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CachingColorado

Is it just me, or does it seem that COs are pretty terrible at responding to "questions" regarding their caches?

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18 hours ago, LoveFromColorado said:

Fairly new, but not bad at this. I've sent messages to various CO to ask for help/questions and not once heard back.

I think they should implement a system like facebook that gives metrics on the timeliness and response rate of CO's to help encourage their responses.

 

Uh....nope.  COs aren't required to respond to ANYONE who asks for help.  There's nothing in the guidelines that states this as part of owning a cache.  I'm not on call 24/7; I'm on call when I'm able to reply, whenever that might be.

 

That being said, I'm usually happy to offer help if asked but I'd like to know more about their attempts before offering up anything else.  It's a two way street.  The more you provide me with, the better the help could be to get you back on track and on your way.  I've had many people ask for help and then never get back to me about their specific situation.  

 

As to my personal emails/messages, I rarely hear back.  If I know the CO personally, then I'm more likely to text them.  Most of those COs do get back to me, but it's certainly not instantaneous and sometimes it's not even that quick, the reply coming back the next day.  

 

17 hours ago, arisoft said:

The question is fair. It is not worth of trying to solve a puzzle that is unsolvable for the person who is asking. I would try to figure if there any change by checking what kind of puzzles they have already found and give guidance according to this.

 

It has LOTS of found logs so it has to be solvable, else there wouldn't be any found logs.  I wouldn't say that's a fair question.  While it might not be solvable to the person who asked for help, the found logs make that question, at least to me, more of a rhetorical/satirical question than a legitimate one.  As to looking to the puzzles they've done, you're willing to go to much more effort than I am.  Kudos to you for that.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:
20 hours ago, arisoft said:

The question is fair. It is not worth of trying to solve a puzzle that is unsolvable for the person who is asking. I would try to figure if there any change by checking what kind of puzzles they have already found and give guidance according to this.

 

It has LOTS of found logs so it has to be solvable, else there wouldn't be any found logs.

 

Most players just find the cache with coordinates from a friend. The number of finds tells only the distance from the nearest parking.

 

 

Edited by arisoft

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6 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Most players just find the cache with coordinates from a friend. The number of finds tells only the distance from the nearest parking.

 

If that were the case (here), I’d have a lot more finds on my puzzles.

Edited by IceColdUK
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17 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Most players just find the cache with coordinates from a friend. The number of finds tells only the distance from the nearest parking.

...and where did the friend get the coordinates?

 

Eventually, assuming the FTF didn't just stumble upon the cache, someone solved it at some point.

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22 hours ago, LoveFromColorado said:

Fairly new, but not bad at this. I've sent messages to various CO to ask for help/questions and not once heard back.

I think they should implement a system like facebook that gives metrics on the timeliness and response rate of CO's to help encourage their responses.

 

I guess I'm not understanding why you think COs should have to respond?

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I go against the trend here (I am reading many people don't like to give too much help), because as I wrote earlier, I like to be helpful. That is, as long as they have logged their DNFs. That's a geocaching bug bear of mine (being honest, one of several :D), people being too lazy or chicken to log their DNFs. I did refuse to assist someone who contacted me and said they had searched several times, because they had not logged even one of those DNFs. I think that's the only time I refused to assist. However I only have one puzzle cache, so the enquiries are usually for my traditional or multi caches, so likely easier to assist, as it's only with the search. The last enquiry for my puzzle cache, I gave lots of extra help, but they still couldn't get it. They told me their computer knowledge was very limit. In the end, I just gave them the final coordinates, as I was willing to believe they were struggling with using a computer (this cache needs to be solved on a computer). They were grateful, but wrote they were embarrassed I had needed to give them the coordinates. Their replies were polite and grateful, so I am not sorry I gave them the final coordinates.

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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

as long as they have logged their DNFs

 

It does kinda bug me when someone writes to say they’ve looked several times and they wonder if my cache is even still there.  And there have been no such logs.  Give me some advance notice that there might be a problem, or at least that you are having trouble. I’m not as clairvoyant as some think.

 

Some even make an eventual Find log after they had “looked several times”, when I had no idea someone was looking.  A little heads-up would have been great.

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10 minutes ago, kunarion said:

Some even make an eventual Find log after they had “looked several times”, when I had no idea someone was looking.

Yes, the number of time one reads something like, "Found after six times searching"...and NOT one DNF. Some people are so insecure.

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7 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

The last enquiry for my puzzle cache, I gave lots of extra help, but they still couldn't get it. They told me their computer knowledge was very limit. In the end, I just gave them the final coordinates, as I was willing to believe they were struggling with using a computer (this cache needs to be solved on a computer). They were grateful, but wrote they were embarrassed I had needed to give them the coordinates. Their replies were polite and grateful, so I am not sorry I gave them the final coordinates.

 

This is the reason why I first try to figure if there is some possibility that the puzzle is solvable to the player who asked a help. I may tell what skills it needs to be solved.

 

For example https://coord.info/GC59RC0 is a simple D2 mystery and many players are struggling to solve it. When asked help, I explain that it is only the mathematic equation on the description they are supposed to calculate. Nothing is hidden and the required equation to solve the problem is written on the chalkboard on the image. It may take a week to explain all needed operations but if the player is patient they will success with my help. Most players stops trying because they are not good in maths.

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My puzzle caches have hints scattered through them in the wording of the description, html source and/or image EXIF data, so if someone asks for help I'll generally start by drawing their attention to those and usually that's enough to get them past their roadblock. I've yet to have anyone just ask for the solution or keep pestering to the point where that's the only option left.

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I'll help on puzzles, up to and including just handing over the steps to a solution.   I  like to start with a nudge.  I don't place many and they get few finds. Typically, they involve some walking distance from parking, plus not near urban centers.  They wouldn't get found much as trads.

 

As ku mentioned, the whiny "your cache is MISSING" from someone who has not logged a DNF, on a cache with no DNFs logged at all is my commonest experience with contact from seekers.

 

And people asking  questions about longer multis (only when they've gone lonely for a while), but never attempting them.  The best cache i ever placed was my loneliest, and I had many offers to accompany me when I did maintenance  - >>> the guaranteed find, plus not having to navigate. Far more who wanted to do it with me than ever actually did it. 

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On the other hand... all these arguments can also be made about Facebook's response rating system. If it's about messaging a company, all the same issues apply. What's the relevance of the question? The answer? Availability of the responder? Staffed? Dedicated?  etc etc - all that is boiled down to one "time to respond" expectation. Not very informative. But it's there. If one page's response time is enormous compared to another (without context as to why) that could change someone's mind about asking a question. So really, clearly FB decided to implement that rating system anyway.

 

I think it's also a matter of what the user expects that rating to mean and how much significane they put on it for making their contact decision. That's where the difference lies, I'd say - Facebook communication is much more varied topically, I think, than GC owner communication. If we're looking to contact a cache owner, response time is like much more relevant because the reasons for contact are more streamlined and topical.

 

 

22 hours ago, kunarion said:

For caches I have never solved, while traveling with a group, I'm a little torn.  We all hop out of the car, I'm handed the cache log to sign, we hop back in, and by the way that was a 5/5 cache I've been working on for 5 years.  And everybody's on to the next one!  … Um... I guess I'm done solving that one now...

 

The etiquette in that case is kind of like, "you're not asking the whole world to solve it behind the CO's back, it's friends solving it among themselves, and that's OK". I could rationalize that, if only they didn't call someone else for the coords first.

 

Yeah, I have a bookmark list for puzzle caches I've found but not solved - typically due to group caching (and depending on the puzzle I may either say not to tell me how it's solved, or not even note the final coordinates if they might give away the puzzle).  I can come back to them at a future date.

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13 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:
13 hours ago, kunarion said:

Some even make an eventual Find log after they had “looked several times”, when I had no idea someone was looking.

Yes, the number of time one reads something like, "Found after six times searching"...and NOT one DNF. Some people are so insecure.

 

Even a note would be informative, if they didn't feel they searched 'enough' to warrant a proper DNF. But nothing after admitted 6 visit? ugh.

 

 

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On 9/3/2019 at 5:29 PM, arisoft said:

 

Most players just find the cache with coordinates from a friend. The number of finds tells only the distance from the nearest parking.

 

 

 

Maybe where you are but not where I am, otherwise, like @IceColdUK, I'd have a lot more finds on my puzzle caches and I'd have a lot more puzzle caches to my credit than I currently do.

 

I'm not understanding the reference to number of finds being related to the nearest parking.  How do you think they're related?

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8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Even a note would be informative, if they didn't feel they searched 'enough' to warrant a proper DNF. But nothing after admitted 6 visit? ugh.

 

 

I do a note if I couldn't search; such as muggle sitting at GZ and I wasn't able to search. To me that's not a DNF as I didn't search. But if I searched and couldn't find the cache, it's a DNF, even if I am the first (logged) DNF after a 100 finds on a 1.5D. I'm able to do that, but unfortunately too many aren't it seems.

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So, what is the response rating of the OP in this thread? She plopped down a suggested solution to a supposed problem, and vanished. I'm giving her a zero. :laughing:

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On 9/4/2019 at 12:48 AM, The A-Team said:

...and where did the friend get the coordinates?

 

Eventually, assuming the FTF didn't just stumble upon the cache, someone solved it at some point.

 

Directly from the co’s real account because the only reason the cache even exists is that the co and their friends needed a FTF on D1/T5 mystery that starts with the letter Z and is hidden on February 29th for their stats chasing metagame because they stopped caring about normal caching after the first 10k finds.

 

Or on a more reasonable level, there are caches where almost every found it log mentions having received hints from the co or finding it together with someone else. At that point you could start wondering if anyone has solved it without extra hints. Maybe the mystery was solvable 10 years ago when it was hidden, but now the crucial page you were intended to google has disappeared and the only people still logging it are those who got the coordinates from an earlier finder.

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

the only people still logging it are those who got the coordinates from an earlier finder.

Saw a couple of those in an area I was researching before a visit.  I considered it a challenge.  Thought I had it figured out; got ready to check my coordinates

... archived!  :rolleyes:

 

Ah well, that's what I thought should have happened before I ever saw it.

 

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I've only gotten a personal message about my caches twice. *asking for help*

One was from an experienced cacher, at the just-published cache, having a problem with the lock.  He was quite shocked when I was standing there less than 5 minutes later. (I just happened to be very nearby.)

The other, "What am I looking for?" regarding a 1/1.5 ammo can in the crook of a tree, took me a bit longer to reply.  First I had to get over being flabbergasted at the question.  Then had to decide if they were actually asking for me to describe the container and where it was hidden.  Finally, I took the time to point out all the clues (from size to attributes, etc.) on the cache page.

 

I rarely have cell service when out caching, so usually don't even try to message the CO while standing at the cache.  To their credit, most respond quite quickly when I send a photo of what I thought might demonstrate a missing cache or container within a host.  Some never do.  It usually doesn't matter (unless they don't respond *at all*) since I'm home logging my dnfs, so at the earliest it will be the next day before I search for it again, though there was one case when it made the difference between turning around at 1/2 mile away, and finding that day, vs. having to return another time from 30 miles away.

 

Having said all that, for the most part, I don't carry my cellphone around with me when at home, so I may not even see that there's a message until sometime that night when I get a free moment to check my email.

Edited by VAVAPAM
*clarify*

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We have a cache nearby that most people are beginning to suspect cannot solved or found; if only because there might be some shady activity with the coordinates and checker.  Anybody who's been working on it over the years has pretty much given up. And if everyone gives up, it's just going to sit there for perpetuity.  AFAIK this was before COs were required to explain the solution (though that might be regional). Don't know how the community and/or HQ gets to deal with caches that are suspected to not have a solution, other than a reviewer requesting the solution on threat of archival. And that seems like a last option that would be taken only on HQ authority.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

We have a cache nearby that most people are beginning to suspect cannot solved or found; if only because there might be some shady activity with the coordinates and checker.  Anybody who's been working on it over the years has pretty much given up. And if everyone gives up, it's just going to sit there for perpetuity.  AFAIK this was before COs were required to explain the solution (though that might be regional). Don't know how the community and/or HQ gets to deal with caches that are suspected to not have a solution, other than a reviewer requesting the solution on threat of archival. And that seems like a last option that would be taken only on HQ authority.

 

I'm very familiar with that kind of thing, where the puzzle is... not especially elegant... and the CO doesn't even hunt 5/5 puzzles, and uses the cache logs as a chat room (except on caches he finds, which are, surprise, just "TFTC").  Put 'em on ignore.  Is that cache container a plastic coffee container?  If I were to create a "5/5" puzzle, I'd expect it could be at least a long time before being found, so it would be a nice, sturdy, tried-and-true ammo can or something similar.

 

I would enjoy a real puzzle that nobody can figure out.  Sometimes I have a little folio of notes, or an ongoing Word file.  Every once in a while I break it out and try a new angle.  But they're most often unsolvable due to mistakes, typos, just plain messy puzzle design, and that detracts.  They tend to become archived without any find.  I don't think it's often due to "HQ" getting involved.  Anyway, if it's a cool puzzle with a sealed and secure container, it shouldn't need to be archived (except if there's some policy that Geocaches are to be either found a lot or archived).  It's fine, it's ready to be found, go find it. B)

 

Edited by kunarion

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I have once or twice put out a difficult puzzle not realizing there's a typo. After a while if there doesn't seem to be any progress on the finding (or someone asks for relevant help) I'll notice the mistake - or I'll test-solve it myself and notice the mistake. It can happen.
If a hard puzzle cache is unfound for many years, I would hope and expect that the CO has at elast run a few test-solves on it to ensure there are no mistakes.

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