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Where have the Challenge caches gone? Making Challenge Caches fair for all

#1 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:54 PM

I agree that the photo challenge was not exciting. However I like challenge caches because they have you go an find other caches. Unfortunately, the requirements are so strict that one cannot even require to find one cache in 2013. Kind of new years resolutions. The restriction that the challenge cannot require finds at certain dates is fine, but it should be allowed to require that the challenge has to be complete after the challenge cache is posted. Otherwise it is just not fair to newcomers. Eg one requires to find 20 caches that start with the letter A. New cachers have to go and find them while old-timers just log them with past caches. The fact is that Geocaching is getting to old and this requirement need to be reconsidered, otherwise it will convert to a simple "go, find and log" game and no challenge will be fair to all cachers.
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I know there should not be competition, but the point is to get people out to nice place and caching. Thus if one has found 999999+ caches there is hardly any challenge cache that require him/her to go and find new ones.
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Sometimes one has to go out of his own comfort zone and accept chance to stay up to date.

#2 User is offline   steben6 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 14 January 2013 - 11:54 PM, said:

I agree that the photo challenge was not exciting. However I like challenge caches because they have you go an find other caches. Unfortunately, the requirements are so strict that one cannot even require to find one cache in 2013. Kind of new years resolutions. The restriction that the challenge cannot require finds at certain dates is fine, but it should be allowed to require that the challenge has to be complete after the challenge cache is posted. Otherwise it is just not fair to newcomers. Eg one requires to find 20 caches that start with the letter A. New cachers have to go and find them while old-timers just log them with past caches. The fact is that Geocaching is getting to old and this requirement need to be reconsidered, otherwise it will convert to a simple "go, find and log" game and no challenge will be fair to all cachers.
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I know there should not be competition, but the point is to get people out to nice place and caching. Thus if one has found 999999+ caches there is hardly any challenge cache that require him/her to go and find new ones.
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Sometimes one has to go out of his own comfort zone and accept chance to stay up to date.

I don't know, we've had quite a number of fun challenges posted in our area in the last couple of weeks. We love challenge caches! As for date restrictions, not really sure how it's unfair to any cachers? Whether you are an old cacher who already meets the requiremets to log a challenge, or a new cacher who still has to find some caches to qualify, you still get to log the cache. Just don't see what impact any other cacher's stats has on my own caching fun. If you are talking about the impact on the FTF, that affects such a small number of cachers. If you don't worry about the FTF, you can have just as much fun with challenge caches as older cachers. Just MHO.

#3 User is offline   Isonzo Karst 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:21 AM

Quote

New cachers have to go and find them while old-timers just log them with past caches


Another way of thinking about challenges with date of find restrictions would be: "new cachers go do it" and "old timers have to go do it again"

this is fun or fair how?

When date of find restrictions were permitted, it made some challenges next to impossible for old timers as they'd already found the qualifying caches.

If you're trying to get a date restricted challenge cache published, don't forget the option to go to appeals. Because the Challenge caches article now expressly states no date of find restrictions, a reviewer isn't going to publish a cache that has one. Staff can make exceptions!

Quote

Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.

This post has been edited by Isonzo Karst: 15 January 2013 - 06:14 AM


#4 User is offline   niraD 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 14 January 2013 - 11:54 PM, said:

Unfortunately, the requirements are so strict that one cannot even require to find one cache in 2013.
No, but if you require them to find a cache that was placed in 2013 (which is perfectly valid), then you can be pretty sure that they found it in 2013.

View Postthe-snowlight, on 14 January 2013 - 11:54 PM, said:

Thus if one has found 999999+ caches there is hardly any challenge cache that require him/her to go and find new ones.
Actually, there appears to be a side game around here to come up with a valid Challenge Cache that Alamogul has not already completed...

BTW, are you aware that the restrictions on disallowing past finds are relatively new? The Challenge Cache guidelines were recently tightened in response to concerns the volunteer reviewers had encountered, and that was one of the new restrictions. So in a sense, these new restrictions are part of Groundspeak "staying up to date".

#5 User is offline   hzoi 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

View PostniraD, on 15 January 2013 - 10:19 AM, said:

Actually, there appears to be a side game around here to come up with a valid Challenge Cache that Alamogul has not already completed...

Here's one.

#6 User is offline   dprovan 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

View PostIsonzo Karst, on 15 January 2013 - 05:21 AM, said:

When date of find restrictions were permitted, it made some challenges next to impossible for old timers as they'd already found the qualifying caches.

There's certainly some validity to this argument, and I certainly feel it a lot more now that I have a couple thousand fewer caches that I've already found in my area since I first heard this argument. But the other side of the coin is that new cachers have to actually do something to meet the challenge, while cachers with a lot of finds can often satisfy them just by chance.

Quote

Another way of thinking about challenges with date of find restrictions would be: "new cachers go do it" and "old timers have to go do it again"

this is fun or fair how?

It's fun because you're actually meeting a challenge, which is the point of a challenge, rather than just looking at stats and claiming a find, basically making the challenge just another cache.

It's fair because everyone starts with zero finds that qualify for the challenge. While I understand the downside of this -- that people that already have lots of finds have to go much further to get the required finds -- I disagree that this is inherently unfair. After all, the exact same argument could be used to claim that cachers should be able to find any cache over and over without having it counted as a repeat, right? Isn't it equally unfair to make me drive 20 minutes for a cache when a new cacher can find the one right down the street from my house?

#7 User is offline   team tisri 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

View Postdprovan, on 15 January 2013 - 12:03 PM, said:

It's fair because everyone starts with zero finds that qualify for the challenge. While I understand the downside of this -- that people that already have lots of finds have to go much further to get the required finds -- I disagree that this is inherently unfair. After all, the exact same argument could be used to claim that cachers should be able to find any cache over and over without having it counted as a repeat, right? Isn't it equally unfair to make me drive 20 minutes for a cache when a new cacher can find the one right down the street from my house?


It's not so fair when the challenge is something like "find eight cache types in a day" when a cacher who has been around for a while will have already picked off all the virtuals and webcams within a great distance of home, while a new cacher will not. It's hard enough for the established cacher to find enough caches they haven't already done within a sensible distance without having previously found caches disqualified.

#8 User is offline   ngrrfan 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

View Postteam tisri, on 15 January 2013 - 04:00 PM, said:

It's not so fair when the challenge is something like "find eight cache types in a day" when a cacher who has been around for a while will have already picked off all the virtuals and webcams within a great distance of home, while a new cacher will not. It's hard enough for the established cacher to find enough caches they haven't already done within a sensible distance without having previously found caches disqualified.

Considering that there are 19 listed cache types, if you include Benchmarks, then picking off 8 in a day really isn't hard. It does require some planning though.

#9 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Wow. looks like I identified and 'hot topic'. I understand the argument that old-timers need to drive longer distance to grad new caches. But would they not go to find new ones either way to continue caching? So the challenge gives them an new goal to look for specific caches next time they have to take a road trip. They can always chose not to accept the challenge.
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Also there should be nothing wrong to give beginners a little break, they often might not find a more difficult hide.
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I guess in the end I am not convinced that the restriction makes sense. One needs to remember that the goal of a challenge is to encourage others to go an find caches. If that means to go and complete certain requirements again and again that it should be OK. All sports have season and athletes or teams need to re-due year after year. Nothing is wrong with that.
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#10 User is offline   steben6 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 15 January 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:

Wow. looks like I identified and 'hot topic'. I understand the argument that old-timers need to drive longer distance to grad new caches. But would they not go to find new ones either way to continue caching? So the challenge gives them an new goal to look for specific caches next time they have to take a road trip. They can always chose not to accept the challenge.
.
Also there should be nothing wrong to give beginners a little break, they often might not find a more difficult hide.
.
I guess in the end I am not convinced that the restriction makes sense. One needs to remember that the goal of a challenge is to encourage others to go an find caches. If that means to go and complete certain requirements again and again that it should be OK. All sports have season and athletes or teams need to re-due year after year. Nothing is wrong with that.
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The-Snowlight

I disagree, but I am certainly not trying to convince anybody that they should think my way. People need to allow others to cache the way that brings them joy. I'm just not sure how anybody logging a challenge cache (whether a new cacher or an old cacher) has any impact, whatsoever, on the joy you will get from logging that same challenge cache? It has exactly zero impact. I don't like power trails, so therefore, we don't cache power trails. But I don't care if others enjoy power trails. Not everybody caches the same way and how somebody else caches not only doesn't affect my caching stats, but doesn't matter to me one bit.

#11 User is offline   niraD 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

View Postngrrfan, on 15 January 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

Considering that there are 19 listed cache types, if you include Benchmarks, then picking off 8 in a day really isn't hard. It does require some planning though.
Just a few quibbles...

Do such challenges usually count Benchmarks? I didn't think they did.

And I count only 16 types on the Geocache Types page, and some of them are unique or no longer available, and shouldn't really be included in the count:
Project A.P.E. Cache (unless in Brazil)
Groundspeak Headquarters Cache (unless in Washington)
GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit (unless in Oregon, or wherever it goes next)
10 Years! Event Cache (unless in 2010)
Locationless Cache (unless in 2004)

And mega-events are pretty rare too.

And of course, if you've already found all the nearby caches with certain rare types (letterbox hybrids, virtuals, webcams, EarthCaches, Wherigo Caches), then "picking off" 8 types in a day gets a lot harder and involves a lot more travel.

#12 User is offline   geodarts 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Challenges with a date restriction often stated that it was to level the playing field. I always thought it skewed it even more. But caching has nothing to do with fairness. It is not fair to have old cachers drive hundreds of miles or more to complete challenges that newcomers can do within a much closer radius. It is not fair for old cachers to complete a challenge without doing anything other than running a GSAK macro while new cachers have to run around here or there. Personally I find the former situation more annoying than the latter and am glad that Groundspeak got rid of date restrictions.

This post has been edited by geodarts: 16 January 2013 - 07:48 AM


#13 User is offline   simpjkee 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 14 January 2013 - 11:54 PM, said:

The fact is that Geocaching is getting to old and this requirement need to be reconsidered, otherwise it will convert to a simple "go, find and log" game and no challenge will be fair to all cachers.


A simple 'go find and log' game is enough for me. It doesn't sound bad at all. I don't need challenges to make the game exciting.

#14 User is offline   cerberus1 

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

For an old fart, I actually like change - when change is for the good.
I don't need a challenge cache to push me to go and find caches though and I'm also quite happy with "go find and log".
- When I can find 'em. :laughing:

#15 User is offline   team tisri 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:52 AM

View Postngrrfan, on 15 January 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

View Postteam tisri, on 15 January 2013 - 04:00 PM, said:

It's not so fair when the challenge is something like "find eight cache types in a day" when a cacher who has been around for a while will have already picked off all the virtuals and webcams within a great distance of home, while a new cacher will not. It's hard enough for the established cacher to find enough caches they haven't already done within a sensible distance without having previously found caches disqualified.

Considering that there are 19 listed cache types, if you include Benchmarks, then picking off 8 in a day really isn't hard. It does require some planning though.


19 listed cache types indeed but once you've knocked out a few of them - e.g. short of organising one yourself (which doesn't really seem to be the idea), event, mega event and CITO events don't appear at times that are useful, virtuals and webcams are all but if not completely cleared out and the more obscure ones like Project APE don't exist within thousands of miles of home, it's a lot harder. Coming from the UK we don't have benchmarks here at all so that's no help either.

Last year I completed a challenge to find six cache types in a day and it took a fair bit of searching the map to find anywhere where it was a viable option. Of course had I not already found nearly all the virtuals and all the webcams within a good distance of home it would have been much easier. Even then it was touch and go for a while whether the mission would be a success as the one letterbox hybrid available in the area proved much harder to find than I expected. Trying to find 8 cache types in a day would, I think, be impossible unless it happened to be on a day where there was an event available to claim.

Looking at the cache types from my statistics page (in no particular order):

Traditional Cache - easy enough, they are everywhere
Multi-cache - likewise easy enough, especially the easier offset caches
Unknown Cache - also easy enough, with a bit of preparation to solve any puzzle
Earthcache - a few around although it depends on the area
Letterbox Hybrid - depending on location vary from common to rare
Wherigo Cache - not all that common

Event Cache - not available all the time
Cache In Trash Out Event - rare, and require more time than just showing up and signing the log
Mega-Event Cache - very rare, maybe once a year in the UK

Virtual Cache - as long as they haven't all been found, easy enough
Webcam Cache - few available, easy in theory as long as any remain

Locationless (Reverse) Cache - all archived

The last six are cache types that either don't exist at all in the whole of the UK, or have only existed based on one or two specific days.

GPS Adventures Exhibit *
Groundspeak Block Party *
Groundspeak HQ *
Groundspeak Lost and Found Celebration *
Lost and Found Event Cache *
Project APE Cache *



So for all the challenge isn't necessarily supposed to be easily fulfilled in a normal day's caching, short of using event caches to top up the icon list the most different types it's possible to get in a day is 8 and if all the local virtuals and webcams have been done that drops to 6. For a new cacher who hasn't cleared out all the virtuals and webcams 8 different types in a day is much more readily achievable.

#16 User is offline   dprovan 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

View Postteam tisri, on 16 January 2013 - 01:52 AM, said:

So for all the challenge isn't necessarily supposed to be easily fulfilled in a normal day's caching, short of using event caches to top up the icon list the most different types it's possible to get in a day is 8 and if all the local virtuals and webcams have been done that drops to 6. For a new cacher who hasn't cleared out all the virtuals and webcams 8 different types in a day is much more readily achievable.

As I said before, this exact same logic could be applied to any cache: the poor long time cacher that's cleared out the area can't go down the street to pick up the local cache like the new cacher can, so we should recognize that as "not fair" and change the rules so the old timer isn't at a disadvantage for easily finding caches and can just refind local caches.

The way I see it, yes, some people will have a harder time meeting some challenges for whatever reason, and the specific reason "because I've found all the caches near me" doesn't strike me as any more special than, say, "because I don't have time to find one cache every day for 366 days in a row." After all, there's a simple solution to the problem being discussed with a requirement for so many icons in a day: go somewhere you've never cached before. Isn't that exactly the kind of cool thing a challenge is trying to encourage you to do?

But I have no problem with start times on challenges being forbidden, I just don't buy that the reason is that start times are inherently unfair. I can see wanting to prevent a challenge which involved, for example, finding a specific cache after a certain date, since that would prevent anyone that had already found that cache from ever meeting the requirement. And I'm willing to rule out some other reasonable uses of the start time by writing an objective rule so a reviewer isn't forced to make a judgement call that could be contested. Just don't expect me to think there's a fundamental problem with start times. I simply see it as a useful and rather minor sacrifice.

#17 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

View PostniraD, on 15 January 2013 - 06:09 PM, said:

View Postngrrfan, on 15 January 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

Considering that there are 19 listed cache types, if you include Benchmarks, then picking off 8 in a day really isn't hard. It does require some planning though.
Just a few quibbles...

Do such challenges usually count Benchmarks? I didn't think they did.

And I count only 16 types on the Geocache Types page, and some of them are unique or no longer available, and shouldn't really be included in the count:
Project A.P.E. Cache (unless in Brazil)
Groundspeak Headquarters Cache (unless in Washington)
GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit (unless in Oregon, or wherever it goes next)
10 Years! Event Cache (unless in 2010)
Locationless Cache (unless in 2004)

And mega-events are pretty rare too.

And of course, if you've already found all the nearby caches with certain rare types (letterbox hybrids, virtuals, webcams, EarthCaches, Wherigo Caches), then "picking off" 8 types in a day gets a lot harder and involves a lot more travel.


#18 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

View Postgeodarts, on 15 January 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

Challenges with a date restriction often stated that it was to level the playing field. I always thought it skewed it even more. But caching has nothing to do with fairness. It is not fair to have old cachers drive hundreds of miles or more to complete challenges that newcomers can do within a much closer radius. It is not fair for old cachers to complete a challenge without doing anything other than running a GSAK macro while new cachers have to run around here or there. Personally I find the former situation more annoying than the latter and am glad that Groundspeak got rid of date restrictions.

I am said to inform you that Groundspeak does in fact set this date restrictions. However I see both sides and wish happy caching to all. Old-time that do not want to drive far may have to get used to the fact that they cannot claim all challenges in their area. On the other side newbies may have to get use to be later in the logs. No rule fits all.

This post has been edited by the-snowlight: 16 January 2013 - 04:29 PM


#19 User is offline   Psychoticjester 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

There are a few unique challenges as well as insanely difficult ones in my area. I'm not a fan of date restrictions personally so I don't plan on using them in my challenges. I only have 1 for now (GC3YXWX) but have plans to release others down the trail it's on. Even had an idea for anti-challenges on another trail parallel to it but they might not work out so well (go XX days WITHOUT finding a cache, only find traditional caches for XX days ect.) but those could be good for beginners.

This post has been edited by Psychoticjester: 16 January 2013 - 05:51 PM


#20 User is offline   niraD 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

View PostPsychoticjester, on 16 January 2013 - 05:50 PM, said:

Even had an idea for anti-challenges on another trail parallel to it but they might not work out so well (go XX days WITHOUT finding a cache, only find traditional caches for XX days ect.) but those could be good for beginners.
See the Help Center article Challenge Caches.

Challenge Caches cannot be based on "non-accomplishments, such as DNFs". Also, "One should not have to 'give up' finding other caches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements." Thus, Challenge Caches that require someone not to find caches, or that require someone to find only certain types of caches, are not allowed.

#21 User is offline   geodarts 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 16 January 2013 - 04:28 PM, said:

I am said to inform you that Groundspeak does in fact set this date restrictions. However I see both sides and wish happy caching to all. Old-time that do not want to drive far may have to get used to the fact that they cannot claim all challenges in their area. On the other side newbies may have to get use to be later in the logs. No rule fits all.


I am not sure if I understand your response . . . right now Groundspeak does not permit date restrictions.

"A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions.. . . Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge."


As you say, no rule will satisfy all. But all in all, I think this is a good guideline for our game.

This post has been edited by geodarts: 16 January 2013 - 09:55 PM


#22 User is offline   frinklabs 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

View Postgeodarts, on 16 January 2013 - 09:49 PM, said:

View Postthe-snowlight, on 16 January 2013 - 04:28 PM, said:

I am said to inform you that Groundspeak does in fact set this date restrictions. However I see both sides and wish happy caching to all. Old-time that do not want to drive far may have to get used to the fact that they cannot claim all challenges in their area. On the other side newbies may have to get use to be later in the logs. No rule fits all.


I am not sure if I understand your response . . . right now Groundspeak does not permit date restrictions.

"A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions.. . . Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge."


As you say, no rule will satisfy all. But all in all, I think this is a good guideline for our game.


Luckily, existing date-restricted challenges were grandfathered in.

Tequila: 81 Proof only allows finds on caches placed before its publication on 8 April 2008 (do not click that link if you are avoiding the PMO audit log).

As time goes on, through attrition, the number of available caches for some of the rarer combinations can only decrease. Thus, the challenge of the challenge can only increase, if that makes sense.

As a "newbie" relative to its publication, completion of this cache would definitely be more of an accomplishment by me than by those who already had the requisite finds in-hand.

#23 User is offline   team tisri 

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:53 AM

View PostniraD, on 16 January 2013 - 06:06 PM, said:

View PostPsychoticjester, on 16 January 2013 - 05:50 PM, said:

Even had an idea for anti-challenges on another trail parallel to it but they might not work out so well (go XX days WITHOUT finding a cache, only find traditional caches for XX days ect.) but those could be good for beginners.
See the Help Center article Challenge Caches.

Challenge Caches cannot be based on "non-accomplishments, such as DNFs". Also, "One should not have to 'give up' finding other caches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements." Thus, Challenge Caches that require someone not to find caches, or that require someone to find only certain types of caches, are not allowed.


Awwww.... so a challenge cache that required someone to not cache for a year and not have a premium membership definitely wouldn't be allowed then <_<

#24 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

View Postfrinklabs, on 16 January 2013 - 10:16 PM, said:

View Postgeodarts, on 16 January 2013 - 09:49 PM, said:

View Postthe-snowlight, on 16 January 2013 - 04:28 PM, said:

I am said to inform you that Groundspeak does in fact set this date restrictions. However I see both sides and wish happy caching to all. Old-time that do not want to drive far may have to get used to the fact that they cannot claim all challenges in their area. On the other side newbies may have to get use to be later in the logs. No rule fits all.


I am not sure if I understand your response . . . right now Groundspeak does not permit date restrictions.

"A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions.. . . Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge."


As you say, no rule will satisfy all. But all in all, I think this is a good guideline for our game.


Luckily, existing date-restricted challenges were grandfathered in.

Tequila: 81 Proof only allows finds on caches placed before its publication on 8 April 2008 (do not click that link if you are avoiding the PMO audit log).

As time goes on, through attrition, the number of available caches for some of the rarer combinations can only decrease. Thus, the challenge of the challenge can only increase, if that makes sense.

As a "newbie" relative to its publication, completion of this cache would definitely be more of an accomplishment by me than by those who already had the requisite finds in-hand.


The date restriction I mean is that caches that require finding caches after a specific date ( eg the date the challenge is publish) are not allowed. This lead to a controversy between old timers that have already found all possible combinations and newcomers. Ok timer have to drive long distance to find caches they hav not found yet, while newcomers just cache nearby! No rules fits all.

#25 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:25 PM

The date restriction I mean is that caches that require finding caches after a specific date ( eg the date the challenge is publish) are not allowed. This lead to a controversy between old timers that have already found all possible combinations and newcomers. Ok timer have to drive long distance to find caches they hav not found yet, while newcomers just cache nearby! No rules fits all.

#26 User is offline   Cynsayshi 

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

We are having this discussion locally due to the archiving of this year's Geocachers To Do List challenge cache in the north Texas area. I've read both sides of the argument and I have some comments.

So, the date rule (yea or nay) is going to be unfair to either newbies, who don't have a bunch of caches under their belts to choose from, or veteran cachers, who may have to travel a long distance to get new caches to meet the requirements of a date challenge. I'm sorry, but the decision to coddle the veterans rather than help out the newbies is pretty selfish. The current rule is like holding a golfing competition, but telling people that they can post their score from any previous round on that course, regardless of year. Pretty pointless competition, if you ask me.

And honestly, are there really areas that are SO SATURATED that no one is ever putting out new caches? Maybe some of those veterans need to be putting out a few more for each other, or encouraging local newer players to do so, rather than complaining that they have to travel too far.

This post has been edited by Cynsayshi: 22 January 2013 - 07:49 PM


#27 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

We are having this discussion locally due to the archiving of this year's Geocachers To Do List challenge cache in the north Texas area. I've read both sides of the argument and I have some comments.

So, the date rule (yea or nay) going to be unfair to either newbies, who don't have a bunch of caches under their belts to choose from, or veteran cachers, who may have to travel a long distance to get new caches to meet the requirements of a date challenge. I'm sorry, but the decision to coddle the veterans rather than help out the newbies is pretty selfish. The current rule is like holding a golfing competition, but telling people that they can post their score from any previous round on that course, regardless of year. Pretty pointless competition, if you ask me.

And honestly, are there really areas that are SO SATURATED that no one is ever putting out new caches? Maybe some of those veterans need to be putting out a few more for each other, or encouraging local newer players to do so, rather than complaining that they have to travel too far.


I'm curious. How does telling me that I don't qualify for a challenge cache, help you qualify for a challenge cache? Coddling me takes nothing away from you.

Are you just mad because over the last seven years, I managed to qualify for a challenge that had not yet been created. I did that by finding a lot of different caches. Should I be required to do it all over again? Go find a bunch of different caches and you may qualify as well.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 19 January 2013 - 10:25 PM, said:

The new date restriction mean that caches that require finding caches after a specific date ( eg the date the challenge is publish) are not allowed. This lead to a controversy between old timers that have already found all possible combinations and newcomers. Ok timer have to drive long distance to find caches they hav not found yet, while newcomers just cache nearby! No rules fits all.


I agree that no rules fit all. But with the old rules, people could choose to hide challenge caches that allowed previous finds that benefited experienced cachers. Others could hide challenge caches with date restrictions that would level the playing field and in some cases give newer cachers an advantage. With the new rules, only the the first type is possible. So the old rules allowed a variety of challenge caches, while the new rules restricts challenge caches to a certain type. In addition, interesting challenges can give an experienced cachers like myself inspiration to go out and find new caches.

So I think that the new rule should be relooked at to allow the flexibility in challenges types that we have enjoyed until the recent change.

#29 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

View PostBuckandi, on 22 January 2013 - 08:14 PM, said:

View Postthe-snowlight, on 19 January 2013 - 10:25 PM, said:

The new date restriction mean that caches that require finding caches after a specific date ( eg the date the challenge is publish) are not allowed. This lead to a controversy between old timers that have already found all possible combinations and newcomers. Ok timer have to drive long distance to find caches they hav not found yet, while newcomers just cache nearby! No rules fits all.


I agree that no rules fit all. But with the old rules, people could choose to hide challenge caches that allowed previous finds that benefited experienced cachers. Others could hide challenge caches with date restrictions that would level the playing field and in some cases give newer cachers an advantage. With the new rules, only the the first type is possible. So the old rules allowed a variety of challenge caches, while the new rules restricts challenge caches to a certain type. In addition, interesting challenges can give an experienced cachers like myself inspiration to go out and find new caches.

So I think that the new rule should be relooked at to allow the flexibility in challenges types that we have enjoyed until the recent change.


I still don't get the "level the playing field" comment. When a new challenge cache is published, it's up to each of to determine if we wish to complete the challenge. In some cases, some of us already have. If I have and you haven't, I haven't affected your ability to complete the challenge in any way. I think that people are looking at this the wrong way. The CO is challenging each of us to complete a goal. He is not creating a challenge between me and you. We are not in competition and there is no prize, so why does it matter to you if my prior years of finding caches may already qualify me as meeting the challenge?

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

So, the date rule (yea or nay) is going to be unfair to either newbies, who don't have a bunch of caches under their belts to choose from, or veteran cachers, who may have to travel a long distance to get new caches to meet the requirements of a date challenge.
Or you can create a challenge cache that doesn't give either group a significant advantage. For example, you can allow only caches that were placed since January 1, 2013.

But personally, I'd rather see challenge caches to go the way of other ALRs, and for grid completions, streaks, and other geocaching-related tasks to be recognized on the statistics page, on the souvenirs page, or via some other online badge system.

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

The current rule is like holding a golfing competition, but telling people that they can post their score from any previous round on that course, regardless of year. Pretty pointless competition, if you ask me.
Are challenge caches a competition? I thought they were merely a way to recognize the completion of various geocaching-related tasks.

#31 User is offline   Cynsayshi 

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Frankly, there are plenty of challenge caches around that do allow previous finds. I own 2 myself.

But what is wrong with putting out a yearly challenge cache that encourages locals and out-of-towners to plan for finding caches, attending events (which requires people therefore to hold events for everyone to attend), find a variety of terrain ratings, etc. in the current calendar year? One of our local cachers puts out a highly anticipated challenge cache each year. It's something to look forward to at a more dreary part of the year. There's a lot of groups getting together to make caching runs to nearby counties and state parks. There are plenty of events held, partly for the fun of getting together, but also to help meet the events requirement. There is much anticipation and much cheering on the local FaceBook groups when the first groups announce they've made the find - and yes, there are often several finds near one another. Far from mean-spirited, the challenge is a boost for local cachers.

Both types should be allowed.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

I'm sorry, but the decision to coddle the veterans rather than help out the newbies is pretty selfish.

I've never been able to see the part where one group or the other is coddled. A cacher must find caches fitting certain criteria to complete a challenge. Whether the cacher is new or old, or whether they've found the caches before or after the challenge was published, all of those who complete the challenge did the same amount of work. There's no competition involved, so there's nothing that can be "fair" or "unfair". Why does it matter whether a cacher completes the challenge on the first day or the 500th day? Either way, they completed the challenge requirements at some point in time, so everyone is even.

With the way challenge caches are going, I predict they'll be killed off entirely within the next couple of years. More and more people will push the envelope, requiring Groundspeak to put more and more restrictions on challenge caches. At some point, the challenge cache guidelines will just become too convoluted to understand and have too many restrictions, at which point they'll go the way of the rest of the ALRs.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

View PostThe A-Team, on 22 January 2013 - 09:27 PM, said:

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

I'm sorry, but the decision to coddle the veterans rather than help out the newbies is pretty selfish.

I've never been able to see the part where one group or the other is coddled. A cacher must find caches fitting certain criteria to complete a challenge. Whether the cacher is new or old, or whether they've found the caches before or after the challenge was published, all of those who complete the challenge did the same amount of work. There's no competition involved, so there's nothing that can be "fair" or "unfair". Why does it matter whether a cacher completes the challenge on the first day or the 500th day? Either way, they completed the challenge requirements at some point in time, so everyone is even.

With the way challenge caches are going, I predict they'll be killed off entirely within the next couple of years. More and more people will push the envelope, requiring Groundspeak to put more and more restrictions on challenge caches. At some point, the challenge cache guidelines will just become too convoluted to understand and have too many restrictions, at which point they'll go the way of the rest of the ALRs.


Years? I was thinking by this summer, we'll get announcement from Miss Jenn about the end of Challenge Caches.

#34 User is offline   Cynsayshi 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:33 AM

I can see the point on some challenge caches for removing the date requirements - things like having to find certain milestones, or specific caches.

However, there is also a certain element of laziness I'm seeing in these responses for the type of cache I'm talking about. It's not a past-date requirement - having to find caches in 2010, which means someone who just started 3 days ago will never qualify. It's an encouragement to get out and get involved with the geocaching community each year. But it sounds like some of you just don't get that. How sad.

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

View PostCynsayshi, on 23 January 2013 - 04:33 AM, said:

I can see the point on some challenge caches for removing the date requirements - things like having to find certain milestones, or specific caches.

However, there is also a certain element of laziness I'm seeing in these responses for the type of cache I'm talking about. It's not a past-date requirement - having to find caches in 2010, which means someone who just started 3 days ago will never qualify. It's an encouragement to get out and get involved with the geocaching community each year. But it sounds like some of you just don't get that. How sad.


Believe it or not, some of us are involved with the Geocaching Community all the time, and the the only smiley that we get is on the faces of our friends.

I could care less what the guidelines are. I have the mentality that I don't need to find every cache, and if a challenge is too great because I have already found the requisite caches, and they don't count, oh well.

What bothers me is that you seem to want to create a challenge that excludes, or makes it extremely hard for the long time cachers to complete. You want to disregard their past accomplishments and the very fact that they built the Geocaching Community that you say that you want to support.

This post has been edited by Don_J: 23 January 2013 - 09:52 AM


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

View PostDon_J, on 23 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View PostCynsayshi, on 23 January 2013 - 04:33 AM, said:

I can see the point on some challenge caches for removing the date requirements - things like having to find certain milestones, or specific caches.

However, there is also a certain element of laziness I'm seeing in these responses for the type of cache I'm talking about. It's not a past-date requirement - having to find caches in 2010, which means someone who just started 3 days ago will never qualify. It's an encouragement to get out and get involved with the geocaching community each year. But it sounds like some of you just don't get that. How sad.


Believe it or not, some of us are involved with the Geocaching Community all the time, and the the only smiley that we get is on the faces of our friends.

I could care less what the guidelines are. I have the mentality that I don't need to find every cache, and if a challenge is too great because I have already found the requisite caches, and they don't count, oh well.

What bothers me is that you seem to want to create a challenge that excludes, or makes it extremely hard for the long time cachers to complete. You want to disregard their past accomplishments and the very fact that they built the Geocaching Community that you say that you want to support.


I think this sums it up pretty well.

Long before challenge caches existed I wondered how many cache types it might be possible to find in a day. That was also before earthcaches and Wherigo appeared, so I figured that aside from going to an event I might just manage a virtual, traditional, multi, webcam and puzzle. Then as more types of caches appeared it seemed that adding an earthcache or a Wherigo might increase that count, and then over time as I found every webcam cache within however many miles of home that option disappeared.

The thing is if I'd set myself a challenge to find as many cache types in a day as I could, and managed seven, and some time later someone else says "hey, here's a fun game, let's see if you can find seven cache types in a day to qualify for this cache" I already did. The point is the caching activity, adding some arbitrary "but it doesn't count if you did it last week" just seems petty.

I must admit I'm starting to lean more and more towards challenge caches being something that's going to disappear sooner or later, it's usually pretty easy to cheat where anything regarding caching on particular days is concerned, it can't be all that hard to log four cache types one day and three the next day and then claim to have done tham all the same day, and it's particularly odd that the notion that finding the cache and signing the log book counts as a find for an "unknown" cache as long as it's not listed as a challenge cache.

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 09:22 PM, said:

But what is wrong with putting out a yearly challenge cache




i like the yearly swings of a new challenge being issued, date restrictions and all... BUT i could see where that sort of violates the rule about permanence. caches are supposed to be placed for the long haul, not just a temporary place holder.

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

View PostDon_J, on 22 January 2013 - 11:04 PM, said:

Years? I was thinking by this summer, we'll get announcement from Miss Jenn about the end of Challenge Caches.


i second that opinion. i really like some of the existing challenges (some seem to be at a great distance from my house), but they'll never be duplicated under the current guidelines even though they require much more geocaching ability than doing an online log for a cache every day for a year. the challenges will atrophy on their own under the weight of the guidelines... or they'll just ban them to finish the deal.

#39 User is offline   thebruce0 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

Ok, so it seems there are a few fences here everyone is sitting on one side or the other...

Date restriction on qualifying finds (after a date):
* Fair for newbies who have many qualifying caches nearby still to find / Unfair for vets who've cleared out all nearby qualifying caches
No date restriction on qualifying finds:
* Fair for vets who may already qualify for a challenge / Unfair for newbies who have yet to find enough qualifying caches

Date restriction on placed (before a date):
* Fair for newbies who still have many qualifying caches / Unfair for vets who may have already found all qualifying caches
No date restriction on placed:
* Fair for vets who may already qualify for a challenge / Fair (unfair, relatively speaking) for newbies who have an assortment of qualifying caches to find

The way I see it, there are really two types of "Challenge Caches" here, based in a system where generally you only "find" one cache once.

1.
Without any date restriction, the challenge is actually more like an ACCOMPLISHMENT. That is, anyone can log the cache if they've accomplished the required goal, at any time in their caching career.

2.
Forcing a date restriction on finds is a very different kind of challenge, more like an active challenge with the intent of getting the cacher to complete a goal. But this is certainly more fair/unfair to cachers if a date restriction is in place AND qualifying caches can't be re-found.

These two challenge types can't coexist, in the system with finding a cache only once.

However, there is an out... if, as mentioned above, the purpose of a challenge is to get cachers to enjoy the attempt of the goal (and not to consider it a competition), then why require the date restriction? Why not simply encourage that limitation, for the fun of the challenge? Sure, there may be people who just want to log the cache because they've already done it, but there may be many who would consider the challenge and see if they can actually accomplish the goal with caches they haven't yet found. It allows cachers who have accomplished the goal to legitimately log the find, while still giving those who have a choice the choice to have the fun (again) you hope they will have.


I understand the desire for the date restriction - I own grandfathered challenge caches with date restrictions - and I supported the concept of date-restricted challenge caches. But I've come to understand that there's a line between "accomplishment" and "challenge" where the date is concerned. The latter, in the GC single-find system, urges more of a competitive context, rather than a 'have fun doing it how you like' method.

Without a date restriction, it allows cachers to defeat the challenge however they see fit (adhering to the remaining rules), making it fair for all, while encouraging people to attempt the challenge again - for the fun of it. And heck, you can even reward people who accomplish the challenge after the publish date however you see fit.

I do a similar thing with difficult puzzle caches for which I know many would not solve on their own; we also have numerous large group caching events where multiple cachers log a find on a puzzle they didn't solve (like using technology or special knowledge they don't have), or that requires a task they didn't complete (like climbing a tree), or that has a terrain too high for them to tackle (like scuba caching or swimming to an island). If you reward people who complete whatever task you hope they will complete in their efforts, then you no longer need to debate what constitutes "legitimate" finds for logs on your cache (which Groundspeak merely supports as the cacher having their name or group name in the logbook). Those debates are headache- and angst-inducing situations.


tl;dr:
By removing date restrictions on challenges, Groundspeak has opened the floor for a more even playing field when it comes to cache statistics relying on a one-find system. All you can do without making Geocaching unfair to different people is to encourage people to take on challenges how you hope to have them experience it.

IMO, if Groundspeak allows a date restriction, they should also state that the challenge owners allow re-finding/logging of caches, which is sort of pointless since there's no evidence the cachers has actually re-found said cache(s). Anyway, if they allow it, then Challenge Caches should really be split into two classes - Accomplishment Caches (no date restriction) and Challenge Caches (dated, go and do it from this point on, every cacher can start with a blank slate).
Really, it doesn't seem worth it...

This post has been edited by thebruce0: 23 January 2013 - 12:28 PM


#40 User is online   NYPaddleCacher 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

View PostniraD, on 22 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

But personally, I'd rather see challenge caches to go the way of other ALRs, and for grid completions, streaks, and other geocaching-related tasks to be recognized on the statistics page, on the souvenirs page, or via some other online badge system.


This. Why should being allowed to log a geocache be the reward for completing a geocaching related task. I'd rather see Groundspeak create challengs with a souvenir or virtual badge as the reward for accomplishing the task. The basic grid (Fizzy, Jasmar) challenges, Delorme or all county challenges, and even 5 state or 5 country challenges could be created with additional suggestions made in a forum section. I thought the Worldwide Challenges Suggestion forum worked fairly well even though GS was not always real responsive when they actually implemented one. As long as they don't do something like Foursquare (You have ousted niraD as mayor of Mingo) the use of virtual badges for a small set of geocaching related accomplishments is an idea that's become pretty common and popular on location based social networking sites. Merit badges have been part of scouting essentially since the beginning in 1910. I's pretty clear that it's a proven form of rewarding for completing an accomplishment.

#41 User is offline   thebruce0 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

And the thing with that is that you can already do that yourself, with your custom profile page. Make them up yourself, or join another auto-generated badge theme, like this one.
I'd love to see Groundspeak create an automated badge reward system as you say, whether independent or related to the souvenir system, but for some reason I think it'll just go by the wayside since people can already do it themselves by looking at their own stats... *shrug*

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

(You have ousted niraD as mayor of Mingo)
How on earth did I become mayor of Mingo?!

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

We are having this discussion locally due to the archiving of this year's Geocachers To Do List challenge cache in the north Texas area. I've read both sides of the argument and I have some comments.

So, the date rule (yea or nay) is going to be unfair to either newbies, who don't have a bunch of caches under their belts to choose from, or veteran cachers, who may have to travel a long distance to get new caches to meet the requirements of a date challenge. I'm sorry, but the decision to coddle the veterans rather than help out the newbies is pretty selfish. The current rule is like holding a golfing competition, but telling people that they can post their score from any previous round on that course, regardless of year. Pretty pointless competition, if you ask me.

And honestly, are there really areas that are SO SATURATED that no one is ever putting out new caches? Maybe some of those veterans need to be putting out a few more for each other, or encouraging local newer players to do so, rather than complaining that they have to travel too far.


That Texas "To Do List Challenge" cache was the one that gave me the idea. I have re-woreded the cane to one need to find cache that were place in 2013 or later an it may get published soon. Sneaky sneaky.
.
Do not quarrel with the old-timers. I like you idea to have them place more caches, but a challenge cannot require one to place caches either. I've tried it.

#44 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

View PostniraD, on 22 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

But personally, I'd rather see challenge caches to go the way of other ALRs, and for grid completions, streaks, and other geocaching-related tasks to be recognized on the statistics page, on the souvenirs page, or via some other online badge system.


.... I'd rather see Groundspeak create challengs with a souvenir or virtual badge as the reward for accomplishing the task. The basic grid (Fizzy, Jasmar) challenges, Delorme or all county challenges, and even 5 state or 5 country challenges could be created with additional suggestions made in a forum section.


You can get you badge at badgen.com i fyou use GSAK. Groundspeaks will probably do not support badges fro accomplishments. But wait the 10-10-2010 or 11-11-2011 are date specific souvenirs as well. Now I am all confused.

#45 User is offline   the-snowlight 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

View Postthebruce0, on 23 January 2013 - 12:19 PM, said:


.... Anyway, if they allow it, then Challenge Caches should really be split into two classes - Accomplishment Caches (no date restriction) and Challenge Caches (dated, go and do it from this point on, every cacher can start with a blank slate).
...


That is an excellent suggestion an may solve it all. For accomplishments they may just make souvenirs that can be requirement to log a accomplishment cache. These could be made visible only to cachers that have completed the accomplishment. How awesome would that be. Each time to reach a milestone more caches appear?

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:12 AM

View PostniraD, on 23 January 2013 - 02:01 PM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

(You have ousted niraD as mayor of Mingo)
How on earth did I become mayor of Mingo?!


Just an example. Since I was responding to your post it seemed like the most obvious choice for a username.

#47 User is online   NYPaddleCacher 

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

View Postthe-snowlight, on 23 January 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

View PostniraD, on 22 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

But personally, I'd rather see challenge caches to go the way of other ALRs, and for grid completions, streaks, and other geocaching-related tasks to be recognized on the statistics page, on the souvenirs page, or via some other online badge system.


.... I'd rather see Groundspeak create challengs with a souvenir or virtual badge as the reward for accomplishing the task. The basic grid (Fizzy, Jasmar) challenges, Delorme or all county challenges, and even 5 state or 5 country challenges could be created with additional suggestions made in a forum section.


You can get you badge at badgen.com i fyou use GSAK. Groundspeaks will probably do not support badges fro accomplishments. But wait the 10-10-2010 or 11-11-2011 are date specific souvenirs as well. Now I am all confused.


Posting a found it or attended log is hardly an accomplishment. I know about badgegen.com. I don't use it personally, but their list of accomplishment based souvenirs is pretty extensive. I've also seen quite a few profile pages that also include "Earthcache Master" badges. Awhile back GS essentially took the MyGeocachingProfile.com code and integrated it the statistics pages. I have no idea who runs badgegen.com but it seems to me that something similar could be done. The main advantage of having GS manage badges or souvenirs for accomplishments is that it wouldn't rely on a third party waypoint manager such as GSAK and they would be awarded automatically (cut-n-paste of html code not necessary) using data in the Groundspeak database, whereas a third party application has to rely on pocket queries or the API. That could mean that GS could create badges for cache *owners* based on the number of favorite points they've received, a "clean" maintenance record, or other awards that might not be easy to determine without full access to the user profiles.

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

View PostDon_J, on 23 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View PostCynsayshi, on 23 January 2013 - 04:33 AM, said:

I can see the point on some challenge caches for removing the date requirements - things like having to find certain milestones, or specific caches.

However, there is also a certain element of laziness I'm seeing in these responses for the type of cache I'm talking about. It's not a past-date requirement - having to find caches in 2010, which means someone who just started 3 days ago will never qualify. It's an encouragement to get out and get involved with the geocaching community each year. But it sounds like some of you just don't get that. How sad.


Believe it or not, some of us are involved with the Geocaching Community all the time, and the the only smiley that we get is on the faces of our friends.

I could care less what the guidelines are. I have the mentality that I don't need to find every cache, and if a challenge is too great because I have already found the requisite caches, and they don't count, oh well.

What bothers me is that you seem to want to create a challenge that excludes, or makes it extremely hard for the long time cachers to complete. You want to disregard their past accomplishments and the very fact that they built the Geocaching Community that you say that you want to support.


I don't think you read my original post. I am not the one creating this challenge, nor do I intend to. I was talking about an annual challenge that is very popular and highly supported in our area, but that got archived for the 2013 year because of a lot of issues involving someone coming in and logging a find before anyone participating in the SPIRIT OF THE CHALLENGE could have logged it. Our long-time cachers do participate and have a good time doing it as well. You might take a look at the cache I'm talking about (GC432W3) before saying that it would have been too hard for you to accomplish without dipping into past finds.

This post has been edited by Cynsayshi: 24 January 2013 - 05:35 AM


#49 User is offline   cezanne 

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

View PostCynsayshi, on 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

And honestly, are there really areas that are SO SATURATED that no one is ever putting out new caches? Maybe some of those veterans need to be putting out a few more for each other, or encouraging local newer players to do so, rather than complaining that they have to travel too far.


I do not care about challenges caches. I would not appreciate however if placement of caches that are just there that someone can find and log them and not because they offer an interesting experience is encouraged any further. I prefer by far if oldtimers who want to complete challenge caches can make use of old finds instead of an increased number of lame caches at boring locations that are not interesting in their own right.


Cezanne

#50 User is offline   hzoi 

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

Interesting that neither the 2010 challenge nor the 2011 challenge actually state that only finds from that year count. It is implied, but it is not specified. Only specifically stated in the 2012 and 2013 challenges.

Man, Prime Reviewer can't catch a break. Every time I think Texans are done complaining I see a new one, like this little gem from the cache owner:

Quote

I recommended we get a new Reviewer to our area.


I'm sure that's been duly noted.

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