Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4
frinklabs

[FEATURE] Challenge Stars

Recommended Posts

The problem is that as long as challenge caches are physical caches (a significant point in making challenge caches what they really are currently) there can never be a happy in-between where people can find-it-sign-it-log-it-online without the challenge ALR and require a qualification ALR before logging a challenge cache that can be physically found. They can't coexist, simultaneously; they are fundamentally mutually exclusive. Anyone demanding one or the other is necessarily making it less fun for the other side.

 

Agreed. I'm rooting for my camp while I'm trying to also avoid challenge caches to go (as long as they don't bother me anymore). On the other hand, I won't cry if they go.

 

Which takes us back to Geocaching Challenges (with a bit tighter of a review process and a couple of minor changes, but nothing significant enough to make the idea sufficiently similar to the current challenge cache idea -- that is, containing a physical cache component)

 

The reference to Geocaching Challenges (That Horrible Thing) is kinda pejorative. The Challenges were so different from what virtual/locationless challenge caches could be. They didn't count towards your find count, they were not related to geocaching, etc. Having virtual challenges that would allow a find when meeting challenge cache's requirements (such as Fizzy, Jasmer and whatsoever) would be a totally different beast than Geocaching Challenges. Totally.

 

In fact, the only difference between physical challenge caches and virtual challenge caches would be there's no container to find for the +1. So what? I repeat, the goal of a challenge is to meet the requirements. That's the meat and the bonus is the +1.

Share this post


Link to post

In fact, the only difference between physical challenge caches and virtual challenge caches would be there's no container to find for the +1.

The draw to challenge caches was 1) the cache and 2) the challenge. Take away the cache, you only have the challenge. You don't have a physical container, you don't have a GPS location. You have couch-logging of challenge worldwide that you've completed in your geocaching career. That is not challenge caches, those are as I said, Geocaching Challenges with a few tighter rules.

We love challenge caches, not just challenges. That's why we don't favour this virtual/locationless challenge concept.

 

So what? I repeat, the goal of a challenge is to meet the requirements. That's the meat and the bonus is the +1.

Then the CO could have the 3rd option to allow people to log the challenge for the stars without finding the cache, if they so desire. That would become exactly what you're talking about; making the physical cache irrelevant for people who "only care about challenges", so they can get their stars; they could also search worldwide for challenges they can complete that aren't tied to the find, and Complete them all.

I can't see that being anything but a big mess, certainly not an improvement...

 

So in summary, as a CO I can provide a few experiences for cachers when publishing; let's say a Multi:

 

1) Design a multi that takes the cacher to an old ruin. Cool!

 

2) Propose a challenge related to the cache theme - finding caches with the ruins attribute.

 

3a) Option: publish as completely unlocked

i) Find-It-Sign-It-Log-It-Online: (+1 smiley) Multi-cache could be Found without completing the challenge by someone who doesn't like challenges. Physical cache found and logged, cache enjoyed.

 

ii) Virtual/Locationless Challenge: (+1 challenge) Without requiring a Find log, this specific Multi-cache Challenge could be marked complete by someone overseas who searched for unlocked western challenge caches they qualify for. Provide qualification proof, post completed log, get +1 challenge count

 

3b) Publish as fully locked listing (ie current standard)

 

i) Challenge Cache: (+1 smiley, +1 challenge) Multi-cache is locked down so that you only get the +1 smiley and the +1 challenge count once you've posted both the found and complete logs.

 

3c) Publish as Challenge-locked (to find):

 

i) Find-It-Sign-It-Log-It-Online: (+1 smiley) Multi-cache could be Found without completing the challenge by someone who doesn't like challenges. Physical cache found and logged, cache enjoyed.

 

ii) Challenge Cache: (+1 smiley, +1 challenge) Challenge may be completed at any time, but challenge completion won't count +1 until the cache is also logged as found. Effectively the same as adding "and must find this cache to qualify" clause to a current challenge cache qualification. (practically the same as current challenge caches anyway)

 

* Challenge Stars "awarded" - just as a Find log counts as +1 smiley but you can calculate the total D and T stars by cross-referencing find logs to their caches' details, the same would go for challenge complete logs with the Challenge rating property.

 

Benefits:

* Ignoring Challenges altogether? Add the filter to exclude challenges. That means the only caches that show are all the non-challenge caches, or challenge caches that allow finds without completion (ie, unlocked or challenge-locked - both allowing FISILIO). Now every cache you see on your map is a cache you can log as found once you've found the physical container. Zero ALRs.

 

* Want to complete challenges? Add the filter to only return challenges. Do a worldwide search for unlocked challenges if you wish, and sit there logging whatever virtual challenges you qualify for (since you don't have to find a physical cache), or seek out local challenge caches you qualify for but have to find in order to gain the +1 challenge count.

 

Everyone wins!

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post

Everyone wins!

 

I really liked your idea until I stumbled on the option to make it mandatory to meet the requirements of the challenge to be able to log a find.

 

Back to square one for me as I imagine most people would use the option to make it mandatory (seems to be what people don't want to loose - the exclusivity of the finds).

 

Furthermore, a lot of people complained about a "star system". I don't think they'd buy into it. Personally, I think it's a great idea, but there should never be an option to force people into completing the challenge requirements to get a find on a physical cache. My opinion and preference.

Share this post


Link to post
I really liked your idea until I stumbled on the option to make it mandatory to meet the requirements of the challenge to be able to log a find.

 

That is not the intent of the Challenge Stars system as I propose it.

 

It would be mandatory to meet the requirements of the challenge to be able to log a Challenge Completed log type.

 

It would be mandatory to find the container and sign the book to log a Found It.

 

I might be OCD about this, but I can't tolerate the imprecision of the current setup where one may pre-log a challenge with a Note. After that, when you finally complete the challenge requirements, you log a Found It when you weren't at GZ at that time. This would wreak havoc on mileage and chronology stats.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I really liked your idea until I stumbled on the option to make it mandatory to meet the requirements of the challenge to be able to log a find.

Back to square one for me as I imagine most people would use the option to make it mandatory (seems to be what people don't want to loose - the exclusivity of the finds).

As I said, these are fundamentally mutually exclusive points. You can't have the find & challenge exclusively linked, yet still allow people to log physical caches they as found without qualifying. My suggestion was to let the CO decide what type of challenge cache their listing would be. That doesn't favour one side or the other - it favours the CO. Yes, challenge-ignorers would not be able to log every challenge cache found without qualifying, but they can log more than zero. And I guarantee you there will be COs who won't be that strict about requiring both, or not allowing a find w/o qualification, if the option is there. And yes, doing it that way with the current system defeats the value of the challenge cache; but that's assuaged by counting the completed challenges as its own metric. A "Find" is no longer confusable with completed challenges.

 

Furthermore, a lot of people complained about a "star system". I don't think they'd buy into it. Personally, I think it's a great idea, but there should never be an option to force people into completing the challenge requirements to get a find on a physical cache. My opinion and preference.

People bought into the Difficulty "star system", and the Terrain "star system". Strictly speaking, a Challenge rating is no different than D or T. Don't think of it as a "star system". It's merely a challenge rating. For those want to tally their completed challenge ratings, it would be exactly the same process as for D or T "stars".

Share this post


Link to post
Furthermore, a lot of people complained about a "star system". I don't think they'd buy into it. Personally, I think it's a great idea, but there should never be an option to force people into completing the challenge requirements to get a find on a physical cache. My opinion and preference.

People bought into the Difficulty "star system", and the Terrain "star system". Strictly speaking, a Challenge rating is no different than D or T. Don't think of it as a "star system". It's merely a challenge rating. For those want to tally their completed challenge ratings, it would be exactly the same process as for D or T "stars".

 

Hmmm... I don't see it with the same lens. To me, D/T are indicators of difficulty and terrain. They're not something I gain.

 

The challenge stars would be similar to finds, except they would be separate.

 

Again, I think it's a workable solution (as per frinklabs' position on always being able to log a find on any physical caches, and only being able to earn challenge stars when the requirements are met). I'm just not sure challenge lovers would buy much into that and as long as the criteria for challenge requirements will be left into CO's hands, it will certainly not solve the moratorium issue.

Share this post


Link to post

People bought into the Difficulty "star system", and the Terrain "star system". Strictly speaking, a Challenge rating is no different than D or T. Don't think of it as a "star system". It's merely a challenge rating. For those want to tally their completed challenge ratings, it would be exactly the same process as for D or T "stars".

 

D/T was part of the game from the beginning and can provide important information about how to prepare to find a particular cache - or if you want to find it at all. A "challenge star" does not seem to be as useful. The rating depends on the individual cachers history rather than how the cache is placed. The stars would not be effective in filtering the types of challenges that I might want to find because some things about my personal history and how I choose to play this game may make a "hard" challenge readily attainable, while some "easier" challenges are beyond anything I would contemplate doing.

 

D/T totals are not displayed in my profile unless I choose to make that public (which I do not). As I understand at least some proposals, challenge stars would be different, ultimately indicating something different than a find, an event, or an cache completed.

 

D/T ratings are not the equivalent of a find or linked to whether I can record a find or a completed task.

 

Ultimately, I think a multi-layered star system would make things more complicated without solving any real problem. If some caches required both the challenge and the signature to record a find, people would complain about that. If some required one or the other, it would mean additional filtering. As it stands things are relatively simple. If I see a question mark I can look at the mystery aspect and decide whether to ignore it or not - whether it be a challenge or a puzzle. Should I decide to complete the challenge, a find is a find. I have yet to read anything that convinced me that the limited ALR presents any more of a problem with a challenge than it does with an earthcache.

 

Yes, it would be nice if challenges could be easily identified with an attribute or an icon. It would be nice if the D rating for both challenges and puzzles told me more about the hide than the prerequisites - but that does not need a new challenge or puzzle star system to resolve. As for me, I would not regard a new stat, an added part of my profile, or anything other than a find count to be a win-win" situation.

Share this post


Link to post

People bought into the Difficulty "star system", and the Terrain "star system". Strictly speaking, a Challenge rating is no different than D or T. Don't think of it as a "star system". It's merely a challenge rating. For those want to tally their completed challenge ratings, it would be exactly the same process as for D or T "stars".

 

Hmmm... I don't see it with the same lens. To me, D/T are indicators of difficulty and terrain. They're not something I gain.

C rating is an indicator of challenge difficulty. It's not something you gain.

 

The challenge stars would be similar to finds, except they would be separate.

No, a Find is a +1 identified by a Find Log on a cache listing. A completed challenge would be identified by a Completed Log on a challenge cache listing.

The sum of Difficulty ratings in your stats (whether you care or not) are Difficulty stars. Ditto for Terrain. Ditto for Challenge.

 

it will certainly not solve the moratorium issue.

This particular thread isn't primarily about solving the moratorium issue. :P It began long before that happened.

Share this post


Link to post

C rating is an indicator of challenge difficulty. It's not something you gain.

 

Oh, I was speaking of challenge stars as finds (the stars you'd get when you meet the requirements of a challenge). Your reference to challenge stars in your reply to my comment made me think you were comparing these stars with the stars of the D/T.

 

It makes sense the "C rating" would be comparable to D/T.

 

But I understood from the "Challenge Stars" system that the end result for meeting the requirements of a challenge would be a virtual reward (what I thought were the challenge stars). This is what challenge lovers would not buy.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, I was speaking of challenge stars as finds (the stars you'd get when you meet the requirements of a challenge). Your reference to challenge stars in your reply to my comment made me think you were comparing these stars with the stars of the D/T.

 

It makes sense the "C rating" would be comparable to D/T.

 

But I understood from the "Challenge Stars" system that the end result for meeting the requirements of a challenge would be a virtual reward (what I thought were the challenge stars). This is what challenge lovers would not buy.

 

Ah, ok. Well maybe that's cleared up then?

Challenge "stars" have always been a reference to the very mechanic that D and T use, for a 3rd rating - the Challenge difficulty. A challenge completed log functions just like the find log. You have number of (physical/non-physical) caches found, and you have number of challenges completed. Your D/T/C stars are merely tallied in your stats.

I don't think anyone ever intended to explain "challenge stars" as a reward system, merely the mechanic. But I can see how that could be misunderstood. A better term would be "Challenge rating" (which I try to say often).

 

A "challenge cache" with this system would be a listing containing all three ratings - D/T/C. A regular cache would only have D/T.

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post
Challenge "stars" have always been a reference to the very mechanic that D and T use, for a 3rd rating - the Challenge difficulty. A challenge completed log functions just like the find log. You have number of (physical/non-physical) caches found, and you have number of challenges completed. Your D/T/C stars are merely tallied in your stats.
There have been a couple variations suggested by the OP. One is a total of the number of challenges you've completed. The other is a total of the challenge stars from all the challenges you've completed.

 

Part of the problem with the discussion in this thread is that there are a number of variant suggestions floating around, and it isn't always clear which one someone is discussing (wither as an advocate or as a critic).

Share this post


Link to post
There have been a couple variations suggested by the OP. One is a total of the number of challenges you've completed. The other is a total of the challenge stars from all the challenges you've completed.
Tru dat.

 

My original suggestion was based on an idea of NeverSummer's for a single challenge-completed "point" awarded as a result of posting the Challenge Completed log type.

 

Then NYPaddleCacher had the excellent idea of making it a rating, like D/T. And like those ratings, their stats can be averaged or summed, depending on what you want to see.

 

Part of the problem with the discussion in this thread is that there are a number of variant suggestions floating around, and it isn't always clear which one someone is discussing (wither as an advocate or as a critic).

I know, right?

 

A lot of the tangential discussions were related to addressing objections posed by those who have engaged in a constructive and Socratic way. For me, this is fun!

Share this post


Link to post
There have been a couple variations suggested by the OP. One is a total of the number of challenges you've completed. The other is a total of the challenge stars from all the challenges you've completed.

hm. I don't see variations, I only see one idea that's evolved over the course of the thread. *shrug*

Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but the idea of a distinct challenge rating, to my recollection, was posed before this thread existed. frinklabs took the step to make an official feature request thread for his idea, starting as a single 'star'.

In my mind, it has always been a distinct challenge rating, even per my first post in this thread - primarily because it frees up the D and T to be accurate to the physical cache being found (what the D/T really does describe). And the C star 'award' is handled exactly the same as D and T ratings.

 

Total # of challenges complete is the basic report - just like the Find count.

Total challenge stars is the sum of all C ratings of challenges marked as complete - just like D and T ratings for Found caches.

They're not variants, they're just two ways of looking at the same data, exactly the same as we treat D and T right now.

Share this post


Link to post

C rating is an indicator of challenge difficulty. It's not something you gain.

 

-------------------------

 

A "challenge cache" with this system would be a listing containing all three ratings - D/T/C. A regular cache would only have D/T.

 

If challenge caches had their own icon or attribute, the total number of challenge caches completed would be listed.

 

As a separate rating system, it might be one way (but not the only way) to allow the difficulty level of the hide to be just that. But in that case, it should not be a separate rating system for challenges alone, but apply to any puzzle or series final that now receives the Question Mark. A prerequisite rating, as it were.

 

I would not want to see ratings given to caches that would be separate from what we know now as a mystery cache -- a type of star awarded to completing "unlocked" challenges in addition to a find on "locked" cacghes (rather than being a guide to help filter the challenge/puzzle aspect from the difficulty of the hide itself). Otherwise, I see a potential for even more filtering. confusion, or another layer of challenges that would be included in caches solely to boost the totals.

Edited by geodarts

Share this post


Link to post

If challenge caches had their own icon or attribute, the total number of challenge caches completed would be listed.

Attribute, yes. Icon, no. As discussed earlier, there are challenge caches that are not at the posted coordinates, in the form of unknown/puzzle caches, and as multis; traditional is certainly the most prolific though. Having its own icon, you don't address the different types of physical hides a CO might use with the challenge. As an attribute (or whatever property), the cache type, difficulty and terrain can then each be accurate to the hide, with the challenge applied to it.

 

As a separate rating system, it might be one way (but not the only way) to allow the difficulty level of the hide to be just that. But in that case, it should not be a separate rating system for challenges alone, but apply to any puzzle or series final that now receives the Question Mark. A prerequisite rating, as it were.

If you consider the D and T ratings to be about the cache you are finding, typically considered (at least in my mind) brain vs braun ratings, then if you add the challenge as an additional task, the D and T for the physical component is no longer relevant to the challenge. D and T would need to be specific to the cache, not the challenge; which is why it's better applied as its own distinct rating - the estimated difficulty of the challenge, alongside the difficilty and terrain of finding the cache itself.

 

I would not want to see ratings given to caches that would be separate from what we know now as a mystery cache -- a type of star awarded to completing "unlocked" challenges in addition to a find (rather than being a guide to help filter the challenge/puzzle aspect from the difficulty of the hide itself). Otherwise, I see a potential for even more filtering. confusion, or another layer of challenges that would be included in caches solely to boost the totals.

I don't see there being confusion - a mystery cache with a D and T is specific to the cache. A Challenge rating then is applicable to the challenge and the challenge alone. If you ignore challenges, nothing else about the listing has to change - whereas if the D was rated for the cache (puzzle or just difficulty of finding the container, etc) and the challenge, how would someone know what the D of the cache - not the challenge - was? (apart from the CO separately listing it in the description, which is what some tend to do currently).

 

This solution solidifies the definition of D and T across the board, making it universal for all cache types, treating the (currently ALR) challenges as their own thing, and allowing puzzle/multi -challenge cache types to actually be listed accurately as puzzle/multi/traditional caches - but with a challenge component.

 

ETA: To be clear, I'm certainly not against challenge caches having their own cache type/icon, it's an improvement over the current challenge cache implementation - but I foresee issues that aren't addressed coming up again; so I'm suggesting this extra step to attempt to deal with that as well. B)

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see there being confusion - a mystery cache with a D and T is specific to the cache. A Challenge rating then is applicable to the challenge and the challenge alone. If you ignore challenges, nothing else about the listing has to change - whereas if the D was rated for the cache (puzzle or just difficulty of finding the container, etc) and the challenge, how would someone know what the D of the cache - not the challenge - was? (apart from the CO separately listing it in the description, which is what some tend to do currently).

 

This solution solidifies the definition of D and T across the board, making it universal for all cache types, treating the (currently ALR) challenges as their own thing, and allowing puzzle/multi -challenge cache types to actually be listed accurately as puzzle/multi/traditional caches - but with a challenge component.

 

The D level issue is the same for any mystery cache as it is with challenges. If you solve a puzzle, then are you dealing with an evil micro hidden in a haystack or with a park and grab? In many cases, the challenge is as cache specific as a puzzle. Determining whether you completed a challenge often requires more work than many puzzles I have done -- at least if there are no macros or checkers. So if there is a separate category to rate a cache beyond the D/T levels for the hide itself, it should apply to any cache where there is a prerequisite - regardless of whether it be a challenge, a puzzle, or a series final. That kind of change makes sense to me. If the purpose of a "C" rating is to solidify the definition of a D/T rating, it should truly be done across the board. Change "C" to "P" (for prerequisite) and I am with you.

 

Otherwise, the guidelines should state that the D is limited to the hide itself and people can figure out for themselves if the puzzle or challenge is easy or hard. The difficulty of either puzzles or challenges are often far more subjective than the present D/T system for traditionals.

 

Adding a new rating for caches with an added component would address the problem with the present rating system, but not whether you can log caches without completing the challenge aspect. I understand that you would make this optional based on the CO, and that was where I see some potential for confusion or an added layer of complexity.

 

This is different from knowing what a D/T rating for the hide might actually be, but rather with any distinction between "locked" and "unlocked" caches. Locked caches would still not allow everyone to record a find. which was the goal of the thread. And adding challenges as an optional component would create a new type of category in addition to the find and D/T (or D/T/P rating). It would mean that the third rating is not specific to the cache find total, but another thing altogether.

 

I have no interest in the number of challenges I do apart from the find total. If I want to see the number of challenges, I should be able to look at an icon in my find totals or the number of attributes found in my stats. Adding an additional optional challenge changes the system from a D/T type of rating to a focus of doing challenges that are distinct from a "challenge cache." I have no interest in challenges just to do challenges or to have numbers in addition to the find total. I would not want to see the numbers of optional caches proliferate with artificial ratings --- but perhaps that depends on how Groundspeak solves the problems that gave rise to the present moratorium.

Edited by geodarts

Share this post


Link to post

The D level issue is the same for any mystery cache as it is with challenges. If you solve a puzzle, then are you dealing with an evil micro hidden in a haystack or with a park and grab?

I agree. And that's a whole other (much older) discussion that's been had elsewhere presumably since puzzle caches were allowed. At least this suggestion reduces the ambiguity of the D rating by removing the Challenge difficulty from that equation.

 

Change "C" to "P" (for prerequisite) and I am with you.

But the "C" is not a prerequisite. A puzzle is mental work in order to determine the coordinates of a cache; D could also be how hard it is to spot it, or figure out how it's hidden. The D in a multi is similar - how difficult is the mental task required in order to locate the container? A Challenge has nothing to do with actually locating the container.

Whether you think a puzzle should have its own difficulty rating distinct from the physical cache container search difficulty is a different discussion not for this thread. But the "C" is definitely not a prerequisite rating...

 

Adding a new rating for caches with an added component would address the problem with the present rating system, but not whether you can log caches without completing the challenge aspect. I understand that you would make this optional based on the CO, and that was where I see some potential for confusion or an added layer of complexity.

IMO, that's a matter of implementation, and how well Groundspeak would do it. It's more confusing when there are ambiguities and mixed definitions - and more work for reviewers to 'help' people understand. It's less confusing when things are distinct and obvious - as long as things are clear. (Not the GS has had a solid track record in that department recently :ph34r:)

 

This is different from knowing what a D/T rating for the hide might actually be, but rather with any distinction between "locked" and "unlocked" caches. Locked caches would still not allow everyone to record a find. which was the goal of the thread. And adding challenges as an optional component would create a new type of category in addition to the find and D/T (or D/T/P rating). It would mean that the third rating is not specific to the cache find total, but another thing altogether.

1. Terminology is rough. I just went with that because it's easily visualized and short words. Don't care about labels, just concepts. Point being, as I said, people just want to FISILIO can turn off challenges altogether and nothing would change except they wouldn't see challenge info, or caches they cannott log without qualifying. That is not currently possible the way things are now. People can't even filter to find or exclude challenge caches. So that's a huge benefit to the system.

2. The only new category would be Challenge caches. Not cache types (just as they are not now), but something people either may or may not be interested in. No complexity in searching, aside from effectively toggling another 'attribute' (or searching for rating ranges, just as with D or T). There's either a challenge or there's not, or there are no challenges whatsoever (wherein caches that can be Found without qualification will still be shown to those who don't care about challenges, and they'll see them as traditional, multi, mystery, etc - accurate to the actual physical cache hide; meaning for example that mystery caches will now always imply there is nothing at the posted coordinates - which is not true of most current challenge caches)

3. Correct, the third rating is not specific to the cache find total. It's only applicable to the challenge caching metric, for those people who choose to do challenges and log them. For those who don't, the third rating is irrelevant. win win.

 

I have no interest in the number of challenges I do apart from the find total. If I want to see the number of challenges, I should be able to look at an icon in my find totals or the number of attributes found in my stats.

Which you can do with this system.

 

Adding an additional optional challenge changes the system from a D/T type of rating to a focus of doing challenges that are distinct from a "challenge cache." I have no interest in challenges just to do challenges or to have numbers in addition to the find total.

Neither am I interested in challenges just for the sake of challenges. But comments have been made here about making challenges "virtual", for those who (apparently) ONLY care about challenges, and not the physical challenge cache component. This system addresses that. (couch-logging unlocked challenges across the world; which I personally find dumb, but hey, the system logic allows for it if they decide to go that way, similar to (the failed) Worldwide Challenges)

 

I would not want to see the numbers of optional caches proliferate with artificial ratings --- but perhaps that depends on how Groundspeak solves the problems that gave rise to the present moratorium.

Artificial ratings will always be a problem. Not sure how that's related to this though...

Share this post


Link to post

Virtualizing the challenge caches would have the benefit to stop the irritant for those who care nothing about challenges as there would be nothing to find at GZ...

There would be nothing to do at GZ, making virtualized-yet-published-at-coordinates-caches meaningless and pointless. The closest to 'virtualized' caches I acn slightly understand would be regional challenges (not tied to a gps location but a state/province/territory/etc). But then you have to deal with duplicates, and other things discussed earlier in the thread.

 

It's why I feel like challenges ought to be dealt with as two separate groups:

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

2 - Challenges that are localized...those that are tied to a place (county challenge in a given state, grid challenges in a given state, etc.) or "quirkier" challenges such as those that spell out a word or follow a theme of some sort. I see no problem with these having a physical cache to sign...or even with keeping them much like they are right now. Obviously something has to be tightened up to address the issues GS is having with challenges. I think if these were to remain actual caches with posted coordinates, there would need to be a container to find and a log to sign. Otherwise, they would be submitted for review by the cacher and the 'owner' of the challenge would then have the opportunity to review the qualifications and award the points or stars or whatever they are to the individual.

 

I know this idea has holes, but it at least address MY concerns with challenges.

Share this post


Link to post

It's why I feel like challenges ought to be dealt with as two separate groups:

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

 

Yes! Indeed, you painted the challenges for what they really are (or should be), accomplishments/achievements.

 

2 - Challenges that are localized...those that are tied to a place (county challenge in a given state, grid challenges in a given state, etc.) or "quirkier" challenges such as those that spell out a word or follow a theme of some sort. I see no problem with these having a physical cache to sign...or even with keeping them much like they are right now. Obviously something has to be tightened up to address the issues GS is having with challenges. I think if these were to remain actual caches with posted coordinates, there would need to be a container to find and a log to sign. Otherwise, they would be submitted for review by the cacher and the 'owner' of the challenge would then have the opportunity to review the qualifications and award the points or stars or whatever they are to the individual.

 

No! :P What did you expect from me? :rolleyes:

 

IMHO, "local" challenges should disappear. Those are probably the ones raising the most concerns with Groundspeak, but who am I to know (just my feeling). Therefore it would leave a perfect challenge system (virtual and automatically assigned whenever you meet the easily measurable requirements).

Share this post


Link to post

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

Would anyone be interested in these universal challenges? It seems like a solution looking for a problem. In any case, this doesn't sound "much like" souvenirs, it sounds exactly like souvenirs, and, as far as I know, GS could implement souvenirs like this today if they felt like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Would anyone be interested in these universal challenges?
I would. I've earned online badges in other contexts. I filled my 366-day grid because I thought it would be fun to have a filled grid in my stats (an online badge of sorts). I started my longest streak so I could earn all of the 31 Days of August Souvenirs a couple years ago, and then continued it for 100 days so it would match my longest slump (another online badge of sorts), and then continued it further with no particular challenge in mind. Eventually, I ended it at 366 days with challenge caches in mind, and ending with a 30-day puzzle streak for a local challenge. But a 30-day puzzle streak Souvenir or other online badge would have been sufficient incentive as well.

Share this post


Link to post

Virtualizing the challenge caches would have the benefit to stop the irritant for those who care nothing about challenges as there would be nothing to find at GZ...

There would be nothing to do at GZ, making virtualized-yet-published-at-coordinates-caches meaningless and pointless. The closest to 'virtualized' caches I acn slightly understand would be regional challenges (not tied to a gps location but a state/province/territory/etc). But then you have to deal with duplicates, and other things discussed earlier in the thread.

 

It's why I feel like challenges ought to be dealt with as two separate groups:

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

2 - Challenges that are localized...those that are tied to a place (county challenge in a given state, grid challenges in a given state, etc.) or "quirkier" challenges such as those that spell out a word or follow a theme of some sort. I see no problem with these having a physical cache to sign...or even with keeping them much like they are right now. Obviously something has to be tightened up to address the issues GS is having with challenges. I think if these were to remain actual caches with posted coordinates, there would need to be a container to find and a log to sign. Otherwise, they would be submitted for review by the cacher and the 'owner' of the challenge would then have the opportunity to review the qualifications and award the points or stars or whatever they are to the individual.

 

I know this idea has holes, but it at least address MY concerns with challenges.

 

In general, I agree with your idea. However, I think it would be much simpler to keep the +1 smiley for completing the challenge. I don't think that quantifying the difficulty with "stars" is necessary either. We don't quantify difficulty from the D/T rating on other caches types. A 5/5 cache counts the same as a 1.5/1.5 and I don't think I can recall anyone suggesting that it should be changed. I know that some people don't care for them, but a +1 and a digital badge that could go on an "achievements" tab in our profile would, to me, be a sufficient reward. I also like the idea of "levels" of difficult that's represented in the Badgegen badges. For example, the "Traveling Cacher" has badges from Bronze (find caches in 2 countries) to Diamond (find caches in 35 countries).

 

Although cron disagrees, I think there's definitely a place for regional challenges. The Delorme and "all counties" challenges have been around for a long time and are attainable goals for those living with that region.

 

Although we haven't been given details regarding the appeals issue that was stated as a primary reason for the moratorium I suspect that disputes over attainability had a lot to do with. I've seen a lot of challenges that seem to be more about who can create the most difficult, most exclusive challenge rather than something that can be enjoyed by a broad audience. I'm suggesting that all challenges should be easy but I really don't see the point in creating a challenge for which less that 1% of the geocachers would ever qualify. The attainability issue comes into play in the case of regional souvenirs. A challenge to find a cache a day for a year make sense in areas where there are a significant number of caches, but for the many areas in the world that don't have the luxury of thousands of caches within 20-50 miles, not so much. Maybe a CO in Peru that has traveled a bit might qualify for a "find 10 web cams" cache, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to create a "find 10 web cams" cache in Peru.

Share this post


Link to post

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

Would anyone be interested in these universal challenges? It seems like a solution looking for a problem. In any case, this doesn't sound "much like" souvenirs, it sounds exactly like souvenirs, and, as far as I know, GS could implement souvenirs like this today if they felt like it.

 

Kind of why I thought "challenges" was an inaccurate description. Not really a "souvenir" so much as a special achievement or accomplishment. More than a souvenir that might, say, tell everyone you found a cache in Iowa...and thus would not be relegated to a back corner of a user's profile, but displayed more prominently...which is why I like the notion of "Challenge Stars" - or perhaps "Achievement Ratings" or something to more accurately reflect what the user has attained.

Share this post


Link to post

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

Would anyone be interested in these universal challenges? It seems like a solution looking for a problem. In any case, this doesn't sound "much like" souvenirs, it sounds exactly like souvenirs, and, as far as I know, GS could implement souvenirs like this today if they felt like it.

Exactly. This isn't an adjustment to challenge caches, it's a scrapping of challenge caches in favour of automated statistical achievement badges. Groundspeak could implement that now (well they are actually with this upcoming souvenir period), and we can do that already with custom profile content if we desire.

 

Additionally, while I don't see anything wrong with Universal and Localized challenges, separating the two means less fun and creativity, as many challenges are combinations of both types of qualification. It adds a limit to creativity that doesn't currently exist. As I mentioned elsewhere for example, what if someone wants to publish a challenge that is to complete your D/T grid within one state? That's statistical and localized; where does it go? Or should it be denied?

 

In general, I agree with your idea. However, I think it would be much simpler to keep the +1 smiley for completing the challenge. I don't think that quantifying the difficulty with "stars" is necessary either. We don't quantify difficulty from the D/T rating on other caches types. A 5/5 cache counts the same as a 1.5/1.5 and I don't think I can recall anyone suggesting that it should be changed.

Uh, not really. A 5/5 cache counts as a +1 smiley the same as a 1.5/1.5, but the D5 is very different than a D1.5, and your D total (stars) is different by 3.5, as would be displayed in your stats currently. Stars already exist for D and T. You don't have to look at them if you don't want, but they are summed.

 

I know that some people don't care for them, but a +1 and a digital badge that could go on an "achievements" tab in our profile would, to me, be a sufficient reward.

And that's doable. That's your challenge completed count. In your stats, if you desire, you can also find the total challenge star sum, just like D and T. Or not, if you don't care to look.

 

Although cron disagrees, I think there's definitely a place for regional challenges. The Delorme and "all counties" challenges have been around for a long time and are attainable goals for those living with that region.

So who gets to publish and own it? The first person to make it? Another person comes along and is denied because it already exists; so they alter it a bit (however they decide to) - hey reviewer, why can't I publish this now? It's not exactly the same... etc

 

Although we haven't been given details regarding the appeals issue that was stated as a primary reason for the moratorium I suspect that disputes over attainability had a lot to do with. I've seen a lot of challenges that seem to be more about who can create the most difficult, most exclusive challenge rather than something that can be enjoyed by a broad audience. I'm suggesting that all challenges should be easy but I really don't see the point in creating a challenge for which less that 1% of the geocachers would ever qualify. The attainability issue comes into play in the case of regional souvenirs. A challenge to find a cache a day for a year make sense in areas where there are a significant number of caches, but for the many areas in the world that don't have the luxury of thousands of caches within 20-50 miles, not so much. Maybe a CO in Peru that has traveled a bit might qualify for a "find 10 web cams" cache, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to create a "find 10 web cams" cache in Peru.

Right and this really is only get worse over time as the spread of 'experience' grows between beginners and long time vets. Attainability I think at best will always have to be regionally judged by the local reviewer... I don't think there would ever be a lower limit, but there may well be a max limit.

Share this post


Link to post

1 - "Universal" challenges - those not tied to any particular place (region, state, city, etc.). These would not be true caches - no coordinates, no +1 smiley, challenge stars only (or whatever system is developed to quantify the difficulty or value of the achievement. These would include general statistical challenges such as Fizzy, D/T, 366 Day grids...or even Alphanumeric challenges (by cache name or CO)...or an individual's average D/T challenge. Maybe "challenges" is not even the proper term for these...maybe it ought to be "Accomplishments" or "Geocaching Achievements" or some such terminology. These could be automatically assessed and awarded once the individual's stats meet the requirements...much like souvenirs currently are.

Would anyone be interested in these universal challenges? It seems like a solution looking for a problem. In any case, this doesn't sound "much like" souvenirs, it sounds exactly like souvenirs, and, as far as I know, GS could implement souvenirs like this today if they felt like it.

Exactly. This isn't an adjustment to challenge caches, it's a scrapping of challenge caches in favour of automated statistical achievement badges. Groundspeak could implement that now (well they are actually with this upcoming souvenir period), and we can do that already with custom profile content if we desire.

 

Additionally, while I don't see anything wrong with Universal and Localized challenges, separating the two means less fun and creativity, as many challenges are combinations of both types of qualification. It adds a limit to creativity that doesn't currently exist. As I mentioned elsewhere for example, what if someone wants to publish a challenge that is to complete your D/T grid within one state? That's statistical and localized; where does it go? Or should it be denied?

 

I kind of already covered that in my second point (which wasn't quoted).

 

2 - Challenges that are localized...those that are tied to a place (county challenge in a given state, grid challenges in a given state, etc.) or "quirkier" challenges such as those that spell out a word or follow a theme of some sort. I see no problem with these having a physical cache to sign...or even with keeping them much like they are right now. Obviously something has to be tightened up to address the issues GS is having with challenges. I think if these were to remain actual caches with posted coordinates, there would need to be a container to find and a log to sign. Otherwise, they would be submitted for review by the cacher and the 'owner' of the challenge would then have the opportunity to review the qualifications and award the points or stars or whatever they are to the individual.

 

They're clearly localized challenges that take general statistical achievements and make them more focused and more of a true "challenge".

  • Surprised 1

Share this post


Link to post

Wow geez, I hadn't realized how long it's been since this thread was bumped.


Many threads have referenced it since then, including this one:
 

 

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

The one and only "Challenge" cache we attempted was canned when gas got crazy in price, and we both ran outta time.

 

I was with two members when they found a Challenge cache final (after meeting the requirements).  A good hike too.

I could have logged it then, and if we ever finished, simply add my smiley to the cache page (mentioning what date I signed it...) to make it official. 

 - Instead, we'll wait until we have the "Challenge Completed" and head back out there to make it official.     :)

 

When these caches returned from their "time-out" for fixes in '16, they already had guidelines to place and complete.

I feel these came back because the site felt that the new guidelines would work best for them.  

This is simple as-is.  Find caches that qualify for the challenge, and when all done, claim the "Challenge Completed".

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

(continued from other thread to this more relevant thread)

 

12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Just how widespread is this dislike? ... Is the amount of discontent really enough to justify all the work of implementing the Challenge Stars concept?

 

Who knows? The feature discussion came about from those issues being raised, and prompted some people to consider a system that could be an overall improvement while also addressing numerous raised critiques. Ever see a software bug database? Know how many bugs on average are spotted by a majority of people? If some application has 1000's of tickets, many are likely only experienced by a tiny fraction of users, sometimes only a handful or just one. But developers may still address them in a major update because they can.

Just because (even if) only one or two raised a complaint about something they don't like does not mean it's not worth looking at. Discussion can lead to inspiration for better ideas which may even unintentionally solve other concerns. The question of whether it's worth the time to implement technically is up to the developers who know their system, demographic analyses and their bosses who make cost decisions.

 

12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

had the challenge side of those caches been optional, I'm not sure I would have bothered going through all the extra work of making them challenge caches.

 

Again, two points: You'd have the option to make it required. And, they're not "optional" in the sense of acquiring the challenge completion. "Unchallenges" have optional challenges that earn you no stat because they're not required to "Find" the cache, the only thing acquired. Optional challenges are only optional for the cache "Find" but still required to acquire the Challenge rating for stats. Don't do the challenge, don't earn the stats.

 

There's also this concept of finding first, or qualifying first. If someone wants to do the challenge, they may either find the cache first, or qualify first. At least now if they find the cache first, they can log it found properly, as in on the date it was found, and that Find log implies exactly the right thing - the cache was found on that date - then they can continue to work on the challenge. That muddying of the meaning of the Find log on challenge caches is an outstanding issue, an inconsistency. I can't count the number of times I've had to scroll through a log history skipping find logs (and note logs)and reading those logs to try to determine the last time the cache was actually found.

 

If say they qualify first, they can do whatever to flag the cache as qualified, and that challenge cache then becomes a kind of nag on the map - hey you qualified for me, now come and find me!

 

12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

What makes those two feel worthwhile to me as challenge caches are the logs like this one: "The qualifying caches for this challenge are generally the best ones around, and make for great days with family and friends too." As a traditional with an optional challenge star, I doubt I'd have got that, instead there'd likely be bunches of these

 

What would make that change?  If you lock the qualification to the Find, nothing would. If you left it optional, you'd still get those logs from people who would be likely to post logs like that anyway. And what's to stop someone who qualified from posting "Found." as log text either?   Maybe that's a local regional thing, but we've got people who couldn't care about log text whatever type of cache or experience it was. If you make an amazing cache with a wonderful experience, you'll get whatever type of text they want to include that is relevant to the cache find on the Find log, and relevant to the task wherever they announce they've qualified for the challenge.

 

 

7 hours ago, The Jester said:

The grid shows the count of how many caches have X number of D or T stars.  But no total of those stars.  I've found 35 caches with T5, but nowhere does it show that I've gotten 175 T stars on those caches.

 

....math?  C'mon. I've said repeatedly that the info is there and can be visualized in many creative ways. That's the way it is now with statistics. There are LOADS of depictions of statistics that aren't explicitly displayed to us. That's why there's PGC's stats, not just the profile stats. And other scripts. And challenge caches. The data is there. Right now, the data is not there and existing properties are muddied (primarily the D rating).

 

7 hours ago, The Jester said:

I'm not "actively trying to end discussion" on a possible better way.  I'm just saying "stars" is not the better way.

 

Then provide input and further the discussion. The challenge rating was birthed from combining further discussion - it wasn't there from the beginning. If you're saying "stars" isn't the better way but not providing any further input, then yes, you're actively trying to end discussion.  If your better way is "do nothing" then there's no way you can further discussion if you're not explaining why it's better to do nothing.  If you have other ideas, then post'em.  Chances are, this feature will either already have addressed issues 'another way' attempts, or may incorporate new issues people have raised in order to improve this feature suggestion.

 

7 hours ago, The Jester said:

An insistence that "stars" is the better/best way is just as ending of the discussion - "nothing more needs being said, this is the solution".

No one has said "nothing more needs being said", exactly the opposite!  And who's said this is THE solution?  It's a solution, as with the others that are repeatedly requested.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And who's said this is THE solution?  It's a solution, as with the others that are repeatedly requested.

The ALR approach that is used for Challenge Caches now is okay. It leaves Challenge Caches as the one exception to the "sign physical log, post online Find log" rule that applies to all other caches, but it is okay. The main problem with the current implementation of that ALR approach is that there is no way to identify Challenge Caches. I think they've outgrown the "staging ground" of the mystery/puzzle type, and deserve their own type. But a new attribute would work too, as far as allowing geocachers to identify Challenge Caches.

 

But if we're going to separate the ALR of the challenge from the Find of the cache, then I think we should go all the way. Eliminate the ALR for the cache, and go back to the "sign physical log, post online Find log" rule for all physical caches. And create a separate system for challenges. If they aren't a requirement for the online Find, then there is no reason to keep them linked to a physical cache at all. Just make them (and their stars, or whatever) an online badge system of some sort, independent of any physical cache.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

What would make that change?  If you lock the qualification to the Find, nothing would. If you left it optional, you'd still get those logs from people who would be likely to post logs like that anyway.

 

Without reading back through the entire contents of this thread, I'm not sure where the idea of the optional-challenge being optional originated, but surely it would lead to mass confusion if some challenges had a mandatory challenge that had to be completed before logging the find but others didn't. I think if a change was to be made to the rules making the challenge component optional for logging a find, it would have to be done across the board for all challenges.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, niraD said:
9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And who's said this is THE solution?  It's a solution, as with the others that are repeatedly requested.

The ALR approach that is used for Challenge Caches now is okay. It leaves Challenge Caches as the one exception to the "sign physical log, post online Find log" rule that applies to all other caches, but it is okay.

 

Sure, by the guidelines it all "makes sense", but there are issues and inconsistencies that are outstanding, because it's the only exception that changes things about standard definitions (ie, 'exceptions').  People can understand that and accept that, but is there a better way to handle this without exceptions to basic guidelines?

 

Remember this feature suggestion isn't just aimed at addressing any one particular raised issue. It's an amalgamation of numerous exchanges based on input from a variety of sources attempting to address a myriad of issues and desires. :P

 

 

1 hour ago, niraD said:

The main problem with the current implementation of that ALR approach is that there is no way to identify Challenge Caches. I think they've outgrown the "staging ground" of the mystery/puzzle type

 

With this I fully agree :)  The bigger question is whether TPTB think there's enough value in the "Challenge Caching" concept to put R&D into further improvement for the global community...

 

I mean, at the very least, they could perhaps integrate with PGC and provide a search or filter flag for caches that have an associated challenge checker (which is active). That might be one step closer to allowing users on geocaching.com to identify challenges within the existing system (without having to change websites) addressing one outstanding concern.

 

 

1 hour ago, niraD said:

But if we're going to separate the ALR of the challenge from the Find of the cache, then I think we should go all the way. Eliminate the ALR for the cache, and go back to the "sign physical log, post online Find log" rule for all physical caches. And create a separate system for challenges. If they aren't a requirement for the online Find, then there is no reason to keep them linked to a physical cache at all. Just make them (and their stars, or whatever) an online badge system of some sort, independent of any physical cache.

 

I was with you for the first half, but the second half has been discussed. And if challenges are their own locationless thing, then there's no individual cache owner incentive to create a cache centered on a challenge for the local community. eg, there'd be one fizzy challenge, worldwide (or loads of duplicates and everyone immediately "earns" the qualification rights to all of them; yeah, no) -- rather than "I've finally completed 1x fizzy, now I can complete any 1x fizzy challenge cache I come across while geocaching".  As an owner, I can create a fizzy challenge cache for people who want to log that challenge complete if they're passing through.  They wouldn't get the qualification stat until they find the cache, as is currently.  If I wanted to, I could make it so that people who don't want to, or may never qualify, could still find and sign the cache and record that they found it ("find it, sign it, log it online") without acquiring the challenge stat.

 

So your second half is kind of taking it an extra step farther, and this stars proposal is in the middle. It's challenges distinguished, but not independent. If it were independent, we'd have Project-GC's badge system which they've already created.

Heck PGC is already sort of at the locationless-challenge stage with membership, allowing you to see all the challenges you already qualify for. BUT, you still need to find those caches to acquire the challenge completion (right now, the +1 smiley)

 

Or also... similar to if HQ were to implement souvenir rewards for statistical accomplishments - also already discussed in this thread, AFAICR. That was another suggestion.

 

 

14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

surely it would lead to mass confusion if some challenges had a mandatory challenge that had to be completed before logging the find but others didn't

 

"mass confusion"?  That seems presumptuous, with no basis for that prediction apart from anecdotal.  I think it can easily make sense, depending on how it's presented.  Conceptually, everyone would be geocaching as normal, and certainly there'd be an indication if you can't log the Find until you qualify. Just as now, you'd have to post a Note, or maybe some other mechanic, if you don't yet qualify.  If you could, then it would be clear that you can't flag "I qualify" unless you've verified that you do (easily done by integration with PGC as it is now, much like coordinate checkers).

 

(cont'd)

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe think of it this way... Multiple choice here - think of how you cache and follow through the options (it's really not complicated)

 

 

I find and sign a cache.

I go to log the Find online.  Log type: Found It!

See: "This is a challenge cache.  Please verify with the checker below that you've qualified."

 

For optional: Also see, "Qualification is not required to log this geocache as Found!"

 

For required: Also see, "In order to log this cache as Found, you must provide evidence for qualification for the proposed challenge, via the Project-GC checker."

See label, "I qualify for this challenge." [Check box, default unchecked]

 

At this point, without building more restrictive measures about which log is allowed, the same process (as now) could exist: Just post the log.  The cache owner (as now) would 'police' the find logs to manage which logs should be deleted for lack of qualification (if it's required for the Find).  (and there are so many challenge caches out there that have invalid find logs from people who don't actually qualify! CO's already don't fully police their challenge finders' qualifications - at least from what I've seen with the PGC browser addon)

 

That's it, really.  Any cache with a Find log and qualified will show the relevant challenge rating total in that user's statistics, just like the D and T.

 

 

Now let's say I found it without qualifying yet.

Same process as above. But I don't check the qualification box.

 

For optional: I post the Find log as is (unchecked). Once I've qualified, I return to the listing and flag it as qualified - and acquire the challenge rating for my stats. How that qualification is set could be any number of options; maybe a new "Qualified" log, or more simply a Note log with the same qualified toggle box. In any case, I record that I've qualified (provide proof if necessary), and earn the challenge stats. (I can even provide the qualification date) - but now my initial Find log is dated correctly.

 

For required: A couple of options.

A] I realize I can't post my Find log because I'm not qualified, so I flip it to a Note (just like now). Once qualified I post a Find at a later date. Of course, that doesn't address the mis-dated not-a-find Find logs.

B] I post the Find log but it remains an incomplete find because I haven't qualified. Once qualified, I return and mark the challenge qualified (as above - log or flag).  This route is effectively the way the system currently works - requiring both means that the log identifying the cache was found will necessarily be mis-dated if the find comes before the qualification, unless someone back-dates a find or changes a past log type.

 

 

Now let's say I qualified before finding the cache.

Some people may not do anything until they find the cache, but let's say I want to record my qualification on the date I qualify.

 

For optional: I post a Note log, and mark the challenge box as qualified.  I can post it and include proof.  Now I effectively have raw data in the system that can tell me I have a qualified-but-not-found cache out in the wild. (likewise, in prior examples I have raw data in the system that can tell me I have a challenge caches found-but-not-qualified in the wild).  Once I go there and sign the cache, I can post my Find log; it could be pre-flagged as qualified, and then I acquire all the stats for the Find (just as now).

For required: Well, exactly the same as optional.

 

 

To reiterate, the same process as now can be found in the above steps. Even so far as ignoring the ratings, if the challenge rating weren't implemented (incentive=Find). But the proposal allows for ratings (incentive=Star rating & Find).

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
23 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

surely it would lead to mass confusion if some challenges had a mandatory challenge that had to be completed before logging the find but others didn't

 

"mass confusion"?  That seems presumptuous, with no basis for that prediction apart from anecdotal.  I think it can easily make sense, depending on how it's presented.  Conceptually, everyone would be geocaching as normal, and certainly there'd be an indication if you can't log the Find until you qualify. Just as now, you'd have to post a Note, or maybe some other mechanic, if you don't yet qualify.  If you could, then it would be clear that you can't flag "I qualify" unless you've verified that you do (easily done by integration with PGC as it is now, much like coordinate checkers).

 

With the number of app-only cachers who never read the description increasing, it's becoming increasingly problematic with find logs on multis from people who've only reached the first stage and DNFs from people who can't find anything at the bogus coordinates of puzzle caches. Throw in another factor where caches of the same type have different logging requirements depending on some detail buried in the description and yes, I think there would be lots of confusion, a lot more work for COs and increased animosity between COs and those finders who get it wrong.

 

I'm also curious how having the option of mandatory challenge component would appease those whose principal argument against the current system is about having ALRs on any physical caches. As long as there are still some physical caches that are allowed to have ALRs, would they be satisfied?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/11/2020 at 7:53 PM, barefootjeff said:

With the number of app-only cachers who never read the description increasing, it's becoming increasingly problematic with find logs on multis from people who've only reached the first stage and DNFs from people who can't find anything at the bogus coordinates of puzzle caches. Throw in another factor where caches of the same type have different logging requirements depending on some detail buried in the description and yes, I think there would be lots of confusion, a lot more work for COs and increased animosity between COs and those finders who get it wrong.

 

Yep, the education system for understanding geocache types and what's required can absolutely be improved. That's no reason for not examining feature options :P  Implementation and UX is its own beast.  But my wager is that the current system is actually more confusing because definitions have inconsistencies and exceptions. A system that distinguishes these allows that education to be more clear, identifiable, and recognizable.  (and in this case, ignorable if so desired)

 

On 7/11/2020 at 7:53 PM, barefootjeff said:

I'm also curious how having the option of mandatory challenge component would appease those whose principal argument against the current system is about having ALRs on any physical caches. As long as there are still some physical caches that are allowed to have ALRs, would they be satisfied?

 

Well that's the thing - the issue here is there are only two options that are mutually exclusive. A challenge is either required or not.  Having a system that allows for them to be optional by choice of the owner is a compromise.  If no one creates any optional ones, then nothing changes - the challenge caching process is the same (must qualify and sign to log online).  But if people do make them as optional then that opens doors for people to find more caches who couldn't care about challenges, and allows for consistently defined log types to be posted.

 

I know for a fact if this system were ever implemented, I would absolutely create optional challenge caches. I could find awesome cache locations for people to find the cache and log it found, then if they want to qualify for the related and themed challenge I'd create along with it, they can do that extra work at their own pace, eventually claiming the qualification.  I'd certainly do the same as a finder; the motivation is the completion of the challenge (and a tangible difference between "have 100 cache finds" and say a nemophilist challenge with 10x the count requirements, being rated very differently; and not for a mere +1 smiley).

 

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

But if people do make them as optional then that opens doors for people to find more caches who couldn't care about challenges, and allows for consistently defined log types to be posted.

 

So when it all boils down it's about people boosting their find counts. Okay, to each their own I guess, but I'm wondering if there are any places where a predominance of challenge caches is significantly limiting people's find counts. From what I've seen, in places that have lots of challenge caches there are also at least an order of magnitude more non-challenge caches, and in regions like mine that are cache-poor, there are so few challenge caches that it'd make virtually no difference. My region has two challenge caches, my two, so if I were to open them up as optional challenges all the people here would be able to add +2 to their score. Whoopie! But would they even want to?

 

For my own challenges, and the five I've completed and found, the physical effort in getting to GZ is of a similar vein to the effort needed to qualify for the challenge. The Medium Hike Challenge is itself a medium hike, so someone who's going to make the effort of getting to GZ is likely to be doing the sort of caches that will get them qualified without them having to change their ways too much. One of my caching friends is mainly interested in urban hides and in his two years of caching hasn't done anything greater than terrain 2.5. This is his checker output on the Nemophilist Challenge:

image.png.979dd1c224f411cf2db4b3538896afda.png

Although it would take a big change in his caching habits for him to come anywhere near qualifying, he's also unlikely to ever want to do the 2km terrain-4 hike to that challenge's physical cache, so the fact that he can't log a find on it without completing the challenge is a non-problem for him. Even if it was listed as a traditional it would probably be on his ignore list.

 

Okay, I know this correlation between the physical effort and the challenge effort is far from universal in the great wide world out there, but if there really are huge numbers of easy-to-find but difficult-to-qualify challenge caches, maybe is that the real issue that needs fixing?

Share this post


Link to post
37 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

So when it all boils down it's about people boosting their find counts.

Well, this whole hobby is about that (unless you choose not to log, or never ever care about looking at your stats or find count), and we're talking about challenge caches, so stats in this context do matter. :P

 

38 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm wondering if there are any places where a predominance of challenge caches is significantly limiting people's find counts

Well I can tell you around here there have been some who've commented about powertrails of challenge caches, or forest being taken up by challenge caches - especially from very advanced geocachers - effectively producing large areas of caches that can be physically found but not logged by anyone who doesn't or may never qualify.  It is a thing.

 

40 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The Medium Hike Challenge is itself a medium hike, so someone who's going to make the effort of getting to GZ is likely to be doing the sort of caches that will get them qualified without them having to change their ways too much.

And that is the sort of challenge cache I love - the cache itself is directly themed to the challenge. Props.

 

41 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

if there really are huge numbers of easy-to-find but difficult-to-qualify challenge caches, maybe is that the real issue that needs fixing?

Perhaps. But then the question is almost entirely arbitrary. It'd be a matter of putting boundaries on the 'spirit' of the concept in the manner it exists now (provide a challenge task and connect it to a physical geocache find); it would mean defining an arbitrary range of how similar the challenge should be to the cache hide. Something tells me a reviewer wouldn't want to have to make judgments on that based solely on the CO's opinions and input /:)

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Well, this whole hobby is about that (unless you choose not to log, or never ever care about looking at your stats or find count), and we're talking about challenge caches, so stats in this context do matter. :P

 

 

Without looking, all I can say about my find count is that it's a bit over 1000 but well short of 2000, it's not something I look at unless I have a specific need to. I go caching for the outdoor experiences and, on group outings, the camaraderie of like-minded friends, and log my finds to share my experiences with the COs and other searchers. I'd much rather spend a caching day going for that remote +1, or even a group outing that gets me a +0, than slog through a power trail for a +100. Yes, challenge caches at their core are about the numbers but they don't have to be gotten all at once. It took me a year to qualify for GC6QQPE and that was part of what made it so memorable.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Well I can tell you around here there have been some who've commented about powertrails of challenge caches, or forest being taken up by challenge caches - especially from very advanced geocachers - effectively producing large areas of caches that can be physically found but not logged by anyone who doesn't or may never qualify.  It is a thing.

 

I've heard similar complaints about geoart puzzle caches taking over an area. This came up when the two geoart series were published in the lead-up to the 2018 Oz Geomuster mega, with someone who didn't like puzzle caches having a grumble. But they were a pretty tiny minority (one), the rest of us either solved the puzzles or ignored them. Two years on, I've almost completed one series (all the puzzles solved but one currently-disabled cache still to find) and have about thirty of the other still unsolved, but it doesn't bother me and they were a welcome distraction during the recent COVID lockdown.

 

Geoart series are far more commonplace than challenge cache power trails but they're just part of the caching landscape, to be enjoyed or ignored depending on your tastes. You really don't have to find them all.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Yes, challenge caches at their core are about the numbers but they don't have to be gotten all at once. It took me a year to qualify for GC6QQPE and that was part of what made it so memorable.

Completely agreed! Have I mentioned that challenges are pretty much my entire motivation right now? Whether I know I'll find their containers in the future or not? I have bookmark lists to organize found-not-qualified, qualified-not-found, almost-qualified, and two for all of the challenges in Ontario (pre- and post-moratorium). I love the thrill of completing challenges, especially those long-term qualifications. But I love knowing that once I complete them, they become another cache I know I can find and sign and log if I ever get anywhere near them :P

 

33 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Geoart series are far more commonplace than challenge cache power trails but they're just part of the caching landscape, to be enjoyed or ignored depending on your tastes. You really don't have to find them all.

Also, completely agreed :)  Doesn't change the existing inconsistencies, confusions, and exceptions in definitions guidelines - love'em or hate'em. 

 

35 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I've heard similar complaints about geoart puzzle caches taking over an area. This came up when the two geoart series were published in the lead-up to the 2018 Oz Geomuster mega, with someone who didn't like puzzle caches having a grumble. But they were a pretty tiny minority (one), the rest of us either solved the puzzles or ignored them.

Yeah around here we have a whole lot of farmland an rural roads that if there isn't a long hiking/biking trail spanning a region, then the roadsides are where they go. Not really park land out in the farmland, so it's either powertrails or roadsides. Prime geoart realestate, and we have quite a few that fit those descriptions. Not many people complain about caches taking up relatively mundane roadside space. Trails, maybe. Most forests in those areas are private land, or have trails with permission, so not many caches there.

I'd love if we have more open public space like southern US states where there are geoarts just scattered around the landscape with no trails... The nearest we get to that are crown land regions that are publicly accessible and may or may not have trails. They usually get picked up fast if CO's are watching for good cache locations...

 

But we have a number of trails taken up by challenge caches. They can be ignored, just like geoarts, but at least if someone were to go with friends down the trail, they could find them all and log them found. Not so with the challenge trails if they don't yet qualify.

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But we have a number of trails taken up by challenge caches. They can be ignored, just like geoarts, but at least if someone were to go with friends down the trail, they could find them all and log them found. Not so with the challenge trails if they don't yet qualify.

 

My Slow Cooked challenge is alongside the Great North Walk, this region's premier hiking trail (250km from Sydney to Newcastle) so it does get a few found-but-not-qualified WN logs from cachers who were hiking past. They just accept that they've only completed part of that cache and there's still more to do if they want their log to become a find and some have done that. It's what makes challenge caches different to other types and, in these parts at least, what makes them a special treat. I do the same with puzzle caches if I'm out caching with friends and sign the logbook of a puzzle I haven't solved; I won't log it as a find until I've solved the puzzle, even if it means pestering those friends until I do. But maybe I'm weird.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

if there really are huge numbers of easy-to-find but difficult-to-qualify challenge caches, maybe is that the real issue that needs fixing?

 

I don't see why a difficult-to-qualify challenge should necessarily be a hard-to find cache.  I have two challenges (https://coord.info/GC3WXTT, https://coord.info/GC4FED2) - both pre-moratorium, and neither allowed under the current guidelines!  The D-ratings are both high, to reflect the difficulty of the challenges, but as Trads, they'd probably be D1.5 (or less).  Their T-ratings are low - neither are more than 200 m from a reasonable parking spot.  I'd say that the hides, whilst unexciting, are consistent with the sorts of caches that people are likely to use for qualification.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:
12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

if there really are huge numbers of easy-to-find but difficult-to-qualify challenge caches, maybe is that the real issue that needs fixing?

 

I don't see why a difficult-to-qualify challenge should necessarily be a hard-to find cache.  I have two challenges (https://coord.info/GC3WXTT, https://coord.info/GC4FED2) - both pre-moratorium, and neither allowed under the current guidelines!  The D-ratings are both high, to reflect the difficulty of the challenges, but as Trads, they'd probably be D1.5 (or less).  Their T-ratings are low - neither are more than 200 m from a reasonable parking spot.  I'd say that the hides, whilst unexciting, are consistent with the sorts of caches that people are likely to use for qualification.

 

Sorry, I was just thinking out loud trying to get my head around why there's a problem in places that needs challenge caches to be optionally converted into traditionals. I guess there are classes of challenges like streaks and calendar ones where there's no correlation between the difficulty of the challenge and the difficulty of accessing/finding the cache.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, I was just thinking out loud trying to get my head around why there's a problem in places that needs challenge caches to be optionally converted into traditionals. I guess there are classes of challenges like streaks and calendar ones where there's no correlation between the difficulty of the challenge and the difficulty of accessing/finding the cache.

I was about to say I haven't seen any correlation at all between the difficulty of the challenge and the difficulty of the find. But then I realized that's not true, it's just that the correlation is negative: to the extent I see a relation, it's that sometimes COs posting harder challenges try to make it *easier* for  people meeting the challenge to find the cache.

 

Once in a while the hide will reflect the challenge -- a challenge based on the climbing attribute being a tough climb, for example -- so I understand what you're talking about, but in my experience, those are the exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post
22 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I was about to say I haven't seen any correlation at all between the difficulty of the challenge and the difficulty of the find. But then I realized that's not true, it's just that the correlation is negative: to the extent I see a relation, it's that sometimes COs posting harder challenges try to make it *easier* for  people meeting the challenge to find the cache.

I've seen a similar negative correlation between the difficulty of puzzle caches and the difficulty of finding the actual container. Again, there are exceptions, but the rule seems to be that the more difficult puzzles correspond to the less difficult hides.

Share this post


Link to post

(a couple of replies continued from the 'type' thread due to relevance to the stars feature)

 

On 7/14/2020 at 12:04 PM, STNolan said:

I guess what I'm failing to see is why the un-challenge cache reward metric is somehow intrinsically worse than the challenge star metric?

  • In both scenarios you can log the cache as found as soon as you sign the log. 
  • In both scenarios the challenge is separated from the smiley
  • In both cases the cacher has the opportunity to ignore the challenge if they so wish
  • In both cases the hider has the opportunity to create an optional challenge for people to complete

 

1. To acquire the full metric, you don't need to do anything more with an unchallenge (smiley). To acquire the full metric, you need to qualify with the star metric (rating).

2. The "challenge" in an unchallenge is unofficial, entirely arbitrary, has no metric, and provides nothing to acquire.  The challenge with the rating feature is an official challenge, arbitrary, but has a metric and provides a stat to acquire.

3. Sure

4. In the unchallenge, the user who logs the cache without qualifying has acquired the same "reward" as the user who logs the cache and decides to qualify (the smiley). With the star metric, a user who logs the challenge cache still has a statistic to acquire if they choose to also qualify for the challenge.

 

 

On 7/15/2020 at 2:04 AM, dprovan said:

I think the alternatives that allow finds on challenge caches without meeting the challenge would be worse

 

As described often, this was one feature option in an effort to address the arguments that:

1] some people wish they could just log a physical cache as found if they've found it and signed it, and

2] find logs can actually mean what they imply in the log history - that a cache was found and signed as of that date, which the current system has a hiccup with due to the various manners in which people log their qualifications, finds, and full completions.

Also, I could adjust the wording above to flip the bias too:

I think the exception that disallows finds on challenge caches even though the cache was found can be problematic. ;)

 

 

On 7/13/2020 at 9:36 PM, barefootjeff said:

My Slow Cooked challenge is alongside the Great North Walk, this region's premier hiking trail (250km from Sydney to Newcastle) so it does get a few found-but-not-qualified WN logs from cachers who were hiking past. They just accept that they've only completed part of that cache and there's still more to do if they want their log to become a find and some have done that. It's what makes challenge caches different to other types and, in these parts at least, what makes them a special treat.

 

Getting Notes instead of Find logs is a treat?  Or are you meaning that the fact that someone shared that they found it despite not having yet qualified is the treat?  If the former, remember that the log history won't imply the right thing.

Understanding that no one is required to log that a cache was found, here's the issue:  The cache was found. Someone looking at the history will have to explore ALL logs, to distinguish Notes where the user states they found it from those that are just Notes. And what happens if/when that user qualifies? Will they edit their past log to a Found? Will they post a new Found It log on a date they didn't actually find the physical geocache? Imagine how inconsistent the log history of events will look... oh yes, that is very much a unique issue with Challenge Caches. There are plenty of challenge caches where a group goes through, finds and signs them, posts notes, and then a year or two later new Finds are posted. So when was the physical cache last found? Notes may or may not be relevant. Find logs may or may not be relevant. The only way to determine is to read every log until the text implies the person found it. Log types are effectively meaningless (and that's a universal issue, on challenge caches, because there's no rule about which logs to post and when).

 

If the treat is just that someone decided to find the cache without having qualified - they the fact they post anything (note or find) is the treat.   Why must it be a found-but-not-qualified Note?

 

 

On 7/14/2020 at 1:15 PM, dprovan said:

to the extent I see a relation, it's that sometimes COs posting harder challenges try to make it *easier* for  people meeting the challenge to find the cache

 

Yeah, with extra description text saying almost universally "the cache is rated for the challenge, but hide more like a 1.0 D"

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
On 7/14/2020 at 11:36 AM, barefootjeff said:

It's what makes challenge caches different to other types and, in these parts at least, what makes them a special treat.

 

Getting Notes instead of Find logs is a treat?  Or are you meaning that the fact that someone shared that they found it despite not having yet qualified is the treat?  If the former, remember that the log history won't imply the right thing.

 

The "special treat" is for the finders, in that there's more to do to complete the cache than just find the container and sign the log, so more adventure to be had. Challenge caches in this region are rare (mine are the only two on the Central Coast and the Newcastle region to the north has ten).

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4

×
×
  • Create New...