Lingot store ideas?
It's nice earning the lingots, but there's nothing in the store I want to use them for. I'm trying to learn a language, so I don't want to get heart refills, etc, because then I'm cheating myself by passing to new levels when I'm not actually ready. I wish there was something else to buy with the lingots because it would help motivate me. Anyone have any ideas?
I agree, mini games are a great idea. There could be games like scrabble, hangman and memory card games, as mentioned, and/or some other mini game where for example, you have to get to the other side of a lava pit and the only way over is stones floating on top. You click on one of the stones and it will ask you a question, if you get it right you can use your arrow keys to get to the stone, if you get it wrong the stone sinks. There could be several(3 or 4) stones for each row, so if you get the question wrong you can still click on the other stone to get to the other side. Each row of stones could be harder or easier than the one before depending on how you score. If you don't make it to the other side you could save your place and come back later. Does this type of thing sound any good?
I don't know if you've ever seen the free rice website but perhaps they could do something similar to that.
They could have a few sponsor companies who get featured in some levels. Nothing over the top but a direct reference to the sponsor a few times. Then we could convert our lingots into a donation for a charity. The sponsor would pay for the donation.
This would also let them add new badges for amounts donated as well as another leaderboard -both increasing the 'game' aspects of Duo.
I have a very strong preference for keeping sponsorship (one particular form of advertising) off this site. The only corporate names duolingo should show, in my opinion, are the names of the publishing groups alongside their submitted articles for translation.
One of the many great things about duolingo is that it is a free site that has innovated a revenue model that does not rely on advertising.
I agree, there isn't much to buy in the lingot store.
different badges available for purchase that appear either next to the flag and fire symbols or perhaps near the avatar (similar to how staff have the blue background and star symbol)
double skill points for an hour (of course, time and point modifier should be adjusted as Duo sees fit)
customize your home page, including different skins and possibly little "widgets" like pictures of flags, flowers, etc. that you can add and place where you wish on your homepage
Steak rescue instead of streak freeze. Also perhaps it would be cool to be able enter a competition with another user (http://blog.duolingo.com/post/62723181502/duolingos-inaugural-hackathon) the race idea and users could pool in their lingots at the begining and the win takes it all
There's also a problem that will need to be adressed if the store is improved. As soon as you start adding vanity items to the store, people will "cheat" to get lingots.
For instance, I speak english already, so I could complete the english from portuguese course very quickly, using the shortcuts and gaining a lot of levels (and lingots). I could then do a reverse portuguese from english and double my lingots.
I'm not saying I would do this, but I know many people would. People are crazy for vanity items in "games".
I like this idea. I am in the same boat as you, I don't want to use heart potions and move on when I am not ready. Something like this definitely needs to happen. I think the certificates are like something that can evolve into something we can use. Instead of doing one certificate you can "repurchase" over and over, how about medals or something that are in levels. So if you reach a certain point in the tree you can now buy a test/quiz to earn that level medal. And when you complete the whole tree then you can buy the, I don't know... gold medal saying you completed all the lessons and passed all the test?