Here is a scenario that comes up here and there in many communities: you have a topic in which people list different exemplars of a specific type, for example: “books about X”. The main purpose of the topic is to create a list that people can browse and be inspired or whatever. If someone wants to start a discussion about one of these books, that should be a new topic (but, of course, with a link back to the list topic).
In this scenario, it could be very convenient if the reply-to-post button (not the reply to topic button) would default to “Reply as new topic”. I say “could” because it remains to be proven that this actually works rather than creates confusion. But I think it would be worth a try.
My sense is that it would be sufficient to limit this setting to mods and admins via the wrench button in order to avoid any changes in the UI for ordinary users.
Aw, c’mon, make that 1% Plus: I believe in education!
But on a more sober note: my OP was actually intended for the precise opposite end of the spectrum, i.e. those users who don’t understand the instructions: “If you want to discuss one of the posts in this topic, please start a new topic.” So this is really a different feature.
I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying that once people would start discovering that hidden reply-menu, they will go like “Whoo, wait a moment, I just wanted to reply to this and now I have to choose among 5 types of replies?”