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[FEATURE] Challenge Stars

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Ha, this is hilarious, you're all for doing away with being required to complete a challenge to log a challenge cache but call me crazy for wanting an option to not solve a puzzle to log a puzzle cache.

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Ha, this is hilarious, you're all for doing away with being required to complete a challenge to log a challenge cache but call me crazy for wanting an option to not solve a puzzle to log a puzzle cache.
You already have options to log a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle. That isn't what people are criticizing about your suggestion. And even if it were...

 

If you find a puzzle cache and sign the physical log, then you're free to log your find online. That is true of all physical caches... except challenge caches. Finding a challenge cache without completing the challenge is not the same situation as finding a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle.

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Ha, this is hilarious, you're all for doing away with being required to complete a challenge to log a challenge cache but call me crazy for wanting an option to not solve a puzzle to log a puzzle cache.
You already have options to log a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle. That isn't what people are criticizing about your suggestion. And even if it were...

 

If you find a puzzle cache and sign the physical log, then you're free to log your find online. That is true of all physical caches... except challenge caches. Finding a challenge cache without completing the challenge is not the same situation as finding a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle.

 

Yup, you're right, finding a challenge cache without completing the challenge is not the same, there is a rule stating you have to complete the challenge, your suggestion involves changing GS rules. Mine does not, who's crazy now?

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Ha, this is hilarious, you're all for doing away with being required to complete a challenge to log a challenge cache but call me crazy for wanting an option to not solve a puzzle to log a puzzle cache.
You already have options to log a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle. That isn't what people are criticizing about your suggestion. And even if it were...

 

If you find a puzzle cache and sign the physical log, then you're free to log your find online. That is true of all physical caches... except challenge caches. Finding a challenge cache without completing the challenge is not the same situation as finding a puzzle cache without solving the puzzle.

 

Yup, you're right, finding a challenge cache without completing the challenge is not the same, there is a rule stating you have to complete the challenge, your suggestion involves changing GS rules. Mine does not, who's crazy now?

True, your proposal does not require a change to the rules. At one time Groundspeak tried to write into the TOUs that you could not publish in any form the solutions, hints, spoilers, or any hidden coordinates for any geocache without consent from the geocache owner. Had that rule been enforceable you could not have puzzle spoiler websites or even have given the solution to a puzzle to a friend via email or similar method. But the lawyers told Groundspeak they couldn't say this. So you are free to get the answers from third party sites and find the puzzle caches.

 

However if you are asking for a way to get the coordinates for a puzzle on a Groundspeak site without the consent of the puzzle cache owner, so that you could find and log the cache without solving the puzzle then you would need to change the rules.

Edited by tozainamboku

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The problem that moved me away from the new challenge cache type was that of (as you addressed NeverSummer) physical caches. Making a new cache type doesn't change the fact that it's still a physical cache, and "find it, sign it, log it online" will still apply to this new type. The other cache types are all non-physical, so that mantra doesn't apply, even though it's a different "requirement" to log online.

 

Non-physical: you do a task so that you can log it online.

Physical: you sign the logsheet so that you can log it online.

 

Issue - Challenge caches are both physical and non-physical. Whether it's a new cache type or not, logging online is still an exception to the rules above.

The reason I support the extension of challenge completion to a new metric is that it still allows everything that exists currently about challenge caching, but now also allows people to accurately follow the "find it, sign it, log it online" - because challenges are no longer about the "smiley/WIGAS", but their own metric, their own reward - and you still get the smiley.

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The problem that moved me away from the new challenge cache type was that of (as you addressed NeverSummer) physical caches. Making a new cache type doesn't change the fact that it's still a physical cache, and "find it, sign it, log it online" will still apply to this new type. The other cache types are all non-physical, so that mantra doesn't apply, even though it's a different "requirement" to log online.

 

Non-physical: you do a task so that you can log it online.

Physical: you sign the logsheet so that you can log it online.

 

Issue - Challenge caches are both physical and non-physical. Whether it's a new cache type or not, logging online is still an exception to the rules above.

The reason I support the extension of challenge completion to a new metric is that it still allows everything that exists currently about challenge caching, but now also allows people to accurately follow the "find it, sign it, log it online" - because challenges are no longer about the "smiley/WIGAS", but their own metric, their own reward - and you still get the smiley.

 

My biggest problem with all that - and also with the current setup - is that the physical cache is more often than not an afterthought. Not that every other cache is put in an awesome spot...but generally caches are placed in a location for a reason - be it scenic, sentimental, educational or just a point of interest or as part of a longer trail of caches. With challenge caches as they are now, most everything in the cache page is about the challenge, about the requirements for filling some grid or meeting some numbers requirement. The CO then has to say to himself (or herself, of cours) "Oh...now I have to put a container somewhere..." and usually just finds a blank spot on the map. The physical cache is almost always secondary.

 

I understand - and to an extent agree with - the arguments against making it a purely virtual type of cache, with no need to find a container and sign a log. I guess my problem is the way challenges are set up, there is no emphasis put on the cache hide. Most logs I read never even mention finding the cache or comment on the hiding spot. There's a real disconnect that I think was never intended to happen...but that's the way it is now.

 

My one and only challenge cache was created with an overarching theme in mind. The challenge (a very simple one to fulfill), the puzzle and the hiding spot all fit within this theme. I'm even planning to replace the container with one that continues this theme. Not that all challenges ought to be this way...and I know there are plenty of challenge caches hidden in interesting spots.

 

I suppose I just wish the challenge itself was not tied into a particular - and often uninspired - physical find. I personally believe this 'challenge points' suggestion is terrific and, to take it even further, I have a couple other thoughts. I wonder if the challenge itself could even be somehow "detached" from one cache by the CO and "reattached" to a different cache, in the event of archival...or maybe the challenge could be associated with the CO instead of a particular cache. The challenge points could then be applied to any one of the CO's physical caches. That way the cache hide is not secondary, but primary in its own right.

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I dislike this idea almost as much as I dislike somebody signing the log of a challenge cache before they qualify. My challenge hides are not "uninspired" and are usually in great areas where there are no guard rails or lamp posts to be seen. I often swag my more difficult challenge caches REALLY WELL with high quality and brand new items and a valuable FTF prize. I obviously tailor my challenge caches to cater to the challenge theme and for those who have completed the challenge. If I wanted cachers to find these caches like a traditional cache, then I would've made them traditional caches.

 

As far as I can see, the system isn't broken so don't fix it.

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My biggest problem with all that - and also with the current setup - is that the physical cache is more often than not an afterthought.
Luckily for me, the most challenging challenges I have completed (so far) have had a final container and/or location commensurate with the awesomeness of the challenge itself; these are the first two that come to mind:

 

Ontario Challenge - Yours to Discover

 

Challenge: Ironman 365 Consecutive Days <--PMO cache alert - don't click if you are avoiding the audit logs

 

I was going back through the 40 challenges I have completed to find an example of a lame location/container combination but I couldn't find one. Just lucky, I guess.

 

We wouldn't know for sure unless it happened, but I'd like to believe that implementation of this feature would increase the quality of the final container/location given the greater exposure the cache would have in the new system.

 

If I wanted cachers to find these caches like a traditional cache, then I would've made them traditional caches.
Is it problematic to you if people sign your log sheet and then post a note, with no intention of ever completing the challenge? Wouldn't you want the difficulty of your challenges enhanced by more Stars than just an average challenge? Wouldn't you want it easier for cachers to be able to find your challenges in queries and on the maps? If your containers and locations are that good, wouldn't you want more opportunities for them to get the recognition they deserve via Favorite points?

 

As far as I can see, the system isn't broken so don't fix it.
My suggestion is more of an enhancement than it is a fix. Even without its implementation the system works almost flawlessly. Except for locating/filtering and the temporal anomalies between the physical logging and the challenge completing (which isn't an issue for me personally, as I do not pre-sign).

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I suppose I just wish the challenge itself was not tied into a particular - and often uninspired - physical find.

Sure, although that applies to pretty much any cache/type out there. The problem is, that's a matter of opinion, where one person's 'uninspired' location is someone else's Best Day Ever. No one of us could make that judgement call, which is why 'wow factor' is not something a reviewer can take into consideration. The geocaching system as a whole allows for 'uninspiring' physical caches. That's not something this proposed system can address.

 

It's unfortunate you have few great challenge caches with great physical caches near you... around here there are a whole bunch of challenge caches with excellent hides to go with them. Often the hide is related to the theme. Of course there are many caches 'tacked on' as you describe, and yeah in those cases the physical find is more like a formality just to get the smiley.

But I think the hope of (most?) people is that the experience to doing the challenge is sufficient so that the cache itself doesn't have to be spectacular. Also, it can be really infuriating if you complete a great challenge, only to find out that you're unable to get the final cache - so some may go the opposite route and make the cache easy with the challenge difficult. *shrug*

 

I don't think there's a challenge-cache-specific solution to the 'wow' factor of their related physical caches. Just hide'em the way you'd like to find'em, and hope others follow suit (the same point used for other caching woes)

Edited by thebruce0

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Ha, this is hilarious, you're all for doing away with being required to complete a challenge to log a challenge cache but call me crazy for wanting an option to not solve a puzzle to log a puzzle cache.

If you were to "brute force" find the cache, or happen on the container and sign the log, you can log a find without solving any puzzle. Your log won't get deleted. If it is deleted, it will be reinstated because of the other guidelines of "find it, sign it, log it" for physical caches.

 

Don't hijack this thread about that topic.

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it problematic to you if people sign your log sheet and then post a note, with no intention of ever completing the challenge?

 

No, I don't see it as problematic. I see it as pointless. Unless you're tagging along with a friend, why bother hunting a challenge cache if you don't yet qualify, let alone have no intention of qualifying? If that's the case, the ignore system that's in place works just fine.

 

Wouldn't you want the difficulty of your challenges enhanced by more Stars than just an average challenge?

 

No, this is not necessary. The difficulty rating system that's in place works just fine. At least for me it does, since I normally rate the difficulty of my challenge caches taking the challenge and the hide into the account and the terrain rating as that of the actual cache.

 

Wouldn't you want it easier for cachers to be able to find your challenges in queries and on the maps?

 

Given the addition of "challenge" in the title coupled with project gc and multiple bookmark lists, folks seem to have no problem finding my challenge listings. I do, however, believe that there should be some other distinguishing feature such as an attribute.

 

If your containers and locations are that good, wouldn't you want more opportunities for them to get the recognition they deserve via Favorite points?

 

No, I'm not concerned with favorite points. People use their favorite points for multiple different reasons at times and I don't always necessarily base the quality of a cache off of them.

 

For me, the challenge is a part of the entire cache experience. I like to use the actual cache as a goal to work towards while completing a challenge. Especially for the more difficult challenges..... That cache find is the prize at the end of the road. If everybody was able to just go straight to the prize instead of doing what it takes to obtain it, then where's the purpose? An additional inclusion into a system of statistics that already works well? I just don't see the need for it.

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I dislike this idea almost as much as I dislike somebody signing the log of a challenge cache before they qualify. My challenge hides are not "uninspired" and are usually in great areas where there are no guard rails or lamp posts to be seen. I often swag my more difficult challenge caches REALLY WELL with high quality and brand new items and a valuable FTF prize. I obviously tailor my challenge caches to cater to the challenge theme and for those who have completed the challenge. If I wanted cachers to find these caches like a traditional cache, then I would've made them traditional caches.

 

As far as I can see, the system isn't broken so don't fix it.

We've sounded a dog whistle with this topic.

 

What I'm still flummoxed about is that people can't see beyond the subjectivity of "challenge caches" to the more subtle objectivity of the physical verus non-physical cache type, and the related logging requirements for each. The objective observation shows that a physical cache should, in all other cases aside from this ALR of "challenge caches", be loggable once the container is found and the log signed. That much is true, and consistent across physical caches. Except for "challenge caches".

 

Therefore, I can't understand why there is such a pushback for an at-minimum change to "challenge caches" breaking off from the Mystery/Puzzle cache type to a new, clearer cache type of their own.

 

Then, if we want to keep consistency of the physical/non-physical cache types, "challenge caches" should be non-physical in nature and procedure. This is where something like "Challenge Stars" could work. Or, as I mentioned elsewhere, an attached challenge to a selected physical cache that is completed apart from the physical container find. A "mission", if you will. (This way, the Challenge would follow the owner, regardless of if the container is muggled, under a lamppost at a supermarket, or whatever might happen to a physical cache. Think of it this way--someone could become the new moniker for their own "fizzy challenge!" Do people know where that name came from? ...I digress...)

 

As has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, the undisputed core motivation for having a container to log a find on after completion of a challenge is to log a cache to prove that you did something that others have not yet done. The "honor" of the find is more about the honor of having jumped through the required hoops via achievements or love of pedantic collation of certain statistics, alphabet letters, D/T ratings, etc.

 

To that I also say, "Huzzah!" One should be able to get another smiley (WIGAS) for that challenge. However, I still hold that the objective nature of physical versus non-physical cache types trumps the overall desire to have an exception to this rule of "find it, sign it, log it" for physical caches. That fact is supported by the original Groundspeak announcement and implementation of the ban on "ALR" caches.

 

Yes, this is a fundamental flaw of the "challenge cache" subset exception to the rule as listed (buried) in the guidelines for Mystery/Puzzle (Mystery/Unknown) cache type. Again, for consistency's sake, I would hope that the "challenge cache" would be apart from all other non-ALR caches, apart from all other physical caches, where one can find it, sign it, and log it without worry.

 

And let me stop some of you right there...this is not about me complaining that I "can't find all the caches". This is not me saying that we should "do away with challenge caches". This is not me saying that, because I can't qualify for some challenges, "I'm being discriminated against". Those are all straw men that ignore the objective truth that the core of this game is that a container is hidden at coordinates, and one can log their find online at Geocaching.com once their name is on the logbook. Exceptions were made (I'll say them again for those who forgot: Earthcaches, Virtuals, Events, Locationless, WebCam caches), but those caches are apart from the other physical caches in how you log them. ALRs were once physical caches, but they were removed from gameplay once the argument was made by Groundspeak (and members) that a find of a physical container and signing of its logbook constitutes a find.

 

Groundspeak is up against a rock and a hard place here because Challenges promote the game, they encourage game play, they encourage membership, they create camaraderie, they are now location-based adventures, and they are just plain old fun for those who complete or set out to complete them. The hard place is the fact that they themselves argued that all physical caches should be loggable once the logbook was signed. So what to do? Well, let us argue here, that's what. But that's not the point.

 

The point is that Groundspeak is presented here with an option (set of options, really) to keep this awesome part of the game intact, all while making gameplay more consistent, and sticking to their message. It's a win-win. Well, that is all except for those who answer the call of the dog whistle sounded here to "keep it as it is", in spite of the core reality about foundational aspects of this game we all play.

Edited by NeverSummer

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To add: I don't expect anyone who started playing or joined the site after 2010 to really understand the "ALR" concept. Heck, that would go for Virtual caches after 2005. But, if one takes the time to see what that was all about, what happened over time while they were allowed, and what happened when Groundspeak said, "Enough!"...they might see what we're getting at here.

 

This is the core of why the great idea of "challenge caches" should become a Challenge Cache type. "Challenge caches" have become what Groundspeak wishes they had created with Challenges. It's what they should have morphed Virtuals into as to make them what they said those caches had moved away from.

 

The goal is for the game and cache types to be location-based, auditable, and reasonable in expectation for logging them for another smiley (WIGAS). What was once a "Find" was muddled by Locationless. It was muddled by the arbitrary and less-than-notable sites of many new Virtuals. It was muddled by the novelty of WebCams in the "new world of streaming remote images". It is muddled by Earthcaches. Without a logbook for Events anymore, they can get tossed in this list as well. Then we come to the birth of "ALR" caches published under the test-bed of "Mystery/Unknown" caches (Now Mystery/Puzzle...for what reason again?). Add in the "better mistake of tomorrow" that was Challenges, and we get a long list of how the game has really moved away from the core sense of what you do to play: Find it, sign it, log it online.

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I don't view qualifying for a challenge cache as jumping through hoops. I view it as a great motivation to go out and find more caches.

 

I view solving complex trigonometry puzzles to even find out the location for a puzzle cache as jumping through a hoop. Solving the puzzle has nothing to do with navigating to a defined location, searching for the container and signing the log book. The puzzle gets in the way of my getting outdoors and finding a logbook to sign.

 

So, we're right back to my argument that everyone should be allowed to see the coordinates for puzzle caches by pressing a "show me" button, while fans of trigonometry can go about doing it the hard way by solving a puzzle first before the coords are revealed to them.. They can earn bonus puzzle stars and track their puzzle points at Project-Puzzle.com.

 

By the way, event caches never required a log book as a matter of listing guideline policy. During my early years of geocaching, I never saw a log at an event. It came as a surprise when I was directed towards a log when I visited an event distant from my home area. Different areas developed different customs in the absence of a listing guideline one way or the other. Eventually, the event cache guideline was modified to say no logbook was required, because of event organizers who insisted on having people sign the log or else risk having their "attended" log deleted - even if they were physically present.

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I don't view qualifying for a challenge cache as jumping through hoops. I view it as a great motivation to go out and find more caches.

Admittedly a poor choice of words based on the "feel" of what you do to attain the goal. But you get my point, or so it sounds.

 

I view solving complex trigonometry puzzles to even find out the location for a puzzle cache as jumping through a hoop. Solving the puzzle has nothing to do with navigating to a defined location, searching for the container and signing the log book. The puzzle gets in the way of my getting outdoors and finding a logbook to sign.

And thereby you can understand the feeling that some have on the other side of the spectrum about "challenge caches"?

 

So, we're right back to my argument that everyone should be allowed to see the coordinates for puzzle caches by pressing a "show me" button, while fans of trigonometry can go about doing it the hard way by solving a puzzle first before the coords are revealed to them.. They can earn bonus puzzle stars and track their puzzle points at Project-Puzzle.com.

No, no we're not. One can still log a find on the cache if they find the coordinates by other means, or if they happen upon the cache in the field. There will be no angry owners who can delete your log for "not jumping through their hoop".

 

By the way, event caches never required a log book as a matter of listing guideline policy. During my early years of geocaching, I never saw a log at an event. It came as a surprise when I was directed towards a log when I visited an event distant from my home area. Different areas developed different customs in the absence of a listing guideline one way or the other. Eventually, the event cache guideline was modified to say no logbook was required, because of event organizers who insisted on having people sign the log or else risk having their "attended" log deleted - even if they were physically present.

That's interesting. All events I attended in my early days had logbooks. That goes for Oregon, Washington (I think, without looking), and Minnesota events I attended.

 

So you see, Groundspeak thereby created a completely non-physical method of logging for another smiley (WIGAS). The idea, as I was told by those running and planning events when I first joined this site and cached in Oregon, was that a logbook was required for other caches to audit who was actually, physically there, so events follow suit.

 

Even my one and only Mega was converted to a Mega once the cache owner(s) proved that they surpassed the threshold to be called "Mega" via the signed logbook. Otherwise, it was all hearsay. Now the guidelines for event categorization has been updated and clarified as to remove the possibility of "conversion", which I disagree with. I mean, either you attended with that many people (thus qualifying as a Mega/Giga), or you didn't.

 

I would also say that all other caches have a way to confirm that you actually "found" it, except for Events now. And that is something I disagree with. Nothing stops a person from logging an event when they did not actually attend. I could even say that I was at an event because I rolled through the parking lot and didn't engage at all with the event itself. Fair enough, I guess...

 

But, I once again digress...Let's get back to the point.

 

So you are herein admitting that the logbook doesn't matter for an event (you were there, but didn't sign a log, and yet you should get the WIGAS/Found It credit). The guideline addition by Groundspeak firmly plants Events in the "Non-physical" category of geocaches. I could also argue that I don't need to find the cache of a "challenge cache" to say I've completed the challenge, but would like to have credit for doing so. Why is that not possible? It would be akin to Events, no? Logbooks matter for physical caches, not for non-physical caches. This sets the core of "challenge caches" apart from the Mystery/Puzzle cache type they are attached to.

 

Again, this means they should, at least, have their own cache type to set them apart wholly from other Physical caches requiring a logbook and container to be called a "geocache". Find it, sign it, log it online, am I right?

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Oh, goodie. A quote dissection exercise. Usually I skip those, but you are replying politely and thoughtfully.

I view solving complex trigonometry puzzles to even find out the location for a puzzle cache as jumping through a hoop. Solving the puzzle has nothing to do with navigating to a defined location, searching for the container and signing the log book. The puzzle gets in the way of my getting outdoors and finding a logbook to sign.

And thereby you can understand the feeling that some have on the other side of the spectrum about "challenge caches"?

Yes, I can understand. So, all I'm asking for is equal treatment. If we're going to make it easy to log finds on challenge caches, which I generally enjoy as they now exist, then let's make it easy to log finds on puzzle caches, which I generally do not enjoy as they now exist.

 

So, we're right back to my argument that everyone should be allowed to see the coordinates for puzzle caches by pressing a "show me" button, while fans of trigonometry can go about doing it the hard way by solving a puzzle first before the coords are revealed to them.. They can earn bonus puzzle stars and track their puzzle points at Project-Puzzle.com.

No, no we're not. One can still log a find on the cache if they find the coordinates by other means, or if they happen upon the cache in the field. There will be no angry owners who can delete your log for "not jumping through their hoop".

Wandering around aimlessly in parking lots, hoping that a random lamp post or guardrail might contain a puzzle cache, is a far bigger hoop to jump through. Asking me to use a "cheater" website, "phone a friend" or other means of acquiring puzzle solution coordinates requires me to compromise my geocaching ethics. Nope, the puzzle locations must be made available to me at a click of a button. Clicking the button disqualifies me from earning any puzzle-solving stars, but empowers me to find the cache and sign the logbook without jumping through hoops.

 

So you are herein admitting that the logbook doesn't matter for an event (you were there, but didn't sign a log, and yet you should get the WIGAS/Found It credit). The guideline addition by Groundspeak firmly plants Events in the "Non-physical" category of geocaches. I could also argue that I don't need to find the cache of a "challenge cache" to say I've completed the challenge, but would like to have credit for doing so. Why is that not possible? It would be akin to Events, no? Logbooks matter for physical caches, not for non-physical caches. This sets the core of "challenge caches" apart from the Mystery/Puzzle cache type they are attached to.

I didn't "admit" anything; I posted that the event cache guidelines have NEVER required logbooks because you seemed to be relying on a "change" in the event guidelines as part of your argument. There was no change. Event caches aren't challenge caches, and challenge caches aren't event caches.

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Ah. Hmm... How do I feel about challenge caches? There are two that we set out to complete: NJ DeLorme Challenge and NJ County. Other than that, we log Challenges if we already qualify (or if we only need one find to qualify. All day of the year hidden for the PHD Challenge. I qualified, but my caching partner needed a cache hidden on 12/15. So we found one.)

But, the discussion here is about making challenge caches traditionals, and adding a star if one also qualified for the challenge. That makes no sense whatsoever. Either it is a challenge, or it is a traditional. To make them traditionals, then the obvious answer is to add a new category, similar to a Locationless. Then there would be only one of each category. This is probably the best way to handle this. "Find Six Cache Types in One Day". Did that on a visit to Seattle. Went looking for the local one, but it has not been maintained since Hurricane Sandy knocked over the trees. Must be a hundred others I qualify for. Do I really want to travel to a hundred other locations to log the same Challenge? Naw. Make one: "Find Six Different Cache Types in One Day" challenge, and archive all the rest. "Get Fifty D/T points in One Day." If GS were to delete the requirement to fulfill the challenge to log the cache, why bother having more than one such challenge. Add them as Locationless or Virtual, or a new category: Challenge. (Oops. Been done a few times.)

Of course this would increase the number of inane challenges. But, they're out there already. "Find caches in conterminous counties stretching across twenty states." No, thanks. Not gonna bother with that one.

Okay. If I had gone to Colorado to be a stem cell donor (I did not match), I was considering "Find a cache in every minute between N40º and N41º" Only needed four in New Jersey to qualify. If I find them, I could set that as a New Jersey Challenge!

Challenges have gotten far out of hand, like Virtuals did. This issue needs to be addressed. But making them traditionals, and offering stars, is not the way to go.

Either archive them all as being ALRs. (Which they are.) Or set up a new type, and permit one of each type. I would keep 'All Counties Nevada' and 'DeLorme Maine'. And archive all the duplicates. "Find caches in Nine States in One Day" is one Challenge. Do we need thirty-five of them?

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the discussion here is about making challenge caches traditionals, and adding a star if one also qualified for the challenge. That makes no sense whatsoever. Either it is a challenge, or it is a traditional.

 

Nope. Most challenge caches, if you take away the challenge, you have a traditional cache. Some also come with a puzzle or perhaps even a physical offset. Take away the challenge, and you have a multicache, or a mystery cache (still).

Point: A Challenge Cache is a physical cache, the exception being that you cannot log it "found" online if you haven't completed the ALR. So. Separate the challenge ALR aspect from the physical aspect, and wins all around. (see rest of the thread above as to why)

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So, all I'm asking for is equal treatment. If we're going to make it easy to log finds on challenge caches, which I generally enjoy as they now exist, then let's make it easy to log finds on puzzle caches, which I generally do not enjoy as they now exist.
You would be in favor of the Challenge Stars if there was also an equivalent Puzzle Stars feature?

 

I guess that could be done, but it'd have to be different from challenges regarding confirmation. As they exist now, solved puzzles cough up the coordinates of the container holding the log to be signed. If you are going to simply reveal the coordinates then the now-optional puzzle will have to produce something else that can be used to confirm with the CO. Otherwise your Puzzle Solved log will get deleted -- no Stars for you.

 

Not sure what the new puzzle solutions would look like, and it would most likely take away from what makes puzzles fun (for some people). It would also greatly increase the difficulty of the puzzle if you weren't sure that the solution was a latitude and longitude. The point of the puzzle is to reveal the coordinates.

 

But we digress -- this is a topic about Challenge Stars. Maybe someone can create a [FEATURE] Puzzle Stars topic with a better way to implement that?

 

If GS were to delete the requirement to fulfill the challenge to log the cache, why bother having more than one such challenge.
This thread is proposing a new log type. In addition to the existing Found It, the Challenge Completed log containing the verification requirements is needed to to get the Challenge Stars.

 

Challenges have gotten far out of hand

 

Nothing to do with this topic. You might want to head over to this thread where that kind of input is relevant:

 

challenges should be changed

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Not sure what the new puzzle solutions would look like, and it would most likely take away from what makes puzzles fun (for some people). It would also greatly increase the difficulty of the puzzle if you weren't sure that the solution was a latitude and longitude. The point of the puzzle is to reveal the coordinates.

 

Much like challenge stars would take away the fun for (some) challenge cache owners. To some, the whole point of finding the cache is completing the challenge first.

 

See my point?

 

Anyway, I think The Leprechauns has a pretty good take on the whole thing. If challenges, as they are, were to be devalued by making them available to everybody, then so should every Mystery Cache.

Edited by Traditional Bill

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Challenge qualifications can (should) be objectively verifiable.

Puzzle solutions cannot.

That is the primary reason puzzle stars cannot work, which does not apply to challenge stars.

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I dislike this idea almost as much as I dislike somebody signing the log of a challenge cache before they qualify. My challenge hides are not "uninspired" and are usually in great areas where there are no guard rails or lamp posts to be seen. I often swag my more difficult challenge caches REALLY WELL with high quality and brand new items and a valuable FTF prize. I obviously tailor my challenge caches to cater to the challenge theme and for those who have completed the challenge. If I wanted cachers to find these caches like a traditional cache, then I would've made them traditional caches.

 

As far as I can see, the system isn't broken so don't fix it.

We've sounded a dog whistle with this topic.

 

What I'm still flummoxed about is that people can't see beyond the subjectivity of "challenge caches" to the more subtle objectivity of the physical verus non-physical cache type, and the related logging requirements for each. The objective observation shows that a physical cache should, in all other cases aside from this ALR of "challenge caches", be loggable once the container is found and the log signed. That much is true, and consistent across physical caches. Except for "challenge caches".

 

Therefore, I can't understand why there is such a pushback for an at-minimum change to "challenge caches" breaking off from the Mystery/Puzzle cache type to a new, clearer cache type of their own.

 

Then, if we want to keep consistency of the physical/non-physical cache types, "challenge caches" should be non-physical in nature and procedure. This is where something like "Challenge Stars" could work. Or, as I mentioned elsewhere, an attached challenge to a selected physical cache that is completed apart from the physical container find. A "mission", if you will. (This way, the Challenge would follow the owner, regardless of if the container is muggled, under a lamppost at a supermarket, or whatever might happen to a physical cache. Think of it this way--someone could become the new moniker for their own "fizzy challenge!" Do people know where that name came from? ...I digress...)

 

As has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, the undisputed core motivation for having a container to log a find on after completion of a challenge is to log a cache to prove that you did something that others have not yet done. The "honor" of the find is more about the honor of having jumped through the required hoops via achievements or love of pedantic collation of certain statistics, alphabet letters, D/T ratings, etc.

 

To that I also say, "Huzzah!" One should be able to get another smiley (WIGAS) for that challenge. However, I still hold that the objective nature of physical versus non-physical cache types trumps the overall desire to have an exception to this rule of "find it, sign it, log it" for physical caches. That fact is supported by the original Groundspeak announcement and implementation of the ban on "ALR" caches.

 

Yes, this is a fundamental flaw of the "challenge cache" subset exception to the rule as listed (buried) in the guidelines for Mystery/Puzzle (Mystery/Unknown) cache type. Again, for consistency's sake, I would hope that the "challenge cache" would be apart from all other non-ALR caches, apart from all other physical caches, where one can find it, sign it, and log it without worry.

 

And let me stop some of you right there...this is not about me complaining that I "can't find all the caches". This is not me saying that we should "do away with challenge caches". This is not me saying that, because I can't qualify for some challenges, "I'm being discriminated against". Those are all straw men that ignore the objective truth that the core of this game is that a container is hidden at coordinates, and one can log their find online at Geocaching.com once their name is on the logbook. Exceptions were made (I'll say them again for those who forgot: Earthcaches, Virtuals, Events, Locationless, WebCam caches), but those caches are apart from the other physical caches in how you log them. ALRs were once physical caches, but they were removed from gameplay once the argument was made by Groundspeak (and members) that a find of a physical container and signing of its logbook constitutes a find.

 

Groundspeak is up against a rock and a hard place here because Challenges promote the game, they encourage game play, they encourage membership, they create camaraderie, they are now location-based adventures, and they are just plain old fun for those who complete or set out to complete them. The hard place is the fact that they themselves argued that all physical caches should be loggable once the logbook was signed. So what to do? Well, let us argue here, that's what. But that's not the point.

 

The point is that Groundspeak is presented here with an option (set of options, really) to keep this awesome part of the game intact, all while making gameplay more consistent, and sticking to their message. It's a win-win. Well, that is all except for those who answer the call of the dog whistle sounded here to "keep it as it is", in spite of the core reality about foundational aspects of this game we all play.

 

Well said. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument is neither helpful nor totally appropriate. I think the case has been made that it IS broken...to a degree. You did a fair job of outlining that point, that GS has an inconsistent system in place to deal with challenges.

 

Part of me wishes there were an entirely separate splinter site for challenges...tied directly into the GC site but not mixed in with every other cache on the map. In that event, however, the challenges could easily be kept as-is. That's probably an extreme measure, though.

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Much like challenge stars would take away the fun for (some) challenge cache owners.
Do you really mean cache owners? If you did, I am wondering from which fun aspects of owning a challenge cache the Stars would take away. I would think that a quantified gauge of challenging-ness would enhance the fun for the CO. There would also be a reduction in angst experienced by the CO by separating the find from the completion -- if necessary, deleting the Challenge Completed log type (when necessary) would not mess with the finder's mileage or milestones. Less angst = more fun.

 

To some, the whole point of finding the cache is completing the challenge first.
Agree, for myself. But not everyone feels that way. That's why you see many people sign then log a note on a challenge cache before they have completed the requirements. These issues are outlined in the Challenge Caches - pre-signing of logs thread.

 

In that thread, I have indicated that I believe that implementation of Challenge Stars would enhance and clarify both the complete-then-find and find-then-complete processes..

 

If challenges, as they are, were to be devalued by making them available to everybody, then so should every Mystery Cache.
The Challenge Stars does not make them available to everybody. Only those who fulfill the requirements would be allowed to have their Challenge Completed logs stand.

 

Meanwhile, for me, the 'value' of the challenge is the accumulation of my experiences completing it, which are independent of anyone else's.

 

It is possible you are suggesting that the 'value' of the challenge is the signing of the log. If so, then current note-posting non-completers are devaluing extant challenge caches.

 

If is also possible you are suggesting that the 'value' of the challenge is the gaining of the Found It smiley upon completion. If so, then the Challenge Stars feature would enhance the challenge's value by adding a scalar quantification in proportion to its difficulty, instead of a binary completed-yes/no as it is now.

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Oh, goodie. A quote dissection exercise. Usually I skip those, but you are replying politely and thoughtfully.

:laughing: Yeah...sorry about that. But at least you took the time to see that I'm trying to be thoughtful and address points carefully, accurately, and clearly.

 

I view solving complex trigonometry puzzles to even find out the location for a puzzle cache as jumping through a hoop. Solving the puzzle has nothing to do with navigating to a defined location, searching for the container and signing the log book. The puzzle gets in the way of my getting outdoors and finding a logbook to sign.

And thereby you can understand the feeling that some have on the other side of the spectrum about "challenge caches"?

Yes, I can understand. So, all I'm asking for is equal treatment. If we're going to make it easy to log finds on challenge caches, which I generally enjoy as they now exist, then let's make it easy to log finds on puzzle caches, which I generally do not enjoy as they now exist.

Well, wait a minute. The D-rating for a Mystery/Puzzle is supposed to provide clarity and accuracy in the actual, cache-specific difficulty in finding the container. That might mean great camo for a Traditional, tough hides for a Multi, or a puzzle for a Mystery/Unknown.

 

When we get down to it, "challenge caches" have a struggle to make the D/T combo accurately describe the actual hide of that "challenge". Usually the "D" is rated for the overall challenge to complete, not the single container. It's almost like "challenge caches" need another "D" rating to cover each of the difficulties one might encounter in finding that container, and separately the difficulty of completing the challenge. (Perhaps other Mystery/Puzzle caches need that too?)

 

All this to say, the difficulty of finding the container doesn't matter. If you put pen to paper on a D5 puzzle, or a D5 "challenge cache", one log gets the "Found It" log, and the other isn't supposed to. That's where I see a fundamental issue here.

 

So, we're right back to my argument that everyone should be allowed to see the coordinates for puzzle caches by pressing a "show me" button, while fans of trigonometry can go about doing it the hard way by solving a puzzle first before the coords are revealed to them.. They can earn bonus puzzle stars and track their puzzle points at Project-Puzzle.com.

No, no we're not. One can still log a find on the cache if they find the coordinates by other means, or if they happen upon the cache in the field. There will be no angry owners who can delete your log for "not jumping through their hoop".

Wandering around aimlessly in parking lots, hoping that a random lamp post or guardrail might contain a puzzle cache, is a far bigger hoop to jump through. Asking me to use a "cheater" website, "phone a friend" or other means of acquiring puzzle solution coordinates requires me to compromise my geocaching ethics. Nope, the puzzle locations must be made available to me at a click of a button. Clicking the button disqualifies me from earning any puzzle-solving stars, but empowers me to find the cache and sign the logbook without jumping through hoops.

You're a Reviewer...you have the "click of a button"! (But there's that ethics thing again...) I kid, I kid! :laughing:

 

But seriously, The issue isn't "how" you find that puzzle. If you put pen to paper, you can log the find. That's the fundamental issue here.

 

So you are herein admitting that the logbook doesn't matter for an event (you were there, but didn't sign a log, and yet you should get the WIGAS/Found It credit). The guideline addition by Groundspeak firmly plants Events in the "Non-physical" category of geocaches. I could also argue that I don't need to find the cache of a "challenge cache" to say I've completed the challenge, but would like to have credit for doing so. Why is that not possible? It would be akin to Events, no? Logbooks matter for physical caches, not for non-physical caches. This sets the core of "challenge caches" apart from the Mystery/Puzzle cache type they are attached to.

I didn't "admit" anything; I posted that the event cache guidelines have NEVER required logbooks because you seemed to be relying on a "change" in the event guidelines as part of your argument. There was no change. Event caches aren't challenge caches, and challenge caches aren't event caches.

[

 

Well, that wasn't my point. (Thus why I said "I digress...")

 

The point is that Event's don't require a logbook to get a smiley--a "Found It" log..."an Attended"=another smiley. They are not physical caches, so that much isn't required.

 

But what has been made clear is that geocaches listed on Geocaching.com are to have a container and a logbook. A "Find" occurs when one finds the container at coordinates, signs the logbook, and then posts a log online at Geocaching.com. A container and logbook means it is a physical cache. Other points were made by Groundspeak that "ALRs" were not "in the spirit" of the game, and owners could not arbitrarily delete "Found it" logs because someone didn't jump through a hoop in addition to signing the logbook.

 

So, again, focus away from the straw men, and look at the consistency we're looking for here. This much to me shows that Groundspeak has an opportunity to revolutionize the game by making Challenges what they should have been all along--just what Harry Dolphin mentioned above--Universal, Reviewed, Consistent Geocaching-related challenges that cross borders. Another "Locationless", but for those challenges owners design.

 

That way, we keep what people love, and get rid of what people don't like as much. Groundspeak makes things consistent and more clear, and sets a standard for what this game is versus other location-based games being played out there.

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It's almost like "challenge caches" need another "D" rating to cover each of the difficulties one might encounter in finding that container, and separately the difficulty of completing the challenge. (Perhaps other Mystery/Puzzle caches need that too?)
I think another rating could be useful for lots of cache types. That would leave terrain as the challenge of reaching GZ, difficulty as the challenge of finding the container once you reach GZ, and the new rating as the challenge of whatever other twist is part of the cache. For challenge caches, the twist rating could reflect the difficulty of the challenge (5 for something that requires a lot of time/travel like the Fizzy or Jasmer challenges, and 1 for something trivial like "find 1 cache, and this one counts"). For puzzle caches, the twist rating could reflect the difficulty of the puzzle. For LBH caches, the twist rating could reflect the difficulty of following the letterbox-style instructions (if any). For any physical cache, the twist rating could reflect the difficulty of retrieving/opening/replacing a container that is easy to spot, but harder to retrieve/open/replace. And so on.

 

But that's a pretty big change to the system at this point in the game.

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But that's a pretty big change to the system at this point in the game.

 

So we're leaving it to the most intuitive and least specific definition.

Difficulty - brain

Terrain - braun

Challenge - non-cache-specific bonus task.

 

Right now D is both D and C, for one specific cache type as an exception. Puzzles and Letterboxes are both covered by D, and completing either as intended is not a prerequisite (nor verifiable) for posting a Find log online.

It's not just about rewarding challenge tasks with stars, it's about being clear and intuitive with words and meanings.

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It's not just about rewarding challenge tasks with stars, it's about being clear and intuitive with words and meanings.

 

I have always found a question mark with the word "challenge" in it to be very clear and intuitive, telling me that there is an additional requirement before I log a cache as a find. It might be even clearer if they were a different type, but challenge stars are not that intuitive to me.

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It's not just about rewarding challenge tasks with stars, it's about being clear and intuitive with words and meanings.

 

I have always found a question mark with the word "challenge" in it to be very clear and intuitive, telling me that there is an additional requirement before I log a cache as a find. It might be even clearer if they were a different type, but challenge stars are not that intuitive to me.

 

I've always found newly published caches without the word "challenge" in it and yet still considered a challenge confusing and non-intuitive and am slightly annoyed at not having been able to do a simple search (outside of GSAK filtering) to get a list of active challenges and actually have it show up in the list (usually resorting to other users' bookmark lists indicating challenges, or not challenges, since other Mystery caches with 'challenge' in the title may not actually be challenge caches).

They could be different cache type - that's not as important to me, but challenge stars solve other issues I've concluded would be produced by a "challenge cache" type (as I've described numerous places throughout these threads =P)

Edited by thebruce0

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But that's a pretty big change to the system at this point in the game.

 

So we're leaving it to the most intuitive and least specific definition.

Difficulty - brain

Terrain - braun

Challenge - non-cache-specific bonus task.

 

Right now D is both D and C, for one specific cache type as an exception. Puzzles and Letterboxes are both covered by D, and completing either as intended is not a prerequisite (nor verifiable) for posting a Find log online.

It's not just about rewarding challenge tasks with stars, it's about being clear and intuitive with words and meanings.

I came across this similar pointin another thread. There are the D/T combos for the cache itself. That's all established in common practice and the guidelines, as well as in tools (ClayJar system) and discussions (forum topics designing common the D/T rating system itself).

 

There are geocaches (the physical container). Those containers get the ratings (D/T).

 

There is geocaching (the hunt). That is where the T rating really comes in. The D might figure in some, but really terrain is the hunt--the getting there--and the geocache is the difficulty (the hide, the "how hard is this cache to find" aspect)

 

Then we have preparation. This is the variable that involves what it takes to solve a puzzle, say, or complete a challenge. For some the preparation for going geocaching for a geocache involves things like packing supplies, printing maps, gassing a vehicle, lubing a bicycle chain, solving a puzzle, or collating challenge task completion documentation. That measure, "preparation", is going to vary from person to person and cache to cache more so than D/T ratings. This is why a third measure could never be accurate.

 

For example, someone who has 15,000 finds is more likely to be able to "prepare" for a challenge cache. Someone with 10,000 caches within a 50 mile radius will also be able to complete more challenge tasks than someone with 100 caches in a 50 mile radius. Some aren't as familiar with cyphers or other puzzle problems. Some are great at reading maps, but horrible at getting coordinates entered into a GPS unit.

 

So, this is another thing that can help set apart caching aspects--the D/T and the "Prep factor". The main consideration is still that the "prep factor" may have something to do with the cache hunt, but the variables that go into it are so...well, variable. One person's challenge is another's cake walk. One puzzle is another's day at the office. But, once again, the main difference is the physical log in a physical cache that can be signed and logged online once the logbook is signed. There is no caveat for that "found it" requirement within the "Puzzle" side of the Mystery/Puzzle cache type...until you encounter the bottom of the description where "challenges" are buried (the "asterisk", as I call it) under Mystery/Puzzle.

 

Again, why wouldn't it make sense for "challenge caches" to become Challenge Caches? Would the ALR aspect of those caches be forever overlooked in comparison to other physical caches? I don't think it would last long under that kind of broad scrutiny. This is why a "star" system, or a "Locationless" revival might be the better route to address this inconsistency.

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I came across this similar pointin another thread. There are the D/T combos for the cache itself. That's all established in common practice and the guidelines, as well as in tools (ClayJar system) and discussions (forum topics designing common the D/T rating system itself).

 

There are geocaches (the physical container). Those containers get the ratings (D/T).

 

There is geocaching (the hunt). That is where the T rating really comes in. The D might figure in some, but really terrain is the hunt--the getting there--and the geocache is the difficulty (the hide, the "how hard is this cache to find" aspect)

 

Then we have preparation. This is the variable that involves what it takes to solve a puzzle, say, or complete a challenge.

Let me first interject right here.

Again, you're skipping the paramount factor: You don't have to solve a puzzle to log a physical cache as found online. You have to complete a challenge to log the physical (challenge) cache as found online.

D/T applies to physical cache, all the steps needed in order to log a cache as found online.

Except for challenges. The challenge difficulty, which is not related to finding the physical cache, is mixed in in some manner, with the D rating for the physical cache. That's not intuitive, and a common criticism of the challenge cache concept.

...and that's why we've been led to refer to it cordially as the "WIGAS" log instead of the "Found It" log.

 

For some the preparation for going geocaching for a geocache involves things like packing supplies, printing maps, gassing a vehicle, lubing a bicycle chain, solving a puzzle, or collating challenge task completion documentation. That measure, "preparation", is going to vary from person to person and cache to cache more so than D/T ratings. This is why a third measure could never be accurate.

Again, solving the puzzle isn't necessary. For whatever reason, coordinates may be determined without solving the puzzle. One might even say that about supplies, maps, vehicle, etc. All of that is a different discussion - has the cacher found and signed the logsheet within the container in the manner expected by the CO? Whether yes or no, it's irrelevant - the cacher can log it found online. Not so with the challenge cache ALR, having a challenge difficulty mixed in with the difficulty rating of the physical cache.

 

One person's challenge is another's cake walk.

Subjectivity can only be decided by the CO though. So it's really irrelevant what finders think of the rating - that is whatever the CO decides to make it, by their own judgement call, with the hope that cachers will do what is intended to find the physical cache, but knowing that may not always be the case.

 

One puzzle is another's day at the office. But, once again, the main difference is the physical log in a physical cache that can be signed and logged online once the logbook is signed. There is no caveat for that "found it" requirement within the "Puzzle" side of the Mystery/Puzzle cache type...until you encounter the bottom of the description where "challenges" are buried (the "asterisk", as I call it) under Mystery/Puzzle.

Exactly, so why mix challenge difficulty in with physical cache difficulty? Much more intuitive to have them distinguished, as the challenge qualification is a separate requirement (whether for the Found It log, currently, or the Challenge Completed log proposed) than finding and signing the logsheet.

 

Again, why wouldn't it make sense for "challenge caches" to become Challenge Caches? Would the ALR aspect of those caches be forever overlooked in comparison to other physical caches? I don't think it would last long under that kind of broad scrutiny. This is why a "star" system, or a "Locationless" revival might be the better route to address this inconsistency.

In summary, again, a new Challenge Cache type would still be a physical cache (whether traditional, mystery, multi, etc), and wouldn't resolve the complaint that has been raised numerous times that people want to log physical caches Found online if they've found the physical cache.

 

My support is towards making the challenge star system a 'bonus' to existing physical cache types, so that if the CO allows it, people who want to find the physical cache without doing the challenge can do so, or the CO can restrict it so they also have to qualify for the challenge.

 

In short:

Finding any physical cache rewards the smiley.

Finding and qualifying the challenge rewards the smiley and challenge star rating.

If the CO locks the challenge to the cache, you only get the smiley if you also qualify for the challenge.

Really, it's a very simple concept. B)

Edited by thebruce0

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You're picking nits where they don't live, thebruce0! We agree completely!

 

I was saying that "The Prep Factor" can include the following (as in, "e.g.") I say, "for some...", not "for all".

 

So yes, the big difference, which I do discuss above and in the quoted text, is that physical caches are all "Found it" if you find the container, and sign the logbook.

 

"The Prep Factor" is whatever it takes outside of the cache itself (geocache), or the hunt for the cache (geocaching). That can be any number of things, such as solving a puzzle, collation of stats for qualification for a challenge, tying your boots, gassing the car, whatever. That "prep factor" is so incredibly variable (could just be leaving your house and stumbling on a cache that happens to be the actual location for a puzzle's final, e.g.) that you can't accurately quantify it for any or all caches or cachers.

 

This is where the mix of D for "challenge caches" is inaccurate, and it bugs me. This is where we can come right back to the OP about another system to determine the "D" rating of the challenge tasks specifically. That could be stars, that could just be creating a new "Locationless" type of "geocache" where there is no container, but owners can create a challenge which others can undertake at will.

 

Again, why wouldn't it make sense for "challenge caches" to become Challenge Caches? Would the ALR aspect of those caches be forever overlooked in comparison to other physical caches? I don't think it would last long under that kind of broad scrutiny. This is why a "star" system, or a "Locationless" revival might be the better route to address this inconsistency.

 

In summary, again, a new Challenge Cache type would still be a physical cache (whether traditional, mystery, multi, etc), and wouldn't resolve the complaint that has been raised numerous times that people want to log physical caches Found online if they've found the physical cache.

This was rhetorical. See "I don't think it would last long...". A standalone, new, physical "Challenge Cache" type would not stand long against the anti-ALR credo and stance Groundspeak took back in 2008-2009. A physical cache should be logged as "Found" if you found the container, signed the logbook, and can log it online at geocaching.com." Period. This is why I finish with "This is why a 'star' system, or a 'Locationless' revival might be the better route to address this inconsistency."

 

Therein is an argument against a new cache type (still a physical cache) for "challenge caches". It is a statement in support of a new "Star" system, or a non-physical "Locationless" cache type.

 

My support is towards making the challenge star system a 'bonus' to existing physical cache types, so that if the CO allows it, people who want to find the physical cache without doing the challenge can do so, or the CO can restrict it so they also have to qualify for the challenge.

 

Agreed. A pretty good option that helps close loopholes, while pleasing the differing sides of this issue.

 

"Challenge caches" are ALRs. ALRs aren't supposed to exist. Groundspeak got lazy and used this good, pleasing, interesting, challenging idea and stuck it where it doesn't fit. They took a square peg and put it in a knife fight. (Failed mixing of metaphors to say it was a bad fit where it shouldn't be anyway? meh, I tried...) :laughing:

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For another example, the "D" rating for an Earthcache reflects how difficult the logging tasks are. The "T" rating is how the terrain will affect your caching experience (Hilly? Mountainous? Rappelling? Complete bushwhack in an ATV?, e.g.).

 

So, the "D" rating for this new "Star" system is the difficulty of the logging requirements of that challenge. The "T" is also a reflection of the overall "T" required to obtain completion of the challenge tasks.

 

This isn't rocket surgery!

 

The argument some put on about "It's also about the cache you find once you complete the challenge!" is a straw man. The real "win" for anyone is the completion of the challenge. And, by making the icon and "WIGAS" smiley/star you get for completing the challenge something more exclusive, you make it more desirable. Real bragging rights for those who properly complete the challenge, right? You get the special star, and others only get smiley faces!

 

If a creator of a challenge decides they want to also put out a physical cache to celebrate the challenge they've created, then they most certainly can. It can be "in honor of Challenge X" or whatever they want to call it. That way it's another traditional to give another smiley to another cacher--but regardless of any ALR.

 

I mean, really, what's stopping anyone from putting out a cache listing that just says, "Log a "Found it" if you've found a bunch of caches in a day", but don't bother to audit their logbook? Only if the cache is reported will it be archived. And only if the owner doesn't clear NM logs, or speak to the NA logs that may follow. They could allow finders of the cache to log for the Traditional cache, and not bother to delete anyone else who logs from across the world to get another smiley for the challenge star they may have earned.

 

That's more of what "challenge caches" should have been modeled as: You place a traditional, and add language that anyone can also log it if they happened to complete task X. Done. All may log a find after signing the logbook, and anyone else is welcome to sign as well to get another smiley (there's the WIGAS again!) for doing some challenge.

 

But what that is, really, is what "challenge caches" are--something that gives another smiley to someone for completing an ALR. And that just doesn't seem to align with everything else we've brought up about why ALRs were removed and disallowed, etc.

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I realized as I was reviewing my comment that you weren't really opposed to what we were saying and that we did agree; I attempted to reduce the amount of 'refuting' directly to you, as it were, and make it more a general response to specific points, but I guess I still came off in opposition :P

 

For another example, the "D" rating for an Earthcache reflects how difficult the logging tasks are. The "T" rating is how the terrain will affect your caching experience (Hilly? Mountainous? Rappelling? Complete bushwhack in an ATV?, e.g.).

 

So, the "D" rating for this new "Star" system is the difficulty of the logging requirements of that challenge. The "T" is also a reflection of the overall "T" required to obtain completion of the challenge tasks.

 

Only problem is D for a physical cache can also include the actual search at GZ. How hard is it to spot, is there a mental requirement in order to get at the log sheet? I can't get behind the "D" for a challenge difficulty (with only T as the other rating) since there could also be a puzzle for an offset; there could be a field puzzle; the container could be hidden very well, camouflaged. Any number of reasons that the D of the physical cache might differ from the D of the challenge; thus my support of the additional Challenge rating - or rather, if I read you correctly, having the 3 rating system for caches with the a challenge component, rather than the standard 2 (even if one means something different for the challenge cache class).

 

This isn't rocket surgery!

What's the "D" rating for that? :P

 

If a creator of a challenge decides they want to also put out a physical cache to celebrate the challenge they've created...

Not quite following this though... without the physical cache, then the challenge itself is either locationless (back to Worldwide Geocaching Challenges) or tied to a location (Geocaching Challenges). Neither are anything like the current Challenge Caching experience.

 

I mean, really, what's stopping anyone from putting out a cache listing that just says, "Log a "Found it" if you've found a bunch of caches in a day", but don't bother to audit their logbook?

Yep. Happens all the time. And we even have a couple around here that sort of mock the challenge concept. "Find 1 cache. This one counts!"

 

That's more of what "challenge caches" should have been modeled as: You place a traditional, and add language that anyone can also log it if they happened to complete task X. Done. All may log a find after signing the logbook, and anyone else is welcome to sign as well to get another smiley (there's the WIGAS again!) for doing some challenge.

Ick. So many problems with that. (as you probably agree)

 

But what that is, really, is what "challenge caches" are--something that gives another smiley to someone for completing an ALR. And that just doesn't seem to align with everything else we've brought up about why ALRs were removed and disallowed, etc.

Some might think that of challenge caches; likely, the people who put out effectively 1/1 caches with a challenge tied to it. They don't care about the actual cache find, just the challenge. The 'find' is a technicality.

But oh man, there are SO MANY great challenge caches where the final is amazing, or very much tied to the theme of the challenge. In the ideal situation, the challenge cache concept is honoured by that style.

They are caches because they have the physical component - so make it about the physical component.

They are challenges because they pose a structured and verifiable goal component - so make it about the challenge. The best Challenge Caches are a combination of both. But that can't be enforced. So we get 1/1 caches with great challenges, or wild caches with easy challenges, or challenge trails... (well, I like the latter, but point remains)

 

Take away the physical cache, or take away the 'reward' aspect of challenges, and we no longer have Challenge Caches.

This stars system doesn't lose that, but enhances the reward and returns to the basics of finding physical geocaches.

B)

Edited by thebruce0

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Very well stated, indeed. I hope TPTB are seeing this and taking notes to the board room...

 

I really do think that the right mix of challenge and meaningful/thoughtful "final" location for the cache of a "challenge cache" is the best thing in the world. If you design a really great cache, that is what is memorable, and some challenge cache designers really "get" that concept. I love that, just as I love a well thought-out puzzle and final, or a multi that weaves in excellent and memorable components in a way that leaves you telling friends a story about it for some time to come.

 

But, alas, we can't enforce that. We'll have caches that fit that 95% of caches that are "just another smiley". This goes for any cache type at all, ever.

 

But what we have here is the remaining fundamental flaw of ALRs and "challenge caches". That's clear as a bell to me, and many others. That's where Groundspeak needs to get to the board room and make a call on how to make the game consistent and clearer than the muddled "asterisk"; our attention spans aren't that short where we can't recall the ALR caches and the building doom that everyone could see rising on the horizon--they were so destined for the trash bin. (And yet, we still have an ALR restricting the "find" of a physical cache!)

 

So the stars thing...Still have a "Traditional" cache hidden, but attach a "challenge to it". Complete the challenge, get the star(s). I don't know if the stars should be the "prep factor", but my gut says no. I think more of a combination rating that would have to be designed (like the ClayJar system, but specifically for challenges) that can help rate them. More stars=bigger challenge.

 

For example:

How far must you travel to obtain the required cache(s)?

What is the worst terrain you might encounter in searching for the required cache(s)?

 

On and on, but not unlike the ClayJar as it is already. (It's almost like we're talking about a Multi and how we'd have to rate it for D/T!) Instead of having the rating questionnaire be optional, have it embedded into the submission form. If you select "Challenge Cache" as the type, it presents the form as part of the submission process. Bada-bing, quantitatively addressed to keep consistent and "award" the proper amount of stars for that challenge.

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That's more of what "challenge caches" should have been modeled as: You place a traditional, and add language that anyone can also log it if they happened to complete task X. Done. All may log a find after signing the logbook, and anyone else is welcome to sign as well to get another smiley (there's the WIGAS again!) for doing some challenge.

Ick. So many problems with that. (as you probably agree)

I just had to highlight this. :laughing:

 

Uhh...Yup. Ick. Barf. Please god, no! But it sounds like you know what I meant by bringing it up. :lol:

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All that said, I have no problem personally with the current challenge cache process. I love challenge caches, and as they are now is, IMO, feasible and intuitive. But, that's my opinion. There are others who don't agree. Thus, if we are going to try to 'fix' that problem, this is the fix I'd support, and it adds some more fun into the mix for we who love challenge caching. Just because I have no problem with something doesn't mean there isn't a problem (seems to be a concept a number of people in the forum have trouble grasping :P)

Edited by thebruce0

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All that said, I have no problem personally with the current challenge cache process. I love challenge caches, and as they are now is, IMO, feasible and intuitive. But, that's my opinion. There are others who don't agree. Thus, if we are going to try to 'fix' that problem, this is the fix I'd support, and it adds some more fun into the mix for we who love challenge caching. Just because I have no problem with something doesn't mean there isn't a problem (seems to be a concept a number of people in the forum have trouble grasping :P)

 

I think the "problems" can be objectively summed up:

1 - Inconsistency: ALRs are not allowed except on challenges which are...

2 - Mystery Cache classificiation: meaning they blend in on a map and there is no quick method of differentiating them visually; they more of than not are just traditional caches with additional requirements and thus do not always seem to 'fit' with that classification.

3 - D/T ratings: these do not always adequately sum up the challenge portion, or it isn't clear to COs or cachers whether the D/T ratings are for the cache or for the challenge...or both.

 

And here's where it becomes more subjective:

* Challenge "credit": I would also argue that proper "credit" is not always given those who complete difficult challenges. Yeah, it ends up on your list of smilies, but those who DO go for the quad-fizzies and Jasmers and 365 day streaks often do so to brag...and rightfully so. Give credit where credit is due...points or stars or whatever rating system for challenge difficulty would quickly catch on (at least in my area). I'm not a big challenge guy and I don't really care who has the longest streaks, but I recognize the achievement and I'm pretty sure folks who do these things like other folks to know about it.

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All that said, I have no problem personally with the current challenge cache process. I love challenge caches, and as they are now is, IMO, feasible and intuitive. But, that's my opinion. There are others who don't agree. Thus, if we are going to try to 'fix' that problem, this is the fix I'd support, and it adds some more fun into the mix for we who love challenge caching. Just because I have no problem with something doesn't mean there isn't a problem (seems to be a concept a number of people in the forum have trouble grasping :P)

 

I think the "problems" can be objectively summed up:

1 - Inconsistency: ALRs are not allowed except on challenges which are...

2 - Mystery Cache classificiation: meaning they blend in on a map and there is no quick method of differentiating them visually; they more of than not are just traditional caches with additional requirements and thus do not always seem to 'fit' with that classification.

3 - D/T ratings: these do not always adequately sum up the challenge portion, or it isn't clear to COs or cachers whether the D/T ratings are for the cache or for the challenge...or both.

 

And here's where it becomes more subjective:

* Challenge "credit": I would also argue that proper "credit" is not always given those who complete difficult challenges. Yeah, it ends up on your list of smilies, but those who DO go for the quad-fizzies and Jasmers and 365 day streaks often do so to brag...and rightfully so. Give credit where credit is due...points or stars or whatever rating system for challenge difficulty would quickly catch on (at least in my area). I'm not a big challenge guy and I don't really care who has the longest streaks, but I recognize the achievement and I'm pretty sure folks who do these things like other folks to know about it.

Now...where did we put that pretty bow with which we can tie up all of this and present it to TPTB on a silver platter?

 

Edit to add:

4 - Any time Reviewers are asked to be subjective and rule in "wow" factor, we've jumped a shark. This should be a sign that the process is broken and needs a tune-up (not to be cast off completely).

Edited by NeverSummer

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This is from another thread about deleting Note log entries on challenge caches:

 

Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

 

I didn't want to go off-topic there, so I am posting it here.

 

I am hoping to get clarification what is the perceived porpoise of a challenge cache, and attempt to show how this feature might actually be an enhancement?

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This is from another thread about deleting Note log entries on challenge caches:

 

Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

 

I didn't want to go off-topic there, so I am posting it here.

 

I am hoping to get clarification what is the perceived porpoise of a challenge cache, and attempt to show how this feature might actually be an enhancement?

 

"Perceived porpoise"?

 

Is that anything like a discerned dolphin?

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This is from another thread about deleting Note log entries on challenge caches:

 

Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

 

I didn't want to go off-topic there, so I am posting it here.

 

I am hoping to get clarification what is the perceived porpoise of a challenge cache, and attempt to show how this feature might actually be an enhancement?

 

The porpoise of a challenge cache is to fulfill the challenge requirements, then (after signing the log), log the cache. If one does not like challenge caches, then one should ignore them. Changing a challenge cache into a traditional, with some strange icon for the challenge part destroys the entire concept of a challenge cache. I get the smiley for qualifying for the challenge, and finding and signing the log in the cache.

What you wish to do is to completely destroy the concept of a challenge cache. "Oh. You don't get a smiley for qualifying for the challenge. This is now a traditional." Why bother???

Hey! Let's change them into WhyBotherMarks? That would certainly destroy them!

While the concept of Challenge Caches has suffered drastically. Yes. I will admit to having done some rather inane ones: Twelve Sets of Animals for Noah's Ark, for example. (And I didn't log any dolphins into the Ark, though a lot of cachers have. Would dolphins survive on an Ark?)

A cache hidden on the day you joined Geocaching? 100 Stars on a single day of caching? &c. From what I've read, there are some very silly challenges.

But, thank you. I do not want a Star, or an Icon for qualifying for a challenge. If I qualify, and sign the log, I get the smiley! Giving a smiley to someone who found the cache but did not qualify defeats the porpoise. (And porpoises do not like to be defeated!)

The better alternative (and which would eliminate most of the silly ones) would be for Groundspeak incorporate Challenges as a 'Locationless', perhaps. A separate category. No container. Very limited list of plausible Challenges. County. Jasmer. DeLorme. A to Z plus 0 to 9. I'd even go for a cache at every minute between 40º and 41º north. (I was considering that one if I qualified to donate stem cells for my brother, and went to Colorado.)

This would eliminate most of the inane Challenge Cache Trails. And would eliminate the current containers at Challenge Caches. An entirely different concept, perhaps. But it would eliminate the hundreds of Jasmer Challenge Caches. If I qualified, I could travel hundreds of places to log them! That seems inane. One Jasmer, in a separate category "Challenges", seems the best idea.

What I object to is your trying to make Challenge Caches into Traditionals, with a Star for actually qualifying.

And for you off-topic posters, Harry has a strange sense of humor, and lists himself as 'Major Porpoise'.

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The porpoise of a challenge cache is to fulfill the challenge requirements, then (after signing the log), log the cache. If one does not like challenge caches, then one should ignore them. Changing a challenge cache into a traditional, with some strange icon for the challenge part destroys the entire concept of a challenge cache. I get the smiley for qualifying for the challenge, and finding and signing the log in the cache.

What you wish to do is to completely destroy the concept of a challenge cache. "Oh. You don't get a smiley for qualifying for the challenge. This is now a traditional." Why bother???

This point has been discussed at length earlier in the thread.

The idea behind separating is to allow people who want to log it found "because it's physical and I found the cache" to do so - without getting recognition for completing the challenge.

 

Yes, one perspective is that "you don't get the smiley if you don't complete the challenge". But one of the big complaints about challenge caches is that it's an 'exception' to the "find it, sign it, log it online" concept. It's a cache at the posted coordinates. So they want to log the cache found.

 

Separating it means that any physical geocache that is found and signed can now be logged online for the smiley. Providing challenge stats as a separate metric means that completing the challenge as well (whether before or after signing the logsheet) gets you explicit recognition in your profile.

 

My opinion is this does not "destroy" challenge caches in the slightest - it brings them to light and distinguishes them as a recognized aspect of geocaching that allows those who wish to have bragging rights a much more 'official' channel to do so.

The process of doing a challenge cache would not change in the slightest; but it allows people who find the physical cache the ability to log the physical cache found online, without getting any undeserved recognition for also completing the challenge if they have not.

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If they actually impimented the star system I would immediately archive my challenge caches and never again bother qualifying for another, the path of least resistence, but that's just me, I'm sure I'm the only one.

Edited by Roman!

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<3 geocide!

 

Not at all, just would not want anyone finding my challenge caches without qualifying but I'm sure all other challenge cache owners would be OK with it, wouldn't they?

 

IMHO, challenge stars would pretty much be the end of challenge caches but thats what the goal is anyways.

Edited by Roman!

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<3 geocide!

 

Not at all, just would not want anyone finding my challenge caches without qualifying but I'm sure all other challenge cache owners would be OK with it, wouldn't they?

 

IMHO, challenge stars would pretty much be the end of challenge caches but thats what the goal is anyways.

 

+1

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I'm with Roman for once. Challenges wouldn't be the same for me with challenge stars. I hide challenge caches so that cachers who qualify could complete a challenge, find and log it. Not because I wanted to hide a traditional. Like I've said previously in this thread, if I wanted to hide a traditional cache that everybody could find and log, then I would've done just that.

 

I would also geocide my challenges if this were implemented and the majority of the community would probably be thrilled.

 

Edited for spelling

Edited by Traditional Bill

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I'm with Roman for once. Challenges wouldn't be the same for me with challenge stars. I hide challenge caches so that cachers who qualify could complete a challenge, find and log it. Not because I wanted to hide a traditional. Like I've said previously in this thread, if I wanted to hide a traditional cache that everybody could find and log, then I would've done just that.

 

I would also geocide my challenges if this were implemented and the majority of the community would probably be thrilled.

 

Edited for spelling

 

And there's the rub again. You can't post a challenge without essentially hiding a traditional cache (though it can also be a mystery cache...but my point is the same). You essentially HAVE hidden a traditional cache that everybody could find and log...they just can't claim the +1 in their counts.

 

At least with the stars option, those that have qualified now have a publicly recognized distinction above just finding a container.

Challenge seekers - more often than not - are competitive sorts who like stats and comparisons. Giving them one more stat opens up all sorts of other ways to compete (or not) with one another. Eventually there would probably even be challenges based on challenge stars.

Edited by J Grouchy

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IMHO, challenge stars would pretty much be the end of challenge caches but thats what the goal is anyways.

Clearly it is not, as those of us supporting the idea are entirely for and big promoters of challenge caching.

So. No.

 

You don't like the idea, point taken. Got any suggestions for improvements, OTHER than trashing the whole idea? If not, then.....

 

There is no indication this is an idea that Groundspeak will be be considering at any time in the future. So let us enjoy hashing out the concept. :P

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