The time has finally come! We'd like to formally re-introduce...
The Sonic Stadium Achievements system!
This has been in the making for many, many months. We actually delayed the launch a few times as we wanted to make sure that the system we introduced was fair, provided a realistic promotion curve and awarded things in the way we wanted to. And we will still be tweaking things as we go (see the Fine Print section below), as we soft-launch this new system and get to understand how people use and respond to it.
So let me start by saying; BADGES ARE BACK! 💃
But, there is also much more to our new Achievements system. I'd like to introduce the whole thing to you here and give you the rundown of how it works and what to expect.
Sonic Stadium Achievements: Overview
Almost anything and everything you can do on The Sonic Stadium (well, the SSMB side of it, anyway) can be recognised and rewarded with points and/or badges. These rewards can be offered either through automatic rules that the Sonic Stadium staff set, or manually awarded by SSMB Mods and Admins (and in some cases, TSS Staff with certain conditional events).
Automatic Rules-based rewards (like the ones above) are usually given for meeting certain milestone targets during your stay at The Sonic Stadium. For example, if you just registered an account with us and made your first post in a topic (and it gets approved), you will automatically earn a special badge. We can set rules for [making X number of posts], [giving X number of Reactions to another user's content]... even [return visits to The Sonic Stadium]. There will often be multiple tiers/levels to these kinds of Achievements, with circular basic-colour badges being more common and easier to unlock, and spiky/shinier badges being more rare (or require a bit more dedication to earn).
Manual Rewards (like the badges seen above) will mostly be handed out for meeting unique conditions (i.e. during Community Events) that SSMB staff will track, or for qualitative instances such as rewarding the quality of a user's post in a topic. Badges associated with these kinds of Achievements will mostly be in a square format, and (with the exception of Limited Edition or Community Event badges) can be awarded multiple times.
For example, the green badge above is awarded by Staff to a user that makes a post that they think counts as really great content - they will be able to award this directly to that user's post. That user will also be able to see a link to the content that earned them this badge, by checking their Badge list on their profile page.
In order to understand the Achievements system fully, it's best to think of it as four major pillars of progression:
- Achievement Rules, which are custom conditions set by us that you meet in order to earn... 👇
Achievements, which will consist of EITHER or BOTH of the below, depending on the Achievement:
- Badges, which are cool little tokens that are forever saved to your account
- Points, which contribute to your account levelling up in... 👇
- Rank, which is a visual representation of your journey in the Sonic Community.
Badges alone do not count towards your Rank progression. Only Points do. So, having lots of Badges on your account will not necessarily mean you will shoot up in Rank, unless many of those Badges also have a Points value assigned to them.
Not all Achievements will include a Points reward. Some will reward only Points (i.e. make a post in a topic and you earn X points towards your next rank), some will reward only Badges. Only Achievements that reward Badges will be listed on your profile page for you to track.
With this first iteration of the Sonic Stadium Achievements system, we're offering 16 Ranks that start at the level of 'Chao' and run up the Sonic character leaderboard... all the way to Hyper Sonic at the very top. These Rank Badges were created for TSS by the amazing @Zaysho - be sure to give them all the love in the world for making these incredibly expressive renditions of the Sonic crew!
You can check your progress at any time by going to your Profile page and clicking the 'Recent Badges' link above the main content area on the right hand side. This will also detail your Badge collection in full. A reminder of your current Rank status (and the Points needed to level up) can be found in the User Dropdown menu (or User Menu Drawer on mobile), as well as on Profile hovercards (when hovering your mouse over a member's username).
Can I See The Achievement List?
At the moment, we are still deciding exactly how much we share of the Achievements/Rules list. There are a few reasons for this:
There are loads and loads of Rules in our system already, and the potential for many more to come - it would be too long and tedious a list to tell you every little thing you'd get points for (some of them are incredibly boring, like earning X Points per Topic post and Y Points for every Reaction)... it's also one of the reasons why only Badge-related Achievements are tracked on your Profile
We want people to be surprised by cool Achievements they earn as they organically use the SSMB and explore different areas of the site. At this early stage, we'd rather not spoil all the different badges you could potentially get
- Revealing the list could lead to members abusing the system in an attempt to earn as many Badges and Points as they could, in order to artificially boost their Rank. We want this to be a fairly-run system that rewards good behaviour.
We may change our mind on this at any time and share the list in full if we feel that it would be beneficial to do so. It would depend on whether we could engineer the system so that having the membership know the Achievements List doesn't negatively impact the content or activity on this site. During this soft-launch we will be keeping things pretty conservative as a result, but we will of course take on board feedback about this.
Having said that, we're not against sharing some of the Achievements you can earn through using the site. Here are some examples of Badges:
First Steps: Made your first Post on SSMB
Conversation Starter: Made your first Topic on SSMB (this is achievable once your account leaves 'Newbie' status and enters the 'Sonic Community' usergroup)
Reacting Well: Give 5 Reactions to other users' content
Great Content: Manual Badge. Awarded to a user if staff determine it is... well, great content.
Helping Hand: Manual Badge. Awarded to a user if their content has been recognised as helpful to others.
A Decade Dedicated: Been a member of the Sonic Community for ten years.
There are many more to find and unlock, so we hope you have fun discovering all that the Achievements system has to offer!
Classic SSMB Badges
As you might remember, we used to have a Badge/Award system before on SSMB - you might be wondering what has happened to all of that? Well, even though the Sonic Stadium Achievements is a brand new system, we were able to migrate all of the old SSMB Awards into it. That means, if you were ever awarded an SSMB Badge in the past, you'll find it sitting right there in your profile right now. They'll be labelled 'Classic Awards' and will have no Points value attached to them, but you can rest easy knowing that your epic run through the SSMB Heroes Academy will forever be immortalised.
What About Reputation?
The Reputation system has been used as a sort of crude 'Ranking' mechanic for many years now, and to be honest I'm kind of impressed that we were able to use it in this way. However, with the advent of this new Achievements system, the Rep system will be pretty much redundant. At this time, no changes will be made to it, but logically it doesn't really make sense to have two 'ranking' like systems, so at some point it may be revised to become a little closer to its original intended purpose - to offer users a one-look view of how trustworthy/helpful a user is to the SSMB community.
If we do anything radical to Reputation, we will find a way to honour people's progression there into this new Achievements system. And we will of course announce any changes we plan in advance. But for now, it's just kinda staying as it is.
While all of this is very cool and exciting, I want to point out that we are soft-launching this new system with the objective of making tweaks and changes to the Badges and number of Points offered as we go. This means that there may be some small turbulence every so often as we reset or alter the system in order to rebalance things.
The reason for doing this? We want it to be fun, accessible yet challenging (but not too much) to earn Points and level up in Rank, and while we've made every effort to plot things out in a way we think works, we simply have no idea how easy it might be for some of you to reach the Hyper Sonic rank until we set this whole thing live. This iteration of SSMB has a directory of members spanning the last 10-12 years, and most Achievements work retroactively - so that means there's a LOT of potential content that various power users of the forum can be credited for.
We will be keeping an eye at the average Ranking and progression of the entire userbase over the course of the next week or two, and will tweak things up or down if we feel that people are either levelling up too fast, or in fact finding it too difficult to rank up (i.e. if certain Ranks provide too steep a curve in relation to the user journey we want to set out with this system). So, rebalancing can go either up or down.
Please bear with us while we get this right. To my knowledge, if we rebalance things, it should not affect the Badges you have earned - only Points and Ranks - but we'll keep tweaking until we feel we have it perfect. And you're more than welcome to offer feedback to the system either in here or via our Feedback Forum!
Your help and interaction is vital in making our Achievements system a success. So I hope you're as excited about this journey as I am! Enjoy! Happy Badge Collecting!
NOTE: In order for the new Achievements system to account for all members’ past activity, we need to recalibrate it. This might take a long while, as there is 12+ years of content on this forum for the system to comb over. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to access and view all of your Achievements and Badges!