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Thinking of doing a Mystery or Multi Cache


JohnnyMogul
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Ok, I'm new to this hobby (Since January of this year - 2011) and though I don't have a ton of caches as notches on my GPS (47 at this point). I'm ready to do some serious cache hiding. I've hiden one so far, and I've got a few others coming up at some point. Mainly using my 3 boys as tag alongs for hiding the easier ones in local parks and places of interest and what not.

 

Basically, overnight, I've become a big fan.... and I'd like to do a cache with a little "bite". Definately a mystery cache or a multi stage. But I'm trying to find the right balance of difficulty, without overdoing it. I tried searching the cache listing, but it was hit or miss.

 

I'd like to hear from the people who have been doing this a while, on any advice on what is "goldilocks just right" when it comes to setting up a puzzle or multi stage cache. I'm figuring a mystery cache which requires a third degree black belt in calculus would not go over well, nor would a 12 stage cache that has you driving all over 3 states over a weedend would not get many hit either.... or would they?

 

I've got a few ideas in my head, for example: would a multi site cache get a good reception? Where you had to drive to a couple of interesting (or at least I think they are) locations to get the final prize?

 

Anyway... would like to hear what people think...

 

Which multi stage / mystery caches do you guys things were "just right" and made you

:blink: or :D with delight?

 

Which ones were really B) ?

 

And what just makes you really :mad: ?

 

I know everyone has their own little tastes and what appeals to some may not appeal to others, but I'd like to get some thoughts or feedback from actual cachers.

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The kinds of puzzle caches that I like are ones that are challenging, yet "solvable" by most. I don't mind doing the work to solve a puzzle.

 

You need to consider if you want a lot of people to solve your cache, or will you be satisfied if only a few ever go after it. I've hidden some that I knew (in advance) would only be found by a few dedicated puzzle cachers. I was OK with that.

 

Short multis are fun. Long multis are not (in my book).

 

And when you mention a cache that requires you to drive to a few interesting places to get the "final prize", does that mean every person who completes this cache will be rewarded with a prize, or only the first person to find it? Listing a nice prize as a reward it great, but if it's only for the FTF, then others might not be inclined to do as much work.

 

Good luck!

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In most areas the minute you make it a puzzle or mystery cache you cut down on potential finders by a significant amount.

 

That said, those who enjoy these types of caches tend to do so because of the added challenge, so make them as difficult as you like.

 

For multis, let people know up front about the number of stages and the average time it would take someone to complete it. One reason people disregard multis is because they don't want to find the first stage only to learn they they have 15 stages, 9 hours of effort and 70 miles of driving ahead.

 

For me, multis start to get tedious after 5 stages so I like to keep my multis at 3-4 stages, maybe 5 max. It helps if the stages are each placed in spots that would make for a great cache even if they were stand alone traditionals. At the very least make sure the stages have a point beyond making someone do extra work.

 

As far as puzzles, there are people who are going to solve the most difficult puzzles in 2 minutes and some who will labor hours over something fairly simple, so create a puzzle that you think will be fun and let the puzzle caching enthusiasts worry about the difficulty. Some will seek out the harder puzzles just for the challenge, while others will avoid even the simplest puzzle.

Edited by briansnat
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As long as the cache is properly rated those exemples are okay (especially the calculus one but I'm a math teacher so I may be biased).

 

I think since you only have 50 finds and 1 hide that it may be better to start out with something easier, but if you want to challenge yourself and the locals then go for something crazy. I notice you have not found any unkown caches and only one multi. Try to tackle a few just to get a feel for how they are set up and how much you like them. It would also be silly to create a puzzle and then find out there's another similar puzzle just 5 miles away.

 

I'll agree with Briansnat he sums up both multis and puzzles well. Make it fun!

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As a general rule, each stage you add to a multi will reduce visitors significantly. However, those that complete it will enjoy it very much as long as each stage is a worthy location all by itself. I perfer multicaches where you can walk to each stage but driving can be fun too.

 

Some cachers are real puzzle nuts and will work to solve it just for fun even if they live thousands of miles away and will never physically do it.

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Agree with preaty much everythin already posted. I don't like multis because I want to know where I'm going and how much time it will take before I plan my caching day. I have solved 6 puzzles close to me in the past 2 weeks although I haven't been out to find them yet; I have placed a puzzle cache which is under reveiw so I wanted to try a few before I did my own. One thing I know I do like with puzzles are the answer checkers because I don't want to go out looking if I've got the wrong answer.

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I like it when owners tell me the number of stages and an approximate time range. I usually don't do mutlis out of town unless they look really fun and they specify stages and/or time.

Yup. If a multi is going to take more than a couple of stages; or will take driving to get to then it needs to be in the listing. A local put out a 12 stage cache that took 100+ miles of driving to retrieve. It had five finders in the year it was active. I have a D5/T1 puzzle that has been out for 10 months with only two finders. My other active puzzle has an average of 1 find per month over the last three years.

 

Like Brian said: making it a puzzle or multi will pretty much guarantee that it won't get a lot of traffic in many locations.

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At the very least make sure the stages have a point beyond making someone do extra work.

 

This is the most important part. The best multi's are ones which take cachers on a short tour of an area, often a city centre, pointing out places of interest along the way. The advantage with multi's is that you don't have to have a physical hiding place for each cache so you can take the finder to literally anywhere you like that might be of interest.

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At the very least make sure the stages have a point beyond making someone do extra work.

 

This is the most important part. The best multi's are ones which take cachers on a short tour of an area, often a city centre, pointing out places of interest along the way. The advantage with multi's is that you don't have to have a physical hiding place for each cache so you can take the finder to literally anywhere you like that might be of interest.

 

Or you can do the above as a puzzle like i did ---> http://coord.info/GC2GN2Z

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I like long hikes in the woods and PA has plenty of woods :)

Others like the challenge of a tough puzzle.

Whichever you decide, realize you're not going to get the same number of folks hitting them as a standard hide or a C&D on a guard rail and even less when the ratings raise above 4.

We attempted a multi last weekend and after five miles, found that we weren't half done with it. Is that fun for most people? We ran outta time, found another in the area and headed home.

 

Gas is a factor in our looking at hides now. When we first started (and gas was cheap) we were known for driving almost 70 miles for a single FTF. Now, if we can't park and (maybe) hit a few or give us an all-day outing, we won't hit that area.

Driving to stages will usually get an "ignore" from us today.

 

We've done many multis, from simple to many stages with a 4+ rating each stage. I'm usually fine with either, but prefer longer walks and/or tougher terrain ratings. Some harder ones have only had a handful access.

My biggest gripe with some is: If you're putting out a "5" terrain and I'm now lugging 60+# of rope and climbing gear, do you really think it's okay to have a dozen stages (and many miles) before I get to it?

Maybe we need a Multi DAY option for cache pages, making it easier to plan (or ignore.)

 

We haven't done many puzzles. CJ's too busy to bother and my old brain can't decipher the ciphers. I skip most. Not ignore them, just wait 'til my other 2/3rds has some free time.

- The last three were archived when she finally got around to 'em.

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