how does the offseason work?
In the 2021-2022 gap (December - january 2018/2019 in real life), things are changing...
We recognise that the team management aspect is an area that we want to improve. We have seen real benefits in allowing drivers to practise each week and to increase their skills. We would like to expand that further to give better control over managing the resources available from your team, though we're keen to not make this particularly time consuming or onerous.
For most of you, this new approach to team management won't change too much. If you currently run a team purely of your own drivers, you may want to make a few tweaks but nothing major.
For those of us who run a team made up of drivers belonging to others, this opens up many more avenues.
Firstly, we need to make two roles clear:
The role of a team owner is to control the fate of their team within the constructor's series. This is done by hiring the best drivers available and encouraging them to practise and make the most of the opportunities iStock gives them. They also decide the overall strategy for the Team Resources. The main job of the Team Owner takes place in the offseason.
A team owner may own two teams - one in the iStock Series and one in the Aeon Series, space dependent.
Team owners are clearly listed on the Roster pages, and with their permission, iStock HQ can put you in contact with almost every owner.
The role of a handler is to control individual drivers throughout the season. They decide on releasing press releases, completing weekly practises, how to use their boosts and so forth. The handler has full control over who their racer drives for, including lengths of any contracts or agreements. The main job of the Handler takes place during the season and at the beginning of the offseason where they agree or decline contracts.
A handler may control three drivers in total - two maximum in the iStock Series but all three can be in the Aeon if they so wish.
Handlers are clearly listed on the Roster pages, and again HQ can put you in contact with anyone you need as long as we have their details.
You can be both a Team Owner and a Handler - or a Handler and not a Team Owner. Indeed, you could even be a Team Owner and not a Handler. Any combination is welcome.
Currently, the vast majority of players are both Team Owners and Handlers.
In this new offseason, the following will happen in this order:
- Schedule Release - as it says on the tin, we will release the schedule for the next season very early on so you can see the skills that will be of most benefit on the next calendar.
- Provisional Progression will happen - this is the usual progression system (The Offseason) - but these are potentially not the final figures.
- Team Slots will be offered out within the Provisional Progression document, with priority in the iStock Series going to active and engaged team owners. This happening early means you know how many spaces you have to fill if you so wish. This worked extremely well last year.
- Team Resources Allocation - this is the new system. The rules are as follows:
- Teams consist of one or two drivers per series. Typically, there are no one driver teams in the iStock Series, and we plan to keep it that way. It is fine to have a one driver team in the Aeon Series.
- The team owner should gain agreement from the handlers of the drivers he wishes to use. In most cases, the team owner is the handler of the drivers. The Offer A Contract form is used to make this official.
- Once the lineup is complete, the team owner can distribute resources amongst his drivers to show faith in one of them, or both.
- The team owner may move one brake pedal and one gas pedal amongst the two drivers on his team. Example: You could therefore go from having a 3/0 and a 5/2 driver to having two 4/1 drivers.
- The combined total of the Fast Pit value can be distributed however the owner wishes, to show investment in the pit crew for that particular racer. Example: If Driver A has a Fast Pit value of 8 and Driver B has a Fast Pit value of 6, you have a total of 14 points to share (8+6=14). You could share this however you want - to a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 11.
- The team owner may also adjust the Pit Grades of each driver. Each letter grade raised (E to A) means the grade of the other driver must come down. Example: Driver A has a Pit Grade of A, Driver B is E. The team owner could change Driver B to a D pit grade by lowering Driver A to Pit Grade B.
- Finally, you can adjust the Qualifying Grade of the driver, showing your investment in their equipment. These run from None through Bronze, Silver and Gold, and the same rule applies for the Pit Grade adjustment.
- Equally, a team owner may make no changes at all, and the Provisional Progression Document values will simply carry over.
- As you can see, being a team owner is very powerful. As a handler, agreeing to let your racer compete for a new owner means you're placing a lot of trust in them. In this vein, a team owner could offer to hire a driver by promising him more resources than his teammate. Equally, a team owner could offer a down-season for one driver, with a promise to make them the clear #1 next season. Trust and communication are involved, but we think this makes hiring the drivers of other agents much more interesting. As ever, the cardinal rule of "Don't be a jerk" will always be applied, and any attempt to trap or cause unhappiness to other players through this mechanic will be blocked.
- A form will be provided for Team Resources Allocation.
- Once allocation is done - it's done. You can't change it once submitted and it can only be done in the offseason.
5. Final Progression and Website Updating: Once it's all agreed and submitted, we'll let you know you're all set. We will publish a final progression document once a deadline has passed so everyone has the same information and knows what they're up against. This will clearly show the Team Resources Allocation.