Wow, great that you include the community to continuously improve the challenge... congrats!
From my perspective, the 170 (or any other) points winning condition is a must, since it is the one that really makes you struggle to find the optimization schema. Otherwise it will be just farm as fast as possible.
If projects and sample rank 1 want to have more weight, then projects could have a random value (for example 30, 50, 70). And samples rank 1 could cost 1 less molecule.
Anyway, I'm quite happy with this contest... congrats again!