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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2373
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As we are in the last month of the year, it seems like a good time to review the Lonely Cache Game and decide if we need to make any changes to the program. So far we have had around 66 participants, which is good, and around 10 crazed individuals who make it their life's work to "win", which is not so good. While I am very happy that a lot of these caches are getting found (or not found), I'm thinking we need to do something to encourage more participation in areas outside of the Fox Cities/Green Bay area. I don't have any really great ideas, but I do have a few thoughts to start the conversation.

1. I'm a little disappointed that many of the "very lonely" (longer than 1 year unfound) caches continue to be ignored. Maybe we need more incentive for these.

2. I'm not sure that the "prizes" motivate anyone.

3. If we are going to continue with prizes, I would like to have a volunteer to coordinate prize acquisition and distribution. Apparently I am not real good at coordinating this sort of thing.

4. I'm thinking we need to "better" incorporate the Cache Rescue program.

5. I'm also thinking that the scoring is a bit too complicated, but I am reluctant to change this and make more work for Jeremy. (This is what I get for copying stuff from Indiana!)

So, chime in, post your thoughts, challenge each other, and I will sit back and take it all in. Just be aware that this is a sort of "brainstorming" thread, so not everything mentioned will be implemented. The goal is to make the game more fun for all participants.
 
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Mister Greenthumb
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-03
Posts: 2631

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I really enjioyed playing and didn't have much chance of winning without traveling north. My goal after a few months was to finish in the top ten and I'm in tenth place right now. The prize doesn't mean that much to me. I would like to see the state divided into regions with the lonely caches in each region avaiable to all, but a monthly winner in each region. This would raise the amount of interst to participate which would result in more lonely caches found. The way the game was set up this year I probably won't go out of my way next year to hunt them. If there happens to be one nearby I'll hunt it. This year we traveled around a couple of time to hunt them, but the incentive dwindled by the end of the year.
 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 5745
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As one who was crazed the first month or two, then switched to "oh, so this was a lonely cache, cool" as we did our usual thing (we enjoy tougher terrain and did lots of canoe caches, which got us "coincidental points), I'm wondering about a different twist. I'm sure it won't be popular with those who worked their butts off all year, but it might motivate others to get out and play a little harder, which will ultimately lead to greater participation and attention to the ones that are really lacking visits.

Let's say that each month, some predetermined number of points puts you into the "bragging rights" pot. Prizes are nice, but honestly, it seemed to be more about bragging rights. So, a person finds or checks on X number of lonely caches. Their name gets thrown into the hat for that month for the prize. Maybe we don't even know what that number is, only some anonymous board member or someone like that. I know this is just like the kids in t-ball; no score is kept, but the kids know exactly who won. But at least this way, others who have given it a good shot have a chance at some level of bragging rights. It was fun at first, and I especially enjoyed those "wow, this hasn't been found in a YEAR?" caches, but unless our travels took us to the hinterlands (which is our preference), we weren't getting to those areas with concentrations of lonelies to be checked.

Another part of me would like to see some way to recognize people's efforts to help with cache maintenance, whether it's lonely or not. Lots of replacement pencils and logs go into the lonelies, but not into others found that need the TLC? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that maybe we don't need to burden Dave with keeping track like this on top of everything else he does, but create a way to encourage everyone to help out where they can, bragging rights, prizes or not. There were instances where I could have gained a few more points by putting out a replacement cache, but the owners seemed to have left the game, so why do that? Sometimes I think in our excitement to get points, it was easy to put out replacements when really, archiving might have been the better option. After I did a couple like that early on, I gave it more thought and opted not to replace unless I'd already contacted the cache owner.

As I said, these are just my thoughts as someone who "coulda been a contenda," but just didn't have it in me. I really want to commend Dave for setting this all up and making it pretty easy for players to track things, and for putting up with all the questions and other stuff that went along with it. In the end, it has helped improve the Wisconsin caching experience, even if there are places that still need help.

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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seldom|seen
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-12-31
Posts: 733
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
As we are in the last month of the year, it seems like a good time to review the Lonely Cache Game and decide if we need to make any changes to the program. So far we have had around 66 participants, which is good, and around 10 crazed individuals who make it their life's work to "win", which is not so good. While I am very happy that a lot of these caches are getting found (or not found), I'm thinking we need to do something to encourage more participation in areas outside of the Fox Cities/Green Bay area. I don't have any really great ideas, but I do have a few thoughts to start the conversation.


Thanks for starting the conversation now. I thought that we'd dicsuss this at the Only the Lonely Event, but then next year's game will already have started, so it makes sense to talk through some of this stuff now.

I'm not sure I agree with the statement about the 10 crazed players of which I am one, and I'll get into the why's further on...

Team Deejay wrote:

1. I'm a little disappointed that many of the "very lonely" (longer than 1 year unfound) caches continue to be ignored. Maybe we need more incentive for these.

I don't there's anything that you will be able to do to further encourage players to get these. The serious player are going for the really tough ones as it is and the double point incentive is certainly a good reward for the effort some of them require. Also, I would couch the comment about the serious players by saying that many of these very lonely caches would not have been found if not for the game and for the top ten contenders. I think getting the word out is different than trying to confine regions to regional players. There have been months when a player in LaCrosse or EauClaire could have cleaned the board if they cared to, but the interest wasn't there and it wasn't because the Valley players were playing hard either.

I think if you emphasize the yearly totals and the top 10 or top 20 players getting some kind of reward or recognition that might go farther than the monthly winner bragging rights and rewards in sparking more interest in the game.

Team Deejay wrote:

2. I'm not sure that the "prizes" motivate anyone.

Agreed, while nice, I certainly am not playing hard to win the prize. I like the idea of handing out awards at the end of the year which is why I am going to be doing that for the top 10 at the Event.

Team Deejay wrote:
3. If we are going to continue with prizes, I would like to have a volunteer to coordinate prize acquisition and distribution. Apparently I am not real good at coordinating this sort of thing.

See previous comment....

Team Deejay wrote:
4. I'm thinking we need to "better" incorporate the Cache Rescue program.

Agreed. There caches should be part of the list and there should be a new checkbox for "performed rescue mission - 4 points"

Team Deejay wrote:
5. I'm also thinking that the scoring is a bit too complicated, but I am reluctant to change this and make more work for Jeremy. (This is what I get for copying stuff from Indiana!)


I don't know that the scoring is that complicated. I think that I agree with T&B that we should just get rid of the maintenance points and simply expect that anyone in the lonely game should make it a point to do what they can to doctor up caches.

There's a big one here that we need to talk through and that is the replacements of MIA caches, of which there have been many. Sometimes the replacements are much appreciated and pre-approved, sometimes the opposite is true. I think in the future there needs to be some kind of verification widget that sends the owner of a lonely cache an e-mail requesting permission for entry into the LCG and permission for any player to replace and MIA cache. Not sure how it would work, but if those suspect caches were green-lighted for replacement prior to hunting that would make it a lot easier on us all.

Team Deejay wrote:

So, chime in, post your thoughts, challenge each other, and I will sit back and take it all in. Just be aware that this is a sort of "brainstorming" thread, so not everything mentioned will be implemented. The goal is to make the game more fun for all participants.


I have more thoughts to come...
 
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cheezehead
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-07-02
Posts: 6060
Location: Hayward, WI. USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

How do you get more particpation?= How do you get non-WGA members involved in the WGA?
Once you get ouside of the urban-metro areas, there are alot of cachers who don't know about the WGA or LCG. Just how many ACTIVE WGA members live north of hwy 29 or 8 or whatever highway you want to use.
There were less than a handful of participants from this area.
Myself, Zuma and PassingWind are the only ones that I know of that took part in the game, thou there could be more that I am not awear of.

And even thou it was apain to put together, the map helped out a lot too.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3293

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

New scoring rule: Any cache that has received only DNFs while on the LCG list (i.e., no owner feedback), and is subsequently rehabbed or replaced by a player, said LCG player shall have 500 points deducted from his or her total.
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:37 pm Reply with quote Back to top

seldom|seen wrote:
Team Deejay wrote:
As we are in the last month of the year, it seems like a good time to review the Lonely Cache Game and decide if we need to make any changes to the program. So far we have had around 66 participants, which is good, and around 10 crazed individuals who make it their life's work to "win", which is not so good. While I am very happy that a lot of these caches are getting found (or not found), I'm thinking we need to do something to encourage more participation in areas outside of the Fox Cities/Green Bay area. I don't have any really great ideas, but I do have a few thoughts to start the conversation.


Thanks for starting the conversation now. I thought that we'd dicsuss this at the Only the Lonely Event, but then next year's game will already have started, so it makes sense to talk through some of this stuff now.

I'm not sure I agree with the statement about the 10 crazed players of which I am one, and I'll get into the why's further on...

Team Deejay wrote:

1. I'm a little disappointed that many of the "very lonely" (longer than 1 year unfound) caches continue to be ignored. Maybe we need more incentive for these.

I don't there's anything that you will be able to do to further encourage players to get these. The serious player are going for the really tough ones as it is and the double point incentive is certainly a good reward for the effort some of them require. Also, I would couch the comment about the serious players by saying that many of these very lonely caches would not have been found if not for the game and for the top ten contenders. I think getting the word out is different than trying to confine regions to regional players. There have been months when a player in LaCrosse or EauClaire could have cleaned the board if they cared to, but the interest wasn't there and it wasn't because the Valley players were playing hard either.

I think if you emphasize the yearly totals and the top 10 or top 20 players getting some kind of reward or recognition that might go farther than the monthly winner bragging rights and rewards in sparking more interest in the game.

Team Deejay wrote:

2. I'm not sure that the "prizes" motivate anyone.

Agreed, while nice, I certainly am not playing hard to win the prize. I like the idea of handing out awards at the end of the year which is why I am going to be doing that for the top 10 at the Event.

Team Deejay wrote:
3. If we are going to continue with prizes, I would like to have a volunteer to coordinate prize acquisition and distribution. Apparently I am not real good at coordinating this sort of thing.

See previous comment....

Team Deejay wrote:
4. I'm thinking we need to "better" incorporate the Cache Rescue program.

Agreed. There caches should be part of the list and there should be a new checkbox for "performed rescue mission - 4 points"

Team Deejay wrote:
5. I'm also thinking that the scoring is a bit too complicated, but I am reluctant to change this and make more work for Jeremy. (This is what I get for copying stuff from Indiana!)


I don't know that the scoring is that complicated. I think that I agree with T&B that we should just get rid of the maintenance points and simply expect that anyone in the lonely game should make it a point to do what they can to doctor up caches.

There's a big one here that we need to talk through and that is the replacements of MIA caches, of which there have been many. Sometimes the replacements are much appreciated and pre-approved, sometimes the opposite is true. I think in the future there needs to be some kind of verification widget that sends the owner of a lonely cache an e-mail requesting permission for entry into the LCG and permission for any player to replace and MIA cache. Not sure how it would work, but if those suspect caches were green-lighted for replacement prior to hunting that would make it a lot easier on us all.

Team Deejay wrote:

So, chime in, post your thoughts, challenge each other, and I will sit back and take it all in. Just be aware that this is a sort of "brainstorming" thread, so not everything mentioned will be implemented. The goal is to make the game more fun for all participants.


I have more thoughts to come...


Thanks Alex for writing this. I agree with 100% of your many well made points. You saved me the time of typing them.

Also thanks to Dave for being willing to make some slight modifications in the game to help it run smoother, and thanks for soliciting the input of the players.

zuma

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All posts are the opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the WGA Board of Directors. 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 5745
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I like the idea of overall points for the year, or a quarter or whatever, even better. We all have times when it's easier to pursue this kind of thing.

In a perfect world, people would do this just for the sheer fun of it, but we know as human beings, some sort of incentive is needed to get it to happen. The key is what incentive will motivate the greatest number of people in various areas.

We're not sure how much we'll play next year, either. As I said, once I got past that first month or two, it became a matter of finding lonelies in the course of our normal hunting. In November I got bored one day, didn't have anything close to home and checked on a bunch of previously found ones, but that's about as much effort as was intentionally placed on the game since early last spring.

BTW, if anyone is interested....I can tell you how to get to a lonely 5 terrain pointer that hasn't been found in over a year....without a boat. I've now done that one both ways! You do have to be willing to hike a good 3-4 miles one way, but not bad hiking, all level ground.

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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-cheeto-
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-06-12
Posts: 4538
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Tie "winners" to the period rather than monthly. (for instance, Nov/Dec).

"Officially" recognize more yearly prizes (thanks to s|s for going ahead and doing it this year). I think yearly is much more attainable for most players.

Perhaps give out WGA coins, apparel, "free" campout entry, etc. as prizes? Continue to try to spread the word about the WGA...

To simplify scoring: Get rid of all maintenance points. (as is mentioned, this should be done regardless and we should stop encouraging the replacement of containers without owner consent as has been discussed in another thread) Get rid of "revisit" points, which in my opinion are lame.

Points for a DNF should take into consideration the difficulty AND the terrain. I have DNF'ed many difficult lonely caches and would like "credit" for a tough puzzle solve or jumping through the hoops that often come with 3+ star difficulty lonely caches.

Should a player be able to get points for a DNF and find on the same cache in the same period? Multiple dnf's? Something to think about.

Somehow increase value of performing a cache rescue and finding those year + lonely caches.

Overall the current model seems to have worked pretty well this year. Yeah there's always the nuts in the room...
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 18910
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

-cheeto- wrote:
Get rid of "revisit" points, which in my opinion are lame.


The revisits are valid because that confirms that a cache is still in place (as opposed to a DNF by someone who maybe didn't know quite where to look), and maintenance is usually done on those visits. The problem with multiple revisits was dealt with early in the game, if I remember correctly.

As a side note, it was the Lonely Cache Game that first got us to join the WGA. The name in the bookmark lists caught my eye and we went for a lonely cache. After all the work we did to find that cache, we found out that we needed to be members of the WGA to submit our LCG find, so we made the big leap and here we are!
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Some odd thoughts .....

1. Tell Dave he can not play any longer!

2. Give a substantial number of points for a Cache rescue.

3. But, limit a player to only 1 cache rescue per month.

4. Or, make it mandatory to find 1 cache rescue per month, to 'win'.

5. A Team can only win one month a year. Any other months they are high score, their name is thrown out.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3293

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top

marc_54140 wrote:
Some odd thoughts .....


Laughing
 
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-cheeto-
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-06-12
Posts: 4538
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:15 am Reply with quote Back to top

Actually, I think Dave can still play but he should be considered a celebrity player who will be playing for his favorite charity.
 
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seldom|seen
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-12-31
Posts: 733
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

-cheeto- wrote:
Tie "winners" to the period rather than monthly. (for instance, Nov/Dec).
This might make the game less appealing for participants if there are half as many "periods" to pull out a win and would drive the hard players to try even harder to rack up high points. I think it's better to leave the current schedule in place.

-cheeto- wrote:
Perhaps give out WGA coins, apparel, "free" campout entry, etc. as prizes? Continue to try to spread the word about the WGA...
Great idea.

-cheeto- wrote:
To simplify scoring: Get rid of all maintenance points. (as is mentioned, this should be done regardless and we should stop encouraging the replacement of containers without owner consent as has been discussed in another thread) Get rid of "revisit" points, which in my opinion are lame.

I do think revisits are worthwhile, as was mentioned before, since the re-visitor knows exactly where they found it before.


-cheeto- wrote:
Should a player be able to get points for a DNF and find on the same cache in the same period? Multiple dnf's? Something to think about.
I think this is OK as well. We put in a lot of effort into finding some of these tough ones and there is some value in at least logging a DNF to let the owner know the hide is suspect.

-cheeto- wrote:
Somehow increase value of performing a cache rescue and finding those year + lonely caches.
Marc's comment about limiting the number of missions seems a little constricting. There haven't been all that many missions logged in the game (a dozen maybe) and they are spread out pretty evenly across the state. Not much chance that someone is going to abuse them for the sake of the game. Whatever we can do to encourage the Mission system to get more users in general to submit missions on problems caches will help and better incorporating in into the LCG will help.

gotta_run wrote:
New scoring rule: Any cache that has received only DNFs while on the LCG list (i.e., no owner feedback), and is subsequently rehabbed or replaced by a player, said LCG player shall have 500 points deducted from his or her total.
Again, this is probably the biggest topic that we need to collectively hammer out. Many of the lonely caches that fall into this category are there because the owner has left the game or become inactive and those caches should get archived through the normal channels of inactivity. On the other hand there are some that the owners just can't get to in a timely fashion and they appreciate the replacements.

I think we need to get some kind of owner confirmation that owners are active in the sport and are willing to have their cache in the LCG. 75% of the caches I have replaced were done with the owners permission, the other 25% were questionable and could have used better judgement, especially early in the game. I do this this is a valuable aspect of the game but by the same token needs some kind of constraint imposed to we don't end up with the same lonely caches next year.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3293

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

seldom|seen wrote:
I do this this is a valuable aspect of the game but by the same token needs some kind of constraint imposed to we don't end up with the same lonely caches next year.


Bingo!

The mechanism for this process is already in place--DNF logs, write notes, "needs maintenance," and "needs archived." It's the owners' responsibility to maintain caches and therefore respond to those logs. If not, the cache should go through the process of being allowed to die, be removed via cache rescue if needed, and hopefully a better one with a more responsibile owner put in its place which benefits the geocommunity as a whole (not to mention gives everyone a new cache to hunt).
 
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