View Full Version : Contracts, Negotiations and Promises

Derek B
09-12-2010, 05:27 PM

That's a link to a previous thread of suggestions I made, with the "Momentum Is The Key" one being something I'm determined to have in future TEW's and linked to heavily in this suggestion on how contracts could/should work. Any suggestions on what I've missed would be great as I still can't shake the feeling that I've forgotten something important. I've tacked on some other ideas to the end too, since I talked about them in the contract system. :)

Apologies in advance for the giant wall of text... I tried to be very complete and it kinda got really, really big. And before anyone asks... no, I'm not a lawyer nor do I ever want to be cos it seems too much like hard work. :p


Contracts need expanding to make more sense, while workers also need to have a better idea of how much they are going to make so that they make more decisions based on MONEY rather than promotion status. At low level it doesn't make a lot of difference how big a promotion is, as long as the worker is making money and gaining exposure (see other ideas) so those should be key variables.

Negotiations should be overhauled completely, here's a system for it.

1. Rather than sending out feelers for a deal, the first negotiation should be a base offer screen, from which a promotion will be told much the same info we get now on what a worker should expect. At this point in a negotiation it should be made clear and fixed in whether the offer is for an exclusive or non-exclusive deal and a worker should make it clear if either is unacceptable before proceeding further. This will make it clear which workers won't work for you at all (through loyalty, positions of power, etc) and avoid annoying catch 22 situations and workers always trying to headhunt the same workers they can't get. :p

The end result of this phase should be a solid base offer with terms and conditions worked out. Ideally a promotion could have a "base contract" to work from, offering certain amounts/perks as a default to help speed things up. In addition, having an idea of where a worker will autopush on your roster on this screen would be helpul, especially for setting base contract types.

2. Waiting period for other offers. I'd recommend about 3 days, with variations added for offers that are too good to refuse (big money deal with the SWF, for example) or for mercenary personalities who are looking to get the best deal by weighing up their options.

3. From there, it gets to a bidding war. Workers SHOULD follow the money so I propose that the terms of a contract are looked at and that AI logic on signing contracts looks at expected dollar amounts. Big promotions should be making more money, and the workers in them should expect to be paid more. And rich promotions should be able to muscle out others, leading to a smarter AI in general as money amounts become very important. The terms I propose are used are as follows.


Exclusive: If a worker is to be exclusive to a promotion they should expect to earn a minimum amount per month, guaranteed. Workers should be able to look at how many shows your promotion runs per month and from there work out how much money they are realistically going to make. In short... workers should only be exclusive if you are big enough to justify it.

Contract Length/Number Of Appearances: Quite simply, the length of the contract (for most promotions and contract types) and the number of dates on it where applicable.

Guaranteed Pay Per Month (Downside): This should replace the current amount that workers get on a written deal. Real life contracts work on basis of minimum earnings, topped up with more appearances, merchandise sales etc. If their combined earnings exceed this then yay for the worker. If not, then their pay will be topped up at the month's end. This pay should NOT include perks, which shouldn't be considered part of the base pay. (NOTE: A way to track how much of a promotion's total downsides have been paid out already would be really handy) This leads directly to...

Pay Per Action: Basically, any match (or angle with a physical confrontation that has a risk of injury?) should lead to pay. Any time a worker puts their body on the line they should be paid accordingly. Wrestlers and some "retired wrestlers" are the only ones likely to have this set, though anyone with some wrestling training would be reasonable to negotiate a value for. (Per match or per show? Option to choose?) Non-wrestlers should have no value here, representing that they will not wrestle. As workers get older, more over and more beaten up this will increase to represent their drawing power and a desire/requirement to wrestle less. This value should always be higher than....

Pay Per Verbal: Any time a worker appears on a show without wrestling they should be paid this amount. Everyone should have this set to something, as it's the minimum action someone can take. Is lower than the "Pay Per Action" and for most non-wrestlers this is the only value they should have.

Bonuses: Linked to performance, these count towards the guaranteed pay. Appearances on PPV events, their percentage of merchandise sales and the like should all top up their pay nicely.

House Shows: Given the lighter nature of house shows this should have a yes/no toggle and a lower amount for appearing on them. In order to simulate older workers working a lighter schedule a number for maximum number of shows worked per month may be useful.

Perks: Basically an extension of the Backstage Rules, these are guarantees that a worker will get these things even if no-one else does. These don't count towards a worker's basic pay, they are special perks to keep them happy OR to try to lure that big name away from a major promotion in the event of a bidding war.

Promises: (which should be a major section on it's own) These are promises from the player/promotion to a worker. The player/promotion doesn't HAVE to fulfil all their promises but there should be a stat that tracks how good a player is at keeping promises. This should play into locker-room politics, with workers negotiating terms (like getting their heat back after a loss they don't want OR demanding title runs mid-contract OR wanting a friend to be signed to the promotion if they become available)... a player/promotion that is good at keeping promises should be more attractive to workers, while a player who acts like WCW should not. All promises should have time limits on them, leading to workers becoming extra unhappy if failed or back to normal happiness as a result of a promise made. Combined with a momentum system I cooked up (SEE WHEREVER I POSTED IT) this should relly bring the game to life.

Creative Control: Linked in with promises, workers with creative control will be more likely to force you to make promises and be more demanding in general when it comes to booking them. Leaving them off shows will make them more vocal in demanding you book them better, ultimately leading to people with this becoming extremely manipulative. Some workers may also try to get you to book their friends more strongly too, which can lead to disaster in the long run AKA the WCW Effect. :)

Expected Usage: Linked back to pushes and the like, this should really replace workers getting upset at being left off shows by telling everyone how often they are likely to be used. In terms of workers evaluating deals, this would act as a multiplier of sorts, as more expected shows would equal more money. This may be worth dividing into Action/Verbal so that veterans wanting to work a lighter schedule could do so without sacrificing screen time. Workers being less than expected should rightfully be getting upset, with ego expecting to be used more regardless of the promised number. At low levels it should be assumed that a regular schedule promotion should be holding one show per month, so any promotion that fails to do that should have workers getting unhappy at lack of use.

Clauses: Pretty much only for exclusive contracts, clauses are contractual extras that benefit the promotion rather than the worker. Examples would include immediate release clauses for bad behaviour (major incidents/any bad incident), being caught with drugs, the "release cos we've got nothing for you" clause (cost nothing to release), and the WWE's 90 day release clause. With regards the 90 day clause, that only applies to contracts ended early by the company so could be executed in a similar manner to a vacation is currently, setting a worker's contract to 3 months (84 days in TEW terms), checking the "will leave attribute" of the contract and making them unavailable to be used while still picking up their guaranteed money. All of these would count against the value of a contract for a worker as it puts their earning potential in doubt. I also propose on top of this that the option to fire a worker off the back of a bad incident should cost the same as a regular contract termination currently does, unless the relevant clauses for bad behaviour/"creative has nothing for you" are in play.

Wowza... that's a big section. :(


4. By now a worker should have a pretty good idea of what his offers are. If there is only 1 on the table then a contract could/should be agreed here, assuming the promotion can meet their demands. If more than one promotion has offers on the table then move on to....

5. Bidding Wars! I propose that there be a total of 3 days of bidding, with promotions backing down if they are unable/unwilling to keep pushing the bids up (assuming a worker has more offers on the table than he can accept or there are conflicts between promotions based on pacts and stuff, otherwise wars aren't necessary as he can just accept each deal). I ALSO suggest that a worker can evaluate his exclusive and non-exclusive offers seperately... for example, if a worker can see that he would be likely to get 10,000 per month from the SWF on an exclusive deal but could make 5,000 each per month from 3 other, smaller promotions then he should be able to see which one would be better for him financially. Obviously there would be some variation on this... naive/optimistic/mercenary types with friends in the indys might stick to the indy leagues for the non-guaranteed money while at the same time trying to get a higher figure from the big leagues and a promise of them trying to sign their friend/tag partner too. A grizzled veteran with his skills fading might know that by staying in the big leagues he risks severely damaging his name value on national TV and may opt for the big pay days on the indy scene where less people will see him but the workload may be easier. Generally speaking though... a worker is going to follow the money wherever it takes him unless there is a good reason not to. Heck, a worker who signs for the SWF and doesn't try to get them to sign his girlfriend might even find himself in the dog house *COUGH*KurtLaramee*COUGH* as a result. And throughout the whole process the worker's demands should be increasing so that each promotion/combination of bids must increase, with the worker playing each promotion against each other like Bruiser Brody did in Japan.

Anyways, back to the actual wars! Days 1 and 2 would have each promotion in the bidding war trying to get the workers to sign. Day 3 would have a FINAL OFFER, after which a worker will decide which offers (if any) they are going to accept. Even during bidding wars, new promotions should be able to join the war at the stage it is at, opening the possibilty for the SWF to steal in at the last minute with a lucrative offer to secure a huge signing *COUGH*Marat*COUGH*.

With this system workers should also be able to sign multiple contracts in one go if possible, ensuring they get the best deal for themselves as a result. They should also be able to work out the influences of promotional pacts for themselves too, to make sure they don't end up trying to sign contracts with promotions at war with each other or who have non-aggression deals.

There is a potential situation that a worker might end up putting themselves into the position where they should leave a promotion (the maximum 3 contracts rule) as a result of a bidding war and accepting multiple contracts. I propose that in this situation that any contract that would be ended like this should automatically open up a bidding war (maybe a final offer?) with the promotions potentially being dropped and an equal number of other promotions. When this resolves a worker will have the best deals possible for him based on how much a promotion is willing to pay, leading to a far smarter AI in terms of hiring... and hopefully firing/renegotiations too when it comes to cutting costs in cases of a financial crisis or a worker being overpaid whlie being in demand, though perhaps no longer. :)

All in all, this would not only make for a smarter contract system with more emphasis on workers actually wanting money but it would also take into account promotional finances more as each promotion tries to balance the books while also spending money as appropriate. It should also clear out the following situations:

1. Opening any negotiations where a worker won't sign for you due to loyalty or positions of power.
2. Workers (particularly in the Australian part of the Cornellverse) bouncing from one warring company to another every 6 months because they can't tell ahead of time that they'd have to leave their other job upon accepting a new one.
3. Stop promotions from building up huge mountains of money that they do nothing with, as presumably they would each spend money to keep their talent as required and sign new talent. This would create unique economies within each game depending on the success of each promotion and even make the economy/wrestling industry mechanics more influential.
4. With some tweaks to the AI, the game would hopefully also realise that they should push the people they are paying, leading to a rise of high demand talent up the foodchain.
5. Promotion size is less relevant as long as the pay is about right... bigger promotions should already have some advantages in terms of being able to sell merchandise and the like, so size itself isn't really important. Though limits on exclusive deals should probably still apply below cult, though I'm sure enough cash should get over that easily enough. *COUGH*JKStallings*COUGH*

And while this seems like a long and confusing section... it should only take about a week of in game time to complete, which is about how long contract negotiations take just now. And the notion of a template for contracts set before hand it shouldn't take long to actually offer contracts, except in the case of bidding wars where things can get heated... but those should take longer.

I also propose access on all negotiation screens to your finances section... you gotta know how much you can actually pay ahead of time, and it would be great if that section was smarter in being able to guess how much you'd pay in general. Which reminds me about advanced booking entire shows... could lead to very accurate predictions of costs, making it easier to plan ahead and balance the books, which is handy for small promotions. :)


Quite simply, I would like workers to have preferences on what type of product they like working in. Many workers are just happy to work anywhere, but some people will outright avoid risque promotions or hardcore promotions... some might even prefer the mainstream type while others might just love the realistic wrestling type. This should play into their business skills in the types of promotions a worker is willing to book/own and directly influence who they would work for too.

Note, this isn't the same as a worker's stats. An enormous fat man might love lucha libre and be terrible at it... this could severely limit his chances at working for a lucha company as a wrestler but once he retires he may very well take over the company or become booker.

It can also be applied to keep the Dan Stone Jr's and Sean McFlys of the world away from small, Japanese deathmatch promotions... and linking promotion style changes to these preferences could also have an effect on morale. I can't imagine all of Victoria Stone's product changes going over well with everyone and it would be great to have this reflected in game to a deeper lever. :)


Workers should have a home (where they are based out of) and a current location. With the introduction of a "travel" variable to game areas it should make it possible for workers to not be able to travel easily for shows depending on where they are in the world.

Giving the AI a more forward thinking approach to shows (schedule events further ahead, and perhaps more often too) should ensure that human players don't have to scramble to try to find a good time to hold events on short notice, with workers being able to plan their schedule to take into account where they are going to be.

With this in mind, workers who are based in an area with a promotion should be more likely to be picked up by those promotions. A Tri-State area worker should also have the potential to show up to events being held in the Tri-State Area, adding/detracting from the locker-room by doing so... assuming a promotion allows visitors into the locker-room in the first place.

Similarly, promotions who pay relocation costs should have the option of deciding where a worker relocates to. For example, the WWE is based on Connecticut/New York but many of their signings locate to Florida where FCW is based. By having workers relocate to that area it should also allow for an increase in WWE employees showing up to FCW events in a friendly capacity, perhaps even acting as a trainer for a day if they had a good personality type. This could also be an extension of the promotional pacts system, with friendly pacts creating incidents like this.


Either as:
+ Short term deals for work as an enhancement talent, basically helping nobodies get over a little by being squashed
+ A short term call up from development to fulfil a similar role

+ Limited length (rather than limited date) contracts, usually to promotions with a positive relationship with the home promotion. Used for development promotions and to help workers gain experience in other promotions, particularly helpful in Japanese promotions where loyalty actually hinders development of rookies due to it making them essentially exclusive to the promotion they are loyal to.


Deserving of a section all of their own within TEW, promises are a mechanic that is essentially a measure of how good you are at keeping your word. This could have far reaching consqeuences, with people being more willing to work with you and negotiate better deals as they know they can trust you... or on the flip side, people could be more demanding for guaranteed money or unwilling to work for you at all if they don't think they can trust you to stick to what you've said.

Promises can be created in a number of ways, with the most obvious being during booking (usually as a way to get someone to do something they don't want to, especially with creative control) and during contract negotiations (especially as a way to sweeten a deal and lure a worker to your company over a rival).

Promises would be things like...

+ Momentum (heat) based: Worker would demand to be booked strongly enough to regain their heat and/or more. Linked to being asked to lose to workers and used as part of creative control. (see also: my suggestion for momentum is the key)
+ Pushes: Similar to momentum but could be linked more specifically to a rise up the card (relative to autopush). Highly demanding as it requires a high level of momentum for a sustained period of time (or the hiring of enough other people to force a rise :p)
+ Title Runs: As is already in the game, workers can demand title runs of a certain level... should probably be some kind of criteria for it to be for specific titles and for a minimum length of time to actually make them mean something and to avoid players tricking the system with fake titles.
+ Signings: The worker makes a demand on your future signings. They would want you to sign people they have positive relationships with, have an established tag team with or who they know they work well with (chemistry makes them look better, so it's good for them). Counter to that workers should also make you promise NOT to sign or re-sign certain workers they don't like. By putting time limits on these kinds of deals (shorter for people only on PPA deals, slightly longer than their exclusive contract length for written deals to force players into a bidding war) workers can use their political savvy to influence the locker-room more.
+ Extra Cash/Bribes: A last resort and more linked to creative control than anything else... if people are running out of demands to make, then cold hard cash should come into play. Bribe earnings should be treated like perks so as not to contribute to their standard earnings and will almost certainly cause a worker to develop a more mercenary/manipulative personality as they know they can complain and get more money.
+ Paid Time Off: Probably only for exclusive deals, workers receive their regular pay per show (action or verbal, whichever is higher) while on holiday. Dates should be set for some time in the near future and before their contract expiry date.

In terms of how promises effect morale there should only be one real outcome. A contractual promise is expected to be met so there shouldn't be any gains in morale from completing those promises... and a promise created based on creative direction should neutralise the negative effects the creative direction had in the first place, once again making them neutral on their booking. In all cases, fulfilling promises doesn't make workers happier by default... but buliding up a reputation for keeping promises will make workers happier in general due to trusting the management and the booker, leading to a happier locker-room and improved negotiations.

In a similar vein, I'd propose that negotiations for anything relating to creative direction should only be able to be opened once per worker per show for people who have creative control. That way people can't just change the booking to something else, then return to a failed negotiation in order to get around creative control. Workers who are simply trying to improve their standing within a promotion by getting promises out of you... they should probably be allowed to push their luck as much as they want as you are under no obligation to bow to their demands.

Promises shouldn't be added to the "promise bank" until a show is run... just in case you change your mind on a booking, leading to promises needing to be filled based on things that never happened.

09-13-2010, 01:29 AM
Woah long post. But i wholeheartedly agree with it all.

09-15-2010, 06:10 AM
+ Limited length (rather than limited date) contracts, usually to promotions with a positive relationship with the home promotion. Used for development promotions and to help workers gain experience in other promotions, particularly helpful in Japanese promotions where loyalty actually hinders development of rookies due to it making them essentially exclusive to the promotion they are loyal to.

I really like this part of the suggestion. I really wanted a way to take some Japanese workers on loan for a long amount of time (3-6 months), and this is a great way of doing it.