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Season 16 Preview: Richie Check-In

We're back! Another season in the books means another season debut and another check-in with the community.

As Season 16 kicks off, we're thrilled to share various updates and changes designed to enhance your racing experience and provide more places for more horses to earn more money. 

Our adjustments in Season 16 align with some of the points detailed in last week's $CROWN re-allocation blog post, which aims to make the game more competitive and engaging for players on every budget. 

Here's what you need to know heading into a sweet Season 16. 

Clarity on Grade-Based Racing

You've asked, and we're answering. We recognize the community's interest in grade-based racing, even though it doesn't always reflect the most competitive fields. While grades aren't the ultimate performance indicators, they add a layer of strategy and fun, especially in breeding-focused gameplay. 

We'll continue refining and adding new race types, but grade-based racing has remained popular, and we'll make sure it's available at all times in Season 16. 

Entry Fee Adjustments

Following your feedback, more changes have arrived this season- entry fees are seeing a slight tweak.

We've significantly reduced the entry fees for maiden races to make it easier for players to discover their horses' preferences and abilities.

Additionally, entry fees for all benchmark races have been lowered, positioning them below grade-restricted stakes. 

We've also reduced the prices of lower benchmark races and removed some of the lowest-tier benchmarks to boost fill rates and encourage participation from lower-performing horses.

Entry fees are a constant puzzle to solve as we attempt to find the sweet spot that offers affordable and competitive racing across all budgets and stable goals. Keep those requests coming, and we'll continue adjusting as necessary.

Updates to Claiming Races

Claiming races have also seen some long overdue changes, with high-end claiming prices reduced to 150K and below and an increase in lower-end claiming races. 

This adjustment aims to provide more opportunities for horses to compete at various levels, as well as making them more appointment viewing for outsiders looking to find a great deal. 

CROWN and Entry Fee Adjustments

Read this blog for a full breakdown of recent $CROWN racing ecosystem re-allocations from Third Time Games CEO & Founder Ian Cummings.

Beginning in Season 16, we've reallocated $CROWN rewards to align with race competitiveness.

Lower entry fee races, including the lowest Claiming and Handicap races, will have reduced $CROWN allocations and entry rakes.

Conversely, races with higher entry fees, such as Grade I/II/III and Benchmark-restricted stakes, may see a nice increase in $CROWN allocations. 

This incentivizes players to aim higher and race more competitively, benefiting the overall racing and $CROWN economy. 

Rising Stars and New Events

With Rising Stars moved to the third week, we've added grade-restricted stakes races to their undercards.

Major events now have Benchmark undercards to expand the number of races and the range of horse abilities, giving mid-tier horses more opportunities to compete.

We've also introduced a new event, “Grade Expectations,” where horses of specific grades showcase their breeding prowess. This event highlights that not all graded horses are the same; performance is key.

New Selection Committee Criteria

We've implemented a new selection committee type for Major Undercards, Rising Stars, and Grade Expectation races.

This committee rewards horses that have performed well over the last 28 days, ensuring the most competitive fields for these races.

Introducing Knockout Races

A new race type, Knockout Races, has been added. These races are perfect for stables with many horses nearing the end of their racing careers or those who like to roll the dice.

All participating horses in KO races are put out to pasture in these races, except the winner—the entry rake rolls into a jackpot with a chance to hit each time.

The more these races run, the higher the jackpot, offering an excellent win opportunity while helping the overall game and stable owners themselves manage the population. 

For the KO races, it's important to mention that the horses are transferred from a stable to a Third Time Games pasture, marking their retirement.

The race winner takes the entire prize, with a 20% rake going to the rolling jackpot. Only the winner of the race remains actively racing.

Winning a KO race gives you a chance to win the jackpot, with a 6.25% chance of winning (by getting heads four straight times in a coin flip).

We've also created a Discord bot to show results, including coin flips for every race.

Wagering Improvements

To close things out, I wanted to thank the community for helping us grow the horse pick feature. Over $82,000 was entered in horse pick pools in Season 15 — a new record!

We're making steady progress and are optimistic about its continued growth. Users' increasing engagement is an encouraging sign of the growing excitement around horse picks, a core focus of the game moving forward. 

That's a wrap! As always, please continue to provide your valuable feedback on the race schedule as the season progresses. It goes a long way in letting us know what is working and what interests you most.

See you all on the tracks!