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Everything posted by -CJ-

  1. I'm not sure that I understood you, sorry. Actually, I had no intention to change how this discussion has flown. Just to give a living example to anyone who might be interested.
  2. Every time I log some cache online I try to write something special. I try to avoid cut-and-paste logs. We already had a discussion here about whether it's good or not so good to leave such logs... I still think it's just selfish, it's like making illusion of talking much about the cache while it's actually not about the cache at all since the very same log has been posted to all other caches which were visited that day... As a CO I love logs where visitors say something about their experience at the place, how they liked it, what interesting they met/saw/knew. When I publish a cache description, two pages of original story telling about the history and the architecture and all that wonderful people who lived there, and I get something like "grabbed this cache quickly, nice micro, TFTC, continued to the next one" - I feel that my story probably didn't leave any traces in their souls and heads, and it's pity. The only two exclusions for me to log a short TFTC are: - If a cache appears to be in a really ugly place (dirty, littered, dangerous) and its CO doesn't do anything about numerous complaints, - If I know for sure that the CO is paranoid towards logs in his caches and that anything above "TFTC" might be attacked/criticized by him. Both situations are quite rare in my practice (luckily).
  3. My two cents. At our national geocaching website virtuals have never been banned. This was one of the reasons for the game to go far from geocaching and turn into a kind of tourism. On the one hand, people soon realized that "placing" a virtual is much more comfortable than placing a physical cache. One doesn't need to go and buy a container, trading items, logbook; no need to search for a good hiding place; no need for camouflage; and what is most important there's (almost) no need for any further maintenance. On the other hand, people started believing that "wow" is more important for them than any searches for any caches. Soon it became a general idea of the whole website. Visit great places, enjoy views, meet friends, share photos. And BTW don't forget to count windows in that building to get your smiley. Nowadays many people openly admit they are not interested in searching for geocaches but use the resource to organise their trips to interesting places. There's very limited interest towards trackables, creative hides, geocaching news.
  4. This problem with unvalidated email addresses has been really annoying. Containers that are taken away from their hiding places. Trackables disappearing in someone's pockets. Spoilers published in logs. Questions asked by newbies who think that logs are perfect place for asking their questions. Mysterious logs that look senseless. In a country where population doesn't know English well (and most articles/guidelines/help center pages are in English only) this problem is multiplied by 2. I believe that this problem should not be left to COs. I currently have to put huge efforts into the development of the game in my area, place geocaches, translate descriptions, etc. - and I'm not even able to contact a large part of visitors. The ability to contact people who come to my geocaches is an essential part of their maintenance. I looked through this thread and noticed that there have been several ideas of how this problem could be solved. Mandatory e-mail validation. Another level of access to geocaches (premium, verified, everyone). Private messaging system. I think it's time to do something about this big issue.
  5. I wonder how often do people ask for "permission of the owner" - or, let's say, communicate with the owner? It's not rare around here that cachers contact me (as a CO) to ask if they can help this or that cache in any way. ("I'll be in that district next week, would you like me to check your cache?") However most visitors to the area have contacted me only for hints or confirmation of puzzle coordinates. I suppose that the widespread advice "nothing more than DNF, NM or NA for a cache you don't own" is missing the important social aspect of the game. And, really, it's not about "permissions" or "property", it's about being helpful. I'm thinking about adding a phone number to my public profile. Call me. Don't waste a whole hour on a 1/1 cache thinking that your GPS has gone mad - and don't leave a throwdown after your desperate attempts to find my hide.
  6. I removed a throwdown from one of my cache locations recently. It wasn't even a container. You know: "We think the cache was muggled... we had no container at hand... put a piece of paper wrapped in a plastic bag... enjoy!" It's simple, actually. Drop a message to CO or call him by phone.
  7. I'm not sure that it sounds like a proper maintenance plan.
  8. I tried to answer the initial question in this thread and it seems to me now that I've got no distinct answer to it. I usually omit all puzzle caches in my PQs when going abroad. The reason is that I wish to get as much interesting from my trip as I'm able. Cannot imagine myself walking in Rome or Munich or Tokio for the first time in my life and wasting my time on solving puzzles just to grab another nano in the city. There's so many interesting places to see, the weather is great, and... well, it's an outdoor game, isn't it? Another reason is that many puzzles involve knowledge of local language. With cache description in Finnish I still can use Google Translate or other tools of this sort to get some understanding of what the owner is talking about. For a puzzle, this method may not work because typically it's not enough to understand the idea - it's necessary to pay attention to details and I definitely don't want to waste hours on a task that isn't completely clear to me. I enjoy simple field puzzles and am neutral towards puzzles that require spending time in front of my computer. My work is computer related, I used to spend all day working, and all I need is a breath of fresh air, not another couple of hours with my laptop. It happens however that the majority of puzzles I've met was of this very type. What I'm not fond of is the artificial edge that can be easily seen in many puzzles. The interesting part is to understand a task, to find a solution and to celebrate your victory with the help of a geochecker tool. The formal (often not that interesting) part is to go outdoors and grab the cache. This edge becomes even more clear when the cache location is not interesting at all. It is against my understanding of geocaching as of an outdoor treasure hunting game that brings me to some great places. This may sound as a wave of criticism but I'm tolerant to people who choose their own style within the game. Actually, when I played at the national website I owned many field puzzles, including really hard ones, like a chess game in woods, or a steganography multi-step puzzle, or a cache based on a movie when one has to act like the main character and choose different playing scenarios. So, I don't place myself in ranks of "puzzle haters"
  9. Sharks-N-Beans, thank you. It's a language issue, you know.
  10. Thinking this way: every traditional cache should have a spoiler photo.
  11. Crow-T-Robot, thanks for reminding me about the attribute. I checked my puzzles and added it where it was missing. NiraD, thanks for sharing your experience. dprovan: Indeed. I would say just the opposite. This would be a nice experience so one will act more carefully not to repeat such mistakes in future. Checking solutions half-way in an armchair "to save time" is no serious lesson. "The time issue" was mentioned (in this or that form) many times within this discussion - despite that saving someone's time hasn't been listed among priorities of the game or advantages of a good puzzle cache. (Please correct me if I'm wrong). The_Incredibles: No chance People that ask for confirmations are foreigners and are rare guests at our events (mostly because of the language barrier) and locals usually don't ask for confirmation.
  12. I submitted my first EarthCache and now I'm waiting for it to be reviewed. I've got a standard message explaining that "it can take up to a week before your EarthCache is reviewed". No rush, I can wait as long as needed. Perhaps think about how to make it better. 10 days passed. How long does it normally take to get an EarthCache reviewed?
  13. Team Hugs: So do I. This is why I usually don't search for puzzles abroad. CanadianRockies: It was a question to other cachers Walts Hunting: I think such requirement to be too strong for my caches. Normally I welcome people who ask for hints - if I see they really try to find my cache. I've been contacted by caches by phone numerous times and gave hints to them. Sometimes I even suggest people to warn me about their plans so I could take all necessary data with me if I wanted to go outdoors. So if... redsox_mark: ...will you think about calling the CO and asking for an advice or a hint? Another question to all. Would you welcome a warning on a puzzle cache page saying that (for example) - This is a "field puzzle" so you need to get necesary data when you reach the place. or - This is a rather simple puzzle. I bet you can do it without asking me to confirm your calculated coordinates. Don't hesitate, go and try your solution!
  14. Now it's your time to sleep and my turn to answer If you confirm that placing puzzles at private backyards is usual in your geocaching community I will respectfully listen to your explanations/advices because we don't have such things around here. I was talking not about wrong coordinates but about people that don't want to check their coordinates in field while playing an outdoor treasure hunting game. In my experience with easy puzzles (this is what I was talking about) people got correct coordinates. They just didn't want to complete the job. It's even more interesting that sometimes people spend days trying to solve the puzzle on their computers but they don't want to spend an hour to walk outdoors to complete the task. They say it can be waste of their time. In my opinion it's an outdoor game. Used to be. Nice comparison. Let me go a bit further into the topic. A cache - as I see it - is a complex of decription/hints/photos/additional waypoints/etc. and all this is expected to bring fun to anyone's searching efforts. My task as a CO (if I wish to make a great puzzle) is to provide enough information of this kind. Not only coordinates. In most cases however this information is useless if you stay in your armchair. You need to visit the place to get use of it. My visitors wrote sometimes: "We desperately tried to guess what the CO meant in his hint but once we approached the place it became crystal clear". This is what dprovan says: A clever hint is an interesting part of the game. What if you constantly get messages asking to explain your hints - to convert them into pure "technical" directions about where to go - because "it's a waste of time for me to go outdoors with such a poor hint"? Another great example of how homework could be done (thank you): As it was already said, many kinds of data may be used to get rid of wrong solutions. Again, this discussion is highly useful to me. I've got no requests to confirm coordinates from within our local community but from foreign cachers coming to our city only. Mostly from experienced cachers that had many puzzles found in their statistics. With your help I managed to understand them better and - despite our different approaches - to respond to their messages more accurately.
  15. Thanks for clarification. In the desribed situation I will most probably not start solving the puzzle.
  16. Maybe my English is not good enough, sorry. I didn't understand what you were talking about.
  17. I used to delete spoiler photos from logs at my geocaches. My favourite photos are those of places of interesting, the objects that my caches are devoted to. I especially like them if they are taken from some unusual points or in unusual manner. A "standard" good quality photo is also great. I think such photos prove that my cache was more than another number in someone's statistics.
  18. Indeed. Did I sound like a judge blaming other cachers for their tastes? Visitors make their own decisions and I respect them. It was unusual to get requests from people who did part of the job at an easy puzzle, then stopped just to wait for confirmation without trying to complete the task. They didn't run out of ideas. They didn't get to a dead end. They got a nice solution which they thought was correct. If I was in their shoes I would definitely try this solution. This is what I'd call an outdoor treasure hunting game. Confirmation would simply end the puzzle when I'm still at home. However since it is a really popular approach I felt that I probably missed some edges of the game and/or ignore traditions of geocaching as it is played in other countries. See, I just asked careful questions at this forum mentioning no specific caches - and people quickly said I was going to blame someone for doing something. I bet I need to be really accurate when replying to requests on this matter. Or maybe I just change these few puzzles so they could be solved in field only
  19. Traditional Bill, I appreciate your post and agree with that. If only we talked about complicated puzzles with encryption (or anything of this sort) having hundreds of solutions - I won't even raise this question and waste your time However, the puzzles in question are simple. It's my responsibility (in this particular case) as a CO to help the cache seekers with hints, and if they simply use their common sense after looking around they would normally solve such puzzles with no headache. (And no scuba equipment ). Once they are there. I know this because many locals have already found these puzzles easily without confirmation of coordinates. It happens that some people don't want to go to the location and try.
  20. dprovan, thank your for your explanation about the possible reason. I think I should consider what you said when I'm asked to confirm coordinates of any of my puzzles.
  21. I see such situation as part of the game. If I see the spot is on someone's private property then there are two choices for me. 1) The owner, the reviewer and all those who successfully found this cache all did something wrong. 2) I did something wrong. So, I won't search this spot (as you suggested) and think about what I missed in my solution. For me it's even more fun. I'm not blaming anyone. I'm trying to get more understanding of differencies between what I've experienced at puzzle caches and what other players think. I was recently contacted by a person who asked for confirmation of his solution so he knew whether he liked to include "this cache" in "his schedule" or not. This didn't sound offensive to me but I definitely won't ask such questions any of my fellow cachers. So, I think it's a great chance for me to broaden my understanding of how people play geocaching worldwide.
  22. I suspect that many cachers share the idea that Traditional Bill just wrote: a good puzzle is a puzzle that you can solve at home without going to the place. (And even check your solution to be sure). Many puzzles are of this sort, I know. However I feel that geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game, so a puzzle cache could be described as an outdoor puzzle hunting game. The adventure of the treasure hunting is to solve the puzzle and get the prize yourself. I can hardly imagine a treasure hunter who does all homework with old pirate maps and legends and than say: "I won't bother going outside until Cpt.Flint confirms that my coordinates are good" Why people place geocaches with difficulty level of 3 or 4? For many people this would be a wild goose chase, I guess. Even easy caches sometimes can be accessed from very strange directions, across private lands, etc. I remember one story when one of my caches was placed on a lake shore with a pretty good path leading to it. One guy approached this cache from some unknown road, drived there looking at his GPS arrow until it was 200m left and walked this last distance across the very wet bog. He also managed to hurt his leg somehow on his way to the cache. He was pretty sure that it was me who was his evil misfortune that day So, being very respectful to everyone's opinion I don't think it's wise to argue about geocaches "being placed to be found". We actually don't talk about that because it's obvious (if you don't mean that you used to guarantee every cache hunter his smiley). My question was mostly about whether you think of puzzles as of an outdoor treasure hunting game (where you do full job from the beginning to the end) or of a homework to be fully completed at home so "the outdoor part" turns into a simple traditional hide.
  23. When I practiced geocaching at our national website I owned dozens of difficult caches that required both physical and mental efforts. It was common that people tried to get to the final point again and again. Sometimes - this usually happened when they ran out of ideas and found themselves in a dead end - they asked for help and I usually gave them hints. However all of them did their best to get to the final hides themselves without my assistance. When I switched to geocaching.com I discovered that the majority of puzzles (that I read about) were "home puzzles" - so, one has to solve a puzzle at home, get coordinates and go directly to the hidden box. I prefer "field puzzles" where you have to do all work at the location but I also published a couple of pretty easy "home puzzles". And I used to receive requests to confirm solutions for my puzzles. It was not that a cacher had troubles while solving my puzzle and asked for help. It was when he did all his "homework" and wished to confirm his coordinates before going anywhere. From my point of view checking solutions "in field" is a nice part of this puzzle game and the way you can proudly say afterwards: "I did that". You solve my puzzle, go outdoors, get to the place and check if you're right or not. "Wow, my coordinates are in the middle of a pool. There must be something wrong in my calculations since it's said - magnetic micro, terrain 1". Isn't this the fun and the sport of geocaching? Indeed, if you fail to find the container you can call me and ask for some additional hint. However if you ask me to confirm your calculations it's like you're stopping and saying: "I don't want to do this part, let's ask the owner instead". As the result, your puzzle is ended and all you get is another traditional magnetic micro cache in the city. Do you share my attitude to puzzle caches or do you think that a puzzle are actually a homework + a traditional cache so it's obvious that people get exact coordinates (as they are published for traditional caches)?
  24. It's strange to me that such a judgement is made without checking the cache location. What if some other cacher already did maintenance, not the CO? What if such maintenance was done without any special notice? How we can judge a cache status without actually checking it / visiting the hiding place? Isn't this reviewer's competence only? (Exactly what QuiltinNana just said)
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