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What is a tag badge?
A tag badge is a badge you receive when you obtain a specific score for a tag, subject to meeting a minimum number of answers in the tag. You can earn a bronze, silver and gold badge for each tag.

The exact criteria for each badge is as follows:

Gold
Earn at least 1000 total score for at least 200 non-community wiki answers in the tag

Silver
Earn at least 400 total score for at least 80 non-community wiki answers in the tag

Bronze
Earn at least 100 total score for at least 20 non-community wiki answers in the tag

What is the purpose of a tag badge?
Beyond "flair", the badges also serve a functional purpose. Once you obtain a gold tag badge, you can single-handedly close as duplicate within that tag. This allows experts in the tag to review content more efficiently. It is also possible that gold tag badge owners may see additional powers in the future, such as being able to perform a supervote.

Who has a tag badge?
The site has been running for years, but we only have 3 users with gold tag badges on the entire site, all for the tag. Compare this with stackoverflow and you will see a big difference.

The silver tag badges are also relatively low, with 34 across 12 tags.

Proposal
What I propose is that we lower the tag badge criteria for this site, specifically the total score required to obtain a tag badge. This will yield the following benefits:

  • Fit in better with the number of questions per tag that we receive on the site
  • Allow real experts to be recognised correctly
  • Give extra voting powers to knowledgeable users
  • Indirectly increase quality answers (for those who see the changes as an incentive)
  • Increase scenarios where tag experts can close questions as duplicates based on their experience with such questions in the specific tag
  • Make use of additional voting powers should they be implemented system-wide for gold tag badge owners
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    We use tags differently to Stack Overflow. SO favours depth, with tags like 'C#' or 'Java' having thousands of questions. Arqade favours breadth, i.e. a lot of smaller topic areas (games) with as little as 1 question in a tag – Robotnik Jun 10 '16 at 15:23
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    I agree with the proposal although I think we'll be hard pressed to get it changed as badges are controlled network-wide – Robotnik Jun 10 '16 at 15:25
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    @Robotnik - Perhaps there are more sites that would benefit from a proposal? In other words, a feature request to allow individual sites to set their own criteria for tag badges. – user101016 Jun 10 '16 at 15:47
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    @Robotnik - I see you have a few bronze tag badges. Don't you consider yourself knowledgeable in pokemon-oras, for example? Would we benefit from you being able to triple close vote questions in this tag? Surely the bar for being able to triple vote should differ because we use tags differently on this site? – user101016 Jun 10 '16 at 16:02
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    @camelCase Bronze badge as a requirement would be way too low for this. 100 rep isn't much. I think this proposal is worth considering, but it's worth noting that although it's a lot harder to get a gold badge on Arqade, the super votes aren't as needed much here compared to SO due to the difference in traffic. – Wipqozn Jun 10 '16 at 16:08
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    @Wipqozn - Yes, bronze being the new gold wouldn't be good. I'm not saying it make it easy, just make it possible (refer back to only 3 people have every achieved gold, and all in the same tag). For example, the system never allowed gaming.stackexchange.com/users/102/tzenes to move beyond silver. – user101016 Jun 10 '16 at 16:13
  • @camelCase Excellent example with tzenes there. This policy change is definitely worth considering, but hard to say if the net benefit outweighs the development time (only the SE team can really be a judge of that) – Wipqozn Jun 10 '16 at 16:28
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    I'd venture to guess that Arqade has some of the most drastic peaks and valleys of tag usage across SE. Outside of Minecraft, which there's always new questions for, I see tags spike after a game's release (and sometimes DLCs and updates), and then go virtually silent. This makes some of those badge thresholds practically impossible to get... Hope this is given some legitimate thought. – king14nyr Jun 10 '16 at 18:34
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    Also don't forget there must be 100 questions in a tag before tag badges become available. – Troyen Jun 11 '16 at 6:45
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    Wait, are you sure close votes are multiplied by 3? That was the proposal, but what they actually did was introduce the dupehammer (single-vote closure for the duplicate reason). I seem to recall numerous times they stated they don't want to mess with vote weights because it'd complicate the system, which is why silver badges don't get special powers. – Troyen Jun 11 '16 at 6:50
  • I think there is already too many people ready to hop on the denied train and close any subject as off topic or whatever and having anyone with the power to single handedly do so is unreasonable....I personally have seen good usefull questions closed by people who had the power and speed available...but not enough knowledge themselves to answer them...to those people id like to say your turning this place into a sad joke... – Firobug Jun 11 '16 at 19:00
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    @camelCase Read the accepted answer closely, it doesn't mention anything about vote weights and shog's answer indicates he's against them. Sometimes they status-complete feature requests even if they implement a slightly different feature. Also see the MSO feature announcement which doesn't talk about weighted votes at all. Votes either instantly close or count towards one of five close votes. – Troyen Jun 13 '16 at 11:05
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    The biggest problem I see with tag badges are their static requirements, not taking a tags popularity into account. I feel implementing tiers would be nice. E.g. the lowest tier starts at 50 questions. Bronze is 10 answers (required score always answers x 5), Silver 20, Gold 30. A higher tier at 1000 questions would be equivalent to what is currently required. This allows a tag to be represented by badges, no matter how big it is actually is and shows commitment of a user to a tag at a low number of questions as the relative requirement is very high. But probably hard to implement. – Dulkan Jun 16 '16 at 7:49
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    @Dulkan - scaling as you propose would have one side effect whereby early answerers of a tag may see their badge revoked as requirements increase over time. A proposed new model would have to justify or reduce the occurrence of this side effect. – user101016 Jun 22 '16 at 10:34
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    A similar proposal was recently asked on UX Stack Exchange. If this is being asked on multiple sites, perhaps it should be opened on Meta Stack Exchange? – Thunderforge Jun 22 '16 at 16:17
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I'm having an issue following the "Depth vs Breadth" issue that @Robotnik mentioned at the beginning of the feed, but I'd like to use my dark-souls-2 contribution (Most questions and most answers; and I was recently awarded the bronze medal for the tag) and my dark-souls contribution (most answers, though not the highest score).

Using this as an example, the Dark Souls series is a "niche" game; so not a lot of people will be asking questions about it, but that doesn't mean the questions are any less important to that community.

Let's look at the numbers:

Then you get coming in with a whopping 6,945 Questions. There's no competition, even if you combined all 4 of the Dark Souls tags together. Even the ratio of questions asked per year outweighs them all (6,945 questions asked since the tag was created 5 years ago = 1,389 questions asked per year).

Granted, a large portion of the Minecraft questions are related to mods, crashes, and commands, which attract a lot of "I.T. support" or "programmer" type attention, which does replicate the SO community a fair amount; leading to some being able to achieve the gold tag badge - but leaving every other game in the dust.

Obviously, the point is that Arqade, while popular, isn't built to match the standards set for some of these badges. So there does need to be some big changes to the quotas if we're to achieve these.


As for if that's a possibility, or even how, I don't feel that I'm really the one to provide any answers for this issue, but lowering the criteria is probably the simplest option. By perhaps even halving the current criteria for the tag medals would make it far easier for users to achieve and assist in tag moderation.


Post-note: I'd just like to point out (because I only just realized) that I am the only one with a tag badge for this entire series. So one consideration for this is to determine exactly how far we want to accommodate. As I mentioned, the Dark Souls series is a niche series, so the volume of these questions, the voters who are comfortable/capable of awarding votes is also very niche.

So again, while yes, even halving the quota of these badges fro Arqade makes these tags more achievable, there are some series/games that these tag badges just cannot be achieved - plain and simple. Therefore, finding a system that can accommodate all tags may just be too far out of bounds.

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I've worked out my idea of the tiers a bit more and will now provide a concrete suggestion, though the numbers are of course subject to change

General rules:

  • It is possible to lose tag badges, that's possible now and will be more likely to happen with that system; every user should be aware of that.
  • Once the threshold for a new tier is crossed the tag badges will be adjusted, I'd recommend a grace period of one day
  • The tag losses will be mitigated by a lower relative requirement
  • Optional: Inform users, that a tag, where they own a badge has moved to a new tier and will require more answers to earn the badge.
  • required score to earn the badge is always required questions x 5 (that's how it works at the moment

Here are the tiers

  • Tier 1: 50 questions, bronze 10, silver 20, gold 30
  • Tier 2: 100 questions, bronze 15, silver 35, gold 50
  • Tier 3: 250 questions, bronze 25, silver 50, gold 100
  • Tier 4: 500 questions, bronze 40, silver 80, gold 150
  • Tier 5: 1000 questions, bronze 75, silver 150, gold 250
  • Tier 6: 3000 questions, bronze 100, silver 200, gold 400

The percentage of required answers is as follows:

  • Tier 1: bronze 10-20%, silver 20-40%, gold 30-60%
  • Tier 2: bronze 6-15%, silver 14-35%, gold 20-50%
  • Tier 3: bronze 5-10%, silver 10-20%, gold 20-40%
  • Tier 4: bronze 4-8%, silver 8-16%, gold 15-30%
  • Tier 5: bronze 2.5-7.5%, silver 5-15%, gold 8-25%
  • Tier 6: bronze starts at 3.33%, silver starts at 6.67%, gold starts at 13.33%

Pros:

  • This system allows tag badges to be awarded to less popular tags
  • It is easily expandble and adjustable
  • is user-friendly

    • it has ceiling
    • a fixed Tier system, so a user knows, when his badge may be lost
    • relative requirement falls
  • on smaller tags, users are certified as an expert in the tag by answering more than half the questions in the tags, on popular ones, it is enough to show their expertise in several hundred questions

Cons:

  • development requirement
  • may confuse users
  • increased server load

Alternative variant:

  • instead of always setting required score to number of answers * 5, increase the required score. E.g. on tier 2, bronze could require 15 answers with 75 score, silver requires 20 answers with 125 score, gold 30 answers with 200 score
  • Would investing in such a complicated system really be worth the effort, compared to the problem duplicate questions pose? (the only real function of a gold badge is to allow the user to supervote on duplicate votes) – user106385 Jun 24 '16 at 23:18
  • @Timelord64 Nonsense. The purpose of tag badges is allow people to easily identify knowledgable people within a certain tag and to reward people for their knowledge in a tag. With your logic, we might as well remove all badges, as none of them serve any "real function". – Dulkan Jun 25 '16 at 7:35
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    Maybe they are.. but I certainly dont go parousing a users current badges, when they answer questions. And it's not like they pop up or anything.. And it's a SE-wide feature, thats why we have them. What I am trying to point out here is that your not trying to convince us. Your trying to convince the higher ups. I think this avenue offers to much complexity, without additional benefit. – user106385 Jun 25 '16 at 7:40
  • What are you talking about? The problems with tag badges have been highlighted in the initial question, why should I reiterate here? Arqade is one of the bigger sites on the network and still barely has any tag badges. An easy way to make them more visible is to display a user's tag badge on their answer. The additional benefit is of course, that tag badges of all colors appear on every site, regardless of how popular it is and how diverse tag enviroment of it is. And really, it's not THAT complex. Instead of one set of requirements, there now are 6. – Dulkan Jun 25 '16 at 7:55
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    We also have to consider that, again as @Timelord64 mentioned, this is an SE-wide feature, not something that is built specifically for each site, so completely changing their functionality just to suit Arqade is likely not going to happen. Additionally, displaying them solely for the purpose of saying "don't worry, I know what I'm talking about" doesn't really fit the system either. – Ben Jun 27 '16 at 3:09
  • When I said complex. I meant from an implementation standpoint. And rewriting a system to fit a list of 6 different requirements is complex, compared to a single set of static requirements, as far as implementation goes. As you say, yourself, "con: development requirement, may confuse users, increased server load". Just to solve alleged problems with a single site. – user106385 Jun 27 '16 at 3:18
  • It has been brought up that another site is requesting changes to their tags, as well. However, this is nothing like problems raised, here. On the other site, there is effectively only a single user that has contributed enough to earn badges. – user106385 Jun 27 '16 at 3:18
  • As I said, Arqade is one of the bigger sites on the Network and has this problem, so we can extrapolate, that it exists on at least 80% of sites, whether it's stated or not and won't be there "just for Arqade". That's what I meant, the development isn't THAT complex. I don't know the SE-Code, but on a basic level it's as simple as replacing the "if 100 questions then tag badges" statement with a switch-case. I'd estimate a day of effort and maybe a day of testing. – Dulkan Jun 27 '16 at 6:37
  • Also I wonder, why this has partly devolved into a question of the merit of tag badges. Why would it have the sole purpose of telling "I know what I talk about"? Badges are rewards for contributing to the site and there are certainly less useful badges out there than tag badges. A tag badge identifies a user as knowledgable in a certain subject. What do badges like Supporter or Critic do? Tell people, you can click on up- and down arrows? – Dulkan Jun 27 '16 at 6:43
  • Again, it's not about the individual badges being put on display. They merely contribute to a person's reputation. Eg. a person with 100 rep and a few silver and bronze badges is less reputable than a person with 100 rep and a handful of gold badges, silver and bronze - this means several things to me: 1. They contribute a lot of rep to bounties. 2. They contribute to the site, as gold badges require dedication to earn. I don't necessarily care what those badges are; I just know that they have earned there stripes (or badges). – Ben Jun 29 '16 at 23:14
  • However, tag badges add another level to the mix - while exactly the same in terms of appearance (all it is, is a badge, no one is going to go looking for it specifically) - what it does allow is moderation privileges within that tag. This isn't about putting these badges on display, this is about earning them, so they can be put to use – Ben Jun 29 '16 at 23:17
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    @Ben I would argue that most SE sites have a similar issue. E.g. on Japanese, the community has earned 11 silver and 1 gold tag badge...in the five years of the site's existence. I think the numbers chosen for SE were based on the traffic of the original trilogy, which few (if any) other sites are able to match. – Troyen Jul 3 '16 at 22:10

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