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What's the logic of the Find Count for Lab Caches


Max and 99
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1 hour ago, rustynails. said:

 

Rules state Adventure Lab should take 8 hours or less to complete. What Lab are you doing ? Why is it taking weeks ?

There is too much driving required between each stage and there's no way that the labs could be completed on foot or by public transport in that time.  I have treated each stage as a separate caching trip.

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4 hours ago, rustynails. said:

 

Rules state Adventure Lab should take 8 hours or less to complete. What Lab are you doing ? Why is it taking weeks ?

 

The latest update to the Builder Guide offers the following tip:

"Tip — Set up the Adventure so that all Locations can be visited within two (2) hours, ideally walkable."

 

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28 minutes ago, Old Bet said:

Looks like this has been addressed by HQ. I found a 5-step adventure today; my total finds incremented by 1.

 

Do you mean you completed all 5 stages of an Adventure Lab but your total find count only increased by 1?

If that's true, that's a very significant change and I'd be surprised if they rolled that out without at least a small announcement.

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I have :

 

Lab Cache Founds : 5

 

after doing one Lab Cache with 5 stages.

 

It indeed adds 5 to my Geocache Finds total. Quite weird.
Especially since this page

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/request/adventurelab

 

says:

 

Geocaching HQ is offering qualified Premium members an opportunity to create an Adventure Lab experience with up to 5 Locations.

 

This suggests, to me, that I could create ONE cache with 5 WPs.

 

 

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The easy way to get smileys is what puts me off ALs to be honest. I'm not into numbers, and doing an activity that clearly boosts finds just feels wrong to me. Hey, there's an AL in Amsterdam with 5 points within roughly 100m. Oh come on, seriously: What's the point! I would certainly do them more often if I only got one find per completed AL.

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I also don't understand how can we treat as separate "cache" writing a short answer in the question. Without any minimum distance between the points. This means we can have multiple rubbish-labs with 5 points to be answered without moving from that place (or possibly even from home with some gps spoofing tools)... Just to inflate someone stats.

I really like the idea of adventure labs as improved virtual Wherigo or just as virtual multicache, but it should be treated as one cache. According to the GC guidance, lab should be doable within 2 hours (preferably by foot). If someone prepares a lab which requires hundreds of kilometers of travel - fine, the person starting this lab knows it when looking into the map attached. If it was multi-cache, that would be still one catch. Lab is easier while it is virtual, no need to boost artificially the stats...

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I think there'd be a lot less angst if the AL finds didn't insert themselves to the overall Find count of users. It used to have a more defined meaning, but now they're not "geocaching [listings] finds". Someone could have 10,000 finds in theory with 8000 being individual AL stages (or Lab Caches, either way).  It's that crossover metric that does affect the geocaching community. If it ddn't cross over, then ALs would be completely independent and their existence wouldn't bug nearly as many people :P

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On 10/19/2020 at 10:12 PM, thebruce0 said:

I think there'd be a lot less angst if the AL finds didn't insert themselves to the overall Find count of users.

My (slightly cynical) guess is that there would also be a lot less enthusiasm to play/log ALs, if you wouldn't score one "smiley" per AL location.

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Just now, baer2006 said:

My (slightly cynical) guess is that there would also be a lot less enthusiasm to play/log ALs, if you wouldn't score one "smiley" per AL location.

I would be MORE inclined to do them, if they only gave one smilie. I was offered an AL to publish. I have decided not to publish it, because of the scoring, and other problems with them.

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3 hours ago, baer2006 said:

My (slightly cynical) guess is that there would also be a lot less enthusiasm to play/log ALs, if you wouldn't score one "smiley" per AL location.

No, seriously, I doubt that matters to anyone at all. Well, as Goldenwattle says, it may discourage people, but I really don't think anyone's more inclined to do them because they get 5 smilies. I'm sure no one notices other than us who discuss it here in the forums, and I really don't think anyone worried about getting their find count as high as possible would waste time doing it with ALs.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

...but I really don't think anyone's more inclined to do them because they get 5 smilies. I'm sure no one notices other than us who discuss it here in the forums, and I really don't think anyone worried about getting their find count as high as possible would waste time doing it with ALs.

 

Normally you and I are on the same page or if not, then awfully close, but in this case I think you're off.  I know quite a few cachers with high numbers (5 and 6 digit cachers) who find as many ALs as they can when they're out caching and specifically include ALs as part of their runs.  I have one friend with over 100,000 finds and he's racked up over 1300 AL finds, which roughly translates into 260 individual ALs.  Compared to his overall totals over these past 13 years of his caching, it's a small drop in the bucket but he's not certainly not skipping very many of them because he sees them as a waste of time.  His number of AL "finds" already surpasses his total number of finds of Wherigos, ECs, events, virtuals, and multis (not added all together but individually by total finds) and those totals are from over 13 years of caching.

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On 1/22/2020 at 11:18 AM, Max and 99 said:

If I do a multi cache I get one Find credit for the whole cache, not one per stage. Why are Adventure caches set up differently?

 

I guess its the same reason you can do a power trail and get dozens of finds or a handful of urban LPCs and pill bottles and get +1 for each. For some, the emphasis is on the numbers rather than the "Adventure".

 

I blame the AL guidelines, which says ALs should be "ideally walkable. and visited within 2 hours." Groundspeak should drop the "walkable" and time restraints to encourage more actual Adventures in the AL project.

walkable.png

Edited by G0ldNugget
clarity
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35 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Normally you and I are on the same page or if not, then awfully close, but in this case I think you're off.  I know quite a few cachers with high numbers (5 and 6 digit cachers) who find as many ALs as they can when they're out caching and specifically include ALs as part of their runs.  I have one friend with over 100,000 finds and he's racked up over 1300 AL finds, which roughly translates into 260 individual ALs.  Compared to his overall totals over these past 13 years of his caching, it's a small drop in the bucket but he's not certainly not skipping very many of them because he sees them as a waste of time.  His number of AL "finds" already surpasses his total number of finds of Wherigos, ECs, events, virtuals, and multis (not added all together but individually by total finds) and those totals are from over 13 years of caching.

Thanks for the interesting datapoint. In my experience, people with over 100K finds simply love geocaching, so I'd be more inclined to view your friend's interest in ALs are finding them a compatible and enjoyable addition, not a source of finds to reap. I'd be curious to compare his *rates*. Have ALs been a big boon that allows him to find geocaches much faster? Or has he just embraced ALs for their own merits and is scoring as many finds -- or less? -- than he ever did? In my experience, those 5 finds for finding the 5 stages of an AL typically take more time than doing a block of 5 independent geocaches. And that's me walking to each cache. Someone that wants to score numbers can drive from cache to cache much faster than the ALs I've done which almost always require getting out and walking around some area to collect information.

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19 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

I blame the AL guidelines, which says ALs should be "ideally walkable. and visited within 2 hours." Groundspeak should drop the "walkable" and time restraints to encourage more actual Adventures in the AL project.

Just talking about in practice, I'm finding this advice is working spot on. It does encourage AL creators to focus on how much time people will have to spend on their ALs, and it encourages ALs that put me physically into the area by telling creators to think about walkability. But at the same time, we still are getting ALs in my area that ignore the advice and present stories that require miles of driving.

 

In other words, from what's happening here in the SF bay area, the advice encouraging walkable and time limited has resulted in a good balance. It's ignored often enough for ALs to have all kinds of approaches, but it's followed enough so that many ALs are localized and focused.

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14 minutes ago, dprovan said:

It's ignored often enough for ALs to have all kinds of approaches, but it's followed enough so that many ALs are localized and focused.

 

That sounds like a good balance. Almost every AL around here is a city walking tour, covering just a few blocks. The emphasis is mostly on quick and walkable.

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1 hour ago, G0ldNugget said:

 

That sounds like a good balance. Almost every AL around here is a city walking tour, covering just a few blocks. The emphasis is mostly on quick and walkable.

 

The ones I've done around here are a broad mix but even the shortest would have been a couple of kilometres of walking all up. There's one that requires 75km of driving as well as some serious climbing and rock-scrambling at a couple of the locations, but it's a tour of the region, not just a locality. My own two are reasonably long hikes, the first a 5km loop hike over fairly steep terrain and the second a 3.7km hike along the waterfront (although that one can be mostly driven if someone wants to).

 

There's one that went live a few days ago that's a 10km hike along an old 1800s convict-built road with some steep climbs in sections. It will likely take me three or four hours to complete, plus an hour and a half's drive each way to get there and back. I'd much prefer something like that than walking a couple of blocks in a city.

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3 hours ago, G0ldNugget said:

I guess its the same reason you can do a power trail and get dozens of finds or a handful of urban LPCs and pill bottles and get +1 for each.

The difference is that many ALs have WPs closer than would be allowed in a power trail. There's more effort needed to do a power trail than some ALs, where you wander from one notice board to another in a small area.

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

It does encourage AL creators to focus on how much time people will have to spend on their ALs, and it encourages ALs that put me physically into the area by telling creators to think about walkability. But at the same time, we still are getting ALs in my area that ignore the advice and present stories that require miles of driving.

 

In other words, from what's happening here in the SF bay area, the advice encouraging walkable and time limited has resulted in a good balance. It's ignored often enough for ALs to have all kinds of approaches, but it's followed enough so that many ALs are localized and focused.

 

I'm not exactly "Bay Area", more like North Bay!  But still, I am one that ignored the tip to make it "walkable" - but it still takes an hour, more or less, and you can bicyle it or drive it in that hour.  It's made clear up front in the description it is meant to be drivable, about 10 miles between start and end, depending on the orderyou tackle the locations.  My husband also was awarded one to create, and his is likely to be a walking one . . . both are (will be)  themed and don't take an extraordinary amount of time.  IF, by chance, I get awarded a second one, I may make it a bit more elaborate and challenging.

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15 hours ago, dprovan said:

Thanks for the interesting datapoint. In my experience, people with over 100K finds simply love geocaching, so I'd be more inclined to view your friend's interest in ALs are finding them a compatible and enjoyable addition, not a source of finds to reap. I'd be curious to compare his *rates*. Have ALs been a big boon that allows him to find geocaches much faster? Or has he just embraced ALs for their own merits and is scoring as many finds -- or less? -- than he ever did? In my experience, those 5 finds for finding the 5 stages of an AL typically take more time than doing a block of 5 independent geocaches. And that's me walking to each cache. Someone that wants to score numbers can drive from cache to cache much faster than the ALs I've done which almost always require getting out and walking around some area to collect information.

 

Not having done any ALs or even downloaded the app to look at any, I don't know if they typically tell you how long they might take to complete in the initial description (do they do that?).  However, knowing his MO, which is to remove caches that might take some extra time to complete, he tends to focus on caches that he thinks would be quick.  He rarely does multis that are longer than 2 stages and he will also skip ECs that could take longer.  I would assume that if the estimated time is known, he would remove any AL that could conceivably take too long, just as he does for all the other caches in an area he's making a run on.  I would also assume that he could conceivably do the first couple parts if they were close to where he was caching and then just drop it at the point that it became unreasonable to him to finish it.  I don't see a lot of AL bonus caches in his finds but that could be because he hasn't done many that have bonus caches at the end or it could be because he doesn't complete them.

 

I looked up another friend who has over 50,000 finds and his AL total is just over 600 (120 individual ALs).  My closest geo-friend, who has a find count over 70,000 only sits at 323 (64).  Another friend, who has been caching for 5 years and is over 25,000 sits at 361 (72).  Another cacher sits at almost 10,000 in 4 years is now at 202 (40) AL finds, which surpasses her totals for multi, virtual, EC, event and Wherigo caches.

 

All of these people certainly aren't skipping them but I honestly don't know their primary reasons for doing them - the number of finds, the relative newness of them, the format, or some combination of these and/or something else not mentioned here.  I would have to think that doing one individual AL that could net you 5 times the number of finds with no need to actually find a physical cache would certainly be one of the draws for those with high numbers.  Even if you just do one of the stages/zones/stops and get credit for a find, it's got to be quicker than a traditional cache on a walking trail and just as quick as a P&G.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I would have to think that doing one individual AL that could net you 5 times the number of finds with no need to actually find a physical cache would certainly be one of the draws for those with high numbers.

I think this is our fundamental difference of opinion. You seem to assume that someone with a high find count must be doing geocaches for no reason other than to get a high find count. I've consistently found that people with high numbers are just really into geocaching, do it all the time, continually travel to find fresh meat, and just generally can't be stopped. The high find count is a side effect of their love of geocachiung, not the goal. If you looked at a serious golfer and found that they'd played many courses, you wouldn't think that they only play golf so they can get a high course count, would you?

 

The statistics you cite about your friends lead me to one inescapable conclusion: your friends like to do ALs. It's possible that the 5-to-1 find ratio is one factor they might use in choosing an AL over another cache on any given day, but I see nothing at all in your data that suggests they're only doing the ALs because of they get 5 finds for each one.

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An Adventure Lab is in one way, more akin to a GeoTour where a single GT code covers multiple GC codes. It differs radically in that you get a found for each GC in the tour and you have to find a physical cache where with ALs you only have to provide information for the find. For GTs you only get a souvenir for finding ALL caches in the tour whereas with ALs you get nothing for completing it. GTs can be done by GPSr users  or smartphone users. ALs are restricted to smartphone users. In the original spirit of Geocaching, the GT is more authentic. Geotours can be planned out ahead as all coordinates are known. ALs cannot as only the starting coordinate is known. Geotours take the greatest skill and dedication to complete while ALs take very little skill on the whole. 

 

 Two similar but different things that may appeal to different audiences much as Wherigos are not for everyone. Whether ALs are a gateway to getting foks interested in Geocaching or a simple way to pass time when you tire of other location-based games remains to be seen.

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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

I think this is our fundamental difference of opinion. You seem to assume that someone with a high find count must be doing geocaches for no reason other than to get a high find count. I've consistently found that people with high numbers are just really into geocaching, do it all the time, continually travel to find fresh meat, and just generally can't be stopped. The high find count is a side effect of their love of geocachiung, not the goal. If you looked at a serious golfer and found that they'd played many courses, you wouldn't think that they only play golf so they can get a high course count, would you?

 

The statistics you cite about your friends lead me to one inescapable conclusion: your friends like to do ALs. It's possible that the 5-to-1 find ratio is one factor they might use in choosing an AL over another cache on any given day, but I see nothing at all in your data that suggests they're only doing the ALs because of they get 5 finds for each one.

 

I'm a bit at the other extreme, with just over 1200 finds after nearly eight years in the game, but even after just two months and with seven ALs completed, they are already noticably skewing my stats.

 

image.png.f9350d171f787ab44f9ea5b6f55b347a.png

 

Labs have already overtaken ECs and events and I'll only have to do another ten of them for them to overtake multis too.

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23 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

There's more effort needed to do a power trail than some ALs, where you wander from one notice board to another in a small area.

 

Yes, true, but why do you blame ALs for this, how about blaming AL Owners who are not willing or capable to create something nice and interesting.

 

10 hours ago, coachstahly said:

All of these people certainly aren't skipping them but I honestly don't know their primary reasons for doing them

 

If someone already found 50,000 cache, how many do you think are still in this persons neighborhood?  Almost nothing.  So if there is a new AL close by, this person will play the AL.  Less driving and less time than on a normal cache day where you probably have to go 30 miles to find the next cache.

 

7 hours ago, dprovan said:

The statistics you cite about your friends lead me to one inescapable conclusion: your friends like to do ALs. It's possible that the 5-to-1 find ratio is one factor they might use in choosing an AL over another cache on any given day, but I see nothing at all in your data that suggests they're only doing the ALs because of they get 5 finds for each one

 

Yes I fully agree to everything dprovan has said before.  If your count is 50,000 and you do one AL, your statistic goes up 0.01%, 600 are 1,2%

.

 

Edited by Mausebiber
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On 10/29/2020 at 10:41 AM, dprovan said:

I think this is our fundamental difference of opinion. You seem to assume that someone with a high find count must be doing geocaches for no reason other than to get a high find count. I've consistently found that people with high numbers are just really into geocaching, do it all the time, continually travel to find fresh meat, and just generally can't be stopped. The high find count is a side effect of their love of geocachiung, not the goal. If you looked at a serious golfer and found that they'd played many courses, you wouldn't think that they only play golf so they can get a high course count, would you?

 

The statistics you cite about your friends lead me to one inescapable conclusion: your friends like to do ALs. It's possible that the 5-to-1 find ratio is one factor they might use in choosing an AL over another cache on any given day, but I see nothing at all in your data that suggests they're only doing the ALs because of they get 5 finds for each one.

 

Having cached with them previously, I can think of only one that I've mentioned (without naming names) that finds the experience of caching worth the time to slow down and enjoy an individual cache.  I did a bike trail with one and she was more interested in moving onto the next one than she was about the one that we just found.  I did a stretch of paddle caching with another and it was the same thing.  Each and every log is a cut and paste with rarely any mention of anything that pertains to an individual cache experience.  To me, they might enjoy caching but it's in a style of caching that's more related to finding the next one, and then the next one, and then the next one.  It's not about the individual cache but the cumulative caches.  I'm sure there are some singular caches that they have singled out.  How could there not be.  Surely there are some caches that stand out due to a variety of reasons.  However, choosing an area to cache in based on how many finds you think you can get over the types of experiences you can get seems to be the preferred method of their caching.

 

How many GRCs, LPCs, and pill bottles at the base of a sign are truly enjoyable beyond the first couple you find?

 

Also, I didn't say that the primary reason they are doing the ALs are due solely to the number of finds you get for completing one.  Your point was that high numbers cachers would conceivably choose to avoid them because they might be more "work" than 5 simple traditional caches.  I think they choose to do them because they happen to be there and they can be halted at any point that they might deviate from the route they've opted to take, yet those finds don't disappear because the AL wasn't completed, like a Wherigo, a multi, or any other cache that requires you to sign the log at the end in order to log the find.  I'm sure the number of finds for completing one is part of the reason but it's not the only reason.

 

16 hours ago, Mausebiber said:

If someone already found 50,000 cache, how many do you think are still in this persons neighborhood?  Almost nothing.  So if there is a new AL close by, this person will play the AL.  Less driving and less time than on a normal cache day where you probably have to go 30 miles to find the next cache.

 

There aren't 260 ALs in ANY small defined area.  They're traveling to cache and the ALs are one more thing they can add to their itinerary that will allow them to increase their find count.  Again, I don't think it's strictly about them being 5 for 1 but instead they're one more thing that they can do that will allow them to add to their find count.  If they're not traveling, then of course they'll jump at the chance to go after an AL if they've cleared out their normal area.  Knowing how much a couple of these people travel, most of their caching hasn't been strictly local for quite some time.  

 

16 hours ago, Mausebiber said:

If your count is 50,000 and you do one AL, your statistic goes up 0.01%, 600 are 1,2%

 

I fully understand that.  I even said that someone with a high numbers total that has found quite a few ALs will show that it's just a drop in the bucket.  However, when their find count for ALs, at an individual level (260) is beneath their find count for other types of non-traditional caches but then surpasses all the other non-traditional totals (other than ? caches) once each stage is counted as a find, then it stands to reason that an increased find count for ALs is a better method for increasing their overall total than finding the same number of multis, wherigos, ECs, virtuals, or LBH that have multiple stops/stages but only yield one find, assuming you complete it.  An AL can yield anywhere from 1- 5 finds and there's no need to complete it in order to "keep" the find.

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I am not sure if this has been said, but I think getting credit for each stage of an Adventure Lab is about numbers and making it successful.  I started caching in 2004, and at that time a multi-stage cache was just as popular as traditional cache.  I took an 8 year hiatus, and now I am caching again.  It seems now that traditional caches are far more popular than multi-stage caches.... Again, it’s about numbers!  It doesn’t bother me that you get multiple credit for an Adventure Lab.  It offsets the harder caches that require long hikes and the multi-stage caches that take most of the day to complete; like a 21 stage cache I did many years ago! BTW, I have not done an Adventure Lab yet. Hoping to do one today!  

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Help! I do not know where to look ....

For the first time in 5 years, I found a Lab (now Adventure Labs with its own app) Cache .... All stages counted as a find. :huh: I understand that this a GS feature not a bug. :(

 

My question: are previous Lab Cache (found prior to the app) stages counted this way? It doesn't seem to be, but I was just wondering as the app states I have completed 5 Adventure Labs .... If the stages in those 5 ALs are counted individually, my milestone numbers are totally gooned up. <_<

 

What is the date that GS started counting individual AL stages as cache finds?

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We had this in 2016 already.  Here is the description of the first stage of the Antietam Adventure, and here is the guide for this adventure:

http://dcagames.com/r/a.pdf

Explore Antietam National Battlefield and earn finds for all ten stages of this lab adventure.

 

 

 

Stage 01 - Introduction (do this stage first!) (Visitor Center (Tour Stop 1))-Antietam Adventure
Watch the video for information about this adventure.

Your first task is to discover a secret code known the Master Key. You will need to enter this Master Key at the start of every Find Code for the rest of the adventure. For example, pretend the Master Key is "UNION" and the clue to Stage 3 is "RIFLE". You should enter "UNIONRIFLE" as the find code for Stage 3. You cannot solve any of the rest of the stages without this key.

To find the Master Key, go to a spot near the Visitor Center with a flag permanently draped over the top. Standing at this spot, look towards the Visitor Center. Name the green man-made object visible to the left of the Visitor Center (two words).

Bonus Tip: After every correct "Find Code" you will be shown either an image or a video. If the image or video doesn't load right away, give it time, or try again. Otherwise you might miss some important information!
-It is September 17, 1862, the bloodiest day of battle in U.S. history. You are an aspiring intelligence officer in the Confederate Army, and the Union has your troops outflanked and heavily outnumbered. Will you be able to gather key information and help save the Army of Northern Virginia from decimation?

 

 

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