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As I understand from explanation, Good Answer is awarded for an answer with score 25+. Guru is awarded for an answer with score 40+ and only if it is accepted. Is it normal that one of two badges of the same color (both silver) is strictly "better" than another, or am I reading something wrongly?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes.

On SO, 8,858 Good Answer badges have been awarded while 1,093 Guru badges have been awarded.

With so many different badges, they are broken down into 3 difficulty ranges (bronze, silver, gold). Just because two badges are both silver doesn't mean the difficulty level of getting them is the same. However, the idea is that the "easiest" gold badge is more difficult to get than the most difficult silver badge; whether or not that works out in practice is open for debate.

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5  
The hardest badge to get is actually a bronze badge. Just can't bring myself to fill in all of the data for the Autobiographer badge... –  Tyler Carter May 14 '10 at 20:23
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@Tra: If you reaaaaaaly want it, you could just fill it all in, wait for the badge, then undo it. –  Jon Seigel May 14 '10 at 20:31
    
@Jon Can't risk that. I live in an undisclosed location, surrounded by 5 layers of barbed-wire, 300 feet underground, with special protective covering to stop people from finding me. –  Tyler Carter May 14 '10 at 20:33
    
@Jon If I tell you where I am, evil people will come and kill me! –  Tyler Carter May 14 '10 at 20:34
    
@Tradition: so you're in solitary? How'd you get a computer in?? –  squillman May 14 '10 at 20:36
    
@squillman I stole the guard's iPad. :P –  Tyler Carter May 14 '10 at 20:37
    
@squillman Don't ask me why they have wifi in here. –  Tyler Carter May 14 '10 at 20:38
    
@Tra: Location: in your fridge. –  Jon Seigel May 14 '10 at 20:49
    
@Tradition: But you have the Autobiographer badge on all four sites...? –  mmyers May 14 '10 at 20:54
    
@Chacha102 - it doesn't have to be your real information. –  ChrisF Jan 27 '12 at 19:46

In a word, Yes. Guru is strictly harder to attain than Good Answer. At the same time, Civic Duty is easier than that (just need to exhaust all votes over the course of 10 days), and Enthusiast is circumstantially even easier. There's a lot of variance in difficulty within one tier of badges, the main distinguishment is that golds tend to be harder than silvers, and silvers harder than bronzes. Another trend is that you general receive golds after silvers, and silvers after gold.

This is not always the case, of course. Some random statistics on oddball badge difficulty in comparison to the other tiers.

  • Enthusiast and Yearling are the only Silver badges that can be acquired without a Bronze badge. Fanatic is the only Gold badge that can be acquired without a Bronze badge.
  • Reversal and Populist are the only Gold badges that can be acquired without any Silver badges.
  • The Electorate badge, mechanically the easiest Gold badge to obtain (just needs 20 days after receiving 15 rep) can be received well before you even qualify for some of the Bronze badges (like Critic). By using association to gain the rep for the Electorate, it instead becomes possible to receive the badge before qualifying for any Silver badge besides Civic Duty.
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Pundit and Epic are less common than all but two of the gold badges (not counting tag badges). And one of those two gold badges is Legendary, the gold version of Epic. –  mmyers May 14 '10 at 18:51
    
Let's assume, from this point forward, that the word "tend" in my last sentence has the maximum potential emphasis it can have. After all, it can take fewer days to get "Electorate" (20) than it does to get "Enthusiast" (30). –  Grace Note May 14 '10 at 19:04
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Really? Pundit is that rare? I feel special. I think. –  beska May 14 '10 at 19:20
    
With the exception of Generalist -- I'd have to say that it's impossible to earn an unimplemented badge, yet it's only silver level. –  tvanfosson May 14 '10 at 19:27

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