Rebalance: Simulating an entire player population

Bubbles, FC Sunnyvale Developer 31 January 2017, 16:24

In the previous posts we looked at how the new rebalancing initiatives will impact individual players, but we still need to dig deeper. We need to know how the combination of all the new measures will affect the overall game balance well into the future.

Therefore, we have expanded our player simulator so that it no longer just looks at individual players. Instead it simulates an entire population of players from the time they are "born" with the new potential distribution, as they are trained over a lifetime according to the new rules on XP, as their abilities decline in old age, until they eventually retire.

Before I present the numbers, I'll list some of assumptions and conditions in the simulation, that you should be aware of:

  • We've made the same assumptions about which training grounds players will end up on, according to their potential.
  • All players are trained using the same training program, with 95% energy every day.
  • We do not simulate unemployment, so all players have been trained every single day, even the 91% of players who currently are unemployed.
  • The number of players drawn each day in the simulation was only 10% of the current number, since otherwise it would have taken far too much time to run. The figures from the simulation are multiplied by 10 in the table below, so that they can be compared with the current numbers.

After simulating 760 game days, we calculated the distribution of players according to their ability sum. We also fetched the corresponding numbers from the database in order to compare the simulation results with the distribution today.

Ability sumCurrent numbersNumbers after
760 days simulation
0-49 1,184,330 156,500
50-99 33,996 224,680
100-149 14,032 207,650
150-199 11,279 223,900
200-249 9,842 176,470
250-299 8,829 128,940
300-349 7,692 72,390
350-399 6,128 47,410
400-449 4,842 23,540
450-499 3,921 20,870
500-549 3,134 11,040
550-599 2,433 7,060
600-649 1,976 3,430
650-699 1,629 1,530
700-749 1,107 1,360
750-799 761 520
800-849 467 360
850-899 217 260
900-949 109 30
950-999 86 0
1000-1049 115 0

From these figures, we can make a number of observations.

Whereas today we have about 1.2 million players with an ability sum under 50, in the simulation these players end up being distributed over a larger range of 0-299 in ability sum

This is largely due to the fact that the simulation does not account for unemployment, and that it requires fewer XP to increase am ability in the beginning. Players in this range are not particularly interesting to look at as they will continue to be unemployed even after the new measures, and will therefore never be trained. We can safely ignore these players.

There will be far more players with an ability sum of up to about 750

Here we see the effect of the new potential distribution and the new rules about how much XP is required to increase an ability. A large number of players will receive a boost. It is these players that will give clubs in the top half a chance to threaten the very top.

Some of these players will be old superstar players who are on their way down.

Looking at a snapshot in time there will be fewer players with an ability sum of 750 and above than today

So how can that be when the new potential distribution gives us far more players within the upper range of potentials?

The answer is the the decline of abilities that occurs when players age. The figures above show a snapshot in time, so therefore the number of players under 750 also includes players who have already peaked and are on their way back down.

That means that more players will reach around 750-950 than today, but since they can only stay in top condition for a relatively short time before their abilities decline, there will at any given time be fewer players in the absolute top.

Therefore it becomes even more necessary to be an active trader and talent developer, if you have ambitions of remaining among the top 100 clubs in the game.

No players reach higher than 950 in ability sum

We will never again see a player with 100 in every single ability. Players with the very best potentials might come near, but they will not hit the ceiling of an ability sum of 1000. When an ability reaches about 90, it costs so much XP to increase that their managers will have to prioritize.

Obviously, we might end up seeing a few player go above 500, if their are born with the highest potential, and they are trained perfectly on the best facilities by the best trainers their whole lives.

The next step in Project Rebalance

We still have a few tweaks to the numbers that need to be tested and simulated before we settle on the final numbers.

At the same time I need to have a discussion with our volunteer crew about which other small adjustments might be advantageous to include, while we're looking at the balance of the game. For example, we'll be looking into whether or not the league prize money should be adjusted. These smaller changes will most likely be the topic of the next blog post in this series.

This post is part of a series on Project Rebalance. If you haven't read the previous posts, you should do that first.
  1. The Vision and the Plan
  2. Potential distribution
  3. XP and age-related decline
  4. Simulating an entire player population (this post)
  5. Economy
  6. Form analysis in the physio department
  7. Setting ticket price per match
  8. Prizes for cups and achievements