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+4 votes
There is already a limit of 10 challenge checkers per day for non-paying PGC users.  Since a few paying members have demonstrated a lack of restraint, I would suggest placing a similar limit but set it to 25 per day.

I edited and added this to my second sentence [a few] since it wasn't clearly stated that not everyone was abusing the challenge checker usage to gain points.
in Support and help by TigreToot (26.6k points)
edited by TigreToot

8 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
This post will mainly echo the general 'feel' of the other posts here, but I would much prefer to NOT see use of Challenge Checkers limited, but rather to see the points earned limited.

I see what Jakuje is saying in suggesting that points should be earned for making PGC better, but I don't agree that they should ONLY be earned for that. After all, does having a validated e-mail address make PGC better? Or use of Profile Stats?

There should be varied ways to earn points, with weighting to encourage some aspects over others. But we all use this site for varying reasons and yet all pay our subscriptions the same so all our uses ought to be recognised.
by TwigNZ (4.7k points)
selected by TigreToot
+6 votes
We would much rather keep the points awards and have stricter limits on the amounts of points awarded rather than limit how many checkers could be used per day.
by GCZ Team (22.0k points)
+5 votes

Brought forward from

Yes that would be a solution.

I feel being a victim of this one-sided decision:
I have been set back about 800 positions in the ranking due to this.
I have been (and will be) logging a Challenge Cache per Day since feb 1 2019.

Preparing a trip I may run 50 to 60 checkers during 1-2 days and update the Personal Note of the Challenges Caches involved.
During the trip I will try to find as many "green" challenges on the map and put a Write Note on them.

Later, on a day by day basis, I will use the Checker again on one of the green ones, get the (updated) fulfillment text, than log and post my Find/Fulfillment Log.....

I believe this was the way the challenge checking "pointing" system was intended to be: Promote Challenge Checker usage.

Please get this sorted out in a fair way.

by WeinWalker (440 points)
edited by WeinWalker
One needs to understand that the PGC Badge is different than Badges in BadgeGen -- you can work hard to get all badges from BadgeGen as everyone can find more caches based on (or against) their taste.

But as PGC Points translate to PGC badge not based on amount of points achieved, but by comparison to others so not all of the people can get the most shinny badge.

I do not check the leaderboard every day so I do not remember what people were in the top list last week, but most of the people I hear screaming here are people I just never heard about before, while now, most people in the top list I see are people who donated or are generally known to be spending hours of their free time to contribute to the site in some way.

Do you see it fair to kick these people down and add PGC Badges to the ones who are "just" running hundreds challenge checkers every day, especially when it is not even needed as they are executed automatically?
Thank you for your comment.

I did not realise that my description of how I use the Checkers on a regular (daily) bssis could be considered screaming.

I have never used the Checkers as a way to get higher in the PCG list. It just happed while using your product on a daily basis. It may well be the checkers run automatically,  but I still need the fulfillment proof to log the Challenge.
I do not see that as just running checkers.

Of course I did notice the blue stone and its disappearing and started looking why.

It never came to my mind that the PCG points were to be considered as "good ol boys club". So I will try to stay out of the way.

The status of "have not seen you before" is mutual.

I gratulate you in your now 4th in ranking
+5 votes

I debated, over the last few days, whether I should respond to my own question. After reading all the answers and comments posted so far, I decided to go for it. I am not responding to stir up any controversy or cause any animosity but merely just trying to summarize ideas and propose solutions.

The premise that PGC points should be awarded fairly and reward those who participate by dollars, personal time, talents, genuine interest or any combination of them all is valid.  To be honest, I agree and endorse the concept.  

I noticed in the last several weeks that the Rewards leader board was severely skewed. Someone, it is irrelevant who at this point, moved way past everyone with their ranking.  Not being privy to the database, I presume that was the person in question who was running thousands of checkers per day.  A ridiculous action to be honest and certainly alerted the PGC staff that something was amiss.  Greed tends to do that. 

Once the point category was dropped that person dropped away and things realigned back to the way they were a few months ago.  If I am correct, fixing the problem by dropping the category from consideration was the right thing to do and completely justified. No doubt someone was using it to "farm" points who lost perspective on why the reward points exist in the first place and damaged the entire Rewards process.

With all that said, it is obvious, one or a few were exploiting a certain area of the PGC points metrics, but why punish all of us for their abuse is the question that should be raised.  Please consider the following ideas summarized from reading answers and comments:

1.The membership should have been warned. Possibly, one strategy would be to ask whoever was doing it to cease and desist by outlining the consequences on the Map of challenge checkers page.

2. Do not impose a limit on how many checkers a paid member can run just adjust how the points are calculated.

3. Reinstate the point category with the stricter calculation limit and keep that restriction in place moving forward.

Regarding the idea that there is "no good reason" to run checkers, I disagree.  I can think of at least 3 reasons that justify running them based on reading the answers and comments. I am sure that others could think of more.

First, you have to provide validation proof to the CO that you met the challenge.  What better way than to run a checker and then take a snapshot of the results.

Second, even though the challenge checkers run automatically, it does not refresh updates timely enough, in some cases. Scenario: you are out in the field and just accomplished objectives designed to complete a challenge. Before going home, you want to run the checker from the field to verify you qualify just in case you might have missed something.
Third, I have noticed that some of the challenges do not indicate whether you qualify or not and you have to go in and manually check by using the checker despite the checkers running automatically.

In summary, it is only fair that the Admin reconsider the decision based on the input of the membership. If I were to conduct a poll, I suspect the % asking for the points category to be reinstated would be very high vs. the % saying it should be dropped. Of course, the key is to adjust how the points are calculated.  Sorry, this is such a long answer but it is from the heart.

by TigreToot (26.6k points)
+3 votes

Hello, I think 10 checkers per day for non-paying PGC users is OK. Your proposal about 25 for paying members is not so much. It should remain unlimited. If someone want to set limit, please consider something around 100.

If I understand, there was a problem that users used the same checkers again and again every day to farm PGC points. Now when they are not rewarded with PGC points, they won't do it that much. There is no reason to make additional restrictions.

by hynous (3.1k points)
Actually, I didn't really explain myself well enough.  My proposal was to reinstate rewarding challenge checker usage points but impose stricter limits on how points can be earned.
+3 votes
Don't think a limit for using the challenge checker is a good idea. The problem was not the usage of the tausend checkers per day - the problem was that this counted at high rate for the challenge checker PGC-point.

So the problem and "challenge" is the counting of the usage for the PCG-point.

What about limiting the counting like profil-statistic. So it would be 0.1 max per day. Or a max of 15 per year (like verified email or push-messages).
by supertwinfan (19.6k points)
Agreed. Perhaps it would be better to restrict how many points can be earned or change how the points are calculated.  Hopefully, the points reward can be reinstated.
+1 vote
I think there are better ways for PGC to award points than by running challenge checker scripts for no good reason. Every awarded PGC point should come as a reward for making pgc better (challenge checkers scripts, tags and challenges moderation, reporting issues, helping new users), increasing its visibility (profile stats and statbar usage, referrals) and helping financially (membership, donations).

Running challenge checkers was probably introduced when PGC needed to encourage its usage before this was a requirement from groundspeak to have challenge checker for each challenge in PGC.

The checkers are running automatically for paying members anyway so I believe it is a good thing that it is gone and users do not need to waste time and PGC resources.
by Jakuje (Moderator) (116k points)
0 votes
Challenge checker usage should not be limited because of perceived abuses from a few. Removing the rewarding of the abuse makes most sense for now...
by JS&SV (1.7k points)
Rewarding points for Challenge checker usage was simply a way to reward people for using the checkers that took a lot of work to develop the scripts. Those who found a loop hole to exploit went way overboard and ruined it for everyone else.  I'm certainly not advocating that abuse should be rewarded.  Quite the contrary, in fact. The proposed solution is to reinstate but impose greater restrictions on how the points are calculated.
I agree that the use of Challenge Checkers should not be rewarded in such a way to encourage abuse.
My personal view would be to cap the maximum points that can be earned through use of Challenge Checkers. Perhaps a max of 10 Points for the year? How many Challenge Checkers must be run to attain 10 points can be adjusted, but if you want to discourage frivolous running of checkers then how about 0.1 points per checker?
That way running 100 checkers over the course of a year is relatively easy to do, and in most cases will happen quite naturally without farming, and those of us who do genuinely run a lot of checkers for whatever reason we do it for can do so without being accused (falsely) of farming!