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Disappearing FIZZY cache


tyro-n-www
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We were on our statistics page today on the geocaching.com website and noticed an empty square in our FIZZY grid ( D 2.0/T 4.5) that we had logged a find for back in 2014. We had all the grid filled by the end of that year. I checked our statistics on Project Geocaching and there our Fizzy square has that block filled with the cache we found, its GC number, and its D/T rating ( 2.0/4.5 ). I then went to the cache page and found it listed there now as a 2.0/5.0 rating. The CO upped the terrain rating half a point at some point, probably very recently as we would have found this out a longtime ago if it was not rated a 2/4.5 at the time we found it. I'm not upset about the CO increasing the terrain rating, I just don't understand why the website now shows that square unfilled because that 4.5 was the Terrain rating when we found and logged the cache. Is this some sort of bug in the website's software and what can we do to get it corrected ? Any ideas? The cache in question was GC2HE5F "The Rock #35" found 6/6/2014

 

Doug

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IIRC, it's not a bug, the D/T on your stats changes if/when a CO changes it on his cache.

While it doesn't seem fair to those who went for it for some D/T challenge, I appreciate when the CO corrects his cache to be accurate, and not simply to enable another grid in a side game.

This one I'm not so sure is accurate now though...

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Is there not a way that Groundspeak can code finds so that D/T and other stats can be frozen to the date of the find, rather than change at the whim of the CO?

I'm pretty sure that 'freezing' the attributes of a cache for each find event would require restructuring the database. My assumption, based on my own database experience, is that the GS databases are structured so that each cacher's finds/dnfs are associated with a date and the gc-code. That gc-code then links to another table that stores all the gc-codes and their attributes. The feature request would require that the former table (cacher, date, log-type, gc-code) be expanded to include Diff, Terr and that those fields be populated by pulling data from another table every time a new row (found/dnf log) is added to the former table. That requires more storage space and more queries to populate the field each time a log in added. Not an insignificant effort. The workload could be lessened by only populating the D/T fields once a day or something, for the new logs only, but it would still be more workload than the current architecture. Of course, this is just my assumption of the data structure.

Edited by noncentric
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You're not likely to receive a confirmation here in this forum section. You might bump the thread in the Feature Suggestions forum asking for a feature like what you're describing. Meanwhile, please accept the correct answers that have been provided, including mine as a long-time site volunteer.

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Not an insignificant effort.

Most computer geeks reading this thread are probably nodding in agreement. Of course only a Lackey geek would know for sure.

 

As a computer geek myself, I say, don't hold your breath waiting. Too much work and too risky for the payoff.

 

Groundspeak has bigger, tastier, safer fish to fry. Like, like... Date souvenirs!

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Unfortunate. Any comments available

from lackeys to confirm this is the case?

 

Fizzy grids are a feature of GS cacher statistics. It would be nice if the databases supported this feature in a more consistent manner.

 

I don't know how the GS database is structured either but as as a software developer for many years noncentrics analysis seems sound. In order to freeze the state of attributes about a cache at the time it was found, that data would have to be persisted for every cache for every user. Even if they made those changes today there would be no way to capture that data from the millions of caches finds over the past 15 years.

 

Personally, I would rather not see GS make significant database structure changes just to support a side game (challenge caches).

 

 

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This happened to me four times when trying to complete my Fizzy grid!

I can't even remember how many times this happened to us. Definitely more than four. We started caching in Germany, and back then, while challenge caches were getting popular in the US, Germans hadn't really gotten into the whole challenge concept. D/T ratings were much more fluid than they are now. I bet mine changed around ten times.

 

You could contact the owner of that one cache and ask them (nicely) to change it back, but don't hold your breath. It's their cache.

 

If you were just about to go out and log a Fizzy challenge cache, you could explain the situation to that cache owner and see if they will let you log the challenge anyway.

 

But eventually you're probably going to need to find another 2/4.5 cache to fill the hole. This one's not far from what appears to be your area.

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Perhaps the real question is, why are cache owners allowed to make changes to their already-published caches? In the example above, it seems the cache *hide* was likely changed significantly from when the OP found the cache. As was mentioned, it doesn't seem like this particular cache's terrain rating was updated to be more accurate; it seems the terrain rating was changed to reflect a change in the actual cache placement. In this case, wouldn't it be better to require the old cache and cache page be archived and the "new" cache be submitted for approval?

 

Maybe my assumptions are wrong, maybe the cache owner did get some feedback from finders who felt the terrain rating was off. I guess being able to change the d/t ratings does have value. But maybe any d/t rating change should be left up to the cache finders to vote on. You know how sometimes when shopping online for clothes, you'll see a rating of how people who bought the item feel the item fits? It is usually like, "62% feel this item runs small," or, "89% rate this item's fit as 'just right,'" or whatever. We have all found caches that had a d/t rating that definitely "runs small." :D Maybe we could rate our found caches in a similar way, and if these ratings lead to an obvious trend, the d/t rating on the cache page could be updated automatically.

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But maybe any d/t rating change should be left up to the cache finders to vote on. You know how sometimes when shopping online for clothes, you'll see a rating of how people who bought the item feel the item fits? It is usually like, "62% feel this item runs small," or, "89% rate this item's fit as 'just right,'" or whatever. We have all found caches that had a d/t rating that definitely "runs small." :D Maybe we could rate our found caches in a similar way, and if these ratings lead to an obvious trend, the d/t rating on the cache page could be updated automatically.

"Ratings" on just about everything to do with caching's been asked for before.

The cache belongs to the CO. You want a change, put out your own. :)

 

Who hasn't seen an unfit 70+ year old saying our "5" is near impossible, then tomorrow a 17 year old says it was the second easiest of the day?

Edited by cerberus1
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Perhaps the real question is, why are cache owners allowed to make changes to their already-published caches?

Because things change...

A hider places a first cache on a park's just-started rough trail system, which is now completed, and packed/wide.

A tree that (at one time...) was easy to climb is now so big that rope's required.

Etc, etc...

Edited by cerberus1
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I agree, things change, but if a cache changes to the point that it is drastically different than when it was first placed, it might be better to archive the old listing and submit a new listing for approval. As for the relative terrain difficulty experienced by a 70 y/o vs. a 17 y/o, the d/t ratings are only meaningful if they are determined relative to other caches, not other cachers. Just like the clothes example, there are people for whom a particular shirt would feel like a circus tent, while others would describe the exact same shirt as feeling like a straight jacket. But an "XL" descriptor should be somewhat of a useable predictor when shopping for clothes, regardless. I think this concept would work perfectly for geocaches. I know not to expect a change to be made, I just find the topic interesting.

Edited by Subterranean
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I agree, things change, but if a cache changes to the point that it is drastically different than when it was first placed, it might be better to archive the old listing and submit a new listing for approval. As for the relative terrain difficulty experienced by a 70 y/o vs. a 17 y/o, the d/t ratings are only meaningful if they are determined relative to other caches, not other cachers. Just like the clothes example, there are people for whom a particular shirt would feel like a circus tent, while others would describe the exact same shirt as feeling like a straight jacket. But an "XL" descriptor should be somewhat of a useable predictor when shopping for clothes, regardless. I think this concept would work perfectly for geocaches. I know not to expect a change to be made, I just find the topic interesting.

A 4.5 to 5 rating change isn't the cache changing to the point that it is drastically different from when first placed. :)

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These ratings are meant to give information to geocachers about the current state of the geocache and they are subject to change as conditions at the site of a cache can change. If you are participating in some sort of side game that relies on using these ratings as some sort of score, the onus is on you to keep appropriate records.

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I agree, things change, but if a cache changes to the point that it is drastically different than when it was first placed, it might be better to archive the old listing and submit a new listing for approval.
Sure. And if the CO thinks that the cache is now drastically different than when it was first placed, then the CO is free to archive the original listing and submit a new one.

 

But if the CO thinks that the change is irrelevant to the point of the cache, then the CO is also free to edit the cache listing to reflect the changing situation.

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Happens all the time. I just recently noticed that my stats show 2 more virtuals than my records. Apparently a couple of traditionals got changed to virtuals at some point.

 

It's just a part of how gc.com works; consider it part of "the game," no matter which game you are playing. I don't think it should change. If you need the grid for some challenge, you can explain to the CO of the challenge what happened, and it will be up them how to deal with it.

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Perhaps the real question is, why are cache owners allowed to make changes to their already-published caches?

Because things change...

A hider places a first cache on a park's just-started rough trail system, which is now completed, and packed/wide.

A tree that (at one time...) was easy to climb is now so big that rope's required.

Etc, etc...

 

Yep, I placed a cache that was two mile bushwack over difficult terrain. A few years later the park built a hiking trail that passed within feet of my cache. I adjusted the difficulty level downward accordingly.

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I had this happen to me too. A 5/1 mystery found years ago was archived because the solution was published somewhere for all to see. The CO archived the cache AND changed the D rating. D5/T1 mysteries are hard to come by (only 17 in Belgium) and most look hard/impossible to solve at first glance. Fortunately there's one close by that's a fieldpuzzle and seems feasible.

Not a lot you can do about but try to get another one.

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The more I hear complaints about ratings changes affecting fizzy challenges the more likely I am to change the ratings on my high star caches. Caches are supposed to be rated properly. Fizzy is a side game. Until GS creates a way to lock them in, get over it.. or take a picture next time.. or just go find more caches.

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The more I hear complaints about ratings changes affecting fizzy challenges the more likely I am to change the ratings on my high star caches. Caches are supposed to be rated properly. Fizzy is a side game. Until GS creates a way to lock them in, get over it.. or take a picture next time.. or just go find more caches.

 

In the example I gave the cache was D5/T1 the whole time. At the time of archiving it the rating was set to D3.5/T1 in order to take the (rare) 5/1 away from the cheaters who didn't solve the puzzle but found the coordinates online.

There's a difference between changing the rating to reflect the correct difficulty and changing it because some shared the solution.

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The more I hear complaints about ratings changes affecting fizzy challenges the more likely I am to change the ratings on my high star caches. Caches are supposed to be rated properly. Fizzy is a side game. Until GS creates a way to lock them in, get over it.. or take a picture next time.. or just go find more caches.

 

In the example I gave the cache was D5/T1 the whole time. At the time of archiving it the rating was set to D3.5/T1 in order to take the (rare) 5/1 away from the cheaters who didn't solve the puzzle but found the coordinates online.

There's a difference between changing the rating to reflect the correct difficulty and changing it because some shared the solution.

 

Agreed. But you still need "get over it.. or take a picture next time.. or just go find more caches" :P

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The more I hear complaints about ratings changes affecting fizzy challenges the more likely I am to change the ratings on my high star caches. Caches are supposed to be rated properly. Fizzy is a side game. Until GS creates a way to lock them in, get over it.. or take a picture next time.. or just go find more caches.

 

In the example I gave the cache was D5/T1 the whole time. At the time of archiving it the rating was set to D3.5/T1 in order to take the (rare) 5/1 away from the cheaters who didn't solve the puzzle but found the coordinates online.

There's a difference between changing the rating to reflect the correct difficulty and changing it because some shared the solution.

 

Hmm... Maybe I should have considered that. :ph34r: It had forty six finds in two-and-a-half years. I know that some cachers brute forced it. Twenty four correct solutions on Geochecker. I wonder how many cachers actually solved the puzzle? After I archived it, I was told that the solution was available on Facebook. I would have checked signatures just to see now many people actually signed the log, but some cachers decided to move the containers to other caches in the series. Oh, well. It was a tough puzzle.

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fizzymagic is right. It's all part of the game. Suck it up and find another. The same thing happened to me at least once. I was really bummed out at the time because there wasn't anything with that rating anywhere near. However, the CO changed it back later to the original rating, I think partly in response to some comment on a local forum about it or possibly because of notes previous finders logged requesting it and explaining why. In fact, the cache was overrated in difficulty. My grid is still completely full and I'm out of danger now since I've completed the Fizzy, but it could change any time, so I recommend that if you get a full grid, go find the final as soon as you can.

 

As for the suggestion of freezing, get real. The purpose of those ratings is not to create challenge qualifiers. In fact the original Fizzy allowed only caches that were hidden prior to the date of the final hide, I feel certain, precisely for that reason - so people could not hide/rate new caches in order to meet the challenge. The idea is that only caches legitimately and accurately rated should qualify. The purpose of ratings is so that cachers can decide whether a cache is something in their comfort zone or otherwise attractive or unattractive to them. Most conscientious COs will re-rate their caches if it appears that they are misrated, even if they were accurately rated before but something in the environment changed. I've changed the ratings on several of my caches, although I pretty much leave alone the ones that pre-date the Fizzy cutoff. They're mostly puzzles, and even though the puzzle hasn't changed, a puzzle that was original and never seen in the area in 2002 or 2003 may have been a 4* then but now is a 3* because cachers have seen dozens of them and there are free online solving tools (e.g. for ciphers) that will solve them effortlessly now, not to mention dozens of prior solvers who will tell you how to solve a puzzle or even give you the solution. Remember, this can work to your advantage, too. You may find that a cache you previously found suddenly fills a hole you need due to a change in rating.

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In the example I gave the cache was D5/T1 the whole time. At the time of archiving it the rating was set to D3.5/T1 in order to take the (rare) 5/1 away from the cheaters who didn't solve the puzzle but found the coordinates online.

There's a difference between changing the rating to reflect the correct difficulty and changing it because some shared the solution.

Perhaps the CO felt that now that one can 'solve' the puzzle by seeking out the solution online, that D3.5 was actually now much more accurate. Were the solution not available, then the only way to solve it would still be rated 5. Effectively, the puzzle had now been recognized as becoming "find the solution" instead of "solve the puzzle" for the coordinates, so they felt the D3.5 was called for. And that's entirely up to the CO.

 

Archival and then DT adjustment does feel a little vengeful, but it's the CO's right to do so, and the fact it went to 3.5 instead of 1 makes me think they were being reasonable with the new rating. *shrug*

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