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Keep Challenges but maybe make them souvenirs


ifamember
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Making challenge caches souvenirs doesn't help anyone except those fixated on souvenirs. GS and reviewers would still have the headaches, i suspect even more than they have now.
Maybe. Maybe not.

 

If the new Challenge Souvenirs/Badges don't affect saturation (because there is no physical cache associated with them), then maybe they don't need the level of review that Challenge Caches require. That would indeed address the issues Groundspeak has with the current form of Challenge Caches.

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Problem here is that GS doles them out like crazy. They could be special, and memorable, if they actually represented something worthwhile. Getting souvenirs for finding a cache every day in August,, gimme a break. I doubt very many people look at a souvenir they have and think, wow, i did so and so cache to get that one.

 

Souvenirs aren't worthless to those who like em. But in the case of this thread, i think most of us probably agree that they are worthless as a substitute for a find log.

Exactly. I'd think that the daily cache in August souvenir isn't a souvenir per se (in the sense of memorable token of some place), and more akin to the OPs suggestion of challenge souvenirs (tokens/badges) or something.

But again, yeah remove challenge caches and only continuing with the idea of the August caching 'souvenirs' (however implemented) but for select statistical achievements - pretty much kills off challenge caching as we know it. Not a good solution, imo.

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Making challenge caches souvenirs doesn't help anyone except those fixated on souvenirs. GS and reviewers would still have the headaches, i suspect even more than they have now.

Maybe. Maybe not.

 

If the new Challenge Souvenirs/Badges don't affect saturation (because there is no physical cache associated with them), then maybe they don't need the level of review that Challenge Caches require. That would indeed address the issues Groundspeak has with the current form of Challenge Caches.

I don't think saturation is very high on Groundspeak's list of challenge cache reviewing concerns. In fact, they went out of their way to note that challenges make up fewer than one percent of the caches out there.

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Getting souvenirs for finding a cache every day in August,, gimme a break. I doubt very many people look at a souvenir they have and think, wow, i did so and so cache to get that one.

 

Depends on the souvenir.

 

When I look at this one,

 

36f95d05-7681-41a3-9085-2b05d20a4fd9.png

 

I'm reminded of the day I drove out from San Antonio with a rented bicycle,

 

f30f7b2d-9667-45cc-bb36-1d66ae20f421.jpg

 

parked my car on the Amistad Dam (to avoid Mexican insurance issues), and rode 5 miles out to visit this old Aztec rain god.

 

61071b4c-5295-4a68-bd21-9bb680877ef7.jpg

 

But you're saying to yourself, I was talking about the every day in August souvenir series from 2013. I won't say they all do, but some of those do in fact have meaning for me. I was trying to get all of them, but I missed three. The gap from 7-9 August reminds me of the birth of our daughter, Carey, and the souvenir on the 11th reminds me of taking her to find her first cache, across the street from the hospital where she was born.

 

9e37059e-7336-4fed-b6be-2d883b25ed6f.jpg

 

(Admittedly, I did all the work.)

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Baloney. You don't get to decide the relative worth of a souvenir for someone else.

I'm sorry you got the impression that I was telling anyone how to view souvenirs. I was responding to someone whose position is that souvenir's are worthless, so I accepted that premise. If I suggested in anyway that my accepting that premise for the purposes of that response meant that everyone else had to also accept the premise in all cases, I apologize for saying something so stupid.

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I don't think saturation is very high on Groundspeak's list of challenge cache reviewing concerns. In fact, they went out of their way to note that challenges make up fewer than one percent of the caches out there.
My point isn't that the problems with challenge caches are problems with saturation.

 

My point is that if challenge badges/souvenirs don't affect saturation, then they could be published with less reviewing, perhaps without any reviewing. If the reviewing is reduced, then that WILL address the problems Groundspeak has with challenge caches.

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I don't think saturation is very high on Groundspeak's list of challenge cache reviewing concerns. In fact, they went out of their way to note that challenges make up fewer than one percent of the caches out there.

My point isn't that the problems with challenge caches are problems with saturation.

 

My point is that if challenge badges/souvenirs don't affect saturation, then they could be published with less reviewing, perhaps without any reviewing. If the reviewing is reduced, then that WILL address the problems Groundspeak has with challenge caches.

I'm not sure how challenge badges/souvenirs replacing physical challenge caches solves reviewer issues such as whether a challenge is attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers, whether the requirements are succinct and easy to understand, whether the requirements cause geocachers to negatively alter their caching habits, whether the challenges are based on non-accomplishments, whether the challenges are based on competitive factors, etc.

 

Of course, Groundspeak could decide to toss all those guidelines for challenge badges/souvenirs, but they just as easily could opt to do that with future physical challenge caches to avoid all those reviewer issues. However, I don't see them doing so in either case.

Edited by CanadianRockies
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My point is that if challenge badges/souvenirs don't affect saturation, then they could be published with less reviewing, perhaps without any reviewing. If the reviewing is reduced, then that WILL address the problems Groundspeak has with challenge caches.

 

I could not disagree more strongly. Under your proposal, both challenge caches and souvenirs will be utterly ruined.

 

Souvenirs need to be curated to have any value at all, IMO. Groundspeak curates them very nicely now; your proposal of no curation at all would immediately result in thousands of crappy new souvenirs for worthless "achievements." I wouldn't view "earning" one of those souvenirs any kind of reward; in fact, I would be annoyed by the lack of options to ignore the really bad ones. I believe many others would feel the same way, resulting in more work for Groundspeak.

 

At the same time, challenge caches, by being lumped into the morass of now-worthless souvenirs, would likewise lose all value. It would be absolutely equivalent to banning challenge caches.

 

So if your desire it to destroy as much as you can of what other people enjoy, your proposal is very effective. If the goal is to fix the problems articulated by Groundspeak, it fails very badly.

Edited by fizzymagic
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My point is that if challenge badges/souvenirs don't affect saturation, then they could be published with less reviewing, perhaps without any reviewing. If the reviewing is reduced, then that WILL address the problems Groundspeak has with challenge caches.

 

I could not disagree more strongly. Under your proposal, both challenge caches and souvenirs will be utterly ruined.

 

Souvenirs need to be curated to have any value at all, IMO. Groundspeak curates them very nicely now; your proposal of no curation at all would immediately result in thousands of crappy new souvenirs for worthless "achievements." I wouldn't view "earning" one of those souvenirs any kind of reward; in fact, I would be annoyed by the lack of options to ignore the really bad ones. I believe many others would feel the same way, resulting in more work for Groundspeak.

 

At the same time, challenge caches, by being lumped into the morass of now-worthless souvenirs, would likewise lose all value. It would be absolutely equivalent to banning challenge caches.

 

So if your desire it to destroy as much as you can of what other people enjoy, your proposal is very effective. If the goal is to fix the problems articulated by Groundspeak, it fails very badly.

 

Honestly, i'm really hoping this stuff stays right here. I hate to think that GS might actually entertain the idea of somehow adding souvenir acquisition to challenge caches.

 

While i'm here,,,, HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone!

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Happy new year!

 

Honestly, i'm really hoping this stuff stays right here. I hate to think that GS might actually entertain the idea of somehow adding souvenir acquisition to challenge caches.
I am not a Lackey or a volunteer reviewer, and I don't play one on TV, but my guess is that existing challenge caches will stay the way they are. According to what Groundspeak representatives have written, it isn't the existing challenge caches that are causing the problems. It's the workload of new challenge cache submissions.

 

At the same time, I don't expect new challenge caches listings to resume without significant changes. If the status quo were an option, then Groundspeak wouldn't have needed a one-year moratorium on new submissions.

 

So the question is, how can geocaching-related tasks/accomplishments be promoted and recognized, without incurring the review/appeal workload that challenge caches create?

 

I think Groundspeak curating challenge caches is part of the problem. That's what drives the review/appeal workload. And if challenges (in whatever form) need to be curated to have any value at all, then I think challenges are doomed. If they are going to return, then they need to return in a form that doesn't require Groundspeak to play the role of curator.

 

Some sort of challenge badge system could work. Such badges are already available from various sources, ready to be added to one's geocaching.com profile, and Groundspeak does not curate them in any way. And maybe that's where we're headed, where all challenges are third-party challenges (except the grandfathered challenge caches). But IMHO, it would be nice if Groundspeak could support some sort of challenge system that doesn't require them to curate the challenge listings.

Edited by niraD
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I'm thinking there is a middle ground for all this. I like Challenges, but do most of my geocaching while I travel. So, I like challenges that are not area specific. Ones that can be fulfilled all over the US and not restricted to a small area (collect all the geocaches in a specific city or county). Those small area challenges are restricted to a small number of cachers who live close enough to spend the time to complete them. So, challenges should be such that anyone can complete the challenge (spell out United States of America with first letter of various caches and only have to visit home cache to complete it or collect caches with colors from 8 pack of crayola crayons in them).

 

For souvenirs, you could incorporate a souvenir into some challenges (collect a geocache in all 50 states to get a USA souvenir, collect a geocache from all European countries to get the Europe souvenir, etc.). This sets up the souvenirs for all cachers and not s specific small group in a specific area. I also like the way they are doing it now for specific days that are not nation specific. That keeps it global and not US specific.

 

As a newby, this is my opinion and I know there are many old school cachers that have more relevant concerns.

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I'm thinking there is a middle ground for all this. I like Challenges, but do most of my geocaching while I travel. So, I like challenges that are not area specific. Ones that can be fulfilled all over the US and not restricted to a small area (collect all the geocaches in a specific city or county). Those small area challenges are restricted to a small number of cachers who live close enough to spend the time to complete them. So, challenges should be such that anyone can complete the challenge (spell out United States of America with first letter of various caches and only have to visit home cache to complete it or collect caches with colors from 8 pack of crayola crayons in them.

If those are the kinds of challenges that you most enjoy, then please go out and enjoy them. But why would you want to deny area-specific challenges to those of us who like those types? I loved finding caches in every county of Alberta (and in Utah, when we traveled there). I was thrilled to find caches in 60 Alberta provincial parks (and in 4 Utah national parks).

 

One of the things I most like about geocaching is its flexibility to appeal to many different folks with many different preferences. I'd hate to lose the ability to shape this activity to suit my tastes.

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So the question is, how can geocaching-related tasks/accomplishments be promoted and recognized, without incurring the review/appeal workload that challenge caches create?

Again, this isn't the question. While it's true that challenge caches can be used to promote and recognize geocaching-related tasks and accomplishments, that's not the reason I seek them, and I doubt I'm alone. As I've said a couple times so far, replace challenge caches with something else that's nothing like challenge caches except that it can also be used to promote and recognize, and most likely from my point of view all you've done is ban challenge caches.

 

I'm thinking there is a middle ground for all this. I like Challenges, but do most of my geocaching while I travel. So, I like challenges that are not area specific. Ones that can be fulfilled all over the US and not restricted to a small area (collect all the geocaches in a specific city or county). Those small area challenges are restricted to a small number of cachers who live close enough to spend the time to complete them. So, challenges should be such that anyone can complete the challenge (spell out United States of America with first letter of various caches and only have to visit home cache to complete it or collect caches with colors from 8 pack of crayola crayons in them).

I know what you mean, and I prefer challenge caches that are not tied to an area, but that just means I don't do them. It would never occur to me to use the fact that I can't normally accomplish them when I'm caching out of area to defend not allowing them at all.

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So the question is, how can geocaching-related tasks/accomplishments be promoted and recognized, without incurring the review/appeal workload that challenge caches create?

Again, this isn't the question. While it's true that challenge caches can be used to promote and recognize geocaching-related tasks and accomplishments, that's not the reason I seek them, and I doubt I'm alone. As I've said a couple times so far, replace challenge caches with something else that's nothing like challenge caches except that it can also be used to promote and recognize, and most likely from my point of view all you've done is ban challenge caches.

 

We've seen what happened to Challenges. They were a miserable failure from the get-go. I had no enthusiasm for them when I saw how awkward they were to engage in (e.g. You find there's a Challenge to find a cache a sunrise and take a selfie. So you find a cache at sunrise, take your picture, go home to log it THEN accept the Challenge and then log the completed. Weird.) Some people did like them and gathered as many as possible before they were wiped from the face of the site with the proclamation "We'll make better mistakes tomorrow."

 

It's that resolution and spirit (or lack thereof) which worries me. I have given considerable thought to what has happened to the game in the past 15 years, to try to see where it's going. Players innovate - some players cause a problem - Groundspeak takes the innovation away. I'd rather we address the problems than try finding fancy new ways to denote you've accomplished something or Challenges Caches may be demoted to Waymarking.

 

I'm thinking there is a middle ground for all this. I like Challenges, but do most of my geocaching while I travel. So, I like challenges that are not area specific. Ones that can be fulfilled all over the US and not restricted to a small area (collect all the geocaches in a specific city or county). Those small area challenges are restricted to a small number of cachers who live close enough to spend the time to complete them. So, challenges should be such that anyone can complete the challenge (spell out United States of America with first letter of various caches and only have to visit home cache to complete it or collect caches with colors from 8 pack of crayola crayons in them).

I know what you mean, and I prefer challenge caches that are not tied to an area, but that just means I don't do them. It would never occur to me to use the fact that I can't normally accomplish them when I'm caching out of area to defend not allowing them at all.

 

A valuable insight I gained at the GeoWoodstock in Carnation, Washington: Geocaching means different things to different people. You demote any aspect of it at the risk of demoting the value of the game overall.

 

I was inactive (busy accumulating cycling injuries) when the fuss developed over Virtuals. Seems there were craptacular Virtuals being created so a measure of "Wow Factor" was introduced to prevent many less worthy Virtuals. Which at the time seemed fair and reasonable as an approach. In the end the Frog threw its hands in the air and brought an end to new Virtuals - which I still find very grating - a forewarning of what could happen to Challenge Caches.

 

I'm years (and no small amount of change) into a couple big Challenge Caches and if they were wiped away the way Challenges were I'd be mightily angry. I have labored at some, what I'd call "lame challenge caches" but that's subjective to me, I thought they were overly complicated and arbitrarily created so a CO could have more Challenge Caches. While I don't value some Challenge Caches I do worry an effort to remove or limit them may follow the pattern of Virtuals - so if you don't like them, don't do them.

 

As to recognizing an accomplishment - I'd be totally cool with creating a new icon and allowing COs to leave their Challenge Caches (grandfathering) as Unknown or switch Cache Type to the new icon. I think that's about the way Solomon would have gone about it.

 

As to the creation of new ones - perhaps the discretion of completion determination could be left in the hands of reviewers - e.g. you come up with some Challenge Cache requirement of 77 Cache Finds On The Day of a Blue Moon During a Month With an 'R' in it then you'd possibly be required to provide a means for people to show how they have done this. I'm a coder by trade and have found I often have to write programs to see if I've qualified, but that's largely because I'd be going through a backlog of 10K+ finds, not something I could do by hand in a short amount of time. GSAK and My Geocaching Profile have offered up means to see some stats, perhaps the Challenger would be required to show how resolution could be accomplished through these tools, perhaps even having to write a macro for GSAK (heh heh).

 

Lastly, and probably why we are here - the stink erupting when a geocacher, claiming a find, and the cache owner lock horns over qualification - the reviewers want not part of adjudicating and GSHQ doesn't either. How do we resolve this? A volunteer panel of ombudsmen? Can GSHQ accept a body of GeoJurists? I think something like that is where we need to look for the solution. All this Souvenir and Badge stuff is outside the main issue.

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While it's true that challenge caches can be used to promote and recognize geocaching-related tasks and accomplishments, that's not the reason I seek them, and I doubt I'm alone. As I've said a couple times so far, replace challenge caches with something else that's nothing like challenge caches except that it can also be used to promote and recognize, and most likely from my point of view all you've done is ban challenge caches.
If a return to the pre-moratorium status quo is the only acceptable option, then I think you'll be disappointed. Something must change to reduce/eliminate the burden of reviewing and appealing challenge caches, or (IMHO) Groundspeak will probably just grandfather all the existing challenge caches and be done with it.

 

So what is it that you value about geocaches that goes beyond promoting and recognizing geocaching-related tasks/accomplishments? And how can that be preserved/enhanced while reducing/eliminating the burden of reviewing and appealing challenge caches?

 

I'm years (and no small amount of change) into a couple big Challenge Caches and if they were wiped away the way Challenges were I'd be mightily angry.
I think Groundspeak recognizes this, and I don't expect existing challenge caches to go away. For one thing, a lot of people are working on challenge caches that will take significant time/resources to complete. For another, the existing challenge caches are not the problem, according to what Groundspeak insiders have written.

 

While I don't value some Challenge Caches I do worry an effort to remove or limit them may follow the pattern of Virtuals - so if you don't like them, don't do them.
This makes a cute bumper sticker, but it doesn't address the real problem. The existing challenge caches aren't the problem. The problem is the workload created by the new submissions, and "if you don't like them, don't do them" doesn't help reduce this workload.

 

As to recognizing an accomplishment - I'd be totally cool with creating a new icon and allowing COs to leave their Challenge Caches (grandfathering) as Unknown or switch Cache Type to the new icon.
I think that it's past time for challenge caches to have their own cache type. But again, a new cache type doesn't address the problem created by the workload of reviewing/appealing new challenge caches.

 

Lastly, and probably why we are here - the stink erupting when a geocacher, claiming a find, and the cache owner lock horns over qualification - the reviewers want not part of adjudicating and GSHQ doesn't either.
As I understand it, that isn't the problem at all. The problem is the workload of reviewing/appealing new challenge caches.

 

IMHO, whatever change is made must get Groundspeak out of the job of curating challenge caches.

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Lastly, and probably why we are here - the stink erupting when a geocacher, claiming a find, and the cache owner lock horns over qualification - the reviewers want not part of adjudicating and GSHQ doesn't either.
As I understand it, that isn't the problem at all. The problem is the workload of reviewing/appealing new challenge caches.

 

IMHO, whatever change is made must get Groundspeak out of the job of curating challenge caches.

 

Again, the prospect of a Shout Out for new volunteers for a job seems reasonable. Call them Pre-Viewers or such, their job would be to vet prospective new Challenges - our wonderful current reviewers wouldn't see a Challenge until such time as a Pre-Viwer forwards it on to them. Establish some guidelines and adapt them as necessary as we go forward. I always feel this would have been a great way to mitigate Virtuals, but I never hear any lackey respond to this.

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Again, the prospect of a Shout Out for new volunteers for a job seems reasonable. Call them Pre-Viewers or such, their job would be to vet prospective new Challenges - our wonderful current reviewers wouldn't see a Challenge until such time as a Pre-Viwer forwards it on to them.

 

The above is my favorite solution as well, but I have discovered that there are potential legal problems with it. Volunteers cannot, except in very specific cases, work as unpaid employees of a for-profit company.

 

It would work if there were a geocacher-run nonprofit foundation that would approve the challenges (like the Geological Society of America for earthcaches) and Groundspeak could agree to publish challenge caches that met their criteria.

 

But in order to be legal, the group must not be some kind of shell entity directed by Groundspeak. It would, ideally, arise spontaneously from cachers wanting to promote the idea of challenge caches.

 

Anybody want to start something like this?

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Again, the prospect of a Shout Out for new volunteers for a job seems reasonable. Call them Pre-Viewers or such, their job would be to vet prospective new Challenges - our wonderful current reviewers wouldn't see a Challenge until such time as a Pre-Viwer forwards it on to them.

 

The above is my favorite solution as well, but I have discovered that there are potential legal problems with it. Volunteers cannot, except in very specific cases, work as unpaid employees of a for-profit company.

 

It would work if there were a geocacher-run nonprofit foundation that would approve the challenges (like the Geological Society of America for earthcaches) and Groundspeak could agree to publish challenge caches that met their criteria.

 

But in order to be legal, the group must not be some kind of shell entity directed by Groundspeak. It would, ideally, arise spontaneously from cachers wanting to promote the idea of challenge caches.

 

Anybody want to start something like this?

 

I've offered my services before, but in this instance, perhaps I could bring it up with our local Geocaching group and see if there is interest in springboarding it.

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Again, the prospect of a Shout Out for new volunteers for a job seems reasonable. Call them Pre-Viewers or such, their job would be to vet prospective new Challenges - our wonderful current reviewers wouldn't see a Challenge until such time as a Pre-Viwer forwards it on to them.

 

The above is my favorite solution as well, but I have discovered that there are potential legal problems with it. Volunteers cannot, except in very specific cases, work as unpaid employees of a for-profit company.

 

It would work if there were a geocacher-run nonprofit foundation that would approve the challenges (like the Geological Society of America for earthcaches) and Groundspeak could agree to publish challenge caches that met their criteria.

 

But in order to be legal, the group must not be some kind of shell entity directed by Groundspeak. It would, ideally, arise spontaneously from cachers wanting to promote the idea of challenge caches.

 

Anybody want to start something like this?

 

I've offered my services before, but in this instance, perhaps I could bring it up with our local Geocaching group and see if there is interest in springboarding it.

 

This sounds familiar to something I mentioned in another thread, although the idea sprung from something I had read in another post that I haven't been able to find. A 'challenge panel' or some such that would review the 'challenge' aspect of a challenge cache submission, while the volunteer reviewers would review the regular aspects of the cache placement.

 

I'm in for helping if this idea gains traction.

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This sounds familiar to something I mentioned in another thread, although the idea sprung from something I had read in another post that I haven't been able to find. A 'challenge panel' or some such that would review the 'challenge' aspect of a challenge cache submission, while the volunteer reviewers would review the regular aspects of the cache placement.
Yeah, too bad that other thread was locked. But here's a quote from your post...

 

I've also been thinking about the 'dedicated CC reviewers' idea that was mentioned in one of the many CC threads, which I can't find right now. I can see how that might be helpful.

-- The regular Reviewer would check for the objective stuff (ie, required components of cache listing, saturation, etc).

-- If that's approved, then the listing is pushed to the 'Challenge Cache Panel' (I'm making up a name). This 'Panel' would evaluate the subjective aspects of the CC submission (ie, too similar to other CC's or not, reasonably attainable or not, requires changing caching behavior or not, etc). If there are issues here, then that Panel communicates with the CO. The regular Reviewer doesn't have to deal with it and there are no appeals to GS beyond the 'Panel'.

I'd have the challenge reviewed before the cache itself, given that the review/appeal of challenges is what is causing problems for Groundspeak now, but that's a quibble.

 

And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

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And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

 

See the last line...the CO can communicate with the panel, but if the challenge aspect of the cache is denied and the CO is unwilling to alter the challenge, then that's it. No challenge cache.

I've also been thinking about the 'dedicated CC reviewers' idea that was mentioned in one of the many CC threads, which I can't find right now. I can see how that might be helpful.

-- The regular Reviewer would check for the objective stuff (ie, required components of cache listing, saturation, etc).

-- If that's approved, then the listing is pushed to the 'Challenge Cache Panel' (I'm making up a name). This 'Panel' would evaluate the subjective aspects of the CC submission (ie, too similar to other CC's or not, reasonably attainable or not, requires changing caching behavior or not, etc). If there are issues here, then that Panel communicates with the CO. The regular Reviewer doesn't have to deal with it and there are no appeals to GS beyond the 'Panel'.

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And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

The easiest way to reduce the workload from appeals is simply to not allow appeals. That would allow a few decent challenge caches to be unfairly rejected by some reviewers, but that's way better than the current situation where all challenge caches are rejected unfairly.

 

Are you sure the main problem isn't the appeals of logs? As far as I can see, if conflicts over satisfying the requirements isn't the primary concern, then there's really no reason to put any limits at all on challenge caches beyond the standards all caches are held to. On the other hand, if the main concern is logs being rejected arbitrarily, the principle solution would be tight restrictions in the review process. If that's the situation -- who can tell? -- then it's probably important to keep log appeals in mind while discussing the review process since the work in the review process is intended to vastly reduce the work in the log appeals process.

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For me as new in this forum I couldn't read the whole discussion in short time but my first thought of replacing challenge caches by souvenirs or badges is: NO!

Ok, maybe some of the standard CC (fill data matrix or D/T matrix) could also get a souvenir, but most of fun CC couldn't be replaced by that.

There are a lot CC like, for example, find 10 caches with a German fairy-tale in title.

These are the most funny challenge caches, it is hard to implement a challenge checker for them but they should be stay. Looking for fulfilling the requirements is a nice game but can be seen as another task as it is the case in other unknown caches. A new icon would be a much better idea for it.

Edited by MasterFred
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And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

The easiest way to reduce the workload from appeals is simply to not allow appeals. That would allow a few decent challenge caches to be unfairly rejected by some reviewers, but that's way better than the current situation where all challenge caches are rejected unfairly.

 

 

Who decides what is unfair and what is fair? Not allowing appeals doesn't change the fairness of the decision. It just changes who makes it. niraD's proposal does the same thing, but instead of a reviewer being burdened with the decision of deciding whether or not a challenge meets the requirements, a panel makes that decision and the reviewer only needs to determine if the cache placed complies with other criteria such as proximity to other caches, permission, commercial/agenda issues, etc.

 

 

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For me as new in this forum I couldn't read the whole discussion in short time but my first thought of this is: NO!

Mpok, maybe some of the standard CC (fill data matrix or D/T matrix) could also get a souvenir, but most of fun CC couldn't be replaced by that (for example the make Frankensteins Monster Challenge mentioned above)

These are the most funny challenge caches, it is hard to implement a challenge checker for them but they should be stay.

 

First of all, I haven't seen any indication that any existing Challenge caches will be eliminated and even those that have been the most critical of Challenge caches have not called for their archival.

 

When a reviewer reviews any other cache type, the fun (or funny) factor is not considered when determining whether or not a cache should or should not be published. One of the primarily reasons for the moratorium on challenge caches is due to the number of appeals that GS was seeing related to Challenge caches. If reviewers based their decision on whether or not a Challenge caches should be published based on their very subjective view of whether or not it would be fun, the number of appeals would likely increase significantly.

 

 

 

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And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

 

It would work like Earthcaches, as I said above.

 

Groundspeak does not, AFAIK, get involved with appeals of Earthcaches. Any appeals process goes through the GSA, not geocaching.com. It would work the same way for some independent challenge review board. Groundspeak would agree to list any caches approved by the board; any appeals process would be up to the independent board, and not involve Groundspeak.

 

So, as far as geocaching.com is concerned, problem solved.

Edited by fizzymagic
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First of all, I haven't seen any indication that any existing Challenge caches will be eliminated and even those that have been the most critical of Challenge caches have not called for their archival.

 

Nevertheless it's still an interesting question what happens with existing CC after moratorium. It's possible they get grandfathered but it's even still possible they should subordinate to new rules what wouldn't be a problem if they only have to change icon but what would mean mass archiving if they should implement a challenge checker or something similar.

It would be fair if GS would say that no NEW complicated CC are published due to enormous workload for reviewers but dealing with existing CC still isn't clarified unfortunately (concluding for example of the questions in the survey)

Edited by MasterFred
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First of all, I haven't seen any indication that any existing Challenge caches will be eliminated and even those that have been the most critical of Challenge caches have not called for their archival.

 

Nevertheless it's still an interesting question what happens with existing CC after moratorium. It's possible they get grandfathered but it's even still possible they should subordinate to new rules what wouldn't be a problem if they only have to change icon but what would mean mass archiving if they should implement a challenge checker or something similar.

It would be fair if GS would say that no NEW complicated CC are published due to enormous workload for reviewers but dealing with existing CC still isn't clarified unfortunately (concluding for example of the questions in the survey)

 

I think there are four possible outcomes

 

1. Lift the moratorium, but create some changes to the requirement/guidelines and processes for how challenge caches are reviewed.

2. Create a ban on all new challenge caches but allow existing challenge caches to be grandfathered.

3. Lift the moratorium and continue allowing challenge caches as they were before the moratorium.

4. Create a ban on all new challenge caches *and* archive all existing challenge caches as being in violation of a rewritten ALR (additional logging requirement) rule.

 

My guess is that the most likely outcome will be #1 and a reasonable possibility that it could be #2. I doubt that #3 or #4 are seriously be considered.

 

Fortunately, despite some heated exchanges most of the threads discussing the Challenge cache moratorium have been based on the assumption that the outcome will be some form of #1.

 

The problem with your suggestion for what would be fair (no NEW complicated challenges) is that "complicated" is just as subjective as "attainable". The link that fizzymagic just posted includes the following text:

 

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

 

The subjectivity, in this case, is largely due to the guideline which stipulated that a challenge cache has to be attainable by a reasonable number of geocachers. You can substitute "not complicated" for "attainable" and you're still going to have the same issue with subjectivity.

 

 

 

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And this would address the workload from the review of challenges. But what can address the workload from the appeals of challenges? (Again, it's appeals of new challenge cache listings that were denied, not appeals of logs that were deleted for not meeting requirements.)

The easiest way to reduce the workload from appeals is simply to not allow appeals. That would allow a few decent challenge caches to be unfairly rejected by some reviewers, but that's way better than the current situation where all challenge caches are rejected unfairly.

Who decides what is unfair and what is fair? Not allowing appeals doesn't change the fairness of the decision. It just changes who makes it. niraD's proposal does the same thing, but instead of a reviewer being burdened with the decision of deciding whether or not a challenge meets the requirements, a panel makes that decision and the reviewer only needs to determine if the cache placed complies with other criteria such as proximity to other caches, permission, commercial/agenda issues, etc.

I don't recall what niraD proposal you're thinking of, but in this post that I responded to, he asked what could address the work load, so I assumed he didn't have a way himself. I'm fine with a panel, or a czar, or a lackey, but no matter what, someone is deciding what's fair, and we have to assign that role to someone. I could care less who decides as long as someone does: reviewer, panel, czar, lackey, I think any of them would be similarly reasonable. But the current situation is unreasonable: all are rejected, which is as unfair as possible.

 

Are you sure the main problem isn't the appeals of logs?

Yes. According to Groundspeak that was not the major issue, although clarity in stating requirements was mentioned.

Actually, now that you mention that, that page doesn't specifically say that the appeals that caused the problem were only the appeals of rejected caches, although I see how it could be read that way. But in any case, they already had fairly strict guideline restrictions, so if found log appeals weren't a big burden, it was only because they'd already moved the burden from there to the cache submission process. The main thing I'm pointing out is that another simple solution to the submission appeal burden would be to simply allow any challenge cache -- no appeals if none are rejected -- but that would leave the way open for unresolvable arguments between COs and seekers.

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It would be fair if GS would say that no NEW complicated CC are published due to enormous workload for reviewers but dealing with existing CC still isn't clarified unfortunately (concluding for example of the questions in the survey)

The challenge cache guidelines already allow for the rejection of complicated challenges:

 

The requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document. A lengthy list of "rules" would be sufficient reason for a challenge cache to not be published.
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The more I think about it the more I think that the souvenir idea will be logistically impossible for Groundspeak to program. And this is not a jab at my fellow .NET programming peers.

Agreed. Though not really impossible, I think just not really feasible, unless they move to make challenge caching a very significant and distinct aspect of geocaching.com, with a good amount of development time. If the financial gain from putting that amount of development into the system offsets the cost, then maybe. But highly unlikely.

 

I also think NYPaddleCacher's #1 or #2 will be a most likely result of this moratorium, but one option I think missed was GS developing a relatively small new feature which while not completely addressing every issue with CC, does in some way aid in reducing appeals workload (on publishes or logs, or whatever). That might be an option, but until we hear from GS about what they may be planning in the coming year, it's all entirely community theory based in these thread discussions.

 

Definitely don't see challenge caching disappearing entirely from geocaching though.

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

We don't need challenge caches, just as we don't need puzzle caches (or insert the cache type you don't prefer) to enjoy geocaching. But they add an extra kick to an enjoyable sport for those who want it.

 

Take this question of need to the logical end, and any cache type that is non-traditional should/could/would be removed from the game. Geocaching started with finding a container at the listed co-ords, so why do we need anything added to that to enjoy geocaching?

 

Why do we need them? To make an enjoyable sport even more so.

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

 

We know you don't like challenge caches. But i have to ask, why do they bother you so much? Do they really cause you this much grief? If so, how?

 

The only thing i can think of is that they're too difficult to log finds on. If this is the case, are you one of those who thinks you have to find every cache? Just trying to understand here because i find it hard to believe that their existence causes very many problems as a whole. This especially since they are such a small percentage of the total geocaches out there.

 

For reviewers, yes there are problems at this time. Mainly because there are more guidelines which make the review process more thorough. Reviewers are tasked with having to make decisions about difficulty that they shouldn't have to make. On top of that, they have to put up with people who think their cache should be published no matter what. These are the people who hound the reviewer and/or appeal to Groundspeak when their caches don't meet current guidelines.

 

For geocachers, i can think of maybe two things. That a challenge cache might take up space that their cache could have been placed or,, that they don't offer up easy smilies for those people who are in the game for numbers. I figure the latter is the main reason.

 

While we're asking,,,

Why do we need caches placed every .10 miles to enjoy geocaching?

Why do we need parking lot caches to enjoy geocaching?

Why do we need multicaches to enjoy geocaching?

Why do we need mystery/unknown caches to enjoy geocaching?

Why do we need event caches to enjoy geocaching?

 

The answer is certainly obvious.

Edited by Mudfrog
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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

 

We know you don't like challenge caches. But i have to ask, why do they bother you so much? Do they really cause you this much grief? If so, how?

 

I'm guessing that it's the additional logging requirement part that SF is addressing.

 

So perhaps the question is.....Why do we need ALRs?

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

We know you don't like challenge caches. But i have to ask, why do they bother you so much? Do they really cause you this much grief? If so, how?

I'm guessing that it's the additional logging requirement part that SF is addressing.

 

So perhaps the question is.....Why do we need ALRs?

To (essentially) quote The Jester: "We don't need challenge [ALRs], just as we don't need puzzle caches (or insert the cache type you don't prefer) to enjoy geocaching. But they add an extra kick to an enjoyable sport for those who want it."

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The more I think about it the more I think that the souvenir idea will be logistically impossible for Groundspeak to program. And this is not a jab at my fellow .NET programming peers.

Agreed. Though not really impossible, I think just not really feasible, unless they move to make challenge caching a very significant and distinct aspect of geocaching.com, with a good amount of development time. If the financial gain from putting that amount of development into the system offsets the cost, then maybe. But highly unlikely.

 

As a programmer myself, I agree nothing is impossible. My "logistically impossible" is more in line with your "not feasible". When considering the large pool of challenges and how they are editable by a CO, I am not sure how you'd be able to maintain any semblance of control over the relationship between cache(s) and souvies.

 

Still like my idea.. allow challenges with a single dimension, no matter how easy or difficult. Disallow everything else.

Edited by Rock Chalk
Removed unnecessary namecalling
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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

Take this question of need to the logical end, and any cache type that is non-traditional should/could/would be removed from the game. Geocaching started with finding a container at the listed co-ords, so why do we need anything added to that to enjoy geocaching?

Actually, the true logical end is, "Why do we need caches at all to enjoy life?" Or, to put it in the traditional way, "Why spoil a walk with geocaching?"

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Still like my idea.. allow challenges with a single dimension, no matter how easy or difficult. Disallow everything else.

I'm not sure why a single dimension is any easier that multiple dimensions. Seems like whatever makes one dimension work could be repeated to handle multiple dimensions. But perhaps I don't understand your idea. The standard challenges like Fizzy seem multi-dimensional to me, yet they're aren't at issue here, as far as I can tell.

 

Or take another example: in my area, TxN "relay" challenges are popular: N caches found of each of T different cache types. That's at least 2 dimensions, but one might even consider it T dimensions. Is that the type of cache you're thinking of ruling out?

 

This just reinforces my feeling that making the criteria more objective would limit without improving. That's why I'm fine with a reviewer being allowed to say "that's too complex" without being forced to follow an inflexible objective criteria such as "one dimensional". I continue to think the place for improvement is a better way to handle "that's too complex", since that limits the problem we're trying to solve to the few challenge caches that try to push the envelope without impacting all the challenge caches that reviewers don't see any reason to reject.

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

 

We know you don't like challenge caches. But i have to ask, why do they bother you so much? Do they really cause you this much grief? If so, how?

 

I'm guessing that it's the additional logging requirement part that SF is addressing.

 

So perhaps the question is.....Why do we need ALRs?

 

Just like virtuals and earthcaches, challenge caches were initially set up with ALRs. CCs should not be changed just because people don't want to do the extra work for their smiley. No one is twisting anyone's arm here. We all have the choice to just walk away if we don't want to do a cache as designed by its cache owner.

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

Take this question of need to the logical end, and any cache type that is non-traditional should/could/would be removed from the game. Geocaching started with finding a container at the listed co-ords, so why do we need anything added to that to enjoy geocaching?

Actually, the true logical end is, "Why do we need caches at all to enjoy life?" Or, to put it in the traditional way, "Why spoil a walk with geocaching?"

Hmm, that's really a totally different question. Questioning what we need to enjoy geocaching implies that some cache exist. What we need to enjoy life is so wide open... I mean, do we need a walk/hike to enjoy life?

 

But, then, to discuss this would require a different thread. I don't wnat to hijack this one.

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My question is this...why we need challenge caches to enjoy geocaching?

 

We know you don't like challenge caches. But i have to ask, why do they bother you so much? Do they really cause you this much grief? If so, how?

 

I'm guessing that it's the additional logging requirement part that SF is addressing.

 

So perhaps the question is.....Why do we need ALRs?

It's part of what defines a challenge cache. I understand you hate not being able to log them without qualifing. But I don't understand why you want to take away something that others enjoy so much? Personally I strongly dislike puzzle caches that I can't even see a start to solving (I'm a magician not a mind reader) but I don't advocate the total removal of them from geocaching.

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Just like virtuals and earthcaches, challenge caches were initially set up with ALRs. CCs should not be changed just because people don't want to do the extra work for their smiley. No one is twisting anyone's arm here. We all have the choice to just walk away if we don't want to do a cache as designed by its cache owner.

The unique difficulty here is the earthcaches and virtuals and webcams aren't physical caches. CCs are. It could be more akin to Wherigos - you are (intended) to have a device that runs them in order to locate them. But the other difference there is that you can still log a Wherigo found online if you sign the physical logsheet however you find it, which you can't with CCs. So CCs act like virtual caches having a 'task' component but they're still physical containers so the virtual task is effectively relegated to an ALR for the online log.

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But I don't understand why you want to take away something that others enjoy so much?

 

  1. Filtering system is no longer designed to do what it's supposed to do - filter out caches you've found.
     
  2. If you find a challenge cache but don't qualify it still remains on your map of unfound caches, unless you put it on your ignore list. The ignore list for caches you do not wish to find, not for caches you've found.
     
  3. They've turned the find count into a commodity, a score.
     
  4. They encourage the numbers crowd - both finding for numbers and planting for numbers, instead of finding and planting for quality.
     
  5. They encourage"cheating" - throwdowns, false logs, armchair logging, changing find dates, sharing final coordinates of puzzles/mysteries/letterboxes/multis. Forum link Forum link
     
  6. Less fun for cache owners of quality caches. Often their caches don't merit more then a cut n paste log from power cachers trying to qualify for challenges.
     
  7. There are too many of them in some areas and the number is growing -some take up kilometers of good trail and only a handful of people can log themas found. Too many of any cache type that exclude a majority of cachers is nota good thing.
     
  8. Numbers cachers use challenge caches to stimulate the publication of new local caches when they've exhausted their local finds. Which usually results in caches placed simply to help people qualify for challenge caches.
     
  9. People hide caches for no other reason than to fill a challenge cache requirement. "There aren't enough Q caches so here's another one for Mega Cacher's Q Challenge." Forum link
     
  10. Cache owners can't opt out. On principle, some of us might not want our caches to be used to encourage the numbers game. Our caches are forced to be involved in qualifying for someone else's cache.
     
  11. People are discovering trackables they've never found in order to qualify for challenge caches that require people to discover huge numbers of trackables. See: Forum link
     
  12. Challenges that depend on old caches. When a cache owner has left and his cache is a rotten pile of pulp, people complain when it gets archived due to neglect. "It's an old cache! It's need for Jasmer/whatever other challenge!" should not be a reason to keep a cache around.
     
  13. While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ.
     
  14. Many challenge caches turn cache names, difficulty/terrain ratings,attributes, etc. into commodities. When these tools to facilitate communication between the cache owner and potential seekers gets changed to reflect more accurate information, some challenge seekers get upset because it affects their grid.

Edited by L0ne.R
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1. Yes (at least no way to distinguish caches signed but not qualified)

2. Yes (see 1)

3. Opinion

4. Generalization, Not exclusive to CC

5. How others choose to play, Not exclusive to CC

6. Not exclusive to CC

7. Regional, Not exclusive to CC

8. More caches in this case is always bad? Not exclusive to CC

9. See 8

10. Not exclusive to CC

11. How others choose to play

12. How others choose to play

13. Yes (as reported)

14. Opinion, How others choose to play

 

I agree with 1, 2 and 13 as legitimate technical issues with CCs currently. The rest, preference and opinion.

 

So... how bout them souvenirs? :laughing:

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Actually, the true logical end is, "Why do we need caches at all to enjoy life?" Or, to put it in the traditional way, "Why spoil a walk with geocaching?"

Hmm, that's really a totally different question. Questioning what we need to enjoy geocaching implies that some cache exist.

Yes, the point was that the question makes as much sense as asking "Why do we need geocaching?" We don't need geocaching. We don't need challenge caches. We enjoy them, so we want them. Now we go back to discussing them.

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Filtering system is nolonger designed to do what it's supposed to do - filter out caches you've found.

Apparently, you still don't get it. The filtering system is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. You just don't like the way Groundspeak defines a "find" for challenge caches. You think you're entitled to a find simply because you located the container, even if you haven't met the challenge requirements. Groundspeak disagrees. It's Groundspeak's filtering system; they get to decide what the filtering system is supposed to do...not you.

 

If you find achallenge cache but don't qualify it still remains on your map of unfoundcaches, unless you put it on your ignore list. The ignore list for caches youdo not wish to find, not for caches you've found.

Again, you can't "find" a challenge cache if you don't qualify for its challenge, so it should appear on your map of unfound caches. If you don't want it there, then you're free to put it on your Ignore List. You can use your Ignore List for found caches or unfound caches (including those located-but-not-yet-qualified-for challenge caches that seem to irritate you).

 

They've turned thefind count into a commodity, a score.

Asserting that challenge caches turn find counts into commodities, in the negative sense of that word, seems to suggest that they make geocaching finds interchangeable with one another. I think they do just the opposite. The wide variety of challenges encourage geocachers to appreciate the many wonderful differences there are among geocaches. Puzzle-oriented challenges encourage people to try their hands at puzzle caches. EarthCache-oriented challenges encourage people to learn about geology. CITO-oriented challenges encourage people to help clean up the environment. December-oriented challenge caches might cause people to better appreciate winter-friendly caches.

 

They encourage thenumbers crowd - both finding for numbers and planting for numbers, instead offinding and planting for quality.

Some challenges encourage people to find highly favorited caches (which often are high quality caches); we own one of these. Other challenges encourage people to spend time pondering puzzles; we own several of these. Still others encourage people to hike up mountain, repel down cliffs, SCUBA dive, kayak, visit new states or foreign countries, learn Earth Science lessons, pick up trash, socialize with other geocachers. Challenge caches are more multi-dimensional than you make them out to be.

 

They encourage"cheating" - throwdowns, false logs, armchair logging, changing finddates, sharing final coordinates of puzzles/mysteries/letterboxes/multis.

The prominently displayed Total Finds Count encourages far more cheating than getting an obscure smiley face for completing a challenge cache. Prominently displayed Souvenirs encourage far more cheating than getting an obscure smiley face for completing a challenge cache. Prominently displayed Statistics encourage far more cheating than getting an obscure smiley face for completing a challenge cache. Cheaters are going to cheat. Even if Groundspeak completely eliminated all challenge caches, there still would be lots of throwdowns, false logs, armchair logging, changing find dates, and sharing final coordinates.

 

Less fun for cacheowners of quality caches. Often their caches don't merit more then a cut npaste log from power cachers trying to qualify for challenges.

Most cut-and-paste logs that I've seen appear on power trails; relatively few appear on quality caches. I'm guessing many power trail cache owners don't care if they receive cut-and-paste logs; in fact, I know some of those owners filter out all "Found it" emails. As an owner of several quality caches, I'm pleased to receive even those cut-and-paste logs, since they indicate people are finding my caches. The main reason I create quality caches is to give back to the caching community, not because I feel entitled to receive personalized logs.

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