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So, this is spawning based on the discussion in the clean up thread. Pulling it out so it is more visible and can be discussed.

What should we do with the tag?

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2012/06/26 - Update: Tag has now been removed from the clean up list. This tag may be revisited at a later date, but for now the decision to not burn it holds.

Status of the votes

So, we've had a bit of a reversal. Well, almost. At the time of writing this, saving has 1012 upvotes, and burning has 1112. In comments on the burning, the size of this tag pool has been noted (500+) and we have users who have come forward and said the tag is useful. With that in mind, I'm going to propose the following:

Don't burn the tag

Burning the tag, as noted in comments, would be a huge endeavor. With 500+ tags it would basically require its own dedicated cleanup or dev intervention. For how split the vote is on this, I don't think that it is worth it to clog the system or do a database cleaning manually. Also, some of our higher rep users have come forward and have noted that they find this tag useful. Even the negative answer noted a potential positive for the tag, so we have some reasons for letting it stay anyway.

Keep it clean

As noted, the name of the achievement is also an important feature. There may be questions in the system that have the achievements tag, but never in the question say the name of the achievement, which can hurt both internal and external searching ( tag will help a little, but not always). If you see a question that is tagged with the tag, but does not make mention of what achievement it is they are going for (if it is one in particular), please try to work it into the question body. It does not necessarily need to be in the title (as the names of some of them are extremely long) but placing it on the page will likely do us good.

If you notice any games that are tagged with it, and you don't know what achievement they are talking about, please get clarification from the OP.

Also, and this one should hopefully be obvious but I'll state it outright anyway, if there are questions that are not about the achievements/trophies/whatever else they are called, be sure to untag it. I recommend those who follow the tag pay attention to its use and make sure it is appropriate. Also do so for games you follow. As a cross-game tag, it will need to be used correctly to continue to be useful. I don't think there will be much trouble with it since it is a well known and common feature in games these days, but keep an eye out just to be sure.

  • Please leave any feedback to this here in comments. I won't remove the disputed status on the cleanup page for at least a day so that any objections can be heard. – LoveAndCoding Jun 24 '12 at 17:26
  • I think this outcome is reasonable, but I'm interested in why you chose to count only upvotes and not downvotes too! – fredley Jun 25 '12 at 11:10
  • I am all in favour of keeping the tag - Tagging something as deus-ex-human-revolution or diablo-3 or generic-game-name is one thing, but tagging something as achievements specifically defines the context of the question and has a whole separate breed of gamer trying to catch them all and for these people it is very useful. – user27134 Jun 25 '12 at 11:21
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    +1 We shouldn't be burning the tag unless a sizable majority of the community wants to burn it. A roughly 50/50 vote isn't enough to warrant burning a tag with 500+ questions imo. After we finish this clean up, we may want to revisit the discussion, but for now I think it's best to just leave it be. – Wipqozn Jun 25 '12 at 12:28
  • @QAdley Downvoting shows opposition to the idea, but not necessarily support for the opposite. There could still be other proposals on how we should handle this tag (e.g. clean with X rules). I went for support of an idea that we could implement rather than opposition with no idea if they are in support of the other or not. Also, this is how voting worked for things like the ITG vote. If I'd thought of all this from the start, I probably would have specified such in my original post. But hindsight is 20/20, right? – LoveAndCoding Jun 25 '12 at 14:55
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Save !

is a useful cross-game tag because people can actually be experts in getting achievements without knowing much about the games involved. Often people will rent games, grab an achievement list, and plow through as many as they can, skipping everything else. These people would be great for answering questions about achievements as they often times know or learn the easiest ways to get the achievements. And they may never follow the tag for the game, because they rented it only to get the achievements.

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    Achievements? Achievements! – Niro Jun 19 '12 at 2:06
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    ACHIEEEEVMEEEENTS!! ...sorry I thought we were playing Metal Gear Solid – Ben Brocka Jun 19 '12 at 2:07
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    A link to a website isn't much in the way of evidence for your point. I don't see any reason to believe that getting achievements is a skill that applies equally across different games, nor do I see any reason to believe that this tag attracts these people, nor do I see any reason to believe that experts on Game X are unlikely to be able to answer questions about achievements in Game X. – Matthew Read Jun 19 '12 at 3:40
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    Thought for food: if you look at the first two pages of users (commonly considered to be our "top users"), 4 people have achievements in their top three tags: FAE, fredly, Sean, and skovacs1 (who is currently saying the tag should die in a fire) – user3389 Jun 20 '12 at 7:01
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    @QAdley I am very very much an achievement hunter. I use the achievements tag consistently in questions I ask about them, in addition to using the tag for filtering purposes when looking for questions/answers in games I play. It is something that affects the manner in which I approach games and play them. I am in support of keeping the tag. – FAE Jun 21 '12 at 11:37
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    I'm going to have to rule in favor of QAtash and @FAE in this regard. I am very much an achievement hunter, and I find this tag to be exceptionally useful. While I may not ask/answer/follow questions pertaining to achievements, I do still actively search for them. I feel it is a useful tag that should be saved. – Niro Jun 23 '12 at 2:28
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Personally, I'd say to burn its house down with the lemons and possibly put up a sign saying there was a house there. Achievements is often a meta tag as it is often used to describe the abstract context of achievements in general when the questions are about one specific achievement in a specific game and/or system. There are questions about achievements in the general sense, but those are covered by the inherent platforms and systems wherein they exist (steam, xbox-live, psn, within selected games). It also has too broad and undefined a body of knowledge to draw from diminishing its usefulness.

What are achievements?

Some games have in-game achievements. Others run their achievements through an external system à la Xbox Live, PSN or Steam. Some achievements are given unique names depending on the context (Blizzard's Feats of Strength for example).

How can you be an expert in something this broad?

So very many games have achievements with more being constantly released that it becomes impossible to watch reliably. It covers all platforms and such a vast array of games that it is not possible to really be able to cover them all.

Many achievements require some in-depth knowledge of the game or extensive amounts of research and experimentation to be able to understand, achieve and answer some of the more esoteric questions on the subject. If someone is so knowledgeable about said game, it is more likely that they would be looking at content for said game rather than some meta tag that could cover any game.

AchievementHunter and other such examples are groups of dedicated individuals who will specifically go out and try to collect achievements. The individuals of these groups might be experts on specific games or on specific achievements, but it is not likely that any one of them would be an expert on all of them or even enough to find watching the tag to be terribly useful. Answers to questions with this tag will often reference such sources and so theoretically, somebody could watch this tag and either a) use it to fill in information for AchievementHunter, etc. or b) reference AchievementHunter, etc. for answers to questions in this category for easy reputation gain.

Is it useful?

Who does the tag service? Is it useful as a filter? Does it add to the question?

+ Doing a search for [diablo-3] [achievements] is a nice way to turn up the correctly tagged diablo 3 achievement questions and in theory could even tell me how to get all diablo 3 achievements - pretty convenient and even better when [diablo-3] achievement also turns up even the non-achievement-tagged questions too. As a filter, it's pretty useful to find achievement questions for a specific game. Adding the word achievements to the body/title of questions with this tag and lacking such a notation would yield the same search functionality.

- If I'm looking for a specific achievement, I'll usually look for it by game and by name anyways. By nature of the question, questions about achievements will need to list the specific achievement in the question body and often even in the title. The tag does not add any useful information to the individual questions themselves. Experts on the specific game are as likely as others if not moreso to have answers to that game's achievement questions and I don't feel this tag attracts users more able to answer these questions.

- Questions about specific achievement systems fit under the headings of the platform tags or the game/series tags. I cannot think of a meta achievement question that would really be covered by this meta tag.

There are 32 people following this tag. Is this enough to save it?

Cleanup thoughts

To aid searchability, I think it might be useful as part of the cleanup to add into the questions tagged the appropriate word denoting the classification of achievement ie. achievment(s), trophy(ies), medal(s), etc.

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    I was going to put forward a case for saving them, but then I realized my reason for saving them just adds unnecessary redundancy. Burn them. – MBraedley Jun 19 '12 at 10:23
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    32 followers is actually quite a lot, more than many of the game tags I have on my list. So clearly some people are finding it useful. – bwarner Jun 19 '12 at 14:33
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    "Achievements is a meta tag" It isn't a meta tag. A meta tag describes the question, not the content, but an achievement is content. It is a tangible piece of the game. "How can you be an expert in something this broad?" - Easily. The people hunting down achievements, especially in the manner I discussed, are people who a singularly focused on that content, and nothing else in the games. They won't know how to get every achievement, but they can learn enough to make the filter useful. "If I'm looking for a specific achievement" Searching by the name is not affected by the additional info. – LoveAndCoding Jun 19 '12 at 19:23
  • Also, "I cannot think of a [...] achievement question that would really be covered by this [...] tag." - How about "I have a few games on Xbox that I've now got on Steam. Is there anyway for me to get Steam to recognize the achievements I already have without having to earn them again on the PC version?" – LoveAndCoding Jun 19 '12 at 19:27
  • @QAtash That would be covered by the tag steam and the tag xbox-live. The question is about the systems in which the achievements reside rather than the achievements themselves. It may also largely relate to the game but should be tagged with the game tag regardless. Also to your previous point, since you cannot touch achievements, they are not tangible. It is often a meta tag because it describes the abstract context (achievements in general), not the specific content of many questions with this tag (one specific achievement in a specific game/system). – skovacs1 Jun 20 '12 at 5:45
  • @QAtash & bwarner This is why I phrased the heading "Is it useful?" as a question - I don't believe it is, but I can't authoritatively say that it is not. Comments are not the place for discussion - start a chat. If you believe any of these points are valid defenses for saving the achievements tag, perhaps those points should be added to QAtash's answer or should be added as a new answer. – skovacs1 Jun 20 '12 at 6:01
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    Note: We're only going to be able to realistically burninate this tag with dev help - ~500 questions tagged means more edits need to be made than have already been made in total during this operation. – fredley Jun 20 '12 at 9:06
  • +1 for lemons. Well, and I agree. – Shinrai Jun 21 '12 at 14:19
  • One of the last useful non-game tags. Don't kill my cheevo tag bro! This answer has a majority, but currently only about 2/3s. As bwarner points out, with a vocal minority (including myself), who support keeping the tag - what harm is being done by keeping the tag? Given low Meta participation, you can count on it coming right back too - so be prepared to whack-a-mole this tag forever. – EBongo Jun 23 '12 at 12:36
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    @EBongo This answer is not a decision - it's my own personal opinion (that it's an often misused and poorly defined tag by tagging standards). I even concede reasons for keeping the tag. Moreover, as QAdley points out, this tag covers 500+ questions and would require significant effort to burninate so there's no need to get excited about any eminent demise, especially considering that it is still being disputed. As such, I recommend, you either upvote other answers with which you agree or offer an alternative solution to address the reasons why people would want it gone in the first place. – skovacs1 Jun 24 '12 at 6:05
  • @skovacs1 Well the whole subject seems to have taken a turn. Last I visited this post it seemed folks already had their torches ready, but now quite the opposite. Apologize if I overreacted a bit. Agree to disagree, and +1 for civil differences of opinion. – EBongo Jun 25 '12 at 3:01
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Skovacs's answer acknowledges at least one specific case where it is useful. Diablo 3 is not the last game that will have tons of questions, nor is it the last game that will have lots of questions about achievements. Being able to search for the questions about achievements within the game tag (as opposed to every question that mentions the word) is a useful thing.

So it seems the burden should now be on the side of "What significant damage is being caused by this tag that warrants us deleting it completely?" Since we always get the top two tags in the header now anyway, the fact that achievement is more popular than many games isn't really a problem. So where is the damage? If there is no damage, why do we feel the need to destroy it?

  • I feel we are a lot stricter in our tagging policies than a number of other sites. A lot of it is that we have to be for many things, but there also seems to be a bit of overkill for things like this that add value, but if it can't be justified as "enough" value, it gets burninated. – LoveAndCoding Jun 20 '12 at 21:41
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    I think this is the singular most important reason to keep this tag. For small games, there is really no need for any second tag, I can see that. For big games, let's face it, the search sucks. It's non-intuitive, it finicky, and even when you play to its strengths it still misses things. Tagging, like the site search, is a way for folks to find duplicate questions before posting, which is something we very much want them to attempt. It also has some value in browsing, which I'll re-iterate is not that easy with site search. – EBongo Jun 23 '12 at 12:30

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