Challenge Questions & Feedback Thread

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archibalduk
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Challenge Questions & Feedback Thread

Post by archibalduk » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:42 pm

We are proud to announce a complete overhaul of the TBL Challenge rules!

We have always tried to make the Challenges as varied, challenging, and enjoyable as possible, but during the past few Challenges things have perhaps become a bit stale. Over the past eight weeks we have been working hard at bringing the fun and variety back into the Challenges.

We've held our hands up and have admitted that the rules were getting too complicated and were making it difficult for new users to join in. Thus we re-wrote the rules virtually from scratch with an emphasis on making things as simple as possible. By taking this approach, we have cut the rules down by about 20-25%. Hopefully this will make things a lot more straightforward - both for experienced users and new users.

In order to make the Challenges both challenging and fairly realistic, some of the rules we have introduced are quite restrictive. One of our testers, jbsnadb, perfectly summarised what the new rules aim to achieve: "Overall, I am enjoying playing with the limitations. Makes me think more about what I need to do with the team rather than what I could do to the team."

However, we have also introduced some flexibility. For example, whilst the number of UFA acquisitions has been greatly limited, you have a choice of how many UFAs you may bring in by trading this off against the players' reputations. Thus, you may sign several UFAs with a lower reputation or one star player per season. By giving this flexibility, we hope to encourage users to take a variety of approaches and really think hard about how they want to improve their team year on year.

We have also completely removed the salary budget limit as well as the Core and Home Grown rules. We think the removal of these rules will make the Challenges much easier to understand and mean fewer things to monitor (whereas before you had to be very conscious of how many games a Home Grown player played each season). Hopefully this, along with the fewer end of season screenshots required, will make it easier to record your end of season stats.

To help make things easy, we have designed a handy "Cheat Sheet" that you can print off and refer to whilst playing EHM. This sheet contains a summary of the main gameplay rules in a format which we hope you will find easy to understand. You can download the Cheat Sheet here. We also have a new version of the Challenge Stats Recording Sheet which can be downloaded here.

We will announce which team we will take control of for Challenge 13 this coming Wednesday. In the meantime, please ensure you thoroughly read the three rules threads and the Cheat Sheet so that you are familiar with the rules. You can find the three rules threads in the Announcements Box at the top of the Challenge Forum (www.ehmtheblueline.com/challenge).

We would like to thank jbsnadb, rookier, thunderbug, and tksolway for helping to test and develop the rules. Their help, as well as the suggestions made in the Challenge Rules Feedback Thread, were invaluable.

Please use this thread to discuss the rules and ask any questions you may have regarding them.
Last edited by archibalduk on Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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archibalduk
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Post by archibalduk » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:44 pm

I highly recommend downloading the Cheat Sheet to get an initial idea of the new rules. The UFA Pyramid and list of screenshots (and when to take them) are very useful: http://www.ehmtheblueline.com/forums/dl ... ile_id=571

By the way, there is now a quick way of getting to the Challenge Forum: www.ehmtheblueline.com/challenge 8-)

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Post by joehelmer » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:00 pm

Great news Archie and you others. :thup:

I hope that I will find it funny to play the challenges again, I really loved the challenge we did with Saint John as that was simple.

And now I've downloaded the "cheat sheet" and read the rules in that and I must say that I really like them, especially the one with the tier thing. :thup:

I really look forward to the challenge and it's going to be interested to see which we are going to play as. :)

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Peterman5000
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Post by Peterman5000 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:31 am

This is awesome!

Looking forward to redeeming myself on the next challenge.

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Post by AvesFan101 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:53 am

Dont agree with the no pick trading because obviously this is something that is done quite regularly in the NHL, perhaps in the future we could have a chart about when we could include a pick in a trade and what each pick is worth in terms Pick vs. Player.

That being said, I am really looking forward to this challenge.

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Post by thunderbug » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:16 am

The reason picks have been taken out of trades is because when allowed it was one of the things that people would abuse

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Post by Peterman5000 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:19 am

So will the new challenge be a vote like in the past or has something already been selected?

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Post by bruins72 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:14 pm

Nope, no poll for deciding the team. We've got one picked out. We'll be announcing the team on Wednesday. We wanted to give people a couple days to read over the rules and familiarize yourselves with them before everyone jumped into the challenge. In the past people have been in too much of a rush to play the challenge that they didn't read the rules. Then they found out that they did something wrong and had to restart or get penalized. We wanted to try to avoid that this time.

As for not allowing picks to be involved in trades, T-bug is right. Using picks in trades just seemed to lead to exploiting the weaknesses of the AI. We're well aware that picks trade hands in the NHL quite often. It's just that when we've seen them involved in trades in our challenges, things get a little crazy. We've tested these rules out quite extensively (I'm up to season 4 in my test game... it's going to be hard to give that one up to start the challenge game). Honestly, once you start playing the game and get used the rules, it really changes the way you look at the game. As Archi quoted jbsnadb, you really do start to look at what you can do with what you have instead of looking to make wholesale changes. You build from within.

Anyhow, I'm really looking forward to playing this challenge with everyone. I think it's going to be a whole lot of fun for us all.

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Post by Manimal » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:27 pm

Exciting set of new rules. They are very clear but shouldn't rules 6.7 through 6.12 of the Gameplay rules also be listed under 5.0 (Season One)? Just to make things even more clear.

I like the new UFA rules. It will be interesting to see if anyone goes with the waiver-tier. It seems like a real gamble to me. Did anyone try this while testing the rules?

I also like the idea of developing your head coach and not just signing the best one out there.

I'm really looking forward to playing the challenge!

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Post by bruins72 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:19 pm

Manimal wrote:Exciting set of new rules. They are very clear but shouldn't rules 6.7 through 6.12 of the Gameplay rules also be listed under 5.0 (Season One)? Just to make things even more clear.
Nope.

5.2 No trades, waiver acquisitions or UFA acquisitions may be signed whatsoever during Season 1. You may, however, renew contracts with your own players and staff at any time.

That should cover everything in rules 6.7 through 6.12 because no trading is allowed in season 1 at all. Rules 6.7 through 6.12 are restrictions on the trading that you're allowed to do starting in season 2.
Manimal wrote:I like the new UFA rules. It will be interesting to see if anyone goes with the waiver-tier. It seems like a real gamble to me. Did anyone try this while testing the rules?
We're tried it during testing. It is definitely a gamble. I went with it in one season and didn't end up taking anyone. IIRC, one of the other tester did... but I might be remembering wrong. Then again, if the timing is right you might be able to take advantage of a team that is trimming salary to fit under the cap. The tiers of the pyramid really do add a nice element, IMO. Some people might want to go for a big name in tier 1 but they might not get him because of the contract limitations. By the time they figure out he's not signing with them, the better tier 2 guys might be gone and they're stuck trying to find tier 3 guys that they can use or maybe taking their chances with waivers. In one season I saw a lot of talented youngsters that were let go from their teams for various reasons. They had just "good" reputation at that point and I was able to get 3 nice youngsters to add to my team.
Manimal wrote:I also like the idea of developing your head coach and not just signing the best one out there.
It's a minor thing but I liked that too. Everything in this challenge is about working from within your system.
Manimal wrote:I'm really looking forward to playing the challenge!
Me too! I'm glad to see some of our challenge regulars getting excited about this too. :thup:

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Post by archibalduk » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:56 pm

Just to reinforce what B72 has said, the main idea behind our trading rules is to encourage users to see what they can do with the team. As I've said many times in the past, the Challenge should be unique to the team we're playing with. Thus a Columbus Challenge should play and feel different to an Atlanta Challenge. There should be different goals in terms of who you bring in and where in the standings you finish.

Prohibiting all trades and UFA/waiver acquisitions in the first season should hopefully encourage users to concentrate on what they already have rather than what they need. Preventing draft pick trading will hopefully promote a more long term strategy rather than trading everything away for a few star players for short term success.

The idea behind limiting the number of trades and UFA/acquisitions is to make users really think about how they go about improving their team. By allowing a number of different UFA approaches (i.e. the pyramid) and removing the TBL budget (i.e. TBL salary cap) there should be some flexibility for everybody.

If all goes to plan, we should see users taking different approaches, signing different players, and hopefully finishing in a realistic position in the standings (i.e. not necessarily qualifying for the Playoffs in the first season).

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Post by thunderbug » Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:56 pm

I did it in the test run as well. Its a gamble, but it paid off for me. It allowed me to move my forwards around in terms of roles.

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Post by Loosie » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:48 pm

I want to make sure I understand this Rule 9.4. If we want to hire a new Head Coach it has to be someone who's been with the team for 6 months? (ie an Assistant Coach you promote?)

Is that correct?

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:54 pm

Yes. You're hiring from within. So 6 months from August 30th 2006, you could fire your head coach and promote one of your assistants (or maybe even a scout or assistant GM) to take over as your new head coach. Now keep in mind, this must be a member on the staff of the challenge team. This does not include your minor league affiliates.

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Post by kuulapaa » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:11 pm

As soon as I noticed the news of the new rules today, I took the rest of the day off from work and started to familiarise me with it all. I won't start complaining of the strickt no-trading rules again 'cause I see where they come from. So I just say I'm looking forward to get in the game again, although I'm afraid of not being able to play the challenge very far if the schedule will be as tight as it has been in some challenges.

Anyhoo, thanks for the great job to everyone involved! It is warming to see the enthusiasm is still there.

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:22 pm

You took the rest of the day off? Nice! I seem to have more time at work for EHM and TBL... so I'll be around to help answer questions until it's time to go home. :tiptap:

I'm glad to see your interest, kuulapaa. You've been one of our challenge regulars. Trust me on the trading restrictions. After a while, it won't see too bad at all. Honestly, in my test game I got to the point where I didn't really think about trading because I didn't want to get rid of any of my team. Then later in the season you might see a deal that works for you. I might look at upgrading one position but for the most part, I'm looking at getting the most out of my players.

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Post by Manimal » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:57 pm

bruins72 wrote:
Manimal wrote:Exciting set of new rules. They are very clear but shouldn't rules 6.7 through 6.12 of the Gameplay rules also be listed under 5.0 (Season One)? Just to make things even more clear.
Nope.

5.2 No trades, waiver acquisitions or UFA acquisitions may be signed whatsoever during Season 1. You may, however, renew contracts with your own players and staff at any time.

That should cover everything in rules 6.7 through 6.12 because no trading is allowed in season 1 at all. Rules 6.7 through 6.12 are restrictions on the trading that you're allowed to do starting in season 2.
Duh, How did I miss that? :-?

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:05 pm

:dunno: I have no idea but now is definitely the time to ask those questions and make sure you know the rules before going into the challenge... so don't sweat it. :-D

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Post by Manimal » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:18 pm

Good point.

It's wednesday now, where is the team? I'm itching to start playing.

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:21 pm

I believe Archi is going to post it a little bit later. 8-)

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Post by Manimal » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:25 pm

bruins72 wrote:I believe Archi is going to post it a little bit later. 8-)
OK, I'll do some research for Lidas 2.0 until then 8-)

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Post by kuulapaa » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm

It's nearly Thursday here, it's not fair that your Wednesday lasts longer than our's...

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:39 pm

It's just past noon here. :-p

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Post by Kujo77 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:39 pm

I haven't been able to find anything mentioning what the NHL salary cap should be set at. I have changed it in my game as it changes in real life, so do we play with it at the current level or where it was when it was first initiated?

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:41 pm

You can't play the challenge with a database you have made any modifications to. The only database that you're allowed to use in the challenge is Lidas ver 1.2 and that database has an adjusted salary cap.

Please make sure to use Lidas DB 1.2 or you will be disqualified from the challenge!

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