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Grace Period to carry over popularity when arriving in a new area

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Something I've found a little frustrating in the game is signing workers from another game area who are hugely popular there but don't have much popularity in my company's region. It's difficult to treat them like a massive superstar coming in at the top because nobody will put them over.

For example, let's say I'm playing as WWE and I want to sign AJ Styles, just like what happened in 2016. AJ's USA popularity then (let's say 50) would have been way lower than pretty much everyone on the roster and lower than his pop in Japan (let's say 80). These are not exact numbers, I'm just using them as an example so no need to debate them!

Realistically, Styles should be able to enter the company as someone who has plenty of credentials to his name and be treated as a big deal by everyone on the roster. In his first few months he beat Jericho and was in a title program with Reigns, then in June he beat Cena.

You could also imagine something similar in the CVerse. Biggest name in USA and UK, Tommy Cornell (86) has a low popularity in Japan (17). If I want to sign him for SWF, he's going to be way lower than even the most hopeless of jobbers.

In TEW, that means I would have to treat both of them as insignificant wrestlers. There's no way of fast-tracking them to the top without angering every lower midcarder who has to put him over on the way, and some top guys would just outright refuse. That means it could take years of squash matches and low-level feuds to get him anywhere near the top of the card.

But this is AJ Styles who was huge in Japan, or if you prefer, Cornell, the guy the whole game is named after. They're not lower carders. They should immediately come in as significant threats, even if they're not going to immediately beat the top guy in the company.

Another consequence of this is that big companies in TEW very rarely sign any big foreign talents and treat them like a big deal which means the game world loses some dynamism.

I'm sure I'm not the first one to consider this, but I have come up with some kind of solution.

So here is my suggestion: When a worker joins a new company in a different game area they should carry over their popularity from other areas for a short amount of time (3 months?). Perhaps not all of that popularity, but a good portion of it. They have this grace period in which they're treated as a big star and can quickly gain popularity in the new area to catch up with where they should be.

For example, Tommy Cornell could go to BHOTWG and everyone knows early on he's a big star. Let's say he carries over 75% of his USA popularity (86), so he's on about 65. Given the top guys in BHOTWG are in the 70's, the booker could reasonably expect them to put him over without complaining. Cornell's popularity in Japan would quickly shoot up from 17 to maybe 50 or 60, while the top guys in BHOTWG wouldn't suffer a massive drop in popularity.

In Style's case, the effect wouldn't be so strong, but even carrying over 75% of his Japan popularity would put him at a starting point higher up the card than otherwise.

Of course this grace period shouldn't last forever, otherwise it would be easy to exploit. But it gives a company a bit of time to treat the new signing as a star. If they don't do so in the first few months, then fine, they lost their shot.

The way of implementing this could be with a temporary Attribute (Breaking into a new area), potentially one for each new area. And to avoid companies spamming this by signing and re-signing, the temporary Attribute could have a cool-off period of a few years so it can't be repeated.

Something like this means in game, you playing AEW could sign Okada and not have to treat him like a jobber. NJPW could swoop in for Brock Lesnar and immediately have him win the title... big stars could move across the globe to companies who can push them properly.

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I like the idea of being able to treat "the new guy" as a big deal more easily than it currently is, but should it really be based on the worker's popularity in another area though?

To me it seems more realistic to have it based on a combination of other factors like, how well known and well regarded that worker is by people in the wrestling business, how likely they are to succeed in their new environment, and obviously the personality of the worker who's asked to do a job. Their "big in Japan" (or elsewhere) status seems like it doesn't matter all that much in real life.

As an example, Shinsuke Nakamura and KENTA were both "big in Japan" when they signed with the WWE, both good workers, both limited on the mic in English. But one is a crazy charismatic guy with a big personality, and is not huge but is not a "small guy" either, and the other is tiny and a more subdued character. So it seems like it was easier to convince established guys to put Nakamura over while Hideo Itami never really beat anyone more important than Cedric Alexander.

It's also hard to imagine Vince having to say "but he's big in Japan!" to convince Jericho or Cena to put AJ Styles over. It seems more likely that they both already knew who he was, both respected his work, and both could see that he could be a top guy in the WWE.

So I suggest that a combination of Respect, Experience, Reputation, Charisma and Star Quality may be a more accurate way to simulate the possibility to "import" a foreign/top indie guy directly as an upper midcard/main event guy than Popularity.

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5 hours ago, MisterSocko said:

I like the idea of being able to treat "the new guy" as a big deal more easily than it currently is, but should it really be based on the worker's popularity in another area though?

I think popularity should play a main part, although I agree that other factors should have an influence. Especially star quality and respect. I think a lot of bookers (and wrestlers who might be asked to do the job) would use popularity as a proxy for all of the factors you mention, because if they made it big, they probably have at least some combination of those things.

However, I can't see a traditional Japanese company going for someone like Shane McMahon, which they might do if it was based purely on popularity. And in your KENTA example, the product and attitude of WWE had an impact.

I think you're right to point out there's quite a lot of detail to the implementation of something like this beyond my initial simplistic just "high pop = get boost".

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