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Old 11-17-2003, 09:40 AM   #1
QuikSand
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FOF 2004 - Team Chemistry

Team Chemistry in FOF 2004

For those who want to explore this element of the game, here is a simplified explanation of how it all works. If you’d rather that this stuff remain a mystery to you, do not read any further.


The Evolved Chemistry System

Following the protests of many in the FOF community, the listing from FOF 4 of each player’s zodiac sign on the player page and on the “personality” view of the roster (implying an inherent connection to player relationships) was removed from the FOF 2004 game. It seems that some people were put off by the mere suggestion that the zodiac actually means something, even if it was clearly just being used as a proxy for different personality types that would ultimately constitute a reasonably complex systems of affinities and conflicts. So, the signs are no longer listed in FOF 2004, as they were in FOF 4. Alas.

Regardless – it’s still zodiac signs that govern these player relationships. All that has really changed is that the sign themselves are not longer listed in the game. If you want to take the time, you can work out the signs for yourself, and still use the player’s birthdate from the game (and the interaction systems that were worked out for FOF 4) to manage your team’s internal chemistry. Essentially, all the FOF 4 anti-zodiac bellyachers accomplished was to make this a pain in the rear end to actively manage.

For your reference, here are the twelve zodiac signs, and their corresponding dates:

Code:
Aries - March 21 to April 20 Taurus - April 21 to May 21 Gemini - May 22 to June 21 Cancer - June 22 to July 23 Leo - July 24 to August 23 Virgo - August 24 to September 23 Libra - September 24 to October 23 Scorpio - October 24 to November 22 Sagittarius - November 23 to December 22 Capricorn - December 23 to January 20 Aquarius - January 21 to February 18 Pisces - February 19 to March 20

(edit: dates corrected to conform exactly with the actual groups set within the game, previous posting had a few slight errors)

If a player’s birthday lies in the late March or early April range for Aries, for instance, then he is an Aries. I do not have data on how precisely the signs are implemented – it’s possible that there is a day off here or there that I have yet to find. Astrological sorts are fond of the “cusp” idea – and some of the dates right on the edge between two signs are considered split decisions. I have included the dates that seemed to be the most widely used – but they might be a day or two off from time to time (e.g. it’s possible that FOF 2004 puts a player born on October 22 into Scorpio rather than Libra). I don’t see any way to account for this in detail other than fairly exhaustive trial and error (which would be much easier with FOF 4 than FOF 2004, by the way).

(edit - now we have found and corrected all the rough edges, so the preceding caveat paragraph is now rendered obsolete, but left here for archival value)

Once you have the signs for your players – which do not appear in the game anywhere – then you may go about analyzing the player conflicts and affinities on the team.


How the Chemistry System Seems to Work

- Each position group other than QB (backfield, receivers, offensive line, defensive front, secondary) has one player assigned as the positional leader (seemingly based on some combination of experience and leadership rating)

- Each player has a “check” for chemistry with his positional leader (i.e. every DL and LB on the team checks his compatibility with the defensive front leader)

- Based on the zodiac signs of the two players, the result may be an affinity, a conflict, nor nothing at all

-The intensity of the affinity or conflict, if any, will be determined by the personality rating of the players (I confess I don’t know if the personality of the positional leader matters here)

- Each QB on the team is checked for chemistry with the three offensive positional leaders (backfield, receivers, and offensive line)

- Kickers and punters are not connected to the team chemistry function in any way


How The Signs Interact

With that, we need to understand “when is there an affinity or conflict?” The system works by the implicit zodiac signs of the players. The twelve zodiac signs are essentially broken into four “affinity” groups, each with three signs.

Code:
The four affinity groups are: Aries, Gemini, Scorpio Sagittarius, Leo, Virgo Pisces, Taurus, Cancer Aquarius, Libra, Capricorn

-Within each affinity group, players of two different signs will have an affinity (e.g. Aries and Gemini will always have an affinity)

-Two players with the same sign, however, will have a neutral relationship (no affinity)

In addition, the twelve zodiac signs are paired up into six “opposition” groups:

Code:
The six pairs of opposed signs are: Aries - Aquarius Taurus - Libra Gemini - Virgo Scorpio - Pisces Capricorn - Leo Cancer - Sagittarius

-Any two players of the two signs paired up here will have a conflict (e.g. Aries and Aquarius will always have a conflict)


That’s really all there is to the system of team chemistry in FOF 4 and FOF 2004. There is fairly sparse anecdotal evidence that a team benefits (perhaps pretty significantly) by having generally good chemistry (i.e. many affinities and few conflicts) and that individual player performance is affected by that player’s relationship with his positional leader. The degree or reliability of these effects is unknown, and is probably very difficult to measure with any reliability.

So, use this information as you will. If anyone has additional input into this system – factual corrections or additions, or just evidence on how the chemistry seems to affect outcomes – feel free to follow up in this thread.


Last edited by QuikSand : 03-06-2006 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:46 AM   #2
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This is like watching a car wreck. But one where, every so often, someone walks over and punches the driver in the face as he struggles to free himself from the wreckage.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:50 AM   #3
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It is already in there. Thanks, Quik!

I, for one, agree that performance is enhanced or declined because of chemisty. I further agree that the level would be very difficult to measure.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:56 AM   #4
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I wish I hadn't read that.

All kidding aside, while I'm not thrilled to know that the zodiac signs still govern chemistry, I am content enough with the fact that I don't have to look at their zodiac signs in the game that I will be using chemistry when I play. However, the way I will use it will be in a reactive, and not proactive, manner. Meaning, because I think zodiac "compatibility" is complete and utter BS, I will not attempt to determine whether a player I am about to sign or draft could possibly have a conflict with an existing player on my team. I'll forget that the information about which signs align and conflict is even available. I will use it, though, as part of the information I gather to determine whether I should keep certain players, or get rid of them, once I see that there is either an affinity or a conflict. If I have a great WR leader, and a 3rd/4th string WR has a conflict with him, that might sway me, all things being equal, to go get someone else.

I would prefer that this work just like it does in real life - 90% of the time, you don't know how people are going to react to each other, and the other 10% of the time, we know from prior history whether they are friends or enemies. Ideally, I'd like to see a random element in place, with the fact that two guys are college teammates, or you've got two guys who are both used to being #1 guys suddenly competing on the same team, being the true measure of chemistry. This would make us think twice, for instance, about adding Randy Moss to a team with Terrell Owens, or might sway us to pick up the college QB of our #1 WR pick the year before.

That seems realistic and would be a substantive improvement to the game play and immersion factor of this game. Zodiac signs, while far easier to implement, I imagine, is not. However, I will take them for what they are and use them to add a bit more strategy to the game, which I do believe will be useful.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:05 AM   #5
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I absolutely agree in substance that the zodiac and astrology in general is all nonsense, and completely without merit. I have strong confidence that Mr Gindin would agree 100%, though I have not spoken with him on the matter.

If FOF had used, say, a twelve-color system for personality types, and some other random way to assign those personality types, then I suppose that all this hubbub wouldn't have occured -- even if it resulted in exactly the same outcome in meaningful game terms.

I guess where we are is that if you abhor the zodiac concept, you can go a path like that you describe, KSyrup. If you can see past it for what it is (just a proxy), then you're free to use it as much as you like -- the toolbox is right above.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:22 AM   #6
Ksyrup
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Putting aside the zodiac signs, though...let's say he had used colors instead. For something like chemistry, if that really something that we should have a "toolbox" for, other than perhaps the scenarios I described above - competing egos, college teammates, etc.? It seems to me that chemistry is something that is not at all likely to be known, and should not be able to be used, except in limited circumstances, as a proactive tool. So, I think I have a problem (a) with zodiac signs in and of themselves, but also (b) the idea that there would be a comprehensive "system" for determining when players will work well together or not. I think in either case - signs or colors - I'd prefer to use chemistry - at least as it is implemented in FOF2K4 - as another way to add complexity to the game, but only in a reactive manner.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ksyrup
I think in either case - signs or colors - I'd prefer to use chemistry - at least as it is implemented in FOF2K4 - as another way to add complexity to the game, but only in a reactive manner.
I agree, and that is how I use it. There's no way I could remember all of the affinity groups and conflict groups without giving it serious effort anyway, and with the signs being removed from view in this version, it might as well be completely random to me. It is now something I react to, not plan for.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:29 AM   #8
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I noticed that chemistry was much the same after creating a player file with the guys from my Tequilas dynasty (all Leo, Sag and Virgo) and importing into the new game. The leaders were different, but the chemistry results were the same, no conflicts and a large number of affinities.

No, this isn't realistic, but it adds another element to gameplay, so I don't have a problem with it.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by cuervo72
No, this isn't realistic, but it adds another element to gameplay, so I don't have a problem with it.


This is the same basket I put it into.

You can shoot for pure realism, and it might come at the expense of an entertaining simulation. Sometimes there's something of a tightrope to walk there.

I think using this in a more or less reactive manner is probably the way that I'll do so as well -- I just thought that a piece-by-piece would be good for reference purposes. (By the way none of this comes form any particular insight that I had as a tester or from conversatins with Mr Gindin - just from my observations from playing the game)

Last edited by QuikSand : 11-17-2003 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:37 AM   #10
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All I can say is that it's a good thing Jim didn't use the Chinese zodiac.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by QuikSand
You can shoot for pure realism, and it might come at the expense of an entertaining simulation. Sometimes there's something of a tightrope to walk there.


I think, though, if implemented correctly, this could be a great feature. Make chemistry (both positive and negative) either nonexistent or completely random in most cases, but have certain criteria for when chemistry could both positively and negatively affect the game. I'd be much more inclined to look for chemistry issues proactively if I felt like it was something realistic - like former college/pro teammates on the O-line, for example. That might be worth looking for.

As it is, I'll accept it for what it is, since it will add to the strategy and complexity of the game. I'm all for that.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:48 AM   #12
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I know a lot of people object to it because of the astrology thing, but as Ksyrup has pointed out its not just the zodiac. If he had assigned colors to every player and used those it would still be just as bad IMO. I don't think you should be able to predict who will get along until after you have the players on your team.

To me the ideal situation would be if it worked as it does now, except the 12 personality types were randomly assigned. Perhaps somewhere on the player's card would be tracked a history of every past teammate the player had an affinity or conflict with (ignoring the neutrals). Basically I don't want to be able to predict who will get along based on any arbituary groupings.

Now if you could extend the system so that conflicts wouldn't become apparent all at once, but gradually develop (and develop more so during losing seasons than winning ones) that would be icing. Also cool if players would email you from time to time to pimp a former teammate that had an affinity with who was available in FA or complain to the press about teammates they conflict with... (I guess that is starting to sound too much like CM)
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:54 AM   #13
Ksyrup
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daimyo
I know a lot of people object to it because of the astrology thing, but as Ksyrup has pointed out its not just the zodiac. If he had assigned colors to every player and used those it would still be just as bad IMO. I don't think you should be able to predict who will get along until after you have the players on your team.


If you ignore QS' info from above, and just play "ignorance is bliss," you've essentially got a "random" chemistry element. It's only a pattern if you are looking for it. And I'm fine with that, although as we've been discussing, there is a world of potential to make chemistry a very deep and meaningful part of the game experience.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:56 AM   #14
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Or you can just turn chemistry off altogether...
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:05 AM   #15
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But I like the added complexity, so I want to use it. I'm just better able to handle it in this version than FOF4 because I don't have to see the zodiac signs and pretend they mean something else. All I see now is conflict or affinity, and I deal with it. It might as well be completely random to me.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:16 AM   #16
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I meant for those that had a problem with it, primarily. I still don't understand what all the hubub was about to begin with.

With it in there, I will be keeping it in mind as a sort of tie-breaker rather than just dealing with it reactively, I think. That said, if the whole process was made more transparent (random), I could accept it, but knowing it is still basically just the zodiac setup...

I've always wondered what affect "personality strength" has and how that plays into things. Are guys with lower settings less prone to conflict?
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by cuervo72

I've always wondered what affect "personality strength" has and how that plays into things. Are guys with lower settings less prone to conflict?
I'm fairly certain that "weaker" personalities have less severe conflicts, and less strong affinities.
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:13 PM   #18
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I love the idea of having personalities conflict and mesh. Glad Jim added that. Having some kind of simple system (12 signs) is a necessity, but all the same, I am glad it's behind the scenes now. I wasn't one of those that griped about the zodiac signs (because I never owned FOF4), but I'm thankful it's not in the new version.

Like ksyrup, I will be happy to play "ignorance is bliss."
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Old 11-20-2003, 05:21 PM   #19
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I enjoy the chemistry feature of FOF very much and I'm glad it's part of the game.

I just want to say that I heartily agree with this suggestion:

Quote:
Originally posted by Daimyo
To me the ideal situation would be if it worked as it does now, except the 12 personality types were randomly assigned. ... Basically I don't want to be able to predict who will get along based on any arbituary groupings.


The zodiac system is arbitrary, which is not a problem except that player relationships at the beginning of a gaming career are always the same. For example, Kyle Boller will hate Jamal Lewis every time I start up a new league, because their birth dates are not randomized. Since randomizing birth dates would be a little weird, "personality colors" - which could easily be randomized - might be a more sensible system that wouldn't offend the astrologically challenged members of the FOF community. And, if desired, these colors could be kept completely internal (and therefore they don't even have to be colros - they could just be numbers or whatever) so gamers cannot determine, in advance, how players will interact until they're both on the same team.
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:15 PM   #20
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I wonder if computer GMs use this information "pro-actively"...
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:25 PM   #21
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Or you can just turn chemistry off altogether...


Yep.
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:56 PM   #22
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At first I was nonplussed by the zodiac system in FOF4, but I really grew to like it as a gameplay feature. I think it added an enjoyable factor into the complex decision-making process of building a football team.

However, I wish it were different in one way:

The way it's set up now, there are no bad or good players, just players that don't get along with certain other players. While this may represent certain personality conflicts that exist in real life, it omits the nature of "good" and "bad". It would be nice if there were players such as Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens, etc., that have the potential to bring disharmony whereever they go. On the other end of the spectrum, it would be nice if there were players that consistently helped bring a team together with selfless play and leadership.
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Old 11-26-2003, 02:32 AM   #23
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Apart of discussing about how are likes/dislikes generated, how does this affect the players development and the team perfomance on matches?
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Old 11-26-2003, 04:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Icy
Apart of discussing about how are likes/dislikes generated, how does this affect the players development and the team perfomance on matches?


Really the best summary I have is from above:

Quote:
Originally posted by QuikSand
There is fairly sparse anecdotal evidence that a team benefits (perhaps pretty significantly) by having generally good chemistry (i.e. many affinities and few conflicts) and that individual player performance is affected by that player’s relationship with his positional leader. The degree or reliability of these effects is unknown, and is probably very difficult to measure with any reliability.


I have yet to notice any effect on player development (though I cannot rule it out) but I think the consensus is that any effect is really felt in player/team performance.
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:08 AM   #25
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Are those dates 100% certain? In FOF4, it appears that July 23 is classified as Cancer -- or were the dates adjusted slightly for FOF2004?
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:14 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand
- Each position group other than QB (backfield, receivers, offensive line, defensive front, secondary) has one player assigned as the positional leader (seemingly based on some combination of experience and leadership rating).
Has anyone ever taken a serious crack at figuring this out? I'm looking at a roster for one of my teams, and I've made a spreadsheet of all the players, their signs, leadership, and any potential conflicts/affinites they would create by being leaders. The goal is to esentially forecast who will become my team leaders in the next year, and how I should discard or keep players in reaction to it.

I have a few rookies at various positions that are tops in leadership, but are not position leaders.
  • Do we know if position leaders are as simple as "highest leadership among non-rookies?"
  • Or does anyone have examples of 2nd or 3rd year players not being leaders although posessing a higher leadership rating?
  • Should I expect my rookies to become leaders once 2nd year players?
  • Is there a discernable formula that combines experience and leadership in some way to determine the position leader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuervo72
Are those dates 100% certain? In FOF4, it appears that July 23 is classified as Cancer -- or were the dates adjusted slightly for FOF2004?
Without checking in-depth, I'd assume the dates for the signs are identical in FOF2004. Does anyone happen to know where August 23rd falls in that FOF4? It's unaccounted for in Quik's above reference (the signs skip from 22nd to 24th).
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:23 PM   #27
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Well, I've answered one of my own questions. Another roster in the league has a receivers leader who is an 8th year WR with a leadership rating of 60. A 3rd year TE on the same team has a leadership of 94. Both are in their second year with the team.

We at least know there is more to it than rookies/non-rookies.
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This is like watching a car wreck. But one where, every so often, someone walks over and punches the driver in the face as he struggles to free himself from the wreckage.
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:00 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cthomer5000
Is there a discernable formula that combines experience and leadership in some way to determine the position leader?

I reckon there is, with enough data. I haven't looked into it, but it shouldn't be too hard - probably just a pretty linear formula.

Something like L-factor = (N x Exp) + Leadership, where N = some simple constant
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by QuikSand
I reckon there is, with enough data. I haven't looked into it, but it shouldn't be too hard - probably just a pretty linear formula.

Something like L-factor = (N x Exp) + Leadership, where N = some simple constant

I'm curious is maybe years on the team matters at all.... I think I'll try pulling a few years worth of data (leadership, experience, years on team)... should make it a lot easier to take a stab at a formula.
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Old 08-30-2004, 10:31 PM   #30
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This has been one of the most invaluable references. Maybe I should write this down.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:44 AM   #31
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:16 AM   #32
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FOF: Leader Identification

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cthomer5000
Is there a discernable formula that combines experience and leadership in some way to determine the position leader?

I reckon there is, with enough data. I haven't looked into it, but it shouldn't be too hard - probably just a pretty linear formula.

Something like L-factor = (N x Exp) + Leadership, where N = some simple constant

Has anyone nailed down such a formula? I'm trying to figure out a way to convey leader information for FOFL pages, but don't have a calculation and position leader data doesn't seem to be included in the Interrogator csv's.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:29 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cuervo72 View Post
I tried bumping the old thread on chemistry last night, but forgot it was archived. So I'll just ask here.

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Has anyone nailed down such a formula? I'm trying to figure out a way to convey leader information for FOFL pages, but don't have a calculation and position leader data doesn't seem to be included in the Interrogator csv's.[/quote]
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:48 AM   #34
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:05 PM   #35
Mr. Snappy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuervo72 View Post
Has anyone nailed down such a formula? I'm trying to figure out a way to convey leader information for FOFL pages, but don't have a calculation and position leader data doesn't seem to be included in the Interrogator csv's.

A while back, I came up with an empirical formula to do this. The forumula isn't pretty, but it should work. I fit the bastard around a lot of data points, but there are probably still a few cases that will fall through the cracks. Young players with high leadership ratings caused all kinds of trouble. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

Ldrrat is the leadership rating we are going to calculate for each player in the positional group.

Exp is the number of years experience a player has.

Ldr is the leadership rating for each player in FOF.

For guys with 1 to 3 years experience:
a1 = -9.5
a2 = -1.0
a3 = -0.38
d1 = 0.1
d2 = 0
d3 = 0

Ldrrat = Log(Exp + d) * a * ldr + ldr


For guys with 4 to 7 years experience:

Ldrrat = Log(Exp) * ((0.1 * Exp) - 0.275) * ldr + ldr


For guys with 8+ years experience:

Ldrrat = Log(Exp) * ((0.0075 * Exp) + 0.379) * ldr + ldr


The positional group leader is the guy with the highest Ldrrat. I've got an Excel sheet with some macros programmed to do the dirty work; get it here. It also will check team chemistry and point out affinities/conflicts (that formula is a little rougher around the edges, but it's solid enough for my taste).
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:17 PM   #36
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Ah, thanks - I will need to chew on this for sure!

I'm trying to squeeze as much info out of GStelmack's data dumps as I can, and am playing a method of displaying chemistry on our team pages...but it's limited in its usefulness if the leader can't be identified. Even if this isn't perfect, it should help (assuming it's not possible to ever get leader data out of Interrogator).
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:19 PM   #37
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Hmm, this doesn't appear to be bad. But you're right, it isn't 100%. I have the following players on my team:

Player A - Experience: 9, Leadership: 82
Player B - Experience: 8, Leadership: 84

My DL leader is 9/93, he's the clear leader (180.3 "LI"). If I cut him though, Player B becomes the leader (160.7 LI) rather than Player A (162.4 LI). At least, if I'm indeed calculating it correctly. Generally though, this looks pretty good.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:33 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Snappy View Post
A while back, I came up with an empirical formula to do this. The forumula isn't pretty, but it should work. I fit the bastard around a lot of data points, but there are probably still a few cases that will fall through the cracks. Young players with high leadership ratings caused all kinds of trouble. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

Ldrrat is the leadership rating we are going to calculate for each player in the positional group.

Exp is the number of years experience a player has.

Ldr is the leadership rating for each player in FOF.

For guys with 1 to 3 years experience:
a1 = -9.5
a2 = -1.0
a3 = -0.38
d1 = 0.1
d2 = 0
d3 = 0

Ldrrat = Log(Exp + d) * a * ldr + ldr


For guys with 4 to 7 years experience:

Ldrrat = Log(Exp) * ((0.1 * Exp) - 0.275) * ldr + ldr


For guys with 8+ years experience:

Ldrrat = Log(Exp) * ((0.0075 * Exp) + 0.379) * ldr + ldr


The positional group leader is the guy with the highest Ldrrat. I've got an Excel sheet with some macros programmed to do the dirty work; get it here. It also will check team chemistry and point out affinities/conflicts (that formula is a little rougher around the edges, but it's solid enough for my taste).

I know this is a blast from the past but does anyone have this excel sheet?
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