Official Tanking Penalties Topic

Over the course of time, HBD's private worlds have had to enact Minimum Win Rules to overcome a shortcoming of HBD that I think should be addressed within the engine itself, somehow.

I've pointed out within threads before that there is a big difference between "rebuilding" here and doing so in RL. For those who choose to tank in HBD, there is no official deterrent for that. In fact, WiS actually *rewards* tanking by giving credits at the end of the season (while you get nothing for finishing 2nd).

In RL, franchises taking a lose-on-purpose approach to the season would lose fans and thus revenue. There would be a tangible downside to the upside they may get from prime draft position, waiver position, slashing of payroll for use elsewhere, etc. Here in HBD, there is no such downside. We have tried to create it with some good results with the MWR in private worlds, but I see so much heirarchy and what not in some worlds, it is just ridiculous. We're doing the job that we're paying WiS to do. It is their game and this huge loophole needs to be closed somehow. No more rewards for losing on purpose, first of all. Secondly, there needs to be some game-wide downside added to the engine.

I run vet and salary heavy teams. I have been reasonably successful doing so. When I throw a ton of money in to the Player budget line, I know I am doing it risking some toher things (injuries of more serious nature when they occur, vets dropping off a cliff ratings-wise, a cupboard-is-bare minor league system, little wiggle room to acquire a player in-season, etc.). This is a conscious choice I make understanding the risk and reward. There is no comparable choice for a tanker, as long as he doesn't mind the rep/bad record.

I have taken to making life uncomfortable for tankers on the Owner Chats. Their tanking is public info. I don't call them names (even "tanker"), but if a guy plays a DH in CF, or a High A level player in the Majors when he has a 30 year old with much better abilities at AAA, I will point it out to the world in no uncertain terms. As you might expect (and you might agree), many owners don't like this. A nice, quiet, non-questioning OC is a tanker's and alias' dream. More to the point of this post, if WiS isn't going to address the issue in more of a broad way than what we ourselves have to initiate and police, then I'm at least not going to let the expertience be an easy and pleasant one for tankers.

Please, WiS, remove the incentive for finishing last and bake changes in to the game engine that actually deter this all-too-common practice.

2/10/2013 10:19 AM
Bumped my suggestion for revamping the HBD Credit system for you.

As for building in a "downside" into the engine for tanking, be careful what you wish for.  If you cripple a team further that is already been crippled by tanking, and the owner bails on the team, the next owner is left with an even bigger hole to have to dig the franchise out of.  I'm not sure if that's really in the best interests of the game.
2/10/2013 11:46 AM
If I sign 3 maxed out FAs who are 34 years old and then immediatly leave, I have also caused an issue for the next owner, no? All teams are likely to have some sort of lingering crap you'll have to clean up or endure from the prior owner. That's just the nature of the game, here and in RL. I don't think that is a good enough reason to ignore the tanking issue overall.

Thanks for the credits bump. Appreciated.

2/10/2013 12:29 PM
Perhaps the "tanking penalty" would only affect owners who keep their teams.  The penalty could be erased if the team changes hands.  I'll immediately criticize that by pointing out that this would encourage alias use.  At least the tanker wouldn't get to keep his high draft scouting if he wanted to avoid the tanking penalty by creating an alias and taking over the team in the rollover.
2/10/2013 7:47 PM

As I mentioned earlier, I think there is probably a way to incorporate the penalty (which would be the same even if someone legitimatly lost 100+ games) in such a way that it has the same type effect as an albatross contract, carryover injury or other leftovers we inherit from prior owners. Keep in mind that the biggest penalty I would think could be levied against a tanker is to have all of those losses go for naught, and not be there to reap the rewards. I doubt a lot of owners who are tankers would willingly give up their team. so the penalty would likely be levied against them in a lot of cases. If they do leave the team, the penalty is just what comes along with taking ownership of that team. No better or no worse than other things we have to deal with when not an original owner.

I'm not looking for a shockingly big change here. The removal of credits for finishing last, and *some* sort of game-wide ramification(s) for a particularly bad season. I think those are reasonable requests.

2/10/2013 8:57 PM
The root problem of tanking, IMO, it's guaranteed to work. The players you get in the top 10 are guaranteed superior to players playoff teams can acquire. A blatant tank isn't even necessary, a soft tank with three or four bottom five seasons in a row will get it done. No one, I have been advised, wants to see the power of these top players reduced, so what about bringing a draft lottery into play?
2/10/2013 10:08 PM
When MLB institutes a draft lottery, then HBD should as well.  But not before.

A good set of MWR rules, combined with a strict "meet it or you're gone" enforcement, is enough to combat tanking.  Both of those require a good commissioner and a core group of committed owners.

If you're not in a world that has those, either (a) try to "fix" your world so that it does, or (b) leave that world and play in a different world that does.

Keep in mind . . . there are a lot of HBD owners who see nothing wrong with tanking as a valid strategy.  If 32 such owners want to play in a world together, let them.  If 31 such owners in a world want to play that way, and you're owner #32 who doesn't . . . your best course of action should be clear.
2/10/2013 10:26 PM
Not to mention that there are at least two real life MLB teams openly tanking right now.
2/11/2013 12:36 AM

One of my biggest issues with this topic is the same as one of my biggest issues with aliases. We are paying customers and it is faults in WiS' game that we have to police and overcome (by collecting evidence against tankers or aliases, or instituting MWR to the extent of having committees in some worlds). That is BS. That should be their job, not ours.

There are committees in place in some private worlds to navigate issues that should be addressed better (or at all in the case of a detriment to tanking) in the game engine. Yet a commish can't even remove an owner himself. He still has to have CS do it That's messed up.


2/11/2013 12:39 AM

damag, RL baseball teams lose attendence revenue when they tank. They suffer PR backlash and an erosion of their fan base (more revenue). Fewer people buy their merchandise and so they get less $ there, too.

There is no similar downside to tanking here. RL teams (or teams here who use different philosophies) have to weigh risk and reward. There is no such analysis in tanking, as long as you are OK with the records themselves.

2/11/2013 12:44 AM

The bottom line, and it probably sums my point up better than all the words I've writen already:

WiS ENDORSES tanking via it's policies and it's game.

2/11/2013 12:47 AM
Posted by damag on 2/10/2013 10:08:00 PM (view original):
The root problem of tanking, IMO, it's guaranteed to work. The players you get in the top 10 are guaranteed superior to players playoff teams can acquire. A blatant tank isn't even necessary, a soft tank with three or four bottom five seasons in a row will get it done. No one, I have been advised, wants to see the power of these top players reduced, so what about bringing a draft lottery into play?
I mentioned this before and it was quite unpopular.

10-1 for the first ten.   16-11 for the next six.   Of course, you'd probably start a battle for 9-10 but, at the very least, you'd be forcing owners to work have for the 1(10th best record) instead of the 16(11th best record).    And, if you have to work that hard to hit a win number, maybe it would just be better to win and make the playoffs.
2/11/2013 10:52 AM
I like Mike's suggestion about the 10-1 instead of 1-10.

However, I ultimately only think tankers hurt themselves and, as long as you run a good league, tanking doesn't lead to long-term success. In No Quitters, here's the last ten franchises to appear in a World Series, and the lowest win total that owner has had, excluding the first year or two to get things straight (and even then, there's no 100-loss seasons in the group): 74, 78, 79, 86, 75, 80, 66, 72, 78.

Looking at those franchises, a couple benefited from taking over from a somewhat inept owner who left them with some high draft picks, but for the most part, those franchises tended to be over 80 wins most years, with 4 or 5 of them averaging over 90. The franchise with the 86 as the low-win benefited from tanking... but only because he made it a habit to seek out potential tankers and snake their veteran stars for middling prospects.

I'm sure there's some leagues where tanking is a problem, but I'd be curious how many quality (meaning: dedicated commish, >50% teams have been there 10+ seasons, <5 owner turnover every year, etc) leagues are dominated by tanking teams or are they dominated by long-term owners who tend to make the playoffs most years.
2/11/2013 4:53 PM
j, I think bad tankers may only hurt themselves, but there are enough who are "good" at it to make it a problem.
2/11/2013 9:22 PM
Tanking does work.  You have to have the patience to lose for a real life year, or more, and there's no guarantee that you'll win a WS but it does work.   That's why I started 4 year MWR in my worlds with the 4th being the toughest to get if you hang around the minimums the first 3. 

2/12/2013 11:11 AM
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