January 25, 2014 at 10:51 am #2697
From the searcher’s point of view GeoCheck is obviously good as it confirms (or not) the results of his or her effort at solving a puzzle. However, from a hider’s point of view it is very much a mixed blessing.
As far as I see it there are only 2 pros for the hider. First, more people are likely to attempt your puzzle if you provide confirmation on GeoCheck. Second, it allows you to publish precise coordinates on GeoCheck where the puzzle itself didn’t provide these, examples are my Four Hundred and Seventy Three cache and Plymbridge Runner’s Remote Dartmoor 01 cache.
There really is only one con, but it is a huge one. Although it is satisfying to watch lots of different cachers making attempts at solving your puzzle, it is hugely frustrating to see the same cacher not interested in solving the puzzle, but only interested in cracking GeoCheck. You can see a systematic grid being placed on the map where they’ve made repeated attempts to just guess the location. Unfortunately GeoCheck provides insufficient functionality to prevent this. It has some great functionality but the cache owner ought to be able to specify the frequency of repeated attempts from the same IP address. Currently this allows 10 attempts every 10 minutes, but clearly that allows 120 attempts in 2 hours! If this could be set by the cache owner then I am sure most would not allow more than 10 attempts an hour, which should deter those just trying to crack the checker.
What I would suggest to anybody wishing to set a puzzle, is not to use GeoCheck until after FTF. That way you know that you have had at least one genuine find on your cache 🙂January 26, 2014 at 9:11 am #2698GoldenHaystackParticipant
Hang on a minute Dave, it’s not exactly a war between setters and finders. If someone gets the enjoyment of a smiley by spending two+ hours to solve a puzzle I’m not particularly bothered how they do it. Maybe, as you say, leave it until after the first find or two. I think the Geocheck is useful for me as I usually travel many miles for puzzles, there being few placed in North Devon. From the setter’s point of view, surely caches are put out to be found. I drove to the Cheddar area for GC40PJF. Geocheck – 6 correct, 49 wrong. Would I have gone without some confirmation of it’s whereabouts? The CO obviously wants it found. GH.January 26, 2014 at 9:35 am #2699
I’m sorry “a war between setters and finders” how did you infer that from what I wrote?
Of course caches are put out to be found but GeoCheck should be just that – to check your answer to the puzzle, not a means to get at the correct coordinates without solving the puzzle.
The original topic was prompted by a couple of very recent muddypuddles caches, the first he used GeoChecker the second he didn’t and I was wondering what prompted the different approach and how others thought about it.January 26, 2014 at 10:25 am #2700GoldenHaystackParticipant
No need to be sorry. You just read the extreme into my exaggeration. GH.January 26, 2014 at 11:09 am #2701muddypuddlesParticipant
I’m a big fan of geocheckers for a number of reasons.
Firstly, since finders have to plan their caching trips, and make the effort to drive somewhere and walk a variable distance to find a puzzle cache, I think it’s just a courtesy to supply some means for checking the accuracy of the solved puzzle, where it’s necessary. Checksums can be useful in this regard, but they are not 100% reliable.
Some puzzles need a checker more than others. Where questions need to be answered individually, a single wrong answer can scupper the whole solution, so it’s reassuring to be able verify answers before venturing out. In other cases there may some ambiguity about answers, or resources that give conflicting answers. Other puzzles give a vague clue to which there may be many interpretations. A geocheck gives a solver a means to try one or two alternatives, where there is any doubt. This can be abused of course in the “blanket bombing” tactics you’ve mentioned, Dave.
Some puzzles have a clear and explicit answer, once the key is discovered, so don’t really need a checker, as the solution is clearly correct when reached. This is why some of my puzzles don’t have checkers on them. And Dave’s “Moor – Casual Danger” cache is just such a puzzle with an unambiguous solution.
Another reason that checkers are useful is when the solution reached by the puzzle is subject to some variation, as in the cases you Dave mentioned. This allows the puzzle setter to give an exact solution to a finder where it’s not possible to reach the right answer with the information given in the puzzle alone.
The final thing that checkers are good for is to give supplementary information to a finder that is conditional on solving the puzzle. For example, you can give locations for trail heads or parking which would be useful for the finder. If these were listed in the cache page itself, it might give a clue as the final’s whereabouts.
When it comes down to supplying a checker, I’d much rather make it easier for a genuine solver to enjoy finding the cache than to penalise everyone for an individual who wants to circumvent the puzzle.January 26, 2014 at 11:22 am #2702
A great answer mp, but you didn’t make any reference to OUTBREAK! which doesn’t have GeoCheck and which prompted the topic in the first place ❓January 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm #2703muddypuddlesParticipant
Ah well, Dave, I take the fifth Amendment, as they say on the other side of the pond 😉January 27, 2014 at 9:26 am #2707findermanParticipant
I did a multi once that required getting various dates off plaques and statues. I couldn’t get to one of the plaques due to it being cordoned off at the time. This was to get the last remaining number I needed. I put all the numbers into geocheck bar the last one. I then went through all the numbers starting with zero. As I recall I think the number I needed was 9! At least I was there and got all the other numbers fair and square. I think this was a fair attempt given the circumstances.
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