Here's how it works in general in the latest iteration:
1) Ya get a negative count of the less than good stuff AKA ESE, w/ the blocks counting as less than good stuff;
2) Ya get a positive count of the good stuff AKA PIEDMONT;
3) The total = PIEDMONTESE.
The ESE in v. 3.1 = the ESE in the system described here, plus blocks.
The PIEDMONT in v. 3.1 = the PIEDMONT in the system described here, but w/ points only for sparkle, not for scrabbliness w/o sparkle.
The new system is more Rex than Deb...it generates more negative numbers than the earlier versions of the PIEDMONTESEOMETER. I believe it will be difficult but definitely not impossible for a puzz to get a positive number--we'll see.
Today, my sense as I solved it was that Sam E.'s and Victor F.'s puzz was cleaner than the average themer...I came up w/ a -2 1/2 count for it, w/ +35 1/2 for the white squares and -38 for the blocks.