The Out of the Park Baseball 18 development team is hard at work on the game, gearing up for its March 24 release. You can still pre-order it for $34.99, a 10% discount, and receive the Gold Master version of the game on March 20, four days ahead of the worldwide launch.
The OOTP 18 Road to Release series keeps rolling down the tracks with John Comey’s look at a new feature, promotion and relegation, that has fans intrigued.
When it was announced that Out of the Park 18 would introduce the ability to automate promotion and relegation, I became excited. It was, to me, to many, a long time coming.
You see, several years ago, I finally understood the allure of, and fell for, soccer.
I’m sorry: Football.
Specifically, I fell for association football. I am smitten with all things historical, which is why I fell for baseball. The first baseball book I remember receiving was Neft & Cohen’s 1989 Baseball Encyclopedia; it included seasonal narratives, which I read over and over. I read The Twenty-Four Inch Home Run, by Michael Bryson, shortly after, and never looked back. I have bought the Baseball Abstracts off Amazon and eBay. I don’t mean the one Bill James wrote in 2001 -- I mean the ones he wrote in the 1980s, when he did yearly Abstracts.
So, when I discovered the richness of history that association football has, I dove right in. (I highly recommend When Saturday Comes, a long-standing magazine that I hold akin to Baseball America, albeit with British humor. Anyway, they wrote a small encyclopedia about the history of the sport, and each club within the country. It opened my eyes.)
This coincided with the 2010 USMNT and the World Cup. It also coincided with Out of the Park Baseball opening the game up to allow for the editing of leagues.
I have long been associated with two things regarding OOTP: 1) online leagues, and 2) biting off more than I can chew. Immediately, the machinations in my head began to spiral out of control.
Editing league structures allowed the user, for the first time, to edit the participants within a specific league. This, technically, allowed the user to operate a promotion/relegation league. A handful of individuals embarked upon this endeavor. I immediately jumped on board, and, along with countless others, created the Baseball Association. It had a four-tier hierarchy, with sixteen teams at each level. It had a League Cup.
It also had bad timing, as grad school, and the frustrations of attempting to run a league like this manually, ran me off the road. Mark Cooley, a name synonymous with successful online leagues throughout the OOTP community, created a much better experience that ran for a couple of years. And several others, specifically the United States Baseball Association (https://usba14.us/) and Premier Baseball Dynasty League (http://pbdl2012.com/), gave it a shot too.
These leagues withstood the test of time, labors of love and passions that are needed with such a deep, time-intensive system. Operating leagues such as these, even at the solo level, require patience. Dedication is required, and rewarded.
(I do recommend you read one such solo experience, found here: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/ootp-dynasty-reports/237949-english-baseball-league-est-1888-history.html . (He was also interviewed for the OOTP blog: http://blog.ootpdevelopments.com/sabr-member-chuck-hildebrandt-knocked-out-by-ootps-depth/ ) Chuck’s work illustrates just how powerful and dynamic OOTP can be, and how rewarding, when done with love, imagination, and ability, this experience can be.)
But what if OOTP could automate this ability? What if you could play promotion/relegation without having to go through all of the manual steps?
Find out. Because you can now.
In League Creation (using the Advanced Mode) you can find the option to enable Promotion & Relegation. Here, you have the can select the leagues in which you promote and relegate. You can also automate the process, or give yourself the option to do it manually, in case you wanted to have a playoff for a final promotion spot. (Note: This is a work-in-progress, and will take editing on your part.)
(It does need noting, you need at least two leagues to enable promotion/relegation. Once done, you can set up the finer details on the Options page of League Creation. It also needs noting: it appears you have to enable promotion/relegation for each league you wish to be in the hierarchy. Otherwise, leagues not selected will be independent of your ladder at the start. (They can be ushered in after the fact, if you want to build a history.))
Out of the Park Baseball 18 offers not just the ability to play in the promotion/relegation realm, but it offers a Quickstart option too. The OOTP Developments team has built a Quickstart, which comes with OOTP 18, to allow for you to have at it without all the nitty gritty. The league offers four tiers, one for each level. There are 24 teams at each division-less level. (Should you set up your own creation, you can have sub-divisions and set up your promotion parameters with them. You must promote the same number of teams per sub-division.)
After that, you’re set. The game does the rest.
It’s that simple.