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New challenge caches rule.


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I've just noticed that challenge chaches guidelines has been recently updated:

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=206

 

The new restriction was added: "Challenges based on words or letters. Examples: use the first letter of regions of found caches to spell a word, find caches with attributes that begin with a certain letter, find caches in counties with the same name." cannot be published.

 

Could you, please explain the motivation for adding this restriction? Why it was introduced?

I'm curious as both attributes and counties doesn't change in general. They constitute a finite, closed list.
So what is the difference between requiring caches with specific attribute (e.g. "yard") and requiring caches that have attribute starting with the "Y" letter? Practically both are the same!

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This update was made about one month ago. 

 

Challenge caches are required to be based on "geocaching achievements."  Spelling something is not a geocaching achievement.  For that reason, spelling words by using the first letter of a cache name has been against the challenge cache guidelines since the moratorium ended several years ago.  The concept has now been extended to other spelling exercises.

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3 hours ago, Keystone said:

This update was made about one month ago. 

 

Challenge caches are required to be based on "geocaching achievements."  Spelling something is not a geocaching achievement.  For that reason, spelling words by using the first letter of a cache name has been against the challenge cache guidelines since the moratorium ended several years ago.  The concept has now been extended to other spelling exercises.

Curiosity at this end.

 

       So why were double, triple, quadruple "Fizzies" and "Jasmers" kicked to the curb.

 

They seemed achievement oriented.  

 

Were they considered to be elitist or something?

 

I had double Fizzies and Jasmers and when I attempted to publish triples (years ago ... I got squelched)

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I never understood why anything relating to a coordinates that is the bread and butter of geocaching has been forbidden...

 

One of my greatest geocaching achievement is the Delorme challenge in Nova Scotia. Sadly would be impossible to publish with the current rules...

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Just now, Lynx Humble said:

I never understood why anything relating to a coordinates that is the bread and butter of geocaching has been forbidden...

 

One of my greatest geocaching achievement is the Delorme challenge in Nova Scotia. Sadly would be impossible to publish with the current rules...


Only way to get lat/long now is to click on the cache. Makes challenges based upon lat/long very hard to qualify for.

I don't get it either

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5 hours ago, Keystone said:

This update was made about one month ago. 

 

Challenge caches are required to be based on "geocaching achievements."  Spelling something is not a geocaching achievement.  For that reason, spelling words by using the first letter of a cache name has been against the challenge cache guidelines since the moratorium ended several years ago.  The concept has now been extended to other spelling exercises.

Is this still ok if the CO lists every applicable attribute/county on the cache page, instead of using this "begins with the letter..." shorthand?

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I know streaks with conditions are no longer allowed, BUT....

What about a calendar streak with conditions? So you can use dates from any year all contributing to your streak of dates on the calendar.

 

So a 3 day multi streak could be Jan 1st 2020, Jan 2nd 2014, and Jan 3rd 2021...

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31 minutes ago, CheekyBrit said:

I know streaks with conditions are no longer allowed, BUT....

What about a calendar streak with conditions? So you can use dates from any year all contributing to your streak of dates on the calendar.

 

So a 3 day multi streak could be Jan 1st 2020, Jan 2nd 2014, and Jan 3rd 2021...

 

Once I tried a bingo challenge with selected holidays like this one https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2TN86_oklahomas-holiday-bingo-challenge-cache.

It was denied because "Restrictions on date of finds used for the challenge are not permitted."

 

I didn't appeal, so I have no idea whether the decision was correct or not.  In your case there are some restrictions on date of finds too.

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35 minutes ago, CheekyBrit said:

I know streaks with conditions are no longer allowed, BUT....

What about a calendar streak with conditions? So you can use dates from any year all contributing to your streak of dates on the calendar.

 

So a 3 day multi streak could be Jan 1st 2020, Jan 2nd 2014, and Jan 3rd 2021...

 

This isn't covered by the rules explicitly, but a post-moratorium cache has been published that requires finds on 1-31 but the finds can be in any month, in addition to any year. This challenge has additional conditions but not on the cache type.

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7 hours ago, CheekyBrit said:

know streaks with conditions are no longer allowed, BUT....

What about a calendar streak with conditions? So you can use dates from any year all contributing to your streak of dates on the calendar.

 

It helps to use the same terminology as the Challenge article. What you're calling a, "calendar streak", I'd call "cumulative month(s)".  

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=206#timeLimited

 

Read the time limited section. I'd say cumulative month of Multi-caches is probably fine.   You see there streak of 365 days of less, cumulative month, and cumulative day of week. You don't see cumulative year.

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The more challenging the challenges got was one of their undoing. If person only finds 100 caches in a year how can they qualify for something truly hard that may require 1000 finds or more. Keeping it simple keeps down the complaints and the rules don't change. Just wait for these attribute challenges (not a fan) to be the next thing prohibited. There is nothing different from a key word, letter, lat/long, or attribute. They all work off the same set of information.  Folks will complain when they can't do a park and grab to qualify for a hiking challenge or tree climbing challenge.

I have over 60 challenges I don't yet qualify for and I'm ok with that gives me something to do. Many I may never do and I'm ok with that as well. No one forced me to seek these out and sign. This theory that you got to find them all needs to stop. 

 

These endless streams of souvenirs is no different than some banned challenges and worse they have a small window to qualify. At least challenges allow you to find at your own pace.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MNTA said:

Just wait for these attribute challenges (not a fan) to be the next thing prohibited. There is nothing different from a key word, letter, lat/long, or attribute. They all work off the same set of information.  Folks will complain when they can't do a park and grab to qualify for a hiking challenge or tree climbing challenge.

 

I disagree, well I'd have to because my own two challenge caches are attribute-based. The first one, the Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge, simply requires 20 finds with the Takes more than an hour attribute, and the qualifying caches aren't just a random assortment like you'd get with a key word, letter or lat/long, they're a special class of cache that, well, takes a fair bit of time to savour and complete, the ones you do more for the adventure than the smiley. lee737 nailed it when he said in his log, "The qualifying caches for this challenge are generally the best ones around, and make for great days with family and friends too."

 

My other one, The Nemophilist Challenge, has a mix of attributes in its qualification criteria, including Significant Hike, Cliffs/Falling Rocks, Dangerous Animals and Scenic Views, which are all things that will be encountered on the journey to the cache itself. My intention with the challenge was to promote the sorts of caches that have those attributes, and as seaeagles1997 wrote, "Nemophilist is a new term for be but certainly one I would happily identify as. All the best caches have the combination of these attributes". Would anyone write in their log that all the best caches start with the letter F?

 

Another attribute-based challenge is one I aspire to qualifying for but so far am only halfway there. The Scenic Adventurer Challenge requires 40 finds of T4+ caches having the Scenic View, Cliffs/Falling Rocks and Difficult Climb attributes, and the cache itself is the epitomy of those attributes. I think that's the key here, as while folks might complain about the hiking/tree climbing challenge that's physically just a park-and-grab, they're unlikely to complain if that challenge is itself a top-notch hiking/tree climbing cache.

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I also disagree that attributes are a problem. The current rules force truly hard challenges to be cumulative, but cumulative challenges that target the most active long-time cachers can get pretty daunting for everyone else. 

 

You either get obscenely large raw numbers or challenges combining multiple difficult things. e.g. "find 6 different types of T5 caches in 100 different counties" to make up an example without using attributes.

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The key thing to remember is that the rules are whatever Groundspeak HQ says they are.  They are not invented by the reviewers.  They do not have to make sense; a couple of months ago I had a challenge cache revoked by headquarters because I inadvertently described the challenge using a perfectly ordinary word for a mathematical concept that they did not like.  (I described combinations of latitude and longitude degrees as "squares" instead of "combinations.") Without any attempt to understand the concept, HQ issued an emergency order to my local reviewer to archive it after he had approved it.

 

I did not bother appealing; you must simply understand that this is not a democracy, and whatever HQ says the rules are is what the rules are, and comply without complaining.  I am not, in fact, complaining here: it's their site and their employees (the reviewers) and users are bound by their rules. 

 

A big part of the problem is that many cachers are under the impression that the reviewers are representatives of the caching community, as opposed to instruments to carry out HQ's will.  Give that up and everything becomes a lot easier.

 

BTW, in this particular case I partly agree with HQ's position, and I am hopeful that challenges based on words spelled with attributes will be forbidden as well, as they are lame.  But the principle remains the same.

 

And as evidence that the reviewers are not just making these things up out of thin air:  one of Keystone's challenges (under his user account) that I thought was very innovative and fun would no longer be accepted under the new rules.

Edited by fizzymagic
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8 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

Heres a challenge that requires caches with the numbers 1 - 10 in the title. Not sure how this is different than spelling a word.

Rookie Challenge: Counting From One to Ten:  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCY9FJ

 

Would this challenge make the cut with the new rules? Technically different but basically the same concept.

 

The rule says you can't base the challenge on the cache title (amongst other things), so I don't see how using numbers instead of letters would make any difference.

 

image.png.5e332e91ee4cea06b219ba194a4fefd6.png

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

The rule says you can't base the challenge on the cache title (amongst other things), so I don't see how using numbers instead of letters would make any difference.

 

How does this apply to existing challenges or is it only new submissions?

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6 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

you must simply understand that this is not a democracy, and whatever HQ says the rules are is what the rules are, and comply without complaining.

Quoted the fun bit.

 

But come on. Degree squares, combinations, graticules whatever you call them are obviously and explicitly banned as challenge criteria. I disagree with that particular rule as it also covers the "geocaching territory" idea (which I think would be the funnest area-based side-game geocaching has), but I don't think it's fair to characterize HQ as not understanding what your challenge was about.

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3 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

Quoted the fun bit.

 

But come on. Degree squares, combinations, graticules whatever you call them are obviously and explicitly banned as challenge criteria. I disagree with that particular rule as it also covers the "geocaching territory" idea (which I think would be the funnest area-based side-game geocaching has), but I don't think it's fair to characterize HQ as not understanding what your challenge was about.

Au contraire; several challenges that require finding a cache for every minute of a degree have been published since mine was denied, even though those also define geometric areas.  As I said, there should be no expectation of consistency.

 

Had HQ understood my challenge, they would not allow these others.  Or perhaps I have it backwards: they understood mine and do not understand the others.  Unfortunately I have not been able to come up with a scenario in which they actually understand the consequence of their rules.

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3 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Or perhaps I have it backwards: they understood mine and do not understand the others. 

 

Well, you definitely have it backwards, but not in the way you think.

 

If a cache is brought to HQ's attention that violates the guidelines (as yours clearly did), then we can look into it. We are not able to proactively identify every cache that does not comply with the guidelines. It sounds like you're aware of several challenge caches published since the moratorium that don't comply with guidelines. If you wish, feel free to contact HQ about them via the Help Center.

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10 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

I disagree with that particular rule as it also covers the "geocaching territory" idea

 

The territory idea I know didn't base on an arbitrary polygon, defined by the cache owner, but a polygon created by a player using found caches. The idea was to find caches to surround a large enough area. I think that the idea was denied because of polygon rules.

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5 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

The "What can we help you with?" selection doesn't have an option for reporting caches that don't comply with guidelines

 

Appeals > Is This Geocache Publishable sounds close enough to me.

Edited by Hügh
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10 hours ago, Rock Chalk said:

 

Well, you definitely have it backwards, but not in the way you think.

 

If a cache is brought to HQ's attention that violates the guidelines (as yours clearly did), then we can look into it. We are not able to proactively identify every cache that does not comply with the guidelines. It sounds like you're aware of several challenge caches published since the moratorium that don't comply with guidelines. If you wish, feel free to contact HQ about them via the Help Center.

 

So it was backwards:  HQ understood my challenge but not the others.

 

I am sorry that I will not be reporting any other challenges.  I am uninterested in helping HQ deal with problems of their own creation without appropriate compensation.

Edited by fizzymagic
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13 hours ago, arisoft said:

The territory idea I know didn't base on an arbitrary polygon, defined by the cache owner, but a polygon created by a player using found caches. The idea was to find caches to surround a large enough area. I think that the idea was denied because of polygon rules.

Yeah that's the one. I think that it's more than a bit silly that calculating an area inside caches is not allowed for a challenge, but calculating distance between caches is.

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On 8/22/2021 at 6:03 PM, dadoskawina said:

The new restriction was added: "Challenges based on words or letters. Examples: use the first letter of regions of found caches to spell a word, find caches with attributes that begin with a certain letter, find caches in counties with the same name." cannot be published.

My understanding was this falls under "bookkeeping" challenges which were added as disallowed post-moratorium. Maybe they just added the details recently, but text-based challenges haven't been allowed for years. Officially, at least. Perhaps some got through, and perhaps some got archived if reported (per fizzymagic & rock chalk's exchange).

 

I was miffed at the coordinate-based challenges being denied (with the new rules) as well, but I came to accept that the only 'region' based parameters you're able to use for challenges that are not considered "user-defined" are countries, states/provinces, and counties. Counties the odd one being that PGC has those details.  I have had challenges published wherein qualifiers are only within select counties - but choosing a "user-defined" boundary of lat/lon minutes is disallowed.  Around the moratorium I was working with our reviewers to try to get a series of challenges based on all of these rules published, but was blocked at almost every turn.

 

barely got one published that has you finding geocaches - cumulative - for D+T values. ie, a certain number of 2.0 (1/1), 2.5 (1/1.5 or 1.5/1), 3.0 (1.5/1.5, 1.0/2.0, 2.0/1.0), etc up to 10.0 (5/5).  If you put them on the DT grid, you're finding sums across the diagonals, so it looks like diagonal lines. Nope, disallowed - user-defined 'shape'. I shifted the depiction to look like a diamond - column one shows DTs that sum to 2.0, column 2 to 2.5, etc - so it took shape like a diamond (6.0 having the most DTs in the middle column).  Nope, disallow - user-defined 'shape'.  It barely got by when the breakdown of DTs became secondary to the math - Find X number of caches where the D+T = N.

Part of it was simplicity, obviously, because these "starsums" seemed hard to explain simplistically, even though conceptually it is simple. But if any depiction of the grid looked like a 'shape', it was denied.  Personally, I think the DT grid showing totals for the diagonals would really have been easiest, but it "looked" like user-defined regions, so it was denied.

 

I've simply resigned to any boundary-based challenges being as granular as county borders.  My hope for challenges in specific bands of latitude were denied. But not counties. No wiggle room.  It's just the way things are now.

 

IMO the post-moratorium rules reduce the flexibility for creativity, but at the same time, if you allow too much creativity you open the door to complexity, and that's exactly what people (yeah there are these people) didn't like about the way challenges were evolving.

Of course now we just get "advanced" challenges that the top tier of a region keep publishing for themselves, with barely enough qualifying geocachers for it to pass :P They tend to end up favouring those with quantity or on the high end of any skillset or proclivity (such as heavy travelers).

 

In essence, we've exchanged creativity/bookkeeping for accumulation/quantity. And I can see the benefits and criticisms of both. *shrug*

 

So yep, what fizzy said - we're at the whim of what HQ decides is an allowable challenge.  To my end, I just like to see challenges that get people thinking outside the box, or doing things they haven't done before, or having experiences they may not have had if the challenge hadn't prompted them to.  And, at least we still have the grandfathered pre-moratorium challenges to keep us keeping-books if we want to :P

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Looks like they are now archiving grandfathered challenges for not following the rules.

All 89 of Kern County Challenges caches were archived this weekend.

 

ArchiveArchive

08/27/2021

This cache was brought to our attention for not being in compliance with the challenge cache guidelines. As it was not brought into compliance, it is now archived. 

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I guess I don't understand the meaning of grandfathered then.

Edit: Were the archived challenge caches problematic?

 

For clarification:

 

Note: At this time, challenge caches published prior to April 21, 2015 are legacy caches in the game. As with any legacy cache, Geocaching HQ may archive caches which become problematic.

Edited by Max and 99
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15 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

barely got one published that has you finding geocaches - cumulative - for D+T values. ie, a certain number of 2.0 (1/1), 2.5 (1/1.5 or 1.5/1), 3.0 (1.5/1.5, 1.0/2.0, 2.0/1.0), etc up to 10.0 (5/5).  If you put them on the DT grid, you're finding sums across the diagonals, so it looks like diagonal lines. Nope, disallowed - user-defined 'shape'.

The ban on shapes in the DT grid is kind of gobsmacking.  How could that be interpreted as a "user-defined shape" in lat-long space?  As you say, we are completely at the mercy of whatever HQ decides.  What you don't mention is the lack of transparency.  Sometime these rues changes are documented after several months; more often they are revealed in an accusatory "you should have known" tone upon denial of the challenge.  As before, I do not blame that tone on the reviewers; it is transmitted directly from HQ.

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42 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

The ban on shapes in the DT grid is kind of gobsmacking.  How could that be interpreted as a "user-defined shape" in lat-long space?

The DT grid shape wasn't declined in the context of lat/lon, it was just a 'user-defined' shape, on the DT grid. Or moreso, the impression of a user-defined shape. The more it looked like mere cumulative stats, the less likely it would be considered a subjective user-made boundary, which in theory could end up as anything one could imagine. That limitless nature of "user-defined" is likely a factor in the banning. Not that I agree with that restriction, because that's where creativity is spawned :P  but the key aspect is "user-defined", not primarily lat/lon or DT grid. I would assume any sub-grouping of statistic (including text) that is subjectively chosen by the user would be considered 'user-defined [region]' (thus requiring "bookkeeping" to determine qualifiers, rather than easy searches and standard stats). Which is why it was kind of odd that selecting individual counties was allowed; but I'd guess that counties are generally so large that you can't really make a subjective 'shape' out of them, and PGC provides county stats...

Yet there are some challenges that have special checkers coded, which once again comes back to submitting to what HQ deems 'reasonable' for a challenge concept or exceptions to general limitations.

 

*waits to see if someone draws a 'picture' by filling in select counties across the United States and uses that as a geographic boundary for a challenge completion* haha

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2 hours ago, MNTA said:

Looks like they are now archiving grandfathered challenges for not following the rules.

All 89 of Kern County Challenges caches were archived this weekend.

 

ArchiveArchive

08/27/2021

This cache was brought to our attention for not being in compliance with the challenge cache guidelines. As it was not brought into compliance, it is now archived. 

 

It looks like post-moratorium challenges were amongst the ones archived so it's not just grandfathered challenges. For example GC7ZV25, which was published in 2018 and looks to be a straightforward Fizzy challenge with nothing obviously in violation of the challenge guidelines, so I suspect there's something else going on here behind the scenes.

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7 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It looks like post-moratorium challenges were amongst the ones archived so it's not just grandfathered challenges. For example GC7ZV25, which was published in 2018 and looks to be a straightforward Fizzy challenge with nothing obviously in violation of the challenge guidelines, so I suspect there's something else going on here behind the scenes.

6. For BCS Challenge caches, you must post your supporting documentation when you log the cache as found or your online "found it" will be deleted.

 

This violates the guidelines.

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It looks like post-moratorium challenges were amongst the ones archived so it's not just grandfathered challenges. For example GC7ZV25, which was published in 2018 and looks to be a straightforward Fizzy challenge with nothing obviously in violation of the challenge guidelines, so I suspect there's something else going on here behind the scenes.

Yeah that's an odd one. It's a straightforward double fizzy challenge. The only thing maybe that seems out of place is in point6, the mention of the UnChallenges in the series, but that's not this cache; maybe someone thought that sentence was referring to this listing (not requiring documentation)... yet right after the mention of the Challenges in the series that do require documentation. Very strange... agreed, either a mistake, or something else going on (maybe the CO is deleting valid logs? shrug).

The archival reason though (on the surface) does seem incorrect.

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5 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

6. For BCS Challenge caches, you must post your supporting documentation when you log the cache as found or your online "found it" will be deleted.

 

This violates the guidelines.

 

Ahhh, right - it's not required to post the results. It's only required that you qualify. As long as the checker shows green, that's the only requirement. Pre-moratorium could require posting evidence of qualification, not post.

 

Still, straight up archival seems harsh. Here the CO would have been given time to make the change to the text. (maybe this CO was already given that time though? who knows)

 

Edited by thebruce0
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42 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

The DT grid shape wasn't declined in the context of lat/lon, it was just a 'user-defined' shape, on the DT grid. Or moreso, the impression of a user-defined shape.

Under  this definition of "shape," almost any challenge could be denied.  Since topology is isomorphic with algebras, anything that requires math (such as total finds) should, technically, be forbidden.  I had understood that the "shape" ban was only for geographic shapes, which could rationally be argued as making sense.  Banning "shapes" on the DT grid, however, takes that to a whole new place.

 

The argument that such a shape requires bookkeeping is vitiated by the requirement for a checker; a checker can show you what you have left to do without any need for bookkeeping on your part.

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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:

The argument that such a shape requires bookkeeping is vitiated by the requirement for a checker; a checker can show you what you have left to do without any need for bookkeeping on your part.

I agree. And have got comments occasionally that they're glad there's a checker. IMO, part of the 'challenge' was tracking and managing the qualifications and documentations yourself, included in the D rating. But alas, HQ deemed that to be beyond the scope of the geocaching experience and that every challenge requires a checker. Which as you say seems to make disallowing 'bookkeeping' kind of moot -- however planning to qualify (finding caches for challenges) isn't simplified by the existence of a checker, so 'bookkeeping' challenges are still disallowed. 

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

6. For BCS Challenge caches, you must post your supporting documentation when you log the cache as found or your online "found it" will be deleted.

 

This violates the guidelines.

 

Technically yes, but since the checker generates the required documentation anyway it would seem a fairly minor infraction and hardly worth summary archival of the entire series. Also, if my memory serves me correctly, the clause about not requiring documentation was added some time after the moratorium was lifted so there are probably challenge caches with that requirement in their description that were compliant at the time they were published. No, I think there'd have to be something else behind this for them to have archived every one of their challenges, both pre- and post-moratorium.

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17 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

6. For BCS Challenge caches, you must post your supporting documentation when you log the cache as found or your online "found it" will be deleted.

 

This violates the guidelines.

You missed #5 all that is saying is when you log as found use the checker.

 

5. You may log the cache as a "write note" to signify that you have signed the physical log, to ask questions, and/or to double check your qualifications before heading to the physical Geocache.

6. You must post your supporting documentation when you log the cache as found or your online "found it" will be deleted.

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On 8/24/2021 at 5:42 PM, fizzymagic said:

The key thing to remember is that the rules are whatever Groundspeak HQ says they are.  They are not invented by the reviewers.  They do not have to make sense; a couple of months ago I had a challenge cache revoked by headquarters because I inadvertently described the challenge using a perfectly ordinary word for a mathematical concept that they did not like.  (I described combinations of latitude and longitude degrees as "squares" instead of "combinations.") Without any attempt to understand the concept, HQ issued an emergency order to my local reviewer to archive it after he had approved it.

 

I did not bother appealing; you must simply understand that this is not a democracy, and whatever HQ says the rules are is what the rules are, and comply without complaining.  I am not, in fact, complaining here: it's their site and their employees (the reviewers) and users are bound by their rules. 

 

A big part of the problem is that many cachers are under the impression that the reviewers are representatives of the caching community, as opposed to instruments to carry out HQ's will.  Give that up and everything becomes a lot easier.

 

BTW, in this particular case I partly agree with HQ's position, and I am hopeful that challenges based on words spelled with attributes will be forbidden as well, as they are lame.  But the principle remains the same.

 

And as evidence that the reviewers are not just making these things up out of thin air:  one of Keystone's challenges (under his user account) that I thought was very innovative and fun would no longer be accepted under the new rules.

Drat - this looked fun and I wanted to just test the checker to see if I qualified... but unfortunately it's also disabled. 

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On 8/30/2021 at 3:28 AM, thebruce0 said:

I agree. And have got comments occasionally that they're glad there's a checker. IMO, part of the 'challenge' was tracking and managing the qualifications and documentations yourself, included in the D rating. But alas, HQ deemed that to be beyond the scope of the geocaching experience and that every challenge requires a checker.

 

There is no requirement that the checker should tell anything more than whether you are qualified or not. In many cases it is the challenge cache owner who requests more detailed output. Sometimes players are upset if the checker output gives nothing if they do not qualify.

Edited by arisoft
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10 hours ago, arisoft said:

There is no requirement that the checker should tell anything more than whether you are qualified or not. In many cases it is the challenge cache owner who requests more detailed output. Sometimes players are upset if the checker output gives nothing if they do not qualify.

I'm just spitballing here, but maybe among all the other requirements, one could have been added for this kind of challenge: the checker would have to show what remained to be done to qualify.  I mean, it's not like HQ has shown that it has any problem with imposing new requirements and rules. 

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2 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

I'm just spitballing here, but maybe among all the other requirements, one could have been added for this kind of challenge: the checker would have to show what remained to be done to qualify.  I mean, it's not like HQ has shown that it has any problem with imposing new requirements and rules. 

 

Some challenges have almost unlimited ways to qualify. It has also been problematic when a checker suggests one way to qualify and a player have another idea. I have understood that checker is required only to eliminate disagreements between player and cache owner whether the player qualifies or not.

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2 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Some challenges have almost unlimited ways to qualify. It has also been problematic when a checker suggests one way to qualify and a player have another idea. I have understood that checker is required only to eliminate disagreements between player and cache owner whether the player qualifies or not.

 

That is potentially a problem; however, I will assert that if there many ways to qualify  then the cache is unlikely to require the kind of book-keeping that the rule is supposed to eliminate.  It is precisely those caches for which there are not many ways to qualify that are supposedly addressed by this rule.

 

Additionally, a checker telling you what you still need in order to qualify is very different from a checker telling you an exact list of caches.

 

Examples:

  • You must find n caches for each of m types: checker says how many caches you have of each type, and how many left to reach n for that type.
  • "Combinatorial" challenges (you have to fulfill some set of requirements using a unique cache for each): checker gives you the closest set it can find and tells you how many requirements are unmet.
  • A challenge to make an image on the DT grid with some finds can tell you exactly which DT combinations you would require to make that image.  That's the challenge that thebruce0 said he had rejected.

Can you give an example of a challenge cache that would otherwise be acceptable today ( and yes, I know that is problematic) for which a checker could not give adequate  feedback?  I believe that any such challenge would likely be rejected as being too difficult to understand.  For example, my proposed convex hull area challenge we discussed a few years back would require that you figure out the area of a convex hull when adding a new cache, which would be too complex to make it acceptable.

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6 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Can you give an example of a challenge cache that would otherwise be acceptable today ( and yes, I know that is problematic) for which a checker could not give adequate  feedback?

 

There are some ways to make combination challenges that are very difficult for the checker but not for a human bookkeeper. Checker easily time-outs when it can not find a qualifying combination. Available resources are primarily used to find a combination that qualifies and there is no additional time to find the best possible non qualifying solution. Optimizing is more time consuming than checking only.

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Fun challenge caches that involve cache titles where you need to find X # of caches with a color, animal, etc. in the name, and ones where you have to find caches in certain areas like specific counties, cities, etc. make this whole game of geocaching more exciting to play. Isn't the point of all this to make things more exciting and to ADD to the game? By strictly enforcing more and more rules on challenge caches, it's taking away from the game and in my opinion making it less fun. From what I've seen, most geocachers who have been caching for awhile and actually stick with the game, enjoy and seek out challenge caches. They are pretty popular! I have several fun ideas for challenge caches but I don't even bother because I'm sure they would just get denied. If the same 'ol countless, easy P&G nanos, bisons, matchsticks, etc. are allowed, then I think more challenge caches should be allowed also so those types of finds can go towards another goal instead of just being another find number. Please reconsider loosening the rules on challenge caches in the near future. There's so many fun ideas that could be created with challenges! If it continues to be restricted, then the overall game of geocaching just won't be as much fun as it used to be. I understand everything has to have some rules, but it's always more fun to add to a game than to take away.

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