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Old 11-30-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
DDS Pro Football 20: Don't Call it a Comeback

So, I took the Black Friday plunge, and bought Draft Day Sports Pro Football 20. I think I played an earlier version of the game, or at least bought it, but my lack of a detailed recollection says it was short-lived, whatever it was. Anyway, here we are. Completely unrelated to any anti-FOF meltdown rants I may have offered recently.

I'll give this a shot. My sense is this will amount tn an uncertain mix of playtesting and actual game play. I'll brace for the worst, and hope to be positively impressed.


Last edited by QuikSand : 11-30-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:07 PM   #2
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
My plan: take the current 2019 Miami Dolphins, and starting with the 2020 season, try to pilot that team back to... I don't know... a modicum of respectability? Non-laughing-stock status? Mediocrity? Something like that, I guess.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:13 PM   #3
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
The plan suffers initially. I'll skip the details, but it take a while just to set up a proper "model the NFL" league in this game, including making some non-obvious choices. I finally get it set up, in a league titled the LeagueNameFL4. reflecting the multiple start-over cycles required to get it right. Rough start.

Anyway, I want to zoom through the first season, and put my Dolphins in more or less the position they'll be in after the real 2019 season. That means trading away a few of their last-to-go assets, S Fitzpatrick, RB Drake, TE O'Leary. I make trades for all three (not as good as the deals the real Dolphins got) but the plan is those extra picks will help with a rapid youth movement I'm anticipating in the coming offseason.

Sadly, my hopes are dashed. After we finish our glorious 2-14 season (props there), I launch the new season, and I can't find any of the newly acquired draft picks as being assigned to my team. Not sure where it went wrong... in the "trade players" window, you can assemble a trade offer, and when you offer it, the rival team may reject it with a tiny explanation, or else... well, nothing. It just seems to "happen." I presumed that everything went through in the moment, and that I'd have all these extra 2020 draft picks, but apparently not. So, I'll try to pay closer attention next time, I suppose.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:15 PM   #4
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I have hired a new front office staff. In short, the setup here seems to be my team has $20m total to pay for four staff people (including me as GM) and the rest of that $20m is allocated to scouting. So, I presume, there's a strategic element there (one basically missing from FOF) where securing a top-tier coach (who costs more than a bum) means you lose out on something else of value..and vice versa. No real experience with it yet, but in concept, I like the framework.

We are ready to start free agency. I had to manually set a $150m salary cap, and it looks like teams are making adjustments to get cap-aligned. Sounds good, as I want to put my stamp on this team right away.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:05 PM   #5
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, I open free agency. It's a long list of available players, each with a simple series of ratings 0-100...a framework that harkens back to the FPS FB Pro series.

Strength, Agility <- everyone has something here
Arm, Accuracy <- QBs only, with a scattering of others with meager non-zero
Speed, Intelligence <- again, everyone...no idea why this order
Hands, RunBlocking, PassBlocking, Tackling, Endurance, Kick Dist, Kick Acc

So, that's it. Fine. I decide that what I'd really love to do in free agency is build around some promising young players. I have $32m in cap space (though no clue how much my rookie draft will occupy of that) and that seems like I'm a serious player. A look at the "Finances" page bears this out - only a couple other teams are even under the cap at all, and only by a thin margin. So, I can look for bargains and try to lock them up long term.

When I sort by the "Overall" rating, I am put off a bit. Seeing names that don't make much sense here as the most highly skilled players available - 34y/o RB LeGarrette Blount? 42y/o CB Terrance Newman? A whole gaggle of 30-something fullbacks I've never hear of? What gives?

...I have no idea. So, RB Blount sat out all last year, but looks to me, on paper, to be a star. Fast, strong, etc. Nobody thought he would be worth a 1yr deal last season? Nobody?

Okay... I decide that must be a glitch. I'll sort by age, instead, and look through the younger players available to see what's worth adding to my woeful Dolphins roster. We've only got 35 players, we need help everywhere. Young guys with potential, especially.

Uhh... now who are these guys?

I see a smattering of 22-24y/o players out there with pretty good ratings. Okay, trying to make sense of this... I'm seeing guys who I suppose had some potential at one point, but never really clicked. RB Boston Scott is graded here as an 80/100 overall. In FOF terms that makes him Leveon Bell. Here, that's just a click or two below the fossils - Blount, Marshawn Lynch. Bo Scarbrough is here, too, rated 80/100 overall...right alngside Deangelo Williams and Chris Johnson. Okay, I don't want to get too down in the muck here. I'll just ignore the messy stuff and try to move on.

Are there young players who look good enough to use? I'll take a look at our secondary, for a frame of reference. Recall, this is the 2-14 Dolphins, and the most promising guy got dealt (for nothing, apparently) so this is a unit that should be improved upon, not just complemented. Here's what I see on my own roster:

(Quick note here... when I order the positions, it gives me, toward the end... CB then LB then DT then DE then LB. I can't make any sense of how that happened, but it's off-putting, once again. Is this another American sports text sim game being created by a non-US-native who doesn't really follow the actual game?)

Code:
31 Webster, Ken 5' 11" 189 84 CB 25 1 57 66 1 70 63 74 1 1 1 78 82 1 1 3 $1,083,000 33 Wiltz, Jomal 5' 10" 174 75 CB 26 3 54 65 1 69 54 64 1 1 1 60 67 1 1 1 $1,212,000 25 Howard, Xavien 6' 0" 201 87 CB 27 4 43 73 1 80 56 50 1 1 1 84 75 1 1 3 $1,985,500 35 Aikens, Walt 6' 1" 210 85 CB 29 6 57 72 1 81 58 56 1 1 1 70 73 1 1 2 $4,270,000 30 Lammons, Chris 5' 10" 190 77 CB 24 2 57 58 1 64 64 69 1 1 1 72 68 1 1 1 $450,000 23 Tankersley, Cordrea 6' 1" 200 82 CB 26 3 42 69 1 81 45 53 1 1 1 79 61 1 1 2 $730,000 20 Bademosi, Johnson 6' 0" 200 88 CB 30 8 44 72 1 79 53 50 1 1 1 90 80 1 1 3 $5,016,000 28 McCain, Bobby 5' 11" 196 86 FS 27 5 34 72 1 93 52 52 1 1 1 83 64 1 1 3 $2,061,500 20 Jones, Reshad 6' 1" 215 98 SS 32 10 83 77 7 80 56 68 1 1 8 98 97 1 3 1 $10,000,000

So, looking at the overall ratings for now, we have X Howard as an 87 (stud?) seems correct from a programming perspective. But Johnson Bademosi is rated more highly, at 87. He's a guy who was a throw-in from the Texans in the real life Tunsil trade, Miami cut him soon after. Here he's CB1 and making $5m.

Okay...faithfulness to my pre-conceptions of NFL players is not the main point. We'll set that aside as well. My goal isn't to sim the NFL, it's to build a team.

So, my overall ratings appear to be:
CB 88,87,85,84,82,77,75
S 98,86

Reshad Jones is the 98 stud, and he's paid $10m. Ok, that fits. Maybe Howard is the unfairly graded guy at only high 80s. Dunno.

By the way, among my DBs, top ratings for Speed seem to be low 80s, with one exception - S McCain at a roster-high 93. I don't know what to make of that, yet, but speed seems like it would be important in a football game, call me crazy. Agility seems to max in the low 70s, except Jones at 77 (only top WRs Parker and Hurns higher at 86/85).

So... might be too soon to conclude this, but in the overall ratings, maybe classroom scoring is about right. 70 totally marginal, 80 useful, and 90 very good.

So, the most promising young DB I see out there is...uhhh...Derrek Thomas, who IRL apparently had been a "fringe" NFL guy recently. He's rated 87 overall (better than nearly my whole team) despite not being picked up by anyone last year (along with Darrell Revis 87 and Terrance Newman 96. I'm baffled, but I want to do something so I decide to try to sign Thomas.

CB Thomas wants a rotation role (nice feature), and a 4yr deal worth about $2.5m/yr, "balanced." That sounds high for a guy who couldn't find a job last year, but maybe that was a function of league weirdness (salary cap being set imperfectly?). Now, when I try to make an offer (lowball) I can't figure out how to make an offer. I see his demands (I think) in semi-grayed lettering... but I can't type anything into those places. Maybe my only choice here is to click "Offer" and meet his demands? (Oh that would suuuuck) I click on the ?Help item along the top of the game, that just gets me an error sound. Awesome.

...time passes...
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:56 PM   #6
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
...I open up the 20-page pdf User Guide. There is, it appears, not a single word about where I am in the game, trying to sign free agent players. Okay then.

I do a prophylactic "Save" before hitting "Advance," thinking maybe I'm in some sort of twilight zone stage before free agency actually starts. (FOF has those, they're stupid AF but by now I just know where they are)

Okay, this seems to have helped. I now have a screen that, I guess, will populate with FA bidding information as stages progress. Okay, I can work with this.

I got back to DB Derrek Thomas's page...but I still can't do jack. I go back, game says "Click on a player to view his card, then click on contract tab to sign him." Did those things, nothing on the contract tab responds to a click, nor can I enter data anyplace. Hmmm. Well, I was able to add him to my "watch list." Fat lotta good that will do me.

Oh, okay. I find a button called "open bidding." Clicking that brings me to a new window where players are featured, and I guess we have a live, auction-style bidding system. From that page, I go to CB Thomas, and then I hesitantly click "Offer Contract" which sounds like an end rather than a beginning (and I still don't know what the offer is). BTW, Adobe confirms the word "Offer" doesn't even appear in the user guide.

Okay, this seems to work. Now I have a page with his wishes, and some space for me to enter my own information. The numbers come from a tediously long pull-down menu, in increments of 10,000...so for me to get from his ask of 2.35M down to my offer of 1.40M, I have to scroll through scores of possible entries. This can't possibly be the wisest programming move, can it? Anyway, I put in a 4yr offer to him, and that seems to stick. Got it.

So now I want to make a "splash" signing. Is anyone out there worth signing, who isn't a fledgling castoff or a past-use-by-date old? Can't I find somebody like G Brandon Scherf to overpay and try to shore up my weakling OL with some serious young muscle?

Short answer... apparently not. Lot of 34-and-up old guys who didn't even play last year but remain "available" for some reason. And a fair number of these young hoppers who, I guess, match onto real life people I've never hear of because they were never legit NFL players of any consequence. Great.

So, this is puzzling. Not sure what to do. Can't find a youngish receiver anywhere near as good as.. Marques Colston?

As an aside, I have to assume this is a function of someone just importing an old database, and not having a proper "fade/retire old players" routine. I don't know if these guys just sit around until the end of time without ever feeling the effects of father time, but for right now I'm steering clear of them. We'll see if Terrance Newman and Marques Colston and LeGarrette Blount get tasty new deals in this offseason process. I'll sit it out.

With two FA offers in, I click on "Finish Current Day." Seems right, like a "stage" in FOF. Nothing new, but it appears I have the leading offer on both guys I targeted. Looking around, it appears that these old stars are asking for too much money, the AI teams aren't willing to pay them. Heh, I guess that works, as long as I ignore them too. Sigh.

After 3 stages, I sign a free agent OL for $650K, 4yrs. Only bidder. I have no idea if this process is 5 stages or 50 at this point, so no clue where we are - I presume still the beginning. I think that's the only FA signing that has happened leaguewide. But After 5 (I think) times clicking the "Finish Current Day" button, it switches gears - maybe we're done? I switch screens, and see that a total of 5 free agents got signed, including a certain Colin K to New England, heh. There's still a "Free Agent Report" with two players listed, including CB Thomas who favors my offer but hasn't signed.

So, I really don't know what to do here. I'll click in the "ADVANCE LEAGUE" area, that usually seems to be thing to do when I feel this way, rather like in Football Manager.

When I click that, it asks if I'm sure I'm done with the scouting stage. Well, no I'm not sure of anything, pal, I don't even know what the fuck I'm doing. Scouting? Where is that?

Okay there's a segment called Future Draft Scouting - that must be it. Like interviews in FOF, got it. I'm drafting #1 overall, duh, so I'm drilling down on the top QB and WR. Each draftee has a page (of information I can't see otherwise, and can't sort by, frex) that includes scout (letter) grades in Physique, Athleticism, Technique, Football IQ, and Intangibles. Also number grades from each of my three staff members, whatever. Oh Jesus, ther are other screens...and it looks like each player has a WORD listed for each of the ratings he will eventually have. So, rather than a spreadsheet saying 50 or 80 or 100, we get a giant wall of words: Pedestrian, Great, Terrible, Awful, Unscouted. Mac Howard would love this, it's like the real world only more useless. Good heavens who thought this was a good idea, the HatTrick.org people?

Okay, exhaling. I guess it's sortable, and eventually you probebly manage to do the mental conversion needed to make sense of the words. I mean, I get that Awful is low, and Incredible is really good. But this seems to me like a ham-fisted way to avoid using numbers just to dodge their implicit precision, which I applaud in spirit but deplore in practice, done this way. And, now that I look.. sorting by the words merely puts them into alphabetical order, it's like the developer is saying hey come look closely at the point of this stick, so you bend over and you do, and then he jams it right into your eyeball.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
This is obviously not going to be a dynasty thread. I'm descending into mockery of the game. Not really my plan... I expect to be bumbling and incompetent in the initial stages, but I thought it would be because I lack a good frame of reference. Not that the game is labyrinthine and torturous. At this point I'm basically lost in the wilderness and eating my belt.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:15 PM   #8
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I decide to "auto assign points" for the draft, to escape what seems like a click-a-thon of epic proportions. That appears to have scouted and interviewed the top 40 or so players, which seems dumb if I st at 1.1... all those guys going 3-20 aren't even in my world anyhow. Alas, moving on...

It's a draft page! We're on the clock! Yay! My staff all want the QB from well-known powerhouse Rutgers, I guess why not, we're just barren there on the roster and it has to be hard to improve, right? Unless Steve DeBerg is out there as an 86-rated free agent, I didn't check. He's got a tag as a "game manager" which sounds like a serious knock on a 1.1 pick, but I don't really even see where that came from (interview, i suppose). QB Henry Knight, come on down.

...time passes...

Okay, we drafted. I have no idea how that is supposed to work - I surely did it all wrong. My pinhead staffers recommended guys, there are text write-ups on each guy (a la Football Mogul/Baseball Mogul) that seem to have been typed up by infinite monkeys, and most of the numeric data available before was gone at this point. If the game seems worth playing, maybe I'll try to figure things out someday.

After the fact, I see I got some emails from my various staffers telling me about "sleepers" they liked in the draft. Nice angle, I like it in concept. I, of course, missed it here but might look more closely once I figure out what to do in this game, generally.

Hitting "Advance League" goes back to free agency. Okay. I have $21m in cap space, and nothing but shiny fossils to spend it on. Beats me.

After 5 more FA days, it's apparently time for training camp. I know this because I was asked the loaded question "are you sure you're ready for training camp?" No I am not sure, lemme go do that shit right now. Well, it looks like you can customize this... don't feel like it right now, so we'll leave it vanilla, at my potential peril, I know, I know.

So, I get training camp results, which don't mean a lot except that FitzMagic apparently won't be one of those guys at 44 with stud level ratings asking for a huge contract:

Code:
Miami Dolphins Training Camp Results Player Pos Age Gain Boehm, E. (79) C 27 7 Calhoun, S. (72) G 24 7 Eguavoen, S. (71) LB 27 7 Jones, R. (99) SS 32 7 Lammons, C. (79) CB 24 7 Player Pos Age Loss Fitzpatrick, R. (76) QB 38 -20 Hurns, A. (86) WR 29 -5 Bademosi, J. (88) CB 30 -4 Davis, J. (75) T 29 -2 Jenkins, J. (79) DT 31 -2

So, these might be random, luck, or something meaningful... lost on me. Pluses are good, minuses are bad, that's all I've got for now.

So, we are apparently ready for pre-season. Here's my entire roster dumped out:

Code:
# Name Hgt Wgt Ovr Pos Age Exp Str Agi Arm Spe Hnd Int Acc RBl PBl Tck End KPw KAc Yrs Sal 14 Fitzpatrick, Ryan 6' 2" 223 76 QB 38 15 51 52 76 44 10 76 75 1 1 14 77 1 1 3 $6,100,000 14 Knight, Henry 6' 4" 252 87 QB 21 0 45 72 84 40 1 84 85 1 1 6 88 1 1 6 $8,100,000 3 Rosen, Josh 6' 4" 218 81 QB 24 2 63 46 79 56 45 78 81 1 1 45 79 1 1 3 $1,406,000 33 Ballage, Kalen 6' 2" 227 84 RB 25 2 51 72 58 79 73 59 55 62 55 1 82 1 1 2 $1,690,000 27 Farrow, Kenneth 5' 10" 220 77 RB 27 4 56 67 15 78 57 55 14 28 13 22 66 1 1 4 $1,280,000 37 Gaskin, Myles 5' 10" 195 81 RB 24 1 63 67 1 72 61 79 1 55 61 1 77 1 1 3 $1,070,000 28 Laird, Patrick 6' 0" 205 77 RB 23 1 61 61 1 73 57 66 1 55 61 57 80 1 1 3 $1,045,000 38 Cox, Chandler 6' 1" 236 80 FB 24 1 63 67 1 77 70 69 1 49 35 1 98 1 1 3 $836,000 62 Calhoun, Shaq 6' 3" 311 72 G 24 1 73 36 1 47 1 64 1 69 61 1 69 1 1 2 $780,000 63 Deiter, Michael 6' 6" 325 79 G 24 1 74 67 1 67 1 70 1 68 67 1 72 1 1 3 $712,500 62 Hearn, Taylor 6' 5" 325 80 G 24 2 74 68 1 47 1 57 1 75 75 1 72 1 1 4 $650,000 63 Isidora, Danny 6' 4" 322 83 G 26 3 94 40 1 37 13 59 1 81 71 30 74 1 1 3 $1,282,500 64 Reed, Chris 6' 5" 310 79 G 28 5 73 49 1 49 10 64 1 82 65 23 61 1 1 2 $1,020,000 71 Davenport, Julien 6' 7" 304 81 T 26 3 75 40 1 39 3 71 1 80 74 23 78 1 1 4 $4,190,000 77 Davis, Jesse 6' 6" 327 75 T 29 5 74 38 1 43 9 69 1 70 67 13 77 1 1 3 $627,000 75 Millard, Spencer 6' 3" 328 75 T 22 0 81 37 1 26 18 59 1 77 69 27 71 1 1 1 $300,000 59 Prince, Isaiah 6' 7" 310 81 T 24 1 84 61 1 65 1 68 1 68 69 1 76 1 1 3 $2,250,000 70 Boehm, Evan 6' 3" 310 79 C 27 4 79 41 1 46 10 48 1 78 69 23 54 1 1 3 $1,390,000 67 Kilgore, Daniel 6' 3" 308 89 C 33 9 86 37 1 52 13 58 1 85 78 30 63 1 1 2 $3,600,000 48 Pepper, Taybor 6' 4" 245 70 C 26 3 71 35 1 46 8 66 1 62 59 37 72 1 1 1 $690,000 86 Gesicki, Mike 6' 6" 252 79 TE 25 2 75 46 1 69 81 57 1 63 49 1 74 1 1 2 $3,660,000 46 Smythe, Durham 6' 5" 245 72 TE 24 2 66 64 1 69 63 43 1 61 60 1 74 1 1 3 $1,957,000 80 Sparks, Francisco 6' 5" 227 75 TE 21 0 60 70 1 86 61 70 1 38 37 18 59 1 1 1 $300,000 19 Grant, Jakeem 5' 6" 165 76 WR 28 4 40 69 1 74 83 65 1 22 17 35 80 1 1 3 $2,413,000 86 Hurns, Allen 6' 3" 205 86 WR 29 6 60 86 1 77 88 63 1 25 18 21 82 1 1 1 $9,888,000 15 Louis, Ricardo 6' 1" 215 73 WR 26 4 33 64 1 75 87 55 1 21 12 25 67 1 1 2 $760,000 11 Parker, DeVante 6' 3" 218 94 WR 27 5 57 87 1 91 97 60 1 16 13 35 81 1 1 1 $10,000,000 82 Williams, Preston 6' 4" 210 74 WR 23 1 70 60 1 74 63 64 1 31 27 14 74 1 1 2 $590,000 35 Aikens, Walt 6' 1" 210 87 CB 29 6 57 72 1 81 61 56 1 1 1 71 73 1 1 2 $4,270,000 20 Bademosi, Johnson 6' 0" 200 88 CB 30 8 41 73 1 78 53 50 1 1 1 90 79 1 1 3 $5,016,000 25 Howard, Xavien 6' 0" 201 88 CB 27 4 44 73 1 80 56 50 1 1 1 84 75 1 1 3 $1,985,500 30 Lammons, Chris 5' 10" 190 79 CB 24 2 57 61 1 64 66 69 1 1 1 72 68 1 1 1 $450,000 23 Tankersley, Cordrea 6' 1" 200 83 CB 26 3 43 69 1 81 48 53 1 1 1 79 63 1 1 2 $730,000 31 Webster, Ken 5' 11" 189 84 CB 25 1 57 66 1 70 63 74 1 1 1 78 82 1 1 3 $1,083,000 33 Wiltz, Jomal 5' 10" 174 75 CB 26 3 54 65 1 69 54 64 1 1 1 60 67 1 1 1 $1,212,000 55 Baker, Jerome 6' 1" 225 75 LB 24 2 52 66 1 67 49 68 1 1 1 79 76 1 1 2 $1,270,000 45 Biegel, Vince 6' 4" 245 78 LB 26 3 73 68 1 58 35 70 1 1 1 76 71 1 1 1 $1,692,000 49 Eguavoen, Samuel 6' 0" 227 71 LB 27 1 74 57 1 63 28 61 1 1 1 61 67 1 1 2 $610,000 56 Garcia, Willie 6' 1" 200 77 LB 24 0 76 78 1 60 25 46 1 1 1 72 63 1 1 1 $300,000 57 Hanks, Terrill 6' 3" 230 78 LB 24 1 61 74 1 83 51 74 1 1 1 66 79 1 1 3 $2,375,000 45 Hull, Mike 6' 0" 232 82 LB 29 5 71 61 1 71 34 62 1 1 1 83 67 1 1 2 $4,250,000 44 Lacey, Deon 6' 3" 235 80 LB 30 4 64 68 1 67 39 85 1 1 1 78 69 1 1 2 $740,000 52 McMillan, Raekwon 6' 2" 243 79 LB 25 3 73 63 1 68 51 75 1 1 1 71 73 1 1 2 $2,160,000 43 Van Ginkel, Andrew 6' 4" 236 81 LB 25 1 68 73 1 75 43 69 1 1 1 73 75 1 1 3 $2,210,000 72 Brown, Isaac 6' 1" 279 73 DT 20 0 70 67 1 43 39 47 1 1 1 68 50 1 1 3 $255,000 56 Godchaux, Davon 6' 4" 293 82 DT 25 3 76 44 1 62 34 52 1 1 1 76 58 1 1 3 $1,197,000 73 Jenkins, John 6' 3" 359 79 DT 31 7 80 40 1 43 23 45 1 1 1 71 55 1 1 3 $560,500 97 Wilkins, Christian 6' 4" 310 90 DT 24 1 85 70 1 75 1 76 1 1 1 75 72 1 1 3 $2,360,000 90 Harris, Charles 6' 3" 255 90 DE 25 3 73 74 1 76 27 46 1 1 1 83 59 1 1 3 $2,370,000 45 Harris, Trent 6' 2" 256 79 DE 24 2 70 64 1 66 40 61 1 1 1 70 55 1 1 4 $541,500 98 Ledbetter, Jonathan 6' 4" 280 77 DE 23 1 68 57 1 63 48 69 1 1 1 67 74 1 1 1 $860,000 78 Lehmann, Cedric 6' 1" 295 72 DE 24 0 82 58 1 59 35 65 1 1 1 50 74 1 1 4 $255,000 91 Moss, Avery 6' 2" 269 91 DE 25 3 74 66 1 74 25 47 1 1 1 92 57 1 1 3 $5,000,000 44 Orchard, Nate 6' 3" 255 83 DE 27 5 67 56 1 68 36 53 1 1 1 84 66 1 1 3 $2,185,000 29 Hays, Robt 6' 3" 203 73 FS 24 0 30 65 1 88 57 43 1 1 1 46 74 1 1 1 $300,000 28 McCain, Bobby 5' 11" 196 86 FS 27 5 35 72 1 93 52 52 1 1 1 83 64 1 1 3 $2,061,500 42 Bell, Jason 6' 0" 192 82 SS 20 0 43 86 1 72 63 67 1 1 1 74 78 1 1 4 $255,000 20 Jones, Reshad 6' 1" 215 99 SS 32 10 83 77 7 80 56 71 1 1 8 98 97 1 3 1 $10,000,000 7 Sanders, Jason 5' 11" 185 74 K 24 2 61 60 58 64 1 72 58 1 1 1 66 69 73 1 $470,000 2 Haack, Matt 6' 1" 201 76 P 25 3 48 64 58 67 1 57 1 1 1 1 82 77 74 3 $860,000

I don't want to dwell on stuff like my rookie QB being assigned the same jersey number as my veteran. That kind of stuff will get worked out in the...*checks notes*... sixth generation of the game or so. Move on.

Draft picks, and their overall ratings as of right now:
1.01 QB Henry Knight 87
2.01 S Jason Bell 82
3.01 DE Cedric Lehmann 72
4.01 DT Isaac Brown 73
4.19 LB Willie Garcia 77
5.01 T Spencer Millard 75
6.01 S Robt Hayes 72
7.01 TE Francisco Sparks 75

Beats me.

The whole flotilla of free agent veterans is still sitting there, including FB John Kuhn, who at a 99 overall rating is apparently the greatest football player to lace 'em up since Jim Thorpe. Whatevs. Every team is over the cap, maybe the consequence isn't anything except the inability to sign free agents.

I go to my "contracts" page, and figure I might try to re-sign a guy or two. I put in offers, don't know when it comes together.

I don't really know what else to do. So I'll just go ahead and start the season.

So... time passes... we end up 6-10. I'm looking for a way to capsule our stats, and paste them here. Don't see anything like that. Kinda funny the AFC leaderboards feature Deshaun Watson (check), our guy Knight (cjeck), and Aaron Murray (late of Georgia, last seen I don't know where) atop the leader boards for passing. Kalen Ballage posts a 1,000 yard game. I guess we were better, overall.

I look back into my email inbox, and notice that S Jones signed my extension, while WR Parker thought my offer was laughable. So it goes.

I save the game. Chuckle at the outcomes. And wrap up my writing for the night. We'll see if I make it back to this game, could go either way.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:37 AM   #9
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, my curiosity remains piqued enough to continue the morning after.

I realize that all my late round draft picks were signed to one-year deals. Seems odd, unless they remain "restricted" next offseason. My TE3 made $300K the minsal this year, but is asking for $700K/yr to re-sign, after posting zero yards all year. Another benchwarmer, a LB rated 77 overall, now wants $2.8m/yr after he also failed to log any playing time whatsoever. How do I make any sense of this? Doesn't seem to matter, as I let this go too long... I put in offers, but hitting the Advance thing appears to head into the next season, so off we go...
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:35 AM   #10
LastWhiteSoxFanStanding
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Dare I ask what kind of offense or defense you chose?

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Old 12-01-2019, 08:56 AM   #11
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Ask away. I haven't touched gameplanning a bit. Just trying to get the "build a team" portion of the game working now. FWIW, my rookie QB posted a bit over 4,000 yards and seems to have heavily targeted my WR1 and WR2, so the default offense (either everyone's default or maybe a function of my staff tendencies) seems to have been something of a run/vertical setup.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:50 AM   #12
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Offseason 2021:

I don't make any changes with my staff (uninteresting, at least for now)

Into free agency. This year there are several other teams with cap space, but my $51M is tops (w/46 players signed). We did let our top two WR walk (well, let them do so by not figuring out how to keep them) but I'm hopeful we can boss around the market and get at least Parker back.

So, in free agency - now there is a decent spread of players out there. The fossils are still sitting around, CB Terence Newman remains a 96-rated player at age 43 and year of rust... I'll continue to just skip over these guys, and assume the AI teams will also. But there are some quality still-playable guys here now... T Tyron Smith is a 98, LB Bobby Wagner is a 98, WR Devant Parker is a 94. Details aside, at least this looks and feels like a legitimate "free agent market." I'm guessing that the AI teams still over the cap will continue to sit it all out, which stinks, but I expect to make moves on at least a few guys here.

(Again, the on-screen message on how to offer a contract is either misleading or I'm missing something... it says I can do so from the player page, that seems to be false. I have to click "Open Bidding" and do it from that screen... which is fine, but not at all obvious)

I make offers:
WR Parker (94) Key, 4yr $8.2m/yr
LT Smith (97) Key, 3yr $6.8m/yr (lowballing on purpose)
RB Derrius Guice (89), Rotation, 4yr $2.4m/yr (lowball)
DE Leonard Williams (90), Rotation, 4yr $4.0m (lowball)

Oh... yes, I remember now... I double check my roster, and I see that I only have four 2nd year players, after drafting eight. Sure enough, those guys are sitting in free agency, I didn't extend their initial 1yr deals. That would have been nice to know about, but I didn't hunt down those particular acorns enough, I guess.

It kinds feels like cheating to go out and try to sign up every other teams' castoffs like this, so for now I'll just go after my own guys:

TE Sparks... oh, wow. He wants around $2m/yr to sign. I don't see that making sense. So, not now, at least.

***This seems like a major flaw in game logic. I drafted this guy, and he turns out to be pretty good (though only TE3 on my depth chart). By some unlucky dice roll (?), he gets assigned a 1yr contract. And his contract demands are based on his perceived skill level (and maybe potential) and I have no advantage, other than being able to extend him at basically market rate. In the real NFL, the main advantage of drafting quality contributors (or signing them as rookie free agents) is that you have them for a few years under your control, before market forces take effect. So... I got somewhat lucky with this guy as my 7th round draft pick, and because of that I receive... dirt squat nothing. Bad game logic. **

So, back to "what to do here?" Do I use this window to go out and sign up young guys who want to actually get paid, and pay up for their market-level demands? Doesn't seem as much line an exploit, now. I decide to split the baby here... I'll wait until after the draft, and if the AI teams haven't snapped someone up, I'll consider him fair game.

(Incidentally, I haven't paid attention to cap space effects of contracts and cuts... so I don't yet know if there's any downside to just cutting some of the cheap bums I have on my roster... but this offseason we'll aim to figure that out)

So... I run through the early free agent stages with those four targets. In an ideal world, I think I should be outbid on my lowballs... but optimism isn't that high. Last year I tried to lowball a guy and he just never signed with me or anyone, maybe that happens here too.

Day 1: 4 players sign with random teams, including Jared Goff (1yr 4.3m) to New England, who must have lost Brady. The Jets pay more on a 1yr deal with a TE I havent heard of, Hale Hentges... another of these bozos who's an afterthought in real life but a legit building block in this roster set. Sigh.

Day 2: Okay, good news is we signed DE Williams for $4m/yr. Bad news is we were outbid on WR Parker, he goes for $10m to Atlanta on a 1yr deal... almost all the AI deals are 1yr offers, except for Adrian Peterson - that spring chicken is definitely a 2yr at $8.6/yr kind of guy. Big future there. Weird news is that Patrick Mahomes gets signed by the Giants on a mediocre 1yr deal, befitting his unimpressive 86 overall ratings. (Faithfulness to perceived real players is not my focus, but WTF)

(In between stages) I go to my FA summary page, and see that BUF is offering much more money to T Smith. I should have known to check this for WR Parker, I guess. I bump to $9.4m - I want this guy. Now I'm told the 49ers are offering a LOT more money or RB Guice. Hmmm, ok. I focus on RB Rashad Penny (88) for $3.2m, who has no other offers. This feels like it's working about right, to me.

I check out other wide receivers, and now I realize... I must have a "maximum salary" option still checked. $10m is the max. Good lord, how awful is that, I dig up the "Settings" page, and will change it after these early FA stages, but before the draft. Why oh why would this be a default setting?

Day 3: T Smith gets the $10m max from Cleveland. I move on to LT David Bakhtari (97 overall) and try to go in with $7.25m, he seems to have no suitors. I also put in 2/6.7 for LB Bobby Wagner, best guy out there but 31y/o. I have no idea when players start to fade here, so I'll stay short term even on a cheap-o deal. (If over time it becomes clear cuts are no-consequence, then I'd make every under-market offer a long term one, I just don't know how that works here... there is no mention of bonus money, just side bonuses that look like performance incentives, which I haven't explored yet)

Day 4: WR Antonio Brown (100) gets 1yr/$10m from New England, heh. Other guys sign, like a ho-hum Lamar Jackson, etc - no more on that. We're listed as the leading offers for our 3 remaining targets, but none have signed with us - they were all under their requests, so that actually makes some sense. I decide to get serious with T Bakhtari, and up his offer to $8.75m, in hopes of landing him next stage and getting a key position settled.

Day 5: Pretty long list of free agents, that's realistic. Bakhtari gets the $10m max from Buffalo, RB Penny gets over $4m from KC, and I'm left out in the cold. Serves me right for fooling around... I presume offers closer to, or matching, their requests would have gotten me a solid addition or two.

I adjust the maximum salary number from $10m to $25m, leaving the maximum draft number at $10m. No idea how important that number is to the game's offer logic... I hope not that much. Would hate to see every 90+ player start getting offered 15% of the cap or something. I'll try to keep an eye on that.

Now I see more in Settings - Financial" that I want to tweak... next season:
-Allow Teams To Exceed Cap for Extensions (YES, want NO)
-Penalty % for Dropping Players (0%, I want something non-zero)
-Force Strict Cap (unchecked, I want it checked)

Okay... with those changes a lot of this ought to make more sense. And now I'm leaning toward racing through this second "learning season."

Note: despite the various warts, I am starting to get a feel for how the game is supposed to work, and with the things I'm spotting along the way, I think this might be a viable game to play in career mode.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:02 AM   #13
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
..Incidentally, that setting page also includes minimum salaries based on player ratings. I'm guessing this is to avoid the sort of nonsense we see in FOF when unclaimed players just get snapped up on 1yr minsal deals at certain stages, to ensure that rosters are filled (and in glorious lazy fashion, Arizona just gets to snag all the best guys, because alphabetical order dontchaknow). So... I haven't tweaked these, but my guess is that in time, certain settings here might be important to maintain some balance, even if it means that a 97-rated guy (maybe a 47 year old player who doesn't seem to age) doesn't get a contract, because he's asking for too much money.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:18 AM   #14
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
2021 Rookie Draft

I don't know where I'm picking... it's near the top but not #1. That is not easy to find anywhere in game. Seems odd. We need players at WR, RB, and everywhere on defense. I focus my scouting and interviews on these positions.

My staff offers some thoughts on draft sleepers w "great potential":
(posting here as a note to myself...can't copy/paste, dammit)
CB Abraham
FS Casey
P Levi
LB Baker
T Whittington
C Roman
DT Cuevas

Since I felt so lost in the last draft, I think I will use these recommendations to help fill out my later round picks, if that seems workable. The last two come from me... which I don't understand. I assigned myself a 5 in all the skills, so I presume I'm a mediocre scout, and won't weight that too highly. But I guess in theory I should be weighing the recommendations based on the staff scouting ratings: so my OC McFarland is 3.5 stars there, and he likes... the fucking punter. Awesome. But in concept, I like how this could work... these pre-draft recommended "sleepers" would be more reliable if you invested in staff member(s) with good scouting ability.

It's rather annoying... I can pivot from a summary screen to seeing combine scores and personality traits, but on those pages I can neither see who has been selected for scouting/interview, nor make that selection. So it's a lot of back and forth between these screens if I really want to put some effort into tailoring my list of draft targets properly. In a serious game, I guess I would... here, not so much. I end up loking over the receivers, sorting by combines like 40 time, and saying names out loud to myself so I can flip back to the summary screen and click them to be targeted. Ugh.

I also have a familiar grievance (same as in the online draft conscriptor tool we use for FOF)... sorting combines low to high as a default makes sense for certain select combines (the timed ones) but it's the wrong sort for everything else. Clicking twice to get stuff like jump distances and bench presses isn' a big inconvenience, but it's a tiny one and I will be reminded of it constantly playing this game... which isn't a good micro-interaction between developer and user. It can't be that hard to pre-set different default sorts here... who would ever want to see who was the worst guy in the draft at any combines?

Okay, on to the actual draft... for our top pick, all my staff agree on a WR, a guy rated "Round 1" rather than "Top 10" on the big board. Hmm, does that mean we should try to trade down? Accumulating more draft picks seems to be of limited value here, given the short contract duration and immediate reset to market value. So, I guess all I get from dealing down would be mostly to get my guy more cheaply here on a long term deal, which is worth something but not a ton. I'll follow their recommendation and take the WR, skipping the more highly regarded DE and T who are also there...

(Using this section to note what my scouts say about each player)

1.6 WR Gerald Williams (1st) D C+ B+ B B+ 19.9 19.9 19.4
2.6 WR Alberto Worthy (1st-2nd) C B C B C 19.4 19.4 18.9
3.6 LB Lauren Lockett (2nd) C B C+ A C+ 16.6 16.6 15.6
4.6 FS Timothy Purdy (3rd) C C C+ C+ B+ 14.9 14.9 14.9
5.6 C David Roman (4-5) C B+ F B C+ 13.0 11.0 12.5
6.6 WR Gerald Bassett (4-5) C C A+ B+ C- 13.5 13.5 13.0 C!
7.6 FS Courtney Casey (4-5) C- C+ A+ B C 10.4 10.4 8.9

WR Gerald Bassett is a guy I'll watch closely... he was a combine standout by my eyeball test, but fell in the draft. My scouts don't give him a high number, but the letter grades look pretty good. If he turns out to be a steal, I'll feel like I gathered something valuable about drafting here.

I will note that C Roman and FS Casey were emailed "sleeper" picks, but my staff had nothing good to say about them during the draft, which seems like a missed opportunity. At least the one guy who touted him ought to have him rated more highly, right? Internal consistency, and all. I understand it's a computer game and not tiny little people, but it would make sense for that to "stick." Otherwise just have the pre-draft emails come from a scouting service we paid for, or something like that.

Okay, draft us done, we have 54 players on the roster.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:18 PM   #15
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I'm going to deliberately make a trade here, to see if the pick vanishes like they seemed to do last time. I offer my FB Chandler Cox to SF for their 6th... close. 7th, and still no deal. Okay, then. Cox and C Boehm? Just a tad more. WR Ricardo Louis? Still not enough. Bucs take it for their 7th next year. And theor 2022 7t now shows up among my trade-able assets. So far, looks right. We'll see when the draft comes around if it's still there.

So, I hit the FA market again. Need a kicker, FB and 3rd QB, want to add a couple legitimate assets.

So, with the artificial caps lifted, LB Bobby Wagner (rated 98 overall) is indeed asking for something close to the new $25m cap. Okay, that's silly - it ought to be position-adjusted obviously - but it's better than having their requests be artificially capped. This should also add value to early draft picks... get a star and he's yours for under $10m for several years. Okay then. So, set aside the old scale, this is the new scale.

Offers in:
K Parkey (79), 1/1.5
FB Howell (79), 2/1.5
QB Duffy (68), 1/1.2
P Davis (79), 1/1.1

I don't see any super-cheap options here. I don't know what happened to undrafted rookies... but guys here are all seeking more than a million per year to sign. What gives? It looks like they are all looking for "open market" money rather than "draft slot" money, which makes zero sense.

I find T Whittington, a guy my staff touted, and offer him $1.6m for one year (compared to the $300K he'd have made if we drafted him in round 7). Crazy. He's rated 68 overall - that means he likely goes directly to the practice squad, even. Bad system.

So, what should I do here? Should I pay up to land LB Wagner? I decide to try to lowball him, and see if I can get him for a couple of years. I am nothing if not an angle shooter, after all.

LB Wagner (98) 2/16.2

Day 6: A few of the pricey veterans have gotten contracts... 40 y/o TE Antonio Gates on a savvy 2yr deal, that guy's got a big future ahead of him. I have the leading offer on all my targets except Wagner, no detail on him that I can find, other than I'm not in the lead. No email. Oh, there's a FA Report, that shows all players with an offer, alphabetically because that makes sense, and it says Washington is in the lead, with us the only other suitor. I make a 5/8.0 offer to T Donovan Smith, getting itchy to fill that role somehow.

Day 7: We land two guys, P Davis and FB Howell. Both slots would be better filled by rookies. Ugh. LB Wagner gets his $21m from Washington.

Day 8: No news.

Day 9: We land T Whittington for a bit under his absurd asking price.

Day 10: What do I do here? Not sure my roster is valid yet, but don't want to sign multiple overpriced stiffs. I let it ride. Nobody signs, it seems, so I only have 2x QB and that's flagged as illegal. We'll see how I can fix that.

The "Sign Free Agent" window is still there...and now there are new buttons to click on free agents: "Sign - Practice" and "Sign - Active." Well okay then.

New pickups:
QB Alvarado (75) 1/300K
K Gaines (75) 1/300K

Now, that's a solid deal for an undrafted rookie. So, just wait 'em out, and take them after the formal FA process is over. Got it.

So, as I go back to look for the contract info on these rookies, I see that my last round of free agents did, in fact, sign - that just didn't get indicated to me anywhere (except maybe in my email inbox, didn't check that). So, we did get T Smith and C Parkey, after all. Go figure. The only item in my email inbox is that LB Wagner signed elsewhere. Weird game, I really feel like it's an easter egg hunt just to know WTF is going on stage by stage.

Well, I'mma try to do one of these auto-sign deals with another free agent who has gone unclaimed. My fast TE from last year's draft is still saying he's a 4/4.4 sort of guy. I'll just click the "Sign - Active" and see where that gets me... to find out, I need to close his page, close out the free agent menu, then go to my roster including contracts... so easy! He's at 1/300K, as I suspected.

Okay... time to realign thinking here a bit. These 1yr draftee contracts aren't a nightmare after all. I didn't have to pay my 7th round TE the market salary he was asking for, I just needed to wait him out and one he got no legit offers, he signs for minsal with us for one year.

Hmm...what about legit players at this stage? FB Tre Madden played for AZ last season (albeit sparingly) and looks good, is asking for $5m, since he's rated 92 overall for some reason. His request is 3/4.7... I click "Sign - Active" and (tedious series of clicks later) he's aboard at 1/300K.

Okay, enough with that. That seems like a huge exploit waiting to happen, right? But for now I'll mostly ignore it, with only a legit FB to show for my foibles.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:39 PM   #16
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Training camp. I again punt on allocating time, maybe later.

Rookies before:
Code:
52 Lockett, Lauren 6' 3" 226 74 LB 21 0 56 79 1 67 18 73 1 1 1 69 76 1 1 3 $300,000 80 Worthy, Alberto 6' 5" 213 83 WR 24 0 30 91 1 75 90 62 1 37 1 27 86 1 1 3 $255,000 89 Williams, Gerald 6' 2" 206 80 WR 22 0 25 66 1 87 90 57 1 22 23 31 75 1 1 5 $3,320,000 83 Bassett, Gerald 6' 2" 233 70 WR 22 0 42 88 1 58 77 42 1 36 21 27 64 1 1 1 $300,000 28 Howell, Donnell 5' 11" 205 75 FB 24 0 47 52 1 57 50 53 1 64 42 33 50 1 3 2 $1,500,000 51 Roman, David 6' 6" 319 71 C 22 0 76 45 1 56 1 57 1 67 56 49 40 1 1 2 $300,000 74 Whittington, Brad 6' 2" 315 68 T 21 0 66 35 1 51 20 52 1 60 66 37 72 1 1 1 $1,600,000 22 Casey, Courtney 6' 3" 202 76 FS 22 0 32 82 1 77 50 45 1 1 1 63 63 3 1 1 $300,000 25 Purdy, Timothy 6' 1" 204 69 FS 22 0 49 57 1 88 37 61 1 2 1 49 71 1 1 2 $300,000

Rookies after:

Code:
52 Lockett, Lauren 6' 3" 226 74 LB 21 0 56 79 1 67 21 73 1 1 1 69 79 1 1 3 $300,000 80 Worthy, Alberto 6' 5" 213 83 WR 24 0 30 91 1 75 90 62 1 37 1 27 86 1 1 3 $255,000 89 Williams, Gerald 6' 2" 206 80 WR 22 0 25 67 1 87 90 57 1 22 23 31 75 1 1 5 $3,320,000 83 Bassett, Gerald 6' 2" 233 70 WR 22 0 42 88 1 58 77 42 1 36 21 27 66 1 1 1 $300,000 28 Howell, Donnell 5' 11" 205 75 FB 24 0 47 52 1 57 50 53 1 64 42 33 50 1 3 2 $1,500,000 51 Roman, David 6' 6" 319 75 C 22 0 76 47 1 56 5 62 1 71 59 49 44 1 1 2 $300,000 74 Whittington, Brad 6' 2" 315 68 T 21 0 66 35 1 51 23 52 1 60 66 37 75 1 1 1 $1,600,000 22 Casey, Courtney 6' 3" 202 76 FS 22 0 32 82 1 77 50 45 1 1 1 63 63 3 1 1 $300,000 25 Purdy, Timothy 6' 1" 204 70 FS 22 0 49 58 1 88 37 61 1 2 1 51 74 1 1 2 $300,000

In-game summary:
Miami Dolphins Training Camp Results

Player Pos Age Gain
Roman, D. (75) C 22 22
Gaskin, M. (83) RB 25 14
Laird, P. (80) RB 24 9
Gesicki, M. (81) TE 26 6
Lockett, L. (74) LB 21 6

Player Pos Age Loss
Aikens, W. (85) CB 30 -5
Grant, J. (76) WR 29 -5
Jenkins, J. (78) DT 32 -5
Hull, M. (81) LB 30 -3
Reed, C. (79) G 29 -2

Well, well, hello David Roman. +22 in camp? I see 71 to 74... maybe the +22 is some combination of component ratings, perhaps? I don't get it, yet.

Our rookie WRs, drafted in rounds 1 and 2, clock in at 80 and 83 overall. I'd call that disappointing, especially Williams, who we reached to take at 1.6 based on the staff's enthusiasm for him. But they should immediately become our WR1 and WR2, and (based on last year) get a lot of targets right away.

Roster management - 60 players. QB Duffy released. P Haack released. Several to the "practice squad," which I sense doesn't mean the same thing as it does in the NFL, it's more like the "inactive roster" I think. (Maybe I did wrong in setting my roster limits to 53 and 7... perhaps the NFL setting would be 46 and 7? It's hard when the game uses a specific term of art but differently than it's conventionally used. Alas.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:41 PM   #17
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
..and the word "Squad" doesn't seem to appear in the pdf User Guide anywhere, either. So, no clarity there.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:04 PM   #18
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Ok, ready to play. Depth charts, gameplans, and so forth all in staff hands. I'm just trying to build a roster, at least for now. S Jones continues to play at MLB, for what it's worth, I'm not manually fixing it. WR Worthy, our top pick, steps in as our top PR/KR, that seems like a good use of a top ten pick, sure.

Preseason is uneventful. I'm guessing we stay around 6-10, losing that much WR talent was a big blunder.

We actually start off pretty well (we started 4-2 last season before collapsing) and we hold the division lead at 4-3. 7 games in and RB Patrick Laird, our camp breakout guy, has 450 yards already. WRs Williams (587) and Worthy (499) are both humming along as we remain in the Bruce Arians offense, it seems. DE Leonard Williams is a major factor for our D (and I feel bad for signing him before I realized the maxsal numbers were such a problem).

Small thing... in-season, after I click "Simulate Week" the game immediately jumps to the next week's matchups. I can't see standings, or even records next to the teams in the previews. So, I need to back out of that menu and open up standings to see who won the game. Again, not a huge deal, but making me work for it more than seems intuitive. Wouldn't you think a lot of GMs want to do what I'm doing... sim the week, and immediately see how our game went?

However... we fade. First to 5-6, then 6-7, and then ultimately to 6-10.

Code:
Week 1 New Orleans Saints Miami Dolphins NO 14 Mia 10 Week 2 Oakland Raiders Miami Dolphins Oak 42 Mia 17 Week 3 Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs Mia 28 KC 24 Week 4 Miami Dolphins New York Jets Mia 35 NYJ 22 Week 5 Miami Dolphins Buffalo Bills Mia 13 Buf 26 Week 6 New York Jets Miami Dolphins NYJ 3 Mia 13 Week 7 Atlanta Falcons Miami Dolphins Atl 21 Mia 24 Week 8 Los Angeles Chargers Miami Dolphins LA 27 Mia 24 Week 9 Miami Dolphins Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mia 20 TB 17 Week 11 New England Patriots Miami Dolphins NE 31 Mia 24 Week 12 Indianapolis Colts Miami Dolphins Ind 9 Mia 6 Week 13 Miami Dolphins Baltimore Ravens Mia 25 Bal 28 Week 14 Miami Dolphins Carolina Panthers Mia 26 Car 9 Week 15 Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Mia 17 NE 20 Week 16 Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins Buf 30 Mia 17 Week 17 Miami Dolphins Denver Broncos Mia 20 Den 28

So, there we are. Another early draft pick, but the team is starting to come into focus, as is the game.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:15 PM   #19
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Quick stat watch:
QB Knight 4,289yds 6.9ypa 25/17 88.2
RB Laird 248-762 3TD 3.1 ypc
WR Worthy 98-1,261 8TD
WR Williams 107-1,250 4TD
DE Williams 68T 14Sack

Whatever... we're still mediocre, and likely have some cap issues looming. Fair's fair. I suspect much of the league will face tougher cap issues than us, so we'll hope to keep building.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:17 PM   #20
Comey
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: CT via PA via CA via PA
I'll be blunt: I was going to write a review of the last version of the game. I couldn't get through it. It was way too cumbersome, frustrating...had no idea what I was doing with the pro or college version (recruiting was a total albatross for me). I saw you start up a dynasty and thought maybe things had cleared up.

I see, now, that is not the case. Damn.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #21
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, my ceasefire here is not 100% a sign of me giving up on this game. I've been super busy with work, and am now porting materials to a new laptop...so tied up a bit. I have definitely lost momentum, especially since I feel the first few seasons of this "career" were wasted by all the non-intuitive settings that I could/should have made out of the box (proper salary cap, reasonable salary ranges, correct roster sizes).

I think I might get a thread going at the Wolverine forums (mostly wilderness but that's the proper place, I think) to see if there's a hivemind group of "settings to best replicate the modern NFL." Sigh.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:46 AM   #22
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thread posted at the Wolverine boards:
• View topic - League settings to model the modern NFL

Might be fun. Posted here, with a new FOF product, that would expand into multiple pages and there would be people posting Excel spreadsheets and insisting I'm a jackalope for my inane suggestions. There... who knows?
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:44 PM   #23
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
After posting my thread, I decided to play through the 2022 season. I did my usual draft (really not feeling like I am contributing a lot to this, still) and was a bit more active in free agency. I resisted the temptation to load up on high quality "minsal" players, but that apparent exploit is definitely sitting there, as (at least thus far) there are a LOT of quality player who go untouched through free agency. I think it will take several more seasons to see what the longer term flow would be like.

The super-short contracts for late round veterans is a major irritant for team-building. If all I get is one under-market year for an unplayable guy with potential, why bother drafting him in the 7th round? He punches in as a pretty nice 78 overall, makes $300K that year getting only a few snaps at all, and then immediately wants $2.4m/yr to extend? WTF? The whole freaking point of the NFL draft after the first 30-60 picks is to lock in potentially productive players on very affordable deals for their initial development years, and hope you get something out of some of them.

Anyway... my Dolphins jumped from 6-10 to 10-6, earned a wild card slot, and a cup of coffee in the playoffs. This despite only 4000 yards passing and a measly 20/12 ratio, well under 4 yards per carry rushing, and nothing (it seems) to shout about on defense. What gives? Are defenses just ahead of offense in this proto-league? (Early answer... perhaps. We're in the top half of the league offensively, with these stats that a modern NFL team would fire the staff over.)

I put in a series of contract extensions, mostly modest lowballs, and all the return messages seem to be furious and angry. I guess this game isn't one of "whittle it down" but instead "take it or leave it." Got it. i still don't know what the proper price would be to "lock up" a young guy with an overall rating of, say, 75. That makes him a deep reserve (like a LB6/7, or OL7/8) on a quality roster, and that means he won't play much at all. So, you're hoping that... he might develop a bit? A lot? I still haven't noticed any of my camp monsters really moving the needle a ton over time, but it's only been a couple seasons. So, if the minsal for a 70s rated player is going to be $500K... what is a fair price to try to lock up a given 75-rated guy, who shows a bit of promise, for 3 years instead of just one? $600K? $800K? I don't know. Anyway, most of these guys, I expect, will go unsigned through all the free agency stages, and will come back to us for another 1yr minsal deal next offseason right before training camp. So...do I lose cohesion from that time off my roster? (Guessing yes, if the model works like FOF)
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 AM   #24
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I confess I'm at a crossroads now. Starting the next season, we have 22 players on our roster. Add in a draft class and that's 29. So, we need to sign 24 more guys through free agency.

Here's the thing... this is putting an even sharper point on the difference between a formal free agent signing (during the official FA stages), and the right-before-camp signings, which are just immediate 1yr minsal deals. And I'm already house-ruling myself blind basically every time I sign anyone but a total superstar in true free agency, because I (basically) know there will be a smorgasbord of available players out there afterward, much cheaper. As long as cohesion isn't a major factor in the game (no clue if that's so) it's patently obvious that signing decent players to deals for 3-5 times the minsal amount for their skill is a dead end. That's a perverse incentive in the game, and one that is increasingly hard to square my time/investment with, to be honest.

In my thread about NFL financial/roster settings at the Wolverine forum, Brooks responded directly, and was very upbeat. But in doing so, he basically (to his credit) put his cards on the table... this game just wasn't designed with the NFL financial system in mind. It was designed for, more or less, (my words here) the fans of the FB Pro line of games -- as a GM you draft your team and maybe make a few trades, but the real work is being the "play designer" between games and the "play caller" in-game. I haven't even gotten to those parts of this game, which may indeed be just ducky. As I launched my thread about settings to make this game more closely mirror the actual NFL financial and roster system, Brooks replied "[i] have no idea if it will work."

Right now, if you gave me truth serum, here's what I think: I probably have enough thoughts in my head to guide a developer/programmer to alter the financial system to make it a reasonable approximation of an NFL style financial system... but the wave of changes and rethinking required to get this game to that point are probably well beyond what I'm able to give freely. I'll mess around with 10-20 hours of my time to help improve something in FOF, a game I'm already invested in... sure. Have spent a ton more than that both pre-release and post-release in various versions, and am on balance fine with having done so. But to commit... idunno...100 hours? At this point in my life and career, that's a consulting gig, not a hobby. And my consulting time doesn't come cheaply.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM   #25
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
If there's a patch coming soon, as Brooks has suggested, here are the quick (easy for me to say) things I would urge to be in it -- trying to constrain myself to things that don't seem like major programming matters.

4 Year Draftee Contracts - Every draftee contract should be multiple years. In the NFL, it's a standard 4 year deal for everyone. Why not just model that? That makes draft picks have real value - the value lies in the team's ability to keep that player at that cheap cap cost for this initial four years. In PF20 now, with many contracts being only 1 year long, the team gets virtually nothing for its draft day investment... fix that. If you want the undrafted rookies to only be 1yr deals for some reason, that's a lesser matter, but fix the rookie contracts.

Scale Contract Demands Aggressively On Position Importance - Maybe this is done to some degree in-game now... if so, exaggerate it. Let me input my maximum salary knowing that the only player who would actually get that much money would be a tip-top quarterback, and scale it down from there. Here are my first stabs at ratios for every position, off the top of my head: QB 1.0, DE/WR 0.7, OT/RB 0.6, C/G/TE/CB/DT/LB/SS/FS 0.5, P/K 0.3 ... I'm sure a ton of effort could further improve that list, but if your numbers are a lot more bunched up than that, you're creating too little differentiation by position.

Revisit Aging/Retirement Routines - There's a serious issue with older players sitting around well past their real-world prime age, seeking fat contracts befitting their still-very-high ratings. That severely distorts the player marketplace. If I were playing "all out" my best path would surely be to sign a ton of these 90+ rated geriatrics to my team on minsal contracts, and dominate with them. I'm skipping them in my career on the working assumption that they're present due to a programming weakness... it should be remedied. My stab at it: most players should begin a ratings decline, especially in speed/agility skills, around age 29... RB a bit sooner, QB/P/K a bit later. It's okay if guys remain viable while that's happening... but there should never be a whole wave of speed demon CB, WR, RB sitting around at age 35+ looking to peddle their wares at the highest level.
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