Tradeoff between Survical and APS
Agreed, if there is no chance of getting the survival bonus then it makes sense to try to get some damage at least. However if for a very small reduction in damage you can get some guaranteed bonus, it can make sense to try for the bonus. Judging where that point is, is difficult though =)
Yes, and that’s what separates a good energy management from ordinary ones. For where that point is, my experience told me that, it depends. For those don’t react on your bullet power (and firing relatively high power bullets), reducing bullet power earlier (e.g. immediately when having noticeable disadvantages) generally works, even for the extreme case iirc, e.g. reduce to 0.1 suddenly. I think that’s because the opponent is losing advantage shortly (for wasting energy), then you can fire normal power bullets again. (this increases both survival and bullet damage, some of the time). But for those reacting on your bullet power, this trick only cause them to keep their advantage, therefore making you lose the last chance to win.
Also in my observation, ScalarBot wins RaikoMicro sometimes even with a huge disadvantage in energy (e.g. RaikoMicro has 10x more energy, and ScalarBot will die even with one shot). While against Diamond, when in huge disadvantage, even giving away every point of energy gives no return at all (but still better than giving that score to the opponent). It seems that the best energy strategy really differs among different opponents. Against weaker opponents, especially with relatively weaker guns (especially guns that change slowly), bet on survival seems to be the best choice, since my movement could be already learning their targeting very well after performing bad for a while.
Then maybe the best strategy overall is already what everyone is doing now — be conservative when low in energy, as even against those you have no chance to beat, giving the last few points to opponent should not make a real difference. But the best point may be different for different guns & movements.
Then may be the best way is to just find it out in a rather brute-force way — and re-do after doing big changes in guns or movement.