Think of a mesh system with a controller in the middle - a very basic overview. In this scenario the controller would communicate direct to each peripheral device. These devices would then only be 'awake' as required.
However, you may have an area with devices that is some way away from the controller, thereby giving a weakened signal path if each device were to communicate direct to the controller.
With Ricochet a device nearer to the remote area but with good comms to the controller can/will act as the comms path between remote area and controller. Because of this it will be working much harder than if it was just doing it's 'own thing'.
Doesn't that boil down to the layout of the premises?