Last year’s rules video:
World champions, 392 points:
2 years ago rules video:
World champions, 97 points:
And this year?
World champ hasn’t happened yet, but here’s the highest score I could find, 22 points:
Do you see the difference between previous years and this year?
Look at those crazy, specialized machines for gathering, processing, stacking, etc. The possible point spread was 0 to maybe 500 points on Ringmaster. There’s a lot of room for micro-improvements. Very easy for the world-champion to one-up their competition by even getting one or two extra rings.
But Next Level’s rules and design are so tight that it seems to almost nip off that kind of crazy innovation. Even if we could carry more than one hub, the way the hubs are designed (hollow) makes them hard to stack, and the goal areas are so small that many stacks is impossible.
So you can see some teams getting 22 points already. Maybe 32 points is possible… but anything above that seems unlikely. How can we go from local matches to a world champion with only a 10 point spread?
I calculate the highest possible score at 47 points, and that’s with a single 5’8" column of 17 hubs that even a human likely couldn’t stack (because they are so unstable). But also, a robot would have to violate the hight limitations to achieve this, not to mention stacking one hub every 3 seconds. Even a 22 to 47 point spread would be pretty tight to allow for world-wide differentiation.
And the hanging bonus has almost no differentiation to allow for crazy innovation. Where’s the bonus for the robot that is completely above the bar at the end?
So instead of crazy specialized contraptions, it seems like the world champion will be determined through a mix of driver skill and luck. Hundreds of buldozing forklifts.
This seems like a pretty marked change from the history of VexIQ competitions in the past. It must have been intentional. Can anyone on the advisory board speak to those intentions?