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Let's Shake Things Up: In Which I Once Again Go Full Gustav on an Article


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And I'm BETTER THAN EVER, thank you very much!

 

My decision to recreate here came as a spur-of-the-moment thing when other leagues started to come up in the VHL Discord server (join the VHL! You'll love it! Now through the end of next month, enjoy 30% more Gustav ABSOLUTELY FREE!). Conversations drift as they tend to do, and people complained about the EFL's sim engine (as I'm sure you're well aware people also tend to do, and you probably have yourself). Now, I by no means left the last time because of the EFL's sim engine--rather, I was just burning myself out in leagues in general between maintaining full commitments to the VHL, EFL, and PBE, the latter two of which I decided to leave after I took a week off from them over a vacation and found myself not missing it much. That said, I enjoyed the EFL's community while I was here and I hope to continue to do the same now that I'm here again.

 

Anyway, back to the EFL's sim engine. I shouldn't have to explain to anyone, no matter how new, that speed is THE attribute in the EFL. Upgrade speed, and you upgrade your player. It doesn't really matter who you are; that's going to help you out quite a bit. Case in point, this meme of mine which won the EFL's meme contest last year:

 

Spoiler

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These sorts of problems aren't unique to the EFL, though. Semi-recently, the VHL dealt with a build problem that led to its TPE system being completely reworked. In short, teams full of players who upgraded Scoring as high as possible, without touching Passing, were able to perform much better than they should ever be expected to perform based on their TPE levels (you can read this article for a more complete breakdown of the situation). The level of offense displayed in VHL sims became too much to bear, and eventually a new system was introduced which used newly-defined attributes to force builds to become more spread-out

 

See where I'm going with this?

 

If you don't, imagine a world where the EFL did just that. No, you can't just pump Speed to 99 (or wherever the cap is placed for your build) mindlessly. You know that you want a high Speed rating, and you know how to achieve that, but you also know it's going to cost a lot of TPE to get to that point and you're going to have to make informed decisions based on what costs what and which things you see as most important. An added benefit to this is that, if done right, truly maxing something out could become very difficult if not impossible--imagine being able to pursue a player because they're the league's fastest, not because they're one of many with Speed as high as is physically possible. 

 

The VHL's system mainly works to diminish the effects of the Scoring-Passing meta, which means that we can't use exactly the same thinking when coming up with a system that only works to counter the effects of one attribute. So, I'll throw in a preliminary proposal before I start breaking down what a VHL-like system would look like in the EFL. 

 

 

The "keep it simple, stupid" easy way out:

Just make Speed harder to upgrade. The update scale as it currently stands treats all attributes as equal, which I understand from a "players should have the freedom to build the way they want" standpoint. That said, the simple matter at hand is that every player will be told to upgrade Speed as much as possible, and whatever so-called "freedom" exists otherwise is completely erased by the fact that no one will do anything else unless they actively want to hurt their player's progress. 

 

The way I'd like to see this done is somewhat similar to a progressive tax system, which most countries (including, chances are, your own) use in some way. Lower incomes are taxed at lower rates, higher incomes at higher rates--and that's already how the update scale works, with points up to a certain level being available for less TPE per point than points above that certain level. I'm saying that it might be a good idea to crank that up to an extreme for Speed--perhaps make the journey to 85 or so more or less the same, but make upgrades to Speed above that point way more expensive than they are now. This would allow for most consistent earners to reach a semi-respectable level normally (taking away the "think of the lower earners" argument that seems to be a big thing for harsher update scale proposals) while also unlocking a higher tier for very good earners that's accessible for a price. Yes, someone might manage to crank Speed all the way up--but in doing so, they're going to expose themselves to one hell of a depreciation hit when the time comes.

 

 

Now that that's over with, how can the EFL benefit from what's come to be known in the VHL as "hybrid attributes"?

 

 

The VHL's system is explained in detail (with a little bit of a shameless plug, because why not) in this post. The attributes taken in and used by the sim engine are exactly the same, as the sim engine is still the same, but they can no longer be directly upgraded. Instead, new attributes--hybrid attributes--are what's seen by the user and upgraded with TPE. For example, a user might be able to upgrade Offensive Vision, which translates to 0.3 points into Passing and 0.3 points into Scoring for each point into OV. 10 TPE into OV, with nothing else, means that both PA and SC are at 43 (with the effectiveness of the hybrid system coming into play when you consider that upgrading OV is the best way to upgrade SC but forces PA to move up with it).

 

That said, what we have to deal with in the EFL is one particularly problematic attribute rather than an unfortunate combination of two. So, having a hybrid system doesn't work the same way. The way I've chosen to deal with this is to separate attributes into two different categories, those being "the ones that help with Speed" and "the ones that don't".

 

This system would be more complicated than the VHL system because there is much more variation by position. That said, though, there's much more room to play around with it and make certain positions' attributes reflect what they should be in real life. For example, let's walk through what we'd do to hybridize a running back's build.

 

  • Step 1: Identify important attributes. A running back does not have to throw or kick, so we completely rule out Arm, Accuracy, Kick Distance, and Kick Accuracy. Everything else will be kept in (assuming Tackle has some use on special teams? I don't know enough to know whether that's true). In the following sheet, Agility is the most upgradeable non-Speed attribute, as I just decided it was the most RB-ish out of the bunch.
  • Step 2: Hybridize! A running back's attributes could potentially be broken down as follows:

ildKznz.png

 

Some important characteristics of this breakdown are:

  • To give credit where credit is due, this is based on a VHL spreadsheet originally created by @Enorama.
  • The link to my EFL version is here. If you want to play around with it yourself, you can do so by creating your own copy of it ("Make a copy" under File).
  • Non-Speed Packages are more effective at upgrading their related attributes than Speed Packages. At a certain point, a trade-off between Speed and Non-Speed must be made if one wants a solid all-around build.
  • The number of Speed Packages may be modified by position, effectively capping Speed at different points. For example, it just so happens that maxing four different Speed Packages at an attribute level of 100 each will give you a Speed rating of 99 when the ratios are multiplied by a specified factor of 0.8 (the yellow square next to "Sim atts"). As RBs can be pretty speedy, it's fine to have four Speed Packages, but a linebacker, for example, might only have access to three (and therefore more TPE to spend on attributes related to Strength and Tackle--see how it all works out?).
  • With the update scale specified (unchanged from the VHL version), yes, 100 TPA will get you to an attribute level of 83, but it takes 220 TPA to max out an attribute at 100. It would take 880 TPA to get to a Speed rating of 99 and nothing else (currently it takes 401!), while an 800-TPA build would get you what you see in that picture--far more balanced with many other attributes upgraded right along with Speed.

 

Since that was easy enough (right?), let's design a sheet for a linebacker since I mentioned it:

 

  • Step 1: Identify the differences between LB and RB. A linebacker does not need to block. Tackling will be far more important and a linebacker should be stronger than a running back (we're going to assume that this league doesn't have a Derrick Henry).
  • Step 2: Reflect on something interesting. A running back can max out Speed by maxing out each Speed Package, which has the total value for Speed upgrading set at 0.8 (0.2*4). Therefore, we shouldn't have the total for anything exceeding 0.8, and we can in fact set the maximum value for anything by using that as a reference.
  • Step 3: You know the deal.

g69zWpy.png

 

What we've learned here:

  • A lot of the supporting stats for a linebacker's build are higher than those for a running back's build at equal TPE. This is OK because a linebacker is also designed to have lower Speed. I may have made the Speed ratios a tad too high to fully illustrate it in this example (even 0.22 or 0.23 would probably be more reasonable, but I don't care to change it because you get the idea), but three Speed Packages at a ratio of 0.24 as opposed to four at 0.2 will cap Speed at 90 rather than 99...so you tell me what's logical.
  • The hybrid system can be easily adapted to different positions. And I mean EASILY--I did that in about 3 minutes once I had the RB build under my belt. 

 

 

Of course, the numbers are very arbitrary, and some level of testing would need to be done to make sure the system is realistic as designed. It is, however, a very good place to start, and would go a long way in giving the EFL the build diversity it needs! I'm super curious to hear what you think as members of the EFL--would you want to see something like this in action?

 

 

1,794 words | 3 weeks

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I... love this? This would help the EFL for sure but it would really spice up the ECFA which is just as important. I also think the hybrid archetype names are snappier than the ones the sim uses. I guess my question is, in the VHL have you had difficulty explaining exactly what the attributes mean/do to new users? Because right now it's fairly easy to just say "speed is super important," but I could see this being harder to work out. 

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6 minutes ago, 124715 said:

I... love this? This would help the EFL for sure but it would really spice up the ECFA which is just as important. I also think the hybrid archetype names are snappier than the ones the sim uses. I guess my question is, in the VHL have you had difficulty explaining exactly what the attributes mean/do to new users? Because right now it's fairly easy to just say "speed is super important," but I could see this being harder to work out. 

 

That's what something similar to my build guide would be very useful for. I'd imagine new players would need to see a general breakdown of how things work, and there would need to be clickable links to specific positions' builds because each one would presumably be different. That's just from a "here's what it is in writing" standpoint though.

 

That said, I don't think it would be difficult to explain it to a new player one-on-one. In a way it's not much harder--think "try upgrading x, x, and x to get your Speed rating up but once that starts getting expensive you can work on the rest".

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Really enjoyed this!

 

I think the dependence on speed still would not go away unfortunately with the Hybrid attributes being brought over to EFL. I think then you would have people just smashing the speed attributes still since they will still be the best. A big reason to the move for hybrid attributes in VHL was that scoring/passing combo whereas here it is just the one attribute.

 

I will say, it would at least lead to some more diverse builds at least that are not just players with speed only. 

 

As for the first solution of raising the speed update scale I also think it can help but I do think you can run into issues there as well. I think right now, new draftees would have the potential to be at a huge disadvantage, which of course may not matter too much but we still at least have the potential here to mirror real football where rookies can be great players if they were legit ECFA prospects.

 

That all being said, I was just playing devil's advocate because I think it is important at least for multiple sides!! Personally, I believe the switch to an updated sim engine would be ideal although speed is still a huge part in the later games as well but you at least have traits and competitiveness as another attribute that could be upgraded.

 

Love to see ways to improve how things can be done!

 

I also am a proponent to the 'Speed isn't everything club' and think while you probably need 90 or so speed at most positions, I don't think you neeeeed higher speed to succeed, especially since speed in the end is capped in the sim engine. Once a player hits a certain stat point, their in game speed is gradually diminished which limits the overall impact a player can have. While it is tough that players can't generally hit 200 rushing yards or receiving yards easily, it at least helps to make players be able to succeed still. There are ways to "manipulate" things such as making a huge back with high weight and strength can be really good with 79 speed for instance. Just some weird stuff haha.

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1 hour ago, AW13 said:

I think then you would have people just smashing the speed attributes still since they will still be the best.

 

Would they still do so if it was just way more expensive though?

 

Like if it takes triple the TPE to add to Speed as it does to get the equivalent amount in a few other atts, at what point does another option just get more efficient?

 

This is something we also addressed with the hybrid changes in the VHL. On top of SC being broken, DF, SK, and PH were also just better than like every other attribute. We played with ratios until those became expensive enough to stack that it encouraged some build diversity.

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9 hours ago, Enorama said:

 

Would they still do so if it was just way more expensive though?

 

Like if it takes triple the TPE to add to Speed as it does to get the equivalent amount in a few other atts, at what point does another option just get more efficient?

 

This is something we also addressed with the hybrid changes in the VHL. On top of SC being broken, DF, SK, and PH were also just better than like every other attribute. We played with ratios until those became expensive enough to stack that it encouraged some build diversity.

 

I think this is a question that's really interesting in a league where Speed is THE thing to upgrade, but I also think it's treatable on some level. For example, in my RB build (which I'm now realizing is fairly short on opportunities to upgrade Strength, but that can always be tweaked), would I rather spend 880 TPE for 99 Speed or spend 800 for 88 Speed/84 Agility/74 Intelligence + Hands, plus a few other things? I can't say that I'm experienced enough to have the right answer to that question, but it's at least making me think. Realistically, I'd probably upgrade the Speed-related categories more than the others (leading to more Speed/less balance), but it also gets really expensive for that last 11--and as someone who's good but not great at earning here, a 99 wouldn't be as worth it as some of the other stuff that would allow me to jack up the entire rest of my build for a good bit less.

 

And yes, that's something that the simple solution effectively does, but the hybrid solution offers a lot more options for adaptability and position-specific changes. I'd be interested in seeing what would happen if player builds resembled what we'd see in reality a little bit more--the current 90/80 caps don't reflect that well enough.

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