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  1. Hello, a warning first: this is a rant, coming from a guy who's a game designer for a job, who's played football professionaly (although at lower leagues) and who breaths football as if it was air. But it's not a complaint for the sake of it, it's just that I'd like the game to go back to its roots and fix its problems so I can enjoy it again. I used to love it. I've been buying Football Manager since 2008, every year. Fm17 will be the last one I've bought. The game has become a frustrating experience, a faulty simulation where you don't feel like you're training a soccer team anymore, but rather you're trying to figure out a way to beat a machine and its unrealistic rules. Don't get me wrong, the game is great in many regards - outside of the pitch - but it really falls short in its most important aspect: the match and its preparation. I'll try to be brief and directly go to the faults I really can't accept anymore. - Tactics interface is a mess You're leading a match by 1 goal by the end of the first half and you completely dominated the game, but you decide to play more defensively in the second one, just to be safe. But wait, if you change the mentality you're also changing the team's width, tempo, and style of passes! Each individual role is influenced by the team mentality anyway. Oh, but they're influenced by the team structure, too. I change one single thing, I change everything. In reality, if I want to tell my players to keep playing as always but to risk less and retain possession, it only takes me the time to say it, which is 1-2 minutes. In this game, it can take from 15 minutes to 20. Then you've got to watch the game carefully, in real time, to see if your instructions are working. Because the one little change you made could make everything go down the drain. More often than not, I watch the entire game second by second. If I wanted that kind of involvement, I'll get a license and train a real team. - Individual roles are too rigid The example above means you have to change the individual roles, too, to keep the balance.. Yeah, because you can't just tweak the individual instructions, nope. A winger will always dribble, even if he's in a 1 vs 3 situation. An advanced playmaker will always dribble unless you change his mentality to support, but then he'll occupy a different position in the pitch. You want your striker to be lying deep? Then he'll be forced to hold the ball and try risky passes. You can't change that. It's like, that's the only way to interpet the role. But in reality, of course it's not. You want your team to follow your instructions rigidly, with the exception of your creative player who should have unlimited creative freedom? You can't. You raise creative freedom for the whole team (meaning that your defenders will try silly things too) or you don't. Where's the freedom of past versions of the game??? - Tactis are way too important Football is simple. Better players will more often than not win the game. There are exceptions, of course. But when Juventus loses against Acireale, Bari and Ascoli in a row because their opponents are parking the bus, you can see there's something really wrong there. Tactics may make the difference when the teams are on the same level. They can't make miracles, and consistently at that. Moreover, in reality most teams will find a formation that works with their players, and they'll keep it like that for the whole season with few exceptions. Juventus doesn't play a 4-3-3 direct passing tactic against lower teams and a 5-4-1 short passes, possession strategy against stronger teams. Juventus doesn't have to change their formation every year because otherwise they'd lose against each new club coming from the second division. It's unrealistic. Even lower teams must keep their identity. A coach that changes his formation every week is a bad coach, and the players will suffer the lack of a precise style. Of course, in this game, the complete opposite is true. - In-game explanations are too vague It's not even clear if "dribbling" means to try to run past an opponent defender, or simply to move with the ball into open space. Are they the same thing? In reality, clearly they're not. In this game they probably are. I say "probably" because, who knows? Once again, this might be influenced by the player and team mentality, too. Maybe. Who knows? I don't think even the programmers know that anymore, considering that your assistant coach's "suggestions" are even more vague and quite often simply wrong. It feels like the match engine took a life of his own and even the programmers lost all control over it, and they're just like "meh, it seems to work, let's keep it like that" That's probably why they reduced the player's freedom with individual roles. I think they want to prevent you from finding errors in the ME that you could use in your favour. But when you have to limit the player's freedom to hide the game engine's flaws, you're doing everything wrong design-wise. I'll end it here, with my final suggestions that could, in my opinion, solve EVERYTHING in one go: - give more tactical freedom to the players, not a set of rigid options; - remake the Match Engine from scratch, guys, and KEEP. IT. SIMPLE. The tactics interface, too. Very complex games like Europa Universalis have way much more variables than FM, but the player always feel in control. That's not the case with Fm anymore, and it's been like that for years. Thank you for reading, feel free to say your opinions and attack me, too, if you feel I've not been fair. One last thing: I can win the game. Won Serie A and Champions with Lazio. It's just not that fun anymore, because I don't feel in control and many, too many flaws are breaking the illusion of realism. I've got tired of that. Please, please fix the game.
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