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It makes sense to me that privileges would have lower reputation thresholds to have them in Beta sites because there are fewer users, so less opportunity to gain reputation. What I don't understand is why the order of the privileges is different from regular sites? For example, normally, one gets the "Established User" privileges before the "Cast close and reopen votes" privileges, but in beta sites like ELL, that is reversed. Why is that?

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It's for the same reason reputation requirements for privileges are lower; beta sites begin as small communities, so it's important that we gain users with the ability to maintain the site quickly. "Established user" privileges aren't nearly as important as having a base of users who can close and open questions, and create tags (etc.). So priority is given to those privileges that are necessary to getting the site up and running. Once the site has graduated that's no longer necessary, so the privileges return to their proper order.

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    In particular, one of the most important things for a beta site is to determine what is on- and off-topic, which is why that privilege is awarded relatively early. That's also why in private betas VTC is a 1-rep privilege. – Kevin Jun 19 '13 at 20:22

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