Angry Birds Go Strategy Guide Lesson 5: The Energy Meter – Is it really so bad?

We can see the checkered flag! Lesson five of our Angry Birds Go Offensive Driving course focuses on Energy Management. This lesson was written by @les-toreadors of Pigineering and adapted for the ‘Nest by @AMslimfordy.

Energy Management

In galaxies far far away from our own, there typically is a rather gamey expectation that one super bird or pig will rule them all with his magical crown, leveling up from peasant to warrior king in mere hours. And that through epic adventures that one super-unit will magically conquer all the opposition like Fat Pig landing on the Earth 65 million years ago and wiping out all life, for no object on Earth, no matter how sturdy, could possibly survive such a massive hunk of bacon landing at a speed of 20 kilometers per second.

If only reality would be so simple! Superheroes, planet sized Fat Pigs and mass-extinction events aside, all successful ventures on modern Piggy Island were accomplished through the judicious utilization of varied Bird and/or Pig assets, and Angry Birds GO! is no exception. While the limited energy per character is highly restrictive and goes against common sense in game design (or so you thought), a Foreman Pig with certain degree of managerial acumen could use it to his further enjoyment of Angry Birds GO! instead.

Angry Birds GO Energy Managment Lesson TreeEach character races 5 times before tiring out, at which point they need to recharge.

And you thought limited energy was a bad thing?

Let us not consider the existing complaints about the energy system. It’s bad, it’s restrictive, gamers should play however long they want, etc. The fact is a real racing driver doesn’t race 24/7, 365 days a year either. Nor does the lack of the energy meter make any sense if the creators of the game wanted players to master all possible combinations of birds, pigs and karts in a variety of events. Game creators also desire us to experiment with game mechanics and enjoy the game for a longer period of time than existing Angry Birds titles. Remember, it is meant as a companion product to all existing Bird and Pig games, and not a replacement or successor!

If there were no energy limitation then the best possible thing to do for every single race event would be to use the Blues all the way. Spam triple speed boosts for each race and leave every single competitor and bomb timer in the dust. Next, unlock Chuck and spam mega speed boosts all the way to game completion. That ‘powergaming’ approach is generally quite boring and not just in text.

And then once the game were ‘beaten’ by this ‘powergaming’ approach typically used in MMORPGs, we would then wait for future updates and some may even go so far as to uninstall the game until said updates arrive. Rinse and repeat until the next Angry Birds title appears. Not so good for longevity of the new title… And let’s not forget, if the Blues and Chuck (or your other favorite Birds) were so massively powerful and could be used for the majority of the game successfully, why put in “lesser” characters like Stella, Bomb, Red and the Pigs?

The simple answer is: Speed isn’t the answer for everything. Don’t pick on fat, lazy pigs too. Drive with a variety of characters, apply their strengths in different scenarios and more importantly, create and express your own unique character preferences per event! And in so doing, Rovio invites all of you to take part in their “Great Experiment”.

Angry Birds GO Energy Managment Lesson Flying Pink Bird“I believe I can fly… Better than a Pig!”

Thoughs on the Great 3D Experiment

This is the first time Piggy Island has been rendered in all three dimensions, and for sure this new environment of battling birds and pigs is going to come with its own pluses and minuses. Add that to the usual quandary of a game designer (that it’s impossible to please everyone) and we get a rather interesting scenario. ABGO is not a game that you spend $50 on, play for 5 hours, complete its storyline and then trash or sell it.

It is designed to live a bit longer than that on your smartphone, with ambitious and very advanced updates scheduled to release by mid-2014. Angry Birds GO’s ambitious strategy of being a next-generation 3D and highly competitive multiplayer racer means it is going to have to be innovative and engage its fanbase in some way. While most will regard the energy limit per character as restrictive, it still is less problematic than other means of character management, because with the energy meter, you are allowed to experience the full power of the characters, rather than having to force in that absurd element of “game balance” and water down everything. I mean, if you were playing with futuristic wargames wielding nuclear weapons, you’d expect the nukes to behave like nukes and not firecrackers. Limiting access to strategic weapons then, would allow you, the player to experience the power of a Tsar Bomba and not some failed sub-critical lab event… And the same goes for ABGO. Have you seen how dominant a trio of Blue Birds can be? Or that mega speed boost from Chuck? And even more so the track-spanning bubble of invulnerability that surrounds mighty Stella?

All those would have been watered down to near-uselessness should they be exposed to conventional “game balancing” mechanics!

So give Rovio constructive advice if you would like the present energy implementation to be improved in some manner. For instance, a “Feeding” minigame would be very much welcome right now to give all of us something to do while we wait for the next character to recharge (or more smartly, just come back to the game a couple times a day, the energy thing is really not that bad once you have more than four characters unlocked).

Friendly, constructive feedback submitted to the right place at the right time will help to establish a crucial link between the game developer and you, the driver. It also helps the game creators to understand the true needs of the players, and with this culture of mutual appreciation (that few game companies outside of Rovio would maintain!) you could just have a hand in shaping the future of the Angry Birds universe, in ways both large and small.

All Offensive Driving Course Lessons

Credits & Thanks!

Originally posted on Pigineering here.
by Les Toreadors (@les-toreadors)

Tags: Angry Birds Go, Angry Birds Go Guides, Angry Birds Go Lessons
Category: Angry Birds Go Racing News & Updates, Guides, News

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Comments (26)

Profile photo of SeasonsKingRank: Champion with 3625 points
By SeasonsKing (@theangrybird)

I have to agree with all of it. Is it possible for someone to race so many times without looking tired? :P

Rank: Master Slinger with 7430 points
By burpie (@burpie)

@les-toreadors and @AMslimfordy, I love you guys but this is just wrong.

The energy meter has an upside? In the early stages you can’t get a thing done because of the waiting times. The birds are tired and they don’t want to play. Really? Oh, unless you pay. Then they’ll find a hidden reserve of energy. And another one if you pay some more. In fact, you can pay to play for as long as you want.

> Drive with a variety of characters

By the time you have a variety of characters, you’re constantly repeating the same old races for Bird Coins. Unless you’d rather purchase the required kart upgrades with cash, too.

You can even buy your way out of challenges. Which is a good thing, because some of them are impossible to complete otherwise.

I think I know who benefits from this setup, and it not the gamers.

My advice to Rovio is to keep on doing what they’re doing. If they’re not all billionaires by now, they will be soon. What I wish for, however, is a return to the good old days when they charged a few bucks up front for a quality game.

Profile photo of tmsforeverRank: Hardened with 740 points
By tmsforever (@tmsforever)

I 100% agree, What I wish is that Rovio tweaked Angry Birds GO’s gameplay a bit, removed the in app purchases, modified the telepod system and then released it as a $40 console exclusive game (It would have been a better idea than releasing Angry Birds Star Wars as a console game!)

Rank: Sling God with 20140 points
By Bird Leader (@birdleader)

@burpie I think this is exactly the kind of feedback that an article like this should generate. I played Go quite a bit and am now playing Epic. From what I can tell thus far the Epic is so much more balanced and doesn’t require repeated trips to the ATM (you can, but you don’t HAVE to). It feels like all other Rovio games since the traditional flingers have been leading up to this one (love it or hate RPGs), maybe with the exception of Bad Piggies.

Anyhow, it should also be noted that @amslimfordy simply transcribed this article for the Nest. I published it because I felt it made a compelling argument, which I also knew most would disagree with. I also like to get a discussion going from all vantage points, as I think it helps underscore that gameplay is tied to real players.

Thanks again for the constructive feedback and wording it in a non-defensive sort of way.

Rank: Explosive with 2415 points
By Les Toreadors (@les-toreadors)

Yes this is exactly the point of writing the article. Friends and family on my end of the world don’t ever seem to have a problem with the limited energy, and by mid-game the energy wait has more or less disappeared and we rarely ever bother to sit in front of the iPad to run all the available characters dry.

As a game design exercise, I can see clearly Rovio’s intention for implementing such a controversial ‘feature’ – to spread out character usage rather than having everyone spam Chuck for hours on end (for instance) every session.

It also introduces a simple but nice element of strategic planning – which characters should be used as general purpose drivers, and which are the brawlers and which are the ‘utility’ racers that are good at tasks like mass fruit/coin pickups?

As mentioned by @birdleader, Rovio will probably tweak and improve upon such concepts common in ‘freemium’ games and the point still stands – I’d much rather rationalize and focus on playing the game, than saying no to new ideas.

Besides, back in my earlier years when I was an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I had implemented very strict ‘energy management’ principles for my club of fifty in the interest of education, safety and mutual enjoyment on the road.

No one likes the attitude of an exhausted, irritable vehicle operator, and so the energy limitations in ABGO does hit the right spot for me.

Besides, you just have to pity the poor things who have no legs or arms suddenly strapped into a Death Race environment barrelling downhill in excess of 80mph. My pillion riders have been rather afraid of demonstration runs through tiny versions of an Isle of Man course, I wonder how a bird/pig would feel like :)

Rank: Debriefed with 1470 points
By stevieboy (@stevieboy)

@burpie i cud not agree with u more m8 pay a lil bit of cash and u got a game and not just part of a game where u hv to wait months and months for the next bits but u actually got a whole game……i miss this too respect my friend.

Profile photo of RizDubRank: Debriefed with 1300 points
By RizDub (@rizdub)

Even with the energy meter, I find myself using certain characters (namely Foreman Pig and Chuck) a lot more often than others (namely the Blues and Terence). At this point I think it just comes down to personal preference. I like Foreman Pig because he can attack racers ahead of him thrice; others might prefer the Blues more because they have three speed boosts.

I also prefer certain racers for certain modes. I like using Bubbles on Fruit Splats, and varying between Red, Chuck, and King Pig for Time Booms.

Rank: Avian Overlord with 18230 points
By MVNLA2 (@mvnla2)

If you are committed to not spending money on AB Go, which I am, the energy meter does impose a certain amount of discipline, which my husband appreciates much more than I do.
Perhaps you could get an extra race every time you come in first with that character? Or maybe an in-game token like the crystals or double points? Or maybe both and ???
I’m at the stage now where I don’t yet have all characters, and upgrading carts is getting very expensive. It is going to take me a long while to get the last few characters. I am woking on Hal right now.
I also have a lot of race challenges that I am stuck on, and I don’t think I’ve opened any of the other challenges. I didn’t realize there were challenges for anything other than race when I played for a short while after initial release. It remains to be seen how long I continue playing, since AB Go requires a huge amount of time invested for not a lot of results, IMO.

Rank: Explosive with 2415 points
By Les Toreadors (@les-toreadors)

More randomly-generated crystals on track available for pickup each race would definitely appease the general playerbase, because gems = purchase energy.

Right now I have a habit of saving up crystals from challenges and random pickups to fund a future ‘driving blitz’ but I completely understand that not a lot of today’s players would have want to have habit of such micromanagement/patience more associated with the grand strategy games of old.

Profile photo of wrw01Rank: Sling God with 22605 points
By wrw01 (@wrw01)

The value of limited energy is that the player can pick and choose of the driver to be used. Some drivers are better for accomplishing certain tasks for each level. It does force one to think and select which driver is best suited. This also applies to the selection of the vehicle. One vehicle can be equipped with all the options and another with only speed and acceleration and another with the least amount of options only to meet the cc requirement so one can obtain an attribute like drifting. The energy limitation of each driver does promote thought and analytical selection on the game player’s part and that is why I am probably addicted to this game as being the most fun and challenging to play each level in all the tracks. I wonder what happens after 999 levels are played?

Rank: Explosive with 2415 points
By Les Toreadors (@les-toreadors)

I also noticed that after unlocking several characters, the ‘energy wait’ pretty much disappears.

Literally. I don’t sit in front of the iPad for one whole hour to finish running all characters, just pick a few with special powers suitable for the track/tactics in mind, run a few games, go back to Real Life ™.

Rank: Master Slinger with 6745 points
By Chris (@chriss)

The waiting time for the characters to be recharged was reduced recently.

Rank: Avian Overlord with 18230 points
By MVNLA2 (@mvnla2)

@wrw01 — Are you paying for coins / buying carts? That gives you a lot more options. Unless I missed something, you can only buy more than one cart for coins on Seedway.
I had a lot of things scheduled today, and the energy meter has turned out to be very irritating. Now that it’s late afternoon / evening, I have time to play, but my racers are all tired. Grrr!

Profile photo of wrw01Rank: Sling God with 22605 points
By wrw01 (@wrw01)

Telepods

By tj

But i got two carts in the seedway

By theo john

@BirdLeader how about the telepads for the Energy Meter.

Rank: Explosive with 2130 points
By Valous (@guinness1079)

I love the energy meter, I get to use all different characters. I have completed levels with king pig that some times I cant complete with the blues.

Profile photo of TobyRank: Debriefed with 1400 points
By Toby (@tobyv)

I plan on posting a fuller critique of this article later this weekend, but I will say for now that I believe Rovio isn’t really interested in forcing you to rotate drivers. I think their motivation is entirely based on a “pay to continue playing” scheme. If they were only concerned about someone using the same driver over and over, then why does the wait time per driver increase as you add more drivers, guaranteeing that you’re drivers will all run out of energy with continuous play no matter how many drivers you acquire?

I would love to be proven wrong. I really like and respect Rovio as a company. If they are simply interested in rotating drivers, then they could make a simple change: If ALL of your drivers run out of energy, then the driver with the shortest recovery time remaining could immediately get back one race’s worth of energy. This would guarantee a rotation, but it would also eliminate having to pay or stop playing.

Rank: Debriefed with 1470 points
By stevieboy (@stevieboy)

i love angry birds go..wen i first seen the poster for it i was like rovio oh no plz dont put the birds in carts…it will end bad……i hold my hands up i was wrong…wat a fun and good game….also like to point out that the energy meter TO ME is not a bad thing because i have epilepsy and if i play 2 long i go into seizures so i can prepare myself and say ok for an hour ill use chuck red blues and bubbles ect and diff charachters for diff things……….i dont think the energy meter is bad for me…..it reminds me that my brain needs a break now in case of a fit….i love a b go…..

Profile photo of SandeepRank: Well Traveled with 1870 points
By Sandeep (@sandeep-kamath)

Just an advice to use which character for which race.

Chuck, Red, Helmet Pig, Blues, Hal, Bomb and Terrence for Race Mode

Stella, Matilda, Foreman Pig, King Pig, Helmet Pig, Hal, Chuck and Red for Time Boom

Bubbles, Stella, Matilda, Helmet Pig, Bomb and Hal for Fruit Splat

Foreman Pig, Bomb, Terrance, Chuck, Helmet Pig and Hal for Versus Mode

Rank: Debriefed with 1470 points
By stevieboy (@stevieboy)

i have a question for u @amslimfordy .why does my daily event never go past day 7…its always crystals i win now on a daily basis…not coins…its like its stuck on day 7 loop..this is on my own device and also another one i own….anyone else hv same prob…i dont really know where to post this question……..i also think the energy meter isnt that bad…

Rank: Sling God with 28450 points
By AMslimfordy (@amslimfordy)

@stevieboy You can read more about the Daily Event in the Subzero release post.

Yes, once you reach the “end” of the Daily Event string, it keeps you on the last day. I think this is extremely generous of Rovio (and maybe a bug?) that you can earn 10 (or 20 if you connect to Facebook) gems per day for as long as you open the app.

Rank: Debriefed with 1470 points
By stevieboy (@stevieboy)

@amslimfordy i have only realised after i typed that….if i miss a day not playing the daily event and play it every 2nd day…..it goes back to day 6 where i get 1000 coins plus another 1000 coz iv connected to facebook…..do u think rovio know this is happening coz 2000 coins every 2days is really geneores…..look 4ward to hearing some feed back about the 2nd day event and the 2000 coins

Rank: Slinger with 1065 points
By Netto JM (@netto-jm)

@amslimfordy, another question, I have some friends that play the game added on facebook, but anyone of them don’t shows up for me in the game, and these friends all have the same problem, they can not see nobody.
What we have to do? Skip all the challenges that require friends?

I’m brazilian, sorry if my english is not perfect!

Rank: Sling God with 28450 points
By AMslimfordy (@amslimfordy)

@netto-jm Angry Birds Go uses GameCenter to see scores, not Facebook.

Rank: Slinger with 1065 points
By Netto JM (@netto-jm)

@amslimfordy The game says I have only to connect to Facebook to see the scores of my friends and interact with them, exactly as in EPIC, but unlike the GO, EPIC does not have this bug, works perfectly and recognizes contacts (I have only 1 though, I need more, I thank anyone who can add me).

As you may know, there is no GameCenter on Android!

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