Changes to Breeding
Due to several factors, I felt it necessary to change the way breeding in the game is handled. First and foremost, the current ticker is prone to "stick" on certain horses, causing an over-abundance of some sires (ie : Nureyev) while causing other sires to be under-represented. Also, some sires (ie : Storm Cat) are prone to overbreeding regardless of their price.
For these reasons, I am trying out a new "supply and demand" model to breeding. Please carefully read over these changes (the most notable of which is that the number of times a sire can be used for breeding is now limited). Several other options have been added as well, all of which are included in the body of these new instructions. Also, at the end, I have a section in which I address what I consider to be the most common concerns about this new method.
On Sunday slightly after races are updated, breeding will begin for the week. Some horses will be able to be bred immediately, while others require a "waiting period" that can last as late as Noon EST on Monday (the waiting period is random and is reset weekly). A horse begins at an initial cost that will slide downward over the week. Most of the gameís premier sires will start at a cost of 500 breeding points. How fast and to what cost a sire can slide to depends on several factors: primarily, how many sim-horses the sire has already produced and, to a secondary extent, the ability of the sire. If you "canít wait", you can breed using a horse before he is out of his waiting period for a cost of 1000 points.
Each sire is now limited to how many sim-horses it can sire during the week. All current sires can now only breed a maximum of two 2-years olds and (if applicable) one 3-year old per week. The number of times a horse can be used as a dam sire or damís dam sire from scratch depends on how long the horse was/has been at stud. When you view the sire ticker, you will see how many times the horse can still be used for the current week under the "Still Available" header.
You can still breed from scratch or use current, older sim-horses to breed to. Using a dam you own still costs 50 points. To use a male horse as a dam (the "sex-change" operation) costs 125 points. You may now breed a horse with less than 6 starts for 100 extra points. To breed a 2-year old using a current horseís lineage requires a 5 year old dam. To breed a 3 year old using a current horseís lineage requires a 6 year old dam. You can now "push the breeding envelope" for a cost of 250 extra points. "Pushing the breeding envelope" means you can use a 4 year old dam to breed a 2 year old horse or use a 5 year old dam to breed a 3 year old horse. As always, if you breed a horse from scratch, you can choose to eliminate a horse of any age or sex at no extra cost. If you do not want to eliminate a current horse, do not want to use any of your horses for breeding, and have an opening in your stable, you can create a new horse without eliminating another horse for 50 extra breeding points.
The 50% "Bargain Babies" are still in effect. If you breed a horse from scratch that costs less than 100 points, you will get half off.
You can still only breed at most one non-"Bargain Baby" from scratch per week. In other words, if a horse costs you more than 100 points and you didnít use one of your other horses as a dam, then that is the only horse you can breed during that week for that stable.
Another new option is that you can purchase your new horse using credits instead of breeding points. This option only works for non-"Bargain Babies." Note, however, that a sire can only be purchased once per week regardless of where it is used in the lineage. In other words, if someone breeds a Gulch x Naskra x Dr. Fager horse from scratch and pays using credits, no one else during the week can use credits to purchase a horse sired by Gulch (although Gulch can still be purchased using breeding points). Also, no one could use credits to purchase a horse created from scratch with Gulch, Naskra, or Dr. Fager in itís lineage (again, however, breeding points can still be used). If you purchase a horse using credits and it is not created for some reason, your credits will be refunded.
Probable Concerns :
First and foremost: Did I read that right? You can buy a horse using credits?
Now wonít only the players willing to spend real money be competitive?
First off, only once per week can a sire be purchased using credits. So if someone bought a Danzig x Storm Cat x Theatrical using credits, no one else could purchase any of these sires again during the same week using credits. In other words, all subsequent horses bred from scratch (or sired) during the week using Danzig, Storm Cat, or Theatrical would have to use breeding points, making it impossible for people using only credits to horde all of the well bred horses.
Why allow this at all?
Many of the residents run contests and like to offer giveaways. This is a way to allow them to do that without using their personal breeding points. Also, itís another "pay perk" I am adding to the game. We make about a quarter of what we did off of advertising only 3 months ago, and were recently stiffed for a sizable (several thousand dollar) chunk of change from a previous third-party provider. By adding some pay options, it allows us to keep the game free for those unable to pay for it.
Breeding a well bred horse is even more expensive than before! 1500 points? Cripes!
The points will always slide downward throughout the week. Many sires will drop below their fair market value by the end of the week. In other words, those willing to "buy high" can do so to guarantee they get the breeding they want. Others can wait until a little later in the week and pick up some bargains. It will also create great opportunities for getting nicely bred "Bargain Babies" for extremely cheap, as the ticker price is now based more on "supply and demand."
Iíve tried to wait for a horse to come down in price, but someone always breeds to him before I can afford it! This is frustrating! I like the old method better!
The old method was allowing too many similar horses to be bred. This is why each sire is now limited to the number of times it can be bred each week. By setting a sireís price high and allowing it to drop during the week, it ensures that the person most willing (or at least most able) to buy a breeding to the sire gets it.
Why is (fill in a sire here)ís "Starting Time" approximately 2:00 am? No oneís awake at that time! Why not make the "Starting Time" somewhere between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm?
Donít forget about out overseas population (almost 20% of our game). I try to be as fair to all players as possible. BTW, This is why the auction is the way it is as well.