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New Season: Staff & Economy changes

2015-10-25 13:12:00

At the start of this new season we will introduce the Tactical Assistant, a new staff type that will increase the tactical options for your team. This already announced update will be combined with a partial redesign of the staff system itself, including the introduction of staff contracts that varies in length and cost. The main goal of the staff redesign has been to improve the economy of the clubs in Hattrick, which has proved quite necessary, while at the same time fixing some concrete problems with the existing staff system.

As we have monitored and analyzed the in-game economy of Hattrick in the past months, we’ve seen two worrying trends. One have been that the costs of teams have increased beyond what their incomes can support, something that can in large part be explained by overspending on staff members. Secondly, we also see a weak transfer market, caused in part by an “inflation” of skilled players put up for sale.

As we prepared to introduce the new Tactical Assistant, we decided this would be a good time to also address some of those economic issues while at the same fixing a few problems that have been around with the new staff system since the start.

Removal of the Spokesperson

The first step is that we are removing the Spokesperson staff member altogether. This is a staff type that basically exchanges money for more money, and as such he does not offer any interesting choices for the manager. If you have a Spokesperson and don’t want to lose the effect, don’t worry: All teams will now have a bonus comparable to having a Level 5 Spokesperson automatically applied to their teams. This will happen immediately at the start of the season.

New contract system for all Staff

During this season, we will also move over to a new system for hiring and firing Staff members. The system will go live in week 8, but it will be possible to view and prepare your choices ahead of week 8, starting immediately.

In the new system, when you hire a staff member you also commit to a certain contract length, from 1 to 16 weeks. A contract of 8 weeks will cost the same as today per Staff level. Shorter contracts will come with a higher salary per week, while longer contracts come with a discount. It will be possible to break contracts ahead of time, but then you have to pay a severance cost amounting to 25% of the remaining contract cost. It will also be possible to set contracts for auto-renewal, for those staffers you know you want to keep for a long time.

The contracts will provide a strategic choice not only on who to hire, but on how long to hire them for. The expensive shorter term contracts will prevent some undue benefits that can come from micro-managing staff contracts week by week. Changing staff every week will still be possible to do, but it will be much more expensive.

Addition of the Tactical Assistant

The Tactical Assistant (TA) will be available to hire from the start of the new season. He will have the following effects:

Extra sub/orders (1 per level)
Instead of the maximum five custom orders per game (that can be used for substitutions, changed player behavior or position swaps) you can now get one extra order per level of your Tactical Assistant, up to a maximum of 10 orders with a level 5 tactical assistant. Of course, having a TA does not change the fact that you may only make 3 substitutions per game.

Style of play
This allows you to change the style of play for the match. This variable was previously only decided by the type of coach you have (offensive, defensive or neutral). The new style of play ranges between 100% defensive (current defensive coach) and 100% offensive (current offensive coach) with neutral being the middle point. You'll be able to set this for each match in the match order interface where you'll get 20% percentage point flexibility per level of your tactical assistant from your coach's style of play. For example, if you have a defensive coach, and also a level 5 tactical assistant, you now have an available range of Style of Play that spans from 100 % Defensive to Neutral. If you have a neutral coach along with a level 5 tactical assistant your available range will span from Neutral half way to both Defensive (50%) and Offensive (50%).

You need to have your Tactical Assistant on the payroll at the time of the match. In case you have placed match orders with a TA, then fired him or have had the contract end without renewing it, the match will be simulated without the extra sub/orders and using the default Style of play that is default to your current coach.

Restriction on Financial Directors

Surprisingly, quite a few teams that have no need for Financial Directors have still been employing them. This has been a big drag on the economy especially of lower level teams. For this reason we will now restrict the ability of hiring a Financial Director to teams that either have money in their Board Reserves or that have at least 15 million dollars ($15,000,000) in cash. If you have a Financial Director on staff, and don’t meet these criteria, you will not be able to renew it when the new contract system kicks in on Week 8 of the new season.

Removal of the third Assistant Coach and the 5th Staff slot

The final thing that will happen on Week 8 is that we will remove the option to have three Assistant Coaches. At the same time, we slightly increase the training speed of the remaining two to 3.5% instead of 3.2% per level.

As a consequence of this, and also of the removal of the Spokesperson from the Staff options, we will also reduce the number of slots available for staff members from 5 to 4. That means from Week 8, you may only have 4 staff members working for you.

Transition to the new system

In week 8, the existing contract system will end and all staff members need to have new contracts signed in the new system. Any staff member you have not given a new contract will leave.

To make the transition to the new system as smooth as possible, we are making the new interface visible already at the start of the new season. You will be able to decide ahead of time what staff members and what contract lengths you will want when week 8 comes around, and you will be able to see what costs they will incur once the system is live. Until week 8, you can make as many changes to those decisions as you wish - it won’t affect your team until then. But use the time well so you don’t run the risk of losing a staff member that you want to keep in the club.

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