Community Update - In 2 Weeks: Breed-Specific Competitions & Conformation Show Payouts

Wednesday, May 5 at 13:00

Hello dear community! Today’s update was supposed to be a big one that would have brought either the tack or the feeding room. However, there are still several aspects about these features that we are not yet happy with and would like to work on a little longer. More importantly, both of these updates will come with new in-game expenditures: deteriorating tack and feed/bedding costs. To better prepare our players we decided to add income-increasing features first: In two weeks, breed-specific competitions and higher conformation show payouts will come to Horse Reality! 🎉🎉🎉 We want to take today’s update to prepare you for the changes to come. We will explain what the breed-specific competitions will look like and why they have to come with lowered prize money and a payout condition. At the end of this post, we’re shortly gonna touch on related topics that may be on your mind while you’re reading this: club-hosted competitions, and fixing the competition scoring of the bugged disciplines.

🏅 Next Update: Breed-Specific Competitions are Coming! 🏅

More Competitions

The competition page will look a bit like the conformation show page. At the top, there will be a “general” category where all breeds can be entered. Below that, the 26 (soon with Thoroughbreds 27) current in-game breeds will be listed. After you click on the category, you’ll see the disciplines listed like they are on the current competition page.
This means there will be many more competitions. At the moment, a separate set of our current 7 disciplines runs on each of the 6 continents, making for 7x6 = 42 competitions at a time. Each lasts 2 hours, and adding all of them up throughout the day, there are 504 competitions daily. The breed-specific ones will add sets of 7 competitions (disciplines) per breed on each continent. Thoroughbreds included, this makes for 7x27x6 = 1,134 additional competitions. Together with the 42 general ones, there will be 1,176 competitions at a time. Added up throughout the day, we will have a whopping 14,112 competitions hosted daily.

Lower Prize Money

Considering the above numbers, the competition payouts will need to get adjusted. The prize money will roughly be halved and rounded down. To give you an example: Currently, the first place in the fourth level dressage competition wins 2,778 HRC. Half of that would be 1,389 HRC, which we’ll round down to the “pretty” number 1,300 HRC. If you are shocked about this, please consider the following: In our current competition system, 22 million HRC are added every 24 hours to the game’s economy out of thin air. If we do not change that system when adding breed-competitions, this number would increase to 594 million HRC being added every 24 hours (with TBs: 616 million HRC). This would quickly create a devastating inflation, negatively impacting every single player - not just competition breeders - and potentially ruining the in-game market. A crushed market, in turn, has the potential to render an entire game unenjoyable.

Payout Conditions

The prize money will only be paid out if at least 5 horses entered the competition on that level. This doesn’t mean that a competition will only run if 5 horses are entered - the events will run as usual. But, for example, if only 3 horses enter, they will take the places 1, 2, 3 and get a trophy added to their achievements count, but their owner won’t receive prize money. We realise that this will come as a shock to many, but again, please bear with us to understand why we decided for this. Even with the lowered prizes, there would still be 307 million HRC entering the economy every 24 hours - 14 times more than is currently the case, and we already see some inflation in the game. We therefore need to introduce another condition. A minimum of 3 or 4 horses seemed odd to us - a competition where everyone wins? Or one with just one loser? 5 was the lowest number that felt right to us.

Same Rules for the “General” Category

The lowered prize money and 5-horses-minimum will also be applied to the general category (what is now the only, all-breeds competition). This is because there it will be the easiest to fill the 5 horses criterium, and we think it would give an unfair advantage to the breeders of stronger breeds if they would still dominate the only competition with higher payouts. Our goal in Horse Reality is that every style of playing should be viable. Nobody should be forced to pick a breed they don’t like just to get more money. We know we don’t yet reach this goal with all of our game features, but it is what we aspire to.

What Won’t Change

Competitions will still run every 2 hours, be continent-specific, and travelling with horses to compete on other continents is sadly still impossible. There won’t be a maximum limit to how many horses can enter an event, the entry fee per horse will stay 25 HRC, the energy cost stays the same, and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places are the ones that can potentially earn HRC. A horse can only be entered in one competition at a time.

🚨🚨🚨 Addressing Your Worries 🚨🚨🚨

This announcement sure comes as a surprise and might sound quite scary. In what follows, we try our best to anticipate the questions it may raise and answer them to the best of our abilities. If you have a concern that is not covered in the following sections, please ask us in the comments!

🚨 Won’t these changes crush players’ income? 🚨

Please keep in mind that even with the reduced and restricted competition payouts, a lot more money will enter the game than is currently the case, as there will be many more competitions running at a time. Even though each person’s individual wins may take a hit for a while, there will be more money entering the economy and more people earning it, and therefore more people being able to spend money on buying your horses or breeding with your studs. We are hopeful that, after everyone has adapted to the changes, you’ll earn the same or even more HRC than you currently do. If it turns out that there are negative effects, we will tweak the payout system further.

🚨 Seeing the effects will take time 🚨

The tricky part is that it will take several months to fully observe how this change affects the game economy. Until now, players were well-advised to spread their horses out over several training levels to earn as many prizes as possible. Soon, the better strategy will be to keep several horses on the same training level. Additionally, more players will have a reason to train horses and enter them in competitions: they will be able to win prizes in the breed-specific categories with horses that stood little chance in the current ones. But it will take a while until everyone has adapted their strategies, and only then can we observe the full economic effects and decide if we need to adjust the conditions.

🚨 Why not start with low restrictions and tighten them later? 🚨

When we decided on these new competition changes, we saw two possible courses of action:

Scenario A: Start with little payout restrictions and only lower the prizes a bit. Worst case scenario: We see ravishing inflation in the game economy. In a few months, we’d not only have to announce that the restrictions will be tightened and the prizes lowered again, but we’d also have to do a money cut (e.g. changing the currency so that 1,000 HRC are now worth 1 HRC).

Scenario B: Start with strong restrictions and lower the prizes as much as we dare. Worst case scenario: In a few months, it turns out that players earn way less than before. We could then announce that we’re loosening the restrictions and/or raising the prizes again.

Of these two scenarios, we think B would be less devastating for our community. In addition to keeping a close eye on our internal player income data, we will be looking forward to hearing your feedback on how this works out for you - and please know that, if it doesn’t go well, there will be room for changes.

🚨 Why now? 🚨

Once deteriorating tack and feed/bedding costs get implemented, they will add expenditures to the game. We are convinced that the breed-specific competitions will add more money to the economy, even with their restrictions, and therefore will make it easier on all players to deal with the upcoming expenditures of our next updates. That’s why we want to bring them out before our next planned updates.

As previously mentioned, it will take several months to observe the effects of this change. No matter how much we plan on paper, ultimately we need to put the new payout system to a practical test. The sooner we add breed-specific competitions, the more likely it is that - if adjustments are needed - we can do those before adding more maintenance costs to the game.

Originally, we wanted to fix the bugged disciplines before adding breed-specific competitions. But this seemingly logical order could have come at a big cost: at the moment, some players with weaker breeds cling to the random-scoring competitions to get at least a little income. If we fixed those first, there could be a couple of months between that and the addition of breed-specific competitions. During that time, weaker breeds that used to gamble on the random disciplines would get even that little stool kicked out from under their feet and struggle a lot when we add more costs to the game.

The Thoroughbreds were planned to come after the V2 transfer, but our recent community poll put their arrival in the near future instead. Publishing the breed-specific competitions now allows us to keep true to our word that they would come before the Thoroughbreds, regardless of how exactly their foundation stats turn out.

🌸 Next Update: Conformation-Show Payouts! 🌸

We hope to give conformation breeders more opportunities to earn HRC! This has long been a plan of ours, and we think ideally this update should come on the same day as breed-specific competitions. It is possible, though, that the show payouts come 1 update later - we’ll have to see how fast we can progress with all our plans!

Our current idea is that there will be opportunities to win a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in HRC for the best horses in each category (stallion, mare, foal) if enough horses (10 per category) entered the show. The Day Champion Award will largely stay as is, just the HRC prize option of it will be raised a bit. We are also considering adding a gelding category to shows.
More details about all that will follow in our next news post!

Related Topics: Club-Hosted Competitions

It has been long-planned that clubs would someday host competitions alongside the conformation shows. The code for that is also nearly ready, but we are lacking one central idea. Please come to our rescue by suggesting solutions in the ideas forum! The following pickle we are finding ourselves in:

When a club owner creates a conformation show, there is just one field titled “Day Champion Award” that needs to be filled in. If you choose 1,000 HRC and host the show in 6 continents, 6,000 HRC will be withdrawn from the club’s bank account. But if a club would create e.g. a show jumping competition, there would be 10 levels with 3 prizes each. How should we organise this? Does the average club even have the kind of money in the bank to sponsor 30 prizes? If we assume the same prizes our game uses, hosting just one competition would cost the club 20,000 - 132,000 HRC (depending on the selected continents).

And how would we go about the design? The club owner having to spell out the 30 prizes manually (while making sure the funds suffice) seems like a lot to us. A solution could be that the club competitions automatically use the same prizing system our game uses. Or we could make it so that the club owner only choses a 1, 2, 3 prize and those are the same on every level. Another approach would be that players always create a competition for a specific level. So instead of one show jumping competition always including 10 levels, you could choose if it is for level 1, 2, 3, … or several of them, and even host different levels on different continents. All these settings could be work-intensive to spell out, though. And should all clubs be allowed to host competitions for all levels from the start, or should the higher levels be tied to additional club upgrades?

What would you wish to see implemented here? Please let us know your vision for club-hosted competitions in our ideas forum!

📈 Related Topics: Fixing the Competition Calculations 📈

A sour topic for many in the community, our team included, is that the competition scoring of many disciplines seems to be more random than anything else. The problem here is not that any stats (grooming, GP, …) are not taken into account, but that the real-life scoring range of those disciplines is not wide enough to make sense for a game like ours. Western Reining provides the biggest challenge, which is why we first tried to make improvements there, hoping to receive a formula that fixes our issues and then quickly using it as a basis for all other disciplines. But despite our best efforts the improvement was marginal.

Currently, each discipline has their own scoring system that is based on real-life, a mixture of the point systems that different countries have for each discipline. In dressage, horses can score between 0 and 100 points - this is a wide enough range to ensure that even with a bit of RNG going on, good horses regularly win over poor horses, even when thousands of horses are entered every day. However, in Western Reining there is just a 24 point difference between the lowest and the highest score. Most horses score somewhere between 72.00 and 80.00 points. This leads to a huge number of entered horses being tied. Especially if the entered horses are all taken care of, wear the same tack and have similarly high discipline stats, their results in a 24 point range are just too close together. The outcome is seemingly random placing. The other disciplines fall somewhere between dressage and reining in regards to this range issue.

One solution we can see is to ignore real-life conventions and score all horses the way it is done in dressage - using a range from 0% to 100%. This would probably mean that e.g. in show jumping, instead of seeing a penalty and the time in seconds, you would only see a percentage like in dressage. It would enable us to (relatively) quickly un-bug all competitions, but it would also mean to lose some realism and variation in the game.

We are, again, wondering what our players would like to see. Is this solution worth the loss of realism? Or is there an obvious solution we failed to see that you are going to tell us in the ideas forum?

🐞 Bugfixes 🐞

⚈ Our new Fitting Room made foals appear giant on mobile, luckily our devs shrank them down to their appropriate sizes!
⚈ Trial moderators had a funky role tag that behaved differently from the others.

🖼️ May Background 🖼️

We added a wonderful new addition to our Delta Store. Say hi to our brand new Blue Forest background! Based on the beautiful Blue Forest in Belgium, we strayed from our lovely pink cherry blossoms to these blue beauties.

👵🏻 NPC Profiles 👵🏻

We have finally updated the “player” profiles of our 3 NPCs
Gisela, Joseph and Mia with the background stories that were written in our writing contest.

We are as always excited to see your feedback on these news. We have thought about these changes long and hard and think that this is the best strategy. Breed-specific competitions are a much-wished-for feature and we think it’s finally time to add them! But they are also a scary new force in the game economy that we’d rather approach with the commanded caution. Inflation is a sworn enemy to many games, and we are not willing to be its next victim. As we said multiple times, because it cannot be said enough: Let us see how the changes affect the economy, and if necessary, we are more than willing to course-correct. We hope the excitement for the new feature will outweigh the fears and concerns. We are all in this together, our team wants only what’s best for the community!

Economic greetings!
Your Horse Reality Team


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