In the spirit of my hot take post from last year, here is what I am most worried about heading into Week 1.
Infinite Recharge really seems like it is a great game, it’s going to be a really fun game to play no matter how these game pieces survive an event. However, after seeing how destroyed these balls get after a couple of days on our practice field testing with multiple robots running around I am very worried that FIRST won’t have enough supply at events to keep up with damaged balls.
As most teams have probably discovered is that these balls are really easy to run over and cut up, and the shooting characteristics of balls that are cut and damaged can change dramatically. This game could be really fascinating strategically at the higher levels of play with teams being able to shoot from behind the Trench (DJ Booth), but once these balls get damaged those shots become exponentially harder to score.
Teams will need to tune their shooters to the state of the balls, however if new balls are suddenly introduced for eliminations that will cause chaos for teams (this happened during the eliminations at the 2012 Champs).
So what I am asking of FIRST is to be very clear on a couple of things:
- How many balls do they have available for each event?
- How are they going to decide when to replace damaged balls?
- Are they going to reserve some balls for eliminations?
- Will they let teams know if they have run out of replacement balls during the event?