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Posts posted by caderoux

  1. Your're confusing micro spew with urban micros. I don't think many geocachers have a quarrel with micros, even in urban areas. In fact they are often the only kind of cache you can hide in these places. A micro that brings you to a place of interest is great.


    Micro spew is different. It's the placing of numerous micros in areas with no redeeming value. Next to dumpsters, behind Burger Kings, under shopping mall lamp post skirts, in garbage strewn lots and next to homeless encampments. You can't tell me that city folk and the disabled have to be resigned to nothing but finding caches in uninteresting and unappealing places.


    All the anti spew brigade asks is that people put a little thought into their caches.


    I agree, yet Drat's original "bad caching day" in New Orleans had no dumpsters, no Burger Kings, no lamp post skirts, no garbage strewn lots and no homeless encampments (at that time, the FEMA trailer was not a desirable accommodation). It was a high-density natural power trail of a variety caches around the perimeter of City Park. Not that the caches were spectacular, but they were not SPEW in accordance with your definition (of which we have very few).


    Regarding the 1/1 Micro filtering - we've been told you aren't supposed to make a cache terrain 1 UNLESS it is handicapped accessible, so you'd probably have to filter out 1/1.5 micro to totally avoid Micro Spew (TM etc.)

  2. Well I had no luck with either of those. Hmmmmm. I did not see it in the persons profile I got it from either

    I just activated another LA coin using an activation code I got there. (Don't use the GC code which is on the tree - that's the code for the first cache placed in Louisiana.)

  3. Doing Drat's route from June 19, 2004 on foot (although not Bamboozle's preferred method ;-) ) would definitely be more interesting and fulfilling.


    I did eight on Monday in nearby suburban Kenner - and only parked twice. Life (and caching) can be more enjoyable out walking instead of spending time getting in and out of the car.


    Many caches can be improved, but if people would just try view the micros more like many view those long-hike ammo cans and less like stops on a Christmas shopping trip, they would probably be a lot happier; remember it's the journey, not the destination.

  4. Besides, as others have posted in other threads, the decline in cache quality is at least partially driven by the hyper-competitive drive to achieve high personal stats and records. After all, a numbers addict can't find a lot of caches unless someone places them, so a numbers person has to place a lot of caches for their friends to find (the old saw about "you scratch my back" applies here, so the effect is doubled). If they're into high find numbers, they don't like to spend much time finding caches, let alone hiding them (I have met folks who have told me they have a rule that they look for a cache a maximum of 2 minutes, and if it's not found, abandon the search and drive to the next). So the kind of low-quality trivial-to-find caches we're concerned about accumulate. And new cachers hunt these first, so are justified in thinking that's what caching is all about. They have been taught by the community's placements that no thought is even desirable, just make a quick copy the wally-world parking lot cache at the next shopping center and that should be good enough.


    Some have proposed removing the stats altogether to eliminate the possibility of direct competition as a possible remedy for the cache quality problem. I don't think I'd advocate that radical a step, but I would like to separate myself from the "New Numbers Game" and an option to hide my personal stats would allow me and other like-minded folks to do so.


    I think the cause of declining cache quality still an open question with a variety of answers. Stats may be causing it, but the suggestion here is not going to stop stats, because that is a personally driven thing. Even without stats, I suspect that the constant need to hide and find new caches will keep cache quality on the decline. I think the addiction is not so much to the numbers, but about the challenge.


    I advocate a more direct attack on the problem which is taking responsibility for caches and cachers in your area and as caching consumers to demand higher quality caches. We have prolific hiders and finders, but amongst our local cachers I don't see any numbers competition, so I guess we're lucky. There is usually a certain amount of friendly FTF competition. In that case, I think FTFs are special. You are finding the cache before it has had a chance to be muggled (usually) and before it has been mis-replaced, compromised, or otherwised different from the hider's experience (which may be seasonal).


    As far as keeping the game interesting to long time cachers (who have cleared out their home turf and are responsible for the majority of caches and finds), I think something does have to be found to influence their behavior. I think there's still some exploring to be done on that front.

  5. From a product point of view (i.e. geocaching.com), if it's that few customers who would use the option that it wouldn't affect the game, it's not worth building the option. But that's their judgement.


    From a user's point of view, I'm all for people having more and more options (including removing their stats). But they can introduce consequences (like my mock request) far into the future which are not determinable now, and can only be seen much later.


    Sometimes the only way people learn is letting them make mistakes. Lately the pendulum at geocaching.com has been swinging away from the experimental approach and back towards the core activity approach.


    I'd like to see the change requests focus on the big problems in our game first, like cache quality.

  6. Would we have a user-level option to hide our cache coordinates from users who are hiding their stats? ;-)


    Regardless of what some people say, a lot of the cachers I know read other cachers logs and watch what they are doing - the community IS the game for a lot of people. Change what is displayed about cachers and you change the balance in the game. At some point, gameplay then changes. This stat hiding has implications beyond the immediately obvious ones.


    Other things hastily introduced on this web site have eventually been removed - virtuals and locationless, moving caches, earthcaches, etc. They all had creative merit, but got out of hand, and affected the game negatively

  7. Yep. Supply and demand is the culpret. But just as happens in real life, over supply has been pushing down prices. It's common to see lower quality coins selling on ebay for less than their initial offering price. A lot of the "Free Lunch" coins haven't sold and the prices are being reduced on those. And when was the last time you had a problem buying a coin that was produced in any number?


    Prices are the how the market communicates. High prices scream - "MAKE MORE! We want it NOW!" Low prices mutter, "Quit sending this crap." The free market works if we let it. If only that arogant bunch in DC could figure that out and lay off their cheezy press conferences about gas prices.


    There is no free market on tracking...

  8. I would like to see archived caches appear in my weekly email. This past weekend I searched for an archived cache due to a conflict with my GPS which was current and my PDA which had not updated. The email notice would have helped.


    Plus when caches dissapear it helps you know what's going on in your area. You can figure out if someone quit in a snit, if a park is cracking down, if someone kicked the bucket, or the caches are all being stolen in a specific area and maybe you should go check on yours.


    I have an instant notification in my area for archives (there's a radius limit there). Between this and the date filtering technique (I manually review the caches to see why they are dropping off), it gets the job done.

  9. Let me first say that making any caches Member's Only won't do any good... been there, tried that. The minute that they had heard that others had logged a local find that didn't show up on their list, they became members.


    Very strange behavior.


    No one here can really do anything about it - even the site is unlikely to lock their account.


    Cache owners can delete their online logs, but I doubt it will do anything positive.


    Sounds to me like they aren't receptive to discussion about it.


    Best you can hope for is to hope they grow out of it.

  10. Perhaps a better question would be, why would someone want to do a cache rated to be more difficult than 2 stars, and what would they expect to be rewarded with for their efforts? The question of whether or not we should downgrade this cache to an easier difficulty is one I don't feel we should be asking until it has been in the field for a few more months.

    Any cache in general? - no extra incentive necessary - regardless of difficulty or terrain (although, obviously, certain caches might be beyond my ability or wallet).


    As far as this particular cache? The only incentive for me to attempt it would be if:


    a ) no one had attempted it




    b ) if people started to actually find it




    c ) if those logs weren't there (all those cachers who DNF'ed it weren't exactly noobies, but clearly they had a lot of problems counting marbles in a jar)




    d ) if it was the last cache in an area I needed to clear out, and I didn't mind repeated trips out to count marbles in a jar

  11. I am planning exactly a cache like this as a sequel to GCMX6A - "New Orleans Elements #1: Marlyville/Fontainebleau", which was based on photos around a neighborhood. This would be for the Black Pearl neighborhood where Mahalia Jackson grew up.


    I was planning on putting the CDs in the cache, having the recording take you on a circuit which returned to the cache, having gathered enough information to unlock the inner sanctum of the cache and allowing the CD to be returned. I figured most people could get or borrow a CD player (or even use the one in their car, although it would be a walking circuit). I did think about MP3 files but getting them onto a user's device would need to be done in advance since many don't have removable media.


    However, I did recently hear about the possibility of VERY cheap MP3 players ($8) in the near future, which would probably eliminate the need for any media at all.

  12. February arrived today - a lot nicer than January. Seems to me, with the theme of the coins so far being so season-dependent, the schedule really needs to tighten up a LOT more even than the store is talking about. Even if the store was to ship when orders were placed, it seems really silly to get the February coin in March, given the theme this year. As the calendar moves on, it might not seem so ridiculous.


    Debating a March now. I only ordered one Feb as a FTF prize, after ordering two Jan, one to keep and one for a finder prize. I thought the January coin would likely sell out and then be resellable as a collectors item like First Finders Dance or Selective Availability, but when it arrived, I thought it didn't look as collectible, so I cut down on the February order, especially as all months are still available for order.

  13. I'd like them to be shorter (shrink the URLs) and more compact - right now Cingular sends my phone 5 messages for each cache.


    About once a week I am awoken at 2am by mtn-man's approvals (x5) terrified that it might be a server down at work...

  14. I would not attempt; based on logs.


    It's a question of disincentive. The difficulty is not one of design but of arbitrariness - people tend not to see these as a challenge but as a chore.


    Regardless of the listing content, hints, incentives or mechanics of the cache, it is unlikely any cacher will find it based on what I've read there. Regardless of design, empirical logged user experience indicates that this cache's final stage is pretty much unverifiable and the incentive to search a wide area like that would have to be pretty much on a par with some multiple of minimum wage. I've seen people spend an hour searching for nothing of value, but at least they knew they were in the right place.


    This points to a problem with the mechanics of the cache.


    An alternative would be to have very few colored marbles of each color in with a bunch of clear marbles which aren't counted - this would be an exact count scenario. Or figure out a way to keep the guessing aspect, but figure out a good way to constrain the maximum search area better, or a way to have the guessing ultimately result in exact coordinates (or make the guessing irrelevant through an arithmetic trick so that its importance becomes a red herring!).

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