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The logic of Socratic and Legendary badges is similar:

  • Socratic is given for 100 good asking days
  • Legendary is given for 150 good rep-harvesting days

But Socratic can be awarded multiple times, while Legendary cannot. I propose that Legendary should be a multiple-award badge too:

  1. For consistency with Socratic
  2. To give long-time users some (not too frequent) milestones to pass: even when earning 200 every day, they would not get it more than once in five months. Having one Legendary badge is great, but having 10 means yet another level.

(Jon Skeet would have 14 Legendary badges at this time.)

There may be some slippery slope concerns: would multiple awards be extended to all gold badges? But the case is stronger for Legendary than for Marshal, Copy Editor or Fanatic. The race to get most Marshal badges would encourage more query-powered flag farming, which is a burden on moderators. Copy-editing race could be similarly disruptive. And giving multiple gold badges just for showing up (Fanatic) would make the gold badge count too easy to inflate.

Legendary is not a cheap badge, and one can't speed it up by being disruptively hyperactive for a week: it rewards a steady stream of strong contributions.

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    Yeah, I'm not sure Socratic should be awarded multiple times either.. – Martijn Pieters Oct 19 '14 at 9:19
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    Grmbl. The change appears to have been made silently (as a response to this poll I suppose; marked as 'status-completed' a month ago). I note that animuson predicted your FR would be made. So I'm looking forward to a request for multi-awarding the Marshal badge too! – Martijn Pieters Oct 19 '14 at 9:27
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    The Socratic badge page on Stack Overflow shows a burst of Socratic badges on 10 October, I guess that's the day this was switched on then. – Martijn Pieters Oct 19 '14 at 9:31
  • What? Socratic is awarded multiple times? And I was so relieved when I didn't have to schedule my questions to separate days anymore. Now I again have to pay attention to asking time? ;-( – Christian Rau Oct 19 '14 at 15:31
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    You become a Legend once, and you will stay Legend forever. That's why it is called Legendary. That's why it should be awarded only once. – Tomas Nov 29 '14 at 17:32
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Socratic rewards an activity that is, primarily, good for the site -- good questions are the sand that produces the pearls (good answers) we're optimizing for. While I don't have a strong opinion on multiple awards for it, I see the logic -- we want people to keep doing that.

Legendary, on the other hand, rewards an activity that is, primarily, good for the user -- yes, you tend to earn rep through good posts which are in turn good for the site, but the rep cap is really focused on the user. Legendary is a huge accomplishment already (never been awarded on some sites), and I don't think we need to award it multiple times. It'll make a few super-high-rep-earners happy, but I don't see the broader benefit.

Further, as already noted in the question, it opens the door to even more "we should award this badge multiple times" requests, and I don't think multiplying the other gold badges would be good for the sites. Let Socratic be the anomaly, not the first pebble in the avalanche.

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