Finally, the World Baseball League is established and functioning. We wanted to wait until we had enough team owners to fill 2 Tier A leagues before we rolled it out, but demand was high, and the need for a higher level of competition was becoming pretty clear. That's beta for you! So other than that, what else is new?
Well... not a whole lot that you can see. We've had to spend a lot of time on mundane business affairs, getting our taxes in order, that sort of thing. It should be noted that we have gone through and revamped CPU players a bit so that they won't be so easily pounded into the dirt each night. A CPU player is still always going to be less effective than a human player, but at least now they shouldn't be as "crap the bed" awful.
We do have some pretty big plans for season 14, but in the meantime there are some small features I'd like to try and add during season 13. One such feature would be the ability for team management to override pitch effort and stealing aggressiveness settings for players. The scout's player could optionally opt out and keep the settings they've put in, but honestly this will work better for lineup and bullpen use.
We have two major development priorities for next season. The first is overhauling the contract system. We want to make it more simplified and interesting. If we do it the way we want, salaries will no longer be attached to player level, but will be decided on how much the manager thinks the player is worth. Mangers could always adjust the salaries up and down, but the ranges were always attached to the player's level. There will be more safeguards in place to make it easier to stay inside the league cap, and we might even open up bonuses to the lower tiers.
The other thing we'd like to get done by season 14 is the infamous gambit system. For those of you who are new, this will be a set of controls that will allow team owners to setup some basic rules on how to use bullpens and benches during games. It may even help improve CPU team AI. We're a pretty major step into it already with the integration of WPA into the game engine, but there's still much to be done here.
After those two things are done our next major focus for season 15 will be implementing Impact Gamechanger Cards. Impact cards will be powerful one-time use cards that get used once per series by any player or team if the right conditions come up. Want to throw a pitch up and inside to make 'em think twice? There's a card for that. Want to lean in on an inside pitch and take a hit for the team? There's a card for that. Wanna see a bench clearing brawl the next time your batter gets binged? There's a card for that too. As well as batting and pitching cards, there will be fielding cards, umpire cards, stadium cards, weather cards, and more. We believe these will bring a lot of variety to to the sims.
That leaves a few features that we've got on the wishlist of things we'd like to add. The first is something we're calling the Player Avatar Creator. This would be an addition to the Player Creator that allows you design how your player looks rather than upload an image. The second is an ability/tech tree system that will let players develop abilities that influence different game engine rolls. These are of course ideas for much further down the line, but we're certainly thinking about them.
As always, thanks for your continued support, and good luck in season 13!