I feel like there might be too large of a step between leagues silver and gold. You spend a lot of time in the lower leagues with only tiny changes in rules and just a better boss - like in bronze vs. silver IIRC: there are collisions in bronze, but you can only shield in silver. I know I didn't even have to adjust my code for collisions to pass from bronze to silver, so this addition seemed kind of pointless. Yet from silver to gold, not only do you get the brand new parsing, but you now have 2 pods, so the strategy is completely different. That's a lot of changes at once.
So, my suggestion is:
- introduce the shield rule in bronze league
- introduce almost all of the new parsing in the silver league: each player still has only 1 pod, but for this pod, they get the 6 integers to parse like in gold, and also the number of laps and checkpoints and the checkpoint coordinates.
- and then in gold, you get 2 pods, which leads to only small changes in parsing, but potentially big changes in strategy.
(If you don't like this, you can imagine a hybrid solution, like already getting in silver the speed and angle of the pod, but temporarily retaining checkpointX, -Y, -Dist and -Angle, or the reverse…)