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Terrain/difficulty Rating System


Radnax
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Not sure if this has been suggested but I'd like to see a system where the finders can rate terrain and difficulty.

The average is then taken of all finders ratings to give the overall terrain and difficulty shown on the cache page. The hider would post his/her ratings for the initial rating of the cache then after that it is an average of all finders that rate the cache terrain/difficulty.

 

The reason I suggest this is because what one person may think is rough terrain someone else may find easy. Same with the difficulty. Over time the ratings would average out to what most finders would consider the cache to actually be.

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As long as they don't include something like heavy snow cover when rating it. That would mess it up for the other three seasons.

 

You should rate your cache for the normal terrain situation and if and when there is change, like snowfall, let people decide the difficulty increase for themselves .

 

Personally I don't think you can fine tune it enough so that everybody would be in agreement. If it's 2 and a half some people will think it's a two and some will think it a three and they would be right. It probably was a two or a three, for them.

 

If the ratings are way off people ususally make a note of it in their log.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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It has been suggested, many times.

 

Implementation can be snarky at best. When SemperFiWags clicks a find, should she get a rating? Sock Puppets might show up all over the place...

 

I would think a better implementation is to have established standards, and when something doesn't agree with what you're supposed to have, point the hider to the accepted norms and see if they'll think about changing the rating.

 

For example - if someone's got a half-mile bushwack rated as a level 1 terrain, why wait for 14 cachers to rate the terrain higher to get an averaged finder terrain of 1.3457?

 

Why not say - "Hey, goober! Caches rated with a terrain of stargreen.gif are SUPPOSED to be handicapped accessible. This one ain't. Re-rate it to at least stargreen.gifhalfstargreen.gif or I'm gonna sue!"

 

You may want to use a little more diplomacy...

:D

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If an owner gives a cache a Terrain rating of 1, that's a bit of a clue for finding the cache. No bushwhacking needed, so stay on the trail rather than trying to immediately bee-line it. Should the person who doesn't follow this advice, and ends up bushwhacking to the cache, be allowed to alter the Terrain rating, just because they didn't find the best path? And by doing so, aren't they then misrepresenting the cache to others as being harder than it actually is?

 

I'd say the person who set up the cache is in the best position to set the Difficulty and Terrain ratings. If you have a genuine disagreement with a rating, email the owner.

Edited by Prime Suspect
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I think over time you tend to get a feel for what a cache should be rated at in your local area. I know around here, I think almost no one uses Clayjar's site, although I tend to look at it when I'm not sure what to rate the cache.

 

I don't think having finders rate the cache is really going to help much. Given that most people don't really follow a meaningful standard in the first place, you'd just end up with a number that no one was happy with.

 

I tend to rate my caches relative to various 'benchmark' caches in my area. If my cache is harder terrain-wise than cache x, then I give it a higher terrain rating etc, etc.

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Not sure if this has been suggested but I'd like to see a system where the finders can rate terrain and difficulty.

The average is then taken of all finders ratings to give the overall terrain and difficulty shown on the cache page. The hider would post his/her ratings for the initial rating of the cache then after that it is an average of all finders that rate the cache terrain/difficulty.

 

The reason I suggest this is because what one person may think is rough terrain someone else may find easy. Same with the difficulty. Over time the ratings would average out to what most finders would consider the cache to actually be.

 

I think you read my mind. I recently thought of this same exact idea while looking for some poorly rated caches. Hopefully, someday it will happen.

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If I think a cache is over- or underrated, I'll mention my personal opinion of the rating in the log. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think terrain is easier to standardize, and ClayJar's system is pretty good...if people bother to use it. In this regard, I think the overwhelming majority of caches are rated reasonably accurately for terrain. The few outliers don't really justify such a time- and energy-intensive function in my mind.

 

Difficulty is far more subjective. I've been known to have to make three trips to find a 1-star cache, and then find a 4-star cache immediately. Should I rate the 1-star cache as harder than the 4-star cache because I got lucky on the latter? Then there's the issue of caches being misplaced, or particularly difficult to find during certain times of year (such as autumn when the leaves fall), that could easily skew the ratings.

Edited by Team Perks
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After you've cached long enough the ratings become moot anyway. I never remember to look at them anymore.

 

If it maps out far from the road, it's a longer hike than right next to the road.

 

If it's near a river valley or mountain, it's steeper than on the coast.

 

The amount of search time varies more by finder than the "difficulty" rating and Clayjar's system doesn't take into account how many hidey-holes need by checked which I find more applicable to difficulty than anything else.

 

Enjoy,

 

Randy

 

PS: You also have situations w/puzzle caches. Does the rating apply to puzzle, hide or both? (Typically the hide is easier than the rating unless it's both thankfully.)

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PS: You also have situations w/puzzle caches. Does the rating apply to puzzle, hide or both? (Typically the hide is easier than the rating unless it's both thankfully.)

Maybe mystery caches should have a 3rd set of stars for "mystery difficulty"?

 

And yes, many caches are over and under rated... I did a mystery that was ROT2 and it was 4 star difficulty. Since it was on a paved trail, all that difficulty came from the puzzle, not getting there!

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I rated one of my caches 1.5, for the easy trail to follow. Someone suggested changing it to a 2, since it was over a mile from the parking area. Okay. Thanks for the guidance. I rerated it. The next cacher did it just after a snowstorm, in waist deep snow. He had no problem with the rating.

Wish more people would visit it. It's a nice cache. :laughing:

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