The story so far...
It has almost been a month since the start of this season and the implementation of the new game engine. We are glad to report that the things that we set out to improve, have indeed been improved. The new tactical options work fine and as intended. We have of course been reading your reactions and thoughts about the new engine in the forums. We know that there is still room for improvement.
Some of you have blamed the new engine for your lack of success early in the season or for some rather unexpected results. Others have experienced an increase in the number of penalties taken when compared to previous seasons. This must be attributed to the new way of distributing penalties. The teams that were benefiting from the old system are no longer so dominant in this area and that might be causing their lack of success. That doesn't mean, however, that the way penalties are calculated is wrong. In fact, it is much more accurate than before.
The first few weeks have revealed to us some things that we must address before the start of next season. We know that we must take measures in order to represent the growing differences in team strength between the teams. The thing is, that even though differences between teams are getting bigger, the games might actually be getting closer due to the fact that the difference expressed in percentages are getting smaller. That is also the main reason why some people think upsets are more common in this new engine. The truth is that the new engine has nothing to do with that. It is just the natural development of the game that has caused some people to perceive that the new engine produces more unpredictable results.
Let me illustrate that on a very simplified example. Imagine team A that had team strength of 80 at the beginning of last season and team B with team strength 60. And now imagine that team A improved to 100 and team B to 78. The difference is bigger (20 to 22 points), but the difference in percentage actually got smaller (25% to 22%). This is probably the most significant element that we want to adjust for season 8. We already have a clear idea how to do that.
We also plan to tip the scales in favor of the stronger teams by giving them an edge in the number of power plays. In real hockey, the team that dominates the game is usually not forced to take penalties, while the team that is dominated must often resort to this because the players are being outskilled, outplayed and outskated. The technique:aggressiveness ratio will still be relevant, but it will not be the only thing entering the calculation of penalties from season 8.
We do not plan too many changes (if any) in terms of new tactical options this time around. We will concentrate on the tune-up of the engine mechanisms. These changes are not going to eliminate the chances of upsets, but they should reduce them to a certain extent. We do not want to completely get rid of surprising results. We are only striving to make the game as realistic as we possibly can.
Finally a small note that we have added a new filter to the player market a couple of weeks ago. You can filter players by status and this way you can find free agents or players without a team. I am sure you have noticed it, but I have forgotten to mention it in the previous news.
Have a nice day!