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Suge

So SI, why don't you give us the ability to develop our own match engine patches?

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We develop them, share them with the community then bob's your uncle, we actually have a few alternatives to play with.

If we can actually change everything from the speed of long passes to the distance of goal kicks then a lot of people would get a lot more out of the game. This way, if bugs are reported we could find fixes for them ourselves and not rely on an official patch to do it for us.

Even if you gave us the ability to alter 1/5 of the engine it would be a start.

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Do a lot of people have the coding ability to work on the FM ME? Unless you were familiar with the code where would you start?

I would also imagine in order for people to be able to make ME changes would involve SI opening a lot of their secrets if you will, a very very bad idea if you ask me.

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No, no, you've got the wrong end of the stick.

Modifying the engine would be a simple task, a lot like adding new sounds into the game. You would work with a config.ini file that would contain variables such as,"CORNER_DISTANCE=10", "PASSING_SPEED=8" etc etc... it wouldn't involve editing anything in C++.

There are various people around the boards that would love the opportunity to have a go at this and see what they could do.

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ah right sorry!!

Is that how the coding for the ME works? If something like that was possible then fair enough i could see where your coming from, but is it as simple as something like that?

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I'm sure there are constants in the match engine, but I strongly suspect they'd be set the way they are for very good reasons.

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ah right sorry!!

Is that how the coding for the ME works? If something like that was possible then fair enough i could see where your coming from, but is it as simple as something like that?

I very much doubt it's like that right now. It will probably be coded in a well known language like C/C++ and encrypted which makes it impossible to change.

This would take a lot of work from SI to kind of decode the variables into one file but it would be well worth it, not only so we could change the gameplay ourselves but so SI could maybe use what we have come up with for future versions.

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Do a lot of people have the coding ability to work on the FM ME? Unless you were familiar with the code where would you start?

I would also imagine in order for people to be able to make ME changes would involve SI opening a lot of their secrets if you will, a very very bad idea if you ask me.

Check out how Paradox games allows their titles to be almost completely modded.

Imagine how the moaning would lessen if we had the ability to determine card and injury frequency for ourselves, for example.

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Another well known Management game allowed those with the ability to make changes to the way the match engine worked to do so. It meant that there was about a dozen additional people trying to tweak the game and they then uploaded the coding which you copied to a specific folder so the gaming software could utilise it.

It worked quite well and in a lot of cases made the game better than what you got out the box.

I am sure out of the many thousands of people who play FM, there would be some that would happily give time and effort to create these tweaks and then share them with the wider community.

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stupid idea, will never happen, its like SI giving people their secrets and a small ability to make their own game, don't be silly, this was an awefull idea, 1 of the worst I have ever seen on these forums in years

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Hohoho, yeah this would work out well. "Hi EA, you know our great match engine, well here you go, take it please."

Also, there are so many variables and probably just about each of them have knock-ons so changing this and making it work is not a one-man job. SI do the best they can. I honestly don't think anybody else can do it better than them. It may not be perfect, probably never will be, but it is quite good.

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stupid idea, will never happen, its like SI giving people their secrets and a small ability to make their own game, don't be silly, this was an awefull idea, 1 of the worst I have ever seen on these forums in years

Its not about people making their own game; its about making this game better and expanding it so we can have, say, historical games. Some people might like to start a game in 1990 and have the ability to change league rules in line with the real history; others might like to create a wide-open fictional universe with this excellent game engine.

Its anything but stupid.

Hohoho, yeah this would work out well. "Hi EA, you know our great match engine, well here you go, take it please."

Also, there are so many variables and probably just about each of them have knock-ons so changing this and making it work is not a one-man job. SI do the best they can. I honestly don't think anybody else can do it better than them. It may not be perfect, probably never will be, but it is quite good.

Umm..the code is still proprietary; anyway, anyone any good at all at programming can ferret out the game code right now.

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Could be fun, but ultimately pointless, no?

Personally I don't want Paul C slaving over code that allows a config file to alter its basics, when he can be spending his time improving the engine itself.

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We develop them, share them with the community then bob's your uncle, we actually have a few alternatives to play with.

If we can actually change everything from the speed of long passes to the distance of goal kicks then a lot of people would get a lot more out of the game. This way, if bugs are reported we could find fixes for them ourselves and not rely on an official patch to do it for us.

Even if you gave us the ability to alter 1/5 of the engine it would be a start.

You think its that easy?

You think that you can do better?

I can just see the people at SI rolling on the floor with this one.

How long have they been developing the ME?

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Could be fun, but ultimately pointless, no?

Personally I don't want Paul C slaving over code that allows a config file to alter its basics, when he can be spending his time improving the engine itself.

Actually, its the peripheral things that the community probably could do better on the whole leaving the programming team to concentrate on the basics more.

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Well, Bethesda has a large modding community now that they have offered the editor which they use to make the game themselves to everyone buying the game for PC. Haven't seen any "competitors" nick their code and make The Newer Books: Stadium, an open-ended role-playing game based on the Havoc engine. Have you?

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I know for sure that I personally would have no idea where to start in coding and what not!

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FM is a game of numbers, a glorified excel spreadsheet. The moment SIgames allows us to take away the illusion that the match engine actually simulates football, and reveals that all it does is compare attributes to attributes in thousands of situation across a match, many people's interest in the game will fade.

As an example, right now we know there is a host of attributes that comes into play when a player attempts a tackle on another. On the defender's side there is obviously tackling, but also aggression, bravery, composure, dirtiness, and probably more i couldnt think of right now. In addition to these there are the attackers attributes, both players form, and so on. If we knew the exact formulas at work, we wouldn't be looking for a good defender on the transfer market anymore, we would be looking for a defender who had the attributes x, y and z high enough to add up to w. Kind of like we do with coaches today, to achieve star ratings. Would this improve the game? In my opinion, no. On the other hand it would completely change the way we thought about the game. We wouldn't imagine ourselves as managers anymore, we would play as we were robots, making binary decisions.

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FM is a game of numbers, a glorified excel spreadsheet. The moment SIgames allows us to take away the illusion that the match engine actually simulates football, and reveals that all it does is compare attributes to attributes in thousands of situation across a match, many people's interest in the game will fade.

As an example, right now we know there is a host of attributes that comes into play when a player attempts a tackle on another. On the defender's side there is obviously tackling, but also aggression, bravery, composure, dirtiness, and probably more i couldnt think of right now. In addition to these there are the attackers attributes, both players form, and so on. If we knew the exact formulas at work, we wouldn't be looking for a good defender on the transfer market anymore, we would be looking for a defender who had the attributes x, y and z high enough to add up to w. Kind of like we do with coaches today, to achieve star ratings. Would this improve the game? In my opinion, no. On the other hand it would completely change the way we thought about the game. We wouldn't imagine ourselves as managers anymore, we would play as we were robots, making binary decisions.

We already do. We know that in this game, unlike FM10, Pace > all. So we look for fast players with good tackling in defense and good dribbling in the attack. We also know that long shots is terrible, so we check if any player have the "Shoots from distance" Preferred Move and rule him out if he does. FM is numbers, and it always has been.

If I could stop the goalkeepers from creating ridiculously dangerous chances against his own team by taking goal kicks, I would. It is a program code that overrides his instructions, and letting the editor allow me to adjust the sensitivity of how gaming features such as goal kicks are carried out in the game is neither difficult to implement, nor anything new - since if SI's programmers actually have to re-write tons of code just to adjust how long the goal-kicks go or how far the ball could possibly be headed in the game engine, that would amaze me. The "Full-edition Editor" must exist right? Otherwise SI should really really make one and have the source code just interpret the visualized input... Just like the person/club/league database. It would be worth the effort.

For instance,

Club Reputation * Transfer resources * Manager squad rebuilding ratio/personality regarding signings * Club ambition = A specific number interpreted by the source code as aggressiveness on the transfer market

Manchester City

Reputation: 150 (continental) * £70m * Manager signing preferences: Player Reputation 20, Youth 15, Domestic 8, Physique 12, Technique 14, Mentality 15, 4-2-3-1 Balanced Rigid Passing * Ambition: 200

= Club's transfer policy, in this case aggressive. Overbidding other teams, poaching youngsters and spending heavily.

Bottom line is: every club in the game should use all its transfer resources every year, be restrictive about signing new contracts with existing players and generally have 20 of 25 players renewed in a 5 or 6 year period. I think this is easy to implement. What is difficult is to balance it so that all of the playing manager's players aren't targeted by 100 clubs each, bidding every week. And there is a risk that players are too eager to move on, and make illogical career steps. The solution is maybe to make the Loyalty hidden stat more advanced, by coding it against his popularity (reputation) amongst supporters, so that players who play well and enjoy a high status with the club's supporters would be reluctant to leave - while unpopular or poorly performing players (below 6.7 av.r over time) would have his agent find a new club.

If I could open the editor and tweak the input or output numbers, which are how the ME deals with the underlying set of influencing factors above, the sensitivity would be adjusted. So if I think that clubs are buying too many players, or too few, or too many clubs are too ambitious, or players are hating/enjoying it too much at their clubs there would be a number for it visually displayed in the Editor, which I could change!

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More likely you would end up with knockons which would make the game much less balanced. When you are dealing with thousands of variables it's not so easy as adjusting a couple and suddenly the game replicates real life perfectly (or much better than SI can attain).

This is never going to happen. Put your house on it.

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It'd still take time to link these things to an editable file and it might not even be possible to do properly, and could even have unforseen consequences in the implementation, question is, if it's worth it. I for one would rather they just focus on getting things right.-

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Worst thread I have ever seen in my life. LOL.

How about we change the gameplay in FIFA 11?

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Another well known Management game allowed those with the ability to make changes to the way the match engine worked to do so. It meant that there was about a dozen additional people trying to tweak the game and they then uploaded the coding which you copied to a specific folder so the gaming software could utilise it.

It worked quite well and in a lot of cases made the game better than what you got out the box.

Are you talking FIFA Manager? This was officially dropped, or at least made harder, probably for a reason. I'm sure there were loads of ini-file tweakers in the community that got a more aesthetically enjoyable experience (or at least a more "entertaining" one) out of the FIFA action engine running under the hood. But it made balancing more difficult for the development team as they didn't know which feedback was coming in from which community "patch" - and also I'm not convinced that everything done by the community was in touch with the vision the dev team had in mind developing the game.

Seeing the many domino effects little changes have for SI's match engine, there would be little to be gained from this apart from the user making up his own game - and equally struggling with another set of domino effects. Even if people were able to modify FM's code this easily, from second-guessing, I'd argue people would be more keen on making the engine the most aestatically pleasant on the eye, rather than better what SI are actually trying to do - which is trying to portray the sports as it is, warts and all, rather than making every team be as fun to watch as Arsenal London. Hell, many on these boards consider FIFA Action Soccer's representation of the sports to be the best there is on the market. For the record, FIFA is ace at what it's trying to do - but it is also fundamentally different from what SI are trying to convey in far too many ways to list them all.

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1. SI need to make money. People don't like to make games completely moddable, because they need people to buy the sequels. With other types of games, the lure of better graphics is enticing enough that people will be expected to upgrade anyway, but FM's not really about graphics.

2. I imagine the ME would be a fairly complicated bit of code to make conveniently editable- I'd rather SI didn't spend lots of time trying to pull that off. Even if they did, it'd probably be buggy, and then they'd waste more time between patches trying to fix the ME editing, instead of the game itself.

3. The bug forums would be full of people who have broken their own MEs through the knock-on effects of their ME editing- SI would spend a lot of time chasing bugs that would turn out to be user created.

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The problem with this is yes there are the few out there that know what thay are doing with the coding but then there are millions who don't.

If they opened it up to let people edit what they like, How many new threads would we have each day with the title "Help I have broken my game" or "How do i fix _____"

This is going to eat into the time that SI spend helping people with genuwine problems rather than self inflicted ones!

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1. SI need to make money. People don't like to make games completely moddable, because they need people to buy the sequels. With other types of games, the lure of better graphics is enticing enough that people will be expected to upgrade anyway, but FM's not really about graphics.

Quake, Half-Life and Civilization thrive on modification, and in these games, it is expected and is the selling-point.

2. I imagine the ME would be a fairly complicated bit of code to make conveniently editable- I'd rather SI didn't spend lots of time trying to pull that off. Even if they did, it'd probably be buggy, and then they'd waste more time between patches trying to fix the ME editing, instead of the game itself.

Not true - under Model-View-Controller the engine should be decoupled from the actual editing of the engine, and hence shouldn't run into many issues. Unless, of course, SI code it badly, in which case there are bigger issues than this editing...

3. The bug forums would be full of people who have broken their own MEs through the knock-on effects of their ME editing- SI would spend a lot of time chasing bugs that would turn out to be user created.

Flaws in one engine could manifest in others, depending on the level of dependency injection.

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I think the real reason is that the ME is a lot more patchwork than they'd have us believe.

Rather than a logical system as you might guess. It has been built and tweaked over years. The base of it, is pretty much the same as the one from over 10 years ago. It's a pretty basic engine, with loads of stuff tacked on and tweaked to try and get a good end result.

So I think most people would be shocked to find out exactly how their results were being calculated. And SI want to retain the mystique to avoid a lot of bad press.

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agree.. i used to play and make AI match patches for FIFAM, but FIFAM engine sucks. but we managed to make them game look better !!

now am having issues with FM engine too, and just wish to have such option,

if SI want to keep their code secret is understandable, but if they can provide us with external variables in key areas, with just values to balance the game without having access to the code itself, it would be great.

in another words, don't give us the equations, just some of variables to tune them around

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For those that clearly don't understand the concept - SI wouldn't be giving their code away, all tweaking/editing could be done via a config file with variables. I think some would be surprised by the amount of community patches this kind of option would generate. The opportunities to create almost any kind of playing style would be endless. Even if SI gave us the ability to alter a few basic mechanics of the engine like ball friction it would be a start.

I'm not asking for thousands of variables, give us a few and see what we can do.

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While the original idea is completely unrealistic, the idea of moddable content is great.

For example, Civilization 4 greatly benefitted from modded content, including AI designed by users. Creating an interface for user-modded manager AI might be a more realistic option than customizing the match engine, which is very unlikely to be as simple as the OP seems to believe. But even so, that still requires programming knowledge (civ 4 used python and C++ if I remember correctly).

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While the original idea is completely unrealistic, the idea of moddable content is great.

For example, Civilization 4 greatly benefitted from modded content, including AI designed by users. Creating an interface for user-modded manager AI might be a more realistic option than customizing the match engine, which is very unlikely to be as simple as the OP seems to believe. But even so, that still requires programming knowledge (civ 4 used python and C++ if I remember correctly).

The game engine is likely done in C++ but it is configured by Python scripts. It's deeper than just variables because the scripts can do lots more things than just change variables - they can redefine behaviour, rather like an interface.

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Surprised at the negativity. Obviously not many people play Fallout 3, Fallout:NV, or the Elder Scrolls.

Modding makes these games about a million times better. You see unofficial patches a lot for those games with hundreds, if not thousands of changes. They fix bugs and tweak gameplay, with all the moaning about bugs on here, wouldn't a user-created patch be awesome? It wouldn't be easy, granted but that doesn't stop the fantastic modding community for other games.

I also think you'd be surprised by the talent out there too.

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The game engine is likely done in C++ but it is configured by Python scripts. It's deeper than just variables because the scripts can do lots more things than just change variables - they can redefine behaviour, rather like an interface.

I think that C++ was also used to program the AI as a DLL. The underlying game engine also almost certainly programmed using it, but we're never going to get the source ;).

Python was definitely for the map scripts (as I edited several myself).

Surprised at the negativity. Obviously not many people play Fallout 3, Fallout:NV, or the Elder Scrolls.

Modding makes these games about a million times better. You see unofficial patches a lot for those games with hundreds, if not thousands of changes. They fix bugs and tweak gameplay, with all the moaning about bugs on here, wouldn't a user-created patch be awesome? It wouldn't be easy, granted but that doesn't stop the fantastic modding community for other games.

Modding the above games is a completely different kettle of fish from modding the match engine though. You're modifying content, not the underlying engine that actually loads and works with the content. You can download kits and extended databases and whatnot for FM - which is very similar to the type of moddable content for other games. The problem starts when you want to do something like, say, mod the underlying combat system in Elder Scrolls. You can't actually add new combat animations (e.g. roll to the side to dodge), or implement AD&D rules, or make it possible to fight from a horse, because the engine just doesn't support that; you'd need to add the functionality to the source itself (the C++ source). I'm pretty sure most of the "bug fixes" are fixes to content (e.g. triggers in quests that don't work properly, thus preventing the quest from finishing/progressing), not to the actual engine itself.

In FM match engine modding terms, in terms of content, you could mod (at least the 2D) graphics in previous versions. But you'd probably like to be able to sort out the player AI that causes defenders to stand still in front of the ball until an attacker comes and picks up the ball and scores. But that's no longer game content, but game logic...

Now you obviously could hack the exe - which is a different issue and also happens. You could obviously do this with FM too. However hacking the exe is not the same as a game being moddable, and requires leet haxx0r ski11z (= decent knowledge of assembler).

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Modding the above games is a completely different kettle of fish from modding the match engine though. You're modifying content, not the underlying engine that actually loads and works with the content. You can download kits and extended databases and whatnot for FM - which is very similar to the type of moddable content for other games. The problem starts when you want to do something like, say, mod the underlying combat system in Elder Scrolls. You can't actually add new combat animations (e.g. roll to the side to dodge), or implement AD&D rules, or make it possible to fight from a horse, because the engine just doesn't support that; you'd need to add the functionality to the source itself (the C++ source).

You make a good point and I don't really know enough about modding but doesn't Deadly Reflex alter the combat system quite a lot? Plus, it wouldn't be a case of adding anything.

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In FM match engine modding terms, in terms of content, you could mod (at least the 2D) graphics in previous versions. But you'd probably like to be able to sort out the player AI that causes defenders to stand still in front of the ball until an attacker comes and picks up the ball and scores. But that's no longer game content, but game logic...

Now you obviously could hack the exe - which is a different issue and also happens. You could obviously do this with FM too. However hacking the exe is not the same as a game being moddable, and requires leet haxx0r ski11z (= decent knowledge of assembler).

What people are asking for is for SI to basically export a bunch of constants that are used in the match engine into a configuration file that we could fiddle with. That way you'd be able to tweak the engine in some ways without having access to the source code, or having to hack the .exe. The problem with this is that there are likely to be a massive number of constants that are used in the match engine, and it's going to be very difficult to figure out what they are actually being used for. People seem to be expecting to see something like

FREQUENCY_OF_YELLOW_CARD=0.8;

which they can just go and fiddle to change the number of yellow cards. I would guess that it's very unlikely that a constant like this exists, and if it does, it will be a tiny tiny part of the formula that determines whether a player is booked or not. What is more likely is that there is something in the code along the lines of:

if(strengthOfTackle * latenessOfTackle * numberOfFoulsMadeByPlayer * patienceOfReferee * importanceOfPositionOnPitch > someThreshold) {

//issue a yellow card

}

That would solely be used to determine whether a player is booked for a foul. There would be other formulas for diving, backchat, timewasting and so on. And there are probably many more factors that are involved, and all of those factors are regulated by other bits of code and other constants. For example, you could alter a constant which determines how a referee responds to the strength of a tackle, which would affect the number of yellow cards, but it would also affect the number of red cards, and the number of fouls, and how likely a ref is to play advantage and so on. Tweaking that constant could have many unpredictable effects and without having detailed knowledge of the source code (which modders will not have), it will be complete and utter guesswork as to what is affecting what, multiplied by thousands and thousands of constants.

Add to that the fact that it's very difficult to accurately assess the effects of a change. You can't just watch one match, as you won't know if a yellow was issued becuase the ref made a mistake, it was bad luck, the player timed the tackle badly, or what. You have to watch thousands of matches and collate stats from many thousands more (which SI have tools to do, but I'd guess it's unlikely that we'll get our hands on them). Without that, you'd never know whether you had made a 'good' change or not.

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I think people underestimate the complexity of the FM match engine. There is a vast amount of variables in play. It's not as easy as fine-tuning combat in an RPG or FPS game. There you typically have a pretty low amount of variables, and changing one won't have a lot of ramifications for others. But in FM, each player has 50 variables or so, and that's only the ones we know about. Then you have the match engine with probably thousands on its own. Then the underlying mechanic and logic of it all.

Changing the combat in Civilization, Fallout or Baldur's Gate is something quite different. There's a fairly low level of variables to take into account, and clear rules for how they interact. As I mentioned earlier there is also the issue of protecting the match engine from other rivalling companies. Making it moddable means making the variables available. For people in the know it's then easier to figure out how it all fits together. Just having the variables available can give them quite some good ideas on how to improve their own very shoddy match engines. SI wouldn't want to give up perhaps their strongest competitive advantage over other football sims.

Most modding also relates to UI, improved graphics, that kind of thing, not changes to the actual engine. When talking about changes to combat, it's typically the variables that are changed, to make it more difficult. As someone with a little knowledge and experience with programming, I know it's a very tough ask to get the match engine working perfectly, and I honestly think SI are the best at making it happen. We all know it's not perfect, there are things that beggar belief at times (particularly in terms of goalie behaviour), but it's a neverending work in progress. FM2012 will probably be better than FM11, and FM2013 will probably be better than FM2012.

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Plus, it wouldn't be a case of adding anything.

That was more in order to illustrate the difference between game content and logic for the non-programmers here, in particular the example of switching ES to, say, AD&D rules. Switching to AD&D rules isn't "adding" per se, but completely redesigning. Which is obviously much more complicated.

If you want to be able to influence how a player reacts in the ME, that's the analogy you need to go with, rather than, say, adding a new class, which would be the equivalent of changing the appearance of the goals or the images displayed on the advertising hoardings.

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Surprised at the negativity. Obviously not many people play Fallout 3, Fallout:NV, or the Elder Scrolls.

Modding makes these games about a million times better. You see unofficial patches a lot for those games with hundreds, if not thousands of changes. They fix bugs and tweak gameplay, with all the moaning about bugs on here, wouldn't a user-created patch be awesome? It wouldn't be easy, granted but that doesn't stop the fantastic modding community for other games.

I also think you'd be surprised by the talent out there too.

Completely different types of games, also they're built from the ground up with mod-ability in mind, the very tools they use are released, and well-documented so people can use them adequately. The tools SI use might not even be tools for all we know, it might just be editing code, we've no idea what their methods are, how they update the ME and so forth, we've no idea how well it'd translate if "released". They'd likely have to "hide" parts of it and provide long documentation what to edit. We're only negative because A: it'd take SI's time away from other work, B: it'd not really add a whole lot at all.

Sure, mods do a lot to other games, but to a game that releases once every year, and is only really use-able for football? what possibly could we really get out of that? most likely bugs and delays, and right now, after a rather torrid FM2011 release, I'd say they should focus on getting a clean, efficient FM2012 release rather than spending time cutting up the entire ME so it's mod-able for other people.

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I just wrote out a whole response to that and lost it :(

It was along the lines of me agreeing with you. Ideally, I'd like the possibility to do this stuff. Realistically, I know it won't happen and I probably would prefer SI spent time fixing and adding features than do something like this but it doesn't mean that it's a bad idea. When I said I was surprised at the negativity, it was more aimed at the 'worst idea ever' comments - it's clearly not.

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I think people underestimate the complexity of the FM match engine. There is a vast amount of variables in play. It's not as easy as fine-tuning combat in an RPG or FPS game. There you typically have a pretty low amount of variables, and changing one won't have a lot of ramifications for others. But in FM, each player has 50 variables or so, and that's only the ones we know about. Then you have the match engine with probably thousands on its own. Then the underlying mechanic and logic of it all.

Modern-day RPGs and FPSes are very, very complex, arguably more complex than Football Manager. I think you've got this one the wrong way round, in all honesty... Take a look at, say, the Death Knight in World of Warcraft - there are a few base attributes but so many modifiers that go beyond straight number comparisons: http://www.wowwiki.com/Death_knight_abilities - quite often, the "return" value of a spell is more than just a number - it influences things like other targets, terrain and atmosphere, for example. And World of Warcraft's complexity is not as complex as some games today - it's rather simplistic - just very deep.

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Take a look at, say, the Death Knight in World of Warcraft - there are a few base attributes but so many modifiers that go beyond straight number comparisons: http://www.wowwiki.com/Death_knight_abilities - quite often, the "return" value of a spell is more than just a number - it influences things like other targets, terrain and atmosphere, for example.

It's still just numbers though, not programming logic. Let's just take a random example:

Places a large, stationary Anti-Magic Zone that reduces spell damage done to party or raid members inside it by 75%. The Anti-Magic Zone lasts for 30 sec or until it absorbs X spell damage. 2 Minutes Cooldown. Costs 1 Unholy Rune.

Effect Area: AOE (Stationary)

Effect Type: Damage absorption

Radius: r

Affects: Friendly

Effect 1: Reduce damage

Effect 1 amount: 75 %

Duration: 30

HP: X

Cooldown: 2 mins

Cost: 1 UR

(I'm making up names here, as I'm not a WoW player, but I hope you get the idea. All of the above variables are shared with many other spells)

But lets take another example. Nethack has scrolls of genocide that allow you to wipe out all monsters of a certain type in the entire game. If WoW doesn't have a "genocide" spell effect, you couldn't mod in a genocide spell. Simply because the game's logic can't execute the effect without the effect already having been programmed - there's no "target all monsters of type X" spell effect to choose from, nor no option to ensure that no further monsters of that type can ever spawn again! That is the essential difference. Modifying 12 values is no different to modifying 1 in this context; neither in any way extends the core functionality of the underlying game, which is the core issue here.

See also the example of implementing the AD&D ruleset in ES, or allowing combat from a horse. You really need to get inside the code to add the feature for that to be possible!

Of course, maybe I'm missing something blatantly obvious that people want to change, but I just can't see how you'd modify the decision making in the ME without the code. And I can't see what else you'd want to modify, because what is the ME, if not just a series of agents switching states according to what goes on in the match? Things like changing, say, the average length of passes wouldn't make much sense, because that's what the tactic sliders are for. Want less yellows? Add less strict refs. But that's not really modding the ME.

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It's still just numbers though, not programming logic. Let's just take a random example:

Effect Area: AOE (Stationary)

Effect Type: Damage absorption

Radius: r

Affects: Friendly

Effect 1: Reduce damage

Effect 1 amount: 75 %

Duration: 30

HP: X

Cooldown: 2 mins

Cost: 1 UR

(I'm making up names here, as I'm not a WoW player, but I hope you get the idea. All of the above variables are shared with many other spells)

But lets take another example. Nethack has scrolls of genocide that allow you to wipe out all monsters of a certain type in the entire game. If WoW doesn't have a "genocide" spell effect, you couldn't mod in a genocide spell. Simply because the game's logic can't execute the effect without the effect already having been programmed - there's no "target all monsters of type X" spell effect to choose from, nor no option to ensure that no further monsters of that type can ever spawn again! That is the essential difference. Modifying 12 values is no different to modifying 1 in this context; neither in any way extends the core functionality of the underlying game, which is the core issue here.

See also the example of implementing the AD&D ruleset in ES, or allowing combat from a horse. You really need to get inside the code to add the feature for that to be possible!

Of course, maybe I'm missing something blatantly obvious that people want to change, but I just can't see how you'd modify the decision making in the ME without the code. And I can't see what else you'd want to modify, because what is the ME, if not just a series of agents switching states according to what goes on in the match? Things like changing, say, the average length of passes wouldn't make much sense, because that's what the tactic sliders are for. Want less yellows? Add less strict refs. But that's not really modding the ME.

The SuperEditor would of course not change the "average length of passes" but the sensitivety of the tactic slider. Say that today's setting is at 1.000 - if you set it to 1.150 instead, your left back could easily kick a blazingly fast ball all the way to the right winger. If you set it to 0.905, however, shots would all be pops moving slowly and not actually reach the goal at all.

This way, we could fix the "goal kicks to defender who heads a 30-yard through-ball to his attacker" anomaly ourselves. Headers are clearly going too long and with too much precision in 11.3.

Similarly, the lack of squad building and squad rotation in FM has always annoyed me. In all previous versions (I haven't played really long games yet in FM11.3), you could spend all the time you need to build your own team from the lowest league to the highest, because by the time you get there, the teams you are playing against are only mossy ruins of what they once were. By increasing the sensitivety of the Manager stat for transfer policy, those with a high stat would be much more aggressive while those with a less high stat would still try to buy players.

The point is that ALL the stats of players, staff and clubs are connected to an interpretive code that provides an output which have consequences for the game. Allowing the users to tweak some of the hidden onesthemselves would in my opinion only be beneficial for the game. Of course, they need to be treated as mods the same way the database is.

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The SuperEditor would of course not change the "average length of passes" but the sensitivety of the tactic slider. Say that today's setting is at 1.000 - if you set it to 1.150 instead, your left back could easily kick a blazingly fast ball all the way to the right winger. If you set it to 0.905, however, shots would all be pops moving slowly and not actually reach the goal at all.

This way, we could fix the "goal kicks to defender who heads a 30-yard through-ball to his attacker" anomaly ourselves. Headers are clearly going too long and with too much precision in 11.3.

The problem is, although you may fix that one anomaly in this way, you'd create a hundred more in it's place. If you reduced the accuracy and length of headers, you'd maybe end up with a severe lack of headed goals (rendering wingers/crossing useless), or you'd maybe have centre halves struggling to clear balls in the air properly and therefore too many goals being scored from loose balls around the edge of the area.

Every constant that is used in the match engine is going to affect many many situations in many different ways. If you want to fix anomalies like this, you need to go into the code and fix the problem that is causing the anomaly, not just arbitrarily increase or decrease some value that you have no idea of the overall effects of.

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It's still just numbers though, not programming logic. Let's just take a random example:

Effect Area: AOE (Stationary)

Effect Type: Damage absorption

Radius: r

Affects: Friendly

Effect 1: Reduce damage

Effect 1 amount: 75 %

Duration: 30

HP: X

Cooldown: 2 mins

Cost: 1 UR

(I'm making up names here, as I'm not a WoW player, but I hope you get the idea. All of the above variables are shared with many other spells)

But lets take another example. Nethack has scrolls of genocide that allow you to wipe out all monsters of a certain type in the entire game. If WoW doesn't have a "genocide" spell effect, you couldn't mod in a genocide spell. Simply because the game's logic can't execute the effect without the effect already having been programmed - there's no "target all monsters of type X" spell effect to choose from, nor no option to ensure that no further monsters of that type can ever spawn again! That is the essential difference. Modifying 12 values is no different to modifying 1 in this context; neither in any way extends the core functionality of the underlying game, which is the core issue here.

See also the example of implementing the AD&D ruleset in ES, or allowing combat from a horse. You really need to get inside the code to add the feature for that to be possible!

Of course, maybe I'm missing something blatantly obvious that people want to change, but I just can't see how you'd modify the decision making in the ME without the code. And I can't see what else you'd want to modify, because what is the ME, if not just a series of agents switching states according to what goes on in the match? Things like changing, say, the average length of passes wouldn't make much sense, because that's what the tactic sliders are for. Want less yellows? Add less strict refs. But that's not really modding the ME.

It's all to do with interfaces and how much the developers want to expose. Take, for example, Microsoft Office addins - as long as they follow some "structure", they are treated as if they are Microsoft Office components with certain behaviours, of which this is up to the developer. For the genocide effect, you would implement a genocide effect and configure each creature to have a type, and configure a function that implements this spell, killing all creatures of a certain type. This can be done by a function pointer in C++, an interface in Java, a virtual method in C++, or delegates in C# (amongst others).

This is all possible but it depends on how much SI will want to expose as an API - it is definitely possible. And in practice, if something isn't possible, hackers will always find some way round it (kind of how like Warcraft III map developers a while back could induce buffer overflows to return multiple types - Blizzard realised this and made some concessions while fixing this (because it is a security flaw).

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The problem is, although you may fix that one anomaly in this way, you'd create a hundred more in it's place. If you reduced the accuracy and length of headers, you'd maybe end up with a severe lack of headed goals (rendering wingers/crossing useless), or you'd maybe have centre halves struggling to clear balls in the air properly and therefore too many goals being scored from loose balls around the edge of the area.

Every constant that is used in the match engine is going to affect many many situations in many different ways. If you want to fix anomalies like this, you need to go into the code and fix the problem that is causing the anomaly, not just arbitrarily increase or decrease some value that you have no idea of the overall effects of.

Yup, that's pretty much how it works - and almost exactly what would happen if it was attempted.

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