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SerenityNow

Favorite points bastardized

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Posted (edited)

One day into the Cache Carnival Souvenir run and I believe that favorite points are being bastardized. I use the favorite point feature when I'm planning trips. I'll plan in favorited caches along the way on trips. Already, however, on my leaderboard, one cacher has 400 points and all of the points came from that cacher's caches being favorited. They did not even go out and find any caches. Also another on the leaderboard has 540 points.  They logged caches found the day before but also accumulated about 400 of their points from their caches being favorited. There are a handful of others on the leaderboard earning favorite points in the same way. I can tell by clicking into the caches that they all have worked out a deal to accumulate points by favoriting each others caches. As a side note, many of the caches being favorited have been archived for years! Now I know that the response from a lot of folks out there will be, "everyone plays the game the way they want", but it does make a sham of the favorite point system.

Edited by SerenityNow
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People award Favorites points for reasons that I don't agree with. The new Cache Carnival promotion hasn't really changed that.

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Unfortunately once geocaching became a competitive pastime, anything that could be related to "scoring" and leaderboard-play became bastardized. Find counts, D/T ratings, souvenirs. word counts,  and favorite points. It's very difficult to use the finding tools on the site as they are intended, to help find caches you might enjoy finding. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SerenityNow said:

I can tell by clicking into the caches that they all have worked out a deal to accumulate points by favoriting each others caches. As a side note, many of the caches being favorited have been archived for years!

 

I would hope the favorite points I earn are genuine (modest though they are), and I would not "work a deal" to try and earn them on caches I own.  The cache earns them...  and I will award mine as I see caches that I feel are deserving.  I won't do a deal with other cachers to earn a souvenir!    

 

1 hour ago, SerenityNow said:

I know that the response from a lot of folks out there will be, "everyone plays the game the way they want", but it does make a sham of the favorite point system.

 

As power trails and team caching does make a sham of the # of  caches found, and throwdowns do for caching #'s - if there's a way to game the system, someone will find it and do it for their own self aggrandizement.  Although I won't be part of the gaming of the system, I can't control the behavior of others, and pre-selecting caches based on favorite points may be more difficult after this souvenir round.

 

I've been able to earn most (all?) of the souvenir promotions since I've been geocaching (March 2017) without making any special effort, just caching as I normally would.  I may or may not earn all the souvenirs on this one; we'll see how it goes.  This is only Day 1.

Edited by CAVinoGal

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4 hours ago, SerenityNow said:

... but it does make a sham of the favorite point system.

 

Wow, folks "gaming the system" to get ahead on (yet another) promotion.  Go figure...      ;)

Maybe consider the source and move on ?  Why get an ulcer over something that (really) doesn't matter ? 

In another thread it was mentioned a dumpster and a porta-potty cache both had favorite points. 

 -  Curious, what do other's favorite points mean to you ?   

 

When FPs came out in 12/'10, we favorited all past caches that we enjoyed.   Many were already long-archived, but they were our favorites.  :)

 - The Help Center even says, "Geocaching Favorite Points are a simple way to track and share the geocaches that you enjoyed the most".

 

Yet some still believe that FPs are supposed to be a "help" for others to find good caches.

 

 

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I am not surprised at all by those behaviors of giving FP just to get pts when they're already many people cheating on the lab cache, throwdown, etc

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Do many people really care about souvenirs. Doesn't surprise me that people add favourites to their mates caches cos they can and I find it pretty pathetic to be honest. They may well go again when the Souvenir stuff is done. In the great scheme of life do we really care. In any case the problem is cause by an ill thought out promotion. 

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Total number of Favorite points given - 674

Favorite points remaining 243

 

I give my points to Caches I think worth giving to, whether cleverly made, well hiden or if the puzzle /multi was fun. I have 1 Cache that is still going that has 10 favorite point. Im not fussed about completing the promotion, but it would be nice if I could.

The only thing is, go out and enjoy caching.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:
13 hours ago, SerenityNow said:

I know that the response from a lot of folks out there will be, "everyone plays the game the way they want", but it does make a sham of the favorite point system.

 

As power trails and team caching does make a sham of the # of  caches found, and throwdowns do for caching #'s - if there's a way to game the system, someone will find it and do it for their own self aggrandizement.  Although I won't be part of the gaming of the system, I can't control the behavior of others

 

That's really the key.

The labeling of the leaderboard as leaderboard does imply competition, even though the only person with THAT exact leaderboard is yourself.  If you look at the score and think "someone else is beating me", they've already beaten you.

 

I honestly don't put any value in the leaderboard scores other than as a gauge telling me how much someone is A] geocaching, B] targeting activities that provide bonus points.  That's it.

 

Yep, people "play their own way" (and I hate that cliche as it seems to be used as an excuse to ignore etiquette and general civility), but who says we have to "play" that game at all?  Just go out and geocache. And that doesn't even mean you can't care about getting points or souvenirs. You can care about points and souvenirs and not be competitive.  Value them for the experiences they might nudge you in the direction of having.  That's the game I "play".

Edited by thebruce0
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5 hours ago, lodgebarn said:

Do many people really care about souvenirs.

 

The other 2/3rds does.    States and annual days (Geocaching day, CITO, etc.) mostly.   :)

 - To the point that rather than continually asking HQ to delete souvenirs "not wanted", caching has slowed considerably to not get them during marketing promotions.

Though that could be fixed easily by just having a "button" to click on your profile, just like notifications, choosing not to participate.

 - Of course it would have to be clicked off during "special" days or traveling to another state/country.

Now, you get souvenirs for marketing promotions just by caching.   Seems odd (to me)...

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20 hours ago, SerenityNow said:

I use the favorite point feature when I'm planning trips.

 

This is the problem. Planning. 

 

Many have said ignore the behavior and just go out and cache, but the gaming behavior problem is that it makes it increasingly difficult for cachers who want to plan and spend time having better experiences.  FPs, which were supposed to be a tool to recommend good caches, has become a leaderboard commodity. Everytime Groundspeak promotes a souvenir many game the system. Yet Groundspeak keeps promoting numbers style play and people keep gaming the system, Groundspeak does nothing to discourage the practice and the culture changes.

 

The tools (PQs, D/T, size, attributes, etc) have become generally useless. 

 

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15 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

The tools (PQs, D/T, size, attributes, etc) have become generally useless. 

 

That's a very, very pessimistic view. While yes, because there is no objective standard by which we can actually judge these properties, the vast majority of their uses are still legitimate and relatively accurate (all things considered - ie, difference between opinions/styles of finder and hider, like what constitutes a T2.5 vs T2.0, etc).

In my experience all those properties are not yet "generally useless" for planning, but still have an impressively high rate of validity and reasonable accuracy.

Our problem is if/when we ascribe a higher expected usefulness to them and then are disappointed in rare occasions when we find them misleading (and I understand 'rare' will be quite different depending on regions, and for all I know my region may be spoiled with reasonable application of these properties).

But the sky isn't falling. Yet.

 

All that said though, I do agree:

19 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Everytime Groundspeak promotes a souvenir many game the system. Yet Groundspeak keeps promoting numbers style play and people keep gaming the system, Groundspeak does nothing to discourage the practice and the culture changes.

 

This may well be the downside of positive reinforcement - of beginning new promotions and campaigns that get people stuff and encourage certain "positive" activities, without prohibiting the "negative" ones more prominently or actively. You can encourage the good, but the bad will always remain, even if some people may be swayed to the good instead of the bad.

There has to be some level of discouraging the bad as well or there will always be that bit of poison that disflavours the entire pot.

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3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

... This may well be the downside of positive reinforcement - of beginning new promotions and campaigns that get people stuff and encourage certain "positive" activities, without prohibiting the "negative" ones more prominently or actively. You can encourage the good, but the bad will always remain, even if some people may be swayed to the good instead of the bad.

There has to be some level of discouraging the bad as well or there will always be that bit of poison that disflavours the entire pot.

 

Agreed.  Guess it'd take someone mentioning an issue though, the site doesn't have everything on algorithms - yet. 

Since there's no cash involved, the site may just consider the source too.   :)

 

Follow the light, or fall to the dark side  ...  Obrucewan  :D

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23 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

The other 2/3rds does.    States and annual days (Geocaching day, CITO, etc.) mostly.   :)

 - To the point that rather than continually asking HQ to delete souvenirs "not wanted", caching has slowed considerably to not get them during marketing promotions.

Though that could be fixed easily by just having a "button" to click on your profile, just like notifications, choosing not to participate.

 - Of course it would have to be clicked off during "special" days or traveling to another state/country.

Now, you get souvenirs for marketing promotions just by caching.   Seems odd (to me)...

 

Groundspeak knows this is one of the things that's helping to keep geocaching going these days. For whatever reason, a lot of people like souvenirs. I'd say for most, souvenirs don't have to be for anything special, just so they get the icons into their stats. To me, seems kinda like catching mardi gras beads. They're exciting to get at the time but pretty much worthless after you get home with em. Silly as it is, some people cheat to get souvenirs. :rolleyes:

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

 

Groundspeak knows this is one of the things that's helping to keep geocaching going these days. For whatever reason, a lot of people like souvenirs. I'd say for most, souvenirs don't have to be for anything special, just so they get the icons into their stats. To me, seems kinda like catching mardi gras beads. They're exciting to get at the time but pretty much worthless after you get home with em. Silly as it is, some people cheat to get souvenirs. :rolleyes:

 

 

It's interesting to me how the conversation has shifted since souvenirs came out.  Next year we'll hit the point where souvenirs have existed for more than half of geocaching's existence.

 

I remember a lot of opposition when they were first announced in 2010.  Not as much nine years later.  Either the initial gripes have subsided, or those who expressed them have left the forums (or are just holding their tongues).

 

I've used souvenir chasing as an excuse to go out and find more caches in the past.  With this promotion, though, I've earned 100 points so far sitting around and collecting favorite points on our hides and only 6 finding caches.  As we have two trips planned during spring break to areas with lots of high-FP caches, I think we will have no issues getting to 500 points before the promotion is over.

Edited by hzoi

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27 minutes ago, hzoi said:

I've used souvenir chasing as an excuse to go out and find more caches in the past.  With this promotion, though, I've earned 100 points so far sitting around and collecting favorite points on our hides and only 6 finding caches.  As we have two trips planned during spring break to areas with lots of high-FP caches, I think we will have no issues getting to 500 points before the promotion is over.

 

Yep. I won't earn any by points on my hides (haven't hidden one for a long time so most are found by pretty much all the local community, or they're too high D or T for general finding). And while finding 1 cache w/50+ FPs will earn 3 souvenirs, I'm still going to try to earn them 'cleanly', by challenging myself to find 10x 50+ FP caches. That's how I attempt to enjoy souvenir promotions. Not for the souvenirs, but for the experience they are attempting to promote.  Make the best of them. The value is in the experience, not the digital pixels.

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