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Double Indemnity

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    Venezia FC

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  1. Double Indemnity

    3D engine: time to take a step back?

    Worth noting that OOTP is reportedly taking a big step forward with their 3D this year. No screenshots yet that I'm aware of, but they're moving to actual player models instead of the "pawns."
  2. This is the first year in this decade that I have not bought FM. I likely will end up picking up when it's deeply discounted later in the year and final patches are in (because I really, really want to play as Venezia in Serie B), but I've become increasingly disillusioned with the rate of progress on the game considering my annual investment. The #1 things are lacking right now is in artificial intelligence—both in the strategic behavior of AI managers (and how it interacts with the CA/PA/Reputation systems) and, most visibly, in the representation of footballing behavior in the match engine. I will say that when I think about the complexities involved in modeling the interdependent, organic behavior of 22 thinking, reacting humans in that match engine, my mind boggles. It must be insanely hard to represent, let alone balance. I'm sure things were much easier for SI when they didn't have to show every detail of the game and could rely on the human manager to fill in the blanks or extrapolate with their imagination. Still, it feels like the engine less resembles real football than it did even a couple of versions ago, even as it gets more sophisticated (or maybe because of that sophistication). Things like players' reactions to transitions, build-up play, the overabundance of long shots, the insane efficacy of crosses, defender positioning, dead balls, poor one-on-ones etc. have been plaguing the game for years, and it's just worn me down, because it takes me out of the experience so abruptly. It doesn't help that complaints about these things don't go well on this forum, with people being told that it's their imagination, or their tactics, or their squad's morale, or that these things happen in real football, too (which is true, but that ignores the frequency with which these things happen). At worst, it descends into moderators or staff scolding people for their tone, and that escalates into people being genuinely nasty to one another. I don't see these things with other titles in the PC gaming space, where more cautious developers tend to take a softly, softly "the customer is always right" slant (at least in public), and encourage their moderation staff to not call out individuals or get into spats. Because they never end well! I appreciate that your publisher might lose their minds, but maybe it's time to finally take a year off, release a (relatively cheap) data update, and rewrite some of the systems from scratch for 2019. If that's not possible, maybe set a few of your no-doubt passionate staff aside and have them work outside the normal release cycle on getting things right to their level of personal satisfaction, not just getting them released each year.
  3. Double Indemnity

    One on One finishing

    It's always been an issue. One-on-ones aren't the guaranteed goals people seem to think, but FM strikers never seem to make good decisions when put in this position. I've always wondered if it's a compensatory mechanism for how easy it is to produce them in the game.
  4. Double Indemnity

    FM18 New Roles Explained

    I haven't bought FM18 yet, but the Mezzala sounds exactly like what I was always trying to get my third man in a 4-3-1-2 midfield to do. I was always trying different combinations of roles and shouts to try and get him to exploit the space on the flank ahead of my more defensive-minded wing back. Pretty excited to try it out.
  5. Double Indemnity

    Real Life-Tactics success in FM - When?

    AI is hard. Like, really, really hard. Football is a weird, fluid, dynamic game, and a lot of how it works in real-life depends on thousands of tiny calculations and adjustments by live, thinking humans. Is that an excuse for the often clunky ways FM plays out? Not entirely. But just respect that it's an incredibly hard thing to replicate with any degree of accuracy.
  6. Double Indemnity

    Football Manager 2018 Announcement

    Yep, it's Football Manager.
  7. Double Indemnity

    Football Manager TV: Football Intelligence

    As someone who almost always starts in the lower leagues I like the idea of "flipping" guys who overperformed this year to bigger clubs, so the AI looking more at form is great. (This is already abusable with mediocre wing backs because of their inflated ratings.) I still think the Reputation system needs a dramatic overhaul, but I guess I'll wait and see how much smarter the AI is this year. The squadbuilding was definitely better in 2017, but the AI still makes a lot of strange transfer decisions and completely fails to develop top prospects. I get that it's hugely complex, but it's part of what makes long saves frustrating; the AI just can't keep up with human players, even if you deliberately avoid exploits and manipulative transfer clauses.
  8. Double Indemnity

    Football Manager TV: Tactics

    I would love this. Such a small, simple change that might help people intuit things better.
  9. Double Indemnity

    Why are there hidden attributes?

    I wish more or most of the mental attributes were hidden, to be honest, with them gradually emerging over time through assistant manager and coach reports.
  10. Double Indemnity

    Football Manager TV: Matchday

    I'm not complaining about there being debate and analysis—and in general I like the idea of the manager having to deal with the media, because it's part of the job! I'm talking specifically about some of the language and presentation things aping a particularly British style that makes the game feel pretty weird when you're playing in other leagues, which I do about 90% of the time. Certain word choices ("Woeful" as a descriptor for form stuck out to me in the recent video) and phrases—or even just certain press questions—are identifiably not just British English but Footie Bantz English. There are very few opportunities for a manager to give a smart answer in interviews, especially to ones about statistics or tactics (the game treats everyone as if they were Sean Dyche; you can't be Allegri or Guardiola). Stop quizzing my Italian manager over and over about whether he'd ever take a job overseas at one of those weird foreign clubs! Non-English managers don't find that as intimidating! The social media is riddled with British idioms and British perspectives; luckily, you can ignore it. In-game commentary is littered not just with Britishisms, but flawed pundit notions like the goalkeeper being at fault if he's beaten at his near post. Every non-English player or staff member sounds English when you interact with them. There are ways to avoid that by using more neutral, international English (and more concise language in general; the game has a problem with making you choose between lengthy and mostly opaque responses). That's not to say there aren't lots of intelligent English football journalists and analysts in real life who write insightfully about the game in clean, urbane prose. Just that Football Manager increasingly doesn't read or sound like them. It sounds like a tabloid—or like Sky Sports. It's not quite in "Right, lads, let's give them a proper tonking" or "The game's gone soft" territory, but it's definitely flirting with that viewpoint on the game. That's ... kind of appropriate for a British-made game where most players probably play one of the top EPL clubs, but it makes managing the thousands of other teams in the game a little jarring. It also makes me wonder if there's a way to use the translation options in the game to make an "International English" version of the game.
  11. Double Indemnity

    Football Manager TV: Matchday

    I'm generally wary of the Sky Sportsification of FM. Definitely appreciate any and all improvements to the graphics engine, but telling me how many screens I'm going to have to click through to get in and out of one match in a 38-game season in a decade-long save isn't heartening. The "matchday experience" isn't that important to me; the match is. One of the reasons FM has been successful on an international scale is it's been a simple, clear abstraction of a sport that is played, celebrated, and presented in different ways in different cultures all over the world. The slow grind towards the laddish, bloviating "analysis" of the EPL leaves me cold. It's already annoying that press conferences and tunnel interviews and other "dialogue options" in the game reflect the language and culture of a vaguely anti-intellectual English tradition rather than something savvier and more international. Now that's creeping into everything, even the way features are unveiled.
  12. I warn a player for poor performance any time they hit whatever magical cutoff exists between 6.3 and 6.4 that allows you to do it. It routinely gives them permanent boosts to Determination and Work Rate (up to a maximum of 16, after which it seems to stop working), and if you do this as a matter of course with your youth teams, in addition to regular Tutoring, their personalities improve very quickly. I have never found a downside to doing this over the years. I also fine one week's wages for a non-violent dismissal (two yellow cards) and two week's wages for a violent dismissal. This sometimes triggers improvements to hidden attributes, I think, at least judging by some of the in-game feedback. I praise individuals for a lot of different reasons, mainly to build relationships with players but also to grab morale boosts ahead of matches. You can typically praise conduct if their actual performances haven't warranted praise. I also criticize and praise training about once a month (when the report comes in), and I also routinely abuse any players on a youth contract and most players on loan regardless of their actual development. Tough love. I save team talks for slumps where we're in danger of hitting a negative feedback loop of performance and attitude—or when there's a particularly useful option available, like during the run-in at the end of seasons. All of these things are extremely "game-y," but hey, they work. Most of the development and morale system is about consistently clicking the right buttons when they become available. The gains add up over time.
  13. Oh, the other way I make it stupidly harder on myself is I try to get everyone in my first-team squad to have a good personality. Resolute, Spirited, Professional, Evasive, Reserved, etc. If anyone gets to 24 years old (i.e., past tutoring age) and is still "Fairly" something, or—God help them—"Media-friendly," I'll start looking for a way to move them on. It takes a few years to get to that point, but it really cuts down on spending if the only older players you sign are the ones who can also serve as tutors. And it makes a good youth system even more critical.
  14. No transfers in the first window of a save; I have to wait until January to make anything except free agent signings. No attribute searches or filtering whatsoever. No online guides or lists. No downloaded anything besides cosmetic tweaks. Can only hire staff that apply for advertised jobs; can't use staff search. Can only hire players my scouts have filed a report on; can't use player search. Can only sign players I have full scouting knowledge of. Can only take players on trial if they're from the nation I'm managing in—or their last club was. I let my Director of Football or Chief Scout set scouting assignments, but all other responsibilities are mine. I play at small clubs, so using real-world knowledge is rarely a problem, but I try to avoid it. I rarely spend money on anyone over the age of 21, but that's largely because youth development is at least half of my enjoyment.
  15. Double Indemnity

    Hardest game ever

    First two seasons with Norwich were pretty easy (albeit with a couple of hairy slumps in form): Won the Championship by a nose, then finished fourth in my EPL promotion season. In the third season, we're doing well in the CL (first in our group with two games left, and we beat PSG at home), but we've been mired in a league relegation battle since the start of the season (because we opened with Liverpool away, champions Arsenal at home, Chelsea away, and then Tottenham and Man City also in the first seven weeks or so). Still only in 16th in late November, despite being predicted to finish mid-table. This is usually the point at which I start to pull away from the AI in previous seasons and they never truly compete again, so maybe the long-term team-building has improved. Certainly the tactical game is as competitive as it's ever been.