I did not realize that I had not actually written a review for OOTP 16 yet. One would think that would be something done very early on. Alas, I obviously tripped on my way out of the dugout there.
This review is approached from two different directions. One is from the PAD Circus perspective and the other is an overall perspective based on my experience using a fully fictional league that will be used as the basis for a novel or novella.
Overall: I really, really have grown to like the clean look of the interface. Some of the menus (or items on the menus) got moved a round a little, so that took some adjusting, but the interface itself is super clean and easy to read. The "Manager's Office" makes for a one-stop update shop: anything you need to know about what's going on in your league and/or with your team, it's there for you in plain view. I think it is pretty cool that the game is now MLB licensed, though I don't use that feature (I am strictly a fictional-league person). I've watched a couple games with the new 3d field mode and wow, that is freaking cool! The folks at OOTP have really outdone themselves there. I would guess many people would buy the game for that feature alone!
PAD Circus: I use OOTP to create a 40-team fictional league that uses the real players plus players I add along the way. The process is a bit convoluted because I have such a weird set of rules and circumstances, so I certainly can't blame the game for that. I do have an issue, though, where the game seemed to have taken over (I set everything for human manager - well, that *I* manage everything) from time to time. For example, I set the players on the teams and then suddenly, players are moved to other teams even though I set the NO TRADES flag and I am the human manager. I might have posted something about it on the forums, I may not have. Really, I am not convinced that I am doing everything correctly. It's one of those things - I question whether it is the game or my own head space. It is far too late in the real season and in the game's season to worry about it now. What it did mean, though, was that I have to manually add all the players back to my 40 teams. It has not been fun, and I have not really put a lot of time into it, which is not fair to the folks that are playing along "vicariously." My one wish, and I may post this as a request, is that game-generated fictional players should have some kind of FIC designation or something so that I know which players on any given team were imported from real rosters or were the result of filling a team with fictional players.
NOVEL: I created a Midwestern league with 10 completely fictional teams and players. The game worked great as I watched the league and players start out from a first year entity to its current 26th season. In that league, everything was run by computer. I kept my hands off, except to change the city of one team, and let the game do its thing. I watched some of the simulated games, but mostly just blew through seasons a month at a time. At the end of each month, I'd check for injuries, news, records, etc. It was great watching rivalries spring up (even if those were made up in my head) and watch players as they matured in their play and eventually retired. My only real complaint is that players never die. I don't mean during the season, but after they are long retired. I really do wish OOTP would make that a select-able option - people could choose whether they wanted it or not. I would want it. I do love that you change certain settings during the course of things. For example, the HOF system I had set was a bit too stringent, but I didn't realize it until one of my favorite players missed his chance at the HOF. I fixed that and it affected future HOF nominations, etc. Sure, I could have done manual HOF, but I would rather the game handle everything in this scenario.
Aside from the few quirks, OOTP is one of the best simulations I've used. It is why I keep using it each year during my Pack-A-Daily Circus pack breaks.
Now, I just need to get off my duff and get my PAD Circus league back in order before the real MLB season ends!