I'm not sure the title describes well what I've been thinking about, but one of the things about the sliders that makes their effects opaque (and unrealistic) is that they work on a 20 point scale. I was thinking about this and, in particular, how it defines the defensive line. and it occured to me that in real football you don't have 20 grades of where you set the defensive line.
So I thought that the points at which you could set the defensive line should be defined in words.
Pack the 6 yard box
Pack the penalty area
Defend edge of our area
Halfway inside own half
Half way line
Push up beyond half way line (suicidal as player could be behind your last defender and still be onside, but maybe something you would do in the last few minutes of a cup tie you are losing).
I can't think of any other way a real manager could define where he wants his defensive line set, and doing it this way is easier for players to envisage then setting their defensive line at 15 clicks from the left, or whatever.
The same could be applied to mentality (Ranging from "just keep them out and get 11 behind the ball" to "everyone into their box"), or creative freedom ("just do as you're told son" to "express yourself / entertain the fans".
if it's difficult to incorporate the text into the screen then it could pop up like a tool tip if you hover the mouse over a certain point.
It might help if the clicks on the sliders were more clearly defined as well.
I think this should be fairly easy to incorporate, yet help managers a lot in full envisaging their tactics, but I'm sure there will be some faws that people can identify?
Its too simplistic that way though. There's a big gap between the edge of the penalty area and halfway inside your own half. Fact is, the sliders aren't currently defined by numbers anyway, its us who have given them numerical attributes.
Say, for example, my defence is playing about halfway inside our own half. I might want them to drop back a little, but not by much. Knocking the slider down one or two spots does (or should do) that.
Imo, the sliders simply need to be clearer as to what they actually do. At the moment, things like time wasting aren't actually time wasting at all. Moving it down to rarely makes the team try to attack more regularly. It shouldn't be that way, and that's what's wrong with the slider system.
Agreed, the matchday tactical settings in FM are overly complicated compared to real life while the training settings are too simplistic compared to real life. This is one way the programmers could streamline the matchday tactics. The space in between those settings could be accounted for by the positional ratings of the defender and the training during the week. In real life a manager can't micro-manage everything a player does like he's a robot.
I agree with Kain, the slider system is great because the more control you have the better. What they actually do and the relationships between them should be clearer though, so more than just a handful of people can master tactics or at least get by a bit easier with superior players.