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Team Deejay
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their constructive criticism of the LCG rules. I think it is always healthy to look at how a new project has progressed and consider what can be done to make it better. That said, lets get in the heart of the matter.

1. Elimination of "minor maintenance" points. - I think this is a good idea. I will probably put in some sort of verbiage that as an LCG player, you are expected to replace bags, magnets, velcro, logs, etc, as needed. This is just being a part of the community and making things better for all.

2. Formalizing the cache replacement policy - We should require that any replacement be made only with explicit permission from the cache owner. I don't think it is necessary to eliminate replacement entirely, but the cache owner needs to at least be agreeable. If the owner won't respond to email prior to your visit, just report it as missing and it will eventually fall into the black hole and be archived.

3. Cache Rescue - How about a flat 15 points for cache rescues? For those not in the loop, the problem with getting cache rescues into the list is that the program grabbing the cache info (terrain/difficulty) is not logged into gc.com, and thus doesn't have access to archived caches. Today, I have to unarchive each cache, and then add it to the list manually, and then rearchive each cache, which is a bit of a pain to say the least. I suspect that more than one owner of these caches is curious about what I am doing, but so far, none of them have bothered to ask me. Maybe Jeremy can come up with a better system.

4. Going to a 2 month competition (versus a monthly competition) - I'm not sure this is such a great idea. We already have enough issues with people getting a bunch of logs at the beginning of the month and discouraging everyone else.

5. Divisions - I can see two approaches to this.
5A. By total finds at the start of the year - Say that "Amateur" is less than 1000 finds? If we did this, I would ask participants to indicate this status in their site profile.

5B. By geography - We could theoretically quarter the state. The theoretical geocache center of the state is around N44 W89 which is around 12 miles due west of Oshkosh. That said, I don't have a good feeling for what we would do with these divisions, plus I don't know that I can come up with that many prizes anyway. Maybe an annual award for the best finish in each quadrant.

Again, post your comments and ideas here.
 
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Sagasu
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-23
Posts: 771
Location: Menasha

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

I like the first four points. As far as the "amateur" division under 1000 cache finds, I guess I could live with seldom|seen being in that bracket...

It seems the geographical division would be cumbersome. Some will find or take the time to travel to lonely caches and compete. I think there will be some new players and some new contenders to make the game interesting to watch or play.

I'd still like to see some additional point incentive for those "most lonely" caches that haven't been visited for long periods. Earlier I suggested maybe even after three seasons or nine months, perhaps then again at fifteen months. Something that would help to get checks on the caches that are most elusive, or not found for other reasons.

Look forward to what changes find the most support and how the project takes shape for the new year. Thanks again!
 
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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
First of all, I want to thank everyone for their constructive criticism of the LCG rules. I think it is always healthy to look at how a new project has progressed and consider what can be done to make it better. That said, lets get in the heart of the matter.

1. Elimination of "minor maintenance" points. - I think this is a good idea. I will probably put in some sort of verbiage that as an LCG player, you are expected to replace bags, magnets, velcro, logs, etc, as needed. This is just being a part of the community and making things better for all.

2. Formalizing the cache replacement policy - We should require that any replacement be made only with explicit permission from the cache owner. I don't think it is necessary to eliminate replacement entirely, but the cache owner needs to at least be agreeable. If the owner won't respond to email prior to your visit, just report it as missing and it will eventually fall into the black hole and be archived.

3. Cache Rescue - How about a flat 15 points for cache rescues? For those not in the loop, the problem with getting cache rescues into the list is that the program grabbing the cache info (terrain/difficulty) is not logged into gc.com, and thus doesn't have access to archived caches. Today, I have to unarchive each cache, and then add it to the list manually, and then rearchive each cache, which is a bit of a pain to say the least. I suspect that more than one owner of these caches is curious about what I am doing, but so far, none of them have bothered to ask me. Maybe Jeremy can come up with a better system.

4. Going to a 2 month competition (versus a monthly competition) - I'm not sure this is such a great idea. We already have enough issues with people getting a bunch of logs at the beginning of the month and discouraging everyone else.

5. Divisions - I can see two approaches to this.
5A. By total finds at the start of the year - Say that "Amateur" is less than 1000 finds? If we did this, I would ask participants to indicate this status in their site profile.

5B. By geography - We could theoretically quarter the state. The theoretical geocache center of the state is around N44 W89 which is around 12 miles due west of Oshkosh. That said, I don't have a good feeling for what we would do with these divisions, plus I don't know that I can come up with that many prizes anyway. Maybe an annual award for the best finish in each quadrant.

Again, post your comments and ideas here.


Hi Dave,

Thanks for listening to, and responding to everyone's input. Looks like your list responds to all the discussion that was brought forward in a very positive manner. Here are my specific responses to all 5 points.

1. Minor maintenance points. Excellent change. Thank you.

2. Cache replacement. Exactly what I had in mind. Thank you.

3. Sounds like a simple solution, and I like your compromise proposal, as it will make the whole thing workable and easy to understand.

4. 2 month vs 1 month competition. Like you, I think the current monthly system is fine. One of the benefits is that if someone runs up a big score in the first month of the cycle, it takes them out of the points race the following month, for all practical purposes. I would leave it as is, but if other folks have strong feelings one way or the other, that would be fine too.

5. Divisions. I dont think this is necessary, but like you I note that some people do, and they may have a reasonable rationale for this that my dim brain is too dense to see, so I am open to it. If something simple were done, I would not mind, though I really dont see a real need.

Again, Dave, thanks for all the great work that you are doing running the LCG. I know many of us really appreciate it.

zuma

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cheezehead
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:


5. Divisions - I can see two approaches to this.
5A. By total finds at the start of the year - Say that "Amateur" is less than 1000 finds? If we did this, I would ask participants to indicate this status in their site profile.

5B. By geography - We could theoretically quarter the state. The theoretical geocache center of the state is around N44 W89 which is around 12 miles due west of Oshkosh. That said, I don't have a good feeling for what we would do with these divisions, plus I don't know that I can come up with that many prizes anyway. Maybe an annual award for the best finish in each quadrant.



I don't like that idea at all. For some it's all about the numbers, for some it's not. Some log Temp caches, some don't. Some parts of the state it can be a heck of a lot easier to hit the 1000 mark, others not as much. What was the avarage number of finds per each player this year?

What's the average cache placement ratio per a 30 mile area above or below highway 29 or 8 or the left part of the state and the right? Where are the majority of LC's?
If division we to come about, how about setting them up like the forums. Northwest , northeast and such?
 
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-cheeto-
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:01 am Reply with quote Back to top

I agree with zuma 100% on point 4. Now that you say it like that, it's the 2 month cycle with monthly winners that gives more people a chance at winning a month.

On point 5, it seems that perhaps just a regionalized grouping would make most sense to simply allow for more "winners" and spread them out across the state. As was pointed out, more winners may equal more prizes. On that note, are we going to have a "prize drive" to see if there will be donations for prizes up front instead of as it goes? I am willing to donate a pretty nice coin. We could have a donation bucket at the event in January... (money, geocoins, TB tags, gift cards, etc.)

I would also like to see my idea of prizes from/in support of the WGA i.e. WGA coins, apparel, free camping at events, etc. to further spread the word and show that the game is endorsed by the WGA.

Overall a nice list of subtle rules changes. Nothing too drastic and the nature of the game stays pretty much the same.

-cheeto-
 
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seldom|seen
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:21 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:


1. Elimination of "minor maintenance" points. - I think this is a good idea. I will probably put in some sort of verbiage that as an LCG player, you are expected to replace bags, magnets, velcro, logs, etc, as needed. This is just being a part of the community and making things better for all.

2. Formalizing the cache replacement policy - We should require that any replacement be made only with explicit permission from the cache owner. I don't think it is necessary to eliminate replacement entirely, but the cache owner needs to at least be agreeable. If the owner won't respond to email prior to your visit, just report it as missing and it will eventually fall into the black hole and be archived.

3. Cache Rescue - How about a flat 15 points for cache rescues? For those not in the loop, the problem with getting cache rescues into the list is that the program grabbing the cache info (terrain/difficulty) is not logged into gc.com, and thus doesn't have access to archived caches. Today, I have to unarchive each cache, and then add it to the list manually, and then rearchive each cache, which is a bit of a pain to say the least. I suspect that more than one owner of these caches is curious about what I am doing, but so far, none of them have bothered to ask me. Maybe Jeremy can come up with a better system.

4. Going to a 2 month competition (versus a monthly competition) - I'm not sure this is such a great idea. We already have enough issues with people getting a bunch of logs at the beginning of the month and discouraging everyone else.

5. Divisions - I can see two approaches to this.
5A. By total finds at the start of the year - Say that "Amateur" is less than 1000 finds? If we did this, I would ask participants to indicate this status in their site profile.

5B. By geography - We could theoretically quarter the state. The theoretical geocache center of the state is around N44 W89 which is around 12 miles due west of Oshkosh. That said, I don't have a good feeling for what we would do with these divisions, plus I don't know that I can come up with that many prizes anyway. Maybe an annual award for the best finish in each quadrant.

Again, post your comments and ideas here.


1. Agreed.

2. So the only change here is to state that you must get permission to replace a cache. There will still be instances of multiple replacements but I guess I agree that this is probably best left to cache owners to manage. If they give permission to 3 players then it's on them if 3 replacement caches appear where there was once one. I still think it would be nice if there was some kind of formal notification to Lonely Cache owners to give them a "heads up". Many of them never realize their caches are on the list until some point of contention arises and at that point the game has already left a "bad impression" on that cache owner. (see comment further down)

3. Cache Rescue Missions: This tool available to all WGA members should be utilized more often. It is not there just to function as a cache clean-up device but can go a long way in maintaining troubled caches. I hope that with greater emphasis in the game, the Missions will get more attention and cachers will start using the "other" mission types. Seriously, if you see a post on your cache that says "cache was open and need help or log was soaked and needs to be replaced" by all means, submit a rescue mission and get it taken care of if you can't get to it in a couple weeks. I for one am going to post a few missions of my own this week. 15 points is a lot better than the 2 points I was getting - 10 points would be plenty. And yes, if there was a better way to manage the archived ones it would be better for you, but I don't see a way around it.

4. Not a good idea. Leave it monthly. More opportunities to win.

5. I'd definitely be in favor of 5A. The total number of finds is pretty indicative of how gregarious cachers are. Something like 0-500, 501-1000, 1000-3000, 3000+, whatever the averages work out to based on game involvement this year. This should be enough incentive to get some newer players into the game with opportunity to at the top of their bracket the end of the year. I think this should only apply to the yearly totals based on the variable distribution of Lonelies. As some of us have said before, there were plenty of months where the distribution favored areas of the state where cachers were not as active in the game as the Valley crew (and Zuma).

6. You missed No.6. What about the progressive incentive to get lonelier caches? I think this idea has merit. 8mo = score x2, 12mo = score x3, 16mo = score x4, 20mo+ = score x5. I'd use whole multiples instead of fractions which would require rounding. There aren't many that fall into the last 2 catagories anyway, but man, if I saw a lonely with a x5 score I'd sure give it a shot! Are there any even out there that haven't been found in a year and a half?

Lastly, This game does rely on the honesty and integrity of its players. The scoring and reporting will never be 100% black and white, but any effort to reduce the amount of gray area will ceratinly help. I've set replacement caches when I was on the phone with the owner and given full permission to do so, verifying it MIA while taking with the owner, only to have it appear again a week later. You just can't rule out all the variables here and have to allow some leeway, just as you have this year Dave, for instances where the reports and replacements are not black and white.

A great example is "The Flashlight". A previous finder did a revisit. This finder knew exactly where the original was, confirmed it missing and set a replacement. I went out to find the replacement, a cache I hadn't hunted before, and instead found the original in a few minutes. On top of that, I couldn't find the replacement cache to pull it from the field. So, now there is a cache with an original container and new log sheet as well as a replacement container and log sheet. And this was all done to the best of the players ability and knowledge in as close to black and white circumstances as you can get. Of all the replacements I've placed, there are an equal number of permission-granted's and no-permission-granted's that have come back and bite me, so getting permission will not in-and-of-itself strip the multiple replacement variable form the game. Leeway and discretion are needed.

I think that about covers it. Looking forward to spending more time on the sidelines next year and watching others get out there and go after these challenging caches. Thanks Deejay, for all the hard work an effort you have put into this game! It has only been a success because of that effort! I'll play be any rules you establish and even use them to my advantage Wink Twisted Evil
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6014
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

My post in the other LCG thread regarding amature and professional classes may have been taken a little too seriously. I thought that the idea was so far out in left field that anyone reading it would realize that it was written somewhat tounge-in-cheek. While the idea may actually have some merit, I don't think it would fix any of the percieved problems with the LCG. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

In all seriousness, I think that if the LCG became popular enough to implement such a system, there would not be enough lonely caches left to support the game.

I think few would disagree that this years LCG was a huge sucess. While a few tweaks might help, I don't think that any big changes are necessary. The only change I would strongly recommend is to do away with the limit of 500 lonley caches. Last spring there were many caches that were eligable to be on the list that were not. I don't have any suggestions on how to do this, but I'm sure it's not impossible.
 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 5749
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:43 am Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, I'll dive into this discussion, even though we're apparently among the minor players here.

1) Totally agree. We should do this anyway for any cache, to the best of our ability at that time (meaning, did I remember the cache maintenance stuff this time?)

2) Also agree. I do understand Alex's comments, and have also been in the situation of discovering originals of caches we'd never hunted before after someone replaced them. In the grander scheme of things, it seems wise to only fix a problem cache if the original owner wishes it, or is willing to put it up for adoption. If the intent of the game is to maintain cache quality in Wisconsin, putting things out that will subsequently be ignored is not the best response in those cases.

3) I like the idea of incorporating this into the game more fully, if it's possible. 10 points would be plenty, and I also agree it should be used for other purposes. We have one we adopted from Lil Otter that could use a little TLC, so that might go onto the list. Snomocachers might be able to help us out in the coming months.

4) I agree, month by month works. Are the prizes really that much of an incentive? We played just for the fun of the hunt and the cool places we discovered. Obviously, minor players that we are, we never won, but we still played, especially earlier in the year. If prizes are the incentive, we could certainly donate a couple more (we already have donated a couple, remember? For big winners' at the end of the year?) PM me if you don't remember, Dave, LOL.

5) Honestly, I don't know if this would change things. I know, for example, we're willing to travel to areas we haven't cached before for discovery's sake. We just haven't reached a few of those and probably will wait now till spring. If it seems like doing this would encourage greater participation statewide, I guess it's worth considering, though it seems like it would make things more complicated than they already are.

We've enjoyed our run at these. Some we found, some were DNFs. They've taken us to the middle of wetlands near Hebron, rock formations near Browntown and a lovely state fisheries area near Black Earth, to name a few. All of them spots we might not have visited otherwise. Others have been pleasant surprises discovered while logging our finds. I appreciate the efforts of Dave and Jeremy in setting this up, and all those players, major or minor, who've helped improve the caching experience in the Badger State. THANK YOU!!!

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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5192
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

In reading this thread, "Cache Replacement" is a sticky issue. But this year was a somewhat different year, with many caches missing or straying from flooding in June.
s/s comments on "The Flashlight" is the perfect example... we both wondered what in the world the other one was doing! And we both followed the game rules correctly!
The other issue on "replacement" is the situation that presents itself at the cache site. Sometimes a cache is "missing" and needs replacement (or not!). Other times, a damaged cache is present but needs replacement, such as cracked film canister, no lid, broken lid, no longer waterproof, moldy interior. Sometimes GZ has been compromised and is no longer there, such as a tree that was cut down, brush removal, even road construction.
If a LCG player is 150 miles from home, and can't instantly contact the owner, the player makes a judgement call. Sometimes right and sometimes wrong.
Getting a questionable cache fixed is the issue, and I believe, when in doubt, it should go to "Cache Rescue" rather than be replaced.

As a fairly new player, too many tweaks to any game can discourage play instead of encouraging it. The basic rules are still very good and make for a fun time and great adventures. We will leave it in the hands of the "powers that be" to make any modifications and simply play by the newest rules.

The Lonely locations are the best part! Smile
 
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seldom|seen
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

JimandLinda wrote:

The other issue on "replacement" is the situation that presents itself at the cache site. Sometimes a cache is "missing" and needs replacement (or not!). Other times, a damaged cache is present but needs replacement, such as cracked film canister, no lid, broken lid, no longer waterproof, moldy interior. Sometimes GZ has been compromised and is no longer there, such as a tree that was cut down, brush removal, even road construction.
If a LCG player is 150 miles from home, and can't instantly contact the owner, the player makes a judgment call. Sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Getting a questionable cache fixed is the issue, and I believe, when in doubt, it should go to "Cache Rescue" rather than be replaced.


Yup, and sometimes GZ is a sandbar where any previous cache location has washed downstream. This is the point I was trying to make with the "leeway" comment. Anytime you are doing anything with someone else's cache, no matter how valid the intent, the potential exists for the new cache to be dissimilar from the original. However, only on rare occasions has this been an issue this past year even when the owners are unresponsive or unaware of the maintenance on their caches. So, play with the right intent and perspective and if something does go haywire or an owner gets upset about it, at least you have a solid rationale to present in your defense.
 
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labrat_wr
WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President



Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 5999
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, my turn to pipe in:

1. elimination of maintenance points - agree

2. formalize the replacement policy - taking all the information that has come in so far, my thoughts would be that
a. allow only cachers revisiting a cache to replace a missing container with owner approval. this would make sure that the container is replaced in the same place the owner originally placed it. (as well as possible).
b. allow replacement of damaged containers without approval of owner but require the container to be the same type/size. Common sense would still need to prevail whether the cache should be replaced or removed.
(removed if only remnant or geotrash remains).

3. Cache rescue: 10 pts. flat rate.

4. Continue with monthly recognition. I think we could all pitch in for the monthly prizes or donate a tag or coin.

5. divisions: Set up Pro and Amateur ranks. Pro ranking would be for those who finished in the top 3 for more than one month. Those who fell within the top 3 in only one month could declare their intent on going professional but not be required to. (basing divisions on total number of caches found may not be the best indicator of participation in the LCG.
Forget about the regional splits.

Whatever the rules end up being, I am sure that the LCG will continue to be well recieved and more people will become involved.

if we get enough support, maybe a random drawing for the month for some geo-prize too.

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marc_54140
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:15 am Reply with quote Back to top

I still like my original idea from way back when ....

1. Tell Dave he can no longer play.
 
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cheezehead
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

I have no idea how one would set it up, but could you do it like bowling and handicaps? And no I don't mean those who use Garmins and those who don't. wink Razz Laughing
 
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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:24 am Reply with quote Back to top

marc_54140 wrote:
I still like my original idea from way back when ....

1. Tell Dave he can no longer play.


Yeah, and like I said way back when. . . . . . This idea has no merit at all.

All this chatter about handicaps and pro/amateur rankings remind me of when I was teaching and the C students would whine endlessly about the effort of the A students, and how they threw off the curve. The rules for last year were the same for everybody, and some people simply outperformed. Rather than being a problem that needs to be addressed, I view that as a model that the rest of us should consider as a road to success.

zuma

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Team Hemisphere Dancer
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-02-22
Posts: 2049
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:33 am Reply with quote Back to top

Like most sports thre needs to be spectators. That is where I come in. I am a very, very small competitor in this game as I have only recorded one find on a lonely. But I do sit back back and watch the drama unfold each month. From the sidelines I like the game as it is.

However,I would like to see more emphasis on the cache rescue aspect of it. 15 points seems like a good amount as it would really inspire someone to grab those points to catch up at the end of the month. Kind of like the 2 point conversion.

As a cache owner I don't mind too much that the container gets replaced as long as it is in the spirit of the original hide. I had one replaced duing the last year and I know that LCG'r knew the hide and assured me that it would be the same way. If it is a special hide and replaced with a film can at the base of a tree then thats another matter. But once again that becomes a judgement call by the player at that time. I guess I would rather it gets kept alive until I could get to it rather than have it die prematurely.

Marc, Dave can still play he fixes my caches when I cannot get out there to do it.

Thanks to all the players for getting out there and ensuring our caches are still playable to the rest, and thanks to Dave and Jeremy for making the game work on the web page.

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