Following on from the discussion in this thread...
Its already been submitted as a bug and SI are aware of it but since there's no gurantee SI will fix it this year (seems unlikely now that development of FM13 is underway) this post is mainly to discuss ways on how to keep your current long term saves playable, and also how to set up a new game that will remain stable in the long run while still incorporating a decent variety of playable leagues.
After 10 seasons my save became unplayable and thats when I became aware of the broken add/remove leagues feature. Its a feature I used several times during that 10 season game, and even though I only added a small number of leagues (3), my game database went from less 20,000 players in 2011 to over 225,000 by season 2020. The sad thing is, in season 2020 I actually had LESS leagues active than I did in season 2011, yet my db had increased 10 fold and became unplayable. I uploaded that game to the ftp for SI to look at last week, but never heard anything back.
Since then I've ran several tests, all of which show pretty much the exact same pattern develop. Here's the latest test I did trying to work out what size db to start with, and what to avoid doing when playing a new save...
At game start I had :-
England down to level 7
Italy top division
Spain top division
Holland top division
Germany top division
Every other European Nations top divisions plus Argentina's top division and Brazil's top division
Database size: Small (no extra players loaded).
Season 2011 - 35,159 Players, 5,443 Staff
Season 2012 - 38,544 Players, 10,862 Staff
Season 2013 - 44,834 Players, 14,958 Staff
Season 2014 - 49,904 Players, 16,650 Staff
Season 2015 - 55,498 Players, 17,187 Staff
This data shows 20,000 new players entered the game in the first 5 seasons despite me not using the add/remove leagues feature at all during this period, and the total number of people (staff+players) increased by 32,000. :confused:
The following season I used the add/remove leagues feature for the first time in this save...
Season 2016 removed from England the BSN/S & Regional Premier divisions, and Italy & Germany (7 leagues in total).
Season 2016 - 62,126 Players, 21,009 Staff
Thats a 7,000 player increase and a 4,000 staff increase despite the removal of 7 leagues :confused::confused:
From this it looks like removing leagues did absolutely nothing to alleviate this problem as the extra players remained in my database and will do until they retire. Not only that but my db seems to increase year after year with the amount of newgens entering my game far outnumbering the amount of older players leaving it. Its easy to see where this is heading... a massive database becoming increasingly unstable and eventually unplayable once my recommended db size is exceeded.
From the games I've played, and from reading other peoples problems, the best setup for a long term game is to preload all the leagues you want to manage in at the start and use a small database since it'll grow to a massive size on its own eventually anyway wether you add extra leagues or not - see season 5 summary. And if you're looking to play a long term game, don't add extra leagues once your game starts!
If your game becomes unplayable there are ways to fix it using third party sofware, mentioned in the linked thread.
A suggestion for SI: When adding new leagues there should be a limiter that prevents us from exceeding the recommended threashold. At the moment there is no player count or even a warning message on the add/remove leagues screen informing us that we're exceeding our PC's recommended player count. And a 1:1 ratio of newgen creation to older player retirement should be implemented to stop this spiraling increase in player count from occuring.