Match engine

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The Server Guy strip (by Hans Johan Sagrusten)

The match engine (ME) is the most common name for the algorithm that simulates the matches in Hattrick. The ME defines the number of regular chances and special events in each match. It also controls their attribution and distribution during time span of game (90 or 120 minutes).

The ME is also called Random and is worshiped by all those who win impossible games, and blamed by all those who whine for undeserved defeats. The Match engine can easily be the most cursed feature of the game.

Regular chances

The match engine start calculating the matches exactly when the matches start. There was a wrong common myth that the calculations take place in the 20 minutes period before matches. This myth was busted on the forum by HT-Bjorn who said that that period is merely a buffer so that managers submit their line-up in time.

Keywords: (Match engine), (Time buffer)
From: HT-Bjorn (2796895.19) as reply to (2796895.18)
To: Mod-Rhoddry 24/03/2005 at 06:10
(Translated from Swedish)

Calculations start at kick-off :o) The mins before match start is like a "time buffer" for different kinds of stuff and so that ppl won't place orders at the same moment matches are about to start, which could mess things up a bit.

A chance is distributed by comparing ball possession, which is determined by the midfield rating. Each of these chances is a possibility for a goal to occur. Not all the chances are necessarily mentioned in the match report (but the total number and distribution between the two teams are always shown in a match list box).

The most chances seem to happen between minute 25 and 37. Chances can happen in the recovery time of second half, but not after the 45th minute in the first half.

Special events

Special events are triggered by ME choosing an event and then assigning it to a team, as explained in a 2017 official editorial:

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.
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.

The following contents are based on the opinion of Hattrick users — which means that their veracity and accuracy have not been confirmed by any official statement, and consequently they do not necessarily reflect the game reality. Please take this into consideration!

The match engine will consider first the general probability of winning for both teams, after that it will consider the exact score and in the end it will decide the distribution of the chances (which one will be goal and which one not). This would explain somehow how at times a wretched attack rating will score against an utopian defending rating or how a divine attack rating doesn't score against a solid defending rating, for example.


   Magnifier.png   Further information: Global season

Although in the past it was conventional to frequently release new versions of the ME, since 2007 this habit has been lost, also because the ME itself has become solid enough to avoid frequent tweaks.

Hattrick 1

Mostly a beta release (August 1997), the first version of the ME lasted only seven weeks (or rounds), and all changes to the team were made by submitting a HTML form with the user's username and password, meaning that the user never actually logged in to the interface.
This is how HT logo looked like

Hattrick 2

The first release was re-coded and Version 2.0 (November 1997) was launched.
Hattrick expands to 680 teams: Allsvenskan, division 1, division 2 and division 3.
Season 2 also saw the first ever international match, between Sweden and Denmark, with Denmark winning 1-2. This match was relatively meaningless, however, since the teams' players were clones of each other.

Hattrick 3

(Cup & Friendly matches)
A third version (April 1998) was released the following season.
This release marked the debut of friendly and cup matches.

Hattrick 4

(Individual Orders, Team attitude)
Season 7, which began in July 1999, marked some real progress in the game with ME HT 4 so that managers could set their players' individual tactics (such as offensive or defensive) and also change their formation from the fundamental 4-4-2 and choose team attitude (at the time the game allowed you to choose between play cowardly/play it safe/optimistic/all out attack).
On February 2000, it supported the first translation ever of the whole game, from Swedish to English (future translations will be completely done by LA volunteers).

Hattrick 5

(Live, Specialties)
ExtraLives were formed in the beginning of 2000 and quickly got pregnant with V.5, which where conceived, with remarkable small complications, about 9 month later (October 2000). //HT-Björn

Hattrick 6

(National Teams, International Friendlies, Special Events, Weather)
In 2002 is time for a Match engine renovation: ME HT 6 adds National Teams, International Friendlies, Special Events, Weather and Tactics.
Starting from here, and in just 7 years, the game witnesses an incredible growth in popularity, reaching half a million users in 2004 and almost the million users in 2009.
(Player contributions, Natural field Repositioning + "super" Technical Defensive Forwards)
No new version, but very significant tweaks in January 2006. 12 adjustments to the engine completely rearranged player's contributions, repositioning and introduced new roles as the trequartista (Technical Defensive Forwards).
(Conditional Substitutions)
With New Hattrick Design, it's time for changes also in the line-up page: Substitutions.

2010 new engine

(Player contribution & Overcrowding penalty, Formation experience, Confusion)
In 2010, after 8 years of honored service, the old V.6 engine retires. This is not an official new ME release (it should have been HT 7), but the changes to the simulation are such that we can talk about a total makeover (in particular in regular chances distribution during the match).
Finally a ME that is not based on 4-4-2 and can handle all formations without having to reposition players!
(Chance distribution, Counter-attack & Pressing Tactics)
Another important adjustment, just months after the 2010 ME launch.
(Pullbacks & Match Dynamics, Player contributions)
(Player contributions)
(Specialties & Special Events + Man Marking + Sitting Midfielder + Power Forward)

Changes to ME of the period 2015-2017 are very extensive and complex. Although they did not altered the game system itself, they have unbalanced what was previously balanced in another way to create new roles for players and new training opportunities.

See Also

HTs on Global: