Developer Chat

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST


The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Thursday, November 04, 2010 at 2:00 PM EST.

This is your opportunity to ask about anything in the game, including upcoming changes.

what are currently the top 2 or 3 items on your list for development work for HD? (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 1:03 PM)

The top thing on my list is still the periodic issue with the overnight game cycles, but I've taken further steps to track down the problem the next time it happens. As for actual game development, the job process has risen to the top of the list. I will start plotting out changes very soon in that area. Beyond that, I still plan to improve tournament seedings. There are also a number of smaller improvements that I'd like to make over the next few months.

Many worlds are becoming ghost towns. is consolidation on the table? I hope not because I think the leagues will refill as the economy improves and people have increased confidence and disposable income. (ermackey - Hall of Famer - 1:07 PM)

We are definitely concerned with the fill rates of worlds right now. Contracting worlds would be a last resort option, so at this point it's not in our plans. We'll be doing various things to try to increase participation, but I think the best approach is always to keep improving the game. Development has been slow in recent months for various reasons (including the previously mentioned issue with the overnight game cycle), but we are still working on things.

There seem to be many coaches who think that there should be more emphasis on historical performance for job hiring. Are there any plans to make seasons older than 4 have more importance in job hiring? (hughesjr - Hall of Famer - 1:11 PM)

Yes, that is definitely in my plans. I haven't fleshed out any details yet on changes to the job process, but I'd like to modify the measurement of a coach's success to include more history and adjust how loyalty is affected by switching jobs to make it less severe. There's also a possibility that job minimums may be adjusted. I still want moving up to be a challenge, but I don't want it to be a source of extreme frustration.

Any possiblity to add promises for starting/minutes as a sophmore? (bscoresby - Hall of Famer - 1:13 PM)

There are currently no plans to add sophomore year promises, but it's not impossible.

Is there a way a player's progress in FT shooting and IQ grades could be charted like all other player ratings are so clearly indicated? (dexterdduane - Hall of Famer - 1:13 PM)

Possibly, but it's a little different when you're talking about grades, since they may not change for periods of time.

it seems like there was a huge overcompensation in DI with respect to varying recruits' skill levels with respect to their positions -- i.e. point guards with low ballhandling and no potential in that area who are supposedly 3 star recruits? combine that with the lower number of quality recruits, and this has become the most unrealistic part of the game...what pg heads to college with no hope of become a better ballhandler or passer? How is this being addressed? (berger717 - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

There are several areas of recruit generation that I'll review at some point, including the ones you mention. The reason it was changed was because the previous system didn't have enough variations of player types. Whether the change went too far in that direction, I'm not sure. I know there are people that really like it and people that really dislike, and then a lot in between. It's easy to pick out anecdotal examples of odd players to support an argument, but I need to review the entire pool to come to a conclusion.

Any plans/timetable to address the number of ridiculous upsets in the NT? Whether they're forced by WIS to create "realism" or a flaw in the engine, watching mediocre teams catch fire and run over elite ones has really soured me on this game. Luck should not be more significant than building a program. (showofforce - Hall of Famer - 1:21 PM)

Without looking at numbers, I have a strong feeling that there are fewer upsets than there were in the old engine, especially since the 8/28 release. We obviously don't "force" upsets, but they are a part of the game (as in real life), even in the tournament.

Why sometimes does the Future Stars scouting differ from the asistant coaches player thoughts email? I had a couple of guys have big upside attributes according to Future Stars and when the player thoughts email came out they were not listed as big upside. (cmolli - Hall of Famer - 1:23 PM)

Players can improve slightly from the time of recruiting to the time of the Player Thoughts email from the assistant coach. If they are right on the border between two levels of potential, then you may see that.

With the current state of recruit generation, there is a perception that the mid-low level D1 teams are at a disadvantage due to the talent of the recruits at that level. Is anything planned in the near future to change recruit generation in any way? (dal8847 - Hall of Famer - 1:26 PM)

I mentioned previously that recruit generation will be reviewed at some point, but no concrete plans right now. To me though, a mid or low level DI team should struggle to compete for a national championship. Not that it couldn't happen, but there should be a separation in player talent between the top schools and the lower schools, or the whole concept of the game breaks down.

One of the adjustments on 8/28 was “reduced single-game variance on free throw shooting.” But now it appears it is impossible for a player to start a game 4 for 4 from the line. Each player is forced to miss at least once in their first four attempts. Why was this done? I would much rather have a 72% free throw shooter simply have a 72% chance to make a free throw. (drsnell - Hall of Famer - 1:32 PM)

Actually, starting this afternoon, it will begin to work that way. There was a bug found and fixed related to FT shooting in intentional foul situations. As part of that fix, the variance reduction was removed from FT shooting completely. It's one area I debated about for the 8/28 release anyway.

If the probability of getting caught using boosters is 90+ % (unlike real life) Why do we have them in the game. (brianp87 - Hall of Famer - 1:34 PM)

That's a good question. Personally I'd prefer removing them completely from the game. It was meant as a fun feature to add a twist to recruiting, but became a bit of a problem over the years.

What would you say is the right % of upsets? The previous developer said that about 25% of real games end in an upset. (Rails - Hall of Famer - 1:36 PM)

That depends on how you define an "upset". Regardless of how you define it, I'm pretty sure the current engine is at or below the old engine in this area.

I while ago I asked you too look at the shooting % of teams with the new engine compared to the NCAA. Are you ready to release those results? (mullycj - Hall of Famer - 1:37 PM)

I haven't yet had time to analyze overall numbers with regard to the engine. I don't have any plans to release those numbers, but I will make any necessary engine tweaks to bring them in line.

You mentioned before that 1/2 court press and another set is where the "press" is in the frontcourt. Previously it was in the backcourt. Hoops 101 describes it more as the latter. What is it? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 1:42 PM)

Half-court press applies to the defense style after the offense crosses half court. For example, a half-court/zone combo defense means that your team is playing a zone base defense and trapping/pressuring out to mid court.

can you please clarify the nba draft criteria? last year in allen was crazy - some teams seem to be able to maintain their A or A+ rankings solely on the draft after mediocre seasons (i.e. teams not making the NT but having 4-6 players drafted). Is the draft logic being adjusted? (berger717 - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

There is a prestige boost given based on number of players drafted and their draft position. So a high first round pick helps a lot more than a middle 2nd-round pick. It's not a huge boost, but if you have a number of players drafted, then it would become more significant. That's realistic, since prestige is mainly for recruiting purposes, and the ability of a school to get a player drafted would be important to a recruit in addition to the team's success on the court.

Why does player improvement continue to be so slow for players with low ratings (even if accompanied by high potential)? (I thought this was supposed to have been corrected in the new engine.) (bluespruce1 - All-Star - 1:50 PM)

Slow improvement on ratings with low start values has always been an issue. In the past it was rare to find a player with a very low start rating who also had high potential for growth. That's become more common since recruit generation was changed. I'm not sure what the solution will be, but it's something I will be changing.

Hi - thanks for your time. I think I have many that will agree with me that the new engine doesn't treat the REB rating the same as the previous (at least in DIII). It seems it's nearly impossible to build a double digit rebounding margin team as you could before. I regularly see REB of 50-60 getting the same boards as 80-90 guys. (jjboogie - Hall of Famer - 1:54 PM)

Rebounding is one area of the engine that I will review again once I have time to analyze the overall numbers. I have looked into it several times since the new engine was released and haven't noticed any problems. Keep in mind that a lot more goes into a rebound than just the players' Rebound rating. You must also consider athleticism rating, fatigue, offense style, defense style, etc.

There are huge regional discrepancies in recruiting. Every year, NC seems to have loads of recruits with 200 miles. meanwhile, the other conferences seem much less concentrated. What is WIS willing to do to create better balance in recruit distribution? (ermackey - Hall of Famer - 1:58 PM)

This has always been a part of the game. I understand it can make certain areas more or less challenging to recruit in, but I'm not sure changing distribution is the best solution. I would probably favor opening things up more, to allow schools to recruit further away without wasting a ton of recruiting money.

Any plans to allow us set practice plans / depth charts / distribution for new signings any earlier than what is currently allowed? This can often be quite a challenge before the first exhibition game / practice. (kujayhawk - Hall of Famer - 2:00 PM)

I know that is a quick turnaround between recruiting and the exhibition games. At this point I'm not sure how difficult that change would be, but my gut tells me it might be messier than it seems.

Is there any chance of changing teams with losing records from making the post season tourney, it is dumb to have a team with a losing record make a tournament if they didn't win their conference tourney!!! (dakmmeca01 - Hall of Famer - 2:03 PM)

It's very possible that a restriction like that would be added when the tournament seeding process is changed.

Have you given thought to having 2 types of pretige? A baseline prestige which would only be used for the job hiring process and wouldnt change and a current prestige which would be used for recruiting and everything current to the game. This way when a midmajor school that has become good has their coach leave the school would have a better chance at being filled because the hiring process would only look at their baseline. (mmt0315 - Hall of Famer - 2:08 PM)

Prestige doesn't directly factor in hirings. A school's minimum job requirements do fluctuate up and down based on performance though, so that is something else that needs to be considered as I review the job process.

how did boosters become a problem? give us a hint? (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 2:11 PM)

Gifts became a problem because people could throw a wrench into recruiting by cheaply stealing players from coaches who didn't use gifts. That led to some seriously upset coaches. To offset that, the chances of getting caught were raised over time to the point where it's very difficult to get away with anything now.

early exits drive me crazy - any chance there could be a stage added where the player tells the coach he is thinking about leaving and the coach has the option to reply with a promise of starts or minutes or both - so that SOME kids would decide to stay after such a promise? (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 2:13 PM)

I don't think that's something we'd do, but there are probably a few minor changes that could be made to improve that feature. The main goal would be to limit the damage to one team in a particular season.

there seem to be extremely few recruits with HIGH potential in ATH in DIII - i realize that's a way to create talent separation from DII and DI but would it be possible to have more HIGH potential ATH in DIII just with much lower starting values? i searched 15-20 states the past two seasons and found extremely few high potential ATH recruits but when i searched DII i found significantly more (and the gap didn't close much at all with drop downs either) (jjboogie - Hall of Famer - 2:14 PM)

Generally there is less potential in Athleticism compare to some of the other ratings. That's on purpose. Athleticism is one area that can be improved, but it's mostly something you're born with.

Will we ever see a box-and-one or triangle-and-two option for the zone defense? Perhaps not as base defenses, but as the defense played when an opponent is double-teamed in a zone, but with the ability to dictate who the "one" is or "two" are in a zone? (zbrent716 - Hall of Famer - 2:15 PM)

That's an interesting idea. I would like to make some changes to gameplanning at some point, but right now there are higher priority items on the list. I will make a note of the suggestion.

What is the prospect of being able to game plan for multiple games at one time and not having to log on every day to game plan for the next game if we are going to be away for say a week? (ryno99 - All-Star - 2:17 PM)

I can see the value in a change like that, but it would be a pretty significant change behind the scenes for us. It's a possibility, but probably lower on the priority list.

Will the press eventually die out and put into strategy page for your team? Since it is not a real defense, it should be used for strategic purposes and should be practiced, right? (ineverlose - Veteran - 2:18 PM)

I hope so, eventually.

What changes do you see occuring in recruiting? geographics, FSS, potential, costs? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 2:21 PM)

I'm not sure right now. There could be some minor changes made or we could do a complete makeover on recruiting. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the current system, as it basically boils down to an auction. I would much prefer something more realistic, but at this point I don't know exactly what that would be. Obviously we'd have to get a lot of feedback before making any radical changes.

Are there plans to change the recruiting logic of SIM teams? There seems to be an increased amount of SIM "super-classes" as of late. In one conference there are 4 SIM teams with 7-9 players in a single class. Also, since they don't follow the same distance logic it seems harder to recruit against the SIM teams - especially if they have 4 or more empty slots to fill. This is impacted also by the fact that there are less quality recruits at the D1 level for humans to compete for. (aidiamo - Hall of Famer - 2:24 PM)

Sim recruiting is a very difficult thing to get right. We want them to recruit somewhat aggressively so the program doesn't become devoid of talent, but we don't want to make them too good, where they're locking onto the top recruits. At the very least I'd like to reduce the number of walk-ons that Sim teams take.

Regarding recruiting - are there times (or shouldn't there be) when a player won't sign with a school regardless of money spent or prestige? I.E., Duke and UNC don't get considered by every elite player in real life. Sometimes, a player just doesn't like a school for no obvious reason. (dukenilnil - Hall of Famer - 2:26 PM)

Not really, unless there is a logistical reason for it (e.g. no scholarships, class size limit, etc.).

any chance to change the initial window of recruiting from 2 hours to longer, possibly 8-12 hours. I know of several d1 coaches who left because of time commitments, in d1, if you are not there for that recruiting cycle, you are at a huge disadvantage. The last day is almost a waste at recruiting, and possiby could be shortened by 8-12 hours to make up for it. (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 2:27 PM)

Yeah, that's a possibility. I'd just need to test it out to make sure it wouldn't cause any problems.

my only true negative with this engine is that assist totals are way down from previous engines. i use a three pg lineup (pg, sg, sf) and not one player average above 2.2 assists. any plans to fix this? (uglyskunk3 - Hall of Famer - 2:28 PM)

I'll take a look at it soon along with the rest of the engine numbers.

You mentioned offense style as a contributing factor to rebounding. Can you rank the offenses in order of best offensive rebounding to worst? (_hannibal_ - Veteran - 2:30 PM)

Actually, that was misleading. Offensive system doesn't affect offensive rebounding.

Would it be possible to allow players to earn all conference or all-american status in a position that isn't their "official listed" position? for example, i have a shooting guard, who plays entirely at PG instead of SG. he's probably putting up the best numbers of any PG in the conference, but 3rd or 4th best among SGs. he'll might not make all-conference as a SG, but considering he plays all minutes at PG should make it as a PG. (joonbug182 - Hall of Famer - 2:32 PM)

That's a tough thing to do because we don't track minutes played by position. It's possible at some point, but I'm not sure the payoff is worth the development time.

could you address some "forum facts" during this chat? one of my favorites are explanations for the observed tendency of players to build a little IQ in offenses and defenses that one neither plays nor practices. Is it a. because you play against such schemes? b. a glitch that just causes some IQ growth c. intentional feature that causes players gradually to learn other systems at random? d. something else? (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 2:33 PM)

If that actually does happen it's a side effect of the improvement formula. There is nothing that explicitly causes IQ improvement based on the offense/defense that your opponent runs.

forum fact - how much effort you expend on a player affects the odds that a nonqualfier will actually enroll?? (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 2:36 PM)

True

Are you planning on doing something different with walk-ons? I've recently had Div 1 walk-ons with overall ratings of 350...that would never get any playing time even on a low level Div 3 team. Shouldn't a walk on that is accepted on a Div 1 team have some hope of possibly getting some playing time or a scholarship offer? How about using low-mid level unsigned players at the end of the draft and making them walk-ons too with some kind of a random selection for where they go? (steveatdsm - Hall of Famer - 2:38 PM)

I agree that the walk-ons should be a little better at DI. We have to be careful not to make them better than the recruits would be.

Is there any way to make EEs more predictable or more consistent. I think the unpredictability is what bothers most users. (mmt0315 - Hall of Famer - 2:40 PM)

Sure, I could remove the logic that simulates the player making a choice, and just have the top X players leave. That would make things more predictable, but would also hurt the top recruiters even more, since there would be no chance that a highly rated young player would stay in school.

Any chance you will allow additional scouting trips after a player signs? This allows a team with extra money to use it to discover the true potential of their recruits. (_hannibal_ - Veteran - 2:42 PM)

Scouting trips need an overhaul in my opinion. I'd like them to be more strategic, where the coach could have control over what areas to target.

Would you consider an option to add a setting to "Crash the O/D boards" or "Get back on D/ Push the ball? It could be a similar 5-point scale as currently exists for many settings. (zbrent716 - Hall of Famer - 2:43 PM)

I could see something like that working. It may already be on our list, but if not I'll add it.

In terms of recruiting, is it possible to make the early consideration credit higher to make it more difficult for teams to arrive last minute? ie "the Poach" (worthy14sure - Hall of Famer - 2:44 PM)

It's definitely possible, but I'd be hesitant to do too much because you don't want to greatly penalize coaches who have time constraints and can't recruit at the beginning of the period.

Thanks for taking the time to have this chat. Is there a reason why Future Stars Scouting doesn't work in Puerto Rico? It's part of the U.S., and there are schools in the game that are in Puerto Rico. It puts these schools at an immense disadvantage to not be able to scout players in their own backyard. (prezuiwf - All-Star - 2:45 PM)

I think it probably does make sense to add PR to FSS. I know it can be tough recruiting for those schools as it is.

I have seen on a couple of occasions, coaches who are intentionally destroying programs and would like to know about any plans to police these situations more closely. (lmschwarz - Hall of Famer - 2:47 PM)

Due to our limited resources we rely on you guys to alert us to those kinds of things. The best way is to submit a support ticket through the Customer Support link at the bottom of each page. Once we're aware of it we can take any necessary action.

Recruiting seems to provide the most challenging, intense, head-to-head, nearly real-time competition between coaches while the actual games drag on for over a month with many coaches barely adjusting their teams if they touch them at all. Does this seem right to you? If not, what would you do first to try to change it: make recruiting more extensive or make gameplanning more interesting? (jpritchard - Hall of Famer - 2:49 PM)

One thing I'd like to do is provide better feedback to each coach on how the game plan is affecting their results. Some coaches may not game plan each day because they don't clearly see what impact it's having. There are also some other things we can do to increase the interactivity during the season.

Although the logistics would be a nightmare, when will conference memberships match real life? Especially DII schools that are actually in DI? (goldcrest - Hall of Famer - 2:51 PM)

Unfortunately that may never happen. As you mentioned, the logistics would be a nightmare.

could you add a player +/-, I think it would be a blast, to see if a 47 def player with great off, is of more +/- value than a 75 def guy with marginal off. I have calculated mine for a couple of teams, it is not so revealing to ruin the game, but does help (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 2:54 PM)

Yeah, I'd like to add a few more advanced stats to the game at some point. Since you can't actually watch the game unfold, it can be hard to see how your coaching is impacting the game results, so things like this can help.

Following up on the walk-on question, I obviously agree that walk-ons shouldn't generally be as good as recruits, but shouldn't there be some miniscule chance of having a walk-on turn out to be a very good player? Scottie Pippen was a walk-on, for example. Like HBD has its "diamonds in the rough," couldn't HD have a system where walk-ons, or lower-class recruits, ended up being a lot better than anyone thought? (prezuiwf - All-Star - 2:55 PM)

We don't want to encourage coaches to take walk-ons, so we have to careful about making them too good.

Piggybacking on the question about predictability of early entrants, perhaps there could be a way to learn this information ahead of time, like though the psychological opinion or even home visits? For example, I'm sure it was no surprise to John Calipari that John Wall left early, but maybe a guy like Jimmer Fredette would let you know that he plans to stay all 4 years if you sign him. (prezuiwf - All-Star - 2:57 PM)

You should already have a pretty good idea. If you snag a highly rated recruit, then you should expect that he may leave early. If we removed the player decision from the process, then you would have an even better idea, just based on the ratings. One thing that might be cool is to add a mock draft page that would predict who might leave early.

Why logic change caused the SIM teams to be suddenly more competitive? (bscoresby - Hall of Famer - 2:59 PM)

Nothing like that. In fact I recently ran the numbers, and overall Sim AI teams have worse records now than they ever did in the old engine. Whether that's because of the engine change or due to the changes in recruits I'm not sure. The engine has no concept of a human-coached team or a SimAI-coached team. It's just a team.

There was a lot of discussion recently about firings - have there been any changes recently to how those are decided? some worlds still seem to have betw 2-4 per year - should we expect that to continue? (berger717 - Hall of Famer - 3:01 PM)

There haven't been any changes, but there may be soon as part of the job process update.

If recruits are generated based on number of teams and open scholarships in a region, why do sims recruit nationally? This method allows human coached teams in a region with sim coached teams to have less competition for those players because the sim team does not recruit locally. (aporter - Hall of Famer - 3:03 PM)

Sim AI recruiting is already pretty difficult logic, so adding in the restriction of distance would make it even tougher. But I do agree that it can be disconcerting to see that those schools operate differently.

All else being equal, what has more of an effect on turnovers - ballhandling or passing? It seems like if you are a good passer, in the right situation, you shouldn't turn the ball over much (i.e., a C generally will not be "handling the ball"). On the other hand, a PG with poor passing skills should throw a lot of balls away regardless of how good of a cross over he has. (dukenilnil - Hall of Famer - 3:06 PM)

It depends on the situation and the type of offense you're running. For example, a Flex and Triangle favor passing over dribbling, so it's better to have strong passers.

I'm past the end time so I'll stop. There are a bunch of good questions that I couldn't get to for this chat, so don't take it personally if yours didn't get answered. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and to everyone reading the chat. ( Moderator - 3:08 PM)

Thanks for joining the chat today and taking time out to ask questions.

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