It’s almost impossible to read the forums without finding a topic about random. It’s like a sticky thread, but naturally without it being a proper sticky. And most of the times I have to say such threads are a bit of a bore; they tend to be quite repetitious and often just blaming random for a (unfair) loss. Never a lucky win though.
Anyways, when I started to read the thread “A lot of random in the game engine” (Global English forum) last week I didn’t have any high expectations on it, but it showed up as one of the examples of when such a thread can be really interesting to read, and I think many users would also find it quite educating.
One thing is for sure, there is a lot you can say about random. So let’s say some more and hopefully clear one or two things out:
First, let me just state the obvious: There is random (or variance rather) in Hattrick, and for a reason. It’s our way to make it possible for the underdog to win from time to time, we think the game is so much more fun if there are no 100% guaranteed wins. And as we, although in a simplified way, try to simulate real life – if makes very much sense as the underdog wins from time to time in real life as well.
In essence, Hattrick is a game about probabilities. Your job as a manager is simply to do everything in your power to increase your winning odds, which is just what any real life manager in theory does as well. This may sound banal and evident perhaps, but it’s nevertheless very important to have in the back of your head. Because many Hattrick mangers seem to forget about this, and that even though you’re the most probable to win it doesn’t mean you can take the win for granted.
I think no sane user would think of lowering his winning odds from 60% to 40% for example, but lowering it from 80% to 60% is not that uncommon. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s totally ok to do so and sometimes perhaps also “needed” to compete for a top spot in your series for example. But don’t forget that if you do, you’re also taking a risk. You’re still the favorite, but you do decrease your chance of winning significantly. That’s something you have to realize; it’s a risk you take. And if you lose when taking a risk like this, you don’t really lose just because of random.
Your actions count. Always. It’s what you put into to the game engine that matter, and even the smallest of details makes a difference. So one good piece of advice is to think about if you’re done what you can to increase your odds and consider the risks you might opt for.
Related to this, it’s also common that users believe their winning odds are much greater than what it really is. To be honest, this is actually very common (and thus also something to have in the back of your head). A good, and pretty new, CHPP site to get a knowhow about winning odds and probabilities is htev.org. Now, I haven’t checked exactly how accurate it is (it’s naturally not 100% accurate), but I can really recommend it. It’s a very good tool.
But “the match engine is too much random”, you might say. Or “it’s much more random these days”. Well, is it really? How do we know? Can it be because of something else perhaps? And if not, how much random should it be then?
I initially thought of writing just about these things, the other stuff was supposed to serve as an introduction. But I just can’t help myself; even though the things I’ve said above perhaps should be clear for most people – it’s still something users forget about or underestimate. And it’s so darn important (even though there are cases of really unfair losses as well naturally). So, I think it’s better to take the rest of the random stuff in a separate blog post instead. Next week, ok?