Next season: Better formation balance

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Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial
originally published 2010-02-24 10:00:00 by HT-Tjecken

We want you to know that in the pipe for next season is a major upgrade of the match engine, just like we did for this season. The last upgrade was however not designed to affect your manager life much, but this one definitely is.

Our purpose with this coming upgrade is to give the match engine a better balance between different formations and different team parts. We also want to make your interaction with the engine easier and more straightforward, in particular when it comes to match orders.

In practice this coming change will make it possible for you to use more formations than before, and it will also reduce the power of inner midfielders. Included are also changes to formation experience and confusion, as well as some player contribution tweaks.

For someone not into football, formations on a tactical board might just be nerdy football stuff. For me - and I guess many of you too - there's a lot of magic within those three digit numbers. They reveal how teams are planning to play, what intentions they have and also what measures they’ve taken to stop their opponents’ strengths.

What's also so charming is that there is no ‘one formation to rule them all’. One tactic might be the perfect recipe against a certain opponent, but quite useless against another one. What really matters is what you do with these numbers, what you put in behind them. This is also what we want you to feel when playing Hattrick.

Fulfilling our vision

As we said in our editorial about our vision of the game last summer; we want to balance and simplify the match engine. Apart from adding to the feeling mentioned above it will also put your team even more in focus, add to the competition, open up more ways to success and make your choices easier to understand and execute - which are all design principles of ours.

So next season you will get just that; a more balanced match engine which will be easier to interact with. All the details about this change will be explained at the time of the release, but there are a few things we want you to be aware about before that:

Regarding contribution

Today 3-5-2 is the dominant formation by far, mostly because you can maximize your midfield ratings and get a good attack plus a decent defense at the same time. Even if you choose another formation playing with three inner midfielders is often a good idea if you want to stay competitive.

We want a more diversified use of formations. Creating room for more diversity will increase the tactical and strategic options, which in turn will add a lot to the game. To achieve that and to motivate managers to use other formations, we need to lower the strength of inner midfielders – especially fielding three of them. That’s also what will happen in this upgrade.

In principle it will be equally good to field a sole inner after this upgrade, fielding two will lose some edge and fielding three will lose even more. This principle is also valid for other players in a central position (defenders and forwards), but for them it be will more beneficial to field a sole one than in the past and fielding two will be equally good. Fielding three on the other hand will lose some edge compared to today, but not as much as three inners.

Some pure player contribution tweaks are also included, out of those these are worth paying notice to:

  • Winger, wingbacks and forwards will make a bit more use out of their winger skill
  • Technical defensive forwards will make less use out of their passing in the middle, but a bit more on the wings.

Regarding formations

Changes to formation experience and confusion are included in this upgrade. In essence it will be easier for you to gain and keep formation experience, and it will also play a bigger role when it comes to confusion on the pitch. Moreover:

  • You can get formation experience for all possible formations (2-5-3, 5-2-3 and 5-5-0 will be added)
  • Extreme formations (more than 3 central defenders/inners/forwards, like 7-3-0 or 4-6-0) will not be possible to use
  • 4-4-2 will be treated just as any other formation

Children first

This upgrade will first be released for youth teams later this season. This will allow us a few weeks of testing to make sure the engine works as it should, and at the same time give you some time to try it out.

For senior teams we hope we can release it for the final friendly match this season (a longer test period for senior teams is impossible as we can’t run the upgraded engine and the old one at the same time). If so, it will then also mean that we have to reschedule the World Cup semifinals and final.

That’s it for now. More information will come when the release for the youth teams is approaching.