Franchise Ball News
Insider: What changes could be made to FB?
Jun 18th 2020 By Franchise Ball

This is a Q+A with the Buffalo Bisons, San Diego Bombers, Seattle Marvols, Cincinnati Reds, Hartford HTFD_YANKEES, and Spokane Warriors. Valencia Dragon Shrimp and Windsor Wind Surge will be giving their reactions to these top teams’ ideas to make Franchise Ball more enjoyable for all users.

Survey question: What parts of the game do you like the most and what items would you change/add to make the game better?

Buffalo Bisons: I think the game has a good layout and maneuverability. It's easy to find your way around. The sim system seems to be very good, especially for a somewhat small game. FB has a great community, always willing to lend each other help and tips. I think the bid system is interesting. It's pretty good but has its flaws that can be exploited. The new playoff system is something we've wanted that will be good. One of the ways I'd like to improve the game is hitter/pitcher handedness matchups. They have handedness, but I don't think it makes an impact. Even if it does, we don't have a stat for it. If it does make an impact, we need a stat for it.

VDS response: I also believe that the game has a good layout. The game is very user friendly with very good people who like to help each other. I think that the bidding can be improved but shouldn’t be as high on the priority list to improve. I do think that the hitter/pitcher handedness could be a big factor. We could add stats like avg vs rhp/avg vs lhp and the same with pitchers as well. Thanks for responding and helping with the interview. Good luck the rest of the season!

WWS: Yeah, the bidding system is a bit back-heavy, so most of the bids are placed hours, minutes, or even seconds before the deadline to limit the amount of time teams can outbid you with. It’s a sound strategy, but it makes bidding well before the deadline nearly obsolete. So maybe you could keep the final deadline for bidding, but if a bid is placed on a player and enough time passes without anyone else bidding on that player, then the player would be awarded to the highest bidder even if it was before the deadline. As for handedness, maybe you could have contact and power stats extended to contact and power vs R and L? It might be hard to squeeze onto a card, but it would be useful for in-game matchups.

San Diego Bombers: I personally enjoy managing the games. I think the game manager was one of the best upgrades.  I would change the farm system so that players can improve through training. I would add a stamina meter for pitchers, and I would like to have longer contract grants. I would allow free teams to change pitchers in the playoffs.  I would also allow free teams to use the dh unlimited.

VDS: I enjoy managing the games as well. I think it is a great feature that brings a sense of involvement into the game. The pitching meter would help managers know when their pitcher is tired so they don’t give up that crucial run late in the game and that would be a nice addition If we added training I believe that we should get it for winning games and divisions and leagues just like you get money at the end of the season. As a free player I do believe that we should get the 6 free game tokens in the playoffs because it has nipped me in the bud back to back seasons. The DH could be a big factor for free teams because we can only use the DH 15 games and sometimes the playoffs last longer. I think the 15 game DH limit is good for now.

WWS: Training in the minors would certainly be a game-changer, and it would cause younger players to be coveted as they would have more upside, along with the fact that sending a player down to the minors worsens his stats (which is confusing and should probably be eliminated).A stamina meter would give you a better feel for when your pitchers should hit the showers or when they should stay at it for a bit longer. And a DH for everyone

Insider: What Changes Should Be Made to Franchise Ball? would level the playing field a bit more. If that can’t be implemented, then maybe you should be allowed to pinch-hit for your pitcher.

Cincinnati Reds: I really enjoy the rivalry between players and the game manager. The one thing I really don’t like is the 10-minute rule. I don’t like when people whine about me bidding on their players because it is part of the game. It is one of the biggest causes of acquiring FA’s. I would love to see a salary cap implemented.

VDS: I also enjoy the rivalries between “friends” because it brings a sense of “pressure” as you all know. I am seeing that people really enjoy the game manager because it makes the owners feel involved and actually benefiting their teams. With teams like Reds who are very active bidders I understand why the 10-minute rule could make people mad. I think that a salary cap would help most teams and should be implemented.

WWS: Talking smack to better and more experienced players that happen to be having a bad season while a noob like myself somehow has a big lead in the division is priceless. It never gets old (well, maybe it does for the experienced players). The 10-minute rule definitely needs to be addressed, as if you don’t happen to be active during that time you could easily lose all of your good players to teams with deep pockets. Maybe it should be extended to a few hours or maybe even a day or so. Or, it could be eliminated entirely if coupled with my idea above. Speaking of the game manager, I think that maybe the amount of tokens available should be upped from 6 to 10 or so because currently non-subscribers are handicapped from utilizing their entire bullpen.

Spokane Warriors: I really like how casual it is. You don’t have to be online all the time to play and that is great. The only thing I would change is the bidding process. The game mechanics make it difficult to be fair for all teams. In my opinion the whole process needs to be replaced with something different. I would like to see a renewal process.  You can renew your players contract as long as you have the money.  Players' salaries will go up every year based on their league (not world) ranking. If you do not have enough money, you will have to release players until you have enough money to pay the salaries.  If you do not, the game will release players starting with the highest paid until you have enough money. Released players will go into a world free agent pool where everybody can bid on them.  The winning bid will be the starting salary for the player and it will go up every year. That is the basic idea that I have.

VDS: I do believe that the game is very casual. You don’t have to be online to win with the simulation. The bidding process is something that needs to be not totally replaced but improved. It seems that some teams have more of an unfair advantage when it comes to the bidding process not just with money differences. The renewal process would be a good idea except I think that the salary shouldn’t go up because of world ranking. There are free teams that are pretty good and wouldn’t have the money to renew the players and have to start from scratch again. The world free agent pool could have 1 day of just bidding on the world pool for their base salary which I think would be nice.

WWS: I’ve tried many online baseball simulations and this is overwhelmingly the most underrated one for precisely that reason. It’s easy, fun, and simple (though mildly infuriating at times). Once again, I’ve speculated about possible solutions for the bidding process above, and it seems like many teams want changes to the bidding as their first and foremost complaint. Your renewal suggestion has flaws (such as that young teams that haven’t had enough time to accumulate sufficient revenue will lose their top players while teams influx with cash can breathe easy), and rich teams could outbid everyone for good FA players. On its own, your idea is okay, but coupled with a salary cap I think it would be a very good feature to implement.

Insider: What Changes Should Be Made to Franchise Ball?

Seattle Marvols: I love our division (Alpha Ruby Northeast). We have 5 good teams, including 3 teams that have won world championships - Marvols, Boxers, DUKES. BLACKSOX is next. The competitiveness is fierce but friendly, and we may have 4 playoff teams this season. As weird as it would sound, I would add Injury. When a starter gets injured you have to replace him. This would encourage more movement of players.

VDS: The division that you are in is one of the best with teams that are good every year and can compete. The rivalries in the game have really increased with division conversations and being able to have such a close race. The injury idea would be an interesting one because there would have to be a pitching condition like “in case of injury” so that you didn’t have to be online to change him. If there was injury we should add a stat that shows his likeliness to be injured.

WWS: That division is stacked, and it almost feels more fun to compete against extreme competition rather than “dead” or inactive teams. Injuries seem like an intriguing idea. Instead of filling your team with studs and not having to make a move to be successful all season, teams would be forced to make decisions about their pitching staff and lineup with more regularity, perhaps encouraging teams that aren’t logged in a lot to be more attentive of their team. It would also make the game more realistic because in reality players get injured all the time.

Hartford HTFD_YANKEES: I like the game manager and that the game is affordable. I really enjoy the trade setup and the social parts of the game. I would improve the Free Agent Pools with better pitchers and overall players. I would like to have a fatigue factor with the pitchers, especially in the bullpen. Another thing would have players be able to have another position as a “backup”. Another idea would be to add injuries to make it more real. I would get rid of the 10-minute bid zone. I feel like if you place a higher bid even if it is at 8:59:59 you should get that player. Bidding needs some limits, like maybe a salary cap on teams.

VDS: I think that the game manager has become one of the most enjoyed parts of this game. The trade setup is good and accessible to everyone which is easy to enjoy. The improved free agent pools could have better “base” players and that would make every team have a better chance. A fatigue factor could come into play if there was a pitching meter and would affect their performance. Injuries would make the game more realistic but we would have to have a bigger roster. The 10-minute rule I think needs to be taken away because it does give those extra 10-minute advantages to the owners. A salary cap would be nice to have in the future.

WWS: Franchise Ball has a great community and you get to know which top players are chatty and which ones you’d be better off leaving alone. Some users don’t like the barrage of commenting on their own games by others, so be considerate and give them their peace. (I’ll give a special shout-out here to the St. Louis Birds On A Bat, who answered all of my numerous questions in messages and was dutifully kind and respectful. Thank you for everything you did to help me.) The FA market is an integral part of the game, as it’s where I obtained a large portion of my good players. However, it’s admittedly a test in patience as you scroll through heaps of terrible players, looking for that one good player. With better players in free agency, it would not only allow young but active teams to improve faster, it would make FA-searching a good bit less arduous.

Much thanks to all of the teams that gave us their time to help make this article possible.