don't focus on the water landing or miss the real test.
Yep, totally agree. It's just that Spacex seems to like to have a long string of possible tests if everything works, or until something goes wrong so they get the most for their testing $$. Think of COT2+ for example. It would not surprise me if the much discussed rotation of the 1st stage after separation was preliminary testing for the V1.1 flip maneuver for example. So for the V1.1 flight there are a bunch of probably objectives as I see it.
1 - Does it fly norminally
2 - Can the 1st stage be flipped and stabilized with cg thrusters to orient for reentry.
3 - Can the 1st stage avionics settle fuel and restart the engine properly
4 - Can they maintain stable attitude and trajectory down to subsonic speeds
5 - Can they do a hoverslam to the ocean surface
6 - Can they recover the stage and engines
7 - What does forensic analysis tell them about their design assumptions
8 - etc.
Obviously number 1 is the biggie for the V1.1 vehicle and launching for paying customers, but the further down the list they get on any given flight the more they learn towards F9R and future projects. I was just curious about the water landing and recovery since I'd not really thought in those terms before but it's certainly not "that important" in the near term compared to things higher up the list. Feel free to add or reorder as you see fit.