Travis said it in an earlier post, and it is worth repeating here: this is easily the single largest update in Two Out Rally history. With this update, we're down to precisely one promised feature that isn't yet in the game. The headway has been huge. I know it's been a long time coming for some of our longer tenured Alpha members, but we (and especially Travis) toil away on meeting our promises, some of which may have been a bit ambitious. But hey, that's the goal, right?
This is the very last season in which Tier A will be the highest level of competition, as our stated goal was achieved: Tier A is completely full with human run teams, all of which earned their way up from the bottom. The World Baseball League is opening its doors at the conclusion of this season, and taking with it all of our honored and longest tenured members to build their legacies. I know age of the players is a concern for some of you, as they are going to be approaching the downside of their prime, but let's work together to come up with an amicable solution so that they get their day in the sun: the first crop of talent to ever do so. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's talk about what is here now.1. Things Are Prettier
More dynamic shadow effects, more perusable pages, readable fonts, better graphics, a few more shiny touches here and there. If you peruse the pages, you'll see a lot has changed, and we think for the better. We hope you think so too.2. New Features to the Scout Page
If any of you had the Scout page bookmarked, be sure to update it. It's no longer the "Scout Rank" page, but just "Scout". This now includes an easy reference to players that are online, as well as your "Friend" and "Foe" lists. Use this to make new connections ... or rivals. You can also use this to give Croco-drinks to each other? What the heck is a Croco-drink? Well, keep reading.3. Gamechanger Filtering
Tired of facing a daunting wall of Gamechanger cards you've earned through your many achievements? Well, worry no longer ... you can now sort by type, rarity, or name to easily find the one you're looking for.4. Live News on the Scoop
The Scoop now gives a running ticker of contracts as they get signed. Watch the Hot Stove in live time, and feel the heartbreak as you see that coveted second baseman sign with a rival for a Fielder-esque pile of cash, or watch what positions are hot movers ... and which ones are value buys.
Even better, when the season starts this live ticker will include a list of the evening's best games, based on a formula of how wild the swing in the WPA score. So if you think you had the barnburner of the night, well ... the front page will now tell you if you were right.5. Skills Tab on Players Now Includes ESR (Effective Skill Rating)
How does that work? ESR takes some of the guesswork out of where your player stands in the complicated math of the Two Out Rally engine, allowing you to review your ratings when considering factors such as handedness, opposing focus, and equipped Gamechangers. Struggling to formulate a perfect combo? Use this tool to show the way.6. Training and Jackpot Overhaul
Good news ... you can now use the quick training tool to get the "jackpots" that would happen during normal training, so you can claim back some of your valuable time if you own numerous players.
In addition, the jackpot system now favors players with low moxie. So if your team is down in the standings, you have a better chance of walking away with the big prizes. On top of the world, up by 30 with 35 to go? You've got enough going for you already. This should help losing teams get back in the race if their players stay on top of their training. Speaking of which ....7. What in the blue hell is a Croco-Drink?
You might recognize it as one of our first endorsements. Well, now you can bring the power of food coloring and salt to your own player's table. Use these to get an extra training session once per day. Even better, make friends - they can give them to you, as can your team owner. Don't like being social? Well, you can still buy them for a small amount of influence. Check out the training tab - you'll see how it works after you've done your workouts one day. Every scout got a case of these (15) on the house.8. Team Croco-Drinks / Team Colors
Team Croco-Drinks are where the magic happens. Once they buy the contract with the Croco-Drink MegaFood juggernaut, they have the ability to give them out in unlimited quantities.
Yes, that's right, unlimited.
How does this work? Well, there are a couple of caveats. The owner can give croco-drinks to any player signed to a contract with them as long as:
A. The Player is Online
B. The Player Doesn't Have a Crocodrink
We want to encourage a couple of things with this system - one is more organized play and cooperation among team owners and their roster. The other is rewarding players for playing Two Out Rally, and give them a way to even the score if they prefer to play for free. We think this accomplishes both those things. Drink up!
Also, you can now choose your team's colors on the team page. This is critically important. Why? Well, because ....9. The Two Out Rally Gamecast
Yes, it's live. Yes, it's running on the server as we speak. Yes, your games will be shown in full replay format, at long last. Yes, you can see what pitch you struck out on and where. Yes, you can see where that ball got caught in the gap. Yes, cameras will flash when you hit a home run.
Inspired by the style of the ESPN baseball Gamecast, this will let you finally experience your Two Out Rally series games as more than just a series of numbers and spreadsheets. The ability to see who's on base, quickly look at stats, peruse a defensive lineup, and watch the action unfold is yours. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see this live until the first series of games plays (which, as Travis mentioned, might be a tiny bit later than normal as we position all this together).
What we are going to do is take one of our video captured ones and upload it to Youtube and link to it in this thread so that you can see some of the magic in action.
There's really so much in it that it's hard to break down in a single paragraph: mouse over stats, user and player information as well as avatars, ball placement, crowd effects, type, location, and velocity of pitches, ball location, a few fun animations just for kicks. And there's so much more we'll be able to do as we get it out there. I hope you're as proud of it as we are.
Believe it or not, we wanted to launch even more, such as the drag and drop interface for lineups, finally a working version of the gambit systems, and some retooled ways to acquire and renew teams, but time simply did not allow. This is really the version of the game we wanted to originally launch, almost entirely. We're proud that it's most of the way here, and glad you are all on board with us.
Ladies and gentlemen, play ball.