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morgantjg
24-01-2008, 14:16
Is it time SI bit the bullet and added difficulty levels to the game?

The reason I ask is that since the producers developed a fetish for sliders the game has become very instable. The current match engine 8.01 is, and lets face it, it really is, pretty unwell. If you play a standard default tactic it is reasonable watch, bar the glaring bugs such as the missed one on ones and the amount of chances. But if you develop your own tactic there is so much complexity and so many options that the robustness of the match engine is thoroughly tested, and in my opinion exposed massively to criticism. I am playing with a 442 variant, nothing particularly outlandish, yet I have games where the shots on goal stats are in the 50's with a constant stream of tap in chances missed.

I have tried one of the tactics someone else developed (The Winning V3.02) and I finished 3rd in the Premier League with 104 goals AGAINST!

The match engine is so extreme a lot of the time. Ridiculously the pre match team talk still pretty much guarantees a goal in the first 2 minutes if you pick the wrong option (Or forget to do it, PLEASE PUT A CONFIRMATION SCREEN IN SAYING "DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PROCEED WITH ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR PLAYERS?"), the AI can still score at the flick of a switch by changing tactics and there are still too many extreme swings and comebacks and overall far too many chances and too many goals.

I think all this is down to the sheer number of possible tactical options. Its way OTT and completely inaccessible. There have got to be something like a million (Probably more?) possible tactical combinations currently. How can SI possibly ensure they all work as they should?

My recommendations:

1 - Release the patch to sort the chances/one on ones/goal bonanza problem. With this sorted FM08 would be back to being a pretty solid game. It is currently unplayable if you are a lover of reasonably-realistic statistics. (Shots for and against in matches and goals for and against over a season).

2 - For future versions have difficulty levels or even game modes, for example 'Old School' featuring CM2-esque gameplay with less sliders where good players and a killer tactic which doesn't need tweaking are enough through to 'Cleon Factor' where there are pages and pages of sliders with an extreme level of difficulty.

I just think there are 2 defined types of FM gamer. The 'download and play' brigade like me who download someone elses tactic and wish it would work without tweaking and concentrate on buying and developing players etc, and those with a things for slidy bars and tactical experimentation and refinement. Both are valid approaches to the game, but it seems as though only one is currently being catered for.

morgantjg
24-01-2008, 14:16
Is it time SI bit the bullet and added difficulty levels to the game?

The reason I ask is that since the producers developed a fetish for sliders the game has become very instable. The current match engine 8.01 is, and lets face it, it really is, pretty unwell. If you play a standard default tactic it is reasonable watch, bar the glaring bugs such as the missed one on ones and the amount of chances. But if you develop your own tactic there is so much complexity and so many options that the robustness of the match engine is thoroughly tested, and in my opinion exposed massively to criticism. I am playing with a 442 variant, nothing particularly outlandish, yet I have games where the shots on goal stats are in the 50's with a constant stream of tap in chances missed.

I have tried one of the tactics someone else developed (The Winning V3.02) and I finished 3rd in the Premier League with 104 goals AGAINST!

The match engine is so extreme a lot of the time. Ridiculously the pre match team talk still pretty much guarantees a goal in the first 2 minutes if you pick the wrong option (Or forget to do it, PLEASE PUT A CONFIRMATION SCREEN IN SAYING "DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PROCEED WITH ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR PLAYERS?"), the AI can still score at the flick of a switch by changing tactics and there are still too many extreme swings and comebacks and overall far too many chances and too many goals.

I think all this is down to the sheer number of possible tactical options. Its way OTT and completely inaccessible. There have got to be something like a million (Probably more?) possible tactical combinations currently. How can SI possibly ensure they all work as they should?

My recommendations:

1 - Release the patch to sort the chances/one on ones/goal bonanza problem. With this sorted FM08 would be back to being a pretty solid game. It is currently unplayable if you are a lover of reasonably-realistic statistics. (Shots for and against in matches and goals for and against over a season).

2 - For future versions have difficulty levels or even game modes, for example 'Old School' featuring CM2-esque gameplay with less sliders where good players and a killer tactic which doesn't need tweaking are enough through to 'Cleon Factor' where there are pages and pages of sliders with an extreme level of difficulty.

I just think there are 2 defined types of FM gamer. The 'download and play' brigade like me who download someone elses tactic and wish it would work without tweaking and concentrate on buying and developing players etc, and those with a things for slidy bars and tactical experimentation and refinement. Both are valid approaches to the game, but it seems as though only one is currently being catered for.

Klimowicz
24-01-2008, 14:33
FM is, and will always be, a simulation game. it's not as pick up and play as fm05 was, but that was the first venture away from the CM series. if it stuck to a pick up and play formula, then many more players would have boycotted the series due to the lack of a challenge.

while your suggestion would incorperate players who don't want to worry about details, the next game would not come out in october as usual, but it would take longer to develope, and there will still be initial bugs and data issues, so it would still require a patch or two.

if you're not new to the FM series, you would know that final patches come out in february after the january transfer window, and they include fixes from acumilated bug reports from us. they already did us a favor by releasing the beta patch before 8.0.1.

Mitja
24-01-2008, 14:52
I think you are right about "a million (Probably more?) possible tactical combinations currently. How can SI possibly ensure they all work as they should?".


"pick&play game" would defenetly be a step back for me. only if SI wants to get FIFA customers.


match engine, tactics (too much influence). also I agree that this current tactical system isn't good and it doesn't suite this (more sopfistcated ME) anymore. actually I'm having a thread on the same metter.


team talks? I like the idea and that's all. agree with you.


difficulty levels? not for it. if you want easy game play with chelsea, hard...derby. it should be like that, even though I think on this ME it's allmost the same.


PS what kind of enjoy is to "download and play"

heathxxx
24-01-2008, 14:58
Cant say I agree with introducing difficulty levels into the FM series.

If SI decided to do a spin-off "lite" version however, then that's a different matter altogether, though I doubt it would happen.

Granted, the game is becoming increasingly more difficult, more involved, perhaps more time consuming to master. For me though, this is entirely what sets it apart from the "pick up & play" alternatives, which can very easily be mastered and therefore offer limited longevity and very little challenge.

Perhaps ask yourself this question - do I enjoy more a game in which I can more or less guarentee success, or do I want to play a game that continually challenges me?

I'm not having a go, but you have to understand that the general demand is for FM to continue as a simulation and offer realism therefore I would assume that fuure releases may progressively get even more "difficult".

Insofar as creating tactics or downloading tactics, I do both. I can honestly say that both ways, with a bit of time and effort, adapting tactics to suit my players proves very rewarding. A little time spent tweeking tactics at the start can really make a difference long term.

heathxxx
24-01-2008, 15:57
Just thought I would mention also that there is a form of difficulty level built into the game.

At the start you can select your starting reputation, from unknown to former international. Try picking a lower league club with former international and see just how much easier it is.

djht
24-01-2008, 16:20
I have said this before but difficulty levels should definitely be introduced. The level should be based on the 'activeness' of the ai manager. I.e. At normal difficulty the ai manager will, as it does now, tweak its tactics continually throughout individual matches. On 'easy', the ai will essentially start with a tactic and largely stick with it, changing it during the match with far lower frequency.

To those who say that it will be a 'step backwards' and encourage casual gamers to 'stick with FIFA'... How many of you 'experts' and 'tactical gurus' change your tactics hundreds of times during a match like the ai currently does? The current state of the ai is not even a realistic reflection of management. Even if it is, this is a computer game. We are not paid professional football managers. Also, why deny casual gamers (who represent probably the majority of FM gamers) enjoyment from the game? With difficulty levels you can still play the game with its full complexity. Without difficulty levels the game may have to make a 'backward step' because SI will eventually have to simplify the game so that it's 'playable' for the majority of gamers.

Look where we are after the last three releases (FM 2006, 07, 08). The game is at a crisis point. The classic CMs and the success they brought was based on playability, not complexity.

Mitja
24-01-2008, 16:30
yes but also you played it allmost on atari's. http://community.sigames.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Mitja
24-01-2008, 16:30
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by djht:

Look where we are after the last three releases (FM 2006, 07, 08). The game is at a crisis point. The classic CMs and the success they brought was based on playability, not complexity. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

morgantjg
24-01-2008, 16:52
Some great responses, which I think pretty much back up the idea I had of there being two camps, the tacticians and the empire builders.

Personally I play FM, not to simulate football to the nth degree of tactical realism, but as a release, a game with all the real players and teams in the positions they should be in (FM's database is superb) with the chance of leading my team to glory.

I used to play CM religiously, sticking with the killer tactic of the version everytime. Although success was guaranteed as long as I built the squad properly, I still couldn't stop playing it. I'm not suggesting we go back to the days of the Michael Owen 4-3-3 and not being able to lose, but I think there are a lot of people who would like to be able to lead their favourite team to glory, without sacrificing their lives to a study of slider-combination-effect-outputs.

gunnerfan
24-01-2008, 17:33
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Look where we are after the last three releases (FM 2006, 07, 08). The game is at a crisis point. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Crisis point?? You must be joking! Yes, there have been some irritating bugs, and the match engine does some funky things, but to say the game is at crisis point is pure hyperbole.

Basically, your "crisis" is that you can't just download a "killer tactic" and win-win-win.

I remain unconvinced that "difficulty levels" are in any way desirable, because the game just isn't that difficult if you take the time to learn the nuances (and not that much time, at that). Besides, any splitting of the game into difficulty levels will necessitate the development of submodules within the game, the development of which will crowd out other improvements that could be made.

thefootman
24-01-2008, 20:09
How to keep FM fun and suitable for everyone is a difficult balancing act because we all have different views from what we expect from it.

As a veteran of the early CM games myself I can appreciate just how much more complex the game has become and depending on one's point of view this can either add to
it's appeal or simply make it too challenging to be classed as an enjoyable experience.

The introduction of 'traditional' difficulty levels like we get in other games such as(easy/beginner through to expert) has been suggested many times before.
I'm not a programmer but given the 'complexity' of FM I can only assume that developing several levels of AI to suit each difficulty level would be very time consuming.

While a lot of people on the forums put time and effort into helping others struggling with the game (and I applaud them for that) I think it's time that SI added a good
feedback system into FM to help casual gamers and the less insightful to work out where and why things are going wrong.

If future versions are going to become increasingly complex (which is good or bad depending on how people feel) then I believe something like this has to be included with the game
at some point.

If it was optional this in itself could be seen as a difficulty level of sorts as those who chose to use it would be 'simplifying' the game a little and making it a more
enjoyable experience without alienating those who enjoy a stiffer challenge. http://community.sigames.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

skintsaint
24-01-2008, 21:30
Easy Level: Start with Chelsea/Arsenal/Man Utd
Med Level: Start with Blackburn/Everton/Villa
Hard Level: Start with Derby/Sunderland/Wigan

The Gaffovski
24-01-2008, 21:42
I pretty much agree with the OP for the following reason -

In real life, do managers tell their teams: "today I want you to play a 3 notch short passing game, with 9 notch normal tempo, 15 notch often time wasting, and 16 notch attacking mentality"???

No.

It could be simplified and bettered, IMO, by having the following options on the passing slider (for example) -

Short
Short/Mixed
Mixed
Mixed/Direct
Direct
Long

The Defensive Line and Closing Down options need looking at too. Why? Because in the original 8.0 game, the closing down was based on "Rarely, Mixed, Often", and with the patches (because people complained about the closing down wasn't working properly), it was changed to "Own Area, Own Half, Whole Pitch", which pretty much makes the Defensive Line either useless, or conflicting with the closing down instructions.

Sometimes my fullbacks seem to be running backwards (trying to stay in the Defensive Line?), whilst the opposing wingers are racing forward at full speed. It's very strange. Players should be provided with more "intelligence" according to their stats, so that when a match situation develops that necessitates their own initiative coming into play, they will not stick to the manager's general instructions. And a way of bettering this, would be to lessen the amount of instruction options you can give to your players. So that they have more freedom. And no, not Creative Freedom, just freedom to show they have half a brain to do what's required in a situation.

In my ideal FM world, the instruction options would be less, so that for each match I could take about half a minute to tweak ALL the instructions according to my expectations of what the match I'm about to play is going to require. But at present, because of so many options that you'd need to tweak, I'm just using exactly the same tactic over and over, because it takes like 5 minutes to tweak everything.

I'd like for FM to be more like in the past, where you could SEE who a particular player was just by his style of play on the pitch, even if they didn't have a number or name. It's all become too robotic at the moment. Each player should be given back their "character". And I think the OP is onto something, as to why this isn't the case at the moment.

The Gaffovski
24-01-2008, 21:45
P.S. I would not like to see difficulty levels introduced though. I think that would kill the game.

djht
24-01-2008, 23:28
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gunnerfan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Look where we are after the last three releases (FM 2006, 07, 08). The game is at a crisis point. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Crisis point?? You must be joking! Yes, there have been some irritating bugs, and the match engine does some funky things, but to say the game is at crisis point is pure hyperbole.

Basically, your "crisis" is that you can't just download a "killer tactic" and win-win-win.

I remain unconvinced that "difficulty levels" are in any way desirable, because the game just isn't that difficult if you take the time to learn the nuances (and not that much time, at that). Besides, any splitting of the game into difficulty levels will necessitate the development of submodules within the game, the development of which will crowd out other improvements that could be made. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not a hyperbole at all. Try not to speculate on how I enjoy the game. When I have the time, I watch the games in full and tweak throughout every match. When I don't have the time I use one tactic and play through seasons quickly to focus on developing youth players. But like most other fm gamers I have work and a double degree to study for.

As for the so called 'crowding out' effect... Honestly creating different level ai tactical activeness is something that would so fundamentally increase the enjoyment many gamers would gain from game that even if it takes some time to do, it's a worthwhile exercise. The notion that there is only one proper way to play the game, considering the amount of fm players out there, is simply ridiculous. All you have to do is glance through the SI forum, which tends to attract those who are more dedicated than the silent majority, to realise that there is something wrong with FM, that there is something wrong with 4-2-4, with SOT ratio, with 'reranking', with the ai tweaking a barrow every milisecond (something that human players are physically prevented from doing by the game), etc.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">skintsaint
Easy Level: Start with Chelsea/Arsenal/Man Utd
Med Level: Start with Blackburn/Everton/Villa
Hard Level: Start with Derby/Sunderland/Wigan </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Personally I find playing with a regional Conference side or a relatively weak side like Sunderland far easier than playing with a Man Utd or AC Milan. Smaller teams are hard to break down with a worldclass side, especially with the SOT bug and maximum timewasting tactics from kickoff. At the same time you have the high board expectations.

Kriss
25-01-2008, 00:44
Crisis point indeed!

Please reserve the use of such adjectives for discussions on global warming etc.

It's a game for goodness sake, a piece of software that needs some parameters changed.

xouman
25-01-2008, 01:37
What do difficulty levels involve? have a bonus on players attributes when playing easy? starting games 1-0? make the AI select keepers at striker roles?

A good simulation game cannot have difficulty levels, because then it's not simulating. But it should be an option to give ass man more tasks if you want to, as long as he can do them as good as AI managers if he is good.

Nomis07
25-01-2008, 01:48
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skintsaint:
Easy Level: Start with Chelsea/Arsenal/Man Utd
Med Level: Start with Blackburn/Everton/Villa
Hard Level: Start with Derby/Sunderland/Wigan </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Couldn't agree more, choice of team is difficulty level in itself. Style if play is similar, if you want it to be easier use Genie Scout etc if not play the game as you would manage IRL, I try to buy only players from the nation i'm manging in, makes it a lot harder but that's just me if I wanted to play at an easier level i'd buy whoever I wanted.

In slight agreement with Gaffovski, I personally enjoy the tinkering with the tactics and the first few months of playing where I have to try out each and every notch but I understand how people could find this frustrating and believe that "preferences" should include a setting which offers a more basic tactics module.

chopper99
25-01-2008, 02:40
Bringing in difficulty levels would ruin this game. The fact that it's such a challenge and keeps you playing for months on end is the basis for it's massive success. Just because a few people complain on the forums about some issues far from means the game is in 'crisis'.

People have always been more vocal about things that annoy them than things they are happy with. And it was exactly the same for FM07 before (and even after) the 7.0.2 patch. It was the same for FM06 and as for CM4....

The only difference is that each year more people have access to the internet and the average age of these people falls.

As for difficulty. There are already perfectly good ways of changing the difficulty of your game. Starting reputation is a good one. As someone mentioned the game will be a lot easier for someone with a massive starting reputation, particularly when starting in the lower leagues. Then there's things like attribute masking which can be turned of to make finding players easier. On top of that you have external programmes for scouting players or modifying all aspects of the game to make it as easy or as difficult as you want.

What the game does need is some tactical feedback from the staff to make it easier to understand why your tactics might not be working. But in no way should you be able to just set the game to easy and find the AI managers just become useless.

If you want spoon fed, easy victories and a game that doesn't require much thought or imput then there are plenty of other options out there that fit these criteria. Perhaps one of those will be more up your street.

gunnerfan
25-01-2008, 06:48
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Honestly creating different level ai tactical activeness is something that would so fundamentally increase the enjoyment many gamers would gain from game that even if it takes some time to do, it's a worthwhile exercise. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, you're saying that the way to make the game more enjoyable is to make the AI (within the context of the match engine) less competent, less capable of adjusting in-game tactics to changing situations - in other words, more simplisic, less realistic. To borrow from a more traditional gaming analogy, if you're having trouble mastering chess, you don't change the rules to make it into checkers.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> The notion that there is only one proper way to play the game, considering the amount of fm players out there, is simply ridiculous. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's been my experience that there is enough differentiation among games that most game producers succeed by deciding exactly what kind of game they want to make, and then making it. Most games that try to be all things to all people usually do many things badly.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> All you have to do is glance through the SI forum, which tends to attract those who are more dedicated than the silent majority, to realise that there is something wrong with FM </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ever since I started coming onto this forum, there have been posters complaining that there was "something wrong with FM". There are probably people posting here today who swore that CM3 was the worst pile of code they'd ever seen and they were done with the game forever.

There is definitely room for improvement. You mention the 4-2-4 - I don't think the problem with the 4-2-4 is that the AI uses it, or a perceived level of complexity. The problem is that the 4-2-4 (or 2-3-5) IRL would generate attacking pressure but would also entail substantial risk of counter-attack, and the ME reflects the former but not the latter. Right now, the only successful defense to the 4-2-4 is to batten down the hatches (and if you do, you should be more successful than in FM07 against the 4-2-4). That's what needs to be changed.

But creating difficulty levels would require, in effect, creating multiple match engines. No, thank you.

djht
25-01-2008, 14:36
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So, you're saying that the way to make the game more enjoyable is to make the AI (within the context of the match engine) less competent, less capable of adjusting in-game tactics to changing situations - in other words, more simplisic, less realistic. To borrow from a more traditional gaming analogy, if you're having trouble mastering chess, you don't change the rules to make it into checkers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The analogy does not hold. Any chess computer game has multiple difficulty level ai opponents. Again I'm not advocating for changing the rules of the game, i.e. the actual match engine. The only variable is the difficulty of the ai opponents in the game.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It's been my experience that there is enough differentiation among games that most game producers succeed by deciding exactly what kind of game they want to make, and then making it. Most games that try to be all things to all people usually do many things badly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you have any examples of games that have failed merely because they introduced difficulty levels. Many great computer games such as civilisation or age of empires, in fact probably almost all games, have different level ai opponents.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But creating difficulty levels would require, in effect, creating multiple match engines. No, thank you. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If having different ai difficulty levels would required creating multiple match engines, there is something seriously wrong with the game. SI should not focus on merely achieving realistic results in ai v ai matches and in ai v human matches at all costs. The focus should be played on achieving a realistic match engine. That entails fixing 4-2-4, SOT/goals, tactical controls, defender intelligence etc. A more realistic match engine that is more heavily weighted on player ability than on fine tuning sliders would solve the potential imbalance.

Dave C
25-01-2008, 14:53
Difficulty levels make no sense whatsoever, and just are not practical.

What's necessary for the struggling player, those having trouble getting their strikers to play well enough etc, is an in-game "Assistant Manager" mode where you can get tactical and training advice/suggestions that give you the benefit of the AI's game-playing ability.

That would allow a learning curve, or for you to just listen to the AM and "pick up and play".

Amaroq
25-01-2008, 15:12
First, I completely agree with Dave and chopper here: improved feedback is the way forward, not 'difficult levels'.

But this struck me:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by djht:
Any chess computer game has multiple difficulty level ai opponents. Again I'm not advocating for changing the rules of the game, i.e. the actual match engine. The only variable is the difficulty of the ai opponents in the game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Why do you need a switch on startup for this?

Couldn't you simply edit the DB to reduce the tactical nous of the AI managers, reduce the variability in preferred formations so that they all like 4-4-2, make them less tactically flexible, and crank up their loyalty-to-my-own players so that they don't go wandering about the transfer market so much?

djht
25-01-2008, 15:13
In addition, difficulty is something that cannot be 'realistic' in a computer simulation. If it was realistic we would all need coaching badges and be professional football managers but still get sacked like Sam Alladyce. That is to say that the current level of difficulty is no more realistic than an easier level.

djht
25-01-2008, 15:24
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Amaroq:
First, I completely agree with Dave and chopper here: improved feedback is the way forward, not 'difficult levels'.

But this struck me:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by djht:
Any chess computer game has multiple difficulty level ai opponents. Again I'm not advocating for changing the rules of the game, i.e. the actual match engine. The only variable is the difficulty of the ai opponents in the game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Why do you need a switch on startup for this?

Couldn't you simply edit the DB to reduce the tactical nous of the AI managers, reduce the variability in preferred formations so that they all like 4-4-2, make them less tactically flexible, and crank up their loyalty-to-my-own players so that they don't go wandering about the transfer market so much? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Honestly I have not touched the editor since cm03/04 but as I understand this is not practical since you'd have to change the stats of every ai manager and regen managers.

Powermonger
25-01-2008, 16:46
I don't think FM needs the introduction of difficulty levels but what it desperately needs is a revamp of the tactical system which is where all the frustration and difficulty comes from. The complexity with FM comes from the need to decipher a system which we are given little information about but expected to know inside out to be able to operate effectively. The game keeps getting more complex but the information we are given to help deal with this complexity is never expanded upon. FM needs something that sits between the tactical side of the game and the match engine to help give better feedback to the player to identify areas where our team and tactics are going right or wrong. We also need a more array of statistics and graphs to pour over to help us analyse our team and tactics, and also more involvement from our coaching staff to help us make more educated tactical changes.

As I keep repeating in other threads, the tactical side of the game has not changed since the sliders were introduced in CM4 and match statistics have not changed since at least CM 01/02 (the earliest game I've played). FM needs changes in this area if it wants to truly progress forward or else it runs the risk of alienating the playerbase even further with the lack of changes.

Dave C
25-01-2008, 18:27
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Powermonger:

As I keep repeating in other threads, the tactical side of the game has not changed since the sliders were introduced in CM4 and match statistics have not changed since at least CM 01/02 (the earliest game I've played). FM needs changes in this area if it wants to truly progress forward or else it runs the risk of alienating the playerbase even further with the lack of changes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Match statistics don't NEED to change. The underlying match stats, those that come out if you just play an AI season, are near-enough spot-on.

The problem you are talking about (I assume) is the incidence of human players having too frequent occurrence of the mis-firing striker syndrome. The fix for that doesn't come in tweaking any stats, it's about the nature of the way we interact with the tactical module.
As it stands, it's too easy to get it wrong, and there's not enough help to allow you to fix the problem.


Incidentally, after 4 years of people saying how badly SI are going to suffer, how they are going to be deserted in droves etc, the sales figures remain even (if anything they're up this year I believe).

Powermonger
25-01-2008, 20:10
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Match statistics don't NEED to change. The underlying match stats, those that come out if you just play an AI season, are near-enough spot-on.

The problem you are talking about (I assume) is the incidence of human players having too frequent occurrence of the mis-firing striker syndrome. The fix for that doesn't come in tweaking any stats, it's about the nature of the way we interact with the tactical module.
As it stands, it's too easy to get it wrong, and there's not enough help to allow you to fix the problem. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What I mean't by match statistics is not to do with the actual results but the amount of information presented back to us via either the match or team stats during a match. Your second sentence I've bolded is what I've been getting at, the information the game throws back at us is not enough for many of us to make educated choices in correcting problems.

Watching full matches all the time is impractical and even when you do, unless your very aware of how the match engine actually works and where each sider comes into play, even then it's hard to know what needs fixing.

Extra match stats (or information) I'd like to see to help analyse matches easier are things like more detailed possession by position, not just the current action zones; more detailed passing statistics information such as types of passes attempted by a player and to who with what worked and what didn't. With attacking plays, it be good to see a graphic of the opposition goal area showing each location where a player attempted to shoot at goal so it's easier for us to pick up patterns. I'd also like to see great amount of stats for goalkeepers, especially for ball distribution showing what is working and what isn't.

Of course any kind of feedback system needs to tie in better with the tactical system as it is. Not much point if the tactic system is still largely incomprehensible.

gunnerfan
25-01-2008, 20:13
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The analogy does not hold. Any chess computer game has multiple difficulty level ai opponents. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, but the analogy DOES hold. Because a chess computer's "multiple difficulty levels" can be accomplished simply by limiting the amount of time the computer is allowed to process before making its move. There is no equivalent "quick fix" in FM.

gunnerfan
25-01-2008, 20:14
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Incidentally, after 4 years of people saying how badly SI are going to suffer, how they are going to be deserted in droves etc, the sales figures remain even (if anything they're up this year I believe). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, now, Dave if you're going to start bringing up FACTS...

gunnerfan
25-01-2008, 20:21
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The focus should be played on achieving a realistic match engine. That entails fixing 4-2-4, SOT/goals, tactical controls, defender intelligence etc. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I absolutely agree. And realism by definition means that you can't arbitrarily dial down your opponent's ability simply because the game's too hard.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">A more realistic match engine that is more heavily weighted on player ability than on fine tuning sliders would solve the potential imbalance. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you ever coached IRL? Player ability does not automatically determine outcomes - the important piece is how that ability is used. As Dave mentioned above, many people blame the tactics or the match engine when in reality the problem is how the gamer interacts with the tactical interface. The answer to the problem is to provide more guidance and support to the gamer, not to dumb down the game.

Bluenose_92
26-01-2008, 02:00
I think people have to remember there are always flaws in the match engine.

They are always strong against some tactics yet get annihilated by another.

You must build a tactic to exploit these rather than 'I WANT MY TEAMZOR TO PLAY LIKE ZEES!'

Difficulties = bad idea IMO, 3 AI's means 3x the chance of 'game ruining' bugs

djht
26-01-2008, 04:27
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gunnerfan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The analogy does not hold. Any chess computer game has multiple difficulty level ai opponents. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, but the analogy DOES hold. Because a chess computer's "multiple difficulty levels" can be accomplished simply by limiting the amount of time the computer is allowed to process before making its move. There is no equivalent "quick fix" in FM. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In a chess computer game, the main functional mechanism that dominates CPU processes is the calculation by the AI. The equivalent function in fm is the actual match engine, the process through which statistics, attributes, tactical instructions and other variable inputs produce a final result - that being the simulated match. Changing the tactical input of one team, in this case, does not change the endogenous process or rules of the match engine, simply the exogenous variables.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Have you ever coached IRL? Player ability does not automatically determine outcomes - the important piece is how that ability is used. As Dave mentioned above, many people blame the tactics or the match engine when in reality the problem is how the gamer interacts with the tactical interface. The answer to the problem is to provide more guidance and support to the gamer, not to dumb down the game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
But to what extent does FM permit 'coaching' of players? The current training module does not in the slightest way relate to the tactical module. Of course, neither did the old cm03/04 schedule based module. The system is limited by the fact that it's only a computer game. On match day, we only get a bunch of individual and team sliders as the make or break input variables.

The true reason for the CM series' success is the comprehensiveness of its player database, the sheer volume of statistics and attributes painstakingly ascertained by the researchers. It's not the 'sophisticated' slider system. It's not the realism in which tactical instructions are represented to the end user. It is a type of 'relative' realism - the relative differences in ability among the thousands of football players in the database. The essence of CM survives so long as these relative differences survive.

djht
26-01-2008, 04:35
In other words, when inferior strikers score 2 goals from 2 shots on target, while worldclass strikers can't score from 20 shots on target, when this happens consistently, the relative differences are eroded. The 'essence' of FM is compromised.