Bot to the bottom

From Hattrick
Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial originally published in 2009-11-23 13:00:00.

The HFA (Hattrick Football Association) has decided to demote bot teams to the lowest possible division at this season’s end, and also to stop bot teams from promoting. Instead, some of you will promote "for free" and take their place higher up in the league pyramid.

The purpose with this change is to move bots to the bottom of the series system, and let all of you play higher up against each other. With this change most of you will play against more teams managed by real people instead of boring bots, which will spice up the competition as well as your manager life.

This new (and permanent) system will be in effect from this season's end, and be valid from division VI and down (bots in div V and up will continue using today's rules). Read on for all the details of this change.

Let's face it, it's much more fun to play against real people instead of robot teams. Bot teams fill an important role in the game world as transit teams, or to fill out leagues and series where there aren’t enough real teams. But they will never be able to replace the challenge from another person’s mind.

So at this season's end we will introduce new permanent rules for how bot teams promote and demote, which also will affect promotion for real teams at the same time. As much as possible we want real teams to be among other real teams (and bots among other bots). This is how the new system is going to work:

Promotion and demotion for bots:

All bot teams in div 6 and lower will demote to the lowest possible division. This regardless if they finish in 1st, 3rd or 5th place, they will always demote to the bottom. There is one exception though: in div VI, bots finishing 1st will promote or play a qualifier. So a bot team finishing 2nd in division VII, for example, can therefore be demoted all the way down to division X (if that division isn’t full of bots already).

This naturally also means that bot teams will not promote either (apart from promotion from div VI to V as mentioned above). The lovely result of all of this is that bots will quite quickly end up in the bottom - and stay there.

Real teams take bot teams' positions

When bot teams demote, real teams will take their positions instead. So, even if you don't finish on a promotion place there is still a chance that you will promote. Promote "for free", so to say. You can however only be promoted one division at a time.

These extra promotions will be based on league ranking, just like normal promotions. The highest ranked team in division 7 (that hasn't already qualified for promotion) will be the first to take a demoting bot team's place in div 6, and so on. For the cup, teams getting an extra promotion will also take the bot team’s position in the cup (if the bot was qualified for the cup).

No promotion money

If you promote “for free” you will not get any promotion money from the HFA. Your fans will however celebrate it as a normal promotion, and your fan club will get 10% more members. Your fans will also give you a soft start and won’t expect too much of you in the higher division.

Demoting teams will always demote

Please note that demoting real teams will always demote. If you finish last you will demote even if there are bots to be demoted from your division (or even your own series). It’s the teams from the division below that will promote and take the demoted bots' places. The only exception is if there is no real team to promote from the division below, then you will stay in your series even if you finish last.

New rules are valid from div 6 and down

These new rules are valid from div VI and down, and so do not apply to the whole series system. Div V and up will still use today's promotion/demotion rules for bots (and as mentioned above, any bot on 1st or 2nd place in div VI (quite rare in most of the world) will also use the old rules). Still, there are not that many bots above div VI (more than 99% of the bots play in div VI or lower).

The reason for keeping things as they are in div V and up is because they have qualifiers, and it's a lot trickier to create a system covering that too (at least as a part in a first step).

Divisions full of bots will close

If the whole lowest division in a league contains only bots, HFA will close that division and remove it from the series system. This to stop new teams from entering a division full of bot teams. In case there later on is no place for new users to join (all teams are taken), the removed division can easily be attached to the series system again.

Example of the coming scenario

This first time a lot of teams will be promoted "for free", as a lot of bots will be demoted to the bottom. At the end of next season there will naturally be a lot less free promotions. But to give you a good view on which impact this will have on the gameplay:

In Spain there are 28157 bot teams. Today 6336 play in div XI, 11086 in X, 5521 in IX, 2942 in VIII, 1517 in VII and 651 in VI. Next season there will be 24 bots in div VI and 28029 in XI, and no bots at all in div VII, VIII, IX or X.

(Please note that these are preliminary figures, there may be some small differences in the final scenario – but it still gives you a good picture of this change)

I don't want to promote "for free"

If you for some reason don't want to promote "for free" and meet new challenges, HFA offers you the possibility to say no on your Preferences page. On Wednesday, such a setting can be found on your preference page (default will be accepting promotion). This setting naturally only applies for “extra promotion”, not ordinary promotion.

But remember, HFA will not accept no as an answer if you’re playing in the lowest division and it can/will be full of bots (and therefore closed and removed). If that happens, you will promote anyway, as new users would be given a very boring start of their Hattrick career (playing only bots) otherwise.