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Tracking the average growth in TPA season by season


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With S67 now all wrapped up, we can add another data point for cross-season stat comparisons. For this week, I thought I'd look at the TPA earned by players over time.


A couple of limitations up front (as a result of my data set):

  1. I'm only looking at TPA, not TPE. TPE that is banked is omitted from this, so in general TPE earning is probably a bit higher than what I report. Whether this banking of TPE is increasing or decreasing, I could not track. This is most notable for players making the jump from the VHLM to the VHL, because of the 200 TPA cap in the VHLM forces everyone to bank after that milestone is reached. Because this makes a noticeable impact, I will split out the results into three sections: VHL growth, VHLM growth, and growth in both leagues.
  2. Depreciation exists (and is annoying to measure) so for some players TPA growth does not fully represent TPA earnings. I was about to get accurate and calculate what stats were depreciated based on player age, but then I remembered there are store purchases to counter it, so it wouldn't have been accurate. Ultimately in order to capture this I would need to collect better data sets and track player data at various points throughout season instead of just end of season TPA. Possible to do in the future.
  3.  There are two main explanations for why TPA might be increasing (decreasing) over time. 
    a) players are more (or less) active and everyone is doing more (or less) work on point tasks, etc.
    b) opportunities for TPE earning are becoming more (or less) available
    The general feeling I've picked up from the forums is that TPE inflation (i.e more point b) is a thing, but I don't really see a way to measure this aside from looking back through old forum pages to compare. My own personal feelings on the matter say that giving out easier TPE might even be (dare I say it) good for the league. My rationale being that as the league grows, relatively fewer members will claim the "top" amount of TPE possible, and more often than not claim a below average amount from what the average was last season. This is just diminishing returns on recruitment. Obviously  there will be exceptions to this and you will recruit new members that buy in right away and build fast, but for the most part the more committed users will already be here/some other sim league they prefer. More/easier TPE earning opportunities would be a way to counter that and maintain a consistent amount of player growth that we're used to. Those are all just thoughts, however so now let's actually look at the data.


I looked at end of season (regular season, not playoffs) TPA across players in the VHL and VHLM. Changes in TPA are attributed to the last season i.e S67 data is the change from end of season 66 to end of season 67 and would account for all growth in the following playoffs, the offseason, and the next regular season. It shouldn't really matter where we cut off as long as we're consistent, so I just went with what my dataset had.


The boxplots below chart the changes in TPA across season. I have charted the mean TPA change as the red dot and the median is the bold horizontal black line. I looked at three different data sets; VHL growth (players who went from the VHL to the VHL), VHLM growth (players who went from having no data or being in the VHLM to the VHLM), and "all" growth (from nothing, VHLM, or VHL to VHLM or VHL). This "all" growth is the only one to capture the players coming out of the VHLM and into the VHL, so it includes a bunch of higher TPA growth data points due to limitation number 1 (/the 200 TPA cap in the VHLM).

All Growth




VHL Growth



VHLM Growth



There are some commonalities in all three data sets, most noticeably that S65 seems to be the most "inflated" TPA growth season of the ones looked at. I was not a member of the forums at the time so not sure really why that would be the case, but I would imagine that either some favourable TPA hand-out existed or that it was just an abnormally successful recruitment season. If we look only at the bottom lines of the boxplots (the 25th percentiles) of the "all" growth chart, we can see that S67 was the first season since S64 where that value was 0 TPA. This means roughly 25% of players who played games in the VHL/VHLM were completely inactive or just suffered from some major depreciation they couldn't recover from. This isn't overly worrying in my mind, especially since the median/average values are staying relatively on pace with the S66 ones, but it does potentially hint at some recruitment diminishing returns. Another explanation could just be that GMs had an increased likelihood to play inactive players this season. Definitely could be tracked over a longer period of time to reach better conclusions.


In case anyone is wondering, I can share who some of the biggest outliers were.

  1.  The biggest VHL-to-VHL TPA growth season was for Matt Thompson in S63 with a gain of 255 TPA (from 490 to 745)
  2. The biggest season growth altogether was for Hunter Hearst Helmsley in S66 (200 TPA in VHLM to 531 TPA in VHL)
  3. There have been 14 players in the VHLM who made it to the max 200 TPA growth all within their first season, most recently being two S68 draft eligible players in Luciano Valentino and Jeff Downey
  4. The honour of biggest loser goes to Aleksei Federov in S60 (890 in S59 to 637 in S60, a drop of 253 TPA). Surprisingly his stats were better following depreciation
  5. The best S67 VHL growth player was Tyler Barabash Jr with a TPA growth of 248. 


That's about all I wanted to do with this data at this point, but am always open to suggestions to do more if anyone has any. I'm also happily getting married tomorrow and honeymooning soon after that, so this will probably be my last post of this level of quality for the next month. (please still draft me GMs ?)


Thanks for reading!




1045 words, so will be claiming for next 2 weeks.

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