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Pause on New Challenge Caches

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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.

With over 5,600 finds, I don't qualify for many challenge caches. Some I have qualified for before I even knew it, but it's still fun for me.

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For a Challenge cache to be a challenge, all qualifying finds should be after the date of the challenge. (Fizzy and Jasmer would be allowed exceptions) Otherwise, it is just a bonus smiley for something you have already accomplished.

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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 didn't quote the whole post, but I agree totally with it...

 

I especially relate to the part I quoted. With a "good" challenge, it enhances my enjoyment in multiple ways. When I find a cache which counts towards my qualification, that gives me extra enjoyment (on top of what I get for finding the cache). When I complete my qualification and go out and find that challenge cache, there is extra enjoyment there too.

 

It is not the only type of caching I do.. and I would still enjoy geocaching if they didn't exist.

 

But I accept that they were causing issues, so a pause isn't a bad thing.

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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.

 

Your "rich person" analogy is completely false...

 

A poor herson HAS to eat... no one HAS to seek ANY cache they prefer not to...

Edited by 2tall1s

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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."

 

They are not trying to fix a line of code.

They could have arbitrarily changed the challenge parameters in the background and then applied them in real time but lately they have shown some willingness to get input from us before making major changes. There is no way they could have solicited significant input without the community becoming aware of it. That, in turn, would have resulted in a flood of challenge cache publication applications from those that feared there might be a moratorium or abolition on the way.

 

I don't know what the outcome will be. Once I've thought about it a bit more I will visit the "User Insight" thread and add my voice to the discussion. On thing I am sure of: this could not be fixed "on the fly"

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For a Challenge cache to be a challenge, all qualifying finds should be after the date of the challenge. (Fizzy and Jasmer would be allowed exceptions) Otherwise, it is just a bonus smiley for something you have already accomplished.

 

Yep. It's the "Challenge" vs "Achievement" thing.

 

Where essentially, a challenge is from the date it's presentated to the community and easier for newcomers; an achievement is from the start of an individual's career and easier for veterans.

The removal of the start date in challenge caches effectively made all "challenges" into "achievements". Good from a non-competitive standpoint, but produced some confusion and didn't help reduce complaints about 'fairness' -- It's either A] people who've already completed it and can just log it vs people who have a long way to go, or B] people who can't complete it because they've found all the relevant caches before the challenge date vs people who have loads of qualifying caches nearby they haven't already found.

There's no real single in-between that's good for everyone. Provide both options, or allow the 'slate' to start fresh for the 'challenge' type of requirement (that is, allow re-finding caches, which would be a really really really dumb idea :P )

 

Or just continue to promote that 'fairness' is not a real thing that can be enforced between cachers, since this is not a competitive hobby.

 

*shrug*

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I'm glad to see the moratorium. My geocaching map is filled with icons for repetitive, boring challenges that do not interest me. Let's keep the ? icon for true puzzles

I like unique challenges that show some original thinking.

I dislike challenges that are essentially the same as one that has been done many many times before in the area (e.g. - find every combination of D/T, or find x caches of type y in a single day, or for z days in a row.) Excessive familiarity breeds contempt!

My favorites have been challenges for which I am qualified but most are not (what does that tell you?) Examples of favorites were - 100 cemetery caches with no time restriction, or 25 states plus 6 provinces.

So if the moratorium is going to be lifted next year, I would suggest that challenge cache should not be accepted for publication if there is a similar challenge cache active within, say, a 20 minute drive.

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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.

 

I hate puzzle caches and there are close to that in my area.

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

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

 

:(

 

I'll call your :( and raise you :):):lol:

 

I like challenge caches myself but yes, there are many out there that i'm just not interested in. Guess i'm maturing or something (wife wouldn't agree) but i just can't bring myself to spend the time, money, and effort trying to accomplish something silly that, in the end, doesn't mean squat. Bring on something creative, fun, and challenging, a cache that takes me to a nice area. Not something too monotonous and over the top like so many of these things are today.

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

 

Where was it posted? What was the purpose of its posted location?

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

Which one was that? The first Delorme I was aware of is the Northern California one.

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

Which one was that? The first Delorme I was aware of is the Northern California one.

That is correct. The current Description, in order to comply with the Guidelines, is a mere shadow of it's former self.

 

Perhaps someone with a better memory can correct me, but I seem to remember a picnic basket involved and a periodic Event to celebrate those cachers that accomplished the task. The coordinates were moved about the State every once in awhile, to the great annoyance of the locals. A kind of traveling Virtual if you will. The booming popularity of the cache idea required some extensive modifications, but the original was quite unique for its time.

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Perhaps someone with a better memory can correct me, but I seem to remember a picnic basket involved and a periodic Event to celebrate those cachers that accomplished the task. The coordinates were moved about the State every once in awhile, to the great annoyance of the locals. A kind of traveling Virtual if you will. The booming popularity of the cache idea required some extensive modifications, but the original was quite unique for its time.

 

Ah, ok, so it really had nothing to do with a physical location; it was essentially a locationless cache where the posted coordinates were just interesting for the sake of being interesting (ymmv) :P

I don't think that'll be making a comeback any time soon... =)

I wonder what would happen if one of the few 'excepted' moving physical caches were actually a challenge cache? #rhetorical

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Let's keep the ? icon for true puzzles

The ? icon (i.e., Unknown cache type) always has been the "catch-all" cache type, including (but not limited to) puzzle caches, bonus caches, night caches, beacon caches, and challenge caches.

 

So if the moratorium is going to be lifted next year, I would suggest that challenge cache should not be accepted for publication if there is a similar challenge cache active within, say, a 20 minute drive.

How about something like this: "If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.)." It probably could be worded better, but that's already part of Groundspeak's challenge guidelines.

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Perhaps someone with a better memory can correct me, but I seem to remember a picnic basket involved and a periodic Event to celebrate those cachers that accomplished the task. The coordinates were moved about the State every once in awhile, to the great annoyance of the locals. A kind of traveling Virtual if you will. The booming popularity of the cache idea required some extensive modifications, but the original was quite unique for its time.

 

Ah, ok, so it really had nothing to do with a physical location; it was essentially a locationless cache where the posted coordinates were just interesting for the sake of being interesting (ymmv) :P

I don't think that'll be making a comeback any time soon... =)

I wonder what would happen if one of the few 'excepted' moving physical caches were actually a challenge cache? #rhetorical

 

In its original form, wasn't the reward for completion dinner at haicoole's (the original owner's) house?

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In its original form, wasn't the reward for completion dinner at haicoole's (the original owner's) house?

 

If Groundspeak required completion dinners for challenges met, they would suddenly become a lot more interesting - and there would be fewer repetitive challenge trails. Maybe that should be proposed on the insight forum. I would even settle for a completion beer.

Edited by geodarts

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Let's keep the ? icon for true puzzles

The ? icon (i.e., Unknown cache type) always has been the "catch-all" cache type, including (but not limited to) puzzle caches, bonus caches, night caches, beacon caches, and challenge caches.

 

So if the moratorium is going to be lifted next year, I would suggest that challenge cache should not be accepted for publication if there is a similar challenge cache active within, say, a 20 minute drive.

How about something like this: "If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.)." It probably could be worded better, but that's already part of Groundspeak's challenge guidelines.

 

If the problem is too much difficulty for reviewers, then the 20 mile rule would be another burden to them.

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

 

Where was it posted? What was the purpose of its posted location?

 

And that reply sums up the problem. Why have a posted location if there is no cache? Why have a cache on an accomplishment? Why can't some other form of acknowledgement of the accomplishment be just as valid to a cacher as a smiley and a +1?

Edited by J Grouchy

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And that reply sums up the problem. Why have a posted location if there is no cache? Why have a cache on an accomplishment? Why can't some other form of acknowledgement of the accomplishment be just as valid to a cacher as a smiley and a +1?

 

I think this is one of the reasons challenge caches got so popular. Without a location, what's the value in creating, on coming up with, challenging ideas? Chances are, it's already been created somewhere else in the world. So we get huge numbers of duplicates. Do it once, and we can just search and couch-log'em all as complete. Where's the fun in that? (bad question, ymmv :P) But generally speaking, the value in creating them is reduced.

 

But from the other direction, allowing the addition of challenge requirements to caches that exist in a specific location (typically close to the CO home), it's like there's more value in creating challenge caches because even if it's not an original idea, you're not comparing your challenge/cache to other ones all around the world - only nearby. And others finding it may not know that challenge idea exists in other places all over the place, as they only see the one that popped up close to home.

 

Having the location gives the challenge cache idea more novelty and value, inspiring people to place more, regardless of whether or not it's original.

 

I still stand by the point that the location is required for the challenge cache concept as it stands right now.

- Without the physical container (ie virtual location), we have Geocaching Challenges. Without a specific location, we have Worldwide Geocaching Challenges (restricted to GS publishing).

And we all know how well the Geocaching Challenges concept did.... :tired:

Edited by thebruce0

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Without a specific location, we have Worldwide Geocaching Challenges (restricted to GS publishing).

 

Not necessarily. There can still be localized challenges without a physical hide. A Georgia A to Z challenge requiring cache finds in Georgia only. Everything necessary to verify is already built into the site, so the achievement would be awarded once met...just like souvenirs are. For larger challenges...Fizzy or Jasmer and the like, why would more than one of each ever be necessary aside from adding a +1 to their count? If achievements were part of the visible stats next to the person's geonick just like their find count, wouldn't that become another number or method of displaying to the world just how awesome they are? Would that number be less valuable somehow than the fact that they found the MKH associated with a challenge? Remember, that +1 on the find count could be for anything. As it is, nobody knows how awesome any given person is at completing challenges unless they go to a particular challenges cache page. It could be a lowly 1/1 LPC hide or a tough 5/5 challenge for all anyone knows. The main purpose of challenges are to be more than just another cache find. Why not allow them to stand on their own?

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And that reply sums up the problem. Why have a posted location if there is no cache? Why have a cache on an accomplishment? Why can't some other form of acknowledgement of the accomplishment be just as valid to a cacher as a smiley and a +1?

 

I have no interest in stars, badges, or achievements -- I completed the D/T grid, days of the year (hidden or found), and other measures just because I have done a variety of caching, but at the same time I passed by a cache that is often important in jasmer challenges because there were other things that were more important to us in that area of Utah. So I would opt out of any type of virtual accomplishment as part of my profile.

 

I also have little interest in most of the traditionals that I see these days. I would have ignored the challenge caches that I have done if they were simply another container. But if you put the two together, they are something different. And having something different is more interesting than either would be on their own.

 

A lot of the thematic challenges are not "accomplishments" in the the usual sense of the word. Was it an accomplishment to find 50 caches based on fish or a certain number based on Marvel/DC superheroes? Probably not. But the latter is one of the few challenges that I have gone out of my way to complete -- it was fun tracking the caches down and finding a cache at the end. If it had not been a combined experience, I can't imagine doing either on their own.

 

I cannot imagine my own challenge being a typical accomplishment either, although I happen to think that a thematic container and a thematic hide based upon finding thematic caches might be fun to do if you are interested in the theme, it has only been completed once.

 

I am glad that Groundspeak has imposed a moratorium, But it will be hard to please everybody. A lot of the challenges that some people define as "good" are things that go straight to my ignore list. I might hope that when Grondspeak has an epiphany and figures out how to do challenge caches in the right way, that the same sort of inspiration will apply to virtuals -- but that is perhaps beyond hope.

Edited by geodarts

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Cool!

 

I have 1 Challenge cache, a type which can't be done (at least for a year) which now makes it "select" and "desirable". :)

 

Honestly, I did think some where seriously whack - I'm a programmer by trade and if I have to write scripts or one-off applications to determine if I pass the muster than there's something a bit wrong there. Besides being able to achieve all the conditions there's the ability to determine if I have. Then there was the recent documented instance of a CO requiring a specific application, which is platform and Premium Membership specific to add more height to the hurdles.

 

I'd personally like to see a Requirement that the CO demonstrates a reasonable means to document accomplishment. If there's a website which will perform the maths, wonderful. If there's GSAK only I might grumble. Going back through Finds to locate compliance elements is arduous, but possible. I don't expect Groundspeak to code up some My Finds search tool (it would be nice, but I don't expect it) and more complex Challenges can be a real headache.

 

I'll probably be coding up a Fizzy tool, for the fun of it, and publishing a link to it in the future. I've coded a PC specific version which is really nice (allows establishing grids met and then running over successive PQs to see which caches in those PQs fit the empty squares) and would like to make it available.

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Let's keep the ? icon for true puzzles

The ? icon (i.e., Unknown cache type) always has been the "catch-all" cache type, including (but not limited to) puzzle caches, bonus caches, night caches, beacon caches, and challenge caches.

 

So if the moratorium is going to be lifted next year, I would suggest that challenge cache should not be accepted for publication if there is a similar challenge cache active within, say, a 20 minute drive.

How about something like this: "If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.)." It probably could be worded better, but that's already part of Groundspeak's challenge guidelines.

 

If the problem is too much difficulty for reviewers, then the 20 mile rule would be another burden to them.

It was already a burden under the existing system. Six years ago, it was easy - I could pretty much remember all the challenge caches in the area where I was reviewing. Today, there are even more reviewers and way, way more challenges. I do not know if there is already a "Alphabet of Animal Names" challenge within X miles of any other given point within my 50,000 square miles of review territory. And, even if I memorized every challenge cache in my own territory, there's no easy way to avoid a duplicate "Alphabet of Animal Names" challenge if I published one in Wauseon, Ohio (different reviewers cover Michigan and Indiana, both within a half hour's drive) or in Somerset, Pennsylvania (different reviewers cover Maryland and West Virginia, both within a half hour's drive). I'm basically left with my failing memory saying "that one sounds familiar."

 

I allowed a series of 12 "finds in every day of the month" challenges in my home county and in a county 30 miles to the north. I finished the more distant series first as a player, because all 12 were along the same stretch of road. I'm half-finished with the series in my home county, which are scattered all over the area at locations themed to the month represented by that challenge. So are the series too close to each other? Nobody knows.

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Seeing this bold move by Groundspeak [applause] makes me think, maybe they'll even consider an even more radical idea: Limit cache hides to no more than one per month per hider. For all types, not just challenges.

 

Think about it. The truly memorable, high-quality caches you've found, the high-favorite winners - were any of them pumped out in quantity? I doubt it. Among other things, this would quickly put an end to new power trails.

 

How to prevent people gaming the rule with sock puppet accounts? That's a detail to be solved if/when the idea ever gets taken seriously. (I think I could count on the reviewers' support, no?)

 

Thanks for reading. Now back to challenges...

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Seeing this bold move by Groundspeak [applause] makes me think, maybe they'll even consider an even more radical idea: Limit cache hides to no more than one per month per hider. For all types, not just challenges.

 

Think about it. The truly memorable, high-quality caches you've found, the high-favorite winners - were any of them pumped out in quantity? I doubt it. Among other things, this would quickly put an end to new power trails.

 

How to prevent people gaming the rule with sock puppet accounts? That's a detail to be solved if/when the idea ever gets taken seriously. (I think I could count on the reviewers' support, no?)

 

Thanks for reading. Now back to challenges...

 

Uh, no. I tend to go months without hiding any, then go out and hide a few. I'm not a powertrail maker or interested in saturating a place, I just like to hide some, often in out of the way places (which may later see maximum densification.) Gaming the system would be the least of your worries, loss of geocachers would probably be the most - and keep in mind Groundspeak isn't a charity.

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Seeing this bold move by Groundspeak [applause] makes me think, maybe they'll even consider an even more radical idea: Limit cache hides to no more than one per month per hider. For all types, not just challenges.

 

Think about it. The truly memorable, high-quality caches you've found, the high-favorite winners - were any of them pumped out in quantity? I doubt it. Among other things, this would quickly put an end to new power trails.

 

How to prevent people gaming the rule with sock puppet accounts? That's a detail to be solved if/when the idea ever gets taken seriously. (I think I could count on the reviewers' support, no?)

 

Thanks for reading. Now back to challenges...

 

You do realize that if cachers quit placing new caches GS will wither and die right? They're already making it more and more difficult, why make it impossible?

 

I don't understand this moratorium just because it's work, aren't you getting paid?

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On the surface, I do not see anything wrong with a 50 power trail of challenges provided they were challenges many folks would have fun on. I personally do not care for any power trails as a whole. Finding the same cache 500 times in a row is not fun, at least with a challenge, you add a little extra flavor on that power trail, something besides the same film canister and a guard rail over and over and over.

 

Will be interested to see what my buddies at Groundspeak come up with to figure out which, if any, of the challenge caches that exist are the ones they want folks to focus on. Obviously many of the people who have already commented want a new icon so we'll see how that factors in if at all. I had a dream a few weeks back that Groundspeak suddenly archived 240 of the 250 challenges in my state and 1 of mine got to be one of the remaining ones. I was like, whoa.

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Is this an inappropriate location to shill for the Challenge Stars feature?

 

Should GS decide it's ok for a challenge cache to be logged as found by those not meeting the challenge I would immediately archive my challenge caches. I put in a lot of effort to qualify for my challenges before publishing them and will not let anyone that hasn't log them.

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On the surface, I do not see anything wrong with a 50 power trail of challenges provided they were challenges many folks would have fun on. I personally do not care for any power trails as a whole. Finding the same cache 500 times in a row is not fun, at least with a challenge, you add a little extra flavor on that power trail, something besides the same film canister and a guard rail over and over and over.

 

Will be interested to see what my buddies at Groundspeak come up with to figure out which, if any, of the challenge caches that exist are the ones they want folks to focus on. Obviously many of the people who have already commented want a new icon so we'll see how that factors in if at all. I had a dream a few weeks back that Groundspeak suddenly archived 240 of the 250 challenges in my state and 1 of mine got to be one of the remaining ones. I was like, whoa.

 

The best (one hopes) 10 out of 250 seems about right as a number to leave in place. I personally would like to see Accomplishment badges or souvenirs when a cacher achieved certain things, like the fizzy or jasmer, calendar of finds or hides, or alpha-numeric lists. No need to have to find a MKH under a lamp skirt to get a smiley for completing your Jasmer, etc.

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Oh wow! What good news! My unimportant opinion is that some people are making "the game" not about THE HIDE but how complex and/or absurd they can make the ALRs (which I thought weren't allowed...except in the case of Challenge caches...which means they are allowed). I took the difficulty ratings to be the challenge (from easy to difficult). Isn't (wasn't) it a game about HIDING and FINDING things??

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I don't understand this moratorium just because it's work, aren't you getting paid?

 

Last time I checked, volunteer reviewers were, um, volunteers.

 

Austin

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An analogy I heard that fits a bit better, IMHO, is you don't try to fix your car while driving down the interstate. You stop, get estimates (visit User Insights to provide yours) and make the necessary repairs. That's what we're trying to do with this moratorium period.
Some people have no sense of adventure... ;)

 

 

OFF TOPIC:

 

Went to the 454 approach into SFO video clip which was attached ............THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES ......... siggggggghhhhhh

 

Returning the thread to topic.

 

To re-it: Warning would have been kind and polite. BUUUUUUUUUttttt ... thems with the gold make the rules.

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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.

This isn't a software issue. At least not entirely. I suspect there will most likely be some software changes involved, such as a new cache type (I hope that they can get all the 3rd party programs and apps to work with that) but most of it is trying to figure out what sorts of challenges cause unexpected problems, which sorts cause reviewer headaches, and most likely, which ones help Groundspeak's business model.

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I don't understand this moratorium just because it's work, aren't you getting paid?

 

Last time I checked, volunteer reviewers were, um, volunteers.

 

Austin

 

Volunteer reviewers don't handle appeals GS does and last time I checked they make money, they should be happy the have volunteer reviewers or they'd have to do even more work and might have to place a moratorium on all new caches.

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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".

 

 

However, you must verify that the CO was standing on one leg (LEFT) and his right hand was extended in a hitch-hikers stance annnnnd the CO was whistling "DIXIE" at the exact moment of publication.

 

OTHERWISE I will delete your log.

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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.

 

Sounds good on the surface, but on closer inspection it sounds almost exactly like the now defunct "Challenges" that Groundspeak tried to implement a couple of years ago that, ummmm... didn't work out so well.

 

Writing software to cover all possible challenge types and recognize when the challenge has been met would be brain-boggling. Nice thought, but I don't think it would be practical.

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It might be worth noting that the first Delorme based Challenge was Virtual in nature. I know people like finding stuff, but maybe a return to that sort of model is worth exploring. It's never quite made sense to me for people to finish an extremely difficult Challenge, only to acknowledge it by signing and logging a Find on an LPC. At least with the first Delorme, the idea was to have a party to celebrate the accomplishment.

Which one was that? The first Delorme I was aware of is the Northern California one.

 

That is the one. Many Thanks to Barbara for having published it.

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Something that hasn't yet been pointed out (and really doesn't bother me... just tossing this out there) is that most, if not all, challenge caches are biased against the new geocachers. Most have been created for cachers with thousands of finds. (stopping short of saying that challenge caches are elitist :P)

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I see one of the main complaint being challenge caches have ALRs, so do earthcaches.

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Something that hasn't yet been pointed out (and really doesn't bother me... just tossing this out there) is that most, if not all, challenge caches are biased against the new geocachers. Most have been created for cachers with thousands of finds. (stopping short of saying that challenge caches are elitist :P)

 

Maybe in your experience, but not in mine...I have seen many easy challenge caches. In fact many (challenge series) I see slowly ratchet up the difficulty from easy to very difficult.

 

I see some puzzle caches that require advanced levels of math (above calculus, for example) and many caches that require scuba gear, boats, climbing gear, etc. being just as elitist. Some people can't afford such gear...some don't have the capacity to solve such puzzles, some can't physically do some of those tasks... :P

Edited by Uncle Alaska

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Something that hasn't yet been pointed out (and really doesn't bother me... just tossing this out there) is that most, if not all, challenge caches are biased against the new geocachers. Most have been created for cachers with thousands of finds. (stopping short of saying that challenge caches are elitist :P)

 

So the real problem with challenge caches is that they challenge new cachers to find more caches?

 

Isn't more cachers finding more caches beneficial to a company that makes money from geocaching?

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I see one of the main complaint being challenge caches have ALRs, so do earthcaches.

 

Earthcaches don't count as physical caches, so they don't take up a spot where a physical cache can be placed.

Earthcaches are not growing exponentially.

Earthcaches don't encourage the numbers game, streak caching, triple-digit finds in a day, racing through other caches so you can qualify for an earthcache.

Earthcaches usually encourage reflection and learning.

Earthcaches are more of the quality over quantity variety of cache type.

 

The ALR is only one of the problems and not the main complaint, as outlined at the beginning of the thread. The biggest issue is "they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ."

 

Groundspeak needs to figure out a way to create a challenge style of cache that will still appeal to challenge enthusiasts yet minimize appeals. I think the bulk of the problem lies with challenge cache submitters who get upset when they are denied. Although some of us complain about ALRs in the forums, I bet it had no bearing on the challenge cache submissions moratorium.

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I see one of the main complaint being challenge caches have ALRs, so do earthcaches.

 

Being virtual, earthcaches have LRs.

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

 

 

Sorry, I feel I'm being punished for something. Declaring a moratorium for a length of time over twice as long as should be expected has a punitive feel to it...

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Something that hasn't yet been pointed out (and really doesn't bother me... just tossing this out there) is that most, if not all, challenge caches are biased against the new geocachers. Most have been created for cachers with thousands of finds. (stopping short of saying that challenge caches are elitist :P)

I would disagree. The Rhode Island Delorme can be done by a newbie in one afternoon. Perhaps geocachers with thousands of finds would not qualify. I know Bobcam does not qualify for a whole bunch of states, which also means he does not qualify for a whole bunch of the county challenges. Can't say about Alamogul since he blocks his stats I and just don't feel like investing the time. Then throw in the quad challenges and the Thomas Guide challenges and you have a whole bunch of challenges that a cacher that has thousands of finds is in the same boat as a newbie. In all probability a location based challenge, i.e., Delorme, a high find cacher is probably just as unlikely to qualify as a newbie. The high find count cache might have fewer squares, counties or quads to find, but he is not going to qualify just by data mining his MyFinds PQ.

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No ones mentioned it yet and I'm surprised ... maybe they did ... but erm what about those people that paid for membership so they could enjoy working towards a challenge cache ... and now it's under threat. Or wanted to place some so paid for membership. Just thought someone should throw that out there ... a whole year ... wow.

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Ye gods.

 

That is a good argument for a permanent moratorium. A total perversion of challenges. GS acted slowly, gently, appropriately. If I wanted to fault them at this point, it would be for not stopping such idiocy sooner. Thank you, GS, for stopping it now.

 

Edward

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Is this an inappropriate location to shill for the Challenge Stars feature?

 

Should GS decide it's ok for a challenge cache to be logged as found by those not meeting the challenge I would immediately archive my challenge caches. I put in a lot of effort to qualify for my challenges before publishing them and will not let anyone that hasn't log them.

 

You'd better go and archive them now, because they all appear to have been found and logged by a number of people who haven't qualified.

 

http://coord.info/GLGZ423F

http://coord.info/GLGBV5V1

http://coord.info/GLGBDRPH

http://coord.info/GLGZ40GT

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Whatever the results are that GS comes up with should include only publishing challenge caches that the Cache Owner has already qualified for which would help with the amount of ridiculous and almost impossible ones!

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