SimLeague Baseball Development Blog Topic

SimLeague Baseball owners,
We wanted to chime in today with what will become a weekly post regarding the SimLeague Baseball update. Consider this a "development blog". It'll include an update on where things stand with our re-design, discussion questions and occasional requests to help us beta test portions of the game.
First, an overview of what we're doing...
The SimLeague Baseball game you're playing today was started in 2001 and was written in classic asp and Visual Basic 6.0 and uses SQL Server 2000. It grew and grew and grew over the next 9 years into a mammoth code base in what has become outdated technology.  This eventually limited our ability to add new features and make substantial improvements.  So, we are rebuilding from the ground up in the latest tools and technology.  
Our requirements and design process began in 2010 but was dramatically interrupted when we took on the task of re-building the fantasy experience on  Once the majority of that was completed, we started back up in March, 2012 and created this forum.  

In August, we began development and are now less than two months away from opening up sections of it to some of you in our test environment.  Estimated release date on the main site is mid-2013. As we get closer, we'll define an official release date.
Second, what the new version will include...
A totally new, wider interface (look & feel)
Custom views.  Similar to saved searches, you can create named "views" that lets you define the columns you want to see. You can then assign and/or toggle the view you want to see on key pages across the site such as Draft Center, Player Search, Edit Lineups, etc.
More flexiblity on key pages.  Add/drop muliple players at the same time on the Waiver Wire.  Compare players on player search.  More user settings, more search options, league leaders spanning leagues, etc.
New "twist" features to the theme league wizard.
New draft center features to improve progressive league drafting.  Reactivate a league to make going from one season to the next much simpler.  Protect players from season-to-season.  Should make life much easier for commissioners - know who's available and who's been protected/drafted as draft unfolds.
New theme league rules and options.  Team co-owners, multiple owners with commissioner role.  Facebook Invites.
No more spring leagues. Everyone that plays a full-season will gain access to a draft-only team for research.
Key pieces being put in place for a new LIVE player and a true live draft room (think fantasy football draft room).

Much better help and on-screen information for newbie users

New Trade Chat
We will archive and reset the SimLeague Baseball Records.

And once this is all done, we'll be able to continue with future additions (we've been building a comprehensive list of suggestions over the years).
12/19/2012 4:13 PM
The Engine...

The lone exception to the above is our engine, which was re-written back in 2006 to correspond with launch of Hardball Dynasty.  

We just completed a round of some significant improvements and additions we'd like to release very soon (as in the next few weeks).
We will be looking for help beta testing this in a separate thread.
Engine fixes include:

Improved pinch-hitting logic for late/close situations.  Previously, some hard cutoffs (based on managerial setting) were preventing many candidates from being lifted during dire situations when a much better hitter was available on bench.
Improved PH/PR logic. Previously, manager would get into bad situation when using a 2nd or higher PH/PR in same inning. He'd earmark a player to enter at 2B but later earmark same player to enter at SS, for instance, and then team would be stuck with a player out of position. Manager is much smarter now and won't PH/PR unless all positions are covered with available players in hierarchy.
Improved relief pitcher selection for tie games in 7th or later when closer should not enter, manager now looks at specialists before setup pitchers. Previously, specialists were being looked at after setup pitchers in this situation.
Improved PH logic when team with a small lead late in the game is in a non-crucial situation.  Manager will no longer PH for a strong defensive player when backup is defensively inferior.
Improved PH logic regarding pinch-hitting for relief pitchers. If a non-crucial situation, manager will evaluate current pitcher's pitch count vs target pitch count along with available relievers. If it's best to keep RP in game so he can pitch another inning or two, he will hit for himself. This will prevent situations where stud reliever only throws a handful of pitches, is PH for, and then a LR or mopup is forced to enter next inning half.
Improved logic for double-switches, pinch-hitting and pinch-running.  Previously, manager didn't really consider other players in lineup when making decisions. Now, there's a chance a player will move to another position (if in hierarchy) to accommodate a PH or PR entering the game.  
Added double-switch logic during inning. If new relief pitcher enters, evaluate if double-switch should occur based on game situation and appropriate hierarchy. This won't happen often as rest or defensive replacements would have typically already occurred.
During dire situation (i.e. trailing in final inning), manager will evaluate PH/PR setting before lifting his only catcher or shortstop. This will prevent situations where team comes back to tie or take lead, then must play player out of position at key position. Will still occur if aggressive or very aggressive.
Logic will now consider shifting a player's position in order to lift another player for a PH/PR. Will only occur if manager has aggressive or very aggressive PR/PH setting.
Improved stolen base attempt logic. Previously, a hard SBA% cutoff was in place based on a myriad of factors. The hard cap has been removed in favor of a linear cap so that players who, for instance, when 12-13 in real life will now attempt some steals.  Based on testing, this results in a ~10% increase in stolen base attempts including a 6% increase in successful steals and 15% increase in runners caught stealing.
Improved defensive replacement, double-switch and injured fielder replacement logic.  Manager will now try to put best defense on field instead of performing a 1-for-1 swap at each position. for example, you may now see a defensive replacement enter at CF and the previous CF shift over to LF.
Boxscore has been modified to show a player's original and final position to help better track in-game position changes.
12/19/2012 4:15 PM
If you guys have other items you'd like to see improved in the current engine, please add to the list in a separate thread I'll be creating.

Nothing in the LIVE game can be fixed at this time, however.

We will be adding team stats after the update:  Team LOB, DP, CS, CG, SHO, etc.
12/19/2012 4:17 PM
SimLeague Baseball Development Blog Topic

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