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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007 at 4:00 PM EST.

Engine Version 3.0 has been released for World 1 and will be used for all other worlds as they conclude their current seasons. Major changes include the ability to substitute based on fatigue and a new fatigue model.

What is the expected outcome of the enhanced player aggressiveness algorithms? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 11:03 PM)

Aggressiveness refers to defensive intensity. As players get into foul trouble, they begin to play more conservatively to try to avoid picking up additional fouls. How conservative they play depends on how many fouls they have, how much time is remaining and their depth/target minutes. This isn't a new feature to HD, we've just reworked how the engine handles the points and levels of how/when aggressiveness is adjusted.

How will the improved fatigue engine work? Could you provide a good explanation and/or sample play by play/box score? (taz21 - Hall of Famer - 6:24 AM)

Visually you won't see much difference - the changes are behind the scenes. We've revamped the fatigue engine to more accurately reflect the pace of the game, rest during deadball/timeout situations and to more accurately reflect the point in the game, e.g. in the current model you're prone to see many players 'go red' in the first few minutes of a game whereas in the new model, that's still possible, but the application of fatigue builds as the game progresses.

I see that the end of game logic has been tweaked a little with regard to offenses taking 2-point shots when down three. Is there any consideration given to a defense leading by 3 in the final seconds, that they would be less likely to commit a foul on a 3-point shot than they might at another time in the game? (johncannon - Hall of Famer - 6:26 AM)

Yes, that's already a consideration made in the current engine.

Will this engine list players drafted by coaches instead of schools? (farmlife - Hall of Famer - 6:26 AM)

No, an engine release only deals with game play (boxscores, play by play and stats).

If my started is targeted for 9-13 minutes, and I substitute by fatigue, will he play a lot more minutes than I targeted? (alblack56 - Hall of Famer - 6:31 AM)

Actually you can only substitute by target minutes OR by fatigue - you can substitute by both. If you're having success subbing by target minutes or you tend make a lot of promises when you recruit, you continue to sub as you always have. If, on the other hand, the minutes played doesn't matter to you, subbing by fatigue is going to be a more accurate reflection of how real coaches substitute and eliminates you needing to guess the pace of the game ahead of time. For example, if it's a slow game either due to the defenses being played, tempo, numerous fouls, etc. your starters may see more time because they're simply not as tired. There are certainly pros and cons to each.

While using the fatigue option, will the players be substituted for in a blowout, more mopup minutes? (easona - Hall of Famer - 11:07 AM)

Yes, mopup is still an option when using sub by fatigue and that should be treated the same as it is today in blowout situations.

When using fatigue substitution, will players not on the depth chart enter at that position if all the players listed on the depth chart are below their substitution levels? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 11:11 AM)

No, if everyone is below the pre-set sub-out level, then it will play the player highest on the depth chart at that position.

In the FAQ under Players, the following question is answered-"Do players get tired...?" The answer suggests that as players get tired they will play worse. However, I have witnessed several games where TIRED players (red bars) lead great comebacks against fresh/fairly fresh players. With the new fatigue system, will in-game fatigue play a more prominent role in dictating how a player performs than in the previous version? Thanks (gomiami1972 - Hall of Famer - 11:23 AM)

We routinely get tickets from coaches who lose games to teams which are more fatigued down the stretch. If you think about it though, it's no different than losing to a less talented team and upsets of course do happen. Fatigue definitely negatively impacts a teams performance on both offense and defense but that doesn't mean every single team who is more tired than their opponent will play worse or is guaranteed to lose - sure it decreases the chances of a team playing well but it doesn't guarantee a team a win. I think you'll see that many coaches effectively employ the strategy of wearing teams down and that's only possible if there are negative consequences to playing tired.

With the foul trouble aspect now, how is HD defining "foul trouble" and if we use that aspect, how long will a player sit until he's not in foul trouble? (homerjoe1973 - Hall of Famer - 11:26 AM)

It's really the same as it was in the prior engine. The definition of foul trouble changes based on the player (a backup player who picks up his 3rd foul to start the 2nd half maybe left in while a starter maybe pulled in the same situation), the number of fouls and the time remaining.

Will the fatigue engine be tweaked during the NT to allow for additional recovery time for deadball/timeout situations. We all know that there are a plethora of TV commercials during March Madness that increase these times greatly. As a result, many teams go to a shorter bench due to the increased time that the starters can rest. (wisefella99 - Hall of Famer - 11:27 AM)

No, it's the same recovery rate for all games.

When using the new fatigue button for substitutions, let's say I have both players slotted for SG set at Fairly Fresh. As the game wears on, both players have seen action. My question is this - If my starter has fallen to Fairly Fresh (prompting a substitution) but his backup is also at Fairly Fresh (has not compltely recovered from the last time on the court), will the SIM make the substitution anyway or will my starter remain in the game since they both have the same fatigue rating? Thanks. (gomiami1972 - Hall of Famer - 11:31 AM)

You'd probably not want to do that as you'd be subbing in/out every minute or so depending on the pace of the game, but assuming you did, your starter would remain in the game as he is higher on the depth chart.

What is the logic that determines when a starter who was pulled out (ex. @ tired) gets subbed back in? (@ fresh? fairly fresh?) (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 11:35 AM)

Assuming they're not in foul trouble, they'd come back in as soon as they're above the level you specified. So if you want your starting center to sit when he is getting tired (yellow), he would be pulled out as soon as that happens - assuming there is someone behind him on the depth chart who is available and above their specified level. As the game wears on, the center will recover while he sits on the bench. As soon as he is fairly fresh (or better), he'll come back in.

With the new fatigue subbing system will your best players get subbed at the end of a close game if they hit their target fatigue level? (blackdog3377 - Hall of Famer - 3:12 PM)

Similar to how target minutes are handled today, starters are given more leeway during the last 4 minutes and any OT periods.

It strikes me that this could make the SimAI much stronger, because you won't be able to run them into red so easily (especially when they press or play man-to-man). Will Sim coaches be using the new fatigue settings or will they continue to use the minute settings? (rozellium - Hall of Famer - 3:16 PM)

Sim teams will be subbing by fatigue, not by target minutes which should make them more competitive.

Why wasn't the engine released for all worlds? (arusso - Pro - 4:06 PM)

At the request of the userbase, we put changes a few years ago to allow worlds to finish their current season with the same engine version they began on so instead of putting out a new engine for a world who may be in the national championship, now they can finish without any surprises. Each world is automatically upgraded to the latest engine release at the conclusion of their current season.

I have noticed that we have a fatigue sub out point under this new model- when would these players go back in, and in the future could we set this point? (asher413 - Hall of Famer - 4:08 PM)

They will go back in when they recover to a point that is above the specified 'sub-out' level that the coach has indicated assuming that there isn't a player above them on the depth chart that is also above their specified 'sub-out' level.

Do you forsee a change ever happening where we could dictate how we want foul strategy substitutions handled? Kind of like how we can dictate end of game strategy now? (wilhitec - Hall of Famer - 4:10 PM)

Yes, most likely in the next major engine release you'll be able to specify how you want the engine to handle foul trouble for each player (aggressive, normal, conservative).

Since we're talking about fatigue, could you provide a brief description of how fatigue affects a player's performance? In particular, (1) does it affect all elements of a player's performance equally, and (2) are its effects linear - for example, say, an additional 5% reduction in effectiveness for every increase in fatigue ("fresh" to "fairly fresh," etc.) - OR do they accelerate when you get closer to "very tired"? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 4:18 PM)

Sure, happy to. A player's performance is based on ratings. As they tire, their ratings are adjusted downward to simulate fatigue effects. They become slower, can't jump as high, shooting becomes less accurate, are more prone to turnovers, foul more, etc. These effects are not linear, it takes incrementally more to drop from orange to red than from green to blue.

Why do you think so many very good coaches believe fatigue currently has little impact on the game? (combalt - Hall of Famer - 4:21 PM)

I don't think the number of coaches you're referring to is as great as you may think. We've run thousands of games testing of fatigue effects. As was mentioned earlier, I think coaches have a hard time grasping a loss to a more fatigued team but again, it's no different than a loss to a less talented team (fatigue being equal). Those are the stories that get posted in the forums and shared.

You should ask those coaches why they're not playing only their best 5 players the entire game :)

Follow up on subbing in: If I have someone set to sub out when tired, isn't it then feasible that they would be subbed back in when they are getting tired? That doesn't seem like a good idea. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 4:25 PM)

Yes, that's possible - it's going to depend on the settings for the other players on the depth chart, timeouts, deadballs, etc. as to when he'll return to the game. By setting that player as only sub out when tired, you're telling the engine that unless the guy is tired, you'd rather have him on the floor than the guy behind him on the depth chart - if you have a Senior and a Freshman, that may make sense. If you have two players that are pretty close in talent, you'd probably want to get the starter on the bench before he's tired since there's not much dropoff in talent replacing him.

Is there a tie-in between agressiveness and fatigue? Logically, a player should become less agressive as he tires. (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:30 PM)

Aggressiveness refers to how hard the kid will play - will he risk going for the steal or possibly going over the back to get a rebound? As he gets into foul trouble, he'll become much less aggressive. Whereas fatigue will impact his overall game - speed, rebounding, athleticism, shooting, etc. Less aggressive players will be more likely to not play defense at 100% and slowdown their foul rate where as fatigued players won't be able to play defense (or offense) at 100% and will probably pick up more fouls.

If a team loses a starter due to injury, will the replacement player take over the injured player's fatigue setting or play at his own? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:33 PM)

He would maintain his own but he and the others at that position would pick up the slack (as is the case today with target minutes).

I've seen tired players get pumped up by the home crowd and get a second wind. Does HCA have any affect on fatigue? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:34 PM)

No, currently there is no tie between homecourt advantage and stamina or recovery rate.

Subbing Clarification: Player A is my starter, Player B my backup. If Player A is subbed out @ tired and Player B is @ fairly fresh, at what point does Player A come back in? When he moves up to getting tired? When Player B reaches his designation? When he is all the way back up to fairly fresh? (No foul situations or game time situations being considered) (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 4:41 PM)

Thanks for the clarification. There is some buffer as to when the player will return to the game. If Player A is set to come out when tired, he won't come in exactly at the moment he goes from tired to getting tired while setting on the bench. Once he reaches that point, the coach will still wait a few minutes before returning him to the game - either due to the game action (no deadball subsitution opportunities) or by just waiting a few more minutes to get him in.

From what I gather, starters who leave when "tired" will therefore play the rest of the game "getting tired." So - there will be no way to ever get them "fresh" again? Also, you responded earlier that we wouldn't want to sub both a starter and backup at "fairly fresh" because they'd be going in and out every minute - isn't that what will happen if a player is subbed at "tired" (just keeps flipping from "getting tired" to "tired" every minute or two)? Thanks - keep up the good work! (jeffdrayer - Hall of Famer - 4:43 PM)

Yes, in that situation you'd probably see a lot of subbing back and forth (both players are set to come out at the first sign of fatigue). As per the prior response though, most players will receive additional rest so as to not put them right back on the bench 60 seconds later.

At this point how can we determine how aggressive our players are? (jason5 - Hall of Famer - 4:44 PM)

All players start with the same defensive intensity. It diminishes only when/if they get into foul trouble.

any change in the relationship between fatigue and tempo? (gomiami1972 - Hall of Famer - 4:46 PM)

I think the new fatigue model does a better job of tying possessions (trips up and down the court) to fatigue. You may see players in a slowdown type of game still get tired because there are few turnovers and fouls (stoppages in play) and vice versa, an uptempo game may not wear the players down as much as normal if there are lots of game stoppages.

Wow, initially this looks like an awsome change. Thanks very much. What's next? (nfet - Hall of Famer - 4:49 PM)

Thanks, I think it will add more realism to substitutions while at the same time still giving coaches the freedom to sub based on target minutes. The next major changes are primarily behind the scenes such as new formulas for defining success, prestige (and making prestige public), homecourt advantage, top 25 rankings as well as a myriad of recruiting changes that will be introduced with player potential.

As always, thanks for taking the time to post your questions.

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