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Pause on New Challenge Caches

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Who'da thunk, I'm agreeing with cezanne's comments re challenges and localized vs worldwide :laughing:

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A virtual/locationless implementation does not exist (at least not at Groundspeak) so how can you say that it will not be localized.

 

Because I do not think that Groundspeak is willing and able to come up with challenges that make sense for various regions, but not for the majority of countries.

They lack the competence about what is an interesting challenge in region X and if they involve the local reviewers we are back at what we have now.

 

What they could do is comeup with some standard challenges like Fizzy, day grid filled etc but that's what I regard as the boring part.

 

If there were only one, locationless lonely cache challenge n the world, those that live in your area would seek lonely caches in your area to qualify.

 

And everyone would have to read all logs and not only the ones of the local cachers.

Moreover, and that's essential in some areas one can easily require e.g. 100 lonely caches - in others 10 might be a challenge etc.

To explain it I used the example with the favourite points. Requiring >27000 FPs for the topmost 10 caches found, is something that

can be reasonably required in Germany, but not in the US.

 

and actually allow geocacher that live in Brazil the opportunity to play the challenge cache game.

 

I would not call the outcome challenge cache game - it's something different.

It's about achievements and not any longer a cache.

 

IMHO, you're digging your own grave. I completely understand your point, but I can only see difficulties for Groundspeak to implement your vision of challenge caches. Pretty much what we have at present and is causing the moratorium (everyone is special, everyone wants to create their own little version of a challenge).

 

The easiest solution for Groundspeak is to go virtual with a very limited number of challenge types, owned and managed by them. Will they go to that extent?

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IMHO, you're digging your own grave. I completely understand your point, but I can only see difficulties for Groundspeak to implement your vision of challenge caches. Pretty much what we have at present and is causing the moratorium (everyone is special, everyone wants to create their own little version of a challenge).

 

The easiest solution for Groundspeak is to go virtual with a very limited number of challenge types, owned and managed by them. Will they go to that extent?

 

I can live without challenge caches (I do not own one and I have so far only logged a find for a single one). I just explained what is the only potentially interesting aspect about them from my point of view.

 

Achievement badge systems are something different and never will be able to come close to challenge caches. They are as boring as souvenirs, BadgeGen, MacDefender points etc

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A challenge that requires 1000 multis is perfectly reasonable in my country and is not reasonable in the US.
Around here, no one would create a 1k multi challenge because Alamogul already qualified for it. (The game seems to be to come up with a challenge that Alamogul has not already qualified for, no matter how obscure/convoluted that challenge may be.)

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The dust is effecting some people's "pool" of cache hides. One among many negative "dusty" effects, people are treating good quality caches, especially non-traditionals, like all that matters is they are useful for qualifying for a challenge cache - mass hunting for dozens in a day and sharing final coordinates to make the process quick and easy.

You're blaming that on challenge caches? Seems like a stretch. People intently doing many caches by cutting corners aren't going to waste time working towards specific challenge caches. The only challenge caches they care about are the ones they already qualify for.

 

Not a stretch at all. It's actually happening in my area. There's a large group that goes out once a month with a list of about 60 caches (mostly non-traditionals) printed and handed out by the host. 1/3 of their cut n paste logs say they are working towards challenge qualifications.

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The dust is effecting some people's "pool" of cache hides. One among many negative "dusty" effects, people are treating good quality caches, especially non-traditionals, like all that matters is they are useful for qualifying for a challenge cache - mass hunting for dozens in a day and sharing final coordinates to make the process quick and easy.

You're blaming that on challenge caches? Seems like a stretch. People intently doing many caches by cutting corners aren't going to waste time working towards specific challenge caches. The only challenge caches they care about are the ones they already qualify for.

 

Not a stretch at all. It's actually happening in my area. There's a large group that goes out once a month with a list of about 60 caches (mostly non-traditionals) printed and handed out by the host. 1/3 of their cut n paste logs say they are working towards challenge qualifications.

 

The same also happens with placement of caches for others to qualify for challenges (say a series of puzzles ranging from D3.5 to 5 in the T4.5/5 area). You'd usually see one published, but suddenly there is a bunch published in the same neck of the woods by the same CO. Even better, they are archived a few weeks down and republished with a new GC (same D/T) in the tree besides. Hey, two for one... Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours...

 

Anyway, these are downsides/consequences of challenge caches, but they are not the reasons for the moratorium.

Edited by cron

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The dust is effecting some people's "pool" of cache hides. One among many negative "dusty" effects, people are treating good quality caches, especially non-traditionals, like all that matters is they are useful for qualifying for a challenge cache - mass hunting for dozens in a day and sharing final coordinates to make the process quick and easy.

You're blaming that on challenge caches? Seems like a stretch. People intently doing many caches by cutting corners aren't going to waste time working towards specific challenge caches. The only challenge caches they care about are the ones they already qualify for.

 

Not a stretch at all. It's actually happening in my area. There's a large group that goes out once a month with a list of about 60 caches (mostly non-traditionals) printed and handed out by the host. 1/3 of their cut n paste logs say they are working towards challenge qualifications.

 

Are they removing or damaging the caches?

 

People complain about TFTC logs, but then when someone writes a more descriptive log, they get attacked for what they say.

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IMHO, you're digging your own grave. I completely understand your point, but I can only see difficulties for Groundspeak to implement your vision of challenge caches. Pretty much what we have at present and is causing the moratorium (everyone is special, everyone wants to create their own little version of a challenge).

 

The easiest solution for Groundspeak is to go virtual with a very limited number of challenge types, owned and managed by them. Will they go to that extent?

 

I can live without challenge caches (I do not own one and I have so far only logged a find for a single one). I just explained what is the only potentially interesting aspect about them from my point of view.

 

Achievement badge systems are something different and never will be able to come close to challenge caches. They are as boring as souvenirs, BadgeGen, MacDefender points etc

 

Thing is, there currently is no way of telling who qualifies for a challenge or which one someone has completed unless you are looking at that particular challenge's page. Sure, you can go back through their finds or maybe they spell it out in their profile, but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of folks out there (not all of them, of course) who might like to see some sort of acknowledgement of their achievement. Right now it's just a buried log that nobody will read and a +1 on their cache count. Souvenirs may be "boring"...but at least they are an easy and recognizable way for folks to see something about them...be it a country they've cached in or a memorable caching milestone (like 12/12/12).

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IMHO, you're digging your own grave. I completely understand your point, but I can only see difficulties for Groundspeak to implement your vision of challenge caches. Pretty much what we have at present and is causing the moratorium (everyone is special, everyone wants to create their own little version of a challenge).

 

The easiest solution for Groundspeak is to go virtual with a very limited number of challenge types, owned and managed by them. Will they go to that extent?

 

I can live without challenge caches (I do not own one and I have so far only logged a find for a single one). I just explained what is the only potentially interesting aspect about them from my point of view.

 

Achievement badge systems are something different and never will be able to come close to challenge caches. They are as boring as souvenirs, BadgeGen, MacDefender points etc

 

Thing is, there currently is no way of telling who qualifies for a challenge or which one someone has completed unless you are looking at that particular challenge's page. Sure, you can go back through their finds or maybe they spell it out in their profile, but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of folks out there (not all of them, of course) who might like to see some sort of acknowledgement of their achievement. Right now it's just a buried log that nobody will read and a +1 on their cache count. Souvenirs may be "boring"...but at least they are an easy and recognizable way for folks to see something about them...be it a country they've cached in or a memorable caching milestone (like 12/12/12).

 

Yeah, I'm way more into the badge system that uses GSAK. I always have a couple of little goals that I'm working on through that and it motivates me way more than "Find caches that spell out the word LAME" or "Fill your grid with caches placed on Tuesday" or whatever.

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Thing is, there currently is no way of telling who qualifies or a challenge or which one someone has completed unless you are looking at that particular challenge's page. Sure, you can go back through their finds or maybe they spell it out in their profile, but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of folks out there (not all of them, of course) who might like to see some sort of acknowledgement of their achievement.

 

I fully agree but that addresses the achievement aspect of challenge caches. This aspect indeed could be better addressed by something different than challenge caches.

 

Right now it's just a buried log that nobody will read and a +1 on their cache count. Souvenirs may be "boring"...but at least they are an easy and recognizable way for folks to see something about them...be it a country they've cached in or a memorable caching milestone (like 12/12/12).

 

For those caches where I enjoy reading the logs, it is not because I learn that way who accomplished what. For example, for a lonely cache challenge or a challenge with long hiking multi caches, I like to see the list of caches with which people qualified (typically the majority of caches are caches in my country and not somewhere else where I will never get and many of the loggers are people I know) and what they write about their experience (many of them write something for the challenges that I find interesting). Of course, logs for a 10 cache types per day challenge typically are not of the type I enjoy to read. I also like to visit from time to time the cache page of the Munich-Venice hiking multi cache to read about experiences and look for photos - I do not care at all about who achieved what in which time etc

Edited by cezanne

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I'm pretty sure there are a lot of folks out there (not all of them, of course) who might like to see some sort of acknowledgement of their achievement. Right now it's just a buried log that nobody will read and a +1 on their cache count.

Maybe we can have a system that quantifies the difficulty of the challenge, which would more accurately reflect the achievement than a monolithic +1 smiley.

 

I'd like to see a stats bar that looks like this:

 

b1157b88-84ff-4d4f-89e7-e98dbe144127.png

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Pretty much what we have at present and is causing the moratorium (everyone is special, everyone wants to create their own little version of a challenge).

Is that what caused the moratorium? CO's acting entitled and too many copies of challenges that are too similar?

 

The easiest solution for Groundspeak is to go virtual with a very limited number of challenge types, owned and managed by them. Will they go to that extent?

Yeah, the fact that there's not been a single peep about solutions to the reviewer burden makes it clear that they're going to do something along these lines. It seems obvious the thread about what we like about challenge caches is designed so that when they replace them, they'll be able to replace them with something that can say agrees with the input they got.

 

Not a stretch at all. It's actually happening in my area. There's a large group that goes out once a month with a list of about 60 caches (mostly non-traditionals) printed and handed out by the host. 1/3 of their cut n paste logs say they are working towards challenge qualifications.

So if challenges didn't exist, you don't think that same group would come up with some other way of creating lists of caches to track down?

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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.

 

OMG, this. +1. Thumbs up. Like.

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At new year when Groundspeak put out a query about what is your New Years resolution about Geocaching - mine was to complete a challenge cache a month. Four months down eight months to go. I love them. They push me to try caches that I might not have done otherwise just to complete a challenge. I feel that a separate cache type should be put into place just for challenges so they are not in the 'unknown' category. Please bring them back again. I had one in for publication but I was having trouble meeting the 'rules' back and forth with the reviewer and then it vanished prior to publication so I replaced it a couple of days prior to notification of the years halt. I guess I will revamp it now as a traditional or make it a puzzle.

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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.

 

OMG, this. +1. Thumbs up. Like.

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At new year when Groundspeak put out a query about what is your New Years resolution about Geocaching - mine was to complete a challenge cache a month. Four months down eight months to go. I love them. They push me to try caches that I might not have done otherwise just to complete a challenge. I feel that a separate cache type should be put into place just for challenges so they are not in the 'unknown' category. Please bring them back again. I had one in for publication but I was having trouble meeting the 'rules' back and forth with the reviewer and then it vanished prior to publication so I replaced it a couple of days prior to notification of the years halt. I guess I will revamp it now as a traditional or make it a puzzle.

:laughing:

- Any additional caches is a good thing. :)

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Disappointed or not; like it or not. Why reduces Groundspeak the varieties of different species? You can't enlarge fun with restrictions. For the frustrated people who don't like challenges: Love it or leave it. Do we have more fun with less caches? Do we have more fun without virtuals or webcams? (Same decision) I don't think so.

 

Silly people need laws and guidelines, clever people have brains: There is no need for addional guidelines.

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For the frustrated people who don't like challenges: Love it or leave it.

 

The moratorium has nothing to do with anyone's personal feelings about challenges.

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Disappointed or not; like it or not. Why reduces Groundspeak the varieties of different species? You can't enlarge fun with restrictions. For the frustrated people who don't like challenges: Love it or leave it. Do we have more fun with less caches? Do we have more fun without virtuals or webcams? (Same decision) I don't think so.

 

Silly people need laws and guidelines, clever people have brains: There is no need for addional guidelines.

Apparently some COs thought they were clever in their challenge design, and instead were silly.

- So silly in fact, that those wannabe-clever people created a moratorium on the cache type.

 

The clever people already realized who's responsible for this issue by simply reading a few pages... :)

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I wanted to put this idea out there. How about Groundspeak implement something like achievement badges (similar to souvenirs) that could replace the "basic" Challenges I've seen. Badges such as the Jasmer, Fizzy, Double Fizzy, State county challenges (for each state), DeLorme (for each state), Calendar challenges (both date found and date placed), and maybe a few other very popular ones? That would obviate the need for folks putting out these particular challenges all over the place, the completer of the challenge would get a really nice "reward" (instead of just one smiley on the challenge cache), and one wouldn't need to sign a final log on the challenge cache either. You'd just get the badge when the challenge requirements are met.

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I wanted to put this idea out there. How about Groundspeak implement something like achievement badges (similar to souvenirs) that could replace the "basic" Challenges I've seen. Badges such as the Jasmer, Fizzy, Double Fizzy, State county challenges (for each state), DeLorme (for each state), Calendar challenges (both date found and date placed), and maybe a few other very popular ones? That would obviate the need for folks putting out these particular challenges all over the place, the completer of the challenge would get a really nice "reward" (instead of just one smiley on the challenge cache), and one wouldn't need to sign a final log on the challenge cache either. You'd just get the badge when the challenge requirements are met.
That has been suggested before, for example:

[FEATURE] Replace Challenge Caches with Achievements

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I wanted to put this idea out there. How about Groundspeak implement something like achievement badges (similar to souvenirs) that could replace the "basic" Challenges I've seen. Badges such as the Jasmer, Fizzy, Double Fizzy, State county challenges (for each state), DeLorme (for each state), Calendar challenges (both date found and date placed), and maybe a few other very popular ones? That would obviate the need for folks putting out these particular challenges all over the place, the completer of the challenge would get a really nice "reward" (instead of just one smiley on the challenge cache), and one wouldn't need to sign a final log on the challenge cache either. You'd just get the badge when the challenge requirements are met.

I suspect the "basic" challenges aren't the ones generating most of the Groundspeak appeals, which is the reason cited for the moratorium.

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(Let me preface this by saying I just found this thread and haven't read through more than a couple pages. There are so many comments I'm sure there isn't much for me to say that others haven't already said but I'll chime in anyway.) What concerns me most about the pause is the fear that Challenge Caches will go away. Challenges are great way to keep people interested in caching. They've given me goals that I DECIDEto go for. If I think the challenge will be impossible for me to complete or it doesn't motivate me, I don't concern myself with it. But just because everyone doesn't have an interest or won't be able to do it, doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed. For me, the Fizzy and the Jasmer are all-time great challenges. But are they for everyone? I'm sure not. I filled my first Fizzy grid before I reached 500 finds. I currently have a few more than 700 finds and I'm just one away from my Jasmer, two away from a 2X Fizzy, and 10 away from qualifying for the original Fizzy in CA. I'll keep plugging away at filling those squares multiple times. They are motivation for me. I'm also motivated by keeping my D/T average high. Some are motivated to hit 10K finds. I'm not but to each his own.

If challenge caches are making it hard on the reviewers, the rules need to be tweaked to take the subjectivity out. Maybe a separate cadre of Challenge cache reviewers could be established, similar to how earth caches are reviewed. There would be consistency as a result of a change like that. The rule that a challenge won't be published if it causes a cacher to change their habits has to go. Every challenge cache out there is breaking that rule for someone. I will never do a "streak" challenge, it just don't interest me to have to cache every day for months on end. It would require me to change my caching habits to complete it and I likely would get burned out on caching. But do I think streak caches should be banned? No. Streak caches obviously motivate a lot of people. If that keeps them caching, great! I also think to have to show 10 cachers would qualify before a cache would be published needs to stop.

 

Groundspeak - keep Challenge caches going. I want to continue to be able to go out somewhere (preferably a hike), find a container, sign a log that I've completed a challenge, and post it as a find. A badge is nice, but being able to see who has also completed the challenge on the challenge cache page is better. Don't erode Geocaching by eliminating challenge caches. If you eliminate challenge caches, what's next - eliminate all 5D or 5T caches because everyone can't do them? I have no interest in being a member of "World Lamppost Finders Club."

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I suspect the "basic" challenges aren't the ones generating most of the Groundspeak appeals, which is the reason cited for the moratorium.

 

And until Groundspeak tells us what kinds of challenges are generating the appeals, all of this is just speculation.

 

Oh, wait, this is the Internet. Never mind. As you were, everyone. :)

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The rule that a challenge won't be published if it causes a cacher to change their habits has to go.
For the record, the challenge cache guidelines don't make any reference to "changing anyone's habits". As you point out, that would be a silly restriction, because challenge caches motivate people to find certain caches that they might not otherwise find, thus changing their habits.

 

What the guidelines prohibit is challenges that require people "to 'give up' finding other geocaches". It's been that way for at least 3 years.

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The rule that a challenge won't be published if it causes a cacher to change their habits has to go.
For the record, the challenge cache guidelines don't make any reference to "changing anyone's habits". As you point out, that would be a silly restriction, because challenge caches motivate people to find certain caches that they might not otherwise find, thus changing their habits.

 

What the guidelines prohibit is challenges that require people "to 'give up' finding other geocaches". It's been that way for at least 3 years.

It's not solely a prohibition against giving up finding other geocaches. The exact language is "If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, such as avoiding a particular geocache type to attain a specific percentage or average, the geocache will not be published." It certainly does make reference to altering a cacher's style. And because of the words "such as", a challenge that requires someone to avoid certain caches is only an example of a prohibited challenge. The sentence is open to much interpretation and without the example reads "If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits the geocache will not be published." This can cause inconsistency in what gets published and what gets rejected, based on the reviewer's interpretation.

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The rule that a challenge won't be published if it causes a cacher to change their habits has to go.

For the record, the challenge cache guidelines don't make any reference to "changing anyone's habits". As you point out, that would be a silly restriction, because challenge caches motivate people to find certain caches that they might not otherwise find, thus changing their habits.

 

What the guidelines prohibit is challenges that require people "to 'give up' finding other geocaches". It's been that way for at least 3 years.

According to the guidelines:

 

If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, such as avoiding a particular geocache type to attain a specific percentage or average, the geocache will not be published.

It's easy to see how many geocachers read that as saying "a challenge won't be published if it causes a cacher to change their habits," even if no reviewers seem to interpret it that way.

 

I agree that it would be nice if that sentence was clarified during the review process.

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So, we're 2.5 months (or so) into the moratorium. Anyone from Groundspeak want to comment on where we are in the process?

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So, we're 2.5 months (or so) into the moratorium. Anyone from Groundspeak want to comment on where we are in the process?

 

(Shhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) :ph34r:

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So, we're 2.5 months (or so) into the moratorium. Anyone from Groundspeak want to comment on where we are in the process?

 

(Shhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) :ph34r:

Pretty much...

 

RIP challenge caches. :lol:

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Not RIP, Kill them with fire, and that includes any which are more than 14 years old.

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Not RIP, Kill them with fire, and that includes any which are more than 14 years old.

 

And do the same with PT's :ph34r:

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My 2¢.

 

I like the current system. A question mark symbol indicates cachers will need to do something extra; be it solve a puzzle or finish a challenge. We have a lot of variety with in Traditionals, Multis, etc. so leave the Mystery caches as they are.

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From the User Insights thread about challenges, on May 13:

Thank you very much for contributing to this User Insights forum. We'll use your feedback to create a survey that will be available in the coming weeks.

 

Was there ever a survey? I don't recall seeing one.

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From what I can gather, part of the problem involves disputes between cachers and reviewers about the validity of a particular challenge, this getting escalated to the appeals team and the amount of work this causes the appeals team.

 

I've had an idea which could eliminate most of this problem. It won't address any other issues, but...

 

The guidelines include some subjective phrases such as A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Obviously, my idea of a reasonable number could be different from yours. I think we can get rid of all this subjectivity by applying the following rules..

 

1. Cachers are not allowed to claim a find on their own challenge cache.

2. The submitter of a challenge must demonstrate that they have achieved the challenge

3. If a challenge cache is to be adopted then the adopter mus demonstrate that they have fulfilled the challenge requirements

4. Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived.

 

The idea is that, if someone has achieved a challenge then they should be allowed to set that challenge for others. They can't claim their own challenge and they can't have a sock puppet create the challenge for them. They can still create a challenge, allow a mate to claim it and then adopt it out to the mate so they can then claim it, but then at least two people have achieved it.

 

#4 takes away the subjective nature of popularity. It would need a new log type (Challenge Achieved) so folk could state that they have achieved the challenge and intend to seek the cache. If no-one takes any interest in the cache it goes away automatically.

 

It would also need Groundspeak to stop people finding their own caches, but I think that is a good idea for all cache types (except Events of various types).

 

Obviously this isn't the ultimate solution to all challenge issues, but I think it would go a long way to reducing the load on the appeals team.

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I think in my neck of the woods (MN and ND) we already need to have qualified for the challenge before it will be published, just makes sense.

 

I don't think anyone should be able to log a cache they own or have created. If it is not an Event, it is not for you.

 

# 4, Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived is a bit harsh. We have a challenge that requires having logged a cache in three continents; it took us a LONG time to have traveled that much, so another cacher might wait years and years to log that challenge. Just because a cache takes a long time does not mean it should be pulled. There are a good number of challenges that require a cache to be found on every day of the year, 366 finds. St. Paul, MN has 2626 caches within 10 miles, but Warren, MN has 3. Where you live will make challenges harder or easier.

 

Just some thoughts.

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I think in my neck of the woods (MN and ND) we already need to have qualified for the challenge before it will be published, just makes sense.

 

I don't think anyone should be able to log a cache they own or have created. If it is not an Event, it is not for you.

 

# 4, Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived is a bit harsh. We have a challenge that requires having logged a cache in three continents; it took us a LONG time to have traveled that much, so another cacher might wait years and years to log that challenge. Just because a cache takes a long time does not mean it should be pulled. There are a good number of challenges that require a cache to be found on every day of the year, 366 finds. St. Paul, MN has 2626 caches within 10 miles, but Warren, MN has 3. Where you live will make challenges harder or easier.

 

Just some thoughts.

#4 is definitely up for discussion. The important part is making it self-regulating so there's no need for reviewers to make a decision based on a subjective guideline. Maybe some way for people to show their partial completion and progress toward the challenge. If someone has found 200 letterboxes whose names start with the letter Q then they should be allowed to place that challenge out there. However if nobody shows any interest in attempting it then it should be archived to allow the space to be used for a cache folk will be interested in finding. What I don't want is for this to be driven by people saying "I don't like it, I think it is silly therefore it should go."

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What I don't want is for this to be driven by people saying "I don't like it, I think it is silly therefore it should go."

Some people are going to say that regardless of whether or not your Rule #4 is imposed. Some people enjoy challenges; others don't. Some people enjoy puzzle caches; others don't. Those tough puzzles take up the same amount of space as tough challenges, so I have to wonder why your rule doesn't also cover puzzles that haven't been found in over a year.

 

One of my favorite challenge caches went unfound for the first 18 months of its existence. Rarely found doesn't equal bad challenge.

 

If you want to remove subjectivity regarding the popularity of a challenge cache, then why not simply remove popularity completely as a factor in deciding whether they will be published (or continue to exist)?

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I know people are going to say it - that's a given, but I don't want that to be a factor in deciding whether or not the cache is archived.

 

The problem with removing popularity as a factor completely is that a cache which nobody is interested in finding is taking up real estate. What I'm trying to achieve is moving the subjective question of whether or not a challenge is worthwhile from the reviewer at publication time to the community at large. Maybe if we take your approach, the CO will get fed up with having a cache which nobody wants to fine and will archive it himself. Or maybe not.

 

The comparison with puzzles is good, but not really relevant to the moratorium on Challenge Caches. Maybe, if we can get a workable solution for Challenge caches we could look at applying it, or something similar, to puzzles. But that's not something I want to tackle head on at the moment

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I am against automatically archiving a challenge cache JUST because no one appears to be interested in finding it.

 

Generally speaking, a reviewer will take the time to make sure that the CO is no longer maintaining a cache before archiving it. (Yes, I know that there will be examples that violate this, but they are few and far between.) In your suggestion, I don't see where that is happening. So, it appears that your suggestion allows for a reviewer to archive a challenge cache that a CO is actively maintaining. If I was the CO, I might become a bit miffed at that.

 

Second, if the CO is still active, they might be so miffed as to not bother to retrieve the cache, leaving geo-trash out in the world. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent them from re-listing the same cache, and just resetting the timer. In either case, it could be interpreted as punishing the CO for creating a challenge that no one appears to want to accept. I say, let them come to that realization on their own.

 

On a wild tangent, I had another thought on challenge caches. What happens if the criteria for a challenge cache becomes unobtainable? A Jasmer challenge is such an example. I believe there are only four caches left in the world that were placed in Aug 2000. What happens if/when there are no more caches available that were placed in a particular Month/Year? It's more of a rhetorical question, I'm not looking for specific examples. What I am wondering is, should challenge caches that will become unobtainable in the future be allowed?

 

Thanks, Skye.

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If someone has found 200 letterboxes whose names start with the letter Q then they should be allowed to place that challenge out there. However if nobody shows any interest in attempting it then it should be archived to allow the space to be used for a cache folk will be interested in finding.
If I had spent a year finding 199 letterboxes whose names start with the letter Q, then I'd be rather upset if the challenge cache was auto-archived just because no one had found it within a year. For that matter, if I had spent a year finding 100 letterboxes whose names start with the letter Q, or 50 letterboxes whose names start with the letter Q, or any fraction of the challenge requirements, I'd be rather upset if it were auto-archived.

 

There's a challenge cache that I've been working on for 8 years. At my current rate of progress, it may be at least another 4 years before I finish it. I'd be pretty upset if it were auto-archived just because it isn't found "frequently enough".

 

Frankly, I'm opposed to auto-archiving caches period. If you want to get rid of the subjectivity, then fine. Let any CO list any challenge that he/she has completed. Get rid of the subjective "folk will be interested in finding" criterion completely.

 

And if "taking up real estate" with challenge caches is an issue, then maybe the solution is to eliminate the real estate side of challenges. If challenge caches were converted into online badges with no cache to find and no log to sign, then there would be no problem with them "taking up real estate".

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The problem with removing popularity as a factor completely is that a cache which nobody is interested in finding is taking up real estate.

But a challenge cache with infrequent finders isn't necessarily a cache that people aren't interested in finding. I created a challenge cache that wasn't found for 32 months. Only three people have ever found it, but they all gave it a favorite point. And other people are enjoying their experiences as they continue to work towards completing it.

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Do note that I suggested a new log type. Originally I suggested Challenge Achieved. Maybe this should be Challenge Progress where you can register that you are actively working on the cache. Write one log every 11 months to keep the cache in play.

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From what I can gather, part of the problem involves disputes between cachers and reviewers about the validity of a particular challenge, this getting escalated to the appeals team and the amount of work this causes the appeals team.

 

I've had an idea which could eliminate most of this problem. It won't address any other issues, but...

 

The guidelines include some subjective phrases such as A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Obviously, my idea of a reasonable number could be different from yours. I think we can get rid of all this subjectivity by applying the following rules..

 

1. Cachers are not allowed to claim a find on their own challenge cache.

2. The submitter of a challenge must demonstrate that they have achieved the challenge

3. If a challenge cache is to be adopted then the adopter mus demonstrate that they have fulfilled the challenge requirements

4. Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived.

 

....

Obviously this isn't the ultimate solution to all challenge issues, but I think it would go a long way to reducing the load on the appeals team.

 

1. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

2. agree, but not important to review or appeals issues. If anything, many challenges that are hard to handle are those with a complex set of finds that the CO does have, and wants the seeker to copy.

3. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

4. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues, and strikes me personally as a complete non-starter.

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From what I can gather, part of the problem involves disputes between cachers and reviewers about the validity of a particular challenge, this getting escalated to the appeals team and the amount of work this causes the appeals team.

 

I've had an idea which could eliminate most of this problem. It won't address any other issues, but...

 

The guidelines include some subjective phrases such as A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Obviously, my idea of a reasonable number could be different from yours. I think we can get rid of all this subjectivity by applying the following rules..

 

1. Cachers are not allowed to claim a find on their own challenge cache.

2. The submitter of a challenge must demonstrate that they have achieved the challenge

3. If a challenge cache is to be adopted then the adopter mus demonstrate that they have fulfilled the challenge requirements

4. Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived.

 

....

Obviously this isn't the ultimate solution to all challenge issues, but I think it would go a long way to reducing the load on the appeals team.

 

1. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

2. agree, but not important to review or appeals issues. If anything, many challenges that are hard to handle are those with a complex set of finds that the CO does have, and wants the seeker to copy.

3. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

4. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues, and strikes me personally as a complete non-starter.

 

Yeah...I'm really not getting how these "rules" are any sort of solution. The review and appeals issue may have made the entire concept of challenge caches as they currently exist more of a concern. Hopefully, if they decide to bring them back, they are handled in a completely different manner, from the ground up.

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From what I can gather, part of the problem involves disputes between cachers and reviewers about the validity of a particular challenge, this getting escalated to the appeals team and the amount of work this causes the appeals team.

 

I've had an idea which could eliminate most of this problem. It won't address any other issues, but...

 

The guidelines include some subjective phrases such as A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Obviously, my idea of a reasonable number could be different from yours. I think we can get rid of all this subjectivity by applying the following rules..

 

1. Cachers are not allowed to claim a find on their own challenge cache.

2. The submitter of a challenge must demonstrate that they have achieved the challenge

3. If a challenge cache is to be adopted then the adopter mus demonstrate that they have fulfilled the challenge requirements

4. Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived.

 

....

Obviously this isn't the ultimate solution to all challenge issues, but I think it would go a long way to reducing the load on the appeals team.

 

1. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

2. agree, but not important to review or appeals issues. If anything, many challenges that are hard to handle are those with a complex set of finds that the CO does have, and wants the seeker to copy.

3. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

4. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues, and strikes me personally as a complete non-starter.

 

I agree 1) doesn't seem to be applicable.

 

As I understand it, the suggestion is that 2, 3 and 4 replace " A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. ".

 

So:

 

- No matter how crazy the challenge is, if the CO qualifies, it is considered "attainable" in the review process. (Rule 2)

 

- Rule 3 is an extension of rule 2. I guess to avoid games where I don't meet the challenge but want to publish it; I have a friend submit it (who does qualify), then I adopted it. So indirectly it is related. This is post-review; the adoption process would have to trigger some sort of review.

 

- Rule 4 is trying to address the both the "appeals to" and "attainable by", post publication. I agree that doesn't directly relate to reviews or appeals. But the idea is, rather than reviewing upfront if the cache "appeals" or is "attainable", assume it IS (as long as rule 2 is satisfied). Then, later, if nobody is finding it, then we assume it doesn't appeal or isn't attainable.

 

I'm not saying this is the solution, but I see the logic.

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From what I can gather, part of the problem involves disputes between cachers and reviewers about the validity of a particular challenge, this getting escalated to the appeals team and the amount of work this causes the appeals team.

 

I've had an idea which could eliminate most of this problem. It won't address any other issues, but...

 

The guidelines include some subjective phrases such as A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. Obviously, my idea of a reasonable number could be different from yours. I think we can get rid of all this subjectivity by applying the following rules..

 

1. Cachers are not allowed to claim a find on their own challenge cache.

2. The submitter of a challenge must demonstrate that they have achieved the challenge

3. If a challenge cache is to be adopted then the adopter mus demonstrate that they have fulfilled the challenge requirements

4. Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived.

 

....

Obviously this isn't the ultimate solution to all challenge issues, but I think it would go a long way to reducing the load on the appeals team.

 

1. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

2. agree, but not important to review or appeals issues. If anything, many challenges that are hard to handle are those with a complex set of finds that the CO does have, and wants the seeker to copy.

3. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues

4. has nothing to do with review or appeals issues, and strikes me personally as a complete non-starter.

 

+1

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I think in my neck of the woods (MN and ND) we already need to have qualified for the challenge before it will be published, just makes sense.

 

I don't think anyone should be able to log a cache they own or have created. If it is not an Event, it is not for you.

 

# 4, Any challenge cache which has not had a find or a statement of achievement for 12 months is automatically archived is a bit harsh. We have a challenge that requires having logged a cache in three continents; it took us a LONG time to have traveled that much, so another cacher might wait years and years to log that challenge.

 

Finding a cache on three continents might be much easier for some than some other challenges like a find a cache a day for a year, or find 50 puzzle caches in a day. I live in the U.S. and have traveled to Africa 6 times. The first time I went directly to South Africa from the U.S. but on the rest of the trips I had a layover in Europe or Asia on the way there or back. For one of the trips I had a 9 hour layover in Istanbul, which is split across two continents (Europe, Asia) and could have easily done 4 continents in two days. Although I don't live an area as sparse as Warren, MN I've been caching here for 7+ years and would probably go for a month finding a cache every day before I'd be making 50-60 mile round trips just to find a single cache.

 

Where you live will make challenges harder or easier.

 

Absolutely.

 

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The problem with removing popularity as a factor completely is that a cache which nobody is interested in finding is taking up real estate. What I'm trying to achieve is moving the subjective question of whether or not a challenge is worthwhile from the reviewer at publication time to the community at large.

I think this is the fundamental mistake. Yes, a cache that's not found takes up real estate, but I don't think that justifies taking away the decision of "worth it" from the CO where it is for every other cache and giving it to the community to enforce against the CO's wishes. I don't know why a CO would want to put out a cache that no one can find, and I don't mind people bad mouthing a CO that puts out a cache specifically so it can't be found, but none of that leads me to conclude there's a good reason to prevent a CO from putting out a cache that can't be found.

 

I only start seeing this as a problem if a CO puts out a whole bunch of challenge caches intending that they can never be met, but that doesn't strike me as a problem that should be solved by making lots of specific rules that have to be followed for every challenge cache by every CO.

 

This is actually reminding me of Rehoboth Beach, DE. There are lots and lots of puzzle caches around Rehoboth, and although I consider myself a decent puzzler, I couldn't solve any of them. Should I be demanding that all puzzle caches be easier to solve so the real estate isn't taken up by unsolvable puzzles?

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