I am trying to figure out what happens when you stop the gamification subscription or even when you remove certain badges from the community and re-strategize badging.
For example. We have 4 track of badges set up i.e for posts, replies, kudos and AS.
Users earn badges for the 1st topic, 5th, 10th etc. The same for the other activities above. Let's say we want to take out the 5th and the 15th badges or perhaps stop with the badges for topics all together.
What happens with the badges that were already assigned? Are they earned and not retracted?
What happens if you'd stop gamification all together. Would all badges earned be gone for the users?
If Premium Gamification is disabled, all badges will be removed from all members as the feature will become disabled on your community. It's just like removing a badge by clicking "Delete" on the badge, it will retract the badge from all members. It cannot be restored so you'd have to completely recreate the badge to get it to allocate to members who met the criteria to earn it again.
There is no "inactive" function you can set to stop members from earning badges while those who have earned it will still have it.
So in your specific example, if you removed the 5th and 15th badges, those badges would be retracted for all members that earned it and it will not be earned by future users.
It's a good thing to revisit your badge strategy but first, I would focus on simply expanding upon the existing badges vs. taking badges away from members. It's normal for users to get a good amount of badges at the beginning of their user journey to increase their awareness of badges as a reward mechanism. Good badge criteria will increase in difficulty as users progress in their journey.
If you feel your badge criteria does not meet that type of standard and needs to be retooled, then I would be careful removing badges. If you decide to, it is crucial to assess the impact on the amount of users that have achieved the badges and provide communication to those if their badges are being re-tooled.
If you'd like to discuss further, we have a Success Services engagement around Badges that you can discuss with your CSM. You'd be able to talk to one of our community strategists (including me) in-depth on this topic. 😀
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