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OOTP 20 - New to the Game? If you have basic questions about the the latest version of our game, please come here!

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Old 06-15-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
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Questions from a complete Newcomer

Hey guys,

I am absolutely new to OOTP Baseball, and I have a few questions concerning the game before I want to purchase it, so I figured that this was the best section to get some answers.

To begin, I am a casual baseball fan (from Europe), I have watched some games over the years and even been to a few stadiums while visiting. I also play The Show from time to time so I guess that has helped me a little with my understanding of the game. That being said, Im not a stats nerd, and my comprehension of the game is kinda limited to understanding what skills each defensive position requires (range and arm at third and right field, pretty much a little of everything at short stop etc). I also get that you want guys with good OBP as your number 1 and 2 hitters, and a cleanup guy at nr 3 (and after that its blank for me ).
I do get the draft, FA and Minor League system, so thats a plus.

Aside from that, I dont know much. I love manager games, unfortunately there aren't any decent basketball and football managers (for mac), although Im hoping for OOTP's FOF to come out soon OOTP Baseball however is so critically acclaimed for what it does, that I am super intrigued and I might wanna give it a shot.

Im thinking that Ill be setting up more of a GM type of game to start. I honestly do not have enough time to go through every full game of the RS, and I want to make decent progress in a fairly short amount of time. As you can see my knowledge of the game is superficial, so I doubt that I would do particularly well "coaching" the team.

I guess my question is if you think this game is "beginner friendly"? I want depth in terms of FA, draft and development, but Im not a baseball guy, so I wont coach a team to a championship.
Do you think the AI does a good job coaching the team? Can I build a championship team and leave it in the hands of the AI coach to win it all? Other manager games tend to not get the most out of team when given control, how does OOTP compare to that?
Do you have any general tipps and advice for a beginner of the game as well as the sport?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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I am also from Europe but unlike you was completely new to both baseball and OOTP when i purchased the game.

I love sports management games and the reputation OOTP has as being so in depth and immersive are what persuaded me to try. If you have a little understanding of the game its a good start but the more you do understand the better the game comes in my opinion, its so in depth it can be a little daunting at first. But if you want to try a complete management game, in my opinion the only one comparable is football manager. I love the stats side of it as well, so for me learning what each one means and corresponds to, and then correlating that into the in game stats has been great for me.

I spent a fair amount of time reading about what the stats and rules of baseball are and mean etc, and read many threads in this forum as well as watching some tutorials on you tube about it and have found it to be very helpful. You do have the option through the game settings to make it as in depth as you like, or likewise make it easier to begin with and progressively add the more in depth aspects as you play through.

I went for the full in depth game to begin and play both manager and GM, i play through all regular season games but give full control to the ai bench coach in game so i just spectate. A personal decision, but it allows me to both get a better understanding of the games and monitor each players progress as the season goes on. I have found so far in my play throughs the ai makes pretty good decisions, if you have a good coaching staff and playing staff you will have a good chance of building a good team. I have so far only started with teams in a position to challenge for possible playoffs spots but like to start fresh and trade high contracts or older players for younger prospects and minor league prospects, normally making the first year or two a bit of a struggle.

If you do have any questions, the forum here are pretty good at providing answers or suggestions or google them and more often than not you will find links to historical threads on here.

Overall my opinion is if you are interested in learning a bit more about baseball, prepared to spend a little time learning the more in depth aspects of the game and enjoy management games in general, then you can't go far wrong with it. But each to their own of course!

Edit: if you are unsure about purchasing the game i recommend watching some of the play through videos on you tube to get a feel of how the game plays before making the decision.

Last edited by sdoug78; 06-19-2019 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:04 AM   #3
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I would also recommend watching some older baseball games on Youtube. This will help give you a better visual and understanding of the game. Watching real games and playing at the same time will increase your baseball knowledge, terminology, and overall experience.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:56 PM   #4
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Watching baseball is probably crucial...there is usually some good information to get from either commentary during the game, or pre/post game footage.

You may also want to start small. Take in charge only a few elements while leaving the rest to your assistant. Then when they make certain decisions, you can look for why it makes sense.

Something underrated as well is you may want to start a small fictional league with only a handful of teams just to get situated, and use that as your "practice" league. The MLB startup can be daunting (especially if you add all the international leagues) so sometimes a small league with like 8 teams total is perfect to start learning.

Something else you could try would be to start 2 identical leagues, but take over different aspects in both leagues and compare progress made/understanding. Sometimes comparing 2 known entities together helps with putting the pieces together for some people.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
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Okay so got the game and Im 3 Seasons in! I decided to be a GM only for the Oakland As (one of my favourite teams, as I got to study abroad in the Bay Area a while ago).

In my first season, I didnt change much aside from giving Khris Davis an extension and drafting a few prospects. The As didnt do well and we finished 70-92 in 2019.

In my second season I made a few more changes, gave Puig a contract in FA (overrated, I know), and traded a few more guys and we there we finished 92-71, and we even won the division series against Tampa, but lost decisively to the Red Sox in the AL Championship (1-4).

I kept trading and I felt really good about year three. I kept all the decent players, and added guys like Guillome at SS and Kingerly at 2B, Dustin Fowler at CF among others, overall I went with my gut and I looked for guys with good OBP. and AVG., as well as good attributes in terms of contact and power.
The team was better than in year two in terms of player quality (SP was a problem but the Bullpen was pretty nice), but we then ended up going 79-83, which obviously wasnt good.

Im having a hard time figuring out why some of the guys are batting so well, and others really arent. Andrew Toles was one of the better hitters of the team with a .272 AVG, his power and eye Stats are 40 and 30 respectively, which is bad though.
Then I look at Yasiel Puig who has 55 contact, 60 power, 55 eye and the guy bats .218 with a terrible OBP of below .300. In Puigs first year, he had an AVG of like .287 with .370 OBP, which is exactly why I got him, but there was this huge dip without any attribute changes or injuries.

Its kinda tough to derive why this happened (to a number of players), and why some of the guys with better stats and decent moral still manage to play like hot garbage. I also improved the team coaches before the season, and now ill have to look for a new manager after year 3, but I guess Im still not looking in the right direction. Any tipps?

Another question I have is how do you guys develop your young talent? There seems to be a pretty high fluctuation when it comes to the young players "improving" or being "devalued", some get 4 stars as potential and this then drops quickly, others take a long time gaining points for any attributes at all. Im curious to see if Im might be making some obvious mistakes, like putting the players in Double or Triple A too quickly (is this gonna have a negative effect?).
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:37 PM   #6
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Honestly it can be pretty tough to really know what's happening sometimes. Scouting information is imperfect. Players talent levels can also just randomly change at any moment. And of course stats can fluctuate a huge degree just from pure luck...especially when it comes to batting averages, most people underestimate the amount of pure, random chance involved in baseball.

So you kinda gotta accept there will be this "fog of war" preventing you from having complete knowledge, and not try to understand everything. But there are SOME things that help:

1) Understand MLB's aging curves. OOTP is pretty realistic...father time is not kind to ballplayers. Especially after age 30 or so they can fall off quickly sometimes. Kind of sounds like that's what happened with Puig....assuming you signed him in 2020 that would have been his age 29 season, so one good season following by decline shouldn't be a shock. Not that it works out that precisely every time...far from it...but yeah generally you want to avoid giving long contracts to aging players.

2) Understand the stats and how they relate to ratings. For example you mention Andrew Toles had a good batting average despite bad eye and power ratings. Well, those ratings have nothing to do with batting average. That comes from the contact rating. Eye rating = walk rate, power rating = Home Runs. I recommend setting up a stat view called "ratings vs results" showing both ratings AND stats on the same screen. This really helps me to understand the relationship between the ratings and the stats.

3) Consider upgrading your head scout and/or scouting budget if possible. This helps get you better information which makes the entire game much easier.

For your last question...yeah there is a huge amount of random luck involved with prospects as well. All you can really do is try to set things up as best as possible and keep trying to acquire talent...don't put all your hope in one prospect. By "set things up as best as possible" I mean:

1) Aligning your coaching staff with the types of talent you're drafting - contact hitters, power pitchers, etc.
2) Keeping an eye on the relationship tab when hiring coaches & managers, especially when it comes to your top prospects
3) Setting your player development budget as high as possible

The pace of moving players through your minor league system is fairly complex. Honestly you could put a TON of effort into that without seeing a lot of benefit...I usually let the AI manage my farm system (except hiring personnel) and doesn't seem to hurt them too badly.

And last but not least I'll leave you with my 2 favorite tips for stockpiling talent:

1) every draft, filter to the pitchers and sort by hitting attributes like "contact potential". Often times you will find extremely good hitting prospects who are getting drafted as crappy pitching prospects instead. You can get 5 star prospects this way, well after the first round.
2) Set your international FA budget to $5M. Every July 2nd, pick your favorite prospect and give him the whole $5M upfront on day 1. This seems to make him choose your team over the others every time. So this is basically a guaranteed 1 top prospect per year.

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Old 06-25-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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My feeling (not verifiable fact, by any means) is that character may actually be more important in the development of a player than in a player who has already made the majors.
In other words, I see a lot of fairly talented players with low intelligence and/or poor work ethic who bust. And others with similar or even slightly less talent (per my scout) but with good character traits who exceed their perceived potential.

Now a top of the line prospect can probably get away with some character deficits. But unless you plan on losing year after year or your scouting team is just so much better than any other organization, you aren't going to be able to get by just developing the very best prospects. You need at least some 4th to 12th round draft picks to surprise and become decent role players if not starters (and maybe occasionally stars.) Of course, random talent change plays a factor too, but I don't think you can plan for that. You just ride that wave.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention morale. (Or as many tend to spell it here- moral. I'm pretty sure that's a different issue though. )
A decent prospect unhappy or angry too long in your minor league system can wither on the vine. You can't please all the people all the time. But you want to, to the extent it is possible, at least keep your better prospects somewhat contented. It will vary from player to player what it takes to do so. But you can get a good idea by looking at the categories of their morale. Perhaps they hate losing and they are angry because they are stuck on a horrible team. Can you make some moves that might improve that team? Or maybe they are ready for a promotion to the next level, where hopefully you have a less awful team? Maybe they just really hate it when they don't do well personally. If they are really struggling to perform and this is the main reason for their discontent, might be good to send them back down a level where they can theoretically thrive for awhile and get their mojo back. Anyway, that is just two examples, but you get the idea.

My feeling is that developing players is more an art than a science. (But this might just be my bias because I am more an artist than a scientist.) With time, and yes, with a track record of dismal failures, you will eventually get the feel for this.
You know, fail, learn, fail better, etc.
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