Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online runs essentially under the same game simulation engine that the Strat-O-Matic Baseball CD-ROM game does (with some significant improvements, detailed below). This engine allows the customization of many different optional rules, including those that take advantage of a computer's processing power to improve upon minor limitations of the original cards-and-dice game.
Main League Settings
This section specifies which options from the CD-ROM game are in effect for Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online, and describes what their effect on the game is.
To access this dialog box in the CD-ROM game, highlight a league on the main page, and click on Options->Rules... (This image is taken from v13.0 of the CD-ROM game)
Settings in use
- Maximum Level - allows Maximum Rules to be available
- Super Advanced Steal System - use the board game's Super Advanced (or "Supplementary") Steal System (e.g. *4-6,12/- (18-13))
- Use Miscellaneous Rules - adds a realistic cut-off play, the ability to bring the outfield in at the end of the game, and new rules concerning the usage of players at positions they are not rated for
- Use Injuries - use the standard board game injury system (0-15 day injuries). This is contrast to the Super Advanced injury system (not in use), which can yield up to 60-day injuries
- Allow GBA On Pitcher Cards - simply means honor the groundball A's as found on pitchers' cards
- Ballpark Effects - use the ratings each ballpark has for Singles and Homeruns
- Clutch Hitting - use the Clutch Hitting system
- Super Advanced Strategy Charts - in addition to the board game's Advanced strategy charts like Sac Bunts, Squeeze Bunts, and Hit-and-Run, this option adds more realistic features such as Safety or Suicide Squeeze plays.
- dependent on the game
Maximum Rules Settings
Maximum Rules are special rules found only in the computer game (Online and CD-ROM) which enhance the realism of Strat-O-Matic's simulation of baseball by addressing certain limitations that are inherent in a card-and-dice game. They do this by slightly altering the results normally obtained from the cards to improve things like out distribution, opportunities to take extra bases, and upholding extreme performances like Dennis Eckersley's giving up only 4 walks in 73.1 IP in 1990. Read more about the Maximum Rules.
The following screenshot indicates what Max Rules are in play by default in all leagues. To access this dialog box in the CD-ROM game, click on the Max Rules button at the bottom of the dialog box shown above. (This image is taken from v13.0 of the CD-ROM game)
Settings in use
- Bunt for base hit
- Improve out distribution
- Improve baserunning realism
- Home field advantage
- More baserunning decisions
- Realistic throwing errors
- Allow extra pre-1920 errors
- Pitch-Around option
- Correct Board Game Excesses
Certain changes have been made to the Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online game simulation engine's Computer Manager in an effort to improve its strategic capabilities. All changes go through rigorous testing before integration, yet are to be considered works in progress.
Bullpen v2 was an improvement to all aspects of in-game relief pitcher logic in Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online, and was the culmination of years of research, programming, and testing.
Additional subtle tweaks have been made in an effort to improve the Computer Manager's relief-pitcher usage logic in the following ways:
- reduce opportunities to over-use relievers
- reduce instances of starting pitchers being pulled too early
Computer Subs v2
- Finding smart replacements for injured or empty slots in your starting lineup
The Lineup Depth Charts let you assign up to 2 backups for each fielding position in your default lineups, so that you have much more control over who starts when any of your regulars gets injured. However, in the case that you don't set your backups, or even your starters, the Computer Manager will choose the best overall players to fill in for injured or empty slots. When judging overall worth, it will consider both a player's expected offense versus the opposing starting pitcher, and defensive ability. In addition, it will also find the optimal fielding configuration including your healthy starters, moving guys around the diamond if necessary.
It will also make a more reasonable batting order with the starters it ultimately settles on, if you have significant gaps.
- Subbing for injured or subbed-out players in-game
This is much more important because the Lineup Depth Charts do not handle these cases. Again, similar to above it will fill in for players that have been injured or pinch-hit/pinch-run for using the best overall replacement, and move guys around the diamond to find the optimal defense.
Note that the logic of which PH or PR to use originally has not been changed - only the logic of who subsequently REPLACES the PH or PR.
- Picking smart defensive replacements for players you've marked as "remove for def. sub with lead"
When you check a guy to "remove for def. sub with lead", that means it will ALWAYS take him out in the 8th inning or later and you've got ANY lead. It used to do a decent job picking the best defensive replacement for each guy you've checked. But the new logic improvements will, again, also shift your lineup around the diamond to find the best defensive configuration.