One of the things that I am really proud of, when it comes to the Sonic Stadium, is the community that has been built around it. Thanks to each and every one of you who read and post in our forums, this place is undoubtedly the online home for dedicated Sonic the Hedgehog fans.
I want to do my best to encourage active discussion and collaboration across our website and forums, as communities living exclusively on social media become more and more fragmented and hostile to one another. To that end, we're going to be introducing some new Achievements and features that will reward great content and discussion on these pages.
Get Your Content on the Homepage!
First, let's take a look at the Forum homepage.
You'll notice a new widget at the top of the page, called 'Our Picks'. The design of this may change over time, but its function is to amplify and promote excellent content we find posted across the Sonic community. That can be a single post, a topic, or even a calendar event.
SSMB moderators will be able to select hot content they feel should get priority attention from the community and will slot it in this carousel. If your content is selected to appear in this widget, you will earn Points towards your next Sonic Rank as well as the following 'Promotion!' Badge:
The above badge is for your first Promotion to the Our Picks carousel, but we have follow-up badges primed for whenever your content is promoted a number of times (i.e. for 10 Promotions, you get a special 'Always Be Promotin'!' badge). You also earn the warm glow in your heart that comes from being recognised for your discussion skills.
Rewards For Great Content!
I mentioned in a previous Stadium Update that we would be introducing what we called 'Manual Badges' to reward great content we see on the site and forums. We're now ready to start implementing these badges in the field - so we're going to be keeping an eye on the discussion forums to dole out content that we think deserve special credit.
These are the Badges you can earn for your Topics and Posts (in most cases you will earn a Points reward too):
Great Content: Awarded for creating a post that has a lot of thoughtful and original content.
Sonic News Tipster: Awarded for posting a News topic in a manner that suits Forum Guidelines.
Helping Hand: Awarded for helping out another user in a Topic.
Great Community Support: Awarded for posting content that should serve as an example to others.
Superstar: A special Badge awarded by the moderation team if they feel your content goes above and beyond, in a manner that is not covered by (or covers multiple instances of) the above Badges.
How to Get Rewarded!
Looks awesome, right!? How do you get them!? Well, we won't just give them out willy-nilly - here are some basic notes on what we would consider prime candidates for these rewards:
Information worthy of its own Topic belongs in its own separate Topic. Anything posted in a Megathread, hidden away from main forum view, will not be considered for rewards unless split into its own Topic.
Topics and posts that adhere to recently-published, new, Forum Guidelines (i.e. New News = New Topic) will be infinitely more likely to earn rewards over those that ignore those Guidelines.
We will be prioritising material posted in discussion forums - it's worth noting that you earn Points for posting new topics and replies (and you can earn Badges for cumulative Posts made as well).
In relation to the last point, we want to clarify that this means that Status Updates have not been, and will not be, eligible for any Point or Badge rewards. Ever. You will get nothing for posting a Status Update - the Statuses feature exists for fun, shower thoughts only and isn't intended to replace discussion forums.
We are much more likely to reward content that has substantial original content/text to it, rather than something that is just a copy-paste of an article or a tweet embed.
Related to the last point, putting some effort into your Topics (especially News-related topics) will not only increase your chances of rewards, it will increase the number of Points you will earn alongside the appropriate Badge.
If you are posting a News-related Topic, linking to the original source of the information (instead of just linking to a tweet/article that posted the news elsewhere) will increase the chances of being awarded the Sonic News Tipster Badge (and will definitely increase the number of Points awarded).
- If your News-related Topic is covered and credited on Sonic News (Sonic Stadium's news section), you will earn the Sonic News Tipster Badge.
It might look like a long list of bullet points, but overall it's very simple: creating high-effort Posts, News and Topics that follow correct forum guidance and stand out as an example for others to follow will earn you special Badges and Points!
Let's work together and keep our fellow Sonic fans informed and updated! And let's have some fun while doing so!