing there are many interesting question that require too much technical knowledge for my to answer them.

However when developing a world the need arise for many many sub problems and little details and all sorts of thing to be answered so you are in need of knowing about many fields thus you turn to the site.

  • $\begingroup$ "It's only natural for most of us to ask more than answer." this raises a question, though - do most of the active contributors have more questions than answers? We'd have to define what "active contributor" is for this to work but we can then leverage SEDE to see if that's true or not. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Aug 3, 2020 at 6:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ check the yearly (or quarterly, monthly or weekly) reputation league. The answer-to-question rate for the most active users in the yearly league ranges from 15 to 1,000. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2020 at 13:19

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