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Autumn is here, the Vuelta has started and we're beginning to think about the World Championships.  That means that it's the traditional time for me to open up a 'suggestion' and 'request' thread where you can outline how you'd like the game to change for next season and what you think has worked particularly well this year.

Despite the fact that I'm now involved in a small way with running the game (namely, updating start lists and results) as in previous years this is very much unofficial and just a place for everyone to get together and bounce some ideas around.  Nothing may come of them but Dave has always been great at incorporating good ideas from the community where possible.

For reference, you can find the 2012 and 2013 threads here:

"Suggestions for the 2013 season"

"Suggestions for 2012 season"

So, what do you think has worked well this year and what would you like to see change?

124 comments

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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I'll go first  4

One of the big things that changed this year were the complete removal of limitations on your team based on rider type, where previously you had to pick a fixed number of stars and domestiques this year we've had total freedom and I think it's worked great. The credit limit naturally stops teams for being too strong and having more freedom has meant greater choice and more varied tactics.

Another things is that 2013 was the first full season where we've had the premium game running. I think it's worked well and hasn't impacted too heavily on the free game. I know there have been complaints about the transfers carrying forward and other things but I think the way in which the game has been set up is pretty fair to everyone. I also like having the extra races available to me if I want to take part in them.

All in all I think that the game has continued to improve year on year to such an extent that I definitely think it's one of the best around.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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On the other hand there have been some issues this year, around the time of the classics the calendar was changed a few times to try and incorporate extra races.

http://road.cc/content/forum/76995-not-impressed

The short notice and changeable race calendar did annoy people understandably and I think one thing people want for next year is consistency of calendar.

With the way that the game has expanded so quickly races have been added at a steady rate but I think that'll slow soon as there aren't many major races left to add. I think that a calendar should be fixed fairly far in advance and changes should be avoided. You can't fault us for wanting to give you more racing though  4

Some discussion on the calendar was had here:

http://road.cc/content/forum/77002-fantasy-cycling-calendar

Another issue that cropped up is rider pricing, the strong field for the TdF threw up an issue where everyone was expensive to the point of making picking teams very difficult. This in itself is no bad thing, difficulty is a good thing but not at the expense of fun. Dave has made some changes for the Vuelta and I'll be reserving judgement until after the race but it certainly seems that there are more options at more price ranges so that's good.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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Last post from me, one thing I'd like to see more of is badges!

They were a great addition and added a great amount of fun at the start of year as we all tried to complete the set as quickly as possible. Unfortunately that's eased off in the last few months as most of us have managed to get them all so I'd like to see this idea expanded on.

Whether it's race specific badges (feeding into a 'race badge' that shows on your main dashboard, a TdF badge for example that you only get if you collect all the TdF specific badges) or just more variety or harder to get badges (a 20k points badge anyone?) I think it'd be nice if players were collecting these all year around.

Another thing along the same lines is something I suggested last year

drheaton wrote:

4) Fantasy jersey competitions - another thing to aim for when playing the grand tours, a selection of jerseys awarded to winners of particular comps:
- a GC jersey awarded for whoever finishes 1st overall along with the bike, a black jersey possibly something road.cc themed.
- a points jersey based on sprint stages or combined sprint points, either whichever teams gets the most intermediate sprint and flat finish line points over a race or maybe whoever scores highest just on flat stages, based on intermediate sprints would keep it interesting throughout though as you have to keep up with breaks in the mountains.
- a mountains jersey like the points but for KoM points/mountain stages

ideally these would be biased to make it very difficult to win them whilst still playing for overall placing, ie base it heavily on breakaway points (the KoM in particular) so that you need to pick the breaks and possibly suffer in the overall as a result, that'd make it something entirely separate to aim for like the riders aim for the KoM comp sacrificing their overall standings. Moreover, these aren't big cost prizes and are just for fun/pride.

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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I dont think there needs to be any major changes for next season in my eyes, apart from getting some woman's races in there.

The calendar needs shuffled around a bit, I think only World Tour races should be in there.

That's my 2p worth and I fully expect this thread to be taken over by "someone" shortly and I won't be back to read it  3

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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Agreed, some women's races would be good. Regarding non-world tour races I'm not sure, I really enjoyed some of the early ones like the Tour de Med and Tour of the Algarve, just a case of getting the right balance.

There are plenty of big gaps in the world tour calendar and plenty of big non-world tour races there to fill those gaps, just a case of using the right races at the right time.

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sm [375 posts] 2 years ago
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The game is great. Two requests, one big, one small.
1. Mobile app. You know it makes sense!
2. Big warning if you are playing purist and are making transfers in the middle of the spring classics and get confused about the unlimited transfer windows. Almost lost my purist status!

I have to say that the pricing in Vuelta made picking a team harder and more enjoyable as a result of having more choice.

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AWPeleton [3267 posts] 2 years ago
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Only one change from me, a captain scenario like fantasy footie.

Pick your captain for the start of a race and you keep him throughout and he scores double points for you in each stage whether its a one dayer or a stage race.

All in all i've enjoyed this season a lot even though i haven't done to well.

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TERatcliffe26 [4586 posts] 2 years ago
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Agree to a degree with Gkam on the number of races, my take is that its should be the WT races + Tour of Britain, the two American races, a couple of the early races where is a big gap (tour of med, tour of algarve) + a couple of the bigger 2nd tier classics.

As for the rest, more badges would be good to keep interest throughout the year.

In the main I think it has worked pretty well, and after the classics blip has been pretty much smooth sailing

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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sm wrote:

1. Mobile app. You know it makes sense!

Its in the works, I'm still working on a format before putting it to Dave and the Road.cc team, because it may cost a little to put together  26

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backflipbedlem [1194 posts] 2 years ago
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Being a new player since the Giro, I've found the game dynamic to work really well, the inclusion of the badges is a nice touch and gives people something to aim for, but can see that once you've got them they lose their novelty a bit. So would really like some more badges to aim for, possibly some Grand Tour specific ones.
Also like the idea of linking badges with jerseys. Being a budget cyclist I'm always desperate for freebies!  3

Don't think a double point captain would work. Or rather like not having captain picks dictate league position, as it so often does with the football.

Overall really love this game, much better than fantasy football.

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Ghedebrav [1099 posts] 2 years ago
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I've really enjoyed the game so far (playing premium). Slight downers were the aforementioned squad-pickin' difficulty in the TdF (though it's made Murilo Fischer a damned site more famous than he would otherwise have been) and the odd bit of deadline confusion.

As to the calendar, I'm happy to see flexibility on what's in/out, though I've generally enjoyed everything (And it was great to have the Strade Bianchi and Roma Maxima in there, two races I would've missed otherwise) - the scheduling and race choice has been pretty much spot on. If it were up to me, I'd like to see a race from Africa or South America, or even something like Langkawi - but I'm probably in a minority there.

WHAT ABOUT ACTUAL SUGGESTIONS THEN?

1. Another row of badges would be cool. 20k, zero points on a stage, TT stage win etc. and maybe one ridiculously hard-to-achieve one (like having all nine riders finish top ten). Maybe a Rule #5 badge for when two or more of your riders abandon a stage?

2. As mentioned elsewhere, a women's race, an African race and a South American race would all be great.

3. Can I make a vote *against* the captain idea? For example, in the US Pro challenge recently, everyone would've just made Peter Sagan captain and scored ridiculous amounts of points. But really, I've never liked the idea in Fantasy Football either.

4. That's it. The mechanics of the game are great and work very well, and frankly I wouldn't change them at all.

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TERatcliffe26 [4586 posts] 2 years ago
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In terms of south american races, I think the one that stands out is the Tour de San Luis which runs alongside TDU, and attracts some really big names

Again Langkawai would be the obvious one

The only problem with both of these is the extra riders teams that would need adding

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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Here is some previous discussion on badges

http://road.cc/content/forum/83457-achievements-understanding

Personally I really like the 'Bookend' badge idea.

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chrisdstripes [1717 posts] 2 years ago
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I really like it as it is - the values can be a bit haphazard as previously discussed but loads of suggestions have been made on previous threads (mine included) and don't need revisiting. I reckon with the values, we should trust you guys to decide how to alter things (if at all) and just play the game accordingly.

Badges are fun - it would be nice if we could see at-a-glance what the highest number was for each badge (eg if I have 10 "high roller" badges and I click on that, it would tell me that the most anyone has is, say, 27 - so I can see how good or otherwise my total is). Or I guess I could just look at Wig_Billy's profile!

Agree with Ghedebrav, never been keen on the "captain" idea for fantasy games.

A small number of women's races would be good, as long as you can be sure of being able to get all the relevant info in time. Personally I wouldn't want to see many more races though - I'd like the option to go for a high overall placing by playing every race (as I have this year) without having to commit even more time to it! Adding more races could push more people to start only playing selective races, which might backfire longer-term. Or it might not! I'd just be wary of it, thats all.

No other suggestions - its a great game, well-designed website and committed volunteers helping to run it. Got to be happy with that.  1

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backflipbedlem [1194 posts] 2 years ago
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chrisdstripes wrote:

Badges are fun - it would be nice if we could see at-a-glance what the highest number was for each badge (eg if I have 10 "high roller" badges and I click on that, it would tell me that the most anyone has is, say, 27 - so I can see how good or otherwise my total is). Or I guess I could just look at Wig_Billy's profile!

Yea I like the idea of a leaderboard for each badge, that way it gives you an incentive to move up those as well.

Possibly a badge for top 5/6 riders in a stage, like Wig_Billy had the other day, double podium.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 2 years ago
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Agree with the comments from drheaton about the need for consistency in races and selection times, especially in the spring races.

I'm not particularly keen to see more races, men or women. I think there are possibly a few too many already. The key to what races to include is whether they will have previews and team/rider information on the various news sites and rider info lists, so that should be obvious from previous seasons.

On the pricing yes it was difficult in the Tour but it is the same for everyone.

Liked the transfers carry over and accumulation. But would like to have a rider crash or injury withdrawal as an extra pick.

Badges - mildly amusing but not a key feature for me.

However I would still like to see more variability in pricing based on supply and demand.

If you take the gamble and put a low-cost dark horse in your team who does well then you should get the payoff by being able to sell him at a profit a few days later when everyone else starts picking him.

The surplus is banked to your overall budget. Equally if you jump on the bandwagon or stick to safe, percentage picks then you risk buying high and selling low if your rider doesn't perform as expected.

It could operate within windows to avoid a disadvantage to people who come to the game just for the Tour, for example.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

I would still like to see more variability in pricing based on supply and demand.

If you take the gamble and put a low-cost dark horse in your team who does well then you should get the payoff by being able to sell him at a profit a few days later when everyone else starts picking him.

The surplus is banked to your overall budget. Equally if you jump on the bandwagon or stick to safe, percentage picks then you risk buying high and selling low if your rider doesn't perform as expected.

It could operate within windows to avoid a disadvantage to people who come to the game just for the Tour, for example.

This sounds very much like the system in place two or three years ago where riders values varied based on popularity and form.

It was a fun system but had a few problems. The main one was that it effectively meant that whoever did well in the first few days already had a two or three credit advantage over most other players giving them a near insurmountable advantage.

I know that in the current system it's near impossible to catch someone 100 points ahead of you unless they mess up but also giving that person a budget advantage would make it totally impossible.

I like the current system where rider values vary with form but are fixed for each competition. That means a rider like Quintana is priced according to his form and ability rather than being a fixed price from the start of the year. I think the current system is a good compromise.

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AWPeleton [3267 posts] 2 years ago
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The captain idea was just a floater for people to express their thoughts. Yes picking Sagan for the last usa race was a dead cert however there are other races where the outcome is not set in stone and as DrH said a 100 point lead cant usually be caught but pick the right captain and you can close that down quite quickly.

Anyway it was just a thought thats all.

As for more races then its a big no from me, there are already a lot of races and to fit more in then you will have to drop some of the lesser ones which tends to defeat the purpose.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm personally unsure on the Captain idea.

The way it was initially phrased is that you pick a captain and he's fixed within your team for the entire race. That's an interesting concept because, as much as double points for Froome would have been great during the Tour would you really have wanted to keep him in your team throughout the race? Would those 40 credits have been put to better use by being able to bring in sprinters for the flat stages? Would double points for a GC/climber be worth what you're losing on the flat stages by having credits locked up in someone who won't score? That poses an interesting tactical dilemma.

On the other hand, just nominating one rider to get double points for a stage wouldn't, for me, make much difference. Most people would pick an obvious choice and if you went for a risky rider then you're screwed even more than now if it doesn't pay off. It also puts us into the realms of one rider being worth nearly 200 points if he's your captain and gets in a high scoring/stage winning break. I don't like the idea of one rider being able to score that highly, it adds too big a random element to the scoring for my tastes.

Then again, if everyone else likes the captain idea I'm sure I'll learn to live with it  4

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TERatcliffe26 [4586 posts] 2 years ago
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I have pretty much the same views as Drheaton on the captain idea

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AWPeleton [3267 posts] 2 years ago
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As i said its just a thought, in fantasy footie you can change your cpt each week. If, and its a BIG if, it was considered the points brought up by DrH would have to be discussed and agreed before anything was done.

The way i initally mentioned it was to keep him the same throughout the race whether its a GT or a classic, but its all open to debate. Personally from what i've read its a non starter but you cant blame a guy for trying  1

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TERatcliffe26 [4586 posts] 2 years ago
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Stumps, i wasn't dismissing it, i was just purely saying that as it obviously is going to be debated, and the points raised by DrH are the the same as what I would of raised. Equally Dave and many others may see it from your point and thus it be a change that should be added

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AWPeleton [3267 posts] 2 years ago
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TER - no problem mate.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a question. It appears that some races are reducing team sizes to 5,6 or 8 riders and it's clearly something that the UCI are keen to experiment with.

What does everyone think about changing the number of riders in a team depending on the race? If the TdF or Giro drops to 8 riders per team should we?

Just thought I'd put that out there  1

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AWPeleton [3267 posts] 2 years ago
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It would work but then we have to start changing the 150 credits for each race that there are different numbers of riders.

Dont know if its possible on the computer programme the lads use to run the game ?????

Its a good idea though.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 2 years ago
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I suspect that it'd take some serious programming because everything has been set up around 9 riders however budget wise I'd think just reducing the budget by 10 or 15 credits for each rider lost might work?

So, for 8 guys you may have a budget of 135 or 140 credits, for 6 guys you'd have something between 105 and 120 credits.

I believe that the 150 credits cap is relatively flexible and could in theory vary by race but Dave'd have to confirm that.

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chrisdstripes [1717 posts] 2 years ago
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I think if you're going to deviate from 9 riders per fantasy team, it should be based on the number of riders starting the race, as opposed to the number of riders per team. EG If a race has 25 teams of 6, I'd want to be able to pick more than 6 riders for my fantasy team from a startlist of 150. But actually I'd rather it stayed at 9 - I think I'd enjoy the game less if options were limited.

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dave atkinson [6201 posts] 2 years ago
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drheaton wrote:

I suspect that it'd take some serious programming because everything has been set up around 9 riders however budget wise I'd think just reducing the budget by 10 or 15 credits for each rider lost might work?

So, for 8 guys you may have a budget of 135 or 140 credits, for 6 guys you'd have something between 105 and 120 credits.

I believe that the 150 credits cap is relatively flexible and could in theory vary by race but Dave'd have to confirm that.

one thing that's pretty much definite for next season is that each race will have its own budget. so you'll get more cash for the bigger races

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enrique [2330 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

...you'll get more cash for the bigger races...

Sweet!  8

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sm [375 posts] 2 years ago
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Not a fan of the captain idea, would just encourage people towards those big hitters even more than we currently do. Plus I like the game because the concept is simple. Let's not get adding too many bells and whistles! In terms of race numbers, I play purist for the very reason that I like less rather than more races. Whatever you do, please don't phase out purist!

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