Jump to content

Difficulty and Terrain Ratings


CacheDrone
Followers 4

Recommended Posts

What follows is just an opinion and not anything official.

 

When adding the Difficulty and Terrain ratings, these two items should be exclusive. In other words, they should not affect each other.

 

Difficulty should be about the actual finding of the cache upon arrival. Terrain is about the land needed to cross in order to get to the cache. The actual terrain should not affect the Difficulty rating significantly but might increase Difficulty by a half star or so.

 

Of course exceptions exist (not inclusive):

  • In Puzzle Caches, the actual puzzle might make solving the coordinates harder and thus increases the Difficulty
  • Additional Logging Requirements (ALR) may increase Difficulty
  • Specific terrain AT the cache location might affect Difficulty

Needing to take a boat to an island does not mean that the cache is really difficult to find. It means you need to deal with water, and that is a Terrain issue. A guideline might be to consider how difficult the cache would be if the water was replaced with cement.

 

Needing to walk down a trail that is 2km long with significant elevation changes that brings you to a lone hollow tree holding an ammo can at the base is not really difficult but it does have challenging terrain.

 

On the opposite side of the coin: When you consider the really tricky hides that some people come up with in an urban setting, often those would have a high Difficulty yet a low Terrain... Challenge to find, not to get there. So if the cache is easy to find but challenging to get to.... the ratings should reflect that.

Link to comment

I know you and I discussed this last week based on my Ishaptina Ridge Picnic (GCYYQR) event cache and I definitely see and understand your point, and if that's the way gc.com wishes to do it, I have no problem with it as it does make perfect sense. However, in my 6 years of caching, I have always been of the opinion that terrain DOES affect difficulty to various degrees and depending on the situation. Hence when you and I talked about this last week, it was the first time I every heard that the 2 rating should not be related.

 

When filling out the form to submit a new cache, the phrase used for difficulty is "Overall Difficulty Rating". Based on that phrase the way I usually think of difficulty is that it is related to the overall cache experience, from when I get out of the car to finding the cache and getting back to my car. This is also the way I see many others rate their caches. If I need a boat to get close to the cache or need to have rock climbing skills and equipment, or need to climb high up into a tree, those to me can make it easily from a 4-5 rating for difficulty.

 

I am still currently up in the air as to whether my Ishaptina Ridge Picnic (GCYYQR) event cache should be a 2/5 (as it is currently rated) or a 1/5 or a 5/5. Although it's just a number and it ain't overly a big deal what it's rated as, it's certainly something that I've still been discussing amongst my fellow geocachers.

Link to comment

They are meant to be exclusive. It has always been that way. If you look into the Clayjar rating system (the long ago agreed standard), you will see they are exclusive and as explained by CacheDrone.

 

http://www.markwell.us/geofaq.htm#Ratings

 

The only confusing point, in my mind, is the "specialized equipment" statement forced a terrain of 5....

 

Beside, who cares other than Tequila? ;)

Link to comment

What follows is just an opinion and not anything official.

 

I know you and I discussed this last week based on my Ishaptina Ridge Picnic (GCYYQR) event cache and I definitely see and understand your point, and if that's the way gc.com wishes to do it, I have no problem with it as it does make perfect sense.

 

My posting was not in reference to your picnic but to a recent swell in caches that did not seem to match how they appeared. It is not often that an ammo can is a difficulty of 4 or more.

 

When I posted I tried to be clear that it was not an official posting, but it was a suggestion to players because people look at both Dif and Ter when deciding if they can do a cache. I'm hesitant to use certain terms in this post since all caches have their place and devoted following and hopefully that covers me. When you add the Dif and Ter together it should give a snapshot of the challenge involved to successfully complete the cache. People will decide if they are up to the challenge of the cache based on both numbers. If the cache is easy to find but it is rated with a high difficulty then you are pushing people away, and some of the people that find will be disappointed that is was easier than they thought it would be.

 

That is not to say is represents a quality rating, enjoyment level or anything beyond the assertion of what to expect

 

A 5/5 should challenge people in a very extreme way on all levels, whereas a 1/1 should be extremely easy for anyone. Terrain is actually fairly easy to grasp, Difficulty is not as easy. How hard is it to find it / How hard is it to get there ?

 

As a player myself I prefer low to low-mid difficulty (1 to 2.5) with mid-high terrain (2.5 to 3.5). Basically I like to moderate to long walk in the woods and easily find the cache. Taking a boat to an island is fun from time to time but that doesn't change my preference for an easy to find cache when I get to the island.

 

People can rate their caches however they like and the only point to my post was that people should consider what the values really represent to others. Having D/T's that do not accurate reflect the overall experience may keep some people away and disappoint others. Don't let people miss out on enjoying your cache ;)

Link to comment

I've done a lot of searching and no where that I could find has it been stated that Difficulty and Terrain are exclusive to each other and in one reference it actually said that they are related and that the current Clayjar system that is used is from car to cache, which makes sense and which is the way I already thought it would be and also what seems to be the method that most people go by when rating their caches.

 

As an example with my recent Event cache that I am doing on the top of Ontario (GCYYQR), according to the markwell site linked in this thread, it would fall under:

 

Extreme (5 difficulty)

A serious mental or physical challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache.

...the above pretty much describes everything to a T to get to the point of where my event is being held. Just read Ken Takabe's account of how he made it to the top and is my inspiration for having a picnic on top. Even a Canoe trip would require several days to reach my picnic spot. The easiest way to get to my picnic would probably be by float plane or by helecopter.

 

And one only has to look at both new and old geocaches to show that the adventure from car to cache does significantly influence the determining of the difficulty rating, as in some of the followign examples:

 

GC2B27 - Bushwacker (5/5)

GCW9TJ (to GCW9V4) in the Temagami series of 8 caches), all 5/5

GC1BZV6 - Tour de Matchedash - Rocky Point (5/5)

GC1C070 - Tour de Matchedash - Rock Ledge (5/5)

 

As it is now, the way I and most understand it, is that on the page when submitting a cache it does say "Overall Difficulty Rating" and I'll continue to rate my caches the way I and most have been doing all along and that is the overall cache experience and not just about the couple minutes that you are at ground zero. Just with anything, especially with regard to geocaching, people will have different opinions and that is fine and I have no problem if someone wants to interpret the rating system in a different way. I am sure we have all done hundreds of caches where we would rate a cache differently than the cache owner has done.

Link to comment

Do as you wish. For your caches you can set whatever you think the Difficulty and Terrain ratings should be.

 

Reading the posts you have placed in this thread it appears that you are not understanding the point that I was just suggesting and instead seems that you are trying to justify how you choose to do things. I am not asking you to do that and while I still don't agree with you there also is no point in my trying to convince you otherwise.

 

D/T ratings are not covered under the listing guidelines and are arbitrary settings by cache owners. As a reviewer it is within my position to verify with someone on their choices if they seem to not reflect the settings accurately and I do so frequently. This is especially true on 1/1's and 5/5's as well as Terrain = 1 with no handicap attribute icon, but can happen on other entries as well. This is not done as a judgment but as a customer service and for me it has never once prevented a cache from being published.

 

To me, it makes no sense to have Terrain as a subset of Difficulty when there is a separate section for Terrain as well.

 

As you pointed out

Extreme (5 difficulty)

A serious mental or physical challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache.

 

That word "FIND" is what makes it Difficult. Nothing in that quote refers to Terrain, not even the word "physical" since it applies to the actual "find" (like climbing up a tree 50 feet)

Link to comment

 

That word "FIND" is what makes it Difficult. Nothing in that quote refers to Terrain, not even the word "physical" since it applies to the actual "find" (like climbing up a tree 50 feet)

 

In the case of an event, how does the word "Find" apply?

 

...People will all be camoflauged and hiding in the trees...

Link to comment

 

That word "FIND" is what makes it Difficult. Nothing in that quote refers to Terrain, not even the word "physical" since it applies to the actual "find" (like climbing up a tree 50 feet)

 

In the case of an event, how does the word "Find" apply?

 

...People will all be camoflauged and hiding in the trees...

 

He he :(

Link to comment

I understand your point completely with what you are suggesting, and you did have me convinced for a few days, as it does make sense what you suggested at the beginning of this thread. You however are a reviewer and representative of Groundspeak, so by posting your suggestion, it gives the indication that what you say (even if you say it is just a suggestion) is the way it is. If that is the way it should be, then fine and I would adjust any future ratings for my caches without hesitation, but from what I have discovered upon further reflection, investigation and discussions with fellow cachers, your suggestion is not the way most people seem to do it (and maybe most of us are wrong, and then fine) and not the way I have been doing it in my 6 years of caching either. That's why it came as a surprise to me when you questioned me about my cache when I submitted it last week and I went with your advice of doing it as a 2/5, since I didn't want you to not publish the cache. And yes I have found some people who do agree either in whole or in part with the suggestion you made in this thread.

 

And yes I am justifying why I think my event should be a 5/5, since your opinion thinks it shouldn't, so this is an excellent cache to use as an example of where people may rate it differently. To FIND my cache (regardless of Terrain, which I didn't refer to in my last post at all) you DO need to be physicially and mentally strong, as well as have specialized knowledge, skills, AND equipment. So speaking only of difficulty and the rating of terrain aside, in order to get to the event and to log it as Attended it clearly is a 5 in difficulty as based on Clayjar’s rating and Markwell’s page.

--If you are not physically or mentally strong, you won't find my event.

--If you don't do your research and become knowledgeable about the area, you won't find my event.

--If you don't have the appropriate wilderness, safety and survival skills, you won't find my event.

--If you don't have the proper equipment (ie appropriate mode of transportion), you won't find my event.

--If you don't know what to do when a black bear is 20m in front of you, you better start praying!

 

As I said, to me and many, the difficulty is about the whole experience in finding the cache (again, the cache page says “OVERALL Difficulty Rating”, so we can even take terrain out of the equation if you want and it wouldn't change the above at all in relation to finding my cache. Even Renegade Knight made a very good point about puzzle caches, even if I can't agree with him either at the moment. The difficulty of a puzzle to me also plays into the difficulty rating of finding the cache.

 

Even looking at caches that you have placed, I see you have a 5/2.5, 3.5/3.5 and a 4/4 which according to what you are suggesting in this thread, they really shouldn't be rated more than a 2 for difficulty at the most...Each of those probably didn't take me any longer than 5 minutes to find. Now you can see why it is very hard to understand all of a sudden to be suggested that the rating system is different than the way you thought it was all these years.

 

I do in some sense agree with you that the difficulty is related to the find, except for me I see the whole find or cache experience usually starting when I leave the car and not when my GPS says that I am 0 meters away.

 

With regard to Handicap vs Wheelchair accessable, there is a big difference. There is NO Handicap attribute...the attribute is for "Wheelchair accessible" which is a big difference than a 1 terrain (handicap accessible). I realize you post your "suggestions" on the cache pages on these matters, as you have done when approving my caches, but you might not realize it, it does come across as a bit insulting and judgemental, even if you say it isn't intended to be. By posting these comments or your personal opinions on the cache pages when approving them, it does give the indication that the hider does not know what he\she is doing. The Guidelines are there, we all read them (well I do atleast and like to keep up to date on them to make sure my caches fall within the guidelines), many interpret them differently.

 

I think you pretty much said it too, it comes down to a person’s opinion of their own cache and Clayjar’s system is a good guide for a reference point. And sometimes you just got to use your own judgement based on experience.

 

So in the end, there is obviously a varied number of opinions on this matter, just as there are with many aspects of geocaching. I think it's good that you brought up this topic as it certainly brings several opinions to light on the matter.

Link to comment

 

That word "FIND" is what makes it Difficult. Nothing in that quote refers to Terrain, not even the word "physical" since it applies to the actual "find" (like climbing up a tree 50 feet)

 

In the case of an event, how does the word "Find" apply?

 

I like the idea of people hiding in trees wearing camo :(

 

But seriously, since people don't "find" events, I would say that the "Attended" portion would equate to "Find" and as such since the actual attending part is almost always easy, then the Difficulty would be very low. Apart from some really unusual scenario nearly every event would be 2 or less on the Difficulty. Mostly "1". I see no reason to make events difficult to attend, that is not the point of them. Events are for getting together and talking about geocaching.

Link to comment

Since I have met, or have had the opportunity of chatting with, most of the cachers replying to this thread, I find it amazing the differences of opinion being posted. It just goes to show you that cachers will play the game as they see fit.

 

I must agree with the above post that stated CacheDrone posting could be seen as coming from higher up. However, he is our reviewer for this area, and an avid cacher under his other alias. I have used (listened to) his suggestions on difficulty/terrain ratings (as the reviewer listing them) on some of my caches, and the final results were pretty well received by the finders, according to logs.

 

For me, his suggestions work, and I am happy to oblige.

Link to comment

With regard to Handicap vs Wheelchair accessable, there is a big difference. There is NO Handicap attribute...the attribute is for "Wheelchair accessible" which is a big difference than a 1 terrain (handicap accessible). I realize you post your "suggestions" on the cache pages on these matters, as you have done when approving my caches, but you might not realize it, it does come across as a bit insulting and judgemental, even if you say it isn't intended to be. By posting these comments or your personal opinions on the cache pages when approving them, it does give the indication that the hider does not know what he\she is doing.

 

Just so that you know, the handicap note is a default note in a piece of reviewer software that was created by another reviewer. It is just a script that runs, which also explains why my usual Hello and closing info is not included.

 

I do also have a 1/1 note of my own writing and this is because the frequent number of emails that I got when people would write to me commenting that a new cache wasn't really a 1/1 and that the placer just used the default settings. As a customer service, it is offered and that's all it is.

 

But trust me, both you and I have a long history of coming off as a bit insulting and judgmental. :( It's just who we are and how we come across. We both mean well, it just doesn't always come out right.

 

As Sting says "Be yourself, no matter what they say"

 

This is the last post in this thread as CacheDrone unless someone has a specific question about reviewing but I will continue the discussion under The Blue Quasar as I do think there are some interesting points to discuss that may help others decide how they want to use D/T ratings regardless of whether or not it is about the entire cache or just the actual hiding location. I hope that is fair enough.

Link to comment

 

That word "FIND" is what makes it Difficult. Nothing in that quote refers to Terrain, not even the word "physical" since it applies to the actual "find" (like climbing up a tree 50 feet)

 

In the case of an event, how does the word "Find" apply?

 

...People will all be camoflauged and hiding in the trees...

 

Two years ago I participated with the OPP in a hostage incident training exercise. As part of the exercise, I "stabbed" a person and ran into the woods for the K9 to track. I later learned that I ran within 4 feet of three officers in fully camo gilly suits and never saw them. They were in observation positions on the perimeter of the property.

 

Between them, their guns and the K9, difficulty was definitely a 5. Nothing like hearing "If you move, you will be shot"........

Link to comment

I think I had better switch hats :( "CacheDrone has left the building" but we can still talk about Difficulty vs Terrain in the context of our caches.

 

Even looking at caches that you have placed, I see you have a 5/2.5, 3.5/3.5 and a 4/4 which according to what you are suggesting in this thread, they really shouldn't be rated more than a 2 for difficulty at the most...Each of those probably didn't take me any longer than 5 minutes to find. Now you can see why it is very hard to understand all of a sudden to be suggested that the rating system is different than the way you thought it was all these years.

 

The 5/2.5 is Quasy Cache Finale and was placed in April of 2003, before Mystery Caches. The "5" was because of all of the other places that you had to go in order to get this one. But yes, today I would rate it a 3/2.5 instead. Still that was over 5 years ago.

 

The 3.5/3.5 is Long Hills if you ask me! and was placed in May of 2003 and definitely over rated on difficulty, more like 1.5/3.5 instead.

 

One 4/4 is GPS Series - The GPS Unit and was placed in Jul of 2006 and if found as intended (in other words not going home and calculating it), it is easily a "4" for difficulty :D {I know that you haven't done this one, so you'd have to ask those that have}. The four 'satellite' caches that lead up to it are all rated 3/4 but would really be 1.5/4 when I think about them now.

 

One 4/4 is Quasy 8 - Finale and was placed in March of 2006. The 4 was based on how many places you had to go plus having to solve a logic puzzle. Maybe a 3/3 would have been better in retrospect.

 

So yes, I admit that I have over rated a few on the Difficulty. Let's say that in the last 2 years that would about 6 of the 60 hidden in that period. Apart from those, I think I've done a pretty fair job over the recent past to treat them separately. And I still think that a hide has to be something monumental to rank as a difficulty of 5.

 

:) BQ (ahhh that's better ;) )

 

edit: fixed quote box

Edited by The Blue Quasar
Link to comment

I have to admit, I too believe they are seperate issues, MOST of the time. I can imagine there are exceptions to this though.

 

An example that I can think of as to why they should be seperate...

 

I just finished the Great White North Geotour Final in Ottawa. I spent the last year hitting all ten provincial capitals and doing their multis to get the code to calculate the final. The final was rated a 5/5 though the walk was about as easy as it gets.

 

Now, I would say that it should bea 5 Difficulty if you want to consider that you have to travel the entire country to get the final, but the terrain should have only been a 1 based on the final hide. I can understand that some would consider the Terrain of all 10 caches as part of the final but I think that Terrain stands alone. No one is right or wrong, just a different way of looking at it.

 

Since I don't get paid to geocache, I won't worry too much about whether my way of thinking is right or wrong.

Link to comment

Terrain or difficulty:

 

A cache placed right next to various large hornet nests.. intentionally

 

[:rolleyes:]

"Additional logging requirements"

 

There's several different forms of "difficulty" that come into play in finding a cache:

 

1. The difficulty of getting from the parking lot to ground zero

2. The difficulty of getting to the cache, once at ground zero

3. The difficulty of finding the cache, once at ground zero

4. In the case of puzzle caches, or cache series, the difficulty of figuring out the coordinates for ground zero in the first place

5. The difficulty of any ALRs

 

It's pretty clear that Terrain rating=#1, and perhaps #2. The Difficulty rating should definitely include #3; the question is whether it should also represent #4-5, #2, and/or something overall. Mixed up in this is the issue of how you draw the line between #1 and #2; in cases where a cache is in a cave or on a cliff face but getting there is a simple walk the definitions I used for #1 and #2 don't quite work.

 

Then, of course, there's the compounding effect you get with multicaches and night caches, where the each individual marker may not be that hard to find but when you have to go through it a dozen times ... well, then it's not so easy.

Link to comment

Terrain or difficulty:

 

A cache placed right next to various large hornet nests.. intentionally

 

[;)]

 

Not sure how serious that is, but just in case...

 

The answer is: Neither. That would be rated on the "Stupid" and "Dangerous" scales. I'd call it about an S4 D4. S4 - Hide is placed deliberately in a high-risk area. D4 - High likelihood of injury with injuries that may be life threatening to some individuals.

 

As a person allergic to stings, geocaching is always a bit dangerous, but I can take preventive actions.

 

If a cache were deliberately placed somewhere like that and didn't say so in the description (so I could avoid it), I'd be furious. In any case, I'd hit "Needs archiving" on such a cache, regardless of what it says in the description, if for no other reason than to force the owner to explain why such a dangerous hide is worthy of being listed.

Edited by geoSquid
Link to comment

I'm with you. My husband is highly sensitive. we take precautions and have lots of abortive agents on hand at all times. We ran into a particularly vicious hornets nest at one cache. My husband had several stings. He was ok after lots of drugs. The hornets pursued us the full quarter mile back to the car. The cache owner attended the cache within 12 hours of reading our log and pumped a full can of spray into the nest. That's responsible cache maintenance.

 

 

Terrain or difficulty:

 

 

A cache placed right next to various large hornet nests.. intentionally

 

[;)]

 

Not sure how serious that is, but just in case...

 

The answer is: Neither. That would be rated on the "Stupid" and "Dangerous" scales. I'd call it about an S4 D4. S4 - Hide is placed deliberately in a high-risk area. D4 - High likelihood of injury with injuries that may be life threatening to some individuals.

 

As a person allergic to stings, geocaching is always a bit dangerous, but I can take preventive actions.

 

If a cache were deliberately placed somewhere like that and didn't say so in the description (so I could avoid it), I'd be furious. In any case, I'd hit "Needs archiving" on such a cache, regardless of what it says in the description, if for no other reason than to force the owner to explain why such a dangerous hide is worthy of being listed.

Edited by Girls Phind Squirrels
Link to comment

I have almost always looked at the two seperatly.

Puzzle "difficulty" should be included in the D rating.

 

How about a cache that is in a large urban park, but the trailhead is not well known, and not posted as an additional waypoint. The actual find might be a 2 difficulty, terain to the cache from the correct trailhead is 2 also. Should the fact that the cacher may have to try four of five different entrances before they get the right one, come into the ratings?

Link to comment
How about a cache that is in a large urban park, but the trailhead is not well known, and not posted as an additional waypoint. The actual find might be a 2 difficulty, terain to the cache from the correct trailhead is 2 also. Should the fact that the cacher may have to try four of five different entrances before they get the right one, come into the ratings?

 

In my opinion, no. :wub: To me that would sort of like increasing the Difficulty of a LPC because the shopping mall is busy and parking is hard to find.

Link to comment

[snip] To me that would sort of like increasing the Difficulty of a LPC because the shopping mall is busy and parking is hard to find.

But don't a lot of people add to the rating if the muggle factor makes signing the log very hard? And shouldn't they? It would be harder to "find" the cache wouldn't it, could even take several trips to log it?

Link to comment

[snip] To me that would sort of like increasing the Difficulty of a LPC because the shopping mall is busy and parking is hard to find.

But don't a lot of people add to the rating if the muggle factor makes signing the log very hard? And shouldn't they? It would be harder to "find" the cache wouldn't it, could even take several trips to log it?

 

Yeah, I would lean towards the difficulty being upped in a high muggle territory. Even an LPC outside a Tim Hortons would be a higher Difficulty than one at the back of a shopping mall IMO. The fact that LPCs, especially ones in lamposts at a Tims, are the bane of geocaching, is another point.

 

Then there is the lampost nano I did in Regina this summer that was behind a mini plaza but attached to a sign that was about 10 feet high. You have to climb on the concrete lapost base and reach up to the sign to get it. That would be a a higher terrain and a higher stupid cache factor to me.

 

In all seriousness, I'd like to see a new rating added. You'd have the usual D/T ratings but also have a feedback rating. Finders, when they log their find, could add a rating from 1 to 5 that would simply be an overall experience rating. I'd likely do more caches that were rated higher here because it would also relate to the enjoyment of the cache as seen by cachers other than the hider. It would incorporate the view, comic nature of the hide, cleanliness of the container, ingenuity of the hide, etc. This might also give new cachers an idea of what other cachers like so that when they start hiding caches, they have an idea of what a "good" cache is.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by M3J
Link to comment

In all seriousness, I'd like to see a new rating added. You'd have the usual D/T ratings but also have a feedback rating. Finders, when they log their find, could add a rating from 1 to 5 that would simply be an overall experience rating. I'd likely do more caches that were rated higher here because it would also relate to the enjoyment of the cache as seen by cachers other than the hider.

 

Such requests have been asked of Groundspeak since it's inception! Don't hold your breath! :yikes:

 

Other caching sites have this feature, but they dont seem to get used much in canada

Link to comment
But don't a lot of people add to the rating if the muggle factor makes signing the log very hard? And shouldn't they? It would be harder to "find" the cache wouldn't it, could even take several trips to log it?

 

Well, some people may do it that way. I can't say it's something I've seen done in our local area at all.

 

Let's also not confuse signing the log with finding the cache itself. Whenever the issues of ratings come up I always look to the Clayjar system since it's the closest thing to a standard we have:

 

1) Cache is in plain sight or location is fairly obvious.

2) Cache could be in one of several locations. Hunter may have to look for a while.

3) Cache may be very well hidden, may be multi-leg, or may use clues to location.

4) Cache likely requires special skills, knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days or trips to find

5) Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge.

 

The rating system is based on how hard it is to find the cache, not how hard it is to stealthily sign the log. If the cache is hidden in an obvious spot such as a lamppost skirt it's really a Difficulty of 1 or 1.5 regardless as to whether that lamppost is at the front of the store or a remote corner of the parking lot -- after all, stealth is purely an optional component of the hunt whereas finding the container is not.

 

Just my opinion, of course.

Link to comment

 

snip...

 

1) Cache is in plain sight or location is fairly obvious.

2) Cache could be in one of several locations. Hunter may have to look for a while.

3) Cache may be very well hidden, may be multi-leg, or may use clues to location.

4) Cache likely requires special skills, knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days or trips to find

5) Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge.

 

I am not talking of any real cache here by the way, but that high muggle cache, might fit some of D4 using that rating too. Special skills, Knowlage, (not realy), but it might take in-depth preperation or multiple days or trips to find, even if you think it is in that lamp post skirt, you haven't had it in your hands yet.

 

We have no hides like this example cache, and would likely pass on finding one too, however, I still think that muggle factor may influence the D rating, so might the dificulty in finding the trailhead. But overall I agree that the D rating applies to the find, and the T rating applies to getting there after you park the car or the 4x4 either for that mater.

Link to comment

Further to this discussion is when does the actual hunt or find of the cache begin? A very small handful in this thread have the opinion that difficulty is rated based on when you arrive at ground zero. Otherwise from everyone I have personally talked with about this subject, the consensus is that Difficulty pertains to the entire cache hunt. In essence, the cache hunt begins when you first look at the cache page and decide to go after that cache. Things like having to solve puzzles, plan your route, etc also factor in to the difficulty. With puzzles, this could have a bigger influence on difficulty where as something like route planning may almost have zero effect unless it is for some remote or unfamiliar location. Difficulty is about the entire hunt (whether terrain is considered or not, is irrelevant). Unless 95% of the cache listings are rated incorrectly, this seems to be the norm and has always been in the 6 years that I have been cache. Otherwise if that wasn't the case, then 90% of caches out there are probably rated incorrectly as most caches usually don't take longer than a few minutes to find and hence just about all caches would be rated incorrectly if the difficulty only pertained to when you got to ground zero and by that reasoning those caches should be rated a 1 or 1.5 for difficulty.

 

In the end I think it comes down to each individual hider's opinion on how difficult and how much effort is needed in order to find their cache, and the rating system as described here http://www.markwell.us/geofaq.htm#Ratings and on clayjar's seems to be a very good example of how to rate the overall difficulty of a cache and this is what I usually base my ratings on.

Link to comment

That's a pretty big paint brush you've got there, and it might be beneficial for you to read over this thread again. Seems that nearly all, if not all, of the people that posted an opinion view Difficulty and Terrain as mutually exclusive. It is certainly not a small handful of those in this thread.

 

See posts 24, 25, 26, 27, 30 and 34.

 

It would appear that following your reasoning that there would be no caches with a difficutly rating of 1 since the terrain would increase it instantly. That view seems flawed to me. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that a large percentage of caches in Ontario do not have accurate ratings, I would say that many that are regular sized have difficulty ratings that are higher than they should be.

 

Perhaps the locals that you have spoken to do agree with you that they feel a cache's difficutly rating is vastly affected by terrain. I could counter with the fact that most people I know understand that getting to the cache site is a terrain issue and when they see the rating can understand the challenge they are about to experience.

 

A micro in a lamp skirt is a difficulty of 1 whereas a micro in a large rock pile has a difficulty which is much higher. Whether the rock pile is in an urban setting or 6 kilometers into the woods has no bearing. Difficulty is the search of the rock pile to find the cache.

 

:ph34r: BQ

 

edit: typos

Edited by The Blue Quasar
Link to comment

on Difficulty, sometimes it is just sitting there in the open and I cannot see it. Sometimes it is blended so perfectly with it's surroundings, yet it is the first thing I check. We should get rid of the difficulty rating all together and put a "QUALITY" rating in its place - defined by the finders. Difficulty is subject to the finders mindset the day they find it..

Link to comment

A micro in a lamp skirt is a difficulty of 1 whereas a micro in a large rock pile has a difficulty which is much higher. Whether the rock pile is in an urban setting or 6 kilometers into the woods has no bearing. Difficulty is the search of the rock pile to find the cache.

 

What if getting the coordinates of the rock pile involves solving a very difficult puzzle? Would that affect the difficulty of the cache?

Link to comment

A micro in a lamp skirt is a difficulty of 1 whereas a micro in a large rock pile has a difficulty which is much higher. Whether the rock pile is in an urban setting or 6 kilometers into the woods has no bearing. Difficulty is the search of the rock pile to find the cache.

 

What if getting the coordinates of the rock pile involves solving a very difficult puzzle? Would that affect the difficulty of the cache?

 

To me, it would increase it. That is if we are only talking about the puzzle aspect. Solving coordinates is not a terrain item, it is a difficulty item.

Link to comment

A micro in a lamp skirt is a difficulty of 1 whereas a micro in a large rock pile has a difficulty which is much higher. Whether the rock pile is in an urban setting or 6 kilometers into the woods has no bearing. Difficulty is the search of the rock pile to find the cache.

 

What if getting the coordinates of the rock pile involves solving a very difficult puzzle? Would that affect the difficulty of the cache?

 

To me, it would increase it. That is if we are only talking about the puzzle aspect. Solving coordinates is not a terrain item, it is a difficulty item.

 

So then it is not just the search of the rock pile?

Link to comment

Dude, what have you been smoking? Remove those rose coloured glasses as you didn't read a word of what I said in my last post (try actually reading and understanding my last post. If you read it already, then try rereading it). Your latest post sounds just like Stephane Dion who just sees things like he want to see them and totally ignores the facts and what has actually been said.

 

I am quite willing to let you believe what you like, as I stated in earlier posts. It is your right. Your words in post #43 were "Further to this discussion is when does the actual hunt or find of the cache begin? A very small handful in this thread have the opinion that difficulty is rated based on when you arrive at ground zero. Otherwise from everyone I have personally talked with about this subject, the consensus is that Difficulty pertains to the entire cache hunt." which is conflicting with how you are trying to present your postion that people should choose them based on their opinions. It is stating that you are right, your friends agree and that everyone else in this thread seems to as well. It had been dropped, you brought it back up in an inflamatory way.

 

And what's the deal with posting your latest cache under your son's account but using your own name? How does needing a data cable affect the terrain rating...if anything that would effect difficulty, but wouldn't make it a 5, unless it is some rare data cable, but last I checked, data cables are a fairly common thing to get. Why not just stick with one personality, intead of using 5 different GC accounts.

 

While that is completely off topic: Because I want to have the story under his account, as it was written to work that way. I totally agree with you that the Terrain has no business being a 5. The use of a data cable has nothing to do with walking to the cache site. But the rating system quoted earlier also said that special equipment or knowledge constitures a terrain of 5. I figure it being a mystery cache already implies to read the details and the big red text block should be enough. I fully agree... the whole data cable thing was not my decision.

 

When it comes to sock puppets though, we both know where that road leads... I fully admit to having BQ, CD (though that is a reviewer account), OGA Admin from a time when it seemed it would have been useful, Tagteam Niagara which I only administer as a shared account, and I do use my son's Tae Kwon Dude from time to time.

 

Disclaimer...there is NO negative intent intended in this post towards anyone, especially not BQ, CD, TTN, OA, TKD, CS or anyone else. Everything was posted with a smile and while laughing histerically at the silliness or lack there of. The whole point is that everyone has a slightly interpretation of the difficulty and terrain guidelines, with a few a bit more extreme than the others. For me, I go with the majority and stick to the way it has always been since the beginning of geocaching. Have fun, get out of the house, enjoy finding\hiding caches...that's what I do.

 

And again, that bold section is an inflamatory statement, one with an air of superiority and arrogance. Just because it is that way for you does not mean that is the way it is, has been for everyone, or anything else. I know you are either unaware of the tone which you words are carrying but I am not for mine. I know full well that I am expressing an opinion, and have attitude about it now. I did not, before but now I do because your choices of words are agressive and demeaning to those that choose to suggest an alternative or as I see it, a correction.

 

You may contend that you posted with amusement, but it was received as an insult.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 4
×
×
  • Create New...