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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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I think it is odd that cachers complain about sequential labs that may cause some cachers to travel extra distance but I've never heard anyone complain about Multis that take cachers over some distance.

Some of those multis have been interstate (Maryland-Florida & Maryland-Washington state); some others have been several stages (7-10).

Bottomline: if you don't like sequential labs...don't do them.

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20 hours ago, hostanut said:

I think it is odd that cachers complain about sequential labs that may cause some cachers to travel extra distance but I've never heard anyone complain about Multis that take cachers over some distance.

A multi is clearly defined as one(!) cache, where you have to find/solve at least one additional "stage" before finding the actual cache container. By far the most multis require the cachers to complete the stages sequentially (usually, you don't even know where the next stage is before you found/solved the current one). So this is the expected way a multi works.

 

OTOH, GS makes it quite clear, that each Location of a Lab Adventure is a single cache - a Lab Cache. Therefore, I expect that I can visit these single caches as I see fit unless there is a specific reason that the Lab Adventure only works sequentially.

20 hours ago, hostanut said:

if you don't like sequential labs...don't do them.

I will consider this an option, when GS implements a way to "ignore" an AL. I.e., hide it in the app without completing it.

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Not that I like it, but ALs have a leg up here - at least with a sequential AL you still get a smiley for every 'stage', unlike a Multi. So yeah, one would think there'd be more complaining about a massively lengthy multi than a sequential AL that's stretched over a great distance... :P

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Here's a somewhat different twist on this issue. In early September I was awarded a third credit and have been mulling over several ideas for it, the most promising at the moment being to place it along the 5 Lands Walk, a 10km coastal walking path from Macmasters Beach to Terrigal. There's good phone coverage all along there and the 5 Lands (Macmasters, Copacabana, South Avoca, North Avoca and Terrigal) fits in well with the 5 waypoints. I don't want to make it sequential, firstly because there's no need for it in the narrative, and also because I envisage few players will actually do the 10km hike, rather most will drive to each of the localities and do a short walk to the points of interest. That said, though, there's an annual community walk along the path that does the full hike, with free bus shuttles provided and lots of entertainment and food stalls, so I expect that will be a popular time for the AL to get some interest particularly from visitors outside the area.

 

Thus, in keeping with that and with the general intention of the walk, I'd like to put the overview coordinates (the ones that appear on the main map) at Macmasters Beach, probably in the car park there. This is the official route:

 

Map.jpg.695f8ac6e1c5dfd6f8b2e976fca4fbb6.jpg

 

The dilemma I now have is where to put the bonus cache. Ideally I'd like it to be within easy walking distance of the finish point in Terrigal but, as you can see, that area is pretty saturated already with caches and I'd like to do something a bit more appealing than a Bison tube on a random fence wire or some such. Also I'd prefer to have the bogus coordinates for the bonus the same as the AL's overview coordinates, as that appears to be the common practice around here and ties the two together, but Terrigal is much too far from Macmasters to do that.

 

One option would be to simply not have a bonus cache, but there's a fair bit of information I'd like to put in it (including the route map) that wouldn't fit in the limited space allowed in the AL description. Also another local cacher who created a non-bonus AL last year copped a bit of flack over that so there's clearly a desire by at least some of the community here to have bonuses (I'm not sure why, isn't the 5 smileys from the AL enough?).

 

A second option would be to put the bonus near Macmasters Beach. There's only one existing cache there so it shouldn't be too hard to find a decent place to hide another. On the community walk day, there's a direct shuttle bus from the finish at Terrigal back to the start at Macmasters, so visitors doing it that day could easily use that to get back to the bonus. At other times, someone wanting to end up near the bonus could simply do the walk in the opposite direction, starting at Terrigal and ending at Macmasters.

 

A third option could be to put it somewhere west of Avoca where it could be easily accessed by people driving to any of the locations.

 

Any thoughts? If you were doing this AL, where would you prefer the bonus to be to best avoid needless walking and driving?

Edited by barefootjeff
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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Here's a somewhat different twist on this issue. In early September I was awarded a third credit and have been mulling over several ideas for it, the most promising at the moment being to place it along the 5 Lands Walk, a 10km coastal walking path from Macmasters Beach to Terrigal. There's good phone coverage all along there and the 5 Lands (Macmasters, Copacabana, South Avoca, North Avoca and Terrigal) fits in well with the 5 waypoints. I don't want to make it sequential, firstly because there's no need for it in the narrative, and also because I envisage few players will actually do the 10km hike, rather most will drive to each of the localities and do a short walk to the points of interest. That said, though, there's an annual community walk along the path that does the full hike, with free bus shuttles provided and lots of entertainment and food stalls, so I expect that will be a popular time for the AL to get some interest particularly from visitors outside the area.

 

Thus, in keeping with that and with the general intention of the walk, I'd like to put the overview coordinates (the ones that appear on the main map) at Macmasters Beach, probably in the car park there. This is the official route:

 

Map.jpg.695f8ac6e1c5dfd6f8b2e976fca4fbb6.jpg

 

The dilemma I now have is where to put the bonus cache. Ideally I'd like it to be within easy walking distance of the finish point in Terrigal but, as you can see, that area is pretty saturated already with caches and I'd like to do something a bit more appealing than a Bison tube on a random fence wire or some such. Also I'd prefer to have the bogus coordinates for the bonus the same as the AL's overview coordinates, as that appears to be the common practice around here and ties the two together, but Terrigal is much too far from Macmasters to do that.

 

One option would be to simply not have a bonus cache, but there's a fair bit of information I'd like to put in it (including the route map) that wouldn't fit in the limited space allowed in the AL description. Also another local cacher who created a non-bonus AL last year copped a bit of flack over that so there's clearly a desire by at least some of the community here to have bonuses (I'm not sure why, isn't the 5 smileys from the AL enough?).

 

A second option would be to put the bonus near Macmasters Beach. There's only one existing cache there so it shouldn't be too hard to find a decent place to hide another. On the community walk day, there's a direct shuttle bus from the finish at Terrigal back to the start at Macmasters, so visitors doing it that day could easily use that to get back to the bonus. At other times, someone wanting to end up near the bonus could simply do the walk in the opposite direction, starting at Terrigal and ending at Macmasters.

 

A third option could be to put it somewhere west of Avoca where it could be easily accessed by people driving to any of the locations.

 

Any thoughts? If you were doing this AL, where would you prefer the bonus to be to best avoid needless walking and driving?

Several local adventure labs have the bonus coordinates in the journal of the closest adventure lab location. Or sometimes in the two closest ones if it can be done from either direction. I really like this idea! 

One thought is that maybe they won't complete the adventure lab once they get the bonus cache but to me it's a worthy trade off. Just my thoughts on this. 

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56 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The dilemma I now have is where to put the bonus cache. Ideally I'd like it to be within easy walking distance of the finish point in Terrigal but, as you can see, that area is pretty saturated already with caches

Guess you have a different definition of saturated down under because here it would be considered close to desertic.

 

The shuttle you described doesn't goes both way? Because if it goes both way choose option 2 (bonus at McMaster) with the starting point at Terrigal.

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12 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

The shuttle you described doesn't goes both way? Because if it goes both way choose option 2 (bonus at McMaster) with the starting point at Terrigal.

 

The community walk day is only run in one direction, from Macmasters to Terrigal. There's nothing to stop someone walking against the flow, apart from having to bash their way through the oncoming crowds at some of the pinch points, but it's discouraged.

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20 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Here's a somewhat different twist on this issue.

Well, first, please don't be bullied into putting out a bonus cache if you don't want to. It sounds like you generally think bonus caches are a good idea, so put out one if you want, but if you decide there's no good place for one, feel free not to. You have my blessings to explain to anyone that rudely complains about it what jerks they're being.

 

From what you describe, I would prefer a bonus at the end of your planned journey. Looks like there's plenty of room, but perhaps only for a micro hide hidden in a run-of-the-mill spot instead of your normal ammo can in a beautiful setting. Stretch yourself! :-)

 

If you can't bring yourself to hiding a micro and there's no good place for a regular, I would have no problem with it somewhere down the road a bit where I'll drive by it after the community walk. I think that's what you mean by your third option, i.e., essentially not related to either end.

 

Even putting it near the start wouldn't bother me as long as you explain that in the descriptions. I admit it wouldn't be my favorite option, but I'll likely end up back at the start to pick up a car, so it probably won't be an inconvenience. I do appreciate you taking the community tour into account, but I don't think you have to design the adventure around it. After all, anyone in the community will likely be back at the start at some point, even if it's not on the day they take the community hike.

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I have no ALs, but for the many stage multicaches I have, I have tended to place the cache near the end of the walk/cycle ride, trying to keep it convenient. If I had an AL, I would want to place a bonus cache, to try to give it some resemblance of still being geocaching. I almost did publish one to make it a SideTracked cache, but that needs a bonus cache to count as a SideTracked find, and I found it difficult to find a safe place to place a 'small' sized cache (even a micro...and I will NOT place a nano) within walking distance of the tram. It was to be a Tram SideTracked.

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46 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Well, first, please don't be bullied into putting out a bonus cache if you don't want to. It sounds like you generally think bonus caches are a good idea, so put out one if you want, but if you decide there's no good place for one, feel free not to. You have my blessings to explain to anyone that rudely complains about it what jerks they're being.

 

From what you describe, I would prefer a bonus at the end of your planned journey. Looks like there's plenty of room, but perhaps only for a micro hide hidden in a run-of-the-mill spot instead of your normal ammo can in a beautiful setting. Stretch yourself! :-)

 

If you can't bring yourself to hiding a micro and there's no good place for a regular, I would have no problem with it somewhere down the road a bit where I'll drive by it after the community walk. I think that's what you mean by your third option, i.e., essentially not related to either end.

 

Even putting it near the start wouldn't bother me as long as you explain that in the descriptions. I admit it wouldn't be my favorite option, but I'll likely end up back at the start to pick up a car, so it probably won't be an inconvenience. I do appreciate you taking the community tour into account, but I don't think you have to design the adventure around it. After all, anyone in the community will likely be back at the start at some point, even if it's not on the day they take the community hike.

 

Thanks for the good feedback. I'm not all that fussed about bonus caches, most of the ones I've done have been pretty ordinary and an anticlimax to what was otherwise an excellent AL, so if I can't find somewhere for it that I'm happy with, I'd be content to just go without one. My main concern is the lack of room in the AL description for the amount of information I'd really want to provide, in particular the route map, so the bonus would be handy for that if nothing else.

 

This is what the planning map shows around the nominal end location at Terrigal. There's a mystery cache (actually another AL bonus cache) in the parkland area that fills in the open spot in the middle of the other four on the point, so that's out, and the lookout south-east of there is muggle central with few places for concealing a cache that would last more than a couple of weeks. Further out is the crowded shopping strip along the Esplanade and pretty much the rest is residental areas which I'd want to avoid.

 

PlanningMap.jpg.b210ac915bed14452d76745982e0b546.jpg

 

Driving to the starting point and doing the full walk from there requires some way of getting back unless you have someone else to arrange a car shuttle with. Outside of the community walk day, there are bus services to both Macmasters (not very frequent) and Terrigal (plentiful) but they don't go from one to the other. If I was doing it I'd probably leave my car at one of the transport hubs like Erina (a bit further west) and take a bus to Macmasters, do the walk then catch another bus from Terrigal back to Erina. From that perspective, a bonus near Erina would make sense.

 

But as I said, outside of the community walk day, I expect most players will just drive to each of the locations rather than do the full hike, so for them it probably doesn't matter where the bonus is as long as it's a P&G somewhere that they're likely to go near on their way home.

 

Maybe I'm overthinking this, or maybe it's just a poor choice for an AL (the whole implementation seems more suited to short urban walks), but I have to work on the assumption that this is the last credit I'll get so I'd like to make it as enjoyable and interesting as I can. If it has a bonus I'd like it to be a fitting denouement to the adventure rather than just an afterthought tacked on for that extra smiley. There's a lookout halfway along that provides impressive views of the whole strip of coastline along the walk but there's already a cache there.

 

I'll be meeting up with a group of local cachers next weekend so I'll toss my ideas around with them and see what they think.

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After poring over maps and spending the day exploring the area, I've found a good spot for the bonus cache. It's in a council reserve zoned RE1 (public recreation) halfway between Terrigal and North Avoca (the last two stages if doing them in the suggested order), is well away from any residences and muggle hordes, and provides a nice outlook south over Avoca Beach.

 

BonusOutlook.jpg.9e81573c1cf4515f1efc41f39fcb42b7.jpg

 

The whole AL seems to be coming together quite nicely now so I'll be putting it all together in the coming week. Thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice.

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Doesn't geocaching by definition cause needless driving and walking? I've only done one AL (together with others) since I have no device that supports the app, so I'm no expert. But that one was definitely walking between locations, and I would assume most are? Needless walking is just healthy and does not have to be avoided. In any event, couldn't an ordering of locations by the ALO serve as a guidance to the most efficient route? Hopefully most ALOs don't enforce an intentionally stupid sequence.

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17 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

Doesn't geocaching by definition cause needless driving and walking? I've only done one AL (together with others) since I have no device that supports the app, so I'm no expert. But that one was definitely walking between locations, and I would assume most are? Needless walking is just healthy and does not have to be avoided. In any event, couldn't an ordering of locations by the ALO serve as a guidance to the most efficient route? Hopefully most ALOs don't enforce an intentionally stupid sequence.


I did one AL in a park, crossing grassy areas, and the sequence didn't require backtracking.  It was an efficient route.  But as for healthiness, OK, sure.  At the end of the AL, my car was a healthy distance away. B)

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13 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

Doesn't geocaching by definition cause needless driving and walking? I've only done one AL (together with others) since I have no device that supports the app, so I'm no expert. But that one was definitely walking between locations, and I would assume most are? Needless walking is just healthy and does not have to be avoided. In any event, couldn't an ordering of locations by the ALO serve as a guidance to the most efficient route? Hopefully most ALOs don't enforce an intentionally stupid sequence.

 

On the whole I agree with you, a lot of the enjoyment I get from caching is the walking and exercise, but walking back and forth over the same path doesn't really cut it. There's an AL in Sydney I did a while back that was a sequential loop from the car park around several kilometres of walking paths and back to the car park. That's fine if you drive there, but I came across on the ferry and the car park is the most distant point in the loop from the ferry wharf, so I had to do a lot of back-tracking to complete it. I'm not really sure why they made that one sequential as it doesn't have a bonus cache and the locations aren't telling a sequential story, but I guess they had their reason.

 

But the bigger problem is those ALs that require a lot of driving. The sequential ordering might be fine if you start from the same place as the owner did, but if you live in the oppposite direction it could mean a lot more driving and its associated expense. I suppose that's fine for motoring enthusiasts, for them the more driving the better, but even so they probably don't enjoy going back and forth multiple times along the same stretch of road.

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14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

But the bigger problem is those ALs that require a lot of driving. The sequential ordering might be fine if you start from the same place as the owner did, but if you live in the oppposite direction it could mean a lot more driving and its associated expense. I suppose that's fine for motoring enthusiasts, for them the more driving the better, but even so they probably don't enjoy going back and forth multiple times along the same stretch of road.

 

+1

 

The driving AL that I did in a small area of town caused me a lot of excess driving.  There's no indication of where parking is (where to get out and walk), so Street Navigation sent me to some random point around the block (or into a cul-de-sac).  I had four Apps open, to help me pinpoint the next stage -- there are also no coordinates shown.  This was sequential, but non-sequential would have been the same, expect as you mentioned, I might have planned a route.

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I now have 3 ALs.  

 

The first is sequential.  The start location is a car park.  From there the AL proceeds up one side of the main street, crosses the road, comes back down the other side and the bonus is close to the car park.  There is no reason for it not to be sequential as any other order (except reverse) would involve crossing a Major road more often than necessary. 

 

The second is also sequential.  The start location is a car parking area.  The AL then follows a bush path which loops round and emerges near the car again.  Making it non sequential would confuse people because two pairs of stages are very close to each other in a straight line but far apart following the path.

 

The third can be done in any order, but the recommended order minimizes driving and avoids a nasty right turn across a major highway.  

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On 11/8/2021 at 8:49 PM, Gill & Tony said:

I now have 3 ALs.  

 

The first is sequential.  The start location is a car park.  From there the AL proceeds up one side of the main street, crosses the road, comes back down the other side and the bonus is close to the car park.  There is no reason for it not to be sequential as any other order (except reverse) would involve crossing a Major road more often than necessary. 

 

The second is also sequential.  The start location is a car parking area.  The AL then follows a bush path which loops round and emerges near the car again.  Making it non sequential would confuse people because two pairs of stages are very close to each other in a straight line but far apart following the path.

 

The third can be done in any order, but the recommended order minimizes driving and avoids a nasty right turn across a major highway.  

 

Let me summarize:  You know better than the AL seekers how to best do your ALs,  so you don't give them a choice.  You insist that they are done all at once, and any variation from that must be punished.  Do I understand you correctly?

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33 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

 

Let me summarize:  You know better than the AL seekers how to best do your ALs,  so you don't give them a choice.  You insist that they are done all at once, and any variation from that must be punished.  Do I understand you correctly?

Yes, but no punishment involved.

Edited by Gill & Tony
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6 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

Yes, but no punishment involved.


Au contraire.  Should someone want to do just a single stage of your AL on a trip through town, they have to jump through your little hoops or no dice.  Any variation from the Will Of The Owner will not be tolerated.

 

No thanks.  Your attitude is exactly why I advocate that ordered ALs not be allowed, even though there are cases why they would be useful.

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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:


Au contraire.  Should someone want to do just a single stage of your AL on a trip through town, they have to jump through your little hoops or no dice.  Any variation from the Will Of The Owner will not be tolerated.

 

No thanks.  Your attitude is exactly why I advocate that ordered ALs not be allowed, even though there are cases why they would be useful.

So, let me see if I understand.  You don't like something, so it should be banned.  Is that correct?

 

If someone wants to come to my town and do a single stage of one of my adventures, they can do any one of the Five Beaches stages, the first stage of One Track for All, which is a bush track and there is no rational reason why they would bypass earlier stages to do a later one.  The only issue is Historic Milton and I deem it safer to do it In order since Highway 1 runs through the middle of town.  If and when the bypass gets built I will make it free-form. Not before, and not because someone who hasn't the faintest idea of my locality wants to make a point.

 

Will you make all your traditional caches P&G because someone passing through your town can't do the T4 five hour hike?

Edited by Gill & Tony
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I do not appreciate cache owners who make me do the multi cache in the order they want me to. So controlling!! I don't think Groundspeak should allow this anymore. Either let us do them in the order we want to, or don't allow them at all. I don't appreciate being punished by a controlling CO when there's no reason I cannot do the stages in the order I want to. 

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45 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I do not appreciate cache owners who make me do the multi cache in the order they want me to. So controlling!! I don't think Groundspeak should allow this anymore. Either let us do them in the order we want to, or don't allow them at all. I don't appreciate being punished by a controlling CO when there's no reason I cannot do the stages in the order I want to. 

 

I guess the big difference is you don't get smileys for each of the waypoints in a multi, you have to do the whole thing if you want your prize. HQ seem to have shot themselves in the foot with ALs, on the one hand saying, "We encourage Adventures to contain compelling narratives, for their stages to share a common theme, or for them to unfold in a sequence defined by the content creators" and yet coming up with a scoring system that encourages each stage to be treated by players as a single independent cache with no connection to an unfolding story or theme.

 

My latest AL, 5 Lands Walk, which went live a couple of weeks ago, has so far attracted 14 participants but only 8 of those have completed the Adventure. Of those 8, none have done the actual walk but have just driven to each of the locations. That's fine, I was expecting that to happen a fair bit and the weather these past two weeks hasn't really been conducive to doing a 10km coastal walk, with lots of rain and strong winds and more of the same forecast for the week ahead. But I do still hope that at some point someone will actually walk the 5 Lands Walk and experience it as an entity rather than just 5 separate drive-up virtual caches plus a bonus.

Edited by barefootjeff
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9 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Let me summarize:  You know better than the AL seekers how to best do your ALs,  so you don't give them a choice.  You insist that they are done all at once, and any variation from that must be punished.  Do I understand you correctly?

I'm not a fan of ALs but considering also ALs as one of the available geocache types that's exactly what I expect from every geocache owner: He or she should think of an enjoyable way how to complete the task of "earning" the find. If I have a different opinion of enjoyment it is not necessarily the fault of the owner. Certainly I hope that I can easily detect that I will not enjoy the cache or the AL and can ignore it before finding this out in the middle of the process.

2 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Should someone want to do just a single stage of your AL

Just because GS decided to acknowledge the find count for a single stage of an AL I can't see why this fact should  lead to an obligation for AL owners to make this easy.

I can't think of having the desire to just "check off" one single stage of an AL but that's me and as I said I'm not much into ALs and I consider a well thought out Multi with hidden stages as the cream of the crop regarding geocache types.

Edited by Hynz
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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I guess the big difference is you don't get smileys for each of the waypoints in a multi, you have to do the whole thing if you want your prize. HQ seem to have shot themselves in the foot with ALs, on the one hand saying, "We encourage Adventures to contain compelling narratives, for their stages to share a common theme, or for them to unfold in a sequence defined by the content creators" and yet coming up with a scoring system that encourages each stage to be treated by players as a single independent cache with no connection to an unfolding story or theme.

 

Yeah, I think that smiley-per-location aspect may have people feeling that it's some kind of "right" to be able to do a location at any point, not sequentially. The only similarity there to a geocache is the 'bonus' cache after having to find one or more prior caches. A multi isn't the same thing.

 

The other side of the coin though, is the view that sequential ALs are the exception so why should they be allowed to exist when you're supposed to be able to get a smiley for each location?

 

...nah, I still lean towards the former.  I see no problem with a sequential AL when it makes sense. Unfortunately there's no review or judgment about when it actually is reasonable apart from the ALO's opinion. Because of that, yeah, I think HQ may have shot themselves in the foot with the current setup. ;) 

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On 11/16/2021 at 11:18 PM, fizzymagic said:

Au contraire.  Should someone want to do just a single stage of your AL on a trip through town, they have to jump through your little hoops or no dice.  Any variation from the Will Of The Owner will not be tolerated.

I don't understand what you mean? They can do the first stage. What's hoopy about that? They can't do any other stages. What makes that a crime compared to the AL owner just not publishing an AL at all?

 

On 11/16/2021 at 11:18 PM, fizzymagic said:

No thanks.  Your attitude is exactly why I advocate that ordered ALs not be allowed, even though there are cases why they would be useful.

What attitude are you talking about? He has an opinion about how he wanted to lay out his ALs. He thinks it will be *more fun* for you the way he laid it out. I'm shocked that you, of all people, would say a cache owner can't be allowed to put out the cache the way he thinks is best.

 

On 11/16/2021 at 4:18 PM, fizzymagic said:

Let me summarize:  You know better than the AL seekers how to best do your ALs,  so you don't give them a choice. 

Yes, exactly. He does think he knows better that the seekers. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER CACHE OWNER EVER.

 

OK, field report. I did several ALs this week, including 2 that were ordered. As it happened, the ordering of the 2 ordered ALs fit right into my plans, anyway, and I completed them both, but I honestly don't see any reason to think any other order would be better or even more convenient no matter what my plans were.

 

On the other hand, I ran into a few unordered ALs that I could only do a stage or two from. They were spread all over, just overlapping where I was without actually being about where I was or encouraging me to look at the other places they covered. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that, but I did actually start to wonder whether being able to do those one or two stages was actually worthwhile since I'll likely never do any more of those ALs' stages.

 

My final decision is that, just like with any other cache, any which way is fine because the CO doesn't have to take my personal situation into account.

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During lockdown here I found it frustrating that several ALs had WPs within cycling or walking distance to my house, but to log those WPs I needed to travel (drive) to more distant WPs first. This was most frustrating when our allowed exercise outing was only one hour, and I was doing my best to limit my travel. If I ever have an AL I will allow people to find the WPs in any order.

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6 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

During lockdown here I found it frustrating that several ALs had WPs within cycling or walking distance to my house, but to log those WPs I needed to travel (drive) to more distant WPs first. This was most frustrating when our allowed exercise outing was only one hour, and I was doing my best to limit my travel. If I ever have an AL I will allow people to find the WPs in any order.

I understand being disappointed, but I'm still having a hard time understanding being frustrated. Are you frustrated by puzzles you can't solve, challenges you don't meet, trees you can't climb, kayak caches you can't get to? Many of those are forever out of my reach. At least with an ordered AL, the worst case is that it doesn't fit into my plans *today*, but I can still do it at a later date when it aligns better with what I want to do.

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8 hours ago, dprovan said:

I understand being disappointed, but I'm still having a hard time understanding being frustrated. Are you frustrated by puzzles you can't solve, challenges you don't meet, trees you can't climb, kayak caches you can't get to? Many of those are forever out of my reach. At least with an ordered AL, the worst case is that it doesn't fit into my plans *today*, but I can still do it at a later date when it aligns better with what I want to do.

I was trying to get a find a day, as this motivates me to get out and do some exercise, and these AL WPs were either walking or cycling distance, and I was frustrated by not being able to do them, when travel was limited and time away from home was restricted because of necessary lockdown.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was trying to get a find a day, as this motivates me to get out and do some exercise, and these AL WPs were either walking or cycling distance, and I was frustrated by not being able to do them, when travel was limited and time away from home was restricted because of necessary lockdown.

 

The nearest AL to me that I haven't done yet (apart from my own) is a sequential one starting at Cooranbong, 50km north of here on the western side of Lake Macquarie, with its five locations placed around the northern shore of the lake to finish near Swansea at the lake's mouth. Doing the AL itself takes several hours of driving, according to its description, plus the best part of an hour to get to the start and the same getting home from the finish. The reward-for-effort on that one is pretty low for me, particularly as I remove AL finds from my caching stats, so it will have to wait until I have a regular caching trip planned along that route, and some better weather.

Edited by barefootjeff
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21 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

The nearest AL to me that I haven't done yet (apart from my own) is a sequential one starting at Cooranbong, 50km north of here on the western side of Lake Macquarie, with its five locations placed around the northern shore of the lake to finish near Swansea at the lake's mouth. Doing the AL itself takes several hours of driving, according to its description, plus the best part of an hour to get to the start and the same getting home from the finish. The reward-for-effort on that one is pretty low for me, particularly as I remove AL finds from my caching stats, so it will have to wait until I have a regular caching trip planned along that route, and some better weather.

Pre Covid, I had done few ALs, which was why I still had some available to find during lockdown, and also then why I still had those WPs near me. I also had a few ordinary caches to find. I had avoided finding them (some for years) to keep for a happening such as Covid. I raided the 'bank' during lockdown.

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3 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Pre Covid, I had done few ALs, which was why I still had some available to find during lockdown, and also then why I still had those WPs near me. I also had a few ordinary caches to find. I had avoided finding them (some for years) to keep for a happening such as Covid. I raided the 'bank' during lockdown.

 

I did the eight on the Central Coast last year, with no new ones here since last December (other than mine). I've also just about cleared the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle region except for the Cooranbong one, another driving one around the northeastern part of the lake and a long coastal walk right in Newcastle (also sequential). That last one I might do on a train trip up there if the Newcastle light rail starts running again and we get a nice day (not holding my breath for either of those anytime soon).

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