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A Hattrick where every match matters

2014-04-18 10:13:00

We want to build a Hattrick where competing and winning matters more to the long-term success of your team. We also want to make more matches matter more, simply because it is more fun that way. Here is a look at what changes we are working on in the coming few months - and what we hope to achieve with them.

It's the start of a new season, and the new Staff system - one of our largest changes to Hattrick in a long time - has finally been launched. We know it's still early days and surely a lot of work remains before we can say that we have a Staff system that is exactly the way we want it to be - but this is still a very good place for us to be. There are new things in the game that we think will be interesting for managers to adapt to and at the same time lead to a more fun game overall. And we, as developers, also get to finally raise our heads up after months of coding and testing and define new projects and goals for the game.

If we could choose one thing that characterizes the way we think about Hattrick now - after the game returned to us last year - then it is a very strong desire to look at the needs and possibilities of the core game and to ask ourselves what we can do to satisfy or fulfill them. Too often in the past we've steered away from tough decisions about the game, perhaps building systems on top of the core game instead of making needed changes inside it. Not any more. What we have set our sights on this season is to start reinventing the very core of the competition system in Hattrick, starting with the league.

We want to make every match matter, for as many managers as possible. We want to make the actual competition in Hattrick more thrilling and meaningful for as many teams as possible.

The first change that we can reveal right away is that we will completely revamp the promotion system in the lower divisions. In addition to the direct promotion and relegation slots, we will introduce qualifiers for a lot more teams in lower divisions (League Level 6 and below). This change is designed to make more matches matter, for a longer period during the season - and to make it easier for ambitious teams to rise faster in the league system. The new promotion dividers can already be seen in your league tables, but here are the details:

In Level 5 and above: Everything stays the same.
In Level 6: Teams in 5th and 6th place will now play relegation qualifiers.
In Level 7: Teams in 3rd and 4th place will now play promotion qualifiers, teams in 5th and 6th place will play relegation qualifiers.
In Level 8: The team in 2nd place will play a promotion qualifier. The teams in 5th and 6th place will play relegation qualifiers.
Level 9 -> Same rules as in in Level 7.
Level 10 -> Same rules as in Level 8.

And so on.

As before, since bots are removed at the end of the season, additional promotion slots may open up. We will scrap the old system where you manually need to keep track of whether you may get promoted despite being in third place. Instead, we will draw a number of "Lucky Losers" from the teams that lost qualification games to get promoted. The Lucky Loser draw will take place the Monday after the qualifiers and it will not be possible to opt out of this draw - the fans, players, and sponsors just wouldn't accept such a decision.

Another change that we can announce is that with all these new qualifiers being played at the end of the season, we will also open up the possibility for everyone else to play friendlies during weeks 15 & 16. So there will no longer be a training optimization advantage for teams that play qualifiers. Finally!

Furthermore, the prize money for both cup and league will be increased. Our intention is that it should always pay better to play in a higher league, and this should be reflected in the prize money as well of course. We will provide more details about the new prize money later this season.

Beside promotions and prize money, we are working on ways to improve the way leagues are formed and populated. Already this season break, we have extended the number of teams that have the chance to manually change series in the season break - away from boring bots to a series with old friends, for example. Last season more than 7000 teams in Hattrick took this chance to make their game experience more fun, and we want to see more of that. It's now possible in the lowest three divisions in any country. We are looking at more ways to make social connections an organizing principle for the lower divisions, where we think it is much more valuable for users to have other active teams around. For the higher division teams everything will stay as today, with no options for teams to swap series.

So, please look forward to an interesting season ahead for Hattrick. We certainly are!

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