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  1. @RHKC, I'm sure you know this wasn't necessary, but thank you. I didn't intend for it to be a public thing as it wasn't about getting attention or (on the other side of things) receiving PMs begging for a copy. I saw your post and wanted to 'help' - though of course it doesn't help your business or car. We're in a pandemic and I knew of a way to make someone smile during a difficult time. Went through your previous posts too, just to get a feel for the kind of person you are. It's not something I've ever done. May not even do it again ever. I think it was the last line that got to me. But yeah, saw that (having never tried before) my purchase was blocked for me being in the other hemisphere and big differences in the value of currency. Felt very guilty having promised/offered something, seen the reaction to that and then to let you down. Fortunately, this is a fantastic community and very soon, a fellow forum member (who I won't mention unless he wants it to be known) helped me out with a code for the game. So a massive thanks to him as well. This is why we're so keen to shut down hostility/insults/antagonism. We have devs posting and engaging with us on the forum, a good atmosphere and a fantastic bunch of posters overall. There are always people willing to help. Three things before I go, even though I said there are no strings attached. Enjoy the game - it has fantastic potential to be one of those iconic versions. Two - log bugs you find - you have a responsibility now! And three, no hate mail from your wife (even though she did thank me, but far too early imo) when you start spending more time with FM21 than her. Anyway, I've said what I wanted to say. The topic isn't really about FM, but I'm going to feel bad closing it. If someone else does, that's the only reason, but this is greatly appreciated.
  2. Last Tuesday I happened to post on the beta feedback thread, saying this: "Just caught up with this thread (yes, I have read every page over the space of five days) I don't yet have the game due to losing my business recently and my car spectacularly failing it's mot... So, when I can eventually afford it, I'm really looking forward to playing the game with the much improved match engine! I just really hope things haven't reverted back to FM20 by the time I get to play Please, SI. My year has been bad enough as it is, so please don't nerf strikers! Can't wait to play!" A few minutes later, I received a private message from a poster (who I won't name unless they would like to make themselves known), saying they would like to gift me the game on steam. After the year I've had, this really did mean the world to me. After the poster realised they couldn't gift me the game due to being in a different region to me, they enlisted the help of another poster and by the end of the night I was installing FM21! I was wondering whether to post this or not, I don't want to be seen as a charity case or anything. I just want to show how much I appreciate their gesture and how it made me genuinely smile for the first time in a while. Sorry if posts like this aren't allowed, hopefully an exception is made Thank you!
  3. Introduction Hello good people!! Long time no see eh?! I wouldn’t call this a return as such, more I was bored and thought I’d write a massive project for all you beautiful people. I’ve been kind of shut off from the FM Community for quite some time now but I’ve still read the odd article here and there and visited the forum and looked around. It seems that nothing has changed much. Some people are still struggling with tactics and creating or maintaining them. So I thought why not write something but start at the very beginning. Over the years I’ve written about creating a tactic and all the various ways this can be achieved. I want to revisit some of the old stuff and rewrite/update it. My idea is to combine all the relevant topics I've done in the past and make a really in depth series which focuses on every single aspect of tactical creation. Many years ago myself, Buxton, SFrazer, WWFan, Millie and many more had the idea of creating a tactics bible, which we did in some form. I don’t believe the pieces we did still exist, so this is an extension of this and almost like a Wiki. This is a giant task though and will likely take a long time for it to be complete. Some of the stuff I’ve written needs a complete rewrite and others just little changes. I think this would become an invaluable resource for the FM community. I will only release pieces though when I am 75% done with the project and know it will be completed. If I was to guess at what percentage is currently completed I’d say it was around 50% ish. There are all the parts currently completed. This isn’t the order they’ll be in though as there will be lots more added and depending on where I think the pieces fit, will dramatically change the order. Before we start Idea Design based on player attributes Real life example None real life example Translating to FM Seeing if it works Modifying it Maintaining it That's a snippet of how the first article starts. But my main reason for posting is because I want ideas from you before I start doing more stuff. I don't want ideas about topics to cover or what subjects to write about. What I need is for you to post below and in a few short words, explain what aspects of creating a tactic you struggle with. That way I can make sure its comprehensive and represents every single aspect I can think of, if I haven't already. So if you struggle with deciding how to play, I want to know what it is that you struggle with specifically about that. Is it that you have too many ideas in your head or maybe no ideas at all. You might be flustered with all the options you have available and so on. The feedback doesn't have to be strictly about the tactic itself, I'm ideally looking for 'steps' you struggle with instead if that makes sense. As I want this project to be a step by step process without skipping a single step. This makes the project complicated because obviously some steps will have multiple ways of doing things and I want to include everything. So if you have anything you struggle with, please post below.
  4. I realized, that many people don't really understand how the setup works exactly. So I made this guide to give you some kind of overview how it works. Any constructive feedback is welcome. It's impossible to show everyones different way of play. This is only a rough guideline for a orientation.This is my view of fm, so if you are seeing it different, that's completely fine. Maybe some mechanics changed in fm21 which I haven't tested yet, I will update the guide if necessary. I created a short video version. It's not as detailed as the thread but it gives you a short overview: General: There are differences between unloaded Nations, view-ony, playable and playable with full details. In a Nation, you can select some leagues playable, view-only, or unloaded. The effect is roughly the same as for a whole Nation: unloaded Nation No schedule, games are fully simulated in background No visible league table No full squads (only if you load them via the advanced db) No staff (After the first sacking of the real manager, there will be in most cases no new head-coach and other staff members) Low transfer-activity Games will be simulated with the quick Match-Engine Less injuries Nation view only League-schedule League table No full squads (only if you load them via the advanced db) No staff (After the first sacking of the real manager, there will be in most cases no new head-coach and other staff members) Low to medium transfer-activity Games will be simulated with the quick Match-Engine Less injuries Nation playable League-schedule League table Full Squads Existing Staff Realistic transfer-activity Some games will be simulated with the Full Match Engine. increase of injuries Nation playable + full detail League-schedule League table Full Squads Existing Staff Realistic transfer-activity Games will be fully simulated More injuries than only playable What is the benefit of simulating Leagues in full detail? You will get more realistic stats and results. The player development takes more calculations into account. If you simulate other Leagues and Nations with full detail you will get a stronger AI, especially when you play against them. What slows the game processing speed down the most: Setting leagues to simulate in full detail uses multicore pretty heavy. A lot of leagues playable custom data in general slows down performance. There are big differences what kind of custom data is used. As orientation you can go by file size. Larger files need more processing time. LLM-files for example are quite heavy. Incredible amount of players loaded also affects performance. Down to my experience, if you don't load 200k+ players, this effect is not that big compared to the others All custom graphics loaded do not have any influence at game speed at all. As far as I know it has some influence in terms of RAM usage Extra Tip: As a human manager you have some "benefits" over the AI. You can be much better in transfers because you don't "feel" pressure or concerns which teams have IRL. I think that's a reason why the AI is not that aggressive vs a human player fighting against a specific talent. It looks like a weak programmed AI, for me it is just insane programming-skills by SI-devs. WIth that in mind, you might not just buy a wonderkid for 20 million while managing a team that would never do that IRL, even if it would be possible. This gave me a much more immersive game-experience. Most important Nations to load according to my database for a balanced world (1 highest, 4 lowest) I usually set number 1 and 2 as playable, 3 view-only and number 4 I don't load at all. This guarantees you a balance between Continents aswell My recommended setup for a longterm or just a balanced savegame: recommendedsetupbyDaveincid.fmf detail level I recommend to set all national teams simulated in full detail as well as the european competition if you play in Europe. You can change this to every other continent if you play there. Also the top 20 leagues. I would set at least the top division and the cup as simulated in full detail. These are some examples of setups that I think people use most. It's not that easy to create a compact overview. I hope it's not too much info - Loading top 5 nations and top 2 in South America playable and top 20 as view only with a small/medium/big db: This is the lowest setup I recommend - Loading top 5 nations and top 2 in South America playable and top 20 as view only with players loaded from the top 20 nations with the advanced-db option: You will have a higher player count, and these players from the top 20 will be newly generated in the future. This leads to a more balanced gameworld. It will give you a decent db for low to mid-range systems. - Loading top 5 nations and top 2 in South America playable and all others as view only with players loaded from all nations with the advanced-db option: It gives you a big db an a overview of players around the world. IMO it feels much better than the setup above, because there is a wider variety of players from different nations. The loss of processing speed is little but maybe already too much for low-end systems. - Loading top 20 nations playable, all the others leagues view-only, international games, games from National-Teams and the games in your league simulated in full detail, with small/medium/big db: This is the start of a balanced world for longer saves. It depends how many playable leagues your system can run at a decent speed. For some it's 15 nations for some 30. - Loading top 20 nations playable, all the others view-only, international games, games from National-Teams and the games in your league simulated in full detail, with the advanced db-option for all players from first divison and national reputation This setup Is IMO the general sweetspot for a realistic longterm-save. Mid-range processor recommended. - Loading all nations playable, international games, games from National-Teams and the games in your league simulated in full detail, with players loaded from all nations with the advanced-db option (ca 194k players): This setup guarantees you a balanced game world and high transfer activity around the globe. Leagues which aren't available with the vanilla version will have problems in being competitive in the long run. As soon as you are setting games to simulated in full detail, I recommend a modern 8-core 16-threaded processor - Loading all nations playable, all games simulated in full detail: Without a monster CPU or plenty of time, I do not recommend this setup. Processing-speed is very long and the gain of realism doesn't really weights up the time of processing compared to the setup above. But if your CPU can handle it, it really does make a lot of fun! - Loading all nations playable, all games simulated in full detail with all players in the db(ca 500k players): This setup will give you all players in the db. So there will be a player from 6th. division in sweden without seeing the league being active in the game. This slows down your system pretty much in relation to what you are getting for. I do not recomend this setup. If you want to improve realism with a special skin, take a look here: If you don't know if your PC/Laptop is low/mid/high-end you can check the following thread: https://community.sigames.com/topic/539412-fm21-performance-benchmarking-thread/ To discuss about realism in FM21 @Junkhead has created this wonderful thread. Sharing ideas, your own and all other stuff that can be linked in this area. https://community.sigames.com/topic/539688-fm21-realism-thread/ I have created a megapack to increase the realism of Football Manager 2021, you can find it here: https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/545609-fm21-increase-realism-megapack-by-daveincid There is a great megapack from @davie77 which makes all Nations playable ingame. I worked close together with him and tested his files, so I know about the high quality-standard. https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/550750-fm21-around-the-globe-megapack-by-dave-46-completed I also recommend the data-updates from @pr0 https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/539013-fm21-transfers-data-update-packs-by-pr0-fmtu/ I finally found my way on social media, feel free to take a look in here to get more informations about my projects for Football Manager 2021 https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/546553-daveincids-info-channels-for-the-increase-realism-megapack-and-more/ Cheers Daveincid
  5. Sections Prologue How teams in real life defend using 442 Implementing the compact 442 in FM 1. Prologue A mid-block 442 is my favourite defensive shape. I have had great successes in FM using 442 formations, most of the time using an Advanced Forward. But despite the good results, I was never fully satisfied, because our defensive shape was not as compact and as organized as I imagined, it was not how teams using 442 defended in real life. Diego Simeone and Marcelino are the masters of 442, but sometimes even Guardiola’s Man City uses a 442 defensive shape, more often than you might think. So I started experimenting, read a lot of articles and analysis, and I think I managed to create a good system that replicates a real 442 defensive shape, and now I would like to share it with you. 2. How teams in real life defend using a 442 Vertical and horizontal compactness is the most important part of a successful 442 defensive shape. The midfield is congested and the play is forced down the flanks. Both forwards are asked to track back. Most of the time, the opposition’s central defenders are allowed to have time on the ball, and the strikers, instead of pressing the central defenders all the time, focus on blocking passing lanes to the defensive/central midfielders. But as soon as the ball goes to a full back, the pressing intensifies, forcing the full back either out wide, or forcing a pass back to the central defenders. The opponent’s central passing options can be marked tighter. Balance is important: since the opposition's center backs are not under intense pressure, teams try to stay deep enough to protect space in behind in order to prevent a dangerous long ball from a ball playing defender, while simultaneously staying high enough to avoid intense pressure in dangerous areas closer to the goal. Below a classic 442 by Marcelino's Valencia. Below you can see that the forwards do not press the center backs and the full backs are left free. Below you can see how Atletico man mark’s the central passing options. 3. Implementing the compact 442 in FM OPPOSITION INSTRUCTIONS Implementing this defensive system, Opposition Instructions are crucial, so I’m going to start with this. central defenders: never mark tightly, never press wide players (DR/L, WBR/L, MR/L, AMR/L): always press defensive midfielders and central midfielders: always mark tightly, optional: always press This is how I set up: OUT OF POSSESSION INSTRUCTIONS Compact mid-low (Lower LoE + standard DL) or mid-high block (Standard LoE + higher DL) Force Opposition Outside I also encourage you to use either Get Stuck In and/or Mark Tighter, to ensure that your defending is not too passive. IN TRANSITION counter: you are defending in a medium or low block, and 442 formation is ideal for counter attacking, I don’t think it needs too much explanation. counter press: this is optional. I want my team, and my strikers to occasionally press the opposition's central defenders, high up the pitch, and the counter press is perfect for it. In real life you can see that sometimes teams press high up the pitch, but then retreat to their solid 4-4-2 shape. When the counter press is on, it overwrites the OIs. In my experience this instruction creates a good balance between pressing and standing off. I also instruct my team to play narrower, and a narrower shape always helps counter pressing, because more players are closer to the ball. But I don’t have this option always turned on, sometimes I turn it off or switch to regroup. PLAYER DUTIES In order to have a really compact, real-life defensive shape in FM, both your strikers and central midfielders should be on support duties. I think it is not surprising that both of your strikers should be on support duty - in my experience a Complete Forward - Target Man combo works really well together. I am going to explain why I avoid using defend duty on CMs. Central midfielders with a defend duty do not stay in line with their midfield partner, and instead act more like a defensive midfielder, creating a 4-1-3-2 defensive shape, and not a 4-4-2. Here is an example why I avoid using the defend duty on central midfielders. I changed my right central midfielder's duty to defend. He leaves his midfield partner, leaving a big open space on front of him (white circle), and this gives an opportunity for Ruben Vezo to pass the ball into a good position. If he stayed higher up the pitch, in line with his midfield parner, he could mark or immidietaly press the opposition's central midfielder. (I am not saying that using a defend duty player in CM is bad in general, I am saying that if you would like to create a real-life-like 442 defensive shape, you should avoid it.) As a starting point, I suggest the following distribution of duties, this has worked well for me. In the example below focus on the duties, the roles are flexible. Defence: one fullback on support and the other on attack duty. Midfield: attack duty for one (or both) of your wide midfielders, support duty for others. Strikers: support duty for strikers. PLAYER INSTRUCTIONS When the opposition plays with a Defensive Midfielder, I usually aks one of my strikers to mark the DM. Other player instructions are flexible, depending on the player roles. ATTACKING This writing is focusing on defending, but I also want to say a few words about attacking with this system, because it has worked really well for me. Since the hole shape is compact and the players are close together, I prefer a quick, short passing game with a narrower width. We can play with a quick tempo, because chances are that because of the compactness there is always a free teammate nearby, and the players do not have to think too much, they can make decisions quicker without losing the ball. My tactic The tactic you see below is a base, sometimes I change player roles, but never duties! I change the roles depending on my available players and the opposition. I also play around with TIs. A few examples: If I want to play more urgently and put more pressure on the opposition, I change the mentality to Positive and/or defend a notch higher (mid-high block). Sometimes I want to let the opposition have more time on the ball, maybe giving me more opportunity for a counter attack, therefore I turn off counter-pressing. If I want to protect a lead in the last 5 minutes, I may change to regroup. If I want to waste some time and save energy for the last few minutes, because for example I am going to have an important game 2 days later, I switch the mentality to Cautious, switch off counter, max out time wasting, and instruct my GK to slow pace down. I have the following PIs for this setup: FBL: sit narrower DCR: stay wider WBR: stay wider IWS: sit narrower, more risky passes, roam from position TM: mark opposition's DM The SK on support duty really works well. His first instinct is to pass the ball to the central defenders, but sometimes he plays the ball forward to the TM, or finds a free man on the flanks. IN-GAME EXAMPLES pure 442 Below you can see that my strikers are marking the opposition's defensive/central midfielders, so the opposition's CB can only pass the ball to the other defenders, or he can try a risky pass, but then we might win the ball back. Here we have won the ball back and are in an excellent position for a dangerous counter attack In possession we often have a 3-1-2-4 shape. Finally a short summary to this approach: never tight mark or press opposition’s centre backs tigh mark opposition CM and DM always press opposition’s fullbacks and wide players support duty forwards support duty central midfielders compact mid-low or mid-high block get stuck in and/or mark tighter I hope this was helpful for those of you who are obsessed with 442 and I could show you another way how to approach this beautiful, sometimes underrated formation. This is not the only right way to play 442, this is just another way. Cheers, David
  6. Been here for a long time now, longer than I've been using this current account as my old one got wiped when the boards where moved years back. It's taken me a lot longer to get here than other users have but I barely posted for the first few years and when I did stop lurking I only ever posted in the Sheffield Wednesday thread and very occasionally GD. Don't normally pay attention to my post count so I've missed all my other landmarks but happened to catch this one getting close last night. Got me thinking how much time I actually spend here. This is by a mile my most visited site on the internet, even if I go a few days without participating I still view the forum multiple times a day and every time I open my browser it's always the first site I navigate to. Probably spent months, if not years, of my life browsing these forums, scary when you think about it. Not going to get all emotional but basically you guys are all great, even the Arsenal fans, and so is this place. Even the trolls are harmless. I've probably interacted more with people on here than I've had genuine discussions with people irl over the years. It's a great community and such a useful tool for relieving boredom, reaching out to actual human beings for interaction at times where it hasn't been possible irl and it's also become pretty much my go to place for what's going on in the world, most of the major events in recent years I've realised were happening through threads being created here. It's also invaluable when I'm on my travels as a reminder of home and a place to follow and debate the football when I can't find anybody else that cares about the Championship when I'm skulking about some random small town in Moldova or Nicaragua. So anyway, it's not much but thought I'd give a little something back to a community that I've spent so much of my life being a part of by holding a small, simple prize draw. Nothing difficult, just anybody that participates in this thread (unless they specifically ask either in the post or via DM not to be considered) will be eligible for the random prize draw that I will complete before the end of the week. Or sooner if the thread dies a quick death Unfortunately I didn't get on the GME stonks in time so can't afford a 30K prize fund so £30 will have to do. Prizes will be in the form of Amazon vouchers. Only one question, not sure if it should be 3 prizes of £10 or 2 at £15?
  7. Part of my job is absolutely to amplify your voice within our studio. I never want our community to feel like they're shouting into the wind and nothing gets through - that is absolutely not the case. Our feature request forums and bug forums both show plenty of examples of features which have been implemented and bugs which have been fixed. However at the same time, users on these forums have to remember they're only a part of our audience. An extremely important part (for me especially considering I interact with you almost every day ) but a part nevertheless. We don't publicly reveal all our sales figures, but know Miles said in May (long before the Epic giveaway) that 1.5 million people played FM20 - https://twitter.com/milessi/status/1267089578038566913 The January/February FM20 feedback thread had 416 different posters (including Mods and SI Staff) over eight months. So whilst this forum is extremely important for getting an idea of what certain elements of our core audience want, it's not the be all and end all. We have to hear sentiment and opinions across the board from multiple different avenues, from the 10,000 hours gamer who just hammers continue to the player who takes 8 months to finish a season and uses every single feature of the game. So remember whilst you may believe something from the bottom of your heart is absolutely the way FM needs to go in the future, it's impossible to speak for everyone. We listen to you all and engage where we can. But given sometimes even Miles and I don't personally agree on a specific direction or feature in game, please don't expect we're always going to be able to agree with you. And yes, before you ask. Miles definitely has more sway in the direction the game goes than me!
  8. Just to illustrate some of the UI complaints with an example. In the screenshot, I've highlighted where my eye naturally falls in red; it's where it's led by the perspective of the scene. Meanwhile, things I will need to read or potentially interact with are in green. The yellow overlay is unused dead space. I'm playing on a 27" 1440p monitor, and my eye has to traverse all of the yellow to find the things in green, which are laid out in ways that defy reading order or any eye-tracking research I'm aware of. I have to go from the red to the green box to the green circles, read through the rote text, select one, then go back to continue in the top right (which, again, defies convention; most confirm prompts in most UI design sit in the bottom right because that's where readers finish). And that's a best-case scenario. If I want to do anything else, I have to go to the far corners of the screen or dig into other menus to find information not available on this screen, the overwhelming expanse of which is wasted. And why is it wasted? To fit in a 3D "backdrop" of the corner of a flatly lit office with a drop ceiling and some cabling on the wall. And a "Football Manager" step and repeat that reminds me I'm playing a videogame called Football Manager, in case I'd forgotten. I guess the idea here is that I, the manager, am standing in front of this and being interviewed by James Mitchell? But why is James Mitchell represented, in 2D space, as being in front of the step and repeat, while I, the manger, am at the bottom of the screen? There is a 2D schematic of our conversation that is completely at odds with the pointless, gamey 3D depiction of it. I had to leave other, useful information behind to get to this full-screen presentation. Now consider how this conversation is depicted (up and down) versus every single conversation you've ever seen represented in, say, a messaging app, or social media DMs, all of which acknowledge that people read from left to right and from top to bottom, and that real-life conversations happen in lateral space. The best user experience I can hope for here is that if I see this screen often enough—and I'll see it 50+ times a season!—I'll get good at clicking through it really fast by learning an algorithmic set of approaches to press questions, same as in previous years. But the act of reading and clicking on things is now harder and less intuitive than it was before, and I am far more conscious that I'm playing a videogame than I was in the past.
  9. Blog by Miles Jacobson on the multi-year project coming to a future version of Football Manager Whenever I mention women’s football on social media, people inevitably respond by asking when we’re going to release a women’s football version of Football Manager. Up until now, I’ve always replied with vague answers such as “When we do it, we’ll do it properly”. What I haven’t said, because we tend to keep our plans under wraps, is that we’ve been working on women’s football in the background for some time now. A few people inside football are aware of this, as we’ve been talking to them about it behind the scenes, but now I believe that the time is right to go public with our plans. Before I get into the detail, though, I would like to make one thing incredibly clear… we have NO interest whatsoever in making a standalone women’s football version of FM. What we are doing is adding women’s football to FM... one sport, one game. FM players will be able to move seamlessly from managing a men’s team to a women’s team and back again. Women’s football will be a part of the living, breathing world that constitutes every one of your FM saves; that world will just be whole lot bigger and a little more varied. We also know that adding women’s football to Football Manager is going to cost millions and that the short-term return it delivers will be minimal. But that’s not the point. There’s no hiding that there’s currently a glass ceiling for women’s football and we want to do what we can to help smash through it. We believe in equality for all and we want to be part of the solution. We want to be a part of the process that puts women’s football on an equal footing with the men’s game. We know that we’re not alone in this – the historic TV deal that Sky and the BBC recently agreed with WSL in England is proof of that – but we intend to do everything we can to get women’s football to where it deserves to be. We know that our voice is very powerful and we want to use it for good. Longer term, as the women’s game grows in popularity, the financial rewards may come, but at the moment we’re embarking on this journey because we know it’s the right thing to do. So let’s dig a little into the details... One request we’ve had over the years is to release a women’s database that works with the existing FM. This simply wouldn’t work, as there’s a lot more to adding women’s football to FM than simply replacing the male players with female players, but the question of women’s data is an interesting one, so let’s start there. First of all, it’s going to take some time to build a comprehensive global database of women’s football. Our existing database has taken 28 years to build (so far) and there’s a lot of info in there that we need to research when adding just one team, let alone multiple leagues. To get our women’s database right we will have to examine every single in-game attribute and define exactly how we judge the data; attributes such as pace, acceleration and agility will likely stay with the same range, but some attributes may need a different scale. These attributes also feed into our match engine of course, and work done in this area (for example, looking at height of players and how that may affect how they play – such as aiming shots higher if a goalkeeper is smaller) will be of benefit for the match engine overall. And data, of course, is just one of many elements that are going to need careful consideration. For example, we already have female character models in the game, but these currently only represent staff members – and our in-game staff models are relatively basic and require a limited number of animations. We have thousands of ‘motion captured’ animations for our male footballers and when you apply many of these animations onto female bodies… well… they kind of move like cowboys. Women’s body shapes are different to men’s and so is their bone structure, so we have no choice but to go back to the beginning and recreate all of our existing motion captured animation data using female players. That’s not just a case of going into a motion capture studio for a couple of days either – it takes months to clean up and perfect the data generated by each motion capture session and get it looking right in the match engine. Our in-game female 3D models, historically, are also not as advanced as the male versions and women’s football kits are also different (once again due to those different body shapes) so there’s more work to be done there too. Our art and animation teams have been growing over the last couple of years with this extra work in mind. It doesn’t stop there either… the transfer system in women’s football is also different to the men’s, as are the financial and wage structures. We will also have to accommodate the unique rules of many of the women’s leagues. Then there are other questions that we have to ask ourselves, such as how detailed should we go initially? There is a lot of existing literature available about the impact of the menstrual cycle on training and injuries, but how do we incorporate this without it having a major effect on gameplay? And what about pregnancy? If we have pregnant players and staff in game, do we need different 3D models for the different stages? And then there’s the in-game text and translation to be considered. You can already play the game as a male or female manager, so most staff ‘strings’ (the term used for phrases in game that refer to a character, whether playable or otherwise) are already in place for both male and female characters. However, as all of the current in-game footballers are male, all of the strings relating to them are gender specific. This leaves us with more than 100,000 strings to rewrite… and then translate into 19 languages (which works out to be approximately 3,000,000 words). This is a simpler task for some languages than it is for others; Danish, for example, has no adjectival agreement or other gender-specific grammar considerations, so we should in theory be able to batch translate ‘he’ to ‘she’ (for example) and then go through each string via the ‘localisation QA’ process to see what was missed. With many other languages (including French and German) that’s simply not possible and each string will have to be retranslated from scratch. That process is going to take up a lot of time, as well as generating the bulk of the cost. As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, we’ve been working on this project for quite some time already. I’ve had many, many conversations with people who work in all areas of women’s football and have built up relationships with some amazing people in the sport who will be helping us realise this dream. In terms of practical steps, we’ve already completed our first two motion capture sessions with the London-based twin professionals, Rosie and Mollie Kmita. Given the restrictions applied to motion capture during a pandemic it was essential that we were able to work with two people who shared a ‘bubble’ and Rosie and Mollie provided the perfect solution, as well as being fantastic footballers. This, of course, is just the start of the ‘mocap’ process and there will be plenty more sessions carried out over the coming months, including specific goalkeeper sessions. One member of the SI team who is already deeply engrossed in this project is our newly-appointed head of research for women’s football, Tina Keech. Tina, a qualified coach and former head of research and analysis at Smartodds, has already started the process of building our women’s database. Our design team is about to start work on taking the information we’ve gathered to date and turning that into specific tasks and a full design document. As with most of FM’s features, that document will give us a multi-year roadmap for engineering tasks. Nothing in FM is ever finished – there is always more we can add – and the same will be the case with women’s football. It won’t be a case of just adding it, then forgetting about it, but it will continue to grow along with the rest of the world that we create for you to manage in. Of course, many of the tasks mentioned so far can run simultaneously, which will shorten the timeline, but we are realistic that bringing women’s football to FM is going to be a multi-year project. At this stage we don’t know exactly how long the process will take so we can’t say exactly which version of FM will see women’s football make its debut, but rest assured that our plan is to make this happen as soon as we possibly can, whilst ensuring that you are still getting all the features you’d expect from new versions of FM by adding resources to the existing team. I mentioned earlier in the blog that the cost of this project will be substantial. To help offset some of those costs we have already started conversations with some potential commercial partners who share our vision and who will be able to offer financial help in return for a wide integration of their brand into FM. But we’re also committed to being a commercial partner for women’s football. We have ongoing partnerships with AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls and Watford Women as part of our deals with their men’s teams. But that’s not enough. So, today I’m also proud to announce that we’ve signed a commercial partnership agreement for the 2021/22 season with Leicester City Women, which will see FM branding feature on the dugout and interview boards for the club. I’d like to finish by saying that I hope these blogs can become a semi-regular feature. We know that last year’s piece which explained how COVID 19 was going to be handled in FM21 was very popular and many of you appreciated the transparency, so we’ll look to ‘pull back the curtain’ a little more in the future. Thanks for reading – I hope you all join in with us on what is going to be a fascinating journey. Cheers, Miles
  10. More fun with UI/UX, this time in a match: There are four ways to meaningfully affect how the match engine screen displays. They are in ... four different corners of the screen. So I've pointed them out with arrows! In the top left, we can hide or unhide the Match Stats and Notable Events panel. This wasn't clear to me initially, because the blue icon is a little hard to parse at 1440p and uses no familiar interactable iconography. You cannot customize this Match Stats panel as you could in the past (more on that in a second!), and you cannot shrink or adjust the size of the Notable Events section, even though it takes up a huge chunk of dead space. Clicking on the team names or clock also controls this panel, rather than, say, taking you to a team screen or pausing the clock. In the bottom left, there's a (hugely important) expand button for Tactics & Subs that gives you access to in-detail stuff. It's kind of buried at the end of an eye scan, which is weird. Also, once you expand this panel, you have to close it by clicking cancel in the bottom right, which is another long journey for the eye and the mouse. Almost none of the other interactions use this sequence! You cannot click the button twice to collapse the expand, even if you didn't take any actions; likewise, you can't click in the open space above the expanded panel. This panel also re-animates every time you click a tab (Tactics, Player, Set Pieces, etc.), which is a bizarre and disorienting choice. The distance from the tabs in the top left to the cancel button in the bottom right is, again, a screen width. In the top right, you have your match speed, viewing options, play/pause stuff. There's actually a nearly hidden bar that allows you to record, rewind time, etc. ... though it's divorced from the game clock in the top left, and the absence of a timeline reduces player control overall. All of these options are uncoupled from all the information panels that would cause you to interact with them. In the bottom right, you can hide the Tactics & Subs panel, even though it uses the same coloration as the SUBS button below it, which actually flicks between substitutes and players on the pitch (unhelpfully labeled "PITCH" rather than "ON PITCH" or "PLAYING"). This may just be me, but I found the label inconsistent with what's being shown: at a glance, I thought it was showing subs when SUBS was the label; it's the reverse. You can also show/hide the Touchline Tablet here ... provided a highlight is playing. If a highlight is not playing, the icon stays there but no longer hides the window, which feels bad. In general, the game does a poor job of distinguishing between "in highlight" and "not in highlight" than it used to, though the motion graphic in the top left is appreciated. Some questions: Why are these four discrete interactable areas not combined as tabs or better arranged to minimize eye and mouse movement? Why are they so poorly labeled? Why do they all use different and internally contradictory interactions? Why does the interaction icon for "Tactics & Subs" work differently than the interaction icon for "Instructions" even though they're the same icon? Why, if I open a Shouts panel, am I able to click outside it to cancel, but can't do that with Instructions or Tactics & Subs, even if I haven't made any changes? Why do some of these icons lose functionality in different game states? Why are there no hover states or tooltips for these buttons? Why are there no keyboard shortcuts? If there are keyboard shortcuts I'm not aware of, why are they not shown to the player? Does a new user know to use spacebar to play/pause? How? Let's turn to that Touchline Tablet, which basically lets you blob some (not all) of the old widgets and rearrange them. It's on the far right of the screen, past a lot of dead space (highlighted in yellow), including the wasted notable events space and wasted "dugout" space that rarely populates (and sometimes vanishes before you can act on it). My eye frequently has to "read" past these blank spaces. Vitally, I cannot drag or rearrange these panels, which is a major step back from previous versions, and the panels pay no respect to higher resolutions; I cannot even resize Match Stats or The Dugout. Also, if I see something actionable on the Touchline Tablet, my eye and mouse now have to jerk all the way back to the bottom left to make adjustments. Some of what's in this screen is redundant or unhelpful. It duplicates player information shown in the bottom bar (albeit in a much more readable list format)! It duplicates match stats! Yes, it lets you customize them, but you won't see that customization reflected in the top left, because someone at SI has decreed that the customization and flexibility present in earlier versions has to go in favor of a "realistic" touchline tablet that is anything but realistic. So we're left with an active impediment to clarity that fights the user's eye and is uncoupled from the actions you might take in response to it, which are scattered in the corners of the screen. And because this is the defined vertical height and layout of the panel, you frequently have to scroll information within the panel because you can't pop out or resize the information as discrete panels. Again, you used to be able to do this! It was granular and great! Some bonus questions: Why are the team names shortened at higher resolutions? It seems unnecessary. Why is game speed set to max by default in FM21? Why do left clicks on the subs product menus similar to right-click menus throughout the rest of the game? Meanwhile, right clicks here do nothing? When I'm viewing my substitutes, why does clicking them do nothing? Shouldn't I at least be able to select "Substitute On"? Why is Notable Events not available in the Touchline Tablet? If I use the (superior) Match Stats panel available the tablet, I can't turn off the leftmost panel without losing the events.
  11. Hi fellow managers, I want to present you a new tool I'm working on that will enable us to use the data that FM provides us with at its full potential. Including attributes, diverse statistics, injuries data and many more, FM has more than 300 data points. Yet, I can bet any one of us doesn't even use the third of it to make decisions and manage our club. Maybe it's due to the fact that FM doesn't offer an easy way of presenting all those data points. Take the match statistics for example, like the assists, passes completed, cross completion ratio etc. Yes, we could create a view with all those stats and compare them to decide which player on our shortlist will be the transfer target. But it is neither visually appealing to have a view full of numbers nor easy to make comparisons. The app is now released! (2020/01/09) The V2 Update is now released! (2020/01/15) Following is a quick guide to get started with the app. Install R You do not need to know anything about R, everything is programmed for you. However, you need to install the software. I will not go into too much details for this section as there are plenty of good guide, and as a quick Google search will yield the result. When you install R, remember in which directory it was installed as you will need it later. Install R: https://cran.r-project.org/ > Download R for Windows > "install R for the first time" hyper link > "Download R 4.0.3 for Windows" hyperlink > follow the installation wizard instructions ** It is preferable to install R in a folder you have created in the C:\ directory (instead of installing it in "C:\Program Files") to avoid errors when running the batch file that launches the app For example: (1) Create the MyPrograms folder in C:\ (2) Install R in the following directory: C:\MyPrograms Do I need RStudio? No Do I need to run something on R after installing it? No, patience is key, all what you need has been scripted by me I don't know how to program in R! You don't need to know! Install the app Go to my Github page: https://github.com/ybenadjal/FM-Data-Analytics > Repositories > FM-Data-Analytics Download the complete folder then unzip it in your computer: Unzip the zip folder you just downloaded (just copy the FM-Data-Analytics folder that is inside the .zip somewhere on your computer). Move the main folder(FM-Data-Analytics-main) wherever you want, but do not change the structure of the folder. Everything is now in the folder you just extracted: Walk-through & set up the app: data Contains the outputs you have exported from FM. (1) Do not delete shortlist.html or squad.html if you don't replace it. Later running the app without one of the files may cause errors. (2) Always name the outputs "shortlist" and "squad". * V3 UPDATE: Name the squad outputs as follows: "squad_yyyymmdd", where "yyyymmdd" is the in-game date. You can now store multiple squad outputs (3) When extracting the data from FM, be sure to scroll from top to bottom of the shortlist to get all the data when you use Ctrl+P to print and export. V2 UPDATE: The app now directly reads the FM outputs to extract the data, thus meaning the Excel tool is obsolete. It is no longer included in the download. Walk-through & set up the app: demo_videos Contains two video demos, one for the setup, and one for the data extract/use the app. V2 UPDATE: Update to reflect the new workflow Walk-through & set up the app: fmviews Contains the views you have to import in your FM game, then export the FM screen as a Web Page/html file (Ctrl+P in FM). completeview_shortlist_v4 is a view for the Shortlist in FM (Scouting > Shortlist). completeview_squad_v4 is a view for the Squad in FM (Squad). ** Do not change anything to avoid errors! V2 UPDATE: FFP Contribution and future time playing removed (5 columns) as they are user-specific Walk-through & set up the app: help Contains a data dictionary. All the data points exported from FM are described here. V2 UPDATE: The app now dynamically install required packages if needed. First thing the code does is check if there are missing required packages and installs them. This means the installpackages.bat batch file is now obsolete. It is no longer included in the download. Walk-through & set up the app: main Go back to the main file, there is the app: app.R, and another batch file to run the app: FMapp.bat **IMPORTANT STEP (ONE-TIME ONLY)** (1) Find your Rscript.exe file. It should be in the file you installed R > R-<version> > bin (2) copy the path (in yellow) (3) open FMapp.bat and replace your path in r_path1 (only replace the highlighted code in blue). That is the only adjustment you need to to! (4) Save FMapp.bat and close it. You're set to use the app. The instructions are repeated in the setupdemo video in \demo_videos **** V2 UPDATE: FMapp.bat now detects its current directory and uses it to launch the app. It is very important that you don't modify the file's structure! Instead of replacing 3 paths in the last version, you only need to replace 1, and it's a one-time process. V2 UPDATE: DNA Model subsection was added in the Squad Analysis section. This enables you to select key attributes for your playing style and calculate a "DNA rating". Similarly to the Scouting section, the color code is used in the tables and the plots. V2 UPDATE: dynamic package installation. V2 UPDATE: App reads html FM outputs instead of the Excel tool. V2 UPDATE: Added status messages to show the user what's going on before the app is launched in their browser. V2 UPDATE: Points in the plots have now a subtle black outline to make them more visible. You're now all set! Launch the app by double-clicking on the FMapp batch file, the app will open in your browser! The app will open in your browser. It is strongly recommended to set the zoom size as 90% and to maximize the browser's window ** When you close the app on your browser, also close the Command Prompt window that was opened by the batch file TIPS: (1) App interface The app will launch in your browser. Set the zoom at 90% to get an optimal view. Use the 3 bars at the top to hide/show the sidebar, thus leaving more space for the content. (2) Interacting with the plots Some plots have trend lines, some do not. Hovering on the points will show you more info about the player. You can zoom in, navigate on the plot. Double click on the plot to get back to the default view. Quick demo: Dots size: the more a player has games played (calculated by the total number of minutes ÷ 90), the bigger is the dot. Dots color: depends on the scouting recommendation. Makes it easier to notice badly rated players that are in fact performing and vice-versa. Non scouted players are assigned -1, as well as squad players. V2 UPDATE: The DNA ratings have the same color code. If the user doesn't specify a DNA model then players are assigned a rating of -1. (3) Shortlist builder In the scouting section, you have a shortlist builder. This enables you to select some players you notice in each subsection (general/passing/shooting/etc). Then in the last subsection, Shortlist, you'll have the intersection of all the players you selected. Let's say you want a goalscorer AM. You noticed: Player A, Player B, Player C, Player D as good playmakers in the passing subsection and selected these players in the bottom shortlist builder. In the shooting subsection, you selected Player B, Player D, Player E and Player F. You'll see that in the Shortlist subsection, you'll have a table with Player B, Player D, thus your shortlist have been built. ** Leave all other Shortlist builders with all players selected if you don't use them. If you want to begin a new analysis and create a new Shortlist, make sure that all the shortlist builders have all players selected before beginning. (4) Filters Want to analyze your loaned players? Squad Analysis > Filters > Clubs: deselect your club (should be the first entry) Want to analyze your players at the club? Squad Analysis > Filters > Clubs: deselect all then select your club (should be the first entry)
  12. I must be the only person that seems to receive the 'harder' version every year...
  13. Over the last few weeks there seems to have been a lot of discussion about the limitations of the game when it comes to realism. Some players have said they find the game too simple, whilst others are trying to play realistically but can't due to the limitations of the game. As a serial lurker, it's resulted in me suddenly being far more active on the forums because it's something that is close to my heart. I try to play as realistically as possible at all times. When I load my save, I am no longer a bloke sat in his pants surrounded by three day old takeaway and empty beer cans. I am a football manager. In the dugout. In the dressing room. Sat opposite a chairman who cannot quite believe he has made the mistake of hiring me. Because I am awful. I've been playing the game since the very first Championship Manager and have owned almost all versions, but I'm still rubbish. Part of the reason for that is because my main aim in the game is to play realistically instead of winning at all costs. I have no doubt that this seems crazy to some, however for me it really is the taking part that counts, not just the winning. There used to be an area of the forums for lower league managers that was quite strict on realism, and that is where I first really thought about how I played. I adopted most of those rules, and still use them to this day. I know some of the regular users of that area of the forum are still about, but most no longer post. Having been contacted by a couple of people on DM about "realistic" play, I decided to log this thread so that it can be discussed. My hope is that the thread is visited by people who play in a similar way to me, people who play the LLaMa way, those who are interested in giving it a go, and those who aren't sure what is realistic or not. It's all fine. It isn't for everyone though, and if it isn't for you and you visit, then that's fine too - just say hi and move on The Rules My main concern is that people have fun with their game. It's not my job to set rules for the forum or thread, and for me this thread is about bringing people together. I will not tell you that you are not welcome to come and post here if you do certain things. That has been done on these forums before and it didn't end well. I do have some requests, however; 1- Player naming - if you find a cracking player or hidden gem then feel free to share it in the Good Player & Team area of the forum. But please try to avoid player naming here if possible. If you update us on your saves, just saying "tall striker" is enough so that those who want to know his name can work it out. Maybe they will DM you. However some of us like to find these hidden gems ourselves, so would prefer you didn't share names. 2- General tipping - there are lots of areas of the forum where you can get help on tactics and players, etc. We are interested in your progress, your mistakes, your saves and your thoughts. If you need help from someone as bad as me you're struggling. The point of playing realistically is to learn as you go. Please don't tell someone who is struggling how to resolve it within the thread. Offer to help in DM. They might be grateful but some of us want to work out way around things ourselves. 3- Bugs/overpowered stuff/glitches - as realistically as we want to play, this is a game. Sometimes it will do things which remind us of that. If you get a job offer which you believe isn't realistic, please let the developer know in the bugs forum and make your own decision on if to take it or not and carry on with your save. I wouldn't take it, but it's up to you. And that's it. I am fully prepared for this thread to disappear forever with zero responses, but I hope it doesn't. I hope some of you will find that playing like this reignites your passion for the game, and I'm looking forward to hearing about people's successes and failures as we go 👍👍
  14. This megapack improves several values for over 220 Nations in-game to increase realism in FM 2021 to a whole new level! It was fulltime-project over several months and it will remain a ongoing project. All files are made with my own created db to ensure consistency in the changes. Check out the latest video with all changes: PLEASE FOLLOW THEESE STEPS BEFORE INSTALLING: - Give me a follow on twitter and youtube to get the latest informations about the whole project https://twitter.com/daveincid https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJhLIp082IP1n0s5XfOkf9w - You like my work and you are interested in some extra content? take a look here: https://www.patreon.com/daveincid - If you have used my previous versions please remove all the files from the editor-data-folder before installing the final version! - Do not use other mods which may conflict with my megapack at the same time. This includes files which changes: - Youth Ratings - Market Values - Transfer Preferences - Sponsorship - Finances - Languages (only Switzerland) - League Reputations - Awards - Derbies - Club Data All files are tested over 5-years in-game at minimum to ensure there aren't game-breaking bugs. In general It is compatible with all league-files, transfer-updates, all graphical mods etc. Cooperation: I work close together with @davie77 from SI-Forum with his "Arround the Globe- Megapack". I highly recommend it as both megapacks are coordinated with each other. Of course both Megapack also works independent too. I receive a lot of questions if my files work with X or Y. I really do not have the ressources to answer these questions. Questions like these won't be answered. If the general information above isn't enough for you then I warmly welcome you to join my Patreon. There is a list of files I personally recommend and which are compatible Please note: For more realism I recommend to disable the first transfer window. IRL the transfers already happend, so should it be in the game-setup too for a optimal balance. It also works with first transfer window enabled! FM21 Increase Realism Megapack by Daveincid This realism megapack contains following files: - Daveincid's Alternative Youth Rating + Game Importance and others Updated https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYcba_h1wSw - Daveincid's Salaries, MWvalues and Sponsors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYXin5kiQHU - Daveincid's current currency exchange-values - Daveincid's League reputation change - Daveincid's financial behaviour improvement - Daveincid's Transfer Preferences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogll4KjNS5g - Daveincid's club transfer preferences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbFNQ56FSgE - Daveincid's citizenship-fix - Daveincid's Nations agreements by DaveTheEditor - Daveincid's Ticket-price-adjustments - Daveincid's award fixes Updated - Daveincid's Derby fixes - Daveincid's realistic injuries - Daveincid's club data fixes - Daveincid's club-finances - Daveincid's geographics and languages - Daveincid's Club Reputation What does each file do? Daveincid's Alternative Youth Rating + Game Importance and others Updated - Newly set National Youth Ratings - Game Importance adjustments - State of development adjusted according to DAC-List The ratings are based on a huge database of personal research about all Nations, which includes but not limited to: - HDI (Human Development Index) - Population of a Country - How popular football is in the country - Worldwide success national team - Continental success national team - Success U-national team - Which Confederation they are in (ex. UEFA, CONCACAF) - Value National Team - Record attendance National Team - Average league attendance from top league (as far as I could find them) The combination of these changes will lead to: - Less newgens with world-class talent as per default - More worldwide diversification of talent - Easier to improve smaller nations where football is popular in long-term saves - Fight about the biggest talents, so the AI tries to keep their talents at the club, because there are less of them Daveincid's Salaries, MWvalues and Sponsors This file brings a lot of dynamic in a more static FM-World by default. v2.7 is further improved, especially to work perfectly with davie77's «Around the World-Megapack». - Adjusted market-values worldwide to replicate transfer fees better There are Nations which are generally sell their players too cheap (for example Brazil) or too high, I have done several adjustments to replicate the current situation as well as implement a reasonable increase of values if a Club or the whole league gained a higher reputation. - Increased salaries Default salaries are too low in some leagues. Less money on salary spent can havea inflating effect for bank balance overall. This money increases transfer fees in smaller leagues and causes problems there because these Clubs will get much higher transfer-fees as they usually get. - Future Superstars will now earn close to 30m/y, sometimes even higher to lower the gap compared to CR7, Messi etc. - fixed too low salaries in unknown leagues wich actually pay decent money - Decreased salaries for some Nations Some Nations are paying much more money in the future as they do at the start of the save, without understandable reasons (No new Sugar-Daddy or overall success). This was again a complicated balancing-act to find the "sweet-spot". It's based on actual data as far as I could find them. - Improved Sponsors This file will give you a more natural progress of Sponsorship-behaviour in line with your success. Most Nations only see a marginal increase sponsorship, even with a strong increase of success. This file changes this behaviour for all Nations according to my calculated economic potential of the Nation. So poor Nations won't have a huge increase, even if you win the Champions League. Most Sponsors are local, or national connected, so the financial power is mostly down to the economics of a Nation. (Sugar-Daddy's excluded). Please keep in mind: The shown market values are not directly linked to what is getting paid for a player or how good he is. This is also the case in default, but more tweaked in my file. Wonderkids without first-team-match-experience have usually a really low market-value, due they haven't shown their talent under senior football conditions yet, like IRL. The value also decreases when the player is running out of contract. Once they played a couple of games and achieved success in U-National-Teams their value can rise extremely. Low market values doesn't mean that you will get the players for this price or even close. Their shown value also changes as soon as there is a transfer-fee paid for them. Daveincid's current currency exchange-values I have made adjustments to current values for 123 currencies. The biggest impact you will notice is in Venezuela. This file will replicate the financial situation of all Nations more accurate to their current situation IRL. v1.3 contains small fixes for North Korea and Syria Daveincid's League reputation change This file lowers the gap slightly between the Top-Nations and all the others in Europe. It also boosts Top-Nations outside of Europe slightly and should increase the competition globally. v2.2 contains changes for South America Daveincid's financial behaviour improvement I tweaked v1.1 to be able to remove the finances file from my previous version completely. The problem I see in Football Manager is, that it's always clear that all money from a transfer goes to the Club, the Player and his Agent. By default, when a Club is getting 90m for a player, the Club will get 90m. I think it's fair to say that this is sometimes not in line with the situation in reality. In some Nations the problem is bigger as in others. The point is, that some Nations are well represented financially, so they are stable by default. Due legal issues I won't say what the main problem is, but I am sure you guy's know what I mean v1.4 contains smaller tweaks So how do I stopped the constantly gain of money? As already Benjamin Franklin said: «nothing is certain, except death and taxes « With this file all Nations are getting taxed by a certain percentage on their transfer-income immediately. How should you interpret this tax in the game? If a player from Club A moves to Club B for 50m, and Nation A has a transfer-tax-rate of 30%, they will immediately pay 15m of taxes as soon the player moved to Club B. So the transfer-fee is 50m, but the selling Club only gets 35. This way I was able to avoid that Nations who buy cheap and sell high will be represented badly in the future, because theese teams are going to pay extremely high transfer-fees and salaries which they would never do in reality, not even close. For a better imagination for what the taxes stands for: - genereal bad financial behaviour by default - overall transfer-costs - unknown receivers of money (please don't feel offended, I am just objective) - other advantages in transfer negotiations (Houses, cars, Jobs for family-members etc.) I know it's kind of a controversial interpretation, but this way I was able to balance so many things in FM much better, and it will be as effective in short as in long-term-games. Please keep in mind: There will be still some weird transfers whithout any influence on my side. This is mostly down to a new takeover of a Club. Sometimes the new Owner pays so much money for a player as a promise for his election-campaign. Daveincid's Transfer Preferences This file gives you a more accurate behaviour of transfers. Most Nations are linked together in some way. v2.2 contains smaller improvements. An example for Africa: The best players from Malawi are getting poached by Zambia, due it's a better league and geographically close. If they are overperforming in Zambia they might get transfered directly to Europe. But often they need to take a further step, so they get poached by DR Congo. This league is again stronger and more in the focus of Europe and the biggest Nations of Africa. So they might move to Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco or Algeria. This system is done for all 227 Nations! Daveincid's club transfer preferences I researched Clubs which have a strong affinity for a specific nationality of players in the past and present. This is now a criteria in Visions of the Club. So theese Clubs should buy more players from theese Nations. It will be in most cases a criteria of your board to follow theese transfer preferences. It's part of the clubs philosophy. v1.3 also has some edits of Director of Football to further improve the behaviour in transfers of theese Teams. I removed RB-Salzburg, because it causes problems in combination with davie77s megapack. Following teams have been edited: FC Nordsjælland – Ghana (is ongoing Club Vision) Wellington Phoenix FC – New Zealand (is ongoing Club Vision) Ludogorez Razgrad – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Wolves – Portugal (is ongoing Club Vision) NPS Volos – Argentina (is ongoing Club Vision) AGS Asteras Tripolis – Argentina and Spain (is ongoing Club Vision) PSV Eindhoven – Germany (no permanent Club Vision) Kristiansund BK – Senegal (no permanent Club Vision) Union Técnica de Cajamarca – Argentina (is ongoing Club Vision) FC Porto – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Benfica Lissabon – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Sporting Lissabon – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Sporting Braga – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Sevette FC – France (is ongoing Club Vision) FC Sion – France and Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) FC Lausanne-Sport – France (is ongoing Club Vision) AS Trencin – Nigeria and Netherlands (is ongoing Club Vision) MFK Zemplin Michalovce – Greece (is ongoing Club Vision) Dunjaska Streda – new affiliation (CD Universitario Panama) Konyaspor – Bosnia and Herzegowina ( no permanent Club Vision) Schachtar Donezk – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) FK Lwiw – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision) Ujpest Budapest – Serbia (no permanent Club Vision) Kisvarda FC – Ukraine (is ongoing Club Vision) Daveincid's Ticket-price-adjustments Worldwide ticket-adjustments to avoid weak teams in financial poor Nations are paying too high ticket-prices. v1.1 contains further improvements. Please Note: Ticket-Prices are a really tough task, because the game generates ticket-prices as soon as you set value too low in the editor, even if the value would be correct for a specific Club. It makes it impossible to set the correct values. The main goal of this fix is to avoid way too high ticket prices. There is also a big chaos as soon as a Club get's relegated or promoted. In some cases a second division team has the highest ticket prices after promotion. This is also the case in default version. It happends less with my files but it still occurs. Daveincid's citizenship-fix I made corrections for 95 Nations for "years to gain nationality". It was quite difficult to get it right because sources sometimes vary. There are some interesting years included. Might be worth scrolling through the Nations to find out Daveincid's Nations agreements by DaveTheEditor This file was made by DaveTheEditor! Thank you for your help:) It adds 24 agreements between Nations. You can find this information in the Nation-tab-overview! Daveincid's Derby fixes This file adds 300+ missing Derbys from Clubs and Nations in over 50 Nations. There are Derby's included like: - Teheran-Derby in Iran between Estheghlal and Persepolis - "the oldest Russian Derby" between Spartak Moskau and Dynamo Moskau - "La guerra del futbol" between El Salvador and Honduras - "Derby of Ghana" between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hears of Oak SC and soo many more! There have been over 1'000 reputation-adjustments aswell to ensure a logical worldwide distribution. Daveincid's mods awards fixes Updated This file fixes literally all missing and unlogical award-reputations in all Nations and in all international competitions aswell according to my own research-database. This is very important when it comes to a players transfer-behaviour, his loyalty, his career-path, his market value, the reputation of a Club and much more! The best player in a weak League will now be much quicker unhappy if he wins awards and he thinks he is too good for the Club. Convincing these players to stay is much more difficult! On the other side it's a chance for a Club to grow their reputation if they are able to keep these players. It's very tricky but it adds so much more dynamic! Most important awards created for over 200 Nations worldwide, like: - Best Player of the Season - Best Youngster of the Season - Best XI of the Season - Best Manager of the Season - Best Topscorer of the Season All these awards are of course in line with all existing reputation-values to fit perfectly into the whole system! Fixes continuous Reputation-increase of RB Salzburg: RB Salzburg is getting year to year a small reputation-boost when they get awarded as the best team in Austria. 10 years later they are close to be the biggest Club in the world without much success. This is now fixed with this file. Balanced Increase of Manager Reputation: This change should balance the increase of a Manager's (AI und User) reputation worldwide. So you shouldn't be poached by a very big Club too soon (in some cases). Please Note: A small percentage of new awards won't show as a text (empty field only). I tried to fix it but no chance at all. But the most important thing is that the reputation works! Daveincid's realistic injuries Football Manager reduces the injuries-occurence per default for about 20-30% This file increases the overall Injuries-Occurence for about 30%. There are no new injuries added, so you can use this mod in every ingame-language you want. Please Note: This works only in competition which are simulated in full detail. Daveincid's club data fixes This file adds a lot of missing data for almost 700 1st and 2nd-Division-Clubs in 150 Nations worldwide: - Nicknames of Clubs - City-Location - Rivals - Year founded - Club Colours Please Note: Year founded sounds easy, but there are sometimes 2 or even 3 dates available due re-founding or club-fusions. I took the date which seems the best option IMO Daveincid's club-finances fix This file includes the sugar-daddy-fix file but it has a lot of more features: - Finances of Top-Clubs adjusted - slightly lowered the financial power of Lars Windhorst at Hertha BSC to avoid 100m €+ Transfers in the near future - Added Debts to some Clubs according to the newest sources - Added Barcelona's transfer debts and adjusted their overall financial Situation Daveincid's geographics and languages This file took me roughly 2 months to complete. It's just insane^^ Geographics: - Added missing Inhabitation Ranges for over 5'500+ Cities - Added correct number of population for 1'250+ local regions - Added 500+ Cities to the correct local regions - Added missing coordinates of over 1'800 Cities - Added missing altitude-values for 4200+ Cities - Added City-Attraction-values for all Cities worldwide What's the effect of the changes? - Better distribution of place of birth's for newgens - More realistic travel cost's for Clubs in Nations/Cities with missing coordinates - Influences sponsorship-deals - Influences Fitness of Players - It allows me to replicate the changes with the languages more adequate - It's the fundament for a future project:) Languages: - Added over 100+ new official languages worldwide - Increased language-difficulty by 30% - 181 Nations edited - 1'800+ local regions edited - so many single cities edited A lot of african Nations have set French 100% as their main-language. Sometimes not even 10% where capable of speaking french. With adding new languages, this is fixed for almost all Nations. In general I have only added official languages which are recognized and do have a minimum of 1% of it's population. There are also regional languages added like Basque or Catalan or a lot of different chinese languages. All languages have been edited as realistic as possible with the existing language family, language group and language sub-group in the editor. What's the effect of the changes? - It represents the diversity of Nations much better. So many people do speak a 2nd or even a 3rd language, even without having it's Nationality. This isn't reflected in the game, until now;) - It can change the way how you are scouting for players. The wonderkid from South Africa you signed for Manchester United is homesick, because he speaks only Xitsonga (4%) instead of English (100%). - Players which are located in a City which have a majority of a language, which isn't similar to a Nations language will now learn this language. I for myself speak some spanish, but I have no relation to any spanish speaking Nation. All Data is from official sources like wikipedia etc. German Version: Die deutsche Version befindet sich in einem Extraordner. Wenn du mit dieser spielen möchtest, dann lösche die englische Version und ersetze sie mit dieser. Daveincid's Club Reputation This file contains small Reputation-Adjustments for some Brazilian, Argentinian and Mexican Teams to improve balancing in Long-Term-Saves. HOW TO INSTALL "Increase-Realism Megapack" in FM21 Place the files in: Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2021/editor data NEW SAVEGAME IS REQUIRED If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me! If you find any mistakes, please send me a PM! If you really read the whole text until this point, you have my deepest respect Cheers Daveincid https://www.mediafire.com/file/v9dzg1b0iznaku6/Daveincid%27s_Increase_Realism_Megapack_October_Update.zip/file
  15. I want to start with a positive about the game. The ME is the best its been in years. From my perspective, the success of an iteration depends almost entirely on the football we are presented with on the pitch. If I feel that my tactical decisions and tweaks make a tangible and visible impact on the outcome of a match - for better or worse - then that makes me feel like a manager. Variety and unpredictability are key to achieving this, which I have to say has been achieved this year. Well done SI! Now the criticism. I genuinely lack the vocabulary to communicate how much I despise the match day UI. For me, the design choices taken here have me in a state of bafflement and bewilderment in every match. FM is a decisions-based experience. We absorb huge amounts of information, and use it make informed decisions. We rely on this information to plug the gaps in the simulation that we miss due to not watching the entire 90 minutes. I have never felt less able to be in a position to make sound and timely decisions during a match. I've lost count of how many times I've missed a player picking up a booking or slight injury in a match. If there are genuine justifications for any of the below, or I am missing something very obvious, please do let me know: Why have the yellow and orange booking / injury indicators been removed from the central panels? Why can't I customise the match stats panel underneath the timer? (and instead, am forced to duplicate it to my liking in the tablet, taking up precious panel space) Why can't I customise the information we receive from our staff via the disastrous dugout panel? Why does ALL match information disappear from view like a Tinder swipe when a 3D highlight begins? Why were widgets removed? ('realism' is a fundamentally flawed argument, as there needs to be some common sense applied to what we need to function properly in a simulated world) Why are my eyes always forced to the extreme edges of my monitor to scan for critical information in tiny text? (when it should be displayed clearly in a central location) Why arrange players both vertically and horizontally on the team talk screen? (I've been teaching people to read for years, and its been empirically proven that this takes longer to scan and decode) Why can't I access full player stats during a half? (I see a player's rating dip to around 6.3, but now I can't quickly establish why. The statistical tools have been taken away and they are now fed back to me one column at a time through laborious singular drop down menus) Why don't the analytical tools work? (I assume they are bugged and weren't fixed for release) The ME has undergone the equivalent of open heart surgery, and survived. What I find incredulous is that having achieved the most difficult feat, the game has voluntarily given itself a metaphorical skin disease.
  16. Fans are asking for better AI, revamped set pieces, better animations and graphics, ect. And they are giving us 15 min long video about deadline day. I don't understand, it is like they don't listen to fans at all. I hope I am wrong and that we will see something really interesting in coming videos.
  17. Football Manager 2021 Match Screens Mod NOTE: I've uploaded a v2 of the Mod that makes a few changes that are no longer compatible with Touch Mode for v2 of the Mod please see this post: Welcome to my Match Screens Mod for Football Manager 2021. A little delayed as it took a lot longer than expected and the recent patch didn't help either hopefully they should be stable but if you come across any issues let me know. Workshop versions will go up in the next few days (once it's stabilized from the Winter Sale). As you may have noticed FM21 has re-worked the match screens, so I have rebuild the Match Screens Mod from scratch keeping the functionality of the new FM21 screens whilst adding in some more customization options as well as bringing back some panels from previous versions. The mod again incorporates modifications to both the Match In Between Highlights panel and the Match Review screens, though I haven't had chance to modify the pre-match lineup panels or the Post Match Press Summary Panel. Match In-Between Highlights Panel With the changes made to FM21 this has now been split into two parts, on the left you have the Notable Events Panel where I have kept the fixed width of the default panel and the ability to display it during highlights by clicking on the score in the scoreboard, but have split it into a split container where you can adjust the height split of the panel in game, and each panel now uses the selector panels so you can also adjust what information is displayed in each panel by clicking the dropdown menu in the top right corner of each panel. I have stripped out the Dugout panel, instead this information is now available by selecting the Advice view in the selector panels. Then on the right you have the Touchline Tablet which incorporates the IBH panel, and like the default panel you can collapse it down to one column if you want to replicate the widgets and clicking the Tablet icon in the players bar on the bottom of the screen will pop up the panel during the highlights. I have also increased the width of the panel to use up the space previously used by the dugout however the width is resolution limited and in addition the game only allows you to set three width values so for some resolutions (1280, 1680, 2560) the tablet won't expand all the way, so you may need to check out the Advanced Instructions which will detail how to edit the xml files to increase the width. The Touchline Tablet has also been expanded out to eight panels where you can adjust the height and width of each panel in-game which should give you the flexibility to set up the tablet how you like, and as always if you don't need all the panels you can drag the sliders to the corners to collapse the extra panels. Within the selector panels I have added back the legacy views that still work and also included some of the new Analysis panels - though the Match Story will only have enough data to work in the second half, and the Shot Maps seem to follow the Home/Away team rather than which team you are unlike the other panels. I have also changed the functionality of the Team Stats/Body Language panels each of these now show the same information however the Stats panel keeps the subs on the bench whilst the Body Language panel moves them onto the pitch so you can now select whether you want the subs on the top/bottom in game by selecting either of those views. Half-Time Review Panel I've re-worked this panel on the left side you now have two selector panels where you pick from a variety of views, the middle panel shows the review data from last years mod - Team Analysis and Best/Worst Performer panels, whilst the right side panel shows the Analysis data that is used on the default panel with the game controlling the exact Analysis data you get given. You can also access the advanced panels by clicking the buttons at the bottom. Full-Time Review & Post-Match Review Panels For some reason the Full-Time Review (panel before going to the Team Talk) and Post-Match Review (screen you get when revisiting a played match) panel now use the same file which causes some problems as for example the Team Analysis panel only works on the FTR screen, however whilst they share an xml file the game does allow you to set the panel splits and views independently so you can configure the FTR and PMR panels to show different info with different sized panels. These panels have been altered to use the Split Containers which a maximum of eight panels available for your use (though like with the Touchline Tablet you can collapse any extra panels you don't need by dragging the sliders to the edge) and each panel has been changed to a selector panel giving you a variety of views to select via the drop-down menus. Like the last couple of versions this version is skin and mode independent so there is just the one version you need to download. So if you are using the Default Skin you don't need to download the Base Skin and it should also be compatible with third party skins (unless they have modified the same files). Whilst I haven't had a chance to test it the Mod should also work with the Touch Mode as the files included haven't been altered by the Touch mode though some options might not be available as Touch Mode doesn't support all the same data as the Full Mode. In addition for those of you who prefer the Steam Workshop, Workshop versions of the mod will be uploaded for each of the Base Skins in the coming days. Finally like always the mod makes no changes outside of the Match Screens and thus is identical in appearance the Default Skin elsewhere. Installation Instructions After extracting the zip file; If you are using the default skin: - Place the panels folder into your User Data Location which by default is: Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2021\ If you are using a custom skin: - Place the panels folder inside the folder for the skin you are using, by default this will be: Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2021\skins\<skin_name>\ Then from the Preferences -> Advanced -> Interface Menu under the Skin Section turn off 'Use Caching' and reload your skin for the changes to be loaded. (You can turn Caching back on after the mod is loaded and working). Touch Mode users you'll want the Football Manager 2021 Touch folder instead. Mac users note that your User Data Location is now located elsewhere; https://community.sigames.com/topic/531835-fm21-skinning-graphics-information/?do=findComment&comment=12784049 To change the item shown in each panel just select the drop down arrow in the top right hand corner of each panel and select the view you want. So if you want to change the Left Panel from the Overview to the Match Stats view, just select Match Stats in the dropdown menu. You can also adjust the width and height of the columns in game by dragging the dividing line, and to collapse a panel you don't want just drag the line to the corner. If you want to change the appearance of the content that appears in the individual menus then you will need to follow the instructions in the Advanced Instructions section below. Change Log v1.2 23rd September 2021 Added xG Column to various Player Rating Screens as introduced by the last patch. v1.1 3rd February 2021 15:50 Added Heat Map/Average Positions panel. Switched HT Review screen to use Adaptive panels so the right side panel disappears at lower resolutions. FT Review Screen, removed Action Zones, Focus of Attacks and Report options as could cause the game to crash. (Can still access through Analytic Data popup button). Split FTR tablet files into separate files to solve issues with game resetting panels. Included an alt IBH panel, if you are having resolution issues and don't need to collapse the IBH panels then unzip the extractifwantfullscreenibhpanel.zip from the panels\match folder and let it replace the match in between highlights panel file and this will give you the basic eight panel view like from FM20 (or the FTR screen). FM21 MATCH SCREENS MOD DOWNLOAD PAGE ---Redistribution Terms You are free to post this content to your website provided: 1. It is not sold or behind a paywall. 2. You don't advertise it as being exclusive to your website. 3. My username and blog address are included: http://michaeltmurrayuk.blogspot.co.uk 4. If linking to my work then please provide a link to the download page rather than the download link as the download link may change. Advanced Instructions How to Enable Different Views. How to Adjust the Size of the Panels. How to Change Kit/Logo & Text Sizes on Overview View. Information For Skinners.
  18. I know it's getting frustrating to hear "when is going to be fixed ?" on and on, but maybe I can share with you the yearly FM gaming experience of a 40+ yo. ( yours truly ). 1. Buy the game early November .. toy around - don't start a long save because bugs, wait for a decent skin from the community because the game has funky colors and minimal info panels .. Old man's eyes. Anyway I have 1 hour to play, hell maybe to 2 hours daily if I am not dead tired, cause you know: job, kid(s), wife -generally old man's life. Sooo.. 2. Start doing your own skin, cause the game is buggy and it worth the wait for a December fix. Master the art of xml editing.. Old man's patience. Finally here comes December... you can squeeze more game time because of Christmas break!!! Open the whisky bottles. Old man's taste. 3. December game unplayable... lower player ratings. Not good. Old man's sorrow. 4. In January am I going to start a new game cause my current save didn't progress very well because you know, almost everyone plays like 6.3 ? No ! wait for the February update ! Old man's despair. 5. February DB update... maybe a patch for the match engine, some UI stuff. I can finally play, Old man's happiness. .. 6. October.. stop playing fm21, wait for fm22. Old man's enthusiasm. Repeat. Basically the game is playable 8-9 month a year. Every year from November till February it's a gamble, and then I am trying to squeeze into maybe 2 hours of game time a day, all the things I want to do but I never manage to.. So now you see the old man's frustration...
  19. Boom! 4,096 travelling non-League FC United of Manchester fans celebrate a last minute winner over League 1 Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, coming from a goal behind in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. This unassuming goal set up the biggest mismatch I have ever been involved with. The story so far.. Enjoying underdog status, FC United of Manchester are comfortably out performing their predicted 19th place finish and expectation to avoid relegation in the Vanarama National League North. I think I may be using a dodgy update as Yeovil are suspiciusly in the Vanarama National League North In the cup, we have enjoyed emphatic wins against other non-league sides and then edged past Coventry. The squad is a motley crew of football league academy outcasts with a couple of non-league journeymen comprised entirely of free transfers and with a total wage of £9,258 per week. The long-term objective for this save is to implement a high-intensity press with very quick transitions, however - as you can see - we certainly don't even have the basic building blocks in place. So instead we play a balanced, well-organised style of play aimed at playing to our strengths and counter-acts some of our weaknesses. Right now, the squad does not have the work rate or fitness to press aggressively nor does it have the concentration, anticipation or overall defensive quality to play a low block and withstand a constant barrage. As a result, we play an organised medium block and a solid defensive shape. The number of players assigned Support duties creates compactness and makes the team defend collectively as a unit, which you can see from the mentality distribution: 10 10 10 10 10 4 10 4 4 10 4 The biggest difference I notice between non-league squads and the world class sides I normally play as the capability of the fullbacks/wingbacks and the effect this has on our tactics. It's well documented that the fullback positions is one of the most important in the modern game, and that has seen the most evolution. In many cases top level fullbacks are given responsibility for an entire flank, creating width and freeing more advanced players to come inside. This is simply too much for our fullbacks. I played one friendly where I asked them to get forward with Logan and Donohue on opposite wings and it was a disaster. They couldn't get forward quick enough so attacks lacked width, then they couldn't get back which left gaping holes in defence, then they nearly died of exhaustion. My solution has been to split these responsibilities between the winger and fullback. The winger stays wide and creates width whilst the fullbacks cover the space behind them. This flat back 4 plus Anchor Man gives us the the freedom to allow Dyson and Wallen to get forward and support attacks. The most elaborate tactical element of this side is that we ask the wingbacks to play narrow and come inside so our attacking shape is actually a 2-3-5. Rather than relying on individual quality, our strength is a compact and organised defence and then a quick transition to a direct attack when the ball is won. Preparing for Manchester City We know how a Pep Guardiola Manchester City are going to play. They're going to play a 4-3-3, they're going to dominate possession and they're going to press aggressively. I've never actually seen an AI Guardiola pull off wingers and inverted wingbacks so most likely the wingbacks are going forward and the inside forwards coming in. As a minimum, we have to be prepared to defend against a 2-3-5 attacking shape. Time to disregard my earlier comment about playing a low block - we're going to play with our backs to the wall for the full 90 minutes The first - and most obvious - change is that we now play Highly Structured, Defensive football. Not how I want to play long term, but horses for courses. The knock on effect of this is that our wingers must play with an Attack duty, in order to maintain any sort of attacking threat. In turn, we balance this by adding Look for Overlap (increases mentality of fullbacks and decreases mentality of wingers) and Exploit the Flanks (further increases mentality of fullbacks). Preferred this over Attacking fullbacks as we really don't want them going too far forward. The mentality structure is now: 10 11 8 8 11 1 11 1 1 11 1 Our defensive strategy is to let Otamendi and San Jose have the ball. This gives us a 2-man advantage over the rest of the team. From the top down: Edwards tightly man marks Rodri to disrupt their build up play and make it more difficult for him to recycle possession. Logan and Donohue tightly man mark Walker and Mendy. It's important that I want them to track them all the way back to prevent our fullbacks being overloaded. Dyson and Wallen no longer get forward they're on De Bruyne and Gundogan but zonally marking the space in front of the defence rather than being pulled around by their undoubted movement. Adu-Peprah and Egan stay narrow and hold position to occupy the space Bernardo Silva and Aguero are going to be trying to get into. O'Halloran, Graham and Barkworth create a tight DC-DC-DM triangle playing 3 vs 1 against Gabriel Jesus leaving him no space to drop deep or get in behind and leaving spare men to guard against movement from the rest of Man City's attack. In attack, our only real hope is to get Logan and Donohue into space Walker or Mendy might leave and catch Man City with a quick transition or - of course - sneaking a set piece. The 6-3-1 Defensive Shape First thing's first: When the ball is higher up the field, our main objective is to create enough pressure to prevent a quick break allowing our defence to get into position. As the Mancester City build up advances, we take up a compact 2 banks of 4 with Barkworth occupying the space between the lines and Edwards occupying Rodri. Many who have followed my previous threads will have read a lot about attacking shapes. Particularly the well-documented 2-3-5 shapes of Liverpool and Manchester City and the recent emergence of the 3-1-6 which I enjoyed using with Benfica. This time, as Manchester City advance further, we take up almost an inversion of that shape in something of a 6-3-1. ..even sometimes a 6-1-3-0 Can you guess I came up with this watching Atleti play Chelsea? We forced Manchester City wide by shutting down the centre, crossing into a crowded box. ..or even resorting to uncharacteristically long balls. Otherwise however, we prevented them from creating a key chance through the middle. After a heart-stopping 96 minutes of football.. The Replay In a stroke of good fortune, the replay was scheduled amid a hectic run of important Premier League and Champions League games for Manchester City which stretched their squad thinly. As a result, we faced a weakened Manchester City team. The only defensive weakness I noticed in the last match was the mis-match between the defensive ability of Logan and Donohue and the attacking ability of Mendy and Walker meaning sometimes they either beat or escaped their marker to get dangerous balls into the box. In response to this we reinforced the flanks by dropping Barkworth back into defence. This meant we had 3 centrebacks which meant the fullbacks had extra cover should they need to support the winger in defence. The knock on effect of this was that we no longer had our Anchor Man in midfield, so Wallen and Dyson dropped deeper to play as a double pivot. The mentality structure becomes: 10 11 3 3 11 11 3 1 3 11 1 Tactically, the game played out in much the same way. However this time, the game unfolded into an absolute epic. Firstly, the unthinkable happened. We scored. Even from our goal you can see we only have 3 men forward, keeping 7 back. Then, Kyle Walker got a red card for a tackle from behind. THEN, Manchester City got a penalty in the 80th minute and this happened. THEN - just as I started to think we'd done it, THIS happened. After camping in our box through extra time, the game went to penalties. More heroics from Allinson. Finally, Michael Donohue - with his 4 in Penalty Taking and 2 in Bravery - had the chance to step up and become a hero. Thank you for reading. Hopefully you enjoyed this different style of thread. In particular, this is one for those who have been asking to showcase a more defensive style of football, making tweaks for specific opponents, playing in England and not playing as one of the Benfica's, Barcelona's or Ajax's of the world. Finally, hopefully someone at SI reads this and understands an element which has been taken away with the removal of team shape and can hopefully get the tactics creator back into better shape for future versions
  20. Having played 163 hours of this now (and there will definitely be more) i have gone from *meh* when they announced it, to excited during the reveals and back to *meh again. It's because of a few things but one thing stands out. - The match UI. The match UI i find very boring and "gamey", so to speak. I don't feel like the manager at all. I feel detached from the players and my staff. Information i used to have, being a manager in the dugout together with my staff, is harder to find. When motivation is realism then this UI has taken a massive step backwards. The Dugout pop-up isn't showing long enough for me to be able to react on, when i'm playing on Comprehensive Highlights. And that's how i play my game. When the pop-up comes up in the lower left it is so late that the suggestion(-s) there can be old information. I might somehow have managed to approve the the given suggestions in the Dugout popup but the same advice can still pop up 20 minutes later in the lower left. Having already actioned on it. I don't get why i can't access all that information at will. I'm the manager. Together with my staff in the dugout. It feels like my staff is sitting at home doing their observations and analysis, trying to message me on the phone. Only, the message is there for a minimum amount of time. If i don't see it quickly enough the entire message is erased. And i don't have access to the messages at all any longer. Why can i not access all that information when i want to during the match? The pad screen. Yeah.....As mentioned; comprehensive highlights. It's quite useless at one half of the screen. I don't use it anyway so it doesn't really matter for me, but it doesn't really give me a reason to use it either. It's pointless as i can't read what's on there. Why, oh why can't i swap player's positions at the bottom by clicking and dragging? For me that would be the most basic and logical thing to do. Being at a new club where i don't know the players; why aren't their preferred positions shown in the match UI? It becomes a lot more back and forth between screens during the match. So much for realism. Lessen the amount of clicks needed. Also in general overall. You used to focus on that. Seems to have taken the backseat of a very long stretch limo these days. Speaking of realism. If realism is the motivation, why does the game pause when i'm accessing certain screens? When i play a match it'll run all the way through. Apart from when the game pauses it for me. I'm trying to be a manager. There is no pause other than those the referee give me. I'm not saying eliminate pausing the game. That would definitely not be a good idea. But i want the match to keep it going. I'll pause it if i choose to pause it. Not because the game does it for me. If i change my tactics from one pre-made tactic to another i can do that quickly at the bottom left. Then i have to go all the way to the upper right to confirm it. Why? If it is a quick action, why do i have to confirm it at all? If something happened, like injury, goal or a red card, between changing the tactic and before it got activated, it would make sense having to confirm or cancel the changes. - ME The ME itself is fantastic. No doubt about that. Playing as Billericay at the moment and it feels and looks like Billericay and not Barcelona. Nothing other than praise there. - Issues I've mentioned it many times before and i'll mention it again. Custom Views. For the love of all that is good; fix it. Yes, there are priorities when solving issues and bugs. That's given. But i do understand the frustration amongst those who report and report and report, often the same issues year in, year out. It sends the message that nothing gets done. Maybe in 10 years time when we revamp that area. It doesn't really motivate people to report bugs. I started reporting UI bugs quite thoroughly but i stopped doing it. Because there are so many small things in this UI overall that don't work properly it got overwhelming. I wouldn't do anything other than report bugs if i were to keep it up. I wouldn't get to play the game at all. I still love the game and i will undoubtedly pour 100s of hours into it, but i don't feel like i'm part of the game. I don't feel like the manager anymore. The team talk, as an example. Is designed for immersion. It brings no immersion to me. I feel less involved, due to the fact that i have to look all over the screen to see reactions. It's cumbersome and hard to get a proper overview. On the other side; several screens have so much empty space. Fill that space with information. Why so many "empty" screens? Fill them up, remove them altogether or combine certain screens with other empty screens. - Xg and advice Xg - Wonderful idea. Couldn't care less. I find i don't use that at all. Maybe a quick glance at times but i don't use it at all. Nor do numbers add up. Attempts = 47 With feet = 15 With head = 7 Direct Set-Pieces = 3 How did they do those set-pieces attempts? With their schlong? And where are the missing 22 attempts? Possibly a bug? Who knows. The game doesn't help me out anyway in what works how. "We had a similar number of individual high quality chances to our opponent, which makes sense as there was not much difference in the average shot quality between the teams". Yes, thank you for that information but i did see that myself. What exactly is this analyst bringing to my table with this? Nothing that i can't see myself. "We've had a decent number of clear cut chances". I can see that but could you also tell my the analytical reasoning behind those numbers? It doesn't really tell me anything. I have hired an analyst for a specific reason. So he can analyse and tell me all the whys and hows so i don't have to do it myself. That's me segwaying to my next point. - Information, advice and context Information and context. A lot of the information i get from coaches are just the bleeding obvious or advice taken from seemingly thin air. There's no context. Why do i have to swap my DCL to DCR? Because he's in good form? And who do i swap him with? My DCR, who will go to DCL? Why's that? Because he's in good form? Well, why don't we keep them where they are then since they're both doing pretty well? It's useless advice with no context at all, and the game is packed with this kind of useless stuff. Analysis of my general performance. "We are performing well below average across the board". Ok. What do you suggest we do then? I mean, that's why i have staff there. To help me out with advice and similar stuff. No? Nothing? Where are my staff? Give me advice, based on the analysis and observations made, about what i should do; and, most importantly, why! What and how needs to be motivated by why. If there's no why, from the staff members that are paid to come up with why, then it isn't advice. It's just a line of suggestion but it doesn't tell me anything. "Do this". Why? "Just do it". Yeah, but why? I need to know why! What do you foresee will happen if we do it? "I have nothing. Just do it". My staff members are just there to fill in for the stuff i don't want to do myself in the game. That's all they're good for. Otherwise they are absolutely useless. In my own experience, there isn't any reason to follow their advice at all. - Recruitment meetings Recruitment meetings. Don't see the point. If the board wants me to sign U23 players for the first team, why do they only recommend players that are +30? I can use recruitment meetings as an example of different things and areas within the game that aren't connected at all. If there are related things in the area then they have to be connected. Otherwise it'll just be conflicting information. - Game overall and final thoughts The game is good. It's very good but for me it has taken a step backwards. It has gone backwards with the most important thing about this game. The manager. It's about being a manager in the game of football. It strives for realism and does it well. I don't oppose it at all. I like that approach. But it strives so much for it that it goes backwards in my own role as a manager. I feel more detached from my role as a manager as i've ever done. I felt more like a manager in CM97/98 than i do now. Probably hyperbole but the point is true. My experience though is that i feel less and less as the manager. Everything around it seems like it's more important. In that case you're more interested in creating an alternative, simulated footballing world than to create an environment where i can play out my own fantasy of being a football manager. If i'm not there as a manager, then what's the point in that simulated world?! It seems like it's more important to bring features to the game (which is a must, of course) and that it is forgotten that i'm just a guy, at home playing a game by watching a screen. Players around me in the dressing room because of realism.....on a 2D screen? Really? Is realism that much more important than making it better for the user to observe, watch and navigate efficiently? In spite of how good the game and the game series is, i get the feeling, more and more, that the developers are increasingly in danger of forgetting where this came from. How and why it started and became the success that it is. The foundation of why this game became so popular to begin with. It was about the manager. Create as realistic of a world as possible. Absolutely. But do not forget the manager. It's what it's all about. It's the core of this game. I will still pour hours and hours into this game as it's still fun. It's just not as fun because i feel like i'm a manager who's not really involved. There might be stuff written here that possibly are factually wrong. I'm aware of that possibility. But this feedback is just that. Feedback on the game based on my personal experience and feelings. I have one wish as a final-final thought. Fix bugs and issues that have been there for years. Just.....fix'em.
  21. Agree with this entirely The point of the in-game analysis, for me, was not to provide a realistic manager experience of stats available real time, but rather to inform the video game player of what was occurring between the highlights we choose to watch. As it is, without watching the full game in real time, there's no way to understand what is going on until half time. I understand the premise behind the move, but it's a mistake in my opinion and I hope one that will be reconsidered.
  22. The headline features are... disappointing. Clearly there is a large gap between SI and a large portion of fans in what features are desirable. Players play the game for the on-the-pitch tactics and squad building. You can easily see that in the forums. Players like to discuss how to emulate a tactical style and which players are cheap-to-buy wonderkids. I bet this is the core of the game to most of the players, but these are also areas in which FM has been stagnating. In terms of tactics, we all know the match engine is just an approximation and we should not expect too high. But it is just...stagnating too much, sometimes dissatisfactory. SI gave us tactical templates, but they don't look like that particular tactical style at all even you played the style in a team that should be ideal enough. Playing vertical tiki-taka still funnels the ball to the flank resulting in blocked crosses? I am fed up with that. And every year there must be some positions or roles which are dysfunctional. One year it may be the half-back, one year it may be the raumdeuter, one year it may be the false nine. And sometimes you are unlucky enough to have the whole striker position lacking movement or the whole AMC not working. And all these positions and roles and duties are not even new. (IMO the roles and duties have been expanding too much without a clear defining characteristic for each role. And funny enough a single player can only be tactically fluid with a single role/duty even though the roles look so similar!) Counterpress looking like 2-3 players chasing a single ball from the same direction, Messi consistently having headed attempts in the box, non-existent low crosses...I am not even talking about the inability of the game to emulate some real-life play-style: the Luke Shaw or Azpilicueta type side-center-back, Fellaini acting as a target man in the MC/AMC strata, and also the overlapping center-back - I just saw today how Aaron Cresswell as a side-center-back overlapped the LWB Masuaku to deliver a cross. In terms of macro-management, the financial side of the game has been way too shallow. I know it may not be the manager's job to run the financial side of the club, but the financial side definitely should have more impact. Dynamic competition prize money, economic downturn, owner decreasing investment due to his own financial hardship, Serie A flourishes again and draws a big chunk of sponsorship and investment...etc. And I am not even talking about the often criticized transfer AI - too many new signings get no appearances and get dumped next season, clubs signing players just for the sake of signing players...etc. Club vision? Good as a whole, but a vision of "spending as much budget as possible"? You must be kidding. Addition of new staff roles? I still remember I delegated the staff contract handling to the technical director just to find out that he only knew how to renew contracts without any intention to replace subpar staff members. And now SI is boasting about the overhaul of press conferences? A side dish only which some of the players don't even want to bother with it. I don't think anyone is playing FM for the simulation of answering questions from press. I believe no one will be talking about this unless it goes as broken as the ever-overwhelming match shout. A nice end-of-season summary? Is UI improvement worth that spotlight?
  23. A blog giving an FM22 development update from Studio Director, Miles Jacobson. At about this time last year, when I sat down to write a blog about how Sports Interactive and Football Manager were affected by the Covid pandemic, I thought that was going to be a ‘one-off’. But here we are, one year later and Covid is still dominating the global conversation. Thanks to the wonders of science we do have vaccines, which are saving lives and making it easier for people to fight the virus, but there are still far too many cases around the world and it most certainly hasn’t gone away. To reuse a line I’ve used a lot over the last 18 months… making games is hard, but making games during a pandemic is harder. This is why so many games that we are all waiting to play are still delayed as people try to adjust to working separately from their colleagues, while simultaneously dealing with the multiple productivity issues (both positive and negative) that have arisen from the new way of working and people’s individual circumstances. While we had hoped that the majority of our team would be back in the studio for much of this year’s game cycle, the reality is that their health and safety has been our priority. While some UK businesses are mandating a return to their offices, we have not enforced this as we believe it to be the wrong thing to do. We have also continued hiring, to the point where the SI team now numbers more than 230, and we have a nice new and much larger office (which you can see for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emfaz_oVvII). However, for health and safety reasons, we currently only have capacity in the studio for 22 people per day, with priority going to those who struggle to work from home. Even if we get to a stage in the UK where life returns to ‘normal’, things are not going to be the same as they were before the pandemic. We’re used to having people working offsite as a studio, typically having 10% of our full-time team working from outside of London (and some from outside the UK entirely), but our team surveys tell us that only a small minority plan on being in the office five days a week once we do decide to reopen. The majority plan to be in two or three days a week, but even with our increased size, a higher percentage will be working from home for the majority of their time – and our flexibility with this (we have always had flexible working in the studio) has led to us being able to add some fantastic members to the team from many countries and regions. Looking back, getting FM21 out of the door was painful for many of us at SI. We were so determined to release within a couple of weeks of our originally planned date that some of our team put too much pressure on themselves. That was confounded by some format decisions which had to be made late in the day. And despite our best efforts with bringing in extra resource, it still wasn’t enough in some key areas. So that has led to a lot of changes to how we make games at the studio to ensure that those problems don’t arise again, whether we’re back in the office or not. Those changes mean that we will release FM22 slightly earlier than FM21 (which was quite late in November), but still a couple of weeks later than my ideal end of October release date (which, to be frank, is only ideal because at some point I want to be able to celebrate my birthday in early November rather than it being a time when I’m getting stressed about work). During the latter stages of FM20 and for the whole of FM21 we worked with a separate design department, rather than our previous model where each engineer and artist working on a feature would be responsible for its design. While this was a step forward, the production processes that I put in place around it weren’t working well, and just caused more stress for those of us that were involved. So we looked into ways where we could improve, and ended up making major changes to how we make games. For the last 20 years or so we used a version of the ‘waterfall’ production practise, where different team members had lots of tasks to work on at the start of the project (or, in some years, the list was only finalised halfway through the cycle). With FM22, we’ve switched to large chunks of the project being worked on in an ‘agile’ format. This new process means we now make use of what are known as ‘feature pods’. Feature pods involve grouping the engineers and artists that will be working on a specific feature with someone from the design team and an ‘owner’ (normally from the production team) who acts as the organiser. This team’s work is then split into weekly ‘sprints’ which are continuously reviewed. For this to work, the designs have to be more fully formed than they have been in previous cycles. With the team working on so many features each year, we have had to increase the size of our design department; for FM21 there was one person with ‘designer’ in their job title while there are now three (with two more due to join in the coming weeks and further interviews in progress). This new process is working much better than previously, despite the fact that the pandemic is still raging, and big props to the production and design teams for putting the new processes in place, and for the dev team to their openness to trying something new. It’s been great to see us hitting our milestones earlier… and with better quality. There are some smaller, individual features that live outside of the feature pod process too, as we continue to aim to deliver as new features, improve existing features and introduce ‘quality of life’ improvements with each iteration of the game. We have, as all companies have, been hit directly by Covid, with some team members and their families catching Covid and some even losing friends and family to the virus. We’ve all also suffered from the mental strains that a global pandemic brings. That has all had to be taken into account in the schedule too. It’s been a huge effort by the whole team to be in a position to deliver a game at all in these circumstances – let alone a second full release of multiple titles, on multiple platforms. I’m proud to work with such an incredible team who are so determined to provide an escape from the real world to so many of you. I thank each and every member of the team for their work. And hope you do too. Outside of FM and SI, Covid also continues to cause issues in the world of football. The virus is still hitting players around the world, making them unavailable to play (some for long periods) and isolation is still a factor in some territories. Crowds are back in most leagues, which is great to see, but we’re still far from capacity – either because of regulations or, in some cases, because fans don’t feel ready to go back to being part of a crowd. As we’ve seen in the current transfer window, finances of the majority of clubs have been decimated by the circumstances, which has led to some deals which simply wouldn’t have happened under normal circumstances. I’m very happy with the way we predicted much of this with FM21 and the changes we made to ensure that the transfer system in game was more flexible according to the amount of money available in the real world, but some of it even caught us by surprise. As a result, we’ve made more changes to the transfer system in FM22 to try and make that area as accurate as possible. Many more clubs than normal will start the game with much smaller budgets available or still being in the position of having to try to sell players (as they still find themselves in real life). Others will be struggling to reduce their squad sizes and wage bills. But one thing that won’t change – our games MUST be an escape from the real world. So, once again, we will NOT have Covid in the game. Players will not miss matches because of Covid, players will not need to isolate when returning from holiday and, no, we will not have health officials coming onto the pitch to call off friendlies because some players haven’t followed the local isolation rules. Crowds will fill stadiums to pre-pandemic levels and club finances will, over time, return to normal – and handshakes are still there too, as you voted for last year. We will also continue to serve free adverts for selected mental health charities around the world (well over 100m of these were served in FM21) so that people who need help can get it from one button click. So the pandemic may not be going away any time soon. But in FM22, it’s as over as it can be. Just don’t expect big transfer budgets year one, as we’re aiming to have the financial start point in game as close as we can to real life… Cheers Miles
  24. So this post was inexplicably removed without explanation, but its very pertinent to the general tenor of this thread: FM21 has been released and I'm flabbergasted at how bad some of the changes made are. There's clearly some sort of 'bell and whistles' directive coming down which is why the UI is constantly tweaked, with shaky or non-existent justifications. I think the notion of leaving things well enough alone should be taken to heart. Frankly, I think it's probably too late for a lot of this, but at least I'll feel better having aired it all and maybe the next iteration can be saved. I've also tried to offer compliments where possible so this isn't all one way traffic. Anyways to the point, and I'll have shots of FM20 as well for comparison. Pre-Match, FM20: Cleanly presented info, lack of clutter. This screen is now gone. Instead we have this: Where's the game? Who's the ref? What other games are going on right now? Recent Form? Previous Meetings? Prefered Formations? Upcoming Fixtures? Who's injured for the match? Why did we lose all this information? The game now feels like it is in a vacuum, not part of an on-going league or cup. Not to mention we've lost all the tabs I've highlighted in red in FM20. Thing I like: For Next Match only - good if you want to change mentality specifically for a game against a league leader or minnow, but don't want it to be a permanent adjustment to the tactic. In FM20, during the lead up to kickoff we have this great graphic showing the lineups, uniform colors AND formations: For comparison, here's a real television pre-match screen: Now we have this: No formation, no headshots; a stark white sheet with a rough font instead. In FM20, you can drill down into any of the players listed if you'd like - cannot do that in FM21. We do now have a simulacrum of social media on the left, which is entirely ignorable (just like real life, or this post - perhaps I'm getting too meta). Oh and we now know who the ref is. Who the ref is is not very important, but it's a nice piece of immersion. What I like: The match sheet could have an old-timey, authentic feel, especially with lower-league clubs, but it should be in addition to, not in lieu of the formation screen. Next pre-match screen, the pep talk. In FM20: Again, clean, easy to read and use. Now FM 21: I know this has a snowball's chance in hell of being changed as what we're looking at is one of the big 'features' and others have posted about it, but it's cluttered, confusing and an eyesore. Relabeling aggressive, cautious, etc. to thrash arms, point fingers, etc is pretty underwhelming. If you cannot represent the players beyond a box with their name in them (I mean at the very least add the headshots like in dynamics), there's little reason to arrange them in this difficult way to read. I can promise you it does not feel like a locker room with me the manager in the center. Anyways - we give our pep talk, and onto the match: In FM20, there's several things to note - first, we have a timeline, if want to rewind or see something again. We have full club names (even if they're the FM trademark-avoiding version) with logos (when I have the pack installed), which again can be drilled into if you want to easily see the page of the team your playing (or your own). We have customizable match information allowing yout display what you want, and not what you don't. We have updates, which allows you to see the live standings. We have all the coaching tools on the top, while commentary runs on the bottom. In FM21: The timeline - where is it? The club names are all again in the same harsh font of the team sheet and strangely truncated and without logos. It's a weirdly, self-enforced limitation and makes it less obvious who you're playing. You cannot drill into the names to see. Not an improvement, in fact a decided downgrade. I like to play in unfamiliar leagues and it's not easy to always know who's being played in-match at a glance. We've completely lost the ability to curate our match information on screen. The tablet is a poor substitute. I'm sure this was 'by design'. Updates only flash when they change - I have to activate the tablet to see them now, taking up one of two available screens there. The tactics and subs being adjacent to the commentary is confusing and cluttered. I accept that this may just be an adjustment to make, but the commentary is a lot easier to follow when it's the sole thing on the bottom of the screen. I understand the tactics bar can be minimized, but if you're using it, it'll be visible a fair amount. What I like: Not much to be honest, this was the chief driver of me making this post. What about between highlights? FM20 vs. FM21 I won't even touch the memed-to-death-already passing chart in 'the dugout' but again this is not an improvement. Information is more scattered, less intuitive. My team is still on the bottom, theirs is in formation on the right. What use to be a simple scan across is now similar to the pep talks one of up down over and around. Are you guys trying to limit screen time through sore eyes? What I like: How much that passing chart made me laugh - I think the sub recommendations are okay but will surely become 'overrun in midfield' tedious. Post Beta Edit: This has been fixed, sort of. Finally, let's talk goals and substitutions: Why are there no headshots with goals? When are you ever going to see them? When you drill into their individual details only? This change is inexplicable to me. Again because the bottom of the screen is now cluttered, it's actually somewhat easy to miss events. In FM20 you have goalscorers and subs prominently at the top. I could very well go on further, but this is enough. I realize this may read like a complete trashing, and that's not the goal. I'm obviously a fan of FM and a lot of what is done is positive- FM21 has greater speed and an improved ME which I am a fan of. Would just love a more intuitive design and things to not be so unilaterally removed when there's no demand for it. This isn't even getting into the insistence that there is only one skin (from 3 default last version) that primarily consists of purple and snowblind white. I know people will have different opinions and I welcome them, but to me this new UI/UX is obviously less clear and informative, more click-intensive and graphically worse. I am more tempted than ever to just remain with FM20 than to persist in this purple purgatory but I am hoping some of this can be redressed.
  25. Another quick thing.... this offers absolutely nothing. Im all for more info making things better but this is a shake head moment.
  26. I find MIles very aggressive and rude on Twitter. Not a good spokesperson for the company. @Neil Brock @Miles Jacobson
  27. SI listening to every single person who knows what will make FM better....
  28. prot651 "3D looks nothing new . Same old stadiums .. yawn .. The game and the game play needs a shot in the arm along with the stadiums and visuals . " I agree. New managerial features are always welcome of course, but I wish they'd give the visuals a much needed overhaul one year, or at least try and get them back to where they were in FM17 (which, graphically, was by far the best looking FM). Even FM11 had better looking pitches, lighting, and stadiums than the last three versions of FM. FM17 visuals for comparison...
  29. I'll explain something I am personally disappointed about. When I've emailed SI in the past (and to be fair, I am talking 3-5 years ago) asking about the inclusion of other leagues, I've been told that they aren't willing to add leagues that they don't think people will play. I've also been told it adds to testing time to check whether a new league would be compatible with the existing game. Now when it comes to 'inclusion'... There's only one African league in the whole game. No Egypt, no Morocco, no Nigeria etc. I wonder what evidence there is that the women's leagues in say FM23 would have more people playing it than the Egyptian league? We're missing leagues in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela which would greatly improve the South American experience. The Cypriot league is not in the game despite being a top 20 ranked UEFA league for a decade or more now. There's no Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan despite the fact both countries have improved a lot recently. Even some of the excluded Baltic (Lithuania) and Balkan (Montenegro) countries could be an interesting addition. Obviously no Japan but I understand the licensing issues there. No Middle-Eastern leagues at all...No UAE, no Qatar, no Bahrain, no Iran, no Saudi Arabia, even though these leagues have pretty decent commercial pull and a number of good players there. Furthermore, at least one major European league seems to have a serious bug every year. What I'm trying to say is...the women's game is a nice addition and I commend SI for what they are trying to do, but it feels like: 1) You could apply the 'inclusion' argument to African or Middle-Eastern football. Africa and the Middle-East is vastly under-represented in the game. Morocco objectively has a better league than Iceland for example. 2) I am skeptical in the long-term how popular the woman's database will be, and worried if development time will be taken away from the parts of the game most people will play. 3) I would really rather they focused on including more nations/leagues in the men's game first. This is obviously just my opinion. Others will disagree and that's fine. And I absolutely do not mean any disrespect to SI or women's football, I'm just expressing how I feel. P.S Yes I know you can add leagues in the Editor but as someone who has made editor files, it takes a lot of work. Adding multiple playable edited league can cause instability. And it doesn't change the lack of research for leagues not in the vanilla game.
  30. The Main Winter Update for Football Manager 2021 is available now, with this first part including updated squads following the January transfer window. A Final Winter Update will follow in a few weeks, covering the latest deals from transfer windows that closed in February, including the Chinese and Russian leagues, MLS, free transfers in the EFL and more. More than 3.7m database changes feature in the Main Winter Update and among them are tweaks to player data to reflect their real-world performances so far this season. This first update also includes a number of fixes and improvements across various areas in the game, some of which are detailed via our changelist below. As always you will need to begin a new career for the data changes and competition updates to appear, with all other changes being save game compatible allowing you to continue your pre-existing managerial careers. The update should download automatically but if that isn’t the case, you’ll just need to quit and restart the Epic Games launcher or Steam. So, whether you’re starting afresh or carrying on, there’s something for everyone in this update. 21.3 Main Winter Update Changelist (including, but not limited to): Database and Research - Over 3.7 million updates reflect real life, including (but not limited to) transfers, managerial changes, and player attributes Stability and Technical - Number of stability fixes and improvements Gameplay - Further improvements to total player count and number of newgens generated in youth intakes - Number of improvements to keeping player promises - Re-enabled option to ask board for Reserve/U23 team - Improvements to Club Vision logic - Tweaked logic to make user manager appointments more realistic - Fixed press conference questions being asked incorrectly following certain results - Recruitment meetings being driven more by agreed club visions - 'Interest in transfer' filter player search fix for when user manager changes clubs - Improvements to staff given non-playing staff appointment responsibilities - Newgen staff now correctly having second nationalities set - Improved transfer logic for MLS teams at game start - Improved MLS teams salary cap management Match Engine 21.6.0 - Further balancing of player ratings across both full and quick match engines - Number of improvements and fixes to match stats, including key tackles, clear-cut chances and interceptions - Improved goalkeeper distribution when set tactically via instructions - Improvements to assistant advice during pre-game build up and matches Competitions and Rule Groups* - Removed salary cap for EFL League One and Two - AI teams making better player registration choices in England - Fix for user not being able to register squad changes - Champions Cup sub rules corrected for second knock-out round - Fixed incorrect age restriction appearing in Germany - Improvements to MLS transfer window and roster freeze dates - Added MLS 2021 Schedule dates and updated Superdraft process - Fixed incorrect Serie C and D teams appearing in Italian Cup in 2020/21 - Updated structure in India for 2020-21 season - Various Brazilian state championship updates - Resolved Portuguese transfer window and registration window end date mismatch - Resolved French transfer window and registration window end date mismatch User Interface - Added assist details to the goal caption in matches - Fix for blank speech bubble appearing when discussing broken promise with player - Sent off player now clearly shown during team talks - Fixed rare issue where goal captions could get stuck on screen - Fixed team beaten in the cup incorrectly displaying as the previous winner - Addressed issue where users unable to return to team talk after entering tactics at half-time Pre-Game Editor - Enable users to be able to search by player attributes - Fixed warning when verifying any advanced European club continental rules file Network Games - Fixes for mid-term draft process in Fantasy Draft - Fix for clients being able to set highlights level outside those set by host *In some instances, changes to competitions, rules and registrations will require starting a new game to come into effect.
  31. Sorry for the long post, I hope someone from SI will read. This FM version is after 3 versions finally one that is fun to me, but there is something almost game breaking for me. ( not just in this version, this was in last couple of years) I think that player development makes no sense at all. 1.) Let's take Bastoni as an example. He has CA 147 and PA 169. That gives him room for very little development. So - he is in top 5 best young defenders in the game. So - SI think he will be one of the best defenders in the world after a couple of years. ( even now he is one of the best defenders in the game ) At age of 21, he has marking 15. With this CA and PA he will in most cases finish his career in the game with marking 16. Let's say for example he win Serie A with Inter, he win best defender of the year, he goes to Real/Barcelona, there he wins a couple of Champions Leagues, he wins World Cup with Italy, in short - he is the best defender in the world in this scenario. Which is possible, because he is one of the best defenders in the game. BUT, because of those numbers, CA and PA, he has marking 16 at the age of 30. You want to say that it is logical that young defender has 15 marking on start of his career, and only 16 at age of 30 when he is much more experienced, smarter, etc etc, when he is the best? No. That makes no sense. - I don't know is the problem that the CA is too high for some players, or the calculations for CA are too strict, but no matter what, some of the best talents in the game will improve by just a little. 2.) In FM 2019 I had this problem - I've played with Lyon and I bought Vinicius Junior. One of the best young talents in the game. In my third season, I won league with ease, and I won Champions League. He was insane, he finished the season with above 8.0 average rating in all the games. He would probably win Ballon d Or if I continued playing. I expected that his attributes have grew greatly because of this. When I checked him, his dribbling was lower by 1 and acceleration was lower by 1. In his best season in career at age of 22 I think. ( one could say, maybe your training is the problem, no - I would not win CL and League with ease if the training was not correct ) So, because of how strange CA and PA works, he got worse after his best season in career. Decreasing some attributes to increase other and illogical stuff like that. - Some players no matter what will even get worse because of those calculations. I don't know who thought that this is logical or even fun. 3.) Older players 23y - 26y. You will very rarely see players age 23 or older improve at all. Players should not reach their peak that young. 26 is nothing in football now, that is still young. Take for example De Bruyne, Kante, Mahrez, Vardy they are all much much better now in every aspect of the game than they were age of 23! --------------------------- In game - let's as an example take this player. Niang. I took him as an example because he is solid both technically and physically, but as we know, he has no good mental attributes. So he is a capable player who could improve still. What if he was bought for example by Barcelona in real life, and there, with Messi and others, he scores 20 goals in a season. What would happen? In next FM, SI would increase his mental attributes, probably his finishing to 16, Acceleration to 16, Technique to 17, or something like that it does not matter he is 26y old. In this game, no matter what, he will most probably not improve at all. ( of course there is a slight possibility that he will improve by little ) If he goes to Barcelona in the game, do the same, or even better, he scores 30 goals in every of next 5 seasons, nothing would change because of CA and PA. So, SI would increase his attributes from version to version, which happened many times in the past, but in game, there is no way for players of that age or similar to improve. Why is all this bad. If players reach their peak very fast, then it becomes boring very fast. With development this strict, even if you overachieve with some small team, and you continue overachieving, it is very possible none of your players will improve at all ever, because their CA PA difference is very small. When some team overachieve in real life, SI will increase attributes for several players from that team. CA - PA calculations are maybe too strict or something. I remember in some older versions keeping some player for 10 years, building my team around him, just to see him maxed out at age of 30+! That is a great motivation for long term saves. Now, when he reaches 23 he is ready for replacement. That has impact on fun. There are very few things that are realistic in this game ( and that is good thing) I don't know why they are looking for ultra realism in player development or why it is so strict, it is just taking the fun off. I known, some people will say how they saw very young players 16-18 developing very fast and good, but that is not what am I talking about, I am talking about development in general. To sumarize, I think that: 1.) Players are peaking too soon 2.) Best players in the world getting worse at young age without any logical reason because of those CA - PA calculations 3.) players of age of 23 and very rarely improve I don't know does dynamic potential even exists in the game but it seems it is a must. It may sound like I am bashing the game, no, I just think before, when development was not that strict, you could bond with some player for 10 years or more, it was fun to play more and more just to see him improve, you could see some player without big PA improve just because he was playing very good ( I don't know how that worked ) now, as I've said, that fun of attributes growing stops very early/fast.
  32. Pretty sad that there is not single change in the match day UI.. Simple things like add player face to the goal scorer, and add the name of the player who assist
  33. The tactics have animations too, the bigger issue is whether the animations have any bearing on what happens in the ME.
  34. Nothing truly ground-breaking. Not sure why they focus on these features? Can we see the match engine? The new animations? How has the match engine changed? Are there any further tactical options we can tinker with? I imagine staff meetings are largely ignored. This new 'feature' won't change that.
  35. ‘Players now, based on their stamina, have the concept of their sprint capacity. A plug and play Gegenpress system is going to be a thing of the past’ Absolutely superb. Can’t wait for the meltdown on here.
  36. Because they want to. I mean it's their property to do as they please. I think you need to take another look at it. Women's football wasn't much several years ago, but it has come leaps and bounds. While it will not compare well to the top men's leagues in terms of tempo, it's far better than many give them credit for. I would compare it to the MLS. Why did SI add the MLS when they did? Football was not big the US at the time, and it had to create loads of new mechanics (draft system++), and who would play it? Some will try, but they'll lose interest, right? Well, MSL is one of the quickest growing leagues, and more and more fans in the US watch football now. Was the inclusion in FM the biggest thing? No, but it was a piece in the puzzle. And SI have even said they want to do this in the same way for women's football. If you don't want to play women's football, you can do the same as if you don't like the MLS; just don't load the leagues. Well, there's the obvious child protective laws for anyone younger than 16. So we can at the very least dismiss that. And I'm not familiar with any professional deaf leagues or gay leagues. But you knew that, and if you didn't, then you really need to read upon things before making comment such as this. This being your first post on this forum, I'd advise you to read up on the rules before continuing like this.
  37. Initial work has started on FM21 versions of my Match Screen Mods, with a quick preview; Plan for the moment (unless things break) is to have two selector panels in the left side Notable Events Panel, but keep the smaller width so it acts more like the widgets hidden in the corner - though it depends on whether the incidents panel will embed or can be replaced. I've got rid of the Dugout as the Advice panel works fine within the other selectors and the dugout messed around with the resizing code, though I haven't actually played through that many games so can anyone tell me if they have seen anything appear in that space above/below the Dugout panel? (I know there is an advice popup in the bottom left corner). For the main panel it's actually a lot easier to work with - have max. eight panels at the moment, and the split code seems to work so you can adjust the width of the individual panels and hopefully the height code will work this year (as the commentary bar should no longer be an issue) though at the moment adjusting the height will adjust all the panels (I'll see about switching that around for a future version) so is mainly there to give you a choice over whether you want full/half height panels instead of being resolution limited. For views within the selector panels it looks like most of the old views still work, but need to test/check and look at the new panels. I haven't really had a look at the HT Review screen but will see if there is anyway to make it possible to switch between Review/Tactics/Teamtalk panels as at the moment you cannot go back which limits your access to the data. For the FT Review and Post Match Review screens looks like these both use the same file so that might be an issue - also has anyone seen where the Upload Highlights panel is located this year in case I accidental cut it out again. One thing I need to know from people are what screen resolutions you use as the width of the tablet is determined by your resolution and I'll hopefully add some more options as the default thresholds are fairly limited (1920, 2560, 3840 people all get a Tablet of the same width for example). If you are playing in Full Screen mode just need to know your screen resolution, for windowed mode your active window size is better - if unsure take a screenshot without the borders and that will give you your active screen area, also let me know if you are on a MAC in case they have slightly different screen sizes. For a release nothing set yet but won't be this week.
  38. So dark. This is the only gripe I have with the skin, these comically white boxes. SI must have shares in Boots opticians or Specsavers the rate our retinas are going to be burned away. The rest of the skin flows really well. Shame.
  39. I was in doubt to get FM21 right away. But u guys here made me hyped and now i rly want to get it. By the way, im here just enjoying this thread from the start and the hype about FM21 almost being released hehe. But lets say, having 15 upvotes, will make me buy it right a way oke. Push me to towards please!!!
  40. Been away from FM20 for 10 months following a bitter divorce. I cited 'irreconcilable differences with the developer' on the final papers. FM20 was the final straw for me. Matches were a torturous experience consisting of robotic and repetitive highlights, which were completely disconnected from the inherent tactical strengths and weaknesses of the teams playing. I won't pass judgement on a game yet to be completed or even in Beta - with one exception - we need to have a discussion about the art design of this game's stadium interiors. As a Kidderminster Harriers fan and ground-hopper who has attended non-league games from Romania to the Canary Islands; I don't understand what has happened to stadiums on this game since FM17. Now, the argument that graphics on FM are pinned back to accommodate those who play on low-spec machines is fine. However, I cannot and will not accept the way things are now, because they used to be so much better. There has to be a logical reason for what we see now, otherwise we are saying the conversation went like this: "I'd like the art team to remove all textures from the pitches, and ensure that the stands are a combination of neon mustard, reds and browns. I also want you to include exits the size of the Grand Canyon and remove the colour and animation variations from fans - But above all, make sure that all clubs (including grass roots) have giant TV screens the size of the ones Henman hill watch during Wimbledon". I just don't get it.
  41. Welcome to Japan and the J.League This database has been updated to 2021 with players down to and including level 5 Real rules and formats for nearly every competition with the only tweaks happening in a few reserve/U18 competitions. Includes: Updated Format for easy future updates. -Ability to manage High school and University Teams -Over 7000 Players, Staff, Referees, Media and Agreements (Made by Karin and with permission to make additions, changes and other stuff. -REAL Fixtures Rules for Levels 1-6 -Correct Attendance, Sponsors, Prize Money, TV Money, Financial Fair Play and Wage Rules -REAL CUP COMPETITIONS (99%) -Current/Future and Probable New Stadiums -And Much Much More. FACEPACK!!!!!!! Recommended to play with with all the stuff from Majesticeternity for increased realism and dificulty. Also with Dosukoi's skin so that club info can be viewed. The Competitions include: SENIOR: -Meiji Yasuda J1-3 Leagues -Japan Football League -National Regional Leagues Division 1 (9 Child Competitions) with REAL Finals Series -National Regional Leagues Division 2 (5 Child Competitions) -National Prefectural Leagues (47 Child Competitions) -REAL Emperor's Cup with all 47 Qualifying Tournaments -YBC Levain Cup -Fuji Xerox Super Cup -Shakaijin Cup -Kanto Ichihara Cup, -Kansai Soccer League Cup, -Tokyo Cup -National Club Team Soccer Tournament JUNIOR: -Prince Takamado Premier League -Prince Takamado Prince League -Prince Takamado Prince Leagues 2-4 (Regionalized instead of local) -J.Elite League (New 2021 Competition) -J.League Youth Cup and J.League Youth League -National Inter High School and National High School Championships -Fuji Xerox Super Cup - Next Generation Match -Japan Club Youth Soccer Tournament UNIVERSITY: -9 Regional Leagues (Added Teams) -Prime Minister Cup and University Championships -Denso Cup- Challenge Soccer Tournament BUGS: -NOT A BUG, but due to how complex this database is only level 7 can be initially loaded from a new game -None except for now divisions 5-7 wont have individual league histories until i can figure out how to add them, since doing the leagues individually is impossible to verify (Dynamic Promotion and Relegation and all that)
  42. As someone who has probably spent more time testing and saving and testing again hundreds of different scenarios against different variables to check for bugs, do QA and check the long-term state of the game world than I have playing it (which is a lot) I really hope for the below. I just really hope that they manage to retain the good features from FM21 such as: - Players actually being able to have seasons like Ronaldo scoring over a goal per game at varying levels and divisions. It's rare, but it's now possible compared to previous editions. - As with above the odd random newgen banging them in at a non-league level getting poached by a CH/L1/L2 club. - ME really happy with it this year. And this is coming from someone who has really disliked each one since FM13. You get more variety this year compared to previous in play, and can see your tactical changes taking effect, I think a lot if down to the split second splicing and players being able to change their minds. I still stand by my opinion that FM13 was great because players had personallity and you could tell who was on the ball without even seeing their names and the odd mad run. But I have really enjoyed the ME this year. (I still think a huge issue in recent years has been the animations. The animations do not represent visually what the ME is trying to do. This wasn't an issue when there were less animations and using the previous ME software, sure players glided a bit but it was similar to 2D where you got to use your imagination and you were able to. With all the poorly represented animations nowadays you feel yourself having to ''pretend'' you didn't just see that player hit it with the wrong foot/do a crazy turn/let someone run past etc and THEN having to ''imagine'' he did something else or something else occured. So 2D often prevails. and fix some of the bad things such as: - Human manager rep. Absolutely ridiculous this year. Too easy. For example, if you were managing say Bradford Park Avenue and finished bottom of the conference north... you'd be sacked and the media would be asking you about the Benfica job. Not a problem right as it's just media. However, the longer you stay unemployed the crazier the unrealistic offers come in. After about 6 months you will start to be asked to interview by L1/L2 clubs... On top of this a huge factor is coaching badges which has been overpowered and bugged. With the above scenario, if you manage to get a couple of coaching badges in (or even one) you've suddenly got Championship and L1 clubs coming in for you after you've just finished 24th in the Conference North. You can have the worlds worst record, or next to no record, but if you have a coaching badge or spend a decent time unemployed you will get jobs you shouldn't. Not just by a little degree, by a lot. - Constant board takeovers not happening. It's all of the social feed. - The simple stuff like when finishing 1st in the relegation phase of the Danish Superliga, the media will congratulate you on winning the title and act as if you've won the superliga... - For the love of god, get rid of the new match UI. It is so unfriendly and makes it incredibly hard to get data from and ascertain what is happening in the match unless you watch it on full. The possession bar for the last 5 minutes is a must as well as the moveable widgets and players listed in the centre with ratings for them. Just go back to what is was on FM20. It is so so so hard to get a feel of the match and how players are doing/which direction it's going in as the presentation is awful. Do not even get me started on the dressing room screens with players dotted everywhere with the tiniest ratings. If we wanted luxury graphics we'd get a ps5 and fifa. We love FM for it's detail, it's data and for the fact it is a spreadsheet game. Why plague that with unfriendly UI that looks like it's been bought from the mystery box at Jack Fultons for £1? Give us the lists of players back and match stats. The match day experience has no immersion. - As above, please fix all the reported bugs in stats. The game revolves around stats, it's the whole point. - Leg breaks etc are far too rare. Up the injury rate, it's a simulation not a game as SI often point out a lot to people. So stop running at 60% ofreal life injuries and stop caring for the people who complain about injury crisis and rage quit cos they can't handle it. It's part of the game, it's part of life. Accept the challenge. The dynamic of all the different things that can happen in FM is what makes it so great and gives it longevity. - Stop making it too easy for teams to get money. We need to see more Stockports, Boltons etc. Teams should be allowed to freefall after entering administration. It's an exciting challenge. After 10/15 years finances, wages and values become incredibly bloated. Daveincd's mods for realism have worked wonders for me and others, get him hired - Add the ability to see goalscorers and attendances on the league results page rather than just the score so we can be more informed about the league rather than having to click on each game. We used to have the option of a simple view or detailed? I know it doesn't sound like it, but I have really enjoyed this years edition. But I always get nervous ahead of the new releases... Bring the when is the beta thread out, on!
  43. ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY BLOG (FM DIRECT) ========================================= Welcome to the second part of this series of articles aimed at simplifying and explaining the process of creating Football Manager tactics, using the latest instalment of the hit series, Football Manager 2021. This second article will focus on creating a solid counter attacking style in the tactic creator. Before getting our hands dirty, I'd like to make a distinction between playing on the counter, and quick transitions/counter attacking. Playing on the counter generally means staying solid and safe until an opening appears that the team could exploit. If no opening appears, the team is happy to play for a draw. Speaking in the terms mentioned in the mentality article, the team employs a less risky defensive and offensive styles. These are negative styles that are commonly used by massive underdogs. On the other hand, counter attacking (or quick transitions as I call it) is what most people look for. This style is basically drawing the opponent forward, and hitting after winning back the ball at every opportunity as they lose the ball deep in your territory. This means a balanced/aggressive defensive style, combined with an aggressive/very aggressive offensive style. With this in mind, lets discuss the basics of a counter attacking system. Any counter attacking system must employ a medium to deep defensive block, in order to force the opponents to over-commit forward and stretch themselves horizontally in a bid to break down the team, leaving spaces behind and between them. This calls for brave, hardworking, mentally sharp, and strong defenders that can tackle, dominate aerially and have the mental capacity to sustain pressure and not buckle under long periods of pressure. The defensive block should not be passive and standoffish. Remember, we are not playing on the counter, we are creating chances by winning the ball deep and aggressively counter attacking while the opponent's defensive structure is disorganized. The ball should be played vertically forwards as soon as it is won back. This is meant to put pressure on the opposition the moment they lost the ball. The further most player (usually the striker - offensive pivot) should look to support the team by holding the ball and bringing the on-rushing support into play. Therefore, he should be a creator rather than a goal scorer looking to be played in by others. No less than 1 and no more than 2 ball carriers. Following the first pass, we need quick, very technical players that carry the ball forward and dictate the play as the team breaks forward. Less than 1 ball carrier will see us be one-dimensional and passive, while more than 2 would break the supporting cast, as many players will look to make things happen, rather than supporting play. Example Here is an example of Forest's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League from my Forest save. Eder tries to cross the ball in the 91st minute and is closed down by Cantwell (one of our ball carriers). Notice how Berge (our second ball carrier) and Brooks (our offensive pivot) are taking defensive yet dangerous positions, ready to pounce on any opportunity to break. Also notice how deep are our block is. Eder's cross is intercepted by Emi Buendia (one of the supporting players, along with Tonali), and is played towards Brooks, who occupies a massive space along with Berge. The importance of the offensive pivot is evident here. Brooks, who is very technically gifted and is quite pacey, holds the ball, allowing Berge, Emi, Cantwell and Tonali break forward in the required vertical movement, causing havoc to the retreating Real defenders. Any pass by Brooks towards any of these arrows will develop into a big opportunity for us. If he was a Poacher style forward, he'd mainly dribble his way trying to create a chance for himself. Brooks passes to Berge, who now has several options. He decides to dribble his way through the two defenders. This last shot accentuates the need of pace and flair in the breaking players. Without pace and directness, this move will fail miserably, keeping us under massive pressure. As he dribbles, Ake (RCB) tackles him, but Tonali sends a quick lovely through ball to Berge, who shoots into the side netting instead. Player Profiles and Attributes We already classified the type of players required to quickly and regularly pull off a quick transitional break. These players should be included in any such style, regardless of the formation. Also, Concentration, Determination, Composure, Work Rate, Decisions, Aggression, Bravery and Tackling should be as high as possible: Goalkeeper - Shot stopper. The GK will have to face many shots from in and around the box, so he needs to be a top shot-stopper. Sweeper keeper behaviour is not required since the deep block will not allow many balls behind the defensive line. Optional: Distributor. Example: Jan Oblak Central Defenders - Physical and Intelligent. The CBs should be the archetypical strong, tall, intelligent blokes. They need the mental capacity to maintain their concentration during long pressure periods. They are not required to be playmakers, but that won't hurt as a bonus. Optional: Pacey and Passers. Example: van Dijk, Koulibaly Full Backs - Defence First. Fullbacks are by definition all rounders. However, in this style, they are defence first, and should have high ratings in marking, positioning, anticipation, positioning and tackling. Example: Wan Bissaka and Andy Robertson Ball Carriers - Technical, Pacey, and Press Resistant These are the heart of our team, they are required to hold the ball against the first wave of opposition press and dribble the ball through them, and should have the ability to play a killer pass. Example: Coutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Sadio Mane, and Hueng-Min Son Midfielders - Hardworking, Hard Tacklers. The midfielders should (depending on the formation) primarily be hardworking all rounders that should consistently break up oppositions play. Example: Kante, Henderson and Fabinho Central Strikers - Strong and Quick. Our offensive pivots are ideally Targetmen that can play football. They are required to hold the ball, lay it off to supporting midfielders and have excellent off the ball movement to open space during the break. Example: Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane Putting It All Together Selecting a Formation I believe that any style could be achieved using any formation. However, some formations are better than others to implement a particular style. For this particular style, it is better to pack the midfield and defensive positions in a bottom heavy formation. Therefore, 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 3-5-2, 4-5-1 and 4-1-4-1 are all excellent formations for this style. I personally favour the 4-4-1-1 formation which is probably the most flexible formation in football, and will use it for this article. However, the concepts discussed here could be easily applied to any formation. Mentality As discussed earlier, we need an aggressive offensive and defensive play styles. These are best implemented by the Positive mentality. Team Instructions The unwanted behaviours set by the Positive mentality are: High Defensive Block Risky Shooting Aggressive Pressing Further Up the Pitch These behaviours are negated by, and the style is reinforced by, the following TIs Lower LOE Play out of Defence (style reinforcing) More Urgent Pressing (style reinforcing) Regroup (decrease defensive aggression off the ball which are increased by the urgent pressing and Positive mentality) Counter (style reinforcing) (Pass into space) Optional I used to play on a deep defensive line, but I found that this makes us un-necessarily deep, allowing us to be passive in defence and blunt in attack, as we need to cover even more space while breaking. Player Roles In line with the required player types outlined above, the following roles are selected in a 4-4-1-1 Goalkeeper - SK-D; I like my goalkeepers to exploit any possible counter attacking chances 2 x Central Defenders - 2 x CB-D; nothing fancy, strong, intelligent and as tall as possible 2 x Full Backs - 2 x FB-S; once again, simple defence first fullbacks that look to support the midfield without compromising their defensive positions. Sometimes, I may go with a WB-S in the LB position to offer more penetration and support depending on the circumstance 2 x Ball Carriers - The ball carriers ideally have an attack duty, the dribble more PI, and with no roaming to retain our defensive structure. I opted for a AP-A in the AM position, and an IW-A in the LM position. Both of these players should be the best dribblers and the most creative in the team. 2 x Midfielders - My midfield duo will not need to carry any chance creation responsibility. They need to have destroying and supporting duties. I opt for a BWM-D and CM-S. I went with a BWM since I need our best tackler to be relentless in his pursuit of the ball, while the CM-S does a bit of everything. The CM-S role will be highly dependent on the player playing in this role. 1 x Offensive Pivot (Striker) - I use a DLF-S for most one striker counter attacking teams. The Deep Lying Forward is basically a Target Man that can play football, and is much more dynamic than the more primitive TM. I avoid F9 and CF-S roles since I don't want any sort of creative play from them, I rather want them to knit the attacking transitions. This is how my counter attacking tactic currently looks. I'd like to show another great example from our recent 2-0 victory at Benfica, demonstrating one very nice move: Raphinha has no space to dribble or pass, and so opts for a hopeful shot which is block by our BWM, Cook. Notice our deep positioning, and how our ball carriers are ready to break forward. Cook's shot falls to Cantwell, who plays it quickly to our supporting mid, Tonali: Tonali has some options already, he can dribble into space, hold the ball or pass to Marcos Leonardo, which is what he did. Marcos does what he does best. He holds the ball, allowing our supporting cast to get forward, breaking in my favoured parallel vertical runs, giving Marcos lots of options. Emi, our WM, is in acres in space on the far side, and so is Brooks. However, Marcos played the ball into Brook's feet rather than space causing this move to fail gradually. This move has given me some thoughts of whether I should add a Pass into Space TI or not, and it is certainly a matter for thought. Nonetheless, it is what I look for each game, and in spite of the poor pass by Marcos, it is a very well executed break that left the opposition helpless to stop us. This marks the end of this article. Hopefully, I managed to clarify the basic concepts of counter attacking, and how to create a solid counter attacking tactic. Please share with us your counter attacking creations Until next time, Happy FM’ing.
  44. ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY BLOG (FMDIRECT) ========================================= Welcome to the first part of this series of articles aimed at simplifying and explaining the process of creating Football Manager tactics, using the latest instalment of the hit series, Football Manager 2021. This first article will focus on demystifying the nebulous concept of Mentality, which is the single most important tactical decision you will make in the tactic creator. I feel that the concept of Mentality is commonly misunderstood, with further confusion arising due to the Mentality names. Before we start, I would like to make a very important distinction between formation and shape/style. Accordingly, your team’s shape in FM21 is a combination of the team's formation, mentality, team instructions, and player instructions. Therefore, two formations can play out in different shapes, in the same manner that Leipzig's 4-4-2 is radically different from Burnley's 4-4-2. Once you fully understand what Mentality does, it will be much easier to create more balanced tactics, implementing a wide variety of playstyles effectively. Mentality – What does it do? There are 7 mentalities on Football Manager 2021: 3 attacking mentalities (very attacking, attacking, and positive), 1 neutral (balanced) mentality, and 3 defensive mentalities (very defensive, defensive and cautious). The two extremes are rarely used in a shape by themselves but are rather employed during certain times in the game while chasing a goal, or protecting a lead. Under the hood, Mentality works by adjusting a few parameters in both team instructions and individual player instructions, as follows: On the Ball Effects: Tempo More attacking mentalities have a higher base tempo, with the aim of destabilizing the opposition’s block, i.e., defensive structure. On the other hand, more defensive mentalities employ lower base tempo to be more patient and waiting for clearer (less risky) attacking opportunities to appear Width More attacking mentalities have a wider attacking width, which offers more support out wide, and stretches the opponent’s block horizontally. This makes it easier to play through the opponents centrally. However, wide attacking positioning makes it harder to the players to get back to defensive shape. More defensive mentalities have a narrower attacking width, which is primarily a defensive instruction, aiming to make it easier for players to get back quickly into defensive shape after they lose the ball. This also offers more support out to central players and makes it easier to maintain position. However, this lack of width makes it more difficult to play through the opposition. Positional Discipline More attacking mentalities allow the players to roam from position in a bid to allow more creative movement. More defensive mentalities instruct the players to stick to positions and be more conservative, to avoid being caught out of possession. Time wasting As you would expect, more attacking mentalities avoid time-wasting as the team look to score, while more defensive mentalities instruct the players to waste time more often. Passing Directness On more attacking mentalities: deeper players will pass shorter, to hold possession and feed the advanced attackers. advanced players will pass more direct, to stretch the opponent and penetrate quickly. On more defensive mentalities, it is the other way round: deeper players will pass more direct, to exploit space behind opponents, and to get the ball away from the goal. advanced players will pass shorter, to retain possession, and avoid needless turnover in possession. Off the Ball Effects: Defensive Line As you would expect, more attacking mentalities push the team higher up the pitch to give the opponent less time on the ball. More defensive mentalities drop the team deeper towards the goal to protect the goal, nullify space behind the defensive line, and not be caught out of possession. Pressing Urgency and Tackling In tandem of the defensive line, more attacking mentalities instructs the team to look to win back the ball aggressively, using more urgent pressing and aggressive tackles. However, this creates space in between the team’s block that could be exploited by the opponents. More defensive focus on containing the opponent, and being caught out of possession, therefore the team will close down less urgently and stay on feet more while making tackles. While this serves to maintain defensive structure, good opponents will keep you under extended pressure. Individual Player Mentality Individual player mentality (remember the old mentality slider?) will be adjusted according to the team’s mentality. More attacking mentalities allow the player to be more aggressive and riskier both on and off the ball. This means that a higher mentality player will look to make more aggressive off the ball runs often, shoot at sight more, attempt riskier passes and track down less to offer a quick outlet. On the other hand, more defensive mentalities lowers individual mentality, making a player more conservative by tracking back more, staying in disciplined deeper positions and will not take risky shots and passes, and often remaining behind the ball and not attempting forward runs. Putting it all Together While it is beyond the scope of this article to create a fully functional tactic, I will demonstrate in a couple of examples of how to pick and implement TIs around the selected mentality in order to create a required playstyle, regardless of the formation. There are two methods of selecting a mentality: Choosing the mentality based on the required attacking style, and adjusting the defensive style via team instructions, or Choosing the mentality based on the required defensive style, and adjusting the attacking style via team instructions. I strongly recommend the first method, as it is not possible to change the player’s individual mentality without changing the team’s mentality. In other words, it is more difficult to make a player take more risks on and off the ball in a more defensive mentality set up than it is to make a player more cautious on and off the ball in a more attacking mentality setup. Example 1: A direct attacking deep block Required Style: My personal brand of football requires the team to drop deeper and implement urgent pressing and aggressive defensive style in deep positions. As we win the ball, I want aggressive on and off the ball behaviour by the players. The required attacking style feature urgency, directness, more dribbles and more aggressive off the ball movement. This is a core style of the Attacking or Positive mentalities. While the required playstyle features the more aggressive defensive style set by the Attacking mentality, I do not need the excessively attacking features of the Attacking mentality. The defensive style could be set to be more aggressive by the TIs. Selected Mentality: Positive Unwanted Default Positive Mentality Behaviour: Higher Defensive Line Direct Passes by the Advanced Players Risky Shooting Aggressive Pressing Further Up the Pitch These behaviours could be remedied by the following Team Instructions, in order: Lower Defensive Line Lower Line of Engagement Play out of Defence Work ball into the box Regroup Example 2: A cautious counter attacking team Required Playstyle: The team wants to implement cautious defending and aim to hit the opponent on the break. The team is happy to play for a draw should the team fails to find or exploit an opening throughout the match. This playstyle requires cautious defending behaviour to reinforce defensive solidity and create space behind the opposition. Similarly, attackers (when not in counter, in which case the team has maxed out mentalities) should remain patient and retain possession, looking for a suitable opening. Selected Mentality: Cautious Unwanted Default Cautious Mentality Behaviour: None The Cautious mentality without any style instructions is a perfect starting point for this brand of football. You may add some instructions to reinforce this style like distribute to fullbacks and pass shorter. Example 3: Aggressive pressing, possession-based team Required Playstyle: The team wants to implement ultra-aggressive defending to win back the ball as soon as possible and aim to retain possession forcing openings via technical players. This playstyle requires aggressive defending behaviour to win back the ball quickly combined with a cautious attacking strategy, with the intent of keeping hold of the ball. Selected Mentality: Cautious/Defensive Unwanted Default Cautious Mentality Behaviour: Lower Defensive Line Lower Pressing Urgency Stay on Feet Tackling Style Direct Passes by Deep Players Counter-attacking These behaviours could be remedied by the following Team Instructions, in order: (Much)Higher Defensive Line (Much)Higher Line of Engagement (Much)More Urgent Get Stuck In Play out of Defence (Shorter Passing) Hold Shape There is a common misconception that you need to play a high mentality with top teams, and lower mentality with weaker sides. As we have seen, picking the right mentality is a function of how you want to play. However, weaker teams looking to play on a higher mentality should generally look to avoid Attacking, to reinforce their defensive solidity. Balanced and Positive are usually sufficient. Similarly, top teams looking to play on a lower mentality should generally not go lower than Cautious to avoid being too passive. This marks the end of this article. Hopefully, I managed to clarify the meaning, importance, and effect of mentality in the tactic creator. The examples should demonstrate how to implement a required playstyle taking the mentality into consideration. Until next time, Happy FM’ing.
  45. Still seeing some very disappointing ratings for players, especially my defensive midfielders. I think my honest feedback with this game having played it since the beta and closely monitoring threads here would be to scale back your ambitions for FM22. All the things you tried to add in this game only offered minor QOL improvements at best and major gameplay flaws at worst. Basic things like statistics, player ratings, passing networks, analyst reports, youth intakes, and more have all ended up suffering at the hands of change. It’s unfortunate that the long term viability of saves has been completely compromised by all of these issues and none of that has changed since the beta. im sorry my feedback isn’t the blind praise of xG or the match engine, but I think some honesty from customer to business is necessary here.
  46. Hey, this is actually quite an interesting one that absolutely was present for the beta as well. We had a look and the cause is actually the use of the 'focus play through middle' instruction. The instruction boosts passing scores for players considered in a 'central' area, and this was defined as anyone within the width of the penalty area. However when your player is all the way over on the left flank, a player on the right side of the penalty area isn't really 'central', but they were still receiving a boost to their passing score from this instruction. When the middle is congested, the player on the far side is in more space, this combined with them getting a 'central pass' boost meant that your wingback kept attempting a switch pass. A fix is currently in review for update 1. Thanks!
  47. It's like transfer deadline day with all the made up stories about who has been spotted where. "My mums mates dad spotted Mbappe at the Bakery near Anfield Road earlier on talking to his agent"
  48. - Speech mentality (aggresive ,passionate, etc) switched to the new terms. Some new dialog options written for them. Probably the same mechanics as before, once you figure out the best reactions you just go with that 95% of time. - Backroom advice presented under another GUI. - Useless Twitter reactions after matches that no one really cares about. - Scouting requirements presented under different names. - Different celebration at end of the season. It is beyond me how these are presented as the main features of a new installment while asking for full retail price. At least match engine looks better "FM21's new additions and game upgrades put all of the focus on you, delivering new levels of depths and drama through improvements to these key areas:" To call this an overstatement would be putting it mildly, given these all are areas no one cares about and people just click through once they found what works and what doesn't.
  49. I've been wanting to do a series like this since I started playing FM. My biggest issues that kept me from doing this until now were threefold. First, I'm still relatively new to even watching soccer and certainly playing FM. Second, I had never done a major thread before, but after my last two were received fairly well, I'm hopeful that I can get this going in a fun way, being interactive and hopefully informative. Third, the last two versions of FM were very stale for possession focused teams, especially those looking to exploit the middle areas of the pitch. I believe FM21 has finally taken steps to get better balanced gameplay, and the work on overloads has really opened up a lot of tactical options to creators within FM. So, the final inspiration and the direct guide for this thread will be the wonderful video by Football Made Simple, which you can find on youtube here. Pep Guardiola Perhaps one of the greatest coaches of all time when you look at his track record so far, which is impressive considering he is still fairly young. He has won major trophies at all three clubs he has coached at, and been considered a top dog/favorite in just about every season, which always increases the odds against you as everyone is gunning to knock you down. Yet, with three very different teams, Pep has managed to advance his 433 positional play variants to success, but adapted the overall tactics employed at each stop based on the variations of players he had at his disposal. I do not claim to be an expert here, but must lean on the shoulders of other giants. This video will essentially guide us, so we don't have to study and come up with the tactical analysis ourselves. Our job, is to try to emulate these three teams playstyles within the game of Football Manager, specifically FM21. Thread Gameplan My idea for the thread is to do 3 separate 1 season saves, with one save each dedicated to one of Pep's three teams. I will be doing posts within this thread as I put together everything, so you guys can follow along and learn alongside me as I do this. I really love interactive threads, and many of you are much better at FM then me, and most of you have watched more football than me. I have only watched replays of anything prior to 2018! Save 1 - Pep's Barcelona - FM21 variant Athletico Madrid I believe they have a pretty complete squad. I can put together the midfield 3 maestros with Llorente, Koke, and Saul. Then with Felix dropping deep as a False 9, I'm excited to see if I can push the youngster to great heights. When he struggles, I can unleash great finishers to pick up some slack. Save 2 - Pep's Bayern Munich - FM21 variant (either Napoli or Bayern themselves, as Muller and Lewandoski still remain) Save 3 - Pep's City - FM21 variant City I do not aim to replicate the trophies. I don't believe this is as important as getting the style of play correctly. Yes, trophies would be great, but we should get some really good performances and good play. That is what I will focus on. I could choose to focus on getting trophies, but then I would be shaping the tactics more to how each of the three teams are different, which is not the aim here. Additionally, since these will be 1 season saves, I do not have the time in game to groom players or acquire any to fill specific roles. But you could. Hopefully, with what we learn across all three saves, we will learn more about Pep's style, how to manipulate different tactical pieces, something I've discussed in my longterm DNA thread (which I will resume after this). And then you can put these to use in your own saves, where you can buy players that might be better fits and then you can win the trophies! Post plans I will plan to do a big initial post for each save. That way I can show the tactics, why I chose the team with specific players ( so you can know how to evaluate players for these roles), and then get into the TI and PI's of the tactics. After the main post, I will give updates as the season goes, discuss any in game instructions I use, and try to analyse what I'm seeing. If stuff works out well, I'll put together some youtube highlight videos for each save. Shameless Plug Doing threads like this takes a lot of time, and so it is really helpful to receive cooperation/participation with comments. If nothing else, if you enjoy the work, please click the up vote button to like the thread, as this really encourages me to keep working on this stuff.
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