The long-awaited Rebalance has now been launched.
All the new initiatives
If you're not completely sure of what it's all about, here's a summary of all the new stuff.
Players decline in abilities as they age
Having players decline in when they grow old is a feature that has been discussed and requested for years - almost as long as Virtual Manager has existed. Now it's finally happening.
This means, among other things, that we will no longer see top teams where all players are 39 years old and the players will have much more realistic career paths. The player market will accelerate because you can no longer buy a player and expect him to get better and better until the day he retires. If you want a team filled with the best of the best then you have to replace the old ones.
Increasing XP requirements
Previously, it always required exactly 100 xp to increase a player's ability by one. In connection with the rebalancing, we had some goals for how we wanted the players' development and careers to progress. With the rebalance we have a new tool to shape the players' career paths: increasing xp requirements.
In short, this means that the higher the player's ability, the more xp is required for it to increase.
For example, it will only require 50xp to increase an ability from 1 to 2. Conversely, it will require 200xp to increase it from 99 to 100.
This mechanism has been balanced along with age decay so that it will no longer be possible for a player (born after the rebalance) to achieve 100 in all abilities.
New potential distribution
The old distribution of potentials when drawing new youth players was completely out of whack. When we started working on the balance it soon became clear that it had to be adjusted.
The new distribution is a smooth curve, without any large sudden jumps. Your weekly youth player draw will be something more exciting from now on. There will be more players with higher potentials born, but the rising xp requirements and age decline mean that at any given time there will be about the same number of top players as now - because even though there are more players with high potentials, they will no longer stay at the top their entire career, but will instead start declining as they grow too old.
Adjusted salary demands
Players' salary demand are determined based on their abilities. Because the other measures significantly change the distribution of players, this would also have a significant impact on clubs finances. Therefore, we have balanced salary demands to suit the rest of the changes.
Greater rewards for achievements
We have also found time to take a look at the rewards you get when you get the different achievements in the game. In the past, they have in many cases been absurdly small compared to how difficult it was to obtain them. For example, it does not make sense to give 7,500 credits as a reward for becoming the 10th best player in the entire game.
In future, achievement rewards will better match their difficulty.
Balanced league prizes and media rights
League prizes have been rebalance and a whole new form of revenue has been added: media rights.
The prizes have been increased for all divisions except 1st, and from now on, the amounts are calculated based on the strength of each individual group, instead of the country's 3 top divisions.
Rebalanced national cup prizes
The prizes for the national cups have also been rebalanced. Whereas prize amount were previously a fixed amount, they are now calculated based on the difficulty of the individual countries.
The new cup prizes will apply from next season and onward.
Set ticket prices per match
On your match preview, you now get an estimate of how many spectators will come to the match and how large the ticket takings are expected to be.
You can then adjust the ticket price for each match in order to optimize your earnings.
With such a comprehensive update, there will obviously be bugs.
This whole week we will keep a close eye on the game and especially on the upcoming season update and fix bugs as they appear.
The overall balance going forward
If you have read the entire series of blog posts about the technical details of the rebalance, you will know that this update is based on some extraordinarily thorough preparations. We have had long discussions with Virtual Managers volunteer crew, examining almost every part of the basic formulas that govern player development and club finances, and even simulated 2 years of player development.
But, there aare tons of different pieces that need to fit in this huge puzzle. Despite our careful preparations, it would be quite unlikely if everything was 100% optimal right from the start.
Therefore, we will continuously monitor developments and make adjustments where necessary. However, it will be premature to make major changes in the first few months because ....
... it'll take time to see the effects
Although all of the new initiatives are in effect from this date forward, there are several things that mean that it will take a long time to see the full final effect of the changes:
- All current players who have lived and trained for years under the old rules must be retired and gradually replaced with new players before the overall effect of potential distribution, age decline and xp curve can be seen in full.
- All managers need time to understand and get used to the consequences of the new rules.
In particular, managers' behavior in the player market and in relation to training and development is a huge unknown factor. Ingrown Virtual Manager wisdom from the past 10 years no longer applies and it will probably take several months before the cleverest managers come up with new, optimal training programs and trading strategies, and figure out all the tricks.
Therefore, we need let the dust settle before we make too many adjustments.
When the Rebalance is a couple of months old, I will be back with a blog post that summarizes the development and selected key indicators to help illustrate the state of things.
It will be an exciting time!
Player market and player values
Of course, there will be major changes in the prices for which different types of players are traded. Much of the rebalance is centered on making the oldest players less useful, which naturally means their prices will fall. The new potential distribution, age-related decline and rising xp curve will effect the supply and demand that determines players trade prices and values.
For the managers who live and breathe for the player market, the coming months will be really exciting. The clever ones who are the first to figure out where the market is heading will be able to make some really good long-term investments.
Some of the new features require that we crawl the entire database creating new metadata. It's a slow process that can take hours or days to complete. For example, the graphs show player lifetime development will not appear until we have generated data for all 1.2 million players by calculating backwards from their training data.
The system is currently the process of generating start dates for the players' age declines. When that done, we will run the first age decline today manually, to ensure that it is working properly.
When your players begin to decline, you will receive a notification as described in this blog post.
Do you know someone who used to play Virtual Manager?
How about tapping them on the shoulder and asking them to check out all the new stuff?