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Since it's hat season again, I actually looked at all of the badges and things associated with my account here on Code Review. One thing I noticed is that I am about halfway to "epic" which is defined as "Earn 200 daily reputation 50 times." The "legendary" badge is the same thing, but 150 times. Naturally, these are pretty rare badges.

It appears that there are currently only five Epic and three Legendary folks out there.

My hat's off to you all!

It looks like all but one of them were earned in 2015 and earlier, and there has been an apparent drop in volume on Code Review (and, I believe, across the StackExchange network).

To be clear, I'm not advocating that we change anything, but just curious about what other people think. Are those badges no longer attainable, or are they attainable but just a lot harder to get?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd say badges named Epic and Legendary are supposed to be hard to get. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Dec 30 '20 at 15:16
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How to get Legendary badge - rather, the way I did it....

In case you were wondering what it took to get that badge, you are, in part, right about the timing - it was a "good time" to get upvotes - but that is/was not the only factor. Let me explain what it took to get that badge, and why it is the one I am most proud of.

I joined Code Review just as a small group of folk banded together as a micro-community inside the larger community, mostly using the chat room to meet, bond, and coordinate the "revival". There is in fact a chat room dedicated to the story of Code Review's revival. So, one of the primary goals of the Revival was to improve the answered-question ratio, to answer all decent questions, and to remove questions that were not a good fit for the site.

I took it upon myself to answer questions, and I did not hold back on either the quantity, nor quality of what I put out there - I would spend 20 minutes to a couple of hours on the answers. I was answering 20 questions a day.... and all you need is 1 upvote per answer to hit rep-cap.... This is significant, because in order to improve the question/answer ratio, the answer HAS to have a positive >0 score. So, other people in the same community were able to improve the ratio by up-voting my answer instead of answering it themselves.

We set up the bot in the chat room to notify when a new question was posted - being first to answer is a big deal when it comes to reputation - but only if the answer is good. Answering new questions (instead of zombie questions) has the advantage of possibly getting an accept-vote, worth 15.

Other folk in the group were learning as well, and there were a few "regular" users who used Code Review as a learning tool, and would post regular questions to challenge-sites like Project Euler, or HackerRank. Regular questions from these users allowed regular answers too.

Then I discovered "money for jam" - a query on SEDE that shows you which questions are earning you reputation long after you answered them.... and I realized that visibility of answers - getting people to look at old answers, is a great way to get votes.... on work you did a long time ago. It re-iterated that quality answers keep paying back.

I looked in to SEDE further, and as a team, we started using it as a tool to identify patterns and strategies for maximizing our impact on the site - I started being selective about the answers I was giving - targeting areas of the site that were more active - no point in answering questions that nobody was ever going to look at, or in some language that was out of vogue, or on a subject that was too limited in scope. Yes, I strategized where to answer.

One big strategy is to EDIT THE QUESTION!!! People forget to do this, and it's such a big deal. Give it a catchy title, make it searchable, and easy to read. People will not look at the answers of questions they do not read/find. The more people who find the question, the more votes you may get. Make the question stand out!

Finally, there WAS a community where we were all chatting in chat rooms, we were all monitoring each other's activity, and on days where I was just a vote or 2 short of capping reputation, I would point out answers that I had written that I thought could use more visibility - put on a puppy-dog expression, and hope that someone would look at it, appreciate it, and upvote it. We were all doing this to an extent, but note that you could not game the system more than the rules of the site allowed.

So, in short, the way to get Legendary, is to:

  • spend hours every day answering questions (at the time, an answer vote was 10 points, a question vote was 5 points - answering was worth more than asking).
  • provide good answers that add value
  • be the first to answer, if you can, or be a better answer than the first, if you can't
  • gain visibility on your answers - edit and improve the question (preferably before the tweet goes out) - nobody will vote for a good answer if they do not see it
  • establish "legacy" answers that earn you reputation long after you wrote them.
  • monitor the site to pick up active questions
  • work on tasks that have visibility - clearing up "zombies" and having a group of people involved in the same activity helps a lot.

There is no surprise that Legendary is a hard badge to get - it takes a lot of work, and dedication. I don't doubt that it is daunting, it was for me. It just takes active management, dedication, and time..... lots of time.

I should add, that it lead to some burn-out - I needed a break after "working" so hard on it. It is no surprise that immediately after getting legendary that we all backed off on the effort required (200_success, janos and myself). The one SEDE below shows that we scraped past 150, and stopped. Matt and Simon scraped past 50, and stopped. It's a "crazy" investment in time and effort.

enter image description here

I should also add, that we all became moderators... answering questions as a moderator is harder.... psychologically it feels wrong to use your moderator diamond as an answerer. Also, your time is less available.

Resources:

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    \$\begingroup\$ Super answer! I really need to learn more about how to use SEDE... \$\endgroup\$
    – Edward
    Dec 19 '20 at 14:20
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Why would you want the badges?

  • Rep-capping, getting 200 reputation in a day, is a lot of effort. Doing that for 200 days is an even greater effort. That's around 2/3 of a year!

  • The presence of a cap on the amount of reputation you can get incentivizes you to not hit the cap.

    If you go past the cap then you get 'nothing' from your upvotes. Why do something for nothing when an answer tomorrow gets you more reputation?

  • Why would you set a goal of 200 rep-caps when there are easier goals like logging in over 100 consecutive days?

Even the people on Stack Overflow don't want the badges. There are 738 Epic and 293 Legendary badges.

Are those badges no longer attainable, or are they attainable but just a lot harder to get?

Possibly. But I don't really think voting has changed much over the years. If you're good at playing the hot network system then 2 answers a day could be all you need.

I would argue that it is easier to get after "rewarding the askers". Upvotes now give 10 reputation rather than 5. This means you can repcap from posting half the amount of hot network questions. Additionally it is easier for new users to get the vote-up privilege needing only 2 upvotes rather than 3. This means new users have a higher chance to be able to upvote your answers.

But regardless of probably minor variations over the years, it's a lot of work for a silly badge.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The badge description doesn't say that you repcap, it says that you earn 200 reputation. This can come from accepted answers or (my usual case) a big bounty award. Still not easy, but obtainable without getting 20 upvotes a day. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '20 at 3:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @1201ProgramAlarm In my second sentence I define "rep-capping" as a slightly inaccurate but in practically correct definition so I don't have to waste time writing and reading "get 200 reputation a day" multiple times. Reading that is 10 syllables and 32 characters where "rep-cap" is only 2 syllables and 7 characters. Yes I do read my own answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Dec 18 '20 at 10:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it use with some clarification. Rep-capping, getting 200 reputation in a day, to me reads like you're defining what rep-capping is. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '20 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @1201ProgramAlarm Yes I defined a noun "rep-cap" there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Dec 18 '20 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @1201ProgramAlarm - rep-capping is a phrase that's been around for as long as I have been on the site... See the chat search \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Dec 20 '20 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, it goes back to 2010: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54695/… \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Dec 20 '20 at 2:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl I believe the source of the contention is my 'short and sweet' definition is technically wrong. As SE's rep-cap isn't a strict 200 reputation limit, as I defined it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Dec 20 '20 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl I'm aware of what rep-capping is. The problem I have is that the two badges are for getting 200 reputation in a day, and have nothing at all to do with rep-capping. You don't need to rep-cap to get the badges. That the rep-cap limit is the same amount of reputation can create a false connection between the limit and the badges, and this answer reads like there is a connection between them. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20 '20 at 18:59

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