Pretty much being lazy and going with the system defaults—apart from some custom ones added in from our old system.
In terms of Discourse, badges are not very prominent. (I never notice them, TBH.) Even if they were noticeable, a bigger issue (in my mind) is whether people actually care about them anyway. How to make them meaningful is a big issue. So many sites have badges of various kinds, but I’m never really convinced by them. People endorse me for all kinds of weird things on LinkedIn—things they have no idea if I’m any good at or not—which makes the whole recommendation system meaningless (at least in my eyes).
I’d love it if there were some kind of authoritative source of merit that we could all rely on. But I’m not aware of many. Nobel prize? Pulitzer Prize? Not enough of those to go around, unfortunately.
A community can set up its own standards, of course, but how many people would really deserve them? I think a disservice has been done in the past by labelling people a “guru” etc. just because they’ve been around a long time—regardless of whether their contributions have been truly guru-like. Other things like upvotes get gamed horribly, too, so they are worthless—even on StackOverflow, imho. It’s way too random what does and doesn’t get upvoted to be truly meaningful.
Edit: wow, I re-read that and felt like it was a bit of a downer. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to sound morose. But I’m in a phase now where I’m questioning what’s really of value in life, and what’s actually worth striving for. Finding what is truly meaningful in any enterprise—including an online community—is no small challenge.