Now that we are nearing a new season I thought it would be interesting to see the your thoughts on end games. If you had the power to bring end game back would you vote to bring it back? Why or why not?
Well, hopefully yes. Generally the “endgame” for Aerial Assist was just “Truss that ball” or “Score that ball” and it was honestly very predictable and repetitive. It either scored or it didn’t. Whereas with a pyramid or a bridge you have to wonder “Oh man will they have time to climb that top rung, will they be able to balance all 3 on that bridge?”
Last year was my first year in FRC, so I never got to experience it. However, I did do some endgame stuff in VEX and liked it (won competition with a grappling hook!), so I guess I would like to see at least something this year.
No, I would like to see FRC continue progressing toward “sport” rather than “game”. It is much more exciting for the spectator to see a simpler game played with strategy and skill than to see a technical task accomplished. There are plenty of science fairs, but FRC is becoming the true sport for robots.
The problem with comparing this to traditional sports is that it just isn’t. What other sport is made up of groups of teams that switch all the time and play short matches to determine who plays the best? In my eyes the end game in a traditional sport would be like fouling in basketball. It is a risk you take toward the end of the game, but at least in robotics it doesn’t make the last thirty seconds take a half hour to play.
I always thought the games have been fun to watch and exciting and the endgame was the thing that made people stop and be at a loss for words. The endgame is what was always able to sell sponsors and we actually lost a small sponsor due to there not being a jaw dropping task at the end of the game last year.
I would love to have it back, I think the endgame is one of the things that really tested creativity and saw some amazing solutions over the years.
From a drivers standpoint (one who has driven 2011-2014), No end game was interesting. The endgame, meant a clear finish to the match. Without a endgame, there was no clear end, except for when the time ran out. I liked NO endgame, because it forced all teams to focus on the main task/game, instead of dropping the tube/not shooting all loaded balls or discs, and going to focus on the mini-bot/bridge/pyramid.
With the endgames being confined to the last 30 seconds, they tend to be both quick and easy to score. I think the quick, showy task at the end really adds something to the spectating experience. In 2014, you could typically watch the first 30 seconds of a match and know who would win. That’s not the case in a game like 2013, where you always knew that if an alliance had a potential 30 pt climb, the match could turn around at the end. It also forces a decision in regards to strategy, as you have to choose exactly the right time to shift focus in order to maximize points. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the endgame just adds too much to the depth of a game to be ignored.
I liked the endgame. It was something that challenged team to think outside the box in two applications rather than just one.
That being said it also has its downsides. Teams with more engineers and resources have an easier time with endgames because they can divide and conquer the tasks more effectively. So there’s that to consider as well.
I vote for an endgame because I feel like the goal is to have a bigger challenge in design.
After experiencing the end game for a few years, I felt that not having one was kinda nice. IMO I always thought the end games just never worked with the main teleop period, always being under or over valued. Its not hard to see why, since in order to balance the amount of points for the end game (usually single action) with the main teleop (usually multiple actions), the GDC would have to have a pretty good idea of exactly how much the average team is going to score in the main teleop, which of course they don’t have. I mean, even we don’t have that after build season until Week 1 events. Looking back at my time, this is how I think it played out:
2013: “Climb the pyramid” = “Hang from the Pyramid” and get 10 points (Going higher was undervalued for its difficulty)
2012: Co-op bridge and QS points per win/co-op was quite the fiasco.
2011: Mini-bot race overvalued and worth way more than most teams scored in tube points
And back even further there were things as simple as “park here when the match ends and get extra points.” I don’t know, after designing a robot painstakingly to do complex tasks like pick up and shoot frisbees or fire a foam ball into a hoop, giving teams these points for doing really easy tasks just seems like a detraction from the main teleop.
Now I do see how it allows rookie teams with less experience and resources to still be able to add to their alliance’s score, but there are other ways to build this element into the game without an end game. 2014 was a perfect example, with allowing a very modest 5 points for a simple drive forward in auton. Even more so a robot who could just herd balls, but do it well, could be a major contributor to the alliance.
Honestly, I just don’t think its necessary. Let teams focus on one element for the whole match. It makes it easier for spectators to understand and enjoy too.
And why not, I’ll throw out the ubiquitous “Just my two cents”
I think that End Games are good for lower levels of competition, but having no end game is better for higher levels of competition. By the time teams get to division elims and higher, most teams have usually found the most efficient way to do the endgame. For instance, we saw no 30pt climbs on Einstein in 2013, and no 40 point balances on Einstein in 2012. But on Einstein 2014, we had that epic back and forth between the 2 alliance. 1 missed ball would have changed the entire outcome of the match.
In games with endgames, at the early level of competition, you can be winning through most of the match, then lose because the other teams have a better endgame. At the high level, most teams do the end game correctly, so it comes down to who executes better.
In a game like this year, at the early levels of competition, if you were ahead early, you were most likely going to win. But at the higher levels it was so close one error changes the entire outcome.
I personally liked not having an endgame because it made the robot simpler, but I don’t know. I might like it back.
1640 30pt climbed on Einstein in 2013 and 2012 Einstein didn’t allow 3 robots on an alliance to function at the same time as I recall.
I wouldn’t bring it back.
It was nice making significant strategy decisions on the field instead of in the first few days of build. From an engineering and resource perspective it helps lower the minimum competitive and helps make the process more focused.
To me the endgame always looked like tacking “musical chairs” onto the end of a different game.
When Aerial Assist was first released, I was pretty upset that there was no end game, but once competition season came around, I understood why no end game was a good idea. The end game has always been, “Who designed their robot to score these extra points and who didn’t?” and you could do very little to stop the opposing alliance from scoring those points if they were capable of doing so. With this year, especially in elims and at stacked competitions, there were often instances where alliances had to hold the opposing alliance from scoring a (often assist-loaded) ball to win the match and there were times when this won critical matches. To me, this is more exciting than an endgame where either the alliance gets bonus points, or they don’t.
We tried to create a sort-of endgame for Capital City Classic this year, and it consisted of placing a “special” ball (the trackball from Overdrive) on top of the truss, and teams could knock it off of the truss with a shot or a human player could throw the Aerial Assist ball at the trackball to knock it off (although this would not result in truss points if the Aerial Assist ball made it over the truss). Whichever alliance had the ball completely in their alliance’s zone at the end of the match earned a ten point bonus. While the endgame was not a core part of the competition, there were instances where alliances fought over the ball and the result decided the match.
I believe that end games like this, where the two alliances have to fight for the bonus points and only one alliance or neither alliance will earn the points, are much more exciting to watch.
Or lost them… I distinctly remember calling one of those. One alliance pulled a pin with about 10 seconds left in the match, 3 robots pinning one robot with a triple-assist ball that was heading for the high goal. (Oh, and this was the rubbermatch of that series–winner went to semifinals.) 3 different refs were signalling pin, but no robots backed up at all before the end of the match, even after a flag went up. The final score had a 42-point differential in favor of the pinned team.
Well, everyone’s put in valid and logical reasons for or against the Endgame.
I’m for the Endgame, just because, IMHO, it allowed greater team specialization. For instance, in 2013, teams could choose to be shooters, defense bots, climbers, or any combination. This allowed teams to choose a role that fit their team’s philosophy, allowing them to learn more. In 2014, teams basically were told to shoot or block, with some wiggle room. I just guess I didn’t like how we had to think harder to come up with our eventual strategy.
I’ve always felt that the endgames that don’t have anything to do with the main intended objective of the game shouldn’t have a place on the field. (2009 is the latest year that I remember had an end game with an objective similar to the regular teleop period). having no end game in 2014 was kind of a breath of fresh air. It created some intense matches that went down to the wire, and there was no clear winner until the end.
I also think FIRST hasn’t been able to nail a good end game down properly. 2012 had the best end game in elims, but other than that, they were either undervalued or overvalued. In 2013, you could potentially score more disc points with a simple 10 pt buzzer beater hang and hurling frisbees all match instead of climbing for the 30. In 2011, the minibots were way overvalued, and guaranteed that whoever had a faster trigger finger would win the match, even if they didn’t fill the rack up. In 2010, not many teams attempted climbs because on the onset it was only worth as much as 1-2 goals. And in 2009, trading an empty cell for a supercell almost never happened since there wasn’t enough time to put the supercell back into play and score.
Maybe if FIRST can come up with a good endgame that is somewhat related to the game played in teleop, and is pretty balanced for the effort it takes, then it would be a good reintroduction of the endgame.
In a 3v3 game endgame scoring schemes add an extra dimension to play. In Aerial Assist only two robots were active in any assist, so the third was either playing D or waiting for an inbound.
Bringing back an end game allows a third robot to choose between defense or bonus scoring in the final seconds.
I would really hesitate to say that 30 point climbing and triple balancing was not efficient enough for high level play. In fact, in both games these factors made the difference at both the divisional playoff level and the IRI finals. In 2013, one alliance on Einstein had a 30 point climb. At the finals of IRI, where both alliances routinely ran out of discs to score, the alliance with two 30 point climbers beat the alliance with one 30 point climber. In 2012, the finals of multiple divisions were decided by successful or failed triple balances, and IRI was won by the alliance that could still triple balance (Opposing alliances in both the semis and finals substituted in a long backup robot, which had more trouble triple balancing).
The end game also often gives something for teams who want to do “one thing well” to focus on. In most games, you can win events with two scorers. An endgame specialist can make for a great second round pick.
I’ll second this sentiment. I thought the lack of endgame is one of the reasons 2014’s game was such a fantastic game to watch.
I really like there being an endgame, or at least another way to score. I feel that the best games were the ones that had 3 separate components (autonomous, teleoperated, and endgame usually) and the alliance that could win 2/3 of these components would win the match. I feel that this way nothing is too over or underrated.
For example, in 2011 the minibots were worth a lot but if you couldn’t at least hold pace with the other alliance during auton/teleop then you just wouldn’t be able to overcome the points they scored with the logos they would form. Same in 2012 with the bridges. A triple was worth 40 points and a good hybrid was roughly 30 (I know it’s not perfect but that was pretty good for an alliance). With 70 points from hybrid and the endgame you could have won most games but if you fell behind in hybrid then you were going to have a battle ahead of you to come back in that match.