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Can we make a small change to the Epic and Legendary badge descriptions to avoid the ongoing confusion about their meaning with some users?


  • Epic - Earned at least 200 reputation on 50 days


  • Epic - Earned at least 200 reputation on 50 separate days

The reason I'm proposing it is because I suggested it here on meta:

and two people said it was a great comment.

It's especially heart-wrenching because people see the badge ahead of time as one they can realistically earn and they peel days off the calendar until their dream can come true, only to be dashed by a misunderstanding.

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It sounds like you're reading the existing interpretation to say "Earned at least 200 reputation in 50 days". That's not what it says, though. Adding "separate" seems redundant. –  Cody Gray May 18 '11 at 4:28
@Cody: I'm not reading it that way. It's perfectly clear to me. In other languages "in" and "on" can mean the same thing and it's confusing to them. Or I don't know why people read in instead of on but they keep doing it. –  Rick Sladkey May 18 '11 at 4:34
Epic - Hit the reputation cap 50 times IMO is more clear. –  Nick Dandoulakis May 18 '11 at 9:15
@Nick: See my comment to Conrad's answer - this (essentially) was the old description, but it was wrong. –  Hendrik Vogt May 18 '11 at 10:09
Epic - Earned 200 daily reputation 50 times - @Hendrik –  Nick Dandoulakis May 18 '11 at 11:07
@Nick: That should be an answer!! –  Hendrik Vogt May 18 '11 at 11:16
@Hendrik: ok, done :) –  Nick Dandoulakis May 18 '11 at 11:40
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6 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I myself find the current descriptions a bit confusing, so I came up with alternative descriptions:

Epic - Earned 200 daily reputation 50 times

Legendary - Earned 200 daily reputation 150 times

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+1, I like this: It's concise and unambiguous. –  Hendrik Vogt May 18 '11 at 12:14
"Our survey said!" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Feud –  Rick Sladkey May 19 '11 at 5:06
Update: This suggestion was implemented today. –  Rick Sladkey Jun 3 '11 at 17:20
@Rick, hooray! The update was made in revision 2011.6.3.1 –  Nick Dandoulakis Jun 3 '11 at 19:28
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I am not sure a change is urgent once a few questions on Meta such as yours have been posted, commented, etc.

Meta could be considered a running commentary of all the parts of Stack Exchange, like jurisprudence and previous decisions in court of law.

Long before reaching the quotas for Epic, 200 reputations point during 10 days will make him reach 2000 points, earn several badges and many privileges and will give him/her a lot of practice and a different view of the system.

A potential Epic or Legendary user is certainly expected to use Meta to know more about the system and will find the explanations in this very question for instance.

There is also the great post Badge explanations (including Area51) in two alphabetical lists and a few .

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I feel like I'm in a David Lynch movie. –  Rick Sladkey May 18 '11 at 5:59
@Rick : nice. Just relax and enjoy the show. The characters aren't real, they just pretend to be. –  ogerard May 18 '11 at 6:01
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I think the misunderstanding here is nothing to do with days or count of reputation...it is the word earned.

If a person has 200 rep and sits on that for 50 days, they haven't earned anything...they've done nothing...they are effectively subsituting the word "earned" with "maintained".

my proposal is no change...

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Personally I think the older description was better.

Hit the reputation cap on 50 days

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This old description had the problem that it was wrong, and there was endless confusion about it, too. –  Hendrik Vogt May 18 '11 at 9:08
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I don't think the wording is particularly ambiguous or unclear. I'm not really sure why a handful of users have misinterpreted it. But I'm not all that worried about it; the official stance seems to be that it's perfectly okay we have no way of predicting how close we are to earning a badge. If a couple of users read the description incorrectly in a fit of anxious anticipation, I'm not sure that's all that big of a deal.

But if you're going to tinker with the descriptions, it seems the best way of phrasing them is this:

Epic — Earned at least 200 reputation each day for 50 days.
Legendary — Earned at least 200 reputation each day for 150 days.

"Each", of course, being the key word in each of the revised descriptions. Hard to see how anyone could misunderstand that.

"Separate" doesn't really clarify much. All days are by definition separate: you can't have multiple days in one, and I don't think that's been the source of anyone's confusion thus far.

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This reads like it needs to be 50/150 consecutive days. –  user149432 May 18 '11 at 5:07
@Mark: Really? How, exactly does it read like that? Why do you throw additional words in there when you read it that simply aren't there? Do you do that waffles with other sentences, as well? –  Cody Gray May 18 '11 at 5:10
@Cody when a doctor prescribes a drug for a throat infection, the instructions usually say "Take n pills each day for 30 days." The doctor surely doesn't mean take it 3 pills tomorrow, 3 in 3 days, 3 some time next week, 3 in 4 months, and when you finally take 3 pills in a day on 30 different days, even if if that takes 3 years, your throat infection will be cleared up. If your goal was to increase clarity, you've inadvertently done the exact opposite. This is, of course, the problem with bikeshedding: focusing on minutiae requires being able to stand up to even the smallest of problems. –  user149432 May 18 '11 at 5:15
@Cody: I am not wedded to "separate"; I am just trying to help the little guy. –  Rick Sladkey May 18 '11 at 5:22
I agree, @Mark, this whole topic is bikeshedding at its finest. –  NickC May 18 '11 at 5:29
Still waiting for this to earn another downvote so I can get that Peer Pressure badge... –  Cody Gray May 21 '11 at 10:18
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I think that the description of the badges could benefit from a rewording as there is too much potential to misinterpret what it means. It could be clearer. Though the wording you suggest might not be as great. I would suggest something along the lines of:

Epic:      Earned at least 200 reputation in a day for 50 days.
Legendary: Earned at least 200 reputation in a day for 150 days.
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Sheesh, tough crowd. –  Jeff Mercado May 18 '11 at 6:11
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