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Al 7365

The return of Virtuals

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As we have seen from the Groundspeak get satisfaction forum, virtuals are returning. With this return will you then be able to adopt an old virtual as I was resently asked to adopt a virtual but it was not posible to do. Are virtuals returning in the same form? or will they have a new icon or look?

 

Could someone offer an insight?

Edited by Al 7365
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As we have seen from the Groundspeak get satisfaction forum, virtuals are returning. With this return will you then be able to adopt an old virtual as I was resently asked to adopt a virtual but it was not posible to do. Are virtuals returning in the same form? or will they have a new icon or look?

 

Could someone offer an insight?

 

I don't think that anyone really knows. A lot of us know what we want to happen, but what the PTB actually do is still a mystery. Personally, in the case of virtual owners that have left the game many, many years ago, I wouldn't mind seeing an archive and a new player initiate a new cache.

 

Even if they allowed adopting the old Virtuals, a vast amount of them have absentee owners. You can not adopt a cache without the owners permission.

 

[Edit Punctuation]

Edited by Don_J
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sorry ot be kind of OT, but where is the post saying virtuals are returning? when did this happen? i must have missed it. theres one ive been really wanting to do but couldnt.

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sorry ot be kind of OT, but where is the post saying virtuals are returning? when did this happen? i must have missed it. theres one ive been really wanting to do but couldnt.

 

From the Feedback Forum Bring Back Virtuals

 

Specifically,

 

Status: planned

 

We have a basic draft of the functionality complete and are trying to schedule the development of the concept along with other projects like maps, statistics, API and favorites. Our hope is to get something out by spring. Fingers crossed.

Jeremy Admin

 

Jeremy is the head Frog.

 

Like I said, it's coming, but none of us really know what "it" is.

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Regardless of the form of a return of virtual caches to this site, I wouldn't expect this to alter adoption policy.

 

It *might* mean that virtual caches with active owners could be processed through the adoption utility, but wouldn't expect it to mean that abandon virts (or caches of any other type) would become adoptable.

 

This is pure speculation on my part.

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If virtuals come back in a different form from the current virtuals, I suppose it's possible that a new virt could be submitted on top of the old virt. Hopefully we'll see the format sometime soon!

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like?

 

They will look like donuts. little chocolate donuts.

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Originally the virtuals were able to be adopted. A few owners of the popular ones transferred them to a second account with a different e-mail address because they didnt want to be bothered answering the e-mails. I suppose that the guidelines may have to be tightened when they do return.

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If you were to look at my profile you would see that I own several virtual caches from back in the day. All still active, grandfathered in when they did away with the category.

 

I would challenge anyone to claim that any of them were "lame" virtuals. Most, if not all, are in locations where, at least at that time, would not allow any kind of physical cache whatsoever. virtuals were all that were allowed. I do not know if the status of any of those loacations has changed since creation of mine.

 

To me, and in my own opinion, virtuals served a very good purpose. First of all, it allowed us to draw people to places of interest where we weren't allowed to put a physical cache. This was good. Second of all, it allowed for very interesting and informative locations to be brought to the attention of those who would not have even known about the area but for Geocaching. This was good.

 

On the other hand, it could be abused, and was to a great extent. They brought in the "Wow" factor to try and weed out the so called "lame" virtual. I could understand this perfectly after visiting a few that squeaked through, only to find myself standing in front of something that only made me think: "WTF". There were more than a few that I could not understand the thinking that led to anyone deciding it was worth being a virtual cache.

 

So they attempted to clamp down on what could, and certainly what could not, be submitted as a virtual cache. And, as with any cache that is submitted for approval, it did come down to what the approval authority thought of the location and the "Wow" factor, and few, if any, agreed with the calls that were being made. All kinds of uproar and gnashing of teeth ensued. I understand why the PTB decided it was not worth the time and trouble to administer them.

 

If it were up to me, yes, we'd have virtuals again, but the requirements would be very strict, and your grandmothers apple tree that's been there for a century, while of infinite interest to you, would not make the cut, lol. The Washington Monument though, oh yeah, there ya go.

 

Civil War battlefields, historic places that mean a great deal to Americans and world citizens alike, Revolutionary War sites, sites where significant events took place that make us who we are, or teach us about history, and sacrifice, can be listed to enhance the Geocaching experience, not take the place of it.

 

I still take summer trips that take me back to the places I have Virtuals at, as you must keep current on what's going on, signs change, information changes, and you have to adapt. After a while it became where you couldn't put up a virtual cache far away, much like physical caches, and couldn't adopt those abandoned by others, so many, many great virtuals were lost. But when we first started you could still place a cache anywhere you were willing to maintain it, so mine are spread very nearly from coast to coast, and border to border. I love making my cache maintenance trips as the places where they exist are just as interesting to me today, as they were when I first submitted them for approval. That could be the test of a great virtual, would you go back to see it again year after year your own self? If not, then perhaps it is not that great after all?

 

But, anyway, I'm glad to see them coming back and getting some deserved credit for being a much loved category of cache for many, many people. I get tremendous satisfaction out of the many logs on mine that express great pleasure from their visits. It is what makes it worth it to me to maintain them and keep answering the emails when people sent in the answers.

 

Thans to Geocaching and TPTB for bringing them back, I'll be anxiously awaiting their rebirth.

 

Mac McKinney aka Breaktrack

Houston, Texas

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At Geowoodstock, one of the developers/lackeys was talking about this subject, and unfortunately it sounded like she was talking about something akin to Waymarking rather than "geocaching." It made me wonder whether they would even count as "finds" in our GC.com stats! I would love a Virtual category that had STRICT and well-enunciated expectations, but yet one that allowed us to experience the WOW mentioned above. I have found over 200 virtuals, and while several have been "What the ..." the majority have enhanced by understanding of history, cultural, and the area around me.

 

Don't get me started on what I think of the Archiving of the "Four Corners" Virtual in NM/AZ/CO/UT! That was just WRONG!

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I suspect that on the day that the "new virtuals" are turned on these forums will be all a buzz with the complaints of the disappointed. No matter what they do SOMEONE won't be happy.

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

PathfinderMark's comments in a previous post match what I've been told.

 

My understanding is that the 'new virtuals' will have a different name and format and not have an icon like current ones or be counted as part of our find stats. The very first of this new entity is expected to be the Tunnel of Light (of APE cache fame) and should be released by the Aug. 21 Going APE...All Over Again (revised) event.

Edited by hydnsek
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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like?

 

They will look like donuts. little chocolate donuts.

Don't forget they will also have sprinkles.

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If the reports are accurate I suspect that it will disappoint many who want to see virtuals as part of this game rather than another side category, like benchmarks. But it is also not surprising. In any event, I have three existing virtuals on my list for today and I am almost finished with my coffee and still have to plan out our next few trips to encompass several virtuals . . . .

Edited by mulvaney
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if virtuals are not going to be that common (ie stricter rules), and will have owners (unlike benchmarks), I personally would be against the idea that they do not count towards your stats.

 

Lets see, maybe there will be 20 virtuals in a state in the next year or two, but they do not count in your stats and you would have to go all over the state to get them and folks will probably remember each one.

 

However, logging 1000 film canisters on a road in a row in one day are allowed and count towards your stats and you will not remember #892 vs #893 unless something momentous happened at #892, like you saw a car accident or something.

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

 

I only know what Miss Jenn announced at Geowoodstock. They are coming back but will not be in the same form as they were. What that means, only Jeremy and his team know right now.

 

One thing I'm sure of, a lot of people are going to be disappointed and a lot are going to like them.

Edited by briansnat
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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like?

 

They will look like donuts. little chocolate donuts.

Don't forget they will also have sprinkles.

COOL that means they fun to find and great to have. :D

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

PathfinderMark's comments in a previous post match what I've been told.

 

My understanding is that the 'new virtuals' will have a different name and format and not have an icon like current ones or be counted as part of our find stats. The very first of this new entity is expected to be the Tunnel of Light (of APE cache fame) and should be released by the Aug. 21 Going APE...All Over Again (revised) event.

 

Then they would not be geocaches. They would by 'whymarking wannabes'? Why bother?

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like benchmarks if the new virtuals don't count in my find count I won't be finding them.

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I wouldn't be surprised that the old virtuals get mass archived like the old locationless caches.

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like?

 

They will look like donuts. little chocolate donuts.

 

I only know what Miss Jenn announced at Geowoodstock. They are coming back but will not be in the same form as they were. What that means, only Jeremy and his team know right now.

 

One thing I'm sure of, a lot of people are going to be disappointed and a lot are going to like them.

I assure you that I will be quite disappointed if they do not taste like little chocolate donuts.

 

Oops. I just noticed hukilaulau said look like donuts, not taste like donuts.

 

Just go ahead and mark me down as disappointed.

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If you were to look at my profile you would see that I own several virtual caches from back in the day. All still active, grandfathered in when they did away with the category.

 

I would challenge anyone to claim that any of them were "lame" virtuals. Most, if not all, are in locations where, at least at that time, would not allow any kind of physical cache whatsoever. virtuals were all that were allowed. I do not know if the status of any of those loacations has changed since creation of mine.

 

To me, and in my own opinion, virtuals served a very good purpose. First of all, it allowed us to draw people to places of interest where we weren't allowed to put a physical cache. This was good. Second of all, it allowed for very interesting and informative locations to be brought to the attention of those who would not have even known about the area but for Geocaching. This was good.

 

On the other hand, it could be abused, and was to a great extent. They brought in the "Wow" factor to try and weed out the so called "lame" virtual. I could understand this perfectly after visiting a few that squeaked through, only to find myself standing in front of something that only made me think: "WTF". There were more than a few that I could not understand the thinking that led to anyone deciding it was worth being a virtual cache.

 

So they attempted to clamp down on what could, and certainly what could not, be submitted as a virtual cache. And, as with any cache that is submitted for approval, it did come down to what the approval authority thought of the location and the "Wow" factor, and few, if any, agreed with the calls that were being made. All kinds of uproar and gnashing of teeth ensued. I understand why the PTB decided it was not worth the time and trouble to administer them.

 

If it were up to me, yes, we'd have virtuals again, but the requirements would be very strict, and your grandmothers apple tree that's been there for a century, while of infinite interest to you, would not make the cut, lol. The Washington Monument though, oh yeah, there ya go.

 

Civil War battlefields, historic places that mean a great deal to Americans and world citizens alike, Revolutionary War sites, sites where significant events took place that make us who we are, or teach us about history, and sacrifice, can be listed to enhance the Geocaching experience, not take the place of it.

 

I still take summer trips that take me back to the places I have Virtuals at, as you must keep current on what's going on, signs change, information changes, and you have to adapt. After a while it became where you couldn't put up a virtual cache far away, much like physical caches, and couldn't adopt those abandoned by others, so many, many great virtuals were lost. But when we first started you could still place a cache anywhere you were willing to maintain it, so mine are spread very nearly from coast to coast, and border to border. I love making my cache maintenance trips as the places where they exist are just as interesting to me today, as they were when I first submitted them for approval. That could be the test of a great virtual, would you go back to see it again year after year your own self? If not, then perhaps it is not that great after all?

 

But, anyway, I'm glad to see them coming back and getting some deserved credit for being a much loved category of cache for many, many people. I get tremendous satisfaction out of the many logs on mine that express great pleasure from their visits. It is what makes it worth it to me to maintain them and keep answering the emails when people sent in the answers.

 

Thans to Geocaching and TPTB for bringing them back, I'll be anxiously awaiting their rebirth.

 

Mac McKinney aka Breaktrack

Houston, Texas

I'm a big fan of virtuals too. I have some listed on another site. If Waymarking was used like it should be, and not abandoned we would not need the new virtuals. I can hardly wait and see the new guidelines to list them. Maybe now some of the old ownerless ones can be archived for another user to list. Way too many ownerless ones still out there with "Greetings from Gremany" logs on them and no CO to maintain.

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

PathfinderMark's comments in a previous post match what I've been told.

 

My understanding is that the 'new virtuals' will have a different name and format and not have an icon like current ones or be counted as part of our find stats.

 

That sounds like they'll be indistinguishable from waymarks, except that if I don't want to find them I'll have to explicitly filter them out of my pocket queries, and if they factor into proximity test like physical caches, they'll become a major annoyance. GS has been working on "new virtuals" for how long and this is what we get?

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There was an old saw ....if it ain't broke don't fix it. Applies to virtual caches too. No need to reinvent the wheel , just bring em back

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So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

My reviewer claimed several months ago that they have been kept in the loop and they were given documentation about them.

 

I suspect that on the day that the "new virtuals" are turned on these forums will be all a buzz with the complaints of the disappointed. No matter what they do SOMEONE won't be happy.

Of course this is how it will be because Groundspeak makes the choice to not tell us anything (the people who pay for their service) until its rolled out. Just like with Souvenirs, which if memory served me correctly they rolled them out and then it was over a week before they told us anything about them. In January Jeremy claimed that "quality of the game is a major theme in 2011", yeah you can start with having an actual dialog with your users instead of having us play 58,000 questions.

 

So does any one no what the new virtuals will look like? Have they even told the reveiwers yet?

PathfinderMark's comments in a previous post match what I've been told.

 

My understanding is that the 'new virtuals' will have a different name and format and not have an icon like current ones or be counted as part of our find stats. The very first of this new entity is expected to be the Tunnel of Light (of APE cache fame) and should be released by the Aug. 21 Going APE...All Over Again (revised) event.

 

Then they would not be geocaches. They would by 'whymarking wannabes'? Why bother?

exactly.

 

There was an old saw ....if it ain't broke don't fix it. Applies to virtual caches too. No need to reinvent the wheel , just bring em back

Another exactly. I don't know why it is taking so long, check the box* in your geocaching god control program that says "allow virtual caches". Then just write up a guideline similar to the one that the UN uses to define what a world heritage site is only you make it to define what a virtual geocache is, i.e. it needs to be cultural or natural, then define what those mean. Then basically define what kind of spots you can put it in. I mean it is not rocket science and really is only about a weeks worth of work. Had they asked me I would have drawn up the guidelines for free.

 

* check box may or may not exist

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There was an old saw ....if it ain't broke don't fix it. Applies to virtual caches too. No need to reinvent the wheel , just bring em back

Another exactly. I don't know why it is taking so long, check the box* in your geocaching god control program that says "allow virtual caches". Then just write up a guideline similar to the one that the UN uses to define what a world heritage site is only you make it to define what a virtual geocache is, i.e. it needs to be cultural or natural, then define what those mean. Then basically define what kind of spots you can put it in. I mean it is not rocket science and really is only about a weeks worth of work. Had they asked me I would have drawn up the guidelines for free.

 

* check box may or may not exist

These posts ignore the fact that the old system WAS "broke." If the "allow virtual caches" switch were flipped today, you would see an exodus of volunteer cache reviewers by the end of the week. In 2005, at a fraction of today's pace for new cache submissions, the volunteers were overwhelmed with lame virtual submissions and a disproportionate amount of arguments and bad feelings from hiders disappointed that their subject of choice could not be listed as a virtual cache. The ones you saw published and think are cool are the ones that got through. It was not fun for either the cache owner or the cache reviewer. When it stops being fun, I'll stop volunteering my time.

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I suspect that on the day that the "new virtuals" are turned on these forums will be all a buzz with the complaints of the disappointed. No matter what they do SOMEONE won't be happy.

Of course this is how it will be because Groundspeak makes the choice to not tell us anything (the people who pay for their service) until its rolled out. Just like with Souvenirs, which if memory served me correctly they rolled them out and then it was over a week before they told us anything about them. In January Jeremy claimed that "quality of the game is a major theme in 2011", yeah you can start with having an actual dialog with your users instead of having us play 58,000 questions.

 

I'm sure that Groundspeak are well aware of what people have said they would like/wouldn't like the "new virtuals" to be. They will have been reading the very long Feedback Forum topic about them and also what's been said on these forums. As GOF says, whatever they plan to do a lot of cachers won't be happy with the outcome and, forums being what they are, we'll likely hear most from those who are discontented rather than those who think, "OK, not exactly what I expected, but I can live with them."

 

 

There was an old saw ....if it ain't broke don't fix it. Applies to virtual caches too. No need to reinvent the wheel , just bring em back

But, apparently, a lot of cachers (and cache reviewers) believed that the "old virtuals" were broke because of the poor standard being churned out once the necessity of having a "Wow" factor was removed.

 

... I don't know why it is taking so long, check the box* in your geocaching god control program that says "allow virtual caches". Then just write up a guideline similar to the one that the UN uses to define what a world heritage site is only you make it to define what a virtual geocache is, i.e. it needs to be cultural or natural, then define what those mean. Then basically define what kind of spots you can put it in. I mean it is not rocket science and really is only about a weeks worth of work. Had they asked me I would have drawn up the guidelines for free.

 

* check box may or may not exist

 

(My bolding above)

You reckon it's that easy? I bet there are many geocachers out there who would disagree with your assertion that "it needs to be cultural or natural" just for starters.

 

Let's just wait and see what is presented to us.

 

Then will be the time to release the dogs...

 

MrsB :)

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... I don't know why it is taking so long, check the box* in your geocaching god control program that says "allow virtual caches". Then just write up a guideline similar to the one that the UN uses to define what a world heritage site is only you make it to define what a virtual geocache is, i.e. it needs to be cultural or natural, then define what those mean. Then basically define what kind of spots you can put it in. I mean it is not rocket science and really is only about a weeks worth of work. Had they asked me I would have drawn up the guidelines for free.

 

* check box may or may not exist

 

(My bolding above)

You reckon it's that easy? I bet there are many geocachers out there who would disagree with your assertion that "it needs to be cultural or natural" just for starters.

 

Let's just wait and see what is presented to us.

 

Then will be the time to release the dogs...

 

MrsB :)

I was just typing that as an example. But really, for the sake of argument, what other site should a virtual be if not cultural or natural. What else has that "WOW" factor that makes a good virtual?

That is all I was saying. Define what a "WOW" spot is then every ones fears about VR power trails and VR caches at mcdonalds/starbucks/ect will fall down like a house of cards.

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There was an old saw ....if it ain't broke don't fix it. Applies to virtual caches too. No need to reinvent the wheel , just bring em back

While there were many like you who enjoyed the old virtual caches, there were quite a few others who did indeed feel they were broken. You've already gotten a response from a couple of reviewers about the issues they had determining what was "wow" enough to be a virtual and what wasn't.

 

I personally was sorry to see virtuals go. I thought for sure some method could be devised for managing them, perhaps along the line of EarthCaches with specific requirements and a special review group.

 

Waymarking's early development gave me some encouragement. Waymarking categories are managed by volunteer groups who have taken a special interest in that category. And it seem the category definitions could be used to create as many different definitions of "wow" as you like. If one group doesn't like your Grandmother's apple tree, perhaps a different group would accept it. Ultimately, the geocaching/Waymarking community could decide which of the these "wow" definitions would become the replacement for virtual caches.

 

Unfortunately, there was not enough interest in the Waymarking community to move this idea forward. And the geocachers who enjoyed virtual caches either continue to pretend that they weren't broken in the first place and could simply be brought back if they shouted loud enough, or rejected any idea that involved Waymarking which they saw as the terrible evil monster that took away their virtuals in the first place.

 

My guess is that whatever Groundspeak is planing, there will be more people unhappy with it than are happy with it. IMO, nobody wants to address what was wrong with virtuals so they can be brought back in the way they should be. What you will be getting will not be virtual caches and most likely it will have its own problems because the root issue of "wow"ness has not been addressed.

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My guess is that whatever Groundspeak is planing, there will be more people unhappy with it than are happy with it. IMO, nobody wants to address what was wrong with virtuals so they can be brought back in the way they should be. What you will be getting will not be virtual caches and most likely it will have its own problems because the root issue of "wow"ness has not been addressed.

 

Jeremy originally stated that Groundspeak was working on a "solution that should support those interested in virtuals and not upset those who don’t want them back." From that, many people (including myself) were hoping that virtuals would return as a direct part of this game. If the reports are correct, this may not be the case. My impression is that virtuals would be treated more like benchmarks. That would indeed leave many of us unhappy.

 

But I also agree with Keystone that the old system was not working. "Wowness" would be extremely hard to administer without a subjective criteria, regardless of who is responsible for reviewing. An educational focus, using the earthcache model, would be interesting, but earthcaches exist because the Geological Society of America came to Groundspeak with a proposal to administer and fund the program -- as far as I know, no other such organization has followed suit.

 

Or you could dispense with that and simply say that a PM gets to place one virtual and hope that the limitation inspires people to make it a good one.

 

However, at this point, the dialogue as to what virtuals might be - or what virtuals could be - seems besides the point. Groundspeak is set to unveil its model. That plan has not been open to discussion do so at most people will will only be able to decide whether they want to use it or not. Although the old virtuals enrich my caching experience in numerous ways -- and show up regularly in many of our favorite lists -- I suspect that an approach that leaves them outside of this game would not get my interest and that the "bring back virtuals" thread would continue with predictable results.

Edited by mulvaney
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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

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And the geocachers who enjoyed virtual caches either continue to pretend that they weren't broken in the first place and could simply be brought back if they shouted loud enough, or rejected any idea that involved Waymarking which they saw as the terrible evil monster that took away their virtuals in the first place.

 

This is a broad over-simplification. Many people had/have thoughts on the issue which do not fall in either of the two options you list. BTW have you started 'finding' waymarks yet or are you still just chatting them up?

 

IMO, nobody wants to address what was wrong with virtuals so they can be brought back in the way they should be.

Actually members have had some very good discussions on this very forum on methods to bring back virtual caches in various ways that could eliminate the need for 'wowness'.

 

But as others have said, it is just conjecture at this point on what we will end up with. I am disappointed though that Spring has come and gone and Virtual caches are still in limbo.

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All the speculation on this makes me wish that Groundspeak was more open about their deliberative process.

 

Every time a change comes to the game, it's treated like a Christmas present. "We've got a big surprise for you! We think you're going to love it! But, no peeking!"

 

I get that this is a company, not a democracy. But it'd be nice to have a little more transparency. "We're looking to do this, we're working out some of the details, but here's the plan so far." And then maybe give folks a chance to comment.

 

You know, treat me a little more like a customer.

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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

If they don't count as a find then they will be as dead as whatmarks.

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All the speculation on this makes me wish that Groundspeak was more open about their deliberative process.

 

Every time a change comes to the game, it's treated like a Christmas present. "We've got a big surprise for you! We think you're going to love it! But, no peeking!"

 

I get that this is a company, not a democracy. But it'd be nice to have a little more transparency. "We're looking to do this, we're working out some of the details, but here's the plan so far." And then maybe give folks a chance to comment.

 

You know, treat me a little more like a customer.

Agreed

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I wouldn't be surprised that the old virtuals get mass archived like the old locationless caches.

I sure hope not. There are some exelent old virtuals around here. I really would be sad to see them get archived!

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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

If they don't count as a find then they will be as dead as whatmarks.

For some, perhaps. No one I know would avoid them because they don't get a smilie.

 

And the whole wow factor thing was ridiculous. We don't evaluate geocaches by some sort of wow factor, so why did we do it with virts?

 

Sure, the Reviewers didn't like having to evaluate the wow factor of a virt, but they don't apply that standard to a WalMart LPC, they hold their nose and list it. treat virts the same way. Virts weren't the problem, the silly wow factor requirement was.

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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

If they don't count as a find then they will be as dead as whatmarks.

For some, perhaps. No one I know would avoid them because they don't get a smilie.

 

And the whole wow factor thing was ridiculous. We don't evaluate geocaches by some sort of wow factor, so why did we do it with virts?

 

Sure, the Reviewers didn't like having to evaluate the wow factor of a virt, but they don't apply that standard to a WalMart LPC, they hold their nose and list it. treat virts the same way. Virts weren't the problem, the silly wow factor requirement was.

 

I would still look for them without a smiley but I would want to do it like I do benchmarks. If I spot one while out on the hunt I take a picture and off I go to log it when I get home. That likely will be more difficult with virtuals if you have to answer questions. I couldn't just go to a monument and be like cool I found this I wonder if it's a virtual and go home and hope to log if I was actually supposed to answer some question about it.

 

I'll personally be a little annoyed if there isn't some limitation on virtuals (virtual power trail anyone?) especially if they start to flood the search function of the site. I don't want to have to wade through a ton of uninteresting virtuals to find one gem. Which is part of the reason I don't waymark though it's down on the list. There was some reasonable guarantee as it is now that where I was going was going to be somewhere of some interest with the current virtuals. I just don't want to have to wade through the clutter. Though if they are on a completely separate search thing like benchmarks are then bring it on. I don't really care then. But make the phone application able to tap into that search function then.

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Bottom line is, I used to be for the return of virtuals, now I am against it. If there's no smilie, there's no doubt that I will not put ANY effort into them. Unless there's some crazy but reasonable King Boreas challenge associated with them. :(

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All the speculation on this makes me wish that Groundspeak was more open about their deliberative process.

 

Every time a change comes to the game, it's treated like a Christmas present. "We've got a big surprise for you! We think you're going to love it! But, no peeking!"

 

I get that this is a company, not a democracy. But it'd be nice to have a little more transparency. "We're looking to do this, we're working out some of the details, but here's the plan so far." And then maybe give folks a chance to comment.

 

You know, treat me a little more like a customer.

Agreed and very elegantly said. Thanks.

 

I'll personally be a little annoyed if there isn't some limitation on virtuals (virtual power trail anyone?)

No matter how they come back I am sure that they would put some sort of safe guard in place so power trails are not possible.

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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

Don't worry. They will count or they would never have been reinstated. :anibad: Too many cachers are just in it for the numbers and not the smileys that you find along the way. :D

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I would like to see a process and requirements for virtuals similar to publishing and logging an Earthcache. I think a similar process would yield some great Virtuals while weeding out the lame ones. The cache owner would have to do some legwork i.e. get permissions, set up up some sort of tidbit to be learned about the location. Maybe have a "historyaware" reviewer instead of geoaware? That's how I would handle the situation. And that's all I got to say about that!

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Strict rules for placing one...yes! Not letting them count as a find....Noooo!

If they don't count as a find then they will be as dead as whatmarks.

 

I thought it was all about the cool and educational places that virtuals brought people to? At least that is the argument I hear so often.

 

...And the whole wow factor thing was ridiculous. We don't evaluate geocaches by some sort of wow factor, so why did we do it with virts?

 

If you saw some of the ones rejected you might not say that.

 

The people who like virtuals and are clamoring for their return are essentially seeing the cream of the crop in the remaining grandfathered virts. I don't think the idea of virtuals would be nearly as popular if when people get there the "surprise" object is often something like a fence post, discarded tire, dirty sock or a rotting animal carcass.

Edited by briansnat
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All the speculation on this makes me wish that Groundspeak was more open about their deliberative process.

 

Every time a change comes to the game, it's treated like a Christmas present. "We've got a big surprise for you! We think you're going to love it! But, no peeking!"

 

I get that this is a company, not a democracy. But it'd be nice to have a little more transparency. "We're looking to do this, we're working out some of the details, but here's the plan so far." And then maybe give folks a chance to comment.

 

You know, treat me a little more like a customer.

 

I'm guessing the secrecy revolves around Groundspeak being a for profit company. They don't want to straight out tell everyone what they are planning for fear a rival company/site might steal their thunder and push it out first.

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Some people argue about having strict rules about bringing them back to avoid the trash virtuals (virtual powertrail anyone?).

 

Then you have the argument going in Earthcaching forum about the reviewers are too strict.

 

You cant have both. The reason virtuals are well loved is that they were reviewed to the "wow" factor before, and pretty much the best ones are left. If it was opened do I care about every historic building in town? Special tree? Waterfall? Train Track? Rock? or endangered animal burrow?

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I thought it was all about the cool and educational places that virtuals brought people to? At least that is the argument I hear so often.

 

For me geocaching is largely about the special places that it encompasses. But that does not mean that I opencache, terracache, or navicache -- they are not part of this specific game. And I probably could find cool and educational places through Waymarking, gowalla, or even benchmarking. But I do not do those either.

 

So yes, I like virtuals for the way they have enriched this game for me, extended it into places where I could not otherwise cache, and brought me to some of my favorite locations. . . I feel the same way about earthcaches, but as much as I love them, I did not do the ones that were moved to Waymarking. I have enough to do outside of caching, enough ways to find locations I enjoy. But being part of this game is important.

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The reason virtuals are well loved is that they were reviewed to the "wow" factor before, and pretty much the best ones are left. If it was opened do I care about every historic building in town? Special tree? Waterfall? Train Track? Rock? or endangered animal burrow?

That got me thinking. I don't think virtuals were so loved because the reviewers selected the ones that were "wow". I think that virtuals were loved because they were rare. They are probably even more loved now (and get so many favorites votes) because they are even rarer.

 

The problem with virtuals is that without some control, they are way too easy to set up. No need to get permission, no need to get a container, no need to print logsheets and cache notes, no need to do maintenance. Most owners acted as if there was no need to respond to emails or ensure the quality of the posts made on their cache page. It was the placing of virtuals instead of figuring out how to place a physical cache that was harming geocaching. This even contributed to many land managers not permitting physical caches because you could hide a virtual instead. The end of virtuals forced people to figure out ways to incorporate a physical cache. It got many cachers to work with land managers to allow physical caches.

 

The replacement doesn't need a "wow" factor. It needs a way to severely limit how many virtuals can be placed. It needs to encourage the core activity of hiding of physical caches. It needs to let land managers know that the core idea is allow physical caches and to use virtuals sparingly only where physical cache can't really be placed.

 

I suppose the hope is that if you are really limited in placing virtual caches, you will more likely try to find a place that makes the finders say "wow".

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The reason virtuals are well loved is that they were reviewed to the "wow" factor before, and pretty much the best ones are left. If it was opened do I care about every historic building in town? Special tree? Waterfall? Train Track? Rock? or endangered animal burrow?

That got me thinking. I don't think virtuals were so loved because the reviewers selected the ones that were "wow". I think that virtuals were loved because they were rare. They are probably even more loved now (and get so many favorites votes) because they are even rarer.

 

Virtuals were not widely loved in the day, nor were they all that rare, or necessarily interesting. Many cachers had no use for them. When they were shut down there was a minor firestorm that soon died out. In the ensuing years they've become increasingly rare and the rarity has piqued the interest of newer cachers who wish they could list their own. Hence their current popularity.

 

The problem with virtuals is that without some control, they are way too easy to set up. No need to get permission, no need to get a container, no need to print logsheets and cache notes, no need to do maintenance. Most owners acted as if there was no need to respond to emails or ensure the quality of the posts made on their cache page.

 

You hit the hammer on the nail with that one. They were the perfect cache type for lazy cache owners. You might note that the rise of the micro came with the demise of the virtual. I don't think that is a coincidence. Without virtuals, the solution for lazy cache owners was the throwaway micro. A few DNFs? Archive it. Who cares if you lose a film canister with a sliver of notebook paper inside?

 

It was the placing of virtuals instead of figuring out how to place a physical cache that was harming geocaching. This even contributed to many land managers not permitting physical caches because you could hide a virtual instead. The end of virtuals forced people to figure out ways to incorporate a physical cache. It got many cachers to work with land managers to allow physical caches.

 

You got that right!

 

The replacement doesn't need a "wow" factor. It needs a way to severely limit how many virtuals can be placed. It needs to encourage the core activity of hiding of physical caches. It needs to let land managers know that the core idea is allow physical caches and to use virtuals sparingly only where physical cache can't really be placed.

 

I suppose the hope is that if you are really limited in placing virtual caches, you will more likely try to find a place that makes the finders say "wow".

 

I can't say I disagree with this. I suspect that the replacement won't generate a lot of enthusiasm and will be about as popular as Waymarking or benchmarking. My concern is that many land managers may latch onto it and insist on virtuals instead of real caches.

Edited by briansnat
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My concern is that many land managers may latch onto it and insist on virtuals instead of real caches.

 

Many places do not allow real caches. Your concern is real, but I have seen geocaching grow in places that once they were not allowed. Geocaching has became a outdoor rec in our Parks and Forest lands. Some States are getting involved. It never hurts to write to your Congress person. Jeremy Irish is still promoting geocaching also I belive. That would be great to have input from someone that has sat down with the PTB at BLM, NFS, ect.

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