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Everything posted by -CJ-

  1. I agree with the general approach: no public attention to trolls. We had similar situation. Lots of caches were stolen. Many offensive logs appeared. Cachers received rude email messages. The troll virtually pressed all buttons to attract attention. He even blamed others for destroying his caches (!). He also declared he was an ecological activist. And so on, and so on. He multiplied his actions against geocaches (and geocachers) as long as the community paid attention. Once ignored, he desperately repeated his attempts but finally get bored and switched to something else. I'm also witnessing such anti-caching troll in other geocaching community. He's got a good portion of public attention and now he makes impression of a psycho who terrorizes everyone whom he dislikes with offensive messages, threats, lie and quarrels at any point where moderators left to have a cup of tea.
  2. Being that busy you still found time to reply to the thread where I was trying to find people with different approach than yours. Perhaps you will also find time to search for such a geocache some day, who knows for sure?
  3. This category of geocachers isn't a target group at all when we talk about difficult puzzle caches.
  4. True. I see no problem if anyone doesn't choose my puzzle cache because he doesn't use to go outdoors without verification of coordinates. There are many traditional caches to search for.
  5. Yes. And of course it depends on how the cache is constructed. Say, I know from the description that Step 2 is located in a hole in a oak. I'm currently in the middle of a forest with three paths going in different directions. They lead to three probable points and these variants seem equal so I cannot decide where to go for sure. The distance is 50 m. The forest is nice. The trail is easy. There are no muggles around. The cache is somehow devoted to this wonderful forest. And once I'm at Variant 1 I clearly see there are no oaks nearby so I don't waste my time looking everywhere for a small capsule. The way the owner designed this step of his puzzle doesn't seem poor to me. If the distance was 5 km and the trails disappeared in bogs I would probably think differently. As for the ambiguity which "eventually gets reduced". One of my puzzle multi-step caches was based on stories about pirates. There were capsules at every step with questions and 4 variants of answers. One of them was correct and led to the next capsule. Three other variants led to black marks on trees meaning dead ends. The first question was very simple, something like "How pirates called their flag?" It could be answered by a kid without any trouble. The second question was a bit more difficult, then even more difficult, and so on - pirate maps, old coins, historical stories. Some of them still could be solved by Internet browsing but not those in the very end of the route. Those were really hard. Besides, the distance between variants grew as cachers walked from one point to another and the terrain also became harder. The whole cache required at least two days to complete. I've never heard any complaints about it, only positive logs. Some teams did this cache in two or more attempts but they all seemed to be happy - despite the fact that the ambiguity got higher and higher.
  6. Dear Marisa&kaleb, it's not about hints. If anyone asks me for a small hint to my puzzle cache I'm usually happy to help. What I'm suggesting to talk about here is when someone asks to confirm his final solution = the answer. As for having/not having fun: I've always considered geocaching as a treasure hunting game with no guarantees. One can find a cache or fail. Using the same example, when I go for treasures I don't email the old pirate in advance to confirm my ideas. It's both a challenge and fun to try to find a cache without preliminary verification. I see that some people don't agree with this but probably there are others.
  7. In the neighbouring thread I raised the question about confirmation of coordinates. The common response was that ambiguity in puzzles isn't good. This approach was stipulated as something obvious and clear. "I do this and that to avoid/remove any ambiguity in puzzles". Having in mind that we're all (I hope) enjoying a treasure hunting game I'm asking another question to the COs: have you ever embedded ambiguity in your puzzles intentionally? I'll provide a simple example. Say, we have a multi-step puzzle cache in woods. There's a task on the first step in a capsule hidden in a tree. Once a cacher finds this capsule he/she is offered a small riddle to get numbers X and Y and use them to calculate the coordinates of Step 2. However, this small riddle has more than one solution but a combination of variants (X=5 Y=2 or X=7 Y=13 or X=8 Y=0). All pairs are correct solutions. So, the player gets three sets of GPS coordinates with two possibilities: 1) Chances for Step 2 to be at any of these three points are equal. Say, we're at some crossroads and the calculated Step 2 may be 50m away in three directions. Check variants one by one until you find the correct one. 2) Chances are different. The first waypoint appears to be well behind our current location along the route, the second point is in the middle of a big lake according to the map, and the third point lays in the most logical direction and distance and surroundings. Check the most probable variant first. This concept was used in some of my puzzle caches. If you as a CO have used the same idea in your puzzles please share how your visitors felt and responded in logs.
  8. Thank you for sharing your opinions. Are there any people around here who think that solving puzzles is better (for any reasons) to be done from beginning to the end without confirmation of coordinates? If yes and if you own puzzles yourself please share your way of communication with other people.
  9. With this question I'd like to get more understanding of the atmosphere within the community. It's about when anyone asks you to confirm the calculated coordinates of your puzzle. I've always felt myself a bit awkward answering such requests. In my opinion, finding a puzzle cache is a whole process. a) I think, I work out some versions, c) I choose the best one and d) I go to check this version and find the pirate's chest. This is what makes puzzles interesting. If I could call a pirate or send him an email message and ask him politely to confirm my calculations before going anywhere this would kill the very idea of treasure hunting. On the other hand, with this approach a puzzle cache splits into two parts: home-made calculations and a traditional hide. There's not much sense in a puzzle then I think. Actually, the puzzle can be anything with no relation to any particular cache. I solve the riddle, I send my answer to the cache owner, and if my solution is correct I get coordinates from him to go and grab the container. Currently there are hundreds (if not thousands) of caches with geochecker functionality so geocachers can verify their calculations without going outdoors. I know COs who are absolutely comfortable with this practice. Are there COs who share my discomfort about answering questions like that? If yes, how do you usually respond so people don't feel ignored/offended?
  10. Just an example about how widely accepted understanding "when a cache needs maintenance" can be different in different conditions. About two weeks ago one of my caches was logged by some cacher as NM. The guy said that he was pretty sure that the container was gone and it was time to check this cache because it hadn't been found by anyone for long period of time. The cacher came from a European country and had about a day in Moscow to spend on geocaching. I checked the cache several days after this log and the container was in its place. The long period of time (about 3 months) may be a red flag for a cache in downtown London, Berlin, Prague or Madrid. However, in Moscow it's quite common that caches aren't found by anyone for weeks and months. The local community is small, the economical situation doesn't allow it to grow quickly, and the flow of foreign tourists/businessmen (including cachers) has decreased in recent years. Additionally, few visitors come to Moscow in winter. So, this "silent time" is quite common and we locals usually don't worry.
  11. I remember the day when I saw a 50 EUR bill on the ground in the outskirts of Killarney, Co.Kerry Ireland; I started my hiking route along the Kerry Way that morning (as far as to Black Valley). I was much surprised; it was just a couple steps away from me; I stopped to look around if any person nearby just dropped the bill. At this very moment a young lady who hurried in the same direction noticed the bill and quickly picked it up. Big disappointment
  12. It seems to me that the existing scale is rather artificial. As it was mentioned many times, it's hard to say where micro ends and small starts. I've met caches marked as "regular" that looked more like "small". No explanations help much because "can hold a small notepad" uses the same terms like "small". Secondly, the size isn't sufficient to understand the shape and construction (it was also mentioned above). Say, a nano container embedded in a rather thick and long stick; the scale doesn't work for this type I know. Then, if we're talking about what one can put inside: a regular container may have not much space for swag just because the owner decided to put a really big thick notebook inside; so, the box is rather big but it has less space then a smaller box may have. The scale is also area-specific: in the US you use ammo cans, we don't have them available here in Russia so we need to think about something different (but ammo cans are mentioned widely throughout the website). So, the scale isn't precise; it's just for general understanding of what size this or that cache can be (but not necessarily). If extended, it won't be precise either. After all, it's also a part of the game. Looking for something that could be of some particular size (or a bit smaller or larger) is more interesting in my opinion (and lead to more surpise once found) than looking for a 11.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 cm box.
  13. The worst thing about this cheating is that COs and visitors get confused with false smileys. DNF - too early to worry about... DNF - hmm... DNF - well, it's probably muggled, will check it next week... Found it - oh, it seems to be in it's place? DNF - or maybe not? ...
  14. We do have (at least) one FTF hound in our area. He's also used to complain publicly about anything wrong with a cache (in his opinion). At first it seemed annoying, now I just don't care.
  15. One more thread on "minor cache maintenance" It's so simple. 1. I don't do any maintenance to a cache which (in your opinion) is badly organized (poor container or hiding place). 2. For all other caches: if a logsheet/logbook is full I simply add some paper. I always carry a small/cheap notebook with me for this purpose.
  16. Will go to Lithuania next week. Like this country very much. Now (hopefully) with a geocaching souvenir: the biggest task will be to find a cache in central Vilnius which I haven't found before
  17. Since this thread continues, I think I can explain why this message confused me and I had questions. "Caches that have not been found in a long time" were not mentioned in the email message. Vice versa, it was advised to go and see the last logs. The text should be changed so to include this category. If not, COs will still be confused why Geocaching HQ advises on examining logs that don't exist. > Notice all the conditional words like "might" and "may." The new emails are intended to alert cache owners of possible problems If so, you should probably change "These are your options if you receive one of these emails:" to something like "Consider these options if you receive one of these emails:"
  18. I've got a message from no-reply Groundspeak account. It started like this: "Your geocache, Two Horseshoes (GC4FAX6), looks like it might need some attention. The recent logs may contain more details about what sort of maintenance needs to be performed. This could be anything from a new logbook to replacing a missing container..." They suggested me either to go and maintain the cache or disable/archive it. The cache has never been visited since it was published on the site. So, there are no logs at all. I've got no messages from anyone complaining about the cache. My questions are: - Is this any sort of a message sent automatically to caches which haven't been visited for a long period of time? - Is this message purposed to remind the owner about his (possibly missing) cache only? Will there be any consequences like "you haven't archived your cache in 1 month so we will do this for you"?
  19. My daughter presented it to me. Surprise. To celebrate my 1,000 cache and that she entered college, and, well, everything. I'm shocked. Don't know what to do. Three kilos of wonderful creativity. It looks like a cartoon. Me with a knife in my hand - like a dumb censor. Have you ever got geopresents like that from your family members or friends? How did they look like?
  20. > I think folks with only 200 finds should keep their mouths shut and learn a bit more about the game My business is to remind about local context at this forum "Only 200 finds" may mean "many finds" in some countries. It's not about numbers, it's about one's attitude I think. I recently talked to a cacher who logged some of my caches. He used to write his number of finds and add a smiley and (in some cases) "+ photolog". This meant little to me so I asked him whether he actually signed logbooks in containers or not. He replied that geocaching was not about numbers for him so he didn't care of signing logs when there were muggles around (and added one more smiley). He had 10k+ finds. I had less than 1k. Does statistics mean anything in this particular case?
  21. > what is a good way to find a place to host the event when your not from there? Me can be not the best adviser on the topic since I live in different country; on the other hand, I've travelled a lot and hold some so-called "meet-and-greet events". What I've learned from my own experience: 1. Contact people from local community for their ideas. 2. Think of some budget place so people aren't confused with prices. 3. Choose some alternative places to go in case something goes wrong. It may be a good idea to have your GZ for the event in some park or other nice place outdoors so those who just want to go to a restaurant (for example, people with small kids or those who have not much time) could also attend the event.
  22. If quizzes are of any interest around here I'm pretty sure I can do them myself (in local language) and publish on some other website so gc.com isn't involved. No urgency, anyway. I only responded to the idea of making any quiz mandatory.
  23. I completely agree with NiraD. I used to ask people: "What ideas do you have?" - "It could be somewhere on the fence but the fence is so long!" - "No, it's not on the fence. And this was the hint you asked for".
  24. First, there are different contexts. For example, it's common that people on this forum talk about power trails and junk caches - simply because of the fact they live in countries with huge number of caches placed everywhere, including powertrails of course. I can understand why they vote against copy paste option. In my area there are no powertrails and very few caches which you could call "junk" so the problem isn't relevant. Being realistic, I understand that my position will hardly be taken into account so I do this copy-paste procedure manually. A good example is formatting which I use to provide internal links/anchors for cache visitors to easily get to English translation of the text. Copy-paste only. It leads to additional errors but I can deal with this issue. Ideas? Here are some examples. 1. A notification by email every time someone publishes a photo attached to my listing. Photos are sometimes interesting and it also happens sometimes that they contain spoilers. 2. Lightbox/colorbox feature to include nice photos in my listings. 3. Support for Unicode in hints. 4. WYSIWYG editor appearing not only once but every time I wish to edit my listing. Geocache Hiders Quiz be mandatory? No, I don't think so. - The quiz is not localized. - It's not completely correct. For example, it's asked whether you can use a nail to attach your cache to a tree; it's supposed that you answer "no" for ecological reasons. Nothing is said however about dead trees (which are still trees). Or, there's a question about "vacation caches" and it's told that one should not place a cache far from his/her home coordinates. The correct guideline is that COs must be able to provide effective maintenance plan for their hides. - Separate quizzes for different cache types would be more efficient. - More knowledge could be put into this quiz so it becomes really useful. For example, choosing the right type of container. How many complaints have been published here about micros in woods? Now look at question 6 and see Derek in a park (or wood) holding a nano container. So, I would vote not for a single short mandatory quiz but for a series of extensive quizzes on various aspects of the hiders' knowledge and experience. Not mandatory but widely promoted.
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