Franchise Hockey Manager 4 may have just come out a week ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to make the game better.

[NOTE: Want to win a copy of Franchise Hockey Manager 4? Enter today for your chance!]

Out of the Park Developments has released the first update for the popular management game featuring updated rosters, tweaks to in-game tactics, AI mechanics and more.

The update’s full details can be found below:

  • roster data updated, NHL rosters are the openingnight versions (aside a few small additions/changes to represent lastminute moves properly)
  • some tactics and tactical role requirements adjusted significantly; should significantly reduce or eliminate the problem with goons/checking forwards getting placed on top lines and good players on lower lines
  • tactical role fit scores adjusted to increase the penalties for players playing at their non20rated position, making it less likely for the AI to use players out of position
  • first NHL expansion will now add only one team instead of two (also fixes AHL/ECHL scheduling problem for expansion team affiliates and the missing farm teams for one of the new expansion teams)
  • the waiver warning PM a human NHL player receives right before the start of the season now displays those players properly instead of being blank
  • AI in top-level league in custom games should now send younger players to the minors instead of keeping them in the main roster, and top-level leagues are no longer forced to return junior aged players to the junior league
  • possible refusal of two-way contract by entry level contract-eligible player fixed
  • possible crash when player requests number change fixed
  • playoff stats no longer disappear from the roster and league stats views after the first season
  • the red borders that indicate primary and secondary roles when selecting a tactical role are now dashed to improve visibility for colour-blind users
  • some highlight modes on the in-game display will no longer cause the game to skip past goals
  • goalie start settings should now work properly instead of possibly causing the user’s goalie to start every game
  • in the pregame and post-game screens, the last games/previous meetings section is now sorted chronologically
  • historical financial adjustments file corrected to include budget amounts in the 1917-1930 years (so budgets will now be on the same scale as everything else)
  • “Iron Curtain” rule for historical games (preventing signing of Soviet-block players) should now be applied properly
  • NHL contracted player limits increased during the Original 6 years (i.e. 40s through 60s)
  • NHL contract lengths restricted in the last few seasons before the WHA arrives to simulate teams responding complacently to the impending end of the reserve clause
  • roster and lineup sizes reduced in the first 30 or so years of historical play, particularly in the earliest seasons; AI seems to handle it well so far, and should help with rosterfilling difficulties in some start years
  • best defensive forward award now more likely to go to a checking forward
  • adjusted rookie of the year criteria to make wins by players with low GP less likely
  • adjusted coach tactical preferences and goalie quality in the NHL slightly to get goal totals back closer to real levels
  • achievements will no longer show the wrong popup and in-game version of the achievement
  • achievement for winning lower-level international tournaments should now be awarded correctly
  • Oilers historical challenge victory now triggers correctly after the 5th Stanley Cup win
  • player contract cap hits no longer editable without commissioner mode turned on
  • clicking a retired player in the alumni list (possible if the player retires in mid-season) no longer causes a crash
  • international game previews and recaps no longer show data for NHL teams in the recent meetings/headtohead, injuries, and rankings sections
  • custom leagues now have sound
  • CHL rights for unowned 15-19-year-old Canadians and Americans now set correctly: WHL/OHL/QMJHL teams will now be able to sign undrafted players directly from midget, Junior B, etc. at the start of the game
  • score no longer reversed in “player participated in international game” news
  • updated preset injury list
  • players added to a shortlist via a right-click on the “Active Scouting” tab of the scouting screen no longer fail to move to the shortlist
  • if a shopped player gets no offers, user will get a message to acknowledge that
  • clicking edit in the workshop interface with the workshop already open in the Steam client no longer causes a crash
  • crowd sounds now automatically restart after a goal when watchin in Full Game mode
  • fixed league finals name failing to appear in some news stories
  • various small text, formatting, and graphical changes

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Michael Straw
Michael Straw is a gamer who just happens to be an experienced journalist. In his near decade-long career, Mike has traveled across the United States to cover some of the biggest events in gaming and sports, including E3, PAX, as well as the NFL and NHL Drafts. His work covering gaming and sports led his content being featured on Fox Sports 1, SI.com and others. He was once the second-ranked player in the world in NHL 09 on Xbox Live, and is a huge pro wrestling junkie.