https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus

Tackling the lingot economy

Hi Duolingo Community!

Many of you have sent us feedback on the lingot system, and we too have been thinking about how earning and spending lingots can be improved. We agree! There are definitely improvements to be made. We want to address this carefully. There is unfortunately no one, easy solution when it comes to dealing with a whole virtual economy. This means that any great "fix" would have to happen in increments, but we are thrilled to tell you that we are now taking the first necessary steps to improve the lingot economy!

Some of you may notice a change in how you earn lingots, and we just want you to be aware of it. We have an inflation issue that is not beneficial to anyone, no matter how many or few lingots we each have. We are therefore starting by testing a feature that will address this. No need to worry, you won't lose any precious red gems from your account. :]

We've been impressed by the creative uses and suggestions you've shared for lingots so far, and more are always welcome, so please continue to share your economic ideas with us!

Thank you for all your support, and we hope Duolingo is helping you on your language learning adventures. <3

April 15, 2015

202 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SDPhil

I'm happy to hear that Duolingo staff and admins actually read users' suggestions. Sometimes, it feels as if the community is being ignored, but this post is definitely reassuring. Thank you <3

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WackyJack

The Duolingo federal reserve is implementing some countercyclical measures. ;)

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandApple

Duolingo federal reserve? Duolingo is in big trouble if it adds an Internal Revenue Service too.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WackyJack

Imagine a lingot tax on "luxury" purchases such as tracksuits! How evil that would be. (No, I'm not being sarcastic, whoever downvoted me.)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus

Of course! And we're still keeping an eye here as we run tests related to the lingot economy. There is awesome feedback and great ideas here and in our forums in general. =]

May 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

New AB option as of today: no_lingot_streak_reward . That should be popular.

Duolingo, your sense of priorities, worrying about something as trivial as the lingot economy when there are many other, far more pressing things that should be occupying your limited resources is perplexing. I've given up trying to understand you.

cGlua29kb3Vn

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

pinkodoug wrote:

New AB option as of today: no_lingot_streak_reward . That should be popular.

Duolingo, your sense of priorities, worrying about something as trivial as the lingot economy when there are many other, far more pressing things that should be occupying your limited resources is perplexing. I've given up trying to understand you.

cGlua29kb3Vn


That's a simple flag in a script/program. It is a change that could be done in half a second, so I don't see why one would claim that it is occupying limited resources.

This limited resources "mantra" seems to have become a way for users to criticize whatever decisions duolingo makes that they don't particularly like. The simple fact is that because they have limited resources, they are in the best position to know what to spend their effort in. Gamification is arguably the main reason Duolingo is successful, and that careful balance between gamification and learning is what keeps it that way.

These forums have really become something akin to gaming forums were people claim that every decision the developers make is making a particular game element overpowered, or under-powered.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

I agree that this particular change was likely simple and quick to implement. However, that says nothing of time spent determining which change to start with, monitoring the test results in the future, or of time devoted to other potential changes that have yet to be revealed, etc.

Limited resources has been made the mantra because it's the first thing you hear from Duo's damage control team (my preferred title for the community manager group) whenever anyone raises issues with why this or that is getting developer attention. They claim that they're slow to address X bug or Y issue because of their limited resources - they can't use it as a shield to defend every choice they make and not have it raised when they demonstrate questionable prioritization.

You'll get no argument that gamification, and by extension the lingot economy, is an important facet of Duolingo that needs to be addressed. However, I don't believe it's as important or urgent as many well known issues that have been frequent topics of discussion (and promises by Duolingo staff). To see it prioritized ahead of other outstanding issues is a bit surprising.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

Nice post here, Dessamator.

Though I agree with Doug that there are a number of other issues that could be addressed, maintaining the gamification of the site is definitely important (it's the thing that sets Duolingo apart from every other language learning program). In their current state, lingots are meaningless to those of us that are active on the site. The balance is totally off, and lack of items in the shop isn't the main problem (though it'd be nice to have a bigger selection). It's just far too easy to accumulate them now, especially once you've been at it for a while and the streak bonuses kick in.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

You have hit the nail on the head. I have 2500 lingots. What is the point of handing them to me at the rate of hundreds every couple of months.

Post a question for discussion and spend a lot of time reading and considering the potentially hundreds of comments from the active, board users before making a decision or run an A/B test and see how many of the millions of program users notice or even care. Hmmmm! What to do?

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

I don't think that anyone in this branch of the discussion is questioning the benefit of AB testing, but rather the dev team's prioritization of issues needing to be addressed.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84

I liked getting lingots every 10 days. This "feature" has reduced my need for keeping my streak. I always felt that there needs to be more ways to spend lingots to support learning.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanHogan

Having written and run A/B tests on production web apps, I can promise you even the simplest test is never “half a second,” but is more likely to take multiple days of man-hours in setting up, reviewing, monitoring, and choosing a result, removing dead code, and then explaining the result…

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

That may be true, but this particular A/B test (or part of it) was run before the lingots were introduced. So it is unlikely that they discarded all previous data.

More importantly, the resources required may depend on the company's situation at the particular point in time. They could for example get a volunteer external developer that tackles the task, or something like "google code-in" that wikia (as an example) has made use of.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flandybandy

To be fair, the fact that this change got an official announcement and much of the content of the announcement is likely just preemptive damage control over a small change that Duolingo predicted would get a lot of negative feedback.

I doubt that you should take this to mean that lingot economy is somehow a high priority or the next big thing that Duolingo is working on. (Though I admit that the announcement does give that impression)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

D'accord. I'm happy that I'm not in the test group, since today is day 350 for me & I only have like 300+ lingots (I spend a lot of mine on other users, otherwise I'd probably have more than a couple thousand by now), & in order for me to continue on with my "expensive" habits, I need my streak rewards to stay intact!! :D

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/arielk81

I couldn't agree with you more strongly. There are clearly countless tweaks to the review algorithms, to the words feature, even to the almost un-navigable forums that would make this a much stronger tool for language learning, and instead it's... finding ways to control lingot inflation?

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

I like getting lingots for my streak :'(

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis

Me too.

As I said in Alan's post:

Looks like I'll never have Lingots again. I relied on receiving a "ration" of Lingots every ten days to give out to people who answer questions and people who ask good questions. I almost always run out by the time I reach my next ration.

With no Lingots for perfect lessons, and no Lingot ration every ten days, I'm going to fall very far in debt with Lingot IOUs.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AneurinEE

Here are 100 lingots to tide you over.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo

And 5 for me, because I feel like it. :-D

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SussexSoleil

Just do the Double or Nothing every 7 days to keep your balance topped up.

April 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis

5 lingots every week helps a bit, but it's not the same as 75+ every ten days.

April 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SpaceMichael

Yup! I think its a great streak incentive!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

XD

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MauriceReeves

Ditto. And I am very free with them in the comments section. I figured if I have them I should spend them. Now that my stipend is gone...booooooooo

April 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie

The change is a bit unfortunate. It happened on my "10 days", so I guess I didn't get any lingots for reaching 660 days.
It won't affect the way I give out lingots (i stopped buying things in the store a long time ago), but receiving lingots is a big motivator for me keeping my streak. This may seem silly, but that doesn't make it less true.
If I ever do lose my streak, I probably wouldn't try to build it up again if this change remains in place.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Wazzie, my favorite thing about lingots is giving them away. I'm always excited when the 10 day mark comes around. What you say makes sense to me. If people have a lot and complain, I'm surprised they don't just give them to someone else. I look forward to giving them away more than I look forward to buying things in the Lingot store. :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

That sucks. Is there an option to opt out of this testing? I'm worried about my future even at 1/10 of your streak. ;(

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis

I'm with you 100%.

I'm sitting at 69 Lingots at the moment, so if I continue to give them out the way I do, I won't be able to do that for very long.

I haven't even bought all of the bonus skills for the languages I'm learning yet, haha.

I feel the exact same way about my streak.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

You can still do the wager and earn lingots that way :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

The value there is negligable compared to the return on significant streaks.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84

Agreed. I didn't get a reward for 470 and i'm not so concerned about my streak any longer.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie

I'm holding onto mine in hopes they revert the change. If it remains, I'll probably take an overdue break from the site.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84

I don't think i've even gotten lingots for completing exercises .. i've been stuck at 1393 lingots for a while now. I'm considering taking a break -

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84

I found that if you reset your tree, you'll lose your level and XP history, but you'll get your 10 day lingot bonus.

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler

Very well said, wazzie! I'm with you on this.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SpaceMichael

I agree!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AB7887

Thanks for saying this Wazzie, and I agree. Lingots are a huge motivator for me keeping up my streak (though I haven't been at it as long as you have), and the best part of getting lingots is being able to give them away to people who post helpful information. I'm not part of the trial (afaik, I just hit a 10-day streak yesterday) - but I'm starting to feel a sense of panic, and the need to hoard lingots.

What baffles me is... why does DL care if their is Lingot inflation? I'm not sure if there's an official name for this "economy", but there's so little to buy - and no way to buy things directly from another person (unlike an online game), "inflation" seems meaningless.

In games, inflation becomes a problem because you can buy things from other players. If I could buy a language skill from another person here, and they could set the price... then inflation would become a problem (because as more people got more lingots, the costs of skills could rise, leaving newer participants unable to afford to buy anything).

But that can't happen here. There's nothing I can buy from any other player, and no way for the prices to reflect inflation by increasing. Really, there's not a whole lot you can do with lingots in the store either... the benefits of lingots are twofold:

  1. Acting like points (I find lingot-acquisition more rewarding than points/levels, not sure why)
  2. Being able to give something "tangible" to people who are helpful.

This change seems like it will be de-motivating, and also anti-community in the sense that with less lingots, there's less likelihood of sharing them to thank people who post good information :-(

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

Harder ways to earn them or more ways to spend them?

Both are great :)

Thanks!

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

Both would be fine by me, though if we only got one, I'd prefer more ways to spend them :-P

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

So do I, lol xD

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Marc_B

Now I almost wish I kept the hundreds and hundreds of lingots I've given to new users. ; )

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/germano_germino

You did well so far and as reality showed, there was no reason to worry ;-)

There is a story about a guy who sold good food and one day the son told his father. "Save up, because times will get harder!", so the father bought cheaper food and sold smaller portions to save for a rainy day.

His customers then turned away from him, so he said to his son:
"yes, son, you were right - times are getting tougher."

So much for the law of attraction - we become what we gear towards whether it is positive or negative.
Have my last lingot - I know more will come :-)

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

Inflation issue? I'm assuming by that you mean that people earn more than they need, rather than that its buying power is decreasing :-P

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/unPlatypus

Inflation can be also defined as increase of money supply, so it's correct too :P

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

This isn't an actual economy with supply and demand forces acting upon it, though. The supply (bonus courses, streak extensions, doubling wagers, etc.) is infinite, and are at a fixed cost. The amount of outstanding lingots has no effect upon this because, unlike an actual economy, having more cash in circulation has zero impact upon the "market." The spending power of an individual lingot remains the same.

The biggest issue I can see is that in recent months, Duolingo has removed the single most accessible method for a user to gain lingots: completing an exercise without errors. While doing so once earned a user a bonus lingot, users now get nothing. It's become harder for new users to accumulate lingots as a consequence. If they're going to muck about with the lingot supply, that's the place they should start.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

I feel like most of what I've seen is people complaining that they have lots of lingots and nothing to spend them on. Or, correction: I also see people with no activity begging for lingots. But I don't see too many people who are actually trying to earn lingots and struggling to get them.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

I agree completely, they should not have removed the "no mistakes = 1 Lingot upon exercise completion" feature.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh

There's also the act of giving someone lingots for a post you like. I know initially I'd give 1 but when I went over 1000 lingots I started giving 5 for each post I liked. Maybe, if they want to remove lingots from the total pool, they should start taxing people giving others lingots. Want to give someone a lingot? Fine, but we'll take 5 for each one you give thanks. :D

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MZunig

I would pay 100 lingots for changing the background... I feel like a teletubbie with this one

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaBowers

You could try the Duolingo Dark extension for chrome and firefox. It only changes the colors, but it definitely helps a lot.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Hmmm, intriguing! Will keep an eye out.

More uses for Lingots would, I think, be greeted with much rejoicing! ;)

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kunstkritik

interesting. Maybe it would already help to have more options to spend them? Whatever system to earn lingtos we use, people who don't spend stuff will stack them up and it won't reduce the amount of Lingot plz spam on the forums.

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jacob_sangi

Will there be more things to buy as far as learning languages? For instance, instead of just Flirting, idioms, and tests, maybe some more things. Such as hard phrases, or even ordered vocab lists ( I think they're are already some for Italian, I don't remember). I know that this may not happen, but I want to possibly help make suggestions. Thank you Duolingo team.

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie

I've been thinking while I can agree users like me probably earn too many lingots, I think putting a cap on how many you earn per 10 days may work better.
This means that the system will work as it always has, 1 for 10 days, 2 for 20, etc, until you get to 10 for 100. At this point for each next set of 10 days, you only earn 10 lingots. 110 days, 10 lingots. 120 days, 10 lingots. etc.
I think this would be a good middle ground that rewards keeping a long streak while keeping the numbers of lingots somewhat in control.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DamnedRaven

This sounds like a much better idea than their solutions that hurt the ability of new users to earn lingots. I suspect the real reason may be to encourage more users to earn lingots by translating documents, since that is how they make money.

April 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanHogan

Better solution than neutering streaks: Ever play Civilization 2? Remember when your people loved you, you could upgrade your throne room, one item at a time? Something like that, but with lingots. For example, if we went with the same idea of a throne room, a simple chair could be 5 lingots, a La-Z-Boy recliner 30 lingots, a simple gilded throne 80 lingots, and a throne of swords (GoT anyone?) could be 500 lingots. You start with plain dirt walls, you can paint them for 8 lingots, add wallpaper for 20, velvet for 300, gold paneling for 1000. Worthless stuff that looks cool at insane prices — problem solved!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gluehbirneee

I love the way how you always put things as if they were only great and wouldn't have disadvantages. Honestly, you'd be good politicians. Hopefully you can handle with our currency at least slightly better.

I do agree that an inflation isn't good for anyone but I don't think that removing the streak-award is helpful in any way.

The streak award is the main lingot 'income' for most of us and removing this will first of all reduce the motivation to keep up your streak. Why is this important? I think that I can speak for many users when I say that maintaining the streak is at bad days and -more important- at those times, where our motivation decreases because our language journey gets more complex and difficult (these times exist, we can't deny it), the only thing that keeps us coming back everyday and progressing slowly, passing the hard times until there's new motivation in us.

Also, a danger (a danger, nothing that will necessarily happen) is that we might become greedy. (Especially at these times the last thing we need is our community to become greedy.) I mean, have you ever seen someone in real life throwing around with money as soon as someone is kind or helpful? Probably not. But the community does kindly give away lingots to helpful or kind comments. Receiving lingots from users is, although lingots don't have that much value, a really nice gesture and tells you that people really appreciate your help (especially in sentence discussion where people don't want to clutter these with "Thank you" posts) and kind of makes you want to spend another few hours answering people's questions. Not because of the lingots, of course, but because it's just human to aim for being appreciated and being hold in esteem.

That being said I find it really great that you consider the community's feedback. And since you do, here are some ideas:

First of all: To prevent/stop an inflation (in Duolingo) all you have to do is having the same amount of lingots that:

  • people earn

  • go back to the server

Obviously, the amount of lingots that people earn is much higher. So the things that can be done about that are:

  • decrease the amount of lingots users earn

  • increase the amount of lingots users spend

Obvious so far, right? And now, what's kind of obvious, too is, that we, users, would prefer the second way.

That would probably take a lot more time but in a long term perspective (something that A/B test can't necessarily predict) it would be much more fun and much more addicting, which would result in users staying at Duolingo longer and users telling their friends about Duo and forcing them to use it until they're addicted themselves - a sort of advertisement Duolingo relies on if they currently aren't in the media.

To finally come to the point:

Right now users give a lot of lingots away, which is quality in my opinion.

[I've read a similar idea in the discussion area, can't find the link, sorry]

So what about making a suggestion forum where users could vote for ideas with lingots? The idea which has the most lingots gets seen by you (staff) first.

We would be able to spend our lingots on something we want and you would be able to see what the forum users (the users that the most loyal and will stay for a longer time and are the most willing to invest a lot of time to improve Duolingo with the best of their ability) label a priority.

That's just my opinion and I know that especially the first part was (probably too) provocating but thanks for considering it anyway.
April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/levannar

I'd vastly prefer additional things to spend on as opposed to reducing rewards. :/The thought is appreciated, though.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

This is all I see as a solution.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/homebrewz

I didn't receive any more lingots for increasing my streak today. Some notification or explanation would have been nice rather than trying to find the reason here in the discussion list. I think this will affect the desire to maintain a streak.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Thidrekr

Personally, I thought the existing system was fine; maintaining a long streak is hard work that relatively few have been able to accomplish, so I think that the way it was before rewarded people in a proportionate manner related to their dedication.

This, on the other hand, makes it considerably more difficult to earn them at all. I think we should have kept it the way it was, while developing new things to spend these lingots on. Those progress tests in the store were a step in the right direction, but at 25 lingots a pop, people are going to be taking them a lot less frequently, and I don't think that's an improvement.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KevanSF

Thanks for the info! I can't wait to hear more. Particularly looking forward to being able to purchase more and different things with my lingots!

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

Thanks, vivi. It's great that the team considers this issue something worth addressing.

I really think you're overstating the difficulty of fixing the lingot economy though. The biggest problem to me is that anyone with a lengthy streak quickly acquires far more lingots than they could ever hope to spend. A simple change to make each streak of 10 days worth 1 lingot instead of the current system (1 for 10 days, 2 for 20 days, etc) would fix 90% of the problem.

Of course, other things that require more work would be necessary to "fix" that final 10%, including having more items to buy. But those things can be introduced in time. There's no need to put off a small change that would have a massive effect while deliberating over all the details that make up the 10%.

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

That might kill off a lot of the enthusiasm for keeping a streak going. Don't punish those who work hard for their lingots. Just offer more ways to spend them like more bonus skills.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

Agree!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

It's a balancing act, but I'd hardly consider lesser rewards for streaks to be a "punishment". The truth is, Duolingo could take away 95% of my lingots this instant and I'd still be able to buy everything I wanted from the shop - that's insane.

The problem goes beyond adding more items to the shop. If I started buying/taking progress quizzes right now, and bought 1 every single 30 minutes all day long without pausing to sleep/eat/pee/learn, I could continue for almost 4 days before running out of lingots. No matter what they add to the shop, they're not going to fix that problem without adjusting the speed at which lingots can be earned.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

You might not consider it a punishment to have lingots removed or the earning patterns altered but I would see it negatively. No one has to spend the lingots they have if they don't want. Taking them away as a motivator (for those of us who see it that way) is detrimental to the concept of persistent learning. To each their own.

The number of lingots that YOU have is far more than average or even way above average.

Also I never considered it a problem, let alone one that needed fixing. Sounds a lot like government fixing something that isn't broken to me. We all know how that goes.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

Streak is the most important indication of persistence in language learning. Persistence is the most important factor in language learning, it doesn't matter how good your method is, you can not cram 1000 words into your long term memory in 1 day.
Streak is also hard to maintain due to personal schedule and Internet accessability.
Statistically, how many of Duo users have made the effort of persistently practice for 100 days? I don't think that they are the majority, out of 30+ millions users, are 90% of them suffering from too much lingots coming from streak reward? Maybe you are experiencing this problem personally by accumulating more than you can spend and you want to get rid of your lingots, but it seems like you belong to the minority of superior users than the mass, there should be a Lingot Bin for you to dump your excess, giving me perhaps? I promise I will put it into good use once I can convince Duo to outsource the lingots store (in my other comment) ;)
To sum it up again, reward for streak should not be reduced but increased and differentiate in other ways like badge or owl statue, these kind of vanity items should also be available for sale so we can spend more lingots. .
I also would suggest to have different reward for different XP goal, 1 XP per day definitely should receive less lingots reward than 50 XP per day.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

Isn't that difficulty of maintaining the streak, the whole reason for having a streak freeze in the store?

But I agree that having a single Lingot awarded for every 10 days, rather than streaklength/10 awarded would do a lot.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

Yes, but if you are very busy during the day and intend to do Duo later on, you might easily forget it is already past midnight.
And streak freeze should be extended longer with higher prize, it may come as a surprise for you, but many places on Earth still don't have Internet or even electricity at all or only very limited, unstable access to it.
If I take a vacation to the countryside or go hiking in the mountain, my streak is sure gone.
One of the most addictive feature of game is competition and reward, if you are a gamer you would understand, even they are virtual useless items or soulless pixels. One of the most addictive feature of Duo is its gamification including streak.
Streak also nuture our bond with Duo aka language learning, many come back every day in spite of time limit, laziness, exhaustion or whatever because of it.
I'm pretty sure people with longer streak tend to finish their trees, reach higher level, invest more time in Duo than others, since I have observed that in people I follow since I joined Duo.
To get streak reward of 100 days streak, we need to overcome tons of our inner reluctance and outer obstacles. Many succeed in doing so but are they the majority? I don't think so. Even both of us are not. I'm at 67 days and I already have more than 500 lingots. I can buy everything in the store very early on like one month into Duo. How could that be the fault in streak reward? It is more like we have nothing more to buy. That's why I suggested to crowdsource the lingots store for user to sell their own lessons and buy from other users. Please read my other comment for reference if you can.
Thanks.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gymnastical

bemk92 and I were just having a similar conversation. You mentioned that if you go to the countryside or some other remote land, there goes your streak. I live the traveling life and this is one of the things that makes it stressful especially if I am at the airport for over seven hours straight without a good connection. As he says "the struggle is real." As much truth as that holds, don't get me wrong, I do like traveling but it has its share of things you have to deal with

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

Yes, I agree that it is one of the thing we have to deal with, how we live our life is not to blame on Duo. But Duo is for learning and its main goal is to engage learners and keep them coming back everyday to review and renew their knowledge. For that, streak works well for many user, or at least for me personally.

On the other hand, the streak reward is not the main problem in lingots inflation to be targeted, many users have suggested many ways to spend lingots.

Still, discipline is one of the hardest thing in life. If we set clear goal and work for it every day, we are already all excellent students. But I guess the majority of Duolinguists are not so persistent to get such high reward. The top users can be very vocal and visible here in the forum with their awesome 100+ streak, but since I joined Duo, I have only added about 300+ people with really long streak compared to 30 millions+ people who supposedly are using Duo. My personal statistic is of course not official, but it gives me a rough assessment at least.

Besides, longer streak freeze is one of the simplest option to integrate since we already have 1 day freeze option. In theory we can freeze it for as long as we still have lingots in our account, just that we have to login everyday which is a nuisance for traveling and non-Internet land so it is like we can work hard and save for the rainy days, Duo just need to lend us a hand to facilitate it.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

@moodyKitty, yes, longer streak freezes sounds like a good idea, but they need to be implemented well, as it is the streak (and it's reward 1*) that keeps us coming back, especially in the beginning.

By making people indicate how many days of streak-freeze they want to buy, they both have control over their Lingot wallet (and have their streaks expire at will) and have to actually plan their freezes in order to keep the streak going.

I personally think having 10 lingots subtracted for each day you're inactive would be a poor way to implement it, but having people able to buy 5 streak-freezes or so, manually, in one go, be a much better approach.

1* https://youtu.be/tWtvrPTbQ_c

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

@gymnastical You can purchase a streak-freeze and just let it sit until you need it. So, actually, a streak-freeze works quite well for that.

The problem with them though is that when I for example go on a hike through the Alps or so, I won't have internet for days, so it's impossible to get to the streak-freeze, so being able to buy up to 7 and just have them sit until you need them, would really solve a lot for people like that.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gymnastical

MoodyKitty, I do not disagree with you. All of your points are true and while yes discipline does need to be facilitated, sometimes you actually do need some sort of help and when you need help it's nice when someone can sympathise with you. I didn't plan to be stuck in the airport until after midnight and normally I exceed my daily goal so I think that instead of the streak freeze, Duo should try to recognize that there are people that do put in a lot of effort but sometimes have things get in the way and add to the streak for making an effort.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

Well, if I were to lose my streak now, it would hurt in my lingot income. So I'd then have to build up again, whereas if I were to have a lapse in my internet connectivity or interest for a while, with a simple 1 lingot awarded every 10th day of the streak, there'd be nothing to build up.

That said, I wouldn't miss the streak awarding, because I use the wager, which I stop accepting when going abroad.

If this sort of thing takes your fancy though, Extra Credits did a video on this: https://youtu.be/W39TtF14i8I

Their video is about MMO's but a lot seems to apply to Duo as well. There's already consumables in the system, such as the streak-freeze or the heart refill in the app.

Maybe we could add a system where people can make different backgrounds and then sell them, with a "tax" being put on the price of that background so that a bit of money flows away.

I'd love to see what the Duo community can come up with to control the flow of lingots and what the devs are willing to implement :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rattl
  • 1794

Well, it looks like they may be thinking along the same lines as you ... there is a new (as far as I'm aware) A/B test titled "no_lingot_streak_reward". Which I would assume means you wouldn't get any kind of lingot reward for streaks, but I can't say for sure (and I am not in the test group for it).

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta

"no_lingot_streak_reward": false

Score!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kloppie5

"no_lingot_streak_reward": true

Missing out on 47 lingots :/

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

Where are you fining this code?

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta

Right-click on the page and click "View Page Source". Then ctrl-f to search for "ab_options" for all your AB-test settings, or "no_lingot_streak_reward" for the setting at hand.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

@jolynne

Unfortunately, there's no "easy" way to figure out the names of the tests. It's just observation and guesswork based off of the test names.

The lists of A/B tests can be seen in a more friendly format by entering the commands "duo.user.attributes.ab_options" and "duo.ab_options" into your browser's javascript console (Ctrl+Shift+J in Chrome, something similar for other browsers).

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty

Wow! I never knew I could do this. How do you get the name of the A/B tests. Please have some Lingots for teaching me. Thanks!

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

That's interesting, thanks for the info. It's definitely new to me. My value is true for that test, but I didn't notice not getting lingots yesterday for 570. I guess that goes to show how much the current system needs a makeover if I didn't notice not getting 57 lingots, haha :)

Edit: Not sure that no reward is the right way to go, but it's probably better than the current system.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

It was just added today.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

Well, that explains why I didn't notice it yesterday, haha. Thanks :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

I support your idea =)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler

In looking at the text in the Lingot Store, it appears that I'm in the test group (if that's what it is) that no longer gets lingots for our streaks. This makes me really bummed since I use my every-ten-day-lingot award as a great incentive for me and as gifts/rewards for others. In three days, I was looking forward to another lingot shower. Now I feel like someone's just thrown cold water on me instead.

Bummed.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

Thanks Vivian, it's great to read that this matter has been started to settle. I'm very looking forward to seeing a few new items or possibilities on spending them wisely.

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Cheryl1

I'm perplexed. Duo's top priority is the lingot economy? There are far more pressing needs given your limited resources. I'm here to learn languages not earn useless ''red gems''. I've given up trying to understand what Duolingo's direction and goals are. Starting to feel like a social engineering lab rat.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta

Duolingo is language learning through gamification. Experience points, lingots and streaks have no real-word significance in and of themselves. However humans are fickle creatures, our minds respond positively to little rewards like that. That's part of what makes real video games compelling, and Farmville-style games so addictive. Duolingo takes this knowledge, and rewards you as a by-product of learning a language. The "useless red gems" represent your progress towards learning a language or two.

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bersalon

I've noticed that DuoLingo has taken away the ability to gain lingots for ten-day units. Since you are a part of DuoLingo, could you possibly let them know that tons of users, including me, are dissatisfied at this change? I would like it if they brought back this tremendous motivator. Thank you.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

I 2nd that!! (as do a number of other posters in this very thread)

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PeelOfShame

I'm not a frequent commenter on threads like this... but I wanted to put in my two cents.

I don't know what the point of an A/B test on this really is going to be. What is it going to show?

I have a 720+ day streak, and am in the group that is no longer getting the streak bonus. I'm not going to stop practicing daily over the bonus going away - that'd be stupid and self-defeating. And I suspect that the bulk of the users who are offended at losing the bonus, who are racking up decent streaks of their own, are going to do the same thing.

I would posit that regardless of what group people are in, Duo is not going to see a noticeable change of behavior, and the staff will assume that removing the streak bonus is an 'okay' thing. Which to me makes it a poor test, if you can't prove the change alters behavior.

If I could offer a suggestion - there's been more than a few suggestions to simply put a cap on how many lingots you can get as a bonus for each 10 day streak. Why not cap it at 10, 15, 20 per 10 days, or lengthen the interval (1 lingot on the monthly anniversary of your streak's beginning, times the number of months)? That might help with the 'inflation' issue, and satisfy most of the critics.

April 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler

tjcinmaryland said:

..." I'm not going to stop practicing daily over the bonus going away - that'd be stupid and self-defeating...Duo is not going to see a noticeable change of behavior, and the staff will assume that removing the streak bonus is an 'okay' thing. Which to me makes it a poor test, if you can't prove the change alters behavior...."

tjcinmaryland, this is so true! I seriously considered cutting back to the bare minimum for a few days, but then considered, as you noted, that such an act would only hurt my learning in the long run. Well said, and have a lingot.

April 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/enanderle

I am a very busy person, and sometimes I just can't find the time to do my 30 points to maintain my streak before midnight. I rely on streak freeze heavily to keep it going, and streak freeze being 10 lingots, the streak bonus lingots is pretty much the only way to fund it. Please don't take this away from us streak addicts!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/theunmutual

Something visual would make me want to spend them - on badges, or profile updates, or particular avatars.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/theunmutual

Or online items/collectables to display one ones profile. I get acquisitive about imaginary digital goods.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/roberto727

Dear Duolingo Management Since this is a free site i suppose i should not be surprised that you do not understand economics. Hey, our executive and legislative branches do not understand economics, so why should I expect any more of my beloved DL creators and perpetuators. (though we seem to having a bit of a lovers' spat at the moment)

At least you are only proposing to reduce my standard of giving lingots as opposed to the more pernicious reduction of our standard of living by the government. "Inflation" by definition is the reduction in value of a currency due to oversupply. This takes place when governments or quasi-official organizations like the federal reserve print money, in effect making it out of thin air with nothing to back it up. Yes, you can define "inflation" simply as an increase in number, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Using that definition I don't think we would worry about an inflation of DL users, an inflation of clean water supplies, or an inflation of medical professionals in third world countries. The inflation that concerns us is one that results in a decrease in value of something we rely on for sustenance or happiness. Since lingots basically have no intrinsic value, there is no danger or downside to greater number of lingots in the DL "economy". Your statement "We have an inflation issue that is not beneficial to anyone" is in error. The overwhelming majority of DL users have no problem with an increasing number of lingots in the economy, see no danger at all from this so-called "inflation,." and want to keep receiving lingots for streaks or from any other source that we are used to getting them from. You, like the federal reserve, can make them out of thin air, so there is no production cost to DL. It is mind boggling that you claim to be "thrilled" by the steps you are now taking to reduce the number of lingots awarded in the future, that you wouldn't have perceived in advance the level of displeasure this would give rise to. I think the best solution at the moment would be to rescind the new policy and award every single DL user 10 Lingots for your lack of foresight and ticking us off.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KaiBark

I think there should be some things like this: A redo that you can buy to use on an exercise (since heart refills arent really a thing anymore), Language-specific outfits for Duo, Higher lingot wagers, Longer streak freezes.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/helmad

Buy a gold circle around your flag for finishing the tree? And with a pool of 100,000 lingots, buy the choice of next language in the incubator? :-)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

Thank You for listening to the feedback that you are getting from your Duolingo users and then taking the time to address their problems. I hope that your changes will solve the problems with the lingot system.

A Happy Citizen of the DuoSphere, -Cap

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/craigkbryant

What a pity! It's such a little thing, but I was really looking forward to my six lingots yesterday--I was disappointed when I didn't get them. I'm trying to save up to buy the bonus skills when the Esperanto course goes live...which, I mean, yeah, is pretty silly as a life goal, but it was keeping me motivated to come back every day and study. I think this was a misstep.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/craigkbryant

Well someone just made my afternoon. Thanks!

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HolyT
  • 1621

You can't get lingots for perfection on lessons any more. Now you can't get them for streaks. You can't get any past level 25. You can't get any for completing lessons once you complete a tree. So how does one earn lingots apart from the 5 per week? What if I want to buy a 25-lingot practice test every so often? This is a BAD decision. For many people, including me, despite the silliness of it, the lingots were a major motivation for maintaining streaks. As people have said countless times before, gamification is a or the major feature of this site that helps to motivate people to stay consistent here.

April 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HolyT
  • 1621

Before I stopped getting my streak lingots around day 180, I had never (since my first few days on DL, on a travel day) missed a day. Since then, I have missed three days (and spent 10 lingots for the streak freeze to preserve my streak). This is anecdotal evidence that the streak lingots are a "gamification" motivator to keep me coming back to the site consistently.

Six months, no missed days. Six weeks, three missed days.

June 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ashtaret

More clothing options for the phone app owl would absolutely solve this as a lingot-sink for me! :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HolyT
  • 1621

I just noticed in the lingot store at the bottom, where it lists the ways to earn lingots, that the old message has returned, saying that you can earn lingots for maintaining a streak:

"Earn 1 lingot for every 10 days on a streak (1 for 10, 2 for 20, etc)"

Can anyone, who previously was not getting streak lingots, verify that you are now getting them again?

If the A/B test has failed and we are now getting streak lingots again, I wonder: Will DL refund me 147 lingots for my 180-, 190-, 200-, 210-, 220-, 230-, and 240-day streak milestones that I passed when I was on the wrong side of this A/B test?

June 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanHogan

I was in the same boat (see this discussion) and can confirm I also see the welcome return on this blurb to the bottom of the store.

While I eventually stopped using Duolingo two months ago, I had quite a streak at the time and I’d also love to see the "missing" lingots show up, but given how miserable this unscientific, unfair, and ill-conceived experiment has been from the beginning, I have no faith that would happen.

June 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HolyT
  • 1621

Thanks for the info, AlanHogan. I got a lot of responses at a new discussion, here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9331188$comment_id=9333937. I think I will also get definite confirmations when people start to receive their streak lingots again.

June 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Maurice314

I am glad to hear that Duo is listening to user feedback. What sort of changes are going to be happening to the lingot system in particular? Thanks in advance.

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SussexSoleil

Ratings agency SP has downgraded Greece's credit rating again, saying it expects its debt and other financial commitments will be "unsustainable".

Coincidence?

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RMG18

Duolingo is free, fun and educational. Thanks to all. I like rewarding good posts with lingots so here you are!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanHogan

What “issues” or problems exist within the lingot world, aside from the fact that one runs out of things to buy very quickly (except for progress tests, which is kind of an odd thing to tie in to the lingot system!)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lingogirl1234

Thanks! I love Duo, and are you testing the xp bar again?

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

There is a script you can add to get that back.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Marc_B

I just wanted to say Thank you to all Duolingo workers for your continued efforts to provide us with a fun and productive learning experience, I think sometimes some of us forget that Duolingo is free.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72

Not forgetting at all, but being free doesn't mean valueless. And it was just as free last week before they took away this source of motivation that was valuable to me.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vishnugb

I do not know how good an A/B test would be, in this case. If one group of people get lingots in some particular fashion, and others don't won't that be slightly demotivating?

The result of the A/B test would, in that case, suggest that you should go back to giving lingots for 10 day streaks. But in fact, it could be that the better solution might have been to remove that for everyone (until of course there are more ways to spend lingots).

So, I think that one can not blindly use A/B tests, where it is just a decision that is required.

But personally, I think removing the 10 day streak reward is a bad move, as it is a good motivator.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lfaul

I agree. I personally love them. Maybe it's silly to some, but for me the point isn't "spending" the Lingots, but a sense of accomplishment when I earn one.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline

The result of the A/B test would, in that case, suggest that you should go back to giving lingots for 10 day streaks. But in fact, it could be that the better solution might have been to remove that for everyone (until of course there are more ways to spend lingots).

They would probably be looking at metrics like user engagement, course progress, new user signups, etc during the test phase. If they see this not being impacted with the change, they will roll it out to the rest of the users. If they find a negative impact (beyond their thresholds) on the factors being considered by them, they are most likely to roll-back the change. Thus AB testing helps them safely push in a change without impacting their whole user base.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vishnugb

Yes, so then if they find a negative impact in the group without the streak lingots, what I am saying is that it could be due to the existence of the other group, and that there is no way of filtering out that effect (in an A/B test)

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline

Well, one of the negatives of AB testing is it can be very granular. So, the ambiguity shouldn't be there. In fact, a very disparate report is an easy report. It's usually the close ones which cause problems. And in this case, a close report would be enough reason to do away with the feature for all users if they actually want to get rid of it to.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vishnugb

I did not understand any of that. (you can post on my stream, you probably can't click reply on this.)

Edit: looks like you can.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nueby

I am curious about your mention of looking at new user signups as one of the metrics during the A/B test. But the new sign-up does not yet know which group s/he is about to be in, and the fraction of lingot streak losers among the new users is an input parameter, not something to track as a result. So you must have meant something else.

There may be some new-ish users who notice that they get no streak lingots, and if they believe it is important for them to work on having that motivation while Duo ponders what to do, may decide to be reborn with the "right" A/B parameter(s). The new user abandonment this will produce could well be observable in the metrics. Is this what you were thinking?

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline

Not exactly sign-ups, as that may not be directly affected. But, user engagement and performance may be taken into account. Say, for new users in the control group, who get streak lingots, they may have found 10% of users practicing daily and making 5% progress. New users, in the test group, are not aware that they can get streak lingots. But still if from this group as well, they could see the same 10% of users practicing daily making 5% progress, it can be surmised that the provision of giving extra lingots for maintaining streak didn't actually make any difference.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nueby

Thanks. I was reacting to your separate mention of new signups in looking at metrics like user engagement, course progress, new user signups, etc during the test phase. The other items you listed were clear to me.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/klinehopper

The problem is not the awarding of lingots but with the lack of available items with which to spend them on.

In my humble opinion, they should be concentrating on the Lingot store items and not on reducing awarding lingots. From browsing the board (in my short time here ) I think this is what the majority of people have been asking to be done, not diminish awarding lingots. EDIT: As has been proposed by multiple people in this thread and others. I didn't see some of the answers before I posted but I agree wholeheartedly.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Personally I think the more ways you have to spend lingots, the more students will strive to earn them.

Lingots for streak are quite incentivating, specially when you have where to spend them. Some people certainly work more just to get some lingots, and they end up learning more too.

As far as I can see, a lingot inflation is not a real problem. Perhaps lowering the prize would be better than just no prize.

I totally understand customization is far away from language teaching, but perhaps it could be a good way to wither Lingot Economy. Very simple stuff that would add no extra maintenance effort like a background image might be a very good start, and it would make users happier. (You could even try helpers to send you images, some of them might enjoy participating)

Now, a few suggestions about how to spend lingots:

  • Add a button in practice exercices to "change to multi-choice exercise" (this would turn the typing exercise into a select the right option one, if the student thinks that sentence is too hard). - Sounds like cheating, but the more they do it, the less lingots they will have.
  • Add a button in practice exercices to "show 3 first words of the translation", click again: "4".
  • 10 lingots for a "sound only" lesson
  • 10 lingots for a "desired language to known language translations only" lesson
  • 10 lingots for a "known language to desired language translations only" lesson
April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lycorias

Yeah, getting rid of Lingots for streaks wasn't your smartest decision ever.

May 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/silkwarrior

Sounds like a barmy idea. Yes there is a certain inflation with stored lingots - rather like the old soviet system where quite a few folk had lots of roubles but with little/nothing to spend them on. But by just removing this "gamification", particularly after you have completed the tree, I can see no game incentive at all to return every day. After all, what will you lose? Nothing. So I think I'll tend to move away from DL and search out other language resources.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jcoombs1950

I'm glad to have found this discussion page, thanks to Sitesurf who sent me a link after being badgered by me about not getting my streak bonus lingots. Now, I understand why. And I've given away 16 lingots to posts in this discussion. Giving them away to helpful comments is what I like to do with them.

I think it's really silly to worry about lingot inflation. If many of us are hoarding them, so what? As commenters have said, keeping a streak going is not always easy. One week ago, my son called me in the wee hours of the morning to tell me that his wife was in labor, and to ask me to come right away to watch after their 2-year-old son. Even on that morning, I took time to do a Duo exercise! I often do something exercise-related very early in the morning -- bike rides, triathlons, road races -- and I make time to get in at least one Duo exercise even on those mornings. Rewarding followers with bonus lingots is a practice that keeps many of us on our streaks, and daily practice is essential in learning a language. Please reinstate this system.

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewGertz

I just want some bonus lessons for Dutch. Can we get some common expressions or some pickup lines? I want to make the Dutch laugh with more than sentences about ducks!

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/byeimgone123

please add these features --> https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7472931

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/theunmutual

Virtual pin-badges? For example, you make a set with the capital city of each course and one with a national food, and artificially make the sushi badge 2,000 lingots while the escargot badge is only 20.

That way, people would have something ephemeral to spend their lingots on. It wouldn't interrupt learning (users can ignore the feature without barring them from skills). They would be new targets to make accumulating lingots worthwhile and very motivating to a certain sort of user. And it would get a lot of lingots out of the economy but users would still have the "status symbol" of a particularly rare badge to show that they have had a lot of lingots over time.

This is the sort of thing I expected to find in the lingot store, and lost interest in it when i found there was not. The power-ups are of no interest to me - I don't consider my streak important, as some days I practice my Swedish with a newspaper or a different source. And I'm not advanced enough to make the practice quizzes relevant to me.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Em484950

It would be great to have more interesting ways to "spend" lingots. Some people have suggested extra vocabulary, irregular verb, or case ending modules - all these would be very helpful.

I would like to make another request: if it is possible, what about a bonus unit on idioms where you have to learn BOTH the literal translation and the corresponding stock expression (and more of them, please!). People are always arguing about which type of answer should be accepted or not. For those of us who really dig language and the way the pieces fit together, it would be cool to have access to both, with some multi-level questions: Part A: what do the words mean literally ==> Part B: how would you normally convey this idea.

For example, "no master (craftsman) falls out of the sky" is quite an image and much more memorable than "practice makes perfect".

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tara668

I was just thinking of something that would be an amazing thing to be able to buy with lingots. Well, for me it would be amazing.

Suppose (just suppose!) that there's a user out there who just ruins your day every time they type something. You've blocked them, but that just keeps them from posting on your stream. When you post and they throw their two cents in the comments, you just want to delete the whole conversation.

(Suppose further that this person doesn't do anything quite awful enough to get in trouble, so they're not going anywhere, but that doesn't mean they don't make you want to start eating your own limbs.)

What if you could buy the ability to stop a specific user from commenting on one of your posts? I'd drop a huge wad of lingots to be able to do that.

It's not remotely essential to language learning (unless that person is making you so uncomfortable you can't use the forums to get information you need) - you can do your tree (or hold your nose and keep using the forums, maybe) without ever buying this feature, so I don't see a problem with charging for it.

I realize: seriously unlikely. But I can dream.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

that's actually an amazing idea - I recently had to block someone (probably a child) on here because they kept re-following me (by this I mean, they were unfollowing and then following me again), & I'd get an email notification every time which was extremely annoying after the first couple of times (& I won't change my settings, since emails help me to not miss people, since the notification tab only shows the 5 most recent happenings). I had no idea this person could still interact with me on other parts of the site - I'd pay 100 lingots or more to block them entirely, if it were to become an issue.

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

I think a "bonus tree" for advanced skills would be a good way to keep users engaged in any one language, & if the cost was say 200 lingots or something high like that, it would give power users something to sink all their lingots into - not to mention give newbies a goal to aim for. It could even come with a "2nd tier" owl trophy to add to our collections, and hey, if you're looking for more ways for us to spend lingots, you could offer a "trophy room" for display on our profiles that could cost a pretty penny (I don't know, say 100 lingots or more)... it's just a dream of mine, but I'd like to go back to the spanish/french/italian/portuguese trees and learn advanced topics / conversational skills / etc :D

At any rate, I'm THRILLED that I'm not in the test group (I did receive my 35 lingots for reaching day 350 in my streak), but very very bummed for those users who are not so lucky - especially those under day 100 or so, who aren't getting enough for a streak freeze or wager every ten days anymore.

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Carl_os

Great news, Vivi, we're going to be in waiting. We are going to stay anxious.

April 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dlxzc

I understand how there might be some reason to reduce the ease of earning lingots, but it seems like capping the 10 day streak reward at 5 or 10 lingots per 10 additonal days would be preferable to getting rid of it or reducing it to a single lingot. Right now I feel like I should at least get my 10 lingots for my unused streak freeze refunded since I don't see the point of having it. I also don't see any point to maintaining the streak other than pride, in which case I feel like the streak freeze is cheating and really wish it wasn't an option. I already noticed that I'm much less interested in completing a lesson perfectly since I don't get a lingot for it since they dropped the hearts. I just don't mind answering two extra questions as much as I minded losing hearts. It's silly and illogical, especially since I don't really have a use for lingots anyway since I already bought the bonus skills and don't want anything else in the store, but it still provides motivation, at least for me.

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gasparch

Give the lingots back :) As silly it sounds, but it is funny feature to look them add up every 10 days of streak and keeps me coming back to app every day :) Some kind of obsession :)

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

Please don't make them harder to earn. Rather just give us additional bonus skill options to buy.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

Yes ;)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ASBusinessMagnet

Well, I have over 3000 lingots and that would mean they would have to make 100 bonus skills for people like me, which is highly unrealistic.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper

They could make them cost 100 lingots each. 5 new skills per language? I would be OK with that.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/germano_germino

You may hate me now, but my comment is meant to add another perspecive, and not to fight against you:
Your profile name and the fact you accumulated 3000 lingots indicates that you saved them all up instead of sharing the love with others in gratitude for all the help you got so far.

The beauty about getting more lingots than needed is to get us into a mindset of letting the energy flow - just as nature is: Every tree produces hundred-fold what you need. Natural life works better than our artificial economy, because the latter is designed to accumulate selfishly by expanding at all costs
- all in the end at the expense of exploited nations or the earth.

Here we have a chance to simulate a better world in which we don't have to compete against potential rivals, but create a win-win situation by supporting each other and thereby gaining support.
In the business world wealth is defined by having more than others - not here, because all that counts are the skills everyone worked on and how constructively they are shared.

This has nothing to do with left or right politics, because I am not pleading for getting freebies. All I am saying is that once we aren't pressured into artificial financial constraints, it can be possible to live from the heart instead of preemptive and protective fear.

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MauriceReeves

Not all of use who have 2000 or more lingots are hoarding them. I have 2515 as of today, but I give away at least five a day as I read comments and forums. Please don't assume that someone's "wealth" is because of negative behavior.

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/germano_germino

Fair enough;
I will take what you said into consideration from now on.

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

This is incredible, thank you for listening ;)
I think Duo should tackle the problem at its root that there are not many things to spend lingots on, rather than to reduce lingots earning. Even with less lingots, we barely have anything to expect in the store.
I suggest you to crowdsource the store, let user makes and sells extra lesson for lingots then we will have an ongoing self-balanced exchange of lingots between buyer and seller like a real market-drive economy.
These lessons can come in the form of hidden self made video, audio, photo, text...like singing a song, reciting a poem, writing an essay, take a photo of a sign in certain language, create a set of flash card-type photos, draw a picture to illustrate certain phrase...the possibility is endless.
Duo will provide a summary, screenshot or snippet by seller, then hide the content with a BUY button like the current Give Lingot button here with prices set by seller. Once user clicks the buy, lingots will be transferred and content will be revealed to buyer.
Seller is happy as they can earn lingots to buy other items in the markets or Duo vanity items like some big ass owl badges or statues or titles to display in their profile. Buyer is happy as they can now spend as much as they want. User will upvote or downvote as a form of self-regulating chart.
If you support this idea, please upvote this comment so it could be more visible to Duo. Thank you <3

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

If you then add a little tax on top of the crowd sourced items in the market place, you take lingots out of the economy and therefore limit the inflation.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo

You broke your streak, so Duo taxed you for 10% of your lingots. Thankfully those lingots are now keeping the owl from crying! :-D

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/timelord4213

But how would the tax help the user, besides for keeping inflation low? Because many people in parts of the US, at least, who don't like paying taxes when they somewhat know how the taxes will use and have some say on how much the taxes are and how the money is used.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

The VAT (BTW in the Netherlands, I don't know what purchase tax is called in the USA) fee would just be part of the price in the market place, and if you sell a custom badge or background image, you'd get 3, where the purchaser would pay 5 Lingots or so.

It's purely meant to keep the inflation down. Currency in Duolingo is used as a mechanic in a gamified learning environment. A purchase tax would simply be another mechanic. The Lingots that flow into the tax sink, will just go to /dev/null.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/timelord4213

Thanks for the info, and the purchase tax in the US is called the sales taxes. But instead of the taxes going null, maybe if there was a system that native speakers of a language, that are also far enough along in a language, can be mentors to a small group of people in the same language that they known well enough with and pay taxes to them, so they wouldn't become null.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

You could turn that into a subscription service, paid for with lingots and again, have that taxed.

The issue is, that you need a way to keep the value of the Lingots equal, and the only way of doing that (If you are going to keep on creating more of them) is by destroying them somewhere else.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/iSamurai

The tax would be specifically for helping inflation. The problem with the OP's idea of a purely crowdsourced market solution is that lingots will just be transferred from user to user in the same way they are now through comments. Meanwhile people will still be earning lingots through other means that are created out of thin air. You can see that the supply of lingots will just increase without anything to permanently destroy them. The tax would do that.

April 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

The tax idea is nice and funny ;)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bemk92

It could work, because in the real world, inflation is kept in check, both by how much is printed, and how much money is invalidated or vanishes in defaults.

Here we have none of that, but by putting a tax system on a market place (credit goes to Extra Credits in this case) you can remove Lingots from circulation again, thus pushing the value of a Lingot up again.

Market place items I'd consider putting in are:

  • Community made app backgrounds (With lingot VAT)
  • Community made website background images (With lingot VAT)
  • Community made badges for on profile for a limited amount of time (With lingot VAT)
  • Badges for on the profile to give as token of gratitude to someone on the forum (instead of the give Lingot button)
  • Community made clothes for Duo to wear in the app - I've seen someone else mention that somewhere in this stream - (With lingot VAT)
April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

I think the ball is in Duo court now to choose to implement which one first. All of your ideas sound awesome. And with such a big educated community, I'm sure there is a certain number of people who are capable of designing and providing these products for Duo market place ;)

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TessaNaeye

What is wrong with inflation? Since I learn languages so slowly, the lingots were my only short-term reward and I like seeing my total get bigger and bigger. Saving lingots, like saving money, is good. They don't need to be spent or taxed, although, it would be nice to have more spending options.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

Crowdsourced items would need a lot of continued effort for quality control, though.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraDuo123

That is right, but currently we also have an effective down voting system that hides unholy stuff out of our eyesight. To be honest, Duo forum is one of the the most civilized Internet forum I have been to, considered the ratio of traffic to troll, I'm very optimistic ^^.
It would be fancy if we have something like iTunes chart so quality items stand out.
If Duo considers to open the store, I volunteer to moderate it if Duo finds me qualified. Can I receive some extra lingots for my time though? ;)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafforza

Lingots should be used to purchase tickets to play word games like scrabble or crosswords. Games could have levels of difficultly that match the current status of your tree.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/languagelover0

Yeah! Like word games in whatever language you are learning! You could have hangman, and scrabble, word searches, etc. etc. Endless possibilities for games!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

I agree. Duolingo is a "gamified" site, but it still lacks actual games!

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

That's definitely an idea with some merit, though I imagine German Scrabble would get very complicated very quickly.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kloppie5

So I didn't get 47 lingots today.... No problem, still have 1916 left ;D

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DukeofBath

Alright everyone in order to combat this inflation problem we need to burn our lingots......in theory this will work I guess...you can trust me I am a licensed economist....

:P

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/timelord4213

but who would do that?

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DukeofBath

True....well.....we could have everyone send their lingots to me.....to help the economy I mean....;)

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rose.mariejane

What can we actually use lingots for? I've bought the timed practise, and extended test, and got the outfits for the little owl on my mobile app. Now lingots are useless!

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

Don't forget the bonus skills too - those add up when learning multiple languages!

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rose.mariejane

Bonus skills? What are they? At the moment I am only doing German, but I am very enthusiastic about the Esperanto course coming out, so it seems as though I will benefit from these bonus skills!

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

oh & I too am very interested in learning Esperanto as soon as it's available!!! :D :D :D

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree

The bonus skills are available for every course that has graduated from beta (I think). They are additions to the standard trees, & can be bought for 30 lingots in the store - the skills are "idioms," "flirting," and "christmas" & are pretty fun to work through. Go to the store & check it out! Feel free to message me here or on my profile, if you don't have enough for a skill I can give you enough lingots to buy one :D

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JustKeepLearnin

I think their focus is not the lingot system, but if something grows this big, you have to deal with all of its aspects to maintain the system. Probably there are many people working on the languages, but someone have to care about the community also, because the program can be super, if the people aren't enjoying it, they will lose their motivation. What do you think, what is the purpose of the lingot and streak system? It is MOTIVATION! Because people like to see what they achieved, and they like to be rewarded, but if the rewards value goes down, people wont "fight" that hard to get them, they will lose motivation, and eventually they will use duolingo less, no matter how great it is. So yeah, they have to care about the lingots.

And for you duolingo people, a couple of ideas: -The power ups: The double or nothing is good, or at least I dont have any reasonable idea to change it, but the streak freeze could be bought for more days, but each day should cost ten more lingot. So the scheme: n=amount of days, and the cost=(1+2+3+...+n)10. For example you have a lot of lingots, then obviously you are already very good at the language, and you plan to go on a vacation, you should b able to buy freeze for more days, what would cost you 1+2+3+4+5+6+7=2810=280 lingots. It is expensive, but it is a "luxury" thing for those, who are already mastered their languages, and a week long break wouldn't harm their learning process. -The bonus skills could be more diverse, for example lets leave the idioms at 30, but the flirting should be like 100. But even the idioms are very hard for someone, who just achieved 30 lingots. There should be something easier for 30, something for 100, and something for 200. -The practice: Timed practice should cost a lot more, it is a big thing, and basically not for the beginners, so lets say it should be 200 at least. And you also should consider a system for progress quiz, when it could cost more every time you use it. For example 25x, where x=how many times have you used it. (First time 25, third time 75) I am not saying, that it is perfect, but considerable at least. It could be 10x, if it is too high. -The 10 day streak system over 500 hundred is very rewarding, so I think there should be a badge or something for the amount of lingots it gives you. (100days badge for 1+2+...+10=55 lingots), and then by hundreds up to 900, and 1000 should cost two times the amount it has given you. -Also, you should make available a system, where you could highlight those words, which are making trouble for you to learn, and then those could be practiced in a different place, lats say called "individula strenhten", and in the store could be a dictionary(maybe with a little explanation for the usage), with the words you have already learned, and you could switch between all those words and only the highlighted ones. (Personally, this is the one I miss the most, because I know exactly which words I need more to practice, but I cant, and if I want, I have to do it with the others in that section, which is boring, if I want to practice the same twice a day) -And the main problem: the immersion. It should be rewarded somehow differently, not with lingots. I don't know how, but hey, I can't solve everything for you guys. ;)

Keep up the good work!

Sincerely Balint.HUN.SK

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ZweeT

I don't really get why you deal with those red stones.. they are totally useless for me.. I only care to learn here and I never used a red stone to refill a heart cause this is like bully my self.. if I did a mistake , I did a mistake.. I prefer to do the exercise again and again till I learn. .. Many Thanks to people who work for this website and they offer to us for free :)

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlfredoGon151399

Muchas gracias por informarme acerca de la adquisición de duolingos. En realidad, en los cursos que he seguido tengo tantos que no se que hacer con ellos. Tal vez quería hacer lo del rico Mc Pato: acumular y acumular hasta nadar en ellos- Su carta me aterriza Muchas gracias.

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jcoombs1950

I noticed this today -- 10 lingots only for getting all the answers correct. I like that! It will make me work harder. However, I have an issue lately with getting my bonus lingots at those ten-days-in-a-row marks. I didn't receive them at days 380, 390, 400. Sitesurf was kind enough to give me those. But then day 410 came along and I didn't get those. Have you changed that system? Please say no, because I really like the pressure of keeping my streak going.

May 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

Yep, it's been changed. For some of us, at any rate. It's still in testing.

May 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ballygawley

In the hall of fame, could you add a separate list of all people testing out 5.0 / 5.0 in languages --> that would certainly motivate people to spend lingots on quizzes.

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/__henry__

I am apparently a part of this test group, and I quite honestly dislike the change. I cannot speak for everybody here, but as for me, I enjoy watching my streak increase and my lingot pile with it. Yes, much of the earned lingots will just sit there; I hardly ever give them away or buy streak freezes. But now with the streak bonus removed, there is less fun, and I am less inclined to spend my lingots. Why take away a motivator to learning and make us discontent?

May 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jcoombs1950

If you decide to go back to rewarding streaks with bonus points, and I hope you do, I have a debit of 83 as of 5/27/15.

May 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ravjeremy

I wonder how people give comments on the lingot economy besides posting on this thread or some other random thread that mentions lingots? I couldn't figure it out. Anyway, I would suggest that it would be cool if we could "buy" something entertaining with lingots. They're pretty useless now as far as I can see, at least the way I use Duolingo. (Which is: not very competitively.) A couple quick ideas: Videos in the language at an appropriate level (even kids' stuff could be fun); cartoons; real-time games with other users.

December 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Glasscrusher

could you make the streak for betting five lingots on seven days five days instead so it would fall on just school days

August 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JonaLehmann23

hi

September 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JonaLehmann23

hello

September 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TONYREC

we deserve better lingot averaages!!!

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EsdrasCastiliano

And nothing happened?

October 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamrock888

Why did Duolingo rob me of 2000 lingots when I just earned 25 more?

December 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottChen10

i feel happy that you people[duolingo staff]care about how people want the game to be....

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainCIarky

i think purchasable mini games would be a nice feature.

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SMAKCANADA

What happened to this idea? Why is there so little you can do with 500 lingots?

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JJaugusta

What is the purpose of these if you cannot spend them!!!! Can they go towards my air miles when I fly to South America please do not give them to me if they are useless.

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Seamus747

I have over fourteen thousand lingots. The only thing I ever use them for is a very occasional streak freeze or bonus topics. Please give me something to spend them on. How about Duolingo merchandise for the real world - T-shirts, bookmarks, mugs etc.?

January 7, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.