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Pause on New Challenge Caches

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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.

 

I'm not sure about the "shadow" part. The challenge is the same, the current description has much more detail, more clearly states the challenge perameters and has added helpful links. The original owner wrote a clean, basic and quite humorous page - she was good at that and her cache logs were fun to read too. The current page is a result of the many questions that can pop up with a complex challenge. It is a fun challenge.

 

The coordinates were moved about the State every once in awhile, to the great annoyance of the locals.

 

The coordinates were moved around in order to introduce this fun challenge to other parts of the state. I don't see why it would have been an annoyance as it was easy enough to put it on our watchlists - it's been on mine for about 11 years. Final containers for challenges had not yet become a requirement so moving it around did not present any physical problems for completing the challenge.

 

I'm not sure what I think about going back to "virtual" challenges, as you say. Maybe it would be a good idea but it seems like some level of committment would be lost. I got bored quickly with chasing down finals for challenges we qualified for years ago, especially when they are duplicated in multiple areas of our state and the ones next door too. I doubt, though, that I would start virtually logging the same set of qualifying caches over and over if the final requirement were dropped.

 

I love the DeLorme and County challenges particularly because they encouraged us to visit all parts of the states we chose to explore.

 

I agree with this moratorium. It is good to step back and take a serious look at lack of "wow factor" in the many weird challenges that are popping up. The good ones are getting buried.

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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

 

These are Note logs.

 

This is allowed by HQ for people who are working toward completion and happen to be in the area of the final. They will log finds after completing the requirements.

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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.

Yes, this is correct. Definitely not all, but certainly significantly more than half are such that someone with a few thousand finds is likely to qualify out of the box while anyone else would have to work hard for it. 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.

 

(stopping short of saying that challenge caches are elitist :P)

Funny you should mention this, because in the other thread, 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.

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There should be also some distance rule for challenges. For example, at least 2 km from any other challenge, at least 20 km from challenge of the same type (for example, challenge requiring given numberf of D/T combination) and at least 200 km between practically identical challenges.

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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.

 

Would anybody really care?

 

Probably not.

 

Would replacements with the same requirements immediately spring up.

 

Probably.

Edited by Team Microdot

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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. .

Edited by Roman!

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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.
I'm confused. Why would anyone need a premium membership to work towards a challenge cache (except for PMO challenge caches, of course). And why would the moratorium on new challenge caches affect anyone's work towards existing challenge caches? And why would anyone need premium membership to place a cache?

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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....

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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.

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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.

 

While the idea above is nice, that are exactly those kind of challenges that makes the most problems for Groundspeak.

 

First of all, the challenge is already not allowed because it is based on the information that is not available on Groundspeak site. There's only an attribute, that cache is longer than 10km, with no information about the length of multi.

 

While such information might be placed in listing, it's not the rule, and that information may be absolutely arbitrary. Many multis have hidden waypoints, so the owner would have to 'believe' that the finder has measured it well. If I make a multi, I can make the sideway to other caches, turning 5 km multi into 10 km one.

 

There are no rules how far the final can be from start coordinates, so you can imagine someone makes multi that have 1 stage in, say, Vienna, and the final is near Berlin. So you can claim such challenge as completed with single multi without hike, and 29 no-matter-which. If the owner will show dislike by deleting the log, the appeal to Groundspeak would most likely result, which is exactly what Groundspeak wants to prevent.

 

I find it good to make challange, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

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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.

 

While the idea above is nice, that are exactly those kind of challenges that makes the most problems for Groundspeak.

 

I do not agree and I do not know of any problem that showed up with the example cache.

Of course some people can log the cache for example by choosing one very long cache done by car and adding 29 short multis. Such finds have to be accepted.

It's however pretty clear what's the spirit of the cache and trying to qualify while meeting the spirit is what I regard as the nice idea.

(By the way, I reached the >300km with 2 pure hike multis one around 180 km and another around 120km).

 

I find it good to make challange, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

That would be a different challenge. 10km is a bit short and something which is quite a normal multi cache for me - nothing special to remember in most cases. One even can do at least two of them per day.

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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.

 

While the idea above is nice, that are exactly those kind of challenges that makes the most problems for Groundspeak.

 

I do not agree and I do not know of any problem that showed up with the example cache.

 

So I find that challenge and say Here are 20 multis and I walked 300km, the owner says "no those 20 multis look very short and you didn't walk 300km", I say I did, they say I didn't, it gets sent to Groundspeak for appeal - how on earth can they verify the distance covered in the multis I did? Most multis I've done have either no indication of the lengh, or they're very approximate. That's why they cause problems for groundpeak, whereas a challenge that simply says "find 20 multis" is quickly and easily verifiable by looking at my stats tab.

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I find it good to make challenge, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

The same goes for all other requirements. D/T ratings sometimes don't make sense, attributes are sometimes not correct. There is no fool proof way to make sure the requirements are 100% met. Even challenges that require cached in xx countries (statistics kept in your gc profile) can have logged "armchair" virtuals in countries you never set foot in. There's no way you can be 100% sure about anything as people even log caches online they never found.

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We have a challenge cache in the works, just need to add attributes, parking coords, etc.

We have already been assigned a GC# for it. Does the "pause" affect it? May we complete the listing and send it to our local reviewer?

 

Not unless it's already been submitted for review...

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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.

 

Well, I think you are both right...

 

In general (taking the set of challenges as a whole), a cacher with lots of finds will have a greater probability of already qualifying than a new cacher.

 

Some of those challenge caches will require large numbers of finds - e.g. a challenge which says "you must have found 5000 caches". These are not the majority though. I'll call this type 1.

 

Many others do not require a large number of finds, and can be easily done by a newbie.. BUT a cacher with 1000s of finds will have a greater chance of already qualifying. An example is find 20 caches with "cat" in the title. One of those was recently published, and I checked and found I already (just) qualified. I have ~5000 finds. The more finds, the greater chance of already qualifying by random chance. Many challenges are like this. I'll call this type 2.

 

Even for ones which are location based, there is an advantage for higher number finders in that location area. E.g. an experienced, high number cacher in RI would have a greater chance of already qualifying (or being close to qualifying) than a newbie.

 

There may be some challenges where the criteria is so specific that it is very unlikely that anyone will already qualify - even if they had 100,000 finds. Call this type 3.

 

I don't see "type 2" as elitist or an issue. Sure, the newbie might have to find 20 caches with "cat" while the old timer already did it by chance. But it is still relatively easily achievable by the newbie.

 

The "type 1" challenges I don't like as they are discouraging to newbies.

 

On the topic of "elitist", many challenges can be seen as elitist as not all will be able to do them. One I'm working on is finding 7 cache types in 7 countries. To start with, that requires travel to 7 countries that not everyone can easily do. It's not related to high numbers - you only need 49 finds. But it's not easy....

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I love challenge caches! They often give me ideas for my caching plans and make me look for specific caches when I'm out and about, rather than just getting the numbers up (Unless the challenge is about numbers!) Not all the challenges are for me, however, but part of caching is recognisimg your limits and staying safe within them. For example, just because a challenge asks for 10 caches of D/T 5/5, it doesn't mean that I HAVE to do the challenge or that it shouldn't be allowed just because I myself don't want to do it. Different strokes for different folks.

 

I don't think that a new icon is neccesary as it is more an attibute than a different cache type. Chirp caches don't get a different icon, for example, jjust an attribute; they're just a different type of traditional cache. An attribute would make them easier to search for too, as not all of them actually have the word "challenge" in the title!

 

However, I do wonder whether there should be a ruling that you shouldn't place a challenge that you don't qualify for yourslf. I sometimes wonder about some of the more extreme challenges!

 

Currently, there is nothing to stop anyone from finding and logging a challenge cache if they don't qualify. Not sure there's a way around this unless a Geochecker type thing can reveal the coordinates only when you've qualified?

 

One last point- most challenges tend be quite, well...challenging! How can we enourage people to place challenge caches that appeal to more poeple, especialy to newbies or occassional cachers? For example, find 500 caches in total; find a cache on every day of the week; find a cache for 10 consecutive days.

 

Happy caching!

Edited by Tentmantent

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It's interesting to note how many people want challenge caches to have their own icon so they can put them on their ignore list, but tend not to realize that it will probably have two unintended consequences. One - it will probably spawn even MORE challenges - find X # of challenges in a day, in a row, in a month, in a year, find one on every placed date, every day, COTC, etc... Two - all those possible new challenge caches will now occupy their own 528 ft. diameter GZ that could have been used to place a different type of cache that they would have gone after but now won't because they automatically ignore it.

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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. .

 

This is already the case. You cannot force anyone to do anything more than find the cache and sign the log. You can challenge them but nothing more.

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Two - all those possible new challenge caches will now occupy their own 528 ft. diameter GZ that could have been used to place a different type of cache that they would have gone after but now won't because they automatically ignore it.

 

Nothing new. There are already areas completely occupied by mystery clusters. When multis at least require some effort to make, mysteries can be produced in batch. And many of them are the mysteries of the kind, where you need to know an aswer to solve them (in other words, no logical thinking or research will bring you ever closer, you need either to guess or to ask someone else).

 

I wouldn't mind making extra distance requirement for ALL mysteries including challenges, because of that. Sometimes it seems that mysteries are made only to draw some picture, sometimes they are simply made to proove people they won't be able to guess the solution alone. And most of them have nothing to do with geocaching (so by solving them, you learn nothing about geocaching or about the area where they are placed).

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Nothing new. There are already areas completely occupied by mystery clusters. When multis at least require some effort to make, mysteries can be produced in batch. And many of them are the mysteries of the kind, where you need to know an aswer to solve them (in other words, no logical thinking or research will bring you ever closer, you need either to guess or to ask someone else).

 

I know it wasn't anything new. I'm just stating that it's one more thing people who want to ignore (choose your cache type) will now ignore and won't want to look for. It's taking up yet another location that might have held a cache type they would attempt to look for.

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Two - all those possible new challenge caches will now occupy their own 528 ft. diameter GZ that could have been used to place a different type of cache that they would have gone after but now won't because they automatically ignore it.

 

Look at the infinite number of micro's "thrown" around these days, they occupy a 161m radius also and guess what, they too get ignored.

 

I wonder how big a "problem" these challenges are anyway. My "not found" database for Belgium has more than 22200 caches in it, 118 of them are challenges (0.5%). On the other hand there are still 15000+ traditionals I haven't found and way more than 118 are not even worth picking up.

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So I find that challenge and say Here are 20 multis and I walked 300km, the owner says "no those 20 multis look very short and you didn't walk 300km", I say I did, they say I didn't, it gets sent to Groundspeak for appeal - how on earth can they verify the distance covered in the multis I did? Most multis I've done have either no indication of the lengh, or they're very approximate. That's why they cause problems for groundpeak, whereas a challenge that simply says "find 20 multis" is quickly and easily verifiable by looking at my stats tab.

 

I do not think that most appeal cases deal with cachers who get challenge find logs deleted, but rather with cache owners who get their challenge caches rejected by a reviewer.

I do not think that the cache I referred to created a single appeal case.

There is so much arguing about what could happen in theory.

 

Independently from the challenge topic more length attributes or even better a field for the cache length would be nice to have. >10km is simply not fine enough to select long distance hiking caches.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I wonder how big a "problem" these challenges are anyway. My "not found" database for Belgium has more than 22200 caches in it, 118 of them are challenges (0.5%). On the other hand there are still 15000+ traditionals I haven't found and way more than 118 are not even worth picking up.

 

The problem as described by Groundspeak is in the annoucement

 

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

 

Lots of people like challenge caches, lots do not. Those that do not may have other reasons why they find them a problem, but the official reason is that this small percentage of caches are causing a disproportionate amount of appeals.

 

And appeals aren't just work for Groundspeak. Appeals often involve aggravation or annoyance... e.g. someone gets their log deleted on a challenge cache as the CO doesn't believe they qualify, or accept the evidence of qualification... finder thinks they do quality. Finder appeals. If he/she wins, the CO is likely to be annoyed. If he/she loses, the finder will likely be annoyed. Annoyance/aggravation isn't good for business.

 

And that is why I don't object to what Groundspeak did, even though I like challenge caches.

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I do not think that the cache I referred to created a single appeal case.

There is so much arguing about what could happen in theory.

 

Probably not. Because it's quite far away.

 

Try to publish something like that in the middle of big geocaching area, and you'll get problems very quickly.

 

If not appeals, than forum flame wars.

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I do not think that the cache I referred to created a single appeal case.

There is so much arguing about what could happen in theory.

 

Probably not. Because it's quite far away.

 

Quite far away from what?

 

While I do not live there, I regularly visit the area around Marburg/Lahn which is not too far from the cache and I'm reasonably familiar with

the situation there.

 

Try to publish something like that in the middle of big geocaching area, and you'll get problems very quickly.

 

Publishing such a cache in an area where no longer hiking caches exist does not make sense anyway.

 

If not appeals, than forum flame wars.

 

In many areas most cachers are not active in any sort of forums and moreover what happens in forums and on social media pages is hardly relevant when it comes to what caches make

sense on gc.com.

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

 

OK, I read that but wonder about the appeals.

As I see it, it's pretty straightforward. A CO creates a challenge with requirements he fulfills. Cache get published if all rules are met. No appeals there. If rules are not met... correct the cache and stop whining <_<

 

Cacher goes out to find challenge and proves he meets requirements. Logs find...

CO checks requirement and sees cacher meets requirements. No appeals here

CO checks requirement and sees cacher fails to prove he fulfills requirements, CO contacts cacher and cacher still fails. Log gets deleted. Unless cacher is 100% sure >> appeals (if you care enough about that 1 point) if not, stop whining and try to fulfill requirements <_<

 

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.

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Log gets deleted. Unless cacher is 100% sure >> appeals (if you care enough about that 1 point) if not, stop whining and try to fulfill requirements

 

The problem is, by many challenges you can never be 100% sure how to understand the requirements. We don't speak about challenges of type 'find 500 earthcaches' or 'find 200 large caches' because it's quite obvious who fulfills or who not.

 

We speak about caches like those that Cezanne has given. Make 300km doing 20 multis. OK, I'd probably qualify. The longest multi I've made had maybe 5 km, but I've made much more on the way there and back. My usual free day hike is from 20 to 40 km. But hey, the owner says, he thought only about the distance between the stages. So what, he haven't written that. And that information is not given in GPX. And it's not written it's the shortest way between stages. I've made the longer one so I qualify. You delete my log, I'll appeal.

 

Or the challenge like find one cache each day for 300 days, or find 200 caches a day. OK, no problem, I'm back from my 5-day trip, I log all caches on one day, or on every trip I log one cache for yeasterday and for the tomorrow. My log on the site is the same as log in logbook. Hey, actually nowhere is written they need to be the same, or that I need to log in logbook with date. You delete my log, I'll appeal.

 

It's not forbidden to log own caches. Even if most cachers don't do that for statistics, they are inclined to do that for challenges, especially for those most stupid, like 'find all caches for all alphabet letters, including those the most exotic'. Owner dislike it and deletes log => appeal.

 

So if you say the situations where the cacher can't be 100% sure if he qualify or not are very rare, you haven't seen many challenge listings.

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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.

 

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

 

Last time I checked, caches were published by reviewers. Before there is an appeal, there has to be a rejection by a volunteer reviewer. They had to do enough homework to justify the rejection.

 

My company makes money. But if 50% of our expenses were for 1% of our business, we would quit doing that business. Businesses that don't do that don't stay in business.

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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"

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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?

 

Please go back and re-read my post, Roman!

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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.

Your first example is moot: Existing challenge caches are still viable.

Edited by knowschad

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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?

 

Please go back and re-read my post, Roman!

 

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.

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I find it good to make challenge, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

The same goes for all other requirements. D/T ratings sometimes don't make sense, attributes are sometimes not correct. There is no fool proof way to make sure the requirements are 100% met. Even challenges that require cached in xx countries (statistics kept in your gc profile) can have logged "armchair" virtuals in countries you never set foot in. There's no way you can be 100% sure about anything as people even log caches online they never found.

 

Exactly!!! And these, I believe, are some of the issues that Groundspeak is hoping to address during this timeout. Challenge caches encourage such shenanigans.

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I find it good to make challenge, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

The same goes for all other requirements. D/T ratings sometimes don't make sense, attributes are sometimes not correct. There is no fool proof way to make sure the requirements are 100% met. Even challenges that require cached in xx countries (statistics kept in your gc profile) can have logged "armchair" virtuals in countries you never set foot in. There's no way you can be 100% sure about anything as people even log caches online they never found.

 

Exactly!!! And these, I believe, are some of the issues that Groundspeak is hoping to address during this timeout. Challenge caches encourage such shenanigans.

 

so do travel bugs, there are way more shenanigans involved with them.

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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.

Well yes, I suppose the point in between specific coordinates and no location would be regional categories.

I'd waffle on that one... but if there'd be a restriction on duplicates within a region, then all it would take is one person to come up with all the 'good' ideas and stop anyone else from creating any. Any type of creation that restricts others from creating would become a competitive process. I don't think that would go either. Plus, without a physical container and location, people could create them willy nilly - unless creation is throttled. Again, back to Geocaching Challenges.

 

Honestly, I can't see "Challenge Caches", as the concept stands, exist in any other form without the qualification included along with the task requirement.

 

And yes I'm all for a metric that allows display of challenges completion stats, which isn't possible, in an automated form, with the current system. (see challenge stars)

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I find it good to make challenge, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

The same goes for all other requirements. D/T ratings sometimes don't make sense, attributes are sometimes not correct. There is no fool proof way to make sure the requirements are 100% met. Even challenges that require cached in xx countries (statistics kept in your gc profile) can have logged "armchair" virtuals in countries you never set foot in. There's no way you can be 100% sure about anything as people even log caches online they never found.

 

Exactly!!! And these, I believe, are some of the issues that Groundspeak is hoping to address during this timeout. Challenge caches encourage such shenanigans.

 

Here's another way to look at it, challenge cache owners are a lot more vigilant in making sure there are no shenanigans going on.

 

As a CO I verify all claims of achieving the challenge and check the log book as well.

 

As a cacher having done many challenges I have been on three occasions contacted but a CO due to the fact I made a mistake documenting and asked to fix it.

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Exactly!!! And these, I believe, are some of the issues that Groundspeak is hoping to address during this timeout. Challenge caches encourage such shenanigans.

so do travel bugs, there are way more shenanigans involved with them.

Travel bugs don't encourage people to post bogus D/T ratings, publication dates, silly cache names. etc. that I'm aware of.

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So I find that challenge and say Here are 20 multis and I walked 300km, the owner says "no those 20 multis look very short and you didn't walk 300km", I say I did, they say I didn't, it gets sent to Groundspeak for appeal - how on earth can they verify the distance covered in the multis I did? Most multis I've done have either no indication of the lengh, or they're very approximate. That's why they cause problems for groundpeak, whereas a challenge that simply says "find 20 multis" is quickly and easily verifiable by looking at my stats tab.

 

1) I do not think that most appeal cases deal with cachers who get challenge find logs deleted, but rather with cache owners who get their challenge caches rejected by a reviewer.

2) I do not think that the cache I referred to created a single appeal case.

3) There is so much arguing about what could happen in theory.

 

...

Cezanne

 

1) perhaps you're right, but at the same time the reviewer should question how the CO proposes to verify the qualification of finders on that cache, and as I don't think it's possible to do it for this example then this one might well end up being rejected and appealed to GC if it were published more recently. (caveat I can't read German so I'm going by your very brief description of the challenge qualification).

 

2) Again you may be right, but how would you know anyway unless it's your cache? However GeoLog81 commented that this was "the type" of cache that causes problems, and I think he's right.

 

3) But it's not theory, the OP stated that Challenges account for the majority of appeals to GC, which is something I've heard repeated by individual reviewers who all want something to be done about them.

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PnG Trail of 100 Challenge Caches:

https://www.geocachi...-80.941333&z=12

That is a good argument for a permanent moratorium. A total perversion of challenges.

 

Howso? I'd see that stretch of challenge and have two options:

A] Head out and find them all, bookmark the whole series, and then go caching as normal. As I return to my list of found-but-unqualified challenge caches occasionally to check if I qualify, log any I do as found.

B] Spend an evening or two and jot down the requirements for all the challenges, and compose a plan of attack so I can do some targeted geocaching over the next couple of months and really strive to complete the goals, then head out and find and log them all.

 

Some may like A. Some may like B. Some may not like any at all. Why take away what some love? That whole stretch is an enormous catalog of geocaching goals to set out to accomplish! As are these and these Challenge-ED (easy level).

 

It was inevitable that people would eventually come up with series of ideas for challenges and publish them all.

If someone loves geocaching, there's nothing that stops them from going out to find them and sign the log; it's just the state of that final smiley count that's in question.

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I find it good to make challenge, that require to make at least 30 multis with attribute 'hike more that 10km', however, the problem is, you can put that attribute even on 1-stage 100-m multi, and there's no way to force CO not to do that.

 

The same goes for all other requirements. D/T ratings sometimes don't make sense, attributes are sometimes not correct. There is no fool proof way to make sure the requirements are 100% met. Even challenges that require cached in xx countries (statistics kept in your gc profile) can have logged "armchair" virtuals in countries you never set foot in. There's no way you can be 100% sure about anything as people even log caches online they never found.

 

Exactly!!! And these, I believe, are some of the issues that Groundspeak is hoping to address during this timeout. Challenge caches encourage such shenanigans.

 

Here's another way to look at it, challenge cache owners are a lot more vigilant in making sure there are no shenanigans going on.

 

As a CO I verify all claims of achieving the challenge and check the log book as well.

 

As a cacher having done many challenges I have been on three occasions contacted but a CO due to the fact I made a mistake documenting and asked to fix it.

 

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)

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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.

Yep, the date requirement makes the difference between a challenge and an achievement. Both are less fair to different people - IF one makes it about competition. 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?

 

If it's not a competition, then 'fairness' in that sense shouldn't be a factor.

However, the stronger reason for removing the date restriction I believe is because of cache selection, not how fast one can qualify after publishing. With thousands of finds and a date restriction, the seleciton of caches one can use may be greatly reduced, and so in the end the amount of work needed by a veteran is actually much more than someone who's barely touched all the caches that may qualify. In some cases, a challenge with a date restriction could be impossible for someone who's already found the qualifying caches.

 

So even if it's not about competition, the date restriction posed a problem. Now, the only problem without the date restriction is if someone has a sense of competition.

 

Funny you should mention this, because in the other thread, 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.

 

I call BS on your BS. I like challenge caches both because of being challenged and being in the group that has met and completed the challenge B) (if I can make the cut!)

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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.

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So if you say the situations where the cacher can't be 100% sure if he qualify or not are very rare, you haven't seen many challenge listings.

 

I've done 57. They were all pretty clear. XX type XX caches found, XX TBs logged, XX Km from home, XX countries, XX D/T ratings, N+E+S+W distance at least xx Km, XX days with founds in different countries, Alfabet ...

 

Just as with EC's I take great care making sure my logs/answers are 100% and I hold the principle "in in doubt, don't log".

So far I've exceeded the requirements for all challenges logged so in the unlikely event there's a problem, I have spare founds :lol:

 

If a listing is unclear I think it's up to the reviewer to make sure the challenge can not be misunderstood. Many CO's post an extract of their log proving they fulfilled the requirements themselves making it easier for cachers to include their own data.

 

As for the example with the 20 multi distance, why not make it very clear how to measure the distance by stating that distance is measured from P (or start) back to the start. In case of doubt a GPS track might do the trick although not everyone keeps their tracks (I do keep my GPS data, WPs and tracks, of our trips).

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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

 

None of those are "found it" logs.

 

Mrs. Car54

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One last point- most challenges tend be quite, well...challenging! How can we enourage people to place challenge caches that appeal to more poeple, especialy to newbies or occassional cachers? For example, find 500 caches in total; find a cache on every day of the week; find a cache for 10 consecutive days.

 

Be one of those people :)

No really, place a series of caches (or single one) that's intended to be easier, a beginner challenge. You'd probably be surprised how many newcomers might find it and express delight that there was finally a challenge cache within reach they could log :P That may even encourage them to create and place as well.

Just like being a positive influence in your community socially for geocaching, you can help to make your local cache landscape more appealing by placing caches you think would be appealing to newcomers.

 

It's easy for us who've bene around for a long time to get jaded. What used to be a rare awesome find is now common and run of the mill, so we start placing more and more difficult caches... leaving those beginners out in the cold. Sometimes we need to think back and place some for those people too; we were once there, and we only had the people we are now to thank for putting out the caches we found highly enjoyable, even though they probably thought they were pretty boring and run of the mill :)

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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.

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A couple other ideas.

 

There are volunteer reviewers, for geocaches and another group for Earthcaches. What if there's a group who specifically review challenge caches? Split the workload.

 

Secondly, I sort of understand the minimum requirement of say listing at least 10 people who have completed the proposed challenge. It's an arbitrary number, but geocaching is growing both in community size worldwide and in age. As such, the spread of statistics, experience, knowledge, and capabilities makes challenges harder and harder to make 'accessible' to everyone. A few people are 'cream of the crop' as it were in find count or well-roundedness, but if they start putting out challenges that are for their own level of experience, then that leaves out the rest of the community who have a heck of a way to go.

 

This minimum requirement would be a wavering standard based on an very roughly estimated average of the (localized) geocaching community - a bar that makes sure a decent number of people are at least still within reach of qualifying. If 50 people in a region are friends and have a few ten thousand finds in a few years, but 10000 other cachers in the region, old and new, are still hovering in the <4000 range, then even 10 people who qualify might be too high a bar; the area could get saturated by challenge caches most people won't qualify for perhaps years.

 

So I can understand why that bar is being set now. When geocaching was young (relatively speaking) or most everyone was still in the sub-10000 find range, the bar wasn't as big an issue; most everyone already had any stat within reach. But in 5 years from now, the median experience will be soaring while the average will likely be sticking around down in that low range - more people, with most not making the activity a central part of their daily lives, or even giving up after a few hundred. That's already the case.

 

I think as time goes on, challenges will be less appealing to the veterans - nothing will really be challenging any more. And for those who place challenges, they'll be torn between getting more and more difficult, or keeping them achievable to the average cacher. And that bar will probably be increasing slowly as time goes on.

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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

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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!

 

It may not be a GC guideline but i believe our reviewer already requires this.

 

Except for the arguement that these are tough on reviewers, i still don't see what the problem is. A person should just walk away when they see a challenge cache, any cache for that matter, that they think is rediculous, silly, or too tough.

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