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I think the title speaks for itself. It would help knowing 'what else needs to be done' in order to earn a certain badge level. For example, Strunk & White badge. It says "Edited 100 entries". It would be good to have a statistic off to the right when you click the Badges button at the top, that shows (50/100) Entries, for example, so you know that you have 50 left to earn this badge.

... Or is S&W a bad example? Enthusiast badge would be nice to show the statistic.

Do this encourage badge hunting? I think for most of the badges they are obtainable by 'one-time good deeds' that are difficult to do and thus would have no statistic tied to them (such as Cleanup, Taxonomist, etc)

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Was about to ask this question and found it in similar questions. I don't know about S&W, but I found out the "review" page already has the Copyeditor badge stats displayed - stackoverflow.com/review –  Merlyn Morgan-Graham Nov 19 '11 at 2:52
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2 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

As with newer XBOX achievements (see The Beatles:Rockband or Left4Dead 2 for examples), having some kind of progress would be nice for badges but it is a low gain feature in terms of the site overall. While badges encourage good behaviour, seeing the progress just encourages badge hunting, which is somewhat innocuous but not necessarily what you want.

For example, is it good to encourage edits just to get a badge or to encourage good edits? Badges certainly provide some encouragement but if you overly weight their importance, it becomes all about attaining the bling rather than doing the right thing.

I'd say I'm on the fence about this suggestion. While I can see it might be useful, I also feel that it could unnaturally bias participation in the site towards only the trackable tasks, not to mention that there are various other improvements where I'd rather see effort expended.

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I hear what your saying and I agree with you somewhat. My point is for the badges that would have statistics tied to them. A lot of them are awarded for what I call 'one-time deeds' that are not easy to obtain. I am only talking about those with statistics tied to them like you need x votes to earn this badge out of 300, for instance. –  staticx Nov 25 '09 at 14:39
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+1 for "all about attaining the bling rather than doing the right thing" –  Pops Nov 25 '09 at 16:09
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Jeff has repeatedly said that the current model is "by design". However, in his answer to this question Jeff reveals the true answer:

As a technical addendum -- we do not store which question or answer triggered the badge anywhere. (because it was never part of the design).

So even if we wanted to do this, we don't have the information..

Most badges are supposed to "come out of the blue" and you have to go hunting for what triggered the event.

They're modelled on Xbox Achievements.

In the past I would have agreed that it would be nice to know how close you are to a badge (e.g. 100 edits, 400 up-votes etc.) however, I now feel that knowing this information changes your behaviour (looking for posts to edit, answering the easy questions for votes) which might not benefit the site. Working in ignorance means that you always work how you work - editing to improve the question, answering because you want to help etc.

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Even XBOX achievements now have stats to see how close you are. See Beatles Rockband or Left4Dead 2 for examples. –  Jeff Yates Nov 25 '09 at 14:20
    
@Jeff - I didn't know that. –  ChrisF Nov 25 '09 at 14:22
    
I understand it for most of the badges since there aren't statistics tied to them, but I think that by showing the statistics people will work harder to try to obtain them and thus put more effort forward editing, making better answers, getting higher upvotes, etc. –  staticx Nov 25 '09 at 14:22
    
I see your blockquote. But to earn the Strunk & White badge, there has to be a statistic somewhere that knows when you reach it so I imagine there would be a way to display it unless there is some other underlying performance issue that prevents showing this statistic. –  staticx Nov 25 '09 at 14:25
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@surfrbum: I think you've got the nail on the head right there. The "how many edits" data is not denormalized. To get it, you have to run a query. At present, there is a process which runs at regular intervals to sum the edits per user, and award those over 100 with the badge if they don't already have it. (I'm guessing). So awarding the badge is easy, but displaying the statistic is not. –  ベレアー アダム Nov 25 '09 at 14:32
    
I think the SO community would take care of abuses. People care enough about their reputation that they question downvoting (even -1), lack of clarity, etc. –  staticx Nov 25 '09 at 14:33
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For S&W, I can understand the rationale of not showing stats. But for Enthusiast and Fanatic, that stat should be shown. –  John Rudy Nov 25 '09 at 14:38
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