Mid-season update: Fans, economy and more

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Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial
originally published 2008-04-22 10:00:00 by HT-Tjecken

In this mid-season editorial we want to inform you about some tweaks we have made to further improve the new fan mood system. The HFA are also preparing three economical changes for next season to cool the economy down. We will also give you a short status update on our coming set pieces and training block features.

We will outline the above first in order to give you an easy understanding and fast overview of the changes. For you who want the background and motives for these changes: there is such information waiting for you after the overview, together with a status report on the game economy.

Fan mood tweaks

The new fan system has given the game a new dimension. You still get about the same crowd income as before, even though the crowd figures are lower. That said we think a few tweaks are needed to make fans even better, and the tweaks may also give you a slightly higher income as a side-effect.

  • We have expanded the match expectation scale. "We could win this" and "We might lose" have been replaced by two new denominations each.
  • Your fans will react a bit stronger to small wins/losses and a bit less strong to big wins/losses than in the past.
  • It will be harder for your fans to reach and stay in an extremely high or low mood, especially low.
  • Your fans will only partially reset their mood at season end. Their mood will move halfway to the middle point.

Read more about the tweaks here.

Economical changes for next season

Transfer market prices have been going up rapidly and they are now at a level which is not good in the long run. The Hattrick Football Association and the Hattrick Central Bank therefore feel a need to cool down the economy a bit. They have announced three economical changes for next season (starting June 16):

  • All teams will receive 3% less income from sponsors.
  • Stamina will be removed as a salary factor for your players.
  • Specialists will get a raise and cost you US$ 1800 per week.

Depending on how the market develops during the rest of the current season, the HFA and HCB may settle for smaller changes (but not bigger).

Background and motives for these changes are found here.

Set pieces features delayed

The new set pieces features will unfortunately be launched later than we intended. We will still plan to introduce indirect free kicks for friendlies during this season, while the long shot tactic will be open for use in friendlies some time during next season. Both will be available for official games the season after next (October 2008). This will ensure that you and everyone else will be able to fully try the features before they start to count in competitive games.

Training block

Around the end of this season you will be able to exclude players from skill training, even if they have played a game. They will get the stamina and form update as usual. This will allow you to use very high skilled players in matches without having to increase their skills and salaries further.

Fans mood tweak

The new fans mood system, fans expectations, is working quite well in general. Average income hasn't changed much compared to previous system. You still get around the same income thanks to the higher ticket price, even though you get lower crowd figures. But there are some small problems we want to fix in order to make the system even better, which may also give you slightly more income.

New match expectation denominations

To give you a better understanding of what the fans expect we have expanded the denomination scale just above and below the middle point. "We could win" and "we might lose" have been too wide, which have made season expectations differences too small to observe. This is however only a presentational change.

Fans' reaction to game results

Small wins/losses have had too little impact on the fans' mood, especially high scores with one goal difference. On the other hand, a large goal difference gave a huge effect. From today, small wins/losses will generate a stronger reaction. This will mostly be visible for matches ending 5-4, 4-3 etc. Winning (and losing) by a large margin will on the other hand have a reduced impact, even if it's not reduced much.

The fan reaction range is also somewhat reduced. Fans may still react in a strong way, but not as strong as before.

Harder to reach extreme fan mood levels

It will be harder to reach (and stay in) an extremely high or low fan level. It has been too hard to climb from the lowest level and too easy to keep the highest level. From now on only constant bad results will keep the fans on the lower levels, and on the top levels you will need better results than earlier to keep the fans mood on top.

Partial fan mood reset at season's end

We will have a partial fan mood reset at season end, fan mood will move half way to the middle point (the original reset value). The new system makes a total reset less needed and users could also exploit that system.

Economical overview

In order to understand why these changes are made you need to have some background on how the game economy works and how we all affect it, and also what the economy status is today.

Current state

Two and a half seasons have passed since we started to inject more money to stop the negative price trend on the market. Prices went up, and today most of you feel you are in a better economical situation. No wonder, there is now 2,5 times more money in the system than back then and the amount of money is increasing every week. One could argue that the money injection was too big, but on the other hand some facts also show it was badly needed.

Leave rate was twice as big during the deflation

The leave rate (users leaving the game), for example, was twice as big during the worst deflation days compared to today, and it was rapidly increasing too. We also experienced a lot of bankruptcies. Moreover many users felt it was ridiculous that their players lost transfer value even though they had trained them for several seasons. All in all it was devastating for the game and many users didn't have a good gaming experience.

High prices makes training a must

The economy boost changed that situation, but put us in front of a new set of problems. Just as very low prices are bad for the game, too high prices are also bad. Too high prices put all other costs aside and make the game very one-dimensional. It also makes training a must. If you don’t train your players (for example if your league competition causes you not to) when prices are high, you will in the end not be able to afford to replace an old player with a younger one – which makes it impossible to maintain your team performance. And if you feel you have to make your team worse it will also heavily reduce your fun in playing the game.

Users act emotionally

Some might say that this is not a problem as all users have the same possibility to train their players efficiently. That's true, but it also presupposes that all users act rationally. But far from all users act rationally, fact is that the majority of users act emotionally. For example, back in the deflation days many managers went bankrupt because they didn’t want to sell their best players. It didn't matter that the rational solution to avoid bankruptcy was easy – they still didn't make that choice.

Summary and way forward

In short, extreme price levels (both high and low) are bad for the game and the game experience. Until we have an economical system which can deal with all user actions (both rational and emotional) and balance itself, we need to monitor the economy and make changes to it if it's necessary. We don't like to do such changes (and we know you don't either), but sometimes we really have to. A reconstructed economical system is being worked on, but it will take some time to finish it.

Effect of the changes

The price inflation is hurting the game so it needs to be stopped. With the current player supply we estimate that we can reduce the cash flow a bit and keep a steady price level. This may mean a slow deflation, which is acceptable right now (even as much as 10% per season). We may (even if we don’t hope so) also experience a sudden price jump as a psychological effect of these changes.

All teams will get 3% less sponsor income. In turn this will also increase the importance of game results.

Stamina removed as a salary factor

Stamina only affects playmakers' salaries currently, which is very illogical as all players need stamina today. We will therefore remove stamina as a salary factor. Players (playmakers) with low excellent stamina will keep their current salary level. Players with better stamina will get a lower salary and players with lower stamina will get a raise. This change is also in line with the past declaration to increase older players' salaries, and don't expect any more huge changes on their salaries.

The total global effect is a salary increase of around 2%, regardless of division level. One can expect a bigger impact in top divisions though.

Specialist raise

Each specialist will get a US$ 300 salary raise, which means each specialist will cost US$ 1800.