Pitwall news

New update live

Just a short message from my end, but the changes that were documented in the previous news message ([link]https://pitwall.org/news/88[/link]) are now live.

Because some database changes are required, the updates have been paused while an upgrade script runs. Once this has been completed, the missing hour and day updates will be caught up.

Upcoming changes: Automation, Scouting, and Person negotiations

Hi everyone,

It has been a while since Pitwall has seen an update, but there's a good reason for that. I have been working on a major update which focusses on some parts of the game where I felt that managers were kind of blocked and couldn't do much to change their situation, but also some nice fixes which improve the quality of life.

The first major change is "Automation". It only takes you a couple of weeks in a deserted division to know that the game is not fun when there are no competitors. Because of that I've worked on introducing automation in the game. This means that teams are starting to be able to take care of themselves. It will definitely be far from perfect, but at least they will be able to research, develop and create cars, participate in testing/qualification/race sessions, sign drivers and staff, sign suppliers and sponsors, etc.
When teams have been inactive for 2 weeks, the automation will automatically kick in to prevent the teams from becoming deserted. On top of that, old teams who used to be active in the game will join empty divisions until at least 8 teams have been reached.

Another major change is in "Scouting". Before we've already had some changes which made the reveal of skills more interesting. This upgrade builds on top of those changes. The reason why I want to build on top of this, is because I feel that most of the interesting profiles have not been discovered in the game yet. We are seemingly stuck with the same persons in the game.
To improve this situation, the following changes have been made. The scout grading system has been entirely removed and has been replaced by actual values. This means that the persons who have been scouted are no longer sorted by the grade that scouts gave the person, but by their actual values.
Next to those changes, roaming is re-introduced. When the maximum of the scouting points have been reached, the scout will do a scout report at the next day update. The manager is able to choose which type of person to scout, and whether those need to be available (without team).
Another new features is "Academy". Managers can choose to invest in different types of persons. Once per week a person can be promoted from the academy. The highest the quality, which is influenced by investment, the more chance a good person is created. All these persons are created "fresh". It does not mean that they are exclusively available to you, the game just generates them and delivers a 100% scout report. Because managers will be the first to see them, this gives them the chance to sign a new talent.
Finally, once per week you can also train your staff. This improves one skill from 1 to 5 skill points, but it's not a guarantee so it could be 0 as well. Whether it improves greatly depends on the motivation of the person. Morale has also been tweaked, so it will be harder to keep your persons happy.

Person negotiations
The last major changes is in "Person negotiations". Getting to know a person through scouting is one thing, but I felt that some teams were sitting on talents with others unable to get them. To spice it up I'm re-introducing something which I thought I would never re-introduced after Pitwall 1.0, "driver transfers". The system works completely different from the previous system as this system is much more railroaded. The allow talk clause has been replaced by a buy out clause. There are 5 options when negotiating a contract: no buy out, which is the system as we have it today, and which will also be the case for all "old" contracts. The non buy out clauses gradually increase from low to high, with high being a buy out cost of 5 times the annual salary, while low is 0.25 times the cost of the annual salary. Persons will not be very lenient on this, but they won't always block what you are offering them.
In negotiations you will now always see all the teams that are in negotiations, and you will also see in some cases who is winning. This is done to add some more competition to get the signature of the person. Similarly as before, there are different scenarios with some persons prefering not to share any details, while others are 100% transparant.
Finally, the number of persons who get the opportunity to think about whether they want to negotiate has been increased since there was a huge backlog in the hour update. But on top of that, managers are now able to try to convince persons that they should talk to them. This greatly depends on the motivation of the person. If he's demotivated he'll be more likely to be willing to negotiate.
All these changes should spice the market a bit up, a market that I've felt was too stale for some time now.

When this update will go live is not certain yet, as I want to do another round of bug fixing especially in the automation. Once some more changes are ready this will go live.
I will post the full changelog so far in the comments in the forum, and also what is still planned before release. Go check it out, because there are many more changes in other sections of the game that have not been mentioned. If you want to see the changes for yourself, go to beta.pitwall.org to see it live in action.

Season 32 changes

An update has just been released on the game which tackles the person rating system. It has been unclear for newcomers for a very long time what exactly all the stars and different ratings and colors meant, so I've tried to make this simpler.

Person ratings
No longer do we have blue stars or anything else, but from now on there's a single source of skill ratings for every person. The actual rating of a skill is from now on visible if the skill has been scouted up to 100%. A potential rating will never reveal the actual potential rating but show a range.
An advantage of the single source of skill ratings is that a global rating could be calculated for both the actual rating and the potential rating. These ratings now appear through various pages and should help to give an idea of the person.

There have been some changes in the scouting department as well, mostly to accommodate the changes that are mentioned above. Drivers will now get twice as many skills revealed in a single scout report. Next to that the maximum progress per scouted skill is doubled, which means that skills are revealed faster. Scouts will also no longer scout skills which are already visible for 100%.
Ratings were also influenced by an offset factor. The offset is a mistake in the rating that a scout reports. The better the scout the lower the offset. But those offsets had an influence if there were many reports of a person. Because of that the offset is reduced in effect the more reports are generated, and it now has a hard limit of 6 reports where it has been diminished to 0.
Finally, it's now possible to "immediately" scout a person again from the scouting and skills tab. When done from the skills tab the changes to the skills are immediately visible.

Other changes and fixes
Development wise there have been some UI improvements, most notably on the overview page which now shows the actual potential rating of a part. The cars page has been made slightly more compact by making some layout changes. This page will now also show if a part is from the latest iteration.
In person contracts breaking a contract would not always appear while it should have. Suppliers now are double as fast in their weekly improvement in values. The division 1 U15 and U12 races no longer clash.

In case any issues are found, do let me know in the chat. I hope you enjoy these changes and Pitwall becomes a bit clearer to understand again!

Season 31 update

The game was unavailable Monday and Tuesday due to an error in the season update from season 30 to 31. The cause was a small bug in the season update, and because of that the season update was unable to finish. Therefore it seemed as if every manager was fired, which was obviously not supposed to happen. Some managers had already applied for other teams, and because of that I could only roll back the midnight back up which is taken just before the updates start.

The issue was that I'm currently on holiday in the south of France and only have limited resources available. An update to the database had caused backups to be rolled back at a very slow pace. I was able to fix this last night, and the beta was rolled back as a first. Once that was rolled back I switched the beta and the main game database and could start the season update without the issue. The issue is in the hourly research that needs to be closed down. I will investigate as soon as possible with resources permitting and roll that out manually.

Apart from these issues there have been no major changes for season 31. An update was coming, but unfortunately it was not ready in time and I will continue development and roll it out later once it's ready. Apologies for the down time, but have fun in the new season!

Boosting morale and fixes

Yesterday and today a small bug fix release was deployed to the game. These included changes to morale and fixed issues in the preparation and parts section of the game.

First of all by popular request the boosting of morale has been re-introduced. This used to be available, but was removed in the latest major update because it was too easy to boost morale of a person. This caused them to always stay with the team, as it has a direct effect on their desire to either leave or stay with the team in contract negotiations.
However, this made it much more difficult to keep persons since there was not a lot that could be done. Because I like the game to offer many possibilities to achieve a certain objective, I think it's best to re-introduce it. It can be found on the "Personal" tab of a person. This tab also shows a lot of information about why a person is unhappy. Since I didn't want to make it too easy to keep persons happy like before, the cost has been increased compared to before.

Apart from this only new introduction the rest of the major changes were bug fixes. In preparations the display bug has been fixed which incorrectly limited the sim level of the current week to the maximum of the mechanic. This always worked as expected, but showed the wrong value. I also added some more feedback information to this page, and the train and rest values are now dynamically updated without requiring to submit the page any more as a quality of life improvement.
Next to those fixes, a major issue was found in the floor part. The values of aerodynamics and grip were not transferred to the part when it was produced. This caused every floor part to have a 0 rating, which the cars page was correctly showing. Because of this I have removed all floor parts from the teams and refunded the mechanic points that have been spent on them.
So as a direct action everyone will need to produce new floor parts since all old parts have been deleted automatically.

As always, more information can be found on the status page. For the next release more bug fixes are coming up, and some preparation for bigger racescript changes.