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the Seagnoid

Challenge Cache type update?

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Some time ago Geocaching mentioned that they are considering whether to make Challenge caches their own cache type, and Project-GC have done some sterling work in identifying true challenge caches (eg as opposed to puzzle caches that have "challenge" in the title but are not a challenge caches). Is there any indication as to when Geocaching might sit down and make the decision?

Edited by the Seagnoid
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I think it makes sense to create a new type, but if Groundspeak doesn't want to do that, then at least a new attribute should be created.

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Yeah it seems there are so many, and they are of a specific enough "type" - as in they all share the property that a challenge needs to be completed in addition to the signing of the log - that logically they suit being their own type.

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No need to create a new type -- just leverage extant features in a new way.

 

Specifically, add another start rating system, proportional to the degree of difficulty of the Challenge.  

 

[FEATURE] Challenge Stars

 

This would provide all the same functionality as a new cache type or attribute, plus more.   Win win win.

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2 hours ago, frinklabs said:

No need to create a new type -- just leverage extant features in a new way.

 

Specifically, add another start rating system, proportional to the degree of difficulty of the Challenge.  

 

[FEATURE] Challenge Stars

 

This would provide all the same functionality as a new cache type or attribute, plus more.   Win win win.

Bad idea when first suggested, still the same.  Requires much more programming work than a new type and does NOT provide the same fuctionality.

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2 hours ago, frinklabs said:

No need to create a new type

On the contrary.

 

Challenge caches are far more like trads - located at the published coordinates - than like mystery caches - the vast majority of which are not located at the published coordinates. Yet challenge caches are quite different to trads because they have the ALR of completing the associated challenge.

 

Challenge caches are all similar to each other, in terms of what makes them a challenge cache, to at least the same degree that all trads are similar to each other, all multis are similar to each other, etc.  That makes it just as appropriate that challenge caches are their own type as it is for trads, multis, etc to be their own type.

 

It's not like a multi is just a trad with a multi attribute...

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1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Challenge caches are all similar to each other, in terms of what makes them a challenge cache, to at least the same degree that all trads are similar to each other, all multis are similar to each other, etc.  That makes it just as appropriate that challenge caches are their own type as it is for trads, multis, etc to be their own type.

 

You forgot that mystery caches are not similar to each other. Every mystery cache needs you to check the description beforer you go or else... you know what happens if you forgot this.

 

I must agree that logically they could be a special type but also field puzzles should be separated from the ones which are not possible to solve at field. Field puzzles have the attribute but they are practically impossible to find using standard mapping tools, especially on field. Changing the type afterwards seems to be impossible because it would break so many statistics.

 

We already have external tools to find challenges. For example, in Finland we have an updated list of available challenges. PGC offers you even more tools. What advance you may achieve by using separate cache type? If it is just interesting, it is not worth thinking about such a big change.

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10 hours ago, the Seagnoid said:

Some time ago Geocaching mentioned that they are considering whether to make Challenge caches their own cache type

Did they actually say that? Do you know where?

 

I do think Challenge caches warrant having their own type, it would be easy enough to do going forward but there's the difficult question of what to do with pre-existing challenges that is going to be problematic, and I can guarantee that whatever GS decided to do about them they would come in for a lot of criticism.

 

It may be better all round to to introduce a Challenge attribute, it wouldn't cause any grief to retrospectively add it to pre-existing challenges and could be used to single out Challenges if attribute selection is included in future search functionality and/or maintained in the current PQ functionality.

 

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Geocaching HQ said this on May 25, 2016, when the challenge cache moratorium ended:

 

Quote

The idea of a challenge cache icon or attribute earned significant support from the community. We agree there are a lot of good reasons to implement one. However, we want to confirm that the new framework will reduce the problems which led to the moratorium. It wouldn’t make sense to engineer a new icon or attribute only to lose it if challenge caches don’t work out. We’re going to give it a year or so, and then re-evaluate the situation. If we find that things are going well, then we will strongly consider adding a new icon or attribute for challenge caches.

 

It's been more than two years since then.  Personally, I remain in favor of an attribute for challenge caches, but not a new cache type.  I think the requirement for "Challenge" in the title, plus the tools at Project-GC.com, make it easy enough to find challenge caches to seek out.  It would be a lot of work to migrate existing challenge caches to a new type, since not every mystery cache with "challenge" in the title is, in fact, a challenge cache.  Also, since the majority of my mystery cache finds are challenges, creating a challenge cache type would (ironically) disqualify me for several challenges for which I'm presently qualified.

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Challenge caches were an ALR, and while listed as a mystery, the intended experience could be that of a traditional, letterbox, multi, puzzle, etc. A new challenge cache 'type' would become a catch-all, but flagging a challenge cache as an additional property of an existing type would allow them to be listed more accurately to the experience they provide (the geocache type, with the flag that it's a challenge ALR). The Attribute suggestion is the closest to that result, apart from the challenge stars. I'm fine with either, but despite requiring more development resources, the stars rating would add more value for many that already love challenges, and as a bonus is easily ignorable (and even the current mechanics of challenge caches are entirely doable in the suggested system).  But we've been through all that in the above linked thread. :P 

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22 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

You forgot that mystery caches are not similar to each other. Every mystery cache needs you to check the description beforer you go

 

I think your second sentence tells you exactly how mystery caches are all similar to each other... contradicting your first sentence.

 

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Challenge Caches should have their own cache type for one very important reason: they are the only cache type you cannot always log as found when you sign the log.

 

Accidentally find the final of a 37 stage multi or D5 nested cypher written in Urdu? You can log it. Not so with Challenge Caches, despite them being at the posted coords. 

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5 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:
On 10/12/2018 at 11:41 AM, arisoft said:

 

You forgot that mystery caches are not similar to each other. Every mystery cache needs you to check the description beforer you go

 

I think your second sentence tells you exactly how mystery caches are all similar to each other... contradicting your first sentence. 

 

 

In that case all challenge caches belongs to the mystery cache group as they need reading the cache page at least before logging them on-line. For filtering you need only reliable attribute and the current problem is that there is no attribute for ALR.

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1 minute ago, arisoft said:

 

In that case all challenge caches belongs to the mystery cache group as they need reading the cache page at least before logging them on-line. For filtering you need only reliable attribute and the current problem is that there is no attribute for ALR.

 

You also need to read the cache page for ECs, virtuals and most multis, but they're not grouped as mysteries.

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13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You also need to read the cache page for ECs, virtuals and most multis, but they're not grouped as mysteries.

 

ECs, virtuals and events do not have a cache at alls. Once I tried to find the cache container of an EC site but could't find any. Then I remembered that it was a EC.

Multi-caches and Lettebox hybrids are special case indeed. I would like to have all bogus-less field puzzles as multi-caches to find them easily from map but qualified challenges works practically like solved puzzles.

 

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My problem with puzzle mystery caches is that when I go out caching unless I've solved them they just clutter up the map. I really would love a option that would turn off all unsolved caches right now this would turn off all traditionals and challenges. The way I solved this in my home area is to add the 1000 or so unsolved caches that I have no intention or ability to solve to my ignore list. If a puzzle is remotely possible I'll not do that. So I agree would be great to have challenges as a separate icon.

 

Currently working on a crazy challenge I never thought possible but I temporarily moved to an area it was feasible 31/31/31 challenge 31 virtuals and  31 earth in 31 days. Currently at 28/8/8 Time to go caching and explore my new area. Love this.

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5 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

challenge Caches should have their own cache type for one very important reason: they are the only cache type you cannot always log as found when you sign the log.

 

When GS changed the guidelines awhile back regarding the types of challenge caches that could be created I think that, even after a year, there was still some uncertainly for whether they would remain at all.   If challenge caches are going remain a type of puzzle cache that can be created,  the difference you describe is, to me, reason enough to create a new challenge cache type and I can't really come up with a good reason why there shouldn't be a new cache type for challenge caches.  Sure, it's going to create some work on groundspeaks part, but assuming that their willing to do so, can anyone come up with a good reason why a challenge cache type should *not* be created?

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2 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Sure, it's going to create some work on groundspeaks part, but assuming that their willing to do so, can anyone come up with a good reason why a challenge cache type should *not* be created?

 

In the world where Groundspeak has unlimited development budget, I'd say go for it. It IS a distinct type.  Meanwhile, back in the real world, I expect it won't happen simply because the cost is too high,  it would break some stats, and many/some challenges if retroactively applied - and it would be even weirder if not retroactively. 

 

Attribute, maybe.

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Defining a whole cache type using an attribute is utterly useless when viewing caches on a map or GPS screen. Attributes just dont show up on the map, so how exactly does it help someone out caching in the field?

 

Sure you can do some filtering in PQs of GSAK before you go... but think about that workflow for a moment: Fix the issue in one place for everyone, or make everyone perform filtering everytime they go caching or download caches, and of course no easy solution at all for spontaneous/casual smart phone cachers just going out with the app...

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

can anyone come up with a good reason why a challenge cache type should *not* be created?

 

One important reason is old challenges. To be useful thay should be changed to the new challenge type and then all statistics breaks. I think this is a very good reason.

 

I have already asked in this thread " What advance you may achieve by using separate cache type? " Your answer is " Attributes just dont show up on the map ". It could be overall more usefull to get attributes or attribute filters on the map than change only some cache types.

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4 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

One important reason is old challenges. To be useful thay should be changed to the new challenge type and then all statistics breaks. I think this is a very good reason.

 

I have already asked in this thread " What advance you may achieve by using separate cache type? " Your answer is " Attributes just dont show up on the map ". It could be overall more usefull to get attributes or attribute filters on the map than change only some cache types.

 

Should the game be driven by statistics?  Or should it be about what is logical and sensible.

 

If there was a new attribute for "challenge ALR" then how is it any less work going back to all existing challenge caches to add the attribute than it is to change the cache type?

 

Why should someone need to do additional filtering on a map to see a type of cache that is both numerous and distinct from other caches that share the same icon?  If it makes sense for other cache types that are different from each other - trads, multis, virtuals, webcams, etc - to have their own icons, it makes as much sense for challenge caches, that are all similar to one another in the fundamental concepts of having a challenge ALR, to be separated from mystery caches.  Then anyone can easily see the challenge caches on the map without everyone having to do extra work in order to do so.  There is no solid argument to the contrary.

 

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10 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

If there was a new attribute for "challenge ALR" then how is it any less work going back to all existing challenge caches to add the attribute than it is to change the cache type?

 

There is no need for less work. The process to select challenges is the same despite of the resulting attribute.

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10 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Should the game be driven by statistics?

That's probably the funniest thing I've read in this entire thread.  Ummmm....sorry to inform you, but it already is :D

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On 10/13/2018 at 8:07 AM, MNTA said:

My problem with puzzle mystery caches is that when I go out caching unless I've solved them they just clutter up the map.

My solution is to never download mystery/puzzle caches to my device except through my "solved unfound puzzles" bookmark list. All mystery/puzzle caches that are ready for me to find go there. It's mostly solved puzzles, but it has also included challenge caches that I've qualified for and field puzzles without any homework (or where I've already done the homework).

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4 hours ago, Touchstone said:

That's probably the funniest thing I've read in this entire thread.  Ummmm....sorry to inform you, but it already is :D

 

Only to those who care about such things.  Saying it's that way for everyone is untrue.  By making this statement, that this game is driven by stats, you're saying that every hide and find is completed solely for statistical purposes and that every move GS makes is also based solely on statistics.  I would disagree with that sentiment. 

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Only to those who care about such things.  Saying it's that way for everyone is untrue.  By making this statement, that this game is driven by stats, you're saying that every hide and find is completed solely for statistical purposes and that every move GS makes is also based solely on statistics.  I would disagree with that sentiment. 

 

Geocachers who are not interested in statistics do not find challenges. Problem solved.

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8 hours ago, Touchstone said:

That's probably the funniest thing I've read in this entire thread.  Ummmm....sorry to inform you, but it already is :D

Perhaps for you.  Perhaps for some others.  But not at all in what the game truly is about - going out and finding geocaches.

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9 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

The process to select challenges is the same despite of the resulting attribute.

 

No.  Not on the app(s) I use on my phone, nor on my GPS.  You can't select by attribute.

 

You'd have to pre-filter in GSAK or on pocket queries... and then what?  Load challenges to the GPS and nothing else, or everything else but challenge caches?  I tend to go out caching for both, but would be great to be able to tell one from the other on the map.

 

Seems like having their own type (and icon) would help a lot of people, and not at all hurt those who don't care.  (Statistics... yeah, whatever)

 

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9 hours ago, niraD said:

My solution is to never download mystery/puzzle caches to my device except through my "solved unfound puzzles" bookmark list. All mystery/puzzle caches that are ready for me to find go there. It's mostly solved puzzles, but it has also included challenge caches that I've qualified for and field puzzles without any homework (or where I've already done the homework).

 That works too. Though you'd think the app would comprehend that you don't have the final coordinates better as these are all work arounds to the same problem.

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9 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

You'd have to pre-filter in GSAK or on pocket queries... and then what?  Load challenges to the GPS and nothing else, or everything else but challenge caches?  I tend to go out caching for both, but would be great to be able to tell one from the other on the map.

 

I see that you are trying to solve a problem caused by limitations of your equipment. I handle challenges the same way as solved and unsolved puzzles. How do you separate your solved mystery caches from unsolved ones? You could use the same method for qualified challenges in your GPS device.

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10 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

You'd have to pre-filter in GSAK or on pocket queries... and then what?  Load challenges to the GPS and nothing else, or everything else but challenge caches?  I tend to go out caching for both, but would be great to be able to tell one from the other on the map.

 

 If you use the GarminExport macro you can set up a different icon for solved unknown caches.

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On 10/13/2018 at 4:55 PM, funkymunkyzone said:

Defining a whole cache type using an attribute is utterly useless when viewing caches on a map or GPS screen. Attributes just dont show up on the map, so how exactly does it help someone out caching in the field?

 

Being able to filter by attributes is only available when creating a pocket query.  Having a distinct cache type allows one to include or exclude caches with that type from the search or maps page *and* create notifications which include or exclude only that cache type.   If someone has not interest in doing challenge caches they probably don't want them included in notifications of new mystery caches.  Someone that *does* want to do challenges cache, but is not interested in puzzle caches would want to see them in notifications while excluding puzzles caches.  The only way to do that would be to have a separate cache type

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16 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

Geocachers who are not interested in statistics do not find challenges. Problem solved.

 

I don't think that's completely true either.  While they may not care about statistics for everything, I'd bet that all of them, even if they're infrequently checking their finds, have some interest in some aspect related to stats, be it a find for every month of every year (Jasmer) or some personal goal, unrelated to a challenge, but somehow related to a stat that may not have a challenge associated with it.

 

You say "problem solved" like the issue is taken care of.  Just because they don't want to find challenges doesn't mean that the issues they  have problems with are suddenly gone.  The biggest one for many of the cachers that don't like/don't want to do challenges is that there's still currently no way to filter them out effectively.  

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17 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

The biggest one for many of the cachers that don't like/don't want to do challenges is that there's still currently no way to filter them out effectively.

 

For me the bigger problem is missing ability so filter field puzzles from not field puzzles. I skip many field puzzles because they are so difficult to identify on field. I would like to have both problems solved at the same time.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

For me the bigger problem is missing ability so filter field puzzles from not field puzzles. I skip many field puzzles because they are so difficult to identify on field. I would like to have both problems solved at the same time.

 

 

 

But field puzzles have an attribute already, while challenges do not.  I know it's not as effective as it could be, but I bet there are less field puzzles than there are challenges out there.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

 

For me the bigger problem is missing ability so filter field puzzles from not field puzzles. I skip many field puzzles because they are so difficult to identify on field. I would like to have both problems solved at the same time.

 

 

 

I can’t see quite how this relates to a cache type for Challenges.  Any type of physical cache could include a field puzzle.

 

For me, Challenge caches are so different from the majority of other ‘mystery’ caches, I think they should have their own type.

 

Typical Mystery:

- Not at posted coords.

- No ALRs.

- Puzzle to solve, or information to gather, etc.

- Found log when found.

 

Typical Challenge:

- At posted coords.

- ALRs.

- No puzzle, etc.

- Can be found before qualification, but logged with a Write Note.

 

There are probably others - apart from the physical cache, it’s harder to find things they have in common.

 

I’m sure it would affect some stats, and quite possibly challenge qualifications, but I think it would be worth that inconvenience.

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I think an attribute makes sense.  I think implementing a new cache type is going to open up too many cans of worms.   Not only the retroactive application issue, but also possible new values in the GPX format and interface issues with some of the GPS units that are out there.  Plus cascading 'keep up' problems for other third party interfaces such as project-gc, GSAK, alternative geocaching phone apps,  and others that I don't even know about.

 

Additionally, it will just make more another data point to be used for statistics, and by changing old ones will invalidate previous finds on other challenges that used that criteria.

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, fuzziebear3 said:

Additionally, it will just make more another data point to be used for statistics, and by changing old ones will invalidate previous finds on other challenges that used that criteria.

 

Possible issues with devices and other apps are certainly valid, but previous qualification for challenges can already be affected whenever say a D/T rating is changed.

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New attribute or new cache type, it doesn't matter. Either has the capacity to mess up someone qualifications for something, if made retroactive. But, has GS ever changed anything retroactively? They didn't go back and add attributes to existing caches. They didn't change old events when they introduced Mega and Giga events. There are still (very old) traditional caches with ALR's or with multiple stages. So, I don't see any retroactive changes happening if GS does add a challenge type cache. 

 

As for whether there should be a challenge cache type, I think there should be one. GS wants people to be able to go out and find caches. Therefore, they should be making it as easy as possible to locate the kinds of caches that people want to find. There are a significant number of cachers that either seek them out, or avoid them. With the current tools, you can search for challenge caches explicitly, or caches with select cache types (which may include challenges). There is no way to exclude challenge caches from a puzzle cache type search.

 

Also, challenge caches are well defined. The Help Center dedicates more words to explaining challenge caches than any other type of cache. IceColdUK points out some of their uniqueness. There is one other that I'll point out; challenge caches require that you have found prior caches. (Well, except for this one.) In some respects, a challenge cache is a self-directed multi-cache.

 

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On 10/14/2018 at 11:59 AM, arisoft said:

 

Geocachers who are not interested in statistics do not find challenges. Problem solved.

 

What is the cliche about generalizations?  I am not particularly interested in caching stats.   I can't think of the last time I looked at them.   But I have found over 200 challenges - less so since the post moratorium rules affected some of the challenges I like the best - and have a unfound list with many more on it.    I was just thinking of doing a search for challenges, but for reasons that have more to do with potential logs than potential stats.   

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1 hour ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

With the current tools, you can search for challenge caches explicitly, or caches with select cache types (which may include challenges).

 

Actually no, you can find them using some search filtering settings, just as with any other type of cache experience. There's no "explicit" way to find challenge caches outside filters or bookmark lists.

 

1 hour ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

The Help Center dedicates more words to explaining challenge caches than any other type of cache.

 

Well no, those words are details about what they are, not how they're defined. They can be defined in 8 words: "'Challenge' in the title, checker in the description." ANd since non-challenge caches can both have challenge in their title, or if they wanted a checker in the description, even that 8 word definition isn't definitive.

All those words explain how they work, not what they are.

 

1 hour ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

In some respects, a challenge cache is a self-directed multi-cache.

 

Actually challenge caches exist (or have existed) as most every physical cache style (trad, multi, puzzle; though I don't believe there's a rule saying a challenge cache container is required to be placed at gz, some reviewers might enforce it), only with the addition of the challenge ALR and being listed as an Unknown since it's the catch-all cache type.

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24 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Actually challenge caches exist (or have existed) as most every physical cache style (trad, multi, puzzle; though I don't believe there's a rule saying a challenge cache container is required to be placed at gz, some reviewers might enforce it), only with the addition of the challenge ALR and being listed as an Unknown since it's the catch-all cache type.

 

Quote
  • The container must be placed at coordinates on the cache page, either as posted coordinates, or as a visible final waypoint.
  • The physical cache must be findable without contacting the owner.

 

I'm struggling to think of a way to do a puzzle or multi style challenge without it being rendered meaningless by the requirement of having the final waypoint visible on the listing.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

 

I'm struggling to think of a way to do a puzzle or multi style challenge without it being rendered meaningless by the requirement of having the final waypoint visible on the listing.

 

The only option now would be to include a field puzzle.  I suppose, in theory, that would allow you to create a puzzle like any other, but resulting in say, a combination for a padlock rather than coordinates.

 

Or, similarly a multi-like trip to collect info for that combination lock.

Edited by IceColdUK

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43 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm struggling to think of a way to do a puzzle or multi style challenge without it being rendered meaningless by the requirement of having the final waypoint visible on the listing.

 

A: Use a combination lock which can be opened only with the correct puzzle solution.

 

B: Add so many visible waypoints that it is easier to select the correct one from your puzzle solution than visiting all of them.

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, StefandD said:

 

 If you use the GarminExport macro you can set up a different icon for solved unknown caches.

 

Solving a problem on the geocaching website with an external tool = bad UX.

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17 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I see that you are trying to solve a problem caused by limitations of your equipment. I handle challenges the same way as solved and unsolved puzzles. How do you separate your solved mystery caches from unsolved ones? You could use the same method for qualified challenges in your GPS device.

 

No, not limitations with my equipment, so no, you see wrong.  Limitations of my eyes and my brain not being able to tell the difference between one ? (general mystery caches, probably a puzzle to solve in order to get the coords) and another ? (a challenge cache that can be visited and signed before the challenge is completed, and is likely to be at the published coords) on the map.  This is a problem everyone has, unless they solve it with additional tools.

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12 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

For me the bigger problem is missing ability so filter field puzzles from not field puzzles. I skip many field puzzles because they are so difficult to identify on field. I would like to have both problems solved at the same time.

 

 

 

That's..... interesting.... or at least it would be if this discussion was about field puzzles.  But it's not.

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Actually challenge caches exist (or have existed) as most every physical cache style (trad, multi, puzzle; though I don't believe there's a rule saying a challenge cache container is required to be placed at gz, some reviewers might enforce it), only with the addition of the challenge ALR and being listed as an Unknown since it's the catch-all cache type.

 

Quote
  • The container must be placed at coordinates on the cache page, either as posted coordinates, or as a visible final waypoint.
  • The physical cache must be findable without contacting the owner.

 

I'm struggling to think of a way to do a puzzle or multi style challenge without it being rendered meaningless by the requirement of having the final waypoint visible on the listing.

 

Yeah that may be a post-moratorium rule then. I've seen multi-style challenges before, and puzzles and field puzzles included with the challenge cache. *shrug*  If not allowed any more, then oh well!

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3 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

Solving a problem on the geocaching website with an external tool = bad UX.

It's an answer to a question about GSAK and has nothing to do with the website. Please read before reacting.

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