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Stamina and Player Development News

2007-07-16 13:26:00

The editorial from a few days ago is continued, with a look into the changes of the coming season and also on what long term challenges (and opportunities!) we see for the development of Hattrick.

In Hattrick, there are two key resources that define how well teams will succeed: Players and money. The two are tightly connected to everything in the game and it could well be said that the real problem in the Hattrick economy is not actually the lack of income, but rather the fact that there are too many highly trained, expensive, players available in the game.
There is little cost attached to recruiting and training players in Hattrick, so we do a lot of it. Also, when a user leaves Hattrick many of the players he trained over the years are left in the system, slowly increasing the average skill levels faster than they can be "consumed".

Training is not bad in itself, it´s an important part of the game and something we do not want to destroy. But, over time, we do need to bring down the total pool of skilled players, increase the demand for them, or even increase the training time to produce a great player. We might also consider new ways to remove players from the system with in-game mechanics, as a way to reduce the player pool. Controlling player supply will be a natural part of our game design going forward.

As we have also indicated in an editorial a few months back, we are making changes to the stamina system in Hattrick. Stamina will get a more central role in the game, both on the field but also for the development of a player over time. Connected to this are several changes to the salary formula and to player skill drops.

• Stamina will become important for all player positions (This will be implemented next season)

• Stamina will be trained every week, as a percentage of the total training of the team. Stamina training efficiency will drop at higher intensity levels – it´s better to train a little every week than a lot now and then. Older players will need more training every week to maintain a certain stamina level. Managers will have to find the appropriate stamina training quota for their particular squad and ambitions. (The new stamina training will be implemented this season, to reduce any negative impact on teams all players were sent to an extra boot camp just before this season started to get their fitness up).

• Age will become a much smaller factor for skill drops, although like today skill drops will not start until players are in their late twenties. Older players will be able to keep reasonable skills for many years, but will have problems keeping their stamina. Skill drops will be more predictable, less random, than they are today. (This will be implemented next season.)

• Skill level will become a factor in skill drops, making it more difficult to maintain very high levels of skills without further training – especially noticeable above divine skill level. (This will be implemented next season.)

• The “age discount” for older players will be reduced, but slowly. Older players will, compared with younger players, have higher salaries than today. (This will be implemented next season.)

• Having a reasonable stamina will be necessary for a player to be able to absorb other kinds of training. Players with very low stamina will not benefit very much from traditional skill training. (Implemented next season.)

• We will reduce or remove the possibility for stamina and set pieces trainers to train a whole squad of players, even those that get no time on the pitch. In line with the general upgrade of secondary importance and stamina, set pieces may on the other hand become a more valuable skill to have. (Implemented next season.)

• Injury recovery times will decrease a little from today's levels, and become less dependent on age. Injuries will however be affected by current stamina on the pitch. A tired player runs a slightly higher risk of injuring himself. (Implemented by next season.)

• Stamina drops will now be calculated at the time of training, not as today in a separate Monday batch. The training effect will be the result of training and loss. (Implemented immediately.)

Why do we make these changes?
For several reasons, naturally! The current stamina system lacks in both realism and as game experience, and with substitutions coming into the game we wanted to make stamina count for all positions, otherwise substitutions would become a midfielder-only affair. Stamina also offered us a way to decrease skill training slightly while at the same time giving us a more realistic and strategically interesting way to plan the development and configuration of your squad. Today, older players become very cheap to employ and many teams have very old squads. We need some incentives for player to be retired, or at least for older players to stop being starters, maybe serving a few extra seasons as substitutes instead (where they will do much better than today, as their main skills will be higher but their lower stamina may not let them play for too long).

That´s the changes for the upcoming season, many of which will take effect one full season from now. The most important change apart from stamina and player development will be the changes to the match engine, to promote multi-skilled players. We will present these changes in detail during the coming season.

On our list to review are also the supporter formulas, that is, how supporters in Hattrick react to the success or failures of your team. Here is room for improvement, supporters should have a longer memory and maybe it should also be possible for you as a manager to interact more directly with your fans. In connection with supporters, we may take a look at promotion and demotion effects in the game as well.
We mention this because we will try to be more open about what we are working on, not only to give a heads up what could happen in the game in the coming seasons, but also to get your input and ideas on it all.

Finally, we are aware that this is a lot of news to take in, but we think that over time these changes will make sense and not make Hattrick a more complex game. We want it to be easy to use Hattrick, but at the same time keep it a game that is deep on interaction and strategy.

Thanks for your attention!

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