Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Responses & Comments

Other than George's comments on my previous post, seems like customer service has been excellent. While I may get special attention as a blogger, I've heard that the support has been good from lots of sources. In fact, maybe TOO responsive - the last minute trading floor hours change appears to have been in response to complaints from just a few people.

Clearly the biggest flaw in the game is that the current transaction rules will make it impossible to win without treating Rotohog as a nearly full time job. I'm sure they'll fix this for next season. I'm trying to work out some slightly less time intesive strategies for myself, but doubt those will allow me to do better than top 50 or so.

The Rotohog guys set out to find the best fantasy baseball player in the world, and I believe they've created a game where the best person will win almost every time. The only problem is that right now some of the required 'skills'are not what they should be.

19 comments:

Fan said...

Yea, the transaction rules make this game more than a full time job. I am actually surprised to see how much dropping of players there has been just after roster spots are locked in. The ironic part of the current system is that it prevents those playing the game (presumably baseball fans) from actually attending a game . . . unless, of course, you drag your computer with wireless access to the game (so that you can drop the players just after the lock in so as to not lose 10% of your value in that player).

Alex said...

I just sent David Wu a suggestion that they add a 'sell upon lineup lock in' button that will automatically sell a player at 2% below market price once they're locked into the lineup for their next game. I'll let you know when I get a response.

CS said...

The market now opens at 10am ET. That sucks!

Boozer11 said...

would there be that much trading if the points earned weren't so skewed toward closers? i know the only reason i'm trading all the time is to rotate in 4 closers (5 with papelbon at SP).
if the points per inning were balanced with SP's, i think i'd stick with a balanced lineup instead of loading up on the best closers out there.

Alex said...

cs - I agree. I already complained to them about the fact that the game already favored West Coasters and now does so even more strongly and that they made the change without enough advance notification in response to a few (apparently very persuasive) West Coasters who somehow convinced them that this was more fair. Frankly, I don't think the start time is nearly as big a problem as the excessive amount of time required to be competitive right now though.

Alex said...

boozer - I'd be rotating almost as much to get as close to an all-star lineup as I can every day. The truth is I think that the difference between a $10 closer and a $40 closer is much less than the same $ difference between two hitters.

Boozer11 said...

Alex - yeah, that makes sense. i guess the solution would be to make it so your COMPLETE lineup needs to be in 10 minutes before the start of the first game of the day.

the rotating of players is what makes this so time consuming, so is there any other way to combat this?

Fan said...

I agree that the game favors the west coasters. I also agree that the time required to play and compete is a bigger problem.

I like Boozer's idea of having a single lineup for a given day. This would prevent the shifting of funds from one player to another between game start times. I am not sure that there are other "quick" solutions. Though, I think (but usually the more I think, the more I am wrong) that as people start taking hits to their team values by not selling fast enough after the lock in time, the less people will be turning over lineups on a game by game basis.

Byron said...

I own websites, so I'm in front of my computer A LOT. That's why, when I figured out how this game was going to work I thought for sure I'd be set up to do fairly well. Turns out that its just too much. I can't plan my life around this thing for six months - I will go insane. Even I have to get out, go to the gym, go to the orioles/twins tomorrow night, etc.

But I don't think anybody can have the perfect combination of fb skill, savvy, luck, and time. It doesn't exist. Therefore, I do not think I'm out of it. I was going through some of the same struggles as you Alex, but came to the conclusion that if I get myself solidly through the season w/o perfection, I can ramp up a bit from Aug 15 on.

Good luck all!

Alex said...

boozer & fan - that would be MUCH better than it is now, but would mean that anybody not near a computer at that one time every day is screwed. I think the 'sell upon lineup lock' button that I suggested above is a much better solution...and really is less of a 'rules change' if they're able to implement it during the season.

Fan said...

Alex -

I agree with you. The "one time a day" would hurt those who are not available at the given time. I do like your idea as well. Have you heard anything from David about this idea? Where did you get the 2%? Was it just an estimate as to what would be fair?

Clayton said...

In my free time I have been at Rotohog constantly, since the market opened. I have monitored this blog over the last two weeks, and I consider myself a strong fb player. We all basically are using the same rotation system. The problem is Rotohog isn't actually identifing "The Best Fantasy Baseball Player" with the most skill. It is rewarding the luckiest player with the most time invested at their site. When I say lucky I mean we are all going to have 4 or 5 solid closers for about 400 innings. From there it just comes down to picking pitchers that are going to get run support and post a "W" in the column, without an exorbitant ERA, and a decent number of Ks in the other 900 innings. I like the idea of having a locked in lineup sell button. I would also like to set limits in which the site will actually buy/sell players automatically at a price I choose.

Clayton said...

David if your reading this, I would also like to see # of ABs posted for hitters. I don't want to bother you at Rotohog, but knowing the number of at-bats will help project a hitter's ability to score or lose points. Having this knowledge at Rotohog keeps me from having to look it up at another fb site, thereby leaving your site. I have a slew of better ideas if your hiring consultants, let me know. I have listed two obvious ones in the previous posts and I am sure you are getting a lot for free right now.

Clayton said...

I am also considering starting a daily one hour long Rotohog Radio show, that would take place in the evening. If I was to do the leg work and get it started, would anyone from this blog listen or be interested in participating once a week by calling into the show?
It would obviously be broadcast over the internet. The idea is you could listen in while updating your lineup or selling after lineups are locked.

Adam said...

A fixed lineup would work well. An absolute limit on transactions for the season, say 500, would end the nonsense too. To me, the easiest and fairest change would be that if you sell a player who is already locked in your lineup, you don't get the $ to spend until the next day. From my view, the intent of the budget/salary is to limit the amount of talent a team can start. But being able to sell-buy-add to lineup-sell-buy-add to lineup-repeat circumvents that cap. Today, for example, you could use the same $50 to own Peavy, Hanley Ramirez, Chris Ray, Joe Mauer, Matt Holliday, and Frankie Rodriguez with precise timing. That's $300 worth of player for $50. Repeat three times and you have a $900 team!!

If prices were fairly stable, the transaction costs (bid-ask spread) would make this prohibitive but as lots of people are selling players when their games start, especially starting pitchers, it's actually lose money on a sell-buy than it is to hold a guy.

The problem is exagerrated by the staggered schedules, both game times and off days, that occur during the first few days of the season. We can only hope it calms down once the schedule is a bit more regular.

But right now this game is 20% about player evaluation and valuation and 80% about gamesmanship.

mymrbig said...

I'm having problems selling players this morning. I keep trying to sell Chris Young (SP), but the system won't let me and says an error occurred. When I go back to my roster, Young is still on my team, but his price has dropped. Its bad enough that I can't sell him, but its pretty obvious that my repeated attempts at selling him are decreasing his price. No one else would sell him the day of his start before he is locked in (except me, who bought him to pick up a couple bucks in $$ gains).

David said...

Hi Guys,

So many comments to respond to, I'm not sure where to begin. First to Alex's proposed "sell upon lineup lock" idea. This may cause some problems. First, I actually don't believe that this selling after lock strategy is the best strategy. But whether I'm right or wrong, RotoHog wouldn't want to appear that we advocating this strategy over other strategies by implementing a simpler way to perform this strategy. Also, if we allow people to pre-select a sell, and most people use this function, there will be such a decline to that player's price at the "lock", that most users will have lost a massive amount in their PV.

Next, please allow me to apologize for the way we handled the time change on the trading floor. It was actually not due to west coaster complaints that we changed the time. It was more of a technical issue that made it a better choice for proper upkeeping the trading floor. I do agree that we did not handle that change very well at all, and I apologize for that.

I know there are other issues, but I am actually in the process of forming a committee of avid and knowledgable users to help us improve our game. If you are interested in joining this committee, please email customerservice@rotohog.com

I hope to hear from you guys. The committee will be about 25-50 people.

Fan said...

A quick question (especially for those of you who are dropping players after the lock in) . . . is your team losing value because of the transaction costs associated with having to sell right at the lock in time (and sometimes missing by a few minutes)? What is the value of your team? I am sitting at about $450 (which I think is decent), but my points are quite low in comparison.

Ivan said...

anybody else wondering how these people are dropping guys and rotating great guys in when everything is bought out? Just really good at spotting the buy time? or what?