Just wanted to share... how to set up a fictional historical league
So, while doing fictional historical" replays" OOB is kind of rough, I *did* manage to get historical totals to line up pretty accurately for a league I set out to start in 1976-77. Just wanted to outline my steps:
1. Create a new league in the year you want to play. Turn historical modifiers off and use custom ones instead, because the historical ones don't seem to work.
2. Copy this league and save it if you want to be 100% accurate, although TBH I just re-ran new leagues over and over again until I got this right.
3. Play out the season with all the modifiers at 1000 to get yourself some league totals. It's likely going to be way, way off what it's supposed to be, especially if you're replaying the 1980s.
4. Export the league HTML or to a database to get it to wherever you want to go.
5. Now here's the tough/fun (ish) part: go to basketball-reference and copy/paste the team/season totals into an Excel or Google Docs spreadsheet (note: if you want to use Excel, you'll probably need to open basketball-ref in IE because MS is a pain). Then do the same with the HTML/league DB info to get them kind of side by side.
6. From here, you'll want to do a calculation wherein you divide the actual league shooting percentage by what your league totals had (if you're in a league that allows 3s, you'll want to compare 2 point percentage from bbref to the same in your FBB league - you'll probably need to extrapolate that info yourself). Then you multiply that by 1000 and you've got the inside shooting % and jumper %.
7. Rinse and repeat for all the other stats, ideally using per-possession rates for turnovers, blocks, and steals. BBRef uses this formula to determine possessions per game:
2. 0.5 * ((Tm FGA + 0.4 * Tm FTA – 1.07 * (Tm ORB / (Tm ORB + Opp DRB)) * (Tm FGA – Tm FG) + Tm TOV) + (Opp FGA + 0.4 * Opp FTA – 1.07 * (Opp ORB / (Opp ORB + Tm DRB)) * (Opp FGA – Opp FG) + Opp TOV)).
I know, I know, that's a lot of stuff, but that's what you have the spreadsheet for! If you determine this stuff on your FBB save side, you should be able to compare those numbers to BBRef's per-100 possessions side of things.
8. Pace is a little bit wonky for two reasons. One, you've got to work out possessions as above and compare that side by side with the actual year of the league, but on top of that, pace in the game works the opposite of how you'd expect it to work. I think that what "pace" actually does is add seconds to possessions. Anyway, that means that if you want your league to be 10% faster than the raw totals, you actually need to set your league's pace to 900, not 1100. So it's counter-intuitive, but just reverse the math for that.
9. For three-pointers, you'll notice that the game itself only has a rating for shot *percentage*. Well, that's not going to do much good for historical leagues where 3s were *far* rarer than they are today. Fortunately, in the main directory of your game, there is a file called fbb.ini that includes a field called, I think "TpFrequency" or something similar. It's in the midst of a bunch of settings for frequencies of the different kinds of shots. I haven't 100% tested this but I am *pretty sure* that if you keep everything else equal but change that three rate to the calculated rate you want it to be at, it'll come out.
10. I observed some other issues in playing out the actual games and so made a few more tweaks to the fbb.ini file for my 70s-era league (YMMV for older or newer ones)
TopRebound - set it to 1200 instead of 1000. What I *think* this setting does is it gives a boost to the best rebounder or perhaps best 2-3 rebounders on the floor no matter where the shot happens to go. My experience has been that you don't see Dennis Rodman types (or, from the 70s, Kareems or Moses Malones) and this should help with that.
TeamRebounds - I set this to 600 because I felt there were too many balls going out of bounds in games and this also increases the overall number of rebounds, hopefully adding an extra rebound or two per game for your best guys. YMMV
Block rates - I'm still not happy with the spread on block rates - league leaders are generally in the 2s and I'd like to see guys getting close or over double digits sometimes - but I raised "inside", "dunk", and "drive" and lowered "medium" and "outside". You probably want to tweak those settings *before* you run your league because this will probably mess with shooting percentages (although I will say that players have *really* high inside shooting percentages in this game).
11. After you've made these tweaks, delete the original league and either paste in your saved version or create a new league. TBH by 1976 I think the league is big enough that a couple of outliers won't seriously skew the overall totals but if you're going for earlier eras or if you *really* want those stats to be exact, sure, keep using copies of that original save.
12. Make sure you set the game to use custom modifiers, insert your new totals, and compare them with the originals. They should be pretty damn close at this point but you can further tweak them using the same process as before. FWIW OOTP does this calculation 3 times when it starts a new season.
13. Enjoy fictional/historical play! Also bear in mind that the AI will probably have the mindset of a (relatively) modern GM (I say relative because this game came out in 2013, which is almost a different era compared to today), so if you're playing in a long-enough ago era, you can probably put them into foolish trades if you so desire (like, a "3 and D" guy is probably going to be almost useless in the 70s unless he also has a good jump-shooting rating). I'm also not enamored of the AI's willingness to start, for example, point guards who shoot way below 40%, but there's only so much you can do...
If anyone else still plays this game, please share thoughts/feelings/etc. IMO once you make these tweaks, FBB does in fact become the closest thing we've got to a pro basketball version of OOTP.