Changes for the upcoming season (Season 34)
Article originally published 8th of October 2007
In the editorials published before the start of this season, we discussed the state of the Hattrick economy and our design goals for the game, such as reducing the oversupply of players in the game and creating a more stable transfer market. We also announced a set of concrete actions, both for the short and the long term. Now it’s time for the details on the long term changes.
As you may remember, what we did immediately in July was to increase the team revenues to stop money leaking out of the Hattrick system every week. This has had the predictable result that teams lose less money, more teams invest in new players, and the prices on the transfer market are recovering. Although needed, this was mostly a treatment of symptoms. The coming, and more important, steps will be to change the ways players develops over time and how they perform in the game engine. We want the game mechanics to encourage users to make decisions that are not only good for their teams, but also good for Hattrick.
We also want to do this without losing simplicity and without giving too big advantages to certain groups of users, for example teams with lots of cash or teams that have been playing for a long time. This means much of the intended impact of the new changes are intended to be gradual and the real effect will first be visible after a few seasons of user adaptation to the new system. The future winners will be the teams that adapt better, rather than the teams that happen to have the right team today.
Our planned changes can be divided into four categories:
- New match engine: Player positions and individual orders
- Stamina importance for all players
- Skill training
- Skill drops over time
New match engine: Player positions and individual orders
One of our long-term goals is to further promote multi-skilled players in the game. Since training several skills takes a lot of time, and players need to be trained to a higher age, all-round players should also be rewarded with more impact in the game engine and not only by a lower salary check. For the upcoming season we have done a complete review of the match engine, looking at each player position and individual order and adjusting their impact on sector ratings (some orders have been too strong, others too weak) and, as a consequence, to match results.
We want all individual orders to be relevant and we want your choice to depend more on your specific player and tactical needs than on what order is “objectively” best. We also want to establish stronger natural links between different positions and balance their relative power, which at the same time should reduce the risk of “extreme tactics” where a boosted secondary skill impact in the match engine is exploited in unrealistic ways.
The main principle here is that, no matter what individual orders are placed, a defender always contributes more to defense than any non-defender on the field. This means a defensive winger will contribute more to the side attack than an offensive wing back and an offensive central defender will contribute more to the defense than a defensive midfielder. Using a mono-skilled player on any position will still be feasible, but having a player with all the appropriate skills for a certain position will be more effective. Using a player type in a position he’s not trained for (such as using a true playmaker as an offensive central defender for example) will also still be an option, but not as desirable as before.
Finally, we have also added new skills to many player positions. These skills could be called tertiary skills as they will not add a lot of power by themselves. They will on the other hand create nice new goals for training, especially considering the faster training of low skills (see the training section below), even if they will not have a big immediate impact on the game.
For a detailed, position by position, description of the changes, please read the next editorial.
Stamina will be important for all player positions, as we announced in the July editorial. The way stamina works in matches will also be changed. First of all, stamina will count for all players, not only midfielders. Stamina will also be a factor during the whole game, not just in second half which is more or less the case today. If your player has high stamina, he will not lose any performance until maybe late in the game (depending on how high stamina he’s got). A player with low stamina on the other hand will perhaps start losing performance already in the first half. During half-time he will regain some energy, but pretty soon in the second half he’ll start losing performance again.
The speed of performance loss due to stamina has been modeled after how stamina used to work for playmakers. However, now the effects will be more visible as we start giving you better feedback on the stamina effects in your games. We will use the match reports for stamina related events, but also show the overall stamina effect in the ratings system.
Training on low levels will be much faster than today - the lower level, the faster training. This means that training on really low levels will be many times faster than today. Training will slow down as a player gains skills and by the time a player reaches the solid skill level, the training effectiveness is similar to what we have today. The skill level will make training slower for each level gained, but the big impact will be seen on the very low levels. At higher levels, the slowdown will be compensated by a decreased age effect on training. In practice, you will have to reach very high skill levels to suffer considerable skill penalties when training.
Simply put, rather than just having age affect training speed, now both skill level and “age level” will be important. This change will make it faster to train secondary skills, and also more beneficial (at least if you’re close the wage cap). In many cases it will be better to give for example your defender some playmaking training instead of just adding more playmaking to your mono-skilled inner midfielder, due to wages and the high speed training on low levels.
As we earlier announced we will also make changes in the set pieces and stamina training. Set pieces: All players playing match (including substitutes) will receive training. The set pieces taker(s) will receive a bonus. At the same time we also would like to inform that set pieces will be a more valuable skill in the future. Stamina: Players that have been selected for the game, including substitutes who do not get to play, receive 100% of the stamina training effect. Other squad players receive only half the effect.
The skill level will matter for skill drops, but only on very high skill levels (around divine). Players who’ve been trained to around the divine level will struggle to keep their skill at this level. At the same time age will matter less when it comes to skill drops in general.
When do these changes take effect?
All these changes will take effect next season (starting Nov 5). There are however quite many changes in the match engine (even if each change is rather small) and we want you to have a chance to try it out before it actually matters in competition matches. The “new” match engine (with the changes in player/position contribution and stamina) will therefore only be used in friendly matches next season, and after that be used in all matches. This means in short: Training and skill drops changes will take effect at the start of the next season, contribution and stamina changes will only matter in friendlies next season.
Changes which will be announced separately
Two more changes, which we informed about in July, will also be implemented next season. These changes will not be ready at the start of the season however and will therefore be announced separetely on My Hattrick during next season:
- Having a reasonable stamina will be necessary for a player to be able to absorb other kinds of training. Players with very low stamina will not benefit very much from traditional skill training.
- Injury recovery times will decrease a little from today's levels, and become less dependent on age. Injuries will however be affected by current stamina on the pitch. A tired player runs a slightly higher risk of injuring himself.
Is this it?
For this next season, yes. But this is just a start, it’s not the final solution. More changes and new features are being considered, both for the overall enjoyment of the game and to further promote multi-skilled players. I’m also quite sure that the HFA will need to look over the economical situation (rumour says fans are about to organize protest groups as they’re not that happy about the ticket price increase for instance).