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J Grouchy

Planetary Pursuit?

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I enjoyed this promotion and I think most of our usual cachers did too. It really wasn't that hard for those of us who like to cache. I earned all 500 points in a day and ended up with over 2500 points. It just so happened a trip I had scheduled to work on Golden State Delorme fell in the time and then I did get motivated to do some other challenge/puzzle/favorite points runs while I was at it. We even made the Planetary Pursuit into a local contest that went over well. 

The truth is none of us really care about souvenirs. We rarely go back and look at them. Yet, they still drive caching. We will go out and change our cache habits just to earn them. Probably not because we need them, but because we don't want to miss out. They really are a trivial and silly thing, but they do matter. 

My only recommendation is to remove the trackable numbers. I know of a guy that had over 4000 points on about 60 finds. He dropped off and then picked up 17 trackables at every cache he found. SPAMing trackable owners with constant drop offs and pick ups doesn't seem like a good way to earn points. Though, in this contest it was allowable and one way to earn points, so unless Groundspeak removes that ability in the future, it is what it is. That is way too much work for me unless someone knows an easier way to do it. 

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58 minutes ago, elrojo14 said:

My only recommendation is to remove the trackable numbers. I know of a guy that had over 4000 points on about 60 finds. He dropped off and then picked up 17 trackables at every cache he found. SPAMing trackable owners with constant drop offs and pick ups doesn't seem like a good way to earn points. Though, in this contest it was allowable and one way to earn points, so unless Groundspeak removes that ability in the future, it is what it is. That is way too much work for me unless someone knows an easier way to do it. 

^This

From what I've seen, the trackable loophole appears to have been abused quite a bit. Thankfully (in a way), my trackables have largely gone missing and I didn't get a bunch of spam emails from people gaming the system. There were some locals that did, though, and they didn't appreciate that.

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

^This

From what I've seen, the trackable loophole appears to have been abused quite a bit. Thankfully (in a way), my trackables have largely gone missing and I didn't get a bunch of spam emails from people gaming the system. There were some locals that did, though, and they didn't appreciate that.

I wouldn't say it was abused. If they allow it, then it was an option we could have all taken had we cared enough. I didn't care that much. However, if there is a way to auto drop off and pick back up without having to do all that work, I might have been more tempted. I say just eliminate that aspect all together. 

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3 minutes ago, elrojo14 said:

I wouldn't say it was abused. If they allow it, then it was an option we could have all taken had we cared enough. I didn't care that much. However, if there is a way to auto drop off and pick back up without having to do all that work, I might have been more tempted. I say just eliminate that aspect all together. 

I do agree with the sentiment, however even allowable things can be abused and still be allowed. In this case, 'spamming' an allowable option may not be an action that can be denied, but it can be considered unethical or inconsiderate if done to an extreme to the detriment of others.  Can't call it cheating... but abusing? I could agree with that...

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I don’t particularly care about souvenirs but I did put some extra effort into this promo because it was “planetary.” Normally I just have my own “special days” I want to log a cache for. I got further than I thought I would since I don’t have a lot of free time to cache. And I solved a Puzzle (which I normally ignore)! (It was an easy one :-/  ).

I wonder how this promotion was viewed by GS. Was there an uptick in caching activity? More activity on Mystery or Earthcaches? More cheating than normal (hard to judge that I guess).

I got far enough to wave at Starman in his red Tesla as he drives through space. :-D

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9 hours ago, PlantAKiss said:

Was there an uptick in caching activity? More activity on Mystery or Earthcaches?

We got a fair amount of traffic on our puzzle caches and earthcaches, more than usual for this time of year.  From that aspect, I'd say it worked.

As far as finding, I had already scheduled a trip to get out during spring break the last week before the challenge ended to find caches, and looking back, I could have just logged those I visited on that trip to get over 500 points.  But I wanted to be sure, as well as get my numbers up so I could get my 8500th during my spring break trip, so I visited a geo art trail earlier and got over 300 points in a morning.  So, yes, it also influenced my behavior.

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The only time it even was a factor was the last couple days when I realized I was only three caches away from Uranus (~snicker~). Then I decided to let my lunch hour extend about 15 or 20 extra minutes.  

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19 hours ago, elrojo14 said:

I wouldn't say it was abused. If they allow it, then it was an option we could have all taken had we cared enough. I didn't care that much. However, if there is a way to auto drop off and pick back up without having to do all that work, I might have been more tempted. I say just eliminate that aspect all together. 

I love the semantics..  First, I don't care what others do. But I believe the locals that I saw dropping and picking bugs dozens of times did constitute some level of cheating (the system). It's all about integrity.

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2 hours ago, bflentje said:

I love the semantics..  First, I don't care what others do. But I believe the locals that I saw dropping and picking bugs dozens of times did constitute some level of cheating (the system). It's all about integrity.

Well said. Technically, it was allowed to drop/retrieve a bunch of trackables with each find log. But it was definitely not in the spirit of "4 points for a drop" rule. So in my view it's bit like group caching, where the members go off in different directions, and everyone fills all the names in each cache they find. Allowed by the rules of the game, but still somewhat ... questionable ;) .

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On 2018-04-16 at 11:36 AM, elrojo14 said:

My only recommendation is to remove the trackable numbers. I know of a guy that had over 4000 points on about 60 finds. He dropped off and then picked up 17 trackables at every cache he found. SPAMing trackable owners with constant drop offs and pick ups doesn't seem like a good way to earn points. Though, in this contest it was allowable and one way to earn points, so unless Groundspeak removes that ability in the future, it is what it is. That is way too much work for me unless someone knows an easier way to do it. 

When we did Mary Hide last year I pointed this out to GS and I was told it would be solved for the ext time.
It wasn't and I have no idea why.
You don't have to use TB's of others to do this and get the points. You can take your collection of TB's and drop them say in your own cache and gather the points by posting a note. The only person that gets spammed is You as the CO.
As far as Souvenirs are concerned the only ones I enjoy are the Country and State ones. Not sure why the USA doesn't have one while other countries do like Canada and many others.

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The promotion didn't change my caching activity, but it did change my logging activity.  I got my log to get my 500th point (actually 505 because the last one I logged was a mystery when I had 490) just a few hours before the original deadline. I still have a dozen drafts remaining from that promotion period that I need to log, along a few more since then.

 

2 hours ago, PhilatSea said:

You don't have to use TB's of others to do this and get the points. You can take your collection of TB's and drop them say in your own cache and gather the points by posting a note. The only person that gets spammed is You as the CO.

In my opinion, it might've been better if points for TB drops were limited. Maybe only 4 points per calendar day allowed. Sure, some cachers would just collect 21 (or 28) TB's and then drop 1 each day  OR  some cachers might drop all TB's on one day, but then log only 1 per day. At least a limitation would reduce "spamming" of trackable owners.

OTOH, if TB points were limited to "owned" trackables, then I'm sure cachers would be coming to the forums/blogs/social media complaining that GS is trying to "force" cachers to buy trackables and cachers would assert that GS is 'in it for the money'. smh.

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2 hours ago, PhilatSea said:

You don't have to use TB's of others to do this and get the points.

You don't have to, but some people chose to do so.

I sincerely hope a number of lessons have been learned and we won't see a reoccurrence of the many problems that arose from this promotion.

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8 hours ago, PhilatSea said:

As far as Souvenirs are concerned the only ones I enjoy are the Country and State ones. Not sure why the USA doesn't have one while other countries do like Canada and many others.

As much as the other 2/3rds likes her souvis, we never really thought of that...    

Looked at a couple of profiles (anyone with counters, you're up one...)   and did notice that besides the country, they do have the provinces as well.

I was gonna say maybe because it'd be unnecessary with all the states, but that doesn't explain it.    Learned something new today.  Thanks.    :)

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8 hours ago, PhilatSea said:

As far as Souvenirs are concerned the only ones I enjoy are the Country and State ones. Not sure why the USA doesn't have one while other countries do like Canada and many others.

That's a very good observation. I hope they do create one!

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11 hours ago, PhilatSea said:

As far as Souvenirs are concerned the only ones I enjoy are the Country and State ones. Not sure why the USA doesn't have one while other countries do like Canada and many others.

IIRC, some countries had only state/province souvenirs until the "Where is Signal" promotion happened for that country. With that promotion, a country souvenir was released.  For example, Canada used to have souvenirs only for each province, but then there was a "Where is Signal" promotion for Canada and then a Canada country souvenir was released. Same thing happened, on different dates, for Germany and Australia.

I don't know if there will be a "Where is Signal" promotion for the USA, but if there is then that would suggest that a countrywide souvenir will follow.

And then there are countries that have only a country-level souvenir, with no souvenirs for smaller regions within those countries.

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3 hours ago, noncentric said:

IIRC, some countries had only state/province souvenirs until the "Where is Signal" promotion happened for that country. With that promotion, a country souvenir was released.  For example, Canada used to have souvenirs only for each province, but then there was a "Where is Signal" promotion for Canada and then a Canada country souvenir was released. Same thing happened, on different dates, for Germany and Australia.

I don't know if there will be a "Where is Signal" promotion for the USA, but if there is then that would suggest that a countrywide souvenir will follow.

And then there are countries that have only a country-level souvenir, with no souvenirs for smaller regions within those countries.

The Where is Signal promotion brought us souvenirs for Canada, Germany, and Australia after each country previously had souvenirs for it's States/Provinces/Bundeslander.  One would assume that the US and Ireland will get additional souvenirs as well.    Not all countries in the official countries list are broken down into smaller regions (2nd level administration regions). Personally, I thought that the United Kingdom should have had been broken into regions instead of Ireland (and just one souvenir for Ireland) but I wouldn't expect to see a souvenir for all the regions in others like France, Italy, and Spain.  Of course, there are still a lot of countries which don't have a souvenir at all but we've been told that the goal is to eventually have one for every country.  I'm going to be spending a week in Kenya the first week in June but won't get a souvenir for finding a cache there. 

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On 4/12/2018 at 10:45 AM, bflentje said:

I seriously do not mean any offense by asking you this.. you've been caching for 9 years, you're only discovering this now? Or were you being facetious?

 

I've tended to either find caches that were at cool places, or just start from one end of a city and work to the other to try to clear it out. I had never done a run of JUST high point caches.

Of course I knew about them and had found many.

 

The intent of my post was to let Geocaching.com know they hit a home run with this one.

 

It's important for them to know their keeping their long-term players happy. It's a big way for the game to grow as those cachers share the game with their friends.

 

I took one new cacher on a couple of these runs of "all high point caches".  Since then she has introduced 3 new people to caching who are getting into the game. I brought her in and also an old player who hadn't cached in many years. He bought a membership this month, when he hasn't done that for about 7 years.

I think it's good to let GS know what keeps the players happy. This also encouraged people to create better caches. My one friend has been planning on putting one out soon. Now she wants it to be a high point favorite cache.

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Just to weigh in some sentiment from my area of Central Florida, this promotion wasn't very well received (myself included). It was an interesting concept, but imho using the friend league for these promotions is a fundamentally flawed idea. It's a neat one, but in practice it seems to make things less fun. A fellow cacher I was speaking with this morning and I both agreed (and she's been caching about 10 years longer than I have!) that we miss the days of the Road Trip '15, GC HQ, and other "slower paced" promos *that didn't use the points system.* I'm certainly not trying to rant, but when a promo starts to make caching into work (ie, power trails or "creative" trackable logging) instead of simply encouraging finding different cache types, I think something got missed. I would love to see another promo like GCHQ: here's a task for the week--complete it, and the souvenir is yours. Repeat x4. Those were fun!

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