Thursday Oct 06, 2011
Attention, MLB Managers!
It’s October, which means Playoff Baseball, the looming World Series, and — live now for MLB Manager Online — our major Fall Update!
Since the game launched last April, we’ve taken a look at the way the paid structure for the game works, and have decided to undertake some changes. The game is still totally free to play, and you can build and manage a fantasy roster of MLB players — changes are designed to make it easier for more people to participate and make competitive decisions, and for managers who do spend money on the game to make more strategic decisions with what they spend.
For additional update notes, check out the Fall Update news from the main game!
Here are the big changes being made, and what they’ll mean for you:
Changes To Points and SEGA Coins System
This is the major change to come with this update: Now, many of the items previously purchased with SC will now be available with points. This includes arcades and player training reset/retry options.
Other options — notably the bonus point option available for games — have had their SC cost reduced.
Initially the amount of points required seems kind of large – however, there are a number of changes which will make these accessible for spending a small amount of SC. For those who continue to play for free, you will be able to play the same as before, only you will now have the option to spend extra points on certain premium items.
Here’s the main new premium items being added:
The idea of these three new items is to provide the following:
a) extremely valuable support/training cards
What you get in these packs: These cards are not available elsewhere and will provide significant bonuses to your team. They are available only with SEGA Coins.
Why they’re important: These are basically the driving force for the new way of purchasing in-game items. You get not only the very powerful bonus cards, but large numbers of points – 100,000 or 350,000 for the two card packs, and a varying (random) amount for the single card (between 4,000 and 300,000 — it is a random amount which will mostly be below 10,000 points, but which will represent a significant addition of points for a small number of SC).
What else you need to know: If you want to make use of a large number of extra points (more than the 100,000 limit), you will need to raise your points limit. This is available for a very small (equivalent to less than 50 cents) SC purchase, and can be purchased multiple times. If you have previously used SC to increase your points limit, that will be converted to a new, much higher total for you, automatically.
The idea, then, is you can use these points as you would SC before; the major change is that you are now essentially getting more bang for your buck (points to spend on premium items + powerful support/training cards).
Arcade Machine Revamp
Arcade machines are now played with points. Here’s the key changes:
This update also introduces the first major Roster update for MLBMO, updating stats for this past season!
Stats should change over after a cycle, so you won’t have to worry about your team suffering because suddenly a player’s cost/ability changed. Improvements made to a player will remain, as well.
Additionally, there will be a host of new Career High (CH) players added to the game, in addition to those already there. This gives you even more options for working players from their peak years into your lineup, to make sure you have a cohesive team.
Overall we think this update gives greater flexibility to those who are choosing to pay for this game, and a greater chance to participate for all of those playing!
Monday Sep 19, 2011
It’s September — that means the pennant races are heating up in MLB as we steam towards October baseball, and it’s now time to report on the results of another round of championships for MLB Manager Online!
First though, a big welcome to two new regions added to MLBMO’s competitive universe — the game is now available in both Korea and Hong Kong! This is good for our U.S. users, mainly because it opens up the pool of potential players to trade with, meaning it is now a lot easier to find someone to trade with. And if you happen to have one of the tremendously popular players born in either of those locales, you can likely name your price for them!
World Tournament US101
POWERFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULL – 5
A tournament regular, POWERFULL took home the trophy for US101 with a narrow victory in the final match. The key moment likely came during a 3-run 3rd inning, capped by Adrian Gonzalez hitting a two-run home run.
Capper5 made a valiant comeback attempt in the 8th inning, with consecutive doubles from Yadier Molina and Michael Bourn and a walk by Derek Jeter. Carlos Gonzalez doubled to make it 4-5, but that’s as close as they got, and Powerfull took home the US101 WT crown.
Dreamer – 9
Dreamer, meanwhile, ran roughshod over the Binghamton Mets, winning 9-0 – winning his second straight World Tournament in the process. Dreamer scored all the runs needed in the 4th inning with doubles from Robinson Cano and Carl Crawford, and a triple from Nick Markakis. Dreamer tacked on another 7 runs though, capped by a three run home run from Markakis.
The offensive explosion was backed by a brilliant performance from Doug Fister, who pitched 6 shutout innings, with the Binghamton Mets managing 3 hits total against Dreamer. The strategy here is worth noting – Doug Fister is a 4* contract pitcher, and having him hold his own with richer contract pitchers gives a team more flexibility to fill out their rosters.
Dreamer over Woocaster
The last World Tournament for US102 was won by Dreamer, but they were knocked out of the World Championship Tournament – this time though, Dreamer took home the World Championship Tournament title over Korean representative Woocaster.
This was the second World Championship Tournament win for the U.S., and for Korea, the first opportunity they had to be in the finals. To recap, the World Championship Tournament – or WCT – is a bracket –style tournament that collects the winners from each server’s end-of-cycle winners. Now that MLBMO has opened in Korea they have joined Japan and the U.S. in the WCT (with Hong Kong soon to join as well).
Dreamer walked away with a decisive 3-1 series win powered by lots of runs scored; to their credit Finals opponent Woocaster made each game close. But in the end Dreamer walked away with the win, taking the 4th and deciding game of their series by a score of 9-5.
The decisive inning came in the bottom of the 8th, when Dream scored 4 runs, breaking their 5-5 tie and going ahead for good. Carl Crawford opened up the inning with a double, and a single and a walk from Nick Markakis and Ryan Braun loaded the bases. Hanley Ramirez then drove a 3-1 pitch off the right field wall for a triple, clearing the bases and giving Dreamer’s fans cause to celebrate their championship!
Thursday Aug 18, 2011
Welcome back to MLB Manager Online on the blogs! It’s been a while since we’ve been able to update you on the game from this space, but in the meantime, we keep on rolling, just as in real life the MLB season has moved past the All Star Break and the trading deadline, and pennant races are heating up.
In case you’ve been away from the game or are just curious, here’s some of what’s been going on.
New Limited-Time Sale!
First things first – starting tonight, there’s a sale for MLBMO! Here’s what’s discounted:
If you’re not familiar with those options, here’s a quick recap:
Update: Changes to player scouting, trade search, and more!
Some minor-seeming changes that actually have a significant effect on the game, both in terms of how you play and day-to-day convenience.
Update: New teams to play for points, Rookies promoted from AAA!
Haven’t checked in to MLBMO in a while? Or maybe you’ve been playing and haven’t checked the CPU teams? These are important since you can play them for easy points. The real MLB teams reset every cycle, and new NPC teams are added all the time, including “Team June” and “Team August” (players born in those respective months — Team August is particularly nasty), as well as “Right-Hand Men” (you guessed it, all righties).
My favorite of this bunch is “The Ex-Presidents” — all players with a name (first or last) that’s the same as a former U.S. President.
Also, we’ve had our first influx of new players! The game has now added current MLBMO rookies — as well as the surprise-stars of the year, like pitching dynamo Ryan Vogelsong (who was drafted way back in 1998, bounced around the Minors, played in Japan, and is 2nd in ERA in the National League as of this writing).
Winners: World Tournament and World Champion Tournament
Now, our congratulations to last Cycle’s World Tournament winners:
US101: ‘Freakin’ Daemons’ over ‘Spiders’
Spiders rallied in the 8th inning with a series of 2-out singles, bringing the score up to 4-3. The game wasn’t over, either: With one out in the 9th, Shane Victorino walked and stole 2nd base. Michael Wurtz, however, shut the door, getting Jim Thome and Yadier Molina to ground out and end the threat.
US102: ‘Dreamer’ over ‘The Fasts’
Hong-Chih Kuo took the loss for The Fasts – but achieved redemption, of a sort, when – also on Dreamer’s roster – he came in to close out the game for the save and preserve the championship.
World Championship Tournament: ‘Four Seasons’ over ‘Trolls’
This cycle the WCT winner was Japan – a sure thing once it came down to the championship game, which was between two Japanese representatives, avenging their loss to the U.S. from the previous cycle. Congratulations to winner Four Seasons and better luck to our U.S. players next time!
Wednesday May 18, 2011
Two great pieces of news for this week’s MLB Manager Online update: First, both Arcade A and Arcade B are now unlocked, and you have access to all of their contents. To celebrate this we are also launching a discount campaign — Arcades B and C are both discounted 50 percent!
Arcade A: This is where you go for the most direct way to upgrade your team — scout tickets. Anything from 6-star to 10-star, as well as specific tickets for Managers, Teams, and even Position Scouts.
Arcade B: We’ve definitely been waiting for this one — this is the Contract Extension arcade, with tickets to extend pitcher, fielder, or manager contracts for an additional cycle. You can also win “general contract extension” tickets which will work on any player.
Note that all arcades also contain powerful support cards and high level training cards, any of which you have a chance of winning. You will win something with every single spin in the arcade, and each spin also has a chance to put runners on base — those runners, if they go around to score, will give you free spins on that arcade machine.
The release of Arcade B — not to mention its sale — comes just in time: we are nearing the end of the game’s current cycle, which means players with just 1 cycle left on their contracts will expire.
The 50% off sale (Arcade B and Arcade C, for now) starts May 19th and goes for a limited time.
Monday May 02, 2011
Welcome to the MLBMO newsletter! This will be our periodic update for the world of MLB Manager, bringing you news and notes on updates and league info, as well as give some tips & strategy for the game – covering both in-depth game mechanics and info for new users as well.
Game Update: 3rd Cycle, 2nd Season
First off, a belated congratulations to the winner of our 2nd Cycle Champions Tournament – the French Bulldogs.
Congratulations likewise are in order to the winners of our World Tournament, NCTU Everyday! Both NCTU Everyday and Homer Hankies represented the U.S. servers against Japan in the World Champions Tournament, with Homer Hankies advancing to the final against the Japan team. It was the Japanese team who prevailed, 3 games to 1 (in a best of 5 series), so congratulations are due to them as well!
Now, for those new to the game, it can be a bit confusing sorting through the different tournament types. Here’s a rundown:
Champions Tournament: Happens at the end of every season – there are 3 seasons to a cycle, and a cycle lasts about a month. The Champions Tournament is for the top 4 finishers in every league, and they play each other in a series of bracket-style single-elimination games.
World Tournament: Happens at the end of a cycle, and is open to everyone! Because of the huge number of teams competing it is a bit more complicated, and is based on “Swiss Tournament” rules. This is really the only way to fairly accommodate, in a reasonable amount of time, every single team that plays MLBMO. The good news is everyone has a chance and anyone can emerge as champion!
World Champions Tournament: The winning teams from the U.S. servers go head-to-head with the winning teams from the Japanese servers — just four teams total! A chance to be patriotic and to square off against the best from Japan. All teams from the winning team’s home will be awarded points.
Special Tournaments: In addition to the regular end of season/cycle tournaments, there are numerous “hosted” events, special weekend bracket-style tournaments where you can register to go up against all teams from all divisions. These will have unique rewards and occasionally entry fees as well!
Champions Tournament, 3rd Cycle 1st Season: Moneyball 1, French Bulldogs 0
Congratulations to Moneyball and team owner Fantasy for their narrow & dramatic win over the French Bulldogs for the Cycle 3 / Season 1 Championship!
The French Bulldogs are obviously a seasoned team, having won the previous Champions Tournament. They very nearly won this time, too. The game was incredibly close, and was a pitching duel all the way , with both teams managing just 5 hits each over 10 innings.
But in the bottom of the 10th, after Jose Mijares struck out the first two batters, Ian Kinsler launched the first pitch he saw into the stands in right field for a walk-off victory for the Moneyballers.
For Moneyball, Dallas Braden went 8 2/3rds innings, giving up only 4 hits and no walks. Tyler Clippard pitched 1 1/3rd perfect innings, and Kerry Wood finished off the top of the 10th for the save.
Of note: despite grumblings and worries that there was too much benefit for players who were composing their team all from one real MLB team, both of the teams in the finals were made up of very mixed rosters. Fine fodder for the point that maximizing your team’s strengths is better than just going for easier chemistry by grabbing everyone from a single team!
Hints & Tips: Spending SEGA Coins
We recently have started turning on the various monetization features that will be available for MLBMO. The game is free to play but if you choose, you can buy a few coins here and there for different ways to improve your teams. While we are continually evaluating the prices and features available, here’s some general tips if you’re looking to spend:
Stay tuned for more news and updates on the way for MLB Manager Online!
Thursday Apr 14, 2011
Spring Bonus Days are Here!
To celebrate the launch of MLB Manager, and to help usher in the Springtime and the many new features being added to the game, we are offering special bonuses and awards.
Now is a great time to join the game, so if you have friends who are interested, this is their chance to get special bonuses just for singing up. Of course we want to reward our players who have been playing for a while already, and just for logging in you will receive a daily award!
Likewise, those of you who want to invest in new features by buying SEGA Coins will be rewarded with additional bonuses.
Here are the full details:
■ Bonus #1 — Join Now and Win a Free Scout Ticket and 30,000 points!
■ Bonus #2 — Log In and Win a Free Arcade Ticket Everyday!
■ Bonus #3 — Purchase SEGA Coins and get Special items for free
Wednesday Apr 13, 2011
It’s Spring Update time for SEGA’s MLB Manager — check out the first wave of new features for our game!
Starting with this update, you will be able to purchase SEGA Coins which you can then use in a variety of ways. We will be adding more in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Here’s a look at the updated features:
Here you can acquire a variety of services. Once you have “Contract Extension Tickets” (coming soon) you will be able to extend, for one cycle, your player contracts from this menu. You can also change your team logo, name, and home. To help strategize for the best player chemistry you can also select a new “favorite team”.
More powerful features include Season Match Points x1.5, available for varying amounts of games – gaining more points from each game lets you get the most out of your MLBMO team! You can also boost the maximum number of points you can hold at a time – useful if you’re going to be away from the game for an extended period and want to make sure you don’t lose any points.
Career High Players
This week “Career High” players will be added to the game, and you will be able to draw them from regular packs! Taken from a selection of veteran players who are still active, these “CH” cards represent the best year of that player’s career, so you get them at their peak. These players will start with all 5 training slots unlocked, so you can help them reach their full potential!
These players do come with added cost, though – in addition to their regular contract number, you will require a “CH” player slot to use them. These are available from the Arcade C machine.
You’ll notice for the above that the players in the image are listed on their current team but have their photo for the team their “Career High” was taken from.
Beta Preview Scouting Card
For those of you who took part in our Beta preview, you should receive your Scouting Card following this maintenance — you can redeem it from the Scouting menu under “Special Order”.
Feeling lucky? Here you can use your SEGA Coins for a spin on the first of our three arcade machines. Here’s how it works:
–Team Cost + 1 (limit 1 per season)
–CH Player +1 (use these to add in a Career High player)
–Manager Choices +1
–Team Color Slot +1
–Player Support Slot +1
***Things to know about Arcade C:***
Additionally, you can now purchase Reset/Retry cards from the training menu. Reset cards will reset a player’s improvements to let you try them again. Retry will simply undo the last improvement (more strategic, and thus, costs more SEGA Coins).
One thing to note – resetting/redoing a training slot will NOT erase any “skills” learned by that player. This can lead to a lot of new strategies for how you build & improve your players!
Thursday Mar 31, 2011
It’s opening day for Major League Baseball, and opening day for our MLB Manager Online!
If Spring means baseball to you, and if you love any kind of fantasy sports or manager sims, you’ll want to give this game a try: It’s live right now, and you can sign up for a team and get the hang of things in Practice League where you’ll be able to assemble a team drawn from the entire real-life MLB roster. The game is 100% free to download and play.
I have a longer description of the game here, posted earlier this week. For now, here’s what you can look forward to:
There’s lots to talk about and look forward to with this game. For now head on over to http://mlbmanageronline.com/en/ and jump right into the action!
Monday Mar 28, 2011
Perhaps you’ve already had a chance to take part in either our closed beta or the current open beta, but if you haven’t, I’m very excited to get to share with you an upcoming game from SEGA: MLB Manager Online, debuting this March 31st — that’s just a few days away!
MLB Manager Online is a browser based Manager/Sim game, fully licensed with all real teams & players from Major League Baseball. Think of it as a cross between a fantasy league and a managerial simulation (like Football Manager), only with the ability to train and improve your players.
The core of the game is built around drawing player cards and setting your team lineup and pitching rotation. Once you do that, you can get as in-depth as you want. SEGA had an internal beta test months ago and since then I’ve seen players of all levels get involved, from casual to hard-core.
Create and fine-tune your team in any number of ways: You can emphasize a strong defense and speedy base swappers, or you can build an offensive powerhouse. Build a strong starting rotation or pour your resources into a deep bullpen and trade for the players you need to fill in the gaps — with every available player and a host of stats, the game is designed to let you find multiple ways to win.
Certainly a casual baseball or sports fan can plug themselves in and wield a team. I would not describe myself as a “casual fan,” however, and for me, baseball has that easy romantic feeling that leads to long descriptions of the smell of grass in Spring and the sounds of a game over the radio. That same easy romantic feeling has also led me to exploring this game since its early beta stages, and I’m happy to give you a preview of how the game works and what you have to look forward to:
This game is totally 100% free to play, and you play in your web browser. It will be supported by Micro-transactions (small individual payments made for specific services), and while I can’t discuss details of these until they’re finalized and in-game, I’m very happy with what I’ve seen so far. No one wants a game to be unbalanced so that whoever spends the most will always win – what fun is that? You can compete in this game if you’re smart (and a little lucky), and if you’re willing to spend a little bit of coin, what you get is a chance to improve your team. The best part about this? It feels like you still have to be a skillful manager to use what you buy in a strategic way; you can’t just dump money into this game and have it reward you.
Games themselves can be fast-simmed – at a few seconds per game – so if you missed a few days of action you can catch up. You can also, of course, watch each game unfold, live, in a flash-animated simulation that you can fast-forward or rewind through at will. Seeing your hand-picked players mount a stirring comeback or hold a lead in a tight game is one of the most rewarding parts of playing.
This brand new game will be available on Opening Day for this year’s 2011 Season — the same day my beloved San Francisco Giants begin the defense of their World Series, you will have the opportunity to join the game and create your team. Look for more information on this game soon, and get ready to play ball!
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