Pitch sliders - Asked the question for C22, now onto initial tinkering and discussion

Crassus

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Completely agree. Good to see like-minded people out there.

Here's to hoping that Cricket 22 drops and all this is irrelevant because they've nailed it with a variation of pitches across the globe with just the change of a setting or two :-)
Yep. I don't even mind if some things are needed to be done by me with sliders but if I'm playing in India I should be facing a few overs of spin at some point with it ragging square. The India team on C19 come up against me in Mumbai with one spinner and 4 seamers. Again, to me this doesn't seem like something that's awfully difficult to put in.

It'd be like playing FIFA and coming up against Liverpool who are playing 7 defenders with Salah and Mane at centre back because the AI can't compute them not playing.
 

Rumple43

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Today's relatively dull update, having a mess around with the various physics modifiers to identify what effect each has more specifically. They all have a description of course, but it is good to see what the actual effect is. Or try, anyway. For example:

Ball Type 1.jpg

The idea is just to have a play around and see what I can find. Bowling straight balls on a normal length and off cutters on the same good length to see what differences there might be, Dry, soft, pristine pitch at Old Trafford with Jimmy Anderson.

Early findings suggests that in isolation, some sliders don't have as much of an impact as expected. For example, no slider had the ball jagging sideways on the cutters, but combine say, pitch friction, ball friction and pace bowling revolutions, that may show something a bit wilder. I put all sliders on Ashes default, then did a test of a single slider on 0, then on 100.

This is pretty quick and dirty data, no denying that. There's a mix of over and round the wicket stuff as I was a little rushed for time, but again, it's a start.

The pitch bounce slider was fairly undeniable ha!

Ball Type 2.jpg

One thing I did see though was related to pitch and ball friction. I haven't grabbed side on images yet, but lowering these numbers will make the ball reach the bat quicker. Good for fast pitches in Australia and West Indies, the bowlers speed isn't changing at all, but the ball is coming onto the bat quicker.
 

Rumple43

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@WealeyH, what's your take on the pace min/max sliders? They seem wild!

I did a bit of a tinker with those, and they do change the speedo pace that's shown on screen, but they also affect the delivery as well.

The max slider at 0 makes the speedo show around 120mph for a delivery, and a 100 setting delivers a 70mph ball. But when you watch the two deliveries side by side, the 120mph delivery is mega slow, and the 70mph is rapid. Literally the opposite of what should happen!

I am thinking these two sliders will get set at default, or something close, and left well alone.
 

WealeyH

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@WealeyH, what's your take on the pace min/max sliders? They seem wild!

I did a bit of a tinker with those, and they do change the speedo pace that's shown on screen, but they also affect the delivery as well.

The max slider at 0 makes the speedo show around 120mph for a delivery, and a 100 setting delivers a 70mph ball. But when you watch the two deliveries side by side, the 120mph delivery is mega slow, and the 70mph is rapid. Literally the opposite of what should happen!

I am thinking these two sliders will get set at default, or something close, and left well alone.
I find default to make it look so floaty! I have to bump it up for the sake of it looking realistic!
Post automatically merged:

I could be wrong but I’m certain in the last game it didn’t affect the speedo!
 

Rumple43

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I find default to make it look so floaty! I have to bump it up for the sake of it looking realistic!
Post automatically merged:

I could be wrong but I’m certain in the last game it didn’t affect the speedo!

Agreed on the floaty. When I had the super slow balls (that Ashes said were mega fast!) the ball looked incredibly weird! I had to go into the replay and the ball tracking just to see what had gone on. Floaty is a good word for it. I may take your lead, bang it up 10 notches for each and leave it be.

And yes, I'll not lie, I'm tinkering with all this stuff in Ashes but in the back of my mind I'm quite sure that a fair bit of it will have changed in Cricket 19 and every chance it's had a refresh in 22 as well.

Still, it's keeping me busy until the new game drops, and it's a lot better than other stuff I could be doing Monday - Friday, 9am til 5pm.....

My next task is to do some side by side comparisons, with a ball at default, two at 0 slider then two at 100 slider to observe the difference side on and front on:
  • Spin bowling flight
  • pace bowling swing
  • pace bowling revs
  • spin bowling drift
  • spin bowling revs
  • pitch friction
  • ball friction
  • Ball bounce
I only do five balls per over because on the sixth you get one look at ball tracking then it's unavailable after the over is completed, which is naff.

I also want to have a tinker with the following to see how they look, both individually and as a comparison against each other:
  • Pace bowling revs 100 + 100 pitch friction
  • Pace bowling revs 100 + 0 pitch friction

  • Pace bowling revs 0 + 100 pitch friction
  • Pace bowling revs 0 + 0 pitch friction

  • Pace bowling revs 100 + 100 ball friction
  • Pace bowling revs 100 + 0 ball friction

  • Pace bowling revs 0 + 100 ball friction
  • Pace bowling revs 0 + 0 ball friction

  • Spin bowling revs 100 + 100 pitch friction
  • Spin bowling revs 100 + 0 pitch friction

  • Spin bowling revs 0 + 100 pitch friction
  • Spin bowling revs 0 + 0 pitch friction

  • Spin bowling revs 100 + 100 ball friction
  • Spin bowling revs 100 + 0 ball friction

  • Spin bowling revs 0 + 100 ball friction
  • Spin bowling revs 0 + 0 ball friction
It would be nice once completed to have a fairly straight forward guide for folk that says "slider X does this at max and this at min, and is good for replicating the following....."

My time to play the PS4 properly is fleeting, with things like remote play during the day for stuff like this being far more readily available than actually sitting down properly and playing on a TV, so I reckon any kind of pitch sliders project will involve a lot more input from others than my good self.

Still, I'm happy to start the ball rolling :)
 

Rumple43

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I spent a chuck of time this morning having a proper delve into Ashes sliders. I noticed from a Cricket 19 gameplay video someone posted that the exact same physics sliders are in that game as Ashes, though no way to know if they've been tweaked in terms of how they affect game play.

Below are a number of comparisons to analyse various sliders. The method was always to bowl one ball on default, two balls on one setting, two balls on another setting, then see how they 5 deliveries stacked up.

For reference, I've set up a user testing team with 4 identical Jimmy Anderson's to bowl pace, and 2 identical Moeen Ali's. I'm also bowling against a full AI team of right handers, just to keep things constant. The ground is once again the on-disk Old Trafford, the pitch is dry and soft.

Some sliders provided fairly obvious data, some provided highly puzzling data indeed! Strap in for another long and winding update lolz

On the fairly obvious side:

Spin Bowling Revs

Spin Bowling Revs.jpg

Easy one. No real discernible difference to ball speed side on, and the 100 rev setting (green and yellow), move the most. The black default ball can be seen pitching, and finishes just on the top of leg stump, so a straighter line than green and yellow for a similar end point.

The 0 setting (red and blue) literally don't deviate at all. No real difference in bounce. All very expected. Turn the spin up, the ball spins more. Turn spin off, the ball doesn't spin. Leave it in the middle, well, you get the idea.

More puzzling data was mainly around friction. Both ball and pitch, and for both spin and pace.

Pitch friction + 100 spin revs
PF + 100 Spin.jpg

With full spin revs (100/100), a 0 pitch friction setting (red & blue) a default 50 setting (black) and a 100 setting (green and yellow), all five balls are pretty much identical. The only difference that can really be seen is that the 100 setting balls are slightly quicker off the pitch. No influence on degrees of turn at all.

Ball friction + 100 spin revs

BF + 100 Spin.jpg
Again, a slight difference in speed, but in terms of turn, there's very little difference between a ball friction setting of 0, 50 or 100.

Before I moved on, I wanted to see what the relationship might be between pitch friction, ball friction and spin, and if either was more effective in generating turn.

Pitch friction, ball friction + 100 rev spin

1636636054392.png

With a constant setting of 100 spin revs, default (50 for pitch and ball friction), 100 for pitch friction and 50 for ball friction and then 100 for ball friction and 50 for pitch friction all provide pretty much the same level of turn. That seems odd to me. It is surprising that there's no obviouscorrelation there between those 3 sliders.

I had a look to see what else friction could effect (phnar phnar!)

Pitch friction + pace

1636639818526.png

I expected friction to have a much greater effect on the speed of the ball off the pitch and really, there was just no difference on a min, max or default setting. This was a standard, good length ball by Jimmy Anderson. No change of bounce, either.

Ball friction + pace

1636639995699.png
Same deal. A min, max or default setting has no real effect on the speed a ball comes off the pitch, and it doesn't change the bounce either. Also odd.

Ball friction, pitch friction and pace revs

1636640299799.png
I didn't observe much difference between friction with spin revs, but there's a bit more to go on with regards to friction and pace revs (i.e. cutters).

Ball friction appeared to make cutters move a little more than pitch friction, and both ball and pitch friction slowed a delivery up off the pitch a bit more than a 50/50 default split.

I'm going to disappear off and take a proper look at these comparisons and see what else I can glean from them that might be useful when putting slider sets together.

I may also take a look at replicating some of these comparisons on different types of pitches to see if they provide the same results.

I've still got two weeks to kill until release date, after all :-D
 

Rumple43

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10 days to go! Another chance for a bit of a brain dump/thinking out loud/generally interested in other people's thoughts type post.... :)

In the posts above, I have mapped out some brief thoughts about the potential slider impact on game play. Thinking of that as the practical side of this project, I am now interested in the theoretical side. If we know what sliders to tinker with to get a specific effect, what exactly are we trying to create? What behaviour are we trying to replicate?

I've posted some stuff a page or two back about potential levels of bounce and I've also got a bit of data on turn. I see a lot of people in the main announcement thread talking about "pitches feeling realistic" and showing proper degradation. But what is that? How can it be shown? How do pitches around the world behave?

As predicted, this got longer than expected (fnarr, fnarr!), so I've chopped it into more bite sized spoiler segments. Pick and choose which you read, I won't take offence. I've also done a wrap up at the bottom for anyone that CBA.

Everyone is different. In life, in everything. That is fine. I have no doubt that some people like to play cricket games as a wickedly difficult challenge, with a true and deep-rooted satisfaction to eventually cracking whatever fiendish stuff the AI is chucking at them on any given day with bat or ball. Others are no doubt more sedate, and just want some casual enjoyment from a more limited window to play. To knock a few runs off or take a few satisfying wickets. Both are fine, as is everything in between.

As such, some people might want to play on an absolute rank turner that is jutting sideways. Others might want a road to slap 600 runs in a day and a half. Again, both are fine and have their merits. I am trying to approach this with some degree of realism, though people are more than free to disregard that approach if it gives them the maximum amount of benefit to do so. Nobody is wrong, just different.

Yes. In fact, somebody has.

A guy called Anantha Narayanan, who I found through Google and has done a significant amount of writing for Cricinfo. He discusses something called PQI at length, which is "Pitch Quality Index".

PQI is a scorecard-based determination of pitch quality. It factors in the usual runs per wicket in test cricket (about 30, give or take), applicable averages and strike rates for all players involved in a match, taking into account home/away splits.

All that is mixed into consideration so that data isn't skewed by a good team playing a bad team and that impacting how a pitch appears to have played. For example, Zimbabwe scoring 100 on a pitch in India would look "bad", but given the batting averages of their players and the expected bowling averages and strike rates of Indian bowlers in their own conditions, 100 may be a "good" score. It may also be that a pitch plays well, but a team does not. It isn't always the pitch's fault every time England collapse pathetically, for example ;-)

For anyone interested, Anantha does a deep dive into his thinking here: Anantha Narayanan: PQI revisited

In short, every pitch can be given a rating between 0 and 100 to show it's quality. He has also created some rough sub-set groups to aid in easy categorisation:
  • PQI of 10 - 25: Most diabolical of all pitches. Very poor indeed.
  • PQI of 25 - 35: Very strongly bowler-friendly pitches. Should be looked into.
  • PQI of 35 - 50: Bowler-friendly, but not unplayable. Should be fine.
  • PQI of 50 - 65: Batsman-friendly, but a lot for the bowlers also. Very good.
  • PQI of 65 - 80: Very strongly batsman-friendly pitches. Normally leads to draws.
  • PQI of 80 - 90: Zero assistance to the bowlers. Also a poor pitch in terms of creating a competition.
For example, this game from Mumbai in 2004 was given a PQI of 22.7. This Sri Lanka India match from 1997 had a PQI of 88.5.

Verdict?

PQI is something that interests me a lot, and I reckon could be of use to us here when trying to look at how cricket pitches around the world "should" behave.

In my search for some real world context, we once again turn to our man Mr Narayanan: Anantha Narayanan: Has batting become easier in the second half of a test in recent times?

The short answer to the question posed in the thread above is no, the opposite in fact. For anyone not wanting to look through the article, the brief results are as follows:
  • There were 287 tests between 2010 and 2020.
  • Of those 287 tests, 83 had a pitch that was deemed "easier" to bat on in the second half of the match (innings 3 and 4) than the first half (innings 1 and 2).
  • 74 tests had a pitch that stayed roughly the same across both halves of the match.
  • 130 tests had a pitch that was harder to bat on in the second half than that first. In short, it got worse as the test wore on.
There were 310 tests between 2000 and 2010, with similar results. 104 got easier, 69 stayed the same, 137 got harder.

So, not all pitches get harder, but more do than not. It's not quite 2:1 get worse vs stay the same or improve, but that's a ratio to throw out for anyone interested.

Verdict?

Pitches probably should deteriorate, though how you decide which should and which shouldn't, how and when, is completely up to you I suppose. The data does support it happening more often than not, however.

Absolutely, and in fact, some actually improve.

With more quality data from Mr Narayanan, we have a rough idea on which pitches most frequently degrade: Anantha Narayanan: Which are the most bowler and batter friendly Test venues?

Again, highly interesting reading, if you like that sort of thing.

Based on the PQI mentioned above, with a score for the first half of a test (innings 1 & 2, referred to as "PQI -12") compared to the second half (innings 3 &4 "PQI-34"), here are how a selection of pitches tend to react as a match goes on across the last 30 years:

1636986174916.png

The top 7 pitches have displayed a significant drop in PQI from the first half of a match to the second (they got worse). One (Hamilton) has stayed nearly identical, where as a few pitches actually improved in quality as a match wore on. I suppose this would be flattening out, grass that offered lateral movement being worn away, and conditions generally becoming easier with the bat.

Verdict?

There is data to suggest which pitches in the world degrade the most as a match goes along, which stay fairly constant, and even which could improve slightly. It's worth noting that there are always going to be differences between pitches in certain countries, and outliers in certain matches and situations that have occurred, but there's still plenty to go on.

Funnily enough, we have that data as well!

1636986009375.png

Here's the PQI data for venues that have held over 20 tests between 1990 and 2019. Some matches have been removed depending on their result and if they were affected by weather, for example.

Straight away you can begin to see a picture of which parts of the world favour bowlers, which favour batters, and which are somewhere in the middle. This is useful data. All four bowler friendly pitches are in the West Indies or South Africa, so this has a clear slider relationship straight away.

It is fairly interesting, when taken with the data in the spoiler above, that both Bulawayo and The Oval are seen as "batter friendly" pitches, yet exhibit some of the largest amounts of degradation as a match wears on. Perhaps a case of make your hay in the first half of a match, because the second half will be tough going. Also useful for slider purposes.

Verdict?

Some parts of the world appear to have pitches that more predominantly favour bat or ball, or neither. Again, it's worth noting that there are always going to be differences between pitches in certain countries, we're not talking absolutes here.

This is where things become a bit more subjective.

The PQI data above can clearly begin to indicate where the pitches are that tend to favour bowlers, and if pitches degrade and their PQI goes down, they should be harder to bat on. That data doesn't say how or why they are harder to bat on though, just that they are.

We now need to start looking into other data to give us some pointers, and in truth, a bit of general intuition.

More CricInfo data:

Best venues for fast bowling since Jan 2002 (Qual: at least four Tests)
VENUETESTSWICKETSAVERAGESTRIKE RATE
Sabina Park, Jamaica719123.8148.1
Sharjah SA Stadium47725.5751.1
Basin Reserve, Wellington922927.0353.0
Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg927827.3049.8
Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy610928.7556.1
Supersport Park, Centurion617329.6053.5
Eden Park, Auckland411530.0055.8
Seddon Park, Hamilton511630.8961.3
Trent Bridge, Nottingham718731.3659.0
Kensington Oval, Barbados818132.3961.8

Best venues for spinners since Jan 2002 (Qual: at least four Tests)
VENUETESTSWICKETSAVERAGESTRIKE RATE
Trent Bridge, Nottingham75326.1356.4
Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy69426.2858.3
Galle International Stadium511027.7760.9
Sabina Park, Jamaica75528.0557.0
Edgbaston, Birmingham65928.0855.7
P Sara Oval, Colombo47130.7664.6
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai58033.3866.5
Sharjah CA Stadium44433.9567.1
Eden Park, Auckland42134.3870.6
Old Trafford, Manchester65334.7570.1

Verdict?

Well, for one, we can couple up some of the grounds that appear on this list with their PQI data on degradation, plus if the data suggests a general favour towards a batter or bowler to give us an idea of what we could do with a country/pitch specific slider set.

Also, we can begin to see a pattern that some pitches that are just hard to bat on regardless. Sabina Park, Trent Bridge, Kandy, Sharjah and so on, appear on both lists. That would suggest they potentially seam early, spin late, and generally don't flatten out. Or they just offer help for all bowlers throughout. Either way, usable data that could be converted in game.

Now we're getting into even more subjective territory, and also stuff that is harder to quantify specifically with data. There are a few academic studies into pitch wear, but they were fairly high level and I've not found a great deal from trying to interpret them.

A few general googles and some common sense suggest that various types of pitches around the world will probably degrade in fairly predictable ways though. Here is one take on how subcontinent pitches will generally play across five days:

Day 1: Good to bat on. Bounce is low and even and the pitch does not seam. By lunch or tea there is spin although nothing too pronounced.

Day 2: When the ball pitches, you can see slight dust coming up. There is noticeable spin and some footmarks of the bowlers. The spin isn't that great and good batsmen will counter it with some ease. There is little reverse swing.

Day 3: There are considerable footmarks and few cracks. The dust is clearly visible when the ball lands and the ball grips very well. Batting becomes tough for players who aren't comfortable with spin and by 50–60 overs reverse swing is present. The turn is still bearable for great batsmen, but this is now a difficult batting pitch.

Day 4: Signs of serious wear. There are significant footmarks and moderate amount of cracks. The pitch becomes a lot more dusty and reverse swing is clear. The ball starts turning more sharply and there is variable bounce if the ball lands on the cracks. Batting is very difficult.

Day 5: Pitch gets crumbled and a myriad of cracks form. Most balls will offer significant turn and bounce, plus inconsistent bounce as well. Pitch is generally hard to predict and behaves oddly. Batsmen can get hit on the gloves by the fast bowlers. Rare to see the match going until the end of this day due to the difficulty.

Not a perfect, anecdotal reference, but solid never the less. I think most of us would say that a pitch starts well in the subcontinent, then wears, spins more, becomes more erratic and is very tough should a game reach the final day.

Compare and contrast with what a typical English pitch may do:

Day 1: Often green and possibly damp. Bounce is not that high and opening batsmen can find it tough as the pitch seams a lot, plus swing is on offer from overhead conditions. Due to the Dukes ball and the minimally rough surface, swing lasts longer. No real spin. Batting becomes easier if the ball is older.

Day 2 and 3: Because of the generally lower temperatures, the pitch may stay tacky with moderate bounce and seam. Footmarks begin to present. Still minimal assistance to most spinners, with the occasional exception.

Day 4: The pitch starts to dry out a bit and the ball can grip. There is some spin and the pitch can get a little slower. Some cracks may begin to open up.

Day 5: Noticeable spin and uneven pace and bounce. Challenging to bat on as the pitch deteriorates considerably.

Again, fairly anecdotal stuff, but it appears to be there or there abouts. Quantifying these changes into actual gameplay would probably be the main challenge.

For reference, neither list above is my own. Happy to take viewpoints on them though.

Verdict?

Most cricket fans can probably begin to piece together what pitch deterioration would look like across the world. The starting point for a pitch's standards and how fast is degrades is probably the main variable for players.

Also, most pitches generally present some variable bounce as they wear. This isn't something that can really be replicated with sliders in my experience.

So, plenty to go at there. What's the summary?
  • Everyone is different and can play the game how they want. This is just my take.
  • Anantha Narayanan' Pitch Quality Index, or PQI, gives some useful data on pitches and how they behave.
  • Data suggests pitches get harder to bat on as a test match goes on. This is not always the case, but is the way things go in about two thirds of matches over the last 20 years.
  • Some pitches degrade more than others, there is data on this, and certain pitches in some parts of the world are more noticeable for this. Adelaide, the Oval, Galle and Kingston all show high levels of wear over a five day game, traditionally.
  • There is data on pitches that generally favour bowlers, or batters, or neither. These aren't exclusive to one country or another, but some countries like the West Indies and South Africa are certainly more bowler friendly.
  • Data is available on which pitches favour pace bowlers, or spin bowlers. In some cases, pitches favour both, and are probably just difficult to bat on regardless.
  • We can probably piece together through experience and anecdotal evidence how pitches should degrade over a five day period in different parts of the world. This is more subjective, but should be fairly consistent.
Cheers for sticking with me guys. I'd be interested on any thoughts on this as like I say, I'm not saying this is 100% correct or I'm the one with all the answers. My fingers are still crossed that Big Ant nails the pitch stuff in C22 and all this is moot :)
 

wasteyouryouth

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If I could suggest something. When the game comes out, have a look at what pitch options are available and give them a good test. If there are people able to help beyond yourself, all the better. Look at what can be collected (whether it's in game screenshots) and and marry them up with hawkeye data).

Try and formulate some objective comparisons (as best as they can be) on bounce etc (for each day) and just general perceptions of how pitches play and how they might improved.

Trying to formulate custom sliders is good, but I'm never going to be someone who makes adjustments to sliders at particular points in a match But if some good information can be presented for Big Ant to improve the base game I don't imagine, if circumstances are permitting, they would have a problem about trying to incorporate some quality feedback that can help improve the game.
 

Rumple43

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If I could suggest something. When the game comes out, have a look at what pitch options are available and give them a good test. If there are people able to help beyond yourself, all the better. Look at what can be collected (whether it's in game screenshots) and and marry them up with hawkeye data).

Try and formulate some objective comparisons (as best as they can be) on bounce etc (for each day) and just general perceptions of how pitches play and how they might improved.

Trying to formulate custom sliders is good, but I'm never going to be someone who makes adjustments to sliders at particular points in a match But if some good information can be presented for Big Ant to improve the base game I don't imagine, if circumstances are permitting, they would have a problem about trying to incorporate some quality feedback that can help improve the game.
Good stuff.

I agree that the basis for any of this stuff in the first instance is going to be playing. Just getting through overs, trying different pitch types, and looking into how C22's pitches develop as a game wears on. Otherwise you're just tinkering for the sake of tinkering. And if you don't have a handle on how the base settings play, it's all pretty much done blind anyway.

I'd imagine to some extent it will be data collection, mixed in with playing and enjoying the game, but it'll all be of use.

As an aside....it would appear, through pure chance, that pretty much as soon as C22 comes out, I'm going to have a lot more time to get on my PS4 than originally anticipated. To say those two things have come together at exactly the right time is an understatement! However, it does mean I should be able to blast through a much larger number of overs across different formats, pitch settings and scenarios than I first imagined....
 

Rumple43

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I can't get into the constant wittering of the discussion thread (which I see is now onto 165 pages, highly impressive), so I figure I'll just keep my excitement going here with some further ad-hoc testing to busy myself. I'm off work and have a few things planned next week, so that should see me through to release date nicely.

As @wasteyouryouth prompted the thought, I figured I'd do some initial testing work on pitch types. My feeling is that even though this stuff is Ashes, it will all give a basis for making a hypothesis on certain aspects of pitches and sliders that C22 will eventually either disprove or adhere to. We shall see.

Using some incredibly crude but semi-effective graphics work, I've managed to overlay two deliveries together to give a visual comparison. I'm sure an actual graphics bod would be deeply impressed at such an effort, and yes, I am available at a consultancy rate if anyone wants my services.....

Things to consider before expanding the spoilers below:
  • This isn't a precise science. The "Big Eye" feature for tracking a ball from behind the stumps on Ashes isn't a static camera. Even though it offers the same angles of each delivery, it moves around behind the stumps delivery by delivery to best frame each ball from the viewer. Hence, the stumps and overlay are in different parts of the screen every time, even though the camera is ultimately pointing from the back of the stumps towards the bowler.
  • In order to mitigate this, I have keep two constants the same. In these examples, they are 1) release point (same bowler, same action, always over the wicket to a right hander, always as close to the stumps as the game would allow without switching to round the wicket) and 2) ball length (always just X, for a standard, good length ball, no modifiers, approximately 7m from the stumps).
  • Whilst the goal is to judge deliveries that are as similar as possible to remove as many variables as I can, this is still difficult to do. The input is a controller, and if the game allowed bowlers to steam in and bowl identical deliveries over and over, things would be pretty dull. Hench why I have tried to marry up the two constants above, before then analysing the end point of each delivery. It does mean some of the overlays are a bit off/blurry, however.
  • I am fully aware that a single delivery is a small sample size. The smallest, in fact! But factoring in my own time, the ability to evidence findings side by side, plus the tools the game gives to track a ball (Big Eye or Big Pitch), one delivery is about as good as I felt I was going to get.
  • For all examples below, the red ball is in the first over of the first day of play in a test match.
  • For all examples, the fainter blue ball is in the first session of the 4th day's play (as close as I could get to the start of that session).
  • This means there should have been between 250-280 overs bowled between the two deliveries, give or take.
  • All balls are bowled by Jimmy Anderson, at the on-disk version of Old Trafford, in the same warm, clear, zero rain conditions.
  • All deliveries are always bowled from the same end of the ground.
  • I didn't do crumbly pitches. One reason is because I don't think I'll use them much in C22 (I never really did in Ashes), and the other reason was that after testing Dry, Grassy and Dusty pitches, I didn't really feel any extra data was needed.
Here are some of the findings, I'll not bore everyone with them all! A selection is enough to see the trend....

1637238371834.png
Very similar, despite around 270 overs of play being put into the pitch. No change in line, seam movement, and certainly no difference in bounce.

This is the only overlay I managed to really marry up in terms of the stumps and stands with the "Big Eye" camera, so I only put the delivery over the top as a new layer.

1637238691269.png
The day 4 ball in blue does offer a small amount of extra seam off the pitch, but it isn't particularly significant. Also, with default settings, grassy pitches offer SO much movement for a seamer. Too much, imo.

1637238860677.png
This one offers the most change out of any of the settings I tried. There is about a ball's width of extra movement, which appears to be off the pitch as both deliveries look to be identical in flight. The bounce hasn't changed at all, however.

Also, same whopping lateral movement. These are straight deliveries, remember. Not cutters.

1637239080183.png
A near identical delivery, both in the air, off the pitch, and in terms of bounce.

1637239298773.png
A now familiar pattern, I think you can agree. The balls aren't identical, but there's not a lot on offer to suggest either delivery is an any real way significantly different.

This then led me to ponder something else. All the pitches I tested began as pristine tracks. Perhaps there wasn't enough time over 4 days for the strip to truly degrade a noticeable amount. Not particular realistic, I'm sure you'll agree, but a possibility to look into.

1637240744224.png

Pretty much the most smashed up strip you can make.....and we have some sort of difference at least.

There's clearly more swing before pitching in the blue delivery. The red delivery is pretty much straight out of the hand, pitches and moves fractionally back into the stumps of a right hander. The blue delivery swings away initially, pitches in an identical spot, then continues to move away from the stumps.

Why a day 4 pitch would influence swing I'm unsure, perhaps another variable was in play that I wasn't aware of.

Sadly, the bounce for both deliveries is identical, as with all of the examples above.

Verdict?

A number of things to highlight:
  • Pitch wear in Ashes doesn't seem to be a thing, or potentially more accurately, wasn't something I could show for whatever reason.
  • Related to this, a word on my method. In all examples, I would start a game, ensure I bowled first, then record data from the first over. I would then simulate the rest of the 1st innings, the 2nd innings, and then either declare my 2nd innings, or simulate enough of the 3rd innings to reach the beginning of day 4. This worked in nearly every game I played strangely (suggests a lack of variance in the sim engine, tbh).
  • It could be that Ashes cricket doesn't create pitch wear during simulations. I could play a full 4 days of a test to examine this, but I'm not going to. Either way, it's something that I felt the need to mention.
  • In addition to the examples above, anecdotally, I can tell you that it felt across all tests that there was zero difference going on after 4 days regardless of pitch settings. I've tried to show that in the graphics above, but that's just something to add in.
  • On the whole grassy pitch played terrible, with staggering levels of seam movement on even straight deliveries for both soft and hard. I bowled a leg cutter for funsies and it looked like Shane Warne's ball of the century. Dry and Dusty pitches both looked far more "normal" for seamers.
  • I didn't capture any data for spinners. I could, but I have a feeling it would tell me the same thing. Pitch wear isn't a thing in Ashes regardless of bowler type, Dusty pitches turn most, Grassy pitches turn a bit less, and Dry pitches turn the least. Bounce will differ based on if it's a soft or hard track, and won't change throughout a test match.
I will, of course, test these kinds of things in C22 once I've got my hands on it. Not immediately, I do actually want to enjoy the game! But before too long I'd imagine I'll have a gander at some more side by side comparisons to see if the data is the same as what I've collected from Ashes or where the differences lie.

Bottom line though, hopefully C22 will have sorted this pitch wear issue. If it hasn't and C22 is still like Ashes and the data I've collected this morning, it is clear that if players want to see variance in a pitch across all five days of a test match, they're going to need to change some sliders every day. The pitch won't be doing it for you.
 

WealeyH

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@Rumple43 just to add after watching an old video. I discovered that if I made normal
x delivery always graze the stumps that it opened up extra LBW dismissals. Issue was it was an absolute pain to do and it ruined the spinners bounce somewhat.
 

Rumple43

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@Rumple43 just to add after watching an old video. I discovered that if I made normal
x delivery always graze the stumps that it opened up extra LBW dismissals. Issue was it was an absolute pain to do and it ruined the spinners bounce somewhat.
I enjoyed watching that!

Is there no spin bowling bounce slider in C19? There was in Ashes, so assumed it would be there to sort the issue between spin and seam and trying to find a universal setting for both.
 

Rumple43

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As I don't plan on picking up the game until after this weekend (not due to any current issues since release, I just don't have the time to play it right now), I wondered if anyone had had chance so far to experience anything pitch wear/physics related?

I've seen a few people mention the excessive bounce/byes over the keeper issue, so the pitch bounce slider will once again need looking at on hard pitches. Plus it appears some people are talking about more tennis ball bounce with the latest patch, so the ball friction and ball bounce sliders may need a tinker, assuming BA don't correct that issue themselves.

@WealeyH @wasteyouryouth, but anyone else feel free to chip in.

Once I've got the game and I've had a play around, I'll probably start a new thread or rename this one.
 

cricket_online

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  1. Don Bradman Cricket 14 - PS3
  2. Don Bradman Cricket 14 - PS4
As I don't plan on picking up the game until after this weekend (not due to any current issues since release, I just don't have the time to play it right now), I wondered if anyone had had chance so far to experience anything pitch wear/physics related?

I've seen a few people mention the excessive bounce/byes over the keeper issue, so the pitch bounce slider will once again need looking at on hard pitches. Plus it appears some people are talking about more tennis ball bounce with the latest patch, so the ball friction and ball bounce sliders may need a tinker, assuming BA don't correct that issue themselves.

@WealeyH @wasteyouryouth, but anyone else feel free to chip in.

Once I've got the game and I've had a play around, I'll probably start a new thread or rename this one.

I would recommend holding off on the purchase if you can. Earlier I thought the worst case scenario would be that the game is similar to Cricket 19 but I was wrong. The game seems unfinished at the moment and no amount of sliders will fix the overthrows & byes - the fielding, byes & overthrows have actually regressed from Cricket 19.

It's not as if lowering the bounce will help as in some cases the wkt keeper simply stands there not even trying to stop a catchable delivery - feels like it's scripted and pre-determined that the delivery has to go for 4 byes. Same with overthrows where a throw goes past the keeper and the backing fielder with no attempt made to stop the ball.
 
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