New Framework for Specialities & Special Events

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Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial
originally published 2017-05-09 10:49:00 by HT-Johan

Our new system for specialities is more carefully balanced and will offer managers more interesting tactical choices, as well as open up new paths for strategic team-building.

The key points of the change will be a new, more transparent way to generate Special Events, big tweaks to the effects of all current specialities, two new unique player roles and, finally, the introduction of a completely new speciality.

Let's dig in on the new stuff

A new speciality and new unique roles

We are introducing the new speciality “Support Player”, revamping the old “Regainer” and introducing the two new unique roles “Power Forward” and “Sitting Midfielder”.

Stronger link between skills and specialities

Specialities now have a stronger link with the skills of the players involved in a special event.

Generation process

The most important change under the hood has to do with how we decide when and which special events are triggered, and how they play out.

Today, the match engine will first decide which team will have a special event, giving the one with the most ball possession the best chance to win it. Once this is decided, we choose a random player from that team. Finally we choose a category of events to check for (weather, quick, corners etc) and step through those to see which one may be triggered for the selected player.

This system makes it quite hard to predict how a match may play out, and it is also tricky for us to balance and improve the system as a whole. So we have decided to rewrite this logic from scratch.

In the future, the process will follow a different logic. First the match engine will decide if there is any event at all. If there is, it will choose between two main categories for the event, team events or individual events, and finally an event type within that category.

As you can guess, anything related with the whole team (like corners and inexperience events) belong to the team event category and anything related to a single or two players belong to individual events. The latter will be more frequent in general.

One big change is that each special event can happen more than once in the game. However, with every next occurrence, the chance will be lower.

Individual events

Individual events are the most common and typical special events, such as when a Quick rushes to score or a Technical goes around a Head player.

When the match engine has decided an Individual event will happen, it will no longer check ball possession to decide which team gets the chance, but instead check the actual players on both team, their specialities and positions.

Example: If the match engine decides to create a quick rush event, it will list all the relevant players from both teams and pick one randomly who gets the event. This way, by comparing your lineup to that of your opponent, you will know in advance what your chances to get a specific event is, and this will bring a new taste to all tactical choices.

Team events

Team events will still depend on ball possession, so if the match engine triggers one of these it will be awarded much like before, in a linear comparison between the midfield ratings.

Weather events

Weather events will move outside the main special events process. Instead, we will check for them during the start of each half. If one is triggered, ALL the players on the field with the related specialty will be affected, losing or gaining a fixed percentage of their total contribution. A weather event usually lasts for the rest of the match. Sometimes, though, an event starting in the first half can be overturned for the second half.

Weather will matter more for players with specialities than it does today.

With the new generation process code, we are positive that we will be able to balance the specialties by their expected contribution and the events frequencies, something that was too difficult with the current one.

Specialities & Events

Let’s check now each specialty separately. Please note that for further details on each event, check our Dev Blog where we have published on overview of all the skills that will be used for each event.

Quick Events

Quick scores

Any Winger, Inner Midfielder or Forward can start a quick rush to score. If the exact opposite player is also quick, then he has 100% chance to stop the attack. Otherwise, nearby quick players might stop it instead, but they have a much smaller chance.

Quick passes

Again, Wingers, Inner Midfielders and Forwards can start a quick rush with a possible pass in their mind.

Losses in Rain and Sun

In case of rain and sun, all quick players might suffer.

Boost on Counter Attacks

If you want to be an expert in Counter Attacks, you will need not only good passing skills, but also quick players to take advantage of it. Any quick Winger, Inner Midfielder and Forward will give a small boost on the Counter Attacks tactic. The effect will not be linear, the range starts from 0 and goes up to 2.8 tactic levels. Keep in mind that your opponent might reduce or nullify this boost depending on the number of quick players he has selected as Wing Backs, Inner Midfielders and Defenders.

Technical Events

Technical goes around a head player

This is known as a tech vs head special event. Any technical Winger, Inner Midfielder and Forward can take advantage of it if the player on the exact opposite position is a header.

Lose in rain, gain in sun

Same for this weather event. Any technical player will suffer in rain and thrive in the sun.

Technical defensive Forwards

No change here. These players continue to have a boost of 33% of their passing on wing attacks.

Create a non-tactical Counter Attack

When you win the ball deep in your own half, it is a blessing to have a precise passer at hand. Every technical defender and wing back will give you a small chance to create a non-tactical counter attack from a missed normal chance of your opponent. Your chances to trigger an event increases with every technical defender you have (but it will not increase linearly).

Man Marking

During man marking, if your target is a technical player, then there might be a chance to have a bigger effect than any other player. If you keep him close to you, he will not have the space to do his magic.

Unpredictable Events

Unpredictable long pass

Goalkeepers, Defenders and Wing Backs might create a good chance with a long pass.

Unpredictable scores on his own

One on one with the goalkeeper. This event is for Wingers, Inner Midfielders and Forwards.

Unpredictable special action

Any unpredictable player (except keepers) may read their opponents, dribble and find an opening pass. The player then receiving the ball could be a Winger or Forward.

Unpredictable mistake

Wing backs, defenders and inner midfielders can have a bad day and make a fatal mistake. An opposing Winger or Forward can take advantage of this.

Unpredictable boosts Play Creatively tactic

More details later, but experience and passing will be important for every player to increase the play creatively tactic.

Man Marking

Since you cannot predict an unpredictable player, those will be harder to man mark than others.

Create a non-tactical Counter Attack

The events "Unpredictable scores on his own” and "Unpredictable special action”, if attempted by a Winger or a Forward, might lead to a non-tactical counter attack for your opponent if you fail.

Powerful Events

Pressing tactic

No change here. Defence skill counts double on the tactic level.

Lose in sun, gain in rain

Same as before, all powerful players on the field will suffer in the sun, and will thrive in the rain.

Power Forward ("Powerful Normal Forward”)

Size matters. If you have a big forward playing Normal, they can put their bodies in the right place, forcing a second chance to shoot and score after a normal chance for your team has been missed. Keep in mind that this physical play could result in yellow cards! For that reason, if your player has already been carded, he will tread more carefully in these situations.

Sitting Midfielder ("Powerful defensive Inner Midfielder”)

Let your powerful midfielder play defensively so that he can concentrate on breaking up attacks and winning the ball. If he succeeds in pressing, the opponent's attack breaks down.

Man Marking

Powerful players will have an advantage when performing man marking.

Winger Events

Winger to anyone

If your winger managed to break through the defence on his side of the pitch, he might pass the ball to the other Winger, Forward or an offensive Inner midfielder.

Winger to head

Same as the previous event, but if the receiver is a header, then it will be far easier for him to score.

Corner Events

Corners will be more frequent than now, but they might be harder to succeed with.

Corner to anyone

You need a good set piecer and your offensive indirect set pieces will be tested against the defensive indirect set pieces of your opponent. If the ball receiver has good enough scoring skills to pass the keeper, then it’s a goal.

Corner to head

Same as the previous one, but instead of a good scoring player, you just need to win the fight between the headers of the two teams.

Both events might lead to a yellow card for the offensive team, but if your player is already carded he will be extra careful so the risk of a second yellow is lower than it would otherwise have been.

Inexperience Events

At the moment, we compare the total experience of the teams when we check for inexperience events. But if one of the teams is one player short, total experience will fall a lot and as a consequence, this team is much more likely to get any inexperience event. Instead, we will change this so that average experience is used.

Experienced forward scores

If your forward has great experience compared to the average of the opponents, and also high enough scoring to outwit the keeper, you might end up with a goal.

Inexperienced defender

Same as before. Your defender has low experience compared to the average of the opponent team, making them eager to exploit his mistakes. If the event triggers, an opposing player may be able to win the ball and then get a crack at scoring.

Resilient (formerly known as Regainers)

Regainers are not a myth. They do exist, and now we will make them more frequent. We will increase the frequency of their birth by 50 times. If they get injured, their injuries will be less severe than they would otherwise have been, and they heal faster. They will also have their skill-drop kick in at a slightly higher age than other players. To reflect the wider scope of their vigour and durability, the speciality will be renamed “Resilient”.

New specialty

A new specialty will come also to Hattrick. The name will be “Support Player”. He will be rare, but not as rare as the Resilient/Regainer. We will start giving birth to them next season from youth academies, but we will not share with you any details for now, more than the name hint.

Play Creatively

We will redesign the tactic and give it a visible tactic level, like any other tactic out there. Choosing to play creatively will increase the maximum number of special events in the match, but also reduce your defence ratings. Both experience and passing will be important for Play Creatively (passing more than experience) and unpredictable players will have a double effect.

For teams that choose Play Creatively, we will also increase the probability that when a Special Event is triggered, your team will get it - regardless of your ball possession or the number of specialties on your team. If both teams Play Creatively, this bonus will be void.

Overcrowding penalty for unique players

With the new specialties, we have 3 unique combinations of specialties and positions: Technical Defensive Forwards (TDF), Powerful Normal Forwards (PNF) and Powerful Defensive Inner Midfielders (PDIM). If you field two of the same type, you will suffer a penalty on their contribution. If you field three, the penalty will be bigger. Still, these effects will be rather small, just big enough to make you think about it a second time if you have alternatives.

When will all this happen?

We plan to release these changes to the game towards the end of this upcoming season, however they will then only be available in Tournament games at first so that everyone has a chance to test or observe the mechanics before they enter the main game two seasons from now (early 2018).

During this time details may change as we consider your feedback and continue our own testing and balancing. If this happens, we will of course make further announcements before the final release.