Ever thought was hard
Is 'Do I like Kirk
Or do I like Picard?'"
A Broken Base is a civil war among fans of a particular franchise. Almost every franchise has at least some internal conflict among its fanbase, but a truly broken base is characterized by a sustained and exceptionally vicious conflict between two or more large, vocal, and entrenched factions with little or no middle ground to be found between them.
Common causes of a broken base include shipping wars, a large and vocal Periphery Demographic whose priorities are at odds with the main demographic, or a divisive character, sequel, adaptation or remake.
Contrast Fandom Heresy for a fandom opinion that is near-unanimous to the point where it tends to silence any dissent.
Unrelated to Broken Pedestal.
When adding examples, please keep in mind that all four of the following criteria must be met to qualify. Minor disagreements don't count.
- It is a sustained conflict. This is something that has fans debating a work or subject for a long time after release. Upcoming works cannot be this since such conflicts are considered to be short-lived by definition. Such examples can be placed under Tainted by the Preview. To qualify, a conflict should last for at least six months after the release of a work or episode; any shorter and it's probably just your average fan disagreement.
- It is a vicious conflict. Bringing up the subject will likely result in a huge debate among fans, if not an outright Flame War. While an Alternate Character Interpretation or Ambiguous Situation may cause a Broken Base, it doesn't count if most fans accept that their interpretation isn't the only valid one, and get along with people who disagree.
- It has at least two large factions. It cannot merely be a Vocal Minority against a Silent Majority; each side must have a noticeable number of supporters. In addition, the fanbase must be large enough to support the factions. An obscure work is less likely to have a broken base than a very famous one or a broad subject.
- It is divisive. To qualify, most fans must hold a strong opinion on the subject, with very little middle ground. It must inspire passionate and sustained reactions with very few involved holding no opinion, choosing to stay neutral, or trying to Take a Third Option in regards to the conflict.
Also, be careful when adding examples along the line of "Is this racist/xenophobic/sexist/anti-LGBTQ/otherwise problematic, or are people just overreacting?" These examples are often used to accuse a work of being bigoted while bypassing Unfortunate Implications' requirement for a reliable source.
*sigh* Here We Go Again!
But what about Archer?
You mean Archer? Or that Archer?
Whatever! The point is, Chris Pine's Kirk is clearly the superior Kirk!