Balls and strikes

SDS

I’m playing the cpu a lot this weekend due to conquest, moments, etc and am noticing that the main way the cpu seems to increase difficulty is by throwing less strikes. Maybe this seems obvious, but think about it. The better the pitcher you face, the higher the difficulty, the less strikes the ai pitcher throws.

It’s not uncommon to get three balls and then a dot to start many at bats.

This also got me thinking about how much harder it is to consistently throw strikes this year, regardless of pitch input mode.

Add that to the community stats published which show a really high proportion of home runs compared to doubles, and I can’t help but conclude that this has something to do with the way the hitting engine works.

In real baseball, good pitchers throw a higher percentage of strikes.

Thoughts?

SDS

My thoughts, based in no small part on my own abilities and tendencies as a pretty average hitter at best, are that the best hitters tend to be more patient at the plate, even when playing vs CPU. They also have the ability to distinguish when a pitch is going to be appropriate to take a cut at, which gives better results overall. Weaker players will swing at far too many pitches in general, consistently swing early in counts and don’t have the split second recognition and reaction skill set that separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of hitting ability.
If I were to build a dynamic scaling difficulty level for pitching, I probably would do exactly what you mention in your OP. First of all, establish that they have the ability to take a ball outside the zone.

If they do indeed appear willing to work counts and take balls, the next phase of upscaling difficulty is “can they take a strike?”. In this phase you would have the cpu pitcher throw the pitch in the zone, but in a location that rarely equates to success for a hitter A.K.A. “The pitchers pitch”. Sometimes there are strikes you shouldn’t swing at, the ability to recognise and lay off these pitches with less than two strikes is the difference between a good and great hitter. It’s all well and good laying off a change up in the dirt or high fastball above the zone, congratulations - You don't totally suck at hitting. That said, if you’re swinging at every strike on the black, rolling over offspeed on the outer half and trying to drive every pitch in the zone, you still have major problems.

To me, with these factors in mind, it’s a logical way to scale difficulty, as most players simply aren’t patient enough to take pitches, particularly when trying to beat the cpu for a specific mission. Most people attack and try to get it over and done with and move on.

SDS

@halfbutt said in Balls and strikes:

I’m playing the cpu a lot this weekend due to conquest, moments, etc and am noticing that the main way the cpu seems to increase difficulty is by throwing less strikes. Maybe this seems obvious, but think about it. The better the pitcher you face, the higher the difficulty, the less strikes the ai pitcher throws.

It’s not uncommon to get three balls and then a dot to start many at bats.

This also got me thinking about how much harder it is to consistently throw strikes this year, regardless of pitch input mode.

Add that to the community stats published which show a really high proportion of home runs compared to doubles, and I can’t help but conclude that this has something to do with the way the hitting engine works.

In real baseball, good pitchers throw a higher percentage of strikes.

Thoughts?

I think your on to something. I've noticed a high percentage of balls with higher difficulty. Strike/ball ratio should be minimum 2-1. Much higher for great pitchers. Not the case in this game.

SDS

These Jackie Robinson moments i'm going to say 80% are balls way outside or up high and when you do hit the ball it's a flyball out to superman in left field/ or center. Get 2 doubles? I can't even get a hit.

SDS

To me, with these factors in mind, it’s a logical way to scale difficulty, as most players simply aren’t patient enough to take pitches, particularly when trying to beat the cpu for a specific mission. Most people attack and try to get it over and done with and move on.

I don’t entirely disagree, although I do think at lower levels, it would make more sense to give newer/less skilled players more decent pitches to hit.

My point was more that I think the reason behind seemingly nerfed exit velocities on good swings, and just the good/ok phenomenon is the game’s way of making outs from pitches in the zone.

SDS

@halfbutt said in Balls and strikes:

To me, with these factors in mind, it’s a logical way to scale difficulty, as most players simply aren’t patient enough to take pitches, particularly when trying to beat the cpu for a specific mission. Most people attack and try to get it over and done with and move on.

I don’t entirely disagree, although I do think at lower levels, it would make more sense to give newer/less skilled players more decent pitches to hit.

My point was more that I think the reason behind seemingly nerfed exit velocities on good swings, and just the good/ok phenomenon is the game’s way of making outs from pitches in the zone.

Could be, the game plays totally differently offline to online obviously, I tend to feel like the results are more accurate and indicative of input in offline DD modes, although you do get a few nonsensical outcomes from time to time. There’s also more hit variety, particularly on HOF+ than in H2H play.

Bottom line is, it’s a simulation and not a particularly good one this year. You’re just rolling a dice and getting a random outcome when you swing the bat in game, sometimes the game will choose a batted ball outcome that seems less than appropriate for the swing type, but that’s like rolling five dice and them all landing on the same number - seems unlikely, but as it’s within the range of random outcomes on offer, occasionally it will come up. The more games you play, the more dice you roll, the more of these unlikely outcomes you see. You tend to recall these illogical or unsatisfactory events more than things you perceive to be “normal” so after many games played, you recall many strange outlier events, which creates a confirmation bias that these things are “always happening”. They are, but you will see more of them the more you play, obviously.

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