The Geocaching Blog


Geocaching Challenges – Thanks for the Feedback

Eric Schudiske on August 19, 2011, 3:28 pm

199 Comments | Permalink

Lackeys

Bryan Roth: Co-Founder of Groundspeak

By Bryan Roth,

We hear your concerns, and thank you for your feedback.  Now we are asking you to give Challenges a chance. You don’t necessarily have to participate, but give us some time to improve the feature set.  Here’s why.

For many years, the geocaching community has been clamoring for the return of Virtual geocaches. There were a lot of issues with the implementation of Virtuals that prevented us from bringing them back in their original form. When we set out to find a way to bring Virtuals back that would appeal to the community, we determined that the basic idea behind Virtual Caches was “go somewhere, do something.”

This is what Geocaching Challenges are all about. Over 99% of Challenges will be location-based Challenges created by the community. You might be Challenged to take a picture of yourself walking across the Abbey Road crosswalk or tasked to take a picture from the top of the Empire State Building. These are fun, outdoor adventures that can happen even in locations that do not support physical caches.

If a Challenge is not specifically location-based, or does not require a photo (for a photo Challenge) or an action (for an Action Challenge), please flag it or vote it down. When flagging, think of yourself as a reviewer. You wouldn’t deny a cache just because it sounds boring (though, in this case, you could vote it down), but you would deny it if it were inappropriate or did not meet the guidelines. We think the instances of locationless Challenges being submitted by the community will decrease as people come to better understand what Challenges are. We are working now to improve the educational materials within the Challenges section of Geocaching.com so that it is clear what is acceptable for a Challenge and what is not.

Worldwide Challenges are the one exception to the location-based rule. These are Challenges created by Groundspeak that are meant to bring the community together by letting us all experience the same adventure. If everyone participated, we could have well over five million geocachers hiking their local trails one day or biking to work the next day. We will generally be creating one Worldwide Challenge per day, although we may add a few in the early days to get everyone started. These will almost always be outdoor adventures.  We started with one that was not necessarily an outdoors Challenge (Kiss a Frog) because we thought it would be fun.  But, we realize that such a Challenge is not in keeping with our mission of getting you outside.  So, we have archived the Challenge effective today. We will soon be adding functionality to allow you to remove ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Completion’ logs you’ve entered, if you choose to do so.

If you think an individual Challenge is bad, you are welcome to vote it down. All users have the ability to sort by the highest rated Challenges (simply click on the column header ‘Rating’ in the search results), so voting a Challenge down will send it further down the list.

We will be updating the mobile applications, adding functionality to the API so that other developers can incorporate Challenges into their applications and services, and working to improve the website functionality on an ongoing basis.  In the interim, we ask that you to allow us some time to innovate.

We believe that, if people use the Challenges system as it was meant to be used and populate it with Challenges they think others would enjoy, Challenges will add more to geocaching than Virtuals ever did.

 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NA3STFG7U24X7TX56WHM2MKXG4 GeoBlank

    3 simple things are needed to make these acceptable then…. 1.  do not integrate the find counts.  2.  add the same sort of common attributes and rich html to the description.  That way it will be very similar to the way virtuals are and should be created.   A 3rd one… find/replace the word challenge.  There is another challenge request in the backlog that is actually a very good suggestion.  Maybe this is a containerless cache or a simulated cache.  I think you will get a lot more participation or at least quiet acceptance if a few of the common feedback items are taken into consideration.  Thanks for (trying to) make the sport more fun and dynamic.

  • bobo frett

    I agree. We have a choice and can vote with our own actions. I have completed one, just for the sake of it, but won’t do any more…yet. I wait to see how the users feedback is taken. But it does make a mockery of our little shiny top right hand corner numbers which are so important to us that we have milestones for them.

  • sdarken

    I’m interested to see where the idea of challenge caches goes. I just hope that one of the future improvements will be some way to make the really poorly rated challenges effectively disappear.  Without that feature, over time there will be huge number of crappy challenges that will clutter things up forever more. 

  • hasenpupsi

    I think so, too. Please!!!

  • Birnbaum2001

    Three indicators, why Challenges should be seperated from caches:
    – the name: Caches are called ‘cache’ at the end. Even ‘Event Caches’, ‘Wherigo caches’ but also ‘Traditional caches’ and all the others. No cache is called ‘challenge’ (although some are ;-)) and no challenge should be called ‘cache’
    – the search: a seperate tool for searching, without integration in the map. Why is that so? Because challenges are not necessarily related to location, which is mandatory for all the other caches.
    – the user involvement. Challenges can be voted down. Brilliant idea. Caches can not. Why is that so? Perhaps, because GS doesn’t want people to bash cache owners so that they may leave GS. But seriously, why not invent something like the feedback for caches? Favorite points only vote a cache up, voting down is not possible.

    And last but not least, a personal opinion about the improvement policy: Why do you (GS) keep on inventing new things and do not improve the features and handling and UI of the current system. There are many things to do. Look at all the userscript extensions that clearly show the issues and even solve them (like making tours of caches, moving mystery solutions on the map, etc.). Why not just adopting them and making the experience of Geocaching and the web page better? Saying this as userscript owner, who has put immense effort in his script over the last year.

  • graazzt

    You said that it is optional to participate in the new challenge thingy. So please let them be separate from the “real” caches and please don’t add them to the total found caches. In Sweden I have not heard anyone like the new challenges as they became. We had hope for something completely different.

  • Jon

    hmm isn’t this odd?… Groundspeak having to explain why they implemented Challenges, and then ‘fogging’ the idea these are the new Virtuals that a lot of us didn’t want us to see archived.

    This isn’t Geocaching, and should be separated from the main site as were Waymarks (which I recall were also the new Virtuals when they were first launched).

  • Cezanne

    I think that the term challenge is not ideally chosen. The focus with the old virtuals was not to go somewhere and do something extraordinate or funny there.  At least in Austria almost all challenges I have come across either make fun about challenges or are meant to propose actions similiar to the old ALR. I think this is happening because no one in Austria will regard a visit to a statue, a nice church tower etc as a challenge for others. So they add additional requirements like that only visits at 2:00 in the night count or where one is wearing some special costume or where one has perform some crazy actions. I am not saying that such challenges are automatically bad, they are just bad in getting close to former virtuals. I think that another name for challenges might have helped to get results closer to what lovers of virtuals like.

  • Jon

    hmm isn’t this odd?… Groundspeak having to explain why they implemented Challenges, and then ‘fogging’ the idea these are the new Virtuals that a lot of us didn’t want us to see archived.

    This isn’t Geocaching, and should be separated from the main site as were Waymarks (which I recall were also the new Virtuals when they were first launched).

  • Crystal Fairy

    I always believed that geocaching was “community” based.  It brings people together with something in common – the fact that they love to go outdoors and go “treasure hunting” or “hiking / tramping” or finding new places they’ve never been to.  It’s one of the few sites you can meet other like minded people with no ulterior motives.   As such and with so many people out there who enjoy it, you really should be listening to the community and not trying to invent things.  The feedback system is great, and it tells you what you should be doing / creating all the time.  The day that there is no feedback means you have listened and everyone is happy.  But when overnight literally the community says ‘Get rid of challenges” and its ranked currently at third position, you need to listen to them. 

    Rather ask the community for ideas, or tell them what you are thinking about doing and get their feedback.  A million+ peoples feedback can’t be wrong.. And the community will help you out.  If you really wanted to do so, you could decided to listen only to those that pay to be members – Remember if they are unhappy, they will stop paying membership and without them you will not have a site at the end of the day.

    Listen to the community – We are only trying to help you out.  Don’t be stubborn and tell us to give it a chance.  The fact that so many people are upset should give you a very clear indication that this was released incorrectly, wont work and was a waste of developers time that could have been put to much better use.

  • Oliver-HB

    “You might be Challenged to take a picture of yourself walking across the
    Abbey Road crosswalk or tasked to take a picture from the top of the
    Empire State Building. These are fun, outdoor adventures that can happen
    even in locations that do not support physical caches.”

    This sounds to me somehow like virtuals – no problem…
    But if I see “challenges” like “try to find some sand on a beach” or “get yourself a coffee to go”… that’s crap and that can’t be the idea of challenges.
    The problem is that everyone can start a challenge like these, for they are not being reviewed.
    You are right when you say “if you don’t like it don’t do it.”
    I am trying to give it a chance – but that’s hard, if about 95% of the challenges are not worth thinking about doing them, just because they are stupid.
    And I am not sure if voting them down or flaging them will help to keep / remove them from the list.

    “We believe that, if people use the Challenges system as it was meant to
    be used and populate it with Challenges they think others would enjoy,
    Challenges will add more to geocaching than Virtuals ever did.”

    I believe that – if challenges are not reviewed – this will be hard or even impossible to reach.

    Regards, Oliver

  • Sim

    I have changed my mind, I think challenges can be great. However I think it is important that the status of the challenges are increased, severely. To do this I believe there needs to be an owner of the challenge, someone that stands for whatever you are supposed to do. The creator/owner will put more effort into making a good challenge if they are responsible. The owner will also be able to make sure that “complete” loggs really are completed and not just bogus like many are today. If a want a finger on top of a landmark it should be there, I do not want an old picture when you are pinching the landmark the wrong way. If everyone are aware that there really is an effort (go somewhere, do something) behind every logg I think more participants will like the challenges. Then I even might accept it in the count toward my total finds. 

    I will no go outside and collect some pictures for my first challenges but I will not create a challenge until I am able to control. 

  • Kris

    If you want challenges to be caches, which they are not, why do you make the way to make them, look at them, find them, log them,… different from other caches ?
    If you want them to be caches, treath them as caches, have them reviewed and the picture will be very different.

    But on the other hand, why introduce this new feature while loads of ongoing features are not completed yet ? Wherigo ? betamaps ? API ? to name 3…

    Why does something not even betaworthy has to be released first and after a day you have to shout “but wait, it’s not ready yet, give it a chance”… ?

  • Mur_meli

    You should give these “challenges” a new name. Like task or activity cache. (since locationless and virtual are already used)
    There already is challenge-caches. This makes it comfusing.

  • MamaEi

    Thanks Bryan, for your clear answer!

  • Coman123

    Who are you really cheating by doing this?
    Yourself…..

  • Stoerenfried

    Just don’t count it as find – and then I agree to see what will hapen in the future…

  • EvilTom

    When I first heard about the concept of challenges I assumed
    they would be along the lines of the informal challenges that already exist on
    the site. For example complete this series of caches in so many days, or log
    this trail in order in a set amount of time, or get a cache in every state or
    city.

    What we have is something that someone can set up in a
    matter of a couple of minutes. Everybody wants a go at one and so the site is
    flooded with these silly challenges (the kiss a frog is not a good example to
    set.)

    For once, Groundspeak, Admit you made a mistake, withdraw
    this flawed and weak concept and spend your time reintroducing virtuals and
    webcam caches – the vast majority of Geocachers want them back. What gives you
    the right to take them away in the first place? You have engineered yourself
    into a position of great power and position in our hobby. Don’t become like
    Microsoft et al and abuse that position by forcing inferior ‘products’ at us
    and expecting us to thank you for it.

  • Winston(SK)

    Why do you wanna ban powertrails? If you don´t like them, don´t find them. Keep everyone doing what they like, and don´t ban powertrails just cause you don´t like them. There are many people that like powertrails, and I can´t see any reasonable argument why to ban them. They are from boxes just like all other caches.

    I like idea of challenges, but there are 2 problems. People that are making challenges like “hug your friend, hug your dog, take a photo of sleeping animal, take a photo of you and your animal, find a cache” which are meaningless. Try to do some challenges that are entertaining, or meaningful (like picking garbage). Second problem is that completed challenges counts into total stats. I don´t have problem with “easy founds”, but I can´t see the reason for counting them into stats, when they are not caches but more like benchmarks which are not counted into stats. I hope that counting them into stats will be fixed.

  • evident

    The fact that Challenges actually count to my finds is not bad at all. I like my statistic and I love to have a look at what I achieved and where I’ve been. So therefore Challenges clearly should count for this.

    Unfortunately many players just go caching to have as much finds as possible and to be the “best geocacher in his/her area”. The possibility of making easy finds by just sitting on the couch clearly threatens their prominence…

    I won’t make challenges I don’t like or that don’t seem interesting to me, just because I don’t need to. Just as I wouldn’t search a Geocache that doesn’t seem interesting for me. But even I fear that Challenges as they are now will not work well – without any clear rules! So you should just make a few more rules that just make Challenges that can be done without any effort and without going outside impossible to do…

  • vante

    I’m looking forward to exploring new places and things and showing other people places and things I think are cool!

  • GOF

    I am trying to give them every chance I can. I have released a couple and have a couple ready to go. I do hope they work out as they have the potential to be fun.

    My issue is with the way you do these things. I understand you wanted to rush this along so the release coincided with the block party but did you really need to release it without the features that you know we want? We use GPS. It’s what we do. Sure, some of them are built into our phones but it is still a GPS. It is what this game is built on. So why not build the thing from the start with the tools needed to load these challenges right to the GPS? Why not have them on the maps? Why add one more thing that should be, but isn’t, included in the PQs? You have to realize that we are going to want these things. You are smart people, act like it.(my God! I heard that in mom’s voice even while typing it!LOL)

    Also, work on the communication. You release these things with very little explanation and that in places we have to hunt to find and then seem surprised when things don’t work the way they should. It should have been required to read and agree to the basic rules of challenges (guidelines, whatever) before being allowed to create one. The pop up that we get now is a good idea, but should have been there from the start. Can I suggest that after a while you add a check box to it that stops it from popping up once you have read it?

    And as long as I have your attention, let me hide my find count. Thanks;)

  • mpotter21

    Not what I expected.
    When I saw the challenges link on the website I got quite excited. I thought, “Great, this is going to be fun”. I was expecting to see challenges like:-

    – Complete 10 (or 20, 30 40…) caches in an hour/day/week
    – Complete all caches in an area. (Could be a lot of fun if you loose the badge when new caches are created).
    – Complete a particular series of caches etc
    – Complete the following caches in a particular order.

    I realise that these can all be cheated, but so can most caches. All cachers that I know play for the fun, not to be the best.

    What I found was go and stand on a hill and sing a song! Not impressed. This has so much potential, but for me seems to have fundamentally missed the point of what makes geocaching so much fun i.e. a challenge, learning something, going somewhere new. Make these challenges actual challenges in the same way that finding a cache is.

    I will keep an eye on how this develops an I hope this improves.

  • Admiral79

    I agree, what we like is to go to a specific coordinates, not just do some task that can be done anywhere.  That’s find if they want to do this, but keep it separate from caching totals.  If they don’t, I’ll never complete them because I wouldn’t feel right to have one in my totals. 

  • Frankie & Johnny

    Almost all of us agree with everything Bryan said about challenges. Would love to give them a chance ! They look like they could in fact be fun things to do for those who choose to do them BUT……..they are NOT geocaches. Remove them from the geocache find totals and 90% of your customers will be happy. If groundspeak is so confident of challenges being accepted they should be able to stand on their own as a fun activity.There is no doubt in most of our minds that they are only in with geocache find totals to FORCE their acceptance by numerous geocachers. Again, if groundspeak and customers love them – they will stand on their own as a great idea. Please stop attempting to force apples and oranges to go together in totals. Your pure geocaching customer base will be happier for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/admiral79 Adam Bradford

    Bryan – Are the challenges going to be “location-specific” or not?  The ones I’ve seen like “go hiking” or “show us your landmark” are not location specific at all.  It should be “go hiking on the Appalachian Trail” or “show us a pic of you with the Eiffel Tower”.  I don’t like the idea of counting non-specific location challenges in cache totals, and if that’s going to be the case I’d never do them because I don’t want to fraudulently skew my find numbers.  However, if they didn’t count in the overall number, I think it’s a pretty good idea to have them.    

  • http://twitter.com/macmook Frank 

    Please don´t count challenges as “caches”. Make an own website for this playground.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1182503746 Peter Pötzi

    Please count challenges seperately from caches!!!!

  • Frankie & Johnny

    You know how almost everyone dislikes pushy salespeople? The majority of groundspeak customers bought into (and loved) the geocaching game pretty much as it stood. Now we are being told to try and we are being force fed this challenge addition to the game, that  interferes with our total cache find numbers (and cheapens the game). Be patient they say – you will like it – much akin to a pushy salesperson who arrived at your door uninvited and won’t leave –  despite you telling him/her repeatedly that you do not want their “free” addition to your game.
    Like thousands of other cachers are saying – let your new game stand on its’ own merits and be separate from our geocache finds. Now get away from our door with this idea – time to use our GPS, go out find a container and sign a logbook !

  • http://twitter.com/virre_ Virre

    Glad it was not released an week ago, then I would not have started geocaching at all, espacally the worldwide concept. But I can ignore it (although the world-wide out of cache-count or both types out of statitics would be nice)

    However I have something looking as a question about the world-wide challenges, as they are worldwide and therefor might suggest someone does something illegal in one country that is not (or something dangerous, but as usual)

    I also, although I have no intent to useing the challenges, why that page is so much slower than the rest of the page.

    Also standard complaiance and follwing WCAG 2.0 would be good you know.
    / Virre Linwendil

  • Guest

    Seems pretty clear what cachers want.  Wonder if we will get it?

  • Coman123

    Well, I think the New Challenges are great, if used properly.
    What is proper, well if you choose to participate in Challenges, this is ultimately up to the Finder.

    As once a challenge is accepted, it is out of the hands of the challenge creator, and it is up to us (the finders) to give the thumbs up,down or flag the challenge.

    I have over a hundred geocache hides, with 65 more being published in a week, some like my hides, some don’t, for different reasons, and when I hear a complaint, I usually contact the complainant and ask why.

    Most complaints about some of my hides are they are too difficult, and I explain to the complainant that my hides are rated accurately,  and it is up to an individual to read and understand the rating system.

    So most complaints turn out to be towards having hard caches…. Well that does not make sense, as everyone has the right and ability to NOT DO THEM..!!

    Same as these new challenges, if you do not like the idea of challenges, DON’T DO THEM, if you can’t stand seeing the little Challenge profile symbol in your profile, don’t go to the web site, it’s a game, and it’s a game geared for everyone.

    Challenges meet the needs of those who were looking for something totally different, while giving the “Old Schoolers” the opportunity to just not participate.

    If you do not like the Air conditioning in your car, you do not complain to the car company, do you? No, You just do not turn it on.
    You still know it’s there, but it does not bother you…  And maybe, just maybe on a real hot day, when your out caching, you may just be tempted to turn it on, Just once….

    Like every business, I’m thinking Geocaching is branching out towards people who
    A) do not have or can’t afford a GPS
    B) The younger, “hey lets act a little silly” age group
    C) and lastly the “This looks like a lot of fun” lets, and if this is fun then lets go find some containers, because that must be fun as well” type people

    So lets give challenges a chance for those who choose to participate
    And for those who do not wish to participate in challenges, “See you on the trails” and keep enjoying the aspect of geocaching you have come to love, and just ignore the rest.

  • Coman123

    “but there ARE those cachers who pad numbers and use their find totals as a badge of honor.”

    And this bothers you so much Why?

    Does it really affect the way you play the game, or how much you enjoy finding geocaches?

    What if Geocaching did not keep “Score” at all, would that be OK.

    You just go out , find a cache, make an online log entry and that’s it….

  • Coman123

    If you know what you want, why not sign in?

    133 comments on this thread and over 5,000,000 geocachers world wide, not really sure this represents “what cachers want”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.thomas Tim Thomas

    Once people figure out that challenges are not locationless, I see this as a great alternative to virtuals.   Obviously virtuals had their problems with the Wow factor, and not we the community – not a small set of volunteers – can help decide what is worthy and what is not.

    If somebody puts out a challenge “Can’t hug every cat” where you have to hug as many cats at the pet shelter as possible, and everybody thinks it’s dumb, it should just wither away.

  • 40

    Well before I commented on this topic, I decided that I should try out a few challenges: I tried a worldwide photo challenge, an action challenge and I created a photo challenge. After doing this, I went back and deleted my completion of the worldwide challenge and am considering deleting the action challenge. I Can’t do anything about the one I created since it isn’t even mine – huh? I don’t see this is anything that really has any long-term interest for me and I’m getting the same feeling from a lot of people have the same feeling based on posts on the forums and in talking with fellow geocachers.

    I find the whole concept not well thought out nor well implemented. The worldwide challenge really doesn’t sound much different than the old Locationless caches (go “find” something was the old locationless cache idea whereas the worldwide challenge is go “do” something). Fairly small semantics to warrant a whole new type/subtype. Wouldn’t it have been easier to re-implement into the existing Locationless structure instead of creating something new on the website that has this tacked-on not the mainstream feel to it on the website?

    On the non-worldwide challenges – don’t see the big different between the old Virtuals and the new challenges. I remember the boring virtuals that are no-longer around – but some of the current virtuals are still in that category and still aren’t a big deal to ignore.  Again I think you could have fixed the virtual category much easier than creation this new “challenge” category that is basically non-policed for publishing. You say that old virtuals were bad – I see the new challenges even worse. 

    I hear give it time, we will fix the things that are broken. I’ve heard that before. Why didn’t you do that for the locationless/virtuals in the first place? Groundspeak went off and created the waymarking website in 2005 to “fix” these two cache types and after 6 years did it fix it? I think most people would say no (including me). I am likely in the minority of the geocaching community that actually tried to give waymarking a shot (almost 600 visits and 22 waymark creations as of today). From my perspective waymarking way a failed attempt at locationless/virtual replacement and given that Groundspeak created challenges I would think they are admitting the same thing. I personally don’t see the new challenges having any more success at widespread use as does the waymarking site (at least the challenges are on the same website – other than that I don’t see the long-term viability or interest in the idea).

    Also the whole name of the new idea was not well thought out from a normal geocachers perspective. There are already challenges out there as Mystery caches – Delorme, Fizzy, etc. The new name just adds confusion and perception (real or imagined) that the new challenges will somehow replace the challenge caches. Let hope not considering how much theses challenge caches have as a following.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. However, if past history of groundspeak is any indication, these words are just that – words and won’t have any sway into the decisions that are made to the website.

  • Anonymike7

    In challenge directions, it should probably be noted that people shouldn’t be asked to take pictures of their GPSr at the challenge location, as many people use smartphones for caching, making it impossible to take a picture of the camera/GPSr itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709954313 Jamie Stevens

    I see the call to remove Challenge Completions from find counts is Ranked 2nd on the feedback site, and it is under review.

    I personally see the potential for Challenges, but if you are going to separate them from find counts, why not take the chance to separate the other “finds” which aren’t really finds.  Out of the 17 Icons / Cache Types, only 6 actually involve finding a box in the woods.

    It seems to me a lot of those complaining about this have been perfectly happy to claim a smiley for not finding a physical cache for a quite a long time, if suddenly their Earthcache, Virtual, Locationless, Webcams, Events, Mega, Cito, and Maze smileys got knocked off their find count, they would realise what a lot of fuss about nothing this is.  Or perhaps it’s time to remove find counts all together :)

    For me, Geocaching is now about getting outside, exploring new locations and having fun with a GPS, not just “finding a box and nothing else”.

  • Madstars

    I agree 100% with you Conman123.

    Challenges are a great idea.

    What is Geocaching? It basically gets people off couches and into the great outdoors. 

    Caches and Challenges meet this basic criteria.

    Bring them on I say.

    Madstars

  • Madstars

    Well said Jamie. I agree with you 100%

  • Madstars

    I agree with you vante.

    As long as you get outside and enjoy life.

  • Lisa Lane

    Please take these challenges off of our find count and let the Arm chair cachers have their fun. If you are going to let ARLs come back them let them come back totaly like for Earth Caches

  • Holly (aka gingerose)

    I love the concept of the challenges and look forward completing a few but have a few concerns.

    (1) I logged a (photo) challenge that I had recently accomplished.  When I began looking, I found what I thought was the same challenge and my “complete” did not take (thought it was a user error not a computer error) so I did it again.  Now, I have come to realize that it was another (2nd) challenge for the same thing. Both these photo challenges are for a very specific location.  Thus it now shows two complete challenges.  I will remove on of them at some time the the future but opting to leave it at the present. (Just say for experimental purposes). This should definitely be addressed but I am not sure how.

    (2) As I stated before, I just happened to have completed one of the challenges thus logged a complete.  Upon doing so, I noticed on that one (or maybe it was another one that I was looking at) that someone had posted a completed and in the log acknowledged that he (she) had done the challenge years prior.  They had the needed photo. (I believe they said from 2001.) Having completed the requirement(s) recently (within a few days/weeks) and having completed the requirements a few years ago are two different things.  I can see where could a problem as well.

    At this time, I have only logged completed on the challenges mentioned in the first of my concerns.  I do plan on logging more as I complete them.  I really like flexibility with the challenges but also see that with so much freedom this hobby might become weakened, as there are some people in this world that do abuse such flexibility.

  • Clan Riffster

    Thanx Brian! For the past couple days, a vocal minority has been working overtime to discredit Challenges. Hopefully they will heed your words of wisdom. Like any new thing, Challenges could stand some tweaking, and I am confident that the Lackeys are doing just that. While it’s still too early to tell if Challenges will be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I believe that after a good shakedown period, the ones produced by the players will make a viable alternative for virtuals, whilst the worldwide ones made by Groundspeak will make a viable alternative for locationless.

  • http://twitter.com/Geoaddict Mike Steklac

    In developing Challenges, I think Groundspeak has taken a very thoughtful approach to addressing the numerous requests to bring back virtuals. In separating Challenges from geocaches they have tried to keep those geocachers who say that Challenges (like Waymarks) are not worth doing if it can’t count towards my geocaching total and those who think that they shouldn’t count at all toward the cache numbers. I think many of the early lame challenges are sarcastic postings by those who do not support challenges. I try to look at challenges through the eyes of someone who is interested in virtuals. When looking at a challenge, I ask myself “Would this make a good virtual?” and “Is this challenge going to take me someplace interesting?” irregardless of what I have to do to satisfy the challenge. Maybe Groundspeak has overreached by bringing back locationless caches as worldwide challenges. I did not hear an desire to have locationless caches brought back. Despite that, I did do one of the worldwide challenges yesterday (landmarks) and did have fun looking at the landmarks that were posted from around the world (although, the coordinates/locations were missing from the logs, but I’m assuming that may be corrected in a future update). I think that Challenges do need to be tweaked, but I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. I agree to give them a chance. Let the rhetoric calm down and then see how they can improve the concept.

  • Clan Riffster

    “What we really want is to “go somewhere at specific coordinates, do something specific and report to owner.”

    Kewl!

    Virtuals = Go somewhere specific as designated by GPS coordinates.
    User created Challenges = Go somewhere specific as designated by GPS coordinates.

    Virtuals = Do something specific.
    User created challenges = Do something specific.

    Virtuals = Report to the owner (AKA: Log your activities)
    User created challenges = Report to the owner (AKA: Log your activities)

    From here in the cheap seats, it looks like Groundspeak has given you exactly what you wanted. Sure, we could continue gnashing our teeth because some mook didn’t bother reading the guidelines and created an ambiguous Challenge, and we could continue rolling our eyes because during this early phase a few folks are being less than creative about the Challenges they submit.

    Or, we could relax, unwad our collective kilts and give these things a chance to evolve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1419872875 Jon Reed

    Why can’t I post on this blog?

  • Wimmteam

    All of this
    is bulls*** you ask for our feeds just for a market strategy… you don´t
    really want our opinion you just want our money… Really what was I expecting…
    the game wasn’t invented by you but you made it yours… you say the game is
    from the geocachers but you do whatever you want… the sad thing is that people
    like me pay you to the this crappy work… the maps??? got worst, the logs…
    lol… the virtual caches some people really like them… End now… you delete
    feeds from user… my money??? never again you will see it… lots of ways to
    get the same without paying…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1419872875 Jon Reed

    I guess I can add a comment today.  Anyways, this is my comment from yesterday with a little extra added on:

    Challenges introduces enormous problems to those of us working with parks and land managers.  It provides an “out” for parks to ban physical placements.  I really hope my local park superintendent doesn’t get wind of Challenges, or all physical placements will be archived in favor of only challenges not because of any environmental concern, but because of less administration and one less thing to think about for them.
    With the recent success of getting many physical placements in National Parks, this will remove leverage of saying, “If you don’t allow physical containers, you’re not geocaching.”  

    As for being the “vocal minority”, I would say that it is the largest “vocal minority” on a particular issue yet.  To have over 1000 votes in under an hour to remove challenges, who knows how large it would have gotten if it was allowed to continue.  It would be exponential number more people than the number of people who ever wanted virtuals back.  Funny thing is a lot of people voted to bring virtuals back but also voted to remove challenges.

  • jtbrady01

    If you keep them separate like benchmarks then who will be doing them?


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