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Old 09-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Koana Islands Baseball: Using Intricate Maps to Help Tell a Story

"I've always had an interest in maps from a young age, in particular street maps, as I really believe they tell a story," says Ian Silva. "In my opinion, fictional maps create a talking point: people want to learn about the nation and decide where they would want to live and that sort of thing."

Silva is an Australian OOTPer who has built an elaborate baseball system that resides in a country dubbed the Koana Islands, which is home to 93 million residents, nine major cities, and 11 baseball leagues containing nearly 200 teams. A recent Wired magazine article shows his intricate maps and explains more about life on the Koana Islands, which Silva has envisioned down to the little details, including the transit system, the residents' primary ethnic background and language, and much more. (A wiki gives even more information, and a thread on the OOTP forum lists all the teams and contains a link to a quick start you can download.)

"I never set out to go around calling my maps 'artwork' or anything like that," Silva says of his handiwork, "but I've had such a strong response from people asking for a printed copy to hang on walls that I guess I have to go with the flow and call it art!"




The Koana Islands (larger version)

Building a Unique World

The Carlsberg Super League (CSL) tops the Koana Islands' baseball network, which uses promotion and relegation to allow clubs to move between the tiers as they dream of a CSL championship, which is bestowed to the team in first place at the end of the 162-game season. The New Auckland Warlocks have won the most Super League titles, with 19 trophies in their case.

Silva says his baseball world first came into existence around 2001 or 2002, when he and some friends started a baseball league over the Internet, using a dice-and-chart game to simulate the action. "The basic premise of the map came about one day out of boredom," he recalls. "We had around 20 teams and I thought to myself that we didn't really have any local rivals or anything of the sort. We needed to spice up some of the games to keep interest going."

He continues: "So I used software called Greenfish Map Generator and it churned out the main island, which I used by just placing the teams' cities around the map, with nothing else. This worked somewhat as suddenly we had local derbies and what have you but it was short-lived because the game folded soon after. I'd always kept the team names and threw them into OOTP (2007 version, I believe), but I was soon wanting more place names as players were only being generated for the 20 cities with teams and nothing else. So before long I was adding more cities, towns and villages and then I just decided to draw the map using illustrator and create extra islands and that's basically how I came up with the map you see today."

In addition to the promotion and relegation system, Silva uses unique team logos that he has either designed himself or paid for, and he has modified leagues' finances to ensure better players end up on better teams because, as he says, "obviously players don't know that one league is 'more prestigious' than another."

Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat

Asked for memorable moments from Koana Islands baseball history, Silva points to a pair of clubs that have charted different, but memorable, paths: the Piile Aalt (pronounced Pie-lee Alt) Daggers and the Iris City Bulls. The Daggers' tale involves a small-town club overachieving and almost bringing glory to its fans, while the Bulls' story would leave Cubs fans nodding in agreement.

But we'll let Silva give you all the details: "Piile Aalt began play in 1919 in what is now known as the Northern League, the sixth tier of baseball. They gained promotion to the Nationwide League (the 5th tier) a few times but ultimately fell back down until they gained promotion in 1937. They remained in the Nationwide League until 1949 when they won promotion to the professional league of Division 3 (the 4th tier).

"Their meteoric rise was only just beginning as they made back-to-back promotions and were in Division 1 for the 1952 season, where they finished 17th and narrowly avoided relegation straight back down to Division 2. Following 5th, 9th, and 14th place finishes the next three years, they blew everyone away by finishing second in 1956 with a 103-59 record to reach the Super League (the 1st tier) for the first time in their history.

"Piile Aalt is a tiny city compared to some of the heavyweights in the Super League, so the fact this little club with a small stadium made it this far was incredible. Their fairy tale story was halted the following year when they crashed back down to Division 1 with a 52-110 record to finish in last place. The team has never returned to the Super League and regularly bounces around between Division 1 and Division 2." (An image Silva posted shows how all the Koana Islands baseball leagues finished their seasons that year.)

Silva continues: "The Iris City Bulls are the complete opposite. They started play in 1904 and were one of the founding members of the Nationwide League. In 1929 they succumbed to relegation into the Regional Leagues and have never been back. That's 84 years of toiling away in the lowest tier of baseball without any success. They have made the play-offs many times but just can't seem to crack the nut."

He adds: "In the Super League (which doesn't have play-offs and is merely first past the post), we've had some tight finishes. 1943 saw Megopolis win the title on the final day of the season after New Auckland lost their final game. New Auckland enacted revenge on the Titans three years later when both teams finished with 110-52 records, forcing an extra game to decide the winner. New Auckland won the decider in 13 innings, 3-2."
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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This is incredible...Brilliant.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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Remember this being mentioned a bit ago. Wish there was something about how he made such awesome looking maps.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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I just wish the QuickStart was available somewhere.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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dola,

One of the mods should probably go through that thread and remove the hyperlinks, as they all go to a site that multiple browsers claim contains malware.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriqjaffe View Post
I just wish the QuickStart was available somewhere.
Count me in if QStart is found/relaunched
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
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The article mentions the software he used to make the maps.

I've emailed him to ask about the Quick Start.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
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And I deleted the link to the Quick Start in that other thread.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriqjaffe View Post
I just wish the QuickStart was available somewhere.
It was available for 11 or 12, I think. Isn't it in the quickstarts thread? Huge file if I remember correctly 700 MB?
http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar...archid=1598230
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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How does one do the promotion/relegation thing?
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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I'd like to thank BradC for the interview as I really enjoy talking about my leagues. I'll try to explain a few things that people have asked me over the last few weeks.

Quickstart
At the moment I have not released a Quickstart as I need to clear the history as the file size is ridiculous (in it's compressed state it's over 800mb). Furthermore there are a few differences that will put people off:

- You currently have to move all the teams around manually on the 1st of January, which isn't super time-consuming, but it does become problematic when you get to the Regional Leagues as teams are placed in divisions according to their location, which does mean a bit of shuffling around and isn't the most fun part of the game.
- As you near Opening Day some teams (in particular Divisions 2 and 3) struggle to sign all the players they need and so I am forced to help fill them out using the 'create fictional players' button. This has been somewhat solved since the introduction of International Free Agents, but teams get stuck in tit-for-tat contract negotiations with players until one team pulls out for whatever reason. This can cause teams to not have a full active roster at the start of the season. This is the only reason I don't schedule Spring Training.
- One of the biggest criticisms I have for OOTP is the whole "first past the post" system is flawed. If two or more teams finish the season with the best winning record, the team alphabetically last will be declared champions, rather than forcing an extra game. I can solve this by scheduling the extra game before the season is finished (on the second last day, usually) and then deleting the extra game if it's not needed. Also, due to the whole Promotion/Relegation thingy, I am also forced to schedule extra games if team records are tied when deciding who gets Promoted or Relegated.
I personally use winning record between the teams to decide who has home field advantage, followed by current streak, Last 10, and then how they finished the previous year.
- As I have only ever played commissioner, I'm not really sure how the AI will hold up against a human opponent. For instance, the AI obviously isn't programmed to be aware of relegation where as the human would be, so I think it'll make the game too easy.

Doing a Promotion/Relegation setup
This is actually considerably easier than you probably think. Following the basic rules I mention above about moving teams and what have you, the best advice is to create every division as a Major League and then reduce all finances by between a third or half of the division above. For instance, The Super League finances compared to Division One's finances and Division Two's finances.

Unlike more conventional league setups you do have to keep an eye on the finances as you don't want teams jumping through divisions too quickly (which has become a bit of a problem for me once I added the sixth tier) but at the same time you don't want newly-promoted teams falling straight back down with too much regularity.

Of course, if you are going to use International Free Agents then you need to adjust the budget accordingly like above.

It's important not to set a media contract number (leave it at $0) otherwise relegated teams may still have a number of years to run on their previous contract and will therefore have a much bigger budget than teams in the division below.

I've never tried setting up a Pro/Rel league using ML, AAA, AA levels, but I think the gulf between the levels would be too great to prove useful.

I wouldn't go any lower than six tiers of divisions as the players attributes just aren't varied enough and teams in the lower three tiers tend to be very equally matched compared to the top three tiers which have a much wider arc attribute-wise.

Team logos
I have had a few requests from people asking if I'm going to release the logos so others can use them, and at the moment the answer is no. Due to the money I invested in them, I don't really want people "pinching" them. I don't have a problem so much with people in the OOTP community using them, but I don't want people using them for their local teams or anything and once they're out in the interweb I can never get them back. If I released them as part of the quickstart I'd probably get justafan to do his magic in turning them into circular logos so they can only be used in OOTP.

Once again, thanks to everyone, and if anyone has any questions don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The article mentions the software he used to make the maps.

I've emailed him to ask about the Quick Start.
Crap I missed that. Sorry about the silly question.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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Thanks for building and sharing such a wonderful world. This is singularly impressive.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nugget699 View Post
I'd like to thank BradC for the interview as I really enjoy talking about my leagues. I'll try to explain a few things that people have asked me over the last few weeks.

Quickstart
At the moment I have not released a Quickstart as I need to clear the history as the file size is ridiculous (in it's compressed state it's over 800mb). Furthermore there are a few differences that will put people off:

- You currently have to move all the teams around manually on the 1st of January, which isn't super time-consuming, but it does become problematic when you get to the Regional Leagues as teams are placed in divisions according to their location, which does mean a bit of shuffling around and isn't the most fun part of the game.
- As you near Opening Day some teams (in particular Divisions 2 and 3) struggle to sign all the players they need and so I am forced to help fill them out using the 'create fictional players' button. This has been somewhat solved since the introduction of International Free Agents, but teams get stuck in tit-for-tat contract negotiations with players until one team pulls out for whatever reason. This can cause teams to not have a full active roster at the start of the season. This is the only reason I don't schedule Spring Training.
- One of the biggest criticisms I have for OOTP is the whole "first past the post" system is flawed. If two or more teams finish the season with the best winning record, the team alphabetically last will be declared champions, rather than forcing an extra game. I can solve this by scheduling the extra game before the season is finished (on the second last day, usually) and then deleting the extra game if it's not needed. Also, due to the whole Promotion/Relegation thingy, I am also forced to schedule extra games if team records are tied when deciding who gets Promoted or Relegated.
I personally use winning record between the teams to decide who has home field advantage, followed by current streak, Last 10, and then how they finished the previous year.
- As I have only ever played commissioner, I'm not really sure how the AI will hold up against a human opponent. For instance, the AI obviously isn't programmed to be aware of relegation where as the human would be, so I think it'll make the game too easy.

Doing a Promotion/Relegation setup
This is actually considerably easier than you probably think. Following the basic rules I mention above about moving teams and what have you, the best advice is to create every division as a Major League and then reduce all finances by between a third or half of the division above. For instance, The Super League finances compared to Division One's finances and Division Two's finances.

Unlike more conventional league setups you do have to keep an eye on the finances as you don't want teams jumping through divisions too quickly (which has become a bit of a problem for me once I added the sixth tier) but at the same time you don't want newly-promoted teams falling straight back down with too much regularity.

Of course, if you are going to use International Free Agents then you need to adjust the budget accordingly like above.

It's important not to set a media contract number (leave it at $0) otherwise relegated teams may still have a number of years to run on their previous contract and will therefore have a much bigger budget than teams in the division below.

I've never tried setting up a Pro/Rel league using ML, AAA, AA levels, but I think the gulf between the levels would be too great to prove useful.

I wouldn't go any lower than six tiers of divisions as the players attributes just aren't varied enough and teams in the lower three tiers tend to be very equally matched compared to the top three tiers which have a much wider arc attribute-wise.

Team logos
I have had a few requests from people asking if I'm going to release the logos so others can use them, and at the moment the answer is no. Due to the money I invested in them, I don't really want people "pinching" them. I don't have a problem so much with people in the OOTP community using them, but I don't want people using them for their local teams or anything and once they're out in the interweb I can never get them back. If I released them as part of the quickstart I'd probably get justafan to do his magic in turning them into circular logos so they can only be used in OOTP.

Once again, thanks to everyone, and if anyone has any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Awesome. I always dreamt of making this but with the stations of the Metro system (subway) at Santiago de Chile, where I live. Or wait... New York City, imagine rooting for Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square or any of the famed Subways' stations.

But my focus have been always my beloved capital city.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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I did a similar dynasty in FM and briefly in OOTP and was astounded by how detailed and well put together yours was. Kudos to you for it and for sharing a bit of a behind the scenes look.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:09 PM   #16
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Sorry for bumping this but I figured this would be better than starting a new thread.

You can download the dat files for the league which is as up-to-date as you can get (game date is 5th of February 2014). All teams and divisions are correct so you can get straight into simming.

Since this article the Regional Leagues and Nationwide League have merged together. This is for three reasons. Firstly, teams in the Regional Leagues were offering players well below the national minimum wage which meant if these leagues really did exist players would need another job to keep food on the table. Secondly, because the gulf between the Nationwide and Regional leagues was almost non-existent, teams who were winning the Regional Leagues were also capable of winning the Nationwide League in the same season which didn't really make much sense. Lastly, it helps streamline the entire P/R thing.

I still haven't uploaded the logos for all the teams and if you follow the guide on simming each season that I wrote in my previous reply to this thread you should be all set. Please note that the retired.dat file was corrupt so all player history has been lost.

You can download the .dat files by clicking here

Simply extract the .lg file into your Saved Games folder.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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Don't worry about bumping the thread. Thanks for posting this. I will put it out on Twitter and Facebook.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:53 PM   #18
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I am overly impressed with the attention to detail and creativity of this. This had to have taken lots of time to create and make names as such also to create a rivalry to exist between two cities or teams. I can see how you make the game so much more interesting to say the least.... A plus plus and plenty of extra credit thrown in too.

I am only beginning to attempt this but different way such as "radio interview with manager"

I cant say enough how impressed I am with this work done and the time.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:17 PM   #19
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Hi,

I am about to kick off the second season of the United States Baseball Association. The Association is a promotion/relegation league that started back in November. We began with a ten-team premier league. For this season, we expanded to a ten-team silver (second) league. The website is United States Baseball Association. We currently have 16 active managers and the league is going strong.

I post because we are collectively having a hard time figuring out the financial situation. I have the finances set up almost exactly how you have your finances: all teams have a fixed media contract of zero; premier league teams have $50 million in merchandising, while silver league teams have $30 million; the cash cap is at $999,999,999. However, some teams have exorbitant amounts of cash on hand, upwards of $40 million left over from the first season, while some teams have zero or negative balances. This leads to teams having way more contract space than others. Our intention is to have Premier league teams at a payroll of about $150 mil, while having Silver league teams at about $90 mil. I hard set the budgets of each league's teams to model that. However, that doesn't feel right. How do you handle the budgets? How do you handle owners? In your league, does the league work alright with having cash uncapped?

Premier League Financial Report:
League Financial Report for United States Premier League

Silver League:
League Financial Report for United States Silver League

Premier League Financial Screen:


Silver League:


What happens when a team gets relegated? We haven't experienced this yet because this season will be the first of two-league play. Do fire sales occur? Does the team's AI react correctly when their budget suddenly plummets?

Also, I had concerns with structuring the salary levels of each league. In your photos, you have the second league at about half the player salary values of the first league. How exactly does the game view those numbers? If the Premier League's superstar salary is about $20 million, but the Silver League's superstar salary is about $12 million, does the game handle that correctly? I.e., does an actual superstar, like a 9-9-9 pitcher, accept a $12 million contract in the Silver League? Or does he cede to the Premier League contract? My worry is that a 9-9-9 pitcher would accept the $12 million contract in the Silver League because that's what superstars get paid in that league. So, essentially, is the term 'superstar' relative to the league's quality, or the world's quality when it comes to tiered leagues in game?

Any time you can put towards assisting us and our questions would mean a great deal to myself and the league. We're really trying to do this right, but it's hard to do so when we've never done it before. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
I post because we are collectively having a hard time figuring out the financial situation. I have the finances set up almost exactly how you have your finances: all teams have a fixed media contract of zero; premier league teams have $50 million in merchandising, while silver league teams have $30 million; the cash cap is at $999,999,999. However, some teams have exorbitant amounts of cash on hand, upwards of $40 million left over from the first season, while some teams have zero or negative balances. This leads to teams having way more contract space than others. Our intention is to have Premier league teams at a payroll of about $150 mil, while having Silver league teams at about $90 mil. I hard set the budgets of each league's teams to model that. However, that doesn't feel right. How do you handle the budgets? How do you handle owners? In your league, does the league work alright with having cash uncapped?
Lowering the cash cap will stop teams having exorbitant profits year after year, however I prefer that as it models the English Premier League soccer quite well. Big teams (Man Utd, Chelsea etc.) have much bigger wage budgets than smaller teams so it pays for smaller teams not to exceed their budget. For instance, if you are weaker team in your PL (let's say the Atlanta Smoke as they have a much smaller budget) and you spend wisely, bringing in Free Agents on much very good wages and Atlanta builds up a nice little nest egg over 4 or 5 years then suddenly they have a much bigger budget to play with and could, theoretically at least, play with the big boys. The difference between a normal North American league set-up and P/R is you can't just tank for a few years and draft superstars to reach the top. To get to the top you have to spend wisely. Do you blow your budget in year 1 to ensure survival, or do you spend wisely, take a gamble on some players and possibly move further up the standings year after year? P/R leagues need a lot more forward planning, it's a real risk/reward type set-up.

The Cleveland Steamers (who have the biggest budget), have just as much to lose as the smaller teams in the division. Sure, they stand much more chance of nabbing the superstars as their budget is bigger, but if they just sign players for ridiculous wages they too could start to struggle financially, and, what's worse, if they mismanage so badly that they succumb to relegation they could be in real financial strife.

In my opinion setting hard budgets is counter-productive in a P/R league. Admittedly you are capping the strong teams from becoming too strong, but you are also handicapping the smaller teams, and their real life managers, who are budgeting correctly and turning losses intro profits.

Owners also play a big part, particularly in the lower divisions which is quite realistic when comparing it to the lower divisions in the English Soccer pyramid.

Cash happy owners will constantly pump money into the club, regardless of their financial footing whilst greedy owners will regularly take money away from the club, particularly when big profits are made.

One more thing, is how many teams get promoted and relegated at the end of the season? Divisions of 10 teams should have no more than 2 teams getting relegated. Perhaps have the bottom PL team and top Silver League team gain automatic relegation/promotion whilst 9th placed PL team plays a 3-game series against the 2nd placed Silver League team to determine whether they survive or get relegated?

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What happens when a team gets relegated? We haven't experienced this yet because this season will be the first of two-league play. Do fire sales occur? Does the team's AI react correctly when their budget suddenly plummets?
I haven't really studied this area of the game a great deal but I do feel as though teams react depending on the owner. Managers and GMs cop the brunt of damage, a lot of them seem to lose their jobs, but again I see that as quite realistic. Players obviously don't know the difference between divisions so if they are still under contract they will happily continue to play for the team irrespective of which division they are in. Owners who are financially controlling do seem to trade players away, but it really depends on the teams budget which doesn't change a great deal through either promotion or relegation.

Of course, if a team isn't strong enough to stay in the top flight, then they will probably be a better match in the lower division anyway, so fire sales aren't really needed.

That is another good reason to budget correctly. If the team blows their budget in the top division and subsequently gets relegated it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to sign new players in the lower division and bounce straight back up. Does a weaker team budget accordingly expecting relegation but then being financially secure for a push for instant promotion back up, or do they blow their budget and hope to push on in the top flight but then be financially strapped if they suffer relegation?

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Also, I had concerns with structuring the salary levels of each league. In your photos, you have the second league at about half the player salary values of the first league. How exactly does the game view those numbers? If the Premier League's superstar salary is about $20 million, but the Silver League's superstar salary is about $12 million, does the game handle that correctly? I.e., does an actual superstar, like a 9-9-9 pitcher, accept a $12 million contract in the Silver League? Or does he cede to the Premier League contract? My worry is that a 9-9-9 pitcher would accept the $12 million contract in the Silver League because that's what superstars get paid in that league. So, essentially, is the term 'superstar' relative to the league's quality, or the world's quality when it comes to tiered leagues in game?
A five-star free agent (lets say a shortstop) will receive offers from every team in the game universe looking for a shortstop that can offer him a good wage (in my universe for instance the lowest tier teams can't even offer the sort of money that quality players are demanding). Of course, that means he'll receive dozens of contracts to begin with, but as negotiations start raising the wage teams with smaller budgets will slowly start dropping out of the race for his signature. This means that generally the star players will sign for 'bigger' teams (bigger meaning financially bigger). Sometimes that means that teams with massive budgets who have fallen into the Silver League may still sign a star player because they can afford it. That doesn't both me too much as it just means the GM convinced them that the team is bouncing straight back up.

Just make sure the AI only judges players on ratings/attributes only and not on past statistics.

Of course, some teams in lower divisions will nab the odd star now and then and blow most of their budget in the process but this is quite rare I must be honest.

If there is anything else I can help you with then by all means feel free to ask.
Nugget699 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
breich90 (02-19-2014), cmaug (03-17-2014)
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