Balancing suggestion - To score or not to score

It seems many players are in favor of dropping score, so I thought I would start a post and get some ideas going.
I know Entelect is all over this, but I found some balancing issues with the current harness.

I have been defending score for a while… but in truth, Its not score in itself that I am defending but rather what it protects.
Score looks at a few things in game that speed does not, so

The dark side of dropping score is:

A) Its possible to ignore oil completely
B) Its possible to ignore most mud.
C) Because most players only cast oil at max speed, oil mostly have 0 impact on speed.

But if most people are in favor of dropping score (a somewhat popular thing,
I would recommend some of the following:

I feel the balancing we need to consider is:
A) Make the game all about wining, and have ties based on lead
B) Improve the impact of power ups on the field, so that using them still gives score long term. But also that their impact is noticeable. Dropping an oil under an enemy should no longer not matter. with them just accelerating over it. Let an oil spill double penalize speed.
C) Give the back player something to slow the front one, With the same impact as the oil, But possibly a trace that would only work if the enemy is in range. (only if enemy X is bigger than your own.)
**It should also cancel out boost like oil does (after movement). and penalize speed by 2 tiers as well.

D) Maybe give us some starting goodies. Like 1 powerup each.

I’m sure Entelect will push some great changes, But I do feel the above should be considered.
Most of it is simple (maybe just not powerup B)

One possible solution to the power up imbalance is:
Make oil a targeted thing (like a missile), so we can choose where we want to put it in our view.
We can then use it to: Alter the field, Target back or front enemies.

This way we can use oil on lead players if we are close enough. but we can also use oil to craft the field to our liking. And it would become more useful to all. And it would force players to value the powerups.

These were just some thoughts I had.
Realized I’m defending score for the sake of not devaluing power ups.

But we can re balance power ups to force a greater impact on field. (while also giving the back player a better fighting chance. )


Have there been any games where one bot has overtaken another bot midway through?

In my own tests yes, And a contestant did mention one player overtook him at roughly 1300.

So it happens, but often because one bot hits a rough patch while the other gets a stream.

@clbuttic Yes, quite a number of games

Happens due to rough patches for one (and smooth for another), as mentioned above, and also when bots converge on a lane (usually middle-ish that I’ve seen) and collision logic and boosts kick in.

Makes for pretty edge-of-your seat viewing in a visualizer.

I think mud should have a bigger impact. powering through a single mud square by accelerating when you are at speed 9 has no impact on your speed. Maybe cancel your acceleration in addition to slowing you down ? It’s the main reason my bot get low scores, It frequently finds that the quickest route is simply straight through mud squares.


Another balancing suggestion I have is to start both players at speed 9 at the start of the race. This will mean you can immediately start re-positioning if you start in a bad lane. At the moment you are almost forced to accelerate the first two turns otherwise you fall too far behind. Which means that if you start in a poor lane you are a bit screwed.

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I think that if they increase the negative impact of the mud they should also change turning so that you can choose at which x position you want to turn.

Not quite sure I follow ?

When traveling at speed 9, and you hit a single mud / oil, your end speed is reduced to 8.
When boosting, and you hit a single mud/oil, your end speed is 9.

I guess I’m misunderstanding something?

Apologies it was late. What I meant is that even though your speed will be 8 after hitting the mud you can accelerate immediately afterwards and still travel 9 squares in the next round. Maybe we should not be allowed to accelerate or boost the turn after hitting mud or oil ? It can simulate the fact that you are fighting for control of your car.

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Reducing health per mud or oil patch might work, go Too fast and you might break down.
alternatively link health to max speed, the more damage the less your max speed.

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I was thinking on this (and all related comments) last night, while staring at the leader board.
And some thing occurred to me, that I figured might be worth sharing / pointing out/

Look at the top 5 on the board.

They all have a 90%+ win rate.

Now, statistically, it seems unlikely that each of them would have gotten “good starting positions” with “good maps”, for 90%+ of their games.
So the only other reasonable conclusion (that I could come up with), is that those competitors “cracked it”.
They optimally solved the problem.
Without moving any of the current goals posts.

Thank you for your time.
You may proceed with the lynching now.

Ah ok, gotcha.
yeah, late nights and quick edits… know all about those.

Hehe it’s actually likely that they got ‘lucky’ 90%+ of the time, since we’re dealing with an RNG map. Also because a pseudo-optimal strategy isn’t that difficult as it stands. A more accurate assessment of the leaderboard will be made after the 2nd leg. Which hopefully will start soon

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Well, call me skeptical.
Good randomness is indeed “clumpy” a lot of the time, but that much clump, over 5 players (of which at least some are know to be historically strong competitors?) - I have some doubts.

Regardless, as you say, the next runs will be telling!

Kick those tires, and light some fires!

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