Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 17
Geocaching HQ

Pause on New Challenge Caches

Recommended Posts

Sorry...I get tired of the ignore list argument. Ignore list = pretend it isn't there.

 

The simple fact is that challenge caches have been a major point of discussion in the forums since I've been coming here (and surely before that even). I can't even guess how many threads have been devoted to this topic, nor can I guess how many pages in each. The fact that it is such a hot point of debate should make it clear that it's not just a matter of putting it on the ignore list. There's a real problem, whether one chooses to see it or not. Enough people see an issue that Groundspeak finally decided to directly address the matter.

 

The existing challenges are still there, waiting for you to fill up your grids and make your lists. Get busy with those, I say.

Share this post


Link to post
Made quite a few changes to the 'Challange' I wanted. I'm not entirely happy with this, so not sure how long this will last.

 

Guess that happens when they put a moratorium on new challenges?

 

Change for the sake of change is seldom a good idea. Witness most of the recent changes on GS. Take something simple and semi-intuitive, and make it four steps instead of two, and counterintuitive. But that's the modern world. Excel used to be fairly easy to use, now it takes four steps to do what used to take two steps. Move everything to the top of the screen in smaller fonts, and discriminate against the visually handicapped. The modern world.

 

But!!! GS is finally addressing an issue/area that has long cried out for revision! The problem that led to the grandfathering of virtuals and archival of Locationless: Find a sneaker in the woods. Yes, for either of those classes. (Of course, the same is true for Waymarking, but those never qualified as geocaches.)

 

Like the revision to EarthCaches a few years back (to make them semi-meaningful), the redefinition of Challenge Caches is long overdue. They have become inane. (The one I referred to above requires finding ten different types of caches and fill in the D/T chart, OR finding caches in nine different countries and fill in the D/T chart.)

 

It's about time GS addresses the growing inanity of Challenge Caches. Doing one thing right!

And, please move them to a different icon. They have outgrown "Unknown".

Share this post


Link to post

Any more advance notice would have simply had a whole bunch of people trying to submit their ideas at the last minute, deluging the reviewers.

I'm going to disagree because it would have lead to a complete flood of new ones being submitted to beat the deadline.

As a reviewer I would like to thank you both for recognizing this. My inbox this evening has several messages saying "I was working on these challenges so please make an exception." I can't. There is a very bright line test. Otherwise, I'd be deluged with "last minute submissions," and it would only make the situation worse.

 

Also, it's no secret that many geocachers "hoard" unused cache listings, so establishing a cutoff GC Code would not have been sufficient. Recall that this problem became so rampant that HQ needs to run a cleanup script a few times each year now, to archive listings that haven't seen any edits for a long time. People would be selling "grandfathered GC Codes" on eBay if we allowed anything with a GC Code lower than X as an exception.

Share this post


Link to post

As a player, the moratorium interfered with my own plans to build a small trail of challenge caches in a park near my home. I started with my Bigcall Challenge last year, and wanted to add about five more. Ironically, one of them was a bit of a joke to poke fun at the challenge craze. It was going to be called "Challenge Caches Have Jumped the Shark," and would require finders to log 25 caches with the name of a fish or other aquatic creature in the cache title.

 

So, as a geocacher who enjoyed finding and hiding challenge caches, I'm sad. I say this so that all the legions of Keystonehaters will feel a tiny bit better today. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post

But why spoil the fun for those of us who enjoy a challenge, even an absurd one. As a CO of many challenges this is pretty disappointing. I generally attempt to make my challenges like my other caches, fun and hopefully worthy of a fav. point.

 

When we used to have ALRs, some were fun initially. But they got out of control as cache owners added more and more absurd requirements to their caches to prevent people from logging them. ALRs were banned, but challenges were allowed to keep a different version of them as long as they were geocaching related. So sure, finding caches related to song tracks of albums might be considered geocaching related to you, but to me it just seems silly. It's so very far from the original concept of a challenge in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post

IMHO, I'm surprised it's taken HQ this long to address challenge caches. We're at the point were every 2 or 3 weeks there is and angst and/or grief ridden topic about challenge type caches.

 

For the most part, I like challenge caches. I like working on them, even one's that I pre-qualify for I generally choose to start from scratch on them. At one time, I supported the idea of a new icon for this, but, fizzy is right with the race to bottom. HQ had a enough foresight to see that this would most likely result in a rash of goofy and silly challenge type caches just to get the icon.

 

In an ideal world, there would be some what to auto-approve or "geo-challenge-chack" qualifications and once approved your would automatically received the final coordinates. I have no idea how this would be implemented, but I have faith that GS and GC.com will come up with something that will make challenges better. I'm truly looking forward to what we all come up with.

 

Let's just hope it doesn't get filed under "Make Better Mistakes" :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Well needed. It was getting out of control.

 

PnG Trail of 100 Challenge Caches:

https://www.geocaching.com/map/default.aspx?ll=27.802929,-80.941333&z=12#?ll=27.802929,-80.941333&z=12

Wow. A string of 100 caches that I wouldn't look for in a million years for two entirely different reasons!

I had no idea geocaching had sunk to this level.

Kudos to Groundspeak for pulling the plug on this nonsense...

Share this post


Link to post

We have a lot of Snow Birds (people who live here in the winter and go back to their frozen wastelands in the summer) in this area. Last year one of them started a challenge cache series, and to date the series has 41 caches. Some of them aren't so bad, requiring you to spell your geocaching name with the first letter from the title of caches you have found, etc. Most, however, can only be logged by someone who has found 10,000 or more caches, which is fine for retired people who live full time in RVs and do nothing but geocache all the time (such as the guy who started the series), but that eliminates most of us who live and cache in this area year round. A few examples from this series: 1000 caches in each of five states; black out the stats grids on your profile; 100+ Earth caches; 3 caches a day for 366 days. I can go out and find all of them at any time, but I can only log a handful of them at this point.

 

Most of the challenges you describe here sound quite reasonable to me. I am not sure I would qualify for all of them, but that is OK. I enjoy the ones I can do, work on the ones that I might be able to do, and ignore any that I don't care to do or can't do for some reason. And just because I can't claim them doesn't make it a bad challenge. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in the moratorium. Challenge caches make the game more interesting for me and I especially like the more offbeat ones. I fear that Groundspeak will get rid of them altogether or dumb them down somehow and that will be a great loss to the game.

Share this post


Link to post

I own a couple of Challenge caches, and I enjoy finding them. But, some of them were getting just plain silly. Things like "find 31 caches that end with the letter z, and were published on alternate Tuesdays".

 

Very much like what happened with virtuals towards their end, and the ever more silly ALR's that used to be around.

 

I just worry that GS will go off the deep end, and make them too difficult to publish.

Share this post


Link to post

 

When we used to have ALRs, some were fun initially. But they got out of control as cache owners added more and more absurd requirements to their caches to prevent people from logging them. ALRs were banned, but challenges were allowed to keep a different version of them as long as they were geocaching related. So sure, finding caches related to song tracks of albums might be considered geocaching related to you, but to me it just seems silly. It's so very far from the original concept of a challenge in my opinion.

 

This is what I couldn't fathom about challenge caches (or ALR's). Cache owners who kept devising new and sillier ways to keep people from being able to "find" their cache. Challenge caches can be great and can motivate me to go out of my way to find caches I might not have otherwise. Or they can be a mind-numbing exercise where the CO is just throwing up roadblocks for cachers because they can. As a CO, if you have to go to such lengths to keep people from logging a find...perhaps you shouldn't hide that cache at all if people finding and logging it is such a burden to you.

Share this post


Link to post

I applaud Grounspeak for taking the time needed to sort through this.

Share this post


Link to post

The other way you can look at 'stupid' challenges or annoying challenges or pointless challenges, is that for some people, the theme can be fun. Find 20 caches with "sponge" or "bob" in the titles. Wow, big woop. How is that a geocaching-related 'challenge'? Well you know, you find caches, and the theme can be entertaining for people.

The quality of a challenge cache is really entirely subjective, beyond the act of geocaching normally (or more) in order to qualify.

 

Where challenges used to be about accomplishing some statistical geocaching feat, those became common and people started making themed challenges around basic geocaching activities. That's just one way challenge caches have evolved (or devolved depending on your leaning).

 

I'm glad there's a moratorium. If there's a serious effort to streamline the challenge cache entity in the geocaching hobby so that it addresses all the concerns raised over the years, then this can only be a Good Thing, for finders, hiders, and haters ;)

Share this post


Link to post

I agree..it was getting out of hand.. hundreds of almost impossible challenge caches along rail trails.

Share this post


Link to post
If you don't like a cache, then skip it. Put it on an ignore list, don't go for it, whatever you need to do.
As I understand it, the problem isn't the geocachers who don't like challenge caches. The problem is the time the volunteer reviewers have to spend dealing with submitted challenge caches, and the time the lackeys have to spend dealing with appeals.

Share this post


Link to post

Of course, the challenges bring excitement to the game but I see several problems.

 

The nature of challenges push on the ground rules. Reviewers, being human, see the boundaries differently. This sees a challenge published here and a duplicate challenge denied there. This leads to frequent appeals for Groundspeak to deal with. This is a big problem.

 

Duplicates, everyone sees there are many duplicates of the same type of challenge. Does there really need to be?

 

The container. A challenge needs a container but it really doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if the cache gets signed.

 

I believe challenges should be removed from the map. A physical location is not needed. An index of challenges should be created instead, managed by Groundspeak, perhaps submitted by users, would solve the duplicate issue and solve the container issue. Everyone would be playing under the same Fizzy Challenge across the world, the same A - Z name challenge. I could submit an A - Z with 0 - 9 but not another A - Z.

 

After I've found my first Fizzy Challenge, what is the point of finding 20 more spread about? I've done the challenge, every other one is just another find. Instead, some type of badge or achievement system should be created to recognize the challenges that have been completed. This encourages me to find different challenges, not more of the same challenge.

 

Challenges can now be categorized. Make it much easier to find those types that I like. Make hundreds and hundreds of challenges available to everyone, not dependent on how close you might be to an actual cache. Challenges could be ranked based on number of completions, number of favorites, etc.

 

Challenges no longer count as a find. They get their own stat.

Edited by fbingha

Share this post


Link to post

... some advanced warning might have been in order

 

Any advance warning would have had the obvious results.

Advanced warning would be a mad rush to get out more poorly prepared challenges. This way the only ones it would really bother are ones who were planning on putting them out now. There are still plenty out there that many of you haven't completed. I was more thinking a year, would we forget about Challenges and is that what they are hoping for?

Share this post


Link to post

But why spoil the fun for those of us who enjoy a challenge, even an absurd one. As a CO of many challenges this is pretty disappointing. I generally attempt to make my challenges like my other caches, fun and hopefully worthy of a fav. point.

 

So sure, finding caches related to song tracks of albums might be considered geocaching related to you, but to me it just seems silly. It's so very far from the original concept of a challenge in my opinion.

Though the names have nothing to do with caching, I was surprised when I ran the checker that I had found Geocaches with the words in the title. Not saying I do or don't think these are silly challenges, but like most challenges the object of it is to find caches to qualify for a challenge, isn't it?

Share this post


Link to post

I generally like challenge caches, so on the one hand I'm disappointed. But if it is true that they are <1% but make up the BULK of appeals then I understand why they felt they had to do something.

 

More interesting will be seeing what that something becomes. I don't see how one can distinguish the "good" challenges from the "lame", and involving any kind of judgement on that will result in more appeals.

 

Perhaps we will end up with a narrower definition of allowed criteria. E.g. allow criteria which are "more geocaching" related like ones based on map squares/pages, D/T Ratings, etc.. but not "has the word cat in the title". That could still be subjective.. unless we end up with a fixed list.. i.e. challenge caches can only be based on one of these X listed criteria. Which would then take some of the creativity away..

Share this post


Link to post

I normally don't defend the man, but this is overdue.

 

Geocaching should be simple game.

 

Seek the cache, find the cache, log the cache.

Share this post


Link to post

So HQ posts at 11:00 and says the moratorium goes into place an hour later.

 

They say timing is everything, and in this case, this is poor.

 

I had 2 Challenge Cache hides ready to go for publication tonight, and now BOTH have been denied. I also had a series of 15 Challenge Hides I was working out the details with my local reviewer on (all spelling themed), and was looking to add them to the landscape for the summer season. Now those will have to sit for a year while Groundspeak "looks into" some new rules.

 

I see the future being that they will DISALLOW any Challenge Geocaching hides.

 

I'm sure that is disappointing to you, and I'm also certain that you're not alone. But what else are they going to do? Any more advance notice would have simply had a whole bunch of people trying to submit their ideas at the last minute, deluging the reviewers.

 

I really don't believe your fear of disallowing them is warranted, although that would be my desire. No... they are too popular for Groundspeak to ban them. I'm sure they are simply trying to arrive at a set of cohesive boundaries. Maybe that will work, maybe it won't, but at least I'm glad to see them recognizing the problems and trying to fix them.

 

They could have cut it off at a GC code so any in the works could still be published, wondering how many containers were already place that will now turn into geotrash.

 

Wouldn't it be easier to turn them into traditional caches?

Share this post


Link to post

A very simple addition to challenge cache requirements would filter out most of the bad challenges: "A challenge cache must not require anything that motivates cacher to leave a cache unfound".

 

That would eliminate any challenges where the caches have to be found on specific day or in streaks. Those motivate cachers to not find caches with rare types or attributes as finding the cache now would prevent them from finding it on the specific time the challenge requires.

 

If finding a specific cache counts towards completing a challenge for some cacher, then it should count towards that challenge for any cacher who has found it. Regardless of when or how they found it.

Share this post


Link to post

I for one am extremely disappointed by this decision. I guess I just don't get it. If you don't like a cache, then skip it. Put it on an ignore list, don't go for it, whatever you need to do. But why spoil the fun for those of us who enjoy a challenge, even an absurd one. As a CO of many challenges this is pretty disappointing. I generally attempt to make my challenges like my other caches, fun and hopefully worthy of a fav. point. Yeah, some challenges I see are not my cup of tea, but banning all of them seems like throw the baby out with the bath water.

Who's throwing out the baby? A year-long moratorium on NEW challenge caches while they work some things out isn't "banning all of them."

+1

- And a Lackey in this forum said it might not even be a year (post #25).

 

Although a year is probably a good timespan to allow those who think that no new challenge caches might spell the end of their involvement in the passtime to find something else to do or, more likely, realise that they can have just as much fun geocaching without having to work to someone else's prescriptive, pre-defined pattern of how they should play the game :)

Share this post


Link to post

Of course, the challenges bring excitement to the game but I see several problems.

 

The nature of challenges push on the ground rules. Reviewers, being human, see the boundaries differently. This sees a challenge published here and a duplicate challenge denied there. This leads to frequent appeals for Groundspeak to deal with. This is a big problem.

 

Duplicates, everyone sees there are many duplicates of the same type of challenge. Does there really need to be?

 

The container. A challenge needs a container but it really doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if the cache gets signed.

 

I believe challenges should be removed from the map. A physical location is not needed. An index of challenges should be created instead, managed by Groundspeak, perhaps submitted by users, would solve the duplicate issue and solve the container issue. Everyone would be playing under the same Fizzy Challenge across the world, the same A - Z name challenge. I could submit an A - Z with 0 - 9 but not another A - Z.

 

After I've found my first Fizzy Challenge, what is the point of finding 20 more spread about? I've done the challenge, every other one is just another find. Instead, some type of badge or achievement system should be created to recognize the challenges that have been completed. This encourages me to find different challenges, not more of the same challenge.

 

Challenges can now be categorized. Make it much easier to find those types that I like. Make hundreds and hundreds of challenges available to everyone, not dependent on how close you might be to an actual cache. Challenges could be ranked based on number of completions, number of favorites, etc.

 

Challenges no longer count as a find. They get their own stat.

 

In my opinion something like this is the best solution. One set of worldwide challenges that are curated by some entity (perhaps a new tier of reviewers) and these would be gained or unlocked much like video game Achievements. It could even be integrated into the Souvenir system to make that actually have meaning finally.

 

Examples:

Completed Fizzy D/T Grid - 73/81

Completed US States - 13/50

Completed Louisiana Parishes - 32/XX

 

And you could look through a listing of all the current challenges and toggle On/Off those you want to attempt or opt out completely if desired. This would integrate your Find stats, Souvenirs, and Statistics.

 

leftTheHouse.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Of course, the challenges bring excitement to the game but I see several problems.

 

The nature of challenges push on the ground rules. Reviewers, being human, see the boundaries differently. This sees a challenge published here and a duplicate challenge denied there. This leads to frequent appeals for Groundspeak to deal with. This is a big problem.

 

Duplicates, everyone sees there are many duplicates of the same type of challenge. Does there really need to be?

 

The container. A challenge needs a container but it really doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if the cache gets signed.

 

I believe challenges should be removed from the map. A physical location is not needed. An index of challenges should be created instead, managed by Groundspeak, perhaps submitted by users, would solve the duplicate issue and solve the container issue. Everyone would be playing under the same Fizzy Challenge across the world, the same A - Z name challenge. I could submit an A - Z with 0 - 9 but not another A - Z.

 

After I've found my first Fizzy Challenge, what is the point of finding 20 more spread about? I've done the challenge, every other one is just another find. Instead, some type of badge or achievement system should be created to recognize the challenges that have been completed. This encourages me to find different challenges, not more of the same challenge.

 

Challenges can now be categorized. Make it much easier to find those types that I like. Make hundreds and hundreds of challenges available to everyone, not dependent on how close you might be to an actual cache. Challenges could be ranked based on number of completions, number of favorites, etc.

 

Challenges no longer count as a find. They get their own stat.

 

Good idea :)

Share this post


Link to post

Well done for pulling a temporary plug on challenge caches some of them were getting completely stupid. I live an area where loads of challenge and puzzle caches are published, OK so they go on the ignore list - I've ended up with over 700 on my ignore list all within a 30 miles radius of my home.

 

It would have made a bit more sense if the person setting the challenge had actually completed the challenge themselves before actually challenging other cachers to do so. One published a few months ago fairly close to me asked folk to find 100 caches in a day, OK maybe simple thing to do but none of the caches had to be in the UK! The CO had 67 finds...

Share this post


Link to post

One published a few months ago fairly close to me asked folk to find 100 caches in a day, OK maybe simple thing to do but none of the caches had to be in the UK! The CO had 67 finds...

 

That's the kind of baloney that gives challenges a bad name--the CO needs to have completed the challenge before putting it out!

Share this post


Link to post

Of course, the challenges bring excitement to the game but I see several problems.

 

The nature of challenges push on the ground rules. Reviewers, being human, see the boundaries differently. This sees a challenge published here and a duplicate challenge denied there. This leads to frequent appeals for Groundspeak to deal with. This is a big problem.

 

Duplicates, everyone sees there are many duplicates of the same type of challenge. Does there really need to be?

 

The container. A challenge needs a container but it really doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if the cache gets signed.

 

I believe challenges should be removed from the map. A physical location is not needed. An index of challenges should be created instead, managed by Groundspeak, perhaps submitted by users, would solve the duplicate issue and solve the container issue. Everyone would be playing under the same Fizzy Challenge across the world, the same A - Z name challenge. I could submit an A - Z with 0 - 9 but not another A - Z.

 

After I've found my first Fizzy Challenge, what is the point of finding 20 more spread about? I've done the challenge, every other one is just another find. Instead, some type of badge or achievement system should be created to recognize the challenges that have been completed. This encourages me to find different challenges, not more of the same challenge.

 

Challenges can now be categorized. Make it much easier to find those types that I like. Make hundreds and hundreds of challenges available to everyone, not dependent on how close you might be to an actual cache. Challenges could be ranked based on number of completions, number of favorites, etc.

 

Challenges no longer count as a find. They get their own stat.

 

In my opinion something like this is the best solution. One set of worldwide challenges that are curated by some entity (perhaps a new tier of reviewers) and these would be gained or unlocked much like video game Achievements. It could even be integrated into the Souvenir system to make that actually have meaning finally.

 

Examples:

Completed Fizzy D/T Grid - 73/81

Completed US States - 13/50

Completed Louisiana Parishes - 32/XX

 

And you could look through a listing of all the current challenges and toggle On/Off those you want to attempt or opt out completely if desired. This would integrate your Find stats, Souvenirs, and Statistics.

 

leftTheHouse.jpg

 

I agree with these points. The only exceptions I see are the themed or name-based challenges. My one and only challenge is a movie-themed challenge. The hiding spot is near a popular indie-theater in town. The requirements involve finding caches with the name of a feature film...and there is a movie-themed puzzle to solve to get the cache coordinates. I wouldn't have bothered with that one if I couldn't have even done the puzzle and the hiding spot since they both were related to the theme of the challenge.

 

What I DO like, though, is the elimination of physical cache hides for stat-based (and even most geography-based) challenges that are essentially universal. In those cases, the cache hide is either unremarkable simply because there is a need to have a hidden cache somewhere...or they take up a nice space that might otherwise bring in more folks. Stat-based challenges don't need to be caches when the only requirement is showing what the person's profile can already tell them.

Share this post


Link to post

I think you could rework that movie based Challenge to fit the standard constraints of a Puzzle/Unknown cache. Maybe I am wrong, but it sounds like a fun cache.

Share this post


Link to post

I for one am extremely disappointed by this decision. I guess I just don't get it. If you don't like a cache, then skip it. Put it on an ignore list, don't go for it, whatever you need to do. But why spoil the fun for those of us who enjoy a challenge, even an absurd one. As a CO of many challenges this is pretty disappointing. I generally attempt to make my challenges like my other caches, fun and hopefully worthy of a fav. point. Yeah, some challenges I see are not my cup of tea, but banning all of them seems like throw the baby out with the bath water.

 

They haven't been banned. Just no new ones for a year.

 

They DO affect those of us that don't like them. They have an affect on the entire game. Read the thread to see how.

Share this post


Link to post

- And a Lackey in this forum said it might not even be a year (post #25).

 

:(

Share this post


Link to post

As a player, the moratorium interfered with my own plans to build a small trail of challenge caches in a park near my home. I started with my Bigcall Challenge last year, and wanted to add about five more. Ironically, one of them was a bit of a joke to poke fun at the challenge craze. It was going to be called "Challenge Caches Have Jumped the Shark," and would require finders to log 25 caches with the name of a fish or other aquatic creature in the cache title.

 

So, as a geocacher who enjoyed finding and hiding challenge caches, I'm sad. I say this so that all the legions of Keystonehaters will feel a tiny bit better today. :lol:

 

I'll be renaming 25 of my hides to include the names of fishes, just to folks can be ready. Thanks for the heads-up.

Share this post


Link to post

I was more thinking a year, would we forget about Challenges and is that what they are hoping for?

The way virtuals have been forgotten? :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll point again to the thread discussing the idea of challenge stars - the variant on the idea I support keeps challenge caches physical, findable by anyone who wants to find a physical cache (and has a D/T that's relevant), and gives challenges their own Difficulty and stat metric apart from the challenge cache 'find' itself but still requires both qualification and the find log on the challenge cache to 'earn' the challenge completion.

To me that addresses all the complaints I've seen about challenges. Don't like 'em? Ignore'em - but still find the physical caches, because they're physical caches to be found.

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post

As a player, the moratorium interfered with my own plans to build a small trail of challenge caches in a park near my home. I started with my Bigcall Challenge last year, and wanted to add about five more. Ironically, one of them was a bit of a joke to poke fun at the challenge craze. It was going to be called "Challenge Caches Have Jumped the Shark," and would require finders to log 25 caches with the name of a fish or other aquatic creature in the cache title.

 

So, as a geocacher who enjoyed finding and hiding challenge caches, I'm sad. I say this so that all the legions of Keystonehaters will feel a tiny bit better today. :lol:

Hahahahahahahahaha

(deep inhale)

hahahahahahahahaha

 

This shark jump idea made my literally LOL.

Share this post


Link to post

I love a well-done Challenge cache. The fact is, a well done challenge cache motivates me much more than another souvenir or simple smiley does. I’m not exactly sure why, but that’s the case. That being said, I think this moratorium may be a good idea and can (can) lead to better challenge caches in the future.

 

I am the CO for 8 Challenge caches; six are currently active, two have been archived. My most recent two were published last week—I guess I had good timing in finally getting off my butt and placing them.

 

A good challenge cache in my mind should cause someone coming across its cache page to think “Hmm, that sounds interesting—I’d like to find caches that meet these qualifications”. Often when I find a challenge cache page, I instead either think “Huh, I bet I’ve already stumbled into qualifying for that simply by having a couple thousand finds” (Challenges based on cache names often fall into this category) or “How the heck am I going to figure out if I qualify for that?” (I recently saw a challenge that required only seven caches-but they had to start with seven specific letters of the alphabet, and be seven different cache types and be in seven different counties, and be found on seven different days of the week—that’s not caching, that’s bookkeeping to me)

 

I don’t care too much for challenges based on the cache’s name, unless there’s some interesting twist to it. Even then, these can be made meaningless as challenges by other hiders. Minnesota has a challenge cache to find caches including each name of an element on the Periodic table. When this cache was published, it was a true CHALLENGE—finding such would not be easy. Finding a cache with MENDELEVIUM in it would not be easy. But then, people started putting out caches with element names in them strictly to be used for meeting this challenge, even stating on the cache page “This will help you qualify for Challenge GCXXX”. Then another true CHALLENGE was published: find 100 caches beginning “Welcome to”. I think when this was published I had a half dozen such caches in my 2500-some at the time. Now, they are everywhere. Then the real attention-whoring began, and people would name their caches something like “Welcome to Dysprosium Nebraska Benjamin Harrison Leopard Conservatory Boba Fett”. I just shake my head in wonder. This is a result of Challenge caches, but to me says more about the cache owners than the challenge cache. ( of course, if Boba Fett actually came to visit the Benjamin Harrison Leopard Conservatory in Dysprosium, Nebraska, and this cache was placed in honor of that visit, I’ll take back my tut-tutting in this case.) I will often bypass a cache like this even though I know that it would get me a little closer to meeting my challenge. If the cache page doesn’t give some reason for the name that indicates a purpose other than challenge fodder, I’ll skip it. (Usually. I’m not always consistent.) My first published cache was name-based. I learned a lot from that (and have archived and removed it).

 

A good challenge cache shouldn’t necessarily be able to be stumbled into just as a side result of having a lot of caches under your belt. You should be trying for that challenge, or something like it to meet it. I get more excited when I see a challenge cache I don’t already qualify for than one I didn’t plan and work for.

 

My hope is that during this moratorium period Groundspeak is able to determine fixes to some of the issues that Challenges have (appeals, “WOW” factor, oversaturation) without killing off the idea forever. That won’t be easy, as I’m sure there’s another cacher out there whose thoughts on the matter are diametrically opposed to mine, and GS needs to make both of us happy.

Share this post


Link to post

I normally don't defend the man, but this is overdue.

 

Geocaching should be simple game.

 

Seek the cache, find the cache, log the cache.

For those who enjoy simple caches, there are plenty of simple caches out there. Other people enjoy more complex caches, so it's nice that there are more complex caches, too. One of the nice things about geocaching is that it can appeal to many different kinds of people with many different preferences.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion something like this is the best solution. One set of worldwide challenges that are curated by some entity (perhaps a new tier of reviewers) and these would be gained or unlocked much like video game Achievements. It could even be integrated into the Souvenir system to make that actually have meaning finally.

 

Examples:

Completed Fizzy D/T Grid - 73/81

Completed US States - 13/50

Completed Louisiana Parishes - 32/XX

 

And you could look through a listing of all the current challenges and toggle On/Off those you want to attempt or opt out completely if desired. This would integrate your Find stats, Souvenirs, and Statistics.

 

leftTheHouse.jpg

 

That is a really good idea. I'd be pretty happy with something like that being implemented.

Share this post


Link to post

Well done for pulling a temporary plug on challenge caches some of them were getting completely stupid.

I was surprised that Groundspeak had to temporarily pull the plug. I'm a software developer, and in all the companies I've worked for, we fixed things on the fly or late at night to minimize the impact on our customers/clients.

 

I'm astonished that the number of appeals for challenge caches is so high that it prevents Lackeys from re-evaluating challenge caches. But if it really has gotten that bad, then I'm even more gobsmacked that they didn't fix the problems a year ago when it wouldn't have been necessary to impose a moratorium.

 

I'm sorry, but I just can't say "Well done."

Share this post


Link to post

This saddens me as well. I was also putting them out. I do not understand the issues some have with them. I ignore puzzles because I dislike them, others could do the same with these. Yet I do agree that some have used it to run off the rails and create something bizarre. I have no desire to find 100 caches with pumpkin in the name. However I do enjoy some of the ones that let me set some reasonable goals, I am sure that is different for everyone.

 

I do hope this is a time to reflect to come up with a better way of doing things.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

 

Sorry, but the ignore list isn't as great as advertised.

 

Caches can only be added to an ignore list one by one. In one of these threads someone mentioned that they had 700 challenge caches within 30 miles of their home location. Why should someone that doesn't want to find a certain type of cache have to go through the process of adding each cache, everytime a cache of that type is published?

 

An ignore list doesn't stop notifications of new cache of a type one has no intention of finding from getting sent their email. Not only does someone have to go through the process of adding these caches to an ignore list they have to delete the 700 email message from their inbox.

 

Then there is the simple fact that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Ignore a cache only hides it from pocket queries, displaying on the map, etc. It doesn't stop it from impacting the game in general. Challenge caches definitely do have an impact on the game, even when some people ignore them, and that impact is not always positive.

 

Finally, it's really easy for someone that likes a certain type of cache to tell someone else to just ignore them. However, that completely dismisses the concerns someone has about said cache type. Although on an entirely different scale it's sort of like a rich person telling a poor person to ignore the fact that they have no money and can't afford food.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

 

Sorry, but the ignore list isn't as great as advertised.

 

Caches can only be added to an ignore list one by one. In one of these threads someone mentioned that they had 700 challenge caches within 30 miles of their home location. Why should someone that doesn't want to find a certain type of cache have to go through the process of adding each cache, everytime a cache of that type is published?

 

An ignore list doesn't stop notifications of new cache of a type one has no intention of finding from getting sent their email. Not only does someone have to go through the process of adding these caches to an ignore list they have to delete the 700 email message from their inbox.

 

Then there is the simple fact that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Ignore a cache only hides it from pocket queries, displaying on the map, etc. It doesn't stop it from impacting the game in general. Challenge caches definitely do have an impact on the game, even when some people ignore them, and that impact is not always positive.

 

Finally, it's really easy for someone that likes a certain type of cache to tell someone else to just ignore them. However, that completely dismisses the concerns someone has about said cache type. Although on an entirely different scale it's sort of like a rich person telling a poor person to ignore the fact that they have no money and can't afford food.

I understand your points and they are a valid concern for many geocachers. But you can apply those arguments to any cache type. For instance, if I don't like tree climbs, which can impact the game, I don't expect Groundspeak to make it easy for me to deal with them on the map, in e-mail notifications or PQs. My only option is to ignore them.

 

I do believe being able to ignore a group of caches in a polygon by a specific attribute would be very nice.

Share this post


Link to post

Of course, the challenges bring excitement to the game but I see several problems.

 

The nature of challenges push on the ground rules. Reviewers, being human, see the boundaries differently. This sees a challenge published here and a duplicate challenge denied there. This leads to frequent appeals for Groundspeak to deal with. This is a big problem.

 

Duplicates, everyone sees there are many duplicates of the same type of challenge. Does there really need to be?

 

The container. A challenge needs a container but it really doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if the cache gets signed.

 

I believe challenges should be removed from the map. A physical location is not needed. An index of challenges should be created instead, managed by Groundspeak, perhaps submitted by users, would solve the duplicate issue and solve the container issue. Everyone would be playing under the same Fizzy Challenge across the world, the same A - Z name challenge. I could submit an A - Z with 0 - 9 but not another A - Z.

 

After I've found my first Fizzy Challenge, what is the point of finding 20 more spread about? I've done the challenge, every other one is just another find. Instead, some type of badge or achievement system should be created to recognize the challenges that have been completed. This encourages me to find different challenges, not more of the same challenge.

 

Challenges can now be categorized. Make it much easier to find those types that I like. Make hundreds and hundreds of challenges available to everyone, not dependent on how close you might be to an actual cache. Challenges could be ranked based on number of completions, number of favorites, etc.

 

Challenges no longer count as a find. They get their own stat.

 

I drafted a very articulate position on challenges . When I read this, I revised my whole thought process, I concur with the above.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

 

Sorry, but the ignore list isn't as great as advertised.

 

Caches can only be added to an ignore list one by one. In one of these threads someone mentioned that they had 700 challenge caches within 30 miles of their home location. Why should someone that doesn't want to find a certain type of cache have to go through the process of adding each cache, everytime a cache of that type is published?

 

An ignore list doesn't stop notifications of new cache of a type one has no intention of finding from getting sent their email. Not only does someone have to go through the process of adding these caches to an ignore list they have to delete the 700 email message from their inbox.

 

Then there is the simple fact that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Ignore a cache only hides it from pocket queries, displaying on the map, etc. It doesn't stop it from impacting the game in general. Challenge caches definitely do have an impact on the game, even when some people ignore them, and that impact is not always positive.

 

Finally, it's really easy for someone that likes a certain type of cache to tell someone else to just ignore them. However, that completely dismisses the concerns someone has about said cache type. Although on an entirely different scale it's sort of like a rich person telling a poor person to ignore the fact that they have no money and can't afford food.

I understand your points and they are a valid concern for many geocachers. But you can apply those arguments to any cache type. For instance, if I don't like tree climbs, which can impact the game, I don't expect Groundspeak to make it easy for me to deal with them on the map, in e-mail notifications or PQs. My only option is to ignore them.

 

I do believe being able to ignore a group of caches in a polygon by a specific attribute would be very nice.

Maybe it's time to finally allow an ignore hider function.

Hundreds of (to you or me) carp hides could be ignored in one click, instead of hundreds.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

 

Sorry, but the ignore list isn't as great as advertised.

 

Caches can only be added to an ignore list one by one. In one of these threads someone mentioned that they had 700 challenge caches within 30 miles of their home location. Why should someone that doesn't want to find a certain type of cache have to go through the process of adding each cache, everytime a cache of that type is published?

 

An ignore list doesn't stop notifications of new cache of a type one has no intention of finding from getting sent their email. Not only does someone have to go through the process of adding these caches to an ignore list they have to delete the 700 email message from their inbox.

 

Then there is the simple fact that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Ignore a cache only hides it from pocket queries, displaying on the map, etc. It doesn't stop it from impacting the game in general. Challenge caches definitely do have an impact on the game, even when some people ignore them, and that impact is not always positive.

 

Finally, it's really easy for someone that likes a certain type of cache to tell someone else to just ignore them. However, that completely dismisses the concerns someone has about said cache type. Although on an entirely different scale it's sort of like a rich person telling a poor person to ignore the fact that they have no money and can't afford food.

I understand your points and they are a valid concern for many geocachers. But you can apply those arguments to any cache type. For instance, if I don't like tree climbs, which can impact the game, I don't expect Groundspeak to make it easy for me to deal with them on the map, in e-mail notifications or PQs. My only option is to ignore them.

 

I do believe being able to ignore a group of caches in a polygon by a specific attribute would be very nice.

Maybe it's time to finally allow an ignore hider function.

Hundreds of (to you or me) carp hides could be ignored in one click, instead of hundreds.

Now you're on to something.

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe it's time to finally allow an ignore hider function.

Hundreds of (to you or me) carp hides could be ignored in one click, instead of hundreds.

Even better: Version 2.0 of the Search page could have an option to add the search results to a list, e.g. the Ignore List.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the frustrating part is not that thing that challenges caches does not have an own cache type or attribute or whatsever, in my opinion the frustrating part are such challenges like: find 50 T5 in 24h or have a 1000-day-streak. Yes, it's a bit exaggerated and such challenges can also be a challenge, but on the same way they are only achieved by a very small amount of cachers which prevent the majority of the geocachers from achieving them...And there is another problem. The guidelines says:"If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published."If we are honest and interpret this rule in a strict way, then 99% of all challenge caches does not comply with the guidelines.Like my example with the 1000-day-streak: you have to find a cache every day and this is, in my opinion, an alteration of caching style/habits.

 

You do not have to alter anything. If I see a Challenge I do not find interesting, I just don't do it. I really don't care if there's a 1000 day streak cache down the street from my house. Why do people feel they need to find everything out there. There are plenty of lamp post caches around here that I dislike even more. I don't sit here and bitch about them. I simply ignore them.

 

Exactly. I have never understood that argument. You don't have to find everything. There is a great mechanism in place...the ignore list.

 

Sorry, but the ignore list isn't as great as advertised.

 

Caches can only be added to an ignore list one by one. In one of these threads someone mentioned that they had 700 challenge caches within 30 miles of their home location. Why should someone that doesn't want to find a certain type of cache have to go through the process of adding each cache, everytime a cache of that type is published?

 

An ignore list doesn't stop notifications of new cache of a type one has no intention of finding from getting sent their email. Not only does someone have to go through the process of adding these caches to an ignore list they have to delete the 700 email message from their inbox.

 

Then there is the simple fact that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. Ignore a cache only hides it from pocket queries, displaying on the map, etc. It doesn't stop it from impacting the game in general. Challenge caches definitely do have an impact on the game, even when some people ignore them, and that impact is not always positive.

 

Finally, it's really easy for someone that likes a certain type of cache to tell someone else to just ignore them. However, that completely dismisses the concerns someone has about said cache type. Although on an entirely different scale it's sort of like a rich person telling a poor person to ignore the fact that they have no money and can't afford food.

I understand your points and they are a valid concern for many geocachers. But you can apply those arguments to any cache type. For instance, if I don't like tree climbs, which can impact the game, I don't expect Groundspeak to make it easy for me to deal with them on the map, in e-mail notifications or PQs. My only option is to ignore them.

 

Sure, but there is a matter of scale, and the amount of impact a cache type has. I haven't seen multiple power trails of tree climbing or scuba caches, or parks completely saturated with them. I doubt that you'll find any place in the world with 700 tree climbing caches within 30 miles.

 

If I choose to ignore a tree climbing cache it's my choice (mostly because, at my age I physically can't do them). What I object to is someone that can, and likes a certain type a cache telling me that if I don't like them I can just ignore them. Whether or not I personally might not like a cache is irrelevant. Telling me to ignore them dismisses what I may feel are valid reasons for how a specific cache type is influencing the game.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher

Share this post


Link to post

The main reason for the short notice is SANITY! If Groundspeak would have given a week's notice, can you imagine how many challenge caches would have been submitted? That 1% would have turned into 90% for a week! Groundspeak would have spent the entire year with appeals on one weeks worth of submissions. Groundspeak probably has been trying to fix and clarify challenges for many months and it became necessary to slam on the brakes and put it in the garage. The fix requires more than just "bailing wire, duct tape and WD40!" All I request is to NOT eliminate challenges, they are a fun part of our hobby!

Share this post


Link to post

I thank the lucky stars of Geocaching that Challenge caches aren't a big thing in my area. It seems that the idea of a Challenge would be to inspire someone to accomplish something. With the rule that prior finda count toward a Challenge, they have become more of a "check my finds PQ and I have already done this" bonus smiley.

 

Souvenirs for Geocaching accomplishments, applied from inside the GC website, like some of the badge generating websites out there, would be a great solution to the inanity that has taken over the 'sanctioned ALR' caches.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 17

×