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challenges should be changed


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I am personally not that interested in challenges, however, many people seem to like them, so that's fine with me.

 

I have no objection to meaningful challenges, but many of them are downright silly and can negatively affect the local community.

 

If I had a magic wand, here's what I would do:

 

1) Stop allowing challenges based on cache names. For instance, consider a challenge which requires you to find 50 caches with the name of an animal in the cache name. The problem with this type of challenge is that somebody inevitably will go out and hides a bunch of lame micros which they have no interest in other than to provide caches for their friends to complete the challenge. For instance, they pull over on the side of the road, place a film canister with the cache name 'Giraffe' under a rock, take a waypoint and drive off. The stupidity of this is beyond me. Not only does it encourage poor quality caches to be hidden, but, like the challenge, it blocks other caches from being published in the area.

 

According to the guidelines:

Cache pages cannot require, and should not strongly encourage, the placement of new caches. This is considered an agenda and the listing will not be publishable.

 

While the above challenge does not require people to hide new caches, it certainly does encourage them to do so, especially if the caches required for the challenge do not already exist in the area.

 

2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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I think the "placement of new caches agenda" could also be addressed by not allowing caches hidden after the challenge cache to qualify. And since the CO can set the Hidden date to anything, a better way to enforce this might be to allow only caches with a GC code before the GC code of the challenge cache.

 

I wonder whether there are any numbers run trails that include random words in the cache names. That is, instead of naming the caches "0001-NRT" through "2400-NRT", the owners could name them "0001-NRT Aardvark" through "2400-NRT Haggis". That way, in addition to gaining lots and lots and lots of smileys in a short amount of time, people doing the numbers run trail could also qualify for lots and lots and lots of silly cache-name challenges.

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I personally quite like the Challenge caches, though most of them I would never achieve if I continued caching for another 100 years.... Luckily in this area there do not seem to be caches placed to meet certain challenges.

 

It would be nice to easily distinguish between puzzle and challenge caches though rather than have to use GSAK to search for the word "Challenge"

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Okay, I admit, many of the challenge "name" caches are silly but really, they are hardly to blame for the massive amount of quick caches these days. I bet they account for a negligible percentage of quick cache finds but yes, I bet many of those giraffe or yak or whatever caches do exist, or caches starting with 0, X, Z. Course, I listed a cache starting with 0.

 

However, according to your guidelines quote....its not just name caches that that could be listed for challenges. Fizzy caches, folks list caches with D/T combos just to help the Fizzy. Delorme or various map challenges, folks list caches to make certain grids easier. Unless its a historical challenge, pretty much any cache can be listed to help a challenge out. Find a cache in a certain park? Park has no caches anymore? List one! If my Island Hopping Challenge had an island with no caches, same thing. Working on an elevation challenge? Like a mountain you like to climb, but no caches, well, have a friend put one up there!

 

Just the nature of the beast.

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I started noticing some caches with very interesting names and then realized that they were not there just to qualify for a single challenge, they were placed to give qualifying names for three to four challenges. In some cases, these are placed by the CO who devised the original challenges. At least some of the names can be more entertaining than other traditionals.

 

While name challenges might encourage people to place oddly named caches, I don't think that the cache that is placed in that spot will necessarily be any better or worse than another cache in that same area.

 

People are encouraged to place caches for any number of reasons, from having a particular icon in your profile to filling up a space on a map -- so we see letterboxes with just a store bought stamp and no particular clue; multis or puzzles that have no purpose outside of an icon; traditionals that exist for no other reason than the parking lot had a shocking shortage of caches. So, yes, placing a cache just to have an odd name can get a little silly, but no sillier than other things that this game encompasses.

 

I enjoy challenges that are based on particular themes, the one I have on my "to do" list is a boating/paddling challenge. So I actually prefer name challenges to those that rework statistics (yet again), require you to spell out somebody's name, or visit six western states in one day. The one challenge I own might appear to be a cache based on names, but it is looking for caches to fit a particular theme so caches that are placed just to provide a certain name would not qualify.

 

I do not see the need to limit the number of challenges in a given area outside of the current guidelines. It does not bother me if someone places a challenge trail that requires me to do things that I have no interest in doing. I can ignore them as easy as I ignore almost every puzzle or most new traditionals that have no particular redeeming quality to them. At least in my region, I do not see too many challenges filling up amazing locations.

Edited by geodarts
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1) Stop allowing challenges based on cache names. For instance, consider a challenge which requires you to find 50 caches with the name of an animal in the cache name. The problem with this type of challenge is that somebody inevitably will go out and hides a bunch of lame micros which they have no interest in other than to provide caches for their friends to complete the challenge.

There are lots of reasons people go out and hide lame caches. I see no reason to single out this reason. It makes more sense to me to just complain about lame caches instead of complaining specifically about lame caches hidden because of some specific type challenge.

 

As it happens, one of the best geocaching experiences I've had involved exactly this. Alamogul hid The Eyes Have it Challenge, a challenge cache requiring 75 caches with the word "eye" in the title. Ridiculous! But then, with his encouragement, lots of other CO's did exactly what you're complaining about, except for the part about the caches being lame: if anything, the caches were better that average. It was a great community building effort.

 

You would prevent us from having that experience simply because you don't like it.

 

While the above challenge does not require people to hide new caches, it certainly does encourage them to do so, especially if the caches required for the challenge do not already exist in the area.

I suppose you could look at it this way. I see it as merely encouraging caches that may well have been placed anyway to have a specific name.

 

2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

If the caches in an area don't meet the needs of that area's geocaching community, for whatever reason, I'd rather leave it up to the community to handle the problem locally by interacting with the people hiding too many challenge caches rather than letting you use a global power to force what you want on both your community where you see this problem and mine where we don't.

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I am personally not that interested in challenges, however, many people seem to like them, so that's fine with me.

 

I have no objection to meaningful challenges, but many of them are downright silly and can negatively affect the local community.

 

If I had a magic wand, here's what I would do:

 

1) Stop allowing challenges based on cache names. For instance, consider a challenge which requires you to find 50 caches with the name of an animal in the cache name. The problem with this type of challenge is that somebody inevitably will go out and hides a bunch of lame micros which they have no interest in other than to provide caches for their friends to complete the challenge. For instance, they pull over on the side of the road, place a film canister with the cache name 'Giraffe' under a rock, take a waypoint and drive off. The stupidity of this is beyond me. Not only does it encourage poor quality caches to be hidden, but, like the challenge, it blocks other caches from being published in the area.

 

According to the guidelines:

Cache pages cannot require, and should not strongly encourage, the placement of new caches. This is considered an agenda and the listing will not be publishable.

 

While the above challenge does not require people to hide new caches, it certainly does encourage them to do so, especially if the caches required for the challenge do not already exist in the area.

 

2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Not that expect any tangible changes to come of this thread but on a somewhat related note I've seen quite a few challenges created just for the sake of creating a challenge. For example, if there is a challenge to find a cache which starts with each letter of the alphabet does there really need to be a challenge which requires one to find 2 caches that start with each letter of the alphabet....3 caches...4 caches...?

 

I have no idea what percentage of geocachers are actually interested in challenges but it seems to be quite regional. We have very few challenges in my area and non of the silly variations I've seen while other areas are creating power trails of challenge caches and saturating large areas with them.

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Gosh, there are so many reasons people put out lame caches...why pick on challenge caches? If you don't like challenge caches, then just don't do them. What you define as "lame" may be great for somebody else. I have no interest in wanting everybody to cache exactly the way I do, or even enjoy the same aspects of the game as I do. There are so many different things to enjoy - just pick what you want and ignore the rest.

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Luckily in this area there do not seem to be caches placed to meet certain challenges.

I guess it could be a regional thing. I'm not aware of it being a problem in my area either. I know of a couple caches named to help people with an Alphanumeric Title challenge (both of which were excellent, by the way). And there are a couple more that have been placed near the homes of people working on a 100 consecutive day challenge (both above average in quality).

 

Plenty of mediocre caches around, of course, but few (if any) of those seem to be challenge related.

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

The nice thing about challenges as they're published today is that they're a cache at the coords, you get to find 'em and have that fun. You can post a note, heck you can log a find, see what happens. Not all CO's paying a whole lot of attention. In any case, everything there but the smiley. It's puzzles that are exclusive.

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

PAF?

Find the cache with someone else that solve the puzzle?

 

Anyone can log a find on a puzzle cache as long as they've got there name in the log book. That's not true for challenge caches.

 

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.
Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.
PAF?

Find the cache with someone else that solve the puzzle?

 

Anyone can log a find on a puzzle cache as long as they've got there name in the log book. That's not true for challenge caches.

Brute-forcing the location of the cache?

Discovering the cache accidentally while investigating potential locations for your own hide?

Spotting the cache (or its camouflage) while hiking to/from some other cache?

 

And again, once they find the cache and sign the log, they can log a Find online.

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Gosh, there are so many reasons people put out lame caches...why pick on challenge caches? If you don't like challenge caches, then just don't do them. What you define as "lame" may be great for somebody else. I have no interest in wanting everybody to cache exactly the way I do, or even enjoy the same aspects of the game as I do. There are so many different things to enjoy - just pick what you want and ignore the rest.

Stop telling people "if you don't like challenge then don't do them". Seldom the complaints against challenges are "challenges are so lame they should all be banned". Instead they are complaints from people who actually like challenges and may be very interested in doing some challenges. The complaints are from people who see real (though not always serious) problems with some challenges.

 

It would be fairly easy to make a list of caches I don't like and say on the forums that they should be banned. But you can bet that if that was all I was going to say, people wouldn't take me seriously and nobody would have any concern that Groundspeak would even consider a request to ban some caches (or to change the guidelines). The very fact that we get the knee-jerk response from some people who can only defend challenges with "If you don't like, them then don't do them", tells me that these are real problems and that people do think that Grounsdpeak may do something.

 

I don't think the problems the OP sees with challenges have yet gotten to the point where it is a serious issue.

 

Yes, there are people who hide caches, or name caches, or change the D/T rating on caches, in response to a challenge cache. Maybe even in response to a challenge cache that they put out themselves. I think trying to deal with this with guidelines isn't going to be successful in the long run. Limiting challenges to caches that existed before the challenge was created will just mean that people will change the names of existing caches so they or a friend can complete a challenge. Even when I see someone hide 26 caches after an alphabet challenge, so what. They likely would have hid a bunch of similar caches with some other names over time anyhow. One idea may be for the reviewers to question a cache name challenge if there are not already sufficient caches to mee the challege. I recently did an "Oaks" challenge where the cache name had to have Oak or Oaks in the name. Being the cache was in Thousand Oaks, there were already plenty of caches to qualify and I have not seen any noticeable increase in the number of Oaks caches placed.

 

I don't think there is a problem too big a concentration of challenges either. There are always "streaks" where hiding of a particular style or genre of cache becomes popular in some area. This always seems to correct itself when people start to complain locally that there are too many caches of some type. This doesn't have to be addressed in the guidelines. But in the case of challenges there are already guidelines to prevent similar challenges from being created in the same area.

 

Speaking of which there may be one challenge type that I would like to see banned :ph34r: (not really, I can ignore this one ;) ) I recently saw a challenge of challenges. You had to find a certain number of challenges. But in order to keep people from finding 50 fizzy challenges after qualifying for it just once, there was wording to disallow that. When I started reading the "rules" for what was a "similar" challenge and how many of each kind of similar challenge you could log, my head hurt. There is already a guideline that "the requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document." IMO, this challenge of challenges did not meet that requirement.

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

The nice thing about challenges as they're published today is that they're a cache at the coords, you get to find 'em and have that fun. You can post a note, heck you can log a find, see what happens. Not all CO's paying a whole lot of attention. In any case, everything there but the smiley. It's puzzles that are exclusive.

 

Not necessarily...check out GC49G7W and the 10 other challenge caches in the immediate area. None of them is at the posted coordinates.

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Who knew we were in the rare 1% of cachers? We (OK, me more so than Mr. Car54) like challenges - they help keep the game interesting to us.

 

Power trails *insert whatever type of cache you dislike* are often lame, poorly maintained, *insert perjorative of choice*. :) I think it's possible to find both good and bad examples of just about any cache type and I doubt that restricting any one or two given types will result in a sudden upswing in quality of caches. JMHO - YMMV

 

Mrs. Car54

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I am personally not that interested in challenges, however, many people seem to like them, so that's fine with me.

 

I have no objection to meaningful challenges, but many of them are downright silly and can negatively affect the local community.

 

If I had a magic wand, here's what I would do:

 

1) Stop allowing challenges based on cache names. For instance, consider a challenge which requires you to find 50 caches with the name of an animal in the cache name. The problem with this type of challenge is that somebody inevitably will go out and hides a bunch of lame micros which they have no interest in other than to provide caches for their friends to complete the challenge. For instance, they pull over on the side of the road, place a film canister with the cache name 'Giraffe' under a rock, take a waypoint and drive off. The stupidity of this is beyond me. Not only does it encourage poor quality caches to be hidden, but, like the challenge, it blocks other caches from being published in the area.

 

According to the guidelines:

Cache pages cannot require, and should not strongly encourage, the placement of new caches. This is considered an agenda and the listing will not be publishable.

 

While the above challenge does not require people to hide new caches, it certainly does encourage them to do so, especially if the caches required for the challenge do not already exist in the area.

 

2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Because i make my own decisions on what i like, i can live with lame challenge caches. I can take a look at them and decide right there on the spot whether i want to mess with them or not.

 

The bolded parts above are what bother me as i've seen this happen in our general area. Someone puts out a challenge cache then another cacher places a number of caches to aid in completing that challenge. I know that it would raise a few of my feathers if this happened after placement of one of my challenge caches. It would be nice if a cache owner could place a restriction like, "only caches placed before a certain date can be used". Unfortunately, Groundspeak is too strict with their challenge cache guidelines and won't allow us to do that.

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I am personally not that interested in challenges, however, many people seem to like them, so that's fine with me.

 

Lots of changes indicating that they are not "fine with her" snipped.

 

Lots of effort from somebody who supposedly does not care.

 

Once again, I ask: why is it that you are so intent on making other peoples' caching experience worse just because you don't like it?

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I recently saw a challenge of challenges. You had to find a certain number of challenges. But in order to keep people from finding 50 fizzy challenges after qualifying for it just once, there was wording to disallow that. When I started reading the "rules" for what was a "similar" challenge and how many of each kind of similar challenge you could log, my head hurt. There is already a guideline that "the requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document." IMO, this challenge of challenges did not meet that requirement.

I don't think that's specific to challenges of challenges. I recall one neglected cache challenge that tried to discourage you from using caches you'd already used in another neglected cache challenge.

 

In your case, it just sounds like the problem of a CO overthinking things. A statement simply forbidding caches used previously in a similar challenge seems sufficient. There's no reason to go into details, since the people you're talking to will follow the spirit without details, and other people won't follow the spirit no matter how many details you try to cover.

 

I'm not actually sure such a requirement is allowed, since it seems awfully close to the same idea as having a start date, but that's just even more reason to express it as the intended spirit rather than as a specific, well defined requirement.

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I think it's possible to find both good and bad examples of just about any cache type and I doubt that restricting any one or two given types will result in a sudden upswing in quality of caches. JMHO - YMMV

 

Mrs. Car54

 

While that's certain true, I think that the gist of Ms. Incredibles argument boils down to the "reason" why someone is placing a cache. It used to be that people would place a cache that was was enjoyable to find by selecting an interesting location, constructing a unique container, hiding it in an interesting manner, then writing up a unique cache listing. As geocaching for the numbers became more common, often the "reason" for placing a cache seems to be based on the fact that there is a spot on the map that doesn't already have a cache an an easy find is placed to help pad the numbers of other cachers in the area. With challenges, the primary reason that some caches are being placed is to have a cache with a specific set of attributes so that it meets the criteria for some local challenge. When the reason for placing a cache is not to provide a quality experience for everyone that might want to find it, it's not a stretch to consider the possibility that the cache won't be high quality.

 

 

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I do think when you see a cache that begins with a number, or the letter X, or the like, and it mentions in the cache description that it has been hidden merely to help satisfy challenge requirements, then you have to wonder if that cache would or would not exist if it wasn't for that challenge. If not, then is it really in the spirit of the game to encourage caches like this to exist? Sure that cache may be a wonderful cache and a great location and a great cache on it's own, but if it truly is "just another micro in parking lot" is it really helping the game? And if it is hidden by someone other than the challenge cache hider, what do they think of this practice? I imagine a well-thought out challenge cache took into consideration just how difficult a challenge is to complete in a given area. Perhaps completing an "A-Z" type challenge is rather difficult in a particular area, simply because of the natural lack of existence of caches that begin with Q, X, and Z. But if someone goes out and places caches that begin with the words "quiche" "xenon" and "zebra" withinn five miles of the challenge, merely to aid people completing a challenge, well, I'll leave that up for debate whether or not that's a good thing.

 

But I don't know that eliminating those types of challenge caches merely because the possibility of (and I wouldn't even call it abuse) a "negative unforeseen consequence" is a good thing. I would say it's up to the challenge cache owners to decide to remove and possibly rework a challenge that has been "neutered" by possibly well-meaning cache hiders who have hidden nearby (in previous example the "quiche" "xenon" and "zebra") caches that have made a previously dificult challenge less-so. Perhaps they could replace that with a challenge, for instance, find caches beginning with the letters A through Z, with the caveat that each of the 26 qualifying caches has to be from a different county, if they wanted to approximate the difficulty of the original challenge before "quiche" "xenon" and "zebra" popped up.

 

The best, as a community, we can do is just discourage this practice by admitting publicly it is lame. Possibly to some of us it is, maybe it's a great thing to those who are more interested in merely completing the challenge to get the smiley, rather than are interested in completing the spirit of the challenge. ("Yay, now I don't have to drive 40 miles to find the next nearest cache that begins with 'q' - that was awful considerate of the CO.... Thanks sooo much for this cache!!!") But then again, there are those who bypass the spirit of solving a puzzle (by PAF or cheating), so why should throwing down a "Q" "Z" or "X"-beginning cache so a friend can qualify for a challenge easier be any different than that? Can be discouraged, but is it against the rules?

 

Then again, we have a series around where I live entitled "you park and grabs" that are well over a hundred that say in the description "this cache isn't about the location or a great hike" it just so you can get another smiley. And people, I guess, seem to love them.

 

I know if the first ten caches I found had all been boring uninspired hides, I don't know how excitied it would have made me about this hobby.

 

Bottom line, if we got rid of everything about geocaching that some (or even a majority of cachers) felt was lame, there is probably someboday who loves it that would fight to keep it. And getting rid of one reason that boring uninspired hides exist, isn't going to be more than a drop in the bucket in getting rid of the overall problem of way too many boring, uninspired hides.

 

But then what do I know? Some people love them.

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

PAF?

Find the cache with someone else that solve the puzzle?

 

Anyone can log a find on a puzzle cache as long as they've got there name in the log book. That's not true for challenge caches.

 

Yeah. I have a 5/1 mystery cache. (I liked the concept. There are so few of them.) Yes. It is wheelchair accessible! And a very tough puzzle. I would guess most people either brute forced it, or PAFed it. Oh, well. They signed the log...(That'll teach me!)

I am looking at a strange challenge cache in Colorado (in case I have to go there.) Find sixty caches. One for every minute between 40 00. and 41 00. Hey! I can do this in New Jersey! Just need four more. (Though I can do those when I return to NJ, if necessary.) Some people might not care for it, but if I have to go to Colorado, I am going for that one!!!

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

The nice thing about challenges as they're published today is that they're a cache at the coords, you get to find 'em and have that fun. You can post a note, heck you can log a find, see what happens. Not all CO's paying a whole lot of attention. In any case, everything there but the smiley. It's puzzles that are exclusive.

 

I've stated in other threads that I believe the actual cache find itself is pointless with a challenge. The "real" work is fulfilling the requirement of the challenge and most of the challenge cache hides themselves are completely unremarkable. If they ever decide to change the Challenge system, I hope they make them containerless caches...maybe even make them exempt from saturation rules.

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2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario. Check out this slice of the Golden Horseshoe areas:

 

a748a1b9-3e57-41bf-9997-bcabadddf1d9.png

 

I agree with you. I don't think this is good for the game.

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Gosh, there are so many reasons people put out lame caches...why pick on challenge caches? If you don't like challenge caches, then just don't do them. What you define as "lame" may be great for somebody else. I have no interest in wanting everybody to cache exactly the way I do, or even enjoy the same aspects of the game as I do. There are so many different things to enjoy - just pick what you want and ignore the rest.

Stop telling people "if you don't like challenge then don't do them". Seldom the complaints against challenges are "challenges are so lame they should all be banned". Instead they are complaints from people who actually like challenges and may be very interested in doing some challenges. The complaints are from people who see real (though not always serious) problems with some challenges.

 

It would be fairly easy to make a list of caches I don't like and say on the forums that they should be banned. But you can bet that if that was all I was going to say, people wouldn't take me seriously and nobody would have any concern that Groundspeak would even consider a request to ban some caches (or to change the guidelines). The very fact that we get the knee-jerk response from some people who can only defend challenges with "If you don't like, them then don't do them", tells me that these are real problems and that people do think that Grounsdpeak may do something.

 

I don't think the problems the OP sees with challenges have yet gotten to the point where it is a serious issue.

 

Yes, there are people who hide caches, or name caches, or change the D/T rating on caches, in response to a challenge cache. Maybe even in response to a challenge cache that they put out themselves. I think trying to deal with this with guidelines isn't going to be successful in the long run. Limiting challenges to caches that existed before the challenge was created will just mean that people will change the names of existing caches so they or a friend can complete a challenge. Even when I see someone hide 26 caches after an alphabet challenge, so what. They likely would have hid a bunch of similar caches with some other names over time anyhow. One idea may be for the reviewers to question a cache name challenge if there are not already sufficient caches to mee the challege. I recently did an "Oaks" challenge where the cache name had to have Oak or Oaks in the name. Being the cache was in Thousand Oaks, there were already plenty of caches to qualify and I have not seen any noticeable increase in the number of Oaks caches placed.

 

I don't think there is a problem too big a concentration of challenges either. There are always "streaks" where hiding of a particular style or genre of cache becomes popular in some area. This always seems to correct itself when people start to complain locally that there are too many caches of some type. This doesn't have to be addressed in the guidelines. But in the case of challenges there are already guidelines to prevent similar challenges from being created in the same area.

 

Speaking of which there may be one challenge type that I would like to see banned :ph34r: (not really, I can ignore this one ;) ) I recently saw a challenge of challenges. You had to find a certain number of challenges. But in order to keep people from finding 50 fizzy challenges after qualifying for it just once, there was wording to disallow that. When I started reading the "rules" for what was a "similar" challenge and how many of each kind of similar challenge you could log, my head hurt. There is already a guideline that "the requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document." IMO, this challenge of challenges did not meet that requirement.

:blink:

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I'm now considering an 'Incredibles ' series. So far I have 168 caches (likely to be up to 173 by the time I get the containers and locations secured), each with a different historical Placed Date (05/00 through 04/14), with 2 each of every D/T rating (extras will all be 5/5). Cache names will begin with each character on a QWERTY keyboard, both upper case and lower case for all standard keys). I will likely also alter the 'Placed By' names to include each character if the keyboard as well.

That should cover all of those 'non-meaningful' cache categories to which The Incredibles referred, and bring multitudes of Hoop-jumpers to my caches. :ph34r:

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I have to agree the quantum leap in challenge caches has gotten annoying. Especially when I travel to a new area and download a new set of caches. Fortunately GSAK makes it easy to list them and get them to my ignore list quickly so I don't have to worry about them showing up the next time I go there.

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I have to agree the quantum leap in challenge caches has gotten annoying. Especially when I travel to a new area and download a new set of caches. Fortunately GSAK makes it easy to list them and get them to my ignore list quickly so I don't have to worry about them showing up the next time I go there.

 

When I go to a new place if I see a ? Cache without the word challenge in the name I ignore it, last thing I want to do is solve puzzles while on vacation, heck, I don't like solving them when I'm not on vacation.

 

To each his own, live and let live, etc.

 

For the record I'd like to see a new icon for challenge caches so I could filter out all those pesky puzzles.

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There are lots of reasons people go out and hide lame caches. I see no reason to single out this reason. It makes more sense to me to just complain about lame caches instead of complaining specifically about lame caches hidden because of some specific type challenge.

 

Maybe so. It's possible that someone who is inclined to put out dozens of crappy caches would do so even if challenges didn't exist. No polite way to ask, though.

 

As it happens, one of the best geocaching experiences I've had involved exactly this. Alamogul hid The Eyes Have it Challenge, a challenge cache requiring 75 caches with the word "eye" in the title. Ridiculous! But then, with his encouragement, lots of other CO's did exactly what you're complaining about, except for the part about the caches being lame: if anything, the caches were better that average. It was a great community building effort.

 

You would prevent us from having that experience simply because you don't like it.

 

This sounds like a neat experience, but your community could have made it happen with or without challenges. Alamogul could just as easily have initiated a a cache hiding event, for instance, a Halloween event. Every year, you focus on hiding caches with a different body part. First year, you do the eyes. Second year, legs and so on until your local parks are filled with body parts. :unsure:

 

I'd rather leave it up to the community to handle the problem locally by interacting with the people hiding too many challenge caches

 

You make it sound so easy. Can you image the scene?

 

"Bob, we've called you here for an intervention..."

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People are encouraged to place caches for any number of reasons, from having a particular icon in your profile to filling up a space on a map -- so we see letterboxes with just a store bought stamp and no particular clue; multis or puzzles that have no purpose outside of an icon; traditionals that exist for no other reason than the parking lot had a shocking shortage of caches. So, yes, placing a cache just to have an odd name can get a little silly, but no sillier than other things that this game encompasses.

 

I agree. It's not just cache-name challenges that influence people to hide new caches. I disagree with *any* challenge that influences someone to hide a new cache, especially if it's dozens of them.

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Gosh, there are so many reasons people put out lame caches...why pick on challenge caches? If you don't like challenge caches, then just don't do them.

 

It's not that simple. Challenge caches have widespread influence, whether or not you choose to do them. They affect which caches are published in town and how people cache. It's going to get harder and harder to ignore. I just don't think 1 cache type should have that much influence.

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I am personally not that interested in challenges, however, many people seem to like them, so that's fine with me.

 

Lots of changes indicating that they are not "fine with her" snipped.

 

Lots of effort from somebody who supposedly does not care.

 

Once again, I ask: why is it that you are so intent on making other peoples' caching experience worse just because you don't like it?

 

:wub:

 

I'm fine with challenges existing. Actually I have seen some interesting ones and some that have done good (like CITO challenges). So I don't think they should be banned, just restricted a bit more.

 

Like I said, it's hard to ignore the effects of challenge caches. It's not like just putting a single cache on your ignore list. They affect the caches that are published and how people in your area cache.

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2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario. Check out this slice of the Golden Horseshoe areas:

 

a748a1b9-3e57-41bf-9997-bcabadddf1d9.png

 

I agree with you. I don't think this is good for the game.

 

See that's just the perfect example of why challenge caches should be restricted. Can you imagine being a newbie smack-dab in the middle of that area?

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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This sounds like a neat experience, but your community could have made it happen with or without challenges. Alamogul could just as easily have initiated a a cache hiding event, for instance, a Halloween event. Every year, you focus on hiding caches with a different body part. First year, you do the eyes. Second year, legs and so on until your local parks are filled with body parts. :unsure:

My community does lots of things. I was just mentioning one thing that a lot of us enjoyed that you want to forbid just because your community doesn't know how to help someone understand that they shouldn't hide lame caches.

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This sounds like a neat experience, but your community could have made it happen with or without challenges. Alamogul could just as easily have initiated a a cache hiding event, for instance, a Halloween event. Every year, you focus on hiding caches with a different body part. First year, you do the eyes. Second year, legs and so on until your local parks are filled with body parts. :unsure:

My community does lots of things. I was just mentioning one thing that a lot of us enjoyed that you want to forbid just because your community doesn't know how to help someone understand that they shouldn't hide lame caches.

 

I'm repeating myself now. Maybe if I do point form that will help?

 

1) You don't need challenges to hide a series of themed caches or do other creative stuff as a community. A rule change would not 'forbid' you from doing anything, you could easily find another way to do it.

2) It's not practical to sit someone down and tell them they shouldn't hide lame caches.

3) Rules should be made for the greater good. I suspect what goes on in your community is the exception.

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2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario. Check out this slice of the Golden Horseshoe areas:

 

a748a1b9-3e57-41bf-9997-bcabadddf1d9.png

 

I agree with you. I don't think this is good for the game.

 

See that's just the perfect example of why challenge caches should be restricted. Can you imagine being a newbie smack-dab in the middle of that area?

 

I do agree that there seems to be a bit of challenge cache overkill in that area. On the otherhand, there's no shortage of other cache types to keep a person happy. Looking at the map, traditionals definitely outnumber all other cache types there.

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I think that any additional restrictions on Challenge Listings should come from within the Community, and not enforced by Groundspeak or the Reviewers. If the Community is so divided on the issue, then maybe no further restrictions are necessary until a consensus is reached.

Edited by Touchstone
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See that's just the perfect example of why challenge caches should be restricted. Can you imagine being a newbie smack-dab in the middle of that area?

 

As a newbie I would probably do what I do now - try to find things that interest me.

 

This morning I was looking at the Groundspeak map for an area that I might visit on business and saw rows of repetitive traditionals 528 feet apart. As an experienced cacher I could not imagine being smack-dab in the middle of that - and as a newbie I would probably wonder if that was what this game is about. So I switched the view to eliminate traditionals. That left a lot of standard puzzles. I do not want to have to sift through those if I find myself there. So I got it down to virtuals, earthcaches, letterboxes, and Wherigos. Maybe I'll do a word search for challenges in the area should I end up going there.

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1) You don't need challenges to hide a series of themed caches or do other creative stuff as a community. A rule change would not 'forbid' you from doing anything, you could easily find another way to do it.

2) It's not practical to sit someone down and tell them they shouldn't hide lame caches.

3) Rules should be made for the greater good. I suspect what goes on in your community is the exception.

 

1) While you might be able to organize the community to hide a series of themed caches or do other creative stuff. don't underestimate the value of the smiley or the souvie. The recent souvenir got a lot of people around the world to organize cache maker events. Sure they would have been events held otherwise, but a least of few people not themed there events to honoring cache makers and to discuss how to be more creative placing caches.

 

We may not always agree with the results that you get from motivation by icon or smiley, but this has proven to be a most effective tool. (It's lowered my perception of geocachers to one of mindless robots programmed to collect smileys or icons instead of having fun. But when I talk to mindless robots they all insist the doing a power trail or finding 100 caches with word "robot" in the name is fun :unsure:)

 

There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario.

There are over 42,000 caches in Ontario. it's not hard to find non-challenge caches if that's what you're into.

True. But then we shouldn't complain about power trails or all the urban caches in questionable locations. It's far rarer to look at a map an see hundreds of puzzles you can't solve or hundress of terrain 5 cache that require special equipment you don't have and aren't interested in learning how to use. When communities get flooded with one particular type (breed?) of cache, there are always plenty of the other kinds around.

 

The problem with challenge (in some areas at least) it that they have become so popular. They get a lot of favorite points. And now people don't simply hide one but ehy are creating multiple challenges.

 

It's natural to wonder why someone had to hide three challenges (I got the notices in my email this morning); one to find caches with the motorcycles allowed attribute, one to find caches with the quads allowed attribute, and one to find caches with off-road vehicles allowed. It seems that you are likely to qualify for each with same caches (unless the CO put a restriction that you have to used different caches to qualify for each challenge). If the CO wanted to salute caches that allow some sort of off-road driving, why not have one for caches that any one of the attributes. And of course we could potentially see these attributes get added to lots of caches so people can claim the challenge. You could conceivably put motorcycle on any park 'n grab cache. On the other hand attribute challenges may encourage more people to use attributes where they should be using attributes.

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the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

Huh? if someone doesn't want to solve, they don't have the coords, and they CAN'T log the find, because they can't find it.

 

The nice thing about challenges as they're published today is that they're a cache at the coords, you get to find 'em and have that fun. You can post a note, heck you can log a find, see what happens. Not all CO's paying a whole lot of attention. In any case, everything there but the smiley. It's puzzles that are exclusive.

That's a good point, about COs not paying attention. I've seen a couple of local challenge caches where a finder or two have logged caches that do not meet the requirements. These were challenges where the requirements were clearly spelled out. But, the COs let the finds stand.

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2) Limit the number of challenge caches in a certain area. 99% of cachers have no interest in challenges. Alot of people simply do not cache enough to meet challenges. There's no reason that a whole trail should be taken up by caches that these people can't/won't be able to log. I know someone's going to bring up puzzle caches...the difference is that at least with puzzle caches, if someone doesn't want to solve it, they can still log a find.

 

There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario. Check out this slice of the Golden Horseshoe areas:

 

a748a1b9-3e57-41bf-9997-bcabadddf1d9.png

 

I agree with you. I don't think this is good for the game.

 

See that's just the perfect example of why challenge caches should be restricted. Can you imagine being a newbie smack-dab in the middle of that area?

 

Pffft, about 30 minutes to my west is Research Triangle Park where lots of smart people work. There's nothing but puzzles left for me in that area, dozens and dozens of puzzles that are beyond my grasp. Can you imagine being a cacher who doesn't like solving puzzles at home before they can go find a cache in the middle of that area? I don't think this is good for the game.

 

Boy that sounds silly huh? :unsure:

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I'd like to see finding the cache separate from satisfying the challenge.

 

- When I find the physical challenge cache, I should be able to log a find. Because, the log type is "Found it"

 

- When I satisfy the challenge itself, I should be able to post a new log type (that doesn't exist), called "completed challenge". This could get added to my stats in whatever way makes sense. Probably should +1 my find count otherwise people won't do them

 

Or, just get rid of the physical cache part of a challenge, list challenges on a separate section of the site without coordinates, and then I can complete challenges created by cache owners all over the world. Again, allowing me to log a "completed challenge" on the cache.

 

We don't allow cache owners of puzzles to delete logs of cachers who don't solve the puzzle but find the cache. I don't see why we should treat challenges differently.

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Okay, I admit, many of the challenge "name" caches are silly but really, they are hardly to blame for the massive amount of quick caches these days. I bet they account for a negligible percentage of quick cache finds but yes, I bet many of those giraffe or yak or whatever caches do exist, or caches starting with 0, X, Z. Course, I listed a cache starting with 0.

 

However, according to your guidelines quote....its not just name caches that that could be listed for challenges. Fizzy caches, folks list caches with D/T combos just to help the Fizzy. Delorme or various map challenges, folks list caches to make certain grids easier. Unless its a historical challenge, pretty much any cache can be listed to help a challenge out. Find a cache in a certain park? Park has no caches anymore? List one! If my Island Hopping Challenge had an island with no caches, same thing. Working on an elevation challenge? Like a mountain you like to climb, but no caches, well, have a friend put one up there!

 

Just the nature of the beast.

 

It's part of the pointlessness of a lot of challenge caches.

 

When you get liars' caches rated D5/T5 for a film pot under a bench on a paved trail within sight of the parking, event caches rated D3/T4.5 based in pubs with no particular attributes, it all renders the whole thing pointless.

 

Calendar based challenges are no better - if you have a blank on the calendar on February 8 so go find a cache on the 7th and date it the 8th, or find a few on the 9th and if anything wasn't found for a few days date one of the finds for the 8th, you tick the boxes.

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Or, just get rid of the physical cache part of a challenge, list challenges on a separate section of the site without coordinates, and then I can complete challenges created by cache owners all over the world. Again, allowing me to log a "completed challenge" on the cache.

 

Or why not have something like souvenirs for the challenges that most people like to do - Delorme, Jasmer, Fizzy, County, etc etc etc. Have the sight automatically determine if the requirements have been met, and award the souvenir.

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There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario.

There are over 42,000 caches in Ontario. it's not hard to find non-challenge caches if that's what you're into.

True. But then we shouldn't complain about power trails or all the urban caches in questionable locations. It's far rarer to look at a map an see hundreds of puzzles you can't solve or hundress of terrain 5 cache that require special equipment you don't have and aren't interested in learning how to use. When communities get flooded with one particular type (breed?) of cache, there are always plenty of the other kinds around.

That's precisely my point. I have no problem ignoring power trails that don't interest me or special-equipment caches for which I don't have the equipment. I don't feel as though I need to find every cache that's out there.

 

The problem with challenge (in some areas at least) it that they have become so popular. They get a lot of favorite points. And now people don't simply hide one but ehy are creating multiple challenges.

Yes, it's a real problem when people create popular caches that get lots of favorite points. We need more lamppost and guardrail hides.

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When I find the physical challenge cache, I should be able to log a find. Because, the log type is "Found it"

You're being too literal. By your reasoning, you shouldn't be allowed to log EarthCaches or most Virtuals, because there are no physical containers to "Found It."

 

When Groundspeak says "Found It," it sometimes is just a shorthand way of saying "Found it and completed the challenge's requirements." Or, in the case of EarthCaches/Virtuals, "Went to location and sent the appropriate information."

 

We don't allow cache owners of puzzles to delete logs of cachers who don't solve the puzzle but find the cache. I don't see why we should treat challenges differently.

It's very hard to verify whether or not someone solved a puzzle before finding the cache. Accepting that it happens is just something you live with if you create a puzzle cache. Groundspeak doesn't want to spend countless hours trying to mediate whether a cache owner is justified in deleting a "Found It" because the owner doesn't believe the finder actually solved the puzzle.

 

For most challenge caches, the question of whether someone met the requirements is fairly black-and-white. It doesn't appear as if Groundspeak has to do much mediating between owners and finders.

Edited by CanadianRockies
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Or why not have something like souvenirs for the challenges that most people like to do - Delorme, Jasmer, Fizzy, County, etc etc etc. Have the sight automatically determine if the requirements have been met, and award the souvenir.

One of the things I most appreciate about challenge caches is the wide range of creative challenges that people come up with. There are literally hundreds of challenges that can interest me in experiencing geocaching in unique ways. I doubt that Groundspeak would be willing to devote the resources needed to create more than a couple dozen easily programmable souvenir-type challenges. And I believe that would be a significant loss to the geocaching community.

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Or, just get rid of the physical cache part of a challenge, list challenges on a separate section of the site without coordinates, and then I can complete challenges created by cache owners all over the world. Again, allowing me to log a "completed challenge" on the cache.

 

Or why not have something like souvenirs for the challenges that most people like to do - Delorme, Jasmer, Fizzy, County, etc etc etc. Have the sight automatically determine if the requirements have been met, and award the souvenir.

 

I suggested something like that awhile back. I suggested calling them "achievements" and they could even show up on a "Souvenirs and Achievements" tab. The primary objection was that regular users could not create challenges. Frankly, I don't see that as a bad thing. Of course, it would require a fair amount of development but once an achievement was created there really wouldn't be any additional work. Basically, it would be like a Groundspeak implementation of Badgegen except users wouldn't have to download a PQ then upload it to another system.

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There are over 500 challenge caches in Ontario.

There are over 42,000 caches in Ontario. it's not hard to find non-challenge caches if that's what you're into.

True. But then we shouldn't complain about power trails or all the urban caches in questionable locations. It's far rarer to look at a map an see hundreds of puzzles you can't solve or hundress of terrain 5 cache that require special equipment you don't have and aren't interested in learning how to use. When communities get flooded with one particular type (breed?) of cache, there are always plenty of the other kinds around.

That's precisely my point. I have no problem ignoring power trails that don't interest me or special-equipment caches for which I don't have the equipment. I don't feel as though I need to find every cache that's out there.

 

The problem with challenge (in some areas at least) it that they have become so popular. They get a lot of favorite points. And now people don't simply hide one but ehy are creating multiple challenges.

Yes, it's a real problem when people create popular caches that get lots of favorite points. We need more lamppost and guardrail hides.

 

I suppose I shouldn't care if people are hiding the kinds of cache they like to find - and if it so happens that a lot of people like challenges right now then of course a lot of people will hide challenge caches.

 

But a lot of people liked virtual caches too, and at one time the were being hidden at so great a rate that TPTB though that the core idea of geocaching was being threatened. To reduce the number of virtuals being hidden, they instituted a "wow" requirement under which the number of virtuals that got published was reduced to just a trickle.

 

I don't know if any of the problems people have with challenges rise to point of threatening the core idea of geocaching. Since challenges are now limit to affirmative geocaching (and Waymarking) related accomplishments, it could even be said that they strengthen the core idea of geocaching. In order to qualify for a challenge all you have to do is go geocaching.

 

That said, there are some obvious issues with having runaway challenges without some guidelines and restriction. TPTB have, in fact, issued a slew of guidelines and restriction specifically targeting challenges. These restriction clearly limit some challenges that would no doubt appeal to a reasonable number of geocachers. You can have challenges that require cache owenrship. You're not supposed to have challenges that depend on any competition (e.g. FTF). You're not supposed to have challenges that require finding a specific list of caches. You can't limit challenge to caches found before or after specific dates.

 

Just saying that because people like challenges isn't a reason not to look at what problems challenges cause other geocachers. There may be cases where problems need to be addressed with changes in the guidelines.

 

Now the OP's problem doesn't seems very serious to me.

 

First she is concerned that people hide caches just to provide qualifying caches to the challenge. If this is going to be a problem it should be a problem for a challenge owner who may have designed a challenge with some difficulty in mind. If caches are places to make the challenge easier, would that be spoiling the challenge? Perhaps someone who completed the challenge before all the new caches may feel that the people who followed had it easier. But I haven't heard any challenge owners or people who have done a challenge complain when there are new caches placed to make a challenge easier.

 

Second she is concerned that challenges are becoming so popular that then are pushing out other caches. This has always been a common complaint from people who don't like some particular type of cache. So far, even looking at that map in Ontario, I don't see a big problem yet. The example I gave wasn't really meant to say that someone should be able to hide three challenges with a similar theme.

 

However it shows why some people have this negative impression of challenges. If you think about it, challenge caches and power trails are one in same phenomenon. What really motivates the masses are smileys, icons, and statistics. For the small group of geocachers who simply like to occasionally go out and find a cache, the numbers don't matter. We will probably never do a power trail and many are unlikely to find nearly enough caches with the word "robot" in the name or that have a dogs allowed attribute to qualify for the challenge. But to the mindless robots programmed to get more smileys, a new "statistical" achievement in form of a challenge cache is a powerful incentive. (I'm purposely going a little over the top here. Even I like to look at my statistics. I certainly like to set personal geocaching goals. So I don't really have a issue with people who use challenges as way to set goals, other than to say you don't really need a challenge cache to set goals).

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Or, just get rid of the physical cache part of a challenge, list challenges on a separate section of the site without coordinates, and then I can complete challenges created by cache owners all over the world. Again, allowing me to log a "completed challenge" on the cache.

 

Or why not have something like souvenirs for the challenges that most people like to do - Delorme, Jasmer, Fizzy, County, etc etc etc. Have the sight automatically determine if the requirements have been met, and award the souvenir.

 

I suggested something like that awhile back. I suggested calling them "achievements" and they could even show up on a "Souvenirs and Achievements" tab. The primary objection was that regular users could not create challenges. Frankly, I don't see that as a bad thing. Of course, it would require a fair amount of development but once an achievement was created there really wouldn't be any additional work. Basically, it would be like a Groundspeak implementation of Badgegen except users wouldn't have to download a PQ then upload it to another system.

 

Great minds think alike:

 

I like this idea:

 

One implementation would require hardly any work. Keep the challenges listed just like they are now as in the geocache database but with a new cache type. Like events (and EarthCaches :ph34r:) there would be nothing to find. Instead of logging "Found" you'd log "Challenge Completed" (you could even have a "Challenge Accepted" log type for letting the challenge owner know that you are working on a challenge. The guidelines for logging a challenge complete would require a list of your qualifying finds or if its something that can be gleaned from the official stats page perhaps just a link to that page. AFAIAC, the challenge complete log could even count in your finds.

 

The main issue would be what the coordinates mean for a challenge cache. If the challenge is meant to be local, the coordinates might help to find the challenges in the area. But what about challenges that can be global - like filling in the D/T grid? My guess is that some easier challenges will have thousands of finds if you allow global logging.

 

The coordinates should still point to a final container, where you sign a log book. This way, the global challenges will have only as many finds as logged by those able to get to the container, and addition of it to your own find count will be legitimate.

 

Part of the satisfaction of completing a challenge is that final trek to GZ and search, recalling what you had to do to get there. Yummy!

 

It would be cool if they could add a component to the new cache type that would be a lot like a properly-constructed PQ interface. Either a pseudo-sql "advanced" interface or a graphical tree structure "basic" interface that would allow parameters for achievement to be set.

 

These would be checked against the logger's finds when they submit their CC (Challenge Completed) log.

 

Numerically-quantified challenges, like filling a grid, could include in the CA (Challenge Accepted) log a percentage to completion portion that would dynamically update as its poster completed the requirements.

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