Before the introduction of bronze tag badges, the only requirement for silver/gold tag badges was 400/1000 upvotes. This permitted a notable Tag-badges exploit, namely, a single answer with 1000+ upvotes could earn any desired gold tag badge. When bronze tag badges were added in September 2010, this was accompanied by additional citeria for earning tag badges. Quoting user waffles:
We would like tag experts to get the tag based badges; we would like it to show long term commitment to questions with a particular tag.
Proposed changes, to protect against gaming and make the badge fairer
- Automatically take away tag based badges if the criteria is no longer met.
- Require a minimum number of non-wiki answers in the tag to get the tag-based badge (around 20 answers for bronze, 80 for silver, 200 for gold) AS well as a total score.
Let's take a look at the consequences of criterion no. 2 for five cases, using bronze tag badges as example:
A B C D E No. of non-wiki 1 4 10 15 20 answers in tag Total tag score 100 100 100 100 100 Average score 100 25 10 6.7 5 per answer Corresponding Great Good Nice -- -- answer badge Answer Answer Answer Eligible for No No No No Yes bronze tag badge
Right now, only case E (20 answers with an average score of 5) is eligible for a bronze tag badge. Awarding such a badge in case A (one answer with a score of 100) would amount to the exploit described above, as a single answer surely does not "show long term commitment" to a particular tag. Case B (four answers with an average score of 25) isn't that bad, but arguably still doesn't constitute enough commitment.
In case C (10 answers with an average score of 10), the average score corresponds to the lowest-level answer badge ("Nice Answer"), but is too high for a bronze tag badge. And more notably, in case D (15 answers with an average score of 6.7), the average score is too low even for the lowest-level answer badge, but still too high for a bronze tag badge.
In my opinion, the situation in case D ("too low and too high") is rather unfavorable and should be avoided. I suggest that case C, an average answer score that barely meets the "Nice Answer" criterion, should also barely meet the criterion for tag badges. Taking into account the respective required total scores, I suggest to reduce the required number of non-wiki answers for bronze/silver/gold tag badges to 10/40/100.
Disclosure: Until now, I have earned 3 silver tag badges and 29 bronze tag badges at tex.stackexchange. My proposal would earn me another 2 bronze tag badges ("typography": 16 answers/total score 116; "punctuation": 15 answers/total score 112).