Poll: What type of Infinite Recharge changes would you like to see?

  • None
  • Game Balance Changes (points, stage thresholds, penalty weighting, etc)
  • Game Mechanics Changes (ball capacity, game piece, new game task, anything offering competitive advantage to a newly designed mechanism/robot)
  • Both

0 voters

To clarify, the aim of this poll is to determine whether people think FIRST should make changes that

a. Leave the game mostly the same, such that any robot revisions you would want to make could be done with the knowledge you currently possess. I would classify these as game balance changes.


b. Change the game in ways that would allow 2020 robots to play and remain competitive, but give advantages to teams that decide to build or majorly revise their robot after 2021 changes are announced. I would classify these as game mechanics changes.

Discussion already going on in this thread: 2021 Infinite Recharge Game Change Ideas


I’d love to see some mechanics changes, but I think balance changes are what’s best - if teams could hold 10 balls, there’s a new game piece, etc, teams could gain an advantage through a rebuild, which sort of defeats the purpose of a replay if we’re aiming to allow teams on a limited budget to be competitive without having to rebuild.


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Neither of your categories captures what I really want. I’d like to see changes that create an incentive to add a mechanism to your robot, but not such a huge incentive that adding a new mechanism is the only way to be competitive. This could be either increasing the value/achievability of the control panel (“game balance”) or adding an additional task or game piece (“game mechanic”). I guess it’s sort of between A and B as you’ve defined them - teams that have normal shop access & meetings during build season have a challenge to get excited about, but teams that don’t aren’t completely screwed.


I guess knowledge know versus later is where I see the difference. While they may change the weighting, we know right now that having a control panel mechanism has some value, and we’ve been aware of all of the specifications necessary to make one since Kickoff 2020; choosing not to make one is a personal choice.

On the other hand, say they increase the ball capacity to six. I think many would argue that you could still be competitive not holding the maximum amount of game pieces, I still feel like we would feel very pressured to have to redesign much of our robot to be able to hold that sixth ball in order to maintain competitiveness at a high level. The difference here is that this is a specification that we just simply weren’t aware of when originally designing this robot.

I guess that’s where the line is for me; if FIRST changes things that only really affect the strategic design math of what parts of the 2020 robot we should prioritize, I’m okay with that. That doesn’t really seem like we’d have to rebuild much of our robot, but rather execute refinements that we were already planning on doing over the 2020 season.

If they make changes that fundamentally change the specifications to which we built the 2020 robot (size, weight, balls count, ball size/shape/etc) I’d feel much more pressured to have to rebuild substantial potions of the robot, which takes away a lot of the logistical advantages of replaying the game.

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Many teams have expended precious resources to design and build a robot for the 2020 season, and are loath (or possibly unable) to consume comparable resources a second time. Not every team has a lot of money. This is my argument for leaving the game essentially the same, although some smaller changes would be acceptable.

I kind of want FIRST to do something like that. I wouldn’t mind them reducing frame size, weight, or maybe even do something with BOM (a lower allowable cost). It allows the teams that want to reuse their 2020 robots or parts of it to do so. It’ll probably require the teams that compete at the elite level to rethink some/all of their design. I think it’s a good balance.

I haven’t read anything that makes me think it’ll be easy to just re-use a 2020 robot as-is without modification yet. I’ll be surprised if the overwhelming majority of teams don’t need to tear down their 2020 robots and do substantial modification.

If FIRST ever replayed a game voluntarily, I would want balance and mechanics changes. Given current circumstances, I lean towards being conservative about changes given how much access teams will have to their robots at all is still very much up in the air.

Which defeats the entire purpose of a replay. Hard doubt


Not entirely. The fields should stay more-or-less the same, and teams can still use parts of their robot so the cost wouldn’t be too great, but I do doubt that many teams will do a complete rebuild.

I think the challenge is not just cost, but that there’s a decent chance many teams will still have very limited access to their build space by January. A change to the frame size or weight limit, or any other change that requires tearing down and rebuilding your robot, would be pretty brutal for those teams.


We can agree to disagree but @agunal nailed my underlying thought process because I think the main driver to replay is cost and flexibility to the GDC. I’m also used to having to deal with total re-designs and complete rebuilds of robots during the bag and tag era where we only had a single day and 10 x 10 pit to do the work, pass inspection and play. FIRST can easily do stuff that make these types of changes necessary and still be low cost compared to a clean sheet redesign. Otherwise, I don’t see the point of kickoff or build season but, maybe my assumption that we’ll have either or both is flawed.

@snichols has a point about shop access. The game replay gives FIRST the time to see how drastic they want to make changes once things play out in the fall if a second wave hits. But, my opinion right now is based on states re-opening, Phase II going into affect this fall for most of the country, etc…

My team is tentatively planning on refining the 2020 robot to be pretty awesome and well tested by October in case there are no major changes. Then we’re going to make assumptions like the ball size, pipe diameter, etc… not changing and start on an upgraded robot. We’re just expecting that whatever we do may need to be thrown away.

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I think the difference in perspective is that you view 2021 as a new season, while I take replaying game to mean that the 2021 season is essentially an extension of the 2020 season.


Yea I respect that. And, in 60 days my perspective may totally change to yours if we have a bad second wave or economic collapse.

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