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Necromancer

Answered a question more than 60 days later with score of 5 or more.

Revival

Answered more than 30 days later as first answer scoring 2 or more.

Necromancer is the silver badge to the bronze Revival.

On the surface, the numbers appear to be very different (30 vs 60, 2 vs 5). This is a typical spread between bronze/silver. But in this particular case, almost every answer that receives one gets the other, or the number receiving Revival and not Necromancer is almost exactly the number receiving Necromancer and not Revival.

  • 116173 Revival Awarded
  • 116183 Necromancer Awarded

Should the criteria be adjusted to make Necromancer substantially harder to achieve than Revival? They seem too similar.


Edit:

The more I think about this, the more it seems to me the Necromancer badge should have had the "first answer" criteria all along. Otherwise with one hand you make it more difficult to achieve, while with the other you make it easier. This is in contrast to the definition given to silver badge:

Silver badges are less common than bronze ones. You'll need to plan your strategy to get one of these.

This is the only badge pair (on SO) where the silver has more awards than the bronze.

I have since learned other sites are note this way. If badge criteria need to remain consistent across sites, then this shouldn't be changed.

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    almost every answer that receives one gets the other What makes you think that? Any question answered in the period 30 to 60 days won't ever be eligible for Necromancer. – Martijn Pieters Feb 25 '14 at 20:36
  • There should be fewer silver awards than bronze, generally – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 20:37
  • @devnull: No, the first answer to reach score 2 or more. That can be the second answer posted.. – Martijn Pieters Feb 25 '14 at 20:38
  • @mhlester: No, there should not, that's not the goal, not really. – Martijn Pieters Feb 25 '14 at 20:38
  • "Silver badges are less common than bronze ones. You'll need to plan your strategy to get one of these." – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 20:39
  • I just read through every badge that had 2+ levels. These are the only ones where silver is more common than bronze – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 20:42
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    It might make sense to bump the age threshold for Necromancer to 90 days. Would be interesting to see how many times it would've been awarded if that had been the threshold from the beginning. – Ilmari Karonen Feb 25 '14 at 21:25
  • True, presumably there's a SEDE query for that. It also seems the omission of the first answer limitation for Necromancer was accidental – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 21:36
  • It's not that way on every site - just the one you happen to be looking at. – doppelgreener Feb 25 '14 at 22:36
  • True. It depends on the age of the site. SO is mature enough that if a question is older than 30 days, 95% likely it's older than 60 days too – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 22:37
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    See the discussion that lead to the revival badge: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/69116/… – Toon Krijthe Feb 26 '14 at 11:17
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Badges are designed to encourage desired behaviors. By not having the "first answer" requirement, the necromancer badge encourages people to revisit all types of old questions.

Even old, answered questions sometimes need attention:

  • The existing answers could be obsolete. (See also: Excavator and Archaeologist.)
  • The existing answers may not fully answer the question.

A new answer can bring benefits like a different perspective, a more in-depth explanation, or some newly-discovered information that wouldn't fit in any existing answer. And if five people up-vote it, then the new answer was a good contribution to the site - one that might not have been made without the Necromancer badge telling people it's ok to answer old, already-answered questions.

This benefit would be lost or diminished if Necromancer gained a "first answer" requirement.

  • That's a very poignant point. I'll accept this answer for the simple fact that it reiterates the intent of badges in the first place. Thank you for shifting the attention where it needs to go. – mhlester Feb 26 '14 at 1:12
  • As Troyen says, Necromancer does require some thinking: you need to identify old questions which miss an important point in their answers. In contrast, a Revival is merely testing the search for old questions, with a minimum upvote requirement to avoid gaming. – Nemo May 1 '15 at 13:48
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Revival requires you to submit the first answer, and get a score of 2+. In other words, you took this "tumbleweed" off the 5th page, where questions go to die, and you revived it and got people to vote on it 30 days after it was asked.

Necromancer requires you to submit an answer period, and get a score of 5+. It's already been answered before, but your answer (60 days after it was asked) was good enough to get 5 upvotes.

Are they similar? Sure. Will one guarantee the other? Nope. You can go to the back page right now and potentially get a Necromancer. But the odds that a question has no answer after 60 days (to fulfill both the Revival and Necromancer requirements) are very slim.

  • They can both exist without the other. The fact that the criteria cause the number of answers that apply to each to be nearly identical is what I see as deficient. If anything, Necromancer should build on the criteria of Revival, and also require first answer. – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 22:34
  • This badge goes against the stated definition of silver: "Silver badges are less common than bronze ones. You'll need to plan your strategy to get one of these." – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 22:34
  • You, yourself, have a Revival. You don't have a Necromancer. So, one was harder to obtain than the other. Correct? – Johnny Bones Feb 25 '14 at 22:37
  • On meta that's true. One more upvote and it'll be a necromancer though – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 22:37
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    @mhlester That text is descrpitive of what silver badges are like, not the definition of what makes a badge a silver badge. Badges do not become silver just because they are less common. They become silver because - if you look at just about every silver badge - they take a decent amount of work. Unlike bronze badges, which are just generally introductions to site features. – doppelgreener Feb 25 '14 at 22:38
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    On SO you actually did get both on the same question. That's the exception, I'd bet, and not the norm. There should be a badge for pulling that off. :) – Johnny Bones Feb 25 '14 at 22:39
  • @JonathanHobbs, I agree 100%. Looking at all the badges, this is the only silver with more awards than its corresponding bronze. But I would accept the link you posted from a different site as a good enough reason why they should remain as they are in general. – mhlester Feb 25 '14 at 22:43
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    @mhlester It is weird, though, I agree - on Role Playing Games, Revival is the one that's hard to get! But then again, our answer ratio is 100% in the SE site list! (actually, it's just past 99.5%) – doppelgreener Feb 25 '14 at 22:49
  • @JohnnyBones, I just got the necromancer badge for the same post you mentioned I only had revival for. I rest my case :) – mhlester Feb 26 '14 at 17:00
  • Apparently it's "first answer with a score of 2" not "first answer and a score of 2". I misread the description as well. – Troyen Feb 26 '14 at 21:38

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