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Friday, November 03, 2017

How the Out of the Park Baseball team plans to expand with live services

“[We want you to be] able to compete in a league with other people in ladders, moving up the ladder and being able to differentiate yourself that way,” he said.

...

So OOTP is experimenting and thinking up ways for people to engage with its two sports sims without requiring a download. It isn’t announcing any specifics about how that might work for now, but the company is looking around at what other games are doing. At the same time, the studio doesn’t want to screw up something good for its regular fans. The player reviews for Out of the Park Baseball 18 on the Steam PC gaming service are 92 percent positive. That’s worth a lot to OOTP, so it doesn’t want to lose those people because it is chasing after another crowd.

“The No. 1 thing we have to do is make sure our core fans, who have been with us for close to 20 years, remain with us,” said Grisham. “That’s absolutely the most important thing.”

 

Voodoo Posted: November 03, 2017 at 07:15 PM | 118 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: out of the park baseball

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   1. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 04, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5571035)
So basically, WoW except as a baseball simulator. Huh.
   2. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 05, 2017 at 01:54 AM (#5571167)
Not sure exactly how they'll go about doing it, but picturing something like Madden Ultimate Team, where you're given a mostly awful base roster that you can upgrade in various ways (playing games, completing various challenges and/or simply giving the OOTP folks more money), combined with the in-game managing experience OOTP has always offered, only now online and head-to-head. They could simply let you pick existing teams, but that sounds boring to me.

I've more or less quit baseball sims the past few years after devoting way too much time to them, but I'll probably give this a shot if the reviews are half-decent.
   3. ckash Posted: November 05, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5571313)
OOTP 18 was the least fun I've had since I started playing it over a dozen years ago. Can't put my finger on it exactly, but I just could not get immersed like in prior years. I'd say it's an age thing but I still enjoy Football Manager. I tried MLB startup, Fictional and a Relegation set-up and it never clicked for me.
   4. Rally Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5571429)
I have not played OOTP 18 yet. I would have bought it had the timing been better, but it was released close to opening day. I prefer to start my league's season and not switch software in the middle.

I would be interested to know what's different about 18 that made it less enjoyable than previous versions. I will probably upgrade to 18 within the next week, once my brother plays one or two more games and either wins or loses the WS against a computer team (he's up 3-2).
   5. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5571444)
OOTP 18 was the least fun I've had since I started playing it over a dozen years ago. Can't put my finger on it exactly, but I just could not get immersed like in prior years. I'd say it's an age thing but I still enjoy Football Manager. I tried MLB startup, Fictional and a Relegation set-up and it never clicked for me.


I cannot help but wonder if this is just getting bored with it?

To be honest, I don't know that I could really distinguish between between OOTP18 vs 17 or 16 or etc. It's been a few years since there have been any real groundbreaking changes - granted, my understanding is that historical replay stuff has been ooomphed up, but not my cup of tea.

The biggest change that registers with me over the last few years is finally getting the MLB license so that one no longer has to bother with mod downloads.

I think I've pretty much just gotten used to plunking down $30 for what amounts to the new season roster sets.

My biggest feature wishlist is still the ability to create a truly fictional universe - as in, a one-click, MLB - but with all fake players but also autopopulate some history.... to get what I actually want in a fictional league, I still have to start a few years back, sim a few years in more or less "hands off" mode.

Ideally, I'd prefer settings to skip the fantasy draft and apply some settings -- i.e., old team with bad contracts, young team with great farm system, etc.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5571451)
Been a while since I looked at the longest sim I've ever run in my life, 50+ years of the Chicago White Sox starting in 1900. I think we won the world series a dozen times or so - I zoomed through each season with the computer managing and dealing with all but the most major transactions, and rarely made trades. A full season would take me maybe 30 minutes, and most of that was just looking at my franchise history pages repeatedly.

I had a clear drafting advantage over the AI teams - sometimes exceptional players would randomly drop deep into the second round and I'd snap them up. I also found exceptional hitters that were listed as pitchers, or vice versa, and took advantage of that. The other thing I did was randomize player debuts so that Clayton Kershaw might well be born in 1916. I could never manipulate the sliders to get careers to resemble reality in any way ... most of my players would peak in their first 2-3 years and it was super common to draft MVP-quality players at age 23 and see them tumble to replacement level by age 27.

But creating an entire alternate history was enjoyable. Maybe I'll pick it up again and play through expansion, the DH etc.
   7. Rusty Priske Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5571477)
I am ALL IN on OOTP. I am currently running seven different games and I play out each game for my team.

I have no interest in an on-line version, but if it lets them keep making and supporting the solo play version, I am perfectly fine with it.
   8. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5571480)
That's the problem with the various "fictionalize" options -- i.e., you cannot help but see the name "Clayton Kershaw" and react a certain way. Haven't attempted in the last few versions - but even when you tried to go with purely fictional players, they seemed to just slap new names on existing stat lines.

What I tried a few teams was creating a historical league starting in say, 1980.... then - wasting a few days simming a few decades to build a history of purely fictional players, THEN taking over a team.

What I always wanted (and still want) is a way to do something like this with a "one-click" setup to accomplish this... end up with a completely "out of reality" team, with actual, fictionalized prior seasons, injuries, et al. Haven't done it in a few years, I guess - but I always used to pop this idea into the OOTP forums when the new version feature requests rolled around. Got some sniffs from Markus a few times, but it never made the cut.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5571483)
I am ALL IN on OOTP. I am currently running seven different games and I play out each game for my team.


Wow. I've been casually enjoying baseball sims since I was old enough to click a mouse. But you're on another level.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5571485)
What I always wanted (and still want) is a way to do something like this with a "one-click" setup to accomplish this... end up with a completely "out of reality" team, with actual, fictionalized prior seasons, injuries, et al.


I'd use this too. Bothers me to start a season with zero history.
   11. Rally Posted: November 06, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5571510)
My biggest feature wishlist is still the ability to create a truly fictional universe - as in, a one-click, MLB - but with all fake players but also autopopulate some history.... to get what I actually want in a fictional league, I still have to start a few years back, sim a few years in more or less "hands off" mode.


That would be pretty cool. My league is older than simulation software, going back to 1982. I did not try to bring the history into OOTP, just kept that on separate webpages. Too much work to get it into the right format, and I have not looked at how well that would work since my older seasons did not preserve anything close to the variety of stats OOTP has now. For example, there are no defensive stats when I go back to the Microleague days.

I thought about creating more history for my league, starting in 1871 and working my way up, but didn't get too far in that. Players in my league are a mix of toys I had in the 1980s and random human names. Yoda has always been a manager or a GM due to his age, but I started an 1871 league going back to his playing days. Nobody else is that old, so I lost interest in that project and didn't get too far.

I think I've pretty much just gotten used to plunking down $30 for what amounts to the new season roster sets.


I could be perfectly happy buying one year's software and using that version for a few years, but I want to pay OOTP and do my part to keep them in business and making games.
   12. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 06, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5571602)
Have they gotten around to creating a common talent pool so each league isn't generating its own separate set of players? I stopped paying attention after watching people complain about this in vain for about a decade.
   13. Rally Posted: November 06, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5571649)
Have they gotten around to creating a common talent pool so each league isn't generating its own separate set of players? I stopped paying attention after watching people complain about this in vain for about a decade.


My league is set up as one league, two conferences with a total of 30 teams. The talent pool mostly comes from the draft, so not an issue. I guess this problem would apply to leagues simulating the pre-free agency era?
   14. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: November 06, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5571770)
Sorta on topic, but has anyone here ever played Hardball Dynasty on the What If Sports site? Baseball sim, kinda like OOTP, but fully online with teams all run by other real, live people. Almost like a slightly watered down OOTP online league.
   15. Voodoo Posted: November 06, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5571782)
To be honest, I don't know that I could really distinguish between between OOTP18 vs 17 or 16 or etc. It's been a few years since there have been any real groundbreaking changes - granted, my understanding is that historical replay stuff has been ooomphed up, but not my cup of tea.


I'm pretty much the exact opposite. I've been playing OOTP pretty regularly for over a decade now, and basically only play different variations of historical replays. I never play with fictional players, at all. I'll do the current season setup occasionally, but I lose interest after a few years when fictional players start hitting the majors.

As you note, there have been some significant improvements for historical players in recent years, with 18 the big added feature was historical negro leagues were added. I can't remember if it was this year or OTTP17, but historical minor leagues have also recently been added. It's been a few years but the addition of "random debut" was a game changer for people, like me, who like to create fictional universes with real, historical players. OOTP18 also added promotion/relegation function which I'm intrigued by, but haven't really jumped into yet.

The other thing I did was randomize player debuts so that Clayton Kershaw might well be born in 1916. I could never manipulate the sliders to get careers to resemble reality in any way ... most of my players would peak in their first 2-3 years and it was super common to draft MVP-quality players at age 23 and see them tumble to replacement level by age 27.


You should be able to tweak this to your liking by tinkering with the relalc settings. If you want players to be roughly as good as they were in real life throughout their career you can set it to a 1 year recalc, and in each off-season the players ratings will be updated to reflect how good statistically they were in that season (or at that age if you are doing a random debut league). Personally, I like the 3 or 5 year recalc option, so that I only have a slight advantage when it comes to scooping up HOFers who the AI let slip in the initial drafts.

This year I've playing the entire history of the Cubs simulated, as the manager, with real historical transactions turned on. I sim my way through most of the season and then stop in early to mid September and begin playing out the games (if the Cubs are in the pennant race) manually and then manually play out each game in the playoffs (which is just the World Series so far). I pause midseason to manually select the all-star teams and then again at the end of each season to manually pick the award winners and vote for the Hall of Fame.

I'm up to 1947 and the Cubs have won six titles and 13 pennants. I'm about to enter some lean decades, however, where I don't expect to be in September contention very frequently.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5571784)
You should be able to tweak this to your liking by tinkering with the relalc settings. If you want players to be roughly as good as they were in real life throughout their career you can set it to a 1 year recalc, and in each off-season the players ratings will be updated to reflect how good statistically they were in that season (or at that age if you are doing a random debut league). Personally, I like the 3 or 5 year recalc option, so that I only have a slight advantage when it comes to scooping up HOFers who the AI let slip in the initial drafts.


I didn't want this, I wanted the players to develop randomly. I also wanted them to have natural career shapes. This seemed impossible.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5571789)
This year I've playing the entire history of the Cubs simulated, as the manager, with real historical transactions turned on.


So all you're doing is managing the actual games? Fascinating. Never considered that. But a fun way to relive history and get to know your team.
   18. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 06, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5571806)
I guess this problem would apply to leagues simulating the pre-free agency era?

Yeah, the game really only supports mimicking today's structure. Each league creating its own players is fine if you want things like NPB and Serie Nacional with their effectively distinct talent pools existing alongside your central league system (e.g., MLB and affiliates), but if you want to have the NL, AL, FL, PCL, IL, AA, etc. operating independently in 1914 and see who manages to sign a certain juvenile delinquent, it's not really possible. When they started publicizing the concept of the "baseball universe" way back in 2005, I hatched all these elaborate plans for alternate histories that I'll apparently never be able to implement.
   19. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 06, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5571828)
You should be able to tweak this to your liking by tinkering with the relalc settings. If you want players to be roughly as good as they were in real life throughout their career you can set it to a 1 year recalc, and in each off-season the players ratings will be updated to reflect how good statistically they were in that season (or at that age if you are doing a random debut league). Personally, I like the 3 or 5 year recalc option, so that I only have a slight advantage when it comes to scooping up HOFers who the AI let slip in the initial drafts.


It's not so much the year-to-year (or even 'epochal' - or whatever fraction of an epoch 3-5 years is) that I want -- it's the capability to do create a pure fictional universe with meaningful history.

I haven't done it in a few versions, but the way I had to do this previously required an enormous investment to set up -- basically, start a game with fictional players, don't take a "job" and just observe sim a few seasons (I liked to do 20 seasons -- as this kind 'retired' most of the initial players, and created a universe of solely generated players who had also gotten some time under their belts).

I poked around the OOTP forums a bit - like I said, I know I raised this feature idea before and it got at least a sniff from Markus and company but can't find it. IIRC, the idea fell apart because it got really hard to just generate all of this at setup. The flash generate option just left a lot of gaps that could only be filled with actual simming.

Versions back when I did this -- I used to spend a fair bit of time truly 'screwing my team' -- trade prospects for bad contracts, sign bad contracts, etc....

What I'm looking for is a one-click setup to drop myself into a variety of situation options... a bad, old, expensive team bleeding money... a juggernaut to maintain... etc.

Regardless though, I'm with Rally in #11 --- the lack of any significant change to the way I play from version to version is a first world problem... OOTP is really magnificent for armchair GMs and managers and I'm more than happy to send them cash every year just to keep things moving forward. I just wish there were more "4X options in a baseball sim" -- let me create some parameters for the overall 'health' of my team, create the new universe, and run with it.

Pretty amazing now that I think about it -- but as a buyer of every version since I ran across a CD-ROM for what I think was OOTP2, I don't think I've EVER run a non-Cubs team. Just wouldn't feel right :-)
   20. Voodoo Posted: November 06, 2017 at 05:09 PM (#5571850)
So all you're doing is managing the actual games? Fascinating. Never considered that. But a fun way to relive history and get to know your team.


Yup. And like I said, I simulate most of the season, because I wanted to move along quicker than playing out each game, stopping to tweak the lineups in the event of injuries, etc, and then I play out each game of the pennant race to get a bit more immersion.

And yeah, like you suggest, the biggest feature to this setup is that I get to learn about Cubs players and teams that I didn't know much about. I frequently find myself pausing to search for real life stats/bios of players I wasn't familiar with but who had good seasons my in my OOTP universe.

but if you want to have the NL, AL, FL, PCL, IL, AA, etc. operating independently in 1914 and see who manages to sign a certain juvenile delinquent, it's not really possible.


I'm pretty sure this is now possible. Certainly these leagues now run together in historical simulations, and if you wanted to do a fictional or semi-historic/fictional setup with these leagues, I think you can.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: November 06, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5571873)
Here's my OOTP gameplay question, is there any way to have players come up for the amateur draft in the correct year? Right now, I think they always come up one year before they debuted in the majors instead of the year that they were actually in the draft.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5571882)
Question about the recalc every 5 years option. Does this lead to (say) Hank Aaron hitting like an MVP, getting some random ability demerits (as the sim is wont to do), and scuffling along as a bench player, and then in the 5th year randomly becoming Hank Aaron again?
   23. Voodoo Posted: November 06, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5571884)
Here's my OOTP gameplay question, is there any way to have players come up for the amateur draft in the correct year? Right now, I think they always come up one year before they debuted in the majors instead of the year that they were actually in the draft.


Yes, if you turn on "historical minors" player will enter the draft the year (or maybe the year before) they made their professional debuts.
   24. Voodoo Posted: November 06, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5571902)
Question about the recalc every 5 years option. Does this lead to (say) Hank Aaron hitting like an MVP, getting some random ability demerits (as the sim is wont to do), and scuffling along as a bench player, and then in the 5th year randomly becoming Hank Aaron again?


Yes, but I've not ever observed it being that drastic (though I've also not really noticed the thing you see where players will be MVP level when drafted and then sub-replacement level a few years later, except for maybe pitchers, which is realistic to me).

With 5 year recalc, the OOTP development engine takes over during the five year period and then when it is recalculated the ratings are then adjusted based on real life stats. I'm not certain if they are just slightly adjusted based on how the player has developed through the game engine or it is a hard reset regardless of how they have developed in year prior. I wanna say it's the former, but I'm not positive.
   25. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:11 PM (#5571949)
I've bought it a few times and played it a bit, but every time I go to the forums, I get discouraged. The AI just is never going to be good enough for me, even if I set my suspension of disbelief to medium. I'm into the historical mode playing a small-market expansion team ... but if I ever get my hands on like a Willie Mays, I'll never be able to trust that I did it legitimately, and there goes the game.

It's almost as if the games have become too good and too ambitious, such that they get oh-so-close to something really great ... but can't reach it and the dashing of expectations is somehow higher and worse. I played a lot of Tony LaRussa 1996 and the late, great Old Time Baseball on the PC and it had a career mode (which I'm sure was probably terrible in 2017 terms), but I enjoyed it immensely and got a good two years of enjoyment out of it. (*) It's almost as if knowingness is a bad thing -- and there's a lesson there.

(*) Or, hell, maybe it was the animations and announcers and old ballparks rendered pretty damn well. It's unfortunate that games have bifurcated into either (essentially) pure text on the one hand, and PlayStation 4 graphical, button pushing, on the other hand.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5571952)
though I've also not really noticed the thing you see where players will be MVP level when drafted and then sub-replacement level a few years later, except for maybe pitchers, which is realistic to me


The odd pitcher wouldn't bother me. But oh man, have I got examples. Although come to think of it I may have adjusted the talent change randomness factor up a tick, so it might be my fault.
   27. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5571955)
What I always wanted (and still want) is a way to do something like this with a "one-click" setup to accomplish this... end up with a completely "out of reality" team, with actual, fictionalized prior seasons, injuries, et al. Haven't done it in a few years, I guess - but I always used to pop this idea into the OOTP forums when the new version feature requests rolled around. Got some sniffs from Markus a few times, but it never made the cut.

I could bequeath you by OOTP league when I die. At the moment I've got a 35-season backlog of made up players. At least a couple are unlike any real-life profiles (my all-time career steals leader is a catcher).

EDIT: On a serious note, I imagine this could be done right? People that have a long-running fictional league going could periodically post their leagues online for someone else to download and pick up to take in another direction?
   28. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5571956)
I've bought it a few times and played it a bit, but every time I go to the forums, I get discouraged. The AI just is never going to be good enough for me, even if I set my suspension of disbelief to medium. I'm into the historical mode playing a small-market expansion team ... but if I ever get my hands on like a Willie Mays, I'll never be able to trust that I did it legitimately, and there goes the game.

I get around the AI problem by just controlling all the teams. I suppose there is still some degree of AI in terms of the salary demands of players...but I imagine player salary demands can get pretty detached from reality with some real players too.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:29 PM (#5571959)
Here we go.
Will Clark, ages 21-23 had a 150 OPS+ and put up about 13 WAR. Less than 1 WAR from 24 on.
Rennie Stennet might have been the best player in baseball at age 19, he had back-to-back seasons of 5+ WAR in only 120 games by hitting .350 with off-the-charts defense. At age 23 he was a 3 WAR player, at 25 he was replacement level, out of baseball at age 28.
Dick Higham got 30 WAR for me, about 27 of which was before he turned 25. All-star at age 18, bench player at age 25.
Remember Chris Gomez? He was a 4.5 WAR shortstop at age 21. Offseason attribute crater, started a total of 50 games after that year.

The pitchers are even worse, I imagine.
   30. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:30 PM (#5571961)
Here we go.
Will Clark, ages 21-23 had a 150 OPS+ and put up about 13 WAR. Less than 1 WAR from 24 on.
Rennie Stennet might have been the best player in baseball at age 19, he had back-to-back seasons of 5+ WAR in only 120 games by hitting .350 with off-the-charts defense. At age 23 he was a 3 WAR player, at 25 he was replacement level, out of baseball at age 28.
Dick Higham got 30 WAR for me, about 27 of which was before he turned 25. All-star at age 18, bench player at age 25.
Remember Chris Gomez? He was a 4.5 WAR shortstop at age 21. Offseason attribute crater, started a total of 50 games after that year.


Yeah, this is pretty much a deal breaker for me.
   31. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:32 PM (#5571964)
Is that a historical simulation thing?

I've never played with historical leagues, and I've never come across multiple violent swings like that. If anything, my players tend to be a bit too predictable in their progression (aside from injuries).
   32. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:33 PM (#5571966)

I get around the AI problem by just controlling all the teams.


How do you have the time? It must take many, many hours to get through an offseason.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5571968)
Is that a historical simulation thing?


Yes, but as I said I may have increased the talent change randomness factor which makes it MORE likely to occur.

The problem remains though, that in the recreation setting I was using the players spring fully formed at age 21 or whatever and thus typically have nowhere to go but down. Realistic development curves were exceedingly rare. I don't think that's a problem when you play the regular game but it was one with this feature.
   34. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5571969)
How do you have the time? It must take many, many hours to get through an offseason.

Off-seasons are the funnest part! I usually do them over the course of a weekend (as in, I'm usually too excited to do anything else and spend every waking hour pouring over the rosters).

It also helps that it is an 8-team league, which is probably my upper limit for what I can manage. It expanded from 6 teams a few years ago, and I've always contemplated going to ten...but not in the foreseeable future. If I can't rattle off the starting lineups and rotations of all of the teams while I'm waiting for a bus I get a bit worried.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:40 PM (#5571972)
I don't think I could do that without favoring one team and then developing a juggernaut and then losing interest.
   36. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5571973)
I don't think I could do that without favoring one team and then developing a juggernaut and then losing interest.

Heh. I do actually have teams I like more than others (certainly players). But it's almost the perfect set up for my personality. I like to sit back and observe. Me having a discernible impact on events ruins the fun. In fact, that's really the abiding rule of my life.

EDIT: Oddly enough I did end up with a juggernaut team for the first little while. They weren't head and shoulders above everyone else, but they somehow kept winning championships. I think the Utica Blue Sox won 12 of the first 16 titles or something. They just kept churning out quality pitchers from the final pick in the draft.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5571975)
How do you decide whether or not to trade Verlander at the deadline?
   38. Greg K Posted: November 06, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5571979)
I tend to be a conservative second-guesser, so as a whole trading is pretty tight. I have made my share of panic trades....for a while the Hamilton Hams had a superstar, 1990s Seattle Mariners roster but kept getting sunk by terrible bullpens. Every year I'd say to myself...DON'T TRADE THE FARM FOR SOME VETERAN BULLPEN ARM! But after the 5th blow save in a row they'd pull the trigger in a fit of anger.

Generally I use the AI function for trades. If both the AI GM, and my assistant GM think it's a good deal, I'll probably make it. Every now and then I'll over-ride one of them, if it's a necessary salary relief trade, or I think my assistant GM is being a moron. So I'll sometimes decide to shop a veteran, but if I can't find a package everyone agrees on after a minute or two of trying, I consider that the equivalent of the two sides just being too far apart.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2017 at 09:08 PM (#5572009)
Interesting. So you're mostly just observing? If a team has someone stuck in AAA that could easily start for other teams, do you try and get him into a starting lineup somewhere? Or just watch him waste his prime?
   40. JJ1986 Posted: November 06, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5572020)
Yes, if you turn on "historical minors" player will enter the draft the year (or maybe the year before) they made their professional debuts.
Thanks, awesome. I've now started a new game just so I can have the amateur draft more correct.
   41. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2017 at 07:52 AM (#5572077)
Interesting. So you're mostly just observing? If a team has someone stuck in AAA that could easily start for other teams, do you try and get him into a starting lineup somewhere? Or just watch him waste his prime?

I tried a season or two of pure observation, but found I get into it more when I take a more active role.

So I handle all the GM/Manager stuff now: promotion/demotion, waivers, lineups and rotations. I mostly leave the minors to the managers (just one AAA level), though if a guy is being groomed to be the LF next year I make sure he gets his playing time there.

There's a little bit of role playing in there as different teams have developed different personalities (Yonkers has been burned by promoting young pitchers too quickly, so they're more conservative now), but it's mostly my own inclinations showing through.

I don't tend to try to find places for guys just for the sake of finding a spot. But if a team has got a starting calibre OF sitting in AAA, teams with a hole there will come knocking. At the moment the first place team has 4 OF who could be starters, but they've resisted making a move as the win-now logic makes them put some value on having injury insurance depth rather than swapping in for a prospect.
   42. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 07, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5572116)
If you bump the trading AI and trading preference up - trading can become very much a challenge. Even on normal/neutral - I do get the sense that more recent vintage AIs are very stingy with their prospects (at least with me, drives me nuts when two AI teams make a deal for a prospect I was hot after... especially when the returns clearly look designed to spite me).

One house rule I employ -- all trades must be initiated by the "shop-a-player" feature, and while building upon the 1 for 1 is allowed -- the original two players must remain a part of the deal. I've also taken to limiting myself to one trade per month -- without it, I - and this is no exaggeration, regularly exceed 100 trades per season.

Since I do lean so heavily on the shop-a-player, that's another improvement I wish they'd make -- teams offering packages instead of just single players.
   43. Rally Posted: November 07, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5572124)
Generally I use the AI function for trades. If both the AI GM, and my assistant GM think it's a good deal, I'll probably make it. Every now and then I'll over-ride one of them, if it's a necessary salary relief trade, or I think my assistant GM is being a moron.


That's a setup I was not aware of. Let me see if I get it right, computer initiates trades with other AI teams, and you are asked to approve or decline? How do you set that up?
   44. Brian Posted: November 07, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5572152)
Sorta on topic, but has anyone here ever played Hardball Dynasty on the What If Sports site? Baseball sim, kinda like OOTP, but fully online with teams all run by other real, live people. Almost like a slightly watered down OOTP online league.


I haven't played Hardball Dynasty but I've been playing Pure Baseball for 20+ years. PB is as you mentioned, it's a fully online game with real, live people managing games and GMing their teams. 160 game schedule, year round trading, rookie and FA drafts in the Spring. A great game that I highly recommend.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5572202)
I've always found the trading AI frustrating. Every setting is either too difficult or too easy.
   46. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 07, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5572217)
I think the main AI trading problem is that even though they've added those supposed Win Now! vs Rebuilding modifiers, the AI doesn't really seem to stick with them. Contenders are still loathe to part with prospects, while the rebuilders don't seem to particularly LIKE prospects.

The other big exploit you really have to disciplined not to take advantage of is the "bad contract ride-along"... as in, the hotshot prospect the AI won't part with in a million years, it will gladly add as a toss-in if you take on a bad contract (and even if you're just swapping bad contracts). You can damn near daisy chain a series of bad contract swaps to pillage everybody's else farm system until the musical chairs end.... and if you play it right, you can even end up with the "least bad contract" in the chain.

Of course, this one reason I'm really excited for Greg K's will bequest -- I do think that a big part of the complaints about trading is that, if you play with 'real rosters', you get really conditioned to "expect" certain value assignments with players even though the variance on skill/talent certainly can drift them away from their real life counterparts.
   47. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: November 07, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5572348)
OOTP 18 for a buck at humble bundle right now.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: November 07, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5572673)
OOTP 18 for a buck at humble bundle right now.


I just got the email and was checking it out. I nearly bought it yesterday at 19.99 and then held off. (I'm a humble bundle addict right now. I keep buying things because they keep giving incredible deals)
   49. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 07, 2017 at 10:07 PM (#5572703)
The default settings for player aging and development in OOTP are way, way off the mark when it comes to producing realistic careers. Someone at the OOTP forums did a LOT of testing and simulating and came up with these settings, which produce long term (over several decades) results that most closely resemble what has happened in real life:

(These settings are in the Game Settings -> Players & Facegen tab)

Injury Frequency: High (Realistic Modern Day) (default: Low)
Aging Speed: .310 (default: 1.000. Yes, really .310.)
Development Speed: 1.250 (default: 1.000)
Talent Change Randomness: 165 (default: 100)

With default OOTP settings, what happens is that players (including superstars) almost invariably drop very sharply off a cliff at age 32. If you sim 50 years you will find almost no pitchers winning even 200 games, and almost no hitters reaching even 2,500 hits or 400 home runs. Superstars' careers start a bit too late and end far too early.

With the above settings, what happens is that players age much more gradually--but what really happens with stars, most of the time, is that they get increasingly injury prone as they proceed through their thirties, and injuries derail and then end their careers. Sometimes at 32, sometimes at 35, sometimes at 38, and once or twice a generation a star--or even a non-star, like Bartolo Colon or Julio Franco--will last well into his 40s. But mostly injuries finish them at some point in their thirties.

These settings are the most realistic--just be aware that realistic doesn't necessarily equal fun. Most OOTP players who aren't hardcore about realism don't enjoy constantly having their rosters in upheaval, and sometimes seasons ruined, by incessant injuries. In point of fact constantly dealing with injuries is a massive part of what real life front offices spend their time doing, but, again, if you're not looking for the fully realistic experience, you may not find it fun.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2017 at 10:31 PM (#5572716)
Thank you Paste. Might need to bookmark that comment.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5574460)
Thank you Paste. Might need to bookmark that comment.


Sounds like a good plan, I just googled this page because I just got the game from Humble Bundle ($1, you have 10 days left) and wanted to make those changes.
   52. OsunaSakata Posted: November 11, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5574489)
I see a lot of people complaining about the AI. Perhaps you should join an online league.
   53. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5574660)
With default OOTP settings, what happens is that players (including superstars) almost invariably drop very sharply off a cliff at age 32. If you sim 50 years you will find almost no pitchers winning even 200 games, and almost no hitters reaching even 2,500 hits or 400 home runs. Superstars' careers start a bit too late and end far too early.


I'm not so sure it's the player aging curve as much as it is the fact that the AI pretty much treats players the way OOTP comment boards do -- i.e., it's VERY quick to just cut players loose and it's also much more likely to give the Roberto Petagines a shot rather than trotting out the ALbert Pujols.

Players then price themselves out of future jobs in the FA market.

Players never have those near replacement-level accumulator tail-ends to their careers.
   54. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5574665)
I see a lot of people complaining about the AI. Perhaps you should join an online league.
Online leagues are actually worse. The level of tanking that begins even before the midpoint of a season is spectacular; by the end of the season, three-quarters of the league is running out rookie-league level guys in an attempt to grab high picks for the next season. Depressing.
   55. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5574695)

I'm not so sure it's the player aging curve as much as it is the fact that the AI pretty much treats players the way OOTP comment boards do -- i.e., it's VERY quick to just cut players loose and it's also much more likely to give the Roberto Petagines a shot rather than trotting out the ALbert Pujols.

Players then price themselves out of future jobs in the FA market.

Players never have those near replacement-level accumulator tail-ends to their careers.


Yes, this is exactly right.

The settings I gave in #49 are our best known way to mitigate this and still end up with a realistic number of Hall of Fame caliber careers. With those settings you end up with a lot--many more than in real life--of players ages 36 to 43 who are still good, except most of them only play 40 to 60 games a year and mostly are injured.

It's far from perfect, but it's the best we can do, if we're pursuing realistic outcomes over decades of simulating.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5574698)
I wonder if you have any advice about another significant setting I've never gotten right - the way that the AI evaluates players. It seems like whatever I do, the AI still has a measure of unrealistic omniscience. A player that has consistently put up 5 WAR seasons will get benched the very instant that his ratings fall below those of his backup, whereas in real life it takes something like a year and a half before one is confident that such a talent drop is real.
   57. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:16 PM (#5574701)
No, unfortunately there is no way to prevent the AI from benching a player as soon as it perceives him as inferior to whatever their next best option at the position is.

There are settings that dictate the weights the AI uses to evaluate players under Game Settings > AI Settings, with the following options which must add up to 100:

Ratings Weight (default: 65)
Current Year Stats Weight (default: 20)
Previous Year Stats Weight (default: 10)
2 Years Ago Stats Weight (default: 5)

There is a lot of disagreement in the community as to how exactly to set this up. Some favor 40/30/20/10, others (myself included) prefer something more like 20/50/25/5. Generally the lower you set Ratings Weight, the less "omniscient" the AI becomes in the way you described--but it doesn't really solve the problem, as the player will still be permanently benched the first time he has a bad two months.

A small but zealous portion of the community plays "Stats Only"--they disable the ratings and scouting systems entirely, so that both the AI and the human player have to rely solely on stats (including for amateur players). I don't recommend it, but the few people detail-obsessed enough to like it REALLY like it.

------------------------------

IMO, this is the next major frontier the OOTP developers should conquer: The simulation needs to be rigged such that there are MAJOR repercussions for signing a superstar to a gigantic 10 year contract and then permanently benching him after 4 years, as there certainly are in real life (hence why Pujols continues to play every day). Specifically:

1. The player should get ROYALLY pissed off and become a devastating clubhouse cancer, no matter what his original personality was. (Right now the player DOES get pissed off, but the effect on himself is irrelevant since he isn't playing anyway, and the effect on the rest of the team is negligible.)

2. The team and GM involved should get a seriously bad reputation among players/agents for doing this, significantly hampering their ability to sign free agents or even re-sign their own stars, who won't trust them.

3. The Popularity system needs to be re-worked, so that it's harder for a player to achieve Very/Extremely Popular status, but once he does, if he's on your team, you HAVE to play him or you will suffer drastic consequences, as described above.

4. And then the AI would have to be modeled to appropriately care about this stuff just as a human would, making it hesitate to dole out 10 year contracts to 30-year-old stars, and making it generally sigh and accept continuing to play a star on such a contract long after he's stopped playing well--or eat most of his contract in a trade, or release him.
   58. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:40 PM (#5574705)
The simulation needs to be rigged such that there are MAJOR repercussions for signing a superstar to a gigantic 10 year contract and then permanently benching him after 4 years, as there certainly are in real life

Seems to me that the financial system is buggy enough that this sort of thing is both inevitable and almost small potatoes. I often play historical modes or with the finances altered or turned off...
   59. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5574708)
What happens if you set Ratings Weight to zero? I'm sure I've done it but I don't recall the result.
   60. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5574713)
The AI will ignore scouting and evaluate purely on stats.* It creates a big advantage in amateur drafting/signing for the human player if you DO use scouting, and it won't solve the fading star benching problem (they'll still bench him as soon as his stats go downhill).

* (Almost. Actually each individual GM has his own settings in those four categories too, which modify the global setting, so most GMs will still give like 15-20% weight to scouting unless you manually set it to 0 for each GM.)

In extreme individual cases like Albert Pujols today, I think you CAN, if you want, use Commissioner Mode and set the individual player's strategy to force the AI to start him at a specific position. (You can do this with players in your own organization if e.g. you want a given prospect to start at third base but don't want the hassle of micromanaging your minor league lineups. With Commissioner Mode you can set Force Start on any player, not just the ones on your team.)
   61. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5574715)
and it won't solve the fading star benching problem (they'll still bench him as soon as his stats go downhill).


That's better than responding immediately to one of those random overnight ratings drops!

edit - just saw your edit, which probably accounts for my above declaration that "whatever I do, the AI still has a measure of unrealistic omniscience."
   62. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5574717)
True, but they'll respond within a couple months when the stats drop. In the long run it doesn't solve the general problem of superstars' careers abruptly ending as soon as they drop off, rather than hanging around for five extra years as a 0 WAR player compiling empty stats before everyone finally gives up on them, as superstars usually do.
   63. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 08:59 PM (#5574789)
Just started a sim with your suggested settings and "Ratings Weight" set at 5. We'll see what happens!
   64. Voodoo Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:18 PM (#5574807)
In the long run it doesn't solve the general problem of superstars' careers abruptly ending as soon as they drop off, rather than hanging around for five extra years as a 0 WAR player compiling empty stats before everyone finally gives up on them, as superstars usually do.


Maybe the OOTP AI is smarter than real people?
   65. Rally Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5574853)
There is a lot of disagreement in the community as to how exactly to set this up. Some favor 40/30/20/10, others (myself included) prefer something more like 20/50/25/5. Generally the lower you set Ratings Weight, the less "omniscient" the AI becomes in the way you described--but it doesn't really solve the problem, as the player will still be permanently benched the first time he has a bad two months.


I think I set this something like 50% ratings, then 20/15/10 for the last 3 seasons. I might have the ratings a bit lower, but I do know that whatever I give for the ratings, I want the stats to follow similar proportions to MARCEL, which would have them at 5/4/3.

Here's the thing about Pujols - there is no guarantee the Angels will play him for 5 years with negative WAR. Sure, they'll pay him. Right now we can say they allowed a guy who was positive (1.4 WAR) in 2016 to have a horrible 2017 season. We'll find out how long they continue down that path if he's just as bad in 2018.

Gary Matthews Jr. was a disappointment in 2007, but still positive WAR. He got less playing time in 2008, lost his CF job and moved around between positions. He was terrible, negative WAR. Next year he was a bench player, the year after that they traded him with 2 years left on the deal, eating just about the entire amount.

They traded for Vernon Wells with 4 big salary seasons on the contract. He was terrible in year 1. In year 2 he was reduced to a part timer. Then they traded him away, again eating almost all of 2 years worth of contract.

Josh Hamilton was actually positive WAR his 2 years as an Angel, but a huge disappointment and then had the relapse problem which pissed off Arte Moreno. He had 3 years left on his contract, and the Angels ate almost all of it.





   66. Rally Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5574857)
OOTP AI can be really stupid sometimes. In the 2015 offseason, the first time I let their AI sign free agents for computer team, I had one team sign 3 similar right handed hitting outfielders. These guys were low average power hitters, maybe slightly better than 100 OPS+, and were terrible defenders. The team signing them played in the non-DH league. They were pretty much limited to left field, and being all RH, you can't platoon them. I guess the team had a budget to spend and nobody worth spending on. Contracts were something like 5-10 million per year, 2 or 3 year deals. By the middle of the next season that team started trading these guys away and eating the money on the deals.

If they had signed one of these guys, it looks like a bad deal and an overpay, but maybe they wanted more power in the lineup. But three of them? Insane.
   67. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5574859)
I suppose it would be easy to learn how quickly the game responds to ratings changes, by playing around in commish mode
   68. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5574923)
Every offseason there are a few marginal players who will get signed for near the minimum, released a week later, and rinse and repeat with three or four different teams. It's weird.
   69. Rally Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5574965)
That happens with MLB marginal players too (maybe not quite as often). But the weird thing about it is OOTP doesn't have all the MLB contract rules. So once he's a free agent again you have to bid on the player, unlike MLB where any team that wants Sandoval after Boston released him is automatically only paying the league minimum.
   70. Rally Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5574967)
Speaking of Panda, we've got one in our league. He's slightly better than the Giants' player, but in this fictional league he actually is a Panda.
   71. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5574974)
Have they gotten around to creating a common talent pool so each league isn't generating its own separate set of players? I stopped paying attention after watching people complain about this in vain for about a decade.
A long time ago (OOTP 11, I think) I hacked out a partial workaround for this. Basically I made the various independent leagues and then set them to have insignificant drafts -- 1 round each, I think, with a fairly low native talent level. I then created a single "youth league" with a ton of teams and a huge draft and an age limit of something like 17. So the vast majority of new talent available to my main leagues were free agents, either 15/16-year-olds who'd washed out of the youth league or 17/18-year-olds who'd aged out of it. Then the various indie leagues could bid against each other.

Problems: All of the independent youth teams led to "coach inflation" -- there were way too many superstar coaches floating around. The financial system didn't really work for inter-league bidding wars -- player seemed to be interested in what percentage of a league's top salary they were getting rather than absolute dollars, so being the highest paid player in a poor league was more attractive than earning twice as much in a wealthier league. Also tons of the young free agents would only sign major league contracts, meaning there were always a dozen or so teens on each 40-man roster, and guys would run out of options before they could legally drink. This made roster management (not to mention keeping the payroll in line) a real chore, and also meant that there were too many bright prospects getting put through waivers every year.

I suspect that the financial part at least would be a lot better in the current version.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: November 14, 2017 at 07:31 PM (#5576316)
uggh...just played 2 and a half seasons, got a great lineup going into the third season and every injury imaginable happened to my team, and then they started knocking stars off of my superstars every month, that I ended up rage quitting halfway through August of the third season....
   73. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5576409)
What do you guys do with the trading settings? I hate the trading AI so much. I just "shopped around" a 31-year old catcher coming off of a 9 WAR season. Guess what??? Zero teams made an offer. Just 10 minutes before that I shopped a significantly lesser player, a crappy veteran bench player, and was offered 24-year old Tony Gonzalez, nearly an all-star quality player. I didn't take the trade because it was so absurdly in my favor as to be unrealistic.

I have trade settings on Average/Favor Prospects. I find that even on Average mode it's almost impossible to get any deals going, it basically eliminates trading as a strategy. On Easy mode it's so hilariously easy that taking advantage of the offers made would ruin the challenge. In the past I've played on Easy but not allowed myself to make any lopsided deals. That's not fun though, that's a stupid workaround.
   74. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:16 PM (#5576410)
uggh...just played 2 and a half seasons, got a great lineup going into the third season and every injury imaginable happened to my team, and then they started knocking stars off of my superstars every month, that I ended up rage quitting halfway through August of the third season....


The only difference between you and a real major league GM is he has several hundred thousand to several million reasons to stick with it. :)

In my current season, three-fourths of my Opening Day rotation was on the DL by April 20. One guy got TJ'd, one guy out until at least mid-June, one guy out 3-4 weeks. The only lucky thing was that my ace was the sole survivor, but that pretty much tanked what had looked like a promising season right out of the gate.

What do you guys do with the trading settings? I hate the trading AI so much. I just "shopped around" a 31-year old catcher coming off of a 9 WAR season. Guess what??? Zero teams made an offer. Just 10 minutes before that I shopped a significantly lesser player, a crappy veteran bench player, and was offered 24-year old Tony Gonzalez, nearly an all-star quality player. I didn't take the trade because it was so absurdly in my favor as to be unrealistic.


Honestly? I use the Shop Around function just to get a crude preliminary idea of which teams might be most interested in the guy I want to trade, and then I use Commish Mode to build what looks to me like a realistic trade with a team that might realistically want the guy I want to trade (or might realistically want some of my prospects for one of their veterans) and force it. I'll consult the in-game top 100 prospects list and stuff.

The downside to this is that the temptation to cheat by peeking in the player editor to see players' real ratings is strong. :)

That's me; most of the serious OOTP community swears by max trade difficulty settings (Very High difficulty, Heavily Favor Prospects). If you have the patience, you can use the Make This Work Now! function over and over and over within one trade negotiation to figure out which of your worthless prospects a given AI GM overvalues and rob them blind. (Note: Every GM has his own weights for veterans vs. prospects, pitching vs. hitting, speed vs. power, etc.)

e: The first year or so I owned OOTP, I took exploits and outright cheating too far, to the point where a down year for my franchise was 110-52 and a good year was 132-30. I got that out of my system pretty quickly, though. I like my team to generally be good and so don't play with high difficulty settings, but the pennant being cinched by September 1 every year is boooring. The most fun I ever have with OOTP is when my team's in a good tight pennant race.
   75. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:24 PM (#5576412)
That's me; most of the serious OOTP community swears by max trade difficulty settings (Very High difficulty, Heavily Favor Prospects).


I also use Shop Around. It seems to me that you could never get a single bite with this setting.
   76. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5576413)
Maybe the OOTP AI is smarter than real people?


In some ways, it is -- it pays no attention to the fact that it's "Albert Pujols" (or whomever). It likewise doesn't care so much about things like "was the #85 overall prospect!!!". Of course, in others - it's pretty damn shortsighted.

FWIW - I do bump the development/aging modifiers a bit... not at radically as the suggestions, but by 10-15% (10% faster/slower for hitters, 15% for pitchers). I actually go the other direction with talent change randomness (down a bit, to 90).

I think Paste nails it though - the problem is that the popularity scale and corresponding modifiers don't really work... Of course, I do think a good argument could be made that the way we're kind of supposing they do/should/actually work IRL is wrong, too :-). If the Angels just ate Pujols' contract and banished him to AAA, would the Angels really be throw into such turmoil? I do actually like the idea of it having a bleed effect on other signings (and perhaps waiving of NTCs, etc).

Actually, for Trader Jacks like myself -- if they really wanted to up the trading difficulty, having AI teams basically "hang up on you" would be another easy way to cap trade heists. If you're willing to put in the time -- and I've literally spent an hour modeling certain trades - you can min/max all the other AIs to death. I almost NEVER settle for less than 5 players in return - there's always a teenage lottery ticket with one raw tool or even just a good work ethic + intelligence intangibles I'll add. If nothing else, every scout - even the legendary ones - have the odd player nobody else likes but they do.... so if you make it numbers game, you can always come out ahead.
   77. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5576414)
I also use Shop Around. It seems to me that you could never get a single bite with this setting.

Yeah, I'm given to understand the OOTP vets don't use Shop Around at all. They poke around manually for a team/GM that should be ideal for selling what they're buying/buying what they're selling and then patiently try adding different guys to both sides of the trade and hitting Make This Work Now! over and over to find the soft spots.

Incidentally, an overhaul to the trading system is long overdue in OOTP. It should work like negotiating contracts with players does: You have to build an offer and submit it to the other GM, who will then either accept or counter-offer, and if you submit an offer grossly in your favor the other GM will get pissed at you and just refuse to work with you.

e: I also wish the AI would quit spamming me with preposterous trade proposals of their worthless nonprospect for my superstar.

e2: The other big problem with the Shop Around function, besides it only producing one-for-one offers, is that almost no one ever offers a good prospect through it (in fact IIRC it only scans 40 man rosters), which kind of defeats the purpose--if you're shopping around a particular player, chances are it's a veteran that you're looking to trade for prospects. And the function is worthless for that particular purpose.
   78. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:30 PM (#5576415)
I just changed it to those settings for fun.

One of my most attractive players is a 24-year old 2B coming off a 4 WAR season. I shopped around and got offered two different 34-year old bench players. I opened negotiations with one of them. I suggested trading my guy for an older and worse 2B coming off a -0.7 WAR season. Total scrub. The response? "Are you kidding? I'd never accept that deal!" I clicked "make it work now." The response? They would only accept the single most valuable player in my organization. For a scrub. (And not the catcher with 9 WAR, he is still apparently untradeable)

That setting is garbage.
   79. Meatwad in mourning Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:35 PM (#5576417)
This makes me really want to get this game. I suspect I would lose a lot of my life to it.
   80. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:36 PM (#5576418)
I just offered a 27 year old CF with 2.5 stars coming off a 3.5 WAR season for a 41-year old CF with 0.5 stars coming off a -0.1 WAR season as a bench player. Response? "That's a very bad deal for us. I won't even bother discussing this."

Basically I just offered the 1962 equivalent of Ender Inciarte for Ichiro Suzuki and they hung up the phone.

Also just shopped around my #2 draft pick. Top 25 prospect. No team offered anything.

I don't understand why you'd even design a setting where that's a possibility.

It's nice that OOTP is so customizable but honestly I wish it would just work out of the box. All of the options seem to reduce the pressure on the developers to actually MAKE IT ####### WORK.
   81. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:40 PM (#5576419)
PreservedFish: The Shop Around function has never been anywhere THAT bad for me. I know it's sensitive to contract--if you're offering a player who makes real money and most teams are right near their payroll limit (as is often the case since OOTP AI tends to spend the whole payroll each offseason even if it requires giving guaranteed contracts to a list of nonentities) then you'll get no offers even if the player is good and valuable, because the AI can't account for retaining salary or trading cash when doing the Shop Around calculations.

It's also possible the very low Ratings Weight you set is screwing up the trading AI somehow. I've never gone that low on it before so I'm not sure. Try the Recalculate GM Tendencies option in AI Settings, maybe? I'd make a backup before trying that, though.

edit: For a test I just hit Shop Around on the pitcher I just drafted at #10 last year (#19 prospect now) and got a couple dozen offers, including a few that honestly are pretty heavily in my favor. That's on the default Average difficulty/Neutral preference settings. Something be done borked on your save, methinks.
   82. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5576420)
e: The first year or so I owned OOTP, I took exploits and outright cheating too far, to the point where a down year for my franchise was 110-52 and a good year was 132-30. I got that out of my system pretty quickly, though. I like my team to generally be good and so don't play with high difficulty settings, but the pennant being cinched by September 1 every year is boooring. The most fun I ever have with OOTP is when my team's in a good tight pennant race.


Yeah - honestly, much as the silly 'achievements' don't do much for me - I like challenge mode because I was a notorious cheater... break off negotiations with me, will ya? Well, buddy - you just bought yourself a 5 year extension at MY price... and whattya mean Starlin Castro isn't a .350 hitter? He clearly is - so let's just change that rating to the right place.

A lot more fun. Real, actual pennant races. I find myself managing almost all of my September games - and peaking in on the live scores while I'm managing. It's fun... and occasionally exhilarating in a way prior iterations weren't -- I've had impossible comebacks to save a season, crushing losses, etc. In one particularly memorable sequence - I lost the division in the last series of the year - and it was my own fault for trying to coax one more inning out of my gassed SP - and seeing the team I was chasing win to clinch before my game was over, just rage-beaned into 3 pitcher ejections.

Honestly? I use the Shop Around function just to get a crude preliminary idea of which teams might be most interested in the guy I want to trade, and then I use Commish Mode to build what looks to me like a realistic trade with a team that might realistically want the guy I want to trade (or might realistically want some of my prospects for one of their veterans) and force it. I'll consult the in-game top 100 prospects list and stuff.


FWIW, while I use the shop around function as a sort of house rule to initiate trades -- I'd note that money often limits the offer sheets.... I.e., since offers are one for one limited, teams that can't make a single player work within the financial constraints (and their view of the swap) won't make an offer.

This, of course, is how I get around my own house rules -- I shop minor leaguers and layer the big leaguers on top of that.
   83. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:47 PM (#5576421)
I manage all of my team's games--not closely, but I'll simulate through the 5th or 6th inning and then mash Until RISP. I do this because I want to control bullpen usage. The deployment of relievers I've developed over the years... well, it's gamey, but I actually think it would work in real life if it could be tried, at least in the American League where you don't have to worry about pinch hitting for your pitcher.

(The relief ace is the *first* reliever into the game, and he throws a specific number of pitches and then gives way to the next best reliever, etc.)
   84. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:51 PM (#5576425)
It's also possible the very low Ratings Weight you set is screwing up the trading AI somehow.


What's happening to me now has been true all the time, for any ratings mix. It's also true when I play without the financial system, or, like now in 1962, if there are no free agents and every team has a ton of budget room. I'm still on OOTP15 or 16, maybe things were worse with that version.

By the way, I did play around with the AI ratings weights a bit. I had a fella, Steve Bilko, that was rated at 4 stars despite a long track record as a 0 WAR player. The reason he was rated high is that I began the league in 1961 and he's about to have his career year. I set ratings weight to 100 and I set it to 0 and yet I found basically no variation in Bilko's star rating.
   85. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:52 PM (#5576426)
e: I also wish the AI would quit spamming me with preposterous trade proposals of their worthless nonprospect for my superstar.


"Not interested" is a necessity... the AI often gets it into its head that it's got the perfect player for you and will keep pounding away at combinations.

One thing I wish they'd add is a "covet" setting for other players -- it annoys me when a player I'd like to acquire can't be had at a given time but then when things change (that player's ratings, whatever), I suddenly see that player traded for a deal I could have matched. I wish I could tag other players with a "call me first before you make any other trades around this guy".

Response? "That's a very bad deal for us. I won't even bother discussing this."


You've really got to ignore the AI response text... I mean - the "Are you Kidding?" means the offer isn't close, but other than that - use the "make this work" and see exactly how far apart you are.

BTW - one more thing on trades... I've also noticed that the AI seems MUCH more amendable to trades out of season than in. I have no proof this is anything other than anecdotal, but I have a far, far easier time making offseason trades than in-season. It also pays to make trades immediately after the world series - as in, that very first day of the offseason. As teams settle on arbitration, make 40 man changes, etc -- it gets harder. Trying to juice something for a rule 5 eligible guy over the winter meetings is likewise very hard - you gotta strike right away. I find spring training to the most fertile, AI trade amendable timeframe.
   86. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5576427)
You've really got to ignore the AI response text... I mean - the "Are you Kidding?" means the offer isn't close, but other than that - use the "make this work" and see exactly how far apart you are.


I did, they wanted 20 year old Jim Fregosi. In addition to the 3.5 WAR prime age centerfielder. For a 41-year old replacement level bench player.
   87. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5576428)
The interface for starting a new league in OOTP is (and has long been) confusing as hell--it's quite possible you picked a setup that actually changes players' ratings to match their historical performance. Which is a thing in OOTP.

I've been using OOTP since 12, I think, and never had the kinds of problems you're having. I would bet you've got some ###### up settings somewhere.

In OOTP18 I discovered (to pick one instance of a weird bug) that you do not want to change the Pitcher Stamina setting after you've started your save file. I did, and suddenly about one-third of all the pitchers in the league contracted some weird condition wherein they could only be relievers--no matter their Stamina rating, if you started them they would begin the game already Exhausted and would have to immediately be relieved.

Something like that may have occurred at some point while you were tinkering with settings, or you may accidentally be doing a historical simulation.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5576430)
I've been using OOTP since 12, I think, and never had the kinds of problems you're having. I would bet you've got some ###### up settings somewhere.


Most of the ridiculous examples above come from my little experiment with "Very Hard" trading mode, which I would never consider using. But otherwise what I'm describing (wacky trading in general and a veritable chasm between the "easy" and "average" settings) has been consistent in every game I've run, modern, historical, fictional, whatever. It's not my settings, I don't think. You'll see that Zonk has basically settled on the same coping strategy that I mentioned in #73 ... almost completely bypassing the trading AI and just trusting one's self to execute fair trades for both sides.

I did, and suddenly about one-third of all the pitchers in the league contracted some weird condition wherein they could only be relievers--no matter their Stamina rating, if you started them they would begin the game already Exhausted and would have to immediately be relieved.


Ha. I just disappeared the first round of the draft by clicking off the "draft bonus demands" option in the middle of the draft. Willie Stargell, Gaylor Perry etc are now "free agents" that are nowhere to be found and with whom you cannot interact. Maybe they'll show up in next year's draft.
   89. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 15, 2017 at 12:09 AM (#5576431)
Oh yes, you're definitely right about the huge difference between Easy and Average trading difficulty settings--and there's an equally huge difference between Average and Hard. I just play on Average and trust myself not to go overboard ripping off the AI.

Ha. I just disappeared the first round of the draft by clicking off the "draft bonus demands" option in the middle of the draft. Willie Stargell, Gaylor Perry etc are now "free agents" that are nowhere to be found and with whom you cannot interact. Maybe they'll show up in next year's draft.


Yeah, they will. Free agents that aren't in the free agency pool are in the following year's draft pool.

I started my last universe in 1970, but actually disabled historical players from drafts and am using fictional draft pools. I dislike how, instead of Fred Lynn entering the draft as a teenager in 1970, he enters the draft as an MLB-ready star in 1974.

The single most time consuming thing I do in OOTP is the draft every year--not just picking my players, but going through the entire top half of the draft pool and overwriting ridiculous or excessively boring names (how many Alex Rodriguezes do you need, anyway?) I'm kind of obsessive about names.
   90. Meatwad in mourning Posted: November 15, 2017 at 01:41 AM (#5576441)

The single most time consuming thing I do in OOTP is the draft every year--not just picking my players, but going through the entire top half of the draft pool and overwriting ridiculous or excessively boring names (how many Alex Rodriguezes do you need, anyway?) I'm kind of obsessive about names.

But you can never have too many Mike Hunts.
   91. Greg K Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:42 AM (#5576453)
The single most time consuming thing I do in OOTP is the draft every year--not just picking my players, but going through the entire top half of the draft pool and overwriting ridiculous or excessively boring names (how many Alex Rodriguezes do you need, anyway?) I'm kind of obsessive about names.

I fiddle with the player creation settings to spit out more European players, and some African and Asian ones as well. I've had a whole family of bin Da'ud players over the years.

EDIT: I do have a young Bobby Woodward in the league right now. Though Phil Collins is now retired and in the Hall of Fame. As is Rory Gilmore and Bruce Stutter (but those were legacies from when the league was pen and paper and I was making up the names).
   92. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:44 AM (#5576454)
I thought that everyone agreed that the ridiculous names were a plus.
   93. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:22 AM (#5576456)
That's me; most of the serious OOTP community swears by max trade difficulty settings (Very High difficulty, Heavily Favor Prospects).
I do something similar to this: Very High, Neutral, and Low trade frequency. I'm usually in "win now" mode so having the AI favor prospects would just make it easier for me to fleece them.
If you have the patience, you can use the Make This Work Now! function over and over and over within one trade negotiation
This is my usual strategy. I almost never start from a point of "Who do I want to get rid of?" and instead look for trades for a specific player or type of player I want to acquire. In my most recent trade, I decided I needed a catcher who would be ready to be at least an average MLB starter two years from now. I searched for guys who were ready for AA and who projected to be slightly above average once they'd matured. (Anyone with a higher ceiling than that would cost me a quality major leaguer, a great prospect, or both.) The guy I found cost me a middling SP who was being stashed in AAA and a lottery ticket catching prospect. Liberal use of Make This Work Now! (and kicking in cash) also got me two injury insurance/platoon prospects.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:42 AM (#5576460)
Huh. How do you account for the ridiculous things that happened when I chose "very high?" Am I just not trying hard enough? Surely you must frequently find that a computer team will not trade a scrub for a star.
   95. Rally Posted: November 15, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5576472)
I did, they wanted 20 year old Jim Fregosi. In addition to the 3.5 WAR prime age centerfielder. For a 41-year old replacement level bench player
.

The way to counter that is to hold on to Fregosi for a decade until he's worn out. As the computer seems to like old, worn out players, you can then trade Fregosi for a HOF strikeout king.

Though Phil Collins is now retired and in the Hall of Fame. As is Rory Gilmore and Bruce Stutter (but those were legacies from when the league was pen and paper and I was making up the names).


Phil didn't quite make the HOF in my league but he was the starting catcher for my 1989 Microleague championship team. I had Mike Rutherford (ace reliever) and Tony Banks (outfield) on that team as well. We used a lot of musician names in the game, but I'm pretty sure that one was inspired by having the 1927 Yankees as one of the historic great teams on the Microleague disk. I kept seeing "P. Collins" in the lineup. Sure, I had a baseball encyclopedia and could look it up to see Pat Collins was the Yankee catcher, but every time we played with that team we just called him Phil.

I put Phil into our league's draft and figured why not put the whole band in.

FWIW - I do bump the development/aging modifiers a bit... not at radically as the suggestions, but by 10-15% (10% faster/slower for hitters, 15% for pitchers). I actually go the other direction with talent change randomness (down a bit, to 90).


I modified some of the settings but I'm not ready to change them as much as Paste's earlier post. Three years in I've had some good players age very quickly and disappear, but others have defied the aging process. My 39 year old DH won the MVP in 2015. He then declined a bit, but still hit .300 with 33 homers last year at age 41. I resigned him on a 28 million dollar 1 year deal. That's probably too much if he declines further, say .275 with 25 homers and no defensive value, but he deserves it for old times sake.
   96. Rally Posted: November 15, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5576473)
I am proud of being able to maintain balance across the years and different baseball games to make sure the human players in my league are challenged. We've never had a team put up a 1920s to 1950s style Yankee dynasty, with the exception of one computer run team in the 1990s. I've won the league in 1989, 1992, 1993, and 2011.

Some of that is maintaining oversight on trades. Before OOTP humans had to manage all trades. So if someone wanted to make a trade with a computer team, they had to deal with me. If I wanted to make a trade, then someone else in my league had to play the part of the computer team. With OOTP I allow everyone to trade with AI on normal setting, but reserve the commissioner right to veto if things ever get out of hand. I can also vary payrolls if I think the computer teams are at a disadvantage, did that all through the Microleague/APBA years.

This past season my team did something we have never done before - won 109 regular season games, easily a franchise record. Then we got bounced in the first round of the playoffs in 4 games to the wild card winner.
   97. Rally Posted: November 15, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5576477)
That's the problem with the various "fictionalize" options -- i.e., you cannot help but see the name "Clayton Kershaw" and react a certain way. Haven't attempted in the last few versions - but even when you tried to go with purely fictional players, they seemed to just slap new names on existing stat lines.


Some times it works the other way around, especially for someone who's run a league as long as I have.

Jose Ramirez was a HOF shortstop for the Portland Decepticons in the 80s/90s. No power, but a lot like Ozzie Smith. Now the Indians have a Jose Ramirez.

Plenty of others but that's the first one to come to mind. Plus I think both MLB and my league need to put a moratorium on putting more Brian Andersons into the game.

When Carlos Gomez (Chad Bradford Wannabee) started posting on BTF, I already had a Carlos Gomez in my league. But right there I decided that our Carlos had to be a submariner too.
   98. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 15, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5576516)
This is my usual strategy. I almost never start from a point of "Who do I want to get rid of?" and instead look for trades for a specific player or type of player I want to acquire. In my most recent trade, I decided I needed a catcher who would be ready to be at least an average MLB starter two years from now. I searched for guys who were ready for AA and who projected to be slightly above average once they'd matured. (Anyone with a higher ceiling than that would cost me a quality major leaguer, a great prospect, or both.) The guy I found cost me a middling SP who was being stashed in AAA and a lottery ticket catching prospect. Liberal use of Make This Work Now! (and kicking in cash) also got me two injury insurance/platoon prospects.


Ahhh... yes - cash. I go the other direction with cash in most trades. Occasionally, to get a guy I really covet - I'll use my massive warchest to just flat "buy" a guy (teams in the "red" love this) - but for the most part, in addition to always trying to wrangle the max 5 players, I also get the max cash kicked in.... starting at 4,999,999/9,999,999, incrementing down until I arrive at max dollars the AI will toss me. I'll go as low as just $999 to try to grab every last penny. It's also a good method to see the 'value' the AI/specific scout puts on certain players.

This big thing this does is allow me to blow past my draft bonuses -- those "impossible" guys who usually require a bonus a mil or more above their listed demand to sign, etc. I regularly spend 30 to 40 mil on draft bonuses.

Of course, I'm also making the AI worse -- this often means plenty of teams fail to sign their own draftees (putting them back into next year's pool).... as well as potentially removing competition from the INTL signing pool. Sadly, it also tends to make the LAD, NYY, LAA, etc uber-powerful, too -- since the big market teams never really run into money problems. Poor, poor Miami though...

The single most time consuming thing I do in OOTP is the draft every year--not just picking my players, but going through the entire top half of the draft pool and overwriting ridiculous or excessively boring names (how many Alex Rodriguezes do you need, anyway?) I'm kind of obsessive about names.


Haven't done it with this version, but back in my prior version cheating days - running the Cubs when the Cubs didn't already have a great young core -- I had a regular list of 6 core guys I'd create.

Matt "Brickwall" Walbrecht was a switch-hitting catcher with a great eye, mad defense, and off-the-chart intangibles I'd draft out of college. He always hailed from Wisconsin, but went to my alma mater.

Travis "TNT" Tackett was a big, strapping HSer from Texas with the fastball and durability of Nolan Ryan.

Nate "Polish Prince of Power" Poplescziewski would be a 3B hailing from my hometown of South Bend, IN with massive power and a Bondsian eye.

Jacques LeRoux, a submariner with a wicked sinker and pinpoint control hailing from New Orleans...

LaMonte Newsome, my short left-hander with a great changeup and deep arsenal, also with pinpoint control - but fastball only in the 80s - who escaped the mean streets of Detroit.

Jesus De La Cruz, my gold glove CF who laughs at prime Ichiro's hitting skills from the DR.

The catcher and the ace would get created on the fly in the first draft... the 3B the CL, and the other ace would be acquired/edited as "toss-ins" from trades with the CWS, STL, and NYY, while the CF would be my primo signing from the first INTL signing period.

Cruz would regularly beat the career hits record... Tackett would generally get to 400 wins. Never could gets Pops past the HR record, but LeRoux would usually top Mo's saves record.
   99. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5576523)
I've made super-players but I always get bored pretty quick. My Ty Cobb / Hoyt Wilhelm combo player just won the MVP. Hooray?
   100. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: November 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5576558)
I've made super-players but I always get bored pretty quick. My Ty Cobb / Hoyt Wilhelm combo player just won the MVP. Hooray?


Meh - it's fun to see what kind of career numbers they can put up. Obviously, having half a dozen inner circle HoFers eliminates... shall we say... some of the challenge. Not that one needs to justify 'cheating' in a game you bought and play solo, but in such sims - I do limit myself to no further edits after setting myself up for 20 years :-).
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