Serpentine Draft Alliance Parings, Like/Dislike

well searched for this and surprisingly no results…

here is a simple question

Do you like the Serpentine Draft system or would you rather go back to the old draft alliance parings?.. if you feel like it, explain why

I find that I both like and dislike the serpentine draft. I definitely like the idea that it helps to even out the eliminations field a lot, in some cases. However, I find that I dislike it, because it seems a higher ranked alliance captain becomes much more likely to pick from withing the top 8, and the likelihood of a juggernaut first alliance becomes that much greater. (Although, it does tend to make for very interesting finals!:smiley: )

I think it might be interesting to see a reverse serpentine draft, with the 8th alliance captain picking first, then going up to the first alliance and then back down. If FIRST is going with a serpentine draft with the goal of leveling the field, this might possibly be one option.

Oh wow, could have sworn this was discussed before. I’ve been a heavy opponent of this style since it was first instated. It just gives the lower seeds a larger advantage over the higher seeded teams. MOST higher seeded teams earned that spot to pick first/second/third and should get all the spoils for being in that position. I’d rather see a team that earned their right to pick an amazingly dominant team than an 8 seed upset the 1 seed in the first round because they were able to make a better rounded team. Then again, sometimes my reasoning is flawed by high seeds still forming dominant alliances.

Sorry, this is my 2nd year…what was the old selection process? I want to know before I judge. Thanks.:slight_smile:

1-8, 1-8 instead of 1-8, 8-1.

This years serpentine because it keeps the “juggernaut” alliances closer to the the others’ level. But I like the idea above, of letting the 8th alliance pick first, although that may defeat the purpose of teams trying to win each match lol.

It’s been a few years.

A poll conducted shortly after kick-off '06, when the rule was first released.

I stand corrected then

when i searched i used the word serpentine thinking someone would actually put that in one of those threads/posts, but i guess it wasn’t there

maybe this is can be a “how do you like it now” type of thing, seince those threads were done 2 years ago… maybe sort of like a follow up

I don’t like the serpentine system. I’m with Jeremiah. Top seeds should get top picks. Sure the matches wouldn’t be as interesting, but at least they would be fair.


I like it because it gives a lower-placed team (theoretically, the 24th-best team) a chance to win a regional if they can make a contribution to their alliance, because not even two “juggernauts” can usually win against the well-balanced alliances serpentine selection usually generates. It emphasizes that robots need to work together to emphasize their strengths, not just gather the three best teams in the building (or the two best and the 9th best… whatever)

it depends on the game also.
I think the current selection process worked to even out the alliances in '07.
You pick 7 or 8 and you could get the best ramp/bonus point bot on the go around.

I think the serpentine drafting is fair. With the qualification pairings of the last couple of years, being the number one seed doesn’t actually mean you are the best robot. I think depends a lot on whole you are matched with. Perfect example is the Detroit Regional this year. My team got to compete against the top four seeds but had one of them as a partner once. We were the number nine seed after qualifications and think that if some of those teams were on our team we might have been able to go with one loss instead of 4. That would have made us a 1-3 seeded teaM (BIG DIFFERENCE)

This selection process isn’t so good for this game this year. I would love to see it go 8-1, 1-8. That I think would make the elims so much more interesting.

The draft seems to work pretty well at regionals with a lot of depth. This year we went to MWR, WMR, and GLR. These were all crazy tough regionals with a lot of depth. 910 was the 24th pick at GLR and that was a great machine. I understand people’s reasonings for wanting even more level of a playing field. That being said I often compare FIRST to other Motorsports. There are only a few strange specialty races that put the fastest qualifier at the back of the pack. I would not be a fan of the 8-1 then 1-8 as that would lead to strategic dumping in final matches.

I Like the serpentine draft system, it does make the whole field slightly more even and forces the higher seeds to pick with a little more strategy in mind. As much as I don’t like seeing one sided finals, where the red score is 2x the blue score, I would imagine it would be allot worse if the #1 seeds got their second round pick first making an even tougher alliance, as a matter of fact this kind of thing did happen prior to '06 that was why the rule was made.

As for 8-1 and 1-8, I don’t see that working. sure it would have it’s advantages but it would completely falsify the ranking system, people would drop matches on purpose and the teams who actually tried wouldn’t get what they earned, the first overall pick.

IMO(and it’s something that will never happen is), if you really wanted to even the playing field and stop the formation of power alliances FIRST should drop the picking within the top 8. It would create some really even, some might say boring, elimination rounds that are now completely based on the skills of each teams scouting system not the power of a ranked team one spot lower than them, but I really don’t see it happening is it would take away the right of the higher seeds to use the power they have earned and would would also falsify the ranking cause teams would again drop matches to not be in the top 8.

Steve Ketron hit the nail on the head. #1 seed does not mean you had the best robot or that you necessarily played better than others. Being a #1 seed depends not just on having a good robot but to at least some extent on good luck with the pairings. A serpentine draft levels the playing field against the luck of the qualification matches. And it makes for more exciting matches.

now it’s time for my opinion

i believe that this system is REALLY BAD. and i believe every point about this system can be countered.

I know for a fact, it would be better to market yourself to the high ranked teams instead of being bit by the serpentine. im pretty sure teams that are ranked bewteen 17-20 would really dislike this system on this theory

more and more, the top teams are picking each other. (some teams try to stop it, never the less.)… and those 10…11…12th ranked teams don’t have a clear idea of who they want, so usually they just copy down the rankings and pick from there. doing that would mean those teams get ripped off somewhat.

i wouldn’t be surprised if we got some shocking results saying … we were ranked 17th at the end of the day friday. but were 4-3 with 1 match left, and the 8th ranked team has 25 more ranking points than us and has 2 loses. what do you think this team would probally do… drop that match and fall to 20something or would they win and risk themselves to either picking as a 8 seed or being picked by a 8 seed?

im pretty sure most of the top teams do their picking lists friday night, and make minor adjustments on saturday morning… so i wouldn’t be surprised that a smart veteran team would tank their matches on Saturday for a chance to be with the #1 alliance.

You worked hard for that #1 seed. and you should be rewarded, not by just having 2 five-star robots and a average robot playing defense (semi-this year)… instead of having two five-star robots and a decent complement 3.5 star robot…

I think what needs to be done, is that the 1-8 1-8 needs to be used at REGIONAL EVENTS ONLY… because every regional has their drop off, if you want to send the best alliance posable, you would use this technique. I think for championships, the serpentine is fine because the drop off is further down the rankings to the point where it shouldn’t be a factor.

another note: a 1v8 alliance is more of a 3v6 match up in the previous system

With the current draft system, one flaw I see is that the 24th pick is, often enough, a team that “rides the alliance” to victory, especially during regional competitions… Did some of these teams truly contribute as a major factor in their alliance?
The solution is perhaps in the game design where you are forced to have all 3 teammates to be major contributors.

Some interesting changes scenario for this year’s game to force 3 robots to successfully win games:

1.What if this year’s game had 3 track balls?
2. What if bonus points were worth more and it had to be from a teammate that isn’t allowed to hurdle? i.e. designate the 3rd role robot who can only do laps and is only allowed to place on the rack. Hurdlers aren’t allowed to place at the end.
3. You cannot do hybrid if you plan on hurdling.

If the goal is to even out the playing field matchups, the suggestions would help. However, I know that it wouldnt be as fun to watch and teams would have to be able to do everything, depending on what their role will be on the alliance for a particular match.

Since regionals are much less deep than CMP, the #1 seeded team would have a tough #2 pick at 24, creating more even matchups. The key is game design.

I’m confused with this part. Is this under the current system? If so, then what difference does it make if a team is in ranked 22 or 8? If they are good enough, they will be picked by the top alliance 1st. If you are assuming this team will get picked 24th (and not 1st) I don’t think any team will take that gamble. I don’t see any advantage to dropping a last match so you fall out of the top 8. (at GLR, if 2137 won thier last match, they would have been the 2nd seed, but they lost, fell out of the top 8 and did not get selected)