We've continued to work hard behind the scenes to update and improve our fantasy rugby game so that this year's iteration feels more immersive and enjoyable, and as we gear up for the new Premiership season, we thought we would take you over some of the newest features and updates.
This season has seen a number of players' prices change before the competition starts, and the base level of the pricing structure has also shifted up slightly. While this will certainly make squad choice at the start of the season that little bit harder, there are still a number of players in the game that deliver fantastic value for money, you just need to find them.
Of course, players' values will change over the course of the season too; this is based on their overall selection for users' squads, but this year has been tweaked to better represent their time and quality on the field of play. Where the value was last year based on form, this year, it is based on a metric that equates a player's performance over their last 5 club games (whereas form is the last 5 games the player has played). This ensures that a player who plays remarkably well over a certain period only to find themselves out of the squad for whatever reason, does not return with such a premium price.
Player Popup & Profiles
We've reworked the player profiles popups too so that you are presented with a very quick overview of the pertinent information required for a player. We've tried to streamline the process of finding, examining and choosing players, so you can go into as little or as much depth as you wish in building yur squad. The new streamlined popup gives you a quick overview of a player, and then provides links through to the areas you might wish to view further about a player.
These links will take you through to the new player profiles we have put together, which sit alongside improved club and fixture profiles so you always have access to as much information as possible.
The Chief Scout is a handy way of refining the players available on your player list. Clicking on the 'Ask chief scout' option will take you through a quick list of options by which you can filter the players shown to you, and we've added in some extra seach criteria to the list too, the foremost of which is the performance to salary ratio option; we'll talk a little more about that later...
When you sign up to the game you are asked to choose your favourite club, and this enters you into a league where you compete against other fans of the club. This year we thought we would take this a step further, and put those fan leagues to the ultimate test by pitting them head to head. The supporters league does just that, and it will be interesting to see which set of supporters come out on top at the end of the season!
The mechanic for this is set up to account for different sizes of leagues by taking the average score of every player in the league for that gameweek, so there is no excuse to let your fellow supporters down - there is always something to play for.
History is made every year in rugby, and this should be reflected in fantasy. To that end, we've set up user profile pages that show the world your successes through the years: from your best finish and career appearances through to league and cup wins, you're constantly building your reputation as one of the great fantasy rugby coaches.
To save you trawling through the leaderboards to find out how other users have done, you can now add them as 'rivals'. This adds them to your leaderboard page so they are easily accessible, as well as adding them to your gameweek live page, so you can see how well you are doing compared to them over the course of a game week. You're limited to three though, so choose wisely!
This year we wanted to deliver more when matches were being played; you've gone to a lot of time and effort to get your team ready for the weekend, and we want to support that time and effort by giving you better information on how your players are performing. To that end, we've set up a live gameweek dashboard that includes an overview of your points, players played and substitutions alongside important match events and fixture details. Everything at your fingertips.
It became pretty clear early on last year that we missed a trick with automatic substitutions. When one of your players pulls out of your side at the last minute, it can be pretty devastating knowing that they are a sitting duck earning you zero points. This year, if a member of your starting lineup pulls out of a fixture, a player on your b ench will come in to replace them, ensuring you get full points for one player rather than just half. It's worth noting though that you need sufficient cover on your bench. Choose two scrum halves, and you'll have no replacement when your fly-half goes down.
The auto subs mechanic is also set up to accomodate your bench as best as possible in filling spaces left by players who dont play, and so rather than replace players over the course of the live game week, it will do so once all fixtures have been played. Instead of choosing the first option available in a prespecified order of positions, it will assess which player is best suited to a particular position so that it can fill all free positions. Again, a little bit extra that should ensure you get to max out your fantasy points at game time.
Player Selection Traffic Light System
For those who purcahse an upgrade, you will have access to the 'Player Agents' functionality which using a green or grey disc next to a player will show you whether they are starting or on the bench. We have extended this further for this season by including a red disc that indicates that a player has not been chosen to play. This was set up to avoid any confusion on whether all fixtures have been announced and immediately indicates a player's position for the weekend.
Furthermore, we've set up a new filter on the player list page (that is also part of the 'Chief Scout' funcationality), that allows you to see only those players who are part of their respective teams for the weekend. Another little tweak we hope will make your life a little easier.
New Scouting Data
For those who have the 'Scouting Centre' upgrade, you will already know how much extra data you have at your fingertips, but we've taken this a step further by including two new comparison attributes to the scouting reports.
The first of these is consistency; we wanted to include a better indication of how much a player's performance fluctuates from week to week and build that into the overall scout report. While it ultimately has a negligible impact on the overall impact, it's great to get an assessment and comparison of this attribute of given players.
The second is value, how much does a player's performance compare to their salary in the game. As I said above, this is included in the player list and as part of the 'Chief Scout', and is a great tool for building your team and getting the most out of your budget. This is also then incorporated into the overall scout report to ensure it is as meticulous and concise as possible.
Finally, and as part of our scouting centre upgrade, we have built in player and fixture projections that give you a good indication of how well a player and their team are going to perform once fixture time arrives. These have proven to be incredibly accurate over the course of the Super Rugby competition, and we're excited to see how they match up once the Premiership season gets underway.
Assessing the performance of each player over a vast array of variables, the projection tool then computes the expected performance of a player on the field. These player performances are then used to calculate the outcome of the fixture. Initially, the best performing players are used to build the fixture results, but once teams have been anounced, it is these players against whom the score is calculated, with the aim of building the best picture possible for the upcoming fixture.
So, there you are, plenty of updates and improvements to the game, and we hope you enjoy playing this season as much as the last. If you are new to the game, the very warmest of welcomes, and all the best for the season.