"How Can I Improve..."

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Hooray For Lexan
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"How Can I Improve..."

Post by Hooray For Lexan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:51 am

To give some more specifics on what MadBull said:

Two major flaws I notice on many of your designs are low armor and a poor speed-traction balance. A rule of thumb other users have suggested is to avoid having speed be more than 2 points higher than traction or your robot will have control issues. This is especially harmful when you have a design that requires precise driving to be effective, such as a hammer.

Armor is also important. Simply put, in open weight classes you need to design with the expectation that you will be fighting spinners with a weapon score of 13 or higher. 8 armor means a spinner with 13 weapon will create openings even on a flat surface, and unless you drive a perfect match with respect to not letting your opponent spin up, it's unlikely you'll be able to last three minutes. This is made worse by the fact that your designs have sharp corners that horizontal spinners can easily grab onto.

As far as RPs go, your tactics from last week didn't actually look that bad. The problem is that your robots didn't actually have the capability to pull them off. Sirocco is going to be very hard for a flipper to beat no matter what you do; your only good option is to be aggressive and control the match, but as I said your robot just didn't have the armor to tank Sirocco's hits for 3 minutes, and its sharp top corners meant Sirocco was pretty much getting free corner damage. Sister Sledge is a hammerbot with a severe speed-traction imbalance, so aiming the weapon, which is crucial for a hammer, is extremely difficult.

However, I will say that the writers love it when you put punctuation in your RPs.

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Post by NoiseyGiraffe » Mon May 02, 2016 3:55 pm

My first tournament here has finished and it went quite well. Feathergo went the furthest and came 4th, Nurse Killjoy got the worst draw possible and had no chance against Loud Love, and A'Wasp lucked through on a wildcard and didn't get any further. Before the tournament I thought I had stated my robots quite well however A'Wasp and Feathergo got labelled as weak spinners despite being stated 11 and 10 which puzzles me. I also don't think some of my RPs were good enough. And also after seeing the early predictions for Backlash has me worried with 2 of my robots 20th and 21st out of 23. So I ask the question: how can I improve?
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Post by NWOWWE » Mon May 02, 2016 3:58 pm

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>NoiseyGiraffe</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 03:55 PM</dd></dl><div>And also after seeing the early predictions for Backlash has me worried with 2 of my robots 20th and 21st out of 23. So I ask the question: how can I improve?[/quote]To be fair, that's only one set of predictions and you shouldn't put too much stock into them until your team actually has real matches.
Area51Escapee,Jan 30 2011 wrote:
Spatula,Jan 29 2011 wrote: I should go 3-1 this week but it'll probably be something like 0-4 or 0-5.
It sucks going 0-5. You lose all 4 of your bot fights for the week and you also lose at life.

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Post by TotallyNotSatan » Mon May 02, 2016 5:58 pm

http://s10.zetaboards.com/Drowning_City ... &t=7567303

Do my bots suck? If so, how can I decrease the total amount of suckage?

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Post by The_Angry_Goat » Mon May 02, 2016 8:19 pm

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>NWOWWE</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 03:58 PM</dd></dl><div>To be fair, that's only one set of predictions and you shouldn't put too much stock into them until your team actually has real matches.[/quote]^^^^^^^^

people need to not take my predictions as law :v: I just do 'em for fun

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>Noisygiraffe</dt><dd>&nbsp;</dd></dl><div>My first tournament here has finished and it went quite well. Feathergo went the furthest and came 4th, Nurse Killjoy got the worst draw possible and had no chance against Loud Love, and A'Wasp lucked through on a wildcard and didn't get any further. Before the tournament I thought I had stated my robots quite well however A'Wasp and Feathergo got labelled as weak spinners despite being stated 11 and 10 which puzzles me. I also don't think some of my RPs were good enough. And also after seeing the early predictions for Backlash has me worried with 2 of my robots 20th and 21st out of 23. So I ask the question: how can I improve?[/quote]

generally, spinning weapons need to have power 12 or greater to be considered "powerful"... even with Buzzkill, I was worried about going as low as 12 with its weapon power. generally your RPs seemed good enough - and you'll definitely continue to improve as you get more experience (my RP quality between the start and end of Ruination: The Contagion increased significantly). you have potential in that area as long as you continue to work on it.

As for stats... learning the metagame is tricky, and there's no one right way to do it. my view of it as a relative newcomer is going to be different than people like NFX, NWOWWE or KodeBreaker's views as veterans who have watched the metagame evolve, and even implemented some of the changes to the stat system (reading old posts that were arguments for and against the Wedge stat is quite interesting :P ). My honest suggestion here is to emulate success: if you see that flippers with 7 speed, 6 traction and 1 torque do well a lot, make a flipper with those stats. if you see robots like Frequency do well with 15 weapon, make a spinner with that amount of weapon. Yeah, it's boring, but you start to get a feel for how to assign stats correctly, and then you can better understand how to apply those stats in unique and clever ways.

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>TNS</dt><dd>&nbsp;</dd></dl><div>Do my bots suck? If so, how can I decrease the total amount of suckage?[/quote]

these are all good starting points, but I'll give you some suggestions on what I think needs improving

Bozo:
Design: It's a little bit long, and the flat sides of the wedge give spinners something to bite. try adding some angled sides to the wedge (like on Oh Geeze I'm terribly sorry I didn't mean to flip your robot over). Otherwise this is a very nice wedge design

Stats: Switch Traction and Torque, and perhaps take a point or two out of the armor and put it into speed and traction


Ballast
Design: again, a bit long... I've run into similar issues with MC Hammer, where it feels long, and there's not much I can do to fix it because I need somewhere to put the hammer, but it might still be worth it to widen and shorten it a bit if you can. once again, try and add some angled sides to the wedge for protection against other robots angling in, and spinners

Stats: Switch Traction and Torque. you have a 13-weapon hammer, you don't need to push around your opponents&#33; :P the stat points would be put to much better use making sure that you can turn to face them

Discordi
Design: definitely too long and thin - widen the whole body and shorten the wedge to make the whole thing more manueverable and add some angled sides to the wedge if you can

Stats: Drums don't need torque IMO - put that extra stat point into speed or traction you could also lower the armor to load more power into the weapon if you wanted

Altair
Design:The way the blue things are right now, they're going to interfere with your ability to wedge opponents properly... you could fix this in a couple of ways: either by lengthening the flipper arm (which I would not suggest), shortening the blue things, or by making the blue things shorter up at the front... perhaps put some hinged wedges onto them?

at any rate, I think that the flipper's range could be improved somehow. but hey, I don't think this one's too long :P

Stats: I don't like putting more than 5 weapon into my flipper... more seems like a waste of drive and armor stats.... if you wanted a power flipper, you could probably go to 7 or 8 I guess, but I really wouldn't suggest going any further than that. 8 armor will be ok if there aren't many spinners entered, 9 would be safer. it should have at least 6 speed, preferably 7... so perhaps
Speed:7
Traction: 6
Torque: 1
Armor: 8
Weapon: 8

or maybe 1 less weapon and 1 more armor?
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Badnik96
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Post by Badnik96 » Mon May 02, 2016 8:26 pm

I'd definitely recommend making Ballast wider. As it is, your narrow 4WD will definitely have turning issues.

Altair actually looks pretty good, I'd just make sure that the front wedge is hinged so you can get under things.
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Post by BEES » Mon May 02, 2016 9:46 pm

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>TotallyNotSatan</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 05:58 PM</dd></dl><div>http://s10.zetaboards.com/Drowning_City ... &t=7567303

Do my bots suck? If so, how can I decrease the total amount of suckage?[/quote]Your renders are fairly primitive but your bots are actually decent. Only very slight changes are needed to make them great.


Bozo:

-Corners on the front wedge undermine the high armor stat. Look at the ABR-style wedges people are using. These are optimized to absorb hits from spinners without getting caught.
-Weakly invertible. If it's flipped its wedge is useless. The rule of thumb with invertibility is if it's not 100% fully invertible, there needs to be a good reason. If it's not invertible but can self-right, it needs to be a better reason. If it's not invertible AND can't self-right, it needs to have enough weapon power to kill everything.
-Usually better to have four wheels instead of two, for control. Also in case a wheel gets torn off.
-The rear wheels should be set on the very back of the robot, that way if your bot gets lifted from the front they still touch the floor.


Ballast:

A good idea, just a bit of a diamond in the rough.
-Wheel position looks good. This bot does everything right in that area.
-The wedge up front looks too flimsy against spinners. It's good to make parts of your robot look 'chunky' and solid.
-I would make it a little faster. For a hammer, 5 speed tends to get outflanked a lot. I'd try to bump that up to 6 at the very least.
-I'd make the body a bit wider and a bit lower to the floor, for better control. Looks slightly top-heavy.
-The hammer head needs to be longer. It should physically hit the floor before it's obstructed by your bot's own body. Otherwise, you'll be smacking yourself.
-You shouldn't bother with torque on a hammer. Only robots that need to push should have torque. You need to aim, so really I'd move 2 of those torque points to traction.
Here's an example of stats I'd give this bot:
Speed - 6
Traction - 4
Torque - 1
Armor - 8 (+2 front)
Weapon - 11

If you're willing to be a glass cannon you could shift a point or two of armor to the weapon. Could also shift a point of speed to the weapon, with tradeoffs there. Bear in mind that weapon points get more bang for the buck with hammers because every hit gets full corner damage, and most people have worse top armor. So 11 is a totally competitive stat to have.


Discordi

Really a pretty good idea. I've tried a similar shape to this in the past with 'Exotherm'. Basically, it's too long. When you make a wedge too long, some writers will make you have a hard time aiming it. I'd make it wider, easier to aim. Also make it more clear that the rear wedge is hinged because static wedges are completely useless.
-I've never seen a robot with 4 speed make it past the semis unless it was a walker. I feel like armor and speed should both be 5 at minimum for any design. I've tried to go lower on each myself... never went well.

I would also shift the stats very slightly. Spinners don't need (and can't afford) torque. Spinning weapons should almost always be 13 or 14. The former is good for vertical. Something like this perhaps:
Speed - 6
Traction - 4
Torque - 1
Armor - 6
Weapon - 13


Altair
This looks really annoying to fight. However, it has two critical issues that undermine the idea.
-I know people are doing 13 point flippers in Pressure Drop but... I think that's silly. There's no need to go above 10.
Roughly, it breaks down like this:
2 is the minimum at which the weapon works. This would be like Vlad the Impaler's forks, a pneumatic lifter rather than a full flipper.
4 is the minimum at which it starts flipping. This is like a small pop. Bigger Brother, Firestorm, lots of brit bots have low-key flippers. That's a perfectly fine strategy, concentrating on speed and merely getting the opponent over. It's one strategy anyway.
5 is the point where the weapon armor bonus kicks in so this should really be where you start.
Beyond that it's fairly nebulous where a robot gets perceived as a high-powered flipper. Probably around 7-8. Something like Bronco would be 10 perhaps. After that the extra points are just being burnt. There isn't a clear metric for interpreting damage from flips. Generally I'd expect robots with 5 or more points of body armor to survive the flips (depending on the writer), and that's pretty much everybody. But it probably does increase the chances of getting an OOTA if the arena allows it.

-Couple other issues: since you said it has tracks, there is clearly not enough space for the internal components of your bot There's no rule that it has to have that, but it could cause trouble some day.
-The wedges appear to be static all around. Static wedges are useless. Make it more clear that there are hinged wedges on the sides, and make it more clear your flipping dustpan scrapes the floor. It's kind of ambiguous. Lots of bots get under when there's ambiguity.
Last edited by BEES on Mon May 02, 2016 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BEES » Mon May 02, 2016 10:22 pm

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>NoiseyGiraffe</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 03:55 PM</dd></dl><div>My first tournament here has finished and it went quite well. Feathergo went the furthest and came 4th, Nurse Killjoy got the worst draw possible and had no chance against Loud Love, and A'Wasp lucked through on a wildcard and didn't get any further. Before the tournament I thought I had stated my robots quite well however A'Wasp and Feathergo got labelled as weak spinners despite being stated 11 and 10 which puzzles me. I also don't think some of my RPs were good enough. And also after seeing the early predictions for Backlash has me worried with 2 of my robots 20th and 21st out of 23. So I ask the question: how can I improve?[/quote]Don't put too much stock in the predictions, unless it's a writer on staff for the tournament doing them. And even then, it's only a rough estimate. Look at it this way, if you're in top 8 that's really great. That means someone thinks you deserve a playoff spot. And really a playoff spot is about the most you can deterministically guarantee in such a random environment. You can expect some good and bad predictions across the board from various people no matter how objectively great your bots are.

Also, if YOU know something about your bot that the writers don't realize when they first put up their predictions, your first RP can very well change their minds, and bring you right up to the top of the list (where you think you should be). IIRC, Barracuda was rated pretty low across the board in FRR6, but it got some upsets right out of the gate, and went on to become a huge contender in that tourney.

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Post by TotallyNotSatan » Mon May 02, 2016 11:54 pm

By the way, can I, say, have an armor of 6 and say (+6 to outside third of bot)? Would that be legal?

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Post by Cha0sFerret » Tue May 03, 2016 12:10 am

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>TotallyNotSatan</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 11:54 PM</dd></dl><div>By the way, can I, say, have an armor of 6 and say (+6 to outside third of bot)? Would that be legal?[/quote]Since this would cause the rest of the bot to have an armor stat of 0, I would assume that would not be allowed as all bots are required to have at least 1 armor. You could do a +5 instead but then the rest of the bot has 1 armor, which is equivalent to cardboard and incredibly unsafe for any arena with hazards. My personal approach to armor bonuses is to never use more than +2 unless absolutely necessary (like in the case of Papercuts, in which I needed the extra armor up front to take on Vorpal Bunny. It didn't work out in my favor anyway so take that as you will).

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Post by TotallyNotSatan » Tue May 03, 2016 12:14 am

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>Cha0sFerret</dt><dd>May 3 2016, 12:10 AM</dd></dl><div><blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>TotallyNotSatan</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 11:54 PM</dd></dl><div>By the way, can I, say, have an armor of 6 and say (+6 to outside third of bot)? Would that be legal?[/quote]Since this would cause the rest of the bot to have an armor stat of 0, I would assume that would not be allowed as all bots are required to have at least 1 armor. You could do a +5 instead but then the rest of the bot has 1 armor, which is equivalent to cardboard and incredibly unsafe for any arena with hazards. My personal approach to armor bonuses is to never use more than +2 unless absolutely necessary (like in the case of Papercuts, in which I needed the extra armor up front to take on Vorpal Bunny. It didn't work out in my favor anyway so take that as you will).[/quote]If a bot gets to the inside, I have bigger problems than the low armor. I mean that the outside(all that a blade would hit) has double power but the inside(the wiring, etc.) has 1 armor.

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Post by Badnik96 » Tue May 03, 2016 12:16 am

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>Spatula</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 09:46 PM</dd></dl><div>since you said it has tracks, there is clearly not enough space for the internal components of your bot There's no rule that it has to have that, but it could cause trouble some day.[/quote]This is kind of a gray area because Red Devil just proved that you can fit most internals in the space within the tracks, so I wouldn't nitpick on it too much. Those tracks are a bit bigger than the ones here, but it's still pretty much the same idea.
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Post by Cha0sFerret » Tue May 03, 2016 12:17 am

Armor bonuses applied to more than one third of the exterior surface area of the bot are not legal.

Edit: I should add that there are exceptions for weapon armor bonuses applied passively, ie. for shell spinners and very large flippers.
Second edit way after the fact: Apparently I missed a line in the rules. The exception is only for shell spinners.
Last edited by Cha0sFerret on Tue May 31, 2016 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BEES » Tue May 03, 2016 2:05 am

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>Badnik96</dt><dd>May 3 2016, 12:16 AM</dd></dl><div><blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>Spatula</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 09:46 PM</dd></dl><div>since you said it has tracks, there is clearly not enough space for the internal components of your bot There's no rule that it has to have that, but it could cause trouble some day.[/quote]This is kind of a gray area because Red Devil just proved that you can fit most internals in the space within the tracks, so I wouldn't nitpick on it too much. Those tracks are a bit bigger than the ones here, but it's still pretty much the same idea.[/quote]I haven't seen Red Devil. You could be right. Meh... kids these days and their teeny tiny tracks. I'm getting too old for this shit. :dirk:

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Post by Hooray For Lexan » Sat May 07, 2016 5:56 pm

<blockquote class='quote_blockquote'><dl><dt>NoiseyGiraffe</dt><dd>May 2 2016, 03:55 PM</dd></dl><div>My first tournament here has finished and it went quite well. Feathergo went the furthest and came 4th, Nurse Killjoy got the worst draw possible and had no chance against Loud Love, and A'Wasp lucked through on a wildcard and didn't get any further. Before the tournament I thought I had stated my robots quite well however A'Wasp and Feathergo got labelled as weak spinners despite being stated 11 and 10 which puzzles me. I also don't think some of my RPs were good enough. And also after seeing the early predictions for Backlash has me worried with 2 of my robots 20th and 21st out of 23. So I ask the question: how can I improve?[/quote]Okay, so let me take a look at this.

First, Public Enemies. Most people actually ranked this pretty high, but I ranked it a bit lower. It's one of the more solid multibot designs I've seen: both halves are pretty fast and invertable, and like I said fighting TWO fast robots will be extremely difficult for wedges, lifters, flippers, etc. However, it has a major weakness: 8 armor. A spinner with 13 weapon will wear it down after a few hits to the same spot, and your wedges have flat sides so you actually risk being one-shot. I ranked bots by conference, and literally HALF of your in-conference matches will be against spinners with 13+ weapon power.

Second, Thunder. The design itself doesn't look too bad apart from the sharp edges. However, the stats are pretty bad. First of all, traction shouldn't be more than 2 less than speed for good controllability. This might not be that bad for a spinner, but as a hammer it is VITAL that you be able to precisely aim your weapon. The other problem is that a hammer with 6 power is basically useless. There is not ONE robot in your conference that you can cause any damage to besides extremely minor dents.

Third, Dr. Feelgood. This is another one people rated high but I disagree with. It has several big weaknesses. First, you have 6 speed but only 2 traction. This will make your robot very difficult to control, and like a hammer a crusher needs to be aimed. Second, your effective weapon power is 9. This means you can get the entire point through only if your opponent has 7 armor or less (which is necessary to use your flamethrower). As it stands, the only robots in your conference you can do this to are Cloak and Dagger, Tellu (which you can actually one-shot), and Halberd. However, all of these you'll have trouble aiming against, even if their weapons can't hurt you much. The last problem is because you used a Razer-style srimech which is cable-connected to your claw, your srimech is just as slow as your weapon and could take 2-3 seconds to actuate, This is enough time for a lot of the robots in your division to drive into position so as soon as you self-right you'll land back on their wedge.

Fourth, Hysteria. This bot's weakness is that it's really slow. 4 speed for a lifter/flipper is pretty bad. Your hinged skirts might help a little, but most of the field will be able to drive around your sides. The lifter is also pretty slow and it may be difficult to get actually get an opponent on top of your flipper without them driving away. Finally, even with your sloped sides, spinners with 13 weapon or higher will most likely be able to KO you with repeated hits and you're too slow to keep up the pressure and stop them from spinning up. You're fighting three of said spinners (and Allahu Ackbar, but it's useless anyway).

By the way, Vertigo 2 looks like a pretty good entry, and I agree with the people predicting it will do well in Pressure Drop.

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