Game Balance Updates for Season 8 (And Beyond)
Hello again Photo Finish faithful!
We're back today to quickly give an overview of important and exciting changes coming with Season 8!
We continue to iterate season on season to bring our racing incentive structure where it needs to be to encourage GROWTH and RACING PERFORMANCE. Along with this, we continue to chase perfection with the deep mechanics of our genetics-based breeding system. Before we move forward, let's take a quick look back at Season 7, our biggest season yet!
Season 7 OverviewAs we put a tidy bow on season 7, there was a lot of good news in addition to the successful fundraise:
- Fee revenue in season 7 was higher than each comparable week in season 6
- Paying out around $210K to track operators
- 12% race cancellation rate (from 24% in Season 6 and 50% in Season 5)
- Breeding volume
- Breeding report sales
- Horse sales volume
- Claiming fee revenue
- Entry fees paid
- $3M+ entry fees
- $3.3M horse sales
- $700K in two-party stud cover sales
Thank YOU, community, for continuing to support the game and help us grow!
Ok, So What's Changing?
Upcoming changes for Season 8
- The purses on "Major" Races are increasing by another $1,000 (from $2,000 to $3,000)!
- The "Breeding Window" changes from the first seven days of the season to days 2-8.
- The purses on "Carnival" Races (the undercard races of the Majors) are increasing from $750 to $1,000
- There are six juiced pots DAILY ranging from $140 to $300 for GIII / GII / GI Unrestricted Stakes races, which includes a healthy $15 per horse wagering pool juice on each of these races
- "After Dark" handicap races see an increase in per-horse wagering juice from $10 to $25, with claiming races increasing from $6 to $10
- Pick pools can now see juice across Win, Place, and Show pools rather than just Win pools
Upcoming proposed changes for Season 9
- The "Breeding Window" changes from the first seven days of the season to days 2-10.
- The Third Time Championship races move to the second week of the season after the breeding window.
- Starting with Season 9, we are changing the previous 40% allocation of platform fees for end-of-season "rebates" to 30%, with the 10% moving into race purses Season 9. (Note the S7 to S8 rollover rebate remains at 40%).
- Horses that are inbred will have a chance of a more negative impact, especially the closer the inbred generations are
Upcoming proposed changes for Season 10
- Horses that are inbred will have a chance of a MUCH more negative impact, especially the closer the inbred generations are
- The inbreeding logic will change from checking 3 generations to 4
- All breeding reports will be regenerated
Why The Changes To Breeding?
This is a perfect example of the evolving mechanics of the game and ecosystem. The original plans from the very first roadmap always had an intent of following the real life design of top tier horses racing through the major races like the Kentucky Derby in their 3 year old year and retiring during their 4 year old year. However, due to a small population in the early going, we allowed 3 year olds to retire to kickstart more breeding and growth. An unexpected side effect of this however was that certain archetypes of horses (i.e. Right+Dirt) could race for their major series AND retire and breed, effectively getting an extra season of breeding fees that other archetypes could not.
This could be an impactful change for some stables but on the flipside this has been discussed at length in the Discord with the community so this should hopefully not come as too much of a shock to many.
Sanctity, Exploits, Terms of Service
We have recently taken action regarding various violations of our Terms of Service after sending out a warning based on our most recent policy updates. We thank everyone for helping us curb this behavior, which seems to largely have subsided - however we'll continue to monitor this behavior as well as players who have infracted on our TOS in the past.
Our current policy is a warning, followed by a temporary freeze if behavior continues, followed by a warning-less outright ban including seizure of all assets upon further violation.
The continued growth of Photo Finish™ LIVE has been unbelievably exciting. But like nearly every game built before, constant updates are typically required to make sure it stays on the right track. We look forward to seeing what dynamics change and how much more competitive the 3 year old season will become, and the new strategies and skills that you, our beloved community employ. See you on the track!