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Pause on New Challenge Caches

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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

 

Those are notes and I clearly stated logged as found. Big difference, but you already knew that. .

 

So in the context of those challenges, a "Found It" log really means "Challenge Completed" and a "Note" can mean the container was found and the log signed.

 

It sounds like there should be some system to separate the finding of the container from the completion of the challenge.

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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'll dispute the "all" claim above. Many of the challenges in my region can be achieved by someone with "merely" hundreds of finds. (Some of the simpler ones: find cache names starting with A-Z in the county, find 5 of the 7 oldest caches in the county, earn 20 souvenirs, find 5 caches in 5 different states/territories.)

 

Then again, I'm not in a region with challenge-crazy cache owners.

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If appeals is used to get a challenge archived because "it's to hard/difficult" to meet the requirements then it's time to find another hobby. I don't climb trees or rocks, I don't dive, should I complain about T5 caches that you have to climb/dive for? Certainly not.

 

It looks like appeals is being misused to force certain challenges "off the map" and that's not a good thing.

 

Is this fact or merely conjecture on your part?

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If appeals is used to get a challenge archived because "it's to hard/difficult" to meet the requirements then it's time to find another hobby. I don't climb trees or rocks, I don't dive, should I complain about T5 caches that you have to climb/dive for? Certainly not.

 

It looks like appeals is being misused to force certain challenges "off the map" and that's not a good thing.

 

Is this fact or merely conjecture on your part?

 

Not fact, but we can only guess what the problems are that appeals has do deal with.

Maybe one of the lackeys can enlighten us. :ph34r:

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Screen shots of power trail challenge caches in my area:

 

It they were trads, would it then be OK?

If the location or amount of caches is a problem then is it a problem no matter if it's a challenge,trad....

 

Yes.. PTs are a problem. Challenge caches add that extra layer of problem.

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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.

 

The other challenges, say "Climb this hill", "Water this plant", "Take this picture" .. they had nothing to with geocaching. They were in the same bed as Waymarking. Who is surprised that they didn't work? How many people waymark compared to geocache?

 

Moving the geocache based challenge system away from physical containers and being map listed does not turn it into anything like the defunct challenges.

 

Of course, there would be 'challenges' with determining what duplicates existing challenges. It is possible to design a system that weeds out duplication and mediocrity over time through automated analysis.

 

This is more than just a "Challenges Completed" stat counter. This gets an entire "Challenges" tab next to the "Souvenirs". Some badges from popular challenge types would be here. Some stats based on various challenges. Some progress stats perhaps. Instead of Groundspeak offering a souvenir for finding a mystery cache on Pi day, they now can, also, throw out geocaching challenges that gain a challenge badge on this page. Really, many souvenirs are just challenges. In fact, this system should probably replace souvenirs. We could just look at it as expanding out the souvenir system to be Groundspeak "special" challenges combined with all of the challenges submitted by cachers. The cacher challenges could be voted on to bump them to badge status or they could gain badge status after they get completed so many times.

Edited by fbingha

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So in the context of those challenges, a "Found It" log really means "Challenge Completed" and a "Note" can mean the container was found and the log signed.

 

It sounds like there should be some system to separate the finding of the container from the completion of the challenge.

 

Actually, a "found" log indicates that the challenge has been completed and the log book has been signed. I understand that finding the container does not complete the challenge part of the cache. I have seen people leave notes showing the completion of the challenge before they are able to find the container, just as I have seen notes that go the other way.

 

If there is a challenge, I can choose to ignore the cache or work on completing the challenge. I have no problem with such a system. There are things about challenge caches that Groundspeak wants to address, but I hope they do not separate the challenge from the cache - in some cases that would defeat the purpose of the cache. I have no interest in stars or badges and would not complete a challenge just to complete a challenge. I also would not look for most of the current challenge caches just to get a smiley. But together they can be something different, which I think is a good thing.

Edited by geodarts

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I'm reading post after post saying they like challenge caches because they challenge them. I say BS. I like challenge caches because I like being in the elite class that has satisfied that challenge. In other words, I don't like them when they're challenging me: I like them after I've met the challenge. It's entirely elitist even when the challenge can and has been met by a large number of cachers of all stripes.

Well, I'm not a fan of challenge caches, but there a few that I like and I do like them regardless of whether I qualify or whether I will ever be able to visit the cache itself.

An example is this cache

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4BNQQ_challenge-mit-20-uber-300

It asks that one reaches at least 300km with 20 multi caches. Long hiking multi caches are my favourite caches and I like that the challenge above attracts attention to this class of caches.

The same is true for some lonely cache challenges.

 

There is nothing elitist in it at all.

Are you kidding? That's a perfect example of an elitist challenge cache. You do have a good point, though: that's a rare example of a challenge cache that people can enjoy even though they'll never achieve it. Like watching the Masters Golf Tournament, you want to watch the elite play in it even though you'll never play in it yourself. I stand corrected, although most out-of-reach challenges aren't in that class. Who really cares which players have found 100 caches of a type that doesn't exist anymore?

 

Keep in mind, when I call them elitist, it's not a putdown, it's because I enjoy being in that elite. And, oh man, if I met that challenge, I'd be thrilled.

 

This quirk, however, can be easily rectified by allowing a challenge to require the challenge be satisfied only with caches found after the challenge cache is posted. Challenges like that would be heavily biased against high numbers cachers, which I assume is exactly why they aren't allowed, but I think they should be.

Yep, the date requirement makes the difference between a challenge and an achievement.

Right. And I suppose that's why I have no interesting the proposals to replace challenge caches with achievements, since I like the idea of a challenge cache challenging rather than recognizing achievement.

 

Both are less fair to different people - IF one makes it about competition.

I'm not at all concerned about fairness. I think both are fair, which is why I think COs should be free to choose whichever they want.

 

Someone who's found thousands of caches has already put in the work (though not directly) to qualify; someone with 50 finds still needs to put in the work. It's not unfair from a personal perspective, because in the end both parties need to put in the work to qualify. It's only unfair if the latter looks and says "but s/he can just go out and log it before me because I still have to do the work!" Is it a competition, or not?

No, it's not a competition, which is why I don't consider fairness an issue at all.

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Screen shots of power trail challenge caches in my area:

 

It they were trads, would it then be OK?

If the location or amount of caches is a problem then is it a problem no matter if it's a challenge,trad....

 

Yes.. PTs are a problem. Challenge caches add that extra layer of problem.

PTs are a problem for some. Challenge caches add that extra layer of problem for some cachers.

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Ahhh... I think you are not understanding what sorts of "shenanigans" I was referring to. I'm talking about cache owners putting out caches with bogus or spurious information simply for the sake of helping others (and themselves) to log certain challenge caches. Sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I'm not referring to bogus logging of challenge caches (or travel bugs)

It's so ridiculous that we're now seeing strings of challenge caches placed with super simple requirements -- hmm, almost as if it to help people achieve the "Log xxx number of challenge caches" challenge cache.

 

I like someone's earlier "race to the bottom" comment. We've seen it with Virtuals, we've seen it with power trails, we've seen it with challenge caches, we've seen it with geoart. The first time it's done, it's cool and creative. Then the competitive nature of people take over. My PT needs to be longer, I want to create a geoart too, I want my challenge cache to be even more arbitrary...Oh, you put out a Fizzy challenge? OK, I'm going to put out a double Fizzy.

 

At some point, creative ideas cross the line from unique to crazy. I'm glad Groundspeak is putting a pause on things to sort out where that "crazy line" is with challenge caches.

 

Geocachers: Give 'em an envelope and they will push it. :P

 

Good one Dog With Glasses.

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With all other physical caches, if you sign the logbook you get to claim your find. If it's a tree climbing cache, you aren't denied your find because someone else climbed to the top and passed the container down. If it's a puzzle you aren't denied your find because someone else solved it and you just tagged along for the ride. If it's a cache on a summit, you aren't denied your find because you took a helicopter instead of hiking to the top. If it's a SCUBA cache and someone else dives down and brings the cache up to the surface for me to sign it? I get to call it a Find.

 

You might call it a find and the cache owner has no right to delete such finds.

 

I will however never consider them as finds that meet the spirit of those caches. I have recently been for the fifth time at a cache where I have solved the puzzle without any help, been at the location fives times (twice alone, three times with someone else), I have signed the logbook and had the container in my hands and I still have not logged a find and will never log a find as I cannot deal with the last 4m to the cache.

 

Your wife can well come along and enjoy the experience and does not need to log a find. If she has so few finds, it will be you anyway who selects the caches to be visited. So it should not be an issue if she has a few caches around which she visited, but does not log as finds.

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I'm reading post after post saying they like challenge caches because they challenge them. I say BS. I like challenge caches because I like being in the elite class that has satisfied that challenge. In other words, I don't like them when they're challenging me: I like them after I've met the challenge. It's entirely elitist even when the challenge can and has been met by a large number of cachers of all stripes.

Well, I'm not a fan of challenge caches, but there a few that I like and I do like them regardless of whether I qualify or whether I will ever be able to visit the cache itself.

An example is this cache

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4BNQQ_challenge-mit-20-uber-300

It asks that one reaches at least 300km with 20 multi caches. Long hiking multi caches are my favourite caches and I like that the challenge above attracts attention to this class of caches.

The same is true for some lonely cache challenges.

 

There is nothing elitist in it at all.

Are you kidding? That's a perfect example of an elitist challenge cache. You do have a good point, though: that's a rare example of a challenge cache that people can enjoy even though they'll never achieve it. Like watching the Masters Golf Tournament, you want to watch the elite play in it even though you'll never play in it yourself. I stand corrected, although most out-of-reach challenges aren't in that class. Who really cares which players have found 100 caches of a type that doesn't exist anymore?

 

Keep in mind, when I call them elitist, it's not a putdown, it's because I enjoy being in that elite. And, oh man, if I met that challenge, I'd be thrilled.

 

No, I'm not kidding.

 

I'd say that more than 90% of the cachers in my country could qualify for such a challenge even in the strict sense (i.e. only including multi caches where they walked the involved distances and did not use other means of transportation) above if they wanted to do so. If other means of transportation are added, the 90% percentage even increases. My physical abilities and fitness level are at the lower edge and there is also always the option to break off a longer cache into several smaller parts.

(For example, an elderly couple broke off a 120km cache into 16 parts - in fact they walked twice the distance because they always went back and forth to be able to come by car.)

 

Of course it is not that attractive to those who prefer many finds as in the time needed to find a cache which spans e.g. 15km one could find 50 caches and more, but that's a not a matter of elitism.

 

The Masters Golf Tournament is a completely different level. That needs special abilities and talent.

 

Of course there is a regional factor. For example, a 800 caches in a day challenge in Nevada is not at the same level as such a challenge in Italy and even less than say in Albania.

 

In areas with hardly any multi caches and even less longer ones, of course a challenge of the type I mentioned would not be a wise thing to do, but that's nothing that is inherent in the challenge itself and nothing that makes it elitist per se.

Edited by cezanne

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If appeals is used to get a challenge archived because "it's to hard/difficult" to meet the requirements then it's time to find another hobby. I don't climb trees or rocks, I don't dive, should I complain about T5 caches that you have to climb/dive for? Certainly not.

 

It looks like appeals is being misused to force certain challenges "off the map" and that's not a good thing.

 

Is this fact or merely conjecture on your part?

 

Not fact, but we can only guess what the problems are that appeals has do deal with.

Maybe one of the lackeys can enlighten us. :ph34r:

 

What I got from the original post was that the challenge submitters were the problem.

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Both are less fair to different people - IF one makes it about competition.

I'm not at all concerned about fairness. I think both are fair, which is why I think COs should be free to choose whichever they want.

I know. As I said, I think fairness is only an issue if it's about competition. If it's not about competition, then fairness isn't an issue. So... yes.

 

Someone who's found thousands of caches has already put in the work (though not directly) to qualify; someone with 50 finds still needs to put in the work. It's not unfair from a personal perspective, because in the end both parties need to put in the work to qualify. It's only unfair if the latter looks and says "but s/he can just go out and log it before me because I still have to do the work!" Is it a competition, or not?

No, it's not a competition, which is why I don't consider fairness an issue at all.

...exactly.

 

But again, the issue with date requirements isn't just fairness (for those for whom it's a competition) - that's essentially a non-issue since competition isn't promoted. But it does change the individual experience between those who've found many thousands and those who've only found a hundred. Cache selection and potentially ability to qualify at all. That would be the main reason date restrictions were removed. The downside is that people with fewer finds who make it about competition will call it unfair because they can't log them as quickly. Oh well. Do the work those already already did. :P

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I agree with those who say if you like challenge caches do them if you don't then ignore them. We have been working on challenge caches that some will take 5 years as a cacher to qualify. I just keep the challenge caches in a database and every once in a while check to see if we qualify.

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What I got from the original post was that the challenge submitters were the problem.

 

It can't be to much of a problem to make a description that makes it clear what the requirements are for a challenge. And even then, it's the reviewer that has to deal with any problems first. As I see it appeals is a "last resort".

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What I got from the original post was that the challenge submitters were the problem.

 

It can't be to much of a problem to make a description that makes it clear what the requirements are for a challenge. And even then, it's the reviewer that has to deal with any problems first. As I see it appeals is a "last resort".

 

My understanding is that it was reviewer complaints that triggered the action.

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Although I am a big fan of challenge caches, I think this moratorium is a good thing. Recently there seems to be a race to the bottom to see who can place the most mind-numbingly stupid challenge.

 

I love challenges too but agree with this statement whole heartedly. If and when challenges return, they should be single dimension. Period. I don't mind if they're difficult to achieve. But it should be limited to ONE single task..

 

Yes

- Find caches in all of the counties

- Find caches on all DeLorme pages

- Find caches on each day of the year

- Find 100 virtuals

- Find all of the active virtuals in your state.

 

No

- Find 100 caches, in five different states, representing 9 different icons, but only when the wind is blowing from the east.

- All Well Rounded Cacher challenges should be immediately archived (even though I usually qualify).

 

Fizzy challenge? Sure

Double Fizzy? Triple? Give it up already.

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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...

 

It's post like this that caused the moratorium.

 

You hate them. You'll never look for them. They don't affect you. But yet you want them gone. Thanks for managing to upset the game for the rest of us.

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Odds are the more caches you found the more apt you will be to qualify for a challenge or at least be closer to qualifying than someone with less or no finds, so what? The one with more finds already put in the effort the one with less finds will have to do, in the end the effort will be similar, heaven forbid someone has to work to earn something.

Geocaching is about finding things at specific locations, not bookkeeping exercises.

 

My wife and I are out and find a cache that happens to be a challenge cache. I get to say I "Found It" because somewhere in my 6000 finds I happen to have found ten caches that start with the letter 'z' that were not found on a Tuesday in the summer, or some other such nonsense. My wife with her 100 finds can't say she Found It because she hasn't met some made-up requirement. That's nothing to do with earning anything. It's a cache that she found and she should be allowed to log it properly.

 

With all other physical caches, if you sign the logbook you get to claim your find. If it's a tree climbing cache, you aren't denied your find because someone else climbed to the top and passed the container down. If it's a puzzle you aren't denied your find because someone else solved it and you just tagged along for the ride. If it's a cache on a summit, you aren't denied your find because you took a helicopter instead of hiking to the top. If it's a SCUBA cache and someone else dives down and brings the cache up to the surface for me to sign it? I get to call it a Find.

 

Hey, I'm a stats geek and I have actually enjoyed going through my old finds to check to see if I qualify for some arbitrary challenge requirements. They've allowed me to look at my caching history in some unique ways that I never would have otherwise. (Some have just been plain tedious!) I've completed a number of challenge caches and even enjoyed some of them. However, enjoyment alone doesn't make something right.

 

It's also not about sitting on your butt in front of a computer and solving puzzles.

 

Earthcaches on average take me longer to complete the "paperwork" than do challenge caches.

 

Actually who are you to decide what geocaching is to me or anyone else?

Edited by Roman!

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Not that I'm surprised but in this thread, where almost all the post are from forum regulars most have problems with challenge caches but in the feedback thread where most the posts are by non forum regulars most enjoy challenge caches.

 

Maybe it's just the "I'm a grumpy old man, get off my lawn" syndrome with the oldtimers.

 

I started paragliding when it was a new sport and we shared the launches and airspace with hangliders, they were convinced this new way of flying would destroy their way of flying, guess what, turns out there's room for both and many pilots now do both.

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I see one of the main complaint being challenge caches have ALRs, so do earthcaches.
ECs don't have a physical log that can be signed. Those are not "additional" logging requirements... they are simply "logging requirements"
Maybe it would help if Challenge Caches were virtual, the same way that EarthCaches are virtual.

 

Now if only there were an organization like the GSA to sponsor challenge caches...

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Like Earthcache reviewers, have a Challenge Cache reviewer team. Yup.

 

Locationless challenges though, not in favour. Managing duplicates would become an issue. Even if published by region. Still a reviewer headache.

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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...

 

It's post like this that caused the moratorium.

 

I doubt it is posts like that causing the moratorium.

 

More likely it is as explained before. Inordinate amount of resources expended on dealing with CO's who are upset about their unpublishable goofy challenge requirements not meeting muster. Inordinate amount of resources expended trying to arbitrate disputes between finders and CO's over the validity of their claims to have met the challenge.

 

Just my take

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If appeals is used to get a challenge archived because "it's to hard/difficult" to meet the requirements then it's time to find another hobby. I don't climb trees or rocks, I don't dive, should I complain about T5 caches that you have to climb/dive for? Certainly not.

 

It looks like appeals is being misused to force certain challenges "off the map" and that's not a good thing.

 

Is this fact or merely conjecture on your part?

 

Not fact, but we can only guess what the problems are that appeals has do deal with.

Maybe one of the lackeys can enlighten us. :ph34r:

 

When you said it looked like that's what was happening I thought you must have some inside information.

 

Turns out you were just guessing.

 

I'm glad about that because it did sound extermely unlikely as the main cause of the pause on Challenge Caches.

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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...

 

It's post like this that caused the moratorium.

 

You hate them. You'll never look for them. They don't affect you. But yet you want them gone. Thanks for managing to upset the game for the rest of us.

 

I do wish people wouldn't try to speak for the unspecified set of 'the rest of us' in their posts. Some of us might be offended at the possibility that others might you are trying to speak on their behalf.

 

On this particular occasion I can confirm that I'm not part of the unspecified set you're talking about - whatever it is.

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Not that I'm surprised but in this thread, where almost all the post are from forum regulars most have problems with challenge caches but in the feedback thread where most the posts are by non forum regulars most enjoy challenge caches.

 

Maybe it's just the "I'm a grumpy old man, get off my lawn" syndrome with the oldtimers.

 

It probably has more to do with the other sub being restricted to insightful, how can we improve, sort of posts and this sub being more open to disagreement than the other sub.

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Not that I'm surprised but in this thread, where almost all the post are from forum regulars most have problems with challenge caches but in the feedback thread where most the posts are by non forum regulars most enjoy challenge caches.

 

That thread is going remarkably well.

Most of the non forum regulars say they do not like streak challenges, xxx finds in a day challenges and challenges that require a lot of travel.

That's good information.

It also looks like many would be happy with a badge or souvenir type of challenge system.

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I had a quick look at that power trail of challenges (and the PT of Letterboxes near it). I've had vague plans for the last couple of years, to go to Florida and see some old friends. Now I reckon those plans will harden up pretty quickly. Can't wait to get over there to tackle them.

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Most of the non forum regulars say they do not like streak challenges, xxx finds in a day challenges and challenges that require a lot of travel.

That's good information.

It also looks like many would be happy with a badge or souvenir type of challenge system.

 

The "many" or "most" mean nothing. There are 100.000's of cachers and a few 10 come here. Many or most should read "a few" or "some"

Edited by on4bam

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Reason for appeals when publishing a Challenge Cache: Reviewer disagrees a reasonable number of other cachers can qualify.

 

Reasons for appeals when logging a Find on a Challenge Cache:

Find 10 caches with a vegetable in the name. Does "tomato" count?

Find a cache in every County in FL. Cache is a couple feet past the county line sign, but GSAK says it's in the other county. I say I qualify, you say I don't.

When I logged a Find on the DT grid challenge, I had a full grid. The next day a CO changed a DT. The day after that you check if I qualify and see a missing DT that wasn't there when I logged.

 

These are just some examples. Brainstorm a little and you can see how it can be a headache.

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This quirk, however, can be easily rectified by allowing a challenge to require the challenge be satisfied only with caches found after the challenge cache is posted. Challenges like that would be heavily biased against high numbers cachers, which I assume is exactly why they aren't allowed, but I think they should be.

 

I think the issue with this isn't about fairness, but avoiding the situation where it becomes impossible for a cacher to complete it.

 

An example... I recently did a challenge cache which required finding a challenge cache in towns in a specific county which start with all letters of the alphabet. There is only one town starting with Z... it has 2 or 3 caches. If the this challenge was issued only allowing finds after the date of the challenge cache publication, then anyone who already found those 3 caches in the Z village can not qualify. They can wait until a new cache is hidden. Another (better) example is find 10 caches in the county hidden pre-2002. If someone has found them all, there will NEVER be new ones.

 

Well I suppose they could delete their old finds and find them again and log the new date. But that deletes history that happened. Or log it a second time with a find.. but that is generally frowned upon.

 

The "all finds count" rule keeps it simple and avoids such issues; that I believe is the reason the guidelines are written as they are.

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Not that I'm surprised but in this thread, where almost all the post are from forum regulars most have problems with challenge caches but in the feedback thread where most the posts are by non forum regulars most enjoy challenge caches.

 

That thread is going remarkably well.

Most of the non forum regulars say they do not like streak challenges, xxx finds in a day challenges and challenges that require a lot of travel.

That's good information.

It also looks like many would be happy with a badge or souvenir type of challenge system.

 

:rolleyes::laughing:

Edited by Roman!

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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'll dispute the "all" claim above. Many of the challenges in my region can be achieved by someone with "merely" hundreds of finds. (Some of the simpler ones: find cache names starting with A-Z in the county, find 5 of the 7 oldest caches in the county, earn 20 souvenirs, find 5 caches in 5 different states/territories.)

 

Then again, I'm not in a region with challenge-crazy cache owners.

 

Fair enough, but given your examples, I would still say that a new-ish user would have had to work specifically toward one of your example challenges in order to log a find with merely hundreds of finds. Highly unlikely that they would have qualified purely by chance. Agreed?

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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'll dispute the "all" claim above. Many of the challenges in my region can be achieved by someone with "merely" hundreds of finds. (Some of the simpler ones: find cache names starting with A-Z in the county, find 5 of the 7 oldest caches in the county, earn 20 souvenirs, find 5 caches in 5 different states/territories.)

 

Then again, I'm not in a region with challenge-crazy cache owners.

 

Fair enough, but given your examples, I would still say that a new-ish user would have had to work specifically toward one of your example challenges in order to log a find with merely hundreds of finds. Highly unlikely that they would have qualified purely by chance. Agreed?

 

Again, so what?

 

The majority of feedback of what people like about challenges is something to work towards, would be pointless if newbies had to qualify for a challenge to be published.

Edited by Roman!

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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.

 

The other challenges, say "Climb this hill", "Water this plant", "Take this picture" .. they had nothing to with geocaching. They were in the same bed as Waymarking. Who is surprised that they didn't work? How many people waymark compared to geocache?

 

Moving the geocache based challenge system away from physical containers and being map listed does not turn it into anything like the defunct challenges.

 

Of course, there would be 'challenges' with determining what duplicates existing challenges. It is possible to design a system that weeds out duplication and mediocrity over time through automated analysis.

 

This is more than just a "Challenges Completed" stat counter. This gets an entire "Challenges" tab next to the "Souvenirs". Some badges from popular challenge types would be here. Some stats based on various challenges. Some progress stats perhaps. Instead of Groundspeak offering a souvenir for finding a mystery cache on Pi day, they now can, also, throw out geocaching challenges that gain a challenge badge on this page. Really, many souvenirs are just challenges. In fact, this system should probably replace souvenirs. We could just look at it as expanding out the souvenir system to be Groundspeak "special" challenges combined with all of the challenges submitted by cachers. The cacher challenges could be voted on to bump them to badge status or they could gain badge status after they get completed so many times.

 

I just cannot imagine writing the database or the query necessary to cover every possible challenge that people could come up with, even with new rules. About the ONLY conceivable way would be to design the database, and then use said database as the constraints for people designing a new challenge cache. Give them dropdowns, checkboxes, or radio buttons based on the possible criteria that your database can deal with, and nothing more. Wouldn't take long for folks to start griping about what it does not allow, because the database design didn't account for it.

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I've only completed a few challenge caches, but those that I did compete I went after because I found them to be interesting and fun. I didn't really realize that there was a problem with the challenge caches, however in looking though the posts here and can quite clearly see that there is problem. Especially when you get into stuff like power trails of Challenge caches I get how that's a problem. Now what I'm here to voice my opinion about is the way the moratorium has been handled. I can understand not wanting to give a lot of advanced notice, because that could lead to reviewers being flooded with low quality challenge caches that they would have to wade though, and that is not fair to them. I totally get that. However, what about those of use that have been planning, refining and creating a really good quality challenge cache submissions. I have been working on putting together a challenge cache for a about year now. I've gained permission for the cache, I've put together the cache page. There are a number of carefully chosen waypoints. I don't want to give away to much of it, but compass bearings have been taken and distances measured and history researched for the cache page. This was no simple task to put together. I've discussed the cache with a reviewer less than a month ago and this person checked it over to make sure that I was within the guidelines and even logged a reviewer note on the cache page. With that log I can prove the time line at least. I made sure my location for the container was ok. Not knowing about the Moratorium I enabled the cache for review on the morning of 4-22-15. Of course moments after that, I learned about the moratorium. I explained my efforts to the reviewer and was told that they were told that there would be no exceptions, if the cache wasn't in the reviewer queue by noon on the 21st it was not able to be published and that's a hard a fast rule regardless of anything else.

 

Again I understand why it was handled the way it was, if more advance notice was given the reviewers would have been flooded with folks that just wanted to get them out. But what about me, I'm sure there are a few other folks in my boat too. I have countless hours over the course of a year setting this cache up, trying to make sure that it is good high quality challenge cache and for what. I find that all my efforts on this one will be for nothing. I really think that there should be some latitude for those of us who were trying to put in the effort, can prove our timeline, and have tried to do the right thing and make a challenge cache that the caching community could enjoy. If I had just whipped it out without regard to creating a well put together cache that I am proud to own, it would be up and running today, but I tried to be the best that I can be, do the right thing and in the end I am feel like I have been punished for it and left with a lot of wasted work, time and effort. It's really unfortunate that the 4-21-15 at noon rule is hard and fast with no exceptions to someone in my situation.

 

Thank you for reading about my point of view,

 

SirKarp

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I've never been a fan of challenge caches, because it's my belief that if you find the cache you get to log it. I always thought they should at least have their own icon, if not a totally different place on the website, similar to benchmarks. I kind of liked the failed geocaching challenges concept, but the way that was rolled out destined it for failure from day one. It could have been fixed to satisfy virtual lovers, along with challenge and locationless fans and I thought it was abandoned too early without fully fleshing out the potential.

 

Some of the early challenges were interesting, such as the Fizzy challenge, but then they started getting so darn bizarre. A thing that annoyed me about challenges was that if you had a Fizzy challenge in your area you'd run into guardrail and Walmart hides and events posted with hard to find Fizzy combinations, regardless of their actual difficulty and/or terrain. That affected me as a cacher. I'd see a high terrain/difficulty cache and think I'm in for a special experience only to encounter a lamp post in a Home Depot placed specifically for certain challenge cache seekers. If you posted a challenge where you had to find 100 caches with Ferdinand in the name, someone would hide a power trail of caches with Ferdinand in their name, often under another account so the CO could log them to fulfill the challenge. It all became so silly to me and also helped foster the focus on geocaching as a numbers game.

Edited by briansnat

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I've only completed a few challenge caches, but those that I did compete I went after because I found them to be interesting and fun. I didn't really realize that there was a problem with the challenge caches, however in looking though the posts here and can quite clearly see that there is problem. Especially when you get into stuff like power trails of Challenge caches I get how that's a problem. Now what I'm here to voice my opinion about is the way the moratorium has been handled. I can understand not wanting to give a lot of advanced notice, because that could lead to reviewers being flooded with low quality challenge caches that they would have to wade though, and that is not fair to them. I totally get that. However, what about those of use that have been planning, refining and creating a really good quality challenge cache submissions. I have been working on putting together a challenge cache for a about year now. I've gained permission for the cache, I've put together the cache page. There are a number of carefully chosen waypoints. I don't want to give away to much of it, but compass bearings have been taken and distances measured and history researched for the cache page. This was no simple task to put together. I've discussed the cache with a reviewer less than a month ago and this person checked it over to make sure that I was within the guidelines and even logged a reviewer note on the cache page. With that log I can prove the time line at least. I made sure my location for the container was ok. Not knowing about the Moratorium I enabled the cache for review on the morning of 4-22-15. Of course moments after that, I learned about the moratorium. I explained my efforts to the reviewer and was told that they were told that there would be no exceptions, if the cache wasn't in the reviewer queue by noon on the 21st it was not able to be published and that's a hard a fast rule regardless of anything else.

 

Again I understand why it was handled the way it was, if more advance notice was given the reviewers would have been flooded with folks that just wanted to get them out. But what about me, I'm sure there are a few other folks in my boat too. I have countless hours over the course of a year setting this cache up, trying to make sure that it is good high quality challenge cache and for what. I find that all my efforts on this one will be for nothing. I really think that there should be some latitude for those of us who were trying to put in the effort, can prove our timeline, and have tried to do the right thing and make a challenge cache that the caching community could enjoy. If I had just whipped it out without regard to creating a well put together cache that I am proud to own, it would be up and running today, but I tried to be the best that I can be, do the right thing and in the end I am feel like I have been punished for it and left with a lot of wasted work, time and effort. It's really unfortunate that the 4-21-15 at noon rule is hard and fast with no exceptions to someone in my situation.

 

Thank you for reading about my point of view,

 

SirKarp

 

That sounds like a great cache, and one that would be enjoyable to many finders. Why not skip the challenge limit on who can log the find, and publish it as you would any other cache?

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Some of the early challenges were interesting, such as the Fizzy challenge, but then they started getting so darn bizarre.

I consider the original Fizzy challenge to be one of the more bizarre challenges. In addition to completing the D/T grid, those 81 finds must include at least one icon from each of the 9 specified icon types. And all of those 81 finds have to be caches that were published before 6 April 2007.

 

But I don't have problems with bizarre challenges per se.

Edited by CanadianRockies

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I've only completed a few challenge caches, but those that I did compete I went after because I found them to be interesting and fun. I didn't really realize that there was a problem with the challenge caches, however in looking though the posts here and can quite clearly see that there is problem. Especially when you get into stuff like power trails of Challenge caches I get how that's a problem. Now what I'm here to voice my opinion about is the way the moratorium has been handled. I can understand not wanting to give a lot of advanced notice, because that could lead to reviewers being flooded with low quality challenge caches that they would have to wade though, and that is not fair to them. I totally get that. However, what about those of use that have been planning, refining and creating a really good quality challenge cache submissions. I have been working on putting together a challenge cache for a about year now. I've gained permission for the cache, I've put together the cache page. There are a number of carefully chosen waypoints. I don't want to give away to much of it, but compass bearings have been taken and distances measured and history researched for the cache page. This was no simple task to put together. I've discussed the cache with a reviewer less than a month ago and this person checked it over to make sure that I was within the guidelines and even logged a reviewer note on the cache page. With that log I can prove the time line at least. I made sure my location for the container was ok. Not knowing about the Moratorium I enabled the cache for review on the morning of 4-22-15. Of course moments after that, I learned about the moratorium. I explained my efforts to the reviewer and was told that they were told that there would be no exceptions, if the cache wasn't in the reviewer queue by noon on the 21st it was not able to be published and that's a hard a fast rule regardless of anything else.

 

Again I understand why it was handled the way it was, if more advance notice was given the reviewers would have been flooded with folks that just wanted to get them out. But what about me, I'm sure there are a few other folks in my boat too. I have countless hours over the course of a year setting this cache up, trying to make sure that it is good high quality challenge cache and for what. I find that all my efforts on this one will be for nothing. I really think that there should be some latitude for those of us who were trying to put in the effort, can prove our timeline, and have tried to do the right thing and make a challenge cache that the caching community could enjoy. If I had just whipped it out without regard to creating a well put together cache that I am proud to own, it would be up and running today, but I tried to be the best that I can be, do the right thing and in the end I am feel like I have been punished for it and left with a lot of wasted work, time and effort. It's really unfortunate that the 4-21-15 at noon rule is hard and fast with no exceptions to someone in my situation.

 

Thank you for reading about my point of view,

 

SirKarp

 

That sounds like a great cache, and one that would be enjoyable to many finders. Why not skip the challenge limit on who can log the find, and publish it as you would any other cache?

 

I really think it is great cache, but the whole idea was that getting to find this unique cache would be the reward to meeting the challenge criteria, which myself I have met many times over. You wouldn't be able to meet it's goal in one day but it's not particularly hard either. I didn't want it to be really hard, but I did want it to be a reward so to speak. Yes, I could publish it as open to everyone, but again the basis of this was to be a mild challenge and after all the work I have done I'd really like to see it published in the form I intended it to be. Instead I'm left feeling like I have had a portion of this cache taken away from me and like I have got the short end of the stick.

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Instead I'm left feeling like I have had a portion of this cache taken away from me and like I have got the short end of the stick.

 

You did get the short end of the stick in this case. Along with the other owners who have been working on challenge caches but didn't get them submitted by the deadline. But, GS has made their stance and there will be no exceptions. So, the choice now is to either publish it as a different cache type, archive the listing and move on or wait out the year and see if it still meets the guidelines for challenge caches. I imagine it's a pretty hollow feeling when all that work and preparation kind of goes up in smoke.

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I've never been a fan of challenge caches, because it's my belief that if you find the cache you get to log it.

 

For me qualifying for a challenge is no different than solving the puzzles of puzzle caches I visit, reaching the hideout of a cache on my own (and not logging finds if someone else did the climb etc).

 

It could have been fixed to satisfy virtual lovers, along with challenge and locationless fans and I thought it was abandoned too early without fully fleshing out the potential.

 

I do not agree - I think most challenge cache lovers like the non virtual aspect involved.

 

Some of the early challenges were interesting, such as the Fizzy challenge, but then they started getting so darn bizarre.

 

That again shows how subjective the term interesting is. Fizzy challenges belong to the most boring challenge caches from my point of view. They are completely arbitrary from my point of view. Filling D/T grids has no meaning to me while e.g. going for 10 multi caches hikes with a length of at least 20km has (that's not an actual challenge cache requirement, just an example).

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Instead I'm left feeling like I have had a portion of this cache taken away from me and like I have got the short end of the stick.

 

You did get the short end of the stick in this case. Along with the other owners who have been working on challenge caches but didn't get them submitted by the deadline. But, GS has made their stance and there will be no exceptions. So, the choice now is to either publish it as a different cache type, archive the listing and move on or wait out the year and see if it still meets the guidelines for challenge caches. I imagine it's a pretty hollow feeling when all that work and preparation kind of goes up in smoke.

 

Thank you, I appreciate the fact that you can see that, it seems like few do. I don't know what I will do with the cache at this point, it would seem like such a waste to archive it. And to publish it as a different cache type seems like a huge compromise.

Edited by SirKarp

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Instead I'm left feeling like I have had a portion of this cache taken away from me and like I have got the short end of the stick.

 

You did get the short end of the stick in this case. Along with the other owners who have been working on challenge caches but didn't get them submitted by the deadline. But, GS has made their stance and there will be no exceptions. So, the choice now is to either publish it as a different cache type, archive the listing and move on or wait out the year and see if it still meets the guidelines for challenge caches. I imagine it's a pretty hollow feeling when all that work and preparation kind of goes up in smoke.

 

There is another option. You have done the work to find a perfect spot and secure permission, it would be a shame to alter the cache to suit or simply archive it. Why not put a "placeholder cache in? Doesn't have to be anything elaborate, traditional with a regular container but it secures GZ as yours. Cache permanence shouldn't be a problem as challenges are on hold for 12 months and guidelines say a cache should be in place for minimum 3 so when challenges are back on you can archive the placeholder and enable the challenge.

 

I know it's not a perfect solution but it allows you to keep the original cache as intended.

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Maybe it would help if Challenge Caches were virtual, the same way that EarthCaches are virtual.

 

Now if only there were an organization like the GSA to sponsor challenge caches...

 

How could the challenges be virtual? How could they be bound to the listing coordinates like EarthCaches do?

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but it allows you to keep the original cache as intended.

 

You are an optimist. If challenge caches ever will return, I believe them to return in a quite changed way.

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They don't affect you. But yet you want them gone. Thanks for managing to upset the game for the rest of us.

 

You are so wrong on that point. Bad balanced challenge caches affect the whole community in numerous very negative ways. Virtual discovering on everything found on private groups is the one example. Constant quarrels about logging own caches published on sockpuppet accounts are another. Grid challenges are even worse, because D/T rating is already very broken and setting arbitrary values only for grids make it even more broken. And those are just a few examples.

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You are so wrong on that point. Bad balanced challenge caches affect the whole community in numerous very negative ways.

 

So do "trowaway" traditionals, PT's... Nothing to do with challenges except not everyone qualifies to go find the challenges. The large amount of (for me) meaningless trads in a 10 Km radius affects my caching too. We're driving further away from home year by year to find nice multi's (bike in summer, walk in winter).

 

So, no matter what type of cache is hidden, it always affects somebody. I'd love to see a one year moratorium on trads behind a lamppost/utitypole/roadside chapel :ph34r:

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This is more than just a "Challenges Completed" stat counter. This gets an entire "Challenges" tab next to the "Souvenirs". Some badges from popular challenge types would be here. Some stats based on various challenges. Some progress stats perhaps. Instead of Groundspeak offering a souvenir for finding a mystery cache on Pi day, they now can, also, throw out geocaching challenges that gain a challenge badge on this page. Really, many souvenirs are just challenges. In fact, this system should probably replace souvenirs. We could just look at it as expanding out the souvenir system to be Groundspeak "special" challenges combined with all of the challenges submitted by cachers. The cacher challenges could be voted on to bump them to badge status or they could gain badge status after they get completed so many times.

 

+1

 

With the existing reward mechanism for challenge caches (you get to log a find on another cache) the online log is the only indicator that one has completed the challenge, and it's buried amongst the logs from everyone else that has completed it. With a separate "Challenges/Achievement" tab on can see every challenge/achievement they've completed all in one place.

 

 

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