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hollyh1125
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« on: August 08, 2014, 05:33:03 PM »

It doesn't matter to me where this conversation goes I just want to let out a little public "sigh".

The game is feeling more like work than play now days.  I understand the push for realism and having more "things" to do than just wait on races to run. However, I think, the game as a whole, is getting a little unbalanced as far as "having fun", and "having to do work".  To have any chance of doing well in a race your horse has to be in peak physical and mental condition, which is a chore unto itself.  It's frustrating to see a once top stable deteriorate into nothingness because the intricacies of striving for "realism" suffocated it.
Taxes are sad to me...they are almost unbearable. Especially if you had a "off" year and slacked off on perfectly maintaining your stable so your horses would, at least, have a chance at placing well.  Maybe the ratio of a horses "natural" statistics and how they run based on mental and physical condition is off?  I understand giving a horse who is slightly less of a "powerhouse" an advantage with a few good workouts but it seems a horse doesn't even have a chance in hell anymore unless they are in perfect condition, which is frustrating.

In a perfect fantasy world I would like to see....
-  Barn size restricted again (yes, I realize I have quite a few of my own, but I wouldn't mind being forced to cut down...even by half). We have almost lost the buying and selling market because of over breeding.  I think if people were forced to sell or retire instead of hoarding and breeding every breathing mare we might get a market back with quality horses.

- Less emphasis put on working out and shipping horses.  It would be nice if more emphasis was put on your horses natural statistics so less time would be required to "work on them".  I miss the GOT's...Is there a happy medium?

- Less nominations.  I understand this is in the works, but we are still required to pay them which is still eating in to budgets needlessly.  If we want a horse to run in any of the important Triple Races we have to shell out still. Therefore, some of the more than qualified horses aren't running in them because owners either forgot to nominate them or just can't afford it.  Then those who do remember and can afford it are getting to run in them with relatively no competition. 

- Less taxes.  Tax, Tax, Tax, Fee, Fee, Fee.  Understandably no one likes taxes and fees but I feel it's getting a little out of hand.  Just because that's the way the real world is run doesn't make it right...

The way things are set up now I get feelings of anxiousness, nervousness, resentment, and sadness when I check on things at my virtual stable.  I want to feel happy and excited when I'm here.  I have a hard time donating time and money to something that I feel isn't fun.  At this point I'm just trying to survive...hoping there will be a change and I'll get that old excitement back...that kept me coming back for years.

These are all things we try to escape from when we enter an alternate reality.  As it is now I'm just being bombarded with real life "crap" in my escape from reality, which is super sad for me because this use to be my most favorite game in the world to engulf myself in and leave everything else behind. 

Sorry for the rant...it's just the way I've been feeling for a while and wanted to see what everyone else thought.  Especially the other "oldbies". ;)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 05:40:03 PM by hollyh1125 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 07:25:48 PM »

I think the biggest thing you point out I definitely agree on is the tax, tax, tax. I also understand the push for realism, but it's a little sad and frustrating to be taxed for horses you no longer own (and in some cases only owned within the first 2-3 months of the year), taxed more on horses who actually do well and break the standard racehorse fee, pay a higher stud fee then be taxed more on said stud fee than the standard broodmare fee -- this can be especially irritating in the case of free LFG breedings, because if the fee is high enough it's not really free in the long run, no fault unto the stud owner of course -- fees based on a weanling or yearling's sire's stud fee (I've heard the argument that you would want to take better care of a high-priced stud's offspring but there's hardly a standard guideline for stud fees. The richest fee doesn't always produce the best offspring, and many times it's the broodmare in question who's better than the stud, but there are too many variables in this situation. There's also the situation of purchasing a foal by a super nice sire and being slapped with the stud fee tax (should 10% exceed 2k) when you had nothing to do with the breeding arrangement). It'd be a little less frustrating if there was just a standard fee for broodmares and youngstock, regardless of who they bred to, who their sire is, ect. I can understand the racehorse earnings tax; I think I'm mostly pointing it out because that's your real legit income in the face of taxes and a stifled seller's market.

That also ended up being a rant. Oops. Anyways, I agree with many points Holly makes. I love FF, I do, especially in seeing a homebred do well, or a claimer suddenly become great, and I have an especially huge love for the foaling season to see what sort of foal will hit the ground. However I think my last nice stakes horse was with the old script; I could actually afford to keep more than 10 broodmares and their foals. I find myself mostly training, training, training, entering races, selling many horses, training, training, shipping, race, sell more horses. I love FF, but I feel I spend half the year selling or leasing to survive taxes, then do likewise to have enough cash to enter races.

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I've been in FF a few years but apparently not long enough to recall barn size restrictions. Can someone fill me in?
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 07:29:59 PM »

I'm not one of the original players but have been going for about 5-6 years now so hope it's OK to add some thoughts here.

Taxes - mine will be (again) pretty hefty this year, although I mostly blame myself for that having hoarded too many ponies. I wouldn't be against lesser taxes but if they stay as they are then I will have to manage things a bit better next year. Money management is not my strongest point, either in FF or RL  :(  And I do say, without fail every year that I will not buy more ponies next year!

Nominations - personally, I generally only nominate weanlings and even then not for many races - as my stable's in England the colts get nominated for the English and Irish 2000 guineas and the fillies for the 1000 equivalent which costs me $2000 per horse. They might get a lifetime BC nomination if they're eligible. I generally don't nominate for anything else as I'd have no money left but again perhaps that's where I need to have less horses. I do nominate my studs for the BC and nominated my foal crop for the BS this year but it was only a small crop. Do I remember Shanthi saying nominations were going in the rewrite?

Restricted stable size - I don't know what the previous restrictions were so can't really offer much of an opinion on this. If there was a limit, would it be up to individual stable owners to decide which horses to sell/retire/transfer to FF? If bigger stables sold off horses to smaller ones and taxes remained as they are could these potentially stunt the development/growth of smaller/newer stables?

From my own stable's performance this year I had noticed that although our OTB % is the best it's ever been, on the whole stakes level performers have been few and far between. I'd put this down to not having such good quality horses in the barn and my best racer perhaps being past his prime. I never thought it could be because the energy balance (or something) has more emphasis - perhaps Shanthi could confirm if there's been any changes.

In terms of selling, up until recently I would have said it could be quite difficult to sell horses but then I've just held an auction where all 60 horses sold and the majority for far more than I ever dreamed they would, especially since I felt I was letting go of mostly the "weaker" members of the barn. Some of the new owners seemed to think otherwise! However, there's been a number of horses on the sales board (and leases) for several months. Perhaps there could be a limit on how long a horse could be on there for, maybe 3 months, and if the horse didn't sell in that time they couldn't be reoffered for another month. I think if you are selling a horse, you know in your mind how much you want to sell it for but if it doesn't sell at that price you have to make the decision to either reduce the price until it does sell, keep it and possibly reoffer at a later date or retire. There was certainly a few in my auction that I would have retired had they not sold.

I have been actively trying to increase the calibre of mares that I breed from but I'll hold my hands up and say I have got a couple of mares that I'm breeding from for sentimental reasons rather than their stellar race records. Maybe there could be tighter restrictions on mares allowed to breed although plenty of unraced mares or those with relatively poor race records turn out to be excellent producers. Also, if newer/smaller stables couldn't breed any foals unless the mare had performed at stakes level that could take an awful long time and put some people off.

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling a bit fed up with things. At the moment I still get excited about and hope it stays that way but it can be frustrating when it seems like only certain stables seem to be winning the stakes races week in, week out and the majority of mine seem to struggle beyond allowance company. I'll keep trying though and I'm hoping that as the better bred horses come through we might be more competitive in the bigger races. Quality over quantity is the way forward for me I think :)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 07:35:02 PM by imagine » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2014, 01:57:51 AM »

Just thought I'd chime in because I've been thinking about some of these things myself as well as some other things

**I think taxes need to be approached a little differently. I believe all animals should be charged minor flat fee for care, if taxes were run each three months or so this would lower them by taking into account selling horses early in the year etc.
 And then there should be tax brackets for overall stables earnings.
Thusly any stable earning one million or less would pay say 2%.
Any stable between 1 & 3 million would pay 5%
3 & 5 million would pay 10%
5 to 10 million 13%
over 10 million 18%
Etc or be tweaked to be better this is just off the top of my head. But it seems like it would be easier on stables earning low for the year and hit the stables with huge amounts harder. But is also more realistic. Especially as the tax seems to cap at $100,000 earning for each horse, which is unnecessary as if they're earning that much you can afford it. There is a LOT of money to go around when you consider the purse sizes and the relatively small amount of active stables in the game and this seems a better way to level it out some.

I'd like to add that taxes will slug me pretty hard as I spent a ridiculous amount on Stud fees and shipping broodmares so it's all my fault and I accept the responsibility should I go belly up. But I tend to keep a 'float' I check my after tax budget frequently, if it's going to be under a certain amount I don't do any unnecessary spending. I.e bidding, buying, breeding until we're back in shape

**I spend almost no time working my horses out, I use a schedule for all of them. I spend almost no time shipping either, my good horses are usually in America so i just board them. The majority of my time is spent deciding who to enter in what and when

** I think you should be able to sell horses over a certain age to FF OR any age if YOU bred them. The amount you should get for them is enough to cover the flat rate for owning them so that it can't be abused. I would hope barn sizes wouldn't be enforced as I enjoy my hoarding and what else is there to spend our money on except caring for horses. There's no way to know if a mare is quality until she's had several foals anyways. Many multi-millionaires are average producers and some poor runners make great babies. I have two gold rated broodmares, one unraced create and the other won a few times but flopped in stakes level races. There is always going to be duds or over the hill horses, in real life they would be sent to become meat or retrained for other professions. Selling to FF should be the solution for these. A lot of people have hangups about retiring the crappy runners at their stable. People still seem to pay plenty for good horses at auctions but the sales page is usually full of old or unsuccessful racers that need work.

** Personally I don't think nominations are really necessary but I'm pretty sure they're already on the way out. I like the BC setup though, that horses have to perform well to get in, otherwise there's little point to them.

** Most importantly I don't think there should be less input from players required, but as there have been changes made several times to FF perhaps we need to find out if there a lot of horses with talent going around and some stables are managing them better OR if it is all the management making even low quality horse run well? But I must say that I manage all my horses the same and yet they don't run like Ishka and Devil's Walk.  Also there is a problem with the rest cycle. Almost any horse (but not over the hill) can win a stakes race so long as it hasn't raced for 3+ months. Indeed don't race a horse for 7 months and it will win any race at all you put it in and get a speed record in the process. If same horse is raced monthly it's a total dud. This needs looking at

Want to say I love the game immensely as it is, even though i have 130 ish racehorses it is mainly a handful that keeps me afloat and I'm always a good kind of nervous on raceday because I'm never sure who will be successful
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 04:31:55 AM by Steph » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2014, 04:34:24 AM »

Holly, I would have to agree with everything you said. Brianna-Edgewood Stud
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2014, 07:20:33 AM »

Me too holly and I have had some really bad things happen in real,life and I don't even enjoy this now because no mater how much I try I can't make money, I have put up decent horses for sale and sold maybe 3 , I just don't have the time to handicap and it took yrs to,get quality mares and ow I'm going broke , it doesn't make me excited Anymore , m,y once promising stakes horses just one month all decided to not run anymore (ages don't even matter it was all) I am just sad :(
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 07:33:51 AM »

I have noticed after buying horses from several stables that some do not seem to pay attention to their NE/morale which is pretty important and that after some rest these horses pick up significantly.
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2014, 08:16:21 AM »

And I sound like an ass now  :-\ I'm not arguing against holly's point I have no idea how the game used to be so I can't even say if it would be better to go back but I thought these ideas might be useful for the game as it is. And I just keep talking lately   ???
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 01:56:52 PM »

It used to be that you could stable rest 1 month and be good, and 2 months would almost seem to "super charge" a horse and you could run them for 5+ months. Though I have purchased some horses from other stables who hadn't rested in 6-7 months and had been consistently doing well but the instant I bought them they struggled so I send them home for 3 months and they still don't seem to recover. I must not possess the right feed or something, lol. It does seem very unbalanced though.
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 03:50:03 PM »

This system can work, but I understand the frustrations. Because it's a game, it's difficult to ALWAYS race horses consistently. Personally, I've had success with a light stable schedule for ALL racehorses, and resting them for one full month twice a year (I do it by age group so I know who has been). Is it ideal for every pony? Nope. But those are the ones I end up selling, typically. I've seen an increase in injuries in some, which sucks, but at least it's only virtual. My horses end up running less times per year than most other better managed horses, because I hate entering races of all things. :p I've also noticed that for some ponies, jockey comments mean EVERYTHING. Using a stable schedule allows me to occasionally scroll through and see what their jockey has to say (I assign each 2yo a random jockey to immediately start getting someone familiar enough for comment). All I look for is 1) do they know the horse like the back of their hand, and only if so, 2) running style and 3) equipment. The rest is just "filler" to me.

Oh, and when I do enter horses, I sort by energy, which means the horses with A/A float to the top of the list and are typically the only ones that run (unless I get REALLY into entering horses, which rarely happens).

I've also tried to self impose stable sizes over the years, so that's always an option. I would set a goal number (broodmares based on the number of 2yos I wanted to try managing each year, for example), and have sold several great horses based on this. I don't think the game needs to "control" this, personally. I like it to be personal preference.

I do think the idea of a flat stable care fee per horse plus a "tax bracket" on overall income could work, and soften the blow on the years where real life just keeps you from being active for whatever reason.

I do think people are breeding horses with the goal to sell some off, which obviously doesn't work in FFs current market. I do wish there was a way to "donate" horses to FF if they don't sell, for little or no money. But those young broodmares with 2-3 foals on the ground (and no runners yet) have too much potential to go ahead and retire. We need to consider skipping a year or two before rebreeding. But then the alerts will be fun. Maybe a "put to pasture for a year" status button would work? Ha. That's just my OCD.

Ultimately, I think people expect to make money from the breeding side, which used to work, but doesn't anymore. We have to breed horses WE want (and are able to) manage. Sure, we might still sell a couple, but we all probably buy just as many to fill those slots.

Sorry if I've offend anyone...but I wanted to offer my real opinion...

Now I just wish we could enter more than 2 race days, because sometimes there isn't a good race. But that's just the lazy me who wants to knock it all out at once when I do it...
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 02:04:50 AM »

To be honest, I think the only reason I've been sticking around for so long is because I want to see how Eighteen Karat does as a sire. I own a lot of his babies so if they turn out to be nice runners, well, I can get steady-ish income from them.

I don't think I play very well with this particular game's system, especially since after several years I still haven't found a system that works for the majority of my runners, but my real problem is the current tax system. For me, new horses = more taxes that I can't afford to pay so I just end up racing the same group of horses that just lose me money race day after race day. I don't think I claimed a single horse this year because of that. I know we're going for realism and I actually don't mind being taxed on the horses but the way I'm being taxed is sucking all the fun and challenges out of the game.

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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 07:33:07 AM »

I want to wait and see what other thoughts come from this thread, but regarding taxes...

I haven't even considered how to write them in the beta. That tells me that 1) they're not very important 2) they should be rethought. ;)

Taxes were setup initially as a money sink when racing was cheap/easy (no shipping, no jockeys). Likewise breeding was also cheap/easy (and at a lower volume so there were fewer stillbirths). A lot more fees have been introduced since then, making it harder to make a profit from horses, so taxes seem a bit irrelevant.

I quite like Steph's suggestion above about how to rework taxes. I'd need to run some numbers to see how what makes the most sense, but I've been thinking for a while about how to rework taxes and Steph, your suggestions make sense.

I don't know when the rewrite will be done (lack of time/energy to work on it really slows me down), but until it does, I'm going to disable the tax script on the current system. Hopefully it'll just be for this one tax season. ;)

Yes, that means no taxes for 2018. Don't spend your saved money all in one place. (Or do, if it's on one of my consigned ponies in the Select Auction next month :P)
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 10:46:45 AM »

Yaay no taxes!

I didn't like one thing about them, especially; that if you bred a mare to a relatively new/unproven stallion for a cheap fee, and then that stallion suddenly became Gold rated and his fee grew significantly, you would pay for the weanling/yearling the higher % of his current fee instead of % of what you paid for the breeding... which I felt was unfair because that breeding was a risk when the stallion did not have his rating yet.
But, it doesn't happen that often.
I also blame myself for claiming not-so-promising claimers from FF... I didn't have to!
But I got better at retiring ponies... I even retired a 2yo after four races... :D because I thought that his pedigree is not that awesome, so if he's not brilliant from the start it probably means that he will not be brilliant later... and I have other 2yo's with better pedigrees and starts...
I'm also planning a new approach to selling this year's yearlings when they turn 2 in 2019: instead of picking the ones to sell, I will pick the ones I really (but really) want to keep, and sell the rest... the idea is to sell more than I will keep, but we shall see ;)
I still love the game! And I'm sure we'll all enjoy it better with the new horse pictures  :D
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 02:57:58 PM by Hilda with Clicker » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 03:04:53 PM »

I agree that something like what Steph suggested might be better all round, although maybe lower rates would be sufficient.

For example, looking at my Taxes for last year, my overall Taxes came to a little over $5m. If I had been Taxed a straight 10% of my Total Race Earnings alone (not including extras like Stud Fees received and Horses Sold), my Taxes would have been just under $7m.

Then, add on say 5% of all Stud Fees Received and say 5% of the value of horses sold, plus maybe $1,000 for all unraced & unretired horses in your Stable (although, a racehorse that raced even once but had zero earnings for the year, would escape having to "pay Tax"). I don't know where Broodmares and Stallions would fit into this latter category, but they probably shouldn't be included. After all, if the broodmare owner is already having to pay a Stud Fee, why should they have to pay a Tax on that expense? A flat $1,000 per foal Tax for all live foals should cover "feed and care" for the foal. A Stallion would already be covered by the Tax on Stud Fees.

The Tax on Racing Earnings might be easier to code than how it is being done currently because, instead of the current system (having to work out what each individual racehorse earned, Taxing a percentage of its earnings, working out if this Tax came to less than $5,000 or more than $100,000), Shanthi would just have to figure out the Stables total Earnings (which shouldn't be too hard, since that is shown on each Stables Information page and must be stored somewhere in the system) and apply the relevant Tax Rate to that figure.

This should be fairer so that a larger stable whose racehorses all decide to have an off year at the same time, wouldn't be penalized for this and, a large stable, like mine, whose horses are "running out of their shoes", will definitely pay their fair share of Taxes.
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 07:13:03 PM »

I totally agree with the game become more work than fun. Taxes crush me every year. I've been in the game for 7 years, and granted I've been in school that entire time so I don't have a lot of time to devote, but at this point I would like to think I'd have at least won some caliber of races that would allow me to survive. CW was always my stable savior because it allowed me that extra income I simply couldn't get from my ponies. So thank you Shanthi for cancelling for this year! It means I will be able to race at the beginning of next year instead of trying to sell or lease my ponies in a flooded market.

As far as breeding and selling, I've always wondered if there should be a standard for BMs, but at the same time there are stallions now that are from mares that were practically duds. If there could be any evaluation of sorts that mares could go through, great, but I'm hesitant to restrict some BMs because they are wildcards in so many ways. What if there was a "if the mare hasn't produced a winner in 3 racing foals she retires" kind of rule? I'm nor sure how to give everyone a fair shake especially since some horses are terribly late bloomers. I've had a number of mine that have just come to their racing style at 4 or 5 (though this may be due to the fact that I have a very lightly raced stable because of school).

I've also thought about retiring being more standardized. Especially for the FF horses, since FF has so many. There are a lot of older horses running 1 minute+ for 2f in their races, which is so slow. Those horses are just over the hill to me, and it would be great to see them retire and give the other FF horses that have barely been raced a chance. Even if there was a notification that came up on stable pages like injuries/births/deaths/retirements. Maybe something that says "the FF trainer has noticed x horses has been performing poorly. She suggests this horse be retired." or something like that?

Also, when we get new members, is there anyway that we can give them FF stock horses instead of making more created horses? Especially since so many of the new stables seem to disappear after a couple races.

Just some thoughts.
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