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Old 02-08-2019, 12:12 AM   #1
ovccsteve
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Has Game Gotten Harder?

I've been playing for years (like version 4) as a GM in a fictional league. For years, I've always been able to bring a team from worst to first in 2-3 seasons, then develop a dynasty. Until recently. Now, I put together what looks like a great team, and they lose, maybe squeaking into the Wild Card. Then, if I move on, they become dynasties. Am I just hitting a rough stretch, or did something change in 19?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:30 AM   #2
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Here's what I'm talking about. Pic One is a normal looking GM career for my first fifteen years playing OOTP, though London rebuilding London seemed to take more time.
Pic 2 is what it's been like for the past few months. I don't think I've lost my skill, so have they done something to make the game harder? (I remember years ago, there was a setting that actually made your team perform worse compared to the competition, but I thought they eliminated that.)
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:28 AM   #3
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Are there still young quality players generated in your game? Because I noticed that doesn't seem to work in a historic game after a few years. The only players in drafts are maybe 2-3 2,5 or 3 star players, the rest is pure crap, so it is impossible to replace retired players and AI will just steamroll you.


Maybe that's the problem in your game too?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
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My answer would be, I hope so. It has been too easy in the past. I think the game is getting better and better and therefore, yes, perhaps also a bit harder.

(As to the point about fewer quality players being created- and this is talked about in another active thread here- I think this is more an illusion created by some tweaking of the scouting system and not actual reality. If you have a good scout and have a good plan you will still find good young players to re-populate and refresh your team.)
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
My answer would be, I hope so. It has been too easy in the past. I think the game is getting better and better and therefore, yes, perhaps also a bit harder.

(As to the point about fewer quality players being created- and this is talked about in another active thread here- I think this is more an illusion created by some tweaking of the scouting system and not actual reality. If you have a good scout and have a good plan you will still find good young players to re-populate and refresh your team.)
My goal is to make a game that can beat me I always found it hilarious that in my previous long-running save, I made the playoffs every team, won numerous championships, and all of it. Then I joined OOTP Developments and the next year was the first one I missed the playoffs
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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I do happen to think that 19 is a bit harder than 18, which was a bit harder than 17, then 16, etc. (although there may have been a minor quantum leap in one of those versions). But I don't think this is a bad thing; I think it's the result of all of those "Improved AI!" blurbs that we see every year.

It's a reflection of how major league baseball actually is: Hard. Hard to play, hard to win.

I'm a Yankees fan. They've won 27 times in 116 years, less than 25% of the time. Yet, that is considered spectacular success!

Also considered to be successful is their ability to remain competitive season after season, at least in recent decades. Yet, if you went back to the 1970's and 1980's, you would find some dreadful Yankee teams.

Even so, my team has not won since 2009, going on 10 years now. But again, that is considered to be "not bad" in view of how long some other teams have gone without being good, much less champions.

Long story made short, I am satisfied with OOTPB being hard to play and hard to win because it is merely accurately simulating real life. What I am always on the lookout for, though, is whether, given the goal to make the game difficult, the developers award the AI unfair advantages.

Such as, just an example, whether the AI immediately knows the hidden ratings of coaches while the human player must rely on fuzzy evaluations and intuition in his evaluations. This type of thing is my only concern about OOTPB in this regard.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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I'm not sure there should be ANY hidden ratings on either player or coaches. Definitely, there should be a way to toggle on and off the ability to view those ratings, but at least human players should be given the option to view and edit them if they so choose.

One thing I have noticed is that during the playing out of games, my pitchers seem to be much more volatile than when I sim through a couple weeks. For example, I simmed a couple weeks and my ace had pitched three games and had given up zero runs in about 23 innings. Only had given up about 7 hits. He had like 30 K's and less than five BB's. I decided to play out a game when his next turn in the rotation came about. He gave up six runs (two HR's) in the first inning. Simmed his next couple games and once again he was lights out. Played out a game and it was another terrible outing. As long as I sim, he is Cy Young. But as soon as I play out a game, his first inning almost always leaves me trailing 5-0 or 6-0 (It always seems to be the first inning and he always gives up bunches of runs). It almost certainly does seem that the AI "knows" that I am playing out games rather than simming. I have gotten so that I will NEVER play out post-season games, but sim them. I do much better in the sims.

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Old 02-08-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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Glad to know I didn't just lose my touch. Those "Improved AI" updates have had an effect. And as I think about it, I used to have to police my own trades to make sure I wasn't ripping teams off. Almost never have to do that now.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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I'm not sure there should be ANY hidden ratings on either player or coaches. Definitely, there should be a way to toggle on and off the ability to view those ratings, but at least human players should be given the option to view and edit them if they so choose.

One thing I have noticed is that during the playing out of games, my pitchers seem to be much more volatile than when I sim through a couple weeks. For example, I simmed a couple weeks and my ace had pitched three games and had given up zero runs in about 23 innings. Only had given up about 7 hits. He had like 30 K's and less than five BB's. I decided to play out a game when his next turn in the rotation came about. He gave up six runs (two HR's) in the first inning. Simmed his next couple games and once again he was lights out. Played out a game and it was another terrible outing. As long as I sim, he is Cy Young. But as soon as I play out a game, his first inning almost always leaves me trailing 5-0 or 6-0 (It always seems to be the first inning and he always gives up bunches of runs). It almost certainly does seem that the AI "knows" that I am playing out games rather than simming. I have gotten so that I will NEVER play out post-season games, but sim them. I do much better in the sims.

I've been playing out games since OOTP8 and what you are describing right there is called confirmation bias (due to small sample size). It's a lot easier to nitpick everything in a game when you have it play out by out in front of your eyes. When you sim, you will always overlook a few things, which is normal because you're not as invested in it.


The game doesn't "know" you're playing the game. Your ace will just have a few bad outings in a year, like every player goes through. If the computer was cheating, how do you explain my 5th starter, in my last game, who is a half a star rating and downright horrible, played 7 innings of no hit ball ? He had an ERA of over 8 before the game and more BB than Ks, yet in 7 innings he had no hit, 1 BB and 4 Ks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:57 AM   #10
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The game doesn't "know" you're playing the game. Your ace will just have a few bad outings in a year, like every player goes through. If the computer was cheating, how do you explain my 5th starter, in my last game, who is a half a star rating and downright horrible, played 7 innings of no hit ball ? He had an ERA of over 8 before the game and more BB than Ks, yet in 7 innings he had no hit, 1 BB and 4 Ks.
Reminds me of YEARS ago playing Stratomatic. All my starters were tired so I decided to just use the bullpen for a game. Opened with Willie Hernandez BEFORE he got good. He'd had an ERA over 6 that year, and I was just hoping he'd give me 2-3 innings and we'd stay in the game.

He threw a no-hitter, only one I ever got.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:18 PM   #11
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I've been playing out games since OOTP8 and what you are describing right there is called confirmation bias (due to small sample size). It's a lot easier to nitpick everything in a game when you have it play out by out in front of your eyes. When you sim, you will always overlook a few things, which is normal because you're not as invested in it.


The game doesn't "know" you're playing the game. Your ace will just have a few bad outings in a year, like every player goes through. If the computer was cheating, how do you explain my 5th starter, in my last game, who is a half a star rating and downright horrible, played 7 innings of no hit ball ? He had an ERA of over 8 before the game and more BB than Ks, yet in 7 innings he had no hit, 1 BB and 4 Ks.
I know that every pitcher has an occasional bad game now and then. And yes, I too have had my mediocre #5 pitcher pitch like Cy Young in a game now and then when I played it out as opposed to simming. But did he imitate Cy Young in virtually EVERY game you played out ... and then resort back to being horrible whenever you simmed?



I just find it interesting ... somehow I can randomly choose to play out five out of thirty starts by my ace. And I choose the exact five games that he has "bad" outings? I can certainly see once in a while having a bad game. But this happens league ... after league ... after league.


This is like the big-time pitcher who is an absolute ace ... until he pitches a game in prime time on national TV. My guy "chokes" whenever games are played out instead if being simmed.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:45 PM   #12
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distribution has changed to be more realistic, eh? more below average than above etc... more pyramid-like shape?

what was successful in the past may have shifted a bit. start watchign the guys that consistently perform well in your league.. at elast 3/5 years for apitcher etc... 4/5 for a batter. RP? heh anywhere from 1-5 out of 5 lol. good luck with that looking at 1 year.

each release of ootp i go through a similar learning curve. my win pct creeps upward for 10-20 years and then levels off with normal ebb and flow. i can recognize a weak and strong team, and the expected results. it's a very consistent range ~20 years downt the line. (all fictional players)

--- is it harder? seems the same regardless of what the results are to me. it's just baseball, or rather, a version of it.

i don't really fixate on win pct as a determinant of whether it is harder or not. the decisions don't change much, so it's really the same game no matter what and outcomes are just that... a new norm. the difficulty lies in learning or knowing the best odds and maximizing that as time plays out.

flip a setting for this or that and it changes likely wins by ~20, but you stil have to make the right decisions in order to do so. the environment is somethign you don't control, which dictates the range of wins you can get. how well you make decisions will dictate how well you do in comparison to your competition in that environment. it's all relative, and in this context the decisions are the same math -- relative to Stats and AI settings plug-n-play factors.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
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I know that every pitcher has an occasional bad game now and then. And yes, I too have had my mediocre #5 pitcher pitch like Cy Young in a game now and then when I played it out as opposed to simming. But did he imitate Cy Young in virtually EVERY game you played out ... and then resort back to being horrible whenever you simmed?



I just find it interesting ... somehow I can randomly choose to play out five out of thirty starts by my ace. And I choose the exact five games that he has "bad" outings? I can certainly see once in a while having a bad game. But this happens league ... after league ... after league.


This is like the big-time pitcher who is an absolute ace ... until he pitches a game in prime time on national TV. My guy "chokes" whenever games are played out instead if being simmed.
i'd say look over any seasons game log and look at the volatility game to game.

good pitchers have bad games more often than you perceive, maybe? and, i'm sure you remember the negative more than the positive as far as "everytime."

it's impossible to know if 1 game's result was a choke or any other number of reasons that cause a bad outing. if young, i can follow that.

let's look at verlander. the guy was horrendous at more than a few things he did the "1st" time. it wasn't because he choked, either. he's just an obstinate and/or selfish person. ASG -- just goes out there and throws like an animal. imo, that's just total disrespect to your teammates. a burden to them for reducing their chances at winning by taking such a moronic approach. you can't ricky vaughn it from "major league." that's stupid.

you'd hear comments from leyland about not being accountable. subtle or difficult to read, but eventualyl he said it blatantly. something akin to, well you let up 5 runs, i don't know how you cna think you pitched well, lol.... that sort of statement in his 2nd year? maybe 3rd? way too late, in either case. he was slow to change a grip on his changeup that was known to cause blisters. waited for it to be a problem before doing anything about it. just the typical younger person retorting, "i know what i'm doing." as they screw something up or do something in a horribly inefficient way when all they had to do was listen for 2 seconds prior.

he isn't a dumb person and he works hard, from what i can tell (one year he did get scrawny, but beefed back up the next - could see it in the legs). he's just slow at learning because his ego gets in the way far too often.

in his defense, i'd attribute his early playoff mediocrity to normal baseball stuff. he seemed poised, and i don't remember too much caveman behaviour. no "ricky vaughn moments," but those memories aren't as clear for some reason.. i'm guessing alcohol was invovled. (my memory, not his results, lol)

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Old 02-08-2019, 03:09 PM   #14
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I think the game has gotten much tougher and I like it that way. I started playing on OOTP 7 and as much fun as that was, it was fairly easy to put together a dynasty. Now, I have to really work to build a winner. It makes the great teams I am able to put together more memorable because they don't happen as often!
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:24 AM   #15
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My answer would be, I hope so. It has been too easy in the past. I think the game is getting better and better and therefore, yes, perhaps also a bit harder.

(As to the point about fewer quality players being created- and this is talked about in another active thread here- I think this is more an illusion created by some tweaking of the scouting system and not actual reality. If you have a good scout and have a good plan you will still find good young players to re-populate and refresh your team.)

When you say a good plan, what exactly do you mean? Is there anything else you can do than to spend the maximum possible money on scouting and development and hire the best available scouting director?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:00 AM   #16
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If you play as a big budget team, you can really run the league pretty easily. In this years game, I've played as the SF Giants and have been allowed to have payrolls well over $250 million for a single season. You can do pretty much whatever you want with that kind of budget so it's not really a surprise that my team hasn't missed the playoffs in 10+ years or won less than 100 games in 6 years or so or won 3 straight titles. I would like the game to be harder, that's why in ootp 20, im going to be using a small budget team and hopefully with changes to the AI among other things the game will be really hard.

Although earlier in this release cycle, I played a small game with the Pirates and while we won the World Series, it was hard to keep a sustainable winner going, so there was no Pirates dynasty like I usually have when I play so that was realistic in a sense, but then last year as the A's my team was dominant for almost 50 years so idk maybe my strategy with the Pirates was just bad
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:27 AM   #17
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When you say a good plan, what exactly do you mean? Is there anything else you can do than to spend the maximum possible money on scouting and development and hire the best available scouting director?
Well, honestly I'm still figuring that out myself.
Which for me is a great deal of what is fun about this game.
I think the answer has something to do with what minor league managers and coaches you have and how they align with the type of talent you are drafting. (In addition to what you said above regarding scouting and budgeting.)
A lot of it has to do with spotting hidden talent, finding those potential 25th men on a major league roster with specialized skills- great defensive replacements, pinch-hitting specialists, LOOGY's, etc.- and developing them into big league role players.
One of the better players on my fictional team this year, Andrew Kennedy, for instance, is pictured below. While this guy isn't technically someone that I drafted, I did trade for him while he was still a minor leaguer and a very marginal prospect. But I always liked his character traits and he always showed great contact and gap power potential. Perhaps because his defense is just average to slightly above average and he is slow and doesn't have a lot of HR power potential, my head scout (with an excellent reputation) never saw his ceiling as being anything more than a bench player. But I always believed in him and made sure to follow his progress and control his promotions/demotions, etc.
And as his role has increased his numbers just keep getting better. He isn't my best defensive outfielder but he is solid enough in left and he provides a good left-handed hitting backup at first base for my right-handed hitting starter. (The starter is a 2-time Gold Glover and Kennedy doesn't nearly approach that, but he doesn't hurt us much defensively in the games he starts either.)

Everybody want's to draft and develop superstars, but just like in real life that doesn't happen often. Finding talented role players can be just as, if not more, important. If need be, you can always sign a superstar free agent but if you don't have a solid group of starters and role players around him you still won't win. Then again, you can always get lucky with TCR turning one of your borderline prospects into a superstar.
Example for me is Harry Lyerly. Drafted him in the 4th round due to his high stuff potential mostly (not necessarily considered the best draft strategy) really mostly hoping that he might be able to dominate minor league hitters and help my better prospects play on winning teams and at best thinking he might become an injury replacement type bullpen guy at some point. But then his velocity just kept going up and up and he was struck with the TCR lightning bolt- gaining a 4th pitch (that Knuckle Curve that still could turn into a well-above average offering) and he goes from marginal prospect to the 3rd best prospect in the league to an All-Star and Pitcher of the Year award winner at age 22. Not sure this is exactly an example of good planning.
Luck is important too.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:42 PM   #18
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When you say a good plan, what exactly do you mean? Is there anything else you can do than to spend the maximum possible money on scouting and development and hire the best available scouting director?
i would say not all scouting inaccuracies at 18-2x draftees are the same, so you can find ways to take advantage of that and not just age-related accuracy, either.

e.gs. -- contact is more likely to be accurate than power. gap power and power are often confused with each other, or it's an incredible coincidence and selective memory. i think gap is more likely accurate than power, if push comes to shove. defensive abilities will be more accurate than batting. for pitching, i would only be wildly guessing instead of educational guesses for batting, because it's just wildly inaccuate like life. obviously velo won't be off, often. their gb/fb tendencies are fairly accurate. i think movement is the least accurate of the three big ones, but control is close behind.

i try to sort by the ones that are a bit more accurate and pick out the players that stand out. the color code and peripheral is enough, but some filters can narrow it down further still. this would be the trend the deeper i go into a draft, completely abandoning any other method the fruther i go.

so, you can definitely go down the rabbit hole further than maxing budgets and good personnel.

even the dynamics of how ootp works. with any better talent, the worse eye, the better they are. unlike RL, a good eye in ootp doesn't benefit BA or other outcomes (i.e. a guy with a good eye is pitched to differently, harder to take advantage of, etc - not really in the game from what i can tell). so, there's a break-even based on offensive production. if you 'take away' that walk and swap it out proportionately for their offense based on ratings for 1PA and that weighted offense is > than a walk in that 1 PA, then they are better off with a lower eye. in this video game, it's part of the same whole. 1 less walk means somethign 'else' happens in that 1 PA. what fills that void will be proportionate to their ability.

that only matters for elite players and only ootp-related not RL. slim opportunity to use this knowledge... requires a decisions between 2 very similar elite players, excep their eye, for same role on team.

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Old 02-09-2019, 08:27 PM   #19
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My goal is to make a game that can beat me I always found it hilarious that in my previous long-running save, I made the playoffs every team, won numerous championships, and all of it. Then I joined OOTP Developments and the next year was the first one I missed the playoffs
Be careful about that. You'll end up with Professor Moriarty taking over your starship.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:37 AM   #20
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Speaking from personal experience, I'd say each version gets harder. The AI keeps getting smarter as far as drafting and signing players. It's also getting harder and harder to keep a great team together, as it is in real life. I don't mind. It's far more interesting and engaging for me. I have to focus on every detail to be competitive. Winning 120 games and cruising through to the championship is actually kind of boring.
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