I agree that it's unfortunate the national tournament doesn't get to see some very competitive devices.My friend had 5 ETS, flawless -- consistent each time, with 5 lifting mechanisms (my state didn't allow the new rule clarifications... they don't abide the National FAQ anymore). Everything was solid and lasted 30 seconds or so because he didn't add the timing mechanism. His device was 20x30x40. I think this scores around 930? But he's not going to national this year :/
I cannot believe he built such a machine... Such a shame the competition cannot see the machine due to 2 points loss at states lol.
Our device at 3 planned ETS (only 1 working), was about 20x20x20, lasted for about 60 seconds (ideal time was 75 seconds), and placed third in the state. Compare that with our regional device, which had 5 planned ETS (only 1 working), also around 20x20x20, not sure how long it lasted, and placed fourth at regionals. This event seems easy at first (and it kind of was for us if you forget the frustration), but seems like it's still rather difficult for most teams to get many working ETS.