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web3.js has the ability to call a transaction and get return data without sending a transaction:

web3.eth.call(callObject [, defaultBlock] [, callback])

ethersjs apparently does not have this ability. These docs state:

These methods cannot return their result to the caller.

Using etherjs, how can I get the return data of a transaction without making the actual transaction?

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It is possible to do this with an ethersjs read-only transaction.

prototype.call(transaction) => Promise<hex>

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