Why does everyone hate this game so much?

I keep reading these threads, and people seem to think this game is terrible.
People are saying this game is ‘worse than 2003’, ‘fouls decide too many matches’, ‘if you have one really bad alliance member, you will lose’. This negativity is just terrible for FIRST. I feel like most people never gave this game a fair chance, just because it is a little different.

  1. ‘Worse than 2003’: I wasn’t around in 2003 for the game so I may be incorrect, but from what I’ve heard, what was bad was that it was nearly impossible to score after autonomous, and robot parts were on the field after almost each match from poor field setup. In this game, scoring is possible after autonomous. This is clearly evidenced by the scores that are being put up after autonomous. Also, the field is well set up, with no field elements causing damage without the fault of a team.

  2. ‘fouls decide too many matches’: While in Week 1, teams may have drawn fouls which decided some matches, that has been fixed. If teams are drawing fouls, they should be more careful, and READ THE MANUAL. Also, if you notice that your future alliance partners are getting fouls, tell them what they are doing and how to stop. When you are scouting for eliminations, a good thing to rank on MIGHT BE to make sure they don’t get many fouls. There is a reason Technical Fouls are 50 points. THEY DONT WANT THOSE THINGS HAPPENING. Don’t do those things. Also, fouls decide games every year.

  3. ‘if you have one really bad alliance member, you will lose’: No. This is how most team sports work, so why should it be different here? It should be a team effort. In football, you cannot have just a good quarterback who carries the team. You have to have receivers who catch the ball. In baseball, you cannot have a good pitcher who holds the tem to one run, if your hitters cannot score.

Honestly, I think this game is one of the best. For once, you can be a 6, 7, or 8 captain, and not abandon all hope once you are set there. Upsets happen more often, defense is a viable strategy, and spectators are entertained. I would like to hear a legitimate reason that this game is bad.

Sorry if this seems ranty

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I love this game.

Point disproved.

On the subject of fouls, I would check out the elims at Waterloo. I’m certain they have all read the rules, but the fouls were out of the teams’ control.

Personally, I enjoy the concept and the idea of the game, but it is also quite frustrating as to how subjective this game can be.

I love this game on the game side but the fouls and inconsistent reffing are driving me crazy. The “new Thursday rules” were reffed seemingly completely opposite on Friday and Saturday at the Wisconsin regional from my estimation, giving teams an incorrect idea of how they would be called in eliminations.

I agree. The game itself is great and is a lot of fun to play and watch; the issue is the rules, which give a ludicrous amount of penelty points and put far too much pressure on the referees with its subjectivity.

I am not sure that everyone would call the game horrible, but it is important to contrast it with previous games which did not have many of the issues faced in Aerial Assist.

But in football, your team has control of those factors. A top level football team can ensure they have the best quarterback AND receivers. With the alliances of First, you bring the quarterback and someone else brings a receiver, and they play together. This ties into your second point as well. Sure I may know all the rules, but maybe my partner doesn’t. Their fouls are mine because they are on my alliance.

I was chatting with one of our Alumni on the way back from our event today and we agreed this game is a lot like watching college basketball. Watch a good match up and its an elegant display of coordination and strategies that adapt and flow over the course of the math. Alternatively it can be a jumbled mess of that doesn’t appear to be accomplishing much at all.

After watching the progression of our regional event this weekend the more I look forward to district play and the ability to give my students more time behind the glass in a competition environment.

Not my thought but one of our team member’s parent likened some matches to small children playing soccer, all the robots in a herd around the ball with no real coordination or play calling.

This game is fun to play. Watching it is pretty boring if you don’t a lot about the game. Also, if there aren’t good teams playing a match, I could fall asleep. If good teams are playing (like Waterloo Regional elims), it’s edge of your seat excitement.

I would agree with the statement that fouls decide matches. Every event I have watched so far, fouls TOTALLY swing matches.

I also don’t like how much you have to rely on your alliance partners to win. I get FIRST’s love of working together but if one robot loses comm. or breaks, the match is basically over. This happened in Finals match 2 at Waterloo. Don’t get me wrong. I do like the coopertition idea.

I’m really enjoying it too. And if anyone has a right to complain, it might be me. I think the game is fun to watch and challenging to play, and that there are lots of different paths to victory.

I won’t deny that fouls are still frequent, but I believe most of our matches (especially in Elims) have been foul-free.

At Kickoff I was hesitant to embrace this game, it was a different game, that would require more reliance on our partners. I wasn’t sure I would like it.

I love this game.

While that’s fine and dandy, my human player’s super rule reading abilities can’t stop our alliance partner who did not read the rules from drawing fouls. One bad seed on your alliance in the form of no show, dead robot, nonfunctioning robot, brick on wheels, non rule believers, ect is a shot in your alliance’s foot. Thus, qualifications are basically meaningless this season. Your top few will most likely be the good front zone scorers, after that qualifications are really just a rank randomizer.

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I dont remember the match or teams involved, but at wisconsin, the outcome of an elimination match was changed by 100 points in fouls. In my opinion for there to be 100 points in fouls, there should be no doubt in anyones mind what happened. For 100 foul points there should be a fire, a bloody finger on the field, or something obvious. The reality is 3 kids in the question box wondering what the hell happened. That sucks.
This game could have been one of the best.

I’m sure there are 5000 posts that have said this on CD over the years, but it seems appropriate to once again point out that unless you are top three, qualification wins and losses really don’t matter. Who cares if you have a partner who fouls a lot? Do you think scouts will actually blame your team? Just play your best, win when you can, and know you’ll make it to elims if you’ve got what it takes.

For one thing, if you have an alliance partner that is incapable of possessing a ball, is dead on the field, or does not show up for a match you are then at a huge disadvantage because you cannot get three assists and those 10 extra points per cycle that the opposing alliance might be able to get, AND it makes it easier for the opposing alliance to play defense on yours if you only have two scoring robots, because they’ll have to exchange the ball somewhere.

Also, there are a lot of complaints about the fouls in this game, and while I agree that the value for a technical is a bit too high, my main problem with fouls is that they are inconsistently called not just between different regionals, but even in the same regional. I’ve seen too many times where a team is called for a foul that another team also should have received but didn’t. This is most likely attributed to the fact that the referees have just too much to keep track of, and it makes it difficult to see and/or call everything.

While this game was designed at enforcing teamwork amongst an alliance, and does so, there is a lot of improvements that could have been made to this game.

The opinions expressed below are mine, and I take full ownership of them. They do not reflect the opinions of other members of Team 20 (in fact, some of them are quite fond of this year’s game and try to turn me around), or any other entities I’m associated with.

If I’m interpreting Andrew Screiber’s tweet correctly (found here, and assuming the usual Twitter caveats), that’s pretty insane. Assuming the assumptions and conditions hold for a one proportion z interval, we get a 95% confidence interval that the true proportion of all FRC matches decided by fouls is in between 16.785% and 19.165%. Even though I don’t have a baseline from previous years, the idea that nearly 1 in 5 matches are decided by fouls is crazy.

I theorize that most of this is due to game design. Teams are rewarded and punished for accomplishing the same tasks: possessing a ball could give your alliance a 10 or 20 point boost, or a technical foul. Similarly, catching a ball is 10 points, or a technical foul. The only difference in these tasks are the color of the ball.

Additionally, I’ve yet to see a ball pickup that doesn’t go outside of frame perimeter and is effective. This leaves robot subsystems vulnerable damage from hard defense (addressed in the G27 update, but still an issue), and opens up a Pandora’s box of G28 issues.

In the case of a dead robot, it does halve the amount of assist points your alliance can generate, and potentially costs time in a dead ball card, the win margin (via defense), and completely changes the strategy for your alliance – and while that’s something that every alliance should be prepared to react to, most aren’t.

Robots that have a propensity for drawing fouls are just as distasteful, but are even more likely to swing the outcome of a match.

So yeah, I’d say that a bad robot can really spoil things for the rest of your alliance, who are punished for choices they didn’t make.

My theory for why all the upsets happen is related to my previous point. In district events with ~30 teams, the 2nd pick by the #1 seed is generally a robot that minimizes damage to the alliance, not expanding the horizons of the alliance. And that robot can really ruin things for their partners.

There’s been a number of execution things missing from the game. Hot goal timing and when robots were disables was messed up at some Week 1 and 2 events, but seems to be mostly fixed now. Today, at the Southington District Event, I saw some pretty obvious pedestal issues where the pedestals would light 10 seconds or so after the previous cycle was completed. And while competing at Tech Valley, we had to quickly modify our intake to not stall while sucking up balls that were over-inflated (within the scope of ambiguous rules; they were 26.5 in or so, as compared to the non-official spec in the field videos of 25 in – the inflation guide is incredibly subjective, and the ball’s volume, pressure, and other properties varies with temperature).

And, I can’t tell you how many grandparents, parents, and spectators have come to me asking about how this year’s game is scored. And that explanation is not as short, concise, easy to understand, or as intuitive as it should be.

My major complaint is that the level of inspiring gameplay is relatively unattainable by most teams; I’ve only seen it in Waterloo eliminations. They way I think the GDC intended the game to be played is only doable (currently; I’d really like to see this change) by the god-tier teams of 254 and 2056.

But all of that aside, I think the major reason that people have a hard time with this game is because the previous year’s game, Ultimate Ascent, is widely considered to be the best game ever. There was incredible design parity, many different ways to accomplish tasks (floor pickup, FCS, climb, cycle), fair fouls, game pieces that were impossible to be oversized, have density discrepancies, or be improperly inflated, and incredible alliances that capitalized on each other’s strengths.

And after that, who would be satisfied with a lesser game?

But what about the teams who’s goal is be a captain? To seed first? What about the team who seeds 8th but could have been 3rd if it weren’t for one foul?

I completely agree. I don’t remember high speed ramming being called once all qualifications, at least not in the matches I watched or played in. And then suddenly there were 10+ throughout elims. What constitutes high speed ramming? What if two robots moving at “high speeds” hit each other? Who do you penalize? Should a robot moving at a “high speed” be penalized for an opposing robot moving into it’s path? Too much left up to the refs to decide.

Besides that I love this game. The strategy is so much more fun than essentially playing a match by yourself, just making sure not to get in your partners way. This does not however make quals any more fun. You really have to prove your worth to those in the top 8 if you want to ensure a spot in the elims. But once you get there the strategies you can plan out with your alliance are so much more fun (and usually more successful).

Care to explain this point?

If a team has their intake out, a team cannot just run into them and draw a foul.

The lack of an end game is also an extremely notable point. The vast majority of people outside of FIRST I know who watch the matches as a spectator were disappointed by the lack of an end game for this year, even if the qualification and elimination matches they watched were pretty nifty (Canada has the best regionals :stuck_out_tongue: )

In 2011, I enjoyed the minibot. FMS issues aside, it was a quick yet dramatic buildup to the towers lighting up, and watching the minibots race was really exciting. Then the game was picked up a notch into my personal favourite end game with the balance bridges the following year, and the still amazing and, to many, the more exciting “pyramid” end game.

These end games were exciting; they kept you on the edge of your seats, wondering if by some huge drama, the game would flip the tables in a few moments’ notice. It gave teams another function on their robot, which allowed for more innovation, more opportunity to shine and some attention from scouts instead of having a bunch of one-trick ponies shooting to the human player, goal posts, over the truss, etc. There’s variety for sure, but it’s still relatively linear in that shooting and passing in the same capacity (as in you can just set one type of shooting, like going far away, and do anything in the game with only that mechanism) and you miss out on some really interesting methods of getting the game done.

Making more matches exciting not only helps keep spectators watching, but it gets them, the players and the other team members pumped up for the competition.

This year, as a fellow 781 team member said it best, the end game exists as fouls. Other parts of the game were already touched on before I posted here, so I’ll just leave this as it is.