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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:53 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
Responding to labrat, I would say that, while we were not first, we have created the most successful LCG. Usually they go for a few months, then the people running it run out of steam.

The reason we allow multiple finds is to avoid people "racing" to be first. This is not intended to be a high stress activity, but rather a fun way to make sure the caches in our state are maintained and findable. You can be sure that I pay special attention to DNFs on these caches. If people think we would have broader participation, we could change the rule, but my guess is that the same people who do massive runs for lonely caches would be ready at the first of the month at midnight to head out and try to find everything they can that night. I suspect this would lead to less participation, not more, but I am willing to be convinced.


I agree that we will see more folks participate if we continue to allow multiple finders on Lonely Caches. Good points, Dave.

zuma

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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:55 am Reply with quote Back to top

labrat_wr wrote:
these ideas are well taken though I have seen some ribbing about "padding" by adding baggies to caches that didn't necessarily require them. Same idea on the trackables.
10 baggies = 20 points => the potential difference between 1st and 2nd.


I dont really have a strong opinion on this, except to say that cache maintenance should be routine, and should not necessarily require "points."

I would be OK with deleting the extra points for cache maintenance, as it should be done anyway for deserving caches, and bad caches should be allowed to die a natural death.

zuma

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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:56 am Reply with quote Back to top

seldom|seen wrote:
Agreed, for the most part. I have 2 trackables that I intend to be lonely. "The Road Less Traveled" whose mission it is to visit only Lonely caches and "It Takes a Pair" whose mission it is to visit only 5/5's. I don't expect either of them to move around that much, but for those that do discover them the reward for being among the very few to do so is much greater that any reward I get from seeing them move. Dave and Pete both discovered "It Takes A Pair" at Seldom Seen's Sloppy Seconds and know from whence I speak!

It is good to move trackables along but again, so what if a player gets 2 more points for picking up a traded trackable at a lonely cache. A few points here and there do not make the difference between a first and second place finish. There's usually at least a 20 point or better difference in scores for the top finishers and I think making a big deal out of this is not worth trying to modify the rules or complicate the scoring procedure. I personally don't see anything wrong with the current scoring system for lonely trackables - 2 points to move them along is enough incentive for me to do so and to look in every cache for them. Isn't it for the rest of you guys? Has anyone passed up a trackable in a lonely cache?[/i]


I agree. I like the extra points for trackables. It is a fun twist to the game, and adds a little randomness to the game.

zuma

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Sparse Grey Hackle
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-05-15
Posts: 462
Location: The Sovereign State of Winneconne

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Again this is a game. It should be fun.

One thought (again) to eliminate about 99.9 percent of the negative aspects heretofore detailed would be to implement a "one and done" aspect for the game.

Once you have hurtled yourself to that last minute nocturnal race to the finish line you are done for the year or quarter. You could then decide to go inactive or continue for the fun of it.

Perhaps then others will get to enjoy (some of the joy) in the LCG.

Skip the plebiscite and let's ring in 2009.

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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

But denizens like plebiscites. Sad
 
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RSplash40
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-12-23
Posts: 6260

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Last year, many of you saw posts of me having enough and disabling my account here, this whole post is exactly why I left. Thank you SGH for your post stating this is a game and should be fun, you are spot on. Its crap like this that completely takes the fun out of being involved in the 'group' aspect of caching.

Too much W, P & M. I appreciate the effort put into this but think that the LCG has run its course and should be abolished never to return.

Caches are going to go unfound, they are going to go missing, cache owners are going to disappear...thats all part of this voluntary game we participate in. Until there are a complete set of well defined, non-grey area rules, paid positions, lobbyists, committees, etc this will never change, LCG or not.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:56 am Reply with quote Back to top

It is a game, but it has declared winners--including prizes--which means you have a bunch of losers (ok, how about "non-winners") each month.

So of course the level of competition is going to go up. And people are going to position, and scheme, and plan, and take advantage of every rule in order to win. That's how you play a game that has a winner.

And that is why we do not play it! We're just not interested in competing.

Take away the winner, and you would take away all the problem, but then the game would no longer get the partcipation it does.

So from my outsider view, the complicated rules make it interesting for the players. Having a winner and prizes keeps the interest level up. And therefore those that choose to play shouldn't gripe when they get outmaneuvered by other players. Suck it up!!!
 
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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

I guess most people know that I am a big Neil Young fan, but I am also a huge Van Morrison fan. Critics of scoring and having fun with the LCG remind me of one of Van's many great songs, Keep Mediocrity at Bay. Here are the lyrics:


You gotta fight every day to keep mediocrity at bay
Gotta fight every day to keep mediocrity at bay
Got to fight with all your might not to get in the bleeding heart's way

You gotta fight for your rights, you can't bury your head in the sand
You gotta fight for your rights, you can't just bury your head in the sand
Politics and religion, superstition go hand in hand

Well you're going through the motions and they can't hear a word you say
Well you're going through the motions, they don't want to hear a word you say
Got to keep boredom at bay and keep mediocrity away

Gotta fight every day to keep mediocrity at bay
Gotta fight every day to keep mediocrity at bay
Got to fight with all your might not to get in the bleeding heart's way

Got to fight with all your might not to get in the bleeding heart's way

My point here is that the primary goal of the LCG is to improve overall cache quality in the state, and in my view, the LCG has been wildly successful in helping us make sure that caches that are listed as being active and available, actually are available. I think that Dave has done a great job in setting up the game, and that while it might be possible to tweak it here and there to make it even better, that structurally, it is darn good the way that it is.

A secondary goal, and far less important, is the fun and gamesmanship of the major players. I salute those who have played the game well this year, and had fun with some fun competition. They have in fact, kept mediocrity at bay. I am sure no one means to offend or upset anyone, so I am not sure what the source of the angst is, from those who havent played the game. Maybe there is something that I am unaware of, but I see no legitimate grievance that can be made about the fun that the major LCG game players have had, or why anyone would want to curtail it. The game is open to all, and the rules are the same for all.

Does that make sense, or should I not be typing when sleep deprived?

zuma

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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6089
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:
But denizens like plebiscites. Sad


Great. Two words I have to go look up... Confused

I've stayed out of this discussion because I wasn't involved in the game this past year. It may be because of my competitive nature. If I don't have a snowball's chance of winning, then I choose not to compete. That doesn't mean I don't see the value in the game, and wouldn't love to be able to compete. It just seems akin to going head to head with Micheal Phelps.
Does that mean the game needs to be changed? I don't know. I don't compete in Olympic swimming events, but I don't think they will change their rules to accomodate me.
It's a bit of a paradox that the best way to get participation in the game is by making it a competition, which is also the reason some choose not to play.
I also don't quite understand why a cache that hasn't been found for a period of time is necessarily a bad thing. Almost any cache in the state that's more than 600 feet from a parking spot is probably going to go unfound for a period of time. Now, a cache with multiple DNFs, or with problems mentioned in finders' logs is a different situation. Finding and fixing those would be much more benificial.
After re-reading my post, it looks like I'm against the LCG. That's not the case. I very much enjoy watching the game from the sidelines and will most likely find some way to participate next year.
 
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-cheeto-
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:44 pm Reply with quote Back to top

At a minimum, for me what the LCG game did was to help me prioritze those remaining caches within a sane driving distance from my house. It added a bit of extra incentive to crack those tough kingdom puzzles that sat there staring at me. They probably still would be had it not been for the LCG.

I didn't go much out of my way to play the game but I did enjoy making a run for a month or two.

Was I offended at all by the competitive nature of a small group of players? Not in the least. But then again, these are people I know in "real life" and understand their personalities. People do come across differently in written forums and in emails than they certainly do when you talk to them in person. Certainly keep that in mind as you read these posts...

Every single player "has a shot" at winning a single month. ANyone who says they do not is flat wrong. Period. Yes, we all may never had a hills-bean chance of winning the whole year, but I say so what. As was pointed out very well by TBC, I don't intend to compete in any hobby at the same level others may. I am not an olympic athlete. I am not a professional hobbyist. I have a real life, commitment to my job and to my family. First and foremost. Not everyone has as many commitments as the next person. Not everyone is as healthy as everyone else. Not everyone has 5000 cache finds or 150 cache hides.

I think any ideas that "beef up" the prizes for the not-so-serious cachers and LCG players are good ideas. If this means limiting monthly winners to one month a year, great. If it means increasing the prizes for a monthy period, cool.

I think Zuma has some great points about the nature of the game and how it does in fact help out geocaching in our great state. It would certainly be a shame to stop something that is doing at least some good.

-cheeto-
 
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jenhen1
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-07-31
Posts: 86
Location: Chippewa Falls

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

To keep participation up, I like the idea of throwing all the names of those who find a certain number of LCG's/yr into a hat and do a raffle of some sort.

Those who are serious can play to win, and those who just can't devote the time to a competition but LOVE finding lonely caches have a reason to participate.

Like others have said, nothing wrong with playing hard or playing to win, that's what a competition is all about. Having a method to reward those who participate is good, too.
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2398
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Team Black-Cat wrote:

I also don't quite understand why a cache that hasn't been found for a period of time is necessarily a bad thing. Almost any cache in the state that's more than 600 feet from a parking spot is probably going to go unfound for a period of time. Now, a cache with multiple DNFs, or with problems mentioned in finders' logs is a different situation. Finding and fixing those would be much more benificial.


In many cases, the long unfound caches and the multiple DNF caches are the same caches.

The idea of the game was not that caches going unfound for a period of time are bad, but rather that long unfound caches are hard to maintain. As someone who usually has caches on the list, I can tell you that it is difficult to know when a cache is missing versus when it is just unpopular. Most of the caches on the list are not 1/1 guardrail caches, so maintenance is usually a bit more than just a stop on the way home from work. Essentially, the LCG caches fall into three categories:

1. Very remote caches,
2. Challenging caches (either by terrain difficulty, puzzle difficulty, or hide difficulty).
3. Missing caches.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with types 1 and 2. The game was designed to encourage people to get out and find these. Overall this is good for the game, as newer people see that these challenging caches are indeed findable and give it a go themselves.

On the other hand, when I see a cache on the list where neither the terrain nor difficulty is above 2, and it is not stuck somewhere in the middle of the national forest, it is a pretty good bet that the cache is either missing or just poorly rated. This is where the "revisits" come in. If a previous finder tells me a cache is missing, I can disable it and start the "out of maintenance" process right away. If someone else claims it is missing, I need to wait until there is a significant number of DNFs before starting.

Remember that the big picture goal here is to have 100% of the active caches listed in Wisconsin be findable. Obviously 100% is not achievable (something is always going missing) but with good reporting of DNFs, most cache owners will be able to approach that 100% target. You don't have to stray too far from here to find places where finding caches is a challenge because most of them are missing or poorly maintained. (Aggravation is finding the 4th stage of a 5 stage multi to be unreadable!)

The one area where I think we have gotten some unintended consequences is in container replacement. While I certainly have little issue when someone coordinates with the cache owner to do a replacement, I do have to believe that many of the replacements were not the ideal choice. If it is really too much trouble for a cache owner to replace a cache that appears to be missing or visit the site to confirm it is there, perhaps those individuals shouldn't own caches (or at least shouldn't own more than they can maintain.) If the cache owner is truly inactive, adoption is really the better alternative, assuming they are responsive to email. For those cases where the owner doesn't respond, well, we can just post a NA log and wait for it to be archived. After the cache is archived, a new one can be placed by a more involved owner.

I will try to post what I perceive to be "recommended changes" this evening to a new thread (and close this one, as it is getting too long.) Obviously this is where people really need to speak up if I get something wrong or "go too far". See ya then.

Dave
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6089
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:58 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I was pondering this topic while redistributing the latest snowfall. I was also thinking about Seldom|Seen's event in January. Some of my thoughts got cross circuited and started foming a new idea.

Changing my analogy regarding Olympic athletes a little, just because a person is not a professional bowler does not keep them from competing. They simply compete at different levels. Most pro bowlers don't play on your Thursday night league.

If the LCG had professional and amature ranks, the reasons for most of the angst shown in this thread should be eliminated. Professional LCGers would compete against other professionals while amature LGCers would compete against other amatures.

Professionals would be playing "scratch", but the amature league would use a handicap system. Players' averages would be determined by their average monthly score from the previous year, or 150 if they didn't play. Players with an average of over 200 would be required to play pro.

A player's handicap would be a percentage (75%?) of the difference between 200 and their average. The handicap would be added to the player's score at the end of the month.

Now, there may be a couple of unscrupulous players that choose to sandbag to keep their average below 200, but I think that can be minimized with shame and ridicule in the forums.

I'm sure that this concept could be expanded on and improved as I've only spent a few miliseconds working out the details.
 
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labrat_wr
WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President



Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 6086
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Feeding off of TBC's post,
I have competed in Skeet shooting where they used Class scoring to award trophies. They took the total number of teams competing, and divided them into classes, giving trophies to those who where 1st,2nd,3rd in their class. Classes would run A,B,C,D,E etc depending on how many teams there were. Kinda like handicapping, 1st place Class A may have 200 points earned, 2nd place Class A 178 points earned, 3rd place Class A 150 points earned. there may be 3 teams that scored close to that but do not get trophies. Now Class B 1st place may have 100 points, Class B 2nd 86 points, Class B 3rd 75 points.

seems a little odd but depending on your score, you could come up with a 1st place trophy !!!

(our skeet team took 1st place Class E...... You get the idea.)

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Sparse Grey Hackle
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-05-15
Posts: 462
Location: The Sovereign State of Winneconne

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

OK, then. Rust never sleeps.

Just use common sense. That's a great axiom.

Unfortunatley, common sense is not common enough.

Rust never sleeps.

My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It's better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you're gone, you can never come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of a Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
The king is gone but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

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So many caches....so little time.
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