Thank you for your response. It’s this type of back-and-forth that creates the ideal dialogue needed to properly debate a topic such as this. Allow me to likewise address a few things about these points:
- The first 7 things on that list have absolutely nothing to do with this topic. Those things are either minor technical changes meant to make things easier for event staff and competitors, with the exception of the Gateway rule change, which I can’t really comment on because I wasn’t a part of VRC at the time. The last 3 bullets actually pertain to a major bracket changes like this, so those are what I will focus on.
In regards to the VEX U brackets, you’re using their situation as a means to justify doing the same thing to us (and honestly, it’s not really fair to them, either). Is it okay to change a child’s footwear from sneakers to roller blades and just expect them to adapt just because their older brother is adept at wearing multiple types of footwear, sneakers and roller blades inclusive? I realize this may not be the best analogy, but surely you get the point. Not only is it questionable for you to do this to VEX U to begin with , but using an already questionable system to justify a second questionable system doesn’t really do the second system any justice. If anything, it’ll just lower its standards by association with the first questionable system.
For the implementation of a round robin elimination format, this was actually a change for the better representation of the most skilled team. With round robin, each alliance faces every other alliance in a best of 3. Because every single alliance faces each other, there is a balanced representation of who is really the best, as no arguments like “Team X and team Y never faced each other during elimination rounds, so even though team X won the event they could’ve easily been knocked out by team Y.” can be made. Meanwhile, this change to a BO1 format with even more alliances does little, if not less than the previous system, to actually determine the best team. If anything, it does that even less due to the inherent luck factor, which I’ll discuss in my response to your second point.
I’ll skip over divisions and division finals because it pretty much gets the same explanation as the above paragraph.
- Let’s not get too technical about what specific type of luck is introduced or reduced, because we can all agree that in the end, the net amount of luck needed in a BO3 format is less than that needed for a BO1 format, regardless of whether or not it’s “good” or “bad” luck. In regards to a randomized qualification system, people actually do “bat an eye” at it; in fact, it’s been a large discussion for a matter of years. Several more accurate systems exist, such as Swiss (used in many popular gaming tournaments) format where rounds aren’t determined at the start of the day, but are determined after each current round ends, and teams with the same W/L record are paired against each other in order to weed out the undefeated teams one by one. Because going undefeated in Swiss events requires beating every other undefeated team, it really does a great job at not only pairing the best with the best, but gives smaller, less experienced teams a chance by pairing them with other teams at their skill level. So yes, that’s also an issue, but a completely different one that the GDC has not yet addressed.
Regarding having to get lucky all through R16 to the finals being extremely unlikely, that’s not how that works. Yes, the probability of one single team having amazing luck throughout every single match is low, but what I think you’re missing here is that we’re looking at 32 teams, not just one. The probability of at least one team having good or bad luck in at least one match in each R16, quarter-, semi-, and finals matches is actually pretty high if you consider the pure amount of teams competing. This, through a butterfly effect, skews the overall results of the competition. If seed 1 had a field control error in R16 and lost, it means that seed 16 will now move on to quarter-finals, so whoever faces seed 16 will have a much easier time than they did if seed 1 had won and no bad luck was had (which is much more likely to occur in a BO3 system). The point is, things add up. Bad luck adds up. Not just on one team, but on 32 teams as a collective.
- Every time a ref rules that no replay is needed on a match where VEXnet disconnected randomly, every audience member, drive team member, and live stream spectator does a lot more than just twitch. Yes, there is always a reason, but the chances of those reasons being caused by both robots at the exact same time, for the exact same amount of time is so ridiculously low, I’d argue that I’d have a better chance getting through R16 to finals on luck alone. Yet, this has happened twice on camera, both in F1 of Worlds 2017 and in F1 of this year’s CREATE U.S. Open. Please don’t pin situations like this on battery voltage or loose pins, because if it happens to both teams on one alliance, clearly it was something with the field control itself, and it’s these situations that we’re talking about.
Thank you for providing a field tech crew at Worlds, but clearly that didn’t work so well last year as the aforementioned finals match was not replayed even after something as blatantly obvious as that occurred. I’m not sure if the field techs were involved in that so much as the refs, but there are some very clear issues that need to be fixed here if this point is to actually be valid.
I don’t really take any issue with this, so thank you for the assurance that your players are your number one concern. Hopefully this comes true not just in words, but in practice.
Although I don’t really believe that there have been over 150 positive messages sent about this change as this thread has received replies in dissent of the change, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. I’d just like to explain how opinions like these given through the forums are actually the most accurate opinions you’ll ever receive:
In person, people like to appeal to their audience. They like to know that they’re being listened to and they want to please who they’re talking to. I notice you didn’t mention the opinions of the people you and Paul talked to at the Open and in Texas, but let’s just assume they weren’t all negative. Those opinions were given with the bias of wanting to please a senior representative of VEX robotics. Obviously they aren’t going to say much negative, as they’re talking to someone extremely important! On the flip side, here on the forums, people can use the virtual mask of the Internet to provide the most honest opinion possible. Sure, I may get to meet you guys at Worlds, but right now, I don’t have any obligation to please you with my speech. This is why I can be as honest as possible, because there is no bias towards an elder here. It’s just pure, candid, honest speech. I can say the same for most of the other posts on this thread, or on any of the other countless threads that all echo our same message.
So, much like you say that we should be careful in assuming our opinion is unanimous (which we don’t), I urge you to be careful in assuming the opinions you’ve received in person are actually the opinions they hold when they aren’t speaking to someone as important, and are a little more comfortable sharing their real opinions.
Thank you for reading this (if you do), and I hope this echoes some of our concerns as a community towards these points. Hopefully our civil discussion can continue on in a cohesive fashion as it has so far.