IMPORTANT: Errors in Wiki, Breeder’s Advice, and Competition Calculations
UPDATE 2: Vote for flat racing stats!
UPDATE: Monday we will announce which stats will from now on influence flat racing (and eventing and endurance)
Yesterday it came to our attention that this Wiki article contained an error in the flat racing area about which stats were relevant in competitions. We hoped we would be able to resolve this issue with as little damage as possible in such a situation. But sadly, the more we looked into it, the more mistakes we found. We will address all of them one by one in this news announcement. But the very first thing we want to give you are our deepest apologies.
To be real with you - we are devastated. The issues we have found pertain to central game mechanics. We could not be more disappointed in ourselves that such a grave mistake has been made in the beginnings of Horse Reality and was not uncovered until today. We hate to let our players down like this. We do not want to be the reason you are sad, angry, or irritated. We created Horse Reality to bring you joy - enjoying a horse game, breeding pretty horses! Everybody did their best to prevent mistakes in the first place. Yet, we are very sorry to say that major errors still have occurred on our part. We absolutely understand that many players are deeply frustrated with these events, and we are taking this criticism to heart. What we offer you now is transparency to what is going on and how it came to this. Please do not mistake our explanations for excuses. We are painfully aware that there is no excuse for what has happened.
What has been going on?
We have found inconsistencies between the Wiki, the Breeder’s Advice, and the calculation of competitions in three disciplines: flat racing, endurance, and eventing. The good news is that we can confirm that none of the other disciplines are affected and the Wiki information about those are correct.
The old Wiki article, the Breeder’s Advice, and the competition calculation each used different genetic potential stats for flat racing:
Old Wiki: Acceleration, speed, stamina, strength
Breeder’s Advice: Acceleration, sprint, stamina, strength
Coding of competition calculation:
Routine 1: Speed, acceleration & sprint;
Routine 2: Speed, acceleration, sprint & stamina;
Routines 3 - 5: Speed & stamina.
Strength does not have an impact on flat racing scores and never did, but it was used to calculate the Breeder’s Advice recommendations and listed as a relevant stat on the Wiki. The Breeder’s Advice should have used speed instead of strength, and the Wiki should have used sprint instead of strength. Furthermore, it should have been clarified in the Wiki that the scoring formula of flat racing changes across levels.
As you can see, the competition calculation of flat racing differs majorly from all our other current disciplines. This is not a bug, this was the way the code was intended to work, and it has been working like this ever since day one. We chose this way of scoring to reflect the changing conditions in real life horse racing. The first few routines are short-distance races, which are usually neck to neck the entire race, so sprinting and accelerating are important to win. The later routines are long-distance races, so stamina becomes more important and its weight in the calculation gets heavier the longer the race is.
A huge issue here lies with our communication. The above information was not found in the old Wiki article. We wish we could offer an explanation as to why this was never communicated to our players. It is a grave oversight on our part, and a mystery. We were quite proud when we came up with this system, and that we did not share it with our players seems ridiculous now. To make matters worse, the developers checked the old Wiki information against the Breeder’s Advice formula and did not notice the mismatch. Instead, the Wiki information was said to be correct. We can assure you that it was never our intention to deceive you. We are incredibly sorry.
In Endurance, the Breeder’s Advice is missing one conformation stat (walk) when comparing it to the competition calculation and the old Wiki article:
The old Wiki: Back, canter, head, neck, trot, walk
Breeder’s Advice: Back, canter, head, neck, trot
Coding of competition calculation: Back, canter, head, neck, trot, walk
In Eventing, the competition calculator and the Breeder’s Advice are using a conformation stat (walk), which was missing in the old Wiki article:
The old Wiki: Canter, head, neck, posture, trot
Breeder’s Advice: Canter, head, neck, posture, trot, walk
Coding of competition calculation: Canter, head, neck, posture, trot, walk
What will we do now?
Breeder’s Advice: Changing the mistakes in the Breeder’s Advice is now the priority number one on our to do list. Due to a national holiday, we can only begin to work on it next week, the week of May 25th. We ask for your patience. Solving this issue might not be done quickly, because we want to do it right.
Mistakes in the Wiki: We have corrected the competition article with the right information and are currently fact-checking the entire Wiki. If you are aware of any other articles with questionable facts, please send us a message through the contact form. Behind the scenes, we have been working on a new and improved Wiki for a while now. It is not ready to be published yet but we can assure you it will only contain information verified by the team.
Will there be compensation? As much as we would love to, we cannot give compensation. The sheer amount of affected players, and the impossibility of automatically determining if someone is a flat racing/endurance/eventing breeder or not, would make it impossible to decide if someone should be compensated rightfully or not.
Should we change the competition system now? We have been pondering the idea of reworking all competitions and their influencing stats for a while now. Our main argument against it was that it could make years of breeding obsolete. Now the situation has changed, as the players who breed for flat racing or eventing face exactly this problem. Some flat racing breeders have already suggested ideas for reworked competitions: Here a player suggested to make all levels of flat racing use four stats. Here, another player suggested splitting flat racing into two disciplines. We would greatly appreciate your active participation in those or similar discussions, so that we can get an idea what our community would like us to do. Should we take this opportunity to rework all disciplines? Or would you rather have us reworking the affected disciplines only? We will read and consider all of your ideas before we decide where to go from here.
How did it come to this?
The Horse Reality team is surprisingly small. We are proud to have developed a game of such complexity with our limited resources and we know that many of you appreciate its personal feeling. But there are downsides to not being a big corporation. We do not have their funds, and therefore neither their manpower nor their time. A game like ours should have at least three developers who double-check each other’s code. But at the time the competition mechanics were implemented, we had only one. A game with this size of a player base should also have someone solely in charge of staff-player-communication, yet we were only recently able to hire someone to do this job part-time. We are growing, and with each addition to the team we aim to improve our quality management and communication. We know that this is no excuse for disappointing our players like this. We purely say it in the interest of transparency. In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, it became clear that many mistakes and wrong decisions were made on our part. We are deeply sorry about all of them. We should have handled this situation better.
We want to express a special thanks to all players who contributed to finally bringing this issue to our attention. It is terrible that we discovered this mistake so late, but thanks to you, we did and now everybody has the correct information. You can read in this thread how it all unfolded. Many players have shared their criticism there, their anger, their disappointment, their concern. And rightly so! Situations like this should not happen and cannot get excused. Yet, we are so impressed by everyone who contributed so far, forced us to dig deeper, suggested solutions, discussed ideas, and waited patiently for this news announcement.
We are humbled and grateful that you are willing to work with us. We are a small team and are more aware than ever that our quality control and communication leave much to be desired. But we are also growing and working to improve day by day. We sincerely hope that we will have the ability and time to learn from our mistakes, and that our community will continue to motivate us to become ever better at the things we do.
We love you,
Your Horse Reality Team