On the dear topic of autobidding

So, I’ve of course been following the autobid debate on various forums after our announcements last week, and it’s been very interesting and vitalising. The discussions around this subject have also been somewhat different from the past forum threads about this subject (I read through all the threads I could find in the forum archive when starting up this project), as it’s now a debate of something that actually will enter the game and not just some random feature idea that could be good for the game.

Anyways. There are few things in the current discussions that I feel is important to point out.

First of all, it’s been a lot of talk about this being done to as a measure to stop trading, that it will make the transfer boring because all players will cost the same (“there will be no bargains”) and that we punish ‘active’ players. Which is pretty exaggerated, to say the least.

No, we don’t do this as a measure to stop trading. To be totally honest I don’t think this will have any huge effect (if any) on trading at all, it’s more an effect of prices are likely to be fluctuate less. And even if price are likely to fluctuate less, they will still fluctuate. Adding autobids just doesn’t mean that all the good deals on the transfer will suddenly disappear. That said, neither is price fluctuation the real reason for doing this, it’s rather a side effect. A side effect I don’t mind at all though, it’s a good one for the market and the economy overall.

The main reason for doing this to make the transfer more accessible for all kinds of Hattrick managers, to give the general user a better transfer experience. We know a lot of users miss out on the transfer experience today, and with that they miss a very big part of the game. Moreover, we don’t think it should be a must to be online at the time of the deadline in order to buy a player (or make a bad deal (pay more) just to be sure to get him). And we don’t see any fun in repetitive clicking (bidding) during a longer period of time either. There is simply no other task in the game that requires you to be online at a certain time, the whole game on the contrary based on being able to plan your actions ahead.

Then there are some that claim we by doing this benefit the “lazy” users, and find it odd that we don’t want our users to be active on our site.

Now, I don’t see any point to categorize users like this. Hattrick is designed to be a game where you don’t have to be constantly online to succeed, you should be able to play the game even though you just log in once a week. And as such, we should also make all game parts accessible to those who want to play the game like that. Also, some of the time you use to play Hattrick may not take place when you’re actually online. Many times you will find yourself thinking which lineup to use in the next series match while sitting on the bus, or thinking about different team strategies while laying in bed and so on. Simply put, one can’t just measure how active a player is from how much time he spends on the site.

And if you think about it, what’s the harm in letting “lazy” managers also benefit from a change and as a result also buying players on the transfer? I mean, we DO want more people to take part and enjoy the game.

Also, many core features included in Supporter are just such time-saving features, such as auto-joining the friendly pool, custom match orders and the whole match preview page to mention just a few things. And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call any Supporter lazy.

But don’t we want our users to be active on our site then? Yes, of course we do. But the way I see it, I want our users to spend quality time on our site. Making interesting decisions, scouting players and teams in order to find the tactics and strategy ahead, or having fun on our great forums. I see very little point in “forcing” users to be online at a certain time, in order to do a pretty repetitive task (as for example clicking the bid button for an uncertain number for minutes), if I can avoid it.

I simply want people to be log in for the right reasons, because I believe that in the end it will make a better game. Hattrick is a strategic management game, where the reward should be about finding the right player and the right strategy. We’re not the game that rewards online time just for the sake of it.