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Why aren't cache series allowed anymore?


Avernar
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If you look just above on the page you quoted it gives a link to Cache Type Definitions

 

And for multi-caches it does say,

Multi-Cache (Offset Cache)

A Multi-Cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations. The final location is a physical container. There are many variations, but most Multi-Caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has a hint to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a Multi-Cache.

Thank you for quoting that. It just reinforces my argument.

 

Of course there are variations to a multi. You gave some good examples of them. But where I get confused is, don't the caches you describe in you OP, fall perfectly into the definition of "most" multi-caches?

 

EDIT: I posted my response before I had a chance to see Keystone's response. I think he has said it best, as always. ;)

Edited by ace862
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It matters because something I would call a "standard cache series" should be more like the kinds of series I've seen frequently, and less like something I've never seen before.
I never called it a "standard cache series" and it's not the topic so why does it matter if one, two or three other variants exists?
I'm sorry. I must have you confused with someone else.

 

My friend recently tried to publish a cache series where one cache daisy chains into the other. The first has the coordinates for the second, the second has the coordinates for the third, etc. The first is a Traditional and the rest are Unknown/Puzzle Caches. This is your standard cache series.

 

At any rate, Keystone has provided references that address the issue more directly and authoritatively.

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As the owner of the series that OP is talking about, I will provide a bit more info about the series that the reviewer, and Groundspeak Appeals has refused to publish.

 

The original concept of the series, is a separate multi-cache (physical placement only) reperesenting each belt level in Goju Ryu karate. Obviously, a white belt student (in this case the cacher) needs to complete the White Belt cache, to "earn" the chance to work on the Yellow Belt Cache, then the Orange Belt cache, and so on. All the listings for each cache would be an unknown, since the coordinates need to be derived in some way from the previous cache(s). The caches in the series get progressively more difficult, with each "belt level". Each Cache is separated geographically, by as much as several 100km in some cases. Some of the higher belt caches include a multi-day canoe trip over 6 lakes, a difficult 36km hike that would likely require a night camping in remote back country. Another is completely placed in an extensive swamp. The final in the series (Nidan or Black belt 2nd degree) is atop very remote mountain in Northern Ontario and 500km from any of the other caches in the series.

 

The series is designed in such a way that the cacher must read cache pages, as the info may be needed in the field while completing any of the caches in the series. The cacher will learn about Goju Ryu Karate while completing the series. Even all redirects in the separate caches are completely in Japanese kanji. For example: to find the Blue Belt cache, a puzzle on the cache page can only be completed after finding tags that are placed physically within the multis of the three previous caches, in this case the Yellow, Orange and the Green Belt caches.

 

When I decided to design a series like this, my motivation was partially inspired by similar series in my caching area that are designed to be done one at a time, with each cache providing the needed info to do the next, sequentially. They can not be done in any other order. I know of three, very well recieved by local cachers. This "daisy-chained" layout worked very well with the Karate Belt concept, and so, seeing nothing in the guidelines that would prevent such a series from being listed, I began. Over 18 months, I have spent ALOT of time, money and effort placing these. Some of the caches have already been placed for well over a year, something I have purposely done to ensure the cache layouts would last, not get muggled, etc. I anticipate very little maintenance on these caches, despite their complexity. However, given the amount of work and expense invested, any needed maintenance would be given priority.

 

So I publish the first cache without a problem. The second listing is submitted, and I am told, not that it is against the guidelines, but that they are concerned about maintenance issues of such a "sequential series". How is it that a reviewer, or Groundspeak can use such an argument to deny a series of caches, where maintenance issues have yet to arise. That is the responsibilty of the CO, and something that is acted upon when issues arise. Not before. Neither Groundspeak or the reviewer has yet to show me where in the Guidelines it explicitly says that such a series is prohibited. Instead it is something that is implied amongst themselves from their interpretation of the guidelines, and not clearly shared with us.

 

So the reviewers suggestion is that I turn the whole dadgum thing into a series of traditionals with a bonus final. Even when Groundspeak Appeals reiterated this compromise, they added that it was a viable solution as it wouldn't alter the integrity of the concept of the series. Clearly it completely destroys the concept. Hey, let's go get the Black Belt, before finishing the White Belt. Makes no sense.

 

Now, I had an issue before with a series of caches, that again was denied because of an "unspoken" interpretation of the guidelines. I had a cache that when completed was basically a seed cache, which provided the info for the other 5 in the series. Funny how, a previous post in this thread mentions just such a group of caches. Anyways, I was flatly denied, and told that a cache can only be a "seed" for one other cache, not several. Now notice how well a sequential series of caches fits that statement. A compromise was reached on that series, and I did as the reviewer suggested. Since I did not need to physically change the placement of the caches, and with just a few changes on the cache pages, I got them published. No big deal.

 

This "karate belt" series is different though. To do as Groundspeak wishes, and destroy the concept of the series, and make them all traditionals, I will have to remove/remake various elements of the physical placements of the individual caches. At considerable expense and time.

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I can't see any reason why the type of "series" described by the OP would be disallowed under the guidelines. It sounds like one regular puzzle cache at the beginning with a bunch of bonuses caches (and the bonus caches have a specific order to them). If multiple bonus caches are disallowed, why is one bonus cache allowed? Conversely, if one bonus cache is good under the guidelines, why not two, three, ten? Is it the link between the bonus caches that's causing the problem? (I suspect so.) If he unlinked the bonus caches, would it then be allowed? (ie., if he put the coords to all the bonus caches in the first one or something - which would not be as fun, in my opinion.) I'd be curious if Groundspeak would allow the series if he unlinked the bonus caches, or whether you just flat out can't have more than one bonus cache, even though the guidelines are silent on the subject.

 

It sounds like a series I would enjoy doing. (Well, assuming I could actually figure out the puzzle on the first one.) :)

 

Edit: I see the cache owner's recent post pretty much answered my question. Sounds like only one bonus cache is allowed period. My bad for not knowing that chunk of the KB.

Edited by terrkan78
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The guidelines don't prohibit this sort of cache series, they just call it a Multi cache and expect it to be published that way.

DanOCan, thank you for this succinct explanation. The relevant primary guideline violation is "the owner selected the wrong cache type." I can think of many examples where I've corrected the owner's choice of cache type.

Sorry Keystone, but the succinct explanation still has a logic error. As I explained because that matches the definition of a multicache doesn't mean it has to be one. Just as a series of traditionals with a bonus falls under the definition of a multicache.

 

But, to further expand upon this logical concept, and in order to avoid allegations of "hidden guidelines,"

If it's not in the guidelines section then it's not a guideline. When people click on that checkbox to say they agreed to the guidelines they've agreed to the guidelines document, not the knowledge books document.

 

That's like you agreeing to abide by your states/province traffic laws and the police charging you based on some text from some non law book in the library.

 

The problem I'm seeing with people getting fed up with the review process is that the information is scattered all over the place. Some of it in the knowlege books, some of it not published.

 

If it's going to block people from publishing it should be in the guidlines, not the knowlege books.

 

there is a Page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books that provides guidance to hiders of mystery/puzzle caches. Quoting from that page: "Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache. Generally, the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found."

Now it looks like there's going to be a discussion about the semantics of "should not". Should not doesn't mean can't.

 

Nor is there a definition of "Bonus Cache" in there. I define Bonus as "you did the main part, he're an extra" not "this is a continuation of the main part".

 

So, Groundspeak has provided detailed guidance warning hiders that the "daisy chain" method of stringing together multiple bonus caches ought to be submitted as a single multicache.

I hardly consider what's in there detailed. And the language is defiantly soft (should instead of can't).

 

Regardless of the above rant, I still want to know "why". Why are series like this forced to be a multicache whereas power trails are not?

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I'm sorry. I must have you confused with someone else.

That was my doppelganger. :P

 

I didn't realize I did use the word standard. My mistake.

 

At any rate, Keystone has provided references that address the issue more directly and authoritatively.

A reference to a weakly worded sentence in the knowledge books. A document to which hiders are not required to agree to. Clear as mud.

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Thank you Team Goju for your explanation. What you have described is somewhat different than was described in the OP. I think your idea is great with each puzzle building on the previous puzzle. I think the maintenance concern issue would be the distance of the placed caches, but the suggestion to turn them into traditionals seems to negate that argument. I don't think I understand their decision now either.

I would love to try your caches the way you have described them. Well that and the fact that I am too a student of Goju Ryu. Although I must admit it has been too long since I have been in the dojo. I do feel guilty every time I pass by. It's another one of those things were life's little issues seem to pile up. But that's another story.

Thanks again for your explanation.

Cheers! B)

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So I publish the first cache without a problem. The second listing is submitted, and I am told, not that it is against the guidelines, but that they are concerned about maintenance issues of such a "sequential series". How is it that a reviewer, or Groundspeak can use such an argument to deny a series of caches, where maintenance issues have yet to arise.

This is what bothers me the most. They don't even know why they really want to deny the series. Maintenance issues? Seriously? After thousand cache power trails are not a maintenance issue but this is?

 

And the CO agreed to maintain the caches when submitting them. Are they now calling him a liar?

 

That is the responsibilty of the CO, and something that is acted upon when issues arise. Not before. Neither Groundspeak or the reviewer has yet to show me where in the Guidelines it explicitly says that such a series is prohibited. Instead it is something that is implied amongst themselves from their interpretation of the guidelines, and not clearly shared with us.

You mean interpretation of the knowledge books. You know. That document you didn't have to agree with when submitting your caches. The one that says you shouldn't do it and not you can't do it.

 

The interpretation problem is that they're considering the other caches as "Bonus" caches. They are clearly not bonus caches in any sense of the word.

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Now it looks like there's going to be a discussion about the semantics of "should not". Should not doesn't mean can't.

 

Yup. The quite recently published "Wayward" series (with this as the "final") shows that such cache setups can indeed be published.

 

Interesting how a series like this can get published just a couple months ago, that clearly is "sequential" in nature. Guess it's still a case of interpretation of each reviewer. Guidelines rather than explicit rules. So getting a cache published depends on who reviews it. Do all the work, and take your chances. Sounds real fair. Gee, can I ask for a different reviewer? I just may get them published after all....

Edited by Team Goju
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Thank you Team Goju for your explanation. What you have described is somewhat different than was described in the OP.

No, I wasn't somewhat different. Is was succinct. I was hoping Team Goju would eventually come in here a flush out the details. I didn't want to make stuff up that I wasn't sure of.

 

I think the maintenance concern issue would be the distance of the placed caches, but the suggestion to turn them into traditionals seems to negate that argument. I don't think I understand

their decision now either.

The maintenance thing is bull puckey. If a other cachers are allowed to maintain hundreds and thousands of caches, using it as an excuse to not publish a couple of dozen is just wrong.

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If the cords for the next container are in the previous container that is a multi. But from what you have said the only issue the reviewer has is that the 2nd on up caches should be marked as traditional not puzzle. This makes perfect since because you are not solving any puzzle to get to the next cache. So all your fiend needs to do is mark them all traditional and move on.

Not by the way the guidelines are written. Nothing in the guidelines says that the stages of the multi must be in order. And they explicitly say the stages need not be hidden.

 

You people really should read the guidelines before trying to beat me over the head with them. :P

 

There is listing type named "puzzle". The type with the blue question mark is titled "Unknown" No where does it say that a puzzle should be involved. I sure hope that the reviewer wasn't using mpilchfamily's reasoning in denying the series.

 

It would be helpful to know what grounds the reviewer did use. If it was stated in the preceding messages, I guess I missed it. I do see potential problems with this type of series, but not anything that should prohibit it from being published.

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Having read Keystone's post after posting mine, I suppose I have no choice. Thanks to those who posted on the thread. It's just a shame that some of the more enjoyable series of caches I have done are ones that should have never been allowed, yet continue to exist.

 

Bet it is allowed on OpenCaching. Post the first one and the final on Geocaching.com. The other levels can be listed on other, more forgiving sites.

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The original grounds for concern from the Reviewer:

 

"It would appear from your description that this series is a "Daisy Chain"; one cache must be found in order to find the next.

 

That is a cause for concern; if one of the caches in the chain is unavailable (for whatever reason) then all of the other subsequent caches would not be "Findable", either. If one cache were to be disabled/archived.. then all subsequent caches would follow the same fate."

 

 

final decision of the reviewer:

 

"As it stands today, your cache fits the definition of a "Multi Cache"; that is to say that one stage leads to the next, and it must be completed in sequence in order to reach the "Final" stage/cache.

 

I would therefore be required to consider this cache/the remaining caches to be "Stages of a Multicache" and would hence request that changes be made to the listing to reflect that.

 

You have clearly (and politely - thank you!) indicated your premise/intentions with the listing. You have referred to other listings that may have been published previously. As it stands, I am interpreting the Listing Guidelines today as they apply to your cache currently under review. I cannot speak to or consider previously published caches, as no cache listing sets a precedent. "

 

 

Interesting that the Reviewer mentions using the Listing Guidelines, but makes no mention of the Bonus cache definition in the Knowledge Books

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But, to further expand upon this logical concept, and in order to avoid allegations of "hidden guidelines," there is a Page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books that provides guidance to hiders of mystery/puzzle caches. Quoting from that page: "Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache. Generally, the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found."

 

So, Groundspeak has provided detailed guidance warning hiders that the "daisy chain" method of stringing together multiple bonus caches ought to be submitted as a single multicache.

Thank you Keystone for pointing out the guidelines section that applies to a series like this.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several benefits including that they can be updated more often and that they can be organized so there there is more detail like this when you drill down.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several drawbacks including not knowing when the guidelines have been updated and having details "hidden" in sections of the knowledge books that previously would not have been considered guidelines.

 

I don't recall ever seeing these definitions of types of mystery/unknown caches, so I have no idea how long they have been there. There was never a discussion of what a bonus cache is or why the coordinates for bonus caches cannot be hidden in other bonus caches. I don't know the if the rationale is simply to prevent multi-caches from becoming nested bonus caches so that puritans will accept the idea of a smiley for each stage or something else like the issue of several caches becoming "unsolvable" should one cache go missing and the cache owner is no longer around to do maintenance.

 

It sounds like the series in the OP is using nested hints to provide a theme for the cache. The idea being that each belt in karate is dependent on first achieving the prior belt. So this theme is replicated by requiring the caches to be completed in order by providing something from each cache needed to work the puzzle for the next cache. The bonus rule, without an explanation of Groundspeak's rationale, seems to restrict what sounds to me like a good idea for a series of caches. This is the kind of discussion where I wish someone from Groundspeak would get involved in the discussion to consider the community feedback. I will be starting a topic in the bottomless pit of the feedback site in the hopes that at least they will see it there.

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Having read Keystone's post after posting mine, I suppose I have no choice. Thanks to those who posted on the thread. It's just a shame that some of the more enjoyable series of caches I have done are ones that should have never been allowed, yet continue to exist.

 

Bet it is allowed on OpenCaching. Post the first one and the final on Geocaching.com. The other levels can be listed on other, more forgiving sites.

 

Or.... make each cache a separate puzzle that when solved links to the opencaching listing of the caches as they currently exist. Bet that would get me banned for a bit.

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"As it stands today, your cache fits the definition of a "Multi Cache"; that is to say that one stage leads to the next, and it must be completed in sequence in order to reach the "Final" stage/cache.

As I said, listing them as unknown is not forbidden by the guidelines, or even the knowledge books.

 

I still find this sadly funny that they're using this faulty logic to deny the listing. As I said, a traditional with a bonus fits the definition of a multicache yet they're perfectly fine.

 

"As it stands, I am interpreting the Listing Guidelines today as they apply to your cache currently under review. I cannot speak to or consider previously published caches, as no cache listing sets a precedent."

I'm really starting to get fed up with the no precedent excuse. They're using it to hide their lack of consistency. If the cache is the same a previous one and no factors have changed then they should come to the same conclusion.

 

If they find they're coming to different conclusions from the same facts then the guidelines are ambiguous and need to be tightened up.

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We're going to avoid having this thread become an advertising platform for any particular listing service. Thank you.

It precisely the ill conceived sorts of guidelines like this that have resulted in many of the alternative listing sites being created in the first place.

 

When there is some rationale behind a guideline it is more likely to be accepted. Clearly trespass laws, or the concerns of a park that might fear that geocaches are sometimes buried, are strong rationale for the guidelines in these areas. A rationale to encourage geocachers to find new areas to place caches is stated as one of the goals for the saturation guidelines. We can understand that Groundspeak as a business doesn't want to have cache pages used for commercial advertising. But this rule appears to be someone saying they prefer a multi cache to a chained series of bonus caches. Guidelines that appear to be simply someone's idea of what's a better cache either are not good guidelines or the rationale hasn't been explained well enough.

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Thank you Keystone for pointing out the guidelinesknowledge books section that applies to a series like this.

Fixed that for you.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several benefits including that they can be updated more often and that they can be organized so there there is more detail like this when you drill down.

Why can't the guidelines be organized the same way then?

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several drawbacks including not knowing when the guidelines have been updated and having details "hidden" in sections of the knowledge books that previously would not have been considered guidelines.

The other problem is that you don't have to agree to the knowledge books when listing a cache.

 

I don't recall ever seeing these definitions of types of mystery/unknown caches, so I have no idea how long they have been there. There was never a discussion of what a bonus cache is or why the coordinates for bonus caches cannot be hidden in other bonus caches. I don't know the if the rationale is simply to prevent multi-caches from becoming nested bonus caches so that puritans will accept the idea of a smiley for each stage or something else like the issue of several caches becoming "unsolvable" should one cache go missing and the cache owner is no longer around to do maintenance.

I too would like to know the rationale behind that restriction.

 

Since Groundspeak doesn't enforce one gc code equals one smilie the "smilie for each stage" argument is moot. The maintenance argument doesn't make sense as it also would apply to a bonus cache. What's the difference between one cache becoming unsolvable and more than one?

 

The owner disappearing argument also doesn't make sense because what if an owner with multiple N/M caches disappears. Same thing. As I said, if this is a concern then they should implement an auto archive if the owener is MIA for X number of months. Otherwise let the community file the N/As and they'll disappear like every other abandoned cache.

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Vote to change the guideline here

Voted.

 

We're going to avoid having this thread become an advertising platform for any particular listing service. Thank you.

It precisely the ill conceived sorts of guidelines like this that have resulted in many of the alternative listing sites being created in the first place.

 

When there is some rationale behind a guideline it is more likely to be accepted. Clearly trespass laws, or the concerns of a park that might fear that geocaches are sometimes buried, are strong rationale for the guidelines in these areas. A rationale to encourage geocachers to find new areas to place caches is stated as one of the goals for the saturation guidelines. We can understand that Groundspeak as a business doesn't want to have cache pages used for commercial advertising. But this rule appears to be someone saying they prefer a multi cache to a chained series of bonus caches. Guidelines that appear to be simply someone's idea of what's a better cache either are not good guidelines or the rationale hasn't been explained well enough.

+1

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"As it stands today, your cache fits the definition of a "Multi Cache"; that is to say that one stage leads to the next, and it must be completed in sequence in order to reach the "Final" stage/cache.

As I said, listing them as unknown is not forbidden by the guidelines, or even the knowledge books.

 

I still find this sadly funny that they're using this faulty logic to deny the listing. As I said, a traditional with a bonus fits the definition of a multicache yet they're perfectly fine.

 

"As it stands, I am interpreting the Listing Guidelines today as they apply to your cache currently under review. I cannot speak to or consider previously published caches, as no cache listing sets a precedent."

I'm really starting to get fed up with the no precedent excuse. They're using it to hide their lack of consistency. If the cache is the same a previous one and no factors have changed then they should come to the same conclusion.

 

If they find they're coming to different conclusions from the same facts then the guidelines are ambiguous and need to be tightened up.

 

What I have noticed here is that something changed about a month ago. Geocides are way up and there is a general malaise about our local reviewers in general conversation. Bringing down the hammer repeatedly and inconsistently will reduce our caches to a series of power trails and lamp posts while the creative types take their ball home, or elsewhere.

 

I have seen different guidelines applied to annual events for example, where the "rules" seem to change from one year to another....

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But, to further expand upon this logical concept, and in order to avoid allegations of "hidden guidelines," there is a Page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books that provides guidance to hiders of mystery/puzzle caches. Quoting from that page: "Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache. Generally, the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found."

 

So, Groundspeak has provided detailed guidance warning hiders that the "daisy chain" method of stringing together multiple bonus caches ought to be submitted as a single multicache.

Thank you Keystone for pointing out the guidelines section that applies to a series like this.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several benefits including that they can be updated more often and that they can be organized so there there is more detail like this when you drill down.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several drawbacks including not knowing when the guidelines have been updated and having details "hidden" in sections of the knowledge books that previously would not have been considered guidelines.

 

I don't recall ever seeing these definitions of types of mystery/unknown caches, so I have no idea how long they have been there. There was never a discussion of what a bonus cache is or why the coordinates for bonus caches cannot be hidden in other bonus caches. I don't know the if the rationale is simply to prevent multi-caches from becoming nested bonus caches so that puritans will accept the idea of a smiley for each stage or something else like the issue of several caches becoming "unsolvable" should one cache go missing and the cache owner is no longer around to do maintenance.

 

It sounds like the series in the OP is using nested hints to provide a theme for the cache. The idea being that each belt in karate is dependent on first achieving the prior belt. So this theme is replicated by requiring the caches to be completed in order by providing something from each cache needed to work the puzzle for the next cache. The bonus rule, without an explanation of Groundspeak's rationale, seems to restrict what sounds to me like a good idea for a series of caches. This is the kind of discussion where I wish someone from Groundspeak would get involved in the discussion to consider the community feedback. I will be starting a topic in the bottomless pit of the feedback site in the hopes that at least they will see it there.

 

Simple questions here. Are the Guidelines located in the Knowledge Books, or are the Knowledge Books the Guidelines? When I click, Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache, what am I agreeing to? Am I required to read the linked page? All of the pages linked to the linked page? How deep do I need to go? It it assumed that I have read all 127 pages of the Knowledge Books?

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Having read Keystone's post after posting mine, I suppose I have no choice. Thanks to those who posted on the thread. It's just a shame that some of the more enjoyable series of caches I have done are ones that should have never been allowed, yet continue to exist.

 

I just think it is a crying shame that the game is stifled into what it has become. P & G's and/or simplicity is the name of the game for a reason - that brings the multitudes into the game and thus MONEY. I challenge anyone to deny that. Your series is ingenious and outstanding (as you described it).(snipped my remarks about other options and more - which I would regret posting for I am a bit angry for you).

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Simple questions here. Are the Guidelines located in the Knowledge Books, or are the Knowledge Books the Guidelines? When I click, Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache, what am I agreeing to? Am I required to read the linked page? All of the pages linked to the linked page? How deep do I need to go? It it assumed that I have read all 127 pages of the Knowledge Books?

They are separate documents. They're even hosted on different domains.

 

It doesn't matter if the guidelines have links to the knowledge books if it's only for reference. There's a difference between "See this article for more information" and "You must follow section 4.5 of the knowledge books". You're agreeing to the guidelines, nothing more.

 

The knowledge books are more like a wiki. I even believe that different people wrote different sections. I wouldn't be surprised if that one section of the knowledge books was just one reviewers idea of what a bonus cache needs to be.

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Avernar-“That's like you agreeing to abide by your states/province traffic laws and the police charging you based on some text from some non law book in the library.”

Wrong. It’s like you agreeing to abide by all traffic laws and then you are charged with violating an actual law that you didn’t know about, or thought didn’t apply to you. As they say, “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

 

Avernar-“Nor is there a definition of "Bonus Cache" in there. I define Bonus as "you did the main part, he're an extra" not "this is a continuation of the main part".”

So you admit that these stages are all a continuation of the main part and not separate caches?

 

Avernar-“Regardless of the above rant, I still want to know "why". Why are series like this forced to be a multicache whereas power trails are not?”

Simple answer-a power trail is a collection of caches that stand on their own and can be done in any order, one or more, without relying on other caches. A multicache requires other caches to be done to get to the final and the logbook. As you described this multicache in your post #1, “...a cache series where one cache daisy chains into the other”

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But, to further expand upon this logical concept, and in order to avoid allegations of "hidden guidelines," there is a Page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books that provides guidance to hiders of mystery/puzzle caches. Quoting from that page: "Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache. Generally, the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found."

 

So, Groundspeak has provided detailed guidance warning hiders that the "daisy chain" method of stringing together multiple bonus caches ought to be submitted as a single multicache.

Thank you Keystone for pointing out the guidelines section that applies to a series like this.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several benefits including that they can be updated more often and that they can be organized so there there is more detail like this when you drill down.

 

Moving the guidelines to the knowledge books has had several drawbacks including not knowing when the guidelines have been updated and having details "hidden" in sections of the knowledge books that previously would not have been considered guidelines.

 

I don't recall ever seeing these definitions of types of mystery/unknown caches, so I have no idea how long they have been there. There was never a discussion of what a bonus cache is or why the coordinates for bonus caches cannot be hidden in other bonus caches. I don't know the if the rationale is simply to prevent multi-caches from becoming nested bonus caches so that puritans will accept the idea of a smiley for each stage or something else like the issue of several caches becoming "unsolvable" should one cache go missing and the cache owner is no longer around to do maintenance.

 

It sounds like the series in the OP is using nested hints to provide a theme for the cache. The idea being that each belt in karate is dependent on first achieving the prior belt. So this theme is replicated by requiring the caches to be completed in order by providing something from each cache needed to work the puzzle for the next cache. The bonus rule, without an explanation of Groundspeak's rationale, seems to restrict what sounds to me like a good idea for a series of caches. This is the kind of discussion where I wish someone from Groundspeak would get involved in the discussion to consider the community feedback. I will be starting a topic in the bottomless pit of the feedback site in the hopes that at least they will see it there.

 

Simple questions here. Are the Guidelines located in the Knowledge Books, or are the Knowledge Books the Guidelines? When I click, Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache, what am I agreeing to? Am I required to read the linked page? All of the pages linked to the linked page? How deep do I need to go? It it assumed that I have read all 127 pages of the Knowledge Books?

The main listing guidelines page is found directly on the Geocaching.com website. It is integrated with the Listing Guidelines Knowledge Book. As explained on that primary page, "This page is an overview and details can be read by following the appropriate links to our Knowledge Books (KB)."

 

Conversely, each linked Knowedge Book Page contains the following statement: "This page is an extension of our Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines." This makes it clear that the Knowledge Book page is part of the guidelines you're agreeing to follow.

 

There are two reasons for this bifurcated structure. First, for years there were complaints that the guidelines were too long - "give us a summary." The guideline page directly on Geocaching.com is a summary overview; an outline. Second, for years there were complaints that the reviewers were enforcing concepts that were not in the Guidelines, because the Guidelines did not get updated very often. (Updates require going through the web development team process.) The Knowledge Books can be updated by the Groundspeak employees responsible for the volunteer program and community relations. There is a formal process that's followed for these updates.

 

The Knowledge Book Guideline Pages are divided up into several easily digestible chunks. If, however, you want to know everything you've agreed to, read the entire expanded guidelines on the print-friendly page found here.

 

Finally, there are other Knowledge Book Pages which, although not part of the Guidelines themselves, provide more detailed guidance on concepts covered in the Guidelines. As explained above, the "no daisy chaining" explanation is an expansion of the Guideline concept of choosing the correct cache type. Another example of an expanded detailed explanation is the page covering the details of Challenge Caches. This collection of detailed explanations is, however, referred to in, and linked from, the main Guidelines page: "The KB chapter called Review Process: Hiding a Geocache provides a technical explanation of what to expect during geocache submission."

 

I hope that this summary explanation was helpful.

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We're going to avoid having this thread become an advertising platform for any particular listing service. Thank you.

 

and you just PROVED my point Keystone, This has to stop. Why is there such a fear of other sites?

I did not see where my post conveyed "fear" and certainly this was not my intent. It would be silly to be "afraid" of a site with less than 1,000 unique listings. Rather, I was simply doing my job as a forum moderator. Groundspeak does not wish to have their forum used to promote other listing sites.

 

You would likely see a similar response if you went to the McDonalds customer forums and posted "Have it Your Way at Burger King."

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Simple questions here. Are the Guidelines located in the Knowledge Books, or are the Knowledge Books the Guidelines? When I click, Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache, what am I agreeing to? Am I required to read the linked page? All of the pages linked to the linked page? How deep do I need to go? It it assumed that I have read all 127 pages of the Knowledge Books?

They are separate documents. They're even hosted on different domains.

 

It doesn't matter if the guidelines have links to the knowledge books if it's only for reference. There's a difference between "See this article for more information" and "You must follow section 4.5 of the knowledge books". You're agreeing to the guidelines, nothing more.

 

The knowledge books are more like a wiki. I even believe that different people wrote different sections. I wouldn't be surprised if that one section of the knowledge books was just one reviewers idea of what a bonus cache needs to be.

 

How much of that is true if your local reviewer, and Groundspeak appeals, are using section 4.13 of the Knowledge Books to deny your friends series of caches? Where do the Guidelines, which I am required to read, end, and the "additional reference" begin?

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Wrong. It’s like you agreeing to abide by all traffic laws and then you are charged with violating an actual law that you didn’t know about, or thought didn’t apply to you. As they say, “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Nope. You're twisting my example around. The second set of things are not "laws". The knowledge books are not guidelines. I nor anyone else has indicated anywhere when submitting a cache that we agreed to the knowledge books.

 

So you admit that these stages are all a continuation of the main part and not separate caches?

I did no such thing. I said they're not a bonus. A continuation doesn't mean it's the same cache. Just like a sequel to a movie is not the same movie.

 

Simple answer-a power trail is a collection of caches that stand on their own and can be done in any order, one or more, without relying on other caches. A multicache requires other caches to be done to get to the final and the logbook. As you described this multicache in your post #1, “...a cache series where one cache daisy chains into the other”

Again, I can create a multicache where the stages can be done in any order without relying on the other caches just like a power trail. Since multicaches are in the guidelines and power trails are not therefore a power trail should be listed as a multicache.

 

The fact remains, allowing power trails to stand as separate caches and allowing traditionals with a bonus cache to stand as separate caches while not allowing chained caches is an arbitrary decision.

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My friend recently tried to publish a cache series where one cache daisy chains into the other. The first has the coordinates for the second, the second has the coordinates for the third, etc. The first is a Traditional and the rest are Unknown/Puzzle Caches. This is your standard cache series.

<<snip>>

 

I want to know why cache series are not longer allowed and, more importantly, why haven't we been told about this change in policy. The guidelines don't prohibit these kinds of cache series so why all of a sudden are they a problem?

The guidelines don't prohibit this sort of cache series, they just call it a Multi cache and expect it to be published that way.

DanOCan, thank you for this succinct explanation. The relevant primary guideline violation is "the owner selected the wrong cache type." I can think of many examples where I've corrected the owner's choice of cache type.

 

But, to further expand upon this logical concept, and in order to avoid allegations of "hidden guidelines," there is a Page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books that provides guidance to hiders of mystery/puzzle caches. Quoting from that page: "Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache. Generally, the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found."

 

So, Groundspeak has provided detailed guidance warning hiders that the "daisy chain" method of stringing together multiple bonus caches ought to be submitted as a single multicache.

 

 

So if having caches rely upon more than one cache prior to it being completed are considered unacceptable, please explain how a cache gets listed only a couple of months ago manages to get published by a veteran Reviewer?

 

"Wayward" series

 

I understand if this was a case with a series of caches published several years ago. But this is a recent listing, and happens to be in my area. It is this sort of inconsistency that frankly angers and frustrates cachers!

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Even after Keysone's 'toeing the company line' explanations, I still fail to see how the described series poses any maintenance issues beyond what a 'regular Multi-cache' would require.

 

Despite the fact that similar series' have been published, the local reviewer sees it as a 'horse of a different color', and so xenophobia prevents publication.

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In the Knowledge Books under Geocache Types, it has this to say:

Multi-Cache (Offset Cache)

A Multi-Cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations. The final location is a physical container. There are many variations, but most Multi-Caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has a hint to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a Multi-Cache.

(Yes, I know this has been posted several times)

Most of the folks citing this reference are offering it up as proof that the series in the OP must be listed as a multi.

But I think that's a twist in logic. If we look at the first two sentances, which define a multi, we see that this definition applies to more than just multis. To my way of thinking, this is key. Just because a string of containers could be a multi or a string of traditionals, doesn't mean the guidelines require it to be a multi, or a string of traditionals. Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen or more local caches that meet that definition, yet are published as puzzles, with words to the effect of, "To find the coords to XXX Cache, look inside YYY Cache."

Groundspeak's definition of puzzle caches also fits what the OP described.

Mystery or Puzzle Caches

The "catch-all" of cache types, this form of geocache may involve complicated puzzles that you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. Mystery/Puzzle Caches often become the staging ground for new and unique geocaches that do not fit in another category.

From here in the cheap seats, it looks like the series in the OP could be listed as a multi, a bunch of traditionals or a bunch of puzzles, depending on how the creator wanted it to be listed, as they could meet all three definitions. The guidelines do not prohibit the series from being listed as a bunch of puzzles.

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So if having caches rely upon more than one cache prior to it being completed are considered unacceptable, please explain how a cache gets listed only a couple of months ago manages to get published by a veteran Reviewer?

 

"Wayward" series

 

I understand if this was a case with a series of caches published several years ago. But this is a recent listing, and happens to be in my area. It is this sort of inconsistency that frankly angers and frustrates cachers!

Because the design of that series is quite different than yours. That's why. That series appears to comply with the "no daisy chaining" guideline, but yours doesn't.

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The main listing guidelines page is found directly on the Geocaching.com website. It is integrated with the Listing Guidelines Knowledge Book. As explained on that primary page, "This page is an overview and details can be read by following the appropriate links to our Knowledge Books (KB)."

Which to many people means the rule is in the guidelines and an explanation of the rule with details is in the knowlege books. Rules should not be in the knowledge books and missing in the guidelines when you ask people to agree to the "guidelines".

 

Conversely, each linked Knowedge Book Page contains the following statement: "This page is an extension of our Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines." This makes it clear that the Knowledge Book page is part of the guidelines you're agreeing to follow.

Irrelevant. The cache listing page asks if I've read and understand the guidelines. I have no need of following a zillion links to the knowledge books if I believe I understand the guidelines.

 

Not only that but the links between sections are not the greatest. For example I can easily get to the 2.2 section which defines the cache types but I can't seem to get to the 4.13 section which restricts bonus caches.

 

Asking someone to agree to something where it's listed in order is one thing. But asking them to agree to something that jumbled together where you can't be sure you've read every item is another.

 

There are two reasons for this bifurcated structure. First, for years there were complaints that the guidelines were too long - "give us a summary." The guideline page directly on Geocaching.com is a summary overview; an outline.

A summary that includes all the rules is what's needed. Each rule can be very brief and then link to a more detailed page. People are tired getting caught be hidden rules burred deep in the knowledge books.

 

Second, for years there were complaints that the reviewers were enforcing concepts that were not in the Guidelines, because the Guidelines did not get updated very often. (Updates require going through the web development team process.) The Knowledge Books can be updated by the Groundspeak employees responsible for the volunteer program and community relations. There is a formal process that's followed for these updates.

So put the guidelines in the same framework as the knowledge books. It doesn't have to be in a hard to update spot.

 

The Knowledge Book Guideline Pages are divided up into several easily digestible chunks. If, however, you want to know everything you've agreed to, read the entire expanded guidelines on the print-friendly page found here.

No mention of bonus caches and unknown cache restrictions on that page. That just proves my point. The "everything you've agreed to" doesn't have everything.

 

Finally, there are other Knowledge Book Pages which, although not part of the Guidelines themselves, provide more detailed guidance on concepts covered in the Guidelines. As explained above, the "no daisy chaining" explanation is an expansion of the Guideline concept of choosing the correct cache type. Another example of an expanded detailed explanation is the page covering the details of Challenge Caches. This collection of detailed explanations is, however, referred to in, and linked from, the main Guidelines page: "The KB chapter called Review Process: Hiding a Geocache provides a technical explanation of what to expect during geocache submission."

And here's the other problem. Now we're expected to agree to the knowledge books even though there's stuff in there that has nothing to do with the guidelines. What else are we agreeing to in there? Does Groundspeak own my car now?

 

The whole guideline/knowlege book thing is a mess. What's needed is a guideline document that's a single page or multi page where you can click "next page" (none of this back and forth tree structure junk) that lists all the rules. The knowledge books should just be there for definitions, clarifications, etc.

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Because the design of that series is quite different than yours. That's why. That series appears to comply with the "no daisy chaining" guideline, but yours doesn't.

Nope. I'm surprised you can't see it. There's a daisy chain (bonus in a bonus) structure in that series.

 

It's basically a four cache daisy chain except the second and third "bonus" caches have been split into more that one cache.

 

So what's the rule now? "You can't have the coordinates of one bonus in another bonus, except when the first bonus is really two or more caches"

Edited by Avernar
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So if having caches rely upon more than one cache prior to it being completed are considered unacceptable, please explain how a cache gets listed only a couple of months ago manages to get published by a veteran Reviewer?

 

"Wayward" series

 

I understand if this was a case with a series of caches published several years ago. But this is a recent listing, and happens to be in my area. It is this sort of inconsistency that frankly angers and frustrates cachers!

Because the design of that series is quite different than yours. That's why. That series appears to comply with the "no daisy chaining" guideline, but yours doesn't.

 

It's layed out different, yet finding the final depends on finding the 2 semi-final caches, which in turn depends on finding the 4 quarter final caches, which depend on finding the first ten. So if a cacher "daisy chains" groupings of caches together, rather than individual caches it slips through. The final is a "bonus" of finding the two previous. Each of those are a "bonus" of finding the previous 4. It's the same thing with a slightly different structure. The rationale that was originally used to deny my series was that if one cache had a maintenance issue, the others would be unfindable. The same would apply to this series. I don't see a difference.

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I just think it is a crying shame that the game is stifled into what it has become. P & G's and/or simplicity...

 

This game has been stifled? I find there are plenty of interesting new caches being listed.

 

Are you saying that the guidelines are intentionally encouraging only P&Gs and/or whatever you mean by simplicity?

 

Are there not enough interesting caches being listed in your area? If so, can you show that is it due to the guidelines?

 

I haven't yet seen how geocaching.com has stifled the game or, in this case, how if they don't allow caches described by the OP that the majority of those playing this game will suffer any significant setbacks.

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So if having caches rely upon more than one cache prior to it being completed are considered unacceptable, please explain how a cache gets listed only a couple of months ago manages to get published by a veteran Reviewer?

 

"Wayward" series

 

I understand if this was a case with a series of caches published several years ago. But this is a recent listing, and happens to be in my area. It is this sort of inconsistency that frankly angers and frustrates cachers!

Because the design of that series is quite different than yours. That's why. That series appears to comply with the "no daisy chaining" guideline, but yours doesn't.

 

It's layed out different, yet finding the final depends on finding the 2 semi-final caches, which in turn depends on finding the 4 quarter final caches, which depend on finding the first ten. So if a cacher "daisy chains" groupings of caches together, rather than individual caches it slips through. The final is a "bonus" of finding the two previous. Each of those are a "bonus" of finding the previous 4. It's the same thing with a slightly different structure. The rationale that was originally used to deny my series was that if one cache had a maintenance issue, the others would be unfindable. The same would apply to this series. I don't see a difference.

 

Please enlighten me how that series complies with the "bonus" definition you have provided....

Explain to me how it manages to not have a "daisy-chain" aspect to it.

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I just think it is a crying shame that the game is stifled into what it has become. P & G's and/or simplicity...

 

This game has been stifled? I find there are plenty of interesting new caches being listed.

 

Are you saying that the guidelines are intentionally encouraging only P&Gs and/or whatever you mean by simplicity?

 

Are there not enough interesting caches being listed in your area? If so, can you show that is it due to the guidelines?

 

I haven't yet seen how geocaching.com has stifled the game or, in this case, how if they don't allow caches described by the OP that the majority of those playing this game will suffer any significant setbacks.

Every guideline limits creativity. Think of all the cool buried caches you will never find because of the no bury rule. But usually there is some rationale for the guideline where most geocachers can see the benefits outweigh the loss of creativity.

 

The problem here is that we have not been given a good rationale for this guideline. Apparently you can't chain bonus caches because someone likes muticaches better than series of bonus caches. There appears to be examples of chained bonus caches that aren't just somebody trying to make a multicache were each stage can be logged. Instead these appear to be series that are meant to be done over several days. Some of the caches require a bit of travel to get to. The caches are linked in a theme and the used of hints in one cache to find another are there to get you to do the series in a particular order in keeping with the theme. Even if you are a puritan objecting to someone taking an ordinary multi and configuring it as series so each stage can be logged separately, you should be able to see this is not the reason for setting up these series. This guideline has ended up banning caches it probably wasn't meant to ban, and the guideline is written so neither reviewers or Groundspeak can make exceptions. Change the guideline.

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Oh the irony, the irony.. why must it hurt so?

 

Here's my input, and then I'm out.

One of my publishing attempts earlier this year was denied on the same basis. 3 caches daisy-chained. Disallowed. I made it a multi. My understanding of their ruling is that separate caches can only have 1 degree of separation, otherwise it's daisy-chained, and must become a multi. Multiple caches with pieces to the final bonus cache - ok. One cache with info for the final bonus cache - ok. One or more caches with info for a bonus cache, with info for a bonus cache (whether composed of multiple previous 'bonus' caches) - does not compute. Make it a multi.

 

The way I see it, the reviewer provided the CO an alternate method of publishing, based on an interpretation of the guidelines a "hidden guideline" that was excepted in the past, at some time, but no exception was granted now, by this reviewer. Looks like there's only one option moving forward, eh? Regardless of how harmless it might seem, one simply cannot publish daisy-chained (3 or more tiered) geocache series. Seems pretty clear by the reviewer's (and appeals') decision. Keep pushing to have this "hidden guideline" made official in the guidelines, as suggested. (yes, I voted).

 

As quoted early in the thread, "how the tables have turned"

 

The problem I'm seeing with people getting fed up with the review process is that the information is scattered all over the place. Some of it in the knowlege books, some of it not published.

If it's going to block people from publishing it should be in the guidlines, not the knowlege books.

Agreed.

Also,

The knowledge books are not guidelines.

I'll have to remember that one...

 

But because I feel the pain here, I'll also cite the Wayward puzzle cache series that dfx quoted earlier, which was published as recent as June - even though it's a pyramid structure, it has 4 tiers, including:

 

The first ten:

GC2XC97 GC2XCBM GC2XC8J GC2YEGX GC2Y3WA GC2XWAN GC2YEFG GC2XCRC GC2YEGE GC2XVYX

The Quarter Finals:

GC2WWCO GC2X7Z4 GC2X7QG GC2X7PE

The Semi Finals:

GC2WW9V GC2WEZP

The Final:

GC2X8HB

 

I'll add that I'd also support the publishing of the OP's series (even though I'll likely never do it) since it sounds great.

But we all know that past examples can't be used as a defense against a current decision or for an appeal:

As it stands, I am interpreting the Listing Guidelines today as they apply to your cache currently under review. I cannot speak to or consider previously published caches, as no cache listing sets a precedent.
I'm really starting to get fed up with the no precedent excuse. They're using it to hide their lack of consistency.

...Regardless of the above rant, I still want to know "why"

Dare I? Because they said so.

 

And with that, I'm out.

 

PS: How many topics are actually being discussed now in this thread? :P

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Please consider the following hypothetical placement of 5 containers :

 

d59669c6-9b3a-4e8a-ae3c-626087829137.jpg

 

Player visits Stage #1

Within Stage #1 they find the coords for Stage #2

Player visits Stage #2

Within Stage #2 they find the coords for Stage #3

Player visits Stage #3

Within Stage #3 they find the coords for Stage #4

Player visits Stage #4

Within Stage #4 they find the coords for Stage #5 (Final)

 

The first analogy that springs to mind is "climbing a ladder" -- however in this case I have to start at the bottom rung and work my way up, rung by rung, without skipping any, to get to my goal.

I would define this arrangement as a Multi-Cache.

 

If there was a requirement to solve a puzzle in order to obtain coordinates, I would then define this as a single Mystery/Puzzle cache.

To use my "climbing a ladder' analogy again, that would be the same as me having to answer a question before I took my next step.

 

In my example above, it would also appear that any separate cache listings for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th stages would be moot; they aren't used.

The coords for these stages would only available by physically visiting the preceding stages.

Why would there be a cache listing? Would it not just be an "Additional Waypoint"?

 

If there was a need to have separate cache listings published for each "Stage" an option would be if Stage #1, Stage #2, Stage #3 and Stage #4 could be visited by a Player independently (i.e. in any order).

During those visits by the Player, information could be gathered and used to find the fifth/final Mystery/Puzzle Bonus cache.

 

If each of the containers has a puzzle that can be solved to give the coords of the next -- would it not be possible for someone to find the first container and "keep going" until they reach the final container?

If that is the case... would this still not give folks an the same "quest" and also allow any thematic elements to be maintained?

 

CacheShadow

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But we all know that past examples can't be used as a defense against a current decision or for an appeal:

As it stands, I am interpreting the Listing Guidelines today as they apply to your cache currently under review. I cannot speak to or consider previously published caches, as no cache listing sets a precedent.
I'm really starting to get fed up with the no precedent excuse. They're using it to hide their lack of consistency.

...Regardless of the above rant, I still want to know "why"

 

It certainly is an excuse, and a lame one, because the guidelines do not exclude precedents.

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In my example above, it would also appear that any separate cache listings for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th stages would be moot; they aren't used.

The coords for these stages would only available by physically visiting the preceding stages.

Why would there be a cache listing? Would it not just be an "Additional Waypoint"?

 

That argument in some way also applies to bonus caches that are very common in at least Austria and German. One finds another cache (traditional, multi or mystery) and then finds the coordinates for another one inside the container. In the case of the OP the chain is longer, but apart from that there is no difference.

I have just visited a bonus cache and the corresponding multi cache yesterday. The cache description was important for the route description, the hint, the spoiler picture and other details that are not found in the cache container of the multi cache.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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