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OOTP 15 - Online Leagues Want to create or join an OOTP 15 online league? This is the right forum for you.

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Old 04-18-2014, 09:16 AM   #1
Bristolduke
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Creating a financially balanced league

Hopefully this will get stickied by the moderators>


One of the challenges in an on-line league is creating a league which has some financial stability and doesn't generate high player salaries. There has been some frustration over the years on achieving that. OOTP15 helps a bit and also helps clarify some things, which have been mis-leading in the past.


Over the releases I have helped several leagues establish or re-work their league finances. With the changes in 15 I wanted to put down some steps commissioners can follow to establish a league which is financially balanced.


By financially balanced, I am referring to the resources available to the poorest/weakest team is close to the resources of the richest/best team. In looking across many leagues, that number falls in the 75-80% range. If the spread gets wider than that, then the poorer teams lose the ability to consistently compete and the ability to generate the resources to close the gap (e.g. they are always a weak team). So, for example, if the richest team has revenue/budget of $150M, then the poorest team should have revenue/budget no lower than $113-120M.


The second problem, is trying to keep player salaries reasonable. The reasonableness of salaries is in the eye of the beholder, but as salaries escalate, then the teams with the ability to compete reduces (and/or good free agents go un-signed - which leagues complain about). I won't go into the financial model here as it is a very lengthy discussion, however, it is possible to achieve a financial competitive balance from the league creation process.


How to do this.


The league creation process is essentially the same for 15 as it was for 14. However, one significant difference is the removal of the term "average" on the creation screen. As several of us knew, these were not averages (e.g. average attendance of 30,000, average ticket price or $25, average salary of star player) didn't come out that way in the league creation process. These values are parameters inputted to the creation process (15 refers to them as baselines or typical). They were always parameters but at least now the expectation should be different.


The example I am going to use is the default settings, if you are going to go back in history, then these will be different but you correlate back. There are two scenarios: 1) using an inaugural draft and 2) populating teams at creation with no draft. Scenario one is the best to control the finances. I will use it as the example and then discuss the challenges with scenario 2. It doesn't matter if this is fictional, historical, or MLB only are you using the draft. The reason is that the financial engine is not "primed" or generated until after the teams have players. SO in the draft scenario, you create the league, then have a chance to alter some parameters, then populate the players, which is affected by the new parameters. In scenario 2, there is no pause in the steps so OOTP makes assumptions/adjustments which will not maintain a competitive balance. So it is more difficult.


The process.


1. Create the league structure/minors/facegen, etc from the wizard to what ever you want however, do not create the league from the wizard (step 5) but go to advanced mode.


2. In advanced mode, select the major league and then the financials tab.


3. change attendance baseline from 30000 to 25000


4. uncheck the box that teams may change ticket prices


5. change national media contract to "same for every team"


6. change owner controls budget to "no use entire revenue"


7. (optional) adjust revenue sharing - I like a little tighter and more penalty set of parameters but it is up to league preference.


8. Set Cash Maximum value to $5M (more on this later but again you can adjust to league preference)


9. set scouting budget baseline to $2M (this value is tripled in the game due to an earlier international implementation, by reducing to $2M it will align with the other expenses (player development and draft).


10 press refresh on the financial setup summary. It won't change much and not at all on the number of importance, but it will give you a perspective. The important number here is average player payroll. You want you draft budget to be slightly higher than this. It should say $99+M if you used default. Thus you should set your draft budget to $100,000,000, when we get to that step.


11. Create the game.




So you now have a league setup and it is 1 Jan. The inaugural draft is the first step. However, there are things to set up. You may be editing team names and ballparks for your league. if so, do the following as well. If not you still need to edit ballparks.


Step 12 - edit all ballparks to have a capacity of 30000.


Now you are ready for the draft.


13. Set the draft budget to yes and the value to $100,000,000 (or the value just above the player payroll value from the setup screen).


14. Hit the apply budget to all teams and verify everyone has the same budget.


You can now run your draft.


After the draft is compete, OOTP will create the financials. You will now need to go in and edit these.


First go to league>statistics>team statistics>financials.


OOTP should have set each team market size to rather big and fan interest to 79 and ticket price to $25. Fan loyalty will differ. I like to set fan loyalty the same as well but it is up to you. If these values are not set this way (which happens on occasion then you need to go to the team's front office>edit finances and make them the same.


Next steps


14. go to league settings> financials and set cash maximum to $0. Your setting before ensured each team had $5M in cash, but you want the league to run without any limit on the cash available.


15. You will now need to edit each team's financial page to the following:


Budget = $135,000,000
National media contract length to 99
local media contract length to 3 (note if the game didn't set market size to rather big, when you edit that you will also need to edit the local media value to be the same as the others and the media revenue this year to the same as everyone else.


You are now set to proceed. I use the local media contracts as a way to help balance the revenue across teams. If a team gets too low in budget or revenue you can give them a 3 year increase. You will been to monitor every three seasons as OOTP will create new values here.




Obviously, in scenario 2, you don't have the pause and OOTP will create a large disparity across the teams. The only way to balance this fairly (remember that all teams have players and expenses), is to edit all the teams to be equal to the richest/largest team. This means, park size, ticket price, national media, local media, cash, market size, fan interest, fan loyalty.


This will cause a large amount of inflation and player salary escalation. It will even out in about 4-6 seasons. As long as you keep the financial resources level, everything will balance out in the end.


Obviously, I didn't do into why, simply for time. Some variations due to league preference can be used. Fell free to PM me with any questions. I am more than happy to assist any league.


Best of luck and I hope this helped.


Cheers
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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Duke here knows his stuff, if you're wondering how to improve financials in the online universe, this post is for you!
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #4
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How does cash available differ from budget?
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeters1734 View Post
How does cash available differ from budget?


Sorry I missed this.


Cash represents either cash on hand (positive) or your debt (negative). It is independent from budget.


The combination of budget, expenses and cash determine your available funds for free agents and for extensions.


For free agents it is Current budget - expenses + cash. So if your expenses exceed your budget but you have cash on hand to off set that, then you will have some money to spend on free agents. The reverse is true. If your expenses are less than your budget, but you cash is negative, you may be precluded from signing free agents.


The same is true for extensions for your current players. The only difference is that Projected budget/projected expenses are used instead of current budget/expenses.


Hope that helps. Sorry for missing this.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:27 PM   #6
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Does this work for solo leagues or just online?
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaUni View Post
Does this work for solo leagues or just online?
Well, I guess it's you lucky day, I was still subscribed to this year and a half old thread

While it was designed for online leagues, it should work fairly well in a Solo environment. I am not the OP, but I am in 3 leagues with Bristolduke. So maybe he'll chime in, also remember that this info is 2-3 OOTP versions old now and some of the workings of the OOTP Financial engine could have very well changed by now.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:12 AM   #8
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Yes this process will work for solo leagues. As was stated, it is several versions old, but it still works including in OOTP17.

One change I would make in a solo league (purely optional) is to set the budget to owner controls budget. This will help the poor AI teams reduce debt faster. In an on line league it hurts the human teams who do a good job.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:51 PM   #9
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great post. I recently tried to set up an equal league and simply could not do it.

but then it dawned on me. the nfl!!!

No matter how much money a team makes a salary cap equals the teams out and that essentially was what I wanted. if a team makes tons of money it can still only spend up to the cap. as long as teams all have enough to handle the cap then equality is achieved.

now I still read thru the initial post and found it worthwhile. but again if a salary cap is installed that all teams can meet - are those steps necessary?
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:02 AM   #10
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Is there a way to set it up equally but have it grow from there? (successful teams grow into dynasties and bad teams struggle) I want to start a fictional league where everyone starts even but will have their freedom based on their results over the years.
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