Out of the Park Baseball 19 will ship worldwide on March 22, but there’s still time to pre-order it for $35.99 and get the game 3 days early, on March 19.
So far, we’ve told you about the major features in OOTP 19: the amazing new realistic 3D players who pitch, hit, run, throw, and field, as well as the reworked in-game screen that now feels like a baseball telecast, along with greatly improved 3D stadiums.
But there are always plenty of other intriguing features to learn about in each new version of the game, so here’s what you can expect in OOTP 19:
A new scouting system, updated scouting reports, and improved AI and ratings
Our final installment in the Road to Release series will dig into this in more detail, but you can expect an improved scouting system in OOTP 19, along with scouting reports that have been completely rewritten to give you the information you need in clear and targeted ways customized to your desires.
In addition, the AI is even better at calling the shots from the dugout during games, as well as managing its roster, including executing trades, promoting and demoting players, and more. The under-the-hood ratings module has also been reworked to offer a more realistic and consistent view of players in your league.
New tournament modes
The ability to create tournaments has been enhanced this year with two pretty cool features: the ability to skip the “round robin” stage, and the ability to pull in teams from your leagues. The standalone method is great f you want to move your tournament straight into a single-elimination bracket, like a “March Madness” of baseball.
And the ability to bring teams from your leagues into the tournament opens you up to some nice “What if?” matchups in your universe. By pulling teams from your leagues directly into a tournament, you can match up select teams and determine the true champion of them all.
If all of this sounds a bit like European football — we mean, soccer — the guys at OOTP have also obliged with the ability to create a special league with games manually scheduled during the regular season. So like the Europeans have been doing for decades, your baseball league can have multiple competitions and trophies in each calendar year.
“We won the World Series!” one GM may claim. “Well, so what — We won the Super Awesome Trophy!” another could respond.
And even more
OOTP previously allowed you to vote for some end-of-season awards, but now you can play with the big boys and cast a full ballot. Have a voice in the controversy as people in your simulated world argue over whether a pitcher should be able to win an MVP award. The AI has been improved here too, which can lead to some “wins by a hair” voting results.
And if you’re all about aesthetics, OOTP 19 has plenty to indulge you there. They have light and classic interface skins to choose from, rather than the default dark color scheme, and you can even choose one of six different fonts. (No, there’s no Zapf Dingbats.) The Manager Home screen also now sports a more customizable layout and new widget options.
In addition, those of you who enjoy creating fictional leagues will appreciate the 800 (yes: 800!) custom team logos that are available in OOTP 19. We’re thinking of creating a league with major league clubs in cities like Hoboken and Boise — virtual players don’t care if the nightlife is rotten wherever they end up playing.
But wait! There’s even more! Here are some thoughts on the bonus features that intrigued us the most:
- Delayed substitutions for injured players: This is one of those nagging things that always annoyed anyone who liked to play out their games. If your pitcher gets hurt, for example, why do you have to replace him right away if your team is going to bat? Your decision will likely be affected by what happens during your club’s turn at the plate, so give us a chance to get through that part of the game first, right?
- Team leader tabs in the pre-game screen: Before you play out a game, you can see which of the players on both teams are leading in various categories. It may not be a huge thing, but it could influence a lineup or pitching decision.
- Historical replay improvements: They tossed several bones to historical fans with this release, including L/R split stats in historical leagues, improvements to the sim accuracy, improved defensive ratings, and even more a more accurate league and team database for 19th century baseball. That last one is seriously old school.
- Roster choices in historical exhibitions: We broke this one out separately because it has intriguing possibilities. You can now choose between Opening Day and End of Season rosters in historical exhibition mode, which means you can replay some playoffs with team rosters as they really were at the end of the season in question. No more manually changing rosters to do that.
- An “extremely low” injury frequency setting: For when you want guys to get hurt, but maybe only once or twice a season, if that. This is for the people who hate dealing with injured players but groan “Fine, I’ll play with some realism!” when others give them grief about it.
- A speed factor of 1000 for real-time sims: Zip through a real-time sim faster than it took you to read this sentence!
- Countless other small improvements and fixes: That’s verbatim from the newsletter. We took them at their word for it because we weren’t about to see if it really was countless.
And if you want the full list of major and minor features in OOTP 19, here you go:
Major Changes & Additions
– 2018 rosters
– New in-game screen & 3D ballparks & player animations
– Manual voting for end of season awards
– New scouting report text & player development graphs
– Tournaments may optionally take teams that already play in other leagues
– Improved in-game AI: double switches, closer/starter usage in playoffs
– Added the option to choose between six different interface fonts
– Added team leader tabs to the pre-game screen
– Manager home page now has customizable sized widgets
– Modified internal ratings calculations. Adjusted global options for ratings display.
– Recoded many screens
– Added 800 fictional team logos
Minor Changes & Additions
– Added flag for user gender
– Added the Pacific Association independent league
– Can now set a league/tournament with schedule length of 0 to create a quick custom playoff-only bracket
– Added the option to lock the league total stats (historical leagues) while keeping league total modifier recalculation active. This enables users to have a static stats environment.
– Added arm angle rating for pitchers
– Historical leagues now support minor leagues and roster limits when playing with real life MLB transactions & lineups
– Added L/R split stats to historical leagues. These are used for player ratings calculations and can also be displayed in the career stats.
– Improved historical simulation accuracy
– Improved defensive ratings in historical leagues
– Added 1908 & 1909 as-played lineups to historical league database
– More accurate and realistic 19th century historical league and team database
– Added accurate single game records to historical database and default MLB games.
– Added the option to choose between Opening Day and End of Season rosters in the historical exhibition mode
– Improved draft pick trading AI
– Added RA9-WAR for pitchers, player defense breakdown by difficulty
– Added an “Extremely Low” injury frequency setting
– Columns can be sorted on the batter vs pitcher tab in the player profile screen
– Auto-load player pictures will search for BBRef-Minor-ID first
– Improved team color dialog
– Injured players no longer need to be immediately replaced in-game
– Fixed bug which caused interactive storylines to not trigger
– Added playoff history to league history page
– Moved languages and ethnicities into world.xml file. 1 to “n” languages possible now
– Can now skip player creation when adding a league to a world already in progress
– The middle mouse button now acts as a “page back” button
– Support for page navigation buttons on advanced mouse devices added
– The cursor keys up / down now let you scroll through player lists while viewing a player profile
– Added filter in coach lists for available jobs
– Added speed factor 1000 to real time simulation speed selection
– Added ability to clear player strategies for all players on team
– Top prospect lists increased from 20 players per team to 30 players per team
– Countless other small improvements and fixes
Finally, they’ve been talking about this new online feature called Perfect Team. We’ll have more news about it as soon as it’s unveiled, but it sounds pretty exciting. Stay tuned!