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Old 02-22-2017, 12:00 PM   #1
JeffR
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New Goaltender Systems (ver. 3.3.109 and later)

(I'm un-stickying the original version of the 3.3.109 update notes, but I'm going to leave the parts dealing with the goalie and tactical changes up in separate posts for easy reference. Here's the goaltender stuff.)

There are two significant new systems for goaltenders: One that tracks how hot (or cold) a goaltender is (and adjusts his performance accordingly), as well as a new starter management system:

Goaltender Heat:

-All goalies have a "Heat" rating that tracks how hot (or cold) they are.
-The range is 0 to 5, indicated by flame icons (1-5) or the snowflake icon (0) on the goalie section of the strategy screen, and also shown after the goalie's name on the roster and dressed list (e.g. (1))
-The natural resting level is 1, goalies will cool off if they're not used but will only drop below 1 due to playing badly. However, all goalies start each new season at 0 - they'll need some playing time in exhibition games to warm up.
-The heat number works as follows: for each game, all of the goalie's goaltending (not mental) ratings are reduced slightly before a game. Then a random number is added to them; the upper bounds of this random number that can be selected are dependent on the goalie's Heat rating - the hotter he is, the more chance of a large number (and if he's cold, that number may be so low that it doesn't get the reduced ratings back to his base level.)
-The heat adjustments can potentially reduce the effective star level of a cold goalie by up to (roughly) 2 stars, while a hot one can potentially be raised 2-3 stars (bear in mind these are extremes where the random portion would have to be very unlucky or lucky.)
-Events that can raise the heat rating in rough order of the chances of getting an increase): getting a shutout, having a large number of saves in a game, winning a game.
-Events that can lower the heat rating in rough order of the chances of getting a decrease): getting replaced in a game (not by an extra attacker), giving up a large number of goals in the game, losing a game.
-Heat will also tend to decline if the goalie isn't playing regularly, roughly one point per 3-4 games missed consecutively
-Finally, Heat is lowered by 1 point (but not below 1) when a new season phase (exhibition, regular season, playoffs, etc.) begins or when an international tournament the goalie is playing in begins (so a hot goalie going into the playoffs is good to have, but not necessarily a sure thing, and a mid-season international tournament can significantly alter a goalie's hot/cold status for his club team.)
-Heat can only be raised or lowered by one point per game.

The net effect of this addition is making your choice of starter no longer just a matter of picking the guy with the most stars as long as his fitness isn't extremely low - it now makes sense to do things like start a hot rookie over a veteran starter in the playoffs even though the veteran is better "on paper," - but at the same time, you also need to consider how to get a cold starter enough playing time to get his edge back and maybe get hot himself.

Starter Management:

-There's now a "Goalie Starts" tab on the strategy screen. These settings control the priorities the AI will use when choosing your starting goalie for each game, ranging from 0 (ignore this factor) to 4 (vitally important.)
-Settings are: Start the hottest goalie, Start the best-rested goalie, Alternate goalies in back-to-back games, Always start a goalie again after a shutout, Start the best goalie, Backup start frequency, and Stick with the starter during the playoffs
-Some of the categories are limited in range at certain times, e.g. backup start frequency can't go below 1 after 1965, or above 1 before 1939.
-The AI uses these factors and their weighting (and a small amount of randomness) to choose who will start the next game - it'll determine the current situation relevant to each of rules, identify the relative importance of each of them, and put it all together to make a final starter decision.
-There's a "lock" checkbox that prevents the AI from overriding these priorities; otherwise, it'll re-choose them whenever there's a roster change involving a goalie or a new season phase begins. "AI Setup Organization" with the lock unchecked will cause the AI to choose a new rules set.
-The human user can always override the AI starter choice by changing goalies from the pregame strategy screen (which includes a section for goalies now, in the "Special" tab.)

In summary, you can set up your own, very specific, priorities for goalie use, so you're not dependent on the AI's cookie-cutter choices - or you can just override them completely and set the goalie in the pregame screen.
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