I've never really been fond of badges (okay, maybe for the two seconds I climbed to the #1 spot) but I think it's time to retire them. Here's my two cents:
Achievements do not encourage good editing. They encourage a lot of editing. Quantity over quality.
Achievements are no longer supported by Fandom/Wikia itself.
It's blatantly obvious when new users edit just for the badges. And it's usually small and/or pointless.
The two custom tracks we had, Flash villains and GCPD members, were nice when The Flash and Gotham started, but random now.
Given the fact we don't use blogs, that whole streak leads to people reviving dead blogs.
Given the fact we do use a lot of categories, that whole streak is like handing out candy. I've once gotten two category badges from indexing one issue (PEREEEEEEEZ!!!)
There hasn't been movement in the leaderboard in ages. Many of the people on it aren't even active anymore. It'd take a new user a full year just to get close. I could drop dead now and still be in #1 next year.
So, that makes me think it's time to get rid it. Maybe I just weep, for there are no more badges to conquer. Maybe there are people trying really hard to get that Supes badge. Maybe I'm totally wrong. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I have to say, I completely agree. I think the badge system does promote annoying edits, but I think that it's still nice to see a badge pop up every once in a while to tell you you've been contributing well, and you've earned it. Also, I think that it is quite useful to promote those random categories into being edited, because otherwise they would get little to no attention. It's just a shame that those little unneeded changes are still around.
It does encourage pointless edits from randoms. I can’t deny that. And there are redundant badges such as the blogs. Granted. But in saying that, they may also encourage casual editors to become more productive editors. The Superman badge was personally a motivator for me. It motivated me to complete an issue per day, and on the days when I didn’t have the time, or wasn’t at home, opened up other proactive editing avenues such as cleaning up OOU articles.
Eventually badges mean nothing to hardcore editors but in mid stages it can be a motivational tool. There are occasional badge farmers, but a random blog or a few reverts for those single edit badges is a minor inconvenience at the most, and even with badges gone, you will still have to revert stupid edits from newbies. We get them all the time without collectors.
I am a mildly obsessive-compulsive collector, so I did pay attention to badges when I was starting out. And to be honest, losing the Flash badges deterred me from writing synopsises for the early Firestorm appearances.
Either way, I wouldn’t bother me. I’ll just take a screen shot of my Supes and make it my avatar, then when they’re gone, I’ll be the only one with it instead of the 12th.
When I first started editing, I was encouraged by the badges to keep going, but now, they don't have any real meaning.
Considering the fact that many new users just do pointless little edits just for the badges and not to further develop the community doesn't support their case either. IIRC, there was even a user who wanted to be given badges just for the giggles.
In the end, I wouldn't shed any tears if they were to disappear.
@Arise - Guess who got an screenshot of the exact moment when the Superman badge popped up? (Three years ago now... time flies...)
Seeing myself climb the leaderboard was quite thrilling... but also extremely demanding. Almost torturous. Sure I earned the spot among the top 10, but the pride lasted only for a year. Being mostly inactive in the past months, the spot has been taken by the only user who is actively creating pages for the weekly new issues; which is how most of the top people earned their spots on the list anyway. Not a really fair system, imo.
For people like Tupka, among the top 5 in the list, badges are meaningless. They've earned the spot and it's hardly ever going to be taken by anyone any time soon.
For old-time users featured in the leaderboard (like me), badges are tokens of pride and notoriety among all users, but they're also a reminder of abandoned efforts and past times. You look good to internet strangers, but you don't really feel good about the "achievement".
For some new users, badges are the primary motivator to edit, but once they realize all they do is become part of an ever-increasing list of badge-holding users and the empty, hollow and shallow "reward" that they represent, they drop it.
Bottom line, anyone's willingness to edit must come from a higher purpose other than earning tokens.
Naah. Keep them. I'm not really a regular editor now, but it was a big motivator in 2013 when I did begin seriously editing. Got myself into the top 20 within six months or so. Good motivation for mid level editors imo.
Two words... pointless and annoying. Badges for Flash villains, GCPD members, and Green Lantern Corps members are too precise, and don't even start with the Robotman badge. The Robotman badge is literally the most annoying thing i've ever saw, getting a badge for making an edit every day for a YEAR. Wikis like the Indiana Jones Wiki and Wookiepedia also don't use it (anymore, idk) and its completly fine. I would be grateful if they were removed.
Getting badges in the end, while a fun "reward", is quite pointless, and as Der rote Kampfflieger said, the daily edit for a year badge makes your life look pointless in comparison, because when you miss out on one of the days, it makes you see how pitiful you're trying to be (I mean, I got that on Scoobypedia, and it was amusing, but that's because it's my main place to be, trying to achieve that elsewhere, you can only do so much).
I've looked on the admin board on Scoobypedia (or somewhere else where I'm admin), and saw that they removed the badges, so even if you did want to remove them you can't. Tup, is this something you'd have to ask Wikia?
It seems to be a consensus that it's valuable for newer editors but useless for those who've been here a long time. It also seems that all the experienced editors want it removed because it's no longer fun/worth it for them personally. I'm not sure that in itself is a good reason to remove them. Taking that away from someone who still finds enjoyment in them just because you no longer do is kind of lame.
I would also agree that some of the tracks are dumb at this point. The GCPD one was set up with the intention of improving those pages when the Gotham tv show was about to debut. There is the option to set up other tracks but that takes work on the admin side and is limited by Wikia, mostly to categories. It would be great to set up something to says you get a badge if you add a history section of at least 1000 characters to a page but I don't think that's even possible. And like everything else, the badges will always be susceptible to badge hunters exploiting them with bad edits.
I don't know if I'm arguing for or against keeping the badges. I guess my point is we can change what no longer works for us if we decided to go that route. I'm just not sure we completely do away with a tool some of the most experienced people no longer use just because they're the most experience people here.
Kyle - The thing is, considering how hard it is to get to a higher rank given the sheer amout of users we've had over the years, I really doubt the whole system is fun or enjoyable for a whole lot of people. As evidenced in this thread, the rate is 7-2 against it (+ 5 indifferent).
Unless the numbers and opinions change over the course of the week... good riddance.
I've never heard of badges before, and frankly I don't really care what they are or what happens to them. i just like to edit pages so I can help others (and myself) understand the comic their reading a lot better an easier.
The leaderboard isn’t the motivator, it’s the badge itself. The leaderboard, as Tupka always says, really only gauges quantity over quality. The individual badges are the novelty. Once the gold badges get recycled they become insignificant, but I like having a goal, even if it is an unlikely one. I probably won’t, but I aspire to one day earn Grodd.
Unfortunately the badges were set up to be a points system instead of a treasure hunt of sorts like console trophies. Speaking of which, before they are gone and forgotten, what is/was the Darkseid badge? I have a feeling only Billy may know.
I was on Marvel Database and undid some Vandalism....got a badge for uploading over a 1000 pictures. I do a lot of minor edits (or I forget to turn of the minor edit thing) but I prefer quality over quantity (includes spellchecking/proofreading the article).
I don't really have a strong opinion but just to throw my 2 cents in, I agree with Kyle. I don't think there's necessarily any harm in having badges besides the occasional badge hunter we just chide anyway. I would say that we could devote more attention to improving badges and rotating them around to be more constructive and interesting? Like, "this month is Aquaman month, let's make the badges Aquaman-centric to beef-up Aquaman pages" or something. I wouldn't mind being in charge of rotating them either if I knew what to do.
Jumping in with Harold, Shadzane, and Kyle to say that there's no need to get rid of a pointless feature simply because we old cranks aren't getting our jollies out of it anymore. I still enjoy the little reward response of receiving my billionth Wonder Woman badge, even though, I and you all know that it is meaningless, and I don't get a prize for it. Not to mention that whenever I get a Snapper Carr badge, I immediately shout "SUCK IT, TUPKA" to the horror of my frightened coworkers.
And I agree that the somewhat abandoned plan to create a set of badges to encourage growth in certain areas of the wiki was a good one that we could revisit. (For example, our silver age comics need a lot of attention). I like Harold's idea of cycling them around on a regular (monthly?) basis.
What about the effort to make them interesting? The way I see it, retiring them is an easy fix. Keeping them, but "making them interesting" gives whoever wants to do that a permanent chore for the years to come... until they get bored or leave and badges are ignored and stagnate again.
If we are to keep badges, the first and foremost step on making them better should be to remove the Wonder Woman badge. I don't know if it can be done, but considering that any sort of reward for categorization in our system is easily exploitable, it's bound to encourage badge hunters. Not to mention the inequitable distribution of that badge whenever a page with countless categories is fixed after a coding error, resulting in those categories being put in place "again".
The only edits I have issues with is the spelling of some people when they do edits. That is fixable since we can just edit and correct it. The badges are not important but I do not see the point of getting rid of them either. See an edit that does not seem suitable? Correct it. Do you have any other issues other than people doing useless edits?
Also, is it against any rules to be a badge hunter? Personally, I do not care much for it. Sometimes I see a badge with a catchy name and like it. Obviously editing random stuff for badges is silly but if a person does good edits then it does not seem to matter.