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Unread 06-01-2013, 10:52 AM
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Derek B Derek B is offline
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Default Derek B's Mod-Making Guide

Right... having wanted to do something like this for a while and finding it in me to actually sit down and write things for once, I'm going to get this started. I'm going to deliberately tailor it towards making a current day real world mod (as I'd really like to play one! ) but I hope the advice here can be applied to all mods. I try to explain how things work and why things should be a certain way as best as I can, but if there is anything that seems completely wrong or isn't explained very well then let me know and I'll try to make it clearer/rewrite it.

Feel free to do whatever you want with all the information contained in this thread, I'll be adding various chapters to it over the upcoming weeks by covering different sections of the editor and different stats. After all, mod making is about the ability to pull the world apart and put it together again in a way that is fun and playable. If I can't do that with the explanations, then I'm not doing a very good job.

I just hope this helps in some way for the future, as I know I'm never really going to have the time to put together any mod except my own CV97 so this is probably going to be the most I can contribute to the huge amount of work that it takes to get any mod off the ground.
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Company Settings (Popularity, Product and Miscellaneous)

One of the most important things to get right in any mod is the landscape of the world. Whether that be the number of companies you have in your mod, the sizes of them or even the particular product settings, getting these right will give your world a stable base to build on and if you get it right, you should soon be able to see events unfold in-game fairly similarly to the way they do in real life. Get it wrong… and your world may never seem quite right.

First things first… given that this is intended particularly to help with making a current day real world mod, make sure you know how far into depth you are planning to go with it. Whether you are aiming to include every company in North America or just a half dozen or so major players, you need to get their size right. I’ve mentioned this in another post but it is worth mentioning again. The WWE are no longer as big as they once were. In 2001 they were global sized and riding a huge wave of multimedia and mainstream attention… now they are a shell of that. This should be reflected in their company size. Being known is not the same as being cared about, so while everyone knows who the WWE is, they have lost a lot of fans. TV viewership is lower than it’s ever been, PPV buyrates are down on where they have been despite the growth of PPV as a medium… generally, they are more widespread but are less concentrated. With the changes to National+ sizes between TEW10 and TEW13, the WWE are now only a National sized company, siting somewhere in the low/mid 70s in popularity depending on the way you have set up the Game World for Regional Importance. This is IMPORTANT! I love that Regional Importance varies a lot more now, but some of the downswings can be brutal to larger level companies. I think the game defaults to giving a range of plus/minus 15 points of the default percentage… I’d narrow that range significantly, maybe to juse 5 points lower than default and 15 points higher, thus ensuring that the long term playability of the mod isn’t jeopardised by a regional slump in pro wrestling, which could be painful.

Anywho, the WWE is at National in the USA.. and about the same size elsewhere. This gives them the chance to grow quickly to larger sizes if the AI/player can find some good with their workers, which is also covered in BALANCE. Getting the balance right with worker popularity and talents means the WWE should be capable of getting grades at about the same leve as their popularity, probably a little higher, which is what they are doing in real life and therefore what they should be doing if you are making a mod based on this time period.

Next… prestige. WWE should be the #1 company in the gameworld. Wrestling isn’t doing well worldwide and the WWE is still the biggest and best company in the world today despite their shortcomings. Their prestige should be higher than everyone else’s, but it shouldn’t be maxed out as there has to be room to grow if/when they go from National to International and Global. As such, setting it at about 80 ought to be enough… this is also going to be fairly close to their level of popularity, which is a generally good guideline to have when setting a company’s prestige level. Companies with lots of history (particularly if it’s good history) would have a higher prestige than popularity, while companies with a bad reputation would have a lower prestige… such as Babes of Sin City in the Cornellverse, who were little more than a glamourised strip show.

Momentum. This affects how well the company has been doing lately and generally moves towards the level of show grade that the company has been putting on. As this plays a role in deciding the attendance of a show, this can be significant in helping a company to grow or shrink in size. The WWE has been stuck in the same pattern for a while, so they would be set at about B- just now. TNA has actually been putting on some pretty good shows lately so would likely be riding a wave of momentum above their popularity (talked about elsewhere as being in the C- range across the USA) so they’d be grading above that, probably in the C+ range just now. Sadly I don’t know much about any of the indy scene, but I think you can tell from this that they’d generally be pretty low in terms of popularity as they’d also be very low in terms of size, with only ROH having more than E+ popularity anywhere and I’m not even 100% sure on that being the case as they should definitely be at regional size.

Drug Policy. The WWE and TNA want us to believe they have a strict policy on drugs and the like. They don’t. This should probably be set at Low for both, maybe Medium for WWE at a push. The AI doesn’t use these settings anyway, so it’s entirely for the benefit of the player. Set them low and leave the player to decide if they want to do anything else about it. It’s so easy to overlook that accidentally landing the player with a huge bill and a locker-room morale problem is only going to hurt them and their impression of the mod. Tread lightly for best results.

Brands. Yikes, where to start with this. These days it seems that the WWE doesn’t really use brands any more, but they use them enough to make it hard to tell. Personally, I’d give up on the idea of brands for the WWE as it barely means anything any more and stars from both shows jump from each show to the other on a week to week basis. Otherwise I’d have a RAW and Smackdown roster, with RAW TV set up to be unbranded and Smackdown set to be Smackdown only. It’s not elegant but then the WWE hasn’t cared about the split for a long time so it may be the only way to deal with it. Just remember that having a brand split greatly ups the number of workers the company needs, which will have a knock on effect of causing the WWE to maintain a large roster and perhaps call up a lot of their development roster. Similarly, since you can’t be in development AND on the main roster at once, the child company is going to suffer anyways.

Hiring rules. Honestly, the WWE doesn’t need any hiring rules. They can (and do) sign whoever they want with very few limitaitons. Basically, they should have free reign of the best talent on the indy scene so they don’t need hiring rules. The AI is smart enough to sign talented people and people who fit the product well, which neatly brings us to one of the easiest to debate sections of TEW.

Product. For the most part, as long as you get the most important features at about the right levels you should be fairly close. When looking at a company it should be fairly easy to tell where they sit on the following scale.

Much More Popularity – More Popularity – Balanced – More Performance – Much More Performance

As long as the WWE is rated as Much More Popularity then you can debate the other minor settings as much as you want, since they are hugely driven by angles and wrestling barely matters most of the time. TNA should be rated More Popularity, as while they are also angle driven the matches themselves are important and performing well there is still valuable to them. Sadly I don’t know much about ROH, but I would say that they USED to be Much More Performance about a decade ago. These days, from what I can cen tell, they have moved more towards the middle but I don’t know how far they have moved.

Next I’ll break down some of the product types and what they mean. One of the most important things to keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo too much here. Trying to appeal to everything can be difficult and can hurt the product, while not appealing to anything at all gives nothing to hook onto. Every company should have 1 Key Feature, maybe 2. But beyond that you should be looking to scale things down. For example… WWE have a few luchadors on the roster, but they have no Lucha Libre in the product. Luchador is a wrestler’s style of wrestling, Lucha Libre is the entire Mexican ethos of pro wrestling like 2 out of 3 falls matches, lots of six man tags, masks and a heavy dose of the lucha libre style of wrestling rather than a few outliers using the style. You with me? Good!

Traditional (Balanced type): This is the basic core of the combination of an athletica contest and storytelling. Not just sport, not just drama, but the hyrbid of the two without the extras that come with either (covered by other definitions). It’s a very vague term and can work with almost every other style, but does work best with a heel/face divide as that gets the fans more invested in a match, cheering for one side and booing the others as you would in any good story. Probably the most common element of pro wrestling anywhere in the world and widely used in all cultures. Should be trending pretty high all around the world too. Probably a key feature for WWE. Probably a high feature for TNA.

Mainstream (Popularity type): A staple of American pro wrestling, with big over-the-top characters taking centerstage and fighting in the battle of good vs evil in storylines that are pretty easy to follow. Using this as a key feature will mean that you should absolutely have a heel/face divide as fans expect there to be little in the way of grey areas between good and evil. This is a very family friendly style, something that everyone can theoretically enjoy though the big characters will often overshadow the actual wrestling. A key to success with this kind of product is entertaining workers and a low match ratio in order to maximise the effect of angles on your show ratings. This element should be a hugely trending feature in North American wrestling that should have no chance of falling and probably in the UK too. Wouldn’t be popular in Japan though. Unsure of the rest of the world due to lack of knowledge. A Key Feature for both WWE and TNA, which was also a Key for WCW when it was at it’s peak. Generally something

Comedy (Popularity type): This is how prominent the use of comedy is throughout the show and the main factor in how successful a comedy wrestler can really be in a company. At Key Feature a comedy wrestler could happily be a main eventer for a company, while at High level the wrestler would essentially become capped at Upper Midcard, and be penalised if he were pushed above that. It’s pretty much why Lobster Warrior in the Cornellverse is trapped in the Upper midcard of the SWF and why most comedy wrestlers in the WWE have never made it to the main event scene as the WWE generally keeps the comedy to the midcard. These days I’d set WWE to have comedy at Medium or High… TNA would have it set to Low, as while there are clearly funny things happening, that isn’t the same as Comedy being used as the means to get people over. Mostly the comedy is people being mean to each other and having comedy as a facet of their personality, rather than their personality just being something used to have a laugh. In terms of trending, I’d set this to be neutral as it’s not something that is enough when set as a Key Feature to bring more fans to the shows.

Cult (Balanced Type): This is a more mature kind of storytelling (opposite of Mainstream) that is aimed at an audience of 18-30 year old males (according to the in-game help). Everything already listed is the sort of thing you could take your kids to, but this is an element aimed furhter away from that. It isn’t necessarily rude or crude (or nude) but it adds a lot of shades of grey, makes the storylines grittier and removes a lot of the idea of things just being good or bad. With this at Key Feature you won’t see clowns or Undertakers or Elvis impersonators showing up, this is more for the Ravens and Tommy Dreamers of the world and their entire plot arc is a great example of the kinds of drama you’d expect from this type of product. This element had a huge upswing in the Attitude era but has probably set back to Neutral now, though it should be pretty unsteady when you set it as there is always a chance it could come back. The WWE now would have this set to Low or Very Low, but with a chance that it could come back one day. TNA should probably be set to Low too with a chance of more but it isn’t something they have much of on screen.

Risque (Popularity type): This is the kind of material that would only show up after the watershed, the kinds of things that kids shouldn’t see at all. As a Key Feature it would be about bad language, adult humour and sexual content used throughout the show. At the peak of the Attitude Era this went quite far but even then it was still really only a High feature (though pushed the envelope with partial and full nudity) but there was a limit on how far it ever went in the WWE… ECW would be another matter though. These days, the WWE has gone out of their way to remove this element from the product, not even signing Playboy model types any more, while TNA still has a little leftover to help set them apart from the WWE. In terms of trending, this would again be fairly neutral in North America and actively frowned upon in the more conservative/religious parts of the world.

Modern (Performance type): The help file lists this as “the modern style of having matches that are fast-paced and heavy on spectacular, sometimes dangerous moves”. This is generally what the X division in TNA has been all about, and what a lot of small indy companies have been doing over the last decade or so as a result. It isn’t the extreme end of recklessness or daredevil, not is it about violence. It’s just exciting wrestling with little to no regard for the characters involved and is more about having a winner than storytelling. The increase in the number of worker who work a style that fits here has been significant over the last 20 years, but the top companies themselves don’t feature very much of this style at all. WWE has ditched a lot of their over the top wrestling styles and gimmick matches that would fit this, while TNA seems to overlook the X division a lot of the time too. As such, they would have Very Low and Low respectively in this. In terms of trending, I’d set this to be quite neutral in North America as it is a fairly popular indy styling.

Realism (Performance type): This is the “old school” style of wrestling, with slow contests featuring lots of painful holds and stiff strikes designed to make contests seem real. If you see any wrestling from before the 80s, chances are this is a Key feature of it. In North American wrestling this has pretty much fallen by the wayside at the upper level since the WWE became a major influence with their Mainstream style, but this is still prominent in Japan and is a noted influence on the styles of many European and British wrestlers. Both the WWE and TNA should pretty much have this set to None.

Hyper Realism (Performance type): This is basically all about incorporating MMA into the in-ring product. Strikes can be deadly enough to get knockouts and submission holds are treated as being able to end matches at any moment rather than wrestling’s tendency to stretch out a submission as long as it can. With this as a Key Feature you would see a lot of basic wrestling logic ignored, with things like Irish Whips becoming nonsensical when you think in terms of MMA. This has never been much of a thing in North America, though several wrestlers have trained in MMA and some have been fairly successful. That said, neither TNA or WWE use this as much part of their product though they have tried to use MMA guys to help lure MMA fans over to them… in terms of trending, this might even be a low negative in wrestling just now, as MMA is pulling more fans away from wrestling than wrestling is pulling back over by using MMA influences.

Hardcore (Balanced type): This is a bit of an odd type as it incorporates a fair bit of Cult, Risque and Daredevil as part of it’s definition. The Key Feature of ECW, this particularly element amps up the in-ring action by making it more hard hitting, more likely to feature blood and more mature characters. Essentially, it’s about dialling up the volume on the anti-mainstream side of things and as a Key Feature the fans expect blood, violence and toughness. Very much not for kids, this element doesn’t care about good vs bad, it’s all about going out there and putting it all on the line. Note, this does NOT necessarily mean sick bumps, just tough guys being tough. More bar fight than wrestling match. A staple of the Attitude Era, this style has been relegated by the major companies and is part of the reason why we have Abyss playing his own brother Joseph Parks these days, to help get him away from the pure violence and to encourage most of the violence to stick to the now far less common gimmick matches. In terms of trending, it’s back down to neutral again though it’s status should remian fairly volatile as it may make a comeback.

Lucha Libre (Balanced type): This is the Mexican style of wrestling, filled with colourful characters, luchadors, masks, 2 out of 3 falls matches, luchadors, excited commentators, luchadors and kayfabe. Did I mention luchadors? Seriously, they’re everywhere. This style is very rare outside of Mexico, with a lot of the elements of lucha libre not even being known outside of Mexico, they have their own rules for a lot of things there that have never crossed the border. Needless to say, having a luchador or two on your roster does NOT mean you have lucha libre in your product, and with that in mind neither the WWE or TNA have this playing a part in their product. In terms of trending, this would be very stable as a neutral influence in American wrestling, perhaps even a minor negative as so few people would know much about it beyond the Mexican border.

Pure (Performance type): Generally paired with Realism due to similarities in the style, this is all about the style of wrestling you’d be most likely to see at the Olympics (though maybe not in 2020! ) rather than anywhere else. It’s all about hold and counter hold, using grappling to beat your opponent. You don’t really see this in WWE or TNA at all, though there are a few people who could work in this kind of produc if given the chance. In terms of trending, this just isn’t popular in North America but would be fairly respected in Japan.

Daredevil (Balanced type): Basically, things that make you go WOW. At Key Feature this would be all about the high spots, doing incredible things to get the audience on their feet. Whether it be sick bumps, super athletic moves or some combination of the two, this tends to be a very unrealistic style of wrestling so wouldn’t mesh well with things like Pure, Realism, Hyper Realism but nicely complements Modern, Hardcore and Cult. In the Attitude Era this would probably have been at Medium level for the WWE and perhaps higher for ECW when they got to their most insane. These days the major companies try to avoid this for the most part, as it isn’t exactly good for their workers since it results in a lot of injuries. In terms of trending, this is probably back in the neutral bracket and fairly volatile but it’s unlikely you could ever build a major company on it so I’d limit it to not being able to reach the top levels of popularity.

…………………

It’s at this point I realise that I’ve actualy crafted a product for WWE and TNA, so I’m going back to see how it looks when I put it together.



WWE PRODUCT
Key Feature: Traditional, Mainstream
High:
Medium: Comedy,
Low:
Very Low: Cult, Modern, Hardcore
None: Risque, Realism, Hyper Realism, Lucha Libre, Pure, Daredevil

Yup, this would be perfect. TV would be carried by high rated angles (the best angle of the show in a 40% match ratio would be worth MORE than the main event) and the short matches would fit the timescale that RAW is on quite nicely. PPV matches would get more time (I’ve perhaps left it too high, but it’s still a good guideline) leading to them having more of the full show AND with people doing their best in those matches (no penalty for not trying), with the best matches being there and the storylines peaking there… then PPVs should do quite nicely too. I think this is perfect WWE in a current day mod. The only thing you might want to tweak is the max/min values for product types as I’ve left them where they are for testing purposes. WWE is never going to have much lucha libre so it should be capped low, but they have shown themselves to be flexible in going with most trends over the years so having lots of leeway would suit them too.



TNA PRODUCT
Key Feature: Mainstream
High: Traditional
Medium:
Low: Comedy, Cult, Risque, Modern
Very Low: Hardcore,
None: Realism, Hyper Realism, Lucha Libre, Pure, Daredevil

Pretty good again I think! A little more intense than the WWE, and on the cusp of tweaking it’s formula a bit by being able to tweak the levels on a few products slightly upwards to add more performance or popularity to the mix if they wanted. Some slight tweaks to the match variants leads to some interesting potential combinations of things but they are mostly (as they are in real life) a slightly alternative to the WWE rather than anything new. All in all, I’m pretty darn happy with this product definition for TNA. It’s simple, it’s clean and the little dialogue box telling you what fans expect sounds very close to what TNA are delivering.

…………..

Match Intensity: In general this is guided by the product above, with performance based products generally demanding higher intensity the more you feature them and popularity based products generally demanding lower intensity products. Intensity itself is about the pacing of the action, the amount of time spent doing moves and the basic level of physicality that goes into making a match between the competitors. The higher this is set the more you will see two people going at it the more wear and tear it'll put on someone's body to wrestle this style, the stiffer the shots are likely to be and the easier it is to buy into as being "real". The lower this is then the more time will be spent doing non-wrestling things, like taunting the opposition, stalking them, interacting with the crowd and using relatively low impact moves. Wrestling in a high intensity company will generally take a lot out of a person in the short term (fatigue, being able to wrestle less often) and the long term (wear and tear on physical condition), and as such will require a high level of Toughness (see the Crafting A Worker section for more info) in order to maintain. The WWE is a very low intensity product in-ring but because of the sheer volume of matches they wrestle the workers still get worn down over time and only the higher level toughness guys can go long periods of time without a break. TNA is still pretty low intensity for the most part, with their Mainstream at Key Feature limiting them to 20% though I might've otherwise placed them a little higher.

Match Danger: The helpful in-game question mark defines this as "how often dangerous spots are used in this company". Things like head-drops or high risk aerial attacks and risky offense in general is encouraged, though this is not to be confused with the use of gimmick matches and/or sick bumps which are their own seperate thing. Generally speaking, working in a product with a high setting here will have a higher chance of causing injuries in matches, so Resilience becomes important here (see Crafting A Worker for more info) as a means of ensuring that workers don't pick up too many injuries. The WWE has gone out of their way to remove most of the dangerous elements of their matches by banning unprotect chair shots, removing gimmick matches in general and generally toning things down massively to the point that most in-ring injuries are just freak accidents rather than anything to do with the product settings. TNA still has more free reign for their workers to go do things their way and there are still all manner of things allowed in the company. The product definition I gave TNA would allow for them to use 0-40 for Match Danger, but I opted to put them in the middle as they have generally toned down the product and keep most things pretty safe for their guys these days.

I don't know a lot about many companies in pro wrestling so I can't comment in detail on other companies... but as a broad rule, the product settings are going to give you a guide on where these should be set anyways. Aim on the lower end of the available scales for the most part and you'll probably do well, as I've never really been able to see much in the way of benefits to setting these too high on the scale. These two attributes will have a significant effect on the long term careers of a worker, and setting them too high could take workers out of the game years ahead of their prime... this is also why it's not too bad to aim a little too high when setting Toughness and Resilience.

..............

That’s the end of this section of modding, which should be pretty helpful for anyone trying to put a mod together. By being able to pull a company apart and put it together again you should be able to work out a product for anyone you’ve been exposed to in any real detail. But as long as you know where the company falls on the scale of “pop <-> perf”” then you should never be too far from where you need to be. Less is more with product types too. So many types end up conflicting with each other, as you try to draw opposite types of fans to something and end up pleasing no-one. By keeping it fairly simple you get a more obvious statement of intent and that’s the key to success really.

I’ve left out contracts for now… they’re a hugely important part of balancing a mod for a particular time frame and they’ll be covered later when I’ve got time to write them up. For now, I hope this helps.

Last edited by Derek B : 06-04-2013 at 06:54 AM.
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Popularity (Scaling Workers and Companies For Balance)

This is a copy and paste of a post I made in a mod thread. I may rewrite it a little to be less rambly but this should give a good insight into how to balance a mod and things to consider in both how it plays and where it stands in comparisonto other time periods of wrestling. It may not be the most useful bit of writing in the world for an old school territorial mod, but for the most part I think this covers modern wrestling quite nicely.

Quote:
I had a look at a Captain Charisma mod a while back and while it was extensive, I don't think it played anything like a real world mod. As you've mentioned, the stats were inflated all over the place so it just didn't play like TEW. It was more like EWR level stats, which didn't have bonuses for all sorts of things like TEW does now.

That said, I like that you're going to give it a go at modding it as it's definitely a solid baseline to start from. I'll list a bunch of my common criticisms of real world mods as I think they are important when it comes to getting balance right.

+ Worker popularity levels. In modern wrestling (at least North America) there are no stars at the same level as those of the Attitude Era. There is no-one on the full time roster now that has popularity of the level of those top guys, which is one of the reasons that the product (particularly in WWE) is suffering. The game should reflect that. John Cena, for all the internet hates him, is the WWE's most popular/biggest seller and I would struggle to set him at A level popularity as he simply isn't that huge a deal. The most popular guys in pro wrestling are probably still The Rock, Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar... none of them are full time or even really active, but they are the top popularity guys that wrestling has. They'd all be at A level, with The Rock probably at A* thanks to his crossover career.

The most important thing is to avoid confusing recognisability with popularity. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting etc may all be recognisable but they don't put asses in seats. Their names can't sell out massive arenas any more, which should be represented by them having lower popularity than at their peak. Hogan would probably be at B/B-, Flair about B-/C+ and Sting at about B-. Popular but not huge stars. And remember that in TEW, cult level companies can sign guys around those popularities to written deals... in fact, it's pretty much why the game has them set at that level. And look at the way that Adam has handled veterans in the Cornellverse. Rip Chord is still a big name, but he's down from his peak. Sam Keith wrestled for a long time, but his declining skills and lower match quality sapped his popularity over the years too. For a balanced mod, you need to remember to do this too (which I'll cover more of later).

+ Company popularity levels. As you said in your post, TNA are not a National level company. They're a medium level cult company (around the level USPW were in TEW10) and mid 50s across the US would be generous for them. But they do have popularity around the world thanks to TV exposure, which is NOT the same as being International level or higher. The WWE are also not as big as they once were, they've lost huge amounts of popularity around the world and with the new way that the higher size levels are done I'd have them pegged at National level. Setting them up at low to mid 70s across the US (and probably Canada/UK too) sets them up for being big enough to be National but with the scaling back of popularity for workers already mentioned, this level should make it possible to grow fairly easily again on the back of a big star. Setting the WWE with mid 80s level popularity means you have to turn out huge rated events consistently, which I don't think anyone can honestly say the WWE has been doing. The best balance for them is still at a high level, still comfortably away from cult BUT also fallen significantly from where they have been.

Ring of Honor? Regional level. They may have TV exposure but they're just a fairly strong regional company who are still in the process of growing. There's nothing wrong with being successful at regional, part of the fun of playing them would be to keep growing them while dealing with roster steals from the TNA and WWE. As long as they are owned by a TV network they should be able to stay on TV, maintain growth and maybe one day be a credible alternative. Don't set them at Cult, they don't have the audience to support it and if you are getting popularity worked out better then they won't be able to maintain it anyways.

+ Stage names. A strong preference of mine is for everyone to go by their stage names. Trademarks are an uncool thing done in real life to stop us from seeing Undertaker vs Abyss. In addition, the most playable mods are the ones that are easy to get into. If I want to sign Edge for my ROH upsurge, then I should just need to go looking for Edge, which is the only name I've ever seen him wrestle under. It's easier for people to use, which is important in any mod.

+ Stats in general.

This could be a section that goes on forever so I'll try to keep it fairly simple. Popularity is something that can vary but is basically a ladder. Here is a very loose idea of the kind of scale you should be thinking about, derived from the Cornellverse itself.

A* = Surpasses wrestling/megastar, headliner in any company. You'll be lucky to get more than one of these per generation... in the Cornellverse this is pretty much Sam Strong, Bruce the Giant, Tadiyuki Kikkawa and Champagne Lover. Not even Rip Chord, Sam Keith, Sean McFly, Jeremy Stone, Dan Stone Jr have hit this. In real life, this should be reserved for Hulk Hogan at his peak (NOT present day), Steve Austin and The Rock.

A = Huge star, headliner in any company. These are the top guys, there aren't many of them and theses guys still go down as legends in their own right. Chord, Keith, McFly, most of the Stones, some of the DeColts, Haruki Kudo in Cornellverse have hit this level. In real life this would be used for most of the top guys in the WWE at some point, though very few woud hit this level. Current day people would include The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and John Cena (maybe). In recent-ish times Triple H, Mick Foley, Edge, Shawn Michaels and maybe a few others would've brushed this level but none of them are there now. Ric Flair lived here for a long time, one of the best and could put asses in seats, but he was never an A*. And he is no longer an A as he has OBVIOUSLY fallen from where he once was. Don't let sentiment get in the way of mod making, it's far too easy to do and leads to an unbalanced mod.

B+ = Big name star, headliner in any company. This is still a momentous level of achievement to get to in terms of popularity. At this level you are a still a legit main eventer in the biggest of companies. Most of the top guys in the Cornellverse would be delighted to get this far up, very few of them ever have or ever will. This isn't just main eventer material, this is still World Champion material in any company in the world. These days a handful of the WWE's top guys will be in this range as today's roster obviously isn't as strong as those of old (THIS IS IMPORTANT!). John Cena (arguably), CM Punk, Randy Orton (maybe) and Chris Jericho (maybe) are about the only people who truly fall into this category. Shawn Michaels probably sits here since he always performed well and never lost popularity, but he'd only just make it. Triple H may sit here, but probably only just as he is clearly not as popular as he once was.

B = Big name star, main eventer at National, headliner in cult level. Still a huge level of popularity that most people will never reach and still a credible main eventer for the most part. In the Cornellverse, most of the major companies have their main eventers at about this level and that is in a thriving game world with a lot of successful companies. Real life is in a huge lull and there aren't many people there. Whether the lull is caused by the lack of stars or the lack of stars is caused by the lull is hard to say. I'd argue that Randy Orton and Chris Jericho sit here, probably alongside Batista (another guy who isn't around now) and Vince McMahon himself. Another problem that the WWE suffers from is a gap between top guys and the next level... this is about where that gap happens, as there aren't many others who credibly sit here in WWE. And TNA's biggest names are just hoping to be here. Hulk Hogan likely sits here now, as while he's still a huge name, he simply doesn't put asses in seats. Popularity is about an ability to draw, which he has less of now.

B- = Big name star, main event/upper midcard at national, headliner/main event at cult. A highly respectable level of popularity, most people never get to be this successful. World championships at this level aren't a bad thing though may be a relatively weak champion for a National+ sized company but is still worth it for someone who is going to become a star or who can deliver awesome matches. This is where WWE's second tier of top guys sit for the most part. Sheamus, Big Show, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio fit in quite nicely here with each getting here for different reasons while none are complete all rounders. Ric Flair would be here now too, long away from his peak but still able to be awesome on his night. In TNA, I'd say that Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle would sit in this bracket too, with Sting being there on a part time basis too given how well they've protected him over the years. They've lost some name value from being away from the top for so long and helping to elevate those they are working with but they are valuable guys to have and they can use their unique skillsets to be awesome for TNA. Mick Foley probably sits here too these days, almost forgot about him!

EXTRA FOR BALANCE: With WWE's size set at B- across the USA AND their product set to being much more popularity based (presumably, as it should be) then everyone mentioned already should be capable of putting on roughly B- or higher rated matches. This breakdown should also highlight why they have been so reliant on bringing in previously established stars for feuds, as they are lacking in star power to sell PPVs and get high rated shows. In TEW terms, the hottest storylines they can get are between the most popular guys, which is what would sell PPVs and make money. If all of these popularity levels were set too high (say, everyone even one grade higher) then it throws off the value of each person or if the WWE is set too high (even at B pop) then it makes if impossible to maintain your popularity as the workers aren't good enough. For perfect balance, this rough set-up would simply need workers with good psychology, good star quality and good charisma (as most have) to get results that will at least maintain the WWE. In other words, the mod would be very well balanced.

C+ = uppercarder in National, main eventer in cult. Again, C+ is a very high level of career accomplishment to have attained and is nothing to be sniffed at. It's a national success, though not quite the top of the pile. It's probably telling that a lot of former Smackdown champions are sitting at around this level alongside the kinds of guys who are winding down their career or are yet to fully mature as a worker. Going to start breaking these down more by company now after looking through the rosters of WWE and TNA online.
WWE: Christian, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Booker T, Cody Rhodes (maybe), Kofi Kingston (maybe), R-Truth (maybe), Ryback, Jerry Lawler, Paul Heyman,
TNA: Bully Ray, Rob Van Dam (still listed on roster),

C = For the WWE this is still the upper end of the midcard, for a cult level company this is still higher than their own actual popularity a lot of the time. Actually including a fair few people that the smarks like and some real talents in this bracket, there are generally reasons why some people are here, like a weakness of some kind. It's still a successful career but when you look back at the way the WWE has used some of the talents I've got here, I think it's easy to understand why they were either unsuccessful or why they haven't yet had a top program. Swagger's world title chances have bombed because he isn't popular enough to carry them while some others here are being groomed for bigger things. In TNA, this is where some of their top homegrown guys are sitting as they simply have never been exposed to wrestling fans on a larger platform. As such, their popularity can't really be much different than TNA's itself, unlike the other TNA guys previously mentioned.
WWE: Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger, Santino, Wade Barrett, JBL, AJ Lee (most popular diva on the roster these days), Vicki Guererro,
TNA: Abyss (maybe, could be lower), AJ Styles,

EXTRA FOR BALANCE: With TNA's popularity set about here you could use almost everyone already mentioned as a main eventer in TNA, who would have a product based a bit more on popularity than performance, allowing them to utilise some talented people to achieve success instead of just popular people. That would get them the ratings they deserve too, and with popularity scaled like this you can see roughly where people would be able to cross over between WWE/TNA... look at the list, does it sound about right? I think it also highlights the importance of popularity in these companies and explains WHY some people are booked more strongly than the internet demands. Look at TNA... they have some talents from WWE who are big names and some home grown talents too. With more emphasis on in-ring performance than WWE, they can make up some ground in terms of show grades with that and if you watch both WWE and TNA, I think you can see that they try to do exactly that, while WWE milk their most popular guys for everything they are worth because they NEED to do that in order to succeed with their style of product.


C- = Midcard in a National level company for the most part, main event level for cults and strong headliners for smaller indy companies. Don't be afraid to rate people lower in popularity, this is still bigger than anyone who is just an indy darling would ever be able to reach. If you reached this level wrestling for the WWE then you could comfortably live off that reputation on the indy scene forver. Sadly, I'm not good at indy examples but someone like Rhyno might fit here. Maybe MVP too.
WWE: The Shield, Antonio Cesaro, William Regal, Zack Ryder
TNA: Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Mr Anderson, Samoa Joe,

D+ = Midcarder for the WWE, starting to get down to the level where even they can't push comedy people past for long. Still pretty good level for guys in TNA, but more the upper midcard than true stars. You still can't reach this level by just working the indy scene, take a look at the Cornellverse to see how many guys have reached this level of popularity without being on TV for a major company. Clue... it's none. So the top ROH guys without experience elsewhere won't be showing up yet... someone like Shelton Benjamin or John Morrison would be sitting around here, along with various other WWE castoffs that had micard careers. Some former ECW talents would be sitting around here too... popularity is harder to gain than lose, but as you get older you takes hits in ratings for various reason (time decline, physically breaking down, etc) so they would come with built in penalties for having a long career already. That said, they're still better known/put more asses in seats that most ROH guys so they should be more popular but perhaps worth less to hire for other reasons (see: Raven).
WWE: Brodus Clay/Tensai, Darren Young/Titus O'Neill, Sin Cara, The Great Khali,
TNA: Chavo Guerrero, Christopher Daniels, Devon, Mickie James, Tara,

D = Getting towards the undercard for the WWE nad hitting the TNA midcard, this is still a pretty good career achievement to reach. Hell, breaking out above F+ is more than most wrestlers will ever accomplish these days, keep that in mind. The brightest of indy stars might get up to here if they were lucky. When ROH was super hot then someone like Samoa Joe might have been here. But only just. CM Punk pre-WWE might've been here too. I'm struggling to think of who else might fit the indy bracket. With that in mind, I doubt there are any indy stars hitting this range just now, though I'm not following indy wrestling much just now either.
WWE: Evan Bourne, Hornswoggle, Justin Gabriel, Ted Dibiase Jr,
TNA: Chris Sabin, Eric Young, Magnus, Matt Morgan (I WISH he was higher),

D- = National level undercarders, cult level lower midcarders. I have to admit, I'm looking at the list and I'm already thinking I've over-rated most of the WWE guys in this section. A lot of the WWE divas probably fall in this range or lower, but I care so little for them that I couldn't bring myself to rate them. At the indy level, getting to this means you are pretty much the king of the indy scene. Top ROH guys are probably hitting this range these days.
WWE: Big E. Langston, Curtis Axel, Ezekiel Jackson, Fandango, Epico/Hunico, The Usos, Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayne (El Generico, maybe)
TNA: Hernandez, Kazarian, Brooke Hogan (fame of her father mostly), Gail Kim, Madison Rayne , Velvet Skye,

EXTRA FOR BALANCE: Once again, with ROH's popularity set around here we would have their top guys set to have popularity around the level of the company (Regional) as they push towards cult. Similarly, those are the kinds of guys who could avoid being at the bottom of the WWE totem pole and could jump into the TNA midcard with a little help, which is nicely balanced as that is whast often happens in real life. Sadly I have a lack of indy knowledge, but in terms of balance this would lead to the AI being able to do a lot of things logically. And it would play out the way real life goes, which does come with the downside of perhaps making the game a little less interesting as the WWE has hurt wrestling so much with bland programming.


E+/E/E- = Most talented indy guys that have been wrestling for years, various cast offs from the WWE who never made it very far. These are mostly the kinds of people you get headlining indy shows and filling up the upper range of regional level companies. TNA has a lot of guys in this range who they have been bringing in, though they are fairly scattered and your may have a different opinion on exactly where they place. But in terms of who is above these guys, I don't think it can be argued with, so the precise numbers would be down to personal interpretation.
WWE: 3 Man Band, Yoshi Tatsu, guys the WWE have signed from the indy scene who made a bit of a name for themselves
TNA: Christian York, Doug Williams, Gunner, Jessie Godderz (remains of crossover fame), Joey Ryan, Kenny King (top end, rising), Rob Terry, Robbie E, Zema Ion, Miss Tessmacher, ODB,

F+/F/F- = Unknowns mostly. Newcomers to pro wrestling start at 0 and work their way up, unless they have a famous name and/or mask that they can buid on top of the reputation of. Most of these guys will be people who you see wrestling indy shows, most likely on the undercard as even a small indy will generally have someone in the E range headlining for them. If you've never even been on the radar of a major company, if you are in your early career or if you just don't have it in you to ever be a star... you probably belong in this range. Most wrestlers these days are probably in this range
WWE: Most of the development roster, particularly those from outside of pro wrestling.
TNA: Garrett Bischoff (his uncle's fame hasn't helped him get far), Rockstar Spud, Wes Brisco,

<hr>

Just going to quickly mention stats... they're hard to do but it's important to get them right. Don't over-rate the top row too much, youngsters will grow into them naturally and you don't need to have a score in the 90s to be awesome. Hell, breaking the 80s is pretty rare so unless someone is going to feature in a discussion of the "Best at STAT in the World" discussion then I'd say to keep them below 80 as a good guide. It's not too bad to over-rate the physical abilities a little, with stamina always being fairly important. Entertainment skills again are fairly tricky and I'd say that breaking the 80 barrier there should be kept only to exceptionally talented people. Camera skills are okay to over-rate a little, but again... breaking 80 for anything should be rare. And learn from the Cornellverse regarding male sex appeal... you can't push men just based on being hot like you can with women, people just don't buy it when you are at least pretending that these guys are tough guys fighting in "real" fights.

The performance row is important too. Some people have the moves (top row) but don't know how to put a match together. If you aren't sure if someone is awesome at something, try to work out what their weaknesses are. Jerry Lynn was always a talented top row guy who had exceellent performance skills... but he lacked charisma, mic skills or a superstar look and it stopped him becoming a top level star. Batista looked like a million bucks, had a lot of charisma but he couldn't actually talk and wasn't that great in the ring either in the top row or performance skills... it made him gain popularity fairly well, but he couldn't really carry a storyline without someone to carry the talking side of things. No-one is perfect, so if you see someone in the mod who seems to be good at everything, chances are they've been over-rated in something, even if it's as simple as the physical wear and tear on their body that should otherwise be dragging them down (for example, Rey Mysterio should be a wreck with his body terribly low while all his other skills will still be awesomely high).

Lastly... you don't need a 100 in everything to get a 100 rated match. AND 100 rated matches should be incredibly rare. Remember that charisma and star quality will boost EVERY match and angle to a degree, which is what seperates Batista from the likes of Mason Ryan or Rob Terry (or any other Welshman ). And some products work better for people than others. Batista would've been heckled out of ROH if he ever appeared there, but he was perfect for the WWE where he could be pushed in menace angles and get high rated segments just with his star quality/charisma. When you know things like that, it makes modding so much easier to do and can lead to some awesome stuff.
One other little bit of advice I thought of that relates. In terms of settin popularity for low level workers, you can save a LOT of time in terms of working out regional popularity by simply assuming flat rate across the US for a worker. It happens in the Cornellverse (though it's less than ideal) with guys who have only worked CZCW or PSW having even popularity across the US despite only workin in one area before the game starts. Overspill will do some of the work for you anyways, but if you don't want to have to research regional popularity for every indy worker you add then this could save a lot of time. And since most of them are going to be very low, it'll barely be noticable.

Last edited by Derek B : 06-01-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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CRAFTING A WORKER

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the hardest part of TEW to get right. The Fog Of War feature hints at just how hard it is to judge a worker’s stats without being able to see years of their development and work out how good they are. The stats are subjective, oftentimes hard to tell apart and there is no universal way to tell how good someone is. There are also so many of them and there are so many bonuses and maluses applied that can only be seen by the Dirt Sheet that there is never going to be universal agreement on stats. On top of that, if you watch wrestling then you are going to have those people you love or hate, which is going to lead to bias no matter what you do. A hundred different people could rate the same person differently and there is no way to say that any one of them is right. This section is the hardest part of getting a mod right. But at least we’ve covered popularity already, so we’ve got a baseline there. That’s a great start.

Starting from the start here, you’ve got to know what the stats correlate to if you’re going to have any chance of making your mod behave the way it should. Only once you know what they are can you truly analyse how a wrestler should work in TEW, by which time you’ll be able to work out the strengths and weaknesses of a worker. Once you can work that out, which can often be done by looking at how they are actually used in real life in the first place, you can start to put together a good profile for a worker. No-one is perfect, so once you work out their strengths and weaknesses you can (as a player) work out how to book them. It also helps with writing bios, as you can tailor it a litle bit towards those stats too. With Fog Of War on, that makes reading bios that bit more interesting (particularly for unknowns who you might be exploring) and adds to the value of that feature too. If people trust your mod to be well balanced, then the value of this feature becomes even more awesome which can add even more to the experience as you find out things about people the hard way.

One thing to remember right away is that youngsters need to have room to grow. We have potentially editable stats for Maturation Age, Decline Age, Relevancy Age and Retirement Age now. Maturation Age has a cap of 30 and a median of 24, giving most workers until their mid 20s to simply improve by existing in the gameworld, with further improvements coming through competing or being in development. Stat caps are also worked out partly based on age, so someone coming into the gameworld late is always going to struggle compared to someone coming in young. With that in mind, I’d consider setting a high Maturation Age for anyone joining the gameworld late. For example, I believe Batista joined late but had some obvious tools for success. His skills when joining the world would be pretty low but by giving him a high Maturation Age he’d have a fighting chance to develop them into something useful. Joe Sexy in the Cornellverse is someone who would benefit from the same treatment. For 99.9% of workers I wouldn’t touch any of these ages, unless you have an extremely good reason to believe that the random Destiny Roll is going to give someone a bad hand for some reason. Decline can start between 30 and 55… that’s a median somewhere in the 40 range, by which point most guys SHOULD be on decline already. So unless you are creating a historical mod and are determined that Ric Flair shouldn’t decline until he was in his mid to late 40s (which to be fair, might not be unreasonable ) then these stats should remain largely untouched. Having said that, I rigged the CV97 to get a few more decent years out of Sam Strong and Rip Chord in HGC, since those two are meant to be the driving forces there. Took me a long time to decide on it though, as it almost felt like cheating to KNOW that these two had some time in them yet. Not knowing adds to the value of the experience in my opinion, but your opinion may vary.

A few modding pointers while I’m here. Do the minor information of a worker first. Birthdays, debuts dates, gender etc… because unless you have awesome self discipline then you’ll forget to go back to it after you’ve done the main stats. In this case, I also heartily recommend adding a worker’s Move Set as soon as you can because it can be a real pain going through lots of contracts later to edit them in if you forgot to do it at the start. For this same reason, if you are planning on doing a gimmick file (as I will recommend in a later section) then you should do that first too so that you can assign default gimmicks too with minimal effort. No point in giving yourself twice as much work! Go easy on the languages known by a worker, too often I see workers getting basic everything because they’ve worked in a region when in reality there is probably one guy doing half the translating. They aren’t all Larry Wood with a PHD in everything and the game already gives workers a lot of learning of languages as it is, so the extra just isn’t needed. Similarly, worker roles. If someone is a wrestler, only have them set as a wrestler and NOTHING else. It can lead to complications that are unnecessary and it’s generally better to keep things simple. The Technical Support section has been filled with as many oddities of things from real world mods that would’ve been solved by just keeping things simple. Non-wrestlers can have multiple roles as they often do, though it can be hard to get them to stay in the right role if you give them too many. Lastly for this section, relationships. Those I would add after I’ve finished doing a worker. But again, keep those to a minimum. Only the people who have a legitimate influence on someone’s behaviours would really belong. Guys who get along but don’t have any influence? That;s just covered by their existence. AJ Style/Christopher Daniels are obviously best friends… AJ Styles and James Storm? They may hang out and be friendly, but not enough to warrant a relationship. Similarly, there are a lot of negative relationships in most mods that are unnecessary… a couple that has split up but is on decent terms is covered fine with no relationship at all. Two guys who don’t necessarily like each other but don’t really get in each other’s way either, is covered fine by doing nothing. Removing the excess relationships leads to a smoother experience in terms of performance and gameplay in general, so as ever, less is more.

Actually, not quite on to stats yet… two more sections I want to cover first. Lifestyle and Personality. Lifestyle should be kept simple. There is a helpful question mark in that section now that describes things pretty well and for the most part, the soft drugs thing is never enough to affect a worker’s performances. And most wrestlers don’t seem to let alcohol affect them either. In those cases, they don’t need to even register on there unless you either expect them to get worse or think it’s obviously having an effect. The major companies have put some effort into curbing the worst of these things too, so most of the modern generation are relatively well off compared to the may wrestlers dying young from the 80s and 90s generation. Tread lightly or the first few years of your mod is going to see a slew of deths. Personality is a tricky one too as we generally don’t know much about a person in real life. Generally speaking, there’s no smoke without fire. If someone is generally known for being awesome then give them a fairly good personality. If someone is known for being terrible, give them a terrible personality. And if you don’t know… randomise them a bit. Give them a mix of good and bad traits, maaybe even make a little note in their profile saying that you’ve made up their personality as not much is known about them and change some of them every time you release an updated version of the mod. It’ll keep people guessing and add a little randomness to the game, which is kinda fun. Anything that gives the characters in the mod something to make them stand out is a good thing and the more variation, the better. At least in my opinion. The CV97 is full of people I’ve given random personalities over the years, particularly the bland or annoying referees from earlier conversions. The more unique the people seem, the better.

Now.. the Top Row Skills! These will always cause a lot of debate and I’m not going to pretend to be able to judge everyone in the world for thse, because I can’t. I lack the knowledge to be able to do so but hopefully I can help people with better knowledge to balance this in their gameworld. First of all, you don’t need to have a 100 or even a 90 in this row to get awesomely high rated matches. Sure, the better you are here the better… but within the Cornellverse there are only a couple of workers per top row stat that have 90 or higher. That’s maybe 1 or 2 per 1000 people in the gameworld that hit the top levels and yet the gameworld still gets lots of A rated matches out of people with less than A level talent. Why? Because so many other factors weigh into a match that you don’t need to pimp the top row to achieve good grades. Chemistry, tag experience, title prestige, momentum, storyline heat, charisma, star quality are the first things that come to mind on terms of bonuses and each of those can be adding up to 5 points (some of them less). That’s a lot of bonuses! Similarly, there are a lot of penalties too that can also bring things down… low psych, basics, consistency, bad chemistry, low title prestige, momentum etc… identifying the right stats for each is the key and can help you work out which top row stats rock, and which suck. Keep in mind that a good in-ring guy only really needs a 60ish in a top row stat to be doing pretty good/above average, a 70 to be considered a fine worker and an 80 to be brought up in discussions about being one of the best for a particular attribute and you should hopefully be able to mod well. Next, what do these stats really mean?

Brawling: Fairly simple, this is the kind of thing you generally see in the WWE where two guys fight each other in fairly simple fights, and more importantly, how much you can make the fans care about it. Fists fly, it’s not about finesse as much as it is about just being able to make it look like a fight and bringing energy into this can really help. As with all top row stats, it not just about how good you mke your own offense look it’s about how well you deal with your opponent’s offense too, being able to react to their brawling ways when they interupt whatever you are doing. There are various styles of brawling, from energetic fist fighters/bar room brawlers like Steve Austin (probably in the low 90s at his peak), to more methodical, slow paced brawlers like the Undertaker (consistently in the 80s until a few years ago due to Time Decline) to the wild fury of Samoa Joe (somewhere in the 80s range, crowds chant for a reason). Each of these guys are among the best in brawling in recent memory, though both Austin and Undertaker would have long faded from their peaks in this stat, leaving Samoa Joe as probably the best brawler in TNA/WWE today. Other parts of the world may have better guys, but I don’t know them.

EXTRA NOTE: Brawling also covers a lot of slams, power moves and throws… there may be some technique involved but technique isn’t the same as technical wrestling so a lot of those moves fall under this category. Thanks D-Lyrium for reminding me that I’d not mentioned that. Taz was a “Human Suplex Machine” and may have had great technique on his suplexes and throws, but for the most part he would be considered to be a great brawler/puro practioner, one of the better ones in the US at the time though lacking in other areas. He also had some technical skll, but if he wrestled purely in that style he’d not be playing to his strengths, which should highlight that he'd be a better rumbler than technician.

Puroresu: A bit more complicated as it’s a style that is employed for the most part in Japan… it’s a combination of hard hitting strikes and intense suplexes/slams, the sorts of moves that take real toughness to endure which is part of why the Japanese style of wrestling is still so heavily respected… and it’s about making the fans care about this style too. This style is NOT very common in North America, though there are some people who can use the style pretty well after gaining a lot of experience with it in Japan. For the most part, North American wrestlers will be below the 50 mark for this, even the good brawlers. Most of the high rated workers for this will be Japanese and working in Japan, though someone like Samoa Joe would (again) would probably be the best of WWE/TNA in this stat (probably in the high 60s/low 70s) with Tensai having some good skills here too, though people with more knowledge of his Japanese work where he demonstrated this style would need to give a good range for him. CM Punk has some skills here but even he is probably only sitting at around a 50. In the past someone like Chris Benoit was probably North America’s best at this, likely being in the 80s due to his incredible in-ring talents (he lacked in other skills though). As a general rule you shouldn’t rate this higher than 30 for people unless they have experience working in Japan with people of this style.

Hardcore: This it the fine art of weapons based matches. The most important thing about this stat is that it is NOT how willing someone is to bleed or do crazy things, it’s about the actual quality of the match itself… meaning, how much people care about the hardcore. Someone might only ever use a chair and do a number of spots just based on that and they could be a hundred times better in this stat than some guy who is wrapping himself in barbwire, setting himself on fire and jumping off a balcony through sheets of glass. That said, a willingness to try the more extreme stuff will reveal how good at it you are… you can’t be any good if you never do it afterall! Some of the best practioners of the hardcore style in recent years have been the likes of Mick Foley (in the mid/high 80s at his peak) with his wild and reckless brawling style, Jeff Hardy (high 70s/low 80s to this day) with his ability to use weapons in a variety of ways while taking crazy bumps too, Abyss (who is able to use weapons in a way that isn’t just for the sake of it, probably in the mid/high 70s), Bully Ray (high 70s, he has made a career out of being awesome at hardcore and tag teams… and now promos) and Triple H… yeah, Triple H is one of the best hardcore guys in North America despite how bad he is at hitting people with a sledgehammer. He’s probably still in the 70s range for it, roughly on a par with his brawling ability, but he knows how to get the most out of a weapons based match.

RUMBLE SKILLS NOTE: As a general rule of thumb in North America, brawling is the key skill in this department, with ther other two being fairly uncommon, at least in terms of how good the wrestlers are at it. Sure there are indys that want to be about head-drops and stiff kicks… and sure there are some all about hitting people with light-tubes, but the quality of match is generally very poor. This is linked in with other stats too (particularly psychology/performance skills) which can make it hard to tell how good some people are. For example…. Take Triple H. If he were to work a hardcore match with some indy hardcore guy, would the match be awesome because of the things people get hit with/the bumps taken OR because someone in the match would know why they are being hit with them/make people care beyond a pop for a move? That’s why hardcore isn’t about taking sick bumps, it’s about how much you can make the fans care about why you are taking sick bumps…. I hope that makes sense.

Mat Work: Quite simply, this is about the ability to wrestle on the ground in a way that the crowd likes. You’re probably noticing that all of these descriptions have a variation of the phrase “in a way the crowd enjoys” in them, that’s the point. It’s not abot how many moves you can do (though that does help), it’s about getting them to care. The more they care, the better… match ratings/angle ratings are basically a measure of how much the crowd care, so that’s the point of all these skills. This is generally going to link to the other technical skills in that a lot of submissions are grounded and a lot of linked moves are grounded too. Some of the best practioners of this are guys like Kurt Angle (fairly obviously, likely in the low 90s), Chris Benoit (I’d go with mid 90s when he was wrestling) and Daniel Bryan (probably low 90s too). Each of these guys know/knew how to make the crowd get pumped for wrestling on the mat and that’s something that isn’t the most common in the major companies as it is generally slower paced and less exciting than the dominant styles of entertainment. For this reason, Technician style wrestlers tend to do less well in Mainstream based companies which is why guys like Bryan and Angle have evolved more towards Regular Wrestlers where they can combine in-ring skills with entertainment skills to be more viable as top guys.

Chain Wrestling: Sister skill to Mat Work, this is about linking moves together in an sequence. This is a more common skill in North American wrestlers than Mat Work, as it can be applied to all situations in and out of the ring. One of the best examples of this style I can think of is Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3… lots of up close moves, fast paced action, tons of near falls and all chained together beautifully in a way that makes that match a classic more than 25 years later. You don’t get a lot of big guys capable of doing a lot of chain wrestling and this is a stat mostly worked in the major companies by the Middleweights or lower. TNA’s X-division guys are generally good at chaining moves together and I daresay that ROH has a lot of talented guys in this department too. Counter wrestling is also an important part of this attribute, with the ability to turn another guy’s offense into something else and having that countered again being the definition of a chain of moves. Unsurprisingly, the same names mentioned in Mat Work get a mention here and I’m going to add guys like CM Punk (70s), Chris Jericho (low 80s), William Regal (70s now due to Time Decline but one of the best at his peak) to the list. In terms of technical skills, this is the attribute among them that flyers would probably peak in. Rey Mysterio isn’t a mat whizz or a submission guru, but he can link moves together in interesting and exciting ways to complement his aerial prowess, so Rey would do pretty well here (probably in the mid 60s).

Submissions: This is all about making submission style wrestling exciting. Whether that be in setting up someone for the big move by softening them up, the transitions on the mat game, the ability to make it look like you are wrenching in the hold or simply the ability to be able to tweak and torture a guy… if you can make the crowd care about the holds in a match, then this is where your skills lie. The first match I think of here is a Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund “I Quit” match… it wasn’t perfect but it was a great example of two guys who knew how to work submissions during an era where submission style wrestling wasn’t particularly popular. The ability to make the fans case about all the moves that would weaken the right body part is what defines this skill and they told an excellent match within this skillset. As ever, it is also linked to the other Technical skills too so you’ll never see someone with 90 submissions and 10 Mat Work, but some people are better at some elements than others. In WWE/TNA there aren’t a huge number of people with huge skills here, but the likes of Daniel Bryan (high 80s), Samoa Joe (low/mid 80s) and Kurt Angle (low 80s) would all feature highly. One thing to remember… someone like John Cena isn’t a great submissionist just because he has the SWF in his arsenal. He doesn’t work towards it at all, which means he pretty much is pulling it out of nowhere. He CAN work with technical guys and submissionists so he is competent enough (30ish) but without anything leading to that move as part of his skillset he is selling himself short on submission abilities.

TECHNICAL SKILLS NOTE: As mentioned throughout, these skills are generally linked to each other but if you can work out what some people are better at then it will make them seem better. Kurt Angle, for example, doesn’t do a lot to work towards a submission win for most of the match, which is why he’s not rated as high there as he is in other technical aspects. Meanwhile someone like a Ric Flair (who will work a knee a lot) or a Daniel Bryan (who can work any limb) or Samoa Joe (who will relentless target a body part) all deserve high skills there for their work. Joe doesn’t do a lot of Mat Work though, but he can Chain Wrestle very well. CM Punk can do a bit of everything around here and this is perhaps his main area of top row skill in TEW but he’s still only sitting in the 70s for this… which is about the same as Rich Money, one of the most talented guys in the Cornellverse when you take into account his complete skill set. Just a reminder that the best in the world don’t have to be awesome at everything.


Aerial: This is all about high flying abilities… not just all the moves you can do (which could be covered by athleticism) but how much the crowd can enjoy your matches as a result of what you can do. Whether you are springboarding all over the place, diving to the floor, running the rails, or using your body as something of a weapon, this encapsulates a style that is generally quite exciting but not very realistic. How foten do you see a moonsault in a real fight? But it’s not just about you… it’s also about how good you are at working with other people who do these things. From making sure you plant your feet properly to launch a move or to catch someone, knowing how best to deal with an aerial artist and generally to work with the offense of others, this makes it very hard to reach the upper limits of this style. Every indy spot monkey can break out twenty variations of a moonsault and get a quick pop, but when everyone is doing that and no-one is standing out, that means they are all average high flyers (50ish), with the better ones moving up towards 60. In the big leagues the best high flyers are the likes of AJ Styles (high 80s), Rey Mysterio Jr (high 80s, though injury forces him to perform less well) and probably Sin Cara (low/mid 80s, with consistency seemingly plague him). One of the best guys in Aerial that I can think of was Eddy Guerrero… he could fly if he wanted to but he was also amazing at working with high flyers, being able to adapt to everything they could do better than anyone I can think of. With that in mind I’d rate him at about a 90 when he was alive, but with lower flashiness than some of his peers.

Flashiness: This is about adding flashy, sensational elements to your matches and unlike most of the rest of the top row, this stat is almost entirely about what you do yourself and very limited in terms of dealing with your opponent. In the Eddy Guererro example, he was an amazing flyer as he could both give and receive everything… but he didn’t add lots of twists and flips to his matches just for the sake of it. He was still flashy though, so he’d be something like a 70 in here which makes him very similar to the Duane Stone of old in the Cornellverse, before his knees changed him to a Middleweight technician. Rey Mysterio’s flashiness would likely be pretty high (mid 80s, held back by injuries), while many indy workers would likely have more flash than aerial, indicating that they are more style than substance when it comes to wrestling. AJ Styles is an awesome example of being flashy with his offense, having a huge range of cool and exciting moves to draw from across various styles and he would be a 90something star in this regard. Jeff Hardy is another very flashy guy, someone I’d give a high 70s score to along with a low 70s aerial skill as he’s very good but not exceptional in that area. But it’s not just high flyers that have flash… everyone can do things to show off their style, but most styles don’t have the ability to add flips or twists and stuff like that. The Rock is a fairly flashy brawler when he wrestlers, so throwing a 40 into his Flashiness is perfectly reasonable, while someone like Batista would have very limited Flashiness as he has a fairly simple style. Most of the great showmen of professional wrestling know how to add flashiness to their style to help win the fans over, but unless you have some true high flying moves or super-impressive things in your arsenal that no-one else can do, this should rarely pass 40.

AERIAL SKILLS NOTE: A lot of indy wrestlers wrestle a style that is quite flashy but not actually very good in terms of actual aerial skills. High flying moves can get a good pop but the end result is often a hollow experience as they don’t really connect to an audience. In cases like these I’d rate then higher in flashiness than aerial, and this may apply to a lot of the indy scene. In TEW10 the aerial:flashiness weighting in high flying skills was 9:1, indicating just how valuable actual skills are over the ability to do something exciting. This is very similar to way that hardcore works… being willing to do something doesn’t make you good. Flashiness covers for a weakness in some ways and adds a little to excitement, which can cover for some other skills lacking.

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Now, there are probably lots of people thinking I’ve under-rated people here but that’s not the case. When working out a match rating the game looks at a few key stats to decide how much someone is contributing towards the match grade… Top Row Skills with a cap set around the level of Psychology involved in the match is the key, with various other modifiers applied after that. I forget the exact formula but basically the you will lose something like 50% of the match grade above the level of psychology involved… so two 100 brawlers with 0 psychology would only be able to pull out a 50 in terms of in-ring contribution to a match, as no matter how good they could be, they’ll never be able to channel it in a way that works for the fans. They simply don’t know how to make the most of their skills. Which is what the Performance Skills is all about.

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Performance Skills are basically the mental attributes of how to work a match, which is why most of them no longer decline with Time Decline. If the top row of skills are the practical examples of how good someone is, Performance is all about the theory. Being good in this row means you’ll never put on a bad match as you will know how to get all of the basic principles down in order to get the crowd involved and to wrestle a match that won’t cause fans to lose their willing suspension of disbelief. In essence… the better you are here, the more people can buy into whatever it s you are trying to sell them. Without these skills, it doesn’t matter what you can do in the ring, people just won’t be able to care. So lets look at the individual stats.

Basics: From bumping to simple sequences that every wrestler the world over should know, this is your fundamentals. You learn the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch, you learn how to bump, how to avoid hurting yourself, when to bump and feed, when to do simple things. If you’ve gone through a reputable training school it’s not unreasonable to expect a worker to have a 60 in this stat, which represents an ability to go out there and look perfectly reasonable. With more practise they’ll keep getting better and better, with most of the guys we see in WWE/TNA probably being somewhere in the 60-90 range, with some guys breaking above that too (more than on the top row). The exceptions in the big companies to this rule are the rookies who are generally people who have a very good look and star potential, but who may not be wrestlig fans. Big men like The Great Khali still have terrible basics (40s probably) as he’s really not someone who does the basics at all due to his size. Half of the divas in the last decade were models who while good looking and athletic, were not strong in basics no matter how hard they tried. Broadly speaking, the longer you wrestler the better your basics get up to the point where you can more or less do everything without even needing to think about it. And Time Decline will never rob your of this stat any more, so remember to set this value to a veteran’s peak so that they can be used to train youngsters.

Psychology: This is the ability of the wrestler to get the fans into the story of the match. The story is whatever is defined by the booking, the characters involved and generally anything else going on around it. Being able to tell this story via the way the match unfolds is a universally desired skill in wrestling and it is one of the key things in the difference between a star and a superstar. Being able to mesh the characters of everyone involved in a match, pace the match to tell a story and hook the crowd from start to finish is the hallmark of this particular stat. It’s also one of the things most talked about by veterans as being something of a lost art. Most wrestlers know the idea of “Shine-Heat-Comeback-Finish” as how to build a match but being able to tell a ide variety of stories is the most important skill in a match. Without this, it doesn’t matter how good you are in the ring, you’ll lose something. In every match that goes down in legend, there is at least one person in there with a huge psychology rating. Ric Flair was great at it (about 100). Hulk Hogan was better at it than I’m generally willing to admit (90ish). The Undertaker is a master of it (about 100), able to get a great match out of everyone by meshing the characters together perfecttly (his match with Festus is still an awesome example of this). Shawn Michaels is another guy who was awesome with everyone because he could tell a story with anyone, another guy close to 100 and the reason why he has so many Match Of The Year awards (thanks to awesome stats across most other areas too). Of the current generation of wrestlers I would say this is a stat that is a little lacking, and that’s one of the reasons why there are so few breakout superstars. John Cena follows in the Hogan cast of psychology but isn’t as good at it (low 80s). CM Punk is probably WWE’s best and I’d only put him in the mid 80s. Chris Jericho is talented but again, probaly the mid 80s. Randy Orton, as much as I don’t find him very interesting, is someone who I would put at about 80. Triple H… he’s a guy that has a lot of talent but that has never been able to carry anyone to a legendary match, he’s in the low 80s for me too. Edge is another guy who I feel took so long to truly breakout because his psychology wasn’t strong enough. Good skills in most areas, but wasn’t quite able to have the amazing matches that would put him over the top. Daniel Bryan is sitting somewhere in the 80s range, though I’m not sure exactly where I’d place him. Christian Cage is probably WWE’s most under-rated in this regard, with him being someone I’d put in the mid 80s for psychology but who lacks a little in other areas and has probably his his popularity cap at B-, forever stopping him becoming as big a star as his talents would let him. As for TNA… one of the reasons Sting is still a wrestler is because he has good psychology, probably in the high 80s but he’s also in Time Decline and not able to get the most out of himself any more. Kurt Angle is someone I’d put in the mid 80s, maybe even the high 80s as he is able to have some very good matches against everyone. Bully Ray I would have in the low 80s/high 70s as he’s always been able to work well with people and has truly begun to show that he is capable of doing so in singles. As for TNA homegrown stars, AJ Styles is a mid 70s kind of guy, Samoa Joe is probably mid/high 70s while Christoper Daniels is a very solid hand in this regard and likely close to an 80. Daniels is a good all rounder, but is just missing something that stops him becoming a star even though he is so very good. Aries is very good here too, always able to create a match that works well with whoever he is against though I’d place him in the low/mid 70s. Bobby Roode is in a similar range as Aries for the same reason, as is James Storm and Abyss.

I had to break up that paragraph as it was getting unwieldy. In general, psychology is a trait that can only be learned through being in the ring and wrestling a lot. Unless a rookie has shown an incredible aptitude for pro wrestling, this stat is rarely going to even be above a 50 when they debut. Breaking the 70 barrier is fairly uncommon and that is why it’s so important to find people who can teach psychology. Veterans, particularly those from the old territory days, have worked squillions of matches and have worked against hundreds or thousands of people so they know how to adapt and to work with all sorts. This is what gives people the ability to use “Call In Ring” during a match, being able to use what they’ve learned to react to the live crowd and make the most of any reactions they get. In the days of heavily scripted TV and decreasing input from individual performers in storylines, the art of psychology is becoming lost. And in a real world mod this should also be the case. It adds huge value to a worker with big psychology, which adds another layer of strategy and realism when playing, something that is lost if a mod over-rated everyone. As for lesser workers, it’s often hard to tell how good they are. I remember one match recently in TNA featuring Robbie E/Rob Terry vs Wes Brisco/Garrett Bischoff before they joined Aces and Eights. It was the best all of those guys have looked in ages and I have to assume that it’s because Robbie E put a lot of it together, along with the TNA agents. And when I look at Robbie E now, I realise he has pretty good psychology when it comes to his matches… he’s just not very good in the top row and has a comedy gimimck that will keep him in the lower reaches of TNA forever given their product.

Safety: Fairly simple, this is how safe a worker is in the ring. A guy might be able to hit hard, but if he can do it in a way that doesn’t actually hurt his opponent then that is awesome as it can make a match look good. This is one stat that can start at almost any level. Some guys are naturally clumsy and prone to hurting people (The Great Khali, Mark Henry in the past) and some people are never going to hurt you because they just know what they are doing (Ric Flair, HBK, a lot of old school guys). I’d generally avoid giving a wrestler more than an 80 in this to start with, but there is no reason to assume they can’t. Some people don’t hurt people… though sometimes it’s because they avoid pushing themselves beyond the limits of what they can do safely, which could mean they have lower top row stats in exchange for higher safety and consistency.

Consistency: Welcome to the stat where a low value virtually guarantees that you’ll be on Botchamania in future. This is all about how often you perform at your very best. This stat can vary all the way along the scale for workers of all ages, though as with Safety, I’d find it very hard to give a rookie a stat above 80 here, simply in order to give them some space to grow in future. Someone like a Ric Flair in his prime could go out and wrestle to the same awesome standard every night, which is true of most people who get towards the top of any company as you generally have to be a consistent performer to get a consistent push. Jeff Hardy used to be an example of terrible consistency but in recent years he’s really improved on this a lot and has become fairly solid. My go to example of poor Consistency is Sabu… on a good day he could be incredible, on a bad day he could botch more moves and completely ruin a match worse than a Shockmaster run in. One link I make between consistency is with the Top Row. If someone is capable of being better in the top than they generally are, then you can simulate this by perhaps giving their top row a slightly higher score than you might normally and lowering their consistency score so that they don’t often hit it. Most of the WWE and TNA top guys would probably have 75+ in this stat, though this is a stat that drops with Time Decline and older guys like Sting and Undertaker would likely now be suffering hefty drops in this from their peaks more than a decade ago.

Selling: There are a few different aspects to this that often go overlooked. The most obvious definition here is that it’s about making the impact of moves look good. It’s also about bringing in the effects of being hit by moves into the long term plan of a match, so selling a knee five mintues after it’s been hit can remind people that you are hurting and add to the drama of the match. And there’s knowing when to sell and when not to… for example, Undertaker sitting up after being hit with a move may be no-selling it, but the very act of no-selling ADDS to the drama of the match so this is a good example of selling. Being able to sell the immediate impact and the long term effects of a move is one of the keys to getting people to buy in to a match… that’s why it’s called selling in the first place! One thing that can be hard to categorise is the OVERselling of moves… some people can actually sell so hard that they ruin the drama. It’s a fine line, and sometimes people land on the wrong side of it. In terms of the top sellers today, there are a few that I would find worthy of mentioning. Shawn Michaels was fantastic at it, able to sell the short and long term damage of moves in a way that added awesomely to the darama of his matches (except vs Hulk Hogan). RVD is great at selling the impact of moves but a little shaky on the long term though he’d still get something in the 80s despite this. AJ Styles would be very high again here. Most guys in the middleweight or lower range in general once they get towards the top are probably pretty good at selling, though some are obviously better than others. As with other stats in the performance bracket, rookies can be very good at this too though I’d be wary of giving any rookies anything higher than an 80 in order to give them some space to grow. This does get lower with age as physical limitations start to kick in, so veterans will get lower skills here as Time Decline kicks in.

PERFORMANCE ROW NOTE: As mentioned before, this row is basically the mental skills of a worker, some of which can be impaired by physical decline. IF you are good at this then you can have a good match with anyone and the crowd will buy into whatever you try to sell to them. Bobby Roode in TNA is, in my opinion, one of the better guys in this row that TNA have, being at least in the 70s for everything. He’s also really crisp in the ring and looks pretty good, which is why TNA gave him the championship a while back. He’s remained one of their top guys since then and he can have a great match with anyone. Guys like Randy Orton can do the same, though none of these guys are a patch on someone like Ric Flair who was capable of delivering a great match instinctually every night. While I do think that for the most part there are more guys able to do more things on the performance row than in the past, the one area I think modern wrestling suffers compared to old school is psychology… less people are able to just go out and work with anyone on any given night and put on a great match that gets the crowd going. As such, one of the inherent problems with real world mods SHOULD be a lack of psychology with a general better degree of professionalism/not looking like an amateur for most of the top workers.


***deep breath time***

Onwards to Camera Skills! These are probably the easiest section of skills to judge and when Fog Of War was being added I actually argued that they shouldn’t be hidden half as much as the rest of them. You can generally judge this with your eyes fairly easily though differences in opinion can make it hard to pinpoint where people are going to be. So let’s get to each stat….

Sex Appeal: This is mostly important for women, as not only are they the fairer sex but they are generally the least intimidating one (unless you are dating them, obviously ). A gorgeous girl is fairly obviously gorgeous to most from a fairly short viewing on TV or from a handful of pictures so it shouldn’t be too hard to ballpark a value for their Sex Appeal. Most of the WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts are going to be in the 80 range for this, with some of the particularly attractive girls going above and beyond this. Many of the most popular females in these two companies have gotten there based on their looks as much as their talents, though the very best tend to have both. Trish Stratus was a high 90s sex appeal, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Dawn Marie, Mickie James… some beautiful girls who all deserve 90+ in the Sex Appeal stat. Others probably around that range might include Lacey Von Erich, So Cal Val, Kelly Kelly (so good they named her twice)… the very atractive girls are going to be able to get over initially based on their looks and when the cap on that kicks in, their talents can take them the rest of the way. Don’t worry about being a little generous when you mod this particular stat, this is one where you can go a little bit too far without worrying about breaking the balance of a mod. In terms of males, sex appeal really isn’t a good way to push someone to get to the top of the wrestling world, so they tend to get lower ratings partly for that and partly by just not being as attractive. Anywhere between 20-40 would be a good range for a not-un attractive guy. Anything higher than that and we’re talking the kind of guys that girls will quite happily look at for ages, andonce you start to get above 50 we’re talking some seriously good looking dude. In the Cornellverse there are only a handful of guys above 60, with Champagne Lover basically being a Hollywood heart throb in the low 80s, which is where guys like Brad Pitt or George Clooney or whoever is an extremely attractive and famous man these days. I’m so out of touch with culture that my attempts to make pop culture references are never going to go well. Some guys that seem to be very popular with the ladies these days in pro wrestling include Randy Orton (60ish), John Cena (60ish), Batista (50s, though I’m not sure why), John Morrison (probably the highest scorer I can think of, 70s), Dolph Ziggler (50s, maybe 60s), AJ Styles (50s, maybe 60s as girls I know seem to love him). But primarily, sex appeal applies mostly for women in terms of generating popularity rather than for men.

Menace: This is mostly important for men. In a world where you are fighting to ultimately be the champion of wrestling, a title that means you are the best at fighting, looking like you are capable of beating everyone can go a long way towards having people truly believe you can beat everyone. Which is where menace comes in. Whether you have the cold, dead eyes of a serial killer, a wild Samoan savage, a crazy bounty huner, an escaped convict, a mystical undead zombie undertaker or a bizarre dentist… something they all have in common is that you kinda have to be more than a bit scary to pull off the idea in a vaguely serious way. This is another stat where it can pay dividends to aim a little high with it as it can often be difficult to see how menacing someone is with a lame indy gimmick. Take Umaga for example… he was obviously intimidating but it wasn’t until he became Umaga that he scared the crap out of me. Aim high, and Fog Of War can hide the specifics until much later. Size also plays a large part in this stat, so the bigger someone is the higher I’d set their Menace stat by default… with smaller guys probably having something of a cap unless they have made themselves truly uniquely scary somehow. This isn’t necessarily gospel, but following the guidelines here will add value to big guys, who often seem to take a bit of a beating in TEW due to their limits on other things such as top row skills and fairly low stamina.

Small: Cap of about 20 menace.
Lightweight: Cap of about 40 menace
Middleweight: Cap of about 60 menace
Light Heavyweight: Minimum of about 20 menace (250 pound men are a bit scary), cap of about 80 menace.
Heavyweight: Minimum of 40, no cap.
Big Heavyweight: Minimum of 60, no cap.
Super Heavyweight: Minimum of 60, as by now these guys are often getting fatter rather than scarier. No cap.
Giant: Minimum of 80, no cap. Only a fool would pick a fight with a guy this big, most of the people in this range are likely to be close to 100.

Following that kind of scale should lead to an increased value on the menace stat and make it more obvious why big men can get pushed so easily. Combined with Brute gimmicks and good charisma they can be pushed quickly as credible threats and gain a lot of popularity… and it’s this ability to gain popularity and feed it to others that can make big men so valuable. If you under-rate the big men in this stat you take away their key method of success in TEW. Similarly, if you over-rate the smaller guys you give the little guys who have so many other advantages yet another one. This stat is one that generally stays static after creation (at least until Time Decline), so don’t hesitate to set it a bit high on the high size. Women are generally pretty small compared to men too, so this scale should work for them.

Star Quality: Last but not least in this section is a stat that is universaly helpful. Quite simply, the innate look of being a star. Don’t confuse this with recognising someone who is already a star because it is NOT that. There is a certain intangible quality that some people have, whether it be in their body language or their look. They just shout out to the world that they are a star, they are important, they are talented or something like that. The Rock is pretty much a perfect example of Star Quality. He was good looking, he was charismatic (both different stats) but what he had was a certain swagger, poise and charm that made him stand out from everyone else. You put him in a line-up with almost anyone else and ask people to pick out a star, and even people who don’t know him would single him out. You put Mick Foley in that same line up and he wouldn’t even get a second look. Mick Foley is popular and a highly successful star in his own right several times over, but Star Quality isn’t something he has a lot of. He became a a star despite lacking Star Quality and the poor guy gets this argument used on him every time I make this point. This stat CAN go hand in hand with high sex appeal, menace or charisma but it is generally something unique to a person. Hulk Hogan had it in spades though has lost some since his peak (I’d still sit him in the 70s for Star Quality now though, more than Mick Foley ever had). The Ultimate Warrior was packed to the gills with it. The Rock has it. Stone Cold had a lot of it, but not as much as anyone else mentioned so far (I’d set him in high 80s/low 90s even at his peak). John Cena has a lot of it but not as much as Austn (I’d go with high 80s). Batista oozed Star Quality too, one of the best for Camera skills in recent times with high 90s here. In terms of Divas, Trish had huge Star Quality… there was just a presence with her that wasn’t just her boobs looking you in the face, there was more. The current crop of gals wish they had what she had but most of them are simply attractive but with nothing to say “I’m a megastar” about them. Which is kinda why the Divas get overlooked a lot… there is some talented girls there, but they don’t have star quality the same way that some of the Attitude Era girls did. Tamina Snuka? Eve? The Bella Twins? Rosa Mendez? Mediocre star quality… though the Bellas might be a little better off in that regard than the others. As for the effect of the stat… it adds a little to everything a worker is part of, so while you might not see any obvious effects the little extra boosts you get will slowly add 0.1 popularity here and there. After a while it all adds up. At 100 I think this stat adds about 5 points to your contribution to a segment AND it helps you to shift a lot of merchandise, which is profit for your company.

CAMERA SKILLS NOTES: If you are ever stuck with a choice of a C+ grade wrestler with C- star quality VS a C- grade wrestler with A star quality, ALWAYS pick the latter. They will make you more money and there’s always a chance they will learn to get better in the ring too. Short term the first guy might give you better results, but long term the other guy will win out even if he needs some short term protecting. Using Camera skills well can add significantly to a match and those bonuses can be worth more than the extra top row boost. Given that the star quality bonus is applied AFTER the rest of the match grade is worked out, it’s a free boost. Anyone of any gender or size can have star quality, which is seen all the way through the Cornellverse. But a combination of Star Quality, Menace, Charisma and a Brute gimmick is a license to print popularity and make stars. You don’t even need to be talented, it’s simply the perfect storm of attributes that can create an amazing aura around a worker and that is why it is one of the staples of wrestling and the reason Vince McMahon hires big guys and always will.

………….

On to Entertainment skills since I’m finding myself talking about Charisma already. Even so, I’m going to address it last here as it’s the hardest to define.

Microphone Skills: Put simply, this is a worker’s ability to talk and nothing else. If you were to put this guy on the radio to deliver a promo, this is all you’d rate him on. It’s his verbal abilities and nothing else. And generally it’s fairly easy to get a handle on how good someone is here, though there are a lot of different promo styles. The Rock is fast talking and often funny guy who at his peak could have tens of thousands of people singing along with his every word… that’s near perfect Mic Skills. He’s lost a few steps there by being away from a live crowd for so long, but he’s still golden. John Cena is also great at controlling a crowd with his words, though his character isn’t the best kind of character (a gimmick problem) to let him do so. I’d put his mic skills in the high 80s or low 90s for that reason. Steve Austin was another great promo guy, someone who could be relied on to get the crowd excited with every word he said. And one of my favourite promo men of all time… Jake “The Snake” Roberts. By golly, when he talked, you listened and you got excited to see what he was going to do next, putting him in the 90s (though substance abuse got in the way of that a lot). Raven is another amazing promo, someone who truly deserves to be sitting around the 90 mark even to this day. Bobby Heenan, perhaps the greatest manager of all time was always amazing with a microphone. Ric Flair could talk thousands of people into an arena too. Even Hulk Hogan would be in the low 80s for this, though his main strengths lie more in charisma. CM Punk and Paul Heyman should sit in the high 80s/low 90s each too as when they talk, EVERYONE listens and cares. Other guys I’d put around the 80 mark would include Bully Ray (he cuts money promos), Sting, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley (probably high 80s), Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler and probably Jim Ross. A lot of the WWE and TNA uppercarders would fall around the 70 mark these days, partly due to not being given the free reign to be allowed to develop themselves on the microphone, which is something that hurts both companies in the long term. You can also do this in-game now, by scripting promos to avoid a disaster but also stifling development of your workers. A little side note… perhaps the most under-rated mic guy in pro wrestling is “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. That guy could sell snow to an eskimo and still get money off them to call for a lift home, he’s someone I’d rate very highly in this stat.

EXTRA: From D-Lyrium, who pointed out thst I’d forgotten to mention describe in better detail what would go into this. Excellent work from him.

Quote:
Something I see in loads of mods, which always annoys me, is anyone who isn't American or William Regal being SLATED for mic skills, almost automatically. It'll probably happen less these days because of the likes of Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre doing well in the WWE, but a few years ago practically every mod was giving guys like Nigel McGuinness a D. D?! McGuiness was GOLD on the microphone. So much so he went into commentary when he retired. Magnus is too to a lesser extent. Also, you don't have to speak English to be good on the microphone (Hiro Tenzan), though obviously it's much harder to judge if you don't speak their language.

Mic Skills should be about the confidence and smoothness with which they talk, not just the pitch of their voice or their accent.

Kurt Angle, for instance, has one of the more annoying voices in pro wrestling for me personally (which actually HELPS when he's a heel, same with Heyman), but nobody can deny the guy is great on the microphone.

Tell-tale signs of bad microphone skills are constant "umm" and "er" and pauses while they think of stuff to say or remember the script, mumbling, etc.
Constant freudian slips (accidentally putting words - often embarrassingly - into sentences where they don't belong at all), catachreses (mixed metaphors and misuse of words to an extent that the phrase no longer makes sense) and malapropisms (using a similar - but contextually incorrect - word instead of the one you meant to use, often giving the phrase a vastly different meaning) are also generally signs that a worker doesn't deserve top grades. Scott Steiner is king of all of those things BUT he doesn't deserve too low a grade (I'd go with a C) because his actual delivery is very good, and when he doesn't screw up, he's capable of good promos.

Acting: Generally speaking, this is going to be a stat that is the lowest of the Entertainment group for most wrestlers. Wrestlers can generally play their own character but they are not trained actors, which can generally be evidenced by how badly their movies do. Hulk Hogan is a terrible actor (probably as low as the 50s or maybe 60s) compared to his charisma and mic skills (80s). Acting is about all the little non-verbal things that people can do, the subtleties that communicate something that words aren’t. It might be a little expression, a look or a tic of some sort… just those little things that you might not even notice but that sell the character to you in the context of what is going on. Given that wrestling is closer to pantomime than movie acting, this stat is something that most wrestlers aren’t as good at since they are looking to scale things up rather than be subtle. There aren’t many wrestlers now that I’d give more than an 80 to in this stat, but one of them would be The Rock, who has proven he is better than your average. Another would be The Undertaker… admittedly he doesn’t do anything except be Undertaker, but he has so many little things he can do that he is one of the best actors in pro wrestling. I’m genuinely struggling to thing of many more people I’d give a high acting score to… so with that in mind, time to move on to…

Charisma: We’ve covered verbal and non-verbal already… we’ve covered looks which can be qorked out on a quick first impression… what is left? It’s that intangible something, something that keeps drawing you back to a worker no matter what they do. It’s not the moves they do, it’s not the way they look, it’s not what they say… it’s something unique to a worker that makes you react to them. Some people have a built in charisma like The Rock. Some people have a sort of air of domainance, of alpha-ness (to borrow from Comradebot’s diaries) that make them seem like the top of the foodchain, like The Undertaker. Some people just have that ability to connect with people immediately and deeply. Whatever it is that makes you love someone, that is their charisma. Maybe you see something or yourself in a wrestler, maybe you hate them immediately because they remind you of someone you hate. It can be all of those things or none of them. What it boils down to is a worker’s innate ability to connect with people on some level and make them care enough about them to want to see more of them. Most of the biggest stars in wrestling history are the most charismatic guys the industry has, because charisma is what ultimately makes people want to cheer them, and that’s what sells tickets and puts asses in seats. I honestly don’t think this stat is valued highly enough in TEW but there is a bonus for every segment because of it and that in itself is enough to add fractions of popularity points regularly for a worker and to help them become a star. A story to illustrate this… the firs time I saw Shawn Michaels was when he made his entrance into the second Royal Rumble he won… from the moment I saw him, I knew I wanted him to win. I knew nothing about him, I was immediately hooked by his charisma (which I’d rate in the low 90s in TEW, though I may be a little biased here) and wanted to see more. The same happened for Elijah Burke/D’Angelo Dinero, I was simply hooked when I saw him. For a lot of people they have a similar story about Bret Hart or Randy Savage or Hulk Hogan. I had the same feeling for Rick Rude too, showing from an early age that I’d grow up to be cynical and want the bad guys to win because they were more interesting. I had the same feeling about Raven when I first saw him too. All extremely charismatic guys that people just loved or hated from the first they saw them. If you have charisma, it’s almost impossible to get X-Pac heat... people simply care too much to ever stop caring, and that’s why there will always be a Legends Circuit for veterans and why there will always be nostalgia for the good old days. Because once people connect with that charisma, it’s hard to move. It can be learned over time too though… Daniel Bryan has gone from a guy who struggled to connect despite his talents while he was in early ROH to a guy who can now have a PPV audience chanting “Yes” or “No” for a few minutes in the middle of a 2/3 Falls match with Sheamus (the moment at Extreme Rules 2012 when I knew he had truly made it). It’s hard to grade this stat but the more people seem to care about someone beyond their simple wrestling life, the more that charisma I’d say that someone has.

ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: I know I’ve used less examples here, but it’s a hard section to categorise. One guy that I don’t think gets a lot of praise in this section any more is Mr Anderson in TNA. He can talk, he can hook people in and he is actually pretty good at acting for a wrestler, one of the better ones. His problem has always been that he’s not actually good at being a heel or a face, he’s always just played the same character regardless of alignment. But back to the main topic here… these stats are going to be highly valued in any Entertainment based company and when combined with Camera Skills can make a star despite mediocre other skills. As mentioned above though, both the WWE and TNA have spent a lot of time scripting what people do which limits how much development workers have had in these stats for a while. TNA is giving people more free reign (reportedly mostly bulletpoints) which has coincided with them having a noticably improved on-screen product most of the time as guys like Daniels, Aries, Roode, Storm, Bully and others can cut loose. Meanwhile, the WWE continues to suffer from over-scripting and guys like Ryback (who I’ve heard cut some fun promos before the Ryback gimmick as Skip Sheffield) suffer from never learning how to control a crowd by themselves. A real world mod should reflect these issues in modern wrestling by having gaps at the top of these stats, which will in turn create more value for the guys who do know what they are doing. CM Punk becomes an incredible worker to have when you have his Entertainment, Performance and Top Row skills together in one worker… though he does lack in Star Quality a bit, I’d only rate him in the low/mid 70s there despite him being one of my favourites in the world.


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Up next is the last major section… Physical skills. I want to preface this by saying that I’d rather a mod slightly over-rated workers in this section than under-rated them. A lot of the stats here are very static, though there is a fair bit of growth in the early years of a worker’s career and Stamain in particular will keep rising simply by wrestling a lot of matches, often ending up far above it’s actual cap as a result. I’ve talked about some of these statsin more detail elsewhere but here is a better look at them for modding purposes.

Resilience: The easiest one of the group, this is basically your injury prone-ness. As a guideline I’d suggest setting this somewhere around the 80 mark for most people unless you have reason to believe that they are never going to get injured or they are going to get injured fairly often. Someone like a Kevin Nash would have fairly low resilience in his career given the number of injuries he gets, Rey Mysterio suffers from low resilience, Sin Cara seems to have a touch of it too, as would Mark Henry. Loosely speaking, if someone is picking up a lot of injuries even while working in very low Match Intensity/Match Danger type companies, then they have low resilience. It would take a lot to put someone below 50 here, but this is another stat that goes down with Time Decline so a lot of veterans who once had high Resilience will now have lost a lot of that. Undertaker used to be very high here, but now he’d be very low given how long he HAS to take off after matches to recover. This is also a stat that a lot of the model type WWE Divas would be fairly low in, which mixes badly with low safety and basics to create quite a lot of injuries for them. Try not to penalise workers who take sick bumps a lot OR work ina high Match Danger type environment. Being injured because of those is to be expected, that’s why they are dangerous in the first place!

Toughness: Sister to Resilience, this is about being able to deal with the punishing schedule of being a wrestler. When you get emails complaining about a worker needing to rest up a bit, that’s because they are working more than their Toughness can let them handle. Low Toughness can lead to injuries too, as wear and tear on the body causes them to underperform in the ring and make the kinds of mistakes that can cause them to hurt themselves to the point that they HAVE to take a break rather than just wanting one. This also affects the rate at which a worker’s physical condition will drop when wrestling (head, arms, legs, body) so having high toughness will ensure a longer career for a worker. This is also the key to working matches with high Match Intensity, which is the primary attribute in the complaint emails about needing to rest up. Each match adds to the fatigue levels, which is why whenever you are plotting a tournament you should look at the toughness levels of the workers involved. The more matches you make them wrestle (not so much the length of them) the more likely they are to get fatigued by the last one, which will often be the main event of the night and a big chunk of your show rating. So watch out for that. Fatigue also is lowered from a match if it’s a tag team match (as is wear and tear) so if you want to extend the career of someone with low Toughness, putting them into situations where they can be protected more could give you many extra years with them. Broadly speaking, this is a key attribute for most top Japanese performers to have in order to deal with the higher Match Intensity and greater number of matches. The dojo system out there in real life generally weeds out the low Toughness guys, but if you are making a mod you should generally be giving the biggest names out there high levels of toughness so that they can have the careers they are known for. In Japan, 70-80 would be a strong baseline for a lot of the major guys with the particularly top guys having even more. In North America, anyone able to get away with the WWE schedule for a long period of time without needing a break would have maybe a 60 for this. Low Toughnes is part of the reason a lot of people need breaks or get worn down to the point of injury in the first place… and as with many stat, Time Decline can drag this down over time. Undertaker used to be super tough but he has lost some of that over the years because ot Time Decline.

Stamina: Pretty simple here, it’s about how long a worker can keep wrestling in a match before it starts to really hurt the match rating. Sadly I don’t have an exact scale to hand for correlating match lengths to stamina values, but if you think someone could pull of a 60 minute match then you should probably be giving them 90+ stamina. There aren’t many people around these days who could do that so there shouldn’t be many people hitting those height. To be fair though, those match types are going to be very rare so most people don’t need Stamina that high. John Cena is reportedly always in great shape and could probably get close on any given night. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are probably the same. AJ Styles always seems capable of doing so, and Kurt Angle could probably give him a good run for his money too. I don’t know about Samoa Joe any more but certainly in the past he’s done it so he’d have high levels of stamina. Don’t be afraid to over-rate this skill a bit, the game is also going to push people up a lot if they are wrestling often so this one can be a bit over-rated. Just being in the ring a lot will improve your ring-shape a lot, so try not to over-rate youngsters here just because they can run a long distance. Bumping a lot will drain you faster and when you are young that’s hard to handle. Smart use of holds and so on can all add to a worker’s stamina rating too, so it’s not quite a linear scale. And as a fairly obvious rule, big guys tend to suffer from lower stamina than smaller guys… just moving more weight around will drain you faster but guys like Kane, Big Show and Undertaker have all proven themselves in fairly long matches in the past so don’t sell them short either.

Power: Not too surprising here, it’s all about raw strength here. Power is a helpful part of any match and Adam has said in the past that a high power stat will help a match rating thanks to things like power spots and the like, though it’s not something that shows up in the dirtsheet. This is a stat that will grow as youngsters get into better wrestling shape and will decline in Time Decline as physical skills fade with age. For the most part, the bigger you are the stronger you are likely to be but there are always exceptions and Vince McMahon has always loved to push those guys. John Cena is freak level strong like Ant-Man in the Cornellverse, able to lift 400+ pounders, which is 90+ level strength right there. Eric Young in TNA is a guy who is stupidly strong to, he’s someone who should have a high 80s Power though you’d generally not notice it as he doesn’t use it much. Ryback, Mark Henry and Big Show are good example of guys at or close to 100 Power with guys like Hogan, Andre, Ultimate Warrior and so on being historical examples of extremely powerful guys. Again, slightly over-rating here isn’t the end of the world but your typical indy guy while strong for a guy his size, isn’t likely to cross beyond the 50 Power mark.

Athleticism: Now this is a tough stat to work out! This is the all round athletic nature of a particular person, taking into account everything that this could make up. Strength, Stamina, Flexibility, Agility, Co-ordination, Toughness, Speed… it’s pretty much a worker’s command of their physical self. Generally speaking when I’m trying to work this out I look at the stats I listed above, rate them out of 20 and then add them up. It’s a kinda rough process and figure but there are very few people who are ever going to reach 100 that way, which leaves a fairly good level for this stat. For example, The Great Khali pretty much only has Strenght out of those and some toughness, giving him a score probablyin the 30s overall. Brock Lesnar is a beast in a lot of these stats, giving him a score very close to 100, which seems reasonable given that he is truly a freak athlete. A lot of modern wrestlers actually have a very good score in Athleticism, which is a good thing for this era and can reflect well on the industry as a whole. This particular attribute plays a role in governing stat and popularity caps, so avoid setting this too low if you can and you should find that people have a better chance of developing into a star.

PHYSICAL SKILLS NOTES: I just want to note a difference between eras for these skills. In the past workers were probably tougher and more resilient than their modern counterparts, in part because of kayfabe where you not only had to seem tough on screen but had to BE tough in real life. It’s part of the reason that big guys were more prominent too, as the air of raw Menace that bigger guys have added to the kayfabe illusion. With kayfabe being non-existent now you get a different kind of athlete coming in, with guys who may not be as big or tough getting more chances to succeed. This leads to smaller guys and better athletes in general who can physically do more, leading to more styles being used too. There may be less menacing people in pro wrestling now than their used to be, but there is probably a greater increase in better athletes, star quality and sex appeal which can be used to make a different kind of star. It makes monster pushes harder and rarer to do, which combined with there being no territory system to move around when you lose in an area, may also be why monsters are rarer now and hard to maintain a true killer heel aura. I seem to have wandered away from physical skills a bit, but I hope this helps to understand why some things happen in real life and what to do in terms of putting a mod together.

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Announcing: A skill that should be 0 for anyone unless they are going to more or less be treated as a lead voice in the announce booth. It can be hard to work out how high to set this for people and I’ve been trying to work out the best way to say it. I would set this at a level where the announcer’s commentary is actively adding something to the match that is unfolding in the ring. I’d think of it purely in terms of match ratings… if the commentary provides a bonus then it must be better than the match quality itself (in-ring performance combined with crowd reaction) or if the commentary is hurting the match then it must be worse. An announcer’s rating should then be set accordingly. This pre-supposes an ability to rate how good a match is, which can be tricky but I think highlights the ability of an announcer. Jim Ross is the greatest wrestling announcer I know (screw Gordon Solie ) and there are basically no matches that don’t sound at least as good or better with Jim Ross commentating, which to me makes him very close to a 100 for announcing. Michael Cole, for all the internet heat towards him, has grown into the role of a pretty good announcer now to the point that he can make some matches a bit better and not hurt the top maches. With the WWE being lucky to hit 90 rated matches, I’d say that puts Michael Cole probably somewhere in the mid 70s range in terms of Announcing. Mike Tenay over in TNA (I swear they named the company after him ) is probably a similar level to Michael Cole and the new guy there Todd Kennely is pretty good too, probably in the low 60s with lots of room to improve as he gets more experience. I’ve always liked Josh Matthews and Matt Striker as announcers though they are probably also in the 60s range. Most of the other people on the announce teams are colour commentators so don’t NEED an announcer score at all since they’ll be rated on their charisma instead. I know the WWE has some lower level announcers too, but I know nothing about them in terms of being able to rate them. Nor do I know about ROH announcers. Broadly speaking, most announcers these days don’t have enough practise to be awesome at it so indy level announcers aren’t going to be very good unless they have a background in that sort of thing outside of wrestling that they can build on.

Refereeing: Most people don’t know what a good referee is, but they can tell you what a bad one is. A referee can be responsible for everything from pacing matches, helping workers communicate in the ring, counting in a way that adds to drama, selling moves (Charles Robinson is great at wincing when people get hit hard), being in the right place to not get in the way of the action, being involved in some spots (often missing heels cheating), ref bumping and generally being able to help with the drama of a match in many little ways that can go completely un-noticed by fans. Referees aren’t MEANT to get over, they’re meant to help the guys who put asses in seats get over. The Hebner Dynasty of referees are all pretty damn good referees but I think the best referee in wrestlig for a whlie has been Charles Robinson, who can pretty much do everything that I mentioned above. Nick Patrick is another great referee who should be very highly rated for being able to do his job, though I don’t think he’s as good as Charles is. TNA referees not named Hebner are generally pretty good too and should be getting some scores in the 60s/70s. The big companies have referees who know how to do their jobs so there are no issues there, and I don’t know enough about indy referees to be able to comment on how good they are. One thing I’ve seen happen in a lot of mods is a tendency to rate some wrestlers on refereeing if they’ve ever special referee’d a match… there’s no need for that. Special referees will simply be factored on their overness in terms of being useful in adding to a match, so their refereeing skill is likely to be ignored anyways. The only time it might be worth adding is if you think a wrestler will become a referee when they retire (it does happen), but for the most part this will be for lesser stars that the fans won’t really care enough about for the WWE/TNA to ever want to use as a personality. Scott Armstrong and Guido Maritato are examples of former wrestlers turned referees, neither of which were popular enough or charismatic enough to really become personalities like a Bret Hart, Mick Foley or William Regal.

………..

The last thing I want to add here is Fog Of War levels. It’s a new feature for TEW13 and one that I think real world modders and players should both make a good use of. But it’s not easy to know where to set the levels in order to get a good balance. Too low and you can’t see things that may already be obvious… too high and you defeat the point of the feature… and worse, if people don’t like the way your mod is playing or don’t trust your opinions (we all vary wildly on opinions about stats) then they might just ignore this feature entirely due to it. But in reality, Fog Of War is a feature that players and modders should LOVE! For example, none of us really know much about the low level indy scene and getting those stats accurate is almost impossible. But as long as you can get a few basics about right, it should be easy to set those key stats to the right level and then get the rest roughly right. Fog of War then hides the stats and arguments about the exact nature of stats should more or less become obsolete. After a few years of game time workers can have evolved so much from their starting point that eventually the entire world feels more natural, with you knowing the kinds of things you should know and the modder not having to feel the pressure of getting every stat for every local guy accurate down to 1 point. As long as the grades are showing up about right, the mod should be doing great things and a reference in a bio to any particularly useful stats a worker has adds value to bio writing too.

With that in mind, here is a rough guide to how I’ve set scouting levels in the CV97 mod. Scouting levels increase the more someone is used in the relevant capacity, so this is a very rough guide.

In-Ring
0 gained while injured/inactive
+1 for every 2.5 years active in the ring but not on TV/PPV
+1 for every 1.5 years active in ring and featured in a cult level company (1 year if a touring company)
+ 1 for every 1 year active in ring and featured in a National+ level company (0.75 years if a touring company)

That should lead to guys slogging through the indy scene taking 20 years to max out their level, while someone on the grand stage of the WWE should rise much faster. All you really need to calculate this is a debut date and a date to work out how long they’ve been with a major company, which should be easy enough to find. This SHOULD also mean that very few people under 30 will have their full stats revealed, which I think it a good balance to have. If someone is injured or otherwise not being used in the ring then they shouldn’t be gaining anything. For Japanese touring companies where they wrestle several matches per week, this should become uncovered much faster.

Entertainment
0 while injured/inactive
+1 for every 2 years used fairly regularly in angles but not on TV/PPV
+1 for every 1 years used fairly regularly in angles in a cult level company
+1 for every 0.75 years used fairly regularly in angles in a National+ company
(+1 for every 3 levels gained In-Ring)

“Fairly regularly” is deliberately a bit vague but I’d say that if someone is doing something that involves their Entertainment skills at least once every 2 weeks then they are making good progress here. In the WWE, where angles are king, that means this type of Fog is going to be lifted pretty quickly but the workers do have to actually be used. The final rule in brackets is mostly one I used in Japan, where angles are fairly limited. It’s designed partly to highlight that no matter what style of company you are in, your charisma will eventually become obvious to all simply by being exposed to you over a period of time. But for the most part, in Japan you’d be more likely to know a worker’s in-ring skills over their entertainment skills, while the opposite is true in somewhere like the WWE. With this in mind, having an indy scene set up with varying types of companies is always going to be good, as it will not only help develop workers in a range of skills but will also help to lift their fog leves faster and allow you to know how good or bad they truly are.

Gimmick
0 while injured/inactive
+1 for every 2 years active anywhere that uses gimmicks (3 years for non-gimmicked companies) but not on TV/PPV
+1 for every 1.5 years active anywhere that uses gimmicks at cult level (2 years for non-gimmicked companies)
+1 for every 1 years active anywhere that uses gimmicks at National+ level (1.5 years for non-gimmicked companies)

This should raise fairly quickly for wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike. If they are playing a character it should uncover their skills fairly quickly, if not then it shoud still happen but fairly slowly as you don’t get to see the as much evidence though you would still be able to make guesses at what they’d be good at.

Announcing and Refereeing
0 while inactive.
+1 for every 2 years active but not on TV/PPV
+1 for every 1.5 years active at cult level
+1 for every 1 year active at National+ level

Fairly straight line here and it doesn’t matter what kind of company you are in either as long as you are being used on the announce team or as a referee. Announcing DOES apply to colour commentators, so as long as they are on the announce team they should gain in scouting level even if they have 0 skill there.

…………

If someone falls somewhere between two levels then you’re going to have to make a judgement call. Generally speaking, if it’s a low level (5 or lower) then I’d round them up to the next one and if it’s a higher level (7+) I’d round them down. Good use of this feature should mean that people are desperate to find out if a worker has hit their caps, or are trying to develop a worker in an area without necessarily quite knowing what is going on. Veterans become more valuable because you know what you’re going to get with them, while unproven commodities become more risky as you don’t know for sure what you are going to get with them. It should add to the challenge of booking, perhaps pushing you to rely on your established stars more than you might want to (hello there WWE!) or give you the freedom to try something new if you are in the position to do so (hello there TNA!) because your situation is more stable. All in all, if a mod is balanced well and stats are smartly done throughout then you can use Fog of War to greatly deepen the experience of playing the game. It becomes less of a case of being an omnipotent, all knowing wrestling god with every piece of information at his fingertips and more a case of having to do what happens in real life… you’ve got to take risks on talents, you’ve got to keep an eye on how successful someone is being and when it comes to putting good matches together, you’ve got to know the strengths and weaknesses of your roster in order to make the most out of it. With good mod balance, this SHOULD be quite tricky as not every match you make is going to be perfect… if you pair up people with the same weaknesses you might get a terrible match, but put them in with the right person who can cover those weaknesses and you could have some awesome matches with those same people. And that is part of the finesse of mod making. Get the balance right and you can see why certain things happen in the real world (like, how monster heels are so tough to book now, or why Brock Lesnar vs Triple H was a good idea for the WWE to book even if it hasn’t gotten much love) and that is what the game should be able to highlight. A perfect mod should translate real world issues into the game… and as players, we should be able to learn to book smartly enough to take advantage of what we have and make the most of it.

My next entry is going to be all about gimmick categories (I left them out here deliberately), assigning gimmick and making contracts. This is where you can create a moment in time more than any other section and something that can be used now to simulate things that can be overlooked.

Last edited by Derek B : 06-04-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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CONTRACT AND GIMMICKS

This section is going to deal with contracts, gimmick ratings and the gimmick file. This is all about tailoring your scenario to match up with reality, and if done right will help to bring added authenticity to the way your mod plays out. One thing I’ll say now is that the idea I’ve got for a gimmick file isn’t essential, but I think if all mods were to work together and use the same gimmick file across the board (or at least the same file per era) then it would be a huge boost for the modding community. So we’ll see how that goes when we get there First of all, contracts. Lets begin with contract types and when best to use them in-modding and in-game.

Written: A worker ONLY works for the company they are signed to and can only appear for other companies with permission from the company he has a written deal with (excepting Alliance Loans). In modding terms this is true of all WWE talent once they get to the main roster but does create an issue with some lower level talents on the main roster still working in NXT. It’s a little unfortunate, but in that case the workers who also appear with NXT will have to only be set to appear with the WWE, which may leave some unavoidable holes in the NXT roster. In most mods any company that is at National or higher will have their entire roster on written deals, with the exception of touring contracts or loans. In a real world mod now, that means that all of WWE’s talents are on a written deal and most of TNA’s uppercard and homegrown stars are too.

Pay Per Appearance: The standard contract type for all lower level companies and still regularly present in cult level companies too. Workers get paid for every show they appear on and are free to work for other companies too. There is a maximum number of contracts a worker can have in TEW which is usually 3 (plus loans), which is mostly a game balancing mechanism to ensure that smaller companies actually use a diverse range of indy talent rather than all trying to sign the same guys and having the same roster for all those companies. In TEW terms, I’d try to keep this limit when making a mod, so unless an indy guy is regularly on the roster of a company or is a champion there, I’d leave them out if it would push them over the 3 contracts deal. Most of TNA’s X-division and women are likely on PPA deals along with the guys they don’t often use on screen but who will be out sharpening their skills with other companies.

Exclusive PPA: This type of contract isn’t very common in North American wrestling but is (or maybe should be) more prevalent in Japan. With this type of contract a worker will get paid for each appearance they make BUT can only work for one company. If they then get a better offer elsewhere they are still free to leave (this is a PPA deal NOT a written) so this doesn’t offer much security for a company. That said, if a worker is loyal to a company then this is a great way to secure them to you for the long term, which is why this would be a valuable contract type in Japan, the ony area where Loyalty to a company should exist at all. It can also effectively be used in an area with one dominant company thast doesn’t want to share talent but also doesn’t want to pay them as much as a written deal (or can’t), such as with 21CW or RAW in the Cornellverse. Broadly speaking though, this contract type is very rare and is best used in Japan to keep loyal workers with you.

Developmental: Quite simple, this is a Written deal but in a Child Company. If someone hasn’t yet been called up to the main roster then this is where they should be. Remember to also set the “In Development…” field to something too, I recommend “Develop Overall Skills” unless there is a very strong reason to limit them to something less.

Touring: For use ONLY with Touring Companies. A worker will be on a PPA deal that last until the end of the company’s next tour (or less if specified via other contract details) at which point it ends. Workers are generally happy to come back for another tour right away after this contract type ends, so unlike all of the above contract types where you’d have to wait a while (usually at least 6 months though a morale effect about being fired can be a factor if their deal didn’t naturally expire), a touring deal will allow you to re-sign them quickly (except for Freelancers). A huge benefit of this type of deal is that things like Recent Fortune can be wiped out between tours, so you can use tours to bring in low level talents to job a LOT and help to boost your more regular stars. The short term nature also means that you can cycle people in and out of your roster, which can be great for running various themed events on tours with certain types of talent.

Loans: You can’t pre-set this via the editor but in-game this is a great way to bring in talent for a short period of time. These contracts are generally a way to add some names to your own roster but you can send people out to gain experience too, which can be helpful for your rookies and veterans if they would learn something. I’m 99% sure that anyone you get on loan comes with Creative Control so you can’t just bring in people to do the job, unless they happen to be a really nice guy about it. This type of deal can be worked out via working agreements and Alliance Loans, with each having their own limitations on the length of the loan and how often you can use the same workers.

………..

Hopefully that is fairly simple. TNA’s top guys are all on written deals these days and can be loaned out from time to time. Angle, Hardy, Team 3D, Samoa Joe, Roode, Storm, Aries, Magnus, Morgan, Anderson, Sting, Hogan, Tenay, Taz, Dixie Carter (as owner)… all of them should be on written deals. The rest of the roster (unless I’ve forgotten anyone obvious!) should be on PPA deals, with the exception of their development talents in OVW who should be on development deals. Running down the contract screen in the editor there are a few simple options to go through…

Non-Compete: It’s pretty much standard in wrestling now to have a Non-Compete for all written/development deals. Put this to Yes if adding those types of contracts.
Status: Should be whatever the default is for a worker, which will then look at their active roles to decide their actual push. Make sure to set these right as there can be in-game issues if you make an error here.
Expires In: Unless you know the exact date of a conract expiry (highly unlikely) then this should be left at Random.
Years Service: Simply how long a worker has been continuously associated with a company. If they left for a little while for some reason, I’d ignore it and say they were with the company the entire time. This has a small effect on whether a worker will re-sign with a company, with more mercenary types being more likely to leave after a long time and loyal types being more likely to stay. Only a small effect though.
Wage: The game auto-calculates a basic wage when the game starts based on popularity and skills of a worker involved. This figure is their base rate of pay before other perks and bonuses (merchandise, PPV bonus, etc). The game’s financial system has been balanced up more tightly in TEW13 than in the past, so unless you want to alter that balance for some reason then you should leave this blank. This is NOT the same as their real world pay, so don’t put in real numbers here as it isn’t scaled the same way in TEW and you will alter the balance forever, likely for the worse. For a PPA deal this is their amount per show, for a written deal this is their amount per month.
Downside: As above with Wage, don’t enter a number here without a good reason. This is the minimum a mount of money a worker can make in a month and should only ever be applied to PPA type deals. If they haven’t earned this much by the end of the month through their appearance then you will automatically pay the difference to meet this level. Workers now expect downsides on their deals as a way to encourage people to only sign as many people as they actually use, with the amount generally being very close to their PPA amounts. In the past people used to sign lots of people bu not give them a downside, effectively tying up a lot of workers in contracts that were bad for them. Now they expect to get paid and players will (hopefully) only sign as many people as they need and exercise better budget control.

………….

I’m going to cover the clauses next (skipping the middle section of the contract screen til later) as they are mostly new additions and can be easy to overuse in the modding section or in-game. So here are some tips and points on what to use, with the general rule of trying to stick to using less if you aren’t sure always being a good one to keep in mind. 99% of people will have no extras here, they’re generally only for demanding superstars or those who took some extra persuasion to make the jump.

Creative Control: This will give a creative veto to the person in question, allowing them to outright block any plans they don’t like the sound of. Basically, any time you get a message about someone complaining about the booking of a match, this will upgrade that from a complaint to a rejection of the booking. You can do things to get around it, but if they still aren’t happy then your booking plans can be ruined. Most players HATE to give this out to people (for good reason) but if given to a good guy who doesn’t complain much, adding this to their contract negotiation can be the difference between them staying loyal to their home company and jumping ship. But be wary… once you start giving this out then other people at a similar level will start to demand it (or lots more money to make up for not getting it) too, which can lead to a long term spiralling of costs and promises. This is basically what happened in WCW, with workers being given so muhc creative power and money that the locker-room turned bad and creative was often unable to get anything good done as no-one wanted to lose. In a current day mod I’d only give this to owners (who tend to act as if they have it anyway), Triple H, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Other people like Cena, Orton and Punk may have a lot of pull but I don’t believe any of them has the power to just outright refuse if they wanted to.

Hiring Veto: This gives the power to a worker to block you from hiring people (but not extending a contract). Basically, if someone doesn’t like someone and you’ve given them this then they will stop you from doing so. It’s hard to get to the top of the wrestling world without making a few enemies along the way, so if you are trying to hire a controversial star with some big name enemies that you also like… well, you might not want to do this. The Cornellverse doesn’t really have a lot of people hating each other enough for this and Company Owners already behave as if they have this regardless of their contract so you don’t even need to add it. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t own a company who would have this, though a case could be made for any McMahon-Helmsley type who COULD become owner having this. And it’s possible Hulk Hogan would have this in TNA, though I’m speculating about that which probably means he doesn’t.

Wage Matching: This cost WCW a lot of money in the 90s. This clause comes from Scott Hall jumping from WWF to WCW, adding the stipulation to his contract that he would be paid at least as much as anyone else in the company in future negotiations (possibly excepting Hulk Hogan at the time). Kevin Nash came along shortly afterwards (after Hall convinced him) and got paid more, thus ensuring Hall did too. This happened a lot as WCW started spending more and more money, leading to some highly overpaid stars. In TEW this applies to everyone in the same role… so giving this to any active wrestler will see them matched with anyone who signs a better Basic Wage then them in future, regardles of card position. This is best given to the highest paid guy on your roster, as giving it to anyone lower down will result in your wage bill spiralling upwards fairly quickly. I don’t believe anyone in WWE or TNA would have this clause currently.

Roster Usage: This is a fairly limited clause that basically defines in no uncertain terms wha they’ll be doing. This is only really helpful if you want to permanently use someone outside of where they might normally be used, but should pretty much be ignored otherwise as you can just use them in a different role anyways. As long as people are being paid, they don’t tend to care much about how.

Intended Role: Much more important than Roster Usage, this is about how you intend to book a worker in future. For the most part this should be left blank but smart usage here can help to manage morale of workers and to encourage workers to sign with you in the first place for the bigger perks. I’ll go through each of these individually, though most people in WWE and TNA shouldn’t have any of them as these perks are most likely to only be given to a worker when they are in demand, which isn’t as true now as it may have been on the territorial days when a worker would move from place to place depending on how much money they could make. An important note… the AI ignores these, which I have to admit makes me a little sad.

+ Icon: The worker expects to be on pretty much every show and does not expect to lose, being fairly intolerant of doing so. The likes of Hulk Hogan were given this when they jumped to WCW, along with several other clauses, which is what made him so influential backstage, The combination of becoming unhappy with losses due to this AND the creative control block he had meant that he’d be easily upset and expect to win. Very painful combination if you were the booker. There is no-one in current WWE who would have this set, though it does often feel like 2003 Triple H had this and that John Cena is being booked like this… but that’s just booking, I don’t believe that either one has ever had this or ever will.

+ Special Attraction: They don’t mind only appearing rarely. This is perfect for Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Triple H and The Rock (if you contracted him to WWE) now. Each of them are active wrestlers (to varying degrees) who only show up for rare appearances and are popular enough that they’d get really angry if you weren’t using them. A case could be made for Sting in TNA but he still wrestles enough and is regularly featured enough to simply be a semi-active wrestler, so I’d not give this to him.

+ Gatekeeper: … will rarely complain at losing to people at their level or above. There are a handful of guys in the WWE that get used in this role and if you think that they might need a little help being more open to taking defeats then you could add this to their contract. Personally, I don’t think it’s an essential add but Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio Jr, Big Show and Kane would all be good examples of people who fall into this role… always near the top but very rarely actually being pushed as the very top guy. They are also all veterans who are able to give back to guys on the way up, but this clause would be optional but could help players to develop new talent if you were to pass this out to people.

+ Passing The Torch: … will be happy with a limited schedule and putting over other workers. This is pretty much for very popular workers who are winding down their career, which doesn’t really cover anyone at the moment. People will more or less be helping to create a new generation of stars at their own expense and I can’t think of anyone in WWE or TNA who would fit this criteria.

+ Future Main Eventer: … will expect to be used heavily and not be losing very often to lower level workers. In modern times where there is no real competition to the WWE, and with TNA a distant second, this clause wouldn’t be worth either company to give out. This is the sort of thing that would only be given to a youngster/rising star in a bidding war for this signature as it is virtually a guarantee of a heavy push for the duration of the contract. In terms of booking, anyone with this would get a lot of wins early on and this is the sort of deal that Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar genuinely had when they signed with the WWF originally.

+ Backbone: … will expect to be used heavily but will be happy to put other people over quite a lot. Generally speaking, this is for talented people who are probably not really able to break out beyond the midcard for one reason or another. Working a lot will earn the worker lots of money but he can expect to be sitting in the midcard forever whlie doing so. This isn’t something that the WWE or TNA is likely to give to workers these days but is the kind of role that the likes of Arn Anderson played for most of his career. These days it’s the role that the lkes of Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella and that level of guys often finds themselves. But none of them would need to have this in their contract, as the WWE is always just going to use people however they want as there is no real competition to them to force them to do otherwise.

+ Blue Chipper: … will expect to be beating most workers who are at lower level than them. This is basically the kind of deal that a good prospect would expect, a guarantee that he’s going to look pretty good but not necessarily a guarantee of a push. Again, there is no need to add this to a contract in the current wrestling climate but this is probably the sort of offer The Rock had when he started with the WWF, looking good against low level guys like Chris Candido and beating jabronis like The Brooklyn Brawler.

+ Nostalgia Act: … will not mind only appearing very rarely and will be happy to put most other workers over. This is your basic WWE Legends deal. The workers in question don’t need to show up very often, they just get a PPA deal with a nice little downside and this clause. Works best if the workers in question are also set as Semi-Active Wrestlers in order to avoid having too many people pushed into the main pyramid of pushes, which could otherwise end up bumping some of the main roster guys further up or down than they should be.

+ Developing: … will expect to be used heavily so that they can work on their skills. Again, no need to give this to anyone but this would be used for youngsters who you have no plans to push in the short term but see potential in. It lets them know that you see potential in them but really… they’d be better off in development if you have it.

………

Push Control: This one is pretty self explanatory, this is the minimum level you intend to push a worker. The Auto-Push will take this into account by simply bumping people up the card accoridingly, which can have the knock on effect of causing workers to expect to be used more and get upset more easily if you don’t use them enough. It’s mostly a perk used in negotiations to guarantee that a worker will be used more often than they currently probably deserve and to guarantee that you aren’t just planning to sign someone to bury them down your roster by jobbing them out to everyone. I wouldn’t say that anyone in WWE or TNA should have this, though Brock Lesnar would be the top possibility if there was one.

Shows Control: This controls how many shows the worker will work for you, and is basically a way to implement the lighter schedule that some industry veterans get as they get older. There are 4 levels and they are pretty self explanatory. All shows means you’re available for everything. Except House shows means you have everything except House Shows, which would eliminate your ability to search for chemstry on house shows with that worker. Major TV and Above, means workers will only be available for “A” shows (RAW/Smackdown/Impact but not Superstars type shows or house shows) and PPVs/live events. PPV is for PPV events and other live events only (basically, anything you add on the Schedule Screen) as these are the biggest events a company runs. With the exception of some veterans running a lighter schedule (generally in-ring only, personalities are fine for most shows), this should be set to All Shows for almost everyone.

Bonus Type: This can be for TV and/or PPV and will give a worker extra money on top of their basic wage. Again, I don’t think there is anyone in TNA or WWE who would have this set as it’s just another financial incentive to help them pick their company over the rivals.

Bonus Amount: This is how much the bonus is as specified in Bonus Type. It’s a percentage of the amount of the basic wage and can be used to get people to sign with you. The higher you set this the bigger the incentive to sign with you is, so it can be a way to lure people over to you that you might not otherwise be able to sign. As with many other clauses, giving them out once may lead to other workers expecting to get one too… so be wary about doing so for anyone who isn’t going to be a significant addition to your roster.

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Now, back to the middle column of the Contract section. In many ways this is where you craft the current landscape of a company, one worker at a time. You’ve got the popularity levels set and in-ring skills worked out, but this is where you can set people to be on the rise, on the level or falling back. The right combination of ideas here can explain why people are going nowhere fast or that they are going to keep rising quickly. The AI DOES play by these rules so it’s important to get this section right too, which ought to lead to the scenario playing out fairly closely to reality.

Alignment: Babyface or heel, not complicated. Are they MEANT to be cheered or boo’ed by the fans in that company? In a product that has no face/heel divide in it, pick whichever one is a better fit but don’t worry too much about it as it would only begin to matter if the player were to change this aspect of their company. (details on being a heel or face are futher down along with gimmick skill categories)

Division: Generally speaking, leave this at it’s default. The AI doesn’t book by divisions, this is purely a way for the human player to organise their roster and as such is best left to them to organise if they want to use it.

Manager: The list here has everyone in the game universe instead of just the workers contracted to that company. I’d only include a manager here if that person is always by the side of the worker. Most mouthpiece type managers are always thre, most valets are always there, but for the most part tag team partners aren’t. You COULD set a tag partner as a manager, but generally I wouldn’t bother. In the unusual case of multiple managers for the same worker, I’d put whichever one seems like the better fit OR the most popular if that doesn’t work… or the hotter one… or basically whoever is better.

Gimmick and Gimmick Rating: See further down

Mask: Unless a company specifically owns a mask/character, then this should be whatever the default is. Rey Mysterio Jr would own his own, Sin Cara would be WWE owned. The value of a mask should be proportionate to the amount of success linked to the person who is wearing it, WHILE they were wearing it. For example, if using the Legacy feature and a Sin Cara II was created, he wouldn’t inherit the mask prestige of Sin Cara but he WOULD inherit a share of the popularlity due to building on the legacy of the mask/character. This DOESN’T apply to masks like Suicide, which is simply one character being passed around. The game doesn’t simulate that kind of character so the best thing to do about that is to ignore it. As for mask Prestige levels, I tend to link them to experience and success. A new mask needs time to build it’s prestige, but the further you get in the world with the mask the bigger it’s prestige. Rey Mysterio would have a Legendary mask… Sin Cara’s WWE mask would be at Weak though his defaut Mistico mask would (I think) be Legendary. I don’t know enough lucha to be able to comment on much there, but I’m sure someone else could help in that regard. A a guideline, if you aren’t sure how high it should be then put it on the lower step and give it time to grow as the game will ultimately build it to the right level for the worker, assuming the stats are pretty good.

Moveset: This should have a worker’s finishing moves in it. Keep it simple and things should work out well.

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From here onwards are the most imporant parts of crafting a scenario. Get these right and workers will gain/lose popularity in a very similar way to real life. Get it wrong, or ignore it completely and the mod will lose a little something. I’m not going to say it’s game breaking (unless you set everything to be awesome or set everything to terrible) but getting these right can help to nail why WCW failed, why WWE isn’t doing well right now, why ECW was able to create so many stars and why TNA is slowly positioning itself now to be in a great place for long term growth. So read ahead, and hopefully everyone will learn a thing or two.

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Momentum: This is a rough measure of the recent quality of the work a worker has been doing, which tends to graduate towards their popularity level. A high value here will add as much as a whole grade to a worker’s segments while a low value will take a similar amount away from them, with a medium value (50) giving neither a bonus or a penalty. This has become more sensitive in TEW13 and when combined with storyline success means that you can gain (or lose) huge amounts of momentum in companies of any size. The effects of individual wins or losses can be very dramatic here too, though with smart use of “Keep Strong”, flash pinfalls and similar booking notes you can often end up with more combined momentum than you started with (can happen with popularity too). The Cornellverse tends to leave this set to random but when creating a scenario in the real world I’d pre-set everyone on the roster if possible, as it should be fairly obvious who has a lot of momentum and who doesn’t. In the WWE some of the top momentum guys right now are Daniel Bryan, Ryback (for now) and The Shield who have all been looking pretty good and been featured heavily and strongly on TV. Some of the lowest guys in the WWE would be those who people just don’t care about seeing, often because they have been losing a lot…. The Usos, 3 Man Band and other jobber type guys. This also rougly corresponds with overness/card position… the top guys get featured because they have momentum and overness, while the lower guys don’t get featured because they don’t have momentum and overness. It generally takes a sustained push to move this very far, either beating people to help you move up or at least beign featured on the losing end to people further up to help you get over. In TEW10 it was easy to have people lose their way up the card, gaining popularity simply by being seen against some of the biggest names you had. This doesn’t quite work in reality, which is why the next stat was created!

Recent Fortunes: This is entirely about wins and losses, and as such doesn’t apply to non-wrestlers. Enhancement talents and openers are exempt from the effects of Recent Fortunes as they are expected to lose pretty much every match and it would be a cruel world if they were punsihed excessively for doing so… BUT as soon as anyone hits Lower Midcard they need to start winning some matches otherwise the fans won’t be able to take them seriously as wrestlers. If someone loses too many matches then they start to develop a stigma, which means that they will gain less popularity than they normally would whenever they are on screen until they manage to shake it off by winning some matches again. As such, it is now impossible to push people all the way up the card simply by having them job to superstars all the time, but it is still possible to get them part way there… you just have to give them a win or two when you start to push them above Opener in order to make sure that the fans can take them seriously enough to buy into the push you are giving them. At the other end of the scale you can be picking up a lot of wins and find yourself getting increasinly popular as a result of your sustained success. The more you win, the better you look and the faster your rise to the top can be, very much in the style of Goldberg, Brock Lesnar or Ryback in recent times.

All in all, this is s measure of longer term momentum and setting this at the right level in a mod will make it possible to reflect the current landscape in the WWE. For me, I’d look back at about the last 6 months of wins/losses on TV and PPV in order to set this stat, using the following table as a rough guideline.

Awful: 0-100 to 20-80
Very Poor: 20/80 to 30/70
Poor: 30/70 to 40/60
Average: 40/60 to 60/40
Good: 60/40 to 70/30
Very Good: 70/30 to 80/20
Great: Better than 80/20

Using a shorter time period would overly punish someone like Antonio Cesaro, who has had a lot of losses in the last few months but won a long string of matches prior to that. His Recent Fortunes has probaly been (ha ha!) neutralised as a result, but he shouldn’t be getting a stigma from those losses just yet. The WWE tends to be fairly good at managing Recent Fortunes (believe it or not!), keeping their top guys in the Good or Very Good bracket by giving them wins over upper carders. Those same uppercarders tend to beat midcarders to retain a pretty good level themselves and so on down the pyramid to the jobbers in the Opener and Enhancement Talent slots, who lose all the time but due to their card position in TEW, they don’t suffer from it. In TEW terms, the guys a the bottom of the pyramid should either be set to Average or Poor, but don’t overly punish them if they are going to autopush to the lowest card positions as that will go against TEW mechanics and end up punishing them a little too harshly. The ultimate goal of this feature is to encourage a better structure in the company in terms of wins and losses as is kept in reality. Having a ladder to climb is a good thing, and managing where people are in that ladder adds a level of strategy of managing fan expectations. Too many losses for a worker will make it hard for fans to buy into him as your new main event level talent… similarly, a lot of wins for someone is going to see them rise up the card and stay there for a while too.

Gimmick: This is very important to get right given the types of gimmick and the gimmick effects they can unlock. But before I get to that, the definition of a gimmick is simply a description of the character they play. It is NOT their catchphrase of nickname, it’s generally more vauge than that. A rebel is a guy that fights against something. A machine is a guy who focuses on being a great wrestler. A clown is a clown. Many different gimmicks, but they SHOULD be vague, with the actual way of executing each being unique to each person. This is essentially the personality that a worker brings to the wreslting world with them, from generic bland “none” all the way to an undead, wrestling, zombie, demon, evil, Satanic, bike riding gravedigger.

Gimmick Rating: VERY IMPORTANT! This is how much the above mentioned personality adds or detracts from their act in this company. At “Average” which is about a C+ grade this means that their personality doesn’t add anything extra or take anything away from their segments, essentially meaning that their skills will carry them as expected. A good gimmick will add to a worker’s success, with their personality being enough to improve any segment they are in and to help them become more popular. Right now guys like Damian Sandow and The Shield are all rocking fantastic gimmicks, which has helped them to maintain more momentum and gain popularity faster than people who are lacking in good gimmicks. Most of the biggest stars in history have managed to find a gimmick that pushes them over the top from being simply a good performer to being a star. Without a great gimmick, it’s hard to be a star. John Cena, the white rapper, was a great gimmick and it made him a star. In the past, many of the best gimmicks were simply people being exaggerated versions of themselves, turning the volume on their real personalities up to 11 and having a lot of fun with it.

A bad gimmick does the opposite, it drags you down and it basically hides how good you really are by having people react to you less emotively than they could. This can happen for many reasons. The gimmick could just be bad (check out Wrestlecrap for info on these!), it could just be the wrong type of character for the company (highly risque in a Mainstream/Comedy company for example), not complicated enough (fun Doink the Clown in ECW would be terrible), it could get stale (hello John Cena, babyface hero), the worker might not suit it (Rey Mysterio pushed as a Monster, maybe?), there might be too many changes in a short period of time (Big Show has had a lot over the years and it hurt his career as people don’t know how to react) or it might just be bad luck in that something just goes terribly wrong on debut (hello Shockmaster!). Whatever the reason, it’ll hurt the worker’s chances of getting over and hold htem back as people will simply not react to them as well as they would. The urge to change a gimmick that does badly is hard to resists, but too many changes will leave people unable to work out what that worker is going to do and make it harder for them to connect with the worker in question, so sometimes you just have to stick with the gimmick for a while (usually 6 months or so, but the in-game prompt will let you know). One of the issues with gimmicks these days, particularly in the WWE, is that they are so heavily scripted that no-one is ever really given the chance to shine as much as they could. In the olden days it was up to individual wrestlers to get themselves over so they’d put countless hours into honing their characters, travelling from territory to territory improving and perfecting their act. Now it’s different. On the indy scene workers still have a fair bit of control of their characters and so they can get good at the related gimmick stats for their particular character. But one of the problems with the WWE is that they tend to recreate people when they get to the WWE, taking the shine off the indy gimmick and handing workers a new character that is written for them. In TEW terms… low level companies give a lot of workers Creative Freedom for their gimmicks (risking the extremes of success or failure) while the WWE give their workers almost No Input, giving fairly bland characters with average gimmick ratings as a result. This is one of the problems inherent with WWE Creative, as no matter how good they are, an indy guy with years of experience can write his character better than a writer who has just been introduced to the worker. Broadly speaking, the WWE now has a LOT of average or slightly below average gimmicks (for their blander workers who are being hindered with no personality) while TNA has been giving their workers a bit more freedom and it has resulted in them having some better on-screen characters in the last couple of years. It scares me to say that TNA have better characters than the WWE, something I’m probably saying for the first time, but I do believe it’s true.

For some individual examples… John Cena’s gimmick rating is below average right now. He’s a talented guy who is being held back by a character that announcers say is “polarising” but that is basically just stale and turning fans against him, leading to him not getting the desired reaction. If John Cena were to switch up his gimmick to something else, he could bring a new lease of life to his character and start to carry the WWE again. A gimmick rating in the 50s would be about right for him (causing him to lose a couple of points per segment) whereas a great gimmick change to something in the 80s range and that would gain a couple of points per segment… and that 4 point swing could add a couple of points to an episode of RAW (angles during the show and the main event match), which over a period of time of say an entire year, could result in a couple of points of growth/size for the WWE. With the way we have them set-up in this mod, that could be enough to rise them from National to International again. And that is how important a gimmick rating can be. He’s already shown he has the ability to get everyone behind him, he’s got the talents and he’s got the charisma/star quality combination… his biggest issue as a performer right now is his gimmick rating.

CM Punk is a talented performer who has had a number of periods in the WWE where his gimmick was very high, most notably his Money In The Bank title win and the period around there. He changed from frustrated heel to a massive babyface overnight and that gimmick change is still propelling him to this day… but while he is very talented in many ways, a high gimmick rating for him covers for his lack of star quality (probably in the low/mid 70s, though he has high charisma likely in the high 80s) more than it does for John Cena, who has lots of it. As such, Punk tends to only be able to carry the company when he has super hot momentum and gimmick ratings, which can be hard to maintain as they need hot storylines, while John Cena has enough charisma and star quality to be able to carry the company even through a dodgy gimmick and with less than stellar storylines. CM Punk is generally a better performer than John Cena, but his ability to carry the company suffers because of a lesser amount of Star Quality and any time when his character hasn’t been booked strong enough to retain Momentum and Recent Fortunes.

Jobbers like the 3 Man Band and the Usos. They should autopush to the slots of Opener for the most part, meaning they don’t suffer from Recent Fortunes as they aren’t high enough up the card. What they do instead is that they provide a stepping stone onto the main roster for some people and a way for other people to improve their own Recent Fortunes by picking up wins. A dominant win (particularly use of the Dominate note) over these guys can help others up the card gain momentum and popularity if they have the charisma to do so, which most people in the WWE do. New people to the company can also pick up wins over these guys too, gaining a popularity boost on the way in that can inject more positive Recent Fortunes into the roster and popularity… while the jobbers will lose popularity to the newcomers/lower level popularity guys (in terrible matches due to the number of jobbers and the penalty from the crowd for not caring about jobber matches), the jobbers can regain this by losing matches to higher up guys, safe in the knowledge that their low card position will protect them from the overness penalties inflicted by Recent Fortunes. This is why it can be good to have dedicated jobbers on a roster, though it can also be good to bring in some fresh meat from time to time as they can debut with a little more momentum than the dedicated jobbers, giving a slightly bigger boost to new people. But if you have no plans for someone at the foot of the roster, dedicated jobbers can be a great thing to have, especially as they’ll keep learning while they do the job.

I hope that helps to explain how to craft a scenario in a helpful way. It’s not always easy to work out exactly where to put people, but regularly updating the contracts of people will enable you to get the most out of a scenario. If you make regular updates to worker bios with each release to reflect what they have been doing recently, the hidden effects of Recent Fortunes should be fairly clear to anyone trying the mod, which is yet another thing to add to a bio that makes it worth reading.

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Lastly for this section are the gimmicks themselves. I’ve already stated that a gimmick should basically be a rough description of their personality and that there can be many ways to put that across. DDP playing a rebel would be different from Stone Cold doing the same thing, but at various points they both played that role. Gimmicks should be fairly broad ways of describing people rather than specific phrases like “Cerebral Assassin”, “Texas Rattlesnake” or “Rabid Wolverine”. I’ll go into some detail about character types and I’m going to quote the TEW10 helpfile for the various gimmick effects, as they are yet another way to make the most out of a mod and to explain what is going on with real world booking a lot of the time, which can seem quite baffling at times. If in doubt about where to set these, aim a little high since these are static skills and it’s best to give some extra help, just in case. I tend to look at gimmick stats as how well they are likely to deal with a gimmick in that category, with a high rating meaning they could nail it most nights and a low rating meaning they’d struggle to be able to do it most of the time. Most workers only need to be good at a couple of categories and this can be linked to a worker’s personality too, as it’s easier to play someone similar to yourself (Big Smack Scott can do any gimmick type, except Wholesome, because BS Scott is not a family friendly guy ). Here is a list of the different gimmick types and their effects (taken from the TEW10 helpfile) with some additional notes from myself. For each of these categories, there is a rule to remember. The better someone is in a category, the better they will be at being able to pull off gimmicks that fall in that category and the more likely they are to be able to use that personality in order to succeed.

Brute: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick get greater bonuses when booked to look dominant, but get higher penalties when losing to Comedy or Gimmicky gimmick types. (Help File) In order to be able to effectively play a gimmick like this you generally need to be big, strong and menacing. These are the attributes you generally need in order to intimidate people and to pull off being a credible threat in that regard, so these types of gimmicks are the domain of monster heels for the most part. It’s possible to be a babyface brute, but generally much harder to do. The TEW10 Brute Push can still be worked (Brute gimmicks using the dominate note in short victories) but is now dependent on charisma too, meaning that you can’t just push any big guy indisciminately, the fans still have to connect with them. Actively using the dominate note when someone doesn’t have enough charisma to avoid the penalty can be painful, and is somewhere around the 40s region where the bonus for being dominant in a match and the penalty for being shoved down a crowd’s collective throat when they just don’t care about you cancel each other out. The Brute gimmick gets the same special attributes as a Legitimate gimmick, though Legitimate gimmicks tend to different skill requirements which is what seperates them. The best examples of people using this kind of gimmick in recent years are The Big Show, Mark Henry and Ryback (they should all have high scores in this category). In the past this was always a popular heel gimmick for travelling workers… a big scary guy would come in, destroy undercarders on his way to the main event and then be beaten by the babyface champion who would send them packing after breaking the heel’s momentum. With the death of the territory system it has become so much harder to keep a monster heel over properly, as once they are beaten they lose a lot of that killer aura. It’s why we end up with the like of Brodus Clay, Tensai and The Great Khali (who should all have high scores here) ending up in roles that seem to be a waste of their talents… the WWE can’t let them go elsewhere, there is nowhere else to go, so the modern big man is a very tough breed to book in the long term. This makes me sad.

Legitimate: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick get greater bonuses when booked to look dominant, but get higher penalties when losing to Comedy or Gimmicky gimmick types. (Help File). This is all about portraying real athletes and fighters, and as such most gimmicks in this class will tend to focus on having the physical ability to pull them off, usually needing high skills for abilities in the Physical Skills category. The loss of kayfabe has allowed for a lot of smaller, more athletic people to be able to get a break into the industry and combined with the popularity of MMA this is a rising skill in pro wrestling these days, coinciding with the decline of the Brute gimmick, Booking these kinds of gimmick can be done very similarly to the brute, often looking for quick submissions or overwhelming people with legitimate looking moves, which is something that a lot of people are more capable of doing now than in the past. Great examples of people who have had success with gimmicks of this type and should have high scores (at least 80, but safer to aim a little high in these settings) here include Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Taz, Low Ki, AJ Styles, Shelton Benjamin and probably a lot of the more MMA influenced guys on the indy scene.

Cocky: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick will find that wins and losses have a greater impact on popularity and momentum changes than normal. (Help File) This is all about people with swagger, the kind of people who know (or at least think) that they are good and aren’t afraid to show it. When they can back it up with victories then it’s hard to prove them wrong and they can become a huge success, but if they can’t then they look worse than normal. It’s a high stakes kind of gimmick in that it can lead to some wild swings and these kinds of characters can fall as quickly as they can rise. Some of the best examples of this kind of gimmick in recent times include Mr Kennedy (now Mr Anderson) during his WWE run when he looked set to become a major player prior to his fall from grace there, Austin Aries in TNA who went from nobody to X-Champion to World Champion in about a year of huge successes and “The Rated R Superstar” Edge when he first brought that out, a glorious time period for him in character, no matter how he actually won his matches. If a worker is good at rubbing his success (or at least his perceived success) in your face then he should get a good rating here. Most gimmicks of this type are going to be heel gimmicks, but the special attributes are the same as for Cool gimmicks… it’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and these two categories are either side of that line.

Cool: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick will find that wins and losses have a greater impact on popularity and momentum changes than normal. (Help File) It isn’t easy being cool. If you have to tell people that you’re cool, you almost certainly aren’t. Cool people are winners, they tend to know what they want and be able to get it, leading to them usually being happy-ish… or in TEW terms, they’re more likely to be babyfaces. It’s hard to not like people who are cool, if you didn’t like them you probably find them to be arrogant or obnoxious instead, which is more likely to make them Cocky instead. That said… it’s hard to be cool if you’re losing a lot too, so the rewards for success and failure here are the same as for being Cocky. If you win then you can be awesomely fashionable, if you can’t win then you stop being cool and trendy. In recent times guys like Jeff Hardy (he’s just a cool dude, no doubt), CM Punk (around his Money In The Bank face turn), Rob Van Dam (perhaps moreso in original ECW, but he’s still cool), Edge (in his face runs he’s either been cool or dorky… hard to do both, but he’s managed it), Eddie Guererro (Lie, Cheat, Steal was a cool thing to do more than a weasely thing), Austin Aries and Kenny King would all be worthy of high scores here as they all just have an air of cool about them. Going back a bit, D-Generation X (the original version), Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T, Scott Steiner (as a babyface this is probably his default setting), Raven, The Sandman, Scorpio, Steve Austin… they’re all cool in their own ways and some more than others too. A guy doesn’t necessarily need to have worked this kind of gimmick to get a high rating here, being able to be cool is something that most people either have or don’t have… and that should be reflected here.

Comedy: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick take less damage to their popularity from losses, but will be penalised when used in an upper midcard or main event role in promotions that do not have a heavily comedic product. (Help File) A gimmick of this type is for people who are primarily there to be funny. Naturally, this means that they will tend to not be capable of being taken seriously which is why you can only go so far with this kind of gimmick in a company that doesn’t have a lot of comedy. On the plus side, being entertaining and funny means you will generally be looked at fairly favourably by the fans, causing you to lose less popularity if you lose. It’s because of this that funny characters in the WWE tend to get stuck in the midcard forever, unable to be taken seriously enough to move up the card but well loved enough that letting them go would be an unpopular move and they can always be used to create new stars thanks to their ability to absorb losses. Santino Marella is the most recent King of Comedy to have suffered from being stuck in midcard hell, with the likes of Zack Ryder also being treated as more comedy than he deserved, leading to him floundering in the same range now too. It’s a tough trap to break out of once you get stuck here, as any number of midcard funny men can tell you. But don’t forget that comedy comes in many forms… for every over the top guy like Santino you need someone like Ron Simmons to shout “DAMN!” at him, which can be just as funny. There is a line between being a comedy character and just being funny though, so don’t make the mistake of giving someone a comedy gimmick just because they get a lot of laughs (Daniels and Kazarian in TNA for example). My favourite for this category would have to be Colt Cabana… the man is a legend and how the WWE managed to screw up using him when they had him, I will never know.

Gimmick: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick get greater penalties when losing to Legitimate or Realistic gimmicks, get greater penalties when over-exposed in lengthy matches or angles, but gain momentum faster normal. (Help File) This is a gimmick class into which a lot of Wrestlecrap would fall. The 80s and 90s was a time when a LOT of gimmicky gimmicks were created and many of them failed for the exact reasons mention earlier in this paragraph… ultimately, when used for any length of time or put against a vaguely normal type of person, the gimmick was exposed for being really, really stupid. Most gimmicks in this category are already not grounded in reality (Mantaur, The Gobbledygooker, Isaac Yankem, IRS, The Mountie, The Goon and so many terrible gimmicks that get revisited from time to time in gimmick battle royales and the like). They get noticed easily though, that’s for sure, which leads to more momentum but their hefty penalties mean it’s hard to work in the long term. They can be great in comedy companies and those that tend to avoid taking wreslting too seriously, but they’re generally going to go downhill pretty quick. Wrestling has mostly moved away from this type of gimmick, but there are still a few sitting on undercards in the big companies in recent years like Kung Fu Naki and… I dunno. I’m still not sure on what gimmick type I would put Fandango in, it’s split between here and Cocky at the moment depending on where the character goes in future. Worth noting, you can’t rate a worker in this type of gimmick skill, so the gimmick rating will be heavily reliant on product settings, charisma and luck in order to work out the rating a gimmick of this type will get.

Realistic: Special attributes: Workers using this gimmick get higher penalties when losing to Comedy or Gimmicky gimmick types. (Help File) These kinds of gimmicks should be used to apply to Realistic types of characters, the kind of people you might actually find in the real world and who behave like real people rather than wrestling personas. It’s a pretty wide range to cover though, as it could be the thug who hangs around on the street outside your home or the guy you bump into on your way to work. These kinds of characters tend to have a fairly high subtlety as they are more likely to have many layers but can be hard to pull off as a result too, and don’t fit with some of the more entertainment styles of company when they want big personalities. Generally speaking, if I were struggling to fit a gimmick into any of the other more obvious categories I’d consider putting it in here, unless the character was uniqe enough to deserve it’s own special entry into the Unique section. More or less, this is for the kinds of characters who are simply a wrestling world extension of the kinds of people you might see in normal every day life. Wrestlers who basically take an element of their real self and bring it to wrestling. Whether that be something like a dancer, or a singer, or an accountant or… basically anything where they are a wrestler who is known on screen for something else that they can also do that wouldn’t really fit into another category. Worth noting… you can’t rate a wrestler in this category, so this really can be just an extension of their real life personality as it would depend more on their charisma (and some luck0 than their gimmick skills in order to decide how well this will rate.

Crazy: Used for insane or out-of-control characters. (Help File) The default Cornellverse gimmick file only has a few gimmicks in this category and they tend to involve people who are pretty much just crazy people who like or want to hurt people (including themselves). Hurting people is the important part, as it stands if apart from Weird gimmicks that are about just being unusual people but not necessarily in a violent way. This is the type of gimmick that smaller, dangerous seeming people would be more likely to have instead of a Brute type gimmick, channelling their menace in a different but still very dangerous looking way. A lot of former ECW stars would have gimmicks in this type, with the likes of The Sandman, Terry Funk, Sabu and New Jack being particularly highly rated here. As vaguely talked about in the Hardcore stat, people with a high willingness to do the most insane hardcore type things would probably have that represented in here to a degree, as it’s easy to seem crazy when you do crazy things, though this shouldn’t just be a measure of how far you are willing to go as it is still about getting the craziness over in a gimmick, not just being crazy. For the most part these are likely to be stronger for heels than for babyfaces, but there’s no reason a crazy babyface can’t work as ECW made a lot of stars doing exactly that.

Weird: Used for odd-ball characters. (Help File) I sometimes find it hard to differentiate Weird and Crazy, but this is more for the unusual and out there characters that don’t necessarily need to be violent (violence is more for the crazy types). The Cornellverse gimmick file has a lot of unusual personalities in here like the Goth, Drag Queen, Cult Leader and Split Personality. Each of them are outwith what most of society would view as “normal” kinds of people but in this case are still not associated with violence in the way that Crazy types would be. CM Punk as leader of the Straight Edge Society was a great cult leader, especially with the awesome beard. Abyss in his less monstrous phases has been great at this kind of thing. Kevin Thorn in his WWECW vampiric phase was fantastic here, with Ariel also being a great part of that act too. Orlando Jordan going way over the top with the bisexual thing in TNA was awesome for this too, but the gimmick didn’t fit TNA’s product so it bombed… the same gimmick in old ECW would’ve gotten molten levels of heat, I would love to see how that could’ve worked out. Most recently, AJ in WWE is probably an example of this gimmick type, as she was an odd personality that stood out by being so different from the others while being awesome. This kind of gimmick is more often than not going to be for heels, as fans tend to react to the unusual with a sense of trepidation and struggle to accept it. That isn’t to say that it can’t be a babyface gimmick, just that it’s going to be harder to get people to cheer for something they don’t associate themselves with or aren’t entirely comfortable around.

Weasel: Used for cowardly two-faced characters. (Help File) Pretty much named after Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, he was always a great example of someone who would be completely two faced depending on how it suited him. This is almost entirely the domain of heel gimmicks, being the home of backstabbers, troublemakers, liars, cheaters, stealers and lackeys. These kinds of characters get through life the easy way, taking shortcuts to get to the top and they generally are thought of as being the kinds of people who don’t deserve the amount of success they have. I always disagree with the default Cornellverse assignment of “Old School Heel” as I feel that should be in this category, as it’s current “Gimmicky” assignment essentially means that they can’t rise to the top… by their very nature, Weasel gimmicks can get all the way to the top in any company and people will never feel they deserve it. Thanks to the likes of Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette, this is also where most heel managers and many heel authority figures would be these days too, causing trouble in many nefarious ways. If a heel has gotten under your skin, not because of their ego (which would be a Cocky gimmick), but because of their actions, then there is a good chance that this is the kind of gimmick they were running at the time, and probably doing a good job of it too. Current examples for me would be the likes of Daniels/Kazarian in TNA and Damian Sandow in WWE, with the likes of Vickie Guerrero being one of the most prominent users of this gimmick type in recent years.

Wholesome: Used for idealistic “good guy” characters. (Help File) Except in very counter-culture type companies, this is going to be almost entirely the domain of babyface characters. They are the classic good guys, the kind of people who always do the right thing, shake hands with fans, kiss babies and save people from beatdowns. In the end they tend to overcome the odds thanks to their heart and this is the kind of character that almost every lame TV show has as their lead, while most fans prefer the more interesting sub-characters. 80s Hulk Hogan was in here, early 90s Sting was here, John Cena permanently lives here now and most babyfaces end up going through a phase of this, particularly after a face turn when they still need to establish that they can be good, often needing to develop their babyface stat a little too in order to maintain things long term. Other modern day examples of this include Rey Mysterio Jr, Christian Cage most of the time when he is a babyface in WWE, Sheamus (technically, though he’s not good at it), Randy Orton (also not good at Wholesome OR babyface) and pretty much anyone who becomes fairly generically cheer-able because they don’t do bad things. They aren’t the most interesting characters a lot of the time, but they are easy to cheer and they tend to work well in simple entertainment based companies when cheering one guy and booing the other is enough to carry the load.

Unique: Used for gimmicks that defy description, one-of-a-kind characters that do not really fall into any other category. (Help File) You’ve just read thousands of words about various kind of gimmicks… if you look at a character and you still aren’t sure they fit into any of the previously mentioned categories, then there is a chance they might deserve a Unique entry here. It could be that a gimmick falls between some of the other types too, in which case they might deserve to be a Unique gimmick. Workers don’t have any traits for playing Unique gimmicks and the skill requirements for them could vary massively depending on the gimmick in question. This would have to be worked out on a case by case basis for a worker that might deserve it, but for the most part these should be pretty rare and only handed out if you genuinely can’t work out where a gimmick should be.

Having realised I’ve not covered what goes into making a babyface or a heel, I’m going to add this here now that I’ve covered all the gimmick types.

The simplest of all stories is the fight of good vs evil, and in many ways pro wrestling is simply that fight brought to life in live action in front of a crowd. The heel is there to be hated by the fans to such a degree that they will cheer equally (or more) loudly for the people who defeat them, the babyfaces. In wrestling, as in life, it’s generally easier to get people to hate you than it is to get people to like you. In any good mod you’ll probably find that more people are better at playing heels than they are at playing babyfaces. There are just so many ways to do things wrong and get boo’ed because of it, while being a good guy often means doing everything right, or at least trying to.

In most stories, the good guy will be doing good things and being fairly successful (this is called the Shine) then a bad guy will show up, do something bad and upset the good guy. In the early stages of any story, this will generally happen repeatedly, with the bad guy having to do more things (this is called Getting Heat) in order to maintain this advantage over the good guy, who will come increasingly close to overcoming his foe only to fall short (this is called False Comebacks). Eventually the babyface can mount a successful comeback to get one up on the heel (this is called the Comeback) leading to the big blowoff finale, also known as The Finish. If the storyline has been well told, you can have multiple finishes, technically making the first one a False Finish although the fans won’t know that, as selling The Finish is the way to get the most out of your story.

This is the basics of good storytelling, whether it be the entire story arc from start to finish, a match or even a promo. Following this formula is the foundation of professional wrestling at every level, with the most skilled bookers and wrestlers able to tell a number of variants to this story, using each stage several times over to get the most out of their storylines. The Finish to a storyline is the biggest payoff, the time when the crowd will make the most noise in a match or the event that the final match will be held on and that all the fans will pay to see. Being able to bring storylines to their hottest point in time for your biggest events is what makes money, as it puts asses in seats. A good booker will always have hot storylines seemingly being brought to a Finish on any major event, and a great booker will be able to sell the rematches of that same match over and over again to make as much money from it as possible. With wrestling seeming to move more towards TV as their main method of making money, TV shows have moved from just making big names look strong in order to sell house shows featuring those guys against each other TOWARDS TV needing to feature more drama in order to keep people tuning in next week, while keeping enough back to sell PPVs and house show events too. The higher demands for TV shows has lowered house show attendances over the years and PPV buy rates seem to mostly be down, at leasr relative to the growth of PPV as a medium for wrestling events. But what does this have to do with heel and face ratings I hear you thinking? Well….

Heel: The heel has to be able to make people hate them in order to get a crowd response. As the antagonist in the storyline, he is the person who generally has to kickstart the storyline by doing something against the babyface in order for the storyline to do anything. In a match, the heel is generally the one who leads, having already established that heels are likely to be in charge for large parts of the storyline (arc, match or promo) it makes sense that they lead the match too. An effective heel has to be able to do things that can make a crowd hate them. Whether that be as simple as the way they look or the way they act, the crowd has to be able to connect with them in away that makes them want to boo them. The better a worker is at this being able to get crowds to hate them for any reason, the higher this rating would be. It could be the way they pace a match, the way they talk, the way they look, the way they move, a look in their eye, the way they wrestle (it’s hard to boo an exciting high flyer, for example) or anything like that. It’s easier to be boo’ed than cheered and most wrestlers will tell you that it’s more fun too. And the more people boo you, the more they ultimately want to cheer you… people caring can be turned around the other way, people not caring is tough to break. It takes a long time to learn to do everything right in terms of being a heel, but it can be learned through experience. Unless someone is incapable of being a heel, I’d generally set this to 40 or higher for most rookies as most people can get hated and can work out how to do it, even if it takes a lot of refinement to master. The longer someone has successfully been a heel, the higher I’d set this stat. In the WWE, I’d say that Randy Orton is a great natural heel and he would have this set very high (90s), Shawn Michaels was great as heel or face (90s), Damien Sandow is a fantastic heel (90s) and many others are too. Broadly speaking, if someone has ever managed to be a top heel in a company, even a fairly small one, they are probably going to have an 80 in here, which is a very good level to have. Anything above 80 is going to be able to get very good gimmick ratings with an appropriate gimmick. Setting it lower will give youngsters something to grow into, giving them lower gimmick ratings to start with until they learn how to be better, so I’d avoid giving many rookies a 70+ in heel or face, though they’ll generally have a 50 in at least one of them unless they are simply no good at getting cheers or boos.

Babyface: On the other hand, a babyface is surprisingly hard to play as you’ve got to get a entire room/hall/arena of fans like you for some reason. Getting dozens/hundreds/thousands of people to like you isn’t an easy thing to do, which is why the role of the heel is so important in pro wrestling and often why most of the more interesting characters in wrestling are heels, rather than babyfaces. A lot of babyface characters have to go out of their way to not offend or otherwise drive away the fans, which can mean playing realtively bland characters in some companies, though ECW proved that you can get away with a lot, with modern drama in general having a lot more space for grey area characters who can be cheered or boo’ed. A truly great babyface is someone that is just naturally likeable and respectable, someone that you want to cheer for and support no matter what they do. There are some people in life that are lucky enough to be able to draw people towards them without the need to even have a heel working against them, and those people are the kinds of people who will always become stars. Guys like Dusty Rhodes or The Ultimate Warrior or Edge or Steve Austin or The Rock have always had an ability to make people like them (Rock’s early career was more of a gimmick problem than a babyface skill problem). This ability to get fans to cheer them is what made them stars in the first place. For those that have to learn though, they do it best by going against a great heel. By going against someone who can get boo’ed, they will cheer equally hard against them for you, theoretically at least. By working against this, you learn how to turn the crowd reaction in your favour and to make the most of it during a match. If they make noise, you feed off it to gain energy to fight back. If they hate the other guy, you have to take it to them in order to be as good as you can. Good guys work with the audience, using the crowd to motivate themselves to be the best they can, which in turn strengthens the connection you have with them. It can take a long time to learn how to do this and there are a number of people in the WWE today who just aren’t good at it. The worst offender is Randy Orton, who doesn’t look like a niec guy, doesn’t act like a nice guy, has a reputation for not being a nice guy (which is somewhat out of date now) and isn’t great at playing a nice guy. He’s learned, but his babyface rating would still be lucky to be in the 60s after years of being a babyface. He is a natural heel but the WWE turned him based on the strength of his heel reactions and it has never paid off for them since. Sheamus is in a similar position, in that he’s a better heel than a face but he is just good enough as a face to be able to play one, especially when the WWE was running a bit short of them a while back. CM Punk is a great face (low 80s) but is another guy who is better at being heel (90s). In the WWE today, there are probably only a handful of guys I can think of that are likely to be best as babyfaces. Rey Mysterio Jr is a lifelong babyface, I don’t think he could be heel if he tried. Evan Bourne/ Kofi Kingston is a great face. R-Truth always seems more of a face than a heel to me too. Rock is a great babyface. Triple H is a good face (80ish) but nothing special as he’s simply better at being a heel. Kelly Kelly is probably a lifelong babyface, she looks so sweet that I can’t imagine her being a heel. Hopefully this highlights how hard it is to be a babyface compared to being a heel. John Cena is a great babyface (90s, we’ve all enjoyed him at some point), but he is saddled with a gimmick that a large number of fans are bored of (staleness) even though he’s good at that kind of gimmick (Wholesome, low 80s). As with heels, unless you have a very good reason to believe that someone is naturaly good at being a face OR terrible at it, start this about 50. It’ll mean that the worker has something to grow into as they play their character, though it’ll also mean that youngsters aren’t going to be breaking out as top babyfaces characters (gimmick ratings) from the start. Experience will give them the skills they need, which gives them more room to grow into over the years.

………………

Now I’m going to talk more about creating a gimmick in the editor, as I think this will be helpful for people to understand what is going on with these stats.

Name: Keep it simple, it’s supposed to be a vague description of the character that can be identifiable with a word or two. Evil Foreigner, Thief, Machine, Enforcer… they all give us roughly the same idea of what is going on and it should be fairly easy to work out. “Bionic Redneck” is a nickname, not a gimmick and shouldn’t ever be in a gimmick file unless you think Austin’s character was very different from Rebel of Bad Ass. Also, Tecnico or Rudo are not gimmmicks in lucha libre, they are alignments… if I see a mod with those in then then the worker is either so bland he should just have “None” as his gimmick or they should have some generic heel or face gimmicks like Old School Heel and Old School Face.

Description: A short explanation in case it’s not immediately obvious. This might be for gimmicks that can have a few different outcomes and can give some booking ideas for the charater, such as what Adam has done with the Sidekick gimmick – “A character who acts as a sidekick to another, it can be played either as a bumbling fool, a partner in crime, or as the real brains of the operation.”

Gimmick Basis: As discussed above, set this approprately for the gimmick. This might be tricky to do, which is why I’ve got a suggestion further down that could make for an excellent gimmick file if used.

Generic Gimmick: Generally, set this to Yes. With Yes it means that you can have lots of versions of the same gimmick without getting into trouble for it. If set to No then only the best version of the gimmick will thrive, with any people using the same gimmick with a lower rating being penalised for being a copy of the better one. In the case of gimmicks in the “Unique” category, I would be tempted to use this attribute on them, just to make sure they truly are unique.

Face Gimmick: How successful will this gimmick be if a babyface is using it? The higher this is, the less good a worker has to be in the Babyface skill in order to be likely to be successful with it. Other factors will weigh in, but at a basic level if a gimmick is easy for a babyface to play then this should be pretty high. This was talked about in the gimmick category breakdowns too, so things like Cool and Wholesome gimmicks are going to be pretty highly rated here.

Heel Gimmick: How successful will this gimmick be if a heel is using it? The higher this is, the less good a worker has to be in the Heel skill in order to be likely to be successful with it. Other factors will weigh in, but at a basic level if a gimmick is easy for a heel to play then this should be pretty high. This was talked about in the gimmick category breakdowns too, so things like Cocky, Weasel and Brute gimmicks are going to be rated pretty highly here.

Risk: This is the risk element of a gimmick. Some product types like risk, some avoid it like the plague. Generally speaking, a low risk gimmick is going to be very family friendly and is the sort of thing that anyone would be happy for their kids to see. This will often be favoured by the simpler entertainment based companies. High risk is quite the opposite and is the kind of gimmick that is going to draw the ire of parent groups, the TV networks that air your shows and people like that. Whether they be annoyed about your use of setting people on fire, your use of sexual content, your use of violence, your use of mental illness, your use of language or your use of religion… these are the kinds of things that factor in here. The more a gimmick pushes the envelope, the higher it should be rated here. Cult/Risque type companies love high risk content like this, so it would be of benefit to your ratings to have gimmicks like this though you are likely to find it harder to get on TV as a result. Muhammed Hassan was a great character who was deemed too risky for TV, particularly after a real life incident. “Rated R Superstar” Edge was a pretty risky gimmick too and most of ECW had very risky gimmicks at the time, which is part of why they never made it big.

Difficulty: Quite simply, this is how hard the gimmick is, which can be strongly linked to Subtlety too. Simple gimmicks that the fans can easily understand will get a low rating here. Complicated or unusual gimmicks that might not be so easy to get would get a higher rating. This mostly effects the initial rating of a gimmick, with harder gimmicks being more likely to get lower ratings, which can be counter balanced by people having high gimmick stats in the relevant categories, as the’d find it easier to play. This is why quite often after a heel or face turn a worker will start off with a simple character in their new alignment, as they may not be as good there and a simpler gimmick will be more likely to succeed.

Subtlety: This is how complex and layered a gimmick is. There can be many ways to portray roughly the same kind of gimmick, and being able to add new layers to the character to make them seem deeper is where this comes in. Some product types like simple, one dimensional characters (like Doink The Clown as a babyface) and will respond well to them, while some product types will prefer people who seem to behave like real people, with complex personalities and emotions. ECW was great at creating complex personalities, with Raven being one of my favourite examples of a character who has great complexity. Complicated characters can be more difficult to get over, which is reflected in where the Difficulty of the gimmick should be set, but they can make for the best personalities in wrestling.

Age: It’s hard to be a teen heart-throb when you are old… it’s hard to be a grizzled veteran when you are young. Use these limitations accordingly when creating gimmicks where age may play a factor.

Gender: Men aren’t going to be a Girl Next Door… Women aren’t going to be able to pull of a male of a Chippendale gimmick. Use these gender limitations when appropriate.

Racial Types: Some gimmicks only make sense for certain ethnicities. You need a Native American to play a Native American (you might be able to get away with other similar tones, but I’d not risk it ) and so these should be applied appropriately.

Skill Requirements: Some gimmicks just need certain attributes in order to be able to pull them off. You can’t lead a cult without having charisma, you can’t be a convincing Brute without having the menace or power to pull it off and you can’t be taken as a credbile athlete without having the athleticism to pull it off. Each of the stats here have a range of possible levels.
Weak: 20 points
Medium: 40 points
Good: 60 points
Excellent 80 points
Tread lightly with the skills here, but do keep in mind that some gimmicks simply can’t be pulled off by some people. Brute Gimmicks should generally require at least good strength and menace, Legitimate gimmicks should generally require at least good athletic ability and so on…

Minimum Weight/Maximum Weight: Sometimes there is a limit on the kinds of shapes and sizes a worker can be in order to pull off a particular gimmick. Here is a copy of the old TEW10 table for weights with some examples of people who would qualify in each category. Remember that these are rough weight limits… if someone sounds like the behave like a person in a higher or lower weight class then they might go there. Example, Umaga was about 350lbs but moved like a man much smaller, so I’d list him as a Heavyweight with a chance to move up in size.

Giant: Special Cases. Some people are big but don’t seem to quite fit here. Just being built on a different scale to most people, this is for very special and unique people. Big Show and Andre the Giant definitely go here, while a case could be made for the like of The Great Khali and Giant Gonzales.

Super Heavyweight: 380lb+. This is where most of the very large men go, with a lot of the particularly fat ones ending up here alongside some powerlifter types. For the most part these guys are virtually immobile and suffer from low caps to aerial and technical skills as there is no need for them to ever learn stuff like that tiven their size and immobility. Mark Henry would go here, as would indy behemoths like Viscera and any number of massively overweight slob types.

Big Heavyweight: 320-380lbs. This is generally for the kinds of big men who can still be in good shape if they try to be, either by being tall or simply by having a LOT of muscle on their frame. It is also possible to simply put on a lot of weight from a smaller size and end up in here by accident. Kevin Nash has spent his entire career in this range, Undertaker has been in this a bit, Kane generally resides here at the low end of the scale and this is where Matt Morgan and Abyss from TNA would be. Brodus Clay and Tensai both fall in here, as would someone like Rikishi.

Heavyweight: 290-320lbs. Starting to move away from the true big men and into a range where a lot of the WWE’s top guys of the past would be.Hulk Hogan spent his career in this range, as has Scott Hall. Mick Foley would probably go in this category, as while he was a little smaller than this he moved more like a bigger guy. Batista would go here too, and in recent years The Undertaker would be in this range too, having lost a lot of size in recent years and always being pretty close to the edge of this anyways. In the past, Bully Ray in TNA would’ve been here but he has also lost weight, leaving perhaps only Rob Terry in this range for them now. Big E Langston also lives here, having looked him up on WWE.com and realising how short he is.

Light Heavyweight: 260-290lbs. Big guys still in this range, with a lot of heavy hitters but this is where you start to see people who are more than just brawlers for the most part. At this weight class some people are good at other top row skills and the stat caps on those are increased too. At his biggest, Triple H would be in this category alongside the likes of Scott Steiner, Test and Mike Awesome, all of which had some skills beyond pure brawling. Guys like Wade Barrett (though he may be a little shy of the weight), The Rock, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, Sheamus, Titus O’Neill and Brock Lesnar are comfortably at home in this range.

Middleweight: 230-260lbs. Many of the greatest in-ring performers are in this range, able to physically be able to do more or less anything while being big enough to be credible as high impact brawlers still. This is where Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho (after his WCW Cruiserweight run), Chris Benoit, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam and many others have been at. These days guys like Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Christian, Edge, Damian Sandow, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, John Cena, Fandango … you get the idea. Most of today’s modern athletic guys fall into this category or the next one down, and when creating a wrestler you should consider if they would be capable of moving between weight classes. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho are all legends of Cruierweight/Junior wrestling but they all bulked up over the course of their careers. Some people can do it, while some can’t, and being able to roughly guess at this in a mod can be important, as the stat changes from a change in size could be enough to help put a worker to a new level or to potentially harm their career if they get it wrong.

Lightweight: Most male wrestlers under 230lbs, large female wrestlers. Home of the cruiserweights and the X division, this is where most of the indy wrestlers of this generation can end up. The Cornellverse has a lot of big men still active in it as if it were the early 90s, but the real world no longer has as many, with a new generation of smaller competitior moving in (another setting you can use in a mod!). Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Evan Bourne, Heath Slater, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, R-Truth, Santino, Sin Cara…the list goes on. It’s a very common size now in modern wrestling and a lot of indy guys are going to be this size, making the rare heavyweights seem that much bigger by comparison. I don’t know enough about the women of pro wrestling, but other than Awesome Kong (who would be a Middlweight) I’m struggling to thing of any WWE/TNA girls who would sit here as they are mostly all gorgeous, athletic girls who would fall into a smaller category.

Small: Unusually small male wrestlers, most female wrestlers. Looking through the WWE and TNA rosters, they don’t have any male wrestlers I’d put in this category now, though Amazing Red would go here and early career Rey Mysterio would go here too as he has bulked up significantly over his career (I swear he’s got taller too). Most of the WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts fall into this range, though I’ll have to show my ignorance of the Divas by not being able to comment on them at all.

Very Small: Smaller female wrestlers, small male non-wrestlers, Hornswoggle until a midget category is made. I can only think of a few people who I’ve seen in WWE and TNA who might fit, and those would be Rosita and Taylor Wilde, both of which were were short girls with light frames too. Very few people will ever get into this category, and if you have to add midgets to the wrestling world then this is where they would go… unless they happened to be oddly wide to go with being very short.

………

Damn, that took longer to explain than I’d meant I too… hopefully now you can work out how to create gimmicks so that they make sense with the way you’ve balanced the gameworld. Getting worker stats right and then being able to assign them gimmicks that make sense for their attribute should go a long way to being able to create a great, flowing world.

The last thing I’m going to talk about is more of a suggestion than a requirement for a mod but I think if a mod maker were to create a gimmick file based on these suggestions that then it could be universally used across all mods in future. This would make me incredibly happy, as it would also serve as a base for anyone doing mods in future and make playing lots of different mods much simpler, as people would never have to go hunting for something that would be different in another mod. Interested? Then read on!

…………….

In every mod there are gimmicks, and those gimmicks can seem so arbitrarily rated at time that it can be tough to work out what is going on. The combination of 0-100 sliders, gimmicks that could perhaps be multiple different Gimmick types and a lack of consistency across different mods can make gimmick files a complete mess, and I think that even the Cornellverse could do with a massive clean up in this regard. As such, I have an idea for a gimmick file that everyone could use and coule be very easily adaptable for players to use too should the default file lack something they want.

Ultimately, I want to create a gimmick file where the different ways each gimmick can be performed (A pirate as comedy or a brute, for example) are listed all in one, file with different attributes listed for each variant. I also want to set a standard for where every type is set at, so that the 0-100 ratings are replaced with a few set levels to make things more clear for anyone using the gimmick.



A hastily knocked together example here of two different ways you could play a pirate gimmick, both with very different requirements and possible outcomes for both. The first one could be played as a dangerous pirate out to get his treasure (presumably a title belt or something) by any means necessary, while the second one is a super gimmick character who uses a lot of Johnny Depp based pirate influences and is basically a cartoon character come to life, for good or evil. I could add a comedy version that would be similar to the gimmicky one or even a realistic version of the gimmick for people who “live the pirate lifestyle” in real life, which I’ve sadly seen people do.

In short, by exapanding upon the range of types for each character (and making it clear in the naming scheme too!) you could create a gimmick file where a worker could easily adapt their character over time, though various gimmick types but whie only really making small enough changes to keep them relevant. By changing the 0-100 scales to be set at intervals of 20 you can also set logical levels for what each means, making it possible to have a very consistent gimmick file. In this case I’d describe the levels roughly as follows.

Heel/Face
0 – Not going to work, don’t even try
20 – Extremely unlikely unless the worker is exceptionally good at the rest of it
40 – Unlikely to work for this alignment, but a skilled worker could do it.
60 – Worth a try, a reasonably skilled worker could pull it off
80 – This is a good heel/face gimmick, should work
100 – You have to be terrble at this alignment to make this gimmick fail

Risk
0 – No-one in their right mind can complain about this. Movie Rating: Universal
20 – I wouldn’t put this on a kids show, but it’s still hard to grumble about this. Movie Rating: PG
40 – I’d keep younger kids away from this, venturing into more mature content. Movie Rating: 12+.
60 – Not for kids, this is moving up to adult stuff that youngsters shouldn’t see. Movie Rating: 15+
80 – Adult themes, content and things, this is very much for grown up demographic and going to get some complaint from all kinds of groups by now. Movie Rating: 18+
100 – There are probably going to be hate campaigns against this kind of character/content and you’re pretty much doing this as a publicity stunt or because you are a crazy person. Movie Rating: M for Mature.

Difficulty
0 – You can’t possibly get this wrong, it’s the easiest thing in the world
20 – It’s pretty simple really, but I’ll go over it with you again to iron out some of the details
40 – I hope you know what you’re doing out there, this is going to be a bit tricky and your skills/experience are going to be called on.
60 – You’re gonna have to be good to pull this off, it’ll probably take all of your experience and ability to do good with this.
80 – John McClane in Die Hard had it easier than you, this is a tough character to pull off and you’re gonna need some lucky breaks, all your skills and Carl in the car to help you get this to work.
100 – The booke doesn’t even want you to succeed and he’s probably trying to ruin your life.

Subtlety
0 – Hi, I’m Doink The Clown.
20 – I’m Rocky Miavia, a third generation star looking to get a break in ths business my family love.
40 – I’m Mankind. I’m kinda like this tortured soul who has had a tough life and is totally maladjusted to society. I hurt you, I hurt me and I hurt everyone else too but it’s not entirely my fault.
60 – I’m Tommy Dreamer. I’m a good guy who wants to catch a break and has a pretty complicated history and backstory to work off by now. I’ve got a wife, a kid, a long term and complete nuts nemesis and I’m going to have to work through a lot of complicated stuff if I’m ever going to be successful.
80 – I’m Raven. *broods* I kinda hate everyone and just want to watch the world burn a bit, but not befor eI have fun ruthlessly manipulating a bunch of messed up people to help me break the soul of a guy I used to be friends with but that I hate now. My life has been all kinds of messed up, and I use wrestling to vent my pain on other people and to remind myself that I’m still alive sometimes. It’s pretty messed up, but I’m good at it and I’m going to do everything I can to break everyone around me so that I rise to the top. I could probably talk all day and you’d never really understand, so just keep watching and maybe one day you’ll see the extent of everything I do. Maybe.
100 – I’m Steven Hawking, the only way you’ll ever understand me properly is to get degrees in medical science and theoretical astrophysics. And even then you’ll be lucky to understand me properly because I’m more complex than trying to glue together all the words from Game Of Thrones after they’ve been put through a shredder, and even by time you’ve done that you won’t understand my theories.

I don’t want to try to over-explain things as I think this stands for itself. In an ideal world I’d completely remake the gimmick system so that you only had a handful of attributes and could tweak them to gradually evolve a character, but without that then it comes down to making new gimmicks for each type. The final gimmick file from this could be quite large, but by adding different gimmick types to each of the available catergories and simplifying the stats involved, I think this would great increase the value of the mod file AND make for a much smoother experience for everyone playing the game. There are always people looking for help with gimmicks and I think this would enable people to make the most of that aspect of the game with better standards and more flexibility.

I hope this helps to understand all of the contracts and gimmick stuff. I feel this section probably has less content than the previous ones as a lot of it is explaining things that are fairly minor or not going to be used, but for the sake of completeness I thought I'd better do it. Not sure which section I'll do next, but I'll probably start getting into smaller bits of the game and generally going into areas where some modders have historically not quite got things right, like company pacts, adding tag teams, relationships and stuff like that.

Last edited by Derek B : 06-05-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS!

Right, after a long time of being insanely busy I’m going to get another chapter of this written today, though it should be a fairly short one compared to the others. This one is about ratings… in particular how segment ratings, match ratings and show ratings are worked out in various products, which should also help you to understand why some workers are valuable to some companies, but not to others… and also why you don’t have to give someone awesome ratings in everything in order for them to be awesome. Ultimately, it’s about udnerstanding the scale the game is designed to work with and being able to use that with a sensitive touch to achieve the best results.

MATCH RATINGS

Company Product it the most important thing of all. You can be popularity based, performance based or balanced. Each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and can come with various other things in the produt that your fans will like or dislike. But for the most part, this rough guide should help you get an idea of who would do best where. These are rough numbers I’ve put together from observation, but they should help a little but.

Much More Popularity Based: Matches rated about 70% on popularity and 30% on performance.
More Popularity Based: Matches rated about 60% on popularity and 40% on performance.
Rated Equally (Balanced): Matches rated about 50% on popularity and 50% on performance.
More Performance Based: Matches rated about 40% on popularity and 60% on performance.
Much More Performance Based: Matches rated about 30% on popularity and 70% on performance.

When working out a match rating The Popularity part of this is pretty simple… you can see it in the worker profile and it will always be the popularity value where the show is being held. The Performance rating is a much trickier thing to work out, but I have a rough guideline that has served me well over the years when attempting to predict match ratings ahead of time and has been refined with some help from various posters over the years. It looks more complicated than it is.

If Psychology is higher than Highest Top Row Star then it’s just
PERF = Highest Top Row Stat

If Psychology is lower than the Highest Top Row Stat then it’s
PERF = Highest To Row Stat – 10 - (70% of the difference between Highest Top Row Stat and Psychology).

…….

If that makes sense to you, then hooray! After that you just need to use your product type to work out the approximate result and add any relevant star quality and charisma bonuses. Roughly speaking, I add 1 point for every 10 points a worker is above 50 in either stat. Take an average from each worker in the match and you should end up with a value between 0 and 10. For those keeping track at home, that’s almost two full grades extra you get added and that is applied regardless of produt type. This is why the WWE signs guys with a great look… because it gives an immediate bonus that makes up for a lack of actual skill. Top row performers can’t train camera skills, but a bodybuilder who only has camera skills can be trained to improve his top row. And they can both get better at entertainment skills, which is handy.

Just to be clear… it’s a very rough formula and only covers how good a single worker can be on their own. Brock Lesnar has a great top row and a great look, but his psychology isn’t as good as his top row so you wouldn’t get the best out of him if you just put him in a match against himself. John Cena has a decent top row but better performane skills while also having lots of charisma/star quality, so he’d score pretty highly against himself. Putting them against each other, where Cena can cover for Lesnar’s psyhology weakness and Lesnar can cover for Cena’s top row weakness and you bring out the best in both of them, leading to a Match Of The Year Candidate at Extreme Rules 2012. They can bring the best out of each other in a match as their skillsets complement each other. And this is what I mean when I say that all workers have strengths and weaknesses… with good match making you can bring the best out of them, but if you set stats too high then there are no weaknesses and you lose the subtlety of what should make TEW awesome.

For companies that are popularity based, the main things you want are… popularity and psyhology as those two stats alone will enable you go have a match that will be passable no matter how bad your top row is, especially when you add in star quality and charisma bonuses too. For performance based companies you want a top row stat and psyhology, since that is going to be where the majority of your match rating comes from. For a balanced company (my personal preference), you definitely want psychology and having either popularity or top row skills can help you go far, and once again you get the bonuses for charisma and star quality. Every stat plays a factor for each company, but knowing which ones are important and why can help to shape a mod. Remember… 80 might sound like you are a long way from the top, but consistent 80 rated main events is probably good enough to pull you to National level in most mods! (Whether that is a hot enough storyline for your audience is up to your product to decide!)

That’s all I want to say about match ratings just now… there are lots of other factors that play into them, from road agent notes to chemistry to going all out or repeat booking penalties or whatever. But since those are going to be mostly different each time they are irrelevant just now. Onwards!

ANGLE RATINGS

I’ve covered the stats involved in all the things an angle can be rated on before in the section about Crafting A Worker, so this will just be about angles in general. What an angle is rated on will have a huge influence on how it works out, and I’ll give specific examples of what situations I’d use each for where I can.

Acting: In term of angles, this is the kind of thing where people are conveying a LOT of non-verbal things. Being able to put emotion across with facial expressions, being distraught as your tag partner or husband gets beaten up while you’re held back… stuff like that. Big Show is someone who I never give enough credit to for being good at this sort of thing and is probably one of the best wrestling actors. Someone like Brooke Hogan… not so much. Hulk Hogan is also pretty bad too, his acting skills have always paled when compared to his actual mic skills. For angles, you won’t get many segments rated on this… mostly it’ll be rolled up into Entertainment. Is generally rated about 50/50 alongside Overness too, as people will still really only care about your awesome acting if they care about who you are.

Microphone: As the name suggests, this is pretty much a verbal only deal. Someone says words while you more or less ignore anything else going on with them. Again, there isn’t much call for this to be used since most of the time an angle will be based on Entertainment instead. More often than not I’d expet this to be used by non-wrestlers… managers talking for their clients, authority figures booking tag team matches playa, announcers hyping upcoming things… stuff like that. Is generally rated about 50/50 alongside Overness too, as people will still really only care about your awesome talking skills if you’ve already given them a reason to listen to what they have to say.

Entertainment: This use Charisma, Microphone Skills and Acting to really sell the full range of ways to get the message across. This value seems to bias towards the higher end of the worker’s skills too, and should be used in most segments where people are interacting with each other in non-physical ways. As above, is generally rated about 50/50 alongside Overness too, as people will still really only care about your awesome all round entertainment skills if they already want to see you.

Overness: The purest of all the particular ratings since it is just overness with a minimal number of modifiers. This is what should be used most of the time when workers are being referenced by other workers, or if the segment in general is things happening to people where there isn’t any talking. Generally speaking, if someone is spending most of their time in a segment not talking while being relevant to the segment, then they should be rated on overness. Hopefully that makes sense.

Sex Appeal: A looks based segment that is more about getting people hot under the collar for you than it is about getting people to actualy care about you as a person. Sex sells very well since there is never a shortage of people wanting to see attractive people and the results for being rated on Sex Appeal tend to bias somewhere in the region of 80/20 for Sex Appeal/Overness. There is a cap on the maximum success of these angles when they are just about titilation (equal or more people rated on sex appeal than anything else) to highlight that being hot can only get you so far… but it can get you pretty far! To get beyond that you still need to be good enough at other things… Trish Stratus is a great career example of this. She started off being rated on her Sex Appeal in angles and eventually she was good enough to be rated on her Entertainment skills and get better results that way, leading to her becoming one of the most popular divas in WWE history. It also helped that she wasn’t terrible in the ring, but as highlighted above, in a company based mostly on popularity that wasn’t so important anyways. This should generally be used in angles where it’s about looking good more than anything else... sadly, this applies to most divas related segments when they aren’t just being catty at each other.

Menace: This is another looks based angle that again tends to be weight abot 80/20 with Menace/Overness. This is all about the worker in question appearing to be dangerous/scary/evil and doing things to highlight that. As long as a worker is meant to look dangerous in the segment (no matter whether he wins or loses it), then it should be good to use this. It’s naturally linked to the kind of behaviour you’d expect from big men… attacks, beatdowns, savagery, destroying the ringside area and so on. They might be thwarted for some reason, but as long as they are trying that sort of thing I’d rate them on Menace. Typically a monster heel rated on menace could attack a beloved babyface rated on overness to start a feud… but if a babyface later retaliated with a sneak attack, I’d rate them both on overness as the worker’s menace when being beaten up wouldn’t be the thing being highlighted there, it would be the fact that the babyface is getting revenge on the heel. Just an example of when I’d use menace and when I wouldn’t, hopefully that make sense.

Unlike sex appeal, there are no caps on Menace rated angles, since someone looking dangerous and tough is kinda the big goal in pro wrestling in order to sell tickets. It’s also far easier to get people over based on this than other ways, as it’s far easier to buy into “a giant, scary guy is more likely to win a fight than a tiny, generic looking guy”. Vince McMahon pretty much made the WWF into a superpower based on this tried and tested idea, which is why it’s important to give larger guys enough menace to suit. Is one of few stats where over-rating isn’t necessarily a bad thing given it’s use in pushing some workers.

Not-Rated: A subject of much debate on the forums since it was introduced… personally (and lots of people disagree) I avoid using this at all as I don’t feel that un-rated people are really doing anything in a segment and thusly shouldn’t gain anything. Others disagree and use it when people are essentially a minor role in a segment that isn’t really about them at all. For the most part, I can only think of one reason I’d use this and it’s actually a Cornellverse example… essentially, I’d use it if I were trying to hype a big mystery such as the Eric Eisen reveal in the Jack Bruce “Man Under Pressure Storyline” since the mystery figure was always going to have huge heat as a result of the reveal, even if they were unknown and not in the angle to benefit from it at the time. And even then, I’d probably torment myself about using it. Ultimately, the decision is up to the player and I’m not going to nag anyone about it. For me, a worker is rated on something or they really shouldn’t be there at all.

………………

In segments that could use more than one thing, I tend to try to work out what the worker would be mostly using for a segment. For example, if two workers have an argument then they’d use entertainment… if two workers have a brawl, I’d use overness for them both. If they have an argument that leads to a brawl, it’s a judgement call depending on how the segment plays out.

…………….

Anywho, the point of this is segment ratings, so let’s get to that. Loosely speaking, the segment will work out to an average of the worker contributtons to it as laid out roughly above, with modifiers for momentum in particular, storyline heat, crowd level, creative freedom, chemistry with managers and whatnot helping too as appropriate. A segment rating of 80 might not seem like the greatest thing ever, but if you get that sort of rating every show then it can be good enough to pull you to National level in most mods! (Whether that is a hot enough storyline for your audience is up to your product to decide!)


SHOW RATINGS

The final stage of all of this, putting it all together! It’s been talked about many times on the forums abot what goes into a show rating so this is more or less a rewtite of a lot of that, but hopefully with some extra insights that make it worth reading.

The most important things here are pretty simple… knowing how your overall match rating is worked out and your overall angle rating is worked out. Then it’s just a case of balancing them with the percentage of the show spent on each in order to get your show rating.

70% of your Main Event rating (ignore Post Show Matches)
20% of your Semi-Main Event rating
10% of the average of your other matches on the show (ignore pre-show and post show).
=
OVERALL MATCH RATING

70% of your best angle (more if you have less than 3 angles, ignore pre and post show)
20% of your second best angle (assuming you have one, ignore pre and post show)
10% of your third best angle (assuming you have one, ignore pre and post show)
= OVERALL ANGLE RATING

……….

From there you just need to work out the percentage fo your show (ignoring pre and post show) that is angles and matches to work out your show rating. I don’t generally reach for examples but I’m going to have a quick look at a recent episode of RAW and sum it up here to give a very rough idea of where it would rate if you were to follow everything I’ve put together in this guide so far. Obviously some popularity levels have changed a bit over the last few months, I hope people remember that when looking at it.

The numbers in brackets for angles are roughly what I’d expect a worker to contribute given their momentum and other bonuses, not just a reflection of their skills! I also don’t know how long the segments are (didn’t catch the show), so some things might grade lower in TEW due to length. Numbers are rounded to multiples of 5 for my own convenience too, usually downwards to highlight that you don’t need to stat too highly. Just to be clear.

[b][u]RAW

ANGLE: Triple H (entertainment, 85), Randy Orton (entertainment, 85), Daniel Bryan (entertainment, 90). OVERALL RATING 87 / B+
ANGLE: Triple H (entertainment, 85), Randy Orton (overness, 85), Cody Rhodes (entertainment or overness, 70). OVERALL RATING: 80 / B
MATCH: Miz defeats Fandango. OVERALL RATING: 55 / C-
ANGLE: Booker T (entertainment, 75), Daniel Bryan (overness, 80). OVERALL RATING: 78 / B
ANGLE: Dean Ambrose (overness, 60), Dolph Ziggler (overness, 75). OVERALL RATING: 68 / C+
MATCH: Ryback defeats Dolph Ziggler. OVERALL RATING: 60 / C
ANGLE: Steph McMahon (entertainment, 70), Triple H (overness, 85), Brad Maddox (entertainment, 45), Daniel Bryan (overness, 80), Big Show (overness, 80). OVERALL RATING: 74 / B-
ANGLE: Los Matadores (overness, 30). OVERALL RATING: 30 / E+
ANGLE: Steph McMahon (entertainment, 70), Big Show (acting, 90). OVERALL RATING: 80 / B
MATCH: Prime Time Players defeat Three Man Band. OVERALL RATING: 40 / D-
ANGLE: Brad Maddox (entertainment, 45), Triple H (entertainment, 85), Paul Heyman (entertainment, 85), CM Punk (overness, 85), Curtis Axel (overness, 45). OVERALL RATING: 70 / C+
MATCH: Randy Orton defeats Cody Rhodes. OVERALL RATING: 80 / B
ANGLE: Triple H (entertainment, 85), Randy Orton (overness, 85), Cody Rhodes (overness, 70). OVERALL RATING: 80
ANGLE: CM Punk (entertainment, 90), Paul Heyman (overness, 75). OVERALL RATING: 83 / B
ANGLE: Daniel Bryan (entertainment, 90), Big Show (entertainment, 85). OVERALL RATING: 87 / B
MATCH: Natalya vs Brie Bella vs Naomi goes to no contest with AJ interference. OVERALL RATING: 35 / E+
MATCH: RVD defeats Damian Sandow. OVERALL RATING: 70 / C+
ANGLE: Steph McMahon (entertainment, 70) makes divas 4 way (overness about 35 overall): OVERALL RATING: 45 / D
ANGLE: Cody Rhodes (entertainment, 70), Josh Matthews (unrated or just ignored). OVERALL RATING: 70 / C+
ANGLE: Locker-room emptying. Don’t have a list of who, but take top 8 guys involved for overness, maybe Triple H/Orton since I’m sure they’re talked about a lot. OVERALL RATING: 80 / B
MATCH: Daniel Bryan and Big Show no contest with Shield interference/overbooking OVERALL RATING: 80 / B
ANGLE: Triple H (overness, 85), Daniel Bryan (overness, 85), Big Show (overness 85), Steph (overness, 70), Randy Orton (overness, 85). OVERALL RATING: 83

Yikes, that took a LONG time to put together

MAIN EVENT: 70% of 80 = 56
SEMI: 20% of 70 = 14
AVERAGE OF OTHERS: 10% of (55+60+40+80+35 / 5) = 5
OVERALL MATCH RATING = 75

BEST ANGLE: 70% of 87 = 61
SECOND ANGLE 20% of 87 = 17
THIRD ANGLE: 10% 0f 83 = 8
OVERALL ANGLE RATING = 86

OVERAL SHOW RATING
60% Match Ratio = 80 / B
50% Match Ratio = 81 / B
40% Match Ratio = 82 / B

For a TV show, that’s a pretty darn good rating for a company with no-one being rated at 90 or more popularity. And that’s also with me rounding down a lot of numbers too, it’s likely it would be higher than that too. This show would result in the WWE gaining in popularity with the way I’d have set them up, which seems to track rather well with reality given that they are on something of a hot streak just now. I think that it also highlights that you can have some pretty bad stuff in the middle of the show and not have to worry about it. Lesser angles get ignored completely after your three best one, and a few undercard matches will have such a small effect on the end result that as long as the main event/main angles deliver then you should be able to book good shows pretty easily and the AI should be able to deliver the goods too.

I think that’s all I’m going to write for this chapter for now. It’s taken longer than it should have because of the RAW recap but hopefully it highlights how everything works when you put it all together in TEW terms. I’m still planning to write a hapter on lots of little things that ould help with mods in general. No idea when I’ll get that done but I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and it’s the first chance I’ve had to write it.

Hope this helps someone.

Last edited by Derek B : 09-09-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 10:54 AM
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One more reserved post, which is enough for the sections I've got planned.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 11:22 AM
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Very nicely explained indeed Derek. This will be invaluable for a lot of prospective mod makers looking to get their concepts off the ground. Not only can this be applied to real world mods, but the base principles detailed, can also be applied with ease to potential fictional mods as well.

Excellent.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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20LEgend 20LEgend is offline
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Looks good from what I've read, it's helpful with something I've been slowly working on for a while, so thanks it's a good guideline (and I'm pleased I'm not drastically wrong on most things ).

I noticed you said something about there not being a lot of stars (compared to the CV). I may have read it wrong or missed this but I was wondering if you think when this is transferred over into a mod it could lead to issues of WWE falling to cult?

I'd rather maybe have things a bit elavated if it means WWE not dropping to cult as I've seen it happen to SWF in the CV even when they have the higher popularity guys. I have no idea myself so I was wondering if it was something you had though about?

Edit: I know you mentioned with the popularity but I'm just curious as to what you think since popularity seems to move quite quickly, whether it would be an issue in the game (even though most people would say WWE have put on shows below their pop) causing them to drop.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 01:02 PM
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nice work. Should help out a lot for mod makers.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 01:08 PM
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Probably something I should have mentioned somewhere in the posts, but may be a new chapter later is more about the interactions of the various pieces once they get together. With the WWE at about 75 popularity (for this example) and a product that is likely going to be at least medium trending, they really only need shows of about 72/low end B- (I think) to maintain their popularity. They have enough charismatic/popular people on the roster that they should be able to pull out B+ rated angles fairly consistently on RAW and with TV set up at a 40% or 50% ratio that is basically the same as having a B+ rated main event. With that in mind, even with a mediocre undercard or main event they should be able to get a B- rated show fairly easily, and more likely a fairly regular B. So barring the gameworld shifting downwards in Regional Importance, the WWE shouldn't have any excuse to drop to cult unless their entire main event scene are somehow 5 years into Time Decline and suffering heavy penalties to their segments.

I've not had any issues with SWF dropping to cult in any games I've been playing, not in TEW13 anyways. The main reason it used to happen in TEW10 is that the AI was not only terrible at bulding overness, but that angles weren't weighted heavily enough to support the SWF. That's changed in TEW13 so the WWE should be quite comfortable where I've put them. And with a solid look at gimmicks (and contracts in general) coming up in future bits of writing I'm hoping to make it clear on how to not only set up the mod with good balance but also to make it appropriate to the situation the WWE is in. For example, John Cena COULD carry the company but his gimmick rating isn't giving him bonuses and his momentum has stalled... get him a momentum boost and give him a gimmick that is a hit with ALL the fans (new gimmick or a turn maybe) and he would get additional bonuses that would stack up to make him get awesome grades. One of the biggest gripes with the WWE just now, at least for me, is that most of the things in tEW that can provide bonuses are ignored by the WWE for the most part. Tag team wrestling (experience bonuses), strong characters (high gimmick ratings), good storytelling (storyline heat)... it's like they deliberately ignore ways to boost their own grades, and that's something that a player in TEW would be doing. So the default scenario would have many of these things lacking, but with some good booking everything could pick up and the entire show could raise a grade or two just by finding a few hot characters or team combinations.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 01:52 PM
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A few things I'd not thought about - make sense, thanks I was thinking more with AI but for some reason I was thinking the national boundary was higher too so cheers for clearing it all up.
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Unread 06-01-2013, 02:30 PM
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I'll definitely be saving this once it gets to a 2nd page (I use the max posts per page setting).
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Unread 06-01-2013, 06:20 PM
kingdracon kingdracon is offline
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So I know this is focused on real-world mods, but the advice has been incredibly helpful for the completely original mod I'm working on as well.
Any advice for making sure fictional worlds stay balanced?
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Unread 06-01-2013, 06:44 PM
JRev1313 JRev1313 is offline
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Running a test using your overness levels and products with the Cornellverse's importance levels:


I actually noticed after this that I forgot to tweek TNA's TV match ratio to 60 so that explains only one angle on the TV show but so far those are some test results.

Edit: I should add that's booked by the AI, as I'm simply watching at the moment to see how it plays on it's own.
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