Hattrick 6.5

From Hattrick

The following contents are based on official Hattrick documents and/or official statements — which usually means they should be trustworthy.


My Hattrick message:

15-07-2003 Launching Hattrick 6.5
Today we're launching a major upgrade of the game - Hattrick 6.5. Major new features are the new coach system, a major change to the effect experience have on player performance, new tactical options and of couple of adjustments and announcements. Read all about it in Hattrick 6.5.

See also: Hattrick 6.6


Hattrick 6.5

The new version of Hattrick goes into effect from now. We have grouped the package into Major Changes (new or altered features), Minor Adjustments (basically changed parameters) and Announcements (things we want you to know).



Major changes

New system for coaches

New system for recruiting

The old system of try-coach-sack-him-try-again is abandoned completely. Our reasoning for abolishing the old system are

  • It was too random-based
  • It was bad for server performance.
  • We wanted to add some cool new features

A word about randomness: Now, randomness is a necessary feature in a game, because it adds to the complexity and the fun, and it is also necessary in a simulation because it exists in the real world. However, the way it worked in the old coach recruiting system struck us as being dumb: One team could get a solid coach for €10,000, while another could spend €1,000,000 without getting one that was better than passable.

Some people have argued that such a system is good for the minor teams. True, it was good for a small number of really fortunate new teams who could get catapulted off to a great start by getting a solid coach early on. However, it was a lottery and "those few" were drawn by lot - not by skill. It's necessary of course to maintain a balance in the game that makes it possible for new teams to climb the ladder and catch up with the top teams - but we think there are much better ways of enabling this than to chose those teams using a coach lottery.

In short: we strongly believe in randomness as part of the game - but it should come in many small doses to enable good and bad luck to even out, not as in the old coach-sacking system when it could have absurd effects.

Recruit a coach externally

You can either recruit a new coach "externally", which basically means that you hire a new coach. However, you first decide how good you want him to be (trainer skill and leadership) and what trainer-type you want (one who favours attack or defence or the new "neither" type).

Each combination of leadership/trainer skill has a fixed price. Then you "buy" him (he is taken from the pool of unemployed coaches - there is still no transfer list or anything like that). No need to try out a hundred coaches to find the one you want.

Make player coach

Alternatively, you can make one of your own players coach. Most of us tend to grow fond of our old heroes and we think this is a pretty cool feature. Apart from being cool, it can be somewhat cheaper than external recruiting - if you have a player with the right coach material.

There are a few restrictions: The player's experience determines how good a coach he can become. Also, the more experienced he is, the lower his price for a certain skill level. Players keep their leadership (already known to you) and you do not pay for their leadership - so, if you have a very experienced player with high leadership, this can be a real bargain.

However, to prevent "day trading" of coaches-to-be, we have another restriction: The player must have been on your squad for a season (16 weeks) to be eligible to become coach. While it will still be possible (in principle) to purchase a player in order to make him coach for a little less, it will require more than a season's foresight, and we think that in that case it is OK. In fact, we think long-term planning should pay off.

Skills deterioration

Coaches will now slowly see their leadership skills deteriorate. Deterioration will not start until the coach has been in the club for more than a season.

We think it is both unfair to new teams and quite unrealistic that once you have bought a super coach, you can keep him forever - until he is 100 years old or more. Of course, we could have added an upper limit when coaches suddenly retire, but we really think it is fairer that they slowly deteriorate, just like players do, and leave the final choice to you when it is time to bring in new blood.

Our "in character" reasoning is that a coach that might seem bustling with energy and inspiration when he first arrives, after a few seasons loses some of his "edge". He has simply grown bored with the job... ;)

Finally, once a coach reaches disastrous leadership (and that would typically take perhaps 10 seasons for a coach starting with solid leadership), the deterioration starts hitting his trainer skills instead of the depleted leadership. Let us underline that the deterioration is very slow, although it will go somewhat faster for coaches with very high leadership, so a solid leader might go down to passable after 1-2 seasons (more likely after 2 seasons or more though).

Improved defensive coaches

Defensive coaches will become slightly more effective at being defensive than they used to be. In the past, almost everyone have preferred an attack-minded coach to a defensive one and with attacking now being fully optional, we want to give the defensive ones a fair chance to be chosen.

This change means that attack-minded and defensive-minded coaches work identically to how they have always worked, except that the boost for defence for the defensive one is slightly higher than it used to be.

Old coaches don't leave

When you hire a new coach, he becomes the coach of your squad (when he arrives, which may take up to a minute after you order him). However, the old coach does not disappear like he used to. Instead, he stays in the squad (in case you want to keep him as player).

If you don't want him, you will have to fire him. He can never become coach a second time!. Also, you cannot sell a player who has become coach. This is important, as otherwise people would start trading coaches and that is not the kind of system we want.

New team's initial coach

All new teams get initial coaches who are of equal skill level (weak).

All men are created equal

All new trainers of a certain skill level are equal. That is, if you purchase a coach with passable trainer skill, he always becomes "average" passable. There is no "high passable" and "low passable" as there were with coaches hired under the old system.

Neutral coaches

Neutral coaches (neither attack-minded nor defence-minded) are added as a third type of coach. This is really an obvious option to add to the existing "defence-minded" and "attack-minded" coaches: he does not incur any penalty and gains only a marginal advantage for attack and defence. Some people might find it useful.

Excellent coaches

One of the options available when hiring a coach, is to hire one with excellent trainer skill. Excellent trainers have not existed before. However, the price is set extremely high for these, even though they are "very low excellent", i.e. they are only half a step better than solid ones.

Also, since the old coach system could generate "high solid", the difference between a high solid created during the old system and an excellent in the new system is very small so be warned: You can chose an excellent coach and pay a fortune for him, but don't expect his impact to be any more than slightly better than the solid one.

No immediate TS effect

Changing coach no longer has any immediate effect on team spirit or any other immediate psychological effect.


Player experience affects performance

Why

Player experience has been quite neglected in game play for a very long time, which is rather unrealistic. Experience does matter in the real world. We have alerted you over the last couple of seasons several times that experience will become more important in the future. That future has now arrived.

Also, when we changed the reward system for players on a national team, we announced that the main benefit to the owner of having such a player should be the player's experience gain. Now is the time for that change to take effect.

How

All players' experience will affect matches by boosting their performance. An experience bonus will be sort of put on top of the regular skill. You'll notice this as a gain to both team sector values as well as player ratings.

Players with higher experience will of course get a higher net gain than players with low routine skill. However, the effect is not linear, you gain less performance boost per experience level the higher your experience is - players with divine experience will only be marginally better than similar players with outstanding experience, for instance. Or, differently put, the increase between extra-terrestrial and mythical is much smaller than the increase between poor and weak, in terms of boosting team play.

This introductory season, we will only make the size of the gain half of what we've intended. This will allow you to adapt to the new change. Next season, if all goes well and we don't spot any bizarre side effects, we'll increase the gain to full effect.


Match strategy

Part of the Hattrick 6.5 package is the new match order option called Tactic Type. This will enable you to give an overall tactical order for the team, such as "counter-attack" or "attack on wings". Each Tactic Type has certain advantages and disadvantages.

However, since this is a major change that may alter some established truths, we are not launching this feature right away. Tactic Types will be introduced gradually. The first step is this description. Then, a few weeks into the upcoming season, we will make Tactic Types available for friendlies only. And by the start of the season after this (i.e. the season that starts in early November), Tactic Types will be available for all matches. This will enable most of you to spend at least half a season experimenting with the tactic types in friendlies before they start actually making a difference.

As you all know, midfield has for a long time generally been considered far too important in Hattrick. We, the Hattrick design team, agree to some extent and have slowly aimed at creating a better balance. We do not want to change it all in one go - such a change must be spread out over many seasons. Two of the new Tactic Types will offer interesting alternatives to the previously almighty 3-5-2.

The Tactic types are described in detail a separate document.

Adjustments

Winger to middle loses defence

Previously, when a winger is ordered "towards the middle", it has (oddly) not affected his defensive contribution, only his contribution to attacks. This has now been changed so that wingers given the "towards the middle" instruction will contribute half the amount to the defence as the winger position would have done under "normal" instruction.


Training types adjusted

Why

A couple of training types are terribly neglected by the public. This means that certain aspects of the game are lost, making the game less interesting. For instance, winger skills are trained to a much lesser extent than playmaking. That means that there are less skillful wingers available. And that means that less goals are scored thanks to wingers, making it less attractive to train wingers – and meaning that eventually the winger skill will be completely marginalized.

We have seen this happen to some extent to the set pieces skill. Set pieces are currently under-represented among goals made, compared to how the game engine is designed. That is because players with really good set pieces skill are very rare.

How

To address this, we now seek to stimulate certain neglected training types, like this:

  • Winger training will become 50% more effective than before.
  • Set pieces training will become 25% more effective than before.
  • Shooting training will become 100% more effective than before as far as the effect on set pieces is concerned. Its effectiveness on scoring is unchanged.
  • Passing training will become 25% more effective than before.

Minor fixes

Tie-breaker in series

When two teams end up having the exact same number of points, and having scored and let in the exact same number of goals, the previous tie-breaker has been TeamID. Many have found this unfair. Instead, we now add as the final tiebreaker, instead of TeamID, that the position between these two teams is decided randomly.

Ownerless teams lineup reset

Teams that have gone ownerless in the upper divisions currently have their lineup reset to walk-over-mode twice per season - before the Wednesday matches before match Rounds 1 and 8. We now add a third reset point: Match Round 15 (i.e. their lineup will be reset before they play qualification matches).



Announcements

Economy will be adjusted

We hereby announce our intentions for upcoming versions beyond Hattrick 6.5, to adjust the economic parameters of the game in a more coherent and regular way than before.

This is announced without specifying any particular date other than "in future versions of Hattrick". Costs and incomes for teams will be adjusted, to correct them to take into account the "inflation" that has taken place since these costs and incomes were introduced, many of which have remained unchanged since HT 1.0. These adjustments will be made in one or several steps over one or several seasons.

We also wish to make it clear that it is our policy to maintain a modest rate of inflation, i.e. that the amount of cash per team will slowly rise. "Slowly rise" means that it will not see any dramatic booms. Measures will be taken to assure that the amount of cash per team does not go down (apart from fluctuations within seasons).

Both economic goals (that parameters that have grown unbalanced should be corrected, and that a modest inflation should be maintained) will be taken into account when measures are taken to target either of them.