Hey all! I’m sure this is probably the bajillionth time someone’s made an “opinions on '23” post, but I want to shoot my thoughts into the internet ether without interrupting ongoing conversations in other threads (possible CD idea: being able to make sub-threads to go off on tangents for topics without blocking other’s ideas).
So, first up: my opinion on this game’s core concepts. Personally, I’m glad we have all graduated from ‘pick up and shoot balls’ game type. During the infinite recharge and rapid react years, I noticed a lot of teams that were pretty much just drive trains that went around and bumped other people. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, but without any real methods of scoring for drivetrain bots, it hurt alliances to only have two scoring teams against an alliance of three scoring teams. I’m glad that this year those drivetrain bots will be able to do more, by pushing things into the lowest scoring rows, and by balancing on the dock.
That makes a good segue into my next thought: this year’s rather high skill ceiling, and the importance of good drivers. While the skill floor for this year is really low, there is still the opportunity for good teams to really go off on the field. Based on the abilities of my team, we calculated that a good maximum score for a single team in an absolutely best-case scenario where the five other robots are not there and your robot has no issues, we could score somewhere around 75 points. I’m not going to say how for strategy reasons, but there’s a potential for really high-scoring games amongst elite teams. Also, the fact that a majority of the field is just a wide-open free for all zone is fun to me as a (I like to think) really good driver. I’m hoping to see tons of lightning-fast robots dodging each other as they go from the loading zones to the scoring zones.
Now, on the subject of defense: I hate to break it to y’all but simply won’t be very effective. Since the only place you can contact opponent robots is in the middle where there isn’t anything of interest, there just isn’t much you can do. Most robots will be flying through at top speed, and you can’t touch them once they’re in their own community. Unless you get lucky and can bully around a mechanum drive robot in the middle of the field, defense will mostly be watching other robots driving around you while you try to pin someone. I’ve made plenty of posts about defense, so if you’ve seen them you know my fairly tilted opinions on it, but to tl;dr it here I’m just going to plainly say: defense bad. Of course it isn’t as simple as that, but in it’s essence a fairly low-scoring robot will still mostly be more valuable than a defense-bot in any capacity. If you’re just a drivetrain, just scoot stuff around the ground to fill up the bottom row of the grid. That’s three whole links for your team, and a fair amount of points.
That is as much as I want to start with, and if anyone disagrees or wants to bring up other aspects of the game, feel free and I will be happy to have a good discussion about it.