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Old 07-02-2018, 09:03 AM   #1
Markus Heinsohn
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Smile A Perfect Team Update!

Hello everyone!

From all of us at Out of the Park Developments, we hope you’re having a great time living out your baseball dreams in Out of the Park Baseball 19 this season. We continue to receive wonderful feedback from the community, and keep working hard to make everyone happy with updates to the game. We have just released the latest, version 19.7.56, you can read all about it here: OOTP 19 Update Released

Speaking of updates, we know many of you are wondering when and where we’re going to be unveiling Perfect Team, the free new mode we’ll be introducing later this year. We thought it would be a good idea to say a few things to everyone about it, including:
1) What is Perfect Team?
2) When will you be able to play it?
3) Can you give us a preview of it?

What is Perfect Team?
Perfect Team is a new, free online multiplayer mode that will be available to all owners of Out of the Park Baseball 19 via a free update of the game. Players will compete against each other in dynamic online seasons, fielding their own versions of “Perfect Teams” culled from digital baseball cards collected over time. Teams will battle each other in simulated online events, featuring multiple levels of leagues (which simulate several times daily) with winners rising through the ranks to ultimately compete in and win the World Series in a Perfect Team Major League.

Everyone will start out with a set of 6 card packs to open that will immediately yield an entire team to put on the field. As players explore Out of the Park Baseball 19 (in Challenge Mode) and Perfect Team, unlocking achievements and special game performances will earn them more card packs or in-game currency (Perfect Points) to acquire more card packs (or individual player cards on the marketplace) and ultimately craft a team built the way they like it - with players spanning the entire history of the sport. The online leagues will be multi-tiered, with promotion and relegation as seasons are completed. It will be a dynamic, completely new experience!

As we strive to grow our audience, Perfect Team helps bring new fans to the game plus gives longtime players a new and interesting way to compete against other OOTP community members. We are very excited to bring this to you, and can’t wait for everyone to give it a shot!

When will you be able to play it?
We are working very hard to ensure everyone’s initial experience with Perfect Team is a positive one. To that end, we are planning an initial private beta in the next two months, and – provided things go well – an open beta a few weeks after that, near the end of the summer. That should allow us to unveil the official, public Perfect Team in time for the baseball playoffs this fall.

This schedule is a bit different than our initial plans, but creating this experience from scratch (and working with multiple independent third parties) is a large endeavor that is significantly different from anything we’ve ever done before. We want to make sure we get it right – and that the feedback from the betas can be incorporated in the true Version 1.0 of Perfect Team.

In the meantime, of course, we continue to support Out of the Park Baseball 19 like we always have, with patches, updates, fixes, and cool new things. Perfect Team will ultimately allow us to do a whole lot more of that in the future!

Can you give us a preview of it?
We will reveal the first screenshots of Perfect Team shortly after the All-Star break. Of course we could show you some fabricated mockups now, but we'd rather show off the "real thing" once it's in proper visual shape. The interface is very similar to OOTP 19, but there are several new screens in the Perfect Team area, for example the marketplace for player cards, screens showing off your collection and achievements, the Perfect Team Home Screen which shows what's currently going on in the PT world, the Pack Opening Scene (fireworks, finally!) and so much more.

In conclusion
Thank you so much for being an Out of the Park Baseball fan! We appreciate all of your support over the years and are as excited as you are about being able to bring Perfect Team to you as soon as it’s ready.

Markus and the entire OOTP Team

Last edited by Markus Heinsohn; 07-02-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Thanks for the update, sounds promising! My mind is spinning with dozens of questions LOL but I will just ask one big one for now - can we trade Perfect Team cards with other customers playing the mode?
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
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I tremble to read this, such is my anxiety, but having more information is always a good thing. Thanks.

CLARIFICATION: So as to not rain on any parade, I should add that Markus has done a good job in assuring us that PT will never negatively affect the basic game of OOTPB. This is just me being my usual namby-pamby self.
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:55 PM   #4
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isnt this the crap with microtransactions?
and yet they keep saying "for free" ....
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:57 PM   #5
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Good luck with your new mode.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:02 PM   #6
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Ugh, I hope this doesn't end up replacing OOTP in the future. I hate this sort of thing.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactusguy21 View Post
Ugh, I hope this doesn't end up replacing OOTP in the future. I hate this sort of thing.
It will not replace it.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:55 PM   #8
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Baseball season will be over by the time we get Perfect Team
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCGG View Post
Baseball season will be over by the time we get Perfect Team
So... perfect timing to help with the post-WS hangover, those long days spent staring an even longer offseason cold in the face?

I'd love to have it now too, but I'd rather wait for it to be done properly than rush something this delicate to pull off correctly for a niche game like OOTP.

Thanks for the update, dev team! Sounds very exciting, can't wait to see it in action

p.s. To those worried this will just be like Tencent's/EA's/Activision's/Ubisoft's frustrating microtransaction systems: I'd invite you to look more closely at the economic and psychological incentive structures at play, for both the player base and the developers, here as opposed to there.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:25 PM   #10
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I think the question needs to be asked up front:

Is this essentially going to be a preview or beta test of a FIFA/Madden style "packs" system in which new packs will eventually be sold directly to players? Is that where this is heading?

The reason I ask is because, if OOTP wants to do this, I am sure it will work. It always works. If that's the long term plan, it would be much better for everyone if the team working directly on OOTP starts working with the community upfront to figure out how what the community would embrace and what they would revolt over.

Not trying to start chaos, but I feel like I see something coming and I don't just want to wildly speculate over this.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_gringo View Post
p.s. To those worried this will just be like Tencent's/EA's/Activision's/Ubisoft's frustrating microtransaction systems: I'd invite you to look more closely at the economic and psychological incentive structures at play, for both the player base and the developers, here as opposed to there.
This is what I am counting on, along with Markus' aforementioned reassurances.
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If that's the long term plan, it would be much better for everyone if the team working directly on OOTP starts working with the community upfront to figure out how what the community would embrace and what they would revolt over.
Well said. Let them get it well-prepared first but let's then see it as soon as possible. The sooner, the better. I think these guys will do right by it but seeing is believing.

Frankly, as long as there is a wall between PT and OOTPB, I don't care what they do with PT.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Heinsohn View Post
As players explore Out of the Park Baseball 19 (in Challenge Mode) and Perfect Team, unlocking achievements and special game performances will earn them more card packs or in-game currency (Perfect Points) to acquire more card packs (or individual player cards on the marketplace) and ultimately craft a team built the way they like it - with players spanning the entire history of the sport.

This will require a diligent effort to prevent cheating and exploitation in order to be truly competitive. Can you elaborate on some of the safeguards that will be in place? For example, will the game files be stored on a secure server and therefore unavailable to the user for manipulation? Will the game be monitored for bot activity? Will cheaters face disciplinary action up to and including account bans?
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by subtle View Post
Is this essentially going to be a preview or beta test of a FIFA/Madden style "packs" system in which new packs will eventually be sold directly to players? Is that where this is heading?
I think this is an essential question; I personally hope the answer is 'no,' though I understand why it might be 'yes.'

I think there will be enough card trading activity that a combination of: 1) taking a cut of each marketplace transaction, and 2) utilizing a relationship with MLB to offer cosmetic, 'digitally-signed' special edition cards, would be plenty of revenue without causing any balance or pay-to-win problems, which erode the player base at all levels over time.

Incentivize people to play a lot, in hopes of getting a card they can sell to a whale on the marketplace for hundreds, or even thousands, because the whale can't spam pack purchases themselves, and the company takes a fair cut when it changes hands.

Paying for packs with real money, no matter how it's priced, balanced, or obfuscated through layers of in-game currency, entails introducing some degree of pay-to-win into the ecosystem of the game's player base, as well as incentivizes spending on slot-machine (pack) mechanics instead of simply purchasing at market price the desired cards, which - in addition to feeling lousy to all players - risks preying on those with gambling addictions.

Selling packs probably makes a lot more money, which is where I would likely lose the argument in a corporate boardroom, but might still find traction here.

What say you, to this key question, dev team? Are the monetization decisions made, or still open to discussion? And, respectively, what are they/what is your current thinking, and how can we help you refine it?

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Old 07-03-2018, 04:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by neugey View Post
Thanks for the update, sounds promising! My mind is spinning with dozens of questions LOL but I will just ask one big one for now - can we trade Perfect Team cards with other customers playing the mode?
Trading directly is not supported in order to prevent cheating. You can buy & sell them on the marketplace though (bidding system).

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Old 07-03-2018, 04:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupilami View Post
isnt this the crap with microtransactions?
and yet they keep saying "for free" ....
The mode is for free. It does feature micro-transactions, but to play it properly there is no reason to spend money.

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Old 07-03-2018, 04:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subtle View Post
I think the question needs to be asked up front:

Is this essentially going to be a preview or beta test of a FIFA/Madden style "packs" system in which new packs will eventually be sold directly to players? Is that where this is heading?

The reason I ask is because, if OOTP wants to do this, I am sure it will work. It always works. If that's the long term plan, it would be much better for everyone if the team working directly on OOTP starts working with the community upfront to figure out how what the community would embrace and what they would revolt over.

Not trying to start chaos, but I feel like I see something coming and I don't just want to wildly speculate over this.
We have communicated from the start that PT will feature optional micro-transactions (see here: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar...d.php?t=284523), and nobody really complained back then. After all, it is purely optional, we'll balance the gameplay so that you can have tons of fun with it without spending a dime. But these sort of modes (EA's Ultimate Team, MLB the Show's Diamond Dynasty etc.) are very popular with sports gaming fans, and they are a good revenue stream for the companies. So, it's a win-win. If we earn some money with PT, we will invest it into the game (both the classic OOTP and PT) and make it even better.

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Old 07-03-2018, 04:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by el_gringo View Post
What say you, to this key question, dev team? Are the monetization decisions made, or still open to discussion? And, respectively, what are they/what is your current thinking, and how can we help you refine it?
We have chosen the basic approach other companies currently use, as it has been proven to work well for them and the users. Things obviously will evolve over time, depending on things like customer feedback or updated law (see Belgium for example). We'll see how it goes. For us, PT is a big investment (we have been working on it for over 2 years now) and something designed to help our company grow and make the game better as a whole.

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Old 07-03-2018, 04:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cactusguy21 View Post
Ugh, I hope this doesn't end up replacing OOTP in the future. I hate this sort of thing.
Of course not! The team developing PT does not work on the core OOTP game, the only shared resource is basically myself and Daniel (our lead graphic designer), and I do not do much coding nowadays anyway (it's 70% project management and other CEO duties, which kind of sucks, lol).
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:31 AM   #19
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The mode is for free. It does feature micro-transactions, but to play it properly there is no reason to spend money.
can one play really competitive without mirco-transactions?
because in other games you can play for free, sure. but you are at a huge disadvantage. it usually is the more you pay the bigger the gap and the more likely you win
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:49 AM   #20
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Keep up the excellent work Marcus. Looking forward to trying this mode out.
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