Why are fewer #1 Alliances winning in 2017?

Based on Jaci’s 2nd post in another thread, #1 Alliances are winning fewer events in 2017 than they have in several prior years.

I wonder why? :confused:

Why.pdf (110 KB)

Why.pdf (110 KB)


Part of me wants to say that it’s the sheer number of ways you can get points in this game, part of me wants to say it’s due to the increased variability added by humans directly affecting scoring.

Because if your 3rd robot can’t climb you are probably going to get knocked out in quarters.

I disagree with the majority here I guess.

I’ve seen plenty of 3rd picks for the #1 alliance that can climb. Sure, some events it happens where they can’t and thats why.

I haven’t seen many that can effectively run gears

Meanwhile 3/3 on the #8 alliance can

Climbing certainly has something to do with it, but so do the rotors. Each one is increasingly more difficult to achieve, so unless the #1 captain and first pick are self-sufficient enough, they had better hope that final pick can deliver gears decently.

That, coupled with those pesky failed climbs. Many matches hinge on how many more climbs you have than your opponent, so missing those points is not something an alliance can afford consistently.

Two things that have been stated already, but I’ll expand on them.

  1. The #1 seed isn’t always the best robot at the event, but instead the team that has the most partners that climb. A lot of teams have cruised to the top seed on decent ability and good schedules. This makes the “favorites” on lower alliances than usual.
  2. 4 rotors vs fuel in playoffs. Top alliances struggle to put together 4 rotors most of the time, because your third robot is often a mediocre gear scoring machine. Additionally, some top seeds are there because of their ability to consistently accrue kPa in quals, rather than their gear scoring ability. So low seeds have the ability to put together three decent robots that will outscore higher seeds with two good robots and a defender. In other words, the low seeds can try the “high risk, high reward” strategy of 4 rotors more easily than high seeds.

Lastly, I believe the 1 seed still has a plurality of all wins, correct me if I’m wrong.

Lastly, I believe the 1 seed still has a plurality of all wins, correct me if I’m wrong.

rank %win
1 30.15075377
2 24.79061977
3 15.57788945
4 12.39530988
5 3.015075377
6 5.527638191
7 4.020100503
8 4.522613065

This data was from the post that OP referenced. The 1 seed has a plurality.

It’s much more difficult for one team to carry an alliance than last year based on the fact that gears are scored by milestones and the value of climbing. If 1 incredible team is paired with 2 robots that fail to climb while the opponents are below average teams that can climb, the climbing alliance will win.

My opinion is if you don’t get a climbing robot as a third pick isn’t the end of the world. 4 rotors wins matches over climbing if you can put up 4 rotors you score more points the you would in two climbs. The problem that I’m seeing is there are so many middle of the road Robots that defense is winning the upset matches.

I think now as the season continues, more teams can hang.
In week 1 and 2 you didn’t have 24 ‘climbers’ at some regionals, which made it very hard for the #1 alliance to outscore 3 climbers.

But from now on i think we will see more % of the #1 alliance win.

This is the beast that is named the “Serpentine Draft”.

Alliances are hitting “point plateaus” through gears and climbing. If both alliances are sitting at the same plateau, the match can be decided by marginal differences in fuel.

I think there are a few reasons…

  1. Having 3 climbs is almost a pre-requisite to make it into the semifinals… because of the serpentine draft, lower seeded alliances are more likely to be able to pick 3 consistent climbers.

  2. The ranking system is not that good, since many events see VERY FEW additional ranking points for 40kpa or 4 rotors. This means that the ranking system becomes mostly only W-L-T which isn’t BAD, but it also isn’t great, particularly given the fact that even strong teams can struggle to carry a qual alliance if their partners don’t climb. I haven’t done any detailed analysis, but my gut feeling is that the ranking system is less consistently putting the top 2-8 teams as the top 2-8 seeds.

  3. There is a HUGE gap between the third rotor (requires 6 robot-delivered gears) and the fourth rotor (requires 12 robot-delivered gears). A “stronger” alliance that can consistently score 10 gears gets the same points as an alliance that can consistently score 6 gears. I think this game would play very differently if the third and fourth rotor were instead the third, fourth, and fifth rotors of 3, 3, and 4 gears (respectively).

The scoring in this game requires three robots to be competing at the base level for the event. At lower levels, it’s that third robot that can’t climb that is almost impossible to overcome. At higher levels, it’s the number of gear cycles (or occasionally fuel) that you can or can’t run that separates the robots that make the cut from those who don’t.

At both MVR and SMR it was due to rank inflation of the number 1 seed from what I could see.

This this this. So much this.

It’s something 95 has witnessed and experienced in all three of our events. We will deliver 6-8 gears/match, climb 100% of the time, and unless our alliance partners climb we’ll lose to an alliance that gets 1-2 rotors going with 2 climbs. At Southern NH 131 lost a qualification match by 8 pts where their alliance got all 4 rotors going, scored FUEL, but one robot didn’t climb…

Climbs are so ludicrously important this year, and many teams still can’t do it, so rankings are significantly affected by your schedule and if you’re with teams who can’t climb in those qualification matches.

Stats show that the Average Climb Points Per Match is roughly equal for all alliance numbers.
(attachment 1)

The same story shows for Rotor Points.
(attachment 2)

This further supports the hypothesis that fewer #1 Alliances winning is not due to the fact that that the 3rd robot on high seeded alliances are less capable, but rather there’s nothing that separates high seeds from low seeds (aside from the few fuel dominant robots), leading to more upsets. So it’s not a fault of serpentine, but rather a fault of heavily discretized scoring and high variability (1 missed rotor = -60 points, 1 missed climb = -50 points, etc).

I think it is more a factor of qualifications than it is the serpentine draft.

With the scarcity so far of ranking points other than Win/Lose/Tie, and with the significance of being out-climbed by the opposing alliance - having a good/bad draw is a huge factor in who ends up #1.

The cream is not rising to the top by the end of qualifications as much as normal.

But in playoffs, the cream likely does still rise to the top - from whatever position they are in.