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+10 votes
A little over a year ago, Geocaching HQ authorized publication of 4000 new virtual caches (about 500 of which were given to volunteers (including me) while the rest were distributed among existing cache owners). The deadline for publishing the cache was about a month ago and I still see an occasional virtual published but that's just stragglers. The end result is that about 2/3 of the 4000 potential virtual were actually published.

I haven't logged many yet but have looked at the listings for quite a few more. It seems to me that the new virtuals are, in general, good - probably better than the old ones I've seen on average.

I did a quick check of the virtuals in Sweden: There are in total 18 old virtuals (i.e. published until 2005, when the publishing of virtual caches was originally stopped), quite a few of which are now archived. These have accumulated a total of 1461 FP until today. We've now also gotten 78 new virtuals with a total of 2129 FP until today.

This means that the old virtuals have 81 FP each while the new ones have 27 each (on average), but then we have to consider that the new virtuals have been available at the most one year while the old ones have been out there for at least 13 years. Considering this, I'd say that the new ones are doing very well indeed.

How do you like this new wave of virtuals? I quite like it. There are places and things that don't lend themselves well to regular caches, but work well with virtuals.

Do you think we'll see similar limited publishing events again? I would't be surprised, but probably not this year.
in Miscellaneous by pinkunicorn (Moderator) (171k points)
I think it's great for places such as national parks or security-sensitive areas where traditional container caches cannot be placed for a variety of reasons.
These and ECs are unusual in that you don't have to find a container, but you do have to find something (out) and general somewhere interesting!

16 Answers

+4 votes
I agree. I have visited a few of those new virtuals and have not seen a single one that I would have said hasn't deserved it. Quite a few are real great places that noware even more attractive to visit. This is indeed seen in the FPs earned and I have spent a few FPs on these new virtuals as well. Let's see what comes next...
by Domino_67 (6.8k points)
+4 votes
This has been a great achievement since Geocaching HQ, and a lot of places that have earned this type of cache have appeared on the map. It is a shame that he has not been able to use the full potential. Unfortunately, we have managed to catch these new caches in Czech only.
In the future, I would be delighted if Geocaching HQ performed a similar action for cache webcams.
by medvedzl (1.8k points)
+3 votes

thank you for this post that shows that having revived the virtual stimulate the game
Thanks to this offer, in France, there are more and I have done several, the site choices are often very interesting and I hope that this encouragement is revive as soon as possible ... for having spoken to several players, I just hope that the chosen players will be big builders rather than cache-setters worked with favorites, it seems to us that travelers are attracted first by the place dense in geocaches and not by favored scattered caches. .. finally I hope to see webcam cache?!?!?

traduit par google trandlate du francais :

merci pour ce post qui montre qu'avoir relancé les virtuels stimulent le jeu
grace a cette offre, en france, il y en a davantage et j'en ai fait plusieurs, les choix de sites sont souvent trés interressant et j'espére que cet encouragement soit relancer au plus tot ... pour en avoir parlé a plusieurs joueurs, j'espére juste que les joueurs choisis seront de gros poseurs plutot que des poseurs de caches travaillés avec favoris, il nous semble que les voyageurs sont attirés d'abord par les endroit dense en géocaches et non pas par les caches éparpillés favorisées ... enfin j'espére revoir des webcam cache ?!?!?

by Chup'a (11.2k points)
+3 votes
We really like the new virtual caches! We have found quite a few in different parts of England, and one in Wales, plus one in Spain and one in Croatia too! They take us (like the older virtuals) to some great places we wouldn’t have necessarily visited otherwise. This was very much true of the Welsh one which was a tiny old church far from main roads! The one in Spain took us to the Salvador Dali Museum and that in Croatia was for the amazing walls of Medieval Dubrovnik.

It’s such a shame that 4000 were given out, but less than 3000 seem to have been placed!
by GCZ Team (22.0k points)
+2 votes
It was a good idea.

I understand why they were discontinued back in 2005, as people just saw them as a cache that didn't require maintenance. So having a limited return of them, really made people be creative about the placements.

I know a lot of people were unhappy with how people were selected, and to some extend I can understand where they are coming from, I just hope that the negative backlash didn't scare HQ from doing something similar again.

Overall I think it was a success, and I hope they will return with a second wave next year.
by MAS83 (2.0k points)
+1 vote
These virtuals added to the enjoyment of the hobby. They are excellent in crowded areas where a physical cache may attract negative attention. I believe the way they were released made the CO's create a better finding experience. I hope they will repeat this idea in the future.
by JS&SV (1.7k points)
+1 vote
I like those new virtual Caches. That offers again the possibility to "place" a cache at an interesting place where a physical container is impossible. I've been looking for then during each trip I make.

Great thing
by andi_ilvese (200 points)
+1 vote
Most of the new virtual caches were very interesting to visit ... so let's hope this will encourage HQ to do a second run ...
by destroj007 (980 points)
0 votes
For the most part, the quality of the new virtual caches has been really good, and they are done in a way to prevent / really reduce the armchair or google answer logs.  I hope that they occasionally add more opertunities for these caches, but I can understand why it would get limited to help reduce the flood of virtual caches that dont make sense.  I can see why they removed virtual caches.  I have done some legacy virtual caches that had me thinking why I was here, for example, a virtual taking you to look at a rock in the woods...nothing special or unique about the rock, just a rock!
by ormustr (4.0k points)
It is a pity that a large number of those rewarded did not use them. I agree the ones created were excellent.
0 votes
I've done a couple (including 1 by our local reviewer) and am currently working on another that's almost like a virtual multi, and a mammoth one at that. It requires visits to 5 different locations spread across the state I live in, and would be a nightmare to maintain with physical locations. Its been out for several months and is still yet to be found, im hoping to find the time to jag the FTF on it. It's certainly a shame that some didnt get published, but at the same time I know of one or two CO's who couldnt put together something they felt was worth so let it lapse instead of putting out a junk one, i'm comfortable with that. Similar to another comment above, I would like to see other grandfathered cache types i.e. webcam's revisited in a similar style in the future.
by BFMC (3.6k points)
0 votes
Is there a place that tracks the new virtual caches that was published?  Curious to see of the new virtual caches which has been found the most, and gotten the most favorite points.
by ormustr (4.0k points)
There's not a function just for that, but it works fine to use the Map Compare page and then add filters to only show virtuals and to only show caches published 2017 or later to see exactly that.
Thanks pinkunicorn
0 votes
Once they were rare, I think it was more interesting.

by mimh_de_benetnash (2.0k points)
It is the problem that they were not rare in all the parts of the world. In US, UK and few other places, they were as common as traditional caches (at that time), while in some other parts of the world, there were really none.
My query shows that there were over 7000 virtuals published until 2005, while only something over 4000 is active now. So adding new 4000 basically replaced the archived ones and allowed a new, better distribution of the virtuals around the words, regarding where the caches and cachers really are in 2016+.
0 votes
I can agree, there are a few new virtuals in my area. Not only that I have not to drive that far as before the new caches, they are also very interesting and bring back memories of the past.
by _Ulle_ (1.1k points)
0 votes
On the one hand it is nice to have such unfound caches nearby. On the other hand e.g. the weighting in project-gc for the virtuals and the appropriate badge didn't change. So it is now much easier to earn this badge.
by AchWas-HN (440 points)
0 votes
Our favourite types are generally EarthCaches and Virtuals. I really like the Virtuals especially when travelling. I not usually that excited to go find a traditional when travelling in an urban area but definitely target the Virtuals. We have a few ones that were placed locally and they were fun. I really hope they release more!
by msweetnw (1.7k points)
0 votes
New virtual caches are great! It was a good idea! It would still like some webcaches. :D
by nimir (2.1k points)
They are called webcam caches.