Strategies to get to the top (hope for the newcomer)
There is quite a bit written on various foldit strategies but not much on making progress up the rankings.
At the moment (March 2011) it is relatively easy to make it into the top 50 folders. Here are some ideas on how to do that. It is not the only way but the idea is to enable the newcomer to foldit (like myself) to mix it with the experts. Of course, if everyone follows this strategy it will be just that much harder for everyone else, including me, so don't do it!
Use scripts. These are the easiest way to get there and as far as I can see, all the top players are using them to some extent. It is not necessary to write your own scripts – there are plenty of good, publicly available scripts which will get you there. If you don't know how to download and run a script, find out quick. It will be essential to edit some scripts which have parameters which can be changed – such as start and end segments for a rebuilder. Fortunately this is easy to do although the script editor is woeful.
Make your scripts run faster. Turn off graphic features such as "show bonds" and "view sidechains". Run the foldit window minimized when you aren't there.
Processing power. Faster, more capable computers will be better than old, slow ones.
Bandwidth. Scripts chew up the bandwidth so be prepared for that.
Multiple instances. Multiple copies of foldit will run on a single or more machines. There are problems associated with doing this but quite a lot of people do this and it allows you to try several ideas at the same time.
Experiment. Try lots of different scripts to see what they do. Different scripts are good for different types of puzzle. Some of my favourite scripts at the moment are (not in any order):
- Rebuilders : loop rebuild 2.0, local rebuild(seagat2011)
- Banders: quaker 2.5, quake slice
- Sidechain manipulators: acid tweaker 1.3
- Walkers and settlers: lucky LWS 2.5, Total LWS 1.0.4, worm LWS, tlaloc repeat settle
- Other useful scripts: tlaloc hydrophobe 3.0, tlaloc repeat blue fuse 3.0, tlaloc band strength changers. There are plenty of others and everyone will have their favourites. Some groups have their own recipes.
Don't give up. The top people work harder than the others. Be creative. Be persistent. The rankings are calculated over the last four months of puzzles so you need to keep with it for a while. Enter every puzzle and do the best you can on each. You can get a head start in the beginning - it is easier to get a high ranking in the <15 and <150 puzzles. Enter as many of these puzzles as you can while your score is low. As you progress, they will be unavailable. You can also enter the open section for the same puzzle if you want to get going in a hurry. Experienced players who drop out for a while do this to get back in with the big hitters quickly.
Groups. It is not necessary to join a group but they are popular and will give you advice on how to progress. It is important to think for yourself however.
Read the wiki on strategy. It is not essential but will give you ideas.
Wiki Entry. Tony Origami March 2011