Sponsor logos and easier to find employees
The sponsors have now got logos, which just gives the new sponsorship system a bit more style.
Easier to find good employees
2.5 years ago we changed the chance that a retired player would be turned into an employee from 66% to 20%.
We did this to reduce the huge number of employees in the database, which at the time was close to 1.5 million. It was an absurdly high number that was far in excess of what is necessary.
The effect of the change has slowly taken hold in the years since, but it means that it has become somewhat more difficult to find good employees today.
We should have increased the generation of employee stats back then to compensate for the lower number. However, we've done that today, so that the employees' most important stats are quite a bit higher when they are created.
We have also forcibly retired almost 300,000 unemployed employees among the least capable aged 36 to 62.
We haven't touched the best employees, which means they will be easier to find.
These changes are meant as a quick-fix in order to remedy the situation right now and here, but it is still our intention to rewrite the employee system, which I have written about previously.
Shorter match pre-execution time
Because we schedule matches at times with the minutes divisible by 5, the matches must be simulated in "clumps". Every 5 minutes there is a new big clump of matches that need to be processed. This cannot be done instantly as it takes 2-3 seconds to complete each match.
That's why the system has always started putting matches into the execution queue up to 2 minutes before their scheduled time, in order to reduce waiting time and complaints from those who expect the matches to be ready instantly.
This 2 minute period was set about 10 years ago, and was a reasonable middle ground, as the clumps back then took 4-4.5 minutes to process.
But lately we've heard more complaints about matches being played earlier than scheduled, so we've been looking into that.
It turned out that there was something to it, because the investigations showed that today we complete processing the clumps in approx. 1.5 minutes.
Back when the 2 minutes were set we had 1 large, expensive "monster server" to run the matches and it was stressed to the breaking point. We also had quite a few more matches that had to be played.
A lot has happened with CPU power since then, and today we instead have 5 small servers for processing, which together have much more power than that old one.
So the 2 minutes no longer makes sense, because it means that today ALL matches are executed before time. Therefore, we have now reduced it to just 30 seconds, which means that the clumps will be completed approx. 1 minute after the scheduled time.