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  #31   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-09-2012, 02:18 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by bduddy View Post
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'.
As with other aspects of past games and seeding systems, I believe that FIRST is attempting to support their stated vision and mission. I don't know their minds nor their intent. I was responding to Jim's comment that FIRST is missing the point.

I'm trying to illustrate that I believe that FIRST intentionally creates these aspects of the game and/or seeding systems to make their point.

I happen to be a fan of the coopertition bridge also and I liked the Breakaway seeding system. I was not a fan of 6v0 and I would not consider it gracious to refuse to attempt a coop bridge.

I also want to see the best, most effective at playing all aspects of the game, be seeded at the top and go into eliminations.

The game design does not inhibit that, actually, if everybody cooperated on the bridge, the best should actually separate themselves from the pack by collecting four QP per match versus two.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 03:15 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

The CP points allow a team with good balancing ability to get very high seeded; but is that really a good thing?

I understand teams wanting to be in picking positions, but when a high seeded picker is only able to score bridge points, then they really only have one opportunity to pick a strong scoring robot, and often are left with a rather weak alliance. (this isn't always the case obviously, but it's happened, a triple balancing team is definitely an exception here).

That said, the CP bridge is very exciting to watch, and despite my team having tragedy after tragedy surrounding that bridge, when it works right, it is very awesome. There are also a huge number of times I've seen one team save another in a great show of GP.

Last edited by DjScribbles : 04-09-2012 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Softening
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Unread 04-09-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by martin417 View Post
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.
If I remember right, in San Diego, all alliances selections came from the pool, no alliance captains were selected.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 04:48 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by rsisk View Post
If I remember right, in San Diego, all alliances selections came from the pool, no alliance captains were selected.
2 picked 3
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Unread 04-09-2012, 04:48 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by rsisk View Post
If I remember right, in San Diego, all alliances selections came from the pool, no alliance captains were selected.
1662 (#2) took 599 (#3).
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Unread 04-09-2012, 05:13 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by Jim Zondag View Post

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:
...
- 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.
...
I agree with Jim on most of his points, but I'm not sure I think this one is a Bad Thing. Having some element of uncertainty does make eliminations more exciting, since there is no guarantee of the "top" teams being seeded high.

In fact, this may actually be a good thing. Young teams that don't know how to scout & prepare for picking will either get lucky, get some help from some other team, or totally mess up their picks. This could result in those teams (or others that aren't in a position to pick) realize how important this aspect of the competition is, and change their behavior the next year. Which results in stronger teams, and better competitions
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Unread 04-09-2012, 05:31 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
The coopertition bridge, IMO, is one of the best strategic elements the GDC has ever put into an FRC game. It forces you to think about ranking strategy, strategy for relating to other teams, and split-second decisions without good communication with the person you're working with (a real-world challenge). And they got it just about right.
I agree with EricH's perspective above -- I think the coopertition bridge has been a great part of this year's game at the two regionals attended by 1519 (Granite State Regional in Week 1 and North Carolina Regional in Week 6). However, we haven't had direct experience with the regionals where the Coopertition bridge became an ugly point of contention with teams intentionally refusing to balance with other teams in order to affect the other team's rankings, so our perspective may be limited.

Our #1 seeding at the North Carolina Regional was a direct result of our acquiring Coopertition points in 8 of 10 matches (the highest at the event). However, bridge balancing was the #1 design goal for our robot, as it was apparent to us from reading the game manual that Coopertition bridge balancing would be essential for high seeding in Rebound Rumble.

Accordingly, we designed our robot to optimize balancing. We knew it would be difficult to balance with another team whose drivers were over 50 feet away and would have a robot very different than our own. We made design decisions about the CG of the robot to increase our balancing ability at the cost of making 3-point shots more difficult. (A lower shooter makes 3-point shots tougher than for a higher shooter.)

Some would point to our 6-3-1 record in North Carolina and say that we didn't deserve to be the #1 seed since we only got there based on our Coopertition points and the #2 seed had a 9-1-0 record, making them a clearly better robot!

However, in all 4 matches that we didn't win in North Carolina, we lost the match by a point spread of less than 10 points and our robot was on top of a balanced Coopertition bridge each time. (If you're curious, the point spreads in our non-wins were 0, 4, 7, and 7.) In each of the matches we didn't win, there was at least one empty spot on our own alliance bridge. If we had instead balanced on our alliance bridge, we could have increased our own alliance's score by 10 points and might have come away with an undefeated 10-0 record, but we would have had fewer Coopertition points. (I would note that this scenario is not always a valid argument, because in many cases the other robot we were cooperating with could have done the same!) I also know that if we hadn't been regularly heading to the coopertition bridge with 45-60 seconds left in the match, we would have been able to take a few more shots on the basket before heading to our alliance bridge.

Nonetheless, the Coopertition bridge is a key feature of this year's game. I like it, as it adds a strategic dimension that hasn't been present in the past, and also make coopertition apparent to not only the teams, but also to the audience that is part of the culture we're trying to change!

Then again, we designed our robot expressly to be good at balancing on the Coopertition bridge, so it only naturally follows that we would like the game feature!
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Unread 04-09-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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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.
If your partnes are not as good, but you can find just one robot on the other alliance that simply drives and knows how to listen to and stick with a half-decent pre-match co-op strategy, it gives you another method of hurdling past that roadblock and remain in the running for top seeding. We were able to use this to good effect this season because of the methods we used to communicate our plans to our opponents. They were able to comply with the plan the majority of the time.

I wish we'd have had this option available to us at the previous competitions we've had absolutely horrid match schedules handed to us.

I LOVED the coopertition system this year and hope it remains intact for both offseason competitions and future FRC games. It gives teams several different pathways to success.
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Last edited by Travis Hoffman : 04-09-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 06:19 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by BigJ View Post
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.
I'd even go one step further. With the coopertition bridge, long bots have an advantage in the quals. Why? Because they are easier to drive and balance (on a 2 robot balance).

In the elims, wide bots have an advantage because they can more easily triple balance.

Therefore, the best teams for the elims are typically not in control of their alliances. It makes for a very strange game.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:00 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

The coopertition point system this year is great - I love it.

If you are a good team that gets bad opponents, then do your best to get them on the coopertition bridge when you can and win consistently. If you get a tough schedule, then do your best to win while balancing the coopertition bridge consistently.

A prepared team can do just about all of the work to get the opponent on the coopertition bridge. You can tip the bridge for them, then go to the other side and push them up once they get their front wheels onto the bridge. If you're complaining that your opponents are so bad that you can't balance with them, then you can probably afford to dedicate a full minute to getting balanced, and it will work at least some of the time. I find it silly to say that the purpose of this system is to give weak teams a chance at seeding high. Everybody plays by the same set of rules, and the good teams prepare accordingly. In no way do I see the coopertition aspect of this game making it less competitive.

In any case, this system is pretty good at putting the best teams into the #1 alliance captain spot. It is not 100% at finding the best team, but neither are the systems from previous years. And neither are the systems in place in sports.

I like this year's seeding system a lot. I don't like systems that encourage you to score on yourself. By the way, scoring on yourself intentionally isn't an element you expect to see in a sport. I like a system that lets my team work together with an opposing powerhouse in a positive way. I like a system that can reward hard schedules or easy schedules in different ways, instead of simply screwing you over if you have a hard schedule.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:24 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

I've been playing around with competition data from FLR, and using data from the FIRST website as well as some simple Excel, found the average difference between this year's ranking system and a simple W-L-T system to be 4.15. Team 1507 (woo!) was the only team to move 0 places, ranked 1 in both. Team 1511 moved the most at 17 places, from 8th to 25th (for reference they had 5 wins, 7 losses, and 12 coop points). I plan on doing this for at least Buckeye for my own use, but is there interest in seeing this data from other events?
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:31 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

In response to the above poster - great effort, but I don't think such data would be that useful. If there was no Coopertition Bridge, the best balancers would have been on the actual bridges, impacting the score of the match.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:38 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

That is the data that OP asked for, and it's a cool stat to look at, but I agree with you that it's pretty useless.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Part of the scouting I've been doing for this season, amongst the usual hybrid, teleop, end game stuff, is how rankings would have turned out if coop score didn't add to qualification score (i.e., qs = qs - cp). There were some major changes.

Some major examples include the following (The 'separations' below are my speculation based on who I thought the number 1 seed would have picked had they had the chance. No guarantee):
  • 125 would have seeded 1st in Boston, separating 341 and 233
  • 3568 would have seeded 1st in Kettering, separating 2337 and 33
  • 1114 would have seeded 1st at Greater Toronto West, likely resulting in them allying with 2056 once more
  • 1868 would have taken 1st in Central Valley, separating 254 and 971
  • 624 would have taken the 1st seed from 359, splitting up 359 and 118

A lot of people are saying that if the coop bridge wasn't in play, that the better balancers would be balancing for their alliance, and the result would be different win-loss rating, which would put those teams on top anyway. And that's true. But the numbers above are just from basic review. If there is some way to find a list of who balanced on the coop bridge, it may be interesting to look at how scores would be different if a team with consistent balancing had instead aided their alliance in a double balance, or even just getting a single. It may also be worth noting that, assuming both alliances offer up their best balancer for the coop bridge (which is what I've been seeing), both alliances would gain the extra balancer.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 08:57 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by JackS View Post
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?
The rankings system can have purposes outside of getting the best teams into the top spots. The 2010 system strongly encourages offensive strategies over defensive ones in qualifiers. This has two important effects: 1) Robots are more likely to get a chance to do what they're designed to do, and 2) the spectators get to watch more scoring.

I would argue that the 2012 system is similarly good at pushing the best teams to the top while also making the matches more exciting for teams and spectators. The coopertition bridge is exciting precisely because it is so important, and also because it often comes down to the last second.
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