Pecking Order is the name of my coop but its also a key part of how racing will work in Chicken Derby.
Understanding Pecking Order (PO) and Pecking Order Points (POP) will be key to developing a successful racing strategy for your chickens. While there are some questions marks that remain about how the system will work once the game is live there are some insights we can gain already.
Each chicken in the spicy generation came with a POP attached to it already. That score is directly connected to the perfection rating of your bird. To begin birds with a perfection score between 90 and 93 have a POP of 40. Birds with perfection between 94 and 97 have a POP of 59. The birds with a perfection score of 97 or higher have the highest POP at 59.
But what exactly does that all mean?
Well, it means that when racing does begin every bird will be in PO B. If you think of Pecking Order as a classification system for birds this means that all birds will be eligible for the same races to start as PO B ranges from a POP of 40 up to 59. So on day 1 of racing the worst birds and the best birds will be racing against each other.
While that may seem unideal for anyone holding lower perfection birds there is good news. With one bad result a bird between 90 and 93 will lose the 1 POP needed to drop down to PO C which is for birds with a POP score between 0 and 39. It also means that with one good result a bird with a perfection score of 97 or higher would move up to PO A which is for birds with a POP of 60+.
So there may be some exceptions to this rule but as more and more races take place you will likely see a PO A that is heavily populated with birds with perfection scores of 97 or higher, PO B with birds between 94 and 97, and PO C with birds that are 93 or lower. It should open the door for more chickens to find a way to be competitive once they are racing in the right range of Pecking Order. It could mean a few tough results to start for your spicy chicken but once they find their place in the world then things should get more reasonable.
The final PO in the game is chick which will only come in once breeding is live. Any bird that has yet to compete in a race will only be able to take part in a Chick race after which they will receive their POP and can begin to enter other races.
So why does all of this matter?
The biggest thing to understand with Pecking Order is that it should open the door for more chickens to be competitive. You might find yourself racing against far superior chickens for the first few races as birds are still finding their levels but do not despair, give it time and things should normalize. It also means that if you only have a budget for a bird with a perfection score of 93 or less it doesn’t mean your chances on the race track are hopeless. You could still have a bird that is a viable racer in PO C. You don’t have to get a bird that will be a PO A beast to have success on the race track.
Don’t be the owner who gives up on their bird after a handful or races or less because there is a chance they were just racing the wrong competition and could be just fine in the long run. And if you see other owners giving up on birds too early be ready to pounce keeping in mind that one day perfection will drop way below 90 and even the worst birds now will have higher value.
What do we not know?
The biggest question mark that I see with Pecking Order is how quickly it will move up and down. What we know is it that “after a race, your chicken will gain or lose POP based on its finishing position, gaining POP if it does well, losing it if it does poorly”. But what does well mean and what does poor mean? And how many points will you go up or down in any given race. With only 20 points separating the three classes it seems unlikely that the point swings with be large as that would result in birds moving around Pecking Orders frequently.
The Pecking Order seems to be one area that the game will need to fine tune during the upcoming closed beta. If POP is going up and down too quickly it might not achieve the desired results and need some adjusting.
For those taking part in beta racing we do know that POP will be live so birds can move up and down in PO but it will be reset at the end of the closed beta. That means that once the open beta begins all birds will once again be in PO B.