Ad labs feature request... remove 'sequential order' as an option

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23 hours ago, Hynz said:

Considering that you want to make the AL in one go it would be completely irrelevant if you lived at the beginning, at the end or if the LA would not be sequential. You always had to travel roughly twice the summarized distance of the stages.

I am not good at math. In fact, I don't understand this. I tried to make a image.  If I find myself at #3 and I want to do this AL with a sequential, I have to go to #1 first. Only then/there I can start. And then when I'm done, at #5, I have to go back to #3. In my opinion, I then drive the round trip almost twice. Whereas if I can start at #3, I only have to go around once.

3 hours ago, obelix71 said:
On 5/11/2022 at 10:12 AM, Hynz said:

Considering that you want to make the AL in one go it would be completely irrelevant if you lived at the beginning, at the end or if the LA would not be sequential. You always had to travel roughly twice the summarized distance of the stages.

I am not good at math. In fact, I don't understand this. I tried to make a image.  If I find myself at #3 and I want to do this AL with a sequential, I have to go to #1 first. Only then/there I can start. And then when I'm done, at #5, I have to go back to #3. In my opinion, I then drive the round trip almost twice. Whereas if I can start at #3, I only have to go around once.

Well OK I made the wrong assumption that it was basically a linear AL and you were located geographically between the start and the end point. I can imagine that for most circular ALs a non-sequencial layout would not take away any fun.

Nevertheless it's still possible that for telling a story a certain start and end point will be prefered for the creator of a circular AL. And in my opinion she then has a reason to "annoy" or even "exclude" visitors who don't like it that way by making it sequential.

9 hours ago, obelix71 said:

I am not good at math. In fact, I don't understand this. I tried to make a image.  If I find myself at #3 and I want to do this AL with a sequential, I have to go to #1 first. Only then/there I can start. And then when I'm done, at #5, I have to go back to #3. In my opinion, I then drive the round trip almost twice. Whereas if I can start at #3, I only have to go around once.

So you're talking about the specific case of a sequential AL where the last stop is near the first stop while you happen to find yourself starting somewhere else. In addition, I think it's fair for me to interpret your comments as only complaining because the sequence didn't seem useful or necessary. Right? I'm just making sure because this thread is about a proposal to forbid sequential ALs. You seem to be merely advocating for better use of sequential ALs. I don't see your comments as support for eliminating them. Would that be a fair description of your position?

Indeed, I can imagine that there are situations where a fixed order is logical or necessary. At the same time, I find that in many of the AL I have done, there is no reason in my mind for a fixed order. If the only way to avoid this is to ban it altogether, then unfortunately that's the way to go.

3 hours ago, obelix71 said:

Indeed, I can imagine that there are situations where a fixed order is logical or necessary. At the same time, I find that in many of the AL I have done, there is no reason in my mind for a fixed order. If the only way to avoid this is to ban it altogether, then unfortunately that's the way to go.

Wow, that's extreme. Once in a while, in your personal opinion, there's no reason for them, so therefore ban altogether? That's the exact opposite of how I think we should look at it. I say that in some cases there are good reasons, so they should be allowed despite the fact that you don't always understand the reason.

Several responders have stated that linearity is important to their own AdLabs and I believe them.

However, of the 240 linear stages I've thus far completed (out of 1,024 total), I can only say that in no cases did the linearity appear (to me) to enhance my experience---at least as far as I noticed.  However, I will note that five of them were along an urban one-way street and I guess the linearity was beneficial since I was driving, although I believe I'd have noticed the one-wayness anyhow.   Many of the linear AdLabs hid bonus coordinates in one of the stages (usually, but not always, the last stage), and that appeared (to me) the only reason for the linearity---which could have EASILY been avoided and would have eliminated "linear aggravation" had the app provided a "completion message" within which the CO could have hidden the bonus info.  I believe this has been mentioned before.

I'm all for linearity if there is a no-kidding thematic reason for doing so----but that seems to be a rarity---at least from my experience.  Others may differ.

27 minutes ago, TommyGator said:

I can only say that in no cases did the linearity appear (to me) to enhance my experience

A clarification:

By "enhance my experience," I mean that my experience would have been enhanced if I were to exclaim, "Now that this is AdLab complete, I'm really glad that it was sequential, because it just wouldn't have meant as much to me otherwise."  That hasn't happened yet, but there's always hope!

58 minutes ago, TommyGator said:

I'm all for linearity if there is a no-kidding thematic reason for doing so----but that seems to be a rarity---at least from my experience.  Others may differ.

Of the 26 ALs I've completed, 12 were sequential. Of those:

• one was telling an unfolding story that only made sense in the prescribed direction
• two were in locations that could only be visited in one direction, these being a track down a series of waterfalls that could only be started at the top and the other a wildlife exhibit that could only be walked through in one direction
• one meant to be done on a train where some of the questions opened up at stations the train didn't necessarily stop at but the answer to the question appeared a little further along the track

The rest had no obvious reason for being sequential other than to reveal the coordinates for the bonus after the final stage was completed (and often the bonus was located close to that final location), but...

There's a problem with non-sequential ALs that I've encountered a few times. When each stage is completed, the app automatically moves on to the next closest stage based on straight-line distance, even if that's not the next one that would be encountered following the path or road. There might be buildings in the way, a cliff line, a gully, a river, a motorway or whatever. Sometimes the road, path or track takes a winding route where the next stage you come to isn't the one that's physically closest to the preceding stage. This was a big stumbling block on one I was thinking of creating, which would have followed a loop track down a steep-sided gully, across a suspension bridge at the bottom and back up the other side. There was no good reason to force people to do it clockwise or anticlockwise or prevent someone from coming in from below and making the bridge their starting point, but, if it had been set as non-sequential, it would have seen people directed to cross the gully part way down which would be pretty dangerous, particularly if there's a strong flow of water after rain. In the end I abandoned the idea, mainly for that reason.

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

When each stage is completed, the app automatically moves on to the next closest stage based on straight-line distance, even if that's not the next one that would be encountered following the path or road.

That's an issue for me as well.  The app chooses the next stage for you and, although it is possible to re-direct to a different stage, the process can be cumbersome.  This happens to me a lot when I'm doing an AL in an urban area and notice that, beccause of the roads, traffic, or whatever, it might be more advantageous to drive to a different stage other than the nearest (as the crow flies).  I end up having to pull over and park so I can fight with the app to re-direct, then pull back into traffic.  It becomes even more fun when the map "times out" while you're driving and you have to poke the app to get it back on.

I have 3 Adventures on the go and one in planning.

#1 is sequential.  It starts and ends at a car park (where the bonus is located) walks up one side of Highway 1 which runs through the town, crosses the highway and travels back down the other side.  The reason it is sequential is the highway.  Crossing more often than necessary is potentially dangerous and there is only one designated crossing point.

#2 is sequential.  It follows a bush track and, in several places, the next stage along the path  is not the closest and the compass would point back if the app picked up the nearest, rather than the next.  Imaging a hairpin shaped track.

#3 is unordered.  My recommended order avoids a nasty right turn across the highway and ends at a point closest to the bonus.  But there was no reason to make that one sequential.

The last will be unordered, starting at one end of Ulladulla Harbour and finishing at the other.  It doesn't matter which order it is done.

14 hours ago, dprovan said:

Wow, that's extreme. Once in a while, in your personal opinion, there's no reason for them, so therefore ban altogether? That's the exact opposite of how I think we should look at it. I say that in some cases there are good reasons, so they should be allowed despite the fact that you don't always understand the reason.

you asked me to make a choice. A choice between extremes.

In the ideal world, I would not have to make a choice. The person who makes an AL chooses with a very clear and understandable reason (also clear to others) to have a fixed order.
What I experience myself is that this reason is very often not there. Or at least it is completely unclear to me why the order should be fixed.
I am not the only one, when I read the posts here and read logs at AL's (that go beyond 'thank you').

I was asked to choose. If so, I choose the extreme variant: no more allowances. If a fixed order is required, it can always be mentioned in the text of the AL.

But I prefer not to make that choice so extremely; use common sense when making an AL and choose very consciously whether you want a fixed order. There are good reasons to choose for a fixed order.

10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There's a problem with non-sequential ALs that I've encountered a few times. When each stage is completed, the app automatically moves on to the next closest stage based on straight-line distance, even if that's not the next one that would be encountered following the path or road. There might be buildings in the way, a cliff line, a gully, a river, a motorway or whatever. Sometimes the road, path or track takes a winding route where the next stage you come to isn't the one that's physically closest to the preceding stage. This was a big stumbling block on one I was thinking of creating, which would have followed a loop track down a steep-sided gully, across a suspension bridge at the bottom and back up the other side. There was no good reason to force people to do it clockwise or anticlockwise or prevent someone from coming in from below and making the bridge their starting point, but, if it had been set as non-sequential, it would have seen people directed to cross the gully part way down which would be pretty dangerous, particularly if there's a strong flow of water after rain. In the end I abandoned the idea, mainly for that reason.

My GPSR also suggests a "next cache" when I mark the current one as found. I never select that "next cache" blindly - I decide for myself which cache to tackle next. In the AL app I do exactly the same. Does anyone seriously just go to the "next" (as suggested) location, without looking at the map to see if this makes sense?

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9 hours ago, TommyGator said:

I end up having to pull over and park so I can fight with the app to re-direct, then pull back into traffic.  It becomes even more fun when the map "times out" while you're driving and you have to poke the app to get it back on.

In most countries, you have to pull over and park anyway for every stage of an AL, because it's illegal to tap around on your phone while driving. So I just select the next stage before driving off again, and it doesn't make a big difference if I have to override the app's suggestion or not.

3 hours ago, baer2006 said:

My GPSR also suggests a "next cache" when I mark the current one as found.

That's the point.  Your GPSr suggests, but the AdLab app selects the next stage automatically and, if you have reason to go elsewhere, you have to override the app's decision.

You are very correct that fooling with the phone while driving is a no-no---something the developers should keep in mind, such as in keeping the map screen from timing out and making the map otherwise uncluttered with minimal user enroute interaction..  Ideally, you would set up the map while you are parked, then drive to the next stop using the map.  Unfortunately, shortly after getting back in traffic the screen times out.  It's up to you what to do then.

I'm pretty new to AdLabs but have really enjoyed the selection I have done so far....... except for some of the sequential AdLabs. The order doesn't necessarily follow the most efficient route e.g. you pass number 3 heading for 2 and then double back on yourself etc. Add to that I have gone out of my way to do an AdLab and having got 1 and 2 and then fail on number 3 I cannot move on, making my journey pretty pointless as I can't even attempt 4 and 5 which is annoying. Very rarely does the order tell a linear story which raises the question why have them? I think Sequential should be removed and give the searcher the freedom to navigate their most favourable route - we won't all be approaching the area from the same direction!! It would also avoid wasting time and fuel going to an AdLab some distance away and being blocked from doing the AdLab because of your inability to solve one part.

8 hours ago, baer2006 said:

My GPSR also suggests a "next cache" when I mark the current one as found. I never select that "next cache" blindly - I decide for myself which cache to tackle next. In the AL app I do exactly the same. Does anyone seriously just go to the "next" (as suggested) location, without looking at the map to see if this makes sense?

The AL map doesn't show most walking trails around here, it's just blank space once you get away from suburbia, so it's of no use in deciding whether the suggested location makes sense.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The AL map doesn't show most

It really shows little of anything.... it is absolutely hopeless in fact. No scale, no reasonable navigation line. An incredible backwards step from the map functionality on every other geocaching app out there, including HQ's own.

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

The AL map doesn't show most walking trails around here, it's just blank space once you get away from suburbia, so it's of no use in deciding whether the suggested location makes sense.

Ok, point taken. I didn't take the AL app map into account, because I don't use it to actually navigate to the locations (instead, I create a GPX of the locations with a tool, and load this to my GPSR and/or phone).

4 hours ago, traveller001 said:

I think Sequential should be removed and give the searcher the freedom to navigate their most favourable route - we won't all be approaching the area from the same direction!! It would also avoid wasting time and fuel going to an AdLab some distance away and being blocked from doing the AdLab because of your inability to solve one part.

By that logic multi-caches should be abolished because, if you can't solve one stage you can't complete the multi.

4 hours ago, traveller001 said:

I think Sequential should be removed and give the searcher the freedom to navigate their most favourable route - we won't all be approaching the area from the same direction!!

Some of the sequential ones I've seen can only be approached in one direction, such as the track down the waterfalls that has no access from the bottom. For these, sequential makes sense, particularly if the path isn't a straight line and the next location encountered isn't the one closest to the preceding one. Why should ALs like these be excluded or compromised?

I don't believe many folks would object to linearity if it were used for reasons of safety, for more efficient stage sequencing, or in support of an obvious theme----and a few AdLabs clearly use them for that purpose, as attested by some of the comments in this thread.  What frustrates people, though is when linearity has no obvious (to the AdLabber) purpose, or merely to hide bonus coordinates---with the ensuing frustration of needless back-and forth or otherwise inefficient driving.  The latter seems to be more prevalent than the former.

The elimination of the linearity option would force COs to hide bonus coordinates in a different manner, which has been amply-described in other threads.  Of course, the AdLab app could be changed to add a completion screen in which bonus coordinates could be hidden, and that has been repeatedly suggested---but apparently hasn't risen high enough on the change list.  Then again, one could hope that COs exercise more care when choosing linearity, and not using it for the mere convenience of hiding bonus coordinates----but that method DOES happen to be the easiest, and ..... well, this thread gives evidence as to how that has been working out.

My guess is that bonus caches were probably not part of the original AdLab concept, and instead were the result of ingenious cachers who found the bonus a novel use for AdLabs.  The fact that AdLabs are, by design, limited to the app with only basic information (unlike caches, which are individually hosted in great detail on geocaching.com), reinforces this perception.  While bonus caches seem clearly important to geocachers, they may be of minimal importance to the AdLab design concept---and hence the frustration.

18 hours ago, obelix71 said:

you asked me to make a choice. A choice between extremes.

I didn't ask you for anything. And how in the world is letting people do what they want and make what you consider mistakes an extreme?

On 5/12/2022 at 5:16 PM, TommyGator said:

However, of the 240 linear stages I've thus far completed (out of 1,024 total), I can only say that in no cases did the linearity appear (to me) to enhance my experience---at least as far as I noticed.

I'm having a hard time understanding the concept of judging something by whether it enhances your experience. If you didn't like the AL, then you didn't like it. If you did like it, you liked it even if the owner used this feature which didn't enhance your experience.

OK, so some of you don't like using sequence to put the seeker closer to the bonus cache. Boo-hoo. Other people will appreciate that feature. It *did* enhance their experience, but because it didn't enhance *your* experience, you're against it.

I can imagine an owner using sequence to be funny, perhaps, for example, forcing you to walk way further than you'd have to. OK, you'd hate that, but others might, indeed, find it funny. Why do you get to decide?

By the way, one thing I'm noticing is that the people complaining see way more sequential ALs than I do. I've only run into a few, and even when the sequential order was inconvenient, it didn't actually make much difference to me. One that was particularly bad meant that, because it was sequential, I couldn't even start it twice when I was all ready to tackle it. Oh, well, no big deal. Like any complicated cache, I just worked it out so that the third time, I set everything up so I'd be in the right place at the right time to be able to start it...only to discover it was no longer sequential, anyway. Just another day of caching!

12 minutes ago, dprovan said:

OK, so some of you don't like using sequence to put the seeker closer to the bonus cache. Boo-hoo. Other people will appreciate that feature. It *did* enhance their experience, but because it didn't enhance *your* experience, you're against it.

Yep, I got a complaint that one of mine wasn't sequential, causing him to finish at the opposite end to where the bonus was. Whatever you do is wrong for someone.

I can't help wondering how much of this is coming from those who see ALs as just five easy smileys rather than an integrated experience that the owner is trying to convey. Maybe that's fair enough, given how they're promoted. On my Five Lands Walk AL that I created last year, so far none of those who've completed it have actually done the walk, instead everyone's just driven to each of the locations. If that's how people want to do it, fine, I'm not trying to force anyone to do the walk, but by the same token players can't expect ALs to be only designed the way they want to play them.

9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Yep, I got a complaint that one of mine wasn't sequential, causing him to finish at the opposite end to where the bonus was. Whatever you do is wrong for someone.

I agree with your point, but it makes it sound like it's the owner's problem. If someone's experience is ruined because one element wasn't exactly the way they want it, that's their problem.

9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I can't help wondering how much of this is coming from those who see ALs as just five easy smileys rather than an integrated experience that the owner is trying to convey.

Here I'm going to disagree with you. OK, there is an idea that ALs should be easy, and sequential order can make one harder. That's not great, but I can understand it. But I don't think anyone objecting here cares about the smileys. (I'm not going to look, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that many of the people complaining about sequential order also complain about the per stage smileys, for example.)

This is more an attitude that's swept over modern society that says that if anything's wrong, then everything's wrong. "Count your blessings" has given way to teaching to look for "microaggressions".

On 5/13/2022 at 8:15 PM, barefootjeff said:

Some of the sequential ones I've seen can only be approached in one direction, such as the track down the waterfalls that has no access from the bottom. For these, sequential makes sense, particularly if the path isn't a straight line and the next location encountered isn't the one closest to the preceding one.

But those don't need to be sequential. If it makes sense that they'd be approached sequentially due to position and route, then why force it to be sequential? Or in other words, if sequential were disallowed (which I'm not advocating), then the AL's alternative (non-sequential) wouldn't affect the experience.

The issue is more about sequential..ity, when doing locations in sequential is not necessary. (necessity being key - which could be interpreted as the owner using a linear narrative, or each stage being reliant in some manner upon the prior, etc).

Since there are plenty of examples where linearity is essential to certain styles, then disallowing sequential locations would be detrimental to that experience, if a sequential alternative can't be made to work.

9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

(necessity being key - which could be interpreted as the owner using a linear narrative, or each stage being reliant in some manner upon the prior, etc)

I guess I'm a little vague about the value of necessity as the only measure. I'm fine with the owner doing whatever he wants. Maybe he just wants your GPSr track to draw a picture. Why does he have to follow your ideas about what's necessary?

I wasn't trying to define a strict limitation on what "is" necessary.  I was responding to the example of locations that themselves require visiting in order meaning that making the Adventure linear itself wouldn't be a "necessity".  If the AL owner wants people to draw a shape using consecutive locations, then that, logically, means linearity is a necessity. It's not a statement about a design opinion being a necessity, but the logic of the sequential vs non-sequential.  If it doesn't change anything about the experience to be non-sequential, then senquentiality isn't a "necessity", and wouldn't be affected by disallowing sequential locations.

But I'll reiterate what wasn't quoted above: I'm not advocating for disallowing sequential locations. There absolutely are creative Adventures that "necessitate" sequential locations, and those would no longer be possible if the option were disallowed.

15 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
On 5/14/2022 at 10:15 AM, barefootjeff said:

Some of the sequential ones I've seen can only be approached in one direction, such as the track down the waterfalls that has no access from the bottom. For these, sequential makes sense, particularly if the path isn't a straight line and the next location encountered isn't the one closest to the preceding one.

But those don't need to be sequential. If it makes sense that they'd be approached sequentially due to position and route, then why force it to be sequential? Or in other words, if sequential were disallowed (which I'm not advocating), then the AL's alternative (non-sequential) wouldn't affect the experience.

The issue is more about sequential..ity, when doing locations in sequential is not necessary. (necessity being key - which could be interpreted as the owner using a linear narrative, or each stage being reliant in some manner upon the prior, etc).

Since there are plenty of examples where linearity is essential to certain styles, then disallowing sequential locations would be detrimental to that experience, if a sequential alternative can't be made to work

I'm struggling to see where the question of necessity is coming into it. I was responding to the post by travelller001 who said, "I think Sequential should be removed and give the searcher the freedom to navigate their most favourable route - we won't all be approaching the area from the same direction!!" and I was simply pointing out that, for some ALs, the lay of the land doesn't give you a choice of route. Forcing those to be non-sequential wouldn't offer anyone a better experience and, for the ones where the next location encountered isn't the closest in a straight line to the preceding one, it could make it a more confusing experience given the way the app automatically moves on to the next nearest location when doing a non-sequental AL.

Of course being sequential is more a necessity for story-telling ALs, but that isn't what traveller001's post was about, it was about banning sequential to give everyone a choice of route.

7 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I was simply pointing out that, for some ALs, the lay of the land doesn't give you a choice of route.

Right, so I was saying that for those Adventures, it doesn't matter if it's set to sequential or not. The user is already forced to visit each location sequentially.

6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Right, so I was saying that for those Adventures, it doesn't matter if it's set to sequential or not. The user is already forced to visit each location sequentially.

Okay, except it does make a difference if the route isn't a straight line and the app muddles up the order of those non-sequential ALs and presents them out of sequence. The first time I encountered that, I wasted a lot of time doubling back because the app skipped over an intermediate location. In those situations, there's still a case for making them sequential.

8 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Right, so I was saying that for those Adventures, it doesn't matter if it's set to sequential or not. The user is already forced to visit each location sequentially.

Imagine a hairpin-shaped  bush track with 5 locations, staggered so that #1 is at the start, #5 is 50 m from #1 on the other side, #2 is 150m from #1, #4 is 50m from #2 and #3 is 150m from #2 at the point of the hairpin.

As Jeff said, the lay of the land doesn't give you a choice of route, but if the adventure isn't sequential, the app will pick up the wrong stage every time.

13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Okay, except it does make a difference if the route isn't a straight line and the app muddles up the order of those non-sequential ALs and presents them out of sequence. The first time I encountered that, I wasted a lot of time doubling back because the app skipped over an intermediate location. In those situations, there's still a case for making them sequential.

But you said "there's no way" to get to any out of order. So in that example, it's a non-issue. As mentioned earlier in another comment, it's not deathly to tap the map on another location that is clearly the only accessible location from your current location.

12 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

the lay of the land doesn't give you a choice of route, but if the adventure isn't sequential, the app will pick up the wrong stage every time.

See above.

On 5/13/2022 at 8:50 AM, baer2006 said:

My GPSR also suggests a "next cache" when I mark the current one as found. I never select that "next cache" blindly - I decide for myself which cache to tackle next. In the AL app I do exactly the same. Does anyone seriously just go to the "next" (as suggested) location, without looking at the map to see if this makes sense?

On 5/13/2022 at 12:34 PM, TommyGator said:

That's the point.  Your GPSr suggests, but the AdLab app selects the next stage automatically and, if you have reason to go elsewhere, you have to override the app's decision.

"Does anyone seriously just go to the "next" (as suggested) location, without looking at the map to see if this makes sense?"

I might suggest, if you (general you) do often blindly go straight to the "next nearest" waypoint (whether ALs or geocaches), you consider changing habits. Yes, I have friends who've encountered that same "frustration" while geocaching generally, not realizing that the cache isn't accessible from our current location, despite being the closest. Good thing they were with others who check on which cache to visit next before blindly going to "the nearest" (again, whether it's a geocache or a Location)

But again, it's beside the point - I'm not advocating to remove the sequential feature, just saying that physically-restricted-to-sequential locations aren't really a good example of why sequential should be allowed. There's no need to mark that ones sequential. There is only one order to complete that Adventure.

Edited by thebruce0
3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

"Does anyone seriously just go to the "next" (as suggested) location, without looking at the map to see if this makes sense?"

Yes, because a lot of the time the app's map doesn't show walking trails so it provides no indication of which location the trail is going to take you past next.

Okay, well here's the thing. The number of Adventures in the world that specifically mimic the situation you have here I would wager is so microscopically miniscule, that it would be better to inform the AL creator that the construction of their Locations annoys you.

In any case, it's still a non-issue because I believe it's extremely beneficial to keep the sequential feature, and thus that owner would be remiss not to set that adventure to sequential anyway.

If the AL is not sequential, the app picks the nearest.  In my case #5 after #1.  Now you have to decide that #5 is not the one you want, look at the other stages and then select #2.  Then it picks #4 and you have to repeat the process.

If the AL is sequential the app picks #2 and then #3.  Less effort for you.

I can see people complaining that I've made them do extra work because the lab wasn't sequential.  Why didn't the silly mongrel make it sequential?

I can't please everyone so I'll settle for simplicity.

Edited by Gill & Tony

alwaysalways, check what I'm navigating to, and never blindly trust whatever the device thinks is "nearest".  And I would recommend that to anyone who's starting out geocaching. Whether it's geocaches or doing adventures.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

alwaysalways, check what I'm navigating to, and never blindly trust whatever the device thinks is "nearest".  And I would recommend that to anyone who's starting out geocaching. Whether it's geocaches or doing adventures.

When the app's map only shows five red dots on an otherwise blank background, as in this one of mine, it doesn't make it easy to check which one you should be navigating to next, and without a scale on the map you can't even see how far apart they are.

8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Okay, well here's the thing. The number of Adventures in the world that specifically mimic the situation you have here I would wager is so microscopically miniscule, that it would be better to inform the AL creator that the construction of their Locations annoys you.

Maybe the app's map provides more detail in other parts of the world, or maybe ALs that aren't along roads are rare in other parts of the world, but from just my 26 AL completions I've been caught out by it at least once and there are others where the foresight of the AL's owner to make it sequential has prevented it from being an issue.

6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

When the app's map only shows five red dots on an otherwise blank background, as in this one of mine, it doesn't make it easy to check which one you should be navigating to next, and without a scale on the map you can't even see how far apart they are.

Being yours, and knowing you’re putting it in a a place with little to no land guidance, you have choices, including simply mentioning in the adventure or locations which place to head to next - IF there were no option for sequential.

And here is the same location by satellite, which is also an extremely helpful tool not to be ignored.

You’re providing a hypothetically bad setup, which conveniently is an adventure owned by you meaning you don’t have to make it a) non-sequential or b) frustratingly vague.

And if you have been inconvenienced by a handful in your entire career of them I still believe it’s so extremely rare a circumstance that it’s not significant enough a defense to keep the sequential option given there are many ways to work past it, as I mentioned above, including contacting the AL owner to add clarity and instruction if they must keep it non-sequential.

And even if you still get inconvenienced by it it’s very relatively minor compared to other issues - like adding more map sources.

And there are just better arguments to defend keeping sequential locations as an option - like linear narratives or connected discoveries and themes.

I think we all agree (most) that sequential is an option that should not be removed. So if you feel the need to make yours sequential, go for it. I’m sure since you’re creating the adventure then you don’t want to be one to knowingly create an inconveniently vague location sequence.

9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Being yours, and knowing you’re putting it in a a place with little to no land guidance, you have choices, including simply mentioning in the adventure or locations which place to head to next - IF there were no option for sequential.

And here is the same location by satellite, which is also an extremely helpful tool not to be ignored.

Except the satellite view also doesn't show any of the tracks since they're hidden below the tree-tops (and it also doesn't have a scale). If I plot the AL's locations on the website map (or the geocaching app's map) it becomes clear those locations are along a loop track:

I guess there's a belief in HQ that ALs are only placed along roads, either to be driven on in rural locations or walked along in urban areas, yet 7 of the 26 ALs I've completed were off-road. But maybe things are different here compared to the rest of the world.

9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And even if you still get inconvenienced by it it’s very relatively minor compared to other issues - like adding more map sources.

And there are just better arguments to defend keeping sequential locations as an option - like linear narratives or connected discoveries and themes.

As I've been trying to say, I raised this issue in response to traveller001's assertion that sequential should be banned in order to give players a choice of starting points. Yes, there are other (and better) reasons for retaining sequential as an option, but that doesn't mean providing an unambiguous route on a trackless map can't be one of them.

I finally gave up on sequential labs on a recent trip.   It was hot, muggy, and there was no apparent reason for the order.  We seemed to always be going in the wrong direction.   I retraced my steps and did one, just to see if there was anything to make the sequence important. There was no way I was going to be able to convince my noncaching spouse to do it again, let alone 4 or 5 times in the general area we were in.

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