I feel we need to take the actual game into account as well.
The game is very well balanced so its 100% AI… What this means is that even if another player sees a bot it might not even help them, My current bot (And I hope i finish version 3 before the first deadline)… is rather random in the way it builds.
Now for a case study.
2016’s Bomberman was also pure AL… So could replays provide an unfair tactic leak? Well, I matched with Ralf a number of times in the practice matches. And as a result I managed to get replays of both of us. My bot seemed to always be one step behind his. Or rather his “saw” a bit further than mine. So using the replays I calibrated my bot and added depth and built my bot against his. Then I worked on my bot until my bot gained advantage over his. So in doing this I used the few match replays I had as “reference bot”.
So information is dangerous.
Now lets go last year. It was highly psychological. Where you needed to account for ship placements. A perfect bot would always attack middle first, Yet all the top 8 players went for the sides first. The reasoning was that the perfect bot will search there last. So in last year’s case we played the human and not the AI.
In this case leaking any strategy would be bad. Also In a game of Round Robin if you play all players you could easily look at what the top players are doing. I do not necessarily see this as a good thing. I do not want someone else to copy my homework. Even if going by the whole “Just because you can see it does not mean you can actually write it”. But some of the contestants are in a league of their own. If they see your bot once they will likely know your tactics.
or one of those special bots that will come to the party:
However. I still do not see any harm in this year’s info being available. Because of expansions.
While others are hitting their heads on the first version. There will be more buildings to account for.
Which will already be an added load. And the map will change. 4* 4 for example will be a far different kind of match compared to a 10 * 10.
I will likely need to rebuild my bot completely after the first event.