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I think it would be fun and interesting if bounty values could be set to any integer value and everyone had to strategize about setting theirs. If I could right now set a bounty of 251, that would be a big advantage because my Question would be above all the 250's... until everyone else thought of that, of course.

On most SE topic sites, this feature would just be a needless complication, but this is the MATH site! Imagine how OCD some users would get analyzing the resulting distribution of bounties and deriving concordant optimization strategies. And imagine the fun the rest of us would have watching them! :-)

I'll also take this opportunity to repeat a popular suggestion that hard Questions that carry big bounties and will require thoughtful detailed Answers be allowed longer bounty periods. Many users want this, and I've never encountered any counter-argument that didn't amount to "but that's not how we've always done it!" This improvement is long overdue.

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    $\begingroup$ (1) SE won't be messing with bounties on a per site basis: a change in the bounty system for one site would be a change in the bounty system for all SE sites. (2) Even on Mathematics this would amount to "a needless complication". $\endgroup$ – user642796 Sep 30 '15 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer Oh, I didn't know that the bounty system is the same for all SE sites. I guess that applies to the idea of longer bounty periods, too? That's really too bad, because THAT is a feature this site really needs. Anyway, thanks for the reply. $\endgroup$ – Jerry Guern Sep 30 '15 at 10:27
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Questions with bounty are not ordered by the size of the bounty, but rather by a mix of the time to the expiration of the bounty and the bounty size (the former being quite relevant). See https://math.stackexchange.com/?tab=featured to observe it, and Sorting order of featured questions for the somewhat complex details.

The proposal thus seems to based on a false premise that "small advantages" in bounty size could have "large" effects, which seems to render it basically moot.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's actually a combination of both. I currently see OP's +400 bounty, expiring in 6 days, sandwiched between two +50 bounties that are ending in 3 days. On the other hand, a user probably wouldn't gain much by adding 1 measly rep to his bounty. $\endgroup$ – epimorphic Oct 2 '15 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this additional information: I should have double-checked the precise criteria. I will update the post later; $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 2 '15 at 10:43
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Personally I have to say that the value of a bounty wasn't important to me. It is more the fact that someone said this question is very interessting look at it. Furthermore the questions with a bounty on it aren't the questions where people look at when they want to get reputation fast, because those questions normally are complicated.

I only look at questions with bounties in topics I like, because questions with bounties is normally a filter for some very interessting questions.

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