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Ordering locations merely to give a bonus cache location on the last location causes needless driving and walking.


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My wife and I have completed 68 Als in 11 states. We plan to view many more. We have seen many interesting natural and historic sites and visited many lovely downtown areas that we would have passed by. However, there is one common issue that has prevented us from doing more and caused needless driving on some we completed. That issue is that about a third (no record kept) of the Als required a sequence or order when there was no apparent reason other than the owner wanted to put bonus cache coordinates on the last location. I understand that many labbers desperately want a bonus cache. A bonus cache is fine, but portions of the bonus cache coordinates can be placed in the journal for each location without requiring a sequence. Only one AL that I visited warranted an order to the locations. In that case, the historic sites were chronological. Even that is a weak reason [I understand that 1889 came before 1901] to require the labber to drive here and there, sometimes zig-zagging around the area and sometimes even requiring the labber to drive to the far end then backtrack. These are not the days for needless driving. I recommend that a statement be placed in the guidelines that indicate that bonus cache coordinates are not sufficient reason to require an order to the locations and that requiring an order should only be specified if it is essential to the AL theme. A similar statement should be placed in the AL template and perhaps even require the preparer to specify the reason for requiring an order.

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5 minutes ago, Dr.Scissortail said:

My wife and I have completed 68 Als in 11 states. We plan to view many more. We have seen many interesting natural and historic sites and visited many lovely downtown areas that we would have passed by. However, there is one common issue that has prevented us from doing more and caused needless driving on some we completed. That issue is that about a third (no record kept) of the Als required a sequence or order when there was no apparent reason other than the owner wanted to put bonus cache coordinates on the last location. I understand that many labbers desperately want a bonus cache. A bonus cache is fine, but portions of the bonus cache coordinates can be placed in the journal for each location without requiring a sequence. Only one AL that I visited warranted an order to the locations. In that case, the historic sites were chronological. Even that is a weak reason [I understand that 1889 came before 1901] to require the labber to drive here and there, sometimes zig-zagging around the area and sometimes even requiring the labber to drive to the far end then backtrack. These are not the days for needless driving. I recommend that a statement be placed in the guidelines that indicate that bonus cache coordinates are not sufficient reason to require an order to the locations and that requiring an order should only be specified if it is essential to the AL theme. A similar statement should be placed in the AL template and perhaps even require the preparer to specify the reason for requiring an order.

I disagree on requiring a reason. The adventure lab allows it, so in my opinion it's not necessary to ask why it's sequential.

 

I have never heard of or seen someone doing a sequential adventure lab just to put the bonus coordinates in the final journal. I can see why you find that annoying. Several Adventure Labs in our area provide the coordinates for the bonus cache in the journal that's closest to the geocache's location. I've also seen an Adventure Lab just west of us that provides the final coordinates in several of the journals. Both of these methods do a great job of helping avoid backtracking. 

 

I have done some ridiculous backtracking for a sequential adventure lab in another state. It was frustrating. 

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

The more I think about it, the more I agree that this is a good idea. 

 

Is there a requirement to have a defined start stage?  I've done a handful of ALs, and not only do they have a required find sequence, I can't do the nearest stage first.  I must go to the start and come back.  That's not much different than a required find sequence, except that it applies to only one stage.

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I don't think the fact that you don't like the sequential ALs justifies forbidding or even discouraging them for any reason the owner wants to use them. I'm sure other people like the last stage to be near the bonus cache, so I see no reason to force the owner to please you instead of them. Spread out ALs of the type you're describing are exactly the kind of AL where it makes the most sense to design the adventure so the last stage is where the bonus cache is.

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I partly agree with the topic starter. I too see a lot of needless travel and issues in trying to fit in lab caches in regular caching missions caused by the ordering in the ALC. I would not go as far as to forbid this ordering, because there can be good reasons to do so or the owner perceives his/her reason to be good enough to use ordering. But I would like if in the lab builder a comment was placed near the ordering switch stating that putting an order in the ALC can cause excessive / irrelevant / unnecessary travel for players. That will hopefully make new owners think about the consequences twice before putting them in effect or not. As I do believe that many ordered ALCs are the result of blindly following what other ALC-owners have done before and/or not much thought going into the effects of ordering.

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On 7/16/2021 at 3:34 PM, Dr.Scissortail said:

My wife and I have completed 68 Als in 11 states. We plan to view many more. We have seen many interesting natural and historic sites and visited many lovely downtown areas that we would have passed by. However, there is one common issue that has prevented us from doing more and caused needless driving on some we completed. That issue is that about a third (no record kept) of the Als required a sequence or order when there was no apparent reason other than the owner wanted to put bonus cache coordinates on the last location. I understand that many labbers desperately want a bonus cache. A bonus cache is fine, but portions of the bonus cache coordinates can be placed in the journal for each location without requiring a sequence. Only one AL that I visited warranted an order to the locations. In that case, the historic sites were chronological. Even that is a weak reason [I understand that 1889 came before 1901] to require the labber to drive here and there, sometimes zig-zagging around the area and sometimes even requiring the labber to drive to the far end then backtrack. These are not the days for needless driving. I recommend that a statement be placed in the guidelines that indicate that bonus cache coordinates are not sufficient reason to require an order to the locations and that requiring an order should only be specified if it is essential to the AL theme. A similar statement should be placed in the AL template and perhaps even require the preparer to specify the reason for requiring an order.

The trick I've used to both put a bonus cache on an Adventure Lab and not make it sequential is letter the stages.  When each stage is completed the letter is coded to a number.  The GPS on the bonus lab is given by the letters that should have been revealed in the completion message of each Adventure Lab stage (and that bit can be referred back to later). I put a Geochecker on the Bonus Lab. 

 

When building an Adventure Lab the choice of sequential or not is a slider button, which I suspect defaults to sequential, I'm not sure as I built my last one a some months ago. 

 

Any additional instructions eat into the small fixed character allowance in each field (1028 in the description fields, 144 in the question field, 140 in the completion message), so when Adventure Labbers request for further details, the lack of information is a result of not having the characters to write much of anything at all.  The final completion message is fixed by Groundspeak. 

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1 hour ago, ShanneW said:

When building an Adventure Lab the choice of sequential or not is a slider button, which I suspect defaults to sequential, I'm not sure as I built my last one a some months ago.

 

It defaults to non-sequential so making it sequential is an intentional action.

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dproven, in my original post I did not say that I "don't like the sequential ALs" and did not say that I would forbid them. I thought I stated logical reasons for "discouraging them" (as you stated), and "to please" me was not one of them. Creators can do as they please, and I did not suggest a prohibition on sequential ALs. Your point that "spread out ALs" are appropriate where they lead to the bonus cache is well taken.

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For what it's worth (?), I've done over 600 AdLab stages, many of them sequential, and I have yet to discern a thematic reason for any of the sequentials, although a number of them did have bonus coordinates in the last journal.  There is one exception, where the CO placed all five stages sequentially along a one-way street, so I guess I can see some logic there.  While I believe I understand the rationale allowing the flexibility for thematic sequentiality, especially in an "experimental" process, I have yet to recognize a sequential theme (except for the one-way street) and have had difficulty trying to come up with an example.  Perhaps someone can give some examples where sequentiality was central to the "experience the CO wanted to provide" which might justify some seemingly awkward driving?

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5 hours ago, TommyGator said:

Perhaps someone can give some examples where sequentiality was central to the "experience the CO wanted to provide" which might justify some seemingly awkward driving?

 

There was one I did that involved travelling by train from Sydney's Central station to Woy Woy on the Central Coast, with the bonus located close to the latter station. For the last two stations of Cowan and Hawkesbury River, where many of the trains don't stop, the questions involved things to look for after the train passed through those stations, so it would have been difficult to accommodate someone travelling in the opposite direction.

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10 hours ago, TommyGator said:

Perhaps someone can give some examples where sequentiality was central to the "experience the CO wanted to provide" which might justify some seemingly awkward driving?

I think it's obvious how it could be used well. I'm pretty sure I gave some hypothetical examples in this thread. But I think you're insisting on an actual adventure to prove it can be done?

 

But to me, the main point here is that there's no reason whatsoever for the AL creator to take "seemingly awkward driving" into account. That's your priority, but there's no reason for it for the ALO to consider it a priority. Even in your examples, the problem tends to be that you were driving left to right but the AL was laid out right to left, so you wouldn't even be able to complain if you'd happened to approach the AL from the "correct" direction.

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:50 AM, dprovan said:
On 8/4/2021 at 12:41 AM, TommyGator said:

Perhaps someone can give some examples where sequentiality was central to the "experience the CO wanted to provide" which might justify some seemingly awkward driving?

I think it's obvious how it could be used well. I'm pretty sure I gave some hypothetical examples in this thread. But I think you're insisting on an actual adventure to prove it can be done?

 

I'll point to mine, for one.

A perfect example of a sequential AL is one that's based on a narrative where each location is literally linear in progression. It may be a location, it may be a story beat, who knows.

It's not so much about whether it's sequential or not, it's about how the locations are tied together. Most ALs they don't have a reason to be linear (narrative or not). Those are annoying when they're locked sequential. But absolutely there can be any number of reasons for a set of locations to be positioned sequentially. Just hopefully good reason :)

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On 8/4/2021 at 8:50 AM, dprovan said:

But to me, the main point here is that there's no reason whatsoever for the AL creator to take "seemingly awkward driving" into account. That's your priority, but there's no reason for it for the ALO to consider it a priority.

 

You are so right! 

 

AL creators have no reason to make their ALs fun, creative, interesting, or pleasant in any way.  Those things may be my priorities, but there is no reason for an AL creator to consider any of that.  The vast majority of ALs I have done illustrate the point very nicely, as the creators have clearly not taken these things into account.

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I started to agree with fizzymagic, but it occurs to me that I haven't done enough of them to really have an opinion on the subject. Most  of my finds  are from before "adventure labs" back when they were mostly at Megas. Did some fun ones in that bunch. 

 

I've started some but not finished - sequential for no apparent reason, and the last one was the wrong direction for me.   Hadn't impressed me enough with the other locations to make that effort. I've also abandoned after only 1, the next was a lot driving. The one I'd done sure didn't impress me enough to make that much driving effort.

 

My own are not sequential, though they're strung along trails.  Coords for the bonus at the second location, the one closest to the physical cache.  Walk can get hot, wet and buggy, I figured some might be just as happy to do 2 lab locations, find a physical cache, and leave.  I sure didn't want to put that info in the location furthest out. 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

I started to agree with fizzymagic, but it occurs to me that I haven't done enough of them to really have an opinion on the subject. Most  of my finds  are from before "adventure labs" back when they were mostly at Megas. Did some fun ones in that bunch. 

 

I've started some but not finished - sequential for no apparent reason, and the last one was the wrong direction for me.   Hadn't impressed me enough with the other locations to make that effort. I've also abandoned after only 1, the next was a lot driving. The one I'd done sure didn't impress me enough to make that much driving effort.

 

My own are not sequential, though they're strung along trails.  Coords for the bonus at the second location, the one closest to the physical cache.  Walk can get hot, wet and buggy, I figured some might be just as happy to do 2 lab locations, find a physical cache, and leave.  I sure didn't want to put that info in the location furthest out.

 

The 23 I've done have all been enjoyable enough and worth the effort of doing them. They were mostly a mixture of highlights of a region, street art or historical tour, with a wildlife park and a humorous political satire one as well. Sixteen have been done on foot, four required driving around, one was a train trip, one a bike ride and one a ferry ride. Most were non-sequential, the notable exceptions being the political satire, the train trip, one of the street art ones (not sure why that last one was set that way) and a long hike around North Head in Sydney that didn't even have a bonus. The ordering of that last one probably made sense for people driving to it, as it started near the car park and did a loop ending back near the car park, but I came across on the ferry, which is nearest the middle of it, so ended up doing a lot of doubling back.

 

I've now just about exhausted all the ones in my region, with only three left to do near Morisset, Charlestown and Newcastle (the two down the bottom of the map are my own contribution):

 

UnfoundALs.jpg.43a20bb44742646b410b9db4b9299b1f.jpg

 

There's been nothing new in this region since last December so I guess once I knock those three off that will be pretty much it, apart from trips down south to Sydney or further afield up north (there's another five around Maitland and Raymond Terrace that I might eventually get to but they're well over 100km from home).

Edited by barefootjeff
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