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Pause on New Challenge Caches

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And yet none of us know exactly what the problems are that appeals has to deal with except that if affects their workload.

 

I hope the company I work for never lessens its work load, I might be out of a job, the company I worked for before lessened its work load so much it doesn't exist anymore.

 

Reviewers are volunteers, bud.

 

It's not the submissions that are the problem it's the appeals to Groundspeak.

 

That's some nice compartmentalization. The reviewers try to work with owners to get these caches published before it gets to the appeal stage.

 

The fact that volunteer reviewers AND paid staff are spending so much time on this issue is a pretty clear sign that the system needs some refinement.

 

At my job, when I have to spend an unexpected amount of time on a task that used to take much less time, it's a problem and it detracts from the other work I have to do. I always work with my employer to make improvements so I can use my time more efficiently.

 

 

Hmmmmm:

 

While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ.

 

Seems the issue is appeals to HQ.

 

So reviewers take a quick glance, say NOPE, and pass it on to Groundspeak?

 

Really?

 

That straight from the horses mouth in post #1.

 

To be clear: your assertion is that reviewers do not, in fact, make any attempt to work with cache owners and that challenge caches have not noticeably increased the burden of their volunteer workload.

 

I'm sure they do but the moratorium is the result of the excessive workload placed on HQ according the the first post in this thread which was made by HQ.

 

Quite frankly I'd be more accepting of this moratorium if HQ stated it was due to the fact that created a significant burden on the reviewers because they are volunteers.

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Quite frankly I'd be more accepting of this moratorium if HQ stated it was due to the fact that created a significant burden on the reviewers because they are volunteers.

 

Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches.

 

Quite frankly, I'm surprised you didn't realize this line translates to "Challenge caches can be a significant burden for reviewers." But now that we've cleared up, you can be more accepting of the moratorium. So that's good.

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To be clear, this is the relevant portion:

 

there are many aspects of challenge caches that can make them frustrating for the community. They are neither a separate cache type nor do they have a specific attribute, so the logging requirements are easily misunderstood. Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches. While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ.

 

In order to properly evaluate and fully focus on the challenge cache system, it is necessary to have a period of time that is free of new submissions.

Points made:

1. Frustrating for the community

1a. No filterable property (eg, attribute)

1b. Logging requirements easily misunderstood

1c. Difficult to publish (review process) due to high subjectivity

2. Challenge caches ~1% of submissions

3. Challenge caches significant portion of appeals made to HQ

 

The "horse's mouth" doesn't actually imply that it is only the 'appeals' that has caused the moratorium.

My understanding, and if anyone has references to moderator or lackey comments confirming or to the contrary please share, is that reviewers are the ones who greatly supported the idea of a temporary moratorium; not sure if initially suggested by HQ or not.

 

I think it's a fallacy to focus on the problem being only "appeals to challenge cache publishing". And I get the alternate impression that it's reviewer workload, not appeals workload exclusively (which is likely, but not entirely, appeals about publishing them). The issue is all the behind-the-scenes efforts of TPTB to make challenge caches possible and feasible in the system. But that, combined with the community frustrations and requests regarding challenge caches that has led to the decision for the moratorium.

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

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Quite frankly I'd be more accepting of this moratorium if HQ stated it was due to the fact that created a significant burden on the reviewers because they are volunteers.

 

Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches.

 

Quite frankly, I'm surprised you didn't realize this line translates to "Challenge caches can be a significant burden for reviewers." But now that we've cleared up, you can be more accepting of the moratorium. So that's good.

 

The way I read the opening thread was that the main issue is the extra work created for HQ, maybe it could have been worded better because I know for a fact I am not the only one that read it that way.

 

Just for the record I am a big supporter of our reviewers.

Edited by Roman!

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

I volunteer :laughing:

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1. Frustrating for the community

1a. No filterable property (eg, attribute)

1b. Logging requirements easily misunderstood

1c. Difficult to publish (review process) due to high subjectivity

2. Challenge caches ~1% of submissions

3. Challenge caches significant portion of appeals made to HQ

 

1. Non argument as it can be used on about all caches. A cache should not frustrate you. If you're frustrated because "you will never qualify" then others can be frustrated because they don't climb trees, dive, do long hikes or other T5's.

1a. Easy fix. New icon, Done.

1b. OK, the CO should be able to lay out the requirements in a clear way and include proof he filled the requirements himself (at least in Belgium you have to qualify for your own challenge, which is logical) The list to proof fulfillment should help cachers to understand what's required. I have yet to see a challenge that I didn't understand how to qualify. Since there are people who are not able to figure out their TV's remote I guess there are people who don't understand the requirements too. However, there's no need to "dumb down" to cater for all. Otherwise mysteries should be D1 also.

1c. Must have xx founds of "type" caches. Type can be Trad, Multi, D/T, or any property. Eventhough project GC and GSAK can make checking a question of seconds it should be possible to manually gather the info needed for a challenge. I don't think we should have challenges that can only be checked on GC.com as that would take away a lot of creativity and/or put extra burden on the servers to have an "in-site" checking mechanism.

2. ?????????

3. ????????? Not knowing WHY CO's contact appeals makes it impossible to make suggestions.

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Let's say challenge caches won't survive in their current state. For what it's worth, all we know is it's causing pressure on reviewers and HQ. No matter what, it's out of your control and there's no need to try to find a hidden agenda. It's just like that.

 

How would you see them evolve?

 

If your answer is they have to stay the same, then you missed the point.

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Actually, no. That is not true at all. That may be what the current conversation is, but the issue is the number of appeals to Groundspeak, and what changes Groundspeak will make to ease the burden on their reviewers. THAT is the discussion that we should be having, not some silly debate that nobody will win about the merits or lack thereof of challenge caches as we know them today.

I agree completely. But have I missed the clear statement of the problem? All I remember is a general statement that reviewing challenge caches causes a lot of work for both reviewers and the appeal channel, but I haven't noticed any description of what kinds of problems generate the excess work. Can the problems be characterized more specifically than "people submit stupid challenges and then get upset when the reviewers won't approve them"? Can examples be presented to illustrate he typical reviewing challenges generated by challenge caches? If so, I'd suggest a new thread for discussing those issues since, according to the title, this thread is supposed to be about the pause, not about the solution.

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Actually, no. That is not true at all. That may be what the current conversation is, but the issue is the number of appeals to Groundspeak, and what changes Groundspeak will make to ease the burden on their reviewers. THAT is the discussion that we should be having, not some silly debate that nobody will win about the merits or lack thereof of challenge caches as we know them today.

I agree completely. But have I missed the clear statement of the problem? All I remember is a general statement that reviewing challenge caches causes a lot of work for both reviewers and the appeal channel, but I haven't noticed any description of what kinds of problems generate the excess work. Can the problems be characterized more specifically than "people submit stupid challenges and then get upset when the reviewers won't approve them"? Can examples be presented to illustrate he typical reviewing challenges generated by challenge caches? If so, I'd suggest a new thread for discussing those issues since, according to the title, this thread is supposed to be about the pause, not about the solution.

 

Tough to agree on a solution when we can't even agree on what the problem is.

 

Good thing it's not our problem to solve.

Edited by Roman!

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules? As has been stated numerous times, these caches make up a very small proportion of actual cache submissions. They're just very problematic to review and publish.

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules? As has been stated numerous times, these caches make up a very small proportion of actual cache submissions. They're just very problematic to review and publish.

 

Because many people enjoy them. Sometimes things that are worthwhile require a little extra work. No one wants them to be a burden on the reviewers, so more reviewers would help to share the workload.

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Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules?

 

I find it hard to believe that with a few (minor) changes/clarifications the goal can be achieved. I rather guess there will be major changes leading to the result that those who presently like challenge caches (or at least of them) will predominantly do not enjoy them any longer.

 

The greatest mistake that can happen in my opinion is to replace challenge caches by a system of achievement badges or decouple physical caches and qualifying for a challenge cach. The outcome then would be a similar failure as challenges or tasks that are boring and trivial in many areas like the tasks behind the 15 years souvenirs. It simply does not work out to come up with reasonable goals for the whole world - finding a cache with 10 FPs is ridiculously simple in my country and ridiculously hard in some countries with almost no cachers at all. The expertise and judgement of reviewers knowing the area will always be necessary.

Edited by cezanne

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules? As has been stated numerous times, these caches make up a very small proportion of actual cache submissions. They're just very problematic to review and publish.

 

Because many people enjoy them. Sometimes things that are worthwhile require a little extra work. No one wants them to be a burden on the reviewers, so more reviewers would help to share the workload.

 

Perhaps a little of both. If challenge caches could be refined, maybe figure out which kind of challenge caches are the most burdensome for Groundspeak and reviewers, perhaps saying no more of those kind and then perhaps have devoted challenge cache reviewers to help offset work load, that would be grand. Either way, there are a boatload of challenge caches out there, a one year moratorium is not going to stop folks from enjoying them for the time being. My state has almost 300 of them, probably at least over 200 of them active and many require lots of hiking or traveling so still plenty to do without new ones being created. Most states I have traveled to have a boatload as well (Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, California, Texas, Michigan, etc etc).

Edited by lamoracke

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules? As has been stated numerous times, these caches make up a very small proportion of actual cache submissions. They're just very problematic to review and publish.

 

Because many people enjoy them. Sometimes things that are worthwhile require a little extra work. No one wants them to be a burden on the reviewers, so more reviewers would help to share the workload.

 

Yes, things that are worthwhile require a little extra work, like the effort Groundspeak is currently spending to review how these caches work and how the system can be improved to make them work better.

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From the point of view of a finder, I really like challenge caches. Those are the ones I go out of my way to do and they appear to be popular in areas that have mega events as people seem to make sure they find them if they are qualified. If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.

 

Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules? As has been stated numerous times, these caches make up a very small proportion of actual cache submissions. They're just very problematic to review and publish.

 

Because many people enjoy them. Sometimes things that are worthwhile require a little extra work. No one wants them to be a burden on the reviewers, so more reviewers would help to share the workload.

 

Yes, things that are worthwhile require a little extra work, like the effort Groundspeak is currently spending to review how these caches work and how the system can be improved to make them work better.

 

... and they may find that they need more reviewers to handle the workload.

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And yet none of us know exactly what the problems are that appeals has to deal with except that if affects their workload.

 

I hope the company I work for never lessens its work load, I might be out of a job, the company I worked for before lessened its work load so much it doesn't exist anymore.

 

Reviewers are volunteers, bud.

 

It's not the submissions that are the problem it's the appeals to Groundspeak.

 

That's some nice compartmentalization. The reviewers try to work with owners to get these caches published before it gets to the appeal stage.

 

The fact that volunteer reviewers AND paid staff are spending so much time on this issue is a pretty clear sign that the system needs some refinement.

 

At my job, when I have to spend an unexpected amount of time on a task that used to take much less time, it's a problem and it detracts from the other work I have to do. I always work with my employer to make improvements so I can use my time more efficiently.

Thanks for this accurate summary. It is the challenge cache hiders who are principally responsible for the moratorium, NOT people who hate on challenge caches. We need a better process for defining how this type of cache will work. It is the 2015 version of the virtual cache dilemma of ten years ago.

 

I have made several posts about this. Hopefully they'll believe your summary, narcissa.

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The greatest mistake that can happen in my opinion is to replace challenge caches by a system of achievement badges or decouple physical caches and qualifying for a challenge cach.

 

What makes you think decoupling the physical cache from the qualification for a challenge would be a mistake?

 

It depends how it's made... If everyone can log the physical cache and all you get if you qualify for the requirements is a little star, yes it could be demotivating.

 

But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

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Thanks for this accurate summary. It is the challenge cache hiders who are principally responsible for the moratorium, NOT people who hate on challenge caches. We need a better process for defining how this type of cache will work. It is the 2015 version of the virtual cache dilemma of ten years ago.

 

I have made several posts about this. Hopefully they'll believe your summary, narcissa.

 

For those of us who enjoy the challenge caches, this is not particularly encouraging, given what happened with virtuals. I will hope for a better result this time around.

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Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules?

 

I find it hard to believe that with a few (minor) changes/clarifications the goal can be achieved. I rather guess there will be major changes leading to the result that those who presently like challenge caches (or at least of them) will predominantly do not enjoy them any longer.

 

The greatest mistake that can happen in my opinion is to replace challenge caches by a system of achievement badges or decouple physical caches and qualifying for a challenge cach. The outcome then would be a similar failure as challenges or tasks that are boring and trivial in many areas like the tasks behind the 15 years souvenirs. It simply does not work out to come up with reasonable goals for the whole world - finding a cache with 10 FPs is ridiculously simple in my country and ridiculously hard in some countries with almost no cachers at all. The expertise and judgement of reviewers knowing the area will always be necessary.

 

The ironic part is in those areas where it IS difficult to find caches with more than 10 FPs, achieving this goal actually will cause folks to change their caching behavior to achieve it, leading many to refrain from logging those caches until the opening date arrives...something that COs are not allowed to require in the challenges they create.

Edited by J Grouchy

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The greatest mistake that can happen in my opinion is to replace challenge caches by a system of achievement badges or decouple physical caches and qualifying for a challenge cach.

 

What makes you think decoupling the physical cache from the qualification for a challenge would be a mistake?

 

It depends how it's made... If everyone can log the physical cache and all you get if you qualify for the requirements is a little star, yes it could be demotivating.

 

But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

 

Two finds for one cache? personally I'd never log a challenge as completed to get the second smiley and I'd never publish another either. Very, very, very bad idea.

 

Virtual as in locationless, that's just cheap smilies I can log from my bathroom for nothing, again, I'd never log one or publish one. Another bad idea.

 

The kiss the frog challenge that initially got you a smiley was proof that cheapening finds is not a good idea.

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Why inflate the number of reviewers to handle this when it could be better managed with a few changes/clarifications to the rules?

 

I find it hard to believe that with a few (minor) changes/clarifications the goal can be achieved. I rather guess there will be major changes leading to the result that those who presently like challenge caches (or at least of them) will predominantly do not enjoy them any longer.

 

The greatest mistake that can happen in my opinion is to replace challenge caches by a system of achievement badges or decouple physical caches and qualifying for a challenge cach. The outcome then would be a similar failure as challenges or tasks that are boring and trivial in many areas like the tasks behind the 15 years souvenirs. It simply does not work out to come up with reasonable goals for the whole world - finding a cache with 10 FPs is ridiculously simple in my country and ridiculously hard in some countries with almost no cachers at all. The expertise and judgement of reviewers knowing the area will always be necessary.

 

The ironic part is in those areas where it IS difficult to find caches with more than 10 FPs, achieving this goal actually will cause folks to change their caching behavior to achieve it, leading many to refrain from logging those caches until the opening date arrives...something that COs are not allowed to require in the challenges they create.

 

There was an earthcache recently published near my house I was going to go get but now I'm holding off as I have no other nearby easy earthcaches.

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The ironic part is in those areas where it IS difficult to find caches with more than 10 FPs,

 

That's sad. No quality caches that deserve FP's? :ph34r:

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

 

A second find will not be acceptable to the big majority.

 

If everyone can log a found it for a challenge cache, then one of the major motivations for many challenge owners to hide and maintain their cache will get lost.

Similarly many finders will not be motivated to work for qualifying. It's the container aspect of challenge caches that makes them appealing to the majority of those who like them.

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

 

A second find will not be acceptable to the big majority.

 

If everyone can log a found it for a challenge cache, then one of the major motivations for many challenge owners to hide and maintain their cache will get lost.

Similarly many finders will not be motivated to work for qualifying. It's the container aspect of challenge caches that makes them appealing to the majority of those who like them.

 

Really? I always assumed it was the challenge aspect that made them appealing... :anibad:

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

 

A second find will not be acceptable to the big majority.

 

If everyone can log a found it for a challenge cache, then one of the major motivations for many challenge owners to hide and maintain their cache will get lost.

Similarly many finders will not be motivated to work for qualifying. It's the container aspect of challenge caches that makes them appealing to the majority of those who like them.

 

Oh my god, yesterday I was agreeing with the dog (knowschad), today I'm agreeing with cezanne, Groundspeak, what have you done?

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The issue, instead, is whether the negative consequences of challenge caches are sufficiently unique and significant that they justify denying them to those who enjoy them.

Actually, no. That is not true at all. That may be what the current conversation is, but the issue is the number of appeals to Groundspeak, and what changes Groundspeak will make to ease the burden on their reviewers. THAT is the discussion that we should be having, not some silly debate that nobody will win about the merits or lack thereof of challenge caches as we know them today.

The issue isn't merely whether challenge caches have some negative consequences (such as generating lots of appeals). The issue (and, I think, frizzymagic's point) is whether those negative consequences outweigh the positive benefits challenge caches bring to this activity.

 

Putting anti-pollution devices on cars have negative consequences (e.g., they increase the cost of the car), but they also have significant benefits. If the benefits outweigh the costs, then it's probably a good idea to have those devices. That doesn't mean one shouldn't look at ways that reduce the cost of those devices...as long as the modifications don't significantly reduce their effectiveness.

 

Lots of people have listed what they feel are negative consequences of challenge caches, but they tend to ignore the benefits that challenge caches generate. For many of us, challenge caches bring a new dimension to this activity that helps keep it interesting and fresh. They get us involved in aspects that we might not otherwise have considered. They take us places where we otherwise might not have gone. They keep us engaged in this activity in enjoyable ways. While it's hard to measure this enjoyment, it is very real.

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

 

A second find will not be acceptable to the big majority.

 

If everyone can log a found it for a challenge cache, then one of the major motivations for many challenge owners to hide and maintain their cache will get lost.

Similarly many finders will not be motivated to work for qualifying. It's the container aspect of challenge caches that makes them appealing to the majority of those who like them.

 

Really? I always assumed it was the challenge aspect that made them appealing... :anibad:

 

It's the combinations hat made them popular, seperate them or give each its own smiley and you destroy what they are.

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If this is a burden for reviewers, why not just get more reviewers? I'm sure you would have volunteers.
It has been said that if you volunteer to be a reviewer, then you have thereby disqualified yourself from ever being a reviewer.

 

There's some truth to that. The people you want reviewing caches are not the ones who are eager to volunteer. They're the ones who have been quietly serving the geocaching community, who have demonstrated that they work well with other geocachers and with land managers and with other community members.

 

Besides, throwing bodies at a problem like this just doesn't scale. It may help for a while, but then the situation will become just as unbearable as before, only there will be a lot more disgruntled people affected by it.

 

Let's say challenge caches won't survive in their current state.
That was my take on the moratorium. Groundspeak knows that they cannot continue with challenge caches in their current form; something must change. They don't know what exactly will change yet, but something must change. Thus, the moratorium on new challenge caches in their current form.

 

So what will challenge caches (or their replacement) look like? That's the real question. Bringing them back in their current form is not an option.

 

If challenge caches could be refined, maybe figure out which kind of challenge caches are the most burdensome for Groundspeak and reviewers, perhaps saying no more of those kind and then perhaps have devoted challenge cache reviewers to help offset work load, that would be grand.
I am not a reviewer, and I don't even play one on TV, but my take as an outsider is that the problem is largely driven by people pushing the limits, and pushing the limits harder and harder. It probably isn't a specific type of challenge, but the overall attitude of some cache owners. And wherever the limits are, people will push them. The acceptance of numbers run trails (or the demise of the "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" guideline, depending on your perspective) is an example of that.

 

If it's okay to hide a 5-county challenge, and a 10-county challenge, and a 20-county challenge, then how about a series of county challenges: a 1-county challenge, a 2-county challenge, a 3-county challenge, all the way up to a 58-county challenge (in California). But why limit it to one state? There are 3143 counties and county equivalents in the US. Why not have a series of 3143 county challenges, starting with a 1-county challenge and ending with a 3143-county challenge.

 

And that's just one type of challenge cache (county challenges). Multiply that by all the different types of challenges and all the different stats that challenges can be based upon and all the permutations of multiple criteria, and you have a lot of limits for challenge cache owners to push.

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A second find will not be acceptable to the big majority.

 

Maybe, but not my call.

 

If everyone can log a found it for a challenge cache, then one of the major motivations for many challenge owners to hide and maintain their cache will get lost.

Similarly many finders will not be motivated to work for qualifying. It's the container aspect of challenge caches that makes them appealing to the majority of those who like them.

 

Only those who qualified would be entitled to log a find on a virtual challenge cache. That means you still have to work your way as hard as before to meet the requirements and you end up with the same result: an exclusive find others can't get for your accomplishment. Those who don't qualify would never be able to log a find on them and they would never stumble on the physical cache as it wouldn't exist in the first place. If you really really want to hide and maintain a cache, there are other types of caches you can hide.

 

I don't see your point about the "challenge cache" having to be physical. But you don't need to try to convince me.

 

Anyway, I think they're looking for ideas on how to control the challenge aspect of these caches, not really how they're managed on the site (from what I could understand).

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Only those who qualified would be entitled to log a find on a virtual challenge cache.

 

Yes, but as a virtual the attractivity to most fans of challenge caches will drop considerably. It will not be any longer a part of the game they enjoy but another game.

 

That means you still have to work your way as hard as before to meet the requirements and you end up with the same result: an exclusive find others can't get for your accomplishment.

 

Not really true - one can cheat to qualify and in case of a virtual one does not even need to leave one's house.

 

If you really really want to hide and maintain a cache, there are other types of caches you can hide.

 

Of course - e.g. a very difficult puzzle cache to limit the traffic but not everyone enjoys puzzles and even less very hard ones. Challenge caches allow cache owners to reduce the traffic without introducing

puzzles or other very demanding tasks.

 

I don't see your point about the "challenge cache" having to be physical. But you don't need to try to convince me.

 

They do not have to be physical. However to be successful as they are right now, they need to be physical. Experiments as the challenges failed and will always fail (also when set up differently).

 

Anyway, I think they're looking for ideas on how to control the challenge aspect of these caches, not really how they're managed on the site (from what I could understand).

 

I rather think they focus on the submission and review process. Once the challenge caches are out, the major troubles have been taken care of.

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Experiments as the challenges failed and will always fail (also when set up differently).
I'm not convinced of this. I think some of the initial silliness of Geocaching Challenges had started to wear off, and the Geocaching Challenges that I saw later (both local and worldwide/locationless) looked much more interesting. Unfortunately, Groundspeak pulled the plug on Geocaching Challenges a week or two later.

 

But I'm assuming that they learned something through the process of creating (and then removing) the system. And that learning process can help the development of whatever Challenge Caches evolve into.

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

For me, what makes the challenge interesting is that satisfying it allows me to find the physical cache in the same way solving a puzzle allows me to find the physical cache. In the end, geocaching to me is all about going to a specific location to find a cache. While I might do challenges that were decoupled in either of these ways from the physical find, I'd consider it something other than geocaching so I don't find the idea as appealing.

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

For me, what makes the challenge interesting is that satisfying it allows me to find the physical cache in the same way solving a puzzle allows me to find the physical cache. In the end, geocaching to me is all about going to a specific location to find a cache. While I might do challenges that were decoupled in either of these ways from the physical find, I'd consider it something other than geocaching so I don't find the idea as appealing.

 

But honestly, the ENTIRE point of the challenge cache is to go find caches and use those finds in some way to fulfill certain specific requirements. Are you saying you wouldn't get any satisfaction from filling your "Jasmer" grid if there weren't a camouflaged pill bottle in a light post to find at the end of it all?

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Ah, I see. So, those that disagree with you are the ones you are calling childish names. Got it.

 

No. I have no problem with disagreement, I'm simply taking advantage of the opportunity to poke some fun at a few people. Many of the arguments against challenge caches are nothing more than selfish opinions. Sort of a playground 'I want it my way' approach. It comes off as quite childish.

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But what if your qualification entitles you to a second find on the same cache? Or what if the challenge caches are now virtual and only those who qualify can log them?

For me, what makes the challenge interesting is that satisfying it allows me to find the physical cache in the same way solving a puzzle allows me to find the physical cache. In the end, geocaching to me is all about going to a specific location to find a cache. While I might do challenges that were decoupled in either of these ways from the physical find, I'd consider it something other than geocaching so I don't find the idea as appealing.

 

But honestly, the ENTIRE point of the challenge cache is to go find caches and use those finds in some way to fulfill certain specific requirements. Are you saying you wouldn't get any satisfaction from filling your "Jasmer" grid if there weren't a camouflaged pill bottle in a light post to find at the end of it all?

 

I wouldn't want a smiley that I could log from my bathroom simply for meeting a challenge, the point of a challenge cache is to find the cache and meet the challenge.

 

If they turned all existing challenge caches into locationless virtuals you could log if you met the challenge I could spend months logging thousands of them without ever leaving home, this is not caching, this is basically what their failed challenges are.

 

My fear is whatever they come up with will quickly degenerate to cheap smilies requiring no effort.

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Experiments as the challenges failed and will always fail (also when set up differently).
I'm not convinced of this. I think some of the initial silliness of Geocaching Challenges had started to wear off, and the Geocaching Challenges that I saw later (both local and worldwide/locationless) looked much more interesting. Unfortunately, Groundspeak pulled the plug on Geocaching Challenges a week or two later.

 

But I'm assuming that they learned something through the process of creating (and then removing) the system. And that learning process can help the development of whatever Challenge Caches evolve into.

 

I agree that there has been a learning curve. Challenges have some potential, but they are a different game and will never be accepted as geocaching by the big mass and so ideas along these lines will not be able to replace challenge caches and appeal to the same audience.

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Experiments as the challenges failed and will always fail (also when set up differently).
I'm not convinced of this. I think some of the initial silliness of Geocaching Challenges had started to wear off, and the Geocaching Challenges that I saw later (both local and worldwide/locationless) looked much more interesting. Unfortunately, Groundspeak pulled the plug on Geocaching Challenges a week or two later.

 

But I'm assuming that they learned something through the process of creating (and then removing) the system. And that learning process can help the development of whatever Challenge Caches evolve into.

 

I agree, GS didn't really give the "Challenges" a fighting chance once the silliness wore off, and some of the more serious players started to work out the kinks. By the same token, GS should have jumped on the challenge cache concept about a year ago. New guidelines made more of a mess then actually fix the key issues.

I don't know what the middle ground it, but I really hope we all can find something that works.

 

There are so many good ideas that bounced around Geocaching (Virtual, Locationless, Challenges, ALR), but always seemed to get out of control.

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Old New Challenges could be re-born and challenge caches and virtual caches could be wrapped up into them. :ph34r:

 

Beside, I would love to see the "Super Cacher" Icon and "Flying Airplane" icon again :smile:

Edited by nikcap

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The issue, instead, is whether the negative consequences of challenge caches are sufficiently unique and significant that they justify denying them to those who enjoy them.

 

Actually, no. That is not true at all. That may be what the current conversation is, but the issue is the number of appeals to Groundspeak, and what changes Groundspeak will make to ease the burden on their reviewers.

 

Ah, so the reviewer load is not a negative consequence? Weird. I would have thought it was.

 

In fact, what I said is completely true. The unique negative consequence of challenge caches is their load on the reviewers. It is whether this can be fixed or not that will determine the future of challenge caches.

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But honestly, the ENTIRE point of the challenge cache is to go find caches and use those finds in some way to fulfill certain specific requirements. Are you saying you wouldn't get any satisfaction from filling your "Jasmer" grid if there weren't a camouflaged pill bottle in a light post to find at the end of it all?

No, not for me. For me, the entire point of any cache is finding the cache. While I enjoy walking to the cache, and solving a puzzle to get the coordinates, and satisfying requirements to earn permission to log a find, I consider those means to an end. So, yes, exactly: I get no satisfaction from filling any grid for its own sake. Indeed, were it not for the reward of a cache, I wouldn't bother filling grids to begin with.

 

Now I admit, if challenge caches are forbidden and replaced by some pure challenge independent of a physical cache, either by being locationless of by being a bonus not required to claim a find, then, if I decided to pursue such challenges, I'd be forced to take satisfaction in the accomplishment itself, independently of finding a cache. But I'd rue that day.

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For me, the entire point of any cache is finding the cache. While I enjoy walking to the cache, and solving a puzzle to get the coordinates, and satisfying requirements to earn permission to log a find, I consider those means to an end.

 

I'd like to add that one of the things that makes geocaching stay interesting to me is the variety of requirements to log the find. I'm well past the point at which merely finding an ammo can at coordinates accurate to 10 feet is sufficiently interesting.

 

Please note -- I am NOT saying that I don't still enjoy traditionals! They just have to have something besides the cache itself to be worthwhile. Great hike, beautiful view, historical significance, etc. Mystery and challenge caches have that "something extra" built in to their design.

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1. What do you like most about challenge caches?

Challenge caches give me a goal to shoot for in caching. It adds great challenge and excitement to a sport that could otherwise grow monotonous or unchallenging. It may take me a few weeks to a few years to meet the criteria in a challenge, but if this is something I relish doing, I should be able to be challenged and work for it. Some challenges I may never reach or succeed in, but I will not complain and stand in the way of another cacher would might be able to overcome the odds, execute complex planning and manage to hit the target. Keep the "Challenge" in Challenge caches and PLEASE do not nerf them - they are too much fun, even if a few of them are frustrating. The is an ignore list for this reason, is there not?

 

2. What do you not like about challenge caches?

Most challenges are well thought out - in my area (and I may just be lucky), the COs who put out challenges complete them prior to publishing them and show that it is possible to accomplish, even if it might not be for me. I cannot think of something that I do not LIKE about these particular caches. Like all things caching, there are challenges that I will go for and ones I will not. It is all my choice. Please leave me that choice.

 

3. What would you like to see changed about challenge caches?

The only things that I would recommend changing about geocaching are these:

a) I would like to keep the icon as an Unknown, but like Benchmarks they could also give a Challenge Cache icon in your stats that will not count towards your numbers. That way you are credited with the smiley on an Unknown (which is definitely the icon they belong under as they are as varied and numerous as snowflakes) but will be able to keep up with how many you have found on your Stats page. This way nothing has to be archived, changed or renamed and reclassified. A simple "challenge" attribute could trigger this Challenge icon to appear once found.

b)I would also like to make it easier to post or confirm your completion of a challenge. However, I am assuming that this would be too work/programming/server intensive, so I am happy to keep the confirmation process as is. It just takes a little effort and is similar to Earthcache or Virtual confirmations to a CO.

 

4. If you could describe your favorite challenge cache type, what would it be?

My favourite type of challenge cache is one that on the outset looks impossible until you set the planning wheeling in motion and discover that it in fact IS possible with some hard work and perseverance. Nothing satisfies a Challenge cacher more than seeing this plan through to the end and being able to log the cache.

 

5. What types of challenge caches do you avoid?

I will avoid a challenge cache that I deem not challenging or not well thought out. Again, I am lucky in my area as there are COs who are meticulous about completing the challenge before issuing it and who go out of their way to help and explain the challenge if there is any confusion.

 

I was quite perturbed when I heard that Groundspeak has decided to yet again change something that really does not require changing. Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache. Much of the joy I get out of Geocaching involves working towards a challenging goal. I find it much more satisfying to find caches and try to work towards something than just finding simple caches about town. Please, I beg, do NOT nerf the concept of challenge caches. Afterall, we are the customers playing your game and funding your company - shouldn't we be allowed to play as wide a ranging game as we want. Making Challenges more 'accessible' defeats the purpose of many of these challenges. If you want to change them to increase accessibility, then please change MEGA events as they are not accessible to most people including myself, or give everyone the answers to puzzle caches so they can find them without working at it. Of course I am being facetious, but I hope you can see my point. Let people play the game however they want. Yes, some people will complain, but the majority will appreciate the right to decide for themselves if they want to go for a certain cache or not. We do not need Big Brother to protect us from Challenges. They are what make us grow.

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Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache.

 

That's great. It has nothing to do with the moratorium. Pre-existing challenge caches are still out there.

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I was quite perturbed when I heard that Groundspeak has decided to yet again change something that really does not require changing. Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache. Much of the joy I get out of Geocaching involves working towards a challenging goal. I find it much more satisfying to find caches and try to work towards something than just finding simple caches about town. Please, I beg, do NOT nerf the concept of challenge caches. Afterall, we are the customers playing your game and funding your company - shouldn't we be allowed to play as wide a ranging game as we want. Making Challenges more 'accessible' defeats the purpose of many of these challenges. If you want to change them to increase accessibility, then please change MEGA events as they are not accessible to most people including myself, or give everyone the answers to puzzle caches so they can find them without working at it. Of course I am being facetious, but I hope you can see my point. Let people play the game however they want. Yes, some people will complain, but the majority will appreciate the right to decide for themselves if they want to go for a certain cache or not. We do not need Big Brother to protect us from Challenges. They are what make us grow.

It might help you to hear, from a Community Volunteer Reviewer, that nothing in your post had anything to do with the moratorium on new challenge cache publications. Big Brother is not trying to protect challenge cache finders from challenge cache owners. Rather, Big Brother is trying to protect itself from challenge cache owners. (And not all challenge cache owners, I might add... just the envelope pushers that consume reviewer time until the problems are worked out, or until the reviewer gives up -- at which time they start to consume Appeals team time.)

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Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache.

 

That's great. It has nothing to do with the moratorium. Pre-existing challenge caches are still out there.

 

Yes, they are still out there but it is nice to continue to have new challenges, just like it is nice to have new caches to find. I think it has much to do with the moratorium.

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Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache.

 

That's great. It has nothing to do with the moratorium. Pre-existing challenge caches are still out there.

 

Yes, they are still out there but it is nice to continue to have new challenges, just like it is nice to have new caches to find. I think it has much to do with the moratorium.

 

Why, after reading a thread where numerous reviewers have stated the opposite, do you think that?

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Actually, no. That is not true at all. That may be what the current conversation is, but the issue is the number of appeals to Groundspeak, and what changes Groundspeak will make to ease the burden on their reviewers. THAT is the discussion that we should be having, not some silly debate that nobody will win about the merits or lack thereof of challenge caches as we know them today.

I agree completely. But have I missed the clear statement of the problem? All I remember is a general statement that reviewing challenge caches causes a lot of work for both reviewers and the appeal channel, but I haven't noticed any description of what kinds of problems generate the excess work. Can the problems be characterized more specifically than "people submit stupid challenges and then get upset when the reviewers won't approve them"? Can examples be presented to illustrate he typical reviewing challenges generated by challenge caches? If so, I'd suggest a new thread for discussing those issues since, according to the title, this thread is supposed to be about the pause, not about the solution.

 

I suspect it is more than "stupid cache submissions". Because the challenge cache hiders continue to push the envelope on challenge caches, both the reviewers and HQ are constantly having to re-evaluate the limits they have put in place. Most of that burden, of course, would fall on the shoulders of the volunteer reviewers, who get to deal with sometimes angry and/or impatient wannabe challenge owners. Then, perhaps, it gets taken to HQ for review. That will still take more time from the reviewers who now have to pass on to HQ what his/her thoughts were and explain anything that isn't clear from the message history. It is a moving target... herding cats... nailing jello to a wall.

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I was quite perturbed when I heard that Groundspeak has decided to yet again change something that really does not require changing. Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache. Much of the joy I get out of Geocaching involves working towards a challenging goal. I find it much more satisfying to find caches and try to work towards something than just finding simple caches about town. Please, I beg, do NOT nerf the concept of challenge caches. Afterall, we are the customers playing your game and funding your company - shouldn't we be allowed to play as wide a ranging game as we want. Making Challenges more 'accessible' defeats the purpose of many of these challenges. If you want to change them to increase accessibility, then please change MEGA events as they are not accessible to most people including myself, or give everyone the answers to puzzle caches so they can find them without working at it. Of course I am being facetious, but I hope you can see my point. Let people play the game however they want. Yes, some people will complain, but the majority will appreciate the right to decide for themselves if they want to go for a certain cache or not. We do not need Big Brother to protect us from Challenges. They are what make us grow.

It might help you to hear, from a Community Volunteer Reviewer, that nothing in your post had anything to do with the moratorium on new challenge cache publications. Big Brother is not trying to protect challenge cache finders from challenge cache owners. Rather, Big Brother is trying to protect itself from challenge cache owners. (And not all challenge cache owners, I might add... just the envelope pushers that consume reviewer time until the problems are worked out, or until the reviewer gives up -- at which time they start to consume Appeals team time.)

 

Thanks, Keystone, for your reply. It puts it into a better focus. I had no idea reviewers were having such a hard time with these caches, perhaps because the COs in my area are so diligent. I guess when I heard on a few podcasts that this moritorium was in place, little information on WHY it was in place was given. This is perhaps my fault for not digging super deep, but is there a resource that GC posted giving this explanation? This would be very helpful to those of us who do not frequent this forum.

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Challenge Caches are meant to be a CHALLENGE and if a cacher is not inspired to do the challenge, as is the same with a hard puzzle or a multiple stage multi or a cache high on a mountain peak, then they definitely have the opportunity and right NOT to accept the challenge and log the cache.

 

That's great. It has nothing to do with the moratorium. Pre-existing challenge caches are still out there.

 

Yes, they are still out there but it is nice to continue to have new challenges, just like it is nice to have new caches to find. I think it has much to do with the moratorium.

 

Why, after reading a thread where numerous reviewers have stated the opposite, do you think that?

 

When I heard about this moratorium today I was given a list of 5 questions to answer and nothing more. I did not spend hours reading through all of the forum posts. I was giving my opinion, because that is what I am allowed to do. I don't do this to bother you so you need not take me to task.

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Ah, I see. So, those that disagree with you are the ones you are calling childish names. Got it.

 

No. I have no problem with disagreement, I'm simply taking advantage of the opportunity to poke some fun at a few people. Many of the arguments against challenge caches are nothing more than selfish opinions. Sort of a playground 'I want it my way' approach. It comes off as quite childish.

 

Sorry, but it is my perception that your posts about this have come of as childish, and I have been seeing you as coming across as one of the "I want it my way" folks. If that isn't true, I'm sorry... but perhaps you aren't wording your thoughts carefully enough then 'cause calling your fellow cachers "Poopy Diaper People" doesn't come across as mature. Just sayin'...

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