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New Bowling Bars/Buttons and Defaults

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  • New Bowling Bars/Buttons and Defaults

    I've been playing through my first season on CC21 after picking it up recently and have some thoughts/questions regarding the new bowling options.

    In CC20 it was rather simple; higher aggression bowling had the ball aimed down the middle and fielders crowding the wicket with multiple fielders in the slips. Going to the middle (3 bars) aggression setting it was still down the middle with 2 slips. Dropping to lower aggressions saw the ball aimed outside-off with slips reduced to 1 and then 0, for the lowest aggression and most defensive fields.

    In CC21 with the added bar it seems to be less linear. The top 2 bars (red and orange) are still down the middle with crowded wickets, and dropping to 4 bars (the highest in green) seems to be the old 3 bars, aimed down the middle with 2 slips. Dropping to 3 bars now shifts the ball to be aimed outside-off with 1 slip, but dropping further to 2 bars aims the ball back down the middle instead of outside-off, with 1 slip. When you drop down to 1 bar you're back to outside-off again, but now with no one in the slips, and then 0 bars puts it back down the middle with no slips.

    Those are for seamers with no fielding restrictions active.

    I'm curious about the changes. Previously the less aggressive your bowling was set, the more defensive the field and the more the ball was aimed outside-off (by default). Now the field still gets more defensive but the ball aim zig-zags around.

    Is there a reason why, for instance, 3 bars in the middle of the aggression settings defaults to outside-off but 2 bars and 0 bars are both back at the middle setting? This is a very different approach from previous CC versions where the lower bars were strictly defaulted to outside-off. I guess it just feels a bit odd after so many years of the older settings that now less aggressive settings take more aggressive lines.

    One thought was that maybe it's implying that 3 bars is now the 'defensive' setting for First Class games, being outside-off with 1 slip, and lower aggressions are meant for white ball? That would explain why 2 bars then defaults to a middle line and 1 goes back to outside-off, if they're intended to be the go-to settings for the shorter formats, but then it doesn't explain why 0 bars t the most defensive setting suddenly defaults back to being aimed down the middle rather than outside-off.

    I know that these are just the defaults and we can adjust whatever we need, I'm just curious about the reasoning in those settings as it feels some of the less aggressive bowling bars have more aggressive lines and fields than some of the higher bars. It's also meant a bit of extra time for me to adjust things when bowling, particularly for white ball, as one of my go-to settings from previous versions was 1 aggression (outside-off, 1 slip) and that now exists at 3 bars in the middle of aggression.

    Along with wondering about the new aggression settings I have to say it's taking some time to get used to the new buttons for adjusting line and length. I still keep going to click on the specific target I want, only to realise after bowling a ball/over that it had cycled in the opposite direction instead as they're now cycle toggles rather than specific selections. I'm sure I'll remember in time, but it does seem to involve much more clicking and double-checking.

    I've also had an issue where clicking on the arrow to set which side of the wicket I bowl from actually toggles the pitch length rather than the side. It seems like some visual parts of the arrow head are actually outside the area of the button itself, and overlaying the 'short bounce' area instead, so when you click there it changes the wrong thing. There are also parts of the 'body' of the arrow where it fails to register clicks at all, and hovering the mouse over that part can actually make the arrow just disappear. That's an inconvenience more than anything, but again it can add extra time to double check that changes actually registered and changed the correct thing. It's something I didn't have in previous versions where my clicking always changed what I'd intended to change.

    Anyhow, it could all just be me getting older and going "grr, changes bad", but I'm curious how others are finding the bowling changes - particularly the default settings for the different aggression bars.

  • #2
    Quality In-depth post mate, and totally agree with everything there Chris.
    ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t try fixing it‘
    I mentioned specifically the issues with moving line and length also changing the aggression and vice versa on the ‘bugs report’

    I play on iPad and sadly the issues you have raised are hugely magnified on iPad. I haven’t got large fingers but I’m finding changing tactics on bowling very cumbersome and continually having to correct errors which I haven’t intentionally made. It’s as if the ‘touch area‘ on iPad has been enlarged? was not like that on other versions (quite slick to be honest on 2020).
    I’ve become a bit disillusioned with it and jumped back on 2020 if I’m honest and just hope something can be done?


    • #3
      The next patch has reduced pressable areas for the aggression bar, which is causing issues with changing line causing an aggression change, etc.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sureshot View Post
        The next patch has reduced pressable areas for the aggression bar, which is causing issues with changing line causing an aggression change, etc.
        Good to hear the pressable areas are being adjusted, thanks. It's a minor annoyance but still frustrating when the wrong thing moves in a direction you weren't wanting

        Regarding the bowling aggression I made this quick table to illustrate better what I was trying to ask about, with a typical seam bowler :

        From 6 down to 4 aggression the default adjustments make perfect sense, getting less close-up fielders and a couple more going more into the outfield as you drop a couple of notches, but still using the 'middle' aim line.

        It's from 3 to 2 and 1 to 0 that don't quite make sense in my head, but might for others. I'm not sure why dropping to 3 aggression (the mid setting now we have 7 to switch between) sends the aim to outside-off, but then dropping again to 2 aggression bars puts it back down the middle. The only fielding change is obviously that at 3 bars set to outside-off there are more outfielders on the off side and at 2 bars they're a little more evenly spread with the bowling aim more central. Similarly for 1 and 0 bars.

        In my head I don't understand why the less aggressive bar (2 bars) suddenly goes back to a more aggressive line than 3 bars, and the same for 0 vs 1. This is partly due to previous versions always defaulting to outside-off aims as you dropped to the lowest few aggression settings and everything higher was down the middle. There wasn't the zig-zag we have now.

        I've always operated under the assumption that a bowler will bowl more carefully on 2 bars compared to 3 but is it simply that 3 and 2 bars, and 1 and 0 bars are functionally the same as each other behind the scenes in terms of how the bowler bowls and the only difference is the aim and field adjustment? If that's the case then the extra bar added in for CC21 would make sense, giving an Off and Mid option for each of the two more defensive fields.

        But if it is the case that a bowler on 3 bars still bowls more aggressively than on 2 I would question why 3 bars defaults to outside off and 2 jumps back to the middle line.

        I know they're just the defaults and we can still have 3 bars bowl down the middle by toggling the line, but I don't know if that would then be the same or more aggressive than just using 2 bars. So I guess that leaves a simple question to end with:

        If I take a bowler with the default settings on 3 aggression bars and toggle the aim to the middle setting instead of the off side, and thus having the fielder positions be an identical match to the defaults for 2 bars, is everything then identical between 3 and 2 or does the bowler still put more aggression into things due to being set 1 aggression higher?


        • #5
          I have been a bit confused by the shifting of 2 bars from outside off to middle and off too.

          As for the field settings I have looked at which setting is automatically selected and changing it to the same field setting I have been using for years. The automatic setting may have been tweaked but personally I haven't found any difference in outcome when using my usual field settings.

          I imagine the field settings are primarily there as catch-all settings for the AI rather than ideal fielding setups.


          • #6
            The way it seems to make sense is if bars 6-3 are intended for First Class matches while 2-1 are for white ball.

            For First Class that gives the top 3 bars aiming down the middle for most chance of bowling a player directly or getting LBW, but each having different levels of aggression in the fielding setup. Dropping to 3, aimed outside-off and only 1 slip, gives a more defensive approach if you want to contain a batsman but still have the chance of a catch if he edges one. I could understand the perspective of not 'needing' to drop to 2 in First Class due to it being more about taking wickets than being focused economy, and thus the jump to 2 bars being back down the middle wouldn't be seen as an issue or inconsistency in the pattern. It feels like we're intended to spend most of the time between 4 (the default opener) and 3, with 5 and 6 giving two steps of higher aggression depending on how much we want to push given the situation.

            For white ball matches you have 2 bars as the default opener, still a mostly defensive field with just the 1 slip but aiming at the middle line for the extra chance to bowl them out or get the LBW while they're unsettled. Then when a batsman is a little more settled you drop to 1 bar to lose the slip for the most defensive field positions and aiming outside-off, to focus on economy.

            That's the way I'm trying to look at them for now, with that cut-off between 3 and 2 bars for First Class and White Ball.

            The only thing then that still wouldn't make sense is that 0 bars goes back to the middle. I simply don't use that, but I feel the AI sometimes does in white ball games as they seem to start on 2 to bowl more direct, drop to 1 to bowl outside-off as my batsmen settle but then sometimes it's back at a more central line without a slip which indicates they are dropping all the way to 0 against my most settled batsmen. Maybe it's seen as a chance to bring LBW and direct bowling out more into play while still having the extra fielder with no slip?

            It's certainly a more varied set of defaults down at the lower aggression ends this year.


            • #7
              For FC matches I start off on 4, move to 3 then once the batsman is settled they are on 2 bars outside off. If I have a very aggressive and world class batsman come to the crease on a decent batting wicket I give them 2 bars outside off from the start with a LO field. I find that a good 75% of the time they get bogged down and just get themselves out, something that is impressively true to life.

              For LO matches I bowl exclusively on 2 bars. I've just started keeping stats on my games and over 6 seasons in OD cricket (English domestic) I keep the opposition below 250 75% of the time and in T20 below 150 77% of the time. In OD cricket I actually keep them below 200 a remarkable 51% of the time. That is using custom field settings.


              • #8
                I should look at custom fields but I'm seeing how effective the default settings are first.

                I just had one of the best Challenge Trophy groups I can remember, for One Day. I stuck with the defaults for 2 bars during the opening 10 overs, and when a fresh batsman came in. Dropped to 1 bar once a batsman started hitting (typically close to 10 runs). The average opponent score over those 8 matches was 215, with one score above 250 (317, when I also scored 300+ in sunny weather) and 2 below 200 (182 and 146 in poorer conditions).

                I'm very happy with those bowling performances, considering I only toggled the aggression bars between those two and didn't change from the default line/length or field settings for anyone. So from a One Day perspective I can certainly understand why 2 bars defaults to the mid line and 1 bar then goes to outside-off. It just felt odd at first from a First Class perspective, where I was used to switching between 3 and 2 bars a lot in previous versions and the default lines this year felt off between those two.

                I still don't understand the defaults for 0 bars though, as the lowest aggression setting still seems to take a more aggressive line and field setup than 1 bar. I simply didn't use that.


                • #9
                  Nice return. I should have said that in LO matches I bowl 2 bars outside off.

                  I don't think that moving away from the default fields is absolutely necessary but I find that they do change how batsmen play. My fields and bowlers are selected to suit my tactics but using different tactics and different bowlers can easily give better results


                  • #10
                    Yeah, the new default fields are weird.

                    It starts off with two slips but you increase bowling aggression by one and it goes down to one slip. Very counter intuitive.


                    • #11
                      Would you share your default fields and tactics with us cde?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by galvatron View Post
                        Yeah, the new default fields are weird.

                        It starts off with two slips but you increase bowling aggression by one and it goes down to one slip. Very counter intuitive.
                        Can you confirm the exact bowler type for this field along with bowler line and length? There's a lot of default fields (something like 75 or more) and what you've said doesn't sound right, so I want to raise it with Chris.


                        • #13
                          Seam bowlers, when I'm increasing aggression in a FC game it removes a slip.


                          • #14
                            I think your hypothesis is correct. Bars 2-0 seem suited to the OD game. Also my guess is that 0 is aimed at middle stump because it's good idea to bowl full and at the stumps at the death. I imagine it's setup this way to give the CPU a better chance. It would be simpler if the game used completely different field settings for FC and OD matches and also better and more realistic OD fields.
                            Check out my ICC fixture editor


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by galvatron View Post
                              Seam bowlers, when I'm increasing aggression in a FC game it removes a slip.

                              Every field setting has steadily more slips. Chris has just checked to make sure. Are you using user defined fields?

                              If not, can you let us know the bowling line you are using for this to repeat and the bowler type (RFM, etc)