In Miller, we're currently working with the guide-lines for post-reset FA organising. We're not running all the FA's the Live worlds will get to see, but we're seeing enough of it to base an opinion plus we get the chance to test the new organising guide-lines. I have to say, I am a bit skeptical regarding some points.
The first point is league size, which is now becoming fluent instead of static. This basically means that if teams are moved INTO an FA, the tiers are expanded if necessary to accommodate them at the correct level. Promotions and relegations will be adjusted for the following season to compensate. Alternatively, it also means that if teams are removed due to inactivity or violating AI rules, no extra teams are going up.
I can definitely see the aims of this particular rule. If you don't deserve promotion, you are not forced to punch above your weight in a higher tier, simply because the FA has to make up the numbers. It also means that FA hoppers do not get an easy ride for the first (few) season(s) because they have to start at the bottom.
It also means that in some tiers in particular FA's, problems are arising. In one particular tier, 15 out of the 20 teams in tier had to be removed due to various reasons (forced de-activation, quitting beta, not enough players, inactivity, breach of AI rules).
Normally, I would just send these teams a tier up, merging two tiers to compensate for the loss of so many teams. In this case, I am still allowed to do this, but in the future, the open numbers will be replaced by CPU teams. I'm not entirely sure a tier with 5 live teams and 15 CPU teams will be all that appealing.
Second point is the use of play-offs in some FA's. I've never been a big fan of those, since they cannot be incorporated properly into the league structure and should thus be ran during the off-season. Teams above the AI limit are not allowed to compete for promotion, which sometimes leaves us with odd play-offs.
As it happens, we are supposed to run them English style, so with a double semi-final and single final match. So what happens when we only get 3 teams? One team gets a free ride into the final, with basically less chance of injuries or suspensions? I'd be pretty pissed if I were in the play-off final with several players injured or suspended and my opponent had a fresh squad because there were no semi's for him.
Adding the play-offs into the league structure could be an answer. With seasons taking 23 days instead of 21 soon, the extra two days could be used to automatically run the play-offs in the off-season, coding them into the leagues.
The only problem with that rule is that it won't weed out AI-teams. If a team exceeds an FA's AI rule, it is denied promotion so it becomes useless to make them compete in a play-off. By hard-coding the play-offs into the leagues, we run a risk of ending up with a play-off winner who can;t go up due to AI.
These are just two sceptical notes I have when I work at getting Miller ready for the next season start coming Saturday. Here's to hoping I was too negative in my initial thoughts and everything will work out just fine.