Progressive Difficulty

Discussion in 'The Experience' started by Archie Griffin, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    Progressive Difficulty

    Just a quick thought for discussion:

    As the season goes on, teams feel pressure to win, whether to extend an unbeaten streak and get a shot at a title, qualify for a bowl, etc. My point is - games get harder as the season goes on. Even the easier teams get harder later in the season.

    What would you guys think of a system that mimics this, that makes games progressively more difficult as the season goes on, so that not only do we update according to the bugs and things we discover, but also to enhance the drama week by week?

    Now, this could get tricky, but with 15 weeks, we could just make tiny changes bit by bit. Imagine it - the CPU runs harder late in the year, they make bigger plays, they play better D as we learn to play better O. It would be fun, if it could be made to work.

    It's worth some talk, at least.

    AG
     
  2. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I've never been a fan of this. I've found it best to play lots of test games first (I usually spend hours and hours doing this) to get some good sliders and then keep them for the duration of the dynasty/legacy.

    Also, the way it sounds to me, you're saying that late in the season, we'll make the difficulty harder so we'll crank it up at the end of '09. Then, do we make it easier again for the beginning of '10, harder for end of '10, easier for beginning of '11, etc? I wouldn't like that. If you're just saying that we'll:
    • find a good difficulty and slider settings after some good testing
    • start the season
    • continue to evaluate how our stats look
    • make adjustments as the season progresses to address flaws (ie. too much user passing, not enough CPU rushing, etc)
    • find a good final set of sliders by the end of the season
    • keep the sliders for the remainder, with always the option to adjust things when they get out of whack.
    then I'd be all for that.

    I don't think I'd like arbitrarily cranking things up for the end of every season.
     
  3. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I don't want to hijack this thread, but I've been wanting to post some stuff and this looks like a good place to do it. If you want this in another thread, let me know. These are just some general things to think about/questions I have.

    I've seen a couple of you say that we need to make sure we get recruiting right from the very beginning. 1 of the changes made to '10 is that recruits in genreral are less talented as FR, but will progress more quickly. IE (with some made up numbers) in '09 you could have a QB that's rated like this:
    FR: 85
    SO: 89
    JR: 93
    SR: 97

    In '10, he might be more like this:
    FR: 76
    SO: 83
    JR: 90
    SR: 97
    Essentially what this does is it makes FR less likely to play and it requires us to wait for them to develop before they'll be ready to play. For us, what this means is that it'll take longer for us to see what impact good recruits will have. We might sim a couple of test seasons, set our recruiting rules, start the real dynasty and then find out in year 5 that all of our teams are completely stacked as our first FR become SRs.

    I also believe that FR will come in slower than in the past, but will increase speed faster than in '09. This could end up messing with your speed rules that you implemented last year. IE. we would end up recruiting the same speed as you did last year, but by the time they're SRs, they're all super fast.

    How did you guys rank for recruiting classes. I didn't put recruiting restrictions on myself other than not allowing myself to recruit more guys than would fit in my 70 man roster and not allowing myself to talk anyone into staying that wanted to leave. Other than that, I recruited as many 5*s and 4*s as I could. With your rules from last year, it looks like most users would only get 1 5*, which seems really low to me. Was anyone able to get a top recruiting class? Top 10 recruiting class? Also, how does the "5* for winning conference" rule work for the independent teams? How about the Big12 where there's only 1 user team? Also, how do those rules apply for the 1st year?
     
  4. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    The recruiting classes were still fairly good. I know in the OFFL East last season we had the #2 recruiting class. You'd be amazed how reasonable things turn out when there aren't 12 users taking every single 5-star out there.

    It's just 1 5-star for the first year. We may have to adjust recruiting bonuses now that we're not all in 3 conferences.

    I'm hoping that the reduction of speed range (meaning that a 95 SPD is not THAT much faster than 93 SPD) will reduced the importance of speed restrictions, or maybe even eliminate them all together. Hopefully a week or so of simming seasons and in-game time will give us a good idea.


    As for AG's idea of making the games harder as the season goes by, I'm not sure. I know the game already makes rivalry, championship and bowl games harder. I think that might be enough.
     
  5. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    I don't have any way to make this work, of course, but when I think about college football, it seems that strange stuff happens late in the year.

    I mean, when was the last time any of us was in any real danger of an upset? I know for sure that I'll never drop a game to Purdue - I know that before game one begins. But in real life, Purdue might steal one someday. I'd like to find a way to add pressure to the top teams each week (and we will likely all be top teams). We're going to get better, and that game that was a challenge in week one is not a challenge in week ten. Essentially, we have had ten weeks to progress, yet the CPU does not progress at all. We get better, they stay the same.

    I want to go into Illinois worried that I might get beat (for example) not just because of their rating, but because of the circumstances and the pressure behind those circumstances. Playing the Backyard Brawl in November should be harder than playing it in September (remember the Pitt upset of WVu a few years back = totally pressure and circumstances). The way it is now (though there is an uptick in difficulty for rivalry games) that game is easier to win than any other, since it comes so late, after we have progressed, but the CPU hasn't. That should be the toughest game every year, the one we sweat and worry about. That's what football is all about.

    Know what I mean?

    I have no way to make it work, of course. It just seems like how a season should go.

    AG
     
  6. JOEDESIGNS

    JOEDESIGNS Walk On

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    I'm not too sure about this. Playing all you monsters is hard enough already and it makes it even harder to come out of this league without a loss. I really don't like the idea of making the cpu harder as we go. I say let's adjust the sliders after week 1 and then go from there. If it's not broken, don't fix it.
     
  7. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Yeah. I guess that's 1 difference between OD and offline dynasty. It's only me grabbing 4-5+ 5*s instead of 12 people grabbing 4-5+ 5*s so the other CPU teams (USC, aOSU, FLA, etc) still bring in 3-4 5*s apiece.

    Also, with EA fixing the pursuit angles (which I think they purposely broke in '09 so we get have "wide open gameplay!") hopefully, that'll help a lot with containing speed in '10.
     
  8. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    I'm not saying we should. I'm just stating what we know:

    1. A user player will win the Heisman
    2. A user (probably 2) will always play for the National Championship
    3. A user will win every conference
    4. We will score 35+ pts a game, if not more
    5. We will never be upset by a lower rated team
    6. We can gamble on every play, because we know we can out-point the CPU = we can stat hunt without penalty.
    7. Unless it is a user game, we will never have a 14-7 game. We might have a 45-38 game (a shootout) but never a close struggle.
    8. We know that if a member doesn't knock off a top team, no one will.
    9. This is the important one - all of these things will eventually bore us

    It's that last one I want to fix. Who says OSU can't go 8-4 once in a while if I call a few bad games? Who says I shouldn't pay the price for blitzing on every down?

    Right now, there is no price, no real one at least. I think mistakes should lead to losses at some point. Right now, mistakes lead to maybe dropping a spot in the Team Defense category, under another user, or they turn 56-7 games into 56-14 games.

    Again, no idea how to do it, and I'm not even saying we should try. I just think we should acknowledge that right now, seasons get progressively easier rather than harder, and that's a problem. We develop as the season goes on. Why shouldn't our competition?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it ... fine with me. I'm not saying it's broke. I'm saying it's damaged, and it'll break in a season or two.

    AG
     
  9. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Wow. Are all of those really givens? If so, then either:
    • I suck at this game compared to you guys
    • I play which much harder sliders than you guys
    • You guys take more advantage of the CPU than I do

    I went back and looked through my old avid dynasty stuff. I only had through 2012 (5 seasons). As AG said, I got better and better, but I think that's because I recruited better and better players. Also, keep in mind that I don't limit the 5* and 4* recruits I can get so these last few seasons are when my team was rated in the high 90s. I just listed the games that either I lost, or were close. For my wins, you can see wins like 9-0, 23-20, 17-13, etc. There's even a 19-13 win in 2012 when I was playing with a team that was probably all 4* and 5* players that I recruited. Also, I played with 8 minute quarters while I believe you guys only use 7 minute quarters.

    2008 (8-5)
    2 Miami (OH) NR W 9-0
    3 @ Notre Dame NR L 20-10
    5 Wisconsin NR L 20-17
    6 Illinois NR W 23-20
    7 Toledo NR W 34-20
    8 @ Penn State NR L 20-10
    9 Michigan State NR W 21-14
    10 @ Purdue NR W 31-21
    12 Northwestern NR W 31-30
    17 #22 Mississippi State 23 L 24-21

    2009 (10-3)
    5 @ #7 Wisconsin 23 L 44-21
    6 Purdue 24 L 20-13
    9 Illinois NR W 20-13
    12 @ #2 Penn State 18 L 26-21
    13 #8 Ohio State 22 W 17-14

    2010 (12-1, but 4 of these wins were by a TD or less)
    3 @ #16 Notre Dame 12 L 52-35
    5 @ Illinois 18 W 38-31
    7 @ Purdue 21 W 16-9
    9 Michigan State 20 W 17-13
    13 @ #14 Ohio State 16 W 26-16
    15 @ #1 West Virginia 14 W 49-45

    2011 (10-3)
    3 #2 Notre Dame 3 W 35-26
    11 Minnesota 2 W 22-17
    12 @ Wisconsin 2 L 26-23
    13 #12 Ohio State 11 L 43-28
    17 #16 Florida 10 L 48-14

    2012 (12-1)
    3 @ #8 Notre Dame 12 L 35-31
    8 @ Purdue 13 W 24-21
    11 @ Minnesota 12 W 23-17
    13 @ #10 Ohio State 11 W 19-13
     
  10. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    Well, as you've said before AG, hopefully we can find a slider set that will make every evenly-matched game a true challenge, and losses will happen on their own.
     
  11. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Keepin' it 1hunnah.

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    I am still a fan of lets try some actual games of '10 before we decide on a slider strategy.

    I want the sliders to be tough, if I go 9-3 with Army I will be surprised. That said, speed was the dominate attribute in '09. Just with my time with the demo it doesn't seem like speed is overwhelming this year. I am having a hard time running the ball on Heisman in the demo.

    There are some seemingly minor changes that will have a big impact on our games. I think the new passing angles, improved pass rush, over/underthrows and WR/DB jostling will make the passing game more difficult. The running game seems to be tough (will have to test good vs bad lines).

    I hope to have the game the next Thursday or Friday, I will be able to spend some time simming recruiting.
     
  12. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    That's the hope. I mean, we're going to be adjusting for this stuff anyway as a part of the regular program. Stats go up = difficulty goes up. If one guy can put out 50 a game, all the guys get the difficulty upped.

    Adjustments have worked in the past. I just think we went too long between adjustments. Again, I'm looking for realism. I think OSU Michigan should be a dogfight every year, regardless of who's five points better. We don't have that kind of setup now. We all have a chance of losing to the very best CPU teams, but none of us could get shocked if we make five or six bad plays - which is enough in the real game. shaun's right that we need to play some games before making any changes - this is more of a philosophy check regarding how we want to play. Our adjustments last year really didn't stop us from running up the score. It helped, but what I liked best was watching Blitz play. He was able to win, but he was playing good games every week. Scores were reasonable, stats were reasonable, and the occasional loss happened. The occasional blowout happened as well.

    I'd like to create this kind of game experience across the board, and not just by upping the difficulty. I'm not looking to call for rule changes before we ever get the game. I just want to see how many of us think a duplicate of last year is what we really want.

    Example: Army should struggle to go 6-6. That's what it means to be Army. 9-3 (with those three coming from users) is not struggling. It's a spectacular season. So, talking about 9-3 AS struggling when playing as Army is kind of what I'm talking about. We seem to all have a number of wins in our pocket before the season begins.

    OSU should occasionally suffer a loss to CPU-controlled Iowa if I make stupid mistakes. FSU could and should lose to CPU-controlled Maryland if they don't play a sound game. Right now, these losses aren't happening, or aren't happening enough. I don't know how many times I've seen stats where teams have QB's with more INTs than TDs, (or close to it) yet the team is blowing everyone out. Those mistakes need to cost, if you ask me. Same thing with the teams giving up 30+ pts a game. Those defensive lapses should lead to losses, at least some of the time.

    Anyway, that's just what I think. I'm not looking to do anything about it. It's just what I see as a potential issue if we set things up like last year.

    AG
     
  13. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    Also, I would like it to be just as possible, if we make good decisions, to run the table and play for it all. I just don't want other users to be the only thing in the way.
     
  14. Geauxlden

    Geauxlden Walk On

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    Interesting discussion. I have to side with some of the other guys and say that I'm not in favor of turning up the difficulty as the season goes on. As Raz stated, the game already does this for rivalry, bowl, and championship games. I've sweated out narrow victories in many of those type game, and have even lost some of them.

    As others have said, sliders are the key. Before finding my way here, I played in some ODs where every game was a challenge using decent teams (Cal, Kansas) and were absolute mine fields using mid-major or low-level BCS teams like Houston and Washington. I've had seasons where I beat Texas and Texas Tech, but lost to SMU because of playing carelessly. But maybe I'm not as good as some of you guys.

    As far as the recruiting rules go, I really hope that the game plays (and recruits)well enough to where we can relax them some.
     
  15. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    If the demo is any indication, I'll be losing some CPU games this year for sure. I have yet to win on Heisman.
     
  16. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    Heisman looks tough in the demo. Last year, we started on AA and then moved to Heisman. I'm for a learning curve of sorts. How we start is a league-wide discussion, if you ask me. We'll go with what we can work with.

    I like what Geauxlden has to say. If we were able to reach that kind of balance, I'd be cool with it. But in the past, we have found a little balance, but after a few weeks, we have caught up to the changes and gone right back to winning big all the time. I don't necessarily think set times for increases is the kind of thing we want, but rather quick adjustments on the fly, before the stats get out of hand. We have yet to push the simulation to the point where more than one or two of us at a time has any difficulty. There are always going to be differences in skill level, so we'll never get it right, but we can get it a lot righter than we have in the past.

    Ask yourselves: How many times have you trailed a better team in the third quarter? How many times have you trailed a worse team at the half? How many times in a season do you punt? Go three and out? Have you ever had to make a decision based on field position? Our answers can tell us a lot, I think.

    If we're honest, I think we'll have to admit that we're seriously advantaged, even those of us who take lesser teams

    AG
     
  17. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I've already posted some of my losses/tight games above. Also, my punters have won a number of punter of the year awards. :) For me, it's not a question of "how many times per season do I punt" but a question of "how many times per game do I punt." From the sound of things, it just sounds like you guys are probably a lot more skilled than I am.

    All this talk has really gotten me wondering if I'm just that bad or if (hopefully) I just play on tougher sliders than you did. If your sliders are tougher than mine and the game is still way too easy, then it could be some long seasons for my poor wolverines.

    Could someone post the sliders you guys used? I'd really like to see that for comparison.

    Here are mine:
    Heisman
    Injuries/fatigue ON
    8 min quarters
    Home field advantage ON
    Ice the kicker/quiz the quarterback OFF (QB off so my guys always take a composure hit when they thrown an INT)

    USER/CPU
    OFFENSE:
    QB accuracy - 40/25
    Pass block - 0/0
    WR catch - 20/15
    RB ability - 35/60
    Run block - 25/80

    DEFENSE:
    Awareness - 50/50
    KDs - 90/90
    INTs - 0/0
    Break block - 95/95
    tackling - 20/30

    SPECIAL TEAMS:
    FG power - 5/0
    FG accuracy - 20/25
    Punt power - 45/45
    Punt accuracy - 50/65
    KO power - 50/60
     
  18. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Keepin' it 1hunnah.

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    Reading my comment again, I didn't mean I should win 9 games.

    I meant the same thing you do...if Army goes 9-3 something is wrong.

    Sorry for being obtuse.
     
  19. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Keepin' it 1hunnah.

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    I am a fan of the way the demo plays. An even up matchup is pretty tough.

    If the demo was Florida-Duke, I would expect Florida to kill Duke, virtually every time, even if Duke is a human.

    I WANT teams to have a rough time. I WANT someone to feel serious accomplishment if they win their conference. I WANT a good recruit to be a difference maker instead of a given at every position.
     
  20. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I think this is entirely subjective. I think that getting a great recruit should be an accomplishment for Army and to a lesser extent, Colorado. But for teams like Florida, aOSU, Michigan, LSU, etc, they should be bringing in great recruits. I would argue that if (because of the recruiting restrictions) Florida and Army have comparable recruiting classes year in, and year out (and honestly, in any given year) then I would see that as a problem.
     
  21. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    I think these are close to ours. Yours might be tougher. We lose the occasional CPU game, and have even had a major upset at one point. The boys are good, but new guys have fit just fine in the past. I wouldn't worry about keeping up. Hook up with a couple guys for some online '09 - I bet you'll keep up. We're not that good.

    I think '10 will be tougher, and many issues will be taken care of as a result. What I want to get into with after the release is recruiting. EA is notoriously unbalanced, but I want us to have as much freedom as possible to recruit how we like. I think we need to develop a new system.
     
  22. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Keepin' it 1hunnah.

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    Good is subjective.:)

    A 85 overall QB would probably never select Army...but Florida, sure.

    But a 80 overall QB at Army would be a game changer.
     
  23. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Here's a pseudo off topic question.

    In NCAA '10, as you all probably know, they have dynasty accelarators. These allow you to use real world money to make your recruiting easier (ie. buying pipeline states or moving you team up on the "toughest places to play" list and some other BS).

    Firstly, I'm assuming that these will be outlawed for our dynasty (at least I'm hoping they will be). Secondly, there's a patch that'll come out that gives ODs a switch that'll turn off these accelorators, but that will likely not come out until we've already started our OD.

    Is it safe to assume that the guys in this OD are mature enough/honest enough/what have you to not have to worry about waiting for the patch and that we can trust each other not to use them (assuming of course that they will in fact be outlawed from our dynasty).

    Some info can be found here:
    http://www.traditionfootball.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2355
    and there's threads on this over at operationsports.
     
  24. Geauxlden

    Geauxlden Walk On

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    Here are the sliders that we used in one of the ODs that I described in my earlier post:
    Human listed first, CPU second
    QBA 35/35 <---Nightmare for average QBs.
    PBlock 10/0
    Catch 10/10
    RBA 35/40 <--- Not really a big fan of it being this low, RBs feel like they are in running in quicksand.
    RBlock 40/60

    AWR 40/85
    Kdown 65/75
    Int 0/0 <--- Of course there were still ints to be had on both sides.
    BreakBlk 40/65
    Tckl 40/40
     
  25. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    Tough one. We will of course turn the accelerators off when that option becomes avaliable (here's hoping it happens before we begin). Until that becomes avaliable, we have about the most trustworthy group you can get considering none of us actually know each other.
     

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