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digamma 01-27-2016 05:47 PM

Rocking Rackets Strategy and Tips Thread
 
Brian Swartz has an excellent dynasty going in the game Rocking Rackets, an online tennis simulation. If you haven't taken a look at that, you definitely should.

I think largely through that thread, several others have started playing the game, including me.

Rather than hijacking Brian's thread (or britrock's as we did at one time), I thought it might make sense to have a separate thread for hints and tips and strategy questions.

I'm happy to use my guys as a base to get the discussion going.

After some fits and starts, I've found a home in World 11 (you can choose different game worlds, which vary in speed of simulation).

My players are 19 year old American Ronald Ashman and 21 year old Croat Teodor Cajkanovic.

Ashman turned pro this season (Year 182 in the Game World) after a good junior career where he finished in the top five of the junior rankings. He's seem some success in his first year with two futures tournament wins so far and a ranking in the high 500s.

Cajkanovic was not as successful a junior player, topping out in the mid teens. He's recently broken into the top 100 in the world rankings and is playing at the CH1 level.

(There are varying levels of tournaments, amateur, junior, futures, championship and masters/majors/grand slams.)

Here are a few questions I have, and I'm hoping Brian or britrock or others may chime in...if there are other newbs who would benefit from more background, ask away. The intent here is to really be a knowledge repository rather than a pure dynasty thread.

-How do you decide when a player is ready to move up to the next level of tournaments?

-Do you train for skill or serve first?

-How do you best control Form?

-What do you look for when you hire a player?

britrock88 01-27-2016 06:06 PM

I'm probably better suited to this than a pure dynasty thread, anyway, so thanks for getting this going!

britrock88 01-27-2016 06:19 PM

I'll take an opening crack at your questions...

-How do you decide when a player is ready to move up to the next level of tournaments?

Generally, I peek at the next level up whenever a player wins a title at his current level. Another thing I will occasionally do is peek at the registrations for next week's tournaments, and see if my player's ranking would lead him to be a seeded player at a certain level. A seeded player translates to an expectation of a couple wins and strikes a nice balance in scoring points and retaining form.

-Do you train for skill or serve first?

My rule of thumb is to have the marginal skill cost be at least twice as high as the marginal service cost. That infers that skill is twice as valuable as service--conversely, that service is half as valuable as skill. That's a minimum, I would think.

-How do you best control Form?

This varies based on the stage of a player's career. Until they are playing at a peak level (major/challenger-level singles or doubles), the experience you gain in practice is just as important, in my book. So I will enter players into tournaments until their form approaches 30 (the max without penalty to ability and experience), then keep them out of tournaments until their form drops to just about 15 (the min).

At a top level, Brian's best qualified to answer--I've only had a couple seasons' worth of practice with major-level players (doubles) that were successful enough that they couldn't afford the form to play in every major-level tournament week. In that case, you just look ahead and make sure to maximize your potential to play in GSLs, MSTs, and 500s.

-What do you look for when you hire a player?

Brian's done great work explaining this. My personal biases are for players with low aging factors (to extend their potential career length) and players in lower-tier nations (for a better chance at JTC/WTC opportunities). There's definitely a balance to strike between talent and endurance. Strength and skill are sneakily important. Don't worry about court preferences at all with young players--you can easily reshape those with any thoughtful tourney/practice registration scheme.

Brian Swartz 01-27-2016 09:40 PM

Now you've gone and done it. One of the most dangerous things you can do is invite me to unload a massive wall of text by asking for strategy on this game. You asked for it. I am not responsible for the consequences :P.

In all seriousness, I'm glad that people other than me are still enjoying this game. I love the fact that it doesn't have the 'micro-transaction' concept so common to many online games, forcing you to actually manage your players well to succeed.

So, here we go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88
-Do you train for skill or serve first?

My rule of thumb is to have the marginal skill cost be at least twice as high as the marginal service cost. That infers that skill is twice as valuable as service--conversely, that service is half as valuable as skill. That's a minimum, I would think.


This is exactly what I do: skill until it's at least double the service cost. The logic here is that skill is used on all points, service on only half. Most managers train service more than I do but I'm not sure that's a good idea. The reason for that is higher service will help in terms of 'free points'; that is, more aces(and fewer double faults, but that's less of an issue at the top level). Other side of the 'free points' coin is having slightly better odds on each point by going the skill route. I think being close to the line where skill is double the service cost is best, but maybe one could argue for having service at 60% of skill cost. I wouldn't go more than that though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88
-How do you best control Form?

This varies based on the stage of a player's career. Until they are playing at a peak level (major/challenger-level singles or doubles), the experience you gain in practice is just as important, in my book. So I will enter players into tournaments until their form approaches 30 (the max without penalty to ability and experience), then keep them out of tournaments until their form drops to just about 15 (the min).


I disagree somewhat here, but that may be partly due to playing in a slow world. Optimally for development you want to stay as close to the 15 minimum for maximum experience(without going below). That means not playing any tournaments in the following week if you are above about 16.4. For faster worlds I might do something more like britrock just to make sure you don't drop below or miss weeks, but when a daily check is enough to keep players active every week it's not necessary. Some of this, from a practical point of view, depends on how often you can check in on your players.

At the top level it's different. By top level, I mean this: ranked in the Top 32 by the above method. Before that, and this is important, you 98% don't care what your ranking is. Moving up in ranking doesn't make it a good year; getting enough experience to train a lot of skill/service makes it a good year. Wins and losses are comparatively irrelevant.

But once you get there, you have to play other top players to advance anyway. The way it works out is, if you are good enough to consistently win big Challenger events, you will soon reach the Top 32 even with a limited schedule(the point at which you are seeded in Slams). If you aren't good enough to win the big Challengers, development is more important. There really isn't any in-between. Once at the elite stage, competition for ranking points becomes the priority. And it's more or less enforced really, since you are penalized for skipping Masters if you were Top 30 the previous year. So your schedule then becomes Slams + Masters + the occasional 500/250 where it fits. Everything is then about maximizing your results in the Slams and secondarily the Masters. You want to be in the 'optimal zone' of 20-25 form at the end of the Slams, which means starting them in the 19-20 range. Sometimes(Madrid/Rome, or Canada/Cincy) you'll have to be below the optimal range for the preceding Masters in order to make that happen; at other points you can prepare for maximum results in the Masters. After a couple years you get a good hang for it. Anything else just serves to set you up with the number of matches you need to get form ready for those big events, and whatever points you get are just icing on the cake.

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88
-How do you decide when a player is ready to move up to the next level of tournaments?


The comment about being seeded at the next level up is right on the money I think. There are some cases that are different. For example, breaking into the futures you can only go up to making the Top 1000 in amateurs, then you have to qualify in futures; there's a similar point when making the futures/challenger jump. But in general, it's the right way to go. If you aren't seeded, it's too soon because you can get stuck playing a powerful top seed in the first round and then having a nearly wasted week.

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88
-What do you look for when you hire a player?


Here we get to the wall of text part rather severely. I did a long post on this before that I'll just reproduce here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by me
Most of this is in the game documentation but some is either not explained all that well or not synthesized in a way that, at least to me, makes sense.

Aging Factor -- All players have somewhere from 95% to 105% -- the lower end will result in a longer 'prime' as a professional, but players will not be as good as juniors and will not be able to train as much. Overall, less is better in terms of great pros which is what I focus on. Mehul is 95%, Girsh 96%, Mooljee 97% so my players are all on that end of the scale, quite intentionally. Most of the Top 10 is as well. Perry Hogue is a notable exception; he's about to turn 26 which isn't that old at all -- Mehul will probably hit his peak about then -- but I note him as a player in decline because he has a 103%(hence the meteoric label). Generally speaking junior #1 will have a 103% or more. A great example in my universe is a dominant junior between Alastra and Benda in age, Lubos Nedved. He is now almost 27, and basically won everything in juniors as a 17 and 18-year old and terrorized up-and-coming players(including Mehul) for a few years after that. He won the last five junior grand slams he was eligible for, but as a pro he has won just a pair of 250-level events and nothing higher, peaking at 19th and now 28th in the world and declining. Hogue is obviously a better version of this but he was never going to be a top player for long.

Age % -- This can be confused with aging factor but is not the same thing. This describes where a player is in their development, and is a multiplier that determines their actual ability at the time. For example, Mooljee has a raw ability of a little over 2.0 in skill, but because he's a young player, age % is only 68% and so he plays at a level of 1.4 instead. Skill, service, speed, strength, and endurance(twice, i.e. multiplied by 68% or whatever twice instead of once) are all affected by Age %, but the other abilities(mentality, doubles, talent, etc.) are not.

Static Attributes

These do not change throughout a player's career. They do not improve or decline with age, and they cannot be trained. They simply are -- a player is either good at them, or they are not, as a natural ability or lack thereof.

Talent -- Every player gains experience points, to be used in improving trainable skills(below) on a daily basis. It is the same amount every day. Mooljee(4.7) gets 31 xp per day, Manohar(2.0) gets 20 xp per day, etc. For particularly young and old players, this is especially important since they can't practice as much, meaning a higher proportion of their experience comes from their natural affinity or talent for the sport.

Mentality -- 'Clutch' ability that is used on important points, game points, break points, match points, etc.

Home Advantage -- Bonus given to players in front of their home crowd. This is largest in small events, and smallest in bigger ones: it disappears completely as a non-factor in Slams. I note it here only because it's there, but really it has a quite minor impact on the game. All else being equal I will play junior/future events in a player's home country, but of course all else is rarely equal and by the time you reach the level where it's really important to win, this virtually doesn't matter anymore .


Variable Attributes

All other attributes change based on a player's natural development curve(i.e., their age % which depends on the aging factor). The ones listed in this section cannot be trained either.

Endurance -- As I've mentioned, this is in my opinion the single most important attribute of a player. It defines how much a player can practice before become too tired to benefit from it. The formula here is simple: points played divided by endurance equals fatigue. I.e., a match with 100 points(for simplicity) and a player with 2.0 endurance will result in 50 fatigue. Above 500 fatigue performance penalties set in very quickly, so overworking a player beyond a certain point is just counterproductive. Since age % is divided in twice here, endurance both improves and declines much faster than anything else. This makes it doubly important to take advantadge of the 2-3 year 'physical peak' at which a player is at their maximum endurance(Girsh is about in the middle of this right now for me). That period is where trainers really shine, since these players can't play enough practice matches at that point to use up all of their fatigue allotment.

Strength -- Added directly to a player's skill to determine their playing ability in matches, but at a 20% rate(i.e., divided by five).

Speed -- The admin mentioned some years back that speed is a more complicated matter than strength, and never released the formula for it's effect. They said it was probably about the same impact as strength, but a number of players have mentioned they think strength is actually more effective in their players. It is generally thought to have the most impact on return of serve, but this is purely a logic-based conjecture.


Trainable Attributes

I've referred to these as the 'technical abilities/skills' at times. These are what I, as a manager, can improve using the experience points saved up via talent, matches, and training sessions.

Skill -- Basic rally ability of a player. This is used in all points, and is affected by age % as well.

Serve -- A player's serve ability is added to skill when they are the server. I.e, a player with 4.0 skill and 3.0 serve would have a base ability of 4.0 when returning, 7.0 when serving(before adding in speed/strength/mentality/etc. affects). Serve is also affected by age %.

Doubles -- Doubles is added to Skill in doubles matches, and(obviously) not used in singles. Importantly, it is not affected by age %, unlike the other trainable attributes.

Since Skill is always used but Serve only when serving, it is sensible and pretty much universally practiced to train Skill at least somewhat more.

Ok, so that's pretty much everything I know about the player attributes, all of which is a setup for:


Bryan's Overall Player Rating Formula

** Skill +
** 50% of Serve(again, since it's used half the time) +
** 40% of Mentality(a guess on it's importance, this is a matter of personal taste and the magnitude of the effect has not been publicly defined. Based on what I've seen this is a reasonable guess in my opinion. It may be a bit high but I don't think by much if it is) +
** 20% of Strength(official) +
** 20% of Speed(official estimate)

There are other matters such as a player's bonuses on the four surfaces, bonus or penalty depending on their form, and so on but all of these are completely within the control of the manager to properly prepare their player for success. The rating here is meant to simply describe the overall ability of a player at a given point in their career, to which good/mediocre/bad player management will add it's attendant effects.


digamma 01-28-2016 09:44 AM

This is all great stuff.

I think I am in line on a lot of these things. I have trained serve more frequently, especially when the players are young because it gives you such a relative advantage in matches (looking at stats, it is not rare to see opponents with 0 Aces and 20+ double faults). If I can avoid double faults, I'm picking up 20-30 points a match. I've found that to be big in early rounds of tournaments (thus making sure you get more matches for the week).

I'm sure more questions or comments will follow.

ntndeacon 01-28-2016 02:57 PM

This is pretty helpful. I'm already trying to get my service in line with skill.

digamma 01-30-2016 08:23 AM

Ok, help me out here. What is this guy doing that he can play so many tournaments in a row without his form being off the charts? Same player, two characters.

Floriano

Duane

Did he run them down to near zero first?

Brian Swartz 01-30-2016 02:14 PM

Impossible to know for sure how high they were in form a few months ago, but some of the weeks they are losing early. If you lose in the first couple rounds you can actually drop in form while playing, but it's a bad way to go since you won't get much benefit for the week(experience or points).

britrock88 01-30-2016 08:28 PM

Right, you pick up form at a rate of 1 point per competitive match played, and lose it at a rate of 8% per week.

(Just FYI, I can't peek into your world if I haven't joined it, which annoys me, but alas. Don't know if that's true for Brian, too.)

Brian Swartz 01-31-2016 06:05 AM

It is true for me also, it just doesn't matter. I'm only really active in rr1, so I can move my two 'free' slots around at my whim to look at stuff like this.

law90026 02-01-2016 11:43 AM

So a few questions:

1) how do you determine a young player's developed stats?
2) at the journeyman levels, I assume the intention is to keep form and fatigue optimal before taking part in tournaments? However, I find fatigue tends to potentially rise a lot faster. How important is fatigue from that perspective?
3) does it make sense to take a complete week off, ie not even a practice tournament and just do friendlies in order to get form and fatigue optimal?

britrock88 02-01-2016 02:36 PM

1) how do you determine a young player's developed stats?

On a player's profile page, next to his age will be displayed a percentage. This indicates how physically developed the player is relative to his eventual prime. Using that percentage, you can work out the math with the tennis balls on the player card for strength and speed. For endurance, however, the effect of age is doubled. I believe the formula you use to determine peak endurance is End/Age^2.

2) at the journeyman levels, I assume the intention is to keep form and fatigue optimal before taking part in tournaments? However, I find fatigue tends to potentially rise a lot faster. How important is fatigue from that perspective?

Fatigue is the backboard for the development of your young players. Players shed 50 fatigue per day, and to optimize their development, you do not want to waste any of that opportunity to shed fatigue. Of course, fatigue will rise more quickly when young players have less endurance--and that's okay. You're right that a player who enters a tournament with higher fatigue will likely suffer in later rounds, as fatigue >500 leads to penalties on their ability. But I find that to be less of a concern when the primary focus is on providing the players with experience, which is most reliably done through practice.

3) does it make sense to take a complete week off, ie not even a practice tournament and just do friendlies in order to get form and fatigue optimal?

I suppose it could, in the right circumstances. Brian had done a little experimentation to find that friendlies are only about 75% as effective as practice in providing experience relative to causing fatigue. But if you enter what would be a practice week with high fatigue, you could take this approach.

The game is supposed to hold your players out of practice matches when their fatigue is >300, but I have seen this rule broken before.

Brian Swartz 02-01-2016 04:09 PM

Only thing I'd add is that the only reason I'd skip a week completely(on purpose that is, as opposed to the lovely schedule screw-ups) is if a player has enough fatigue to not play at all the whole week. I'd never intentionally play friendlies instead. Practice tournaments don't contribute to form, so that's not an issue.

law90026 02-01-2016 06:21 PM

Thanks both!

law90026 02-02-2016 09:54 AM

Yet more questions!

Is VIP worth it? And what happens if you let your VIP lapse, since you might have more than 2 players at that time.

Brian Swartz 02-05-2016 04:33 AM

Worth it or not really depends on the person, budget, how committed you are to the game, all that stuff. For me, I can't do my dynasty without it because I need more than two players. Varies based on the person.

If it lapses, you have to either fire players to get down to the limit or you can't do anything with any of them. So basically, it's a bad idea to let it lapse :).

digamma 02-06-2016 07:27 AM

I tried the free week of VIP, and really liked a lot of the historical features and things like that. I haven't re-upped for cash yet, but am definitely considering it.

law90026 02-06-2016 07:53 AM

Thanks for the input

Young Drachma 02-07-2016 04:31 PM

I knew nothing about this. Need to look now!

digamma 02-10-2016 11:09 AM

Is patience the key to pushing a 70ish ranked player into the top 30?

I have a 22 year old who has been lingering in the 60's and 70's. Still not maxed out skill wise, but getting close.

I have a 20 year old who has had a quicker rise to around 110 in the world. We have a little time with him and he gets some ratings boosts because he has a huge home court advantage and I play to that.

Brian Swartz 02-11-2016 12:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Young Drachma
I knew nothing about this. Need to look now!


Yes, you do!

Quote:

Originally Posted by digamma
Is patience the key to pushing a 70ish ranked player into the top 30?

I have a 22 year old who has been lingering in the 60's and 70's. Still not maxed out skill wise, but getting close.


Well, two points here:

** Generally, yes. I can give you a more intelligent opinion if you want to post a link to the player(and tell me what world so I can pop in there). But usually it will be a couple of years after you reach the top 100 to get to the top 30 in my experience.

Having said that, if they are 22 then they shouldn't be all that close to getting maxed out. Peak for players is in the 26-27 age range.

law90026 02-15-2016 06:06 AM

Any tips on how to improve my player's performance in the challengers? Brian wasn't kidding when he said this was a hard time for a young player because my guy can't progress far in them but isn't allowed to play futures because of his sub-200 ranking.

Brian Swartz 02-15-2016 06:26 AM

If your player is good enough he will reach a point where he will eventually 'break through'. My best advice is focus not on the results, but on the process of getting good enough. It sounds like you want to be playing CH3s or CH2s at the biggest, on favorable surfaces, even in your home country if possible, taking as many off weeks as possible for practice tournaments to train up.

Beyond that, it's just a matter of time and whether you have a player talented enough to eventually break through the wall. I went back and looked at my most recent player to navigate this level, Girish Girsh(at the moment 5th in the world but he paid his dues like everyone else).

Last junior title -- 18y 16w
Futures titles(3) -- First at 19y 12w, last at 19y 36w

Spent less than a year getting through futures which I think is quite typical from what I've seen. But as noted, once you reach the Top 200 ...

Challenger titles(10) -- First at 20y 21w, last at 21y 46w.

Took several months after leaving futures to get his first challenger title of any kind, then basically another year and a half to 'graduate' the level, over two years all together and we are talking about a guy who has been proven to be world-class, a player I've predicted to reach #1 eventually and I'm more and more confident about that all the time(weak era and all that, but still).

For a less talented player, maybe they can't do it at all; maybe it takes even longer, but even for a prodigy it takes a while and feels like beating your head against a wall for a time. So my best advice is, don't push it. Don't try to rush it. Focus on improvement, not results. If you're not ranked high enough to be seeded at the bigger challengers, don't even play 'em.

.02

law90026 02-15-2016 06:58 AM

That's exactly the type of advice I was looking for ��

Thanks!

Brian Swartz 02-15-2016 07:50 AM

You're welcome :).

Alf 02-16-2016 07:22 AM

Ok, you got me in. Registered today in "Wolrd 11" and I got two 14yr New Zealanders

Rastislav Lakic
and
Robbie Commons

Played some friendly games until fatigue hit 300. Then registered for a "Junior" tournament where I got smashed.

Now, I am not sure what type of tournament I should register for ?

Amateur
Junior
Future

Practice tournaments are all full of ranked players where I guess I have no chance to win a single set.

Hints welcomed.

Brian Swartz 02-16-2016 08:22 AM

you should register for:

JG5 until you are ranked high enough to be seeded in JG4. Only play these when you need to in order to maintain form of at least 15. That is because you will not gain as much experience from all of your activities when it dips below that. So, any week you are below about 16.3, you should play a junior event the next week(singles and doubles to maximize).

Any other week, play practice tournaments.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alf
Practice tournaments are all full of ranked players where I guess I have no chance to win a single set.


Up to a point this is good for you. You get more experience(and therefore improve more) when you lose than you do when you win. Since you have a pair of young players, your goal is to get experience and train up and improve. Winning is irrelevant, though you do want competitive matches when you can get them, because losing badly won't teach you much.

Edit: Finally, I advise you fire both of your players and start over. Lakic will peak at about 1.5 endurance, meaning he has a better chance at becoming a Las Vegas showgirl than a world-class tennis player. Commons is better, but you can get better players than either of them. The best way to start is with one player who is young and another who is experienced(mid-20s, to earn some points so you can buy a vet to turn into a trainer). For the youngster, you correctly picked players with high talent but endurance is even more important. Anybody below 1.3 endurance(preferably higher) you should basically ignore. A combo of good endurance + talent and at least decent athleticism is what you are aiming for optimally.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the game.

Alf 02-16-2016 08:30 AM

Thanks. Developping skill is my main target, yes. That's whyI took 14yr old guys.

Sometimes JG5 is not an option, should I instead keep "practicing" or enter "JG4" anyway ?

Edit : just read your edit, I'll fire the guys and look for more "adequate" guys. One young, one a tad older.

Brian Swartz 02-19-2016 06:57 AM

If you can't play a JG5, a 4 is the next best thing. I would try to plan out so you can play a 5 though, even if you have to play a week 'early', so to speak.

Alf 02-20-2016 04:06 AM

Ok, I reset my account so I can start fresh. here are the two youngsters I am looking at (1.6+ endurance, 4+ talent)

Bao-qing Lu

and

Louis Fremont

Care to give your advice ?

Brian Swartz 02-20-2016 04:24 AM

Fremont is a little better(higher mentality, a bit higher peak endurance). Both are just a hair above average athletically. One thing to keep in mind is what kind of player you want, these will have roughly average career arcs(decent juniors, decent longevity in the pros) based on their aging(99 and 101%).

If it was me I'd hire Fremont and a mid-20s player, and work towards getting a trainer. I'd also keep looking for better young players, just because you have someone decent doesn't mean you don't want to keep trying for someone better. In most worlds the best players aren't easy to find, so it may take a while to get a top talent.

Alf 02-20-2016 04:34 AM

Gotcha. I'll get Fremont and a 25ish player. I'll see what all this gives and if I am into that game.

Thanks for the early tips.

Alf 02-20-2016 05:57 AM

First JG5 Fremont gets in and he wins the Doubles title :)

Brian Swartz 02-21-2016 08:49 AM

Always nice to have a good start!

digamma 02-22-2016 07:30 AM

So I've generally been ignoring doubles and using the entries simply as a way to get more experience for my players. I enter both singles and doubles in practice and tournaments. I haven't trained for doubles at all.

But...I just noticed that my 21 year old player is about to enter the top 100 in the doubles rankings. I know britrock has had some success in doubles.

Curious for any thoughts or discussion on that side of things.

Ron Ashman in World 11 is the guy.

britrock88 02-22-2016 05:49 PM

I'm not a VIP, so I can't peek into GW11 while I have guys going in GW1 and 2. But maybe Bryan can do that and I can give you a general rundown on approaching doubles...

1. Don't go into doubles without a partner. You don't have to be the Bryan brothers and play your whole career with the same guy. At the same time, waiting on the RR website to auto-match you with a random doubles entrant is not going to get the best out of your doubles player. If you're not content with someone else in your stable, there's good value to be had in the 27+ category, as players' costs aren't perfectly correlative to their cumulative ratings--especially their doubles ratings.

2. The utility of the doubles rating re: training. Forty percent of the doubles rating is added to your player's skill rating to determine his overall skill. Meanwhile, doubles rating points are only valued at 1/3 when calculating a player's potential trainer rating. This compares unfavorably to service, which has a potential impact of 50 percent (all service points), but is valued at 3/4 in the trainer rating calculation. I don't mean for this to dissuade anyone from going into doubles; it's just a thought to keep in mind based on the likelihood of you using a player as a trainer in the future.

3. Your player's career arc. If your player's 21, he likely has a few years left to have some fun in singles. Singles frees him from depending on a partner and, if he's competitive enough, provides him the opportunity to score more XP to put into all of his ratings, including doubles when the time comes.

4. If you start spending XP on doubles, there's no point in turning back. Given that the other two ratings (skill/service) improve both singles and doubles play, and that the doubles rating only impacts doubles, wait to start pouring XP into your doubles rating until you're satisfied with the singles career you've had for your player.

5. Rankings logistics. The most important things to note for high-level doubles play are: a) MSTs are never mandatory and b) the Olympics count for nothing. As a result, you can have fun with your schedule compared to the requirements of top-flight singles players. I even enjoyed entering my players into CHs and FTs singles tournaments as warmups and getting surprise titles.

There are more facets to this side of the game (like when one, but not both of your pair plays in WTCs), but I hope the above is a good starting point. The only real takeaways are to go into doubles, whenever you do, full-on and with a good partner!

law90026 02-25-2016 01:37 AM

Damn you Britrock, my guy just lost to yours in a challenger+.

But the next question I Guess: what's the general plan once you hit the TOP 100? Continue playing in challengers until the top 32 with some opportunistic majors thrown in? Participating in grand slams: yea or nay? Any other suggestions?

Brian Swartz 02-25-2016 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88
maybe Bryan can do that and I can give you a general rundown on approaching doubles...


I can add little to what you've said. You've got a lot more experience than I do in doubles, I haven't had a serious doubles player yet(though Mehul is going to eventually make that transition, but probably not for three or more years). At that time I'll probably be asking you for advice! :)

One thing I've noticed as a pattern with almost all the players I've seen is this -- I'm not talking to anyone specifically, if you are doing this, you know who you are :)

STOP OVERPLAYING!. This is the #1 difference between me and 95+% of the managers on Rocking Rackets. Even many of the high-ranking ones. I constantly see challenger-level developing players in the 30s with their form and I want to throw something at them every single time.

'But I want to get my ranking up!'

** No, you don't want to get your ranking up. You want to get your skills up. Stop putting the cart before the horse. Ranking is not an achievement in and of itself so much as it is a reflection of your player's abilities. It will always 'lag behind' your improvement and this is just fine. Don't lose sight of the goal. Prioritize.

'But it's soooo hard to be pat ... '

** You wanna be a lounge musician or a tennis great? STOP OVERPLAYING!

'But I need to ..'

** No, you really don't need to. STOP OVERPLAYING! Really, I mean it. If your form isn't 16.5 or above, you need to be in a practice event next week. Seriously, you do, unless you are building up for the off-season(mid-40s weeks to new year) and are a challenger player or better, or are an elite player peaking for a big event. If you are regularly having your form in the upper 20s, no matter what your level is, YOU AREN'T DOING IT RIGHT. Waste your potential if you insist, but know that's what you are doing. Seriously. Just stop doing it. *ahem* *cough* *endrant*


Quote:

Originally Posted by law90026
what's the general plan once you hit the TOP 100? Continue playing in challengers until the top 32 with some opportunistic majors thrown in? Participating in grand slams: yea or nay?


The approach I've evolved into over the years is a little counter-intuitive, and sort of flies in the face of what I seems like 'should' be effective. The controlling concept is this, which has been mentioned before:

** Play events you will be seeded in.

I think the why is very important here, because it sheds light on the original question. If you are playing events you aren't ranked highly enough to be seeded in, you run the risk of hitting a powerful top-seeded player early in the tournament. Not only will you almost certainly lose badly, but then you have to figure out what to do with the rest of the week. It's not just the ranking points you don't get -- now you have to play extra friendly matches(or training sessions if you have a trainer) which are suboptimal in terms of gaining experience. It's just not worth the risk.

So when should you play majors? I actually think you should do this when a low-level challenger player, but once you reach about 150th or so you should STOP. Again this is counterintuitive, but at a lower ranking you get the qualifying matches even if you go nowhere(likely) in the main draw. If you are, say, 90th, you are going to be a direct acceptance(no qualifying) and then have a 50% chance of playing a seed. If not in the first round, you almost certainly will in the second. And this means a very low probability of getting in many matches. Slams give great xp, but if you only get a single one-sided loss, it's not getting you anything. And again, you've not had a good week training wise which -- if you aren't an elite Top 32 player -- is the ONLY thing that matters IMO.

So back to the question of what the Top 100 player should do. Keep playing challengers is my advice until you get to about 50th. At that point you are still playing mostly challengers but there is a brief period where 250-level events become useful in certain weeks. If there are three 250s in a week as there are a number of times in the year, a top 50 player can usually be seeded and these are good opportunities.

There's another scenario you need to watch for which is really a pretty advanced concept but I just can't shut up when people ask for opinions about this game, so here it is. If there is a Masters or Slam going on and you are a Top 100 player, most of the players who are good enough to be good practice tournament competition are at the bigger event -- which means you can end up with a crappy practice week anyway because you are just beating up on inferior competition, and that doesn't help you much. There are general two kinds of scenarios here, and it basically depends on whether there are challengers the same week.

Usually, there are. One example where that is not the case is the Australian Open. Often you'll want to play it anyway, because it's either take the chance of an early exit, or take a crappy practice week. It's the last of a three-week stretch of no challengers at all near the beginning of the year. On the other hand, there are some good CH2s during the first week of Indian Wells(week 11) and Miami(week 13), where you can pick up some 'cheap' ranking points because a lot of players who probably shouldn't be are playing in the Masters events, losing early, and wasting a lot of their energy for the week. Then you get a number of matches, some points, your form goes up, and you take the next week for a good practice tournament -- you win, they lose :).

Then of course when you reach the Top 32 -- play all the Slams. Play IW and Miami too as a minimum, because you'll be seeded there. And so on.

Any intelligent questions, class? :P

law90026 02-25-2016 06:26 AM

Thanks. I definitely agree in relation to seeding and it's made me micro-manage more now by checking the entrants for the challengers each week to decide which ones I would consider taking part in.

Didn't think about letting my guy play in qualifiers for masters to get experience though! Great tip.

britrock88 02-25-2016 10:49 AM

I will add that the ability to adhere to Bryan's principle of not overplaying can depends on your game world's speed. Unfortunately, it's kind of unworkable to hit that ideal low-yellow form consistently in a place like GW2, when the world covers 6 weeks per day (and you're asleep for 2 of them). In this case, I just get tournaments in during the day and practices in at night so that I can best manage my players' fatigue--that is, make sure they're not wasting any potential matches.

britrock88 02-25-2016 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by law90026 (Post 3085648)
Thanks. I definitely agree in relation to seeding and it's made me micro-manage more now by checking the entrants for the challengers each week to decide which ones I would consider taking part in.

Didn't think about letting my guy play in qualifiers for masters to get experience though! Great tip.


Wow. Rask looks like he'll be really, REALLY good. 4.6 endurance!

One question: is the court preference he has something you've done consciously? My current tack is to have guys max out in hard and clay courts, as the lion's share of GSLs and MSTs take place on those surfaces. Maybe you're onto something, though--winning Wimbledon and Paris?

law90026 02-25-2016 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88 (Post 3085706)
Wow. Rask looks like he'll be really, REALLY good. 4.6 endurance!

One question: is the court preference he has something you've done consciously? My current tack is to have guys max out in hard and clay courts, as the lion's share of GSLs and MSTs take place on those surfaces. Maybe you're onto something, though--winning Wimbledon and Paris?


Definitely not conscious, haven't even thought that far to be honest.

Re the endurance, I'm not sure it's really necessary to be so high. I still have a lot of unused fatigue most weeks because it takes a lot of micromanagement to get enough friendly games in and, like you pointed out, the gameworld moves too fast to really do that effectively.

britrock88 02-25-2016 02:48 PM

If you're in a working situation where you can click over to a tab once every 10 minutes to get a training session in, though... :thumbsup:

Brian Swartz 02-25-2016 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by law90026
I still have a lot of unused fatigue most weeks because it takes a lot of micromanagement to get enough friendly games in and, like you pointed out, the gameworld moves too fast to really do that effectively.


This is a really good point and, as britrock mentioned, fast gameworlds are much different. It might well be better to focus more on athleticism and talent in picking players for those worlds, and you do have to schedule differently also. It's really almost a different game from the little I've experimented with it -- I don't see myself jumping back into any of the fast ones but for those that are, they will need to adjust in some way.

digamma 02-25-2016 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by britrock88 (Post 3085761)
If you're in a working situation where you can click over to a tab once every 10 minutes to get a training session in, though... :thumbsup:


Heh, I'm blocked at work!

I check my phone fairly frequently though.

I have a player up to 41st in the Singles rankings. Exciting times.

digamma 02-26-2016 02:20 PM

Anyone had a guy's Fatigue spiral out of control? For some reason, my player played practice matches above both a 300 and a 500 stamina level and ended the week above 600. I forgot to go back and take him out of the next week's tournament, so he ended up in Doubles qualifiers on Sunday and then strolled out to his first singles match at 772! You can guess how that went.

law90026 02-26-2016 09:16 PM

I've only ever had a junior player hit that kind of fatigue, largely because he was playing multiple 3 setters in a tournament. Pretty much means the week after is a waste because the game forces the player to rest until fatigue drops below 500 I believe.

Brian Swartz 02-27-2016 02:27 AM

I've had it happen on a few occasions. Anil Manohar actually has it spike quite often just because he's old enough to have about a 1.0 endurance right now(it wasn't that great even at his peak, maybe 3.0) so in tournament weeks if he qualifies in singles it spikes very quickly.

It's not supposed to do practice matches above 300, but it does occasionally. I don't know why. You can still keep playing regular tournaments, but as noted that goes very poorly very quickly. Nothing to be done but what's already been said, pull them out of everything and get a week of full rest.

digamma 02-29-2016 08:26 AM

Anyone thought about hard constraints on Talent when hiring a new youngster?

Alf 02-29-2016 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alf (Post 3084630)
First JG5 Fremont gets in and he wins the Doubles title :)


Fremont has been fired and I hired a younger promising Belarus guy.

Nikolay Piontkowsky

Name YATStSpMESkSeDC
N. Piontkowsky
14+5%4.32.323.51.70.90.60.343

Given his aging factor, I am hoping for a solid Junior career. He has already won 3 JG5 singles tournament and 2 JG5 doubles tournament.
He is also selected in Belarus U15 Junior team Cup (good idea ?).

Any comment appreciated


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