Winter in Sweden in general means a temperature below zero and snow. I like that. It also means colds, fevers, flus and other diseases. I like that less.
For my own part I haven’t picked up anything so far (which is normal as I very rarely get sick), however you can’t say the same about my kids. Kids also have this tendency of putting these disease “records” on repeat, they just go round and round and…you get the picture. So, the last couple of weeks it feels like I’ve been at home taking care of sick kids just as much as I’ve been at work, and I know more of my colleagues have shared the same experience lately. Or been sick themselves.
But this week I made it down to Malmö at least. Among other things we had a bigger meeting around the new Supporter feature I mentioned in my last blog post. We’ve ran into some technical problems with it (or rather things related to it), which have delayed the whole project. And are still delaying it, even though I think we’re out of the dark tunnel now. But it will not be ready for Stage tests this month, which was our plan.
I also sat down with Klaus to talk about the state of the Hattrick economy. As you know, we constantly monitor the global economy as it’s not self regulating, and it’s one of Klaus’ tasks to collect information and analyze it. As it is, the average team is making a surplus every week and the surplus right now is about the same as it was at the same time last season.
However, as it looks the average team’s surplus will become smaller for each week from now on, which of course isn’t a healthy situation in the long run. Prices on the transfer is also falling (as a result of the increased training speed some seasons ago), and while a price decrease was something that has been rather good for the game overall – it can naturally not go on forever.
All in all, there’s no need for any immediate actions. But for the season after next (the one starting in June), we will most likely have to take action. And if our predictions are correct, you’ll get more info about this on editorial space during next season.
maybe – or maybe not – you should avoid considering not including quite so many disclaimers – or not?
any chance of a new guestimate date for the phantom supporter feature – or a hint or 2 about the nature of the pending initiative to curtail the downwards price spiral?
I hope we can start testing it during February, but it very much depends on our internal tests during next week (they will show if we’re really out of the tunnel or not). Regarding the economy it’s way too early to say exactly what needs to be done and to what extent, but as it looks we’ll need to inject some money into the economy (either by reducing costs or increasing incomes).
about the ecomony….
isn’t fidelity bonus another variable that doesn’t help the price stability? (maybe more that the increased training speed?)
what do you think?
The loyalty bonus would at least in theory mean fewer transfers as a side effect, and likely also a slightly lower price in general as a result of that. But it doesn’t mean prices will never stabilize. In the end, the price level is very much related to the amount of money in the game.
sorry for being mean, but: what exactly did the HT winter give us? I haven’t found the part where this was described. I also like winter. That’s the time where I am even more productive as there is not so much distraction as in summer 🙂
I’m feeling sad again. This post will increase the average user frustration (okay, it’s not linked in a very public spot and not translated into all languages, so effect may be low):
1. Decisions regarding pricing haven’t been made (or communicated) in time…
2. Johan disappeared after making big announcements of himself and other HTs being visible much more intense. You and Gusy are the only ones so far…
3. The things you are working on are more blurry to us than ever before. I really expected that you guys learned something from what you called “the big shitstorm” in last autumn. As you may remember it wasn’t about pricing only. It was about the feeling that your product development goes nowhere, at least not in a direction the community likes (see user development).
4. The timings you give are so incredible unspecific again. Something will come at some point in the next months…yeehaw! I’m so excited. My family and me kids also had the flu, unfortunately this no excuse for shifting all my projects to next season.
Let me repeat your community’s roaring for the 1000th time: We love the game. We want to see it moving on. We want to be part of the progress. Lead us. Invite us. Give us something to feel involved. Interact with us. I would at least have expected some words about the big survey which was planned to learn more about your user’s demands.
You are no Steve Jobs who would be able to fascinate the world with every new move you make. Listen to us to keep the HT spirit alive. Find a constant mixture between bugfixes, improvements, new features community asks for and things you want to develop silently and release with a big bang (if they are worth it).
At the moment it’s totally unreliable. There were one ore two weeks with nice little improvements, now nothing happened for months. Do you think you are through with it? No! There were announcements for new things that never happened. They have been given up. Now you work on new things which are delayed. So many formerly released features have not been improved since launch, even if community asks for improvements over and over again. You said you wanted to try things in youth academies and take them over in A team. You wanted to take over parts of development from HattrickOpen – that could still be done even if business model and gameplay was not accepted.
You made it to Malmö for a meeting. Wow! Is this the biggest progress in January? I understand that software projects become slower and slower during their lifecycle phase, but didn’t you rewrite everything in .net some years ago to be so future proof and keep everything highly dynamic? Where has all the drive gone? Do you still feel inspired? What are your goals with HT and the company? What’s the vision? The strategy?
So we will see some 10k users leaving soon before anything changes or we know when what will change. Really strange view. Seems you don’t see valuable individuals in them…only when it comes to payments 🙂 That was mean again, so I better close
All the best for the upcoming challenges
Chairman of S.T.O.P. federation
I know you’re disappointed from a lot of things, but try to cheer up a little. I actually think we have the worst day behind us now, even though the price/business decision is still pending. But that said, I will not try to paint the world in the bright colours – before we deliver on the things we do. I’m confident we will do that, but I’ll still wait with the colouring to the delivery day(s).
Thanks for your feedback. But we really thought that from last November on you would have opened a bit more to the community when it comes to product development. Now again it seems you are convinced you guys alone found the necessary conclusions in your think tank without us. So it will result in an eat or die situation again. No public research, no surveys, no improvements of formerly released features. Only some chaotic threads in global forums and some web tracking analysis.
This is a big risk again which you do not necessarily need to take – I hope your next bullet will hit the targets. But I still think you underestimate the potential of your community when it comes to evolutionary aspects of the game. I still love the idea of investing 20 to 30 per cent of your development resources into aspects the community priorizes.
Wow, that was a really good read – thank you.
Prices on the transfer is also falling (as a result of the increased training speed some seasons ago), and while a price decrease was something that has been rather good for the game overall – it can naturally not go on forever.
Price decrease will naturally not go on forever. It will reach a plateau. If you guys get it right that is. Instead of trying to increase it and then we will get another round of yoyoing, try to plateau it instead.
If anything the prices of players aren’t low enough anyway.
It’s not in our interest to increase the price level, stabilize them is. It’s demotivating for manager to experience a deflation for too long, not to mention that hoarding money becomes beneficial. I think falling prices which we’ve seen has been necessary, but at the same time it can’t go on for too long as it in the end will negatively affect the gaming experience.
At least I see the light at the end of the tunnel… Or it might be a train heading my way.
Bigger meeting? Did the meeting also discuss the pricing, the supporter package in general and all the other things that the forum users are asking for constantly since some months now? Could we get an official list of HTs that are at least to some degree responsible for user communication? Or shall we always try to arrest the one that by chance stumbles into some discussion?
No, it did not include any discussions about the pricing – as that was not the right forum for it. It was all about the feature itself and to sort out the technical “challenges” we were facing related to it.
Will there be a change in the incomes of higher leagues?
i.e. clubs in lower leagues have more spectators in they stadium and gain more money than clubs who have to survice in higher leagues. In my oppinion a strange thing?
Sometimes my club (4. league) had about 10’000 less fans than clubs in the 8th league. as well the other way round.. sometimes I have more fans than a NLA team.
you should change there something because right now it is more attractive to be in the 5th or 6th league (cause of cup with home games etc)
thx for your oppinion
No, we don’t intend to change the income structures between the leagues. While there may be times when you have more spectators than a team in a higher division than yourself, on a general level you can make more money in a higher league than in a lower league.
I’m not sure how you would like to win more money in higher leagues.
1) Higher salary payments
2) lower gains on training players
3) bid disadvantage in the cup the higher you are in your country
yea, it is easy if you take an average.. but compare same country sizes with eachother.
Second point. Excellent coaches. spending money for an excellent coach is so stupid.
third point. you can leave the income structure BUT it should not be possible that you can have players in your team (when you are in the 9th league or 8th) and you have salary costs of 500k euro or higher. In my opinion it should be a bound like in the nhl. (if you are in the league 1-3 it is free). if you are in league 4 and 5 you can spend i.e. 1.5 million in salarys. etc… WHy?managers should focus on being in higher leagues than horting money and rocket from the 8th league.
Check the cup in switzerland this year. there was a team who kicked out 3 or 4 teams from the nla.. brilliant.. and you want to tell me that the will make good money?.. HOW??
after all. YOU HT-Tjecken are doing an incredible job! WOW. amazing. a big thank you for you and your staff
You misunderstood me. 🙂
What I meant was really that your income possibilities are better in higher divisions than in lower, you get more from sponsors in higher divisions than in lower for example. You will increase your income possibilities when climbing the league ladder.
However, as you point out – the higher you climb you’ll also find tougher competition – which then can result in higher costs as well. So, it’s not uncommon that due to the competition your surplus is smaller in higher leagues than in lower leagues. Which actually makes sense, otherwise lower div teams would never be able to catch up – the top league teams would just be able to increase the gap and “cement” their positions to a higher extent.
“However, as you point out – the higher you climb you’ll also find tougher competition – which then can result in higher costs as well. So, it’s not uncommon that due to the competition your surplus is smaller in higher leagues than in lower leagues. Which actually makes sense, otherwise lower div teams would never be able to catch up – the top league teams would just be able to increase the gap and “cement” their positions to a higher extent.”
This is plain wrong. Catching up AUTOMATICALLY is what you mean and describe. If the income surplus would be the same on all levels and even if we assume that the amount of money needed for an improvement is the same through all the divs (which is not obviously, in lower divs less money allows for the same progress so this assumption is also in favor of the higher divs) catching up is still possible by allocating the resources in a better way and – you already said that – having less competition.
Today, catching up is an automatism to some degree. I know that you try to focus on “catch up time” and things like that – all important stuff to some degree – but try to learn form the statement of the -300k users. Maybe your focus has been wrong in the past years. And then replace the maybe by definitely 😉
You are doing a good job as far as I can judge it. Unfortunately it seems to have no consequences on the decisions of the board but this is a different story, so please don’t take my criticism personally.
I want to insist that you HTs should listen to your users (also your customers). There are many interesting idea on global forum, we’ve talk about it everyday. But I’d like to know if there is any HT guy have a look on those topics.
I read most topics on the Global English forum (and Johan follows Global as well), so yes – we do keep an eye on idea topics.
So you read there and do not answer and read here and answer. While “here” is an even more invisible spot with even less participation from the community. When this dev blog has been invented there was no reason to assume that this will be the only channel for users to communicate with the users. No that you have almost killed the communication between HTs and users in the forums (I mean noone of you is there on a regular basis) it would be better to not discuss here anymore. All the time that you need to write stuff here and discuss it could be well used for writing forum posts.
Each time when one thinks it can’t get worse it gets worse. Maybe I should think that it can’t get better 😉
Well, this blog reaches more users than forum posts does actually – so I think it’s time well spent in that sense. But then again, it will not stop me from posting on the forums as well even though it’s obvious that regular forum users would like even more of that.
It means You are working but nothing happened. It is very weak! Sorry for critics. But Have you ever seen the population of Hattrick????
It decreased every time. I see it every week. Now 661 000??? When i started the game it was bigger, but I think you know it so I don’t understand it: ” there’s no need for any immediate actions”
I enjoy this game. I and lot of other managers think: MOST CHANGE SOMETHING!
Every time you explain that you do everything but nothing happened.
Well, this game is good for me I don’t want to change something but population less less and less?
How do you want to stop this situation????????????
Sorry for criticism, it is my feeling.
Big hattrick fan!
No, stuff definitely happens – we just had to sort some problems (bottlenecks) out so that the things we’ve done can be released and enjoyed by you.
I have a feeling there is a need for someone that represents the HT’s in the community, or even a few such people. Of course these people should be in direct contact with you and the rest of the crew to know what’s happening in order to do their job.
Face it, you are a developer, while the people need a people person to tell them what’s going on. To give them timelines that are actually kept – even if they would be a bit more longterm.
Or you could set promises that you can always keep (“this” being a random idea):
Either we will have “this” (and that?) implemented as we know it should be, or, if we fail to meet this deadline, we will lower the price of supporter by 10% until we actually do have “this” implemented.
Such things might give some hope to the community.
Of course there is still the amount of leavers, and what can be done about that. I know it has been mentioned quite a few times, but advertisement is something I feel you are not looking into close enough. You could even make a global invite a friend day/week: ask every player to ask a friend to sign up, and offer both the friend and the inviter a month’s free supporter? (like once per player maximum, and maybe the new invitee would have to stay active for a certain minimum period?)
This would be free advertisement, handled by your users themselves.
Another way to do this, is to ask all your facebook followers to post about their team on one specific day… put this day a few weeks in the future so all will have time to think of something to write. Again, free publicity.
Maybe combine the ideas… even more free publicity…?
all those words just to say that nothing new is coming, which we already knew.
Income from fans should be higher the higher you go, but that’s rarely the case. Plain and simple. It doesn’t make any sense that in order to make money, GMs must demote from their divisions. The main problem is the fans, while you do give us a 10% increase in fans for promotion, you punish us all the same for losing games. i.e. when promoting, but losing some (not being walked on, but maintaining a 50-50% mid-table team), we’ll actually have LESS crowd attendance than we had when playing in lower divisions. This doesn’t make ANY sense – more people go to see higher divisions’ games, even when your team isn’t ranked first. It’s not only about winning/loosing, at least not as sharply as you do it.
Last season for example, I climbed from IV to III, and despite managing to finish 4th (after my fans expected me to demote!), my fan club lost about 60 fans, and I had low crowd attendance (at least way lower than in the last few seasons when I finished 1-3rd in IV). This doesn’t work the same as in reality. Another feature that perhaps may fix this is tickets’ prices – charge more for higher leagues (as in reality!)) and create higher income in higher leagues.
Thanks and all the best,
I posted here this morning, where is it now? do you delete posts? how democratic of you!
In here we approve comments before they’re published. The reason for this is that we receive quite some amount of spam from time to time (it’s not always the spam filters are good enough to completely protect you from it), so we had to switch on “approval first”.
I do actually delete posts; posts containing bad language or abuse in other forms gets deleted. However, there are very few such posts. Constructive criticism is naturally totally ok, and you got a handful examples of that among the comments to this blog post . So, I actually think we’re quite democratic – yes.
Why don’t you adjust salaries and sponsors considering in-game aspects, instead of choosing some arbitrary value? I mean, a player’s wage could be defined taking into account his average value in transfer compare (with some caps per ability, so old players wouldn’t be underpaid and young players overpaid). This way, a player who is worth 5 million euro would earn 50 k euro a week. If in the next season his value drops to its half, so would his wages.
Sponsorship should be defined taking into account the average expenses of the teams in that division, in that country in last season, plus some payback for good results.
In my opinion, the economy should work as a whole, not to be variable only when it comes to players prices. Probably my idea is terrible, but its only a way of many to attach all the money of the game together. This way the economy would be self regulating, and it would prevent disastrous interventions. Because it really scares me when you say that hattrick’s economy is not self regulating..
The benefits of us deciding on salary levels is that we can promote various type of players, for example the use of multiskilled players. It’s a good soft cap in that sense. Making the salaries depend on transfer price is not a bad idea, but it also has drawbacks (and it can’t really be based on transfer compare or the like, it’s not designed for such purpose and it would be quite hard to get it to be fair). But foremost I think the game would be more one-dimensional if salaries depended on transfer value.
I just want to say that I like the game, and the game engine. I see the decrease of the amount of users as something inavoidable (due to more and other kind of competition), and further development of the game engine as the only way to halt the decrease in the long run. The better games survive.
And I don’t care about the Transfer Price in short or long term.
There is just one argument I can’t find on this forum: higher Transfer Price add to the ‘feeling of a great momentum’, wich is an important aspect for gamers. Totally nihilating of this aspect is a waste imho. It flattens the game. A higher TP made a great bridge between strategists and momentum-gamers. Thus attracting more people to play Hattrick.
What’s the vision of HT about this?
I don’t believe in deliberately changing things in the game with the intention of increasing the transfer price (and that way attract more players). While it’s important to attract more people, I don’t want the prices to be too high (nor too low), just because it sets all other game dynamics totally out of play. I want prices to be somewhat stable though, and I want us to interfere as little as possible in the price settings. So, I would say from our point of view prices should be pretty stable (perhaps a very, very slow increase) and set by the market itself.
About HT economy, some thoughts:
1) Isn’t the price decrease still related with the training changes? I believe it is (now at a very low rate), and it’s normal. The 17 yo’s at the time the training changed, what age have them now? Things take time to assimilate.
2) and it’s offseason, prices are lower.
3) What I’m really afraid in HT, although I can’t really predict the consequences, is the “grow your own players to build your team” strategy that have been promoted with the last changes. I use to say that HT isn’t just a strategic game about football, HT it’s a economy. The economy plays a key part in the game, and it’s the only think that can put the game itself em danger (no, the number of players problem isn’t very serious imo).
And HT have always been the same about the economy. You buy players of a certain position to train, “grow” them, then you sell some of them, so you can buy players for other positions. You offer your players to the market, and you also need the market to buy other players.
But now, things are changing.
You can choose what kind of players you have in the Academy, and promote to them senior squad. So, you can have both trainings synchronized, and follow a global strategy.
You are encouraged to keep your players for longer time. Not only the ones from Academy (same nationality, lower salaries, loyalty bonus, academy loyalty bonus), but also the players you buy in the market (loyalty bonus takes 3 years to get at 100%).
Many teams now have that “grow your whole team with your own players” strategy. Yes, it takes SO MUCH time and effort, and I think people who do it completely are a little but crazy, but the fact is that they don’t need the market. They don’t buy players in the market, they only offer players to the market. And that is very bad. Of course that maybe there aren’t so many teams doing this strategy in its full extent. But it’s a common practice to do it partially. There are many advantages in it…
While people who still trust the market to provide them what they need, have to pay a lot of taxes. When selling a player, at least 7% is lost. Much more, if they don´t keep the player for much time. I understand why this was done – to prevent trading. Although I consider trading as a player’s skill (I can’t really do it myself), and a very legal one (it’s done in an open market!), so it shouldn’t be “punished”. Some people understand tactics and strategies in the field, some people understand the market.
But still, my text isn’t about trading, I just talked about it because the anti-trading politics affect the market too.
My point is:
Could all this changes that keep teams away from the market, not buying in it but only offering players to it…
keeping players for longer time because of loyalty bonus (which decrease the number of players available in the market and the number of transfers)…
have been hurting the market?
Thanks for your attention.
It’s naturally so that the training changes had its impact on the transfer (lower prices) as it was easier/faster to “produce” the “finished product”, and the loyalty bonus will most likely have an impact as well. But the number one reason for lower prices and what keeps users away from the market is, imho, that they know they will lose money right now when investing in it. And even though training and loyalty affects the market, what affects it even more is the amount of money in the game – how much surplus the general team makes. And as I said, it is shrinking right now.
I also have to say that loyalty was introduced as an option to choose instead of trading your youth players (and other players), it was to promote a gaming strategy which was popular but not really promoted (more or less the other way around) by the game.