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rainsilent

Why do you play this game? (aka A tale of two seasons)

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Ok, I admit the title is click bait. At the same time, I want to encourage that kind of thinking from you. You don't have to answer it here as it is more rhetorical. Now to what I was am making this post about.

 

My two teams just finished their respective seasons. My CHL team in Buzzer finished 1st in the conference and will be promoting to the BHL. My Cage team in the GHL made it to the conference finals in spectacular fashion winning 4 games in a shootout in the process on a playoff run that lasted way longer than it really should have. The absurdity of the team winning one, let alone four, shootout is ridiculous when you look at my team's record for winning shootouts. This team, statistically, wins around 1/3rd of all games that go to a shootout so to win four is just amazing.

 

That said the two teams couldn't have been any more different relative. The team in Buzzer I am building from within as I climb the leagues. This meant that this prior offseason I had quite a bit of cap space thanks to using a number of players on entry-level deals. I had decided to use the cap space to get the best overall players I could. What resulted was a team that dominated to the tune of a 66-2-3-9 record. It is the first time I have broken 200 points with a team. However, it was the most boring season I can recall ever experiencing. Genuinely. I didn't care to see the result of each game because most were blowouts. There wasn't anything to really learn either. Signing the best players, especially the last 3, was honestly a mistake. Sure my team won and is moving up to the next league but the prior seasons were more fun where my team was fighting it out with the other teams.

 

The Cage team spent most of the season jumping anywhere from 3rd to 8th in the standings with the position changing pretty much every other day. It was amazing and I was very interested in finding out the result of each and every game. With about 20 games to go in the season, the champs from last season were only about 12 points behind me with my team in 8th place. To boot, around that time I lost a 1st line defender and 2nd line winger to injury. I also shuffled my lines about throughout the season trying to balance the play of my forward group as my first line was carrying my team early on during the season. I then made some tactical changes going into the playoffs. I don't know how much of a difference those changes made as I had to play through the first two rounds of the playoffs without those two players. Overall though, the season was quite entertaining for me. This team was the 21st ranked team in the GHL talent-wise and I managed to get it to finish 10th overall.

 

This contrasting feeling I got from my two very different seasons made me ponder about the question I put as the title. Why do you play? What makes this game fun and has you coming back for more? Again rhetorical but I thought that I would give my own view. For me, it is the fun of competition and the ever-going challenge of team building. Without the competition though the game just turns into a boring waiting game for the next offseason where you make the most changes to your team. I don't ever want to have a season as I did with the Buzzer team again for that reason. Be careful to avoid focusing too much on winning to the point where the game stops being fun.


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Good points all around. Dominating is fun and crushing your opponent 8-0 is fun, but if that continues throughout the entire season instead of being a single occasion it does get very boring. Tight struggles makes the game interesting. I had promotion series tied 2-2 and the last game ended in a shootout loss. The disappointment was overwhelming at first, but it's part of the game. I took a couple of days off just to breathe a little, but now preparing for the next season is ongoing as usual.


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I agree with the premise here - especially the last section.  For me, it's exactly the same... Competition (which includes manager engagement) and Team Building (which includes both roster and tactics/focus/strategy).

 

When the new game worlds were released and shortly after, I debated moving to the Normal world (2 games/day) - after having only played in a Slow world, because that might be more my speed.  The main reason I didn't is because of the competition.  And I'm talking REAL competition.  I wanted to avoid two things.  First, worlds that were largely filled with computer controlled teams.  Second, the few manager teams that were stacked due to ripping off the computer teams via trade (at least that's what we hear about in the forums).  Don't get me wrong, I love that there are a few great teams every season that you can circle on your schedule, but I'd rather those team be built somewhat fairly.  I also wanted a world where managers would communicate regularly.  Not every single day, but it's somewhat lame and downright boring when some go an entire season without posting anything.  I love seeing other managers post stuff on the forums or in chat even if I'm too busy to join in.

 

When it comes to team building, I like the strategic aspect of trying to build the best team possible, but also agree with rainsilent that if my team was "too good" it would take some of the fun out of it.  The same goes for having a team that is horrible.  In the old world, I took over a team about to be relegated from BHL to IHL, just in time to win the playoff series and stay in BHL.  I was in BHL for 4 seasons, then SHL for another 4, before promoting to GHL right before the reset.  My favorite seasons were the first couple in both BHL and SHL when the team was good enough to compete for the playoffs, but not good enough to promote.  I really enjoyed the effort it took in building those teams.  Subsequently, my least favorite seasons were the last two.  The season I promoted from SHL to GHL, because my team was just too dominant... then my first season in GHL, because all the good players were taken and my team was just so bad.  It's one of those things that I really don't enjoy being the #1 team, yet I'd be upset if I missed the playoffs.  Somewhere toward the high-middle is preferred.

 

I've experimented with a lot of things in this game.  For example, I've used almost every offensive and defensive tactic.  I am currently using the tactics that I find the most exciting and not the ones I think are most productive.  I try to build my team with players who will not only perform well, but players who are intriguing in both ratings and traits.  I collect little tid bits from games here and there and get attached to certain players (i.e. if my team is down a goal in the 3rd and a player wins a fight and sparks a comeback I'll never forget it).

 

The most excited I get is around draft time and free agency.  I've been known to trade really good players early in seasons for draft picks.  Probably not the best strategy, but I can't help it.  Wendel made a comment to me one time in that I am never really playing in the current, I am always playing for the future and there's some truth to that.  I really love scouting the draft - that's where most of my hours go.  I also love the thrill of acquiring players in free agency by outbidding other teams.  Again, probably not the BEST strategy as you can just dupe another manager into trading you a similar player with much less salary, but I just can't help it.  To me there's something about getting the players myself.  No knock on trades, I enjoy trading and getting a new player here and there and retooling the lineup, but draft and free agency is just more exciting to me.

 

If I ever get bored with it all, I told myself I would attempt to relegate, promote and rebuild.


*BISCUIT - SEASON 16 - TARNISHED SILVER BISCUIT PLATE CHAMPION*

 

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Ok, where to start :)

 

What I like is team building, trading and all that silly season stuff. I find regular season somewhat dull, despite the position on the table, due to lack of micromanagment. My lines are set, team is playing more or less good but we just don't have the tools to see precisely what happens if you change players frole from twoway to sniper, for instance. We need way more stats, explanations etc. Also, we need in-game forums and chat, so people can be more active.

 

That being said, that is main reason I created an Attack team, somewhere in the middle of my Cage season, since it became boring to me. I took an SHL team with young 89 rated goalie that used to be 1st round 1st pick and guided the team in the GHL. I built somewhat decent team from free agents and right now I am battling relegation. Due to some shady moves there and lack of propper competition, I find the GHL Attack somewhat broken and I am losing intrest with that team, which I will likely resign at the end of the season. 

 

When speaking about Cage, that is whole another deal. I would call it most active and most managers there do want to keep the game fair and balanced (aside from a person or two, but heh...). Computer logic about trading and signing players is somewhat broken, so it leaves to players not to take advantage of that. Anyways, I really like my Cage team and am currently enjoying nice playoff run. I spent these first 2 years to build a youngish core of star players (Breton, McGraw, Hanninen, Ranta, Arnesen) and I plan to build the team around them in next few seasons. The plan was also to have around 15ish millions cap space for older players on a 1 year contracts, to try to get a result while building the team. Speaking about season, it was somewhat intresting and as Cage is somewhat active I feel that we have some rivalries building up.

 

Losing my thoughts now and rambling, so will stop typing :D


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I just had my ass handed to me in 5-0 loss, followed by a tight 5-4 win. This all happened after a miraculous winning streak that almost wiped the misery of season's beginning away, and now I find myself nervous about every game, fighting very hard not to do major changes because it could potentially screw things up more than fix anything. In the middle of all this turmoil, I have to admit it's exactly what I'm looking for.


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My team is topping the table at the moment. Rackley trade got me the balance I needed and since then I am 15-0-0-3.

What makes is intresting today is a derby match with a nemesis Red Tide. Chance to take 8 points lead, or making things intresting in case of a loss.

What bugs me now is winner instinct that dropped down to blue for some reason. If anyone know the formula, please let me know. I have heroes, I have ambitious players, etc, how did that happen?


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On 11/18/2019 at 1:45 AM, Peekaboo said:

What bugs me now is winner instinct that dropped down to blue for some reason. If anyone know the formula, please let me know. I have heroes, I have ambitious players, etc, how did that happen?

Noticed this as well - can an admin weigh in on this? Had plenty of times when Heroic winner instinct slowly decreased to blue over the course of ~ 10 games after staying constant the entire season with minimal roster changes.

Game performance, perhaps?

P.S. Good game, Peekaboo - 2-0 in my favour this season so far, but I expect we will be trading blows until the end.


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My backup G has been utter trash - ratings of 48 and 56 in his last two games, got pulled in both, not allowing my starter to rest. Would be great to have an option to prevent pulling the goalie for that reason. 

My personal opinion is GPHM is too "ride or die" on goaltenders. I've lost many games in Cage and Buzzer where the G plays like trash even when the team is dominant and sinks the entire team with no way of coming back. It happens way too often to be realistic. 

Either way, good win - well deserved.


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37 minutes ago, AlexanderRasputin said:

My personal opinion is GPHM is too "ride or die" on goaltenders. I've lost many games in Cage and Buzzer where the G plays like trash even when the team is dominant and sinks the entire team with no way of coming back. It happens way too often to be realistic.

 

My thought on that goes to goalie confidence. If you don't get their confidence up quickly in the season they are going to struggle for what will likely be most of it. This acts as a bit of a catch 22 though as you want to get your starter up as fast as possible which means that your backup isn't playing much and then they don't gain any confidence which means that they aren't going to be very good which makes it more difficult to gain confidence. Thus I wonder if the solution isn't to have a 3 goalie system where your backup and the starter for the minor team can both be sent down so they can alternate who the backup is on the major team while the other starts in the minors to get confidence. Especially in a case like yours where you are trying to save as much money on the backup as possible. While last season's stats for your backup was an unusual career year for him he has gone the exact opposite this season and it really doesn't help. The best I can say is be very careful who you play him against. Is it realistic? To some degree, yes. Look at Toronto's backup situation. That is more or less where you are right now. Is it possibly over done? Again, yes. It is hard to say for sure though.

 

For the record I think a normal season for your backup should look something like 2.6-2.9GAA and a save percentage of 900-915. Anything outside of that is either pretty good or pretty bad.


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I buy the confidence aspect in theory, but not in practice. Case in point: on my SHL Buzzer team this season, my starter absolutely blitzed through the first half, excellent performances, and "Perfect" confidence very quickly. Second half, for about 20 games, he routinely (every 2-3 games) dropped decisions with a goalie rating of 60 and below, for no apparent reason - to the point where my backup took the starting role. No change in team composition, chemistry, etc, no change in tactics - just terrible G performances with no reasonable explanation. And this is an 85 overall player - high for SHL, on a great team (I was in 1st by 10 points in my conference before his descent into madness and mediocrity). I've seen this plenty of times in other seasons and other teams as well. Could be hidden stats, hard to say. 

The backup scenario also has validity, but I will counter with this - Toronto right now is a bad team. No matter who they have in net, they will concede goals. Look at the Avalanche for a counter-argument that's closer to my situation: two AHL goalies backstopping a good team, and they went 2-1 with a shutout. That's more like it. So it's hard to say, but performing so poorly behind a strong team is hard to justify as realistic. 

Completely agree with a 3-goalie rotation system though - that is absolutely the way to go. Same with your evaluation of GAA and SV%, looks good to me.


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14 hours ago, AlexanderRasputin said:

I buy the confidence aspect in theory, but not in practice. Case in point: on my SHL Buzzer team this season, my starter absolutely blitzed through the first half, excellent performances, and "Perfect" confidence very quickly. Second half, for about 20 games, he routinely (every 2-3 games) dropped decisions with a goalie rating of 60 and below, for no apparent reason - to the point where my backup took the starting role. No change in team composition, chemistry, etc, no change in tactics - just terrible G performances with no reasonable explanation. And this is an 85 overall player - high for SHL, on a great team (I was in 1st by 10 points in my conference before his descent into madness and mediocrity). I've seen this plenty of times in other seasons and other teams as well. Could be hidden stats, hard to say. 

The backup scenario also has validity, but I will counter with this - Toronto right now is a bad team. No matter who they have in net, they will concede goals. Look at the Avalanche for a counter-argument that's closer to my situation: two AHL goalies backstopping a good team, and they went 2-1 with a shutout. That's more like it. So it's hard to say, but performing so poorly behind a strong team is hard to justify as realistic. 

Completely agree with a 3-goalie rotation system though - that is absolutely the way to go. Same with your evaluation of GAA and SV%, looks good to me.

 

Grubauer is a very good NHL starter. Francouz is still a bit of an unknown commodity to me. Either way the scenario of a good starter backed by an unknown or good lower league starter works. Toronto is an example of what I occasionally refer to as the all star enigma because they have a lot of talent but they are under performing.

 

As for the example you gave I can't look back and analyze it to see what might have been the case.


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3 hours ago, rainsilent said:

 

Grubauer is a very good NHL starter. Francouz is still a bit of an unknown commodity to me. Either way the scenario of a good starter backed by an unknown or good lower league starter works. Toronto is an example of what I occasionally refer to as the all star enigma because they have a lot of talent but they are under performing.

 

As for the example you gave I can't look back and analyze it to see what might have been the case.

I don't say "AHL goalies" as derogatory - I literally mean AHL goalies Werner and Bibeau, who played while Grubauer and Francouz were both injured last week, and performed well. 

My own backup decided to prove me wrong and get a shutout today so...difficult to say, difficult to say. Just something that has annoyed me consistently, but perhaps not a major issue.


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I forgot that they were both out for a week. Sorry about that. Both of the AHL goalies did struggle though outside of Werner's shutout.

 

I think it is confidence for your backup with a follow up like that. Also give one to your coach for getting on him about that bad game and him for bouncing back. Games like that really are frustrating.


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This is a great topic and something I have been contemplating lately after having been around this game for coming up on five years now!  Lately, I've actually been almost forgetting about my team.  I don't think it is because I have other distractions, I think I've just lost some of the thrill.  

What I liked a lot about Biscuit is that it was a small, tight community between all the GHL and SHL managers.  I still feel the current system has too many teams to really communicate with more than half regularly.  Its still more or less the same 10 of us from Biscuit that talk in Cage.  I like the discussion, open analysis, and joking around.  Most of that is gone now.  I also feel like the reboot isn't really any better than it was before (slight improvements) and I admit I've struggled as a manager a lot more in Cage than Biscuit.  Part of me wants to do the rebuild at a lower level and just enjoy the game without the threat of demotion which generally erases most of all the effort you put into that season or even seasons before.  

I really enjoy the experimentation and knowing that even when you find something that works, you will have to fiddle with it throughout the season.  I do feel like there is a bit of a magic formula that takes away from the game (how many teams use control the puck, for instance?!?!?), but like Paul, I've used and tried almost every offense and defense combo over the years and enjoy making a team into a style. 

Winning is fun, losing is not, but if you have a fun community, it's fun to laugh about getting spanked 7-1, haha.  


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1 hour ago, Steve said:

how many teams use control the puck, for instance?!?!?

In fairness if majority of the league uses puck possession then wouldn't adopting the spread tactic and assembling a roster of fast and physical players be a competitive advantage that is readily available?


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15 hours ago, Wick Schozen said:

In fairness if majority of the league uses puck possession then wouldn't adopting the spread tactic and assembling a roster of fast and physical players be a competitive advantage that is readily available?

In theory.  I think some have tried and even managed to be somewhat successful with this, but like a lot of things in the game, the theory doesn't always play out.  I think some tactics (offense, defense, and even focus) inherently are "better" in the game engine and lead to better results even if other tactics are countered accordingly.  Obviously, this is all anecdotal based on my experiences and possibly completely false, but if you look at the teams (not managers) that win over the past years (not just seasons), there is definitely a pattern for those that do well over many seasons.  


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19 hours ago, Wick Schozen said:

In fairness if majority of the league uses puck possession then wouldn't adopting the spread tactic and assembling a roster of fast and physical players be a competitive advantage that is readily available?

 

While the answer here is a tactical yes you still have to put the team together properly. That said it is easier to find players that fit the puck possession tactic than it is the spread tactic. To boot with puck possession you can use forwards that don't fit the tactic as a 3rd wheel to a line and they can still do well. Puck possession is one of the two most friendly offensive tactics because it also happens to be the least demanding of what is required to make it work. The other is crash the net but that is less forgiving of players that don't fit that tactic.

 

Finally having the tactic superiority in a game will not guarantee a win. I've won games where my team was all red tactically against the other team yet my team still won rather handily. Granted the opposing teams goalie didn't play well and we have little control over that  but my team controlled the game none the less. You can do everything right and still lose and you can do everything wrong and still win. The more right you do the more likely you are to win. Ultimately though it comes down to the players of your team. Are they skilled enough to be competitive in the league you are in? Do they have the skills to fit into your system? Are you optimizing your lines to maximize what your players can offer to you? If all three are a yes then you hope that your players play well enough to win more than you lose.


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Getting back to "Why do you play this game?"...

This morning I got a notification that one of my affiliate players had improved.  A player that I signed back on Day 7, immediately stuck in my affiliate, and forgot about.  He's 27 years old and his overall rating went from 80 to 81.  Big deal.  His improvement caused me to take a longer look at him.  I found out that he leads my affiliate in scoring 64 points in 51 games with a +27, 77 performance rating and 120 hits (love when players hit).  He also Skates like the wind, has a hell of a Shot, and is Heroic.

While his complete set of attributes might not warrant a spot in the big league lineup, I'm going to give him a chance.  For the next 3-5 games, he has earned a spot on my 3rd line.  As I check my game results over the next few days, this players performance will interest me the most.  It's little things like this that keep me interested in the game.  Taking a very small in game event and creating your own storyline.


*BISCUIT - SEASON 16 - TARNISHED SILVER BISCUIT PLATE CHAMPION*

 

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Sometimes those player just surprise. They're never going to be stars of the team, but when the skill set compliments a given role and tactic, they can do very well in that. Remember to give an update on how he managed those few games. :)


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On 12/3/2019 at 10:41 AM, Deadwing said:

Sometimes those player just surprise. They're never going to be stars of the team, but when the skill set compliments a given role and tactic, they can do very well in that. Remember to give an update on how he managed those few games. :)

The guy is actually playing pretty well.  3 games in, 1 G, 1 A, even rating, 5 shots, 2 hits, 75 performance.  I'm going to give him 2-3 more games.  He scored a nice goal today to put the Stealheads up 3-1.  Unfortunately, I also started my 19 year old, 79 overall goalie and ended up losing 4-3.


*BISCUIT - SEASON 16 - TARNISHED SILVER BISCUIT PLATE CHAMPION*

 

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2 hours ago, Paul T said:

The guy is actually playing pretty well.  3 games in, 1 G, 1 A, even rating, 5 shots, 2 hits, 75 performance.  I'm going to give him 2-3 more games.  He scored a nice goal today to put the Stealheads up 3-1.  Unfortunately, I also started my 19 year old, 79 overall goalie and ended up losing 4-3.

That is not bad at all. 👍


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