My Hattrick message:
|20.06.2004 Final update: Hattrick 6.6.2|
|Anything worth doing, is worth doing properly: We're updating the HT 6.6 to a second upgrade, named HT 6.6.2. This is correcting two problems with the last versions: the abrupt salary changes and the issue with the three sublevels of the match ratings. The match ratings will be modified one final time. Read all about this, along with a commentary on the whole 6.6 matter and some thoughts for the future by HT-Bjorn, in the brand new document Hattrick 6.6.2 (Last adjustments).|
Hattrick 6.6.2 - "Last adjustments"
We're making two final changes to the HT 6.6 in a patch called HT 6.6.2. This is intended to be the final fine-tuning of Version 6.6.
Match team ratings
The first change is made to the match rating. We are truly sorry for having messed around with the match ratings so much. There are many lessons to be learned by us from the past week's reactions to the new match ratings. And, although we realise that making yet another change will initially cause even more confusion, we are convinced that we need to do this. After this change, the match ratings system should be able to go unchanged for many, many seasons. So we'd better do it properly one final time.
The reason we are doing this is because it has turned out that by switching between the old and new ratings, you could extract more detailed information than by sticking to just one of them. If that loophole were widely used, it would have many undesirable effects, so we need to do something about it. Second, and on second thoughts, we realized that the use of, for example, (+) instead of plain text is a bad idea. It has always been a Hattrick characteristic (like it or not...) that the match reports contain mainly plain text rather than geeky symbols or dull numbers. And we intend to keep the game that way. Like it or not... ;)
What we are doing is changing from the 3 sublevels (the (+), (-) and "neither") introduced in HT 6.6.1 to a system with 4 sublevels, which for "passable" would go like this:
passable (very low) passable (low) passable (high) passable (very high)
The 4 new sublevels are equal in size. Each level has been split into 4 equal parts.
Of course, you can still use the old ratings system if you prefer. We still recommend that you use the new system, because it is more detailed and more versatile.
Some users have wondered whether the introduction of sublevels will spread into other parts of the game, so that you could have and player with "very high solid playmaking" for instance. This will not happen. It will never happen, let us be very clear about that.
The match team ratings will be divided into "very low", "low", "high" and "very high" and the (+) and (-) system will be abandoned. This is the final change to the match ratings for many, many seasons to come.
Temporary salary formula
A second change that is part of the 6.6.2 version is that the salary rules that were released in 6.6 are temporarily modified.
The criticism about the 6.6 changes to the salaries has been very low-profile compared to the loud protests about the ratings system. However, good arguments can sometimes achieve the same result as loud arguments :). Those who have complained about the salary changes have said the following:
"This is a major change that affects long-term strategies. Clubs that have "salary optimized" by having a lot of low-stamina players in their squad have just done what the game rules have (indirectly) encouraged them to do. We don't mind the fact that you are changing a bizarre situation: we object to the way it is done. Normally you always make such changes in several steps or clearly warn well in advance that the change is coming. When it comes to the salary changes, you did neither."
These complaints are well-founded. Although, as we have pointed out publicly in response to these complaints, if you do take advantage of bizarre features, for instance by preferring and paying more for a low-stamina player than for the same player with high stamina, you are taking a risk. However, it is not consistent with our old policies to make this change in one step and with due warning. So, we think it is fair that we try to correct the mistake.
So, 6.6.2 means that in the season that is now about to begin, there will be a limited "stamina discount" to salaries. Players with low stamina will generally (for next season only) have lower salaries than players with high stamina - even if they are not primarily playmakers. The discount is smaller than the discount that was in effect in the old system, so this is a "bridging" measure, to make the change from old salary formulas to the new formulas smoother. To be fully clear: After the upcoming season, the discount will be removed (and replaced by a general discount equivalent to "passable" stamina regardless of what stamina the player has). Stamina will still (in the temporary "season 23 formula", as well as final "season 24 formula") affect the playmaking component of the salary as intended in HT 6.6.
There will be a temporary and limited discount on salaries for all players: The lower the stamina, the more the discount. This discount is not as big as the one in the past. The salary changes that were part of HT 6.6 will not take full effect (when it comes to the stamina effects) until the season that starts in October (Season 24).
It's been less than a week since we released Hattrick 6.6. It's always equally exciting and frightening for us HT developers whenever we release a new version: What will the users think about it? Have we predicted all the relevant scenarios for how the changes will affect the game? Are we going to be finished on time? Will we have a full complement of developer staff available online when the release is launched (so we can fix any disasters that might happen)? How many bugs have managed to slip by our prying eyes?
But yes, it is exciting too. What's funny is the fact that we always seem to accurately predict some reactions, partially predict many reactions - and utterly and completely fail to predict an annoying handful of reactions.
But that is part of the magic, part of why we love working on HT's development: The HT world and community is too large, too complex, too alive and too vibrant to be predictable. So we're always prepared to make a couple of changes immediately after the release. We know that things will happen that we couldn't predict. With 350,000 users some clever type will always find a loophole where we thought it impossible. And that is really what is so cool about Hattrick.
We're closing this chapter now. Our journey to improve Hattrick continues towards new horizons, so to speak. Next time, we will have learnt things from this time. What we will do, as the past week shows, is be even more consistent in the future with our "early warning" system. We will regularly inform you about the major directions of development and major changes that may affect long term strategies. We've been improving on this already, but we need to be even better. And we will.