A Guide to the New Season
Article originally published 2nd of November 2007
At this time, we would like to summarize the upcoming changes and also – where needed - to provide a little bit more detail about how they will work.
In principle, all the updates of this update will come into effect immediately. However, the new match engine will only be used for friendly games during the upcoming season. This goes for everyone, even national teams.
This "test season" will give you a chance to understand the new dynamics and to prepare your squad. At the start of the season beginning in early 2008, the new match engine will be used for all games in Hattrick.
The new training system is in effect immediately. Here is an overview of the changes, including when they take effect and examples of how the new stuff works, where needed:
1. The impact of skills, and how much weight they have on different positions on the field, has changed considerably. More players will now have use of a second or third skill. This was explained in detail in our last editorial, so please check that out, or read through the updated rules of Hattrick.
2. Stamina will now matter for all players. At the start of the game, all players are rested and perform at their full capacity. As the game unfolds, players may start to get tired. The higher your stamina, the longer you can play before getting tired. Once tiredness kicks in, the loss of performance is linear – a tired player loses the same amount of skill between minutes 65 and 70 as he will between the minutes 85 and 90. During half time and again before extra time players get a chance to rest, and some fitness is regained. After the game, you will be able to study the stamina effects in the star rating report. More about this in the next section.
3. Star ratings. One consequence of the above changes will be that your team ratings, and the star ratings of your players, will change. The ratings reflect the new “power” of each player and tactic, after all. Since much of the positive change in the new match engine have been added to skill combinations that managers have not yet trained, your ratings may drop a bit. On the other hand there will be a good potential to improve them if you train well. Also, star ratings will not show slightly different information than before. Since player performance is no longer static throughout the match, the star rating of a player will now show the average performance during a game. This in itself will give a lower number of stars than in the old system, where performance stayed the same during a game. In addition to this, the star rating will indicate how your player performed at the end of the game. This is done by showing a portion of the player star rating as grey stars.
Example: You have a total of five stars in the match report, the first three being yellow and the last two being grey. This means the average contribution of your player during the game was five stars, but at the end of the game it was only three. This player would have performed better on average if he had better stamina. He would also have improved his average performance if he had played less time in the game, since he would have had less time to become tired.
Try to find ways to get the most out of your players, just remember it will be normal for most players to end the games with some tiredness.
On top of this, we have fixed a few flaws in the old star rating formula. One of these was that repositioned players used to get more stars than they deserved. Another was that in some positions on the field, the contribution of secondary skills was not reflected well enough in the ratings. We have chosen not to detail these changes as they might be a bit confusing – what is important is that the new ratings will give you a better idea of how important your players are on the pitch than the old one did.
Training and skill development
1. We have made a few important changes to how skills are trained, and to how players lose skill over time. We will explain the changes here, and you can find even more detail in the rules, but bear in mind that in the end this is really one system – how player skills develop over time, given their age, training and skill. First, let´s explain the idea behind this change.
Until now, skills have always been trained at the same speed, no matter how high or low they have been – the only factor affecting your training has been what is trained and how old the player is. This has caused managers to focus on training only one skill per player for their entire careers. By the time this one skill is “maxed out”, they are considered too old to train a second skill. As players are considered “complete” at a relatively early age, an oversupply of skilled players has appeared in Hattrick. We wanted the new system to counter these patterns, encouraging managers to spend more time training less players.
The "new" system takes three factors into account: training type, age and current skill level. A bit simplified, training will not be slowed down as much by age as before, but on the other hand it will be slowed down by skill level. The main effects of this reform are:
- All players will train very low skills A LOT faster than today. As skills improve, training speed slows down. At the highest skill levels all players will experience slower training than today.
- Players with very high skills compared to their age group – for example a top youth player - will train their main skill a bit slower than before.
- Older players with low skills compared to the best of their age group will train faster than today.
- The majority of players will be able to train faster than they do today – at least if they stay away from training high primary skills.
Example: It will take more time for a 17 year old keeper, starting at high solid, to become a divine keeper compared to today. (The same goes for a very talented 17 year old defender, midfielder, winger etc).
However, a 24 years old formidable scorer (or defender, midfielder etc) will train faster than today. This pattern is true for all skills, except set pieces. In the low skill domain the changes will be much more visible as a world class playmaker with poor passing will train his passing much faster than today.
Finally, we have also changed the "skill drop" system. Previously, this was random and entirely based on age. A player would, as he grew older, get a higher and higher risk of a "skill drop" – sometimes he could lose several levels in one go. The new system is not random at all, but rather a gradual and predictable "aging process". The deciding factors will be the age of the player and the level of each skill: Higher skills will start to drop earlier, lower skills later than today.
This will make player development curves more individual. In the previous system, players never started losing before the age of 26. This will still be the norm, but the exact age will now vary between players, depending on how high their skills are.
We think this new way to deal with player development will have some interesting effects. Training a secondary skill will be faster (since it often starts at a lower level than your primary skill). Since higher skills will now drop faster than lower ones, a player that trains several skills can now become more resistant to losing skills as he gets older.
Players with extremely high skills will be the ones to lose skills the fastest. Some extreme players may even see considerable skill loss even over the course of one season.
Please note: During the coming season, skill loss and training will continue to be reported on separate days. One season from now we will move the skill loss update and combine it with the training update.
Until now, there has been a very small training effect given to ALL players in a squad, whether they have played a game in the right position or not. With the new training system, "background" training will only benefit players that have played during the week. Without this change, background training would become too powerful.
The training type "Defensive positions" will now also train goalkeepers in Defending.
Set Pieces training will no longer benefit the whole squad – just players that have played during the week. Set Pieces takers and Goalkeepers will also get a 25 % boost to their Set Pieces training. Other than this, Set Pieces training will work as it has always done – skill level will not be a factor in either speed of training or skill loss. We make this exception because we plan changes to how Set Pieces work in the game, and we want to finish this work before making any further changes to how Set Pieces is trained. We have also delayed making Set Pieces a factor in player salaries. More information about the changes to Set Pieces will be released during the upcoming season.