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alsterdrache

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Guidelines for challenge caches really have helped solidify what they are, what's allowed, what's feasible - as opposed to reducing what can be done.

 

Didn't the changes to the guidelines eliminate (aka reduce what can be done) the ability to have Challenges such as "Find 100 non-traditionals in a row" or "Keep your percentage of non-traditional above <some arbitrary number>"?

 

Yes because those were restrictive requirements. They caused a player to effective cache less in order to qualify.

I argued at one point from the perspective that it would cause one to plan better, and cache with a 'target' mindset, and gets them places they may not have been before... before straight-forward, you do need to say 'no' if there's a cache right there, if it ruins your qualification.

 

eg: For consecutive find streaks, if you break it, you can't "re-find" past ones and try again. Your pool is lessened, and you have to start over. So you avoid finding caches that break the streak. (Also, find order is arbitrary; but that's a relatively minor thing)

 

eg: For percentages, let's say you find a cache that finally lets you qualify. If you find one that drops your percentage accidentally, you suddenly "un"qualify. Same sort of deal. It's a retractive process.

 

While technically, I'm not against either of those dynamics, Groundspeak wants challenges to be cumulative and positive; with no way to unqualify yourself, and easier to always be one step closer to qualifying (there are still exceptions, like missing a day in a streak challenge, for example). That's also why the date restriction was removed, so that people who've cached out their area are still at least capable of completing local challenges without enormous effort, on par with newer cachers. It just means there's now a clear distinguishing between what I prefer to consider a "challenge" (from this date on) and an "achievement" (have you ever).

 

Anyway, their reasoning is to keep geocaching fun and continuous and non-restrictive, as some challenges have been created in effect to do. In those above cases, it really would have become caching for the numbers instead of the caches (passing caches in order to boost statistics to qualify for challenges). In that context, I can understand Groundspeak making those guideline changes to their game.

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Didn't the changes to the guidelines eliminate (aka reduce what can be done) the ability to have Challenges such as "Find 100 non-traditionals in a row" or "Keep your percentage of non-traditional above <some arbitrary number>"?
Read for yourself. You seem to be referring to the requirement that challenge tasks be "affirmative" and not require geocachers to refrain from certain aspects of geocaching.

 

So you can require 100 non-traditional finds, or 100 non-traditional finds in a given time period. But you can't require that they refrain from finding traditional caches until they find 100 non-traditional caches, and you can't require that they refrain from finding traditional caches until their percentage of non-traditional caches reaches a certain number.

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Thinking about it...I'd almost rather see the challenges break out of the map altogether and go the way of Waymarking...with their own site, but using the data stats from the user's GC account.

 

It's almost a certainty Groundspeak would never do this...but it seems to me like it would satisfy both groups: those who enjoy (or at least are not bothered by) them, and those who wish they didn't have to see them or ignore them since they would be taken off the GC.com site's map altogether.

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is that there would be a dramatic increase in them because people love icons and will create Challenge caches just to give and get the icon.

I worry about this but, but not much.

All it takes to own/get a Letter Box Hybrid icon is a stamp, yet few people create them. Just an observation.

And those that do, do it for the icon. They have generally no idea or don't care why the stamp even matters. Most use a dollar store stamp or grab something free from the kids' toybox. I have seen very few stamps in LBHs that have even a remote relation to the theme or the location. They just throw one in because they have to, in order to get the LBH icon in their cache hides list. It's really just a puzzle cache but the puzzle icon isn't all that unique. If they could omit the stamp and still get the icon I'm sure 99% would. The LBH cache-type is another type I would like to see grandfathered. It should be listed under the Unknown cache-type with a stamp attribute.

Put me in the "not too worried" group. Of course, there will be a few people who collect cache owner icons, but that probably would be the case for any new icon that might appear in the future. Does that mean no new icons ever should be developed? Of course not. It simply means the benefits of any new icon should outweigh the harms.

 

In the case of letterbox-hybrids, yes, there are plenty of mediocre ones out there (just like any other type of cache). But there also are many excellent ones that provide geocachers with a different kind of cache than merely looking for a traditional box under a pile of rocks at Ground Zero. The worst of the LBHs are just another traditional cache for me, but the different category also allows for a very different and enjoyable geocaching experience. And that's a good thing, in my book.

 

Similarly, I enjoy the many new experiences that good challenge caches provide. That said, however, I'm not convinced a new icon provides much advantages over a new attribute, other than its mandatory nature. The full-featured map is helpful, but I'd probably be satisfied with running Pocket Queries on a new challenge attribute and using them to generate any maps I needed.

 

If by different geocaching experience you mean directional clues, that's already covered by the Unknown cache type. If you provide directional clues and no stamp, it's an Unknown cache. Yet some cache owners don't want the ordinary Unknown cache type icon. They throw the unrelated free stamp in there just to get the icon. Groundspeak has already provided the different enjoyable geocaching experience when they created the Unknown type. No need for an LBH type or a Challenge type. The only valid reason I see is the map and I don't think it outweighs the many negative realities.

 

Glad to see more agreement on the attribute suggestion.

From the couple of dozen letterboxes I've found, I don't see much difference from the LBH's you mention. Almost all of them had a commercial stamp in them, and rarely fit any "theme" of the letterbox. I don't see why cachers need to hold to a old-school line (hand carved stamps) that many LB's don't. That's like saying only caches hidden with a B&W, no maps GPSr are "real" caches, because that's what geocaching started out with.

 

Cachers don't need to hold to an old-school line of letterboxes, but it would be a nicer, fuller LBH experience. What I'm hearing is, mediocre is fine as long as we get a unique icon, and the stamp really doesn't matter.

Edited by L0ne.R

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is that there would be a dramatic increase in them because people love icons and will create Challenge caches just to give and get the icon.

I worry about this but, but not much.

All it takes to own/get a Letter Box Hybrid icon is a stamp, yet few people create them. Just an observation.

And those that do, do it for the icon. They have generally no idea or don't care why the stamp even matters. Most use a dollar store stamp or grab something free from the kids' toybox. I have seen very few stamps in LBHs that have even a remote relation to the theme or the location. They just throw one in because they have to, in order to get the LBH icon in their cache hides list. It's really just a puzzle cache but the puzzle icon isn't all that unique. If they could omit the stamp and still get the icon I'm sure 99% would. The LBH cache-type is another type I would like to see grandfathered. It should be listed under the Unknown cache-type with a stamp attribute.

Put me in the "not too worried" group. Of course, there will be a few people who collect cache owner icons, but that probably would be the case for any new icon that might appear in the future. Does that mean no new icons ever should be developed? Of course not. It simply means the benefits of any new icon should outweigh the harms.

 

In the case of letterbox-hybrids, yes, there are plenty of mediocre ones out there (just like any other type of cache). But there also are many excellent ones that provide geocachers with a different kind of cache than merely looking for a traditional box under a pile of rocks at Ground Zero. The worst of the LBHs are just another traditional cache for me, but the different category also allows for a very different and enjoyable geocaching experience. And that's a good thing, in my book.

 

Similarly, I enjoy the many new experiences that good challenge caches provide. That said, however, I'm not convinced a new icon provides much advantages over a new attribute, other than its mandatory nature. The full-featured map is helpful, but I'd probably be satisfied with running Pocket Queries on a new challenge attribute and using them to generate any maps I needed.

 

If by different geocaching experience you mean directional clues, that's already covered by the Unknown cache type. If you provide directional clues and no stamp, it's an Unknown cache. Yet some cache owners don't want the ordinary Unknown cache type icon. They throw the unrelated free stamp in there just to get the icon. Groundspeak has already provided the different enjoyable geocaching experience when they created the Unknown type. No need for an LBH type or a Challenge type. The only valid reason I see is the map and I don't think it outweighs the many negative realities.

 

Glad to see more agreement on the attribute suggestion.

From the couple of dozen letterboxes I've found, I don't see much difference from the LBH's you mention. Almost all of them had a commercial stamp in them, and rarely fit any "theme" of the letterbox. I don't see why cachers need to hold to a old-school line (hand carved stamps) that many LB's don't. That's like saying only caches hidden with a B&W, no maps GPSr are "real" caches, because that's what geocaching started out with.

 

Cachers don't need to hold to an old-school line of letterboxes, but it would be a nicer, fuller LBH experience. What I'm hearing is, mediocre is fine as long as we get a unique icon, and the stamp really doesn't matter.

 

A recent "series" of letterboxes near my home ended up being nothing more than traditional caches with "candy Valentine heart" themed stamps inside. We don't have that many LBHs in my area and I only have one other on my stats, but I always though the description involved directions from a posted set of coordinates to another location where the cache is located. These were AT the posted coordinates. Is there really no requirement for them other than a stamp?

 

(we seem to be diverging from the thread topic...so maybe this topic needs its own thread...?)

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Every aspect of geocaching is exclusive to some segment of the player-base. That's no good reason to ban or deny it outright. It's a judgement call the Groundspeak has to make based on community feedback.

 

Challenge caches are here to stay.

 

You think so, eh? I wouldn't be so sure about that. Considering the reviewers were getting so fed up with them that TPTB changed the guidelines for them a couple years ago. I'm not one, so I don't know how much of a world wide consensus there was among them or anything. :huh: It's certainly not like there was an outcry from the regular players for those changes. You know, like "Dear Groundspeak Customer Service: This challenge cache published in my area is going to alter my normal caching habits. Sincerely, Geocacher". Personally, I think they're skating along on thin ice. Or at the very least, even stricter guidelines being slapped on them, with possibly archival of Grandfathered ones that would no longer be published today. Just my opinion, but I thought I'd throw it out there, since it seems to be the opposite of yours. :D

Which is your opinion? Your prediction of the fate of challenge caches, or your feeling about them?

I don't necessarily disagree with your prediction. But their fate is most definitely a judgement call that Groundspeak has to make... so, how things change in the future would entirely depend on 1) where GS wants to take them, and 2) how much backlash there is from the community about them. I don't think they'll be gone any time soon because I see pockets of communities that adore them, and pockets that abhore them. There's no clear majority (though I'd wager the vast majority are either supportive or apathetic about them).

Tighter guidelines have been implemented not in a reductive manner - merely honing and reducing that 'grey area' that so many cachers seem intent on 'testing'. Guidelines for challenge caches really have helped solidify what they are, what's allowed, what's feasible - as opposed to reducing what can be done. I don't see their evolution as an omen for their eventual phasing out. *shrug*

 

At least, they are a far cry from what happened with Geocaching Challenges :P Challenges Caches were around earlier, and have been around much longer since.. I think think they're here to stay, unless Groundspeak gets rid of all ALR-style caches, which is unlikely, imo.

 

Also, attribute please! (can't request it enough :P)

 

I will say my opinion was entirely based on your one sentence "challenge caches are here to stay". I believe a plurality of the volunteer reviewer force is fed up with them, and wouldn't mind to see them go. I am not one, so that's why it's an opinion. And living pretty close like we do, but in different regions, I also think there's a chance your opinion may be skewed by the popularity of them in YOUR region. Most regions don't have a guy who owns 240 of them. I wouldn't doubt he's number 1 in the world. And I'm sure you know who I'm talking about. :P

 

Oh, and as long as we have them, I actually would support their own icon!

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I enjoy puzzle caches and challenge caches, but they are so different that they don't belong under the same heading. For Challenges to be a subcategory of Mystery caches is IMHO inappropriate. There is no mystery. You know what has to be done and you know where they are.

 

Make them a separate category of cache.

 

Of course, there might be the "Fulfil the requirements, go to the co-ordinates and do something which takes you to another set of coordinates ...". They should stay as mysteries (or multi's or whatever the owner and reviewer decide).

 

However, a simple "fulfil the requirements, go to the co-ordinates and sign the log" cache should not be a mystery. It needs its own type.

 

One additional factor. If the owner has fulfilled the requirements for the cache, should he be allowed to log a pseudo-find in a similar way to the owner logging an "Attended" for his own event? Maybe a special "Requirements met" log for owners only?

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I believe a plurality of the volunteer reviewer force is fed up with them, and wouldn't mind to see them go.

I'd like to hear the reasoning, and if it's beyond preference, and an actual concern for the pastime, then I wouldn't debate it. But if it's just their own preference... enh... I don't think (I'm not sure this would qualify as opinion) that there's sufficient 'objective' reasoning for ending the challenge cache theme, as it were. Lack of density in various areas isn't really a good reason to end the concept; actually I'd think that they would look to areas with high density and find out how they're faring with its community, and how the geocaching pastime as a whole is impacted by their existence.

 

I also think there's a chance your opinion may be skewed by the popularity of them in YOUR region.

Popularity? Or quantity? :P

Oh there are plenty of people who ignore them :) It's called challenge-ville for a reason, hehe

 

Most regions don't have a guy who owns 240 of them. I wouldn't doubt he's number 1 in the world. And I'm sure you know who I'm talking about. :P

There is absolutely no question :)

 

And he's told me that there will be no more challenge caches. So, we'll see if he holds to his word, hehe

 

heck he has a challenge cache to find 66 DT combos of caches owned by him. When you've placed enough caches to fill a DT grid of owned caches, it might be time to take a break :P

 

Oh, and as long as we have them, I actually would support their own icon!

Attribute!

Edited by thebruce0

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I enjoy puzzle caches and challenge caches, but they are so different that they don't belong under the same heading. For Challenges to be a subcategory of Mystery caches is IMHO inappropriate. There is no mystery. You know what has to be done and you know where they are.

Technically, I believe it's 'Unknown', but that's semantics. The name just hasn't been changed to a better term for 'catch-all'. And I think some official references call them both Mystery and Unknown... it could use a better name; not because of what they (mostly) are, but because of what they are intended to be (which at this point includes challenge caches)

 

However, a simple "fulfil the requirements, go to the co-ordinates and sign the log" cache should not be a mystery. It needs its own type.

It's qualified as 'unknown' because it's not the standard physical process of "find the cache or waypoints leading to the cache, sign the log, post find log online" (which covers letterbox, multi, traditional, Wherigo). ALRs (including field puzzles and challenges) and offsets (listing puzzles and cache-is-actually-at-posted tricks) were just bundled into this 'catch-all'.

 

But yes, popularity of certain uncategorized fringe-types have grown sufficiently to raise the issue of other means of distinguishing them.

 

I might retract my opinion on the Attribute being an appropriate solution... an attribute should be applicable regardless of cache type. What if someone puts the 'challenge cache' attribute on a traditional? This is probably one reason why they haven't gone the attribute way. And a whole new cache type for them is, really, a big deal indeed.

 

I shall return to fence-sitting. :P

 

One additional factor. If the owner has fulfilled the requirements for the cache, should he be allowed to log a pseudo-find in a similar way to the owner logging an "Attended" for his own event? Maybe a special "Requirements met" log for owners only?

CO's logging their own challenge cache has been a question of etiquette. There's nothing stopping any CO from logging any of their own caches found, but I think most people realize that it doesn't really make sense. A challenge however, if the CO hasn't completed it themselves, then it's more feasible to log it found once they complete it. But I think it'll depend on who you talk to. Ultimately though, it's your own stats. It's amazing what people will get upset about that doesn't affect them in the slightest :P

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One additional factor. If the owner has fulfilled the requirements for the cache, should he be allowed to log a pseudo-find in a similar way to the owner logging an "Attended" for his own event? Maybe a special "Requirements met" log for owners only?

Why not just rid of the cache altogether? A challenge is just a geocaching related accomplishment that can be verified either through the existing statistics or by providing a list of qualifying caches that the challenge owner can check. If you accomplish the challenge they you can log it. No need to find any cache or to have challenges interfere with other caches.

 

There may be still be a question of how to list challenges. Tying them to cache makes them local by default. While there used to be bookmark lists, I doubt any of these are being kept up to date. You find out about challenges only by checking nearby unknown caches. If challenges were separate and not tied to a cache, there could be one list to search through world wide. No need to have 200 Jasper challenges.

 

I know certain kinds of challenges are based on finding local caches and these may not make sense for a world wide list. Generally I'm not fond of challenges that limit you to caches you find in one area, but county challenges and Delorme challenges have been around for a long time and are among the most popular. Still in a large state like California, there are already multiple Delorme challenges and county challenges and I don't really see why you need so many.

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Why not just rid of the cache altogether? A challenge is just a geocaching related accomplishment that can be verified either through the existing statistics or by providing a list of qualifying caches that the challenge owner can check. If you accomplish the challenge they you can log it. No need to find any cache or to have challenges interfere with other caches.

 

There may be still be a question of how to list challenges. Tying them to cache makes them local by default. While there used to be bookmark lists, I doubt any of these are being kept up to date. You find out about challenges only by checking nearby unknown caches. If challenges were separate and not tied to a cache, there could be one list to search through world wide. No need to have 200 Jasper challenges.

 

I know certain kinds of challenges are based on finding local caches and these may not make sense for a world wide list. Generally I'm not fond of challenges that limit you to caches you find in one area, but county challenges and Delorme challenges have been around for a long time and are among the most popular. Still in a large state like California, there are already multiple Delorme challenges and county challenges and I don't really see why you need so many.

 

I was having similar thoughts over in another thread. You have an interesting take on some of the issues with Challenge Caches and I think your point about not having a physical cache for the non-location based challenges makes sense. But wasn't this tried a few years back with poor results? Anyhow, I thought I'd try to organize my thoughts into a handy matrix:

13595591713_79c27551a3.jpg

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I can't see the problem with having a "Local" challenge not tied to a physical location. I just means that I'm not going to achieve that one. If the challenge is to find x number of caches of some type in Texas, then it is just like every other cache in Texas. I'm not going to find it. The fact that there isn't a physical cache to find makes not the slightest difference.

 

Having a generic cache tied to a local area doesn't seem any more problematic. There are a lot of alphabetic or numeric challenges with physical caches scattered all over the world. Once you have qualified for one, you have qualified for all and if there happens to be one at your holiday destination all the better. The issue is with finding them. If they were a type on their own then finding them would be simpler.

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Why not just rid of the cache altogether?

 

Because people like them?

 

Oh wait -- I forgot. The whole "ice cream" analogy only applies to caches you like. Something somebody else likes? Bring out the pitchforks.

 

Blecch.

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Why wouldn't an attribute be enough? It just seems to me that people are looking to collect another icon.

 

A (mandatory) attribute would help.

 

It is not as helpful as an icon, as an icon can seen from the map. (I do much of my cache choosing via the map).

 

Hmmm, hadn't considered the map. Yes, I see how that could be helpful.

 

My biggest concern, which Toz addressed, is that there would be a dramatic increase in them because people love icons and will create Challenge caches just to give and get the icon. Challenge caches exclude a lot of people and encourage folks to cache for numbers. Individual caches are not savored, they become kernels in the statistics popcorn bowl. All caches start to become like a power trail experience. Cache owners plant with challenge cache criteria in mind - e.g. a power trail of 26 caches planted along a trail to help folks trying to get every letter of the alphabet. As the game progresses numbers dominate more and more. I don't see the numbers aspect as an enrichment of the game.

 

That's what I was thinking as well. I've just moved from a challenge-crazy location to one which only has one challege cache. I do like working on challenges but things to get a bit ridiculous and people tend to publish My Challenge is more impossible than your Challenge ones. That just takes the fun out of things. Think of an area with a region-cleanup challenge (all caches within 5km around your home location for example). Within this home zone might be a find 20 caches with tree climbing attribute, 5 caches with boat attribute, completing the D/T grid 10 times, log caches in 15 European countries and three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day. It does get ridiculous, really! Where's the fun? It's mostly about 'I'm better than you and I fulfill this challenge, and that's why I created it in the first place'.

 

Challenge attributes would be nice, as searching for them or running pocket queries would be easier (keyword search on project-gc kind of works, but it's far from perfect). At least not giving them an own icon will not increase the attractiveness more, and I can search for the ones I really like.

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I've just moved from a challenge-crazy location to one which only has one challege cache. I do like working on challenges but things to get a bit ridiculous and people tend to publish My Challenge is more impossible than your Challenge ones. That just takes the fun out of things. Think of an area with a region-cleanup challenge (all caches within 5km around your home location for example). Within this home zone might be a find 20 caches with tree climbing attribute, 5 caches with boat attribute, completing the D/T grid 10 times, log caches in 15 European countries and three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day. It does get ridiculous, really!

The most recent guidelines regarding challenge caches state, "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers."

 

Where's the fun?

For me, the fun comes from finding interesting challenge caches that encourage me to accomplish things that I enjoy doing. For example, by working on certain challenge caches, I've gone to some wonderful places that I probably wouldn't have visited otherwise. If I don't think working on a particular challenge will be fun, then I simply don't do it.

 

It's mostly about 'I'm better than you and I fulfill this challenge, and that's why I created it in the first place'.

I've created some rather challenging challenges. It wasn't about "I'm better than you." Instead, it was about, "I had fun doing this and thought you might enjoy it as well."

Edited by CanadianRockies

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Why not just rid of the cache altogether? A challenge is just a geocaching related accomplishment that can be verified either through the existing statistics or by providing a list of qualifying caches that the challenge owner can check. If you accomplish the challenge they you can log it. No need to find any cache or to have challenges interfere with other caches.

 

The only issue I see with this idea, is that really we already have it - in the form of stats analyzers and websites that provide 'badges' you can list in your public profile for accomplishing certain feats. Really, there'd be no fun (generally speaking) in just looking at a list of worldwide challenges and checking off the ones you qualify for (or doing all the work to verify) and then... yay, it can be listed.

I reckon most people don't even list ("show off") all the challenge caches they've accomplished (beyond perhaps a bookmark list).

 

The biggest difference between that and challenge caches is that it's really an ALR for some geocaches. It's not just about you being able to qualify for a challenge, but hey, you actually still have to go geocaching in order to officially log it Found. :P

 

I think if people look at challenge caches with the focus on the challenge then the 'list' idea could make some sense, but it takes the geocaching out of actually completing the challenge (locating its cache). If people look at challenge caches more like an ALR (like Earthcaches require sending answers, or field puzzles may require unlocking the cache, or Webcams require actually taking a certain type of photo, etc), then challenge caches just become another task-oriented geocaching Find.

If you can't complete the task, you can't log it found. If don't like the cache, you can ignore it.

 

Take that physical locating aspect away, and you just have profile accomplishment badges (entirely arbitrary), or Worldwide Geocaching Challenges (failed experiment that was open to rampant abuse).

 

Nah, challenge caches as they exist currently are a great twist to geocaching, they clearly aren't endearing to everyone (not every aspect of geocaching is, as we all know), but can still use a bit of a tweak to make them a little more palatable to the general community.

 

Also, everything CanadianRockies just said B)

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Within this home zone might be a find 20 caches with tree climbing attribute, 5 caches with boat attribute, completing the D/T grid 10 times, log caches in 15 European countries and three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day. It does get ridiculous, really! Where's the fun? It's mostly about 'I'm better than you and I fulfill this challenge, and that's why I created it in the first place'.

 

Am I right that you're exaggerating and that those Challenge Geocaches don't exist? Otherwise, please provide the GC codes, at least for the two bold ones, since such requirements are simply not realistic to reach ... For me, a serious discussion implies that we take only such listings as the basis for any argumentation that positively passed the review process.

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I admit, I think I was exaggerating: the one I was thinking of requires you to find 4 caches in four countries on a day with a distance of 4000km between two caches. Apart from that there are masses of multiple D/T grid caches around. Just do a search. I'm not kidding.

Edited by terratin

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

 

I don't know, just throwing out ideas.

 

You see, it's not that I hate challenge caches. Like all cache types, some I enjoy and some I think are too tedious or impossible to deal with. What I don't like is the inconsistency of the current approach that basically says for some caches signing the log isn't enough to claim a Find.

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

I don't know, just throwing out ideas.

 

You see, it's not that I hate challenge caches. Like all cache types, some I enjoy and some I think are too tedious or impossible to deal with. What I don't like is the inconsistency of the current approach that basically says for some caches signing the log isn't enough to claim a Find.

 

Heyyyyy...I like that idea.

Of course, that just means now there'll be FTFs and FTCs (first to complete) and a whole new imaginary game for folks to play.

 

I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

Edited by J Grouchy

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Why not just rid of the cache altogether?

 

Because people like them?

 

Oh wait -- I forgot. The whole "ice cream" analogy only applies to caches you like. Something somebody else likes? Bring out the pitchforks.

 

Blecch.

People liked virtual caches too. Some people even liked arbitrary ALR caches. And we know from the number of favorite points they get that people really like buried caches. The fact that people like certain caches doesn't mean we shouldn't get rid of them.

 

I'm all in favor of having fewer restrictions so that people can hide and find the caches they like. But when there are real issues caused by caches (or by certain caches within a genre that can't easily be differentiated) then TPTB have changed the guidelines and declared that they will make "better mistakes" in the future.

 

I feel that the current restrictions on challenges, if they are enforced, address most of the problems I see with challenges. If I don't want to do the challenge but still want to find the cache, I am perfectly happy to log a note on the cache page because I don't see a find log as necessary for enjoying a cache. And perhaps because of this I have trouble understanding why the smiley is needed to motivate someone to do a challenge.

 

Take that physical locating aspect away, and you just have profile accomplishment badges (entirely arbitrary), or Worldwide Geocaching Challenges (failed experiment that was open to rampant abuse).

 

We are geocachers, and for many that means the activity of finding geocaches (and perhaps logging online to get a smiley) lends some aura of authenticity. It is true that other activities that Groundspeak has introduced, such as Waymarking or the defunct Geocaching Challenges, have not been well received by people who want everything to be a geocache. Even lab caches get dumped on because they are treated differently in geocaching stats. On the other hand souvenirs have been popular, except for when Groundspeak wants to give you one for every day in a month.

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

I don't know, just throwing out ideas.

 

You see, it's not that I hate challenge caches. Like all cache types, some I enjoy and some I think are too tedious or impossible to deal with. What I don't like is the inconsistency of the current approach that basically says for some caches signing the log isn't enough to claim a Find.

 

Heyyyyy...I like that idea.

Of course, that just means now there'll be FTFs and FTCs (first to complete) and a whole new imaginary game for folks to play.

 

I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

 

It's inclusive. I'm sure a new type of smiley will be coveted.

 

And an attribute. It's a good idea for PQ filtering.

Edited by L0ne.R

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Within this home zone might be a find 20 caches with tree climbing attribute, 5 caches with boat attribute, completing the D/T grid 10 times, log caches in 15 European countries and three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day. It does get ridiculous, really! Where's the fun? It's mostly about 'I'm better than you and I fulfill this challenge, and that's why I created it in the first place'.

 

Am I right that you're exaggerating and that those Challenge Geocaches don't exist? Otherwise, please provide the GC codes, at least for the two bold ones, since such requirements are simply not realistic to reach ... For me, a serious discussion implies that we take only such listings as the basis for any argumentation that positively passed the review process.

 

The "three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day" is quite doable. One could fly from Casablanca, Morocco (Africa) to Rome, Italy (Europe) to Istanbul, Turkey (considered part of Asia) easily in a day. There is a flight that leaves Casablanca at around 3:30AM, arrives in Rome just after 7:00AM. Then there is a flight from Rome to Istanbul at 1:00PM (plenty of time to find a cache) and arrives in Istanbul at 9:30PM.

 

If you consider "a day" to be 24hrs instead of midnight to midnight, I've flown from New York via Istanbul to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is well less than 24 hours (but didn't do any caching on the way).

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

I think this might lean towards being a solution in search of a problem.

 

I don't know many geocachers who "just want to adhere to the simple 'Find cache, sign log, claim smiley.'" Most people with a couple hundred finds under their belt will have logged finds on EarthCaches, virtuals, events of all sorts, webcams, locationless caches, GPS Adventure Exhibits, and/or lab caches.

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I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

 

I've logged "Notes" on numerous challenge caches where I've found the container but haven't yet completed the requirements (and perhaps never will). I recognize that challenge caches are different than traditional caches, so this discrepancy doesn't bother me. I've also logged "Notes" or "DNFs" on EarthCaches that I've been to but couldn't obtain the necessary answers due to weather or seasonal conditions. Again, I realize these aren't traditionals. Not a big deal.

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I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

 

I would enjoy finding some challenge caches for the experience of finding them (like other regular caches). If they aren't physically demanding (example a tree climb) and in a pleasant location it would be nice to go find it and add it to my list of found caches on the GC site. I don't care that it ups my smiley count but I do care to have an accurate record of the caches I've found. I also run a PQ occassionally of the caches I've found. Also, I currently have 450 caches on my ignore list. How am I going to be able to sort out which of the caches on my ignore list, are caches that I actually found?

 

I think I understand why a CO may begrudge someone an ordinary smiley, even if there were a special challenge smiley. The worry might be that fewer people would bother achieving the requirements, but maybe not. I think the challenge smiley would be quite the prize and incentive for people who like challenges.

 

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I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

 

I've logged "Notes" on numerous challenge caches where I've found the container but haven't yet completed the requirements (and perhaps never will). I recognize that challenge caches are different than traditional caches, so this discrepancy doesn't bother me. I've also logged "Notes" or "DNFs" on EarthCaches that I've been to but couldn't obtain the necessary answers due to weather or seasonal conditions. Again, I realize these aren't traditionals. Not a big deal.

 

Who said it was a "chore"? That's your word, not mine. I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I don't have (and likely never will have) a one-year geostreak. There are many challenges very close to my home that I can't claim...and yes, I have put them on the ignore list. I'd like to not have to ignore them and just go find them and have them count. It's not OCD or some obsession with smilie counts. I like to find geocaches. That's all. Why should my find count be limited by these weird rules some dude who caches every spare minute of every day created to show off his amazing statistical prowess?

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

I think this might lean towards being a solution in search of a problem.

 

I don't know many geocachers who "just want to adhere to the simple 'Find cache, sign log, claim smiley.'" Most people with a couple hundred finds under their belt will have logged finds on EarthCaches, virtuals, events of all sorts, webcams, locationless caches, GPS Adventure Exhibits, and/or lab caches.

I don't think anyone is saying there shouldn't be a variety of cache types. Many people enjoy solving puzzles to find puzzle caches as well. But when someone comes to the forums to complain that a puzzle cache owner deleted his find because he got the coordinates from a friend and didn't actually solve the puzzle, most people will argue so long as the log was signed the find shouldn't have been deleted.

 

Challenges caches are an exception to the change that was made to disallow ALRs for logging of physical caches. There should be some fairly good rationale as to why they are an exception if you are going to allow cache owners to delete people's logs.

 

Before ALRs were banned, I was strongly of the opinion that if you didn't want to do the ALR either ignore the cache or if you had to "find" it, then log a note instead of found. When they were banned, I was pretty upset with Groundspeak for apparently giving into to the people who think that the smiley matters (as well as with the wording they used that some people want to interpret as a requirement to sign the physical log). Eventually, several of the people who worked on the change convinced me that the intent wasn't to make a change as to what a find was or whether it was offficially important, but rather there was a realization that the find count is important to some geocacher (or at least having the ability to use the found log to record their geocaching experiences) and that arbitrary ALRs were abused by some cache onwers as an excuse to arbitrarily delete people's logs. People complained about logs getting deleted when they felt they had accomplished the ALR but the cache owner decided that they hadn't (e.g., your haiku doesn't have 17 syllables so I'm deleting your log). Fortunately, most challenges are not this easily abused by their owners, but I'm sure that the restrictions that have been added are due, in part, to the possiblity of abuse.

 

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

I keep wondering why the answer when someone doesn't like a cache is that they should ignore them instead of presenting their objections.

 

Since challenges are most often at the stated location, it not unreasonable that people might look for these caches, simply because they are passing them on the way to other caches. Even puzzles sometimes get found by accident. But if you stumble upon a puzzle cache, you can log a find. You can't do this if the cache is a challenge cache.

 

There are also those challenges that a cacher may just happen to qualify for (or perhaps the would have looked for the caches they need for the challenge anyway). I recently logged a challenge that I qualified for, and wrote in my online log why I object to that particular type of challenge (Find all the caches in a specific area). The next finder, in her log, took the time to criticize me for expressing my opinion and said "If you don't like these challenges then just don't do them".

 

Apparently those who like challenges don't like hearing what is wrong with them. Hey, if you don't like hearing what is wrong with challenges, just ignore these comments.

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Also, I currently have 450 caches on my ignore list. How am I going to be able to sort out which of the caches on my ignore list, are caches that I actually found?

I've created a private bookmarks list that includes those challenge caches that I've actually found but haven't yet completed the requirements. If you don't want these to appear on your maps, then you can add them to your "Ignore List" as well (thus, having these subsets of challenges on two lists).

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I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I don't have (and likely never will have) a one-year geostreak. There are many challenges very close to my home that I can't claim...and yes, I have put them on the ignore list. I'd like to not have to ignore them and just go find them and have them count. It's not OCD or some obsession with smilie counts. I like to find geocaches. That's all.

But Groundspeak doesn't consider certain types of caches to be "found" until additional logging requirements are met. For example, challenge caches, most virtuals, webcams, EarthCaches, and lab caches. All these are different from the traditional cache, which you can walk up to, search for a container, sign the log, and record an online "Found It."

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What with bonus caches like that be may be logged only if you have done caches X, Y and Z before. There are so many of them. What's wrong with the question mark icon?

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If I soften my stance of "Challenge caches should be banned just like other ALRs", how about instead of a new cache type, we create a new type of log? A "Completed Challenge" log.

 

Those who like Challenges could get two tallies for their experience: A regular Found It and a Challenge Completed. Those who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley" could just log a Found It.

I think this might lean towards being a solution in search of a problem.

 

I don't know many geocachers who "just want to adhere to the simple 'Find cache, sign log, claim smiley.'" Most people with a couple hundred finds under their belt will have logged finds on EarthCaches, virtuals, events of all sorts, webcams, locationless caches, GPS Adventure Exhibits, and/or lab caches.

I don't think anyone is saying there shouldn't be a variety of cache types.

I realize that, and I never said otherwise. I was merely noting that I don't think there are lots of geocachers who just want to adhere to the simple "Find cache, sign log, claim smiley." I doubt if Groundspeak would consider their numbers to be sufficient enough to create a double smiley system for challenge caches. Of course, there might be a fair number of people who would like to receive two smileys for completing a challenge, but that's a whole other discussion.

 

I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

I keep wondering why the answer when someone doesn't like a cache is that they should ignore them instead of presenting their objections.

I never said J Grouchy shouldn't present their objections. But once they did, I felt I could point out that there's an easy workaround to this particular objection. Discussions usually are encouraged on forums, and I'm okay with that.

 

Since challenges are most often at the stated location, it not unreasonable that people might look for these caches, simply because they are passing them on the way to other caches.

I quickly learned that it's usually wise to read the descriptions of Unknown cache types, since they usually are not at the stated location. If they say they are at the posted coordinates, then I soon discovered that this usually meant they were challenge caches and certain requirements had to be met. So, it's not unreasonable to look for these caches, but (in my opinion) it does seem unreasonable for them to look for these caches and expect to log online "Found Its."

 

Even puzzles sometimes get found by accident. But if you stumble upon a puzzle cache, you can log a find. You can't do this if the cache is a challenge cache.

That's because challenge caches aren't puzzle caches. They are different. And, as you previously noted, "I don't think anyone is saying there shouldn't be a variety of cache types."

 

There are also those challenges that a cacher may just happen to qualify for (or perhaps the would have looked for the caches they need for the challenge anyway). I recently logged a challenge that I qualified for, and wrote in my online log why I object to that particular type of challenge (Find all the caches in a specific area). The next finder, in her log, took the time to criticize me for expressing my opinion and said "If you don't like these challenges then just don't do them".

 

Apparently those who like challenges don't like hearing what is wrong with them. Hey, if you don't like hearing what is wrong with challenges, just ignore these comments.

But Groundspeak has a policy that cache logs shouldn't be used as forums. If you object to a particular type of challenge, then you're free to express your opinion on these forums. I won't try to stop you, although I might disagree with you if I consider your arguments to be weak. I hope that's okay with you.

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Within this home zone might be a find 20 caches with tree climbing attribute, 5 caches with boat attribute, completing the D/T grid 10 times, log caches in 15 European countries and three caches on three continents and three time zones on one day. It does get ridiculous, really! Where's the fun? It's mostly about 'I'm better than you and I fulfill this challenge, and that's why I created it in the first place'.

 

Am I right that you're exaggerating and that those Challenge Geocaches don't exist? Otherwise, please provide the GC codes, at least for the two bold ones, since such requirements are simply not realistic to reach ... For me, a serious discussion implies that we take only such listings as the basis for any argumentation that positively passed the review process.

 

I'll give you one of those right now: GC4DYTD (14 fizzy's :laughing: and yes the owner has completed the challenge himself)

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As long as "Challenge" caches focus on accomplishing something to be allowed to log them (ALR, anyone), they will fall under the "catch-all" type of Unknown/Mystery caches.

 

The game of geocaching is finding containers, logging on the logbook, and recording the find online. The cache types fall under this umbrella. As soon as you put "Challenge" caches into their own type, they are rendered closer to a Waymark than what Geocaching.com's listing service is intended to be.

 

At least that's my guess about why there is no specific icon on the horizon for "Challenge" caches, and no souvenir for them either.

 

A "Challenge" cache is a container with a logbook requiring that you jump through a hoop to be allowed to log a find. This is the one and only remaining ALR out there, and is only allowed because most have a rather clearly laid out set of requirements that fall under what TPTB have deemed "ok ALRs". It encourages using your stats or finding more caches, versus some ALRs like "To log a find, you must take a photo of yourself standing on your head while holding a banana next to the cache site." Perhaps fans of Challenge caches should just be thankful that they are allowed to exist at all under the slim grey area that keeps them from the trash bin of ALR history.

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I've actually seen a number of "Notes" on cache pages where people have found the cache and signed the log, but could not claim the smilie because they did not complete the challenge. This way everyone could play the game the way they want and not have to ignore a cache just because they did not find 100 caches in a day or some other such arbitrary requirement.

I keep wondering why it's such a chore for people to ignore caches that don't appeal to them. I do it all the time, and Groundspeak has implemented an "Ignore List" that makes it really easy for premium members.

I keep wondering why the answer when someone doesn't like a cache is that they should ignore them instead of presenting their objections.

I never said J Grouchy shouldn't present their objections. But once they did, I felt I could point out that there's an easy workaround to this particular objection. Discussions usually are encouraged on forums, and I'm okay with that.

 

I agree with Toz on this. Ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Even though you might not see what you're ignoring, it could still have a negative impact.

 

Consider power trails. Even if one ignores them so that they don't show up in a PQ or on a map (they're still going to show up on instant notifications unless GS implements a PT attribute), the power cacher mentality has made a significant impact on the game as a whole. It's changed logging habits, and even the very notion of what constitutes a find. It wouldn't matter if GS created a feature that would allow us to clap three times and have every challenge cache vanish from all our pocket queries, search results, and on the map page. The fact that they exist has changed how a large number of people play the game, to the point that this thread even exists: someone asking for a new geocaching type or challenges.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher

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What about challenge caches that are not at the posted coordinates? (Ones that require solving puzzles for the actual coordinates.)

 

Edit to Add: I think the current type (kind of "catch-all") works just well. (The challenge cache attribute is a good suggestion, though.)

Edited by kanchan

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I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I don't have (and likely never will have) a one-year geostreak. There are many challenges very close to my home that I can't claim...and yes, I have put them on the ignore list. I'd like to not have to ignore them and just go find them and have them count. It's not OCD or some obsession with smilie counts. I like to find geocaches. That's all. Why should my find count be limited by these weird rules some dude who caches every spare minute of every day created to show off his amazing statistical prowess?

I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I can't solve the puzzle to get the co-ords. There are many puzzle caches very close to my home that I can't claim...and yes, I have put them on the ignore list. I'd like to not have to ignore them and just go find them and have them count. It's not OCD or some obsession with smilie counts. I like to find geocaches. That's all. Why should my found count be limited by these weird rules some dude who creates 'impossible' puzzles to show off his amazing puzzle prowess?

 

Sounds like entitlement issues to me - "I can't (or won't) do the prerequisites for the cache, but I still deserve to find it. So change the rules so I can!"

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What about challenge caches that are not at the posted coordinates? (Ones that require solving puzzles for the actual coordinates.)
I think a new Challenge Cache type would work just fine for these caches too. The defining characteristic of a challenge cache is that you cannot post an online Find log unless you've completed the challenge requirements, even if you've found the physical cache and signed the physical log. Anything that complicates finding the physical cache (puzzles, multiple stages, whatever) is secondary to the requirement that you complete the challenge before posting an online Find log.

 

Of course, a Challenge Cache attribute would work just as well for premium members using PQs.

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Another issue with the challenge cache is the seemingly arbitrary and usually way over-inflated D/T ratings assigned to each one. If a cache is D5, I would expect it to be VERY hard to find, not just assemble a list of 100 caches from cemeteries. If the challenge cache is T5, one should expect something more challenging than driving to those 100 cemetery caches. Maybe that is why so many people like the Challenge caches, because of the inflated D/T ratings added to their stats.

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Consider power trails. Even if one ignores them so that they don't show up in a PQ or on a map (they're still going to show up on instant notifications unless GS implements a PT attribute), the power cacher mentality has made a significant impact on the game as a whole. It's changed logging habits, and even the very notion of what constitutes a find. It wouldn't matter if GS created a feature that would allow us to clap three times and have every challenge cache vanish from all our pocket queries, search results, and on the map page. The fact that they exist has changed how a large number of people play the game, to the point that this thread even exists: someone asking for a new geocaching type or challenges.

argh. Power trails and cachers who enjoy power trails are not themselves the problem. The problem is with cachers who likely already have an issue with accepted geocaching etiquette, and likely cause problems in other areas too (like respect for nature, or other owners' caches, or their own experience above other players').

One can most certainly still fully enjoy power trails and not hold to this 'power cacher mentality' implied to be so destructive.

 

Nonetheless, that's a different topic. Your point ultimately remains true enough: As people discover new ways to play, and as Groundspeak allows them, they - guess what - evolve the game! :P For better or for worse. Groundspeak decides what is "worse" and thus unacceptable (affected by guideline changes and/or grandfathered) in their game; sometimes these decisions are based on community feedback, sometimes based on their own ideals.

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Another issue with the challenge cache is the seemingly arbitrary and usually way over-inflated D/T ratings assigned to each one. If a cache is D5, I would expect it to be VERY hard to find, not just assemble a list of 100 caches from cemeteries. If the challenge cache is T5, one should expect something more challenging than driving to those 100 cemetery caches. Maybe that is why so many people like the Challenge caches, because of the inflated D/T ratings added to their stats.

 

That's a problem with the CO's judgement, not with the concept of challenge caches.

 

Generally speaking, Challenge cache difficulty is rated on the challenge itself or the cache if they think the hide is harder than the challenge, and sometimes the CO puts the other difficulty in the description. For terrain, I think older challenge caches used to take the challenge terrain into consideration, but more recent habit is to keep the Terrain related to the cache's individual hide, not qualifying caches'. For example, there are some very easy and old fizzy challenges rated up to 5/5, but the cache itself is definitely not. But these days they'd more likely be rated something like 4.5/1.5, even though you need 5 terrain caches to qualify. I believe that's better, since technically the task to find 5 terrain caches is part of the challenge, thus included in the chosen difficulty rating.

 

Heck it even gets localized in the sense that a fizzy challenge in an area populated by multiple caches of every DT may be rated far lower on its D than a remote challenge cache that one couldn't complete with lots of traveling and planning.

 

It's quite a dynamic concept that is definitely reliant on regional geocaching communities and density, and heavy on CO judgement calls.

But I wouldn't say that any problem is with "challenge caches" themselves.

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I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I don't have (and likely never will have) a one-year geostreak.[...]
I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" simply because I can't solve the puzzle to get the co-ords.[...]
How about focusing on issues that are unique to challenge caches. For example:

 

I just don't like to leave a perfectly good cache out there "unfound" when I've actually gone to the cache location, found the cache, and signed the log. There are many challenges very close to my home that I can't claim...and yes, I have put them on the ignore list. I'd like to not have to ignore them and just go find them and then log those finds online. It's not OCD or some obsession with smilie counts. I like to find geocaches and log those finds online. That's all. Why should my find count be inaccurate because of these weird rules some dude who caches every spare minute of every day created to show off his amazing statistical prowess?

 

 

Now the complaint is about a feature that is unique to challenge caches, and not about something that applies equally to puzzle caches, or to high terrain caches, or to well-camouflaged caches, or to any other non-challenge caches.

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Those who don't enjoy caching for numbers don't have to do so.

 

But we get forced into the numbers game even though we don't want to. COs don't have the option not to have their cache used for a challenge.

 

Seriously? I agree with most of your comments on this subject, but I think that it's rather silly that one might feel offended because their cache may have been used to qualify for a challenge. For quite some time, I had the only qualifying cache in a remote quad of the LA County Quadrangle Challenge. I was happy that people were going up on the mountain to find it, and most of them were happy to take in the view.

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Those who don't enjoy caching for numbers don't have to do so.

 

But we get forced into the numbers game even though we don't want to. COs don't have the option not to have their cache used for a challenge.

 

Seriously? I agree with most of your comments on this subject, but I think that it's rather silly that one might feel offended because their cache may have been used to qualify for a challenge. For quite some time, I had the only qualifying cache in a remote quad of the LA County Quadrangle Challenge. I was happy that people were going up on the mountain to find it, and most of them were happy to take in the view.

 

No, I must say I don't mind people using our caches for a challenge. Normally people don't unnecessary comments on that cache either. (if your remotely placed earthcache gets overrun by a powertrail and hardly anyone looks at your logging tasks, that's something different!)

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I'll give you one of those right now: GC4DYTD (14 fizzy's :laughing: and yes the owner has completed the challenge himself)

 

Jeeez! I wouldn't have approved that one. How does it go along with this excerpt from the guidelines "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." ?

 

I then understand very well why some geocachers don't like Challenge Geocaches but this one above seems to be an exception ... There are simply great Challenges (that show you nice places, let you do enjoyable activities, or anything positive like that) and there are - ehm - rather unusual Challenge Geocaches that let me personally come to the conclusion that some GCOs might only want to brag with their achievements. But all this doesn't have to do with the idea of giving them their own (sub-)category and icon in the end. We should differentiate here.

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Not sure I like being quoted from an old thread. I may have changed my mind.

 

I shudder at the long glowing logs and favorite points that some challenges get.

 

Maybe I'm an elitist, but I like to think that I enjoy caches that the majority of geocachers have no interest in. I particularly like long hikes with only a few caches to find along the way. We have a couple of challenges here that were presumably put out by like-minded geocachers as a way to get people to take more hikes and enjoy our local mountains.

 

Frankly, I'm a bit annoyed that numbers cachers who are more likely to be out on a power-trail are now competing to complete these challenges. Instead of taking many long hikes, they arrange group hikes with car shuttles to let them cover more ground and find all the required caches in fewer than a dozen weekends. What's more is that there are now caches on this trail every .1 miles (where caches can be placed), including in remote sections where you used to have to hike all day for one cache. And while there used to be mix of regular and small caches with different styles, now 90% of the caches are pill bottles under a pile of rocks.

 

Sure the finders of the challenge write long found logs about how much fun they had on the trail. Compared to the powertrails and urban parking lots these cachers are used to finding, hiking and getting out in nature is going to be a lot more interesting. And I don't begrudge that some of them may even be surprised that they were actually able to put out the physical effort of these hikes.

 

In the old days, I would have written a long log and almost certainly given a favorite point to that lone cache I took all day to hike to. Now, I'm not sure which cache is the original hide. In all likelihood what I'm finding is a throw-down replacement left by one of the cachers who passed here for the challenge cache. In fact the rules for this challenge tend to encourage people to leave throw-downs so they won't have to come back. Pity the poor traditional hider who doesn't want to allow throw-downs; he would be ripped apart in the local forums for interfering with people being able to have the "fun" of completing the challenge.

 

So it may be that others like challenges and that challenges encourage people to try caches they might not otherwise try, but some challenges also have an effect on the people who might prefer a slower paced game.

 

 

I suspect that so long as challenges have enough restrictions and reviewers are willing to enforce them, we won't have people creating silly challenges just to get an icon. The challenge I referred to above would likely not be published under the current guidelines (though I'm not sure because I've seen others get published that are a bit less difficult to complete but which have similar problems).

 

As it stands now both people who like challenges but don't like puzzles, and people who like puzzle but don't like challenges suffer from them being lumped together. Of course there will always be the other caches that are listed as Unknown, just because this this the catchall for things that aren't traditional or traditional/multi. I'm not sure if the challenges should get the icon or if puzzles (meaning the cache is not at the coordinates) should get the icon. And there is a question of what to do with challenges that are not at the posted coordinates (because there is a puzzle in addition to the challenge, or because it's a grandfathered Delorme challenge where you have to email the owner for the coordinates).

 

Toz, I agree that the challenge you are referring to would not be listed today, simply because it relies on a specific list, however, I have to to take issue with you that the rules of the challenge encourages throwdowns. The Challenge description explicitly states:

Unfortunately, throwdowns are inevitably because of our new breed of cachers. When this challenge was created, the idea was to get people to hike the 63 mile trail through our local mountain range, and for the first number of years, that is is exactly what it accomplished. The fact that the pill bottle cachers showed up and filled every single spot, and is likely to fill it again instead of posting a DNF, is a much bigger issue. It's a mentality that none of us ever could have anticipated, and it extends far beyond this particular trail or the related challenge.

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Jeeez! I wouldn't have approved that one. How does it go along with this excerpt from the guidelines "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." ?

 

 

Not always. There are many trails out with a bonus on the end as last cache when you have accomplished the entire trail or the entire puzzle series. The bonus is a challenge cache. At the moment when a trail+bonus is published, no one has done the trail yet and zero cachers (including the cache owner!) have done the challenge.

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If you do not like them, fine, but others do.

That's not really an argument in favor of keeping them.

After all, some folks like the idea of having event power trails.

Just because some folks like something, doesn't mean it should stay.

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Jeeez! I wouldn't have approved that one. How does it go along with this excerpt from the guidelines "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." ?

Not always. There are many trails out with a bonus on the end as last cache when you have accomplished the entire trail or the entire puzzle series. The bonus is a challenge cache. At the moment when a trail+bonus is published, no one has done the trail yet and zero cachers (including the cache owner!) have done the challenge.

 

Yep. We have one of those, a really popular trail in Ontario where originally there was one (now very old) 5/5 that required an enormous hike and adventure.

And then a powertrail showed up...

And then a challenge cache was posted at the very end, specifically one you'd qualify to find after completing about 95% of the powertrail (minimum DT stars in a day), though the challenge is still doable by other means on other dates.

 

The trail series is now archived... but this is what Lingham Lake's series in Ontario was:

 

Ai867oP.jpg

 

And this is how the region looks now: (back, mostly, to the way it was originally)

 

DVdzEOP.png

 

That's a whole lot of hiking for one challenge cache (which can still be accomplished apart from the Lingham series)... :P

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I'll give you one of those right now: GC4DYTD (14 fizzy's :laughing: and yes the owner has completed the challenge himself)

Jeeez! I wouldn't have approved that one. How does it go along with this excerpt from the guidelines "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." ?

 

I then understand very well why some geocachers don't like Challenge Geocaches but this one above seems to be an exception ... There are simply great Challenges (that show you nice places, let you do enjoyable activities, or anything positive like that) and there are - ehm - rather unusual Challenge Geocaches that let me personally come to the conclusion that some GCOs might only want to brag with their achievements. But all this doesn't have to do with the idea of giving them their own (sub-)category and icon in the end. We should differentiate here.

I had a similar reaction when I first saw this challenge. But if the owner simply wanted to brag about their achievements, then they could have submitted a 29 x Fizzy challenge instead of a 14 x Fizzy. (Of course, that one might not have been published.)

 

So why pick 14? One reasonably nearby geocacher who posted a note to that challenge has completed 11 Fizzies. If the CO was aware of that accomplishment, then perhaps he created a 14 x Fizzy as a bit of a motivating challenge for that geocacher.

 

I also did a quick check of the 10 highest-finds Ontario geocachers and learned that one of them has completed 8 Fizzies. It could be that the Ontario area has a good number of geocachers who like to do multiple Fizzies. (Or maybe the region has an abundance of caches with inflated D/T ratings.) In any case, I'm not at all sure the Volunteer Reviewer erred when they published this challenge.

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