Last fall, I provided an overview of Dynasty League Baseball Online, a browser-based baseball simulation (www.dynastyleaguebaseball.com). Since then, the game has seen the addition of some new features; the biggest is a league mode featuring some of the greatest teams of all time.
The basics of this game have not changed since I wrote about it in November. Dynasty League is a dice-based game, heavily based on statistics. It easily and efficiently runs in a browser, with customizable display options and a simple but intuitive interface. You can play against an AI opponent or other humans via live tournaments and leagues.
The new Greatest Teams Leagues are the most lauded addition to the game's list of options. Essentially, you select a team from a list of the greatest teams of all time. Team selection is pretty balanced both chronologically and geographically, but most of the teams in my sample league were from the latter quarter of the century.
Games are scheduled well in advance, and it's easy to reschedule games that may not fit your schedule. Should you (or your opponent) not make your scheduled game, the AI will take over.
Games are also grouped into two- or three-game series, which leads me to one small complaint. If you play a three-game series, it can take a fair amount of time, especially depending on how long your opponent takes to make decisions. Again, your presence is not required, but it makes the game more fun. Basically, just be sure to leave enough time to enjoy the entire series.
What’s really interesting about this mode is that the stats remain very accurate. One might think that stats would become skewed with so many superstars in a league, but in my experience, the stats balanced themselves out to believable norms. For instance, in my current league, team batting averages fall between the mid to upper .200s, and team ERAs range from 2.95 to 5.90
In talking with one of the programmers, it is easy to see how carefully the simulation engine has been constructed in an effort to re-create accurate and lifelike statistics. For instance, things that are not typically taken into account, such as pitcher hold times and situational hitting, are evident both numerically and in practice. Do not try to steal on a pitcher with a great pickoff move; don’t expect your lockdown pitcher to give up a home run with runners on.
Ballparks play a huge factor as well, and they are statistically and visually accurate. The game is played “on” high-resolution pictures of classic or modern stadiums. Even more important are the effects that contribute to home runs, foul balls, etc.
In all, what you get is perhaps one of the deepest and most well researched simulations available. Better yet, it is a browser-based and has live multiplayer -- probably the only game that can boast that title. It’s easy to see the level of depth and detail that the producers put -- and continue to put -- into the game engine.
If you have not taken a look at Dynasty League Baseball Online yet, give it a try. The Greatest Team Leagues provide a truly unique experience. Oh, and "fantasy draft leagues" are coming soon as well.