OK, many of you may not have seen the puzzle comments on 210, especially now it's dead, but maybe it's time to have a public free for all on the great Helix-Chase. Given the fact I was principally responsible for killing 210, I thought I'd go first.
210 was a broken puzzle, it should never have been released in that state, and it should have been pulled. That's principally why I kept pushing the score, eventually it became an exercise in discovering how many residues would kill my komp. BUT - I was not chasing points. I used my throwaway account CharlieFC, which I use for Chatzilla, and getting into newbie puzzles when group help is required. I also chased the helix in evolver mode, minimising any damage to other player's points. I am not a helix-chaser. I've done it twice, once to see what it felt like and again on 210 to get it shut down.
Helix-chasing is not new, but it's reappeared since the advent of these new mutatable freestyle puzzles. It's entirely a personal choice, but you can take the so-called moral high-ground and wearily get frustrated as you see opportunists flying past you, or you can give in to temptation and end up feeling ever so slightly soiled in your soul. Regardless, we all play our game in our own way, and that's why FoldClub works, we're all slightly different and we all bring variety to the table. I personally dont chase the helix, I dont see the point in skewing a puzzle, and I dont play FoldClub for the points and the rank, I play because it's absorbing, addicting and has a genuine relevance to the real world.
However, FoldCentral needs to step up and admit they got 210 spectacularly wrong instead of handing out a few sweeties. Changing the rules is a very unwise move, as slippery slopes tend to be steep as well. We all know what works and what doesnt, and we all had to learn this for ourselves, sometimes the hard way. Losing hours of work and 20 ranks because your score hasnt registered with the server, but in-game your scoreboard seems fine, then posting in feedback and not even receiving a reply, happens eventually to us all. You chalk it down to experience and carry on. Helix-chasing can be effectively controlled by building in constraints and limits. And if players are going to open freestyle puzzles, they should do so with open eyes, and remember that all helix combinations will probably score best. And dont forget Freud, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a helix is the answer. Just probably not one that's 752 residues long...
Anyhow, I'm off for a beer.
Feel free to throw in your 10 cents worth.