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Why not scale Tag Badge requirements for beta sites?

For example on the Robotics SE Site the gold badge requires:

total score of 1000 in at least 200 non-community wiki answers

Same as SO and others, for one of the most popular tags on the Robotics SE quadcopter, the top 20 Answerers combined don't even have a score of 1000, let alone a single person. The top Answerer barely qualifies for a bronze badge.

Most other rep levels are scaled to 20%-50% of the Graduated site values so the right number for gold would be a score of 200-500.

What is the rational behind this?

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    So what, you lose your badges when the site graduates? You keep 'em, and they just mean less than they do for folks earning them post-graduation? Special "beta gold" badges that turn silver after graduation?
    – Shog9
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 20:56
  • I suppose that makes sense and other suggestions to scale badge levels to question or tag popularity are problematic as well, although sliding all the badges after graduation might also make sense where gold becone silver, ect and you just drop bronze badges
    – Mark Omo
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 21:00

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Some badges are always going to be harder to earn on some sites than on others. It's frustrating to hear people casually dismiss a hard-won badge on Site A because "eh, that was easy (on SO)". And it's frustrating to have badges that aren't available at all, e.g. Generalist, because your site just hasn't built up the volume yet.

(And by the way, the relevant factor here is activity or volume, not beta-vs-graduated. There's a huge range among both types of sites, after all.)

But scaling badges adds both complexity and confusion without a lot of clear benefit. Right now I know what Generalist or Great Answer or Reversal means; if you change the critera on a per-site basis, nobody who doesn't go read the documentation will know what it means. A badge of distinction that doesn't actually distinguish anything, because nobody knows what the bling means, doesn't seem very productive.

And what do you do when conditions change? Do we revoke badges when a beta site graduates (or activity level changes) and badge-holders are no longer eligible? That's what happens with privileges upon graduation, but except for tag badges, SE doesn't revoke badges now. The stray "extra" Nice Question is no big deal, but if you have a site full of Generalists who got the badge under different conditions, don't you think that'll be a wee bit confusing? (And I'll bet the data-representation implications aren't exactly trivial.)

Badges are what they are. Better to live with that than to add lots of complexity and confusion.

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