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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-09-2012, 07:49 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
And this is bad because...?

Seriously, if you don't like the idea of being handicapped by a deficient opposing alliance, do something about it. Don't just gripe about the situation. What can you do, you ask? The answer should be obvious: help your opponents to be good.
This is a bit more complicated than just helping your opponents do well. In previous years, I have helped both partners and opponents with their machines, often doing things as simple as helping them get their drive working (2009 comes to mind) or as complicated as helping them with code/electrical etc. Usually, in previous games, it was just about getting the robot to move and with some sort of degree of control so that the machine could at least positively contribute to the scoring efforts and or strategy in a given match - 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were easy in regards to this, as long as the machine moved, it could do SOMETHING.

Looking at this year and the bridges, helping every one of your opponents, or lets say a reasonable number of them would be a daunting task. There are many, many teams that built robots that aren't capable of climbing bridges reliably or even at all, and we're not talking about easy fixes either. Teams used the wrong wheels, wrong gearing, the frame geometry impedes with the bridge, CoG is too High, etc - fixing any one of those problems is much more than one would expect to do for any single opponent for a single match.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 09:50 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
Hall of Fame FIRST Team 254 has arguably helped more teams become good than any other team in FIRST. I don't think they need a lecture on helping their opponents.
Amen, Karthik:

To me, the real problem here is that someone at FIRST still misses the key point:

They keep trying to change the motivations of the teams by changing the Qualifying promotion system to depend on something other than winning matches. This goes back for over a decade and keeps coming in and out of the game design. They seem think this will somehow change who wins. This does indeed serve to change how teams will play the game in qualifying. However, all such attempts fail to change anything in the end because we then proceed to play an ELIMINATION series that is ONLY about winning.

So, FIRST's attempts at trying to change what we do on the feild really don't change much after all, since the teams who know how to win invariably end up as the leaders at the end of the tournament anyway. What these attempts do serve to do is:
- Make the game more bimodal and more confusing to the spectators, since the robots do different things on the field depending on what part of the competition you are watching.
- Make the game less sport-like, since bizarre concepts like this are found no where in any main stream sport.
- Drive a lot more 'noise' into the qualifing process, since advancing in the rankings can often be most out of an individual team's control.
- Set up a lot of built in upsets in Eliminations, since the teams best equipped for winning the tournment may not be the qualifying leaders.
- Cause a lot more frustration in the actual execution of the gameplay
- Open the door for attempts to "game" the qualifying system, since the motivations of the opposing alliances may not be the same.

With 3 on 3 alliance play, we already have so many reasons to help and cooperate with other teams that we do not need more deliberately injected into the game design.

I still believe that if we are legitimately trying to make FRC be recognized as a real sport than the GDC must treat it like one. These 'social engineering experiments' do not really belong here and they really don't work anyway. Good atheletes and good sports teams win tournments, and no one seems to have a problem with this. Good Robots should excel at Robotics Competitions.

If FIRST wants to try to level the field, maybe they should create some kind of handicap rankings. This is done in golf and other sports to allow players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms in the same league. I personally do not think this is necessary, but whatever the solution, messing with the Qualifying promotion system has never really worked, and probably never will. The best games are the ones in which the teams with the best execution will rise to the top in both Qualifying AND Eliminations.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:08 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post
Amen, Karthik:

To me, the real problem here is that someone at FIRST still misses the key point:

They keep trying to change the motivations of the teams by changing the Qualifying promotion system to depend on something other than winning matches. This goes back for over a decade and keeps coming in and out of the game design. They seem think this will somehow change who wins. This does indeed serve to change how teams will play the game in qualifying. However, all such attempts fail to change anything in the end because we then proceed to play an ELIMINATION series that is ONLY about winning.

So, FIRST's attempts at trying to change what we do on the feild really don't change much after all, since the teams who know how to win invariably end up as the leaders at the end of the tournament anyway. What these attempts do serve to do is:
- Make the game more bimodal and more confusing to the spectators, since the robots do different things on the field depending on what part of the competition you are watching.
- Make the game less sport-like, since bizarre concepts like this are found no where in any main stream sport.
- Drive a lot more 'noise' into the qualifing process, since advancing in the rankings can often be most out of an individual team's control.
- Set up a lot of built in upsets in Eliminations, since the teams best equipped for winning the tournment may not be the qualifying leaders.
- Cause a lot more frustration in the actual execution of the gameplay
- Open the door for attempts to "game" the qualifying system, since the motivations of the opposing alliances may not be the same.

With 3 on 3 alliance play, we already have so many reasons to help and cooperate with other teams that we do not need more deliberately injected into the game design.

I still believe that if we are legitimately trying to make FRC be recognized as a real sport than the GDC must treat it like one. These 'social engineering experiments' do not really belong here and they really don't work anyway. Good atheletes and good sports teams win tournments, and no one seems to have a problem with this. Good Robots should excel at Robotics Competitions.

If FIRST wants to try to level the field, maybe they should create some kind of handicap rankings. This is done in golf and other sports to allow players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms in the same league. I personally do not think this is necessary, but whatever the solution, messing with the Qualifying promotion system has never really worked, and probably never will. The best games are the ones in which the teams with the best execution will rise to the top in both Qualifying AND Eliminations.
Amen Jim! Well said!
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:14 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Jim,
Great explanation and good points!
Once again, you have shown why YOU should be on the GDC. Haha.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post
Amen, Karthik:

To me, the real problem here is that someone at FIRST still misses the key point:

They keep trying to change the motivations of the teams by changing the Qualifying promotion system to depend on something other than winning matches. This goes back for over a decade and keeps coming in and out of the game design. They seem think this will somehow change who wins. This does indeed serve to change how teams will play the game in qualifying. However, all such attempts fail to change anything in the end because we then proceed to play an ELIMINATION series that is ONLY about winning.

So, FIRST's attempts at trying to change what we do on the feild really don't change much after all, since the teams who know how to win invariably end up as the leaders at the end of the tournament anyway. What these attempts do serve to do is:
- Make the game more bimodal and more confusing to the spectators, since the robots do different things on the field depending on what part of the competition you are watching.
- Make the game less sport-like, since bizarre concepts like this are found no where in any main stream sport.
- Drive a lot more 'noise' into the qualifing process, since advancing in the rankings can often be most out of an individual team's control.
- Set up a lot of built in upsets in Eliminations, since the teams best equipped for winning the tournment may not be the qualifying leaders.
- Cause a lot more frustration in the actual execution of the gameplay
- Open the door for attempts to "game" the qualifying system, since the motivations of the opposing alliances may not be the same.

With 3 on 3 alliance play, we already have so many reasons to help and cooperate with other teams that we do not need more deliberately injected into the game design.

I still believe that if we are legitimately trying to make FRC be recognized as a real sport than the GDC must treat it like one. These 'social engineering experiments' do not really belong here and they really don't work anyway. Good atheletes and good sports teams win tournments, and no one seems to have a problem with this. Good Robots should excel at Robotics Competitions.

If FIRST wants to try to level the field, maybe they should create some kind of handicap rankings. This is done in golf and other sports to allow players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms in the same league. I personally do not think this is necessary, but whatever the solution, messing with the Qualifying promotion system has never really worked, and probably never will. The best games are the ones in which the teams with the best execution will rise to the top in both Qualifying AND Eliminations.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:18 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by waialua359 View Post
Jim,
Great explanation and good points!
Once again, you have shown why YOU should be on the GDC. Haha.....
He already is... just for another competition.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

This weekend, at the NC regional alliance selections, for the first time I can remember, the first four selections were teams not in the top eight.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by Joe G. View Post
What? Blasphemy! Next thing you know, they'll be doing something crazy, like have our ranking based off our opponents' score.
I see what you did there
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:28 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Whether or not the Coop bridge is a "social engineering experiment", I pretend it's not and instead interpret it as just another aspect of the game. It is just another challenge - you have to cooperate with a drive team ~60 feet away from you in order to get an extra 2 qualification points. It makes the qualifications matches exciting.

I've anxiously watched numerous matches, rooting for either a non-balance or a balance on the Coop bridge depending on what would help my team. I've watched webcasts where it seemed like in every match there would be an attempted Coop bridge balance that failed at the last second, a heart wrenching way to end each match.

The Coop bridge is a GREAT addition to the game this year. Let's face it - it might be confusing for outside spectators to watch, but the vast majority of the people watching a qualification match are going to be familiar with the great power of the Coop bridge balance. What an amazing thrill it is to watch a Coop balance attempt.

Many people in this thread have complained that FIRST always tries to introduce elements of the game that are out of an individual team's control:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post
- Drive a lot more 'noise' into the qualifing process, since advancing in the rankings can often be most out of an individual team's control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory View Post
It sucks that to seed well you now have to rely on your opponents being good and not just your partners.
In any FRC game there is going to be an element of luck, and that is directly built into the competition structure. That's what makes it great, in my opinion. If the BEST teams at an event always won, then my team should go to MSC with absolutely no hope of winning. Yes, our robot is good, but to be honest the improvements we are making to our robot and code are not good enough to be better than 67 and 469's entries at the event.

Yet I still have hope for winning. The competition structure might provide us with a little bit of luck, and what will make it interesting will be the elements of the game that are beyond my team's control. I'm not ready to give the state championship to 67 and 469 just because their robots are plainly better than my team's. And from the perspective of someone on a powerhouse team (I used to be on 67), I would still find it very boring to go to a competition knowing for a fact that my team will win. I am a fan of the "noise" at the competitions.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:34 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by ttldomination View Post
At least it's better than the system from 2010. That was an awful system.
IMHO, the 2010 ranking system, post week 1, was the best at getting the top teams to seed the highest.

If FIRST wants to be a sport, should that not be the ultimate goal of the ranking system?
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:39 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post
Amen, Karthik:

...

If FIRST wants to try to level the field, maybe they should create some kind of handicap rankings. This is done in golf and other sports to allow players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms in the same league. I personally do not think this is necessary, but whatever the solution, messing with the Qualifying promotion system has never really worked, and probably never will. The best games are the ones in which the teams with the best execution will rise to the top in both Qualifying AND Eliminations.
The sports with handicaps don't change the game every year, and the handicap stays with a player, not a team! That makes this seemingly attractive idea a non-starter, imho.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 11:01 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

I think a part of this discussion is that not everyone cares about recognizing FRC as a real sport. I also think that there are those who want to celebrate the "social engineering experiment." The bridge (and how it is used) on the field and in discussions off the field, shows that there is a lot of work for the participants to do in order to balance it.

That doesn't make the situation black and white. It doesn't make it right or wrong. It provides opportunities for members of FRC to implement healthy discussions regarding strengthening the program and its positive impact.

Jane
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Unread 04-09-2012, 11:41 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post

To me, the real problem here is that someone at FIRST still misses the key point:

They keep trying to change the motivations of the teams by changing the Qualifying promotion system to depend on something other than winning matches. ...
"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."

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Mission

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Perhaps someone at FIRST is not missing the key point; rather, they are striving to fulfill their stated mission.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 12:57 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

At the end of the day, I think all teams crave success on the field. Few things are as inspiring as being directly rewarded for your hard work. As Jim pointed out, Elaborate Qualifying Schemes like the Coopertition bridge offer low-end teams only a slightly better shot at tasting this kind of success. This approach is dangerous and, in my mind, low end teams lose more opportunity for inspiration than they gain.
To illustrate my point, let say you just decided to take up the sport of golf. You can take two approaches: you can have fun with the sport and not count scores accurately or you can be brutally honest with yourself when counting your scores. If you take 12 strokes on a particular par 5 and give yourself a bunch of mulligans to lower your score, you will not know if you improved the next time you play the hole. However, If you were brtually honest with yourself the first time out and you were to shoot a 9 on that par 5 the next time out, then this can motivate you to stick with the sport. In other words, accurately tracking your progress can be another source of motivation/inspiration.
When FIRST clouds the game objectives on the field, It becomes hard to benchmark your teams performance versus the rest of the field. It becomes harder to track your progress from one year to the next. A low end team might, on average, only get half the score of an elite team one year. Scoring 75% of what an elite team can score the next year can be motivating/inspiring. This cannot be objectively measured in quals this year when the elite team spends half the match more concerned with the coopertition bridge than scoring points. Without elaborate qualifying shemes, teams can point to incremental objective progress and claim success. The current system makes it hard to define success as anything other than winning an event or an award. To me, this is bad for FRC.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 01:03 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

I think one of the biggest problems I see with the CP this year is that they make qualification rounds play completely differently than eliminations. You can argue that higher skill level/quality in the eliminations makes things completely different, and it does to some extent, but here the highest level goals are different.

You are trying to win two completely different matches at once instead of one, and don't get me started on metacoopertition.

I don't think this is a good thing.

Every single match with a team that understands the rules and wants to seed high plays out differently than it would have without CP because of the need to coopertate to compete in rankings.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick.oliver View Post
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Dean Kamen, Founder

Mission

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Perhaps someone at FIRST is not missing the key point; rather, they are striving to fulfill their stated mission.
While I am actually a fan of the coopertition bridge system, I fail to see what it has to do with this. Teams continue to act in their own best interests, just as they always done; it's just that, as they often have in the past, occasionally their interests are compatible with other teams'.
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