Developer Chat

Hardball Dynasty


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM EST.

Welcome to the Dev Chat about the latest updates to HBD. Feel free to ask about anything in the updates or anything about the game in general.

Welcome! Looks like we have about 50 questions in the queue so far so let's get this started! ( Moderator - 1:06 PM)

Since the Futures game selections will now be based on projected overall rating rather than stats wont it cause more owners to lower advanced scouting to zero, since we can see the top 60 prospects for free? (andersaa - Hall of Famer - 1:08 PM)

Since the player's involved are already signed you won't really get a strategy benefit.

What does "Next starting pitcher designation will now take off days into account " mean? Does it mean that your #5 starter will be skipped after an off day, or what? (KSBeachBums - Hall of Famer - 1:11 PM)

This may be a little hard to explain textually but I'll give it a shot. Previously, when a pitcher was designated as the next game starter it would happen regardless of whether there was an off day or not. So, if your SP5 just threw and your SP1 was scheduled to throw the next game but he was below his auto rest and your next ML game was an off day he would have been skipped. This will no longer happen, if the next game is a scheduled off day we will look at his fatigue for the next game and start him if possible.

Is it possible that we be allowed to change or budgets by more than +/-3 million a year? (caesari - Hall of Famer - 1:12 PM)

It is possible, however, we have not thought about introducing such a rule.

There is way too much certainty in the draft and the internationals. In real life most 1st rounders are barely useful MLBers (lifetime WARs average are less than 3 after the top 2 picks). OTOH it it quite impossible for a an Albert Pujols to fall to the 13th round. I think scouting needs to be far more of a crap shoot. The first thing to do is to get rid of the certainty of the current ratings for all players. There is nothing even close to this in real life. Thoughts? (ttnorm - Hall of Famer - 1:16 PM)

We know that this is probably the most discussed suggestion for HBD. There are some serious consequences to making such a change though. Imagine having your 1st round pick bust while two other teams in your division got lucky on a couple of late rounders. We understand that this happens in real life and we definitely want to introduce some aspect of it into HBD, however not at the expense of user satisfaction or enjoyment. We will revisit this internally and probably seek suggestions from the forums and the council.

I appreciate your trying to improve the game, but sometimes it can make things worse. The highlighted rows are horrible! Even with the reduced brightness, they make it much harder for me to browse the data. Couldn't we have an "Options" tab (like most modern programs/websites have) were we could turn features like that ON or OFF? (rbedwell - Hall of Famer - 1:17 PM)

We posted in the suggestion thread and the resounding majority like the change. It is not trivial to add in user option for this feature.

I appreciate WIS staff taking and implementing suggestions from users, especially of late. But, a lot of owners don't use the HBD forum, and it probably represents a very limited opinion of what is good for the game. Does WIS have any regular way of soliciting and gathering opinion from a wider selection of owners? (nfet - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

The only other way to solicit owners is via sitemail, email, or polls. If that is something that you guys would like to see more of we would be happy to get feedback this way as well.

Rumour and speculation have the next MLB CBA being close to agreed, with draft pick slotting and FA compensation changes supposedly in the works. Will HBD be updated to mirror any changes outlined within the new CBA? (Crump123 - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

If it makes sense to implement into the game, we will add the new rules in.

There are some great suggestions to change the projected ratings and advance scouting budget. Given the wide-spread use of the 0 advance scouting strategy, can we expect changes? (jwendt - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

Yes, what those changes are we have not decided at this time. This is one area of the game that we would like to focus on improving.

Any plan to address the two biggest game play issues out there? 1) The lack of need for advance scouting? 2) The "medical" bug. (bjb2378 - Hall of Famer - 1:19 PM)

#1 I alluded to in the previous question. We are also aware of the "medical" bug and we plan to tackle that as well.

Any thoughts to updating the available stadiums and adding Target Field?? (Iceman67 - Hall of Famer - 1:22 PM)

We are looking into adding the new parks. It will be really nice to have them.

Can you please increase the number of HOF votes allowed per person...a lot of worlds are experiencing backlog of players that are not getting in because the votes are being split among 7 or 8 deserving candidates...I think this problem could be easily fixed if we were not limited to 5 votes each per season. (csherwood - Hall of Famer - 1:22 PM)

I think the better route may be to add in some AI voting logic like we do for awards. Increasing the max number of votes would work too but you may get a really uneven distribution then. That page is going to get an overhaul as well in a future update.

Could the player search function be updated to include projected ratings as an option? (ns220 - Hall of Famer - 1:24 PM)

We can look into adding this. It was never added due to technical limitations.

Does the contact rating modify what type of out the player will hit into or is it an actual production raiting? (merott - Hall of Famer - 1:25 PM)

It is strictly a production rating and only affects how often the player gets the bat on the ball. The type of out is defined by the defense.

With the addition of tryout camp position players, wouldn't it make sense to shorten the draft? As it stands, the smart owners have long stopped signing drafted pitchers who have no shot at the BL in order to save bonus money. With the same option of minor league filler for position players, it stands to reason that the same will occur with them. (MikeT23 - Hall of Famer - 1:28 PM)

We still encourage everyone to sign all of their draft picks since that is the largest pool of player's to choose from and you can tailor your settings to get the player's you need. The try-out camp should really be a last resort to fill any holes in your rosters due to injury, lack of suitable Minor League free-agents, or extreme salary constraints. The pool will never be in large enough supply to fully flesh out every RL roster in a world.

Is there any consideration being given to allowing a rotation to have 4 regular starter positions and a tandem 5A and 5B option? (KSBeachBums - Hall of Famer - 1:28 PM)

There has not.

Does any other coaching rating beside hitting effect a players batting eye? (merott - Hall of Famer - 1:30 PM)


Does a low rated 5th pitch make a pitcher worse for the low rating or better for having 5 pitches? (merott - Hall of Famer - 1:31 PM)

If the rating is really low then it can hurt the pitcher when he throws it. However, like all pitchers they generally want to throw their best pitches and use their weaker pitches to keep the hitter off balance. A low rated pitch won't get thrown that often (or at least not as often as his better pitches) but when he does throw it it could lead to undesirable results. Of course, the PC/BuC can influence the pitcher to drop the pitch.

The new Lineup Preview defaults you to the opposing teams vs LHP, no DH lineup...can it be changed so that it defaults you to the lineup that you expect to see given your pitcher for the next game and whether or not the DH is in play? (csherwood - Hall of Famer - 1:33 PM)

When you open the page from the World Office homepage the view will be pre-populated with the correct lineup type. However, in the interest of performance we do not want to have an extra database call just to pull the data back for every page request.

How about expanding the World Office ->Stat/Awards -> Player Records page from top 5 to the top 20 or top 10? Seems like an simple modification and makes for good recordkeeping. (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 1:35 PM)

We thought about doing this and we reviewed what it would take. It was nixed because of the increased simulation times that would occur compiling all of those stats for every world. So, unfortunately, we can't expand at this time.

Is an Arizona fall league for teams out of the post-season still in the works? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 1:35 PM)

It is a priority that we would love to see in the game in the future.

Has adding the ability to designate a personal catcher for specific starting pitchers been discussed for future improvements? (KSBeachBums - Hall of Famer - 1:35 PM)

This feature has not been discussed.

you said before that the tryout pool will never be large enough to supply every team's rookie league/minor league rosters. does that mean there's a limited amount of refilling of the tryout camp list players? (sergei91 - Hall of Famer - 1:39 PM)

There is a set maximum amount of player's that can be generated and that generation process runs only during a certain range of dates on the schedule.

Internationals - Two changes I'd like to see - add a geographical component to the scouting (teams have to choose where their scouting budget is spent) - and shift the ages of internationals so that most players sign between 16 and 18. (jwendt - Hall of Famer - 1:41 PM)

The geographic component would work well, however I don't know that we could implement something like this into HBD at this time. It would require a pretty dramatic overhaul to that entire process of the game. As for the age change I don't see that happening.

Any chance that middle to later round draft picks might have a higher probability of making an impact at the MLB level? Also, in regards to "diamonds in the rough", not really a big deal if they go from an overall of mid 40's to an overall of mid 50's - low 60's, to me they should become solid, if not breakout star prospects. (jimt14120 - Hall of Famer - 1:44 PM)

I've touched on the late round draft pick issue and we want to add in the draft suggestions we are receiving. As for DITR, we have made some extensive changes to the system. We are currently happy with the way that it all works out and we are even happier that we found a way for everyone to at least get some benefit out of it. If we ever do decide that player's should become stars in the system it will be on a very limited basis with the "everyone gets something" approach going to the wayside.

Does health percentage effect perfomance during the game? Or they just more likely to get hurt? I have never seen a good mlb player only play a 100 games or so just cause he is tired all the time (scwoody - All-Star - 1:46 PM)

It directly impacts the injury rate and also impacts performance. The lower the fatigue level the higher the chance for both consequences.

Can you expand on "Free Agent demand reduction logic has been improved." Thanks! (a_ersberg - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

Sure. Previously when a user submitted an offer to a player and withdrew their offer the player would never reduce his demands. That is the issue that was fixed.

When creating the CY Young voting list, WIS considers: Innings Pitched, Earned Runs, Strikeouts, Saves, Shutouts, Wins, Losses, Team Records and Park Factor. Why not drop the Wins, Saves, and Team Records and use instead more advanced metrics like WHIP, ERA, and OAV? Those stats actually measure an individual's perfromance rather than the team's perfromance. WIS doesn't use team performance measures for the MVP list - therefore they shouldn't for the Cy Young either. (job314 - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

We can surely look into making modifications to the selection process.

How about adding an All-Time Franchise standings page for W/L, WS titles, Div Titles, postseason W/L? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 1:49 PM)

Cool idea. I'd like to see this page created as well.

What specifically determines the probable lineup of your opponent? (blaank182 - Hall of Famer - 1:49 PM)

Opposing starting pitcher.

Any chance we'll be able to include more than 3 players per team to a trade proposal? (gjello10 - All-Star - 1:51 PM)

Probably not in the short term.

Other than the new MLB parks, will there be other parks added(AA,A parks)? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 1:51 PM)

No, only ML parks will be added.

Is it possible to add the signing date to the International Signings Report? That was it will be easier to see if there were any IFAs signed recently. (kahrtmen - Hall of Famer - 1:52 PM)

Yea, we can add that to the page.

Why is it that you can't sign coaches to multi year contract? It's not realistic to think that if i owned a real team I wouldn't be able to sign my coaches to multi year pacts! It allows for continuity in building a team. I also feel the when an offer is made to a free agent there should be a little bit more definition in are they seriously considering signing or should I look in a different direction before it's too late. (jmarino2 - Hall of Famer - 1:53 PM)

I don't think we want to make a feature of the game that is already frowned upon even more complicated and time consuming. I don't think we will ever add long term contracts to coach hiring. We can always add more response types. We'll look into opening up a forum thread for suggestions.

Following up on the probable lineup, does it take into account injuries, fatigue, etc. Does it base the projection on position history or ratings? I really like this feature, that's why I am so interested in knowing how it works. (blaank182 - Hall of Famer - 1:54 PM)

It is strictly based on whatever the user has in their lineup at the time you open it. It is no different than going directly to the Edit Lineups page.

will the new update reduce the contract demands of aaa players who are in their first free agency year who want more than better rated major league players would ask for? this is in regards to aaaa type players only, not type a or type b. (sergei91 - Hall of Famer - 1:55 PM)

It does not currently have an impact on MiL free agent demands.

What can be done to enhance the player progression model? It has become way too predictable. Why don't some players develop more early vs. more late? Maybe have different players respond better/worse to playing time vs. being at a higher level vs. having better coaches? Or (GASP) even have some players EXCEED their projections??? (wilhitec - Hall of Famer - 1:56 PM)

I think there are a lot of things we could do and the suggestions you provided are all very good.

In the postseason, will the taking off days into account allow me to make an adjustment or will the ball still show up beside the next SP up, essentially locking me in. For example, say I am up 2 games to 1 going into game 4. I must know my game 5 starter prior to game 4. I would like the ability to adjust my game 5 starter based on the outcome of game 4. (blaank182 - Hall of Famer - 1:58 PM)

This change will impact Spring Training, Regular Season, and Playoffs.

can the spring training players screen be changed to allow us to add more than one player at a time to the squad? (sergei91 - Hall of Famer - 1:59 PM)

We are looking into incorporating a better user experience for this page.

In the Amatuer Draft Settings under position could Any be replaced by Any Pitcher and Any Position Player. (crickett13 - Hall of Famer - 2:00 PM)

The draft process is not set up to currently allow for this. It is an easy UI change, however, under the hood it is far more complicated.

Right now it is impossible to move a player back and forth between the majors and AAA without risking major demotion hits. Is there any way to make this a little more realistic? (kahrtmen - Hall of Famer - 2:01 PM)

The demotion penalty is here to stay. We are not going to tone it down.

any chance you will answer my original question before 2pm? :) (crickett13 - Hall of Famer - 2:01 PM)

Got it right at 2pm, whew.

How about adding a "Career Stats" option to the drop-down on the Edit Roster page? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 2:02 PM)

We don't feel that this provides a solid benefit for the cost it would take to load the page.

Have we reached a point in HBD where most of the updates will be nice but cosmetic additions like the "projected lineup", the "scoreboard" and budgeting and engine tweaks? Or is there still a desire to add to the game with things like the rumored "Arizona fall league" or other larger things. (dcbove - Hall of Famer - 2:03 PM)

In the next update we will be focusing on one large portion of the game. It will be a one item deal that will be much larger in scope and complexity than the three updates that were just released.

How about revealing which owners voted in the HOF and end of season awards while not revealing anyone's acutal vote? (mattfurjan - Hall of Famer - 2:04 PM)

We certainly have the data, however I'm not entirely sure that we would want to expose it to the world. No one likes to be called out and there could be a legitimate reason as to why they didn't vote.

The league scoreboard page, could you seperate the leagues, for instance AL left side and NL right side? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 2:05 PM)

This is will be part of a future enhancement for this page, along with the ability to view all of the innings in an extra inning game.

Being that its been 2 years since the previous devchat, will the HBD devchats go back to their usual schedule, about once every 6 months? (ACEROTHSTEIN - Hall of Famer - 2:08 PM)


Is voting on the Fireman Award a possibility in the future? (gjello10 - All-Star - 2:11 PM)

It's possible, however it's probably not likely.

Advanced Scouting would be interesting if it were used for both Current and Projected ratings, any thoughts on trying that out as a test in a world? (spudpicker - All-Star - 2:13 PM)

This is along the same lines as what we have discussed internally. Rest assured, when we start focusing on these large improvements we will definitely be seeking advice from the community.

Do you have a plan to increase the number of participants in HBD? (bjb2378 - Hall of Famer - 2:14 PM)

We do and we will keep you all posted.

DITR - Any chance of making them merit based? MinL record. Not trotting out 0 SPs. Coaching budget. Something other than backup C and RPs. They seem to be random now. (tufft - Hall of Famer - 2:15 PM)

Coaching is a huge factor in the DITR process. The 0% pitcher is interesting, we might be able to do something with that.

Can the depth chart default change to NOT include secondary positions and sort by projected (or current)? (beamertdog - Hall of Famer - 2:16 PM)


Any shot of incorporating post-season (career and single season) records to the Player Records page? Thanks. (job314 - Hall of Famer - 2:17 PM)

Again, we would love to add this in, but we don't want to add it in at the expense of simulation times.

Coach hiring is by far the most time consuming & least fun part of the game. I'd bet you lose more new players in those days than any others. Any thoughts of just setting a coaching budget, like is done for scouting & training. We don't hire individual scouts or trainers. Why coaches? (tufft - Hall of Famer - 2:17 PM)

Agreed, we are going to have to focus on making this portion of the game better. It's a huge undertaking and it affects pretty much the entire game, so you can obviously understand our trepidation.

Currently when a player pinch hits, he must play the position of the player he replaced or he will need to be replaced himself. Causing DH's the PH for SS to play drastically out of position, is there something in the works to start defensive switches? (andersaa - Hall of Famer - 2:18 PM)

Yes, this is a primary area of focus in the engine. It will be improved.

Why are you committed to the demotion penalty. I called a player up after roster expansion to rest starters & see how he would do. He got a big demotion hit when I sent him back to AAA the next season. Took him from borderline backup C to career AAA. How is this realistic? I can see why you want to stop ML/AAA movement every game or two, but one time demotions should not impact a player long-term. What's the reasoning? (tufft - Hall of Famer - 2:20 PM)

If you demote the player back down to the minors before the end of the season you will not see the penalty.

Development - Any plans to make the development process less predictable? (tufft - Hall of Famer - 2:20 PM)

Yes. We want Advanced Scouting to be as meaningful as it was intended.

So there isnt much of a difference between an 80/60/70 pitcher and a 70/80/60? (a_ersberg - Hall of Famer - 2:25 PM)

Generally, a pitcher's first pitch is considered his out pitch, his second pitch is used to set up his out pitch and the other pitches are off speed or off balance pitches. That is the way the engine views them, so in your example there is a difference between the two pitchers.

How does the new DITR system work? Does everyone still get 1-5 DITRs from ages 18-24? (beamertdog - Hall of Famer - 2:27 PM)

You statement is correct, everyone receives 1-5 DITRs and the age range is 18-24. The only change we have currently made is that the boost also increases the player's current ratings making the projected ratings more likely to be attainable.

Has WIS considered changing the rating in which a minor league free agent demands a huge contract? I see worlds that have some good utility ML's or AAA stars rot in free agency and retire. (a_ersberg - Hall of Famer - 2:28 PM)

We have not discussed changing the free-agent demand logic.

In addition to the medical bug, there is ample evidence that some players often don't receive recovery cycles at all during long injuries. Will this be addressed as well? (kahrtmen - Hall of Famer - 2:29 PM)

Yes. However, do not be deceived, sometimes there are legitimate reasons why his development cycle was skipped and they are outlined in a KB article.

If FAs are now more aggressively dropping their demands, can the same happen for ML level coaches? It's always absurd to see a couple dozen guys wanting ML coaching deals near the end of the process when there are only 2 spots open for that type of coach. (jnewfry - Hall of Famer - 2:30 PM)

We will consider this suggestion when we look at improving the entire system.

I feel the min roster requirement for all minor levels should be lifted until after ST. Each year I lose a bunch of minors to retirement. I also make my promotions in preseason. I'd like to able to promote/assign FA's in increments in order to ensure that each level has an adequate SS, or that each level has enough starting pitchers. Currently, since I can't submit roster changes until the minimum roster is met, I end up with 30+ pending roster moves, and simply begin guessing as to what each level needs. (infamy - Hall of Famer - 2:31 PM)

We simply can't allow for this feature as it could prove to be extremely dangerous with both new users and malicious users. I don't see us lifting the limit at any time.

When considering a trade/free agent signing, it helps to be able to forecast what your roster will look like in subsequent seasons. What do you think about providing an update that can help with forecasting? It would be informational only. You would be able to view and adjust what your roster will look like for, say, each of the next 5 seasons. It'd be easier to see the impact a trade/signing will have on future seasons, and will also show a team at which positions they will have a surpluss of talent. (infamy - Hall of Famer - 2:33 PM)

I love the idea behind this feature. In all honesty though, this is something that would be on the back burner for quite some time while we focus on some other aspects of the game that the community has been clamoring for.

New owners to a world are at a pretty major disadvantage only being allowed to change their budget +/- 4 mill, couldn't we at least allow them to change it by 6+ mill the first season? Seems like giving new owners that disadvantage is quite unfair and makes things difficult if you wanted to go 14 HS scouting and 6 college. (spudpicker - All-Star - 2:38 PM)

This seems like a popular suggestion. We will discuss it internally.

Would it be possible to "hide" budget dollars not actually spent on payroll? This may be one (of many) ways to introduce honest bidding. IOW, only show what is actually spent on current player payroll $. There is no reason I should have any idea what other teams are budgeting for their various categories... (silentpadna - Hall of Famer - 2:39 PM)

It is possible to hide the columns. I'm not really sure if this gives you any type of strategic advantage though.

If I get the office a gift certificate to Sammy's for Christmas will you make sure that orrdc never wins another title? (blaank182 - Hall of Famer - 2:39 PM)

Depends on how much the gift certificate is for. How about a blank check?

Firstly thanks for putting some real effort into improving HBD recently. My question is what does WIS want for HBD long term? What will the game look like 1, 2, 5 years from now? Most of the improvements seem like tweaks & adjustments - what long term major additions do you envision for the game? (double-a - Hall of Famer - 2:41 PM)

We appreciate the fact that everyone has really enjoyed the new features and it has been very exciting to get back into improving this game for the community, you guys definitely deserve it. We have some much larger pieces we want to tackle in the near future. We will be compiling feedback via the forums on some of these larger features so stay tuned.

I have heard that all velocity does is determine what kind of out a batter makes, rather than actually help determine if the batter gets out. Is this true? (burnsy483 - Veteran - 3:31 PM)

Velocity directly impacts strike out rate. It is a measure of how hard a pitcher throws and does not affect the type of out

A huge thank you to all of you that submitted questions today! We will reviewing everything you guys suggested and we will also begin focusing on some larger aspects of the game that were mentioned. Please stay tuned to the forums as we will be generating feedback from all of you.

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