What would you like to see in the future?

Hi all,

So, activity/interest in FF seems to be dwindling a bit overall…we’ve gone from having a large waiting list to having lots of open spots, forum posts used to be way more frequent, etc.

What improvements would you like to see? In case you couldn’t tell, my time to work on FF is pretty limited (which I’m sure contributes to the above issues), so I’d like to focus on the high-impact things.

I’m also planning, at some point, to completely rewrite FF’s code (again) so that it’s easier to maintain/test/update.

Feel free to suggest bug fixes, new features, other things that would re-spark interest from members/potential members, etc.

I think being able to switch between steeple chasing and flat would be good. (I know you’re in the process of making this happen but it’s been awhile)

Also my biggest guess for decreased activity, and you probably don’t want to hear this, but the very tough qualifications to get a stallion to stud. I know you don’t want the market to be over flooded with stallions, but when it becomes as difficult as it is now it takes a lot of the fun out of the breeding aspect of the game and I think a lot of people give up.

I don’t mind the challenge of the 10 stakes wins but I agree…maybe make it 5 stakes wins, with 2 or 3 of those in a Gr 1 or Gr 2.  From there, your stallion must finish in the top 2 of any graded stakes–something like that.  Finishing 2nd or 3rd in a top event is nothing to sneeze at-- my Armory finished 3rd in the Breeder’s Cup Turf and I know that, as a breeder, that still sit high on my list since he’s done so well on the turf to begin with.

Something like that might entice people to keep their stallions as stallions instead of gelding them when it looks like they will never get the 10 wins.

Just my thought, anyways, LOL… :slight_smile:

Diamond Dale Farm

Interesting question.  

For me, I got busy and my stable was to big to keep up with all of it so I kept up with none of it :slight_smile:  Life is going to slow down a little soon and I’ve sold a bunch of the ponies over the last few months (and stopped buying as many!) so that should fix things at least for me.

I think activity starting dropping off and people started getting more frustrated when the shipping and jockey fees started.  I know its more realistic, but between the taxes and the shipping and the jocks, its really hard for a racehorse to be profitable and allow your stable to function, let alone grow.  Its easier for those of us who have bigger stables where the stars can carry some of the weight for the slackers but really hard for small to medium sized stables.  In real life, most racehorse owners are not making money, they’re losing it, and the money to play comes from elsewhere, so I think if its expected for a stable in the game to actually earn money and a newer player to gain any footing, things need to be adjusted downwards.  Around the same time as well, purses for maiden races and the restricted (NWs) allowances dropped significantly from 40-50k for a maiden down to 10-20k.  Makes a big difference if your stable is made of lower level allowance horses who cost more to run now with shipping and jocks fees, and you’re only earning 20-50% of what you used to.  So jocks fees, shipping and taxes down and/or lower level purses come up would be my number 1 suggestion.

I also think we could have fewer tracks and fewer races per raceday.  And if eliminating some tracks, give players a one time opportunity to relocate their stables.  There are a lot of fairly empty races that get run full of FF horses because the same race (i.e. a turf sprint NW3) is being run at two tracks on the same or consecutive days and the potential field is split amongst the two (or more!) races and supplemented with created/FF horses.  In eliminating some of the excess, you could eliminate the need for so many FF created horses and eventually…

Stop making created horses all together!  I think breeding in the game is finally starting to be proliferative enough to support the race cards.  Getting rid of all these created horses will make breeding more important, more valuable, and a more integral part of the game.  (Keep the ones that are already in the game, but don’t make any more)

I agree that stud qualifications are a little too strict.  Loosen them a little (not too much), maybe 5-7 stakes wins, or make two places or three shows in stakes company equal to a stakes win and keep it at 10 “wins”.  This would allow a few more studs to be qualified each year and we can stop bringing in famous real life stallions (aka created horses with no pedigree and not even a race record!).  More motivation if the end goal is slightly more attainable.

Breeder’s incentive funds?  Not sure how that would work, but would/could make breeding even more enticing.

Have all newbies start with two racehorses.  It is too hard to get started when you pick a racehorse and something else (at least it was for me!).  I felt like I was months behind players who joined around the same time as me because I stupidly wanted a broodmare.

I also think that people were intimidated by the long waiting list so they stopped waiting and went elsewhere.

That’s all I can think of for now, if I come up with anything else I’ll be back :wink:

Would raising the starting budget work instead? I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, just hadn’t gotten a chance yet. To follow your example, most racehorse owners are pretty well-off, so I’d probably shoot for $250,000-500,000 as a starting budget, rather than $50,000. (I’m not necessarily opposed to ditching the other fees, but having written all the code to implement it it’d be nice to not throw it away.)

I would rather solve this problem by having more members (and their horses), rather than just trimming the entire game down. Again, thanks to the effort in creating so many races/tracks/etc.

That would be cool. Then the only question becomes – do we also ditch activity points (as one of the rewards is to generate a created horse)?

I don’t mind loosening the restrictions to, say, 5 SWs (1+ Gr 1) and 5 stakes places/shows (1+ Gr 1 there as well). The main reason I increased the restrictions in the first place was that a horse would have a lucky day, get a single stakes win, and then get retired to stud, only to have 10 foals ever. Horses like that should be gelded, in my opinion.

Care to elaborate?

That’s fair…though some people have a different focus. For players who really like breeding, I don’t want to prevent them from starting out with a broodmare, though I agree with you, the game is much easier if you have 2 racehorses to start.

Thanks for all the suggestions. :slight_smile:

I like the idea of 2 racehorses when you start, honestly.  I understand that some would have a different focus but, in my opinion, until you start to make money, you really can start out with a broodmare and expect to make money in the game.  Yes you have your starting budget but, depending on the stud fee of the stallion, you could easily break the bank and hurt yourself in the long run.  At least having 2 racers to start out with means a guarenteed income (in essence) then you can focus on locating your first broodmare to start your broodmare band.  That’s how I did it (I think, I know I had one racer, think I also had a yearling).  Now I have 4 broodmares and I am content-- I also have a decent string of horses to supplement my breeding end.

Diamond Dale Farm

LOL, posted this in another thread…dunno how THAT happened, haha!

As others have stated the SC -> Flat option would be a GREAT addition to the game and I know myself and many others have been eagerly awaiting this.

I would also love to see stud requirements amended. I have one horse that is stud qualified and another that is one stakes win away from being stud qualified. To look at both horses the horse that still needs one more win is actually the better horse and has a great record but won’t get the chance to go to stud unless he gets that last win which I hope he will but I think he peaked as a 3yo and it is very unlikely so I especially would LOVE to see requirements changed around a bit.

You could possibly keep activity points but they could be used as “Free Entry Fee” or “Free Shipping” for a certain number of points. Similar to the same scale you have now. You could set a certain number of points for the various races. Maiden being the lowest stakes being the highest. Free shipping could be lower than a maiden, or something of that nature You still get rewarded for being active but, you can’t create horses with those points.

Or you can just ditch the activity points. I rarely think about the activity points at all but I don’t know if that changes for some of the people that have been in the game much longer.

Raising the starting budget would probably work and make people more successful faster and more willing to stay in the game.  I think 250k would be plenty, dont want to make it too easy! :wink:  I wouldn’t ditch the other fees altogether, maybe just tweak some of them to decrease them a little or tweak the lower level purses up a little.

That works too.  :slight_smile:

I could live without activity points!  I also liked the discounted shipping or entries, although that would probably be a lot of coding work.  You could also maybe have points redeemable at the end of the year for a FF owned horse like the CW prizes.  I.e. if you have 250 points you can pick any FF horse that has XYZ qualifications.

Totally agreed, 1 SW is way too easy and I think that these would be reasonable.  There are a lot of nicely bred, successful stallions/colts running who just seem to get stuck at 7 or 8 SWs that I would love to send mares to.  And Player would like it too :wink: (we’ve been sitting at 9 SWs all year grrr!)

Random thought I just tossed out.  I’m not sure how the real ones work but it always sounds good!  I think the state tax on stud fees is usually turned around and awarded out as purse supplements for different races.  It would probably be a coding nightmare, but maybe someone can think of a simpler version that wouldn’t be too complicated.

Both of those would be a coding nightmare. I may just stick with the trade activity points for money thing, though, and leave everything else out.

That’s sort of the point of the Breeders’ Series. If people would like to change that, or add something else, suggestions are welcome.

Breeders incentives: Maybe award the breeder a flat $1000 every time a horse they’ve bred wins a race? The Breeder’s Series is cool and all, but that sort of reward would be the gift that keeps on giving all year long. :wink:

Or…have a Breeder’s Series race once a month in each category, all year round instead of at the end of the year, with the breeder getting a flat amount every time their horse wins one of those races.

Hm, except that it would probably be a huge PITA to come up with new BS races to add to the card/replace races/etc. Ah well.

Either way, I know that if I took a look at my budget because I wondered where all the money was coming from, and realized that my foals were winning graded stakes, I’d be very tempted to, say, post proudly about it on the forum, and all that. Increased activity. :wink:

Races: I wouldn’t necessarily want to pare down the schedule, but it would be sort of cool if farms could sponsor races…so if you’re really wanting a 10f dirt NW1 for your 2 yo filly, you could create one at the track of your choice. And you could use activity points to pay for that. If it wouldn’t be horrendous to code of course. 

Activity points: I don’t really pay attention to them all that much myself, but I like that they’re there…after all, who knows when I’ll want to spend them. Maybe you could cash them in as a deduction on year-end taxes…so for every 100 points you spend, you get 5-10% off  your total taxes. Again, only if it doesn’t equal a coding nightmare. :wink:

Otherwise, the only change I would suggest for activity points is to bump up the cash reward to something a lot more substantial – say $5000 instead of $500.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to flat/SC switching and being able to board your horses at other farms (FF or otherwise) someday. And if the breeding restrictions got loosened, even if it’s just to 7 SWs or something like that, it would be very cool. I do like how the restrictions encourage quality, though, and I don’t necessarily think that gelding horses – even MSWs – is a bad thing. Tough to do, but not a bad thing.

Personally, I’ve gotten more quiet just because life is a little busier, and I’m a little more scatterbrained. Big stables are fun, but usually by the time I get done managing entries and such I’m ready to do other things. :slight_smile: I know I’m here to stay!

My input is that maybe you could increase the number of horses a newbie starts along with a bigger starting budget.

I can be a little less involving  when you have just one or two horses to start with. Worse still, you could loose interest if the one or two dont really perform. In that case, a bigger budget will allow for new purchases, keeping their interest alive.

Just my thoughts


I don’t expect to be playing by this time next year as I will probably quit at the end of the english racing season once I have seen my first homebreds run. I love the game, I don’t want to go but as I have said repeatedly I am destroyed by the shipping fees. I know I am only one stable and no stable is bigger than the game but shipping is way too high in many cases especially as it is compulsory to ship your horses home on a very regular basis due to NE
even internal US shipping is high when you are just starting out and haven’t got your head round how it all works. Realism is fine and welcome but has to be balanced with keeping the game enjoyable and playable.  I didn’t realise when shipping was first brought in how it would devastate my budget and probably others have found the same.
Could it be made so that when you are sending your horse home (not to another track to race) there is a maximum shipping fee that is more livable with? or that after your first full year in the game you get a one time opportunity to relocate? (easier to code?)

More horses and/or a bigger budget would help newbies to become more active more quickly. Your enthusiasm is highest when you start something new. having to wait ages for suitable races then wait ages between races may well cause people to give up.

I would’t mind seeing the end,or at least the reduction of, created horses. I think there are too many at the moment. there are so many horses for sale or lease it seems there is an oversupply. On the same note I think it might be a good idea to make racehorses retire at say the end of their 7yo  year. there are very few horses running on the flat at that age and probably all are past their peak. (though many SC horses do well into their teens - a coding nightmare but perhaps a new lease of life for older horses switched to SC!)
activity points - I would keep them as is for players’ first year but make it money only after that, but maybe a bit more as $500 is not much incentive.

Stallions - I think slightly lowering the qualification level as already suggested is a good idea, they need to be good but not superhorse - especially as created “real life” stallions are allowed with no qualifications at all.

Well that’s my twopenny’s worth - I look forward to seeing what happens!

  1. I like the idea of reducing the number of Stakes wins for getting a horse qualified as a Stallion for all the reason’s that others have mentioned. Having said that, though, how about making Grade 1 wins equal to two MSW and maybe making a Grade 1 Place (2nd or 3rd only) equal to one MSW.

  2. I also like the idea of reducing shipping fees. In addition, how about combining these fees for shipping multiple horses, e.g. it costs $900 to ship a horse from Belmont to Woodbine by road, if you ship two or more horses from Belmont to Woodbine at the same time, make it $900 for the first and, say, $100 for each additional horse. In addition, for one-off International race events like the Dubai World Cup races and the Japan Cup and Hong Kong Cup, where owners don’t have other opportunities to race their horses in that Country after those Races are over, i.e. they ship the horse there for one race then have to ship them back right after that, either reduce the shipping fees or completely eliminate them (kind of like having the race sponsors “paying” for the shipping as an incentive to attract the best horses - the entry fees for these races are high enough to reduce the risk of somebody sending a “nag” just to be able to say they had a horse run in Dubai).

  3. As far as Activity Points are concerned, (a) eliminate the ability to redeem them for horses, just $FF, and, (b) make them only available for newbies for one year. They were a great help to me when I was a newbie, but, now that I’m more established, I find that I’m not really interested in them anymore. Besides, if you’re going to do away with created horses, unless you say that we can redeem them for existing FF horses (and, again, I think this should be restricted to newbies only), we don’t really have a use for them.

I don’t know how easy any of these are going to be to code, but, that’s my 10 cents worth this morning.

Folks… Let’s just slow down here a bit… Take a deep breathe and relax… There… don’t you feel better?
    O.K. What I think we can all agree on is the FF is an absolutely great game! It’s realism is next to none that I’ve seen. What I think the issue is here is “instant gratification”. There is an age group today that tends to lean towards this way of thinking. If I play I must win right away or the game is no good… or it doesn’t hold my interest… or whatever…( I actually hate that phrase!) The idea of the game is that it’s supposed to simulate real life. It’s supposed to help you make better and more informed choices and yes, suffer the consequences of those choices.
    Many of you are suffering the consequences of the choices you’ve made. I’ll list some of them because I’ve been guilty of them myself. To large a stable and not enough income to cover it. Stable located in the wrong place and to many shipping costs. Not enough horses to keep my interest up in the early part of the game. Not enough cash to keep the horses I’ve got going. Fees and other money grabbers not accounted for because… (fill in particular issue here).
    How does one go about fixing these issues you might ask? Well there are some great ways noted above that would be an asset for the game. Some of these include but are not limited too… Multiple horse shipping to the same destination(this takes planning and forethought) Increasing the starting budget and or number of horses when you first start the game. Slightly lowering the stud qualifications (My preference is 4 Gr.1 wins minimum and 10 Stake wins overall). Activity points for cash or tax reduction works for me.  The idea of overseas resting places for Natural Energy has not been brought up but I would think that may alleviate some of the shipping cost issues. Breeders bonuses on an ongoing basis is a good idea (Only pay 1st, 2nd and 3rd on every race until the horse turns 5. Dollar amounts to be figured later).
    Increase purse levels might be a good idea but how about we make some of the tracks intentionally have lower purses for the lower class horses. We have this in real life and we have some tracks that are not being used on a regular basis in FF. I don’t know how you regulate it but I’m not going to send my horses to Texas for a race that they may win $20,000 for when I’m on the east coast racing the horse.
    When all else fails in your stable you then have a couple of options. Get into handicapping and make some money that way. Yes, this takes time and effort but as I said above you don’t get something for nothing very often in the real world, live with it! The other option is the route I took, cash for FF$ cash! In my early days in order to build my stable I sent money to Shanthi to get FF $. I, like others had the same issues that a lot of people above have, steep learning curve and not enough horses or money. There were a few times I was under $500,000 and was wondering which horse I could sell to get cash. People I feel your pain. But I sent the money and soldiered on and I got LUCKY, I got Spock!!! That may or may not happen to you, BUT if you manage your money and your horses wisely you will succeed in this game.
    Every game has lulls and slower times. I tend to look at it as a time to take a breathe and re-evaluate. I personally know that I have WAY to many race horses. I have 23 3 yr old fillies that I juggled this year, and 80 race horses over all. Assuredly I didn’t do the best I could for either. I need to get to smaller numbers so, as much as I don’t want to I’ll have to sell some and stop claiming horses as well. I’m also faced with the task of trying to replace Spock’s income when I retire him at the end of the year. That scares the crap out of me! But that’s the thrill of the game and real life as well.
    I’m in this for the long haul and won’t be leaving anytime soon. For those in the same boat thanks for helping row and keeping this game alive. To the others… welcome to the real world, get to work, and build that stable that’s bigger and better than mine!!!


The Grey Stable

I am very happy with the game and don’t plan on leaving any time soon,  but there are a couple of things that I would like to see improved upon to increase over all happiness. :wink:

  1. The DNF, bug.  It is soooo frustrating to have a horse that looks like it’s going to win and then the DNF bug bites it in the butt. :wink:

  2. The shipping costs get a bit frustrating sometimes…I feel general overseas resting farms would be a good idea as long as the fees aren’t too high.  Otherwise it defeats the purpose of decreasing shipping costs…

  3.  Overseas based farms dominating local races because it’s too expensive for most of the US based farms to ship.  Doing something about the shipping costs would also help with this. (Lets face it usually FF entered horses don’t fair well in races).

As for the stallion qualifications:
I agree with the relaxing on the qualifications.  Maybe implement specific retirement rankings, i.e - A horse with 10+ stake wins gets a retirement title of Ultimate Grand Stallion, 5-9 stake wins, Grand Stallion, and 2-4 Basic Stallion. (I just made those titles up on a whim…lol…don’t hold me on that. :wink:) AND, I believe this has been brought up before…have a “per year” breeding policy…A stallion has to breed “at least” X number of mares a year…the first year the minimum isn’t met they get a “grace year” and if it’s not met again…Forced retirement.


BUT, we should also remember that this is a game and in a lot of cases is used as a temporary escape from reality.  I’m learning a lot in my first years of owning a home, working and paying taxes…in short…it sucks…(Not the making it on my own part, but the being raped of my hard earned dollars part…to only be given to…oh but we won’t go into politics. :stuck_out_tongue:)  In short I feel it would be OK to make a few changes that don’t fully reflect reality for the quality of the games sake.

Thanks guys!

Can you elaborate on this one? I’m not sure what you refer to. Most of the FF players are in the US. overseas players are the stables in australia and me and Krajina in England. I can’t see what we are dominating  :slight_smile:  :slight_smile:

I really don’t want to quit I’ve been here 3 years now and have got the stable much as I want it but I can’t run it without money no matter how hard I try.
and I know all about real life, I too started off keeping going by buying ff$ with real money. I can’t do that any more as I haven’t any real life money. My husband is severely disabled and I work 24/7 caring for him. FF was my escape route but now I haven’t the time to handicap or any money left to donate. I don’t expect instant gratification, just a level playing field. I have not got lucky, all my horses are modest allowance horses, or perhaps I’m just rubbish at picking races for them. But i can’t do the things I used to do like claiming horses or biding at auctions, something I really enjoyed doing. Once my taxes are paid i will have 52,000 to start next year with. All I can do is decide who to lease or sell. A couple of other stables have helped me out this year but I can’t keep asking favours forever.
PLEASE look at shipping costs again, I don’t want to go  :'(

I know the statement comes off as harsh and I don’t mean it that way. I planned on having to elaborate for those of you who are based over seas. I realize starting a stable over seas is very difficult but there are also the positives such as a less competitive field when entering races because of only the few who are entered are either local or have enough money to ship over which arent very many. Then the races are filled with random FF horses who, on the average, don’t do well against stable trained horses. I mean lets be real here…it’s not really feisable for a stable to spend 24,000+ to ship a horse for a maiden or allowance especially when you’ll have to ship them back or ask another player for help and trust.
Kinda get me? :wink:

indeed i do see what you say, i was not implying either offence or criticism, just curiosity. So you will understand my point of view. Imagine you could only race in england so you HAVE to pay that $24,000 to run in a maiden race. How long would you be able to keep racing?  I can only race at my local track for 4 months of the year, the rest of the time I have to ship overseas (to the US) a minimum of $9,400 each way.

I made a mistake locating myself in my own country. I didn’t count on having to send them home so often because of the NE issue.

If I race a horse once a month and bring it home once every 3 months I will have to send it back and forth 4 times a year. at $18,800 per round trip that is 75,200 in shipping costs per year plus 5,000 in tax makes 80,200 to keep one horse racing. I have 30 racehorses. It dosen’t take much mathematical ability to see that I can’t run my horses as they should be run. I send them home once a year. so they don’t run very well. There are other members who have helped me out (very many thanks to them!) or I would be out already due to bankrupcy, not lack of interest or indifference. If I had found a star racer I’d be OK but So far no luck. Or perhaps I have one and haven’t been able to run it enough to realise it.

I’m sorry I seem to go on about this, but I want to keep playing and this one mistake I made is going to force me out. I want to see my homebreds race, I want to breed from my own homebreds, I’m not worried about being a star stable and winning breeders cups or titles, just winning enough to keep going will do fine

I don’t know what you mean. Unless you’re meaning that, rather than have 10 SWs (min 1 Gr 1 win), you can have 10 non-Gr 1 wins or 8 non-Gr 1 wins + 1 Gr 1 win.

Either way, I will still probably go with 10 top 3 stakes finishes of some level, and have 5-7 of those be wins.

I think this will be reduced by the addition of FF stables. It’s a good feature idea, but it would be a major pain to code, so isn’t likely to be high on the list.