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Should challange caches that are currently impossible be allowed?


TheGrey
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But the reason (too difficult to travel a lot) seems to indicate that a reasonable number of geocachers in the Netherlands would be unable to attain the challenge. As I read it (via Google Translate), it's not because the proposed challenge specifically excluded geocachers who "rarely travel." My understanding is that there are many geocachers in Germany who frequently travel. Thus a Jasmer challenge located in Germany might be completed by a reasonable number of geocachers, while a Jasmer challenge located in the Netherlands might be less likely to meet that requirement.

 

I do not buy that argument - Cologne is not that far from the Netherlands. Rather it depends extremely on the reviewer in charge.

Appealing to a resasonable number means different things to different people.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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But unlike traditional caches, challenges have restrictions that they not only appeal to but are attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers. I suspect that ultimately, reviewers will be told not to publish challenges that cannot be attained by a significant segment of geocachers. But since travel types of challenge are likely going to remain popular among a certain segment of geocachers there many be special guidelines that allow them in some instances.

It's unclear to me what you mean by "a significant segment of geocachers." Does this differ from the current restriction regarding "a reasonable number of geocachers?" I think reviewers already have been told not to publish challenges that cannot be attained by a reasonable number of geocachers.

It seems to me that you would like "a resonable number of geocachers" to be a fairly small number. If difficult challenges are to be a allowed it is clear they will have a small number of finders. I am proposing turning the guideline around and looking at who is excluded from the challenge. Now it is clear that overwhelming majority of geocachers will not complete any specific challenge. One could argure that if time an money were no object (or physical ability for some challenges), that anyone could conceivably do the challenge. I believe that when the number of geocacher who are excluded from a challenge because they are unable to travel that much or are physically incapable of finding some high terraing cache becomes significant, that is when the reviewers should start to consider not allowing the challenge. I am not sure what a significant number is any more than I am of what a reasonable number is, but I believe that the issue should not be how many could do a challenge but how many are excluded. The exclusion criteria, I believe, would be easier to estimate and to understand.

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If you're saying that the guidelines forbid challenge caches from excluding geocachers who "rarely travel," then I think you're taking a much stricter view of that guideline than most Volunteer Reviewers. They continue to publish challenge caches that require extensive travel, such as this recent Jasmer challenge located in Germany.

However, one of the loggers reported that he got rejected a similar cache in the Netherlands some time before and that even a an appeal did not help.

But the reason (too difficult to travel a lot) seems to indicate that a reasonable number of geocachers in the Netherlands would be unable to attain the challenge. As I read it (via Google Translate), it's not because the proposed challenge specifically excluded geocachers who "rarely travel." My understanding is that there are many geocachers in Germany who frequently travel. Thus a Jasmer challenge located in Germany might be completed by a reasonable number of geocachers, while a Jasmer challenge located in the Netherlands might be less likely to meet that requirement.

I do not buy that argument - Cologne is not that far from the Netherlands. Rather it depends extremely on the reviewer in charge.

Appealing to a resasonable number means different things to different people.

I agree that the Dutch Jasmer challenge also might have been refused publication because the Dutch reviewer had a different view about what constitutes a "reasonable" number of people. (The denied Groundspeak Appeal, however, makes this explanation less likely.)

 

My main point remains that the reason does not appear to be that the proposed Dutch Jasmer challenge specifically excludes the specific segment of geocachers who "rarely travel."

Edited by CanadianRockies
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I think reviewers already have been told not to publish challenges that cannot be attained by a reasonable number of geocachers.

 

That, by itself, doesn't provide a good criteria for whether or not a challenge should be published.

 

Can a reasonable number of geocachers find a cache every day for 3 months? Absolutely. If a challenge cache is submitted at a specific location, the question should really be whether or not a reasonable number of geocachers within some reasonable distance to the challenge cache can meet the criteria. Thus, a challenge cache placed in a cache dense area which requires one to find a cache every day for three months would make sense but I would expect a reviewer to reject a challenge cache placed in, for example, Peru, since very few, if any people within a reasonable distance to that cache would ever be able to meet the criteria.

 

 

 

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They do not say the challenge must be reasonably attainable by a geocacher who "rarely travels."

They do say that a challenge geocache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers. It isn't clear that requiring travel is considered "specifically" excluding cachers who cannot [afford to] travel, but I suspect that this might be taken into consideration. There is clearly going to be some leeway. I don't think Groundspeak wants to forbid all challenges that require travel, or challenge that might require finding high terrain caches that may be out of reach of a segment of geocachers. But unlike traditional caches, challenges have restrictions that they not only appeal to but are attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers. I suspect that ultimately, reviewers will be told not to publish challenges that cannot be attained by a significant segment of geocachers. But since travel types of challenge are likely going to remain popular among a certain segment of geocachers there many be special guidelines that allow them in some instances.

I have yet to see a Jasmer Challenge "specifically exclude" anyone. If someone can't travel much, they are excluding themselves. The "specifically exclude" wording was so CO's couldn't say "men only" or "women only" or "straights only" or "christian only" as requirments for the cache. By saying "Do this" (such as a Jasmer) does not "specifically exclude" anyone.

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They do not say the challenge must be reasonably attainable by a geocacher who "rarely travels."

They do say that a challenge geocache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers. It isn't clear that requiring travel is considered "specifically" excluding cachers who cannot [afford to] travel, but I suspect that this might be taken into consideration. There is clearly going to be some leeway. I don't think Groundspeak wants to forbid all challenges that require travel, or challenge that might require finding high terrain caches that may be out of reach of a segment of geocachers. But unlike traditional caches, challenges have restrictions that they not only appeal to but are attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers. I suspect that ultimately, reviewers will be told not to publish challenges that cannot be attained by a significant segment of geocachers. But since travel types of challenge are likely going to remain popular among a certain segment of geocachers there many be special guidelines that allow them in some instances.

I have yet to see a Jasmer Challenge "specifically exclude" anyone. If someone can't travel much, they are excluding themselves. The "specifically exclude" wording was so CO's couldn't say "men only" or "women only" or "straights only" or "christian only" as requirments for the cache. By saying "Do this" (such as a Jasmer) does not "specifically exclude" anyone.

The current guidelines do say "A challenge geocache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers." (highlight added). I don't think that means explicitly excludes, but it does likely mean Jasper challenges or a challenge to find caches in 10 countries is not going to automatically refused. An example that would not get published would be "have 100 multi-caches found in 2011" because that would specifically exclude cachers who started after 2011.

 

What I am arguing for is a small change in the interpretation. Already challenges must avoid undue restrictions such as being restricted to specific caches or to caches found before or after specific dates. In addition challenges are supposed to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Those people who like the idea of a 3x Jasper challenge, or a 14x fizzy challenges, or of finding caches in 10 different countries over two days, like to argue that a reasonable number is one. IMO, they are missing the point of having restriction on challenges in the first place. Challenges (like any other ALR) work best when the requirement is simple and has broad appeal. There is room for some variability in difficulty. Not every challenge needs to be so easy to achieve that anyone can do it. But as difficulty increases the appeal goes down and in particular when you require extensive and expensive travel, it is no longer a choice to exclude oneself, but actually excluding a specific segment of geocachers.

 

Of course there will always be a few cachers who may claim that any requirement that they don't already meet (or expect to meet soon) is excluding them. There has to be some discretion on the part of the reviewer to decide what restrictions are unreasonably burdensome. But I certainly would think that if you don't have the caches needed for a Jasper challenge reasonable close by it make sense for the reviewer to deny this cache. On other hand visiting a certain number of countries or states may be reasonable even though it requires travel, so long at there is not a time restriction on the travel. When you start limiting the number of days for travel the reviewer ought to be able look and see if there are reasonable number of states or countries that you could get to without expensive or burdensome travel.

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The bottom line is that I can only pity someone that hides a cache that cannot be found, no matter how or why they did it. While I appreciate the fact that reviewers have some weapons to shoot down challenges that are just wrong -- challenges designed to exclude anyone that didn't find lots of caches in 2011, for example, or designed to include only those that found caches by a CO that no longer owns any caches -- I'm not worried about the fact that we can imagine impossible challenges that still meet the guidelines or predate the guidelines. Yeah, it's too bad that a stupid challenge will exist, but no more of a tragedy than any other bad cache.

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The relatively possibility of completing any challenge cache depends on the location of the challenge cache and the available caches within a reasonable travel distance. Someone that lives in the U.S. and rarely travels would find a challenge which requires someone to find caches in 10 different countries nearly impossible, but someone living in Europe could meet the criteria in a week. Placing a challenge cache with that criteria in many areas in Europe would be quite reasonable.

 

Perfect example here. This challenge was published in September 2012 and has been found all of twice, once by me (I qualified when I lived in Germany) and once by a German cacher. If this was hidden in Germaany, it likely would have had hundreds of finds by now.

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What I am arguing for is a small change in the interpretation. Already challenges must avoid undue restrictions such as being restricted to specific caches or to caches found before or after specific dates. In addition challenges are supposed to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Those people who like the idea of a 3x Jasper challenge, or a 14x fizzy challenges, or of finding caches in 10 different countries over two days, like to argue that a reasonable number is one. IMO, they are missing the point of having restriction on challenges in the first place. Challenges (like any other ALR) work best when the requirement is simple and has broad appeal. There is room for some variability in difficulty. Not every challenge needs to be so easy to achieve that anyone can do it. But as difficulty increases the appeal goes down and in particular when you require extensive and expensive travel, it is no longer a choice to exclude oneself, but actually excluding a specific segment of geocachers.

And that's a slippery slope. Implied exclusions are probalbly as hard to judge as "wow" requirements. Already we are seeing arguements about what a "reasonable number" is. Many Challenges inspire a cacher to try for something that isn't 'normal' for them - it took quite a while (years) for me to get to all parts of the state for the Delorme Challenge - so does a "reasonable number" also include "reasonable timeframe"?

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The relatively possibility of completing any challenge cache depends on the location of the challenge cache and the available caches within a reasonable travel distance. Someone that lives in the U.S. and rarely travels would find a challenge which requires someone to find caches in 10 different countries nearly impossible, but someone living in Europe could meet the criteria in a week. Placing a challenge cache with that criteria in many areas in Europe would be quite reasonable.

 

Perfect example here. This challenge was published in September 2012 and has been found all of twice, once by me (I qualified when I lived in Germany) and once by a German cacher. If this was hidden in Germaany, it likely would have had hundreds of finds by now.

 

Actually, the cache has only been FOUND once. The second logger never actually got his hands on the cache. He simply was near the cache, had completed the requirements to meet the challenge, and was allowed to log it as found by the CO. There is another active thread regarding challenge cache icon/attribute where it was suggested that Challenge caches become an achievement, a souvenir, rather than a physical cache to be found.

 

I'm not going to argue whether or not the CO should have allowed the second cacher to log the cache. That's his/her business entirely. The question this raises, for me, is- Which is more important for a challenge cache: completing the challenge or finding the cache?

 

For me personally, I hold myself to a strict policy of not logging any FINDS that don't have my signature on a log. To be fair, I haven't attempted any challenge caches, but if I did, the important part would be the actual finding of the cache, not just measuring whether or not I'd completed the requirements.

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If we're going to allow caches that are impossible to remain listed why do we bother archiving caches that have disappeared? Shouldn't we just accept that "not every geocache is possible" and that the box going missing four years ago is merely this cache's way of "not being possible"?

 

There is an essential difference between a cache where the container cannot be found any longer and a challenge cache where not all necessary components are still available, but the cache itself is in perfect condition.

Some cachers might have worked on completed the challenge for months and even years and might have already fulfilled the parts that are not any longer fulfillable. They would be punished by archiving the cache and changing the requirements is also not the best solution in all cases (it might make the challenge easier for example). If no equivalent requirements can be found, it should be ok to leave a challenge active for a reasonable amount of time if there are cachers working on it.

 

Cezanne

 

I think every cache should be possible. It might not be possible for every individual to complete but it should be possible for at least some people to get to it.
Well, in the case of the challenge cache in question, it is still possible.

 

It may not be possible for new people who haven't already found a cache that meets the Q requirement (or U requirement, or whatever the "missing letter" is). So as long as there are people who have found a "missing letter" cache, but haven't found the challenge cache yet, I think the challenge cache still has play left in it.

 

Sure, a new challenge cache couldn't be listed with the same requirements, but we're not talking about listing a new challenge cache. We're talking about an existing challenge cache that some people may still be working on, that IMHO should be left alone so those people have a chance to complete the requirements and find the challenge cache.

 

Personally I think challenge caches already have too many special rules attached.

 

The simple rule always used to be "if you sign the log, it's a find" with no ifs, no buts, no exceptions. Now we've got caches where you can find them and sign the log but it doesn't count as a find because you didn't find a cache that began with Q before finding the cache.

 

It's all well and good saying that people might have found the qualifying caches but how long would you propose to leave a cache that is impossible to new entrants? Would a cache that said "if you created your geocaching account on or after 1 Jan 2013 you're not eligible to find this cache" be accepted? If not, why are caches that can no longer be completed from scratch allowed?

 

If you have to find a cache beginning with each letter of the alphabet, maybe someone who found a Q-cache but who only finds one cache every six months will complete it over the course of the next 12 years. Should it be kept in place, just to make sure they aren't "punished"? It's no more a "punishment" than finding all the caches in a series but not getting to the bonus before it was archived.

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There has to be some discretion on the part of the reviewer to decide what restrictions are unreasonably burdensome.

There is: "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." From what I've seen, the reviewers interpret "attainable" to mean "reasonably attainable" rather than "theoretically attainable." I probably could get a challenge cache published that requires people to find caches in 10 countries. I probably couldn't get one published that requires finds in 100 countries, even though it's theoretically attainable.

 

But I certainly would think that if you don't have the caches needed for a Jasper challenge reasonable close by it make sense for the reviewer to deny this cache.

What the guidelines don't require is that a challenge cache be easy to accomplish. The Jasmer challenge is difficult, but it certainly is reasonably attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers in many areas of North America (and even in some areas overseas where many geocachers frequently travel). Our city has a Jasmer challenge, and I think it made sense for the reviewer to publish it. Several locals have already found it, and numerous others are actively working on it.

 

On other hand visiting a certain number of countries or states may be reasonable even though it requires travel, so long at there is not a time restriction on the travel. When you start limiting the number of days for travel the reviewer ought to be able look and see if there are reasonable number of states or countries that you could get to without expensive or burdensome travel.

There's a challenge cache in Georgia that requires finding six different cache types in one day, each in a different state. If I was in the right area, I certainly would consider taking on such a challenge. Would it be difficult? Yes. But it would be a self-imposed "burden" that I'd probably enjoy. What seems "burdensome" to you might seem "inspirational and enjoyable" to others. Like many other geocachers, I prefer challenges that I have to go out of my way to accomplish (e.g., Jasmer) versus challenges that I just need to scan my list of existing finds (e.g., find 100 caches with animals in their titles).

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Would a cache that said "if you created your geocaching account on or after 1 Jan 2013 you're not eligible to find this cache" be accepted? If not, why are caches that can no longer be completed from scratch allowed?

Because there might be some people who currently are working on the challenge and can complete it. Why shouldn't they be allowed to complete it?

 

If you have to find a cache beginning with each letter of the alphabet, maybe someone who found a Q-cache but who only finds one cache every six months will complete it over the course of the next 12 years. Should it be kept in place, just to make sure they aren't "punished"? It's no more a "punishment" than finding all the caches in a series but not getting to the bonus before it was archived.

Nobody is suggesting that the cache owner cannot archive the challenge cache (just like they could archive a series' bonus cache). But some of us are suggesting that it would be courteous to continue the challenge cache for a reasonable period of time, unless there's a more compelling reason to archive it quickly.

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Personally I think challenge caches already have too many special rules attached.

 

The simple rule always used to be "if you sign the log, it's a find" with no ifs, no buts, no exceptions. Now we've got caches where you can find them and sign the log but it doesn't count as a find because you didn't find a cache that began with Q before finding the cache.

 

While I'm not a fan of most challenge caches this does not bother me that much.

I have signed quite a number of log books for normal caches, but have not logged them as a find because I needed help to get the log book.

 

What is much more of an issue for me is that challenge caches change the geocaching and logging habits (as badge systems and powertrails do).

 

For example, if people want to find 9 cache types on a day, most of them write annoyingly short logs for all the caches they find on that day regardless

of the cache. Some rare caches (rare cache type, rare D/T combination etc) all of a sudden may mainly get logs from people doing these caches just for the purpose of a challenge

and that's quite frustrating for the cache hiders.

 

In the case of a missing Q cache, I do not see any issue if the new entrants into the game ignore the challenge and allow others to finish it in the original manner. I do not need to log a found it for every

cache.

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What I am arguing for is a small change in the interpretation. Already challenges must avoid undue restrictions such as being restricted to specific caches or to caches found before or after specific dates. In addition challenges are supposed to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Those people who like the idea of a 3x Jasper challenge, or a 14x fizzy challenges, or of finding caches in 10 different countries over two days, like to argue that a reasonable number is one. IMO, they are missing the point of having restriction on challenges in the first place. Challenges (like any other ALR) work best when the requirement is simple and has broad appeal. There is room for some variability in difficulty. Not every challenge needs to be so easy to achieve that anyone can do it. But as difficulty increases the appeal goes down and in particular when you require extensive and expensive travel, it is no longer a choice to exclude oneself, but actually excluding a specific segment of geocachers.

And that's a slippery slope. Implied exclusions are probalbly as hard to judge as "wow" requirements. Already we are seeing arguements about what a "reasonable number" is. Many Challenges inspire a cacher to try for something that isn't 'normal' for them - it took quite a while (years) for me to get to all parts of the state for the Delorme Challenge - so does a "reasonable number" also include "reasonable timeframe"?

That's the rub. Nobody knows what a reasonable number is. Unlike a traditional cache, challenges are and exception to the ALR rule. The rationale for the banning of ALRs in the first place was that, although there were ALRs that were fun to do and added to the enjoyment of finding the cache, people were creating ALRs that were simply meant to be burdesome. A decision was made to ban all ALRs because it was too difficult to give the reviewers guidelines that easily separated out fun and worthwhile ALRs from burdensome ones. However, TPTB also exempted geocaching related challenges because someone felt these were fun and not overly burdensome. Soon it became clear that some individuals were creating challenges that were just so complicated and burdensome that they were no longer any fun. Guidelines were added to restrict what could be submitted as challenges.

 

What is clear is that despite the new guidelines there are people who still want to submitted challenges that are every more complicate, difficult, and burdensome to meet. Distinguishing between burdensome and difficult is not an easy task, and may in fact amount to a "wow" requirement. I would argue that if you really want challenges to remain an option, you should accept that guidelines will continue to be tightened and the definition of burdensome will change. This will probably result in some kinds of challenges no longer being published and that might include some seemingly popular types of challenges like Jaspser challenges and Fizzy challenges.

 

I'm simply aguing that requiring extensive and expensive travel is a burden to a large segment of the geocahing public. I don't doubt that some people who like to travel and have the budget and time to do so, love the idea of a challenge that requires them to travel. I also understand that the original idea of the Delorme challege was to get people out of the local are and explore their state or nearby areas to find caches. Some amount of travel does seem reasonable and I am not sure how much that is. But I do believe that challenges requiring extensive travel should be limited.

 

There has to be some discretion on the part of the reviewer to decide what restrictions are unreasonably burdensome.

There is: "A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers." From what I've seen, the reviewers interpret "attainable" to mean "reasonably attainable" rather than "theoretically attainable." I probably could get a challenge cache published that requires people to find caches in 10 countries. I probably couldn't get one published that requires finds in 100 countries, even though it's theoretically attainable.

Agreed that guidelines are written to give leeway. However terms like 'reasonable' and 'wow' are difficult for reviewers to apply. Understanding of the the underlying rationale for the guidelines is helpful in making judgement calls. I believe the issue is that it's fairly easy to create a challenge that is so complicated or burdensome that it's a turn off to many geocachers. You might be able to find a few people who have done the challenge or could do it, but if this it becomes too 'exclusive' then it may be that it doesn't pass the test for being allowed as an ALR.

 

But I certainly would think that if you don't have the caches needed for a Jasper challenge reasonable close by it make sense for the reviewer to deny this cache.

What the guidelines don't require is that a challenge cache be easy to accomplish. The Jasmer challenge is difficult, but it certainly is reasonably attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers in many areas of North America (and even in some areas overseas where many geocachers frequently travel). Our city has a Jasmer challenge, and I think it made sense for the reviewer to publish it. Several locals have already found it, and numerous others are actively working on it.

It isn't easy to distinguish between difficult and unduly burdensome. I expect that some popular challenges that a few people would really enjoy might not get published with tighter guidelines. If existing Jasper challenges and other difficult challenges are grandfather there will still be an opportunity for those who want to find them, the just might have to travel to find the final cache. :mellow:

 

On other hand visiting a certain number of countries or states may be reasonable even though it requires travel, so long at there is not a time restriction on the travel. When you start limiting the number of days for travel the reviewer ought to be able look and see if there are reasonable number of states or countries that you could get to without expensive or burdensome travel.

There's a challenge cache in Georgia that requires finding six different cache types in one day, each in a different state. If I was in the right area, I certainly would consider taking on such a challenge. Would it be difficult? Yes. But it would be a self-imposed "burden" that I'd probably enjoy. What seems "burdensome" to you might seem "inspirational and enjoyable" to others. Like many other geocachers, I prefer challenges that I have to go out of my way to accomplish (e.g., Jasmer) versus challenges that I just need to scan my list of existing finds (e.g., find 100 caches with animals in their titles).

Difficult challenges will certainly appeal to some cachers. If challenges are too easy to achieve then why have them at all. You can certainly argue that what seems budensome to one cacher may be a difficult challenge that inspires another cacher to try something different. In this case, perhaps Grounspeak should not have restriction on challenges (or even on ALRs).

 

Heck, when ALRs were allowed as Unknown caches, the argument was that if you didn't like the challenge then you could skip that cache. Nobody was forced to do an ALR. But TPTB found that all that did was result in crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. So they banned all ALRs except for challenges. Then they found that people were creating crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. Some might be able to accomplish this due to the large numbers of caches they have found, but nobody was going to be inspired to try something different. TPTB put restrictions on challenges. IMO, the current guidelines may in fact provide reviewers with the tools they need to prevent silly crappy challenges from being published. The issue is that the guidelines are so open to interpretation that the community has no clear idea of what is allowed. Crappy silly challenges are no doubt still submitted. Some are even published. And there is also little doubt that challenges that some people might find reasonable are going to get denied because of the guidelines. I think the difference in opinion is whether it's better to be more restrictive and toss out some challenges that appeal to a small but "reasonable" number of cachers, or to be less restrictive and be stuck with crappy, silly, and unnecessarily burdensome challenges.

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Nobody is suggesting that the cache owner cannot archive the challenge cache (just like they could archive a series' bonus cache). But some of us are suggesting that it would be courteous to continue the challenge cache for a reasonable period of time, unless there's a more compelling reason to archive it quickly.
Exactly. There was a series around here (several traditional caches plus a bonus mystery/puzzle cache) where the CO could no longer maintain some of the caches in the series. But he kept the bonus cache active for a reasonable period of time (months, IIRC) after the first traditional cache was archived.

 

I think that approach is much more reasonable than archiving the bonus cache as soon as any of the traditional caches is archived. Likewise, I think challenge caches should be left active for a reasonable period of time after they become impossible for new users to complete.

 

Not everyone cranks out the requirements for a challenge cache over a long weekend. There's one that I've been working on for more than seven years, and it's going to take me at least a few more years to complete.

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Heck, when ALRs were allowed as Unknown caches, the argument was that if you didn't like the challenge then you could skip that cache. Nobody was forced to do an ALR. But TPTB found that all that did was result in crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. So they banned all ALRs except for challenges.

We can't be sure why TPTB banned non-challenge ALRs, but my own guess is that Groundspeak got tired of mediating when cache owners deleted some find logs. Most challenge cache requirements are fairly black-and-white, so Groundspeak probably does much less mediating these days.

 

Then they found that people were creating crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. Some might be able to accomplish this due to the large numbers of caches they have found, but nobody was going to be inspired to try something different. TPTB put restrictions on challenges. IMO, the current guidelines may in fact provide reviewers with the tools they need to prevent silly crappy challenges from being published. The issue is that the guidelines are so open to interpretation that the community has no clear idea of what is allowed. Crappy silly challenges are no doubt still submitted.

But probably far fewer of them are submitted.

 

Some are even published.

Almost certainly far fewer.

 

And there is also little doubt that challenges that some people might find reasonable are going to get denied because of the guidelines.

Yes, because, like many other Groundspeak guidelines, the challenge guidelines require human judgment rather than a computer program.

 

I think the difference in opinion is whether it's better to be more restrictive and toss out some challenges that appeal to a small but "reasonable" number of cachers, or to be less restrictive and be stuck with crappy, silly, and unnecessarily burdensome challenges.

There's a third choice. You can keep the challenge cache restrictions about the same. This would permit people the option to create reasonably difficult challenges and still allow reviewers to not publish those that don't appeal to or aren't attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers.

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Would a cache that said "if you created your geocaching account on or after 1 Jan 2013 you're not eligible to find this cache" be accepted? If not, why are caches that can no longer be completed from scratch allowed?

Because there might be some people who currently are working on the challenge and can complete it. Why shouldn't they be allowed to complete it?

 

The eternal question is how long they should be allowed to complete it. You could say the same about all sorts of "series with bonus" type caches where if some of the series disappear the bonus could still be found by someone who had found the individual ones. There was a series I enjoyed doing that involved a lot of individual caches that had clues, and based on combinations of the clues a series of bonus caches could be found. Some of them got archived before I had chance to finish them. It happens. We can only reserve an area for so long for the benefit of theoretical cachers who may or may not even be out there.

 

If you have to find a cache beginning with each letter of the alphabet, maybe someone who found a Q-cache but who only finds one cache every six months will complete it over the course of the next 12 years. Should it be kept in place, just to make sure they aren't "punished"? It's no more a "punishment" than finding all the caches in a series but not getting to the bonus before it was archived.

Nobody is suggesting that the cache owner cannot archive the challenge cache (just like they could archive a series' bonus cache). But some of us are suggesting that it would be courteous to continue the challenge cache for a reasonable period of time, unless there's a more compelling reason to archive it quickly.

 

How would you define a "reasonable period of time"?

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Personally I think challenge caches already have too many special rules attached.

 

The simple rule always used to be "if you sign the log, it's a find" with no ifs, no buts, no exceptions. Now we've got caches where you can find them and sign the log but it doesn't count as a find because you didn't find a cache that began with Q before finding the cache.

 

While I'm not a fan of most challenge caches this does not bother me that much.

I have signed quite a number of log books for normal caches, but have not logged them as a find because I needed help to get the log book.

 

What is much more of an issue for me is that challenge caches change the geocaching and logging habits (as badge systems and powertrails do).

 

For example, if people want to find 9 cache types on a day, most of them write annoyingly short logs for all the caches they find on that day regardless

of the cache. Some rare caches (rare cache type, rare D/T combination etc) all of a sudden may mainly get logs from people doing these caches just for the purpose of a challenge

and that's quite frustrating for the cache hiders.

 

In the case of a missing Q cache, I do not see any issue if the new entrants into the game ignore the challenge and allow others to finish it in the original manner. I do not need to log a found it for every

cache.

 

You make some good points here. Perhaps if the challenge that is no longer possible for new starters to ever finish is to be preserved it should have the cache page updated to clearly indicate the fact. This might also be a useful new attribute as well, for challenge caches that aren't possible if you're just starting them.

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Nobody is suggesting that the cache owner cannot archive the challenge cache (just like they could archive a series' bonus cache). But some of us are suggesting that it would be courteous to continue the challenge cache for a reasonable period of time, unless there's a more compelling reason to archive it quickly.

How would you define a "reasonable period of time"?

It depends. Does someone have a good reason to place a new cache near the challenge cache's location? If so, then maybe archive it quicker. Does it probably require lots of time to complete the challenge cache's requirements? If so, then maybe delay the archiving longer. Etc. Etc.

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Heck, when ALRs were allowed as Unknown caches, the argument was that if you didn't like the challenge then you could skip that cache. Nobody was forced to do an ALR. But TPTB found that all that did was result in crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. So they banned all ALRs except for challenges.

We can't be sure why TPTB banned non-challenge ALRs, but my own guess is that Groundspeak got tired of mediating when cache owners deleted some find logs. Most challenge cache requirements are fairly black-and-white, so Groundspeak probably does much less mediating these days.

I will agree that I have not seen the abuse with challenges that I saw with a few ALR caches. In fact, I've seen places where the challenge wasn't entirely clear where the cache owner allowed find that probably did not meet what the original intent

Then they found that people were creating crappy silly challenges that nobody wanted to do. Some might be able to accomplish this due to the large numbers of caches they have found, but nobody was going to be inspired to try something different. TPTB put restrictions on challenges. IMO, the current guidelines may in fact provide reviewers with the tools they need to prevent silly crappy challenges from being published. The issue is that the guidelines are so open to interpretation that the community has no clear idea of what is allowed. Crappy silly challenges are no doubt still submitted.

But probably far fewer of them are submitted.

Given the number of forum post of people who've had a challenged denied or had a reviewer provide them with names of geocachers in their are who had already accomplished a challenge, I say that many are being submit. Also given that the challenge guideline are some hidden, requiring a few extra clicks to get to beyond the regular guidelines, my guess is that many people submit challenge without ever reading the guidelines.

Some are even published.

Almost certainly far fewer.

I've seen a number of challenge caches published and then revoked. In my experience challenges caches get revoked far more than any other type (certainly far more than expected given then number of challenges). Reviewers miss some guideline (even the reviewers seem less familiar the challenge guidelines), and end up retract what they have published. In addition I sometime see cache publish that I believe are not compliant with the current challenge guidelines, though the specific guideline is usually written in such a way that a reviewer might use discretion and publish.

And there is also little doubt that challenges that some people might find reasonable are going to get denied because of the guidelines.

Yes, because, like many other Groundspeak guidelines, the challenge guidelines require human judgment rather than a computer program.

Certainly is possible for a reviewer to deny a cache that should be published because they are human (and hopefully for the appeal process to work and catch the error); but that is not what I refer to. When the ALR guidelines were changed, I recall MissJenn saying that Groundspeak realizes that some fun ALRs would not be allowed. Every guideline restriction goes a bit beyond what is the minimum because Groundspeak knows that people with try to game the system and create caches that pass the letter of guideline yet still violate the intent. Instead they reluctantly write a clearer guideline than might end up banning beloved type of cache.

I think the difference in opinion is whether it's better to be more restrictive and toss out some challenges that appeal to a small but "reasonable" number of cachers, or to be less restrictive and be stuck with crappy, silly, and unnecessarily burdensome challenges.

There's a third choice. You can keep the challenge cache restrictions about the same. This would permit people the option to create reasonably difficult challenges and still allow reviewers to not publish those that don't appeal to or aren't attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers.

I wasn't offering a third choice. I was refering to whether the current guideline are sufficient to prevent abusive challenge caches. I believe I have already seen some, but fortunately the majority of challenges are still clearly defined and while some may complain they are too difficult for a reasonable number of cacher to achieve, others will have a different idea of what a reasonable number is.

 

I suspect we won't see any changes in guidelines for now. But there might additional guidance to reviewers as to how to judge reasonable number and perhaps how to interpret the guidelines on undue restriction

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But I do believe that challenges requiring extensive travel should be limited.

If existing Jasper challenges and other difficult challenges are grandfather there will still be an opportunity for those who want to find them, they just might have to travel to find the final cache.

I'm I reading this right? You want a limit on Challenge Caches that require travel, but also want popular Challenge Caches to require more travel. :blink:

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